Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Imaginary vlogging of Norry Spinger

Norry Spinger bought a cheap video camera because he had discovered that it was possible to upload clips of video footage onto websites and blogs. He made this purchase partly because he had once entertained an idea, which he soon recognised as a Walter Mitty fantasy, of being a freelance video journalist.  Norry had not been an early adapter as far as this bit of technological innovation had been concerned. Once it had come into the range of Norry’s economic possibility, it also been within others’ potential grasp for a few years, so when Norry cottoned on to the idea of uploading some of the bits of video that he had shot, he was probably only the 100 millionth person on the planet to make this realisation.

Vlogging, like all the other discoveries of Norry’s life had been unoriginal for he had also not been the first person to think of, or practise, abstract sculpture, surrealism, performance poetry or collage. The unrecognition of his uninnovative ungenius was a possible explanation of his, at times, stroppy behaviour. Once recently, a man in an olive green waterproof had approached Norry as he was standing on the pavement near London’s Baker Street station. Perhaps this man had inadvertently crossed the wide invisible circle of personal space that surrounded every English person, just as grey green blue seas surrounded that shores of that person’s island. In fact the rainproofed clothed one had come some close that Norrie had been able to read the word “Marmot” written in about 15 point font, in bright green thread situated over the man’s left nipple on this jacket.

“You are not a Marmot.” Norry said, clearly and loudly but without raising his voice to a shout. “You are some sort of waterproofed tourist.”

As this remark coming almost from nowhere, was addressed to a total stranger was completely out of any usual social context, and almost certainly outside the parameters of the probable interaction scripts of tourist guides; it elicited at best a bemused semi-smile by way of response from Marmotman.

Norry didn’t stay to see or let the conversation develop; he vanished into the London crowd like a burst bubble on the top of a pot of boiling grey porridge.

He resurfaced at the Old Ethical Hall at the back of Black Griffin Square in Clerkenwell, lugging a heavy two wheeled cart behind him. This Chinese chariot, a lightweight soft metal shopping trolley frame, was the vehicle of choice for many London pedestrians in the twenty-tens. In its original from it had carried some sort of nylon sack, but Norrie had customised it, with other bags and elasticised bits of rope, (known to some as bungee clips), to carry his video camera, extension lead and tripod.

That morning Norrie’s Queen, Elizabeth the second, had smiled on him before he had set out from his home. Her image, on a ten pound note, had smiled above the rim of an empty yoghurt pot on Norry’s kitchen table, he felt blessed by this and the fact that he had harvested about half a pound of potatoes that he had been growing in a compost filled dustbin situated at the end of this back garden.

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