Friday, 15 February 2008

On The Negativism of Things

This phenomenon, known as "the tin drummer is depressed about various piss-awful events in his ghastly, insignificant life"-syndrome, was documented in 1981 by the noted drummerologist "Miss Rochford", sometimes known as "the drummer's Reception teacher". It first appeared in his disgust at seeing the blue-jacketed back of his father walk away through the vast windows of his ancient HORSA classroom, back to the Hillman Hunter, and away from the screaming drummer, by now weeping in Miss Rochford's lap (and very comfy it was too). It subsequently appeared at various intervals: namely, 1986, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998 and most years after.

It is barely an elusive phenomenon; the drummerologist "Hugh of Lincoln" noted its appearance at sporadic intervals and tied these together under the name "winter & alcohol", but failed, in the opinion of many critics, successfully to map the drummer's negativism onto real world events. The philosopher Phred Tap reckons that 2001 was a turning point. He writes: "the authoritarian victory of New Labour, versus the complete descent into populist incompetence of conservatism, wrecked the drummer's political mind for ever." (The Tin Drummer: A Political Reckoning) In Don't Stand So Close to Me (1999), the critic and historian Kymant Carshalton writes: "TD was a failed enterprise from the beginning: but this being the case, his efforts to carve a niche in the world were half-hearted to say the very least. Trying to get himself arrested by writing secretive libels of Tony Blair was, to put it generously, ignoble: to put it uncharitably, it was the act of a fool. And a twat."

Nonetheless, it seems that 2008 marked a descent into rabid rubbish negativism for the damn sake of it. The archivist Primus Eliot wrote in his monologue The Tin Drummer is All Measure of Value (2010) that: " this year [2008] the twat become heroically self-absorbed. Indeed, he was so obsessed with his personal problems he forgot to shit. This caused legendary problems at work, when he failed to turn up for a lesson for 42 minutes because he was trying to evacuate six weeks of garbage from his colon and in doing so bankrupted his school because the bog pipes were blocked for eight miles from the u-bend." Historian Nigel Ob wrote in his book Calling All the Hero (2009) that "the tin drummer became a crashing bore, clogging up the blogosphere with his bizarre, drunken, self-lacerating rantings. It was only later that he realised, to his eternal credit, that no-one gave a toss, and wanted him to shut the fuck up".

The contradictory nature of the last quote will not be lost on the reader.

However: the lesson was learned; the tin drummer continued to write - but he focused more on subjects he could be more positive about.

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