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Writing Culture Vulture [M-LVS]


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[SIZE=1]Last year I was a Manchester Festival run by a friend of mine. There was a band there and the guitarist asked me if I knew Malcolm Sherratt, who's my brother. I said yes, and he said I looked like him. This dude was pretty cool, and we got talking for a good few months.

The most interesting thing was what he told me about 'culture'. A few years ago, he told me how he grew up with a really, really destructive bunch of friends and believe that the British 'culture' was portrayed wrongly by the media and the internet. They were angry at the way things were run in their life and suffered a lot by their own cause, but they stuck together and weeded out the dickheads in their mist. He said they made their own 'culture' in the end - and today, the band members were the survivors of that culture.

But my friend has something in common with me, a disease which I will not say anything about for my own reasons.

This year the Festival was on again and I saw his band. We hadn't spoken for some time and whilst he was there, he gave me his old journal from 'back in the day'. I read it, and shit, it was interesting. The things in it were either sickening or mind blowing - but the thing was, it was all true. And it inspired this.

The ideas are half my own and theirs. I start each part with a new journal entry, edited, and then I decided to write my impression from that. Comments'd be apperciated =). Also, I up'd the dates in the journal because I have next to no knowledge of 1987 XD. And yeah I'm well aware the title is 'Vulture Culture' the other way around =p. Also, please note, this is jsut an introduction. There's some well interesting bits to come![/SIZE]


[align=justify][B][U]April 10th, 1997.[/U]

The Reasons Explaining the Obsessive Nature of my Alcoholic Consumption and Drug Usage.[/B]

You should never judge without trying, or putting yourself in their shoes. So, here are my reasons, in the hopes one day you will find this, whoever you are, or I will read it again, and laugh. When nothing ever goes right anymore, you lay down every night out of your mind from an excessive amount of depressive philosophical decay you built yourself, feeling a small inkling of acceptance is all that matters to you. You can never be in a large group because of this disease and that's all you need - people. But when you're alone, you're killing yourself with paranoid ideas and made up deceptions of your closest friends.

Alcohol and drugs take all that away. You're dancing the idiot's dance, but somehow the normal life patterns of fear, anxiety and paranoia seem stupid. You can sit in a group and let them absorb everything - this is all you need, people, to talk with - and when you go home intoxicated out of your mind you can laugh and smile and nod when you fall asleep, dreaming of an ecstasy world. For that moment, you're happy. The days of pain and worthlessness pay off for that one time in which you are happy.

Can you understand?


These were the destructive days. There was nothing they cared about, nothing to care about, hardly anything to hope for. Well, most of them created this shithole with the drugs, but some of them were already in it and they got drawn deeper. The only place for a boy who feels lost is to stay with the homeless, who dug themselves a grave of hallucinations and over dosing many years ago.

It had gone past midnight by now. The air was damp and cold, probably going to rain in a bit, and the sky was overshadowed by grey clouds. British weather didn?t stop for the moonlight. It didn?t matter how much it rained, though, they were protected by the concrete bridge and a large amount of vomit and blood on their clothing.

Despite the dark atmosphere, they were laughing. A small group, standing up and laughing. They didn?t know what they were laughing at, either too stoned, too drunk or too drugged up to actually figure out the joke. One boy was boy bounced around from one foot to the other, like he was dancing the idiot?s dance, unable to keep still. He?d been like that for hours.

There were three, however, who had strayed from the group and slummed at the side of the concrete wall, half slumbering in a ditch of rain water and muck. One boy looked pale, his head lolled to the side and his green eyes rolling the back of his head, black hair matted against his forehead.

?Aye, s?wrong?? his friend placed a large paw on his shoulder and shook his leather jacket. The boy nearly threw up in dizziness.

?It?s ma birthday?? he replied, forcing a grin. His friend looked surprised.



The large boy blurted out incoherency to the group, who stopped their laughing to pay attention, even though they couldn?t hear a thing. He couldn?t make his jaw move properly to the words, slurring, tripping, slipping all over the letters and grammar.

