Monday, June 30, 2003

Yeah, I couldn’t believe it when I saw on my TV two guys identified as “Convicted Homosexuals”. Then the fact that the media actually gave the moral Right a voice on the issue…. AAAGHH! Yes, they have freedom of speech and stuff, but they don’t need a legitimate platform from which they can mouth off. It’s hard to reconcile such a frightening vision with where I am now: Sydney. It seems like everyone’s gay. I see straight couples and do a double-take. Whether gay or straight, everyone’s into real estate. If you see a pack of black VW Golf’s lurking in the side streets, you just know there’s an auction goin down. I had the privilege to attend a few on the weekend, and very nearly joined my sister and her flatmate on the front page of the Sun-Herald, under the headline “BOOMTOWN!” My sister was then interviewed on page five as the “disappointed underbidder”, with the quote “I am very disappointed” slotted below a picture of her looking mildly tense. I think she’s now become a Sydney “It” girl.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

However much I would love to, I will not be providing the next instalment of Symposiast Fiction today. Calm down. It will be published as soon as I can muster it. The creative process takes time, you impatient souls. Besides, today I feel that there is a more pressing matter to address than the continuation of the steamy, sensual, and existential adventures of Fermina de la Saint Amour (nice one, Guy). An historic event ocurred yesterday, and I feel like sharing my response to it with you. You see, yesterday, the United States Supreme Court decided to invalidate state laws that criminalise homosexuality. Yee-ha for justice, yo! Whoop whoop... and all that. This is totally kick-ass. Need I say more? It's, like, a watershed decision, and stuff, so I am really quite stoked about it, because, even though it's of course about time and common sense and stuff, I was still quite surprised that this 'troubled new world' would deliver such a proper and reasonable decision. I mean, they invalidated a Texan State Law, dude. That shouldn't be a strange thing, I know, but I have a feeling that it might be nonetheless. Who would have thunk it that the Supreme Court could, like, actually uphold the Constitution and shit? Like, whoah! Here we were, like idiots, all thinking slanderous thoughts about the Court being stacked with belligerent nutters and whack-jobs who had risen through the ranks as sentence-orientated prosecutors to reap the rewards of aiding their country in the murder of its citizens, and yet, yesterday proved that they really do, you know, read those Law book thingies. Well shucks, we live and learn. Boy, do I have egg on my face. Hmmmm. Actually, there's not that much egg left on my face now, largely because my seething anger caused such heat to reside there that the egg was quickly cooked before unceremoniously slipping off when I stood up to stomp around the house cursing and screeching. My face is like a non-stick pan, you see. Oh, and the anger. I suppose I should explain that too. Well, in the beginning, I was merely irked. You see, apparently this is a controversial decision. Isn't that mental? Who knew? But, anyway, I could handle that characterisation without feeling too miffed - putting aside my powerful feelings about indignities to sense that I hope you have all sensed as avid readers of this blog - because the event was bigger than that. Such crap is just annoying, right, and nothing more? Well, now I'm not so sure. Because I soon began to