Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

November 2007

GeneralThursday, November 22nd, 2007, (10:44 pm)

I got a call this morning from my friend Phil. Right away I could tell from the tone of his voice that all was not well. “Are you sitting down?” he asked. Such a question is only going to proceed bad news. Then he continued. “German Andy died last night.”

Andy Knight‘German Andy’ actually wasn’t German at all, in fact he was every bit as English and Phil and myself. He earned that nickname on account of the fact that several years ago he met a German girl, moved to Germany, then married and made a family with her.

Back when he lived in the UK we used to be close friends. He went to school not far from where I lived at the time so he would often drop in for lunch instructing me to “Put the kettle on lad.” He made us laugh because he always asked so many questions as if he was on a never ending quest for knowledge. But unlike most people his age, he didn’t care for controversy or gossip and instead steered clear of any unfolding dramas. In many ways that set him aside from others in the large group that we socialized in.

One such example of his unruffled approach to life was when, back in 1994, we were out driving in my beat up old Fiat 126, a tiny car that had a habit of losing it’s wheels. Ordinarily I would know when the wheel was about to fall off because the steering would start to vibrate. At that point I would stop the car and either myself or my passenger would jump out to tighten up the wheel nuts. However, on one occasion after a drive out to the beach, we were heading back when Andy calmly asked, “Hey, isn’t that your wheel?” Sure enough, as I began to exit a roundabout one of the wheels had come off the car and Andy spotted it as it made its escape.

Since those times we drifted apart as people often do. He moved to Germany, married Petra, and started a family.  In short, life happened.

Andy KnightSo when Phil and Kerry-anne were planning their wedding Phil sent Andy an invitation expecting to receive a polite response explaining that he wouldn’t be able to come. However, much to our surprise, Andy accepted the invitation.

It wasn’t long after that when he got back in touch with me via this blog. He expressed some regret at how we had drifted apart, but I told him that I believe great friendships are rarely lost, they just get a little dusty sometimes. After that it didn’t take long to shake off the dust and soon be laughing again like old friends do.

When he came over for the wedding we spent some time with one another and on the morning of his final day here we arranged to have me pick him up from his grandmothers house. As he walked down her pathway dragging what looked like Europe’s biggest suitcase, he began laughing at the fact that it was going to be near impossible to pack it into my 2 seater MG. “Do you think you’ll ever have a normal car?” he sarcastically asked as we both pushed and squeezed it into the trunk.

From there we went on a drive following the routes we had done so many times in the past. We recounted some of the funny stories that we shared and the incidents that somehow always seemed to involve either cars or girls, and occasionally both.

We drove around Birkenhead Park, then to the old church and Henry’s old house where many a late night was had. I took him by the plot where Ed’s house once stood. The large victorian home where I had once lived, and where I met Andy for the first time, was demolished a couple of years back and in it’s place there are two new houses, a stark reminder that life moves on.

We also stopped by his old house and parked outside for a few moments while he quietly took a the mental journey back in time. I think he was putting his life in context as he looked out at that old familiar house. I’d not known Andy to be a sentimental guy, but he had an almost wistful tone as he said quietly to himself more than me, “That tree used to be smaller.” – Such things often remind us how quickly time is passing. Of course I don’t know, but maybe that’s what Andy was thinking.

That evening Phil and I drove Andy to the airport. We talked about visiting him in Stuttgart once the whirlwind of his new baby had subsided. Andy had talked so highly of Stuttgart while he was with us that we wanted to see if it really was as good as he made it sound. Maybe it is, but I think maybe what made Stuttgart so great for Andy is the fact that there he had family, a wife who loved him, and two small children who called him Papa.

Andy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis some years ago. His outlook was good, he told me himself that doctors said he had at least 20 years left to enjoy. But doctors don’t make promises they can’t keep, and sometimes life has other plans. Andy died last night as a result of health complications caused by the MS.

So in the coming days I imagine that we will indeed go to Stuttgart to see Andy, only this trip is not the one we planned in the car. But even though we’ll be traveling with heavy hearts, I find a great deal of comfort in the fact that we all got to spend time together this summer in such happy and relaxed circumstances. While we didn’t realize that was the last time we would see Andy, I’m not unhappy with thinking about that as the time we got to reconnect with our old friend before we have to say goodbye forever.

Auf Wiedersehen Andy.

Andy Knight

Found on the webSaturday, November 17th, 2007, (2:10 pm)

Back in September the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that there were no gay people in Iran. Andy Samberg from the U.S. comedy show, Saturday Night Live, saw the funny side of that ridiculous statement and along with Adam Levine of Maroon 5, created a hilarious 3 minute R&B music video (below) entitled ‘I Ran So Far Away.’

