Sunday, 29 April 2018

The punch line is getting old

Laura Rizzotto
Funny Girl

I was at this thing the other day and one of those people that knows me from another thing was talking about something important to them, and slowly their grip on my attention started to loosen and my mind drifted away from the conscious reality of sitting there listening to them as my brain gently rose like a hot air balloon ascending the heavens and gliding across a landscape of idle thoughts, while back on Earth my face was sat beside them saying "mmm" and "ooh" and "really?" and occasionally arching its eyebrows like an actor in a commercial who's been asked to wordlessly indicate that cough sweets work.

As I gazed down at the idle thoughts, wondering which to toy with, I became aware of the fuzzy, trance-like state I was in, and realised that although I'd entered this reverie out of boredom, the experience of boredom itself was proving pretty interesting. In fact, I don't think "boredom" itself actually exists. There's no such thing as boredom, just varying degrees of fascination.

Here's an example. When I was 13 I was off school for weeks, literally bedridden. I couldn't walk or run. And back then there was no internet or satellite TV. I couldn't move my right arm without experiencing blinding pain, which meant most existing forms of entertainment, from reading to self-appreciation, were off the menu. All I could do was watch terrestrial TV. Unfortunately, it seemed my illness was taking place in the middle of a non-stop televised bowls tournament.

Laura RizzottoSo there I was, forced to lie still and watch bowls for hours. Did I lose my mind with boredom? No. I got into it, without even trying. Easy when there's nothing else to do. First, you choose a favourite player - not consciously, it just happens. Perhaps one of them's a bit slick, or you don't like his glasses. Instantly, you root for the other guy. Then there's the game itself, which largely consists of tantalising footage of bowls gently swerving to a halt as close to the jack as possible. This struck me as twice as exciting as the climax of Ghostbusters 2 (which was prescient of me, since Ghostbusters 2 didn't come out until the year after).

What I'm saying is the mind entertains itself no matter what. It's a blessing. It means that I've become fascinated by Laura Rizzotto, who at fifteen started performing in "Rio de Janeiro's music scene". I've listened to Laura's debut album "Reason To Stay" over and over again, a "driving force to promote environmental education and a greater public awareness regarding the urgent need of conservation and restoration of the Brazilian national tree". I've wept repeatedly at her song "Miracle", a touching tribue to road traffic victims that got featured on the second "Global Conference on Road Safety" sponsored by the United Nations.

And I tried, I really did, listening to her Eurovision entry "Funny Girl". For well over six seconds I imagined that it was going to be the seductive soundtrack to the 15th installment in the "Fifty Shades" film franchise, all moody and edgy and Annie Lennoxy. But then YouTube offered up one of those videos of a springer spaniel putting a softmint in a bottle of coke and it was gone.