notice that the 'controversial' tag was often preceding or even eclipsing discussion of the importance of the case. And other weird things were happening. Like, when the couple who fought their conviction for homosexuality all the way to the Supreme Court, and won, appeared at their press conference to discuss things like the importance of the decision, the words "convicted homosexual" appeared beneath their names. That's odd, right? And this wasn't no FOX News, baby. This was NBC. As mainstream as all heck. And then there were other things, like showing footage of the demonstrations in support of the decision - which was fine and, you know, relevant - but only actually hearing from talking heads who opposed it. Which meant that everyone started talking about 'morality', and, what was even more odd, about 'immorality', as if they were acceptable terms of reference in regard to this case. And there were many more odd and increasingly disturbing things said. For example, people were adamantly arguing something about this decision meaning that the Rule of Law now defends immorality rather than morality, and that marriage is apparently now in danger, and something about family values and the divorce rate - which was weird - followed by portentous declarations that, gasp, there will be repercussions. I mean...FUCK! And these weren't no hicks, y'all. Well, I can't actually prove that. All I can say is that yesterday, the TV seemed to be populated by that scary 'educated but with limited understanding' breed that seem to be prospering, well, always. Plus, there were some real zealots, and they were on the TV. One of them, the judge who wrote the dissenting opinion, Antonin Scalia, made crazy like a motherfucker. He even out-crazied some real weirdos, and he was writing an official historical document! It was simultaneously chilling and enervating to see that, of all the ideas to highlight yesterday, it was mostly those of the fucked-up variety that had been sought out and aired. Thus, at the end of one report, the final voice we heard was that of some guy from an anti-gay group (who founds these clubs? who are these people?) saying that in making their decision the majority-opinion judges had been influenced not by the Constitution or the history and values of the United States of America, but by gay activist groups, and that the decision was therefore completely political with no foundation in law whatsoever. He said this. He said it like it was true. He did not offer anything that could support his assertion. The reporter made no attempt to qualify his remarks. And then the report ended. Just like that. The last word on the issue had been a downright untruth! So then there was nothing for me to do but go, "Fuck off you fucking fuckety fuck fuck. Are you fucking serious, you fucking weasel fuck? How can you sit there and say that, you fuck? Who the fuck are you anyway? Are you even involved? Who are you? Why the fuck are you talking? Are you serious? No fucking basis in law? Fuck off! What do you know? Are you mental? Disconnected from the fucking Constitution and historical principles? I say again, FUCK OFF! WHAT DO YOU KNOW? ARE YOU MENTAL? No really, what the fuck is wrong with you, you fucking fuck? Oh, and WHO ARE YOU?". These comments weren't solely directed at whoever that psychotic random guy was. I believe they should be taken as my general, all-fucker-encompassing, and considered response to yesterday's events. And that is all I have to say.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Symposiast Fiction

