I have a zebra-cow called Blerg. On regular days, Blerg acts like a paper clip and holds my papers together, like a good little zebra-cow. However, now she aspires to be much more; she wants to be a glamorous Vegas showgirl. (I made an excellent point of saying that she can’t be a girl, she is a zebra-cow, but she rendered my point moo-oot). So the next best thing that she could do is present my Friday Favourites!
Read: Perfume – The Story of a murderer (1985)
Author: Patrick Suskind
Plot: It’s the story of an orphan – Jean-Baptiste Grenouille – a man with a strange and curious gift – he was born with an acute and abnormal sense of smell, although he has no scent of his own. Set in the 18th century France, the book follows the peculiar and often sinister Grenouille, from birth to adulthood. The turning point of the story is when he becomes so obsessed with a young virginal girl and her scent that he accidentally kills her. The scent which he so loved died with the girl and this set him on a deadly and murderous trail – He starts killing young girls in order to snatch their scents, preserve them, and to make a perfume reminiscent of the first girl’s scent.
Why I love it: Whatever you think this book might be like, it isn’t. I love this book because it is a unique piece of art. When you think a book is about murders and smell, you would brush it off with an air of “what nonsense is this”. That is the rational response. This book is mad. A trivial thing – the sensation of smell – makes the book come alive. Whether it’s the dirty streets of Paris or a green countryside or even the murder of beautiful girls, you are witnessing it all as the silent companion of Monsieur Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Read this book and be rewarded by one of the most bizarre and shocking conclusions in literary history.
Listen: Far Beyond Driven (1994)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Top Tracks: 5 Minutes Alone, Strength Beyond Strength, Shedding Skin, Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath cover)
Why I love it: All songs from this album actually qualify to be added as Top Tracks. The band made sure the album lived up to it’s name and how – its not just far beyond driven, it’s a sheer maniacal force of nature. The songs are heavy and ring true – so true that I ended up emblazoning “Strength Beyond Strength” on my ribcage. I’ll be attending a Pantera tribute gig tomorrow night, so I have been psyching myself up by listening to this powerhouse of an album on loop. Listen and unleash your frustrations and anger! Now!
(The album pictured above is a part of the box set Driven Downunder Tour ’94 – Souvenir Collection and has an extra track called “The Badge”, which is not featured on the regular version of the album)
See: That 70s Show (1998-2006)
Cast: Topher Grace, Mila Kumis, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama
Plot: Set in the late 70s, it’s a comedy about five pot smoking – Zeppelin loving – good for nothing teenagers. Eric leads the way as a fine skinny geek, the class clown is the very attractive and very dumb Kelso, Hyde takes the Mr. Cool title with his righteous afro and aviator glares, Donna is the hot brainy chick, while the vanity queen award goes to Jackie. There is even a foreign boy called Fez from an unknown country. Their centre of the universe is Eric’s basement where all they do is watch vapid TV shows, listen to records, make out with each other and of course indulge in the famous “The Circle”.
Why I love it: Throughout my childhood, I never realized what “The Circle” was all about. To see kids in a smoky room laughing their guts out made no sense to me – till I was old enough. Although “The Circle” scenes are my favourites, what I love about the show is how regularly and how often these guys screwed up, like I do. It’s funny to see young semi-apathetic kids grapple with reality, jobs and the pressures of growing up. I bet someone is looking at my life right now and laughing. This is a must watch if you are a connoisseur of sitcoms – its timeless, groovy and hey look, marijuana!
Friday Favourites: Weekly recommendations from my very own personal vault