I can’t believe I got a couple of thousand words into an analysis of Something Awful dot com. I was trying to account for why I became interested in the site’s continuing success (100,000 members, around 4,000 online at once) and it was kind of interesting but, damn, that’s not really what I’m supposed to be writing about. Computers – they just eat everything and spit out little pellets of virtual life. Cyberpoop in the brain..
To hell with web culture.
There’s only two things really important about Something Awful and that’s when Zack Parsons writes insane multi-part science fiction and when ‘livestock’ writes about dogs. The rest of it is a pastime, and if you have pastimes then you are too young or have forgotten that death is hurtling towards you. Neither applies to me.
I should instead write about Soggy The Sailor who, having taken on the guise of his previous idol, has returned after a long absence (off sailing with Sinbad or Popeye?) and has a new CD that he plays at around 1am every day. This adds insult to injury – it’s a compilation of songs by Paddy Roberts who as a child I liked very much. He sings about the Old Ladies Stuck In The Lavatory – it’s sophisticated stuff. Now one Paddy Roberts song is funny. 75 minutes of them is tedious. The same 75 minutes repeated at 1am every day is pathological. I think Soggy considers himself an Irish balladeer. He’s also a hipster douche who thinks that old comedy records make great random party music. As I live up the road from *the* hipster douche pub (rows of bicycles lined up outside each with the obligatory little wicker carrying basket, playlist of ironic 70′s and 80′s hits, goofy facial hair and so on) I bet some considerable fish that Soggy is playing his wretched music after a night on the flannelette microbrew. Not cool.
I should write about the VJ set I am struggling to create in the hours after making CDs in the hours after study that come after the hours of the day job. The original Over Barbara Island set was performed in 2006. The set was a disaster (was supposed to be outside with Tiki lamps – was inside in horrible white echoing room because of rain) but the music is pretty much my favourite of the late Sevs recordings. When asked to do a benefit set for Rainforest Rescue, Barbara was the obvious choice. The promoter has asked for a more up tempo set and so it seems time to add a few new tracks. Barbara was supposed to be exotica – cocktail music, slightly cheesy and slightly spooky and it did that well. Return to Barbara Island picks up on some of the ideas gridlocked in the Aerodrom project: aircraft graveyards, cargo cults, jungle. And monkeys, as this is my particular interest in the charity.
It’s not a matter of finding resonances, more of avoiding the common ones that have grown up around shows like Lost, which doesn’t interest me but will come to mind for most of the audience. It gets harder to exhibit a personal view when every possible preoccupation has been monetised at some point. You either wallow in it (hello Lady Gaga) which is cowardly, or strive for difference. I am not sure I can make that difference this deadline, I’ll certainly try. Erred a bit far in in using black box recordings which created intensity but was morally bankrupt and obvious. Now all have been replaced with hand made replicas of mysterious radio chatter. Also leaning a little on Prelinger but not in a lazy ass way (hello People Like Us). I think it’ll be OK.
I should write about Comics. I know very little about comics, apart from RAW back in the 80′s. Comics were art for a few years =everybody was into RAW (MAUS, Jack Survives etc). Now I find comics from the very early 90′s that I actually want to know more about. This shit looks like maybe there’s something there that will finally cause a WTF moment – which is a bit rare these days.
Funny about the comic thing, I was a comics geek in middle school, then lost interest in nearly all of it by high school, except for the Doom Patrol. So your blog took me back to the good old days circa
’90-’92, re-reading those things dozens of times over, finding some weird new thing every time, whilst fluctuating in and out of Severed Heads and early PiL obsessions. Almost makes me look back fondly on being a weird high schooler, but not really.
Best thing Morrison ever did, before he got into that snobbish-heroes-makes-for-cool-comics schtick. I don’t know how well they hold up over time – I seem to recall the early issues were a bit emo for my taste, but he hit his stride by the time they find themselves fighting the men from nowhere, those alien catholics and protestants, et al. The Flex Mentallo origin issue is a gem, especially for those of us familiar with old 60s comics with those Charles Atlas you-don’t-have-to-be-a-skinny-loser-anymore ads. Good times.