Seth, the boy whose date of birth was now the subject of his disorganised monster friend, wasn?t still smiling a little, despite the sickening feeling piling up in his tiny stomach. He was young, just finished high school, with no care of society?s labelling system. Seth wore what he want, which normally included black and girl?s clothes, when he felt like it, considering he was incredibly skinny.

?Seth, oi,? he was nudged again by the paw of Chewie, named so for his size and his tendency to actually remind people of a god-damn Star Wars big foot.

Seth moved his hand away and let his head fall on his shoulder. He could feel the world spinning around him even with his eyes closed, everything in motion and he was travel sick now. None of it scared him, he?d been here before. Always here, wishing he could stay, even though no one ever really could.

Chewie never did give up when he was being ignored. Even when the kid had passed out he insisted on asking him questions, unaware he wasn?t actually getting any answers.

Seth had laid there for awhile. Of course, he wasn?t aware of anything that was going on around him, being unconscious. His friends weren?t even aware of him passing out, either. They were too caught up in tunnels of their own. One boy, however, more of a man than anything else, had noticed Seth drenched from the rain water in the gutter. He smirked.

Jacko walked as unbalanced as his mental state and his appearance. He was an incredibly tall, lanky man, with piercings and chains that seemed dotted all over him in the most random pattern possible. When let down, his hair went to his shoulders, a mixture of brown, black and blond, although he normally kept it stuck out in all directions with a vast amount of hair gel. He was leaning over Seth, still smirking.

?We should put a hole in his face. Just for the fuck of it.? He told everyone with a grin. No one was in the state of mind to disagree, and no one would disagree on the grounds that Jacko was intoxicated since he always seemed to strut around in the same disorderly fashion.

??e ain?t gunna be ?appy?? Chewie told him.

Jacko looked quite offended. ?I?m doing him a favour. Shut up.?

Chewie did the action of drawing a zipper over his mouth, nodding weakly at Jacko. Jacko smirked again, leaning closer to Seth. A few of the others had gathered around now, although Jacko was by no means being sinister. Seth was almost like a brother to him, it was a scary thought to think that Seth was influenced by this man.

Jacko took out a ring from his left ear and licked the tip of it. Pretty sharp.

?Happy Birthday.?

He was careful about it, aware that Seth?s face had been in the water for so long it was probably numb now. He wouldn?t feel any pain. Jacko didn?t want to hurt Seth, no intentionally; nothing in the world was intentional. He patted Seth on the head, putting the ring in the middle of his lip.

Someone behind him laughed and another winced when Jacko closed the ring on Seth?s lip. Seth jolted, if he hadn?t been so monged out on an impossible amount of drugs and booze, maybe he would?ve woken from the pain. He didn?t. He just lay there, as before, now with a long thick line of blood going down his chin.

?Oh, shit,? Jacko looked over at Chewie who, too, seemed too tired to keep his big head from falling. And now he had a stream of vomit down his chest. Jacko grimaced and kicked him over, laughing when the big man groaned.

?The night?s young, my gents,? Jacko turned around to the rest of his friends and bowed, slipping back dodgily a little, ?and the party begins here.?


You could sleep for weeks after a day like that, never waking up, but you would always see the next day as the ?morning after?. Seth could feel he was awake before opening his eyes, his mouth dry and his entire body aching. He could smell water and liquor, plus a mixture of other things that weren?t on his clothes the night before. Anything that had given Seth the motivation to even speak the night before had gone, right now he felt that if he woke up he couldn?t go a second without something going hopelessly wrong. He?d been dragged away from something that let him be ? now he had to face the real world which was spitting in his face for last night.

He finally did manage to open his eyes and noticed he wasn?t in his home. The room was small, with a large window at the foot of the sofa he was lay on and another chair just across from him. The TV was small, it didn?t work at all, and the walls to the room were painted a shallow red, damp from the water. The carpet was a mess, torn in places, with cigarette burns on it.

Seth breathed in and turned to the wall behind him to make sure he was right about his location. The wall was not painted red, it had been scratched away to leave an odd white colour, with markings, writing, carvings and even fingerprints of blood on the walls. The words were muddled, most of them telling long true tales of upset and anger.