I proudly introduce a new addition to Symposiasts: a genuine Period Romance. To be co-written by myself and Elanor, it promises to infuse our humble blog with a passion and hotness that is lacking within the dull worlds of politics and culture. Prepare to be swept away…

Madrid, Spain, 1437

Fermina de la Saint-Amour was lost in thought. Sitting delicately beside her bedroom window, her eyes were drawn towards the hot, sultry, sticky city that snaked out before her. A soft breeze, tinged with the scent of bitter almonds, was lightly touseling her still damp hair, while sneaking through the weave of her white muslin gown to dance across her soft olive skin.

She felt empty. What did life promise her but misery and regret? The luxuries and riches that enveloped her were but a prison: a gilded cage of ennui and sadness. She wanted more. She wanted life to shake her; to throw at her all the danger and excitement that it could muster. She sought suffering. A suffering that would erase the scars of her father, the Count Daza’s cruel dominance.

Never far from her mind was the knowledge that only a few feet away, he could be found pacing the halls of his mansion, the “La Denetrione”, brooding over the wheelings and dealings of his machiavellian existence. To her, the city below promised escape. Within its rank heat and throbbing crowds she saw nothing but freedom. Freedom, and the promise of something more…

Elanor, I pass the baton to you…
One of the perks cable TV offers is Fox News, America's favourite news channel. They see themselves as "Fair and balanced", emphasising at every oppurtunity that "We report, you decide", just in case we were getting, you know, the wrong idea. According to its sloganeers, Fox News tells it how it is. Avoiding any CNN-style lefty bullshit, this is a home-grown, unashamedly patriotic slice of Americana. Obviously I've never respected Fox in the slightest, but it was easier to write it off as a joke when it was yet to wield such power over the way Americans see themselves and the world. But lately, things have been getting pretty crazy. Their aim seems increasingly to be this: make news as entertaining as possible through the provision of visceral excitement as one would find in a summer blockbuster... assuming the said blockbuster had lots and lots of guns. Accordingly the Fox news viewer is bombarded with "News Alerts", "Terror Warnings", American flags, weird graphics that seem to always incorporate stylised gun sights (NRA affiliation?), all complimented by blonde newsreaders who seem to have emerged from a very small and specific genetic pool. New heights of ridiculousness were reached over the last few months when their latest innovation was rolled out: with every news headline that appears on the screen, there comes with it a gunshot sound, as if the graphic is being shot into the frame. The sound hack who dreamed that up totally deserves a promotion, cause that is gold: "Even if the story doesn't have any guns, we can still have guns!" Whether or not it aids the dissemination of news and information is irrelevant, cause what it does do is unwittingly capture perfectly the tone of a newly uber-patriotic and increasingly militaristic America. But Fox news does have its finger on the pulse. It was the first to proudly hoist the ubiquitous American flag in the top left-hand corner of the screen; it was first to feature constant "Terror alert" updates in the news ticker, and... it was first to slot in a news ticker. More insidiously, Fox led the pack in the race to shift the tone of news reporting from level-headed objectivity to patriotic flag-waving, with CNN (always somewhat suspect itself) soon kicking up its heals to follow suit. With its "pro-America at all costs" mentality, lack of any real international news, or more importantly, any sense of plural perspective, it's not at all surprising really that Fox is currently America's news carrier of choice, which leaves me amused and terrified.
Guy, I tried to post the entire hilarious Paris Hilton, interview from NW but Blogger won't let me do it. I hope that the situation will rectify itself, but for the moment, let me leave you with these tasty Parisisms....

[The italicised parts are the interviewer. Everything in bold is pure Paris] Hey, I know I’m pretty, but it means I have to work even harder..... I have a really cool diamond Dolce & Gabbana bra. It’s really sexy and cute..... Have you done any preparation [for your role on the reality TV show The Simple Lfe]? Just shopping, because I don’t have any clothes for anything like this. I got a diamond necklace that says “Paris”, which is really cute. I’m going to bring that. And I got this really cool watch. [She extends her arm to show a pink watch.] It’s sick. I love pink..... Everyone thinks I’m this pampered whatever and I can’t lift a finger, but that’s bulls**t. I’m not some party girl who likes to go out every night and party, party, party. I mean, just because I’m photographed at parties doesn’t mean I’m a party girl. It’s not my fault I always get photographed......

And now, the passage that had me, you and Laurie cacking our daks, the piece de resistance.....Is it true Shannen Doherty threatened you and pelted your car with lipstick and eggs? I don’t want to talk about her ever again. It’s really sad that she has to do things like that to get press. It’s pathetic. Ever been in a fist fight? No, never! And I never would. I wouldn’t get into a situation where I could hurt my face.
Oh Paris. We love you so.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

