Look at all those beautiful faces. 135 down. 15 to go. 15! So close, I’m going to miss it. Even though recently it’s become a little bit routine. Wait wait! Don’t get upset! You’re still awesome and I’ve had amazing chats with amazing people. Routine is natural. You do anything for 6 months, no matter how brilliant, and it becomes just another thing. You think Bon Jovi isn't sick of Livin' on a Prayer? Actually that's a bad example. Nobody gets sick of Livin' on a Prayer.
It’s totally natural though, evolutionary even. We have to keep our eyes peeled for the new thing in case it’s dangerous, so anything that hangs around for a while automatically fades. It’s why you aren’t constantly aware of the feeling of clothes against your skin, or why you don’t focus on your breathing, or why the divorce rate is so high. (Thankfully this project allows me a new partner every few evenings. Hey O!)
It’s not a nice thing to admit. That’s why the phrase is 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder' and not 'Presence makes the heart grow then maintain then fade into the background.'
Just look at the technology aspect. We sit surrounded by some of the most amazing devices ever conceived and it becomes old hat so fast. In the past month I've used video chat to have a casual conversation with a designer in New York and a hilarious woman in Paisley and an animator in Bucharest and it’s just cool, whatever man. Video chat! Like in fucking Star Trek!
Before I go too deep into Louis CK territory let me change gears.
It's not all been internet chats lately. I want to meet as many people face to face as possible. Recently, this meant I had the 'pleasure' of spending the day in Edinburgh during the festival.
I love the Edinburgh Fringe festival. I've performed there three times now, and the vibe of the city is electric. There is nothing like the feeling of stepping off the train from Glasgow into the sea of fans and performers. Everyone excited, buzzing about their next show, drinking into the night, sharing stories. When you're part of the Fringe, Edinburgh is just magic.
When you're not part of the fringe, and you have lots of folk to meet all over the city in a short space of time, it's a hell hole filled with time vampires.
I was meeting 6 followers, bookended by two shows, one at midday, one at seven, with a stressful rush around the city in-between trying to meet everyone. It was stressful because it seems the city decided en masse to collectively obstruct me at every opportunity. The stress meant I drank too much, and the rushing made me lose track. This will go some way to explaining why I woke up the following morning on the sofa, fully clothed, sans glasses and with the tell tale stains of vomiting on my shirt.
I was not proud of myself. But I did meet everyone and I did see two great shows which were both performed by some old friends and followers. It’s too late to see them now so this seems a little futile but I give them both five stars. You can put that on the posters.
James is one of the magicians on Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic and he's excellent and the show was a riot. In stark contrast, tonally at least, Tony Dunn’s show in the evening was all about psychopaths. We were chatting after the show and I told him a story of earlier in the month where I was worried someone thought I was a psychopath. (I don’t mean in the clinical sense of having no empathy or emotion, more in the bogey man way.)
Listen: I've contacted every single person who follows me. With 15 people to go I have 8 for definite lined up, but those last 7 are a waiting game. I know what you're thinking. Who wouldn't want to get involved with such a streamlined and well thought out social experiment ? Well, as much as we all know I'm an all around good guy (look at all the smiling faces!) clearly not everyone shares that view. Check this message:
Wow meeting all your followers sounds like an undertaking! I appreciate your friendship and interest to engage. Let's stay in touch here.
What bothered me about this message wasn’t that they’re not interested. I've said before I'm fine if people aren't up for meeting. What bothered me was the tone. It’s not that they think it’s stupid, it's not that they're shy. No: that is a message of fear. You can picture them slowly backing away and picking up their belongings as they type.
Am I a crazy stalker?
I’ve joked with some of the people I’ve met that this whole project is actually an elaborate plan to murder all my followers. (That is not true although it would make quite a fun movie.) I don’t really know why I’m doing this except that I thought it’d be a good story and I’m painfully aware of my own mortality.
I was genuinely concerned. I don’t want to make anyone feel weird. We spoke again afterward and I assured them it wasn’t anything creepy which is of course the exact thing a psycho would say. I left it, but it nagged at me.
I was cheered up after speaking with Jon though (top left) Aside from being a good guy, he also out psycho-ed me in glorious fashion. He has a great blog which you should read, and as I scanned some older entries I remembered he made this video. And it is staggering. It made me feel better because much like me, it wasn't that he was a psycho, it was just that the person viewing the message interpreted it in the wrong way.
To be fair though, when you watch Jon's video, you can maybe understand why: http://impresswomen.tumblr.com/post/20897080437/ladyinred
I think I laughed for a solid fifteen minutes when I first saw it but I didn't get the punchline until I read the blog. I haven't stopped laughing since. My concerns melted away.
You should read the rest of Jon's blog by the way, it's really good. In fact, the sheer volume of great creative work from the people who follow me is daunting. I'm going to do a blog post collating it all once I'm done but seriously, can everyone just stop making cool videos and articles and films and games and music and magic? Some of us have lives to lead.
See you at the finish line.
Special thanks! @crouchybro, @jon_cybernet, @miaouxmiaoux, @daninski, @tont_coles, @duncanm, @mitchellhart, @amynoonan, @mcguireolaf, @therewillbegin, @geo_lit, @ohagangirl, @galluseffie, @owenjwhite, @claire_suzanne, @dalradian, @charliemoments, @thetonydunn, @sladeDJ, @oliwelsh