?You slept through a night of parties and booze.? Jacko appeared at the door all of a sudden, in a change of clothes, now in black jeans, a slim band shirt and a pair of sunglasses. His hair was wet and dripping over his face and a piercing missing from his left ear, Seth noticed. The sunglasses Jacko always wore the morning after any event.

?Shit?? Seth mumbled, feeling an ache in his lip as he spoke. He paid no attention.

Jacko smiled and stepped away from the door frame. He made his way across the small room, almost tripping over his boots and walking into the armchair. He managed to get to the sofa, shifting Seth?s feet and sitting beside him. He smiled again, in silence for awhile, before turning to Seth.

?Your mother called. I told her I thought it was too dark for you to walk home, so I let you stay over. And I told her I was taking you to the movies today. I said if it was too dark again, you can stay here for another night.? He explained.


Jacko smiled. ?We?re going to Ashton, Seth, to see this new band, Buff. They?re not famous, but they?re a good band.?

Jacko spoke so gently and so kindly that it was hard for anyone to say no. He would have been patronising, if the man hadn?t known Seth for so long. Seth smiled, nodding.

?But I can?t stay in these clothes for another day.?

?You can borrow some of mine. Stay here.? Jacko patted Seth?s leg, standing up shakily and walking out of the door.

Seth sat there in silence with a headache that was pretty much putting his vision down the drain. He felt like he was going to cry, but it didn?t seem right in Jacko?s apartment. He frowned at the pain in his lip, pretty sure that damn Chewie did something. He touched his finger to the pain, feeling nothing but cold metal.

Jacko walked back in, pausing at Seth?s expression.

?What have you done to me??[/align]
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  • 3 weeks later...
[size=1]Major apologies for not sitting down and reading this sooner. I'm not really sure what to say. It's definately an interesting read to be sure and I'd very much like to read more of it.

It's made all the more interesting that it's based on events that actually happened. I always find those to be the best. I also thought that after our brief discussion on 'Cracktown UK' last night that this was a little more relevant for me to read.

Keep 'em coming if you've got them Vick, I'll read them![/size]
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  • 3 weeks later...
[SIZE=1]Yeah I ain't done with this XD

I have a new part coming up soon, if you're still interested to read, Andrew, haha *glares at dead Anthology*. Ah well, thread's a thread.

I'll be editing this post Wednesday or Friday with the new part, provided coursework doesn't attack me again.[/SIZE]
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[size=1]Naturally I'm still interested. It's my god-given right (and divine pleasure) to read anything written by yourself.

I know what you said about posting on here, and I appreciate that you'd still wanna post just for me (if it is just for me)! Mucho thanks Vick, I do look forward to some more writing soon.

Don't be a tease and keep me waiting too long (and good luck with the course work ^_^)![/size]
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[SIZE=1]Grammer check later XD I'm not too happy with this one, but I'm going to elaborate on the majority of things in this chapter in the next one. Think of it as a prelude...[/SIZE]

[align=justify][B][u]April 11th, 1997.[/u]

If you give a man a cookie?[/b]

If you give a man a cookie, he will follow you to bed.
As his hair slips through your fingers, he will crawl into your head.
Laying quiet midst the circuits all your memories he?ll have read.
If you give a man a cookie then your mask you?ll have to shed.


All the while Jacko had talked with this band Seth had never heard of. He would bring Seth into the conversation occasionally, hugging him slightly, patting him on the head, and even kissing him on the forehead. Seth smiled when this happened, though he did not join in with the conversation. He kept poking at the metal in his mouth with his tongue, nervous and afraid, hugging himself in Jacko?s long t-shirt.

When Jacko had said ?see this band?, Seth had assumed they would what they play. They did no such thing. They sat down in a room with a drum kit and other various instruments, talking about something that seemed deathly serious yet ironically funny. Jacko was the centre of the conversation, glancing over at Seth once in awhile. Seth was still pretty pissed about the lip piercing, to be honest, so he wasn?t going to play Jacko?s games today.


He looked up realising he had been hanging his head for awhile now, looking around to find Jacko staring at him, along with a few of the crust-band members, paused with cigarettes in their hands to stare at him. Seth squirmed nervously and shook his head.

