"There was me and my Monkey. And with his dungarees and rollerblades smoking filter tips; Reclining in the passenger seat of my super-charged jet black Chevrolet; He had the soft-top down (he liked the wind in his face); He said 'Son, you ever been to Vegas?' I said 'no'; He said 'that's where we're gonna go - you need a change of pace'?" - Robbie Williams, Me and My Monkey
why and the
how conversation relating to Robbie Williams finding his way onto my iPod is a conversation best left to my therapist (and iTunes firewall filter), but the short of it is: I found myself listening to the lyrics while my 'pod was on random.
Of the many thoughts and emotions which followed (WTF / involuntary heaving), I was struck by how much the lyrics resembled a conversation with an alter-ego...
Now neither Robbie nor his Monkey have any baring on the hot potato that can, sometimes, be climbing ethics, but I don't have any
Take That lyrics from which to quote (more in line with the topic) - and, besides, perhaps alter-ego's are indeed prevalent driving forces in our narcissistic pursuits of glory, summits, peaks, faces, routes, problems or even sequences.
Now I'm not about to re-open the Maestri, Harding or retro-bolted American Direct debate, but rather refer to an advert which I saw recently in a photo-lab which proclaimed that "it's not a picture until it is printed...", which I thought was pretty debatable. Now, being a little narrow minded, I was forced to try to equate the proclamation to something a little closer to home, and the best I could do was:
It's not sent until it's pointed
Mmm. Tough one that, and again I draw on recent experiences - not my own, mind, ('cos I'm currently desk-bound) but rather some close friends (or are they Monkey's).
JuzH sent me a text literally shouting his joy – he'd just 'done' his second 8B boulder problem (I never got the name, but hey, 8B is 8B) and for a brief instant I imagined (well my alter-ego did) what it must feel like to stick the finishing move of something that HARD. I mean, I've stood beneath Madiba (featured in the 'Rocklands DvD) and thought 'fuck...I couldn't climb this if it were vertical, let alone the wrong side of a roof!". I imagined the tireless attempts, painstaking effort, mind-numbing focus and unadulterated desire needed to link the relevant sequences. Sigh, not even one day when I'm big!!
Rewind a few months, to when the sun still went down at a respectable time. Sundowners were being had on my balcony, and intertwined with the surface bullshit of a days climbing was the desperate rationalisation of the days N.B.P. (New Best Phrase)...namely:
Now the discussion of the day revolved around the individual's reasons for doing what they did. In this case, unashamed dog show. And the best that could be produced was that the act of climbing, in its purist form, is in the enjoyment and appreciation of completing a select number of moves/sequences, and how each person dealt with the associated challenges. And what was the point of ruining the undertaking with lactic acid and fatigue. Well positioned bolts surely allowed for a strategic appreciation of the route. All the more so, by having the time to admire the rock from the comfort of the harness.
Me and my monkey
With a dream and a gun
I'm hoping my monkey don't point that gun at anyone
Me and my monkey
Like Butch and the Sundance Kid
Trying to understand why he did what he did
Why he did what he did
I don't propose to offer solutions to the debate, but I will admit that when I think of my monkey, and why he does what he does, there ain't no Mexican standoff. My Monkey is pulling as hard, and cool, as JuzH...not hangin around admiring the view!
So, you can either watch pay-per-view and polish your shoes...
You can get yourself some Okey Doke!