There was something about Prince William's "Out of Africa" themed 21st that seemed somewhat familiar. Maybe it was the whole "Africa as site of imperial romping with no thought of long-term consequence" thing, or maybe it was just a bit rich for the royals to dress up in pseudo-African garb for a bit of a laugh when British imperialism has been so intimately involved in the shaping of post-colonial Africa. Or maybe it just says something about the way they see the rest of the world: Africa is good for an off-the-wall 21st and the occasional Kenyan romance within the confines of a wealthy white landowner's property. Meanwhile Harry can rough it to Australia to get closer to indigenous communities and find inspiration for his art (sorry about the nukes!). It's like the colonies are still this rough and tumble playground where young royals are sent to sow their wild oats and become real men before they return home to begin their real lives; like Africa's still a mythical place where strange unnatural things can happen without consequence back in the real world. All of which makes an African-themed royal 21st seem so totally appropriate.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Sorry Guy. Despite your urgings to discuss matters of international malignancy, I have decided to direct my comments today towards the sexual hypocrisy of the Big Brother voting audience. Perhaps hypocrisy is not quite the word. What's at issue rather is a blatant double standard. You see, over the weekend, a winsome young thing called Jo was ejected from the Big Brother household with an historic 86% of the vote, and I can only ask, "For what?". People seem to be of the opinion that she is some kind of vacuous whore who tried to use her feminine wiles to win the day, but that her 'cunning' ploy fatally misjudged the tolerance of the audience. The audience seem to think that they knew better than to be beguiled by the likes of her. Their mommas didn't raise no fools. Take that, bitch. But I have been watching Big Brother and I am at a loss to find any reasoning behind such an understanding. Jo was friendly and affectionate, to be sure, but she was no cock-tease. She conducted herself with nervous grace and forbearance under what I saw as constant and unrelenting pressure from the dolts of the house, who seemed to corner her at every opportunity in order to drone interminably at her about her worthy attributes. It was excruciating, and I wonder that she didn't punch them, or at least mutter, "Spare me". So now, you fickle, fucked-up audience, I would like to rewind to last year's Big Brother in order to make a point about your crapness. You may recall that there was a contestant called Marty who began a relationship during the show with another housemate called Jess, and that, though we all knew he had a girlfriend on the outside, the relationship proceeded without much consternation until the final round and beyond. So why then was Jo so tarred? Why was there such public concern for the feelings of her boyfriend, which led anguished voters to remove her from the 'danger' of temptation? Jo doesn't seem to possess a particularly sexual understanding of herself, yet she is all too vulnerable to the sexuality people project onto her. She assented to nothing, other than to being present while dullards made pronouncements about her, ie. she did nothing wrong. You lumps. That's shitty, people. Really. Can it still be so easy to besmirch a woman's reputation with vile assumptions about 'duplicity' and 'game-playing'. Really, that's so lame. If one more person says that 'she had it coming', I swear that they will get so seriously bitch-slapped, or at least, they'll be feeling the after effects of an hysterical tongue-lashing for days. People are all too eager to make declarations about what's 'obvious' about people's behaviour, and, when it comes to women, there seems to be no reprieve before judgment to quibble about the facts. Apparently, assumptions are all powerful and all must heed them. There is no escape. So even when Jo, rightfully, doesn't get what all the fuss is about, and, in her attempts to understand the vehemence of people's opinions about her, tries to make the point that she did nothing wrong, people scoff and immediately launch into accusing her of being knowingly coy. You see, she must know why they think what they think of her, because they surely do. Shitty shitty shitty.

Just a small thing. I think you're right, Guy, about how soon the shutters come down after major and inconclusive debacles. It seems that, because some end point has been reached, or because some decision has been taken, the need for understanding is too easily deemed superfluous. Like, that is so over. At the moment I am glad that questions are actually being asked about the indignities to sense that preceded the war, but I doubt that these questions will procure lasting change or even slightly perturb those who most need to experience that sensation. It's just too easy to be a jerk. And anyway, that is like, so over.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

For some reason I'm loathe to bring up the whole Iraq thing. It's like I can "pre-emtively" feel the quiet mutterings of "that is so passe dude - just get over it". But analytically, I see that discussion about the issue is just as pertinent now as it ever has been. No weapons found. Faulty intelligence. And to top it off, the Americans have shelved "indefinitely" any plans to move towards an interim Iraqi administration. It's frightening how quickly a calm normality descends: Clinton autobiographies, Eurovision, leadership coups etc. I guess without swanky images of bombs exploding, stealthy planes and cool looking tanks, the media just loses interest in this kinda thing. But I always have been a cynical child. Elanor, can you flesh this out for me?

In other news, I feel I should at least acknowledge the total and complete brilliance of Beyonce's triumphant new single, Crazy in Love. I swear this is the best piece of... anything... created in the history of the world. It makes me wanna strut, simple as that.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