?No, I?m really cold.? He told Jacko. Jacko sighed. He mumbled something, nothing nasty, nothing cold, nothing evil, but nothing reassuring either. He mumbled this and turned back to the band, starting up a conversation with them. Seth looked down again.

The room they sat in was damp and cold, with sickly orange walls that were barely keeping together, dotted with posters from years ago to the other night and banners that had been left hanging by other bands. The air smelt damp, dimly lit by an orange light and a cracked jukebox, smothered with smoke from the carpet to the ceiling. Seth didn?t like it at all, though he had been in worse places.

He lifted his head to tell Jacko he might leave, though when he did he noticed one of the band members staring at him, the drummer, he thought. He was an older man, with a thick red Mohawk and a tattered, worn green jacket. He didn?t look rich at all, nor like he could afford the pint in his hand. Through Seth?s knowledge, the man was probably a crust punk?

It didn?t take long to find out. The old man took a sip of his pint and set it down, coming over to Seth. Seth was grateful he was no longer being ignored and the man immediately talked to him; his name was Ryan, he was the drummer of Buff and he was a ?street soldier?, as he liked to call it. Seth didn?t ask about it.

There was nothing Ryan could say to bore Seth, but the night before had recently caught up with him and he was still feeling cold and sick. He began slurring his words and closing his eyes too often, apologising to Ryan, who only laughed and said it was okay. Seth wanted to agree with him, had he the strength and willingness to do so.

Only half an hour later a new group appeared through the doors. Young men, slim and defined with their own content, silly fashion senses. One man was familiar, though Seth couldn?t put a name to the face. He was slim, almost like a girl, with denim jeans and a thin studded jacket. He was wearing sunglasses and grinning at Jacko when he said hello, holding what seemed like a packet of biscuits in his hands.

?Oh, Seth, this is Mikey.? Jacko acknowledged Seth once again, turning the slim man to face Seth. Mikey gave a nod, a brief one, an ignorant one, and turned back to Jacko.

Seth turned away from them and continued talking to Ryan, though the conversation was hard to follow. Behind him, the new arrivals laughed and joked, making conversations of their own and offering out something Seth couldn?t quite catch. He was curious to turn around, though he didn?t really want to as Ryan was still talking to him ? a voice in a wind tunnel, really.

When Seth did turn around, however, he saw Mikey had thrown the biscuits he had on the floor, taking off Jacko?s sunglasses. He was sitting on Jacko, facing him. Seth?s eyes widened.

?Jacko, I?m gonna head off? o-okay?? he had jumped up now, nearly knocking into Ryan.

Jacko turned slowly to Seth, smiling at him, his eyes blank though his pupils blocked out most of the colour in his eyes. Jacko let his head fall back and laughed, silently, allowing Mikey to run his head through his hair.

?I?ll see you later,? he said between laughs.

Seth turned away as soon as he could and made his way over the ash-filled carpet to wherever the exit was. Without realizing, the curious street soldier was on his tail, following Seth through the dark building outside on a day-lit street.

?I?ll take you home, ?least to the bus stop, anyways,? he told Seth.

?What? Oh? yeah, yeah sure.? Seth was startled by Ryan, though he wasn?t afraid of him. Truth be told Seth was afraid of walking through Ashton on his own, and Ryan seemed like an alright person, with quite an interesting story to tell.

?You got outta there pretty quick. You okay little man??

Seth grimaced. Jacko was a good person, deep down, though it was clouded with substances and dark desire. Seth bit the piercing painfully and shook the image of the new boy Mikey running his hand through Jacko?s hair, and Jacko probably blind as fuck on whatever he had accepted.

?I don?t like it when he gets like that. He?s alright, though I don?t like it when he leaves me.? Seth mumbled.

Ryan grinned. ?Well, sometimes you?re the mouse, an? sometimes, you?re the cat.?

Seth lowered his eyes to the cracks in the pavement and tried to smile, though he couldn?t force one.