It was while he was speaking at Columbia University in New York City when Ahmadinejad was asked about the practice of putting homosexuals to death in Iran to which he responded, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you that we have it.

Samberg and his crew spent six days filming “I Ran” which has elements of LL Cool J, the Wu-Tang Clan and a sample of a track called Avril 14th by Aphex Twin. In the video Samberg and President Ahmadinejad appear to be in love, or as they put it in the video “tripping” for each other.

NBC posted the video on their YouTube channel in the hope that it would quickly spread and raise the profile of the new season of Saturday Night Live. However all instances of the video quickly vanished from YouTube when it emerged that permission for the Aphex Twin sample had not been sought.

It’s a funny video (or at least I thought so), check it out above.

[Video] Not to be confused with the 80’s classic ‘I Ran So Far Away’ by Flock of Seagulls
[Video] Aphex Twin : Avril 14th
[Video] Aphex Twin : Windowlicker
‘I Ran So Far Away’ removed from YouTube
Ahmadinejad: “We don’t have homosexuals like in your country”
Iran President speaks at U.S University

GeneralThursday, November 15th, 2007, (2:45 pm)

Poetry is like black pudding to me, while it may be popular I’ve never really developed a taste for it, and even with a recipe I could still never create it. However, unlike black pudding, I do sometimes find varieties that I can enjoy and the video below is an example of just that.

I’ve posted a video of Rives performing his funky style of poetry before. In this one he muses about what he might do if he ran the internet.
“If I were in charge of the Internet, you could mapquest your lover’s mood swings: Hang left at Cranky, right at Preoccupied, U-turn on silent treatment all the way back to tongue kissing and Good Lovin’.”

[Video] Rives – Mocking Bird
[Video] Rives at a Halloween street carnival thing
Rives website

GeneralTuesday, November 13th, 2007, (10:10 am)

Could Paris Hilton, the worlds most pointless and talentless celebrity, be the next big spiritual guru?

Ms Hilton’s seven spiritual lessons were featured in a magazine called Precognito. (No, I’d never heard of it either.) I Googled around for a breakdown of these seven steps to enlightenment, but oddly enough it would seem that unlike much of her life, her spiritual guidance didn’t find coverage online.

I’m tempted to buy the magazine just out of curiosity. What would the Guru Paris give to the world?

I can’t decide whether the fact that nobody cares to re-print Paris Hilton’s seven spiritual lessons is a good thing or a bad thing. In a way I am glad that we’re not all about to start listening to the wisdom of a girl who appears to be a living brain donor, yet at the same time we’re happy to accept her as a celebrity walking the red carpet and posing for pictures.

Nobody wants to hear Paris Hilton talk about God. Her role in our world is to wear something slinky, look pretty, and smile. We expect nothing more from her and in a way I think that’s a shame. Maybe her lessons would have been garbage, but I think I could stomach Paris Hilton a little more if I thought her opinions were valued by the press as much as pictures of her scrawny rich ass!

As for the readers of Precognito magazine, well they’ve already moved on. Having applied the wisdom of Paris Hilton to their lives they’re now readying themselves for the next issues big spiritual lesson; How to initiate Archangelic Energy and make a real difference in the world.

Found on the webMonday, November 12th, 2007, (3:07 pm)

Imagine what life must have been like for Federal Agent Jack Bauer back in 1994.

I can’t believe the TV show 24 is heading into a seventh season (though it’s been delayed indefinately at this time). The only thing that would make the show more cheesy now would be to stick a mask and a cape on Jack and give him the ability to fly and make himself invisible!

Thanks to the internet we no longer need caped crusaders. Our heroes can now log on to the net and save the world in three dramatic clicks! If superman wasn’t dead already he would be collecting wellfare. Maybe there’s a TV show in that idea? A reality style show that follows the day to day lives of the now jobless super heros who were left behind in the internet revolution.

24 in 1994
Superman dies (again)

Faith & ReligionFriday, November 9th, 2007, (1:06 pm)

Jesus Christ!Among the many things that churchy folk do that perplex me is the habit they all seem to have of capitalizing the words ‘him’ or ‘he’ when they refer to God.

Last year I got into a digital fender bender with a student from Patrick Henry College over the fact they had deleted a comment I left on their blog because I hadn’t capitalized the word god, or God if you will.

It seemed like a draconian step to take over what was simply a typo, but the student insisted that my comment had to be removed because by not capitalizing his name I had dishonored the almighty.

Well, fair enough. I can understand capitalizing God, Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Devudu, Shang Ti or any of his other names for that matter. That, after all, would be grammatically correct. But what then is the reasoning behind the rather bizarre practice of capitalizing the H when using the words ‘him’ or he’ in relation to God? Perhaps those churchy folk among you could shed some light on this for me.

Where the hell is God?

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