February 19th, 2006


In Martin's web

It's Sunday, which means that English-language daily The Japan Times has published its Sunday issue, with a cameo of some jetset yuppie or other in its expanded Lifestyle section. Let's look through "the world's window on Japan" and see who it is today.

Oh jings, it's me! In a feature by staff writer Martin Webb (pictured) entitled An innocent abroad brings his twisted genius to Japan! What does it say?

"Momus spent time in Athens and Toronto" -- whoops, no, Montreal! -- "before being sent to boarding school in Scotland, where he purportedly participated in all-boy dormitory orgies." Actually, I witnessed them. Me and Colin Mercer were too busy being good members of the Scripture Union to climb into bed with anyone. Though I did snog a half-Chinese boy... the beginnings, perhaps, of the "penchant for the exotic" Martin notes. Go on, Martin!

"He's not gay, although he has a fascination for notoriously queer French writers Georges Bataille and Andre Gide" -- whoops, Bataille notoriously straight! Anyway, onward -- "as well as with Martial, a Roman poet who wrote countless odes to his slave boys." Well, I sound fascinatingly decadent, especially when my songs "feature characters as perversely diverse as a Vietnamese chiropodist" (which song is that? Oh, it's Lute Score, which takes the chiropodist from Tran Anh Hung's film Cyclo and puts him in Samarkand Uzbekistan) "and a pet monkey that masturbates its owner, while favorite themes include unrequited love, infidelity, alienation, human trafficking and the decadence of the teenage Roman Emperor Heliogabalus." What songs are about human trafficking... oh, he must mean "Cockle Pickers", the one about the tragedies befalling illegal Chinese labourers in Britain. It was hot in the truck, I ate a bar of chocolate... Carry on.

"Currie, an English literature graduate, wears a patch over his right eye that he lost to a rare amoebic infection years back. What with that, and his gangly frame, wonky teeth and scraggly beard, he hardly conforms to any ideal of masculine attractiveness." Hmm, true enough. Martin Webb, in contrast, is a tousle-haired, chisel-featured Slimane Dior charmer who looks like he's just stepped out of Fellini's Dolce Vita.

"But Momus is a cult superstar. He's arguably the most intellectual man in pop; he's a columnist for hip technology magazine Wired News; an incredibly well traveled, dangerously overeducated and impossibly romantic nutter. And Momus is a prolific seducer of women..."

Tell you one thing, if I looked like Martin Webb, nobody would be safe.