?I?m always in his way. I don?t see how I?m the mouse, though.? Seth shivered slightly and wrapped his arms around himself, suddenly aware he would have to return Jacko?s shirt the next day. There was no doubt that Jacko wouldn?t be in the highest of moods tomorrow.

?Well, he?s in good hands,? Ryan chuckled, ?I hear Mikey?s a?.? he paused, looking at Seth sigh and stare hard at the ground. Ryan refrained from finishing his sentence, patting the boy on the soldier slowly. ?You be okay. You?ll learn to love it.?

?Love what??

?This life.?

?But I?m not a??

?A punk? A Goth? A squatter? A hippy? A hardcore? Manics fan? Skinhead? Nazi?? Ryan was chuckling again as he went through the list, shaking his head mildly. ?This is Manchester. It don?t matter where you?re from, if you?re here, with us, around us, then you ain?t gonna be a lawyer. We all got somethin? in common, an? it?s we want somethin? better. You?ll learn to love it.?

Seth listened, though the words didn?t make much sense. A little did, and still, he wasn?t sure what to say back to the man, or if he should even answered. For the last few minutes of their journey to the bus stop they were in silence, walking through the streets past people in the cold, day time weather. Ryan said his goodbyes at a cracked glass bus stop, telling Seth that he would probably see him one day with Jacko, if they came back. Seth agreed and thanked him absent minded.

The day had gone fast, from Jacko?s home to Ashton and now Seth found himself wrapped up in a large t-shirt on the back of the bus, glaring out onto the passing streets, feeling the metal with his tongue whenever he got the chance. He closed his eyes every now and again, thinking about Ryan, Jacko and even the Mikey guy? wondering about everything. It wasn?t practical, but it gave him something to do on the bus journey.

It had been his birthday, yesterday, in the rain and blood. It had been his birthday when Jacko took out his money and said ?today is a party? and got them fucked on anything he possibly could. It had been his birthday when the rain poured at midnight onto the flooded Manchester streets, drowning the filth in mud and rain, washing away the evidence they had left. It had been his birthday, yesterday, the first he had spent in such a way. He remembered it all to well.

Seth jumped up when his stop came and hoped off the bus. He walked with his head down once again, knowing the way from here all too well to be lost. He dodged through a few people, down a street at the side of the church and onto an urban mess, dotted with patches of grass designed to look good but filled with filth, litter and firewood. He stepped over glass and bottles, down crudely-crafted steps to an even dimmer, darker street, wherein most houses were boarded up by the council, or forgotten by its government who, twenty years ago, had high hopes for this place.

Seth lived at the end of this jungle mess, in a small house that hadn?t been painted since he was born. There was once a gate, though it had been torn off by his older brother in a fit of rage, much like everything else. Seth rarely thought about the incident, today being no different, and he walked through the squeaking front door quietly, slipping through, undetected at first.

He breathed in shakily before stepping forward towards the stairs, directly in front of him. He was quiet, barely audible footsteps, though he wasn?t good enough.

Before he reached the stairs the door the living room, right beside him, swung open and his brother stepped out, closing the door quickly. He was tall, with light, thick blond hair cut just above his shoulders, jagged and choppy, with am dim look always present in his eyes. That look was no different today, although his expression changed to one of horror when he saw the piercing on Seth.

?What the fuck??

Seth placed his hand on his piercing, eyes widening. He made a dash for the stairs.

Adam Dodd had been present on the football team and rugby team ? Seth was like a child taking on the defender, and Adam only stepped in the way, throwing his massive weight into Seth and knocking him back against a wall, holding him there with one hand.

?You?re mum?s gunna kill you.?

?She?ll kill you first!? Seth spat.

?I ain?t done anything yet!?

Seth swallowed, which was quite a hard task with Adam pressing against him.

?You don?t even think about tryin? get out of this. No piercings, man, I ain?t allowed, why should you be? You fuckin? go out and get that removed, and I?ll remove your arms!? Adam backed up a bit but threatened Seth not to move with his fist raised. ?You better go to your god damn room, and wait. You fuckin? wait.?

And wait he would, because he had seen this coming from the moment he felt the metal touch his lip; he just hadn?t known until now.[/align]
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