Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Yay for swears.

I read an interesting article today. It seems they're not content with taking away our right to have a cigarette with a pint, now they'd like us to do it in the freezing cold. Yep, thats right, in this countries seemingly endless quest to go green (and in all the wrong ways) they are now proposing a ban on outdoor heaters.

You fucking what?

That's right! Using the ever-fashionable carbon footprint as their excuse, the powers that be would like to ban the only source of comfort us smokers have. So come October, when it's cold outside and the days are shorter, we'll all be lined up outside the pubs, swaddled in layers, huddling together for warmth...not exactly my preferred look for a Friday night out on the town. And yet this isn't my main bugbear with the situation....

Why, dear people of the internet, aren't we doing anything about it? There are somewhere close to 25 million smokers in this country, the majority of which I imagine are likely to go to a public place and need a cigarette once in a while. And yet we're just sitting down and taking this, like the proverbial gimp. Whatever happened to our spirit? Our punk? Our common bloody sense? They broke us. They broke us and now they've started the process of rebuilding us into the model country; healthy, green and energy efficient. Thats a laugh.

Monday, 16 July 2007

We Want a Robot

New technology is entirely underwhelming. Everything new that comes along is simply inevitable. I remember my utter joy at receiving my first walkman; it was incredible. I could listen to my music, but not bother my parents at the same time. I could walk down the road immersed in my own little dream world, just me and my music, my ultimate escape. In truth, it was awful. It ate batteries, the music went wonky when the cassette moved, the headphones snapped after a month. The inconvenience of turning the tape over, of having to carry lots of different albums with you, no special features to speak was useless. But at the time it was the most incredible, convenient and beautiful invention known to man. Now consider the iPod. Or rather the mp3 player in general. Its marvellous! Hundreds upon hundreds of tracks, all available at one time in a tiny little package, packed full of features and special tricks. Battery life that can last all day. No skipping! It is an absolute mammoth of a product. And while it was much hyped, and well received by the general public, there was nowhere near the amount of revolutionary praise you would expect. The same applies to everything. Mobile phones, HD TV, computers, games is coming along in leaps and bounds. So why are we so apathetic about it all?

MrA raised a good point last night. According to cartoons and Tomorrows World, we should all be flying to the moon for the weekly shop now, zooming about with jet-packs and getting the family robot to do odd jobs around the house. None of this is true. There are no rocket ships, no teleporters and, worst of all, no robots. For a generation of people who were promised this unique fantasy world, we are now severely disheartened. It's no wonder we can't get past the past. It was much more intriguing than the future.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Big kids

Hello. This is my blog. I'll post things here. Writings. Mostly on the subject of 70s and 80s nostalgia, because thats what my college mini-dissertation will be on, but I'll undoubtedly put other things here. Just because.

Anyway, first post. Enjoy!

We are the generation of fun and games, the logical product of an era that revolved around pop icons and big-screen heroes that then went on to create the mass consumer culture that we know today. We are born out of Star Wars, Transformers and Pac Man, all of which remain in todays society, as popular and collectable as ever. And why? Is it pure nostalgia? Is it because they remain as well-marketed to the younger generations as before? Or is it rather that the generation that it all began with have refused to grow up? The evidence is all around us, illustration has become a child-like dream world, character design remains quirky and cartoonish, advertising pays homage to the toy giants of yesteryear. Realism, and all the harsh realities of the present that go with it, has definitely gone out the window.

Modern society is a bleak place for us. We live in a world enamored with celebrity, where image is everything and fame and fortune is attainable with little or no skill required. For the less shallow of us (and I assure you, we exist), there has emerged an undercurrent of nostalgia and childish fantasy, dripping with all the cynicism and perversion of the big kid rejected. Our heroes, the role models we remember from simpler times, lie in action figures and video game characters. We can relate to them because we grew up learning from them. They are our mentors, our fantasy, our escape. You only need to look at modern art and design to see this; we have cute pink bears with bloody paws, tiny robots controlling giant machines that tower above the clouds, helpless animals tortured by artists hopes and fears. With age comes wisdom. And rejection, and responsibility, and bills...