I know we've taken a wrong turn when I feel compelled to parrot quotes at you in some lame attempt to (1) inject gravitas into proceedings and, more purposefully, (2) to smugly parade before you a morsel of truth that I have 'discovered' for your benefit. Sad, sad, sad. And yet, even though I know what a misfire this indulgence will prove to be, and how it will cause you a pain equalled only by the pain of being trapped in conversation with a dream-describer, I'm gonna do it anyway. I am a truly sick person. But still, here's a quote that I think is...well, something. Plausible, maybe? Anyway, it's from W.B Yeats and it diagnoses a society in crisis as one where "the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity". There. Now I feel like an irredeemable wanker for having done this to you. I am so ashamed. I need a shower.
I don't think I have an opinion about Secretary. I mean, I have a gut feeling which I'd have to describe as negative, but I don't really know on what it is based. Maybe it was seeing a limp and lifeless Maggie Gylenhaal being bathed, washed and moulded back to life by a bloated James Spader that lost me. Or maybe it was the suggestion that the transferral of the desire to self-harm into a desire for masochistic sexual pleasure was something wholly positive, particularly when this newly sexualised desire for pain was dependent on the "patronage" of Spader's character. But then that is kinda unfair, because, really, having a desire for pain that is contingent on the affection of another is no different than having a desire for pleasure that is contingent on the affection of another - it's just not socially sanctioned. Actually, now that I think about it, what made me squirm was watching Gylenhaal allowing/wanting herself to be broken down in order to find validation through Spader (I realise these guys were acting, but I just can't remember the character's names). But then, really, Gylenhaal did seek to be broken down, and as her guiding compass was pointed towards pain, then I guess that for her it was a positive process. I think the film sorta won me (while still leaving a sour after-taste) in the final scene, where Gylenhaal looks straight at the audience, asking, daring us to pass judgement on her. Maybe the limitations that the politically correct seek to impose are just as constricting as the limitations imposed by cinematic misogyny? I think Elanor summed things up when she casually commented post-film (and I paraphrase) "it was a film where two miserable people found a kind of happiness through each other. How can that be bad"?

Friday, June 13, 2003

Anyway, though I feel I am grasping for content, I promised in my last blog that I would write about stuff. So now we have some rather unrefined remarks about a film I just saw, Secretary. I liked it. It was fine. But, as opposed to my expectations, I don't really have an opinion on it. I mean, I liked it because there were two unhappy central characters at the beginning of the film who became happy by the end of it, and they did so without hitting any jangling bum notes in the intervening telling. That's nice. Also, because of the dominant/submissive aspect of their love story, I really liked that the film ended with the heroine looking directly at the camera, as if daring anyone to judge her. That was nice. But still, not really an opinion on the opinion-making subject matter the movie throws at us. Sexual mores, etc. I think I'll have to wait to hear a forceful reaction of denouncement or acclaim before I have the ingredients necessary to establish a position. Until then, it's a good love story told with subtlety and respect.

So, onto other matters. Hillary Clinton makes me cringe. Whenever she talks or, as recently, writes about herself and her life, she does so in a way that is overproduced to the point that its only effect is emptiness. Now, I do not want to be another in the long line of blags who has accused her of calculating coldness. To be contrary, I will rather accuse her of calculated warmth, which has the effect of nullifying what it sets out to showcase. It feels to me that she has fixed upon a character, a persona, that she considers winning, and so she mercilessly treats us to her best impersonation of what we are to consider as a wounded woman who nonetheless, and bravely, perserveres in her duty with the aid her good humour, her accrued wisdom, her grace and her dignity. Oh, and her profound faith. I don't know, it just seems ghastly. It's all vague optimism and barely hinted at ideals, and a decline into the meaningless evocation of 'values' - meaningless because the vagaries of such terms are not leavened by individual attempts at establishing their meaning. What do you mean by that? What do you mean by that? This is my response to her every offering. Inscrutable, unsatisfying. Listen, I don't wish to know particularly how she feels, but if she is going to make announcements about it that pretend to particularity, then I am allowed to feel that her words ring hollow when they don't account for her. They don't account for anyone. I have no idea that she has any powerful feeling about things, issues, what have you. From what bedrock of ideals does she negotiate her public life? What does she fight for? I don't wish to attack her. I just feel the need for a firebrand, and this week, she is the most prominent non-firebrand. Also, it feels like she is so prone to talioring her tone that speaking her mind is not the object of any exercise she undertakes. She's not hateful or anything, just lousy. And she's lousy dressed up as the best we can expect in the mainstream, where the power is. Shit.

Now, just to state the obvious, we seem to have reached a point where the media is simultaneously at its most omnipresent and most impotent. Thus, we are bombarded with much talk of values and their importance in such troubling times, but provided little evidence of them from those disseminating the bombast. I do not deny that these are troubling times. When Tony Blair visited British troops and said that the war on Iraq would be regarded as one of the most significant events of the 21st century, I didn't disagree with him. Invading Iraq was most definitely a significant event, and though I dread this eventuality, I do think that this century will bear out its significance. Just not in the way Blair foresees it. You see, we have crossed a line. Rather, a line has been crossed. The most evolved and established - or at least, the most powerful - democracies in the world have seriously screwed things up. We just witnessed a war people! Violence and killing as a solution, without the need of a reason, and without much pressure to provide one. No established threat to other nations. No! That's unnecessary this century! Just a flurry of assertions and then, in the confusion they caused, bang! And it was a blinding success apparently. And the UN should be grateful that the US is still talking to them after all their niggardly 'qualms' and 'concerns', because, irrespective of all that weapons of mass destruction bizzo, it was liberation baby! And despite the superabundance of coverage, we are never going to find out what happened, and we are never going to be made to feel that, on the whole, it was a disastrous and shameful thing. No shit will hit the fan. Thus, in the 21st century, power will be bullying and implacable, unbound by law, unsteadied by principle, unheedful of precedent and, quite alarmingly, unrepentant. Seriously. Shit.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I guess I really should write something, if only in order to authenticate this site's claims to plurality. However, in lieu of actually writing something myself, I'm about to do something shockingly lame: quote from a novel. That's right, Symposiasts is spiralling down towards that flock of overly earnest blogs seeking to memorialise that inevitably fleeting bond between the mind and the written word (!). What I'm trying to say is that meaning does not easily survive the move into online personal publishing. But I will try. As a highly analytical person (who at heart is and will always be a romantic) I've often pondered (as part of my regular program of analysis) whether I will ever be able to truly "live" in the moment; enjoy something without guilt, or thought of consequence; experience pleasure not tinged with an awareness of its fleetingness etc. etc. As I perused the "best bits" of George Eliot's Middlemarch recently, I came across a passage that I think perfectly encapsulates the pitfalls of my kind of character and disposition... and here it is:

"It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never be liberated from a small hungry shivering self – never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardour of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted."

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Let me preface these remarks with a disingenuous apologia. The following entry concerns itself with a characterisation of myself that I concocted during a smoko at work this evening. I found myself in a moment of self-understanding that can be of interest to no person but myself. And yet I am pestering you with it. To what end? Never you mind. While you may inwardly groan at the prospect of a tiresome tale of 'self-realisation', (a favoured euphemism, I grant you, for 'self-aggrandisement' or 'self-delusion') let me take this opportunity to remind you that this is a blog, and more tellingly, that this is my blog, so pontifications of this sort are only to be expected. Thus, I am pestering you with it for the simple reason that I can. So there.

Now on to the remarks, which I will entitle A characterisation of self; distilled during a smoko in which Elanor's usually distracted imaginings about, and musings on, herself, latched onto a point of focus. Let me preface these remarks also, this time with a disclaimer. I cannot locate the source of this sudden musing. It came unbidden, and, as far as I can ascertain, was not prompted by any subconscious percolating of any recent interactions or events. It just seemed to me that suddenly and without warning, there were apt words, and they were whispering themselves into sentences. I had a random thought, which was "I find myself uncomfortable making claims on people". It was followed by a "Why?" And then the whispering happened. Thus, "I find myself uncomfortable making claims on people because I doubt that my experience of others is necessarily commensurate with their experience of me. I don't find this to be an incapacitating doubt. It simply exists. And I think it has the happy effect of precluding me from jealousy in favour of tolerance, or forbearance."

It is a strange thing, to so prevaricate with 'prefaces' and the like, to so create anticipation and expectations of reward, for such a thing as that. That is a whole new kind of wordy. And, yes. Fine. I promised a thought that concerns only myself, and I delivered it, so I had to expect that the whole exercise would be anti-climactic. But it is almost hilarious that, despite all the hot air I blew into the build-up, it never occurred to me that there was never much 'in-your-face realness' or 'blisteringly powerful truth' to a declaration of self that ends with the word "forbearance". Anyway, although it might lose some of my esteem for it in its re-telling, this explanation of myself makes me very happy. It makes me feel like I have a fair and healthy appreciation of what goes on between people; one that encompasses doubt and rejects irrationality. It also makes me happy because I like an awareness of doubt. I respect it. And I especially like to think that I have an awareness of doubt. So I really like the idea that the happy and rancour-free situation of my life is indebted to my appreciation of, and my trust of, a doubt. I find it all heartily flattering. But then, I concocted it. So any troublemakers are perfectly at liberty to propose and support other contentions as to why I find it distasteful to make claims on people. But I rather like this one.

Oh dear. This blog entry has been utter shit. In his novel Experience, Martin Amis makes a criticism of some other writer that I think could be equally directed at the above debacle. Amis writes, "his compulsive self-criclings, I felt, were stifling his energy and his comedy. Something was missing: other people". Were I a man, this statement would perfectly upbraid me for the horror that I have made of this blog entry. Perhaps it is even too salutary a criticism for the lowly likes of me. Anyhoo. I will henceforth endeavour to make my blog entries about some person or thing, so that such galling crap as this will never again be visited upon you. Let us never speak of this. Sincere apologies.

Monday, June 02, 2003

I'll be brief: I think Jewel is a sell out and I don't think she has the guts to admit to it. I feel slightly weird saying this, because I genuinely don't have a problem with people (eg Courtney Love) selling out. More power to them, I say. But Jewel's decided to do the whole noncommittal irony thing, which pisses me off. For those who haven't seen the clip to her (blatantly sell-out) single Intuition, it works something like this: Jewel walks round randomn city-scapes being Jewel, when suddenly the image is transformed into a glamorous, sparkling and self-aggrandising advert for various Jewel-related products. I think her point is about the superficiality of advertising and image, and she has a good one. But the fact remains that in the clip Jewel enjoys the career-boosting benefits of strutting around in wet t-shirts and hotpants; of back-up dancers, cool hair and... blatant self-aggrandisement. It seems to have worked, cause she's back on Video Hits. So what then is her point?
Just to befoul any notions that you, my dear reader, might have of my credibility in matters of taste......... my goodness, but that is a statement rife with presumption! A readership? Baby, get a grip. And really dear, in that which you have so far proffered in this here blog, can you reasonably find an utterance that could have ever established a position of credibility for yourself in matters of stuff, that might now be placed in jeopardy by what you are about to admit? No? Then let us continue unharassed by your appalling expectations, shall we?........ Um, so anyway. On to the supposed befoulment. I have an admission to make for which I am unapologetic. I really like Justin Timberlake's solo effort, Justified. And I like it on every level it has thrown at me. I call it my comedy/dance album. Really, it is so naff in so many ways, and yet it provides such a powerful invitation to get some serious ass-shakin' done that it just cannot be denied. And might I just say that everything that is wrong with the album - and there is a lot of blatant co-option and rather pathetic attempts at attitude - is forgivable because it is hilariously wrong. Hilarious and unaware of itself. Great.
After a lengthy period of anticipation, I have finally gotten my hands on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, Fever To Tell. And it is fucking great. I would call them "an arty rock 'n roll outfit straight out of New York City" if I knew for certain that it was a fitting description of them. I have a feeling that that is what they are, and that people might even respectably introduce them to the stage with such an assertion. But I have a rudimentary understanding of such things. I'm not exactly sure what arty rock is, or whether the Yeah Yeah Yeahs should be classified in the punky rather than rocky category. So I won't stand by any of that, as I don't want to be caught out looking silly. All I will stake my reputation on is an oh my my seriously sweet goddamn snarling hell, charlie. Yeah, that's right. They rock. And I have been privy to proof of it. I saw them play a gig at the end of last year, supporting the John Spencer Blues Explosion. So here's a piece of advice for free. Don't go and see them if you're not prepared to grant them the instant and unqualified adoration that will pulse out of you, irrespective of any mood or posture or attitude you have tried to saddle yourself with. All will quiver in their wake. It is a good thing.
I have no idea of what use that Big Brother stuff that I just spewed below, onto your perfectly uninterested shoes, can be to anyone.