What Would Kate Do?
Kate Bush and the Two Arsed Cat
Hello Dear Reader
Look, I’m going to level with you. I’ve tried to write you a newsletter a few times over the last few weeks and every time I sit down at my laptop, I get two to three hundred words in and stop. I don’t even know what to say about anything anymore. It’s nothing bleak; not depression or despondency. It’s not ennui or some kind of can’t be bothered. It is none of these things.
I just feel that in a world where there is so little real heft, a world where so much is to just pass the time, one has a responsibility to not leave digital landfill. Memes. Think pieces. Opinion pieces. Rage pieces, more like. Another video of a cat or a dog doing something cute but meaningless. Another timeline cleanse. Another selfie with a socially conscious hashtag attached as if to justify the naked vanity. It’s just relentless.
Sometimes on this conveyor belt of nothingness I see this meme doing the rounds: sometimes a picture of her or sometimes just a wig without a face and the words ‘What would Dolly do?’ And it stops me in my tracks. It’s pretty much undisputed lore that Dolly Parton is one of God’s representatives on earth and I don’t even like country music. Loathe country, Love Dolly pretty much sums up where I’m at on this matter.
When I see it, I immediately think of my daily creative mantra: What Would Kate Do?
When pondering ways to maximise my online presence by making Halloween content or weighing in on whatever is the latest International Day of the Something That I’m Not Even That Invested In But It Might Get Me Followers, I try to imagine Kate Bush doing it. It is impossible. Because she wouldn’t.
If it’s good enough for Kate, it’s good enough for me. It’s good enough for all of us.
Really, the only lesson Kate is teaching us is to be ourselves. I don’t mean our authentic selves which is the new thing along with self care which half the time seems to me to just translate as gazing a little too long at our navels and being flakey by cancelling on our mates last minute. I’m talking about speaking from a place of real interest or passion; of saying things because to not say them would drive us mad or make us ill.
Right now, when I consult my inner Kate, she tells me that I don’t have to say anything for the sake of it.
‘But how will I make a living?’ I ask Inner Kate Bush. ‘It’s alright for you. You wrote Running Up That Hill!’
‘I wore indecently tight leotards in videos, poppet. I wasn’t exactly a shrinking violet. But I was genuinely into leotards. They were my thing. So I was being myself.’
‘I look awful in leotards, Kate. Especially since I had a child.’
‘Well nobody’s saying you have to wear leotards darling. You’re missing the point. What are you into? What are you really into? What are you trying to do?’
‘I’m really into cats, and Christmas, and music and making art and doing live shows. That’s about it.’
‘Well just do those things then.’
‘No leotards. I’ve seen your hamster thighs. Definitely no leotards.’
With regards to cats, due to an injury, my cat Dave currently has what appears to be two arseholes. He is blissfully unaware as he sashays around the place, and to be fair, the second orifice is daily diminishing thanks to a combination of medical grade honey and speedy hair regrowth. Now that he is in possession of two ani (I checked, that is indeed the plural) this can only mean more opinions. The best thing about pets is precisely that they don’t speak. I fear the appearance of a third anus and with it the power of speech. The last thing I need is for my cat to have a view on the culture wars and to start going on Question Time. Multiple ani notwithstanding, Dave though remains an example to us all. As long as I keep him in Dreamies, he is happy to shit in a box and stay off Twitter.
As for Christmas, I was thinking of doing a little online livestream for you in lieu of the usual Christmas show in London. How does the evening of Sunday December 17th at 8pm GMT sound to you? Please feel free to send me requests for festive and non festive songs alike. And finally, if you are at a loss for what to get someone - or yourself - for Christmas, there are still a handful of tickets left for my show at The Palladium in April 2024.
I bid you all a good weekend. One thing I do love very much are all your messages, and shared stories and feedback; and so if there’s something you’d like me to write about or a question you have about literally anything - don’t be shy. Better that you receive something you actually want to read, than the unsolicited ravings of some random songwriter you once followed and can’t find the unsubscribe button for.
With love to you all,