Friday, November 19, 2004

I'm feeling quite restless and discontented today. Not even a spell of dancing in the living room to Craig David's "What's Your Flava?" could cheer me up. I don't know how I could ever work from home, because I always get this feeling that you haven't accomplished something until you've left the house. But at least I discovered they're repeating the first series of The Secret Life of Us during the day. It must be the first series because Joel Edgerton's blonde girlfriend hasn't been run over by a car yet.

I happened to catch the momentous episode where Spencer McLaren has his encounter in a St Kilda toilet block with that black guy with the scary devil eyes who was more recently in that play Take Me Out. I had forgotten how terrifyingly cheesy it was: first the dude massages his feet, then his calves, then his thighs ("now my pants are chafin' me!"), and then he starts wanking himself with Spencer's foot, which I'd forgotten all about and which made me laugh a lot. And then he stands up and drops his towel and Spencer looks both terrified and mesmerised.

Meanwhile old balding sooky-la-la Sam Johnson was pretending he didn't love Claudia Karvan after they snogged when they were on ecstasy. I was looking at him going, "Man! I used to think he was attractive? Was I on ecstasy too?" How long ago was this? Maybe 2000? 2001? But my desire to punch Abi Tucker as soon as she came on the screen was still as strong as ever.

Today I was supposed to be researching my CSAA bling paper, but I only managed to get through this book called Streetstyle which was full of outrageously glib, presumptive generalisations about subcultures.

Ambitiously, I'm trying to knit together three ideas.
1) How to explain how wearing bling makes you feel 'rich' and 'glamorous' (ie theories of affect).
2) Ironic bling, and the semiotic disjuncture between wearer and viewer (how can you tell if it's sincerely or ironically worn; or, the difference between affect and affectation).
3) The diffusion of bling from a US inner-urban black context, where it responds to a culture of white surveillance, to an Australian suburban white context, where its politics are more confused, hybrid, and perhaps lost altogether

I have been thinking about formulating a theory that extends the linguistic metaphor of Tommy DeFrantz's "corporeal orature" or "body talking" and combines it with the other linguistic metaphor of semiotics. I also want to get postmodern irony into this somehow, because that could explain both the diffusion (as simulation, decontextualisation, pastiche) and the irony.

Right now I'm at this stage where all this is still yet to coagulate into anything coherent. And the pain in my neck has migrated down between my shoulder blades. I feel like I've been hit by a softball. And I should know. In grade five I was hit in the face with a softball. You can tell this was in the 1980s because the teacher's first aid efforts extended to telling me to "go and get a drink of water."

Okay, it's Friday night. Enough nerdy nerdness. Time for sweet, sweet liquor.

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