Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Hobby of Mine:

Reading online spoilers of tv shows, and then pretending to people I'm eerily good at guessing how script writers think.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not not moving, the other kind.

I love shopping for stationery. It’s like a hobby for me. No, more than a hobby, it’s like a drug. If I were the masses, then my opiate wouldn’t be religion, buying stationery would. Or perhaps buying stationery would be my religion, and each week I’d go to the stationery shop temple, and worship at their check-out counter alter, receiving the Eucharist of a new pen or note book. I certainly doubt that I would cast off buying stationery, overcome my false consciousness, rise up and over throw my bourgeois oppressors. That’s how much I like buying stationery; it’s more important to me than placing the means of economic production into collective ownership.

Part of the reason for my love of stationery shopping is my fastidiousness about pens. I am left-handed, and like many of my sinister brethren I am prone to dragging my hand along the paper after the nib of my pen as I write. Thus, any pen I use must not have even the slightest tendency to smudge, lest my sweaty, clawed hand smears whatever heartfelt poetry I’m writing into an incomprehensible mush. Truly, left handedness is a heavy burden indeed.

I also love the thrill of starting a new notebook. Opening the cover to that first fresh blank page is like arriving in a foreign city for the first time; full of possibilities for adventure, and excitement, and romance, and fun. If notebooks were young women, then I would be a premiership footballer; smitten at first, buying the girl drinks in the nightclub, and bringing her back to my penthouse apartment, showering her with gifts in the first few weeks we know each other. But, as time passes, I get somewhat bored, and my head is turned by other women, possibly with nicer leather covers, or better quality pages, or perhaps even one of those little ribbon book marks. I have a desk drawer full of various notebooks of all different shapes and styles and sizes that I have started to fill with some creative project or other, before finding a newer, more exciting, different note book. I am a notebook man-slut.

At least you can’t catch herpes from a notebook...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Once Upon A Time

The other evening, I went to the first class of my new course in story telling. As part of the initial breaking-the-ice, getting-to-know-each-other, embarrassing-the-hell-out-of-each-other exercises, the teacher asked us all for our reasons for wanting to do the course. I was bewildered! What could I say? Could I tell her that I am a compulsive yarn spinner, and hoped to gain new skills to make my tall tales more convincing?  Certainly, I could not tell her my real reason for being there; I could not tell her that, as predicted by the ancient Mayans, our modern civilisation, with all it’s technological wonders,  will not survive beyond 2012, and humanity will be thrust into a new dark age; that being physically unfit, lazy and inept at most manual labour I am resigned to being unable to make a living off the land, and instead plan to make my way as a travelling bard, earning my keep and food bringing some tiny sliver of happiness to the broken and oppressed people with my tales of the Before Time, with its magical horseless carriages, and moving picture boxes. I couldn’t tell her that I plan to adapt my blogging skills into story telling skills, to fit the hellish dystopian future we face, where the closest thing to the internet will be the spoken word.

I told her I wanted to try something new. It seemed kinder. She’ll learn, soon enough...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Your Country Needs You

An American I know reckons that their country is amazing because they have a black president. I countered that we have a woman president. It has been decided that the title of World's Best Country will be awarded to the first country to elect a black lesbian Jewish disabled president. We have a presidential election next year. This is a race we must not lose.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Riding the Rails

In the old days, hobos would communicate with each other using a secret language of codes and symbols that they would draw or etch on gate posts, walls, pavements or the like. These symbols would alert fellow hobos to things such as good places to sleep, generous householders, available work and so on, as well as warning of dangers such as unfriendly men, vicious dogs and other perils to be avoided. They say that the hobos had a symbol for pretty much everything, and any situation. One thing they never had a symbol for, however, was a crazed surgeon looking for victims to stitch together into a human centipede. With hindsight, we can now see that this was a disastrous omission.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thoughts on head gear

Kangaroo skin bushman's hat
Practical uses: riding a horse across the outback,
while being chased by the law

I have a surprisingly large collection of hats. I say surprisingly because, to be frank, I don’t wear a hat all that often. I feel that I should just clarify that when I talk about hats here, I don’t mean wooly beanie style caps, although I have about half a dozen of these. In contemporary society, these barely count as hats at all, and are not governed by the standard rules of hat wearing. I’m talking about more formal, traditional hats, with brims and the like.

Fedora pic
Practical uses: Playing at being on Mad Men

I’m not quite sure how I’ve managed to end up with so many hats. It’s certainly not because I spend hours trawling haberdashers for exciting trilbies or pork pies; As I say, I seldom wear a hat, and this, combined with my stereotypically male aversion for any form of clothes shopping would not be conducive to building up a collection of hats. Plus, I have an unusually large head, which would make buying hats, even if I were so inclined to do so, quite difficult. It is, I feel,  important to stress the largeness of my head; many people question me when I assert this in conversation, so it may not appear obviously so, but still, my skull is an above average size. Certainly, any hat that is intended for my head will need an L and at least one X if not more on its size label. It’s a strange but true fact that I have had arguments with people trying to tell me that my head could not possibly be as large as I claim it to be. It is.*

Official Discovery Channel Steve Irwin hat 
Practical Uses: Irritating dangerous animals

Certainly, several have my hats have been gifted to me. This however raises more questions. Why do people think that a hat is a suitable gift for me? Do my friends and loved ones see me as the type of person who wears a hat? What does this say about how they see me? Wearing a hat these days (again, we are not counting beanies, which play by their own rules) makes a very deliberate statement about how one wants to be seen. Generally, the type of man who wears a hat is someone who wants to be regarded as eccentric, left field, kooky, and possibly even zany. I like to call these people hat twats. Most of them describe their hat wearing as ironic, showing that they are also the type of people who use words without knowing their correct meaning. Is this the way those around me see me? I’ll confess that I certainly dabbled with being zany in my youth, but I was reckless and misguided, and have spent nearly a decade attempting to make up for it. I do often talk about doing things ironically, but I only do so in an ironic fashion, playfully highlighting the fact that I understand what ironic means. Does nobody in my life actually get me at all?

Straw Stetson
Practical uses: Looking awesome at music festivals

The sad fact is that I would quite like to wear a hat, not to be ironic or kooky, but because I think they look well. I think it is a shame that hats for men have fallen out of fashion to such a degree. And yet, I am paralysed with fear that were I to wear a hat, passers-by would prejudge me as a hat twat ironic hipster zany douche. At the same time, hats will never fall back into fashion unless non-asshole men take to wearing them. It’s a vicious paradox, what philosophers call the Hat-wearer’s dilemma, I can see no way out of it. I’m just not sure that I am brave enough to be the hat wearing pioneer that the situation calls for.

Traditional Omani hat
Practical uses: ???

*I was thinking of making a joke about how I’m also big headed int he arrogant sense, but really, I think I’m better than that.