June 1, 2013
Post Subculture Subculture

I want to be the Allen Ginsberg of dorky people on the Internet.

Dorky Internet people are a post subculture subculture. It’s a generational group so large and potentially creatively renewing of our culture that many don’t know they’re part of it or even name it. Troll roller is the best I’ve come up with so far as a word to describe it, rolling with the trolls and the dorks online despite many other entertainment options being available, because we’re addicted to interacting with people, even ones we don’t know. I’m gonna look into this, and represent it in my literary works.

March 21, 2013
Artists of the world, you need to up your game

I have repeatedly made statements about my problems with HBO programming like Sex And The City and Girls being used as pop cultural propaganda and a glorified tourism ad for New York and the arts snobbery lifestyle that comes with it.

Artists of the world, in any medium, you need to up your game.

The argument that the arts cannot prosper outside of New York is hard to take seriously when one considers the massive achievements by foreign directors in the medium of film alone, Akira Kurosawa, Ozu, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Fernando Arrabal, Guillermo del Toro, Fritz Lang, Ruggero Deodato, Pasