Thursday, March 17, 2011

Voyage into the Drafts folder. Inspired – as so many absurd things are – by Adam 1.0's journey into the archives, I have decided to revisit some of my forgotten draft blog posts, most of them justifiably forgotten.

Over the entire life of this blog, there were only 18 drafts. Some are drafts because I ended up publishing them elsewhere. Others I think I might resurrect. Others are just boring, like me noodling on about True Blood in the same vein as my noodlings about Terminator Salvation.

Here are the rest, plus some bonus tweets that I never sent due to my wireless coverage dropping out!!

Unsent tweet:
If you've got a craving to eat pencil erasers, order the mushrooms at Mario's.

Abandoned blog post, 1 December 2010
My Hollywood Babylon dream. I just had this dream before. I was Bret Easton Ellis

Unsent tweet:
Who does Matthew McConaughey think he's fooling in that ad with the tux? We all know he'd rather have been shirtless.

Abandoned blog post, 26 July 2008
On the prom. Last night was the final Is Not Magazine party - Is Not Senior Prom. This theme was my idea. I've often worried about the way we fetishised Americanness at the magazine. Of course, Jeremy has always traded personally and professionally on the cosmopolitan glamour of being from America - and within that, being from New York, and within that, Brooklyn. Even though he is actually from Long Island. (Incidentally, while I know Jeremy is well aware of the cultural capital he possesses simply by an accident of birth, I wonder if he deliberately exploits the beguiling effect of his voice and way of speaking. It was certainly what I always liked best about him, and even now it's still a pleasure to listen to.)

Unsent tweet:
Baby baby baby/You are my voodoo child/My voodoo child

Abandoned blog post, 11 February 2008
Howard's Storage World. It was only because he was not the sort of man to make a fuss that Howard said nothing. Inside, if he cared to scrutinise his feelings - and he didn't really, Howard was not that sort of man - he was filled with impatient rage.

It was the shoes mainly. Maryanne had a habit of leaving her shoes wherever they were kicked off. Work pumps lurking under the kitchen table; slippers hiding coyly under the armchair. But she would also take off a jumper and leave it on the couch - for days and days and days - as though she were happy for it stay there forever. There had been a pair of her earrings sitting on a windowsill for two years now. Sometimes Howard found Maryanne's shucked underpants in the bathroom. That was not cool.

Then there were the plastic food packets on the shelves, folded carelessly over or even left open for moths to get in or the contents to grow stale. Dirty plates piled haphazardly in the sink, filled with scummy water. Random papers - bills, receipts, flyers, mail for previous occupants Howard had never met - littering the table.

When it really started to get to him, Howard liked to go to his shed and sit in an old cane chair. He did not have to move things off it in order to sit down, as he had to do elsewhere in the house.( There was one chair in the bedroom so comprehensively draped with Maryanne's clothes that tidying them away felt almost obscene, like a strip-search.)

Unsent tweet:
I was shopping for a full length mirror, hoping to pay about $20. Got one for $11.40 which is officially a 'nice price'!

Abandoned blog post, 26 July 2007
On shithouse metaphors. It's like I gave him my t-shirt and he's like, "All right, you're awesome, I'll put that in my t-shirt drawer," only I'm like, "Now I'm naked and humiliated, and also, that wasn't a t-shirt, it was my heart."

It occurs to me just now that the t-shirt analogy was a poor one.

Unsent tweet:
Just saw a dude riding a motorbike in the rain wearing shorts and thongs. The definition of not giving a shit.

Abandoned blog post, 4 January 2006
Fashion trends that took me by surprise in 2005.

1. Big wooden beads.

2. The persistence of boho.


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Thoughts on Tumblr. Tumblr is a short-form blogging platform. It's like Twitter in that it enables users to custom-build their online community by 'following' other users. Following doesn't have to be reciprocal. All these blog posts appear in a central stream on the 'dashboard', but rather than prioritising text, Tumblr emphasises images (especially memes and animated GIFs), videos, streaming mp3s and quotes.

Unlike older blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress, and even social networks including MySpace and Facebook, interactivity on Tumblr doesn't take the form of commenting on individual posts. Instead, Tumblr users invite, and will answer, 'questions' from their followers or even from anonymous readers. Posts also build debate and commentary when they're 'reblogged' by other Tumblr users, who can add their own remarks. Finally, Tumblr enables posts to be 'liked'. All this interactivity is catalogued on the original post in the form of 'notes'.

There are all sorts of ways to use Tumblr. I didn't really see the point of it and only got on board because I decided to start a hipster-related blog, and I figured that Tumblr is where hipsters blog. But it's interesting in the way it combines a blogroll and a real-time RSS feed, and cross-pollinates content that you mightn't have stumbled across yourself.

I can see that some people like to use it as a scrapbook of the little things they encounter in their online life, or as a way to bookmark interesting things to come back to later. As I've mentioned, there are also lots of meme Tumblrs, many of them using the "Fuck Yeah [insert very specific topic]" formula. There's also lots of TV and movie fan culture.

I'm still not a Tumblr native, because I mostly post text. I'm also constantly frustrated that I want to comment directly on another post but don't want to post that commentary as a question or an item on my own Tumblr.

I'm realising that the point of Tumblr really isn't to generate and display original content, but rather to assemble and recontextualise pre-existing material. I am trying really hard to view this as creative, but it's a struggle. I mainly get followed by people in their late teens, whose Tumblrs are a stream of vague, angsty images, like this:

Also, a lot of the imagery I see there is of skinny, listless, half-naked alt-model types:

It can get quite depressing to see this kind of imagery posted repeatedly without commentary. It leaves you wondering about the Tumblr user's affective relation to the image. Do they find it erotic? Funny? Romantic? Cool? Aspirational?

My overall impression is that Tumblr is about expressing yourself without being articulate. There's a value to this, I suppose, if you feel that an image, a quote or a song expresses something better than you can yourself, but personally I find it quite boring and alienating to silently accumulate aphoristic imagery as a performance of self.

Oh well, guess that's why I'm writing lots of words using another blogging platform.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Growing up with a Car Dad. In retrospect I'm glad I grew up with a Car Dad, even though at times my mother has been very angry to have married a Car Man. When you have a Car Dad, you don't go to car dealerships to get your next family car. One just mysteriously shows up in your driveway. Then after a while it vanishes, and another one shows up in its place.

Actually, when the film The Castle came out with that line about moving the Camira, the Torana and the Commodore around in the driveway, we laughed in recognition. Except, rather than Holdens, ours were mostly European and mostly old. How many non-French kids know how "Renault" and "Citroën" are pronounced?

Let me see if I can remember all the cars we had. There was the little yellow Renault that had been my dad's sister's car (I think it was a Renault 7). The khaki Suzuki with the soft top that looked just like an army jeep, and which crashed once, scarily, because its wheelbase was so narrow it didn't handle sharp turns very well. The dark red Citroën with the vinyl seats (maybe a GS, or perhaps it was another Renault 7). The egg-yolk yellow hatchback that could have been a Renault 16 or a Triumph 2000.

Dad has always loved Triumphs; when I was a baby apparently the only time I would stop crying was when he would drive me around in his cherry-red Stag. I am sure we had more than one 1500 or 2000/2500 – I distinctly remember a bright red one, and perhaps I am imagining this, but there might have been either a white or a silver one too.

Then it was onto the Volvo era, because with four kids we could no longer all fit into a sedan. First we had a white 200-series Volvo station wagon with jump seats in the boot. These seats were very hard and there was a lot of squabbling about who had to sit there on long car trips. I often drew the short straw because I didn't get carsick travelling backwards.

It was very hot in there too. I don't remember if the white Volvo or the subsequent silver Volvo had the little fan mounted in the back corner. Maybe they both did. The silver Volvo had slightly more comfortable jump seats. More importantly, it had a hilarious number plate that began with FKQ. My mother didn't get the joke until someone at her work filled her in.

By this stage I was learning to drive, and the car I drove first was also a 200-series Volvo. My friends will recall it as "the Volvo that didn't go backwards". The transmission was busted, so reverse only worked when the engine was cold. But that car was my first bit of freedom. I used to drive to my exploitative job at Carousel Ice Cream in South Yarra and tool along Alexandra Avenue playing my "Top 96 of '96" cassette that I'd taped off the radio, singing along with 'Sexy Eyes' by Whigfield or 'Break My Stride' by Unique II.

Sometimes I also drove the silver Volvo, which by then had shrieking brakes. In that car, I was pulled up by the cops on Valentine's Day 1997 and told my driving was "ordinary". I don't know if I've ever told that story on the blog, but basically someone else had driven off in the red Volvo with my P-plates in it, so to appease my parents I had made my own P-plates using paper and a hot-pink texta.

But anyway. There were more cars on top of this. Recently when I was looking through some old photo albums, I found a picture of my brother miT sitting in the driver's seat of a sporty little black convertible that looks more than a little like KITT from Knight Rider. I think it was actually a kit car. (There were certainly many, many issues of Kit Car, Unique Cars and other such magazines cluttering the house. These were a frequent bone of contention between my parents.)

But the one I was most excited about was an old-fashioned-looking cream-coloured car from perhaps the 1940s. I can't remember the make. I remember being quite awed at how glamorous it was, and imagining how great it would be to be driven places in it. But it never became our family car. For a fair while it was parked in the middle of the back yard and miT used to leap off the roof onto the trampoline.

Once my other brother Lina, who was just a baby, was sitting on the trampoline during one of miT's epic jumps and bounced right off it, landing on the ground and breaking his wrist. He was just at crawling age, so rather than crawling he developed a technique of dragging himself along on his arse using his good arm.

The reason I am even reminiscing about this stuff is that today I saw an old van turn the corner of Lonsdale and Exhibition Streets and I noticed it was the sort with sliding doors, and the driver was driving with the doors slid open. I instantly remembered one of our cars that I hadn't thought about for years – the campervan.

Us kids were all thrilled by the campervan, imagining all the awesome holidays we would go on. We loved when Dad drove us in it with the doors open, the road rushing past our feet and the wind blowing in. We didn't have it for long, though, and I was bitterly disappointed when it vanished. I can't remember if we ever took it on holiday.

Today when I saw the van, all I could think was that it must be so illegal to drive around with the doors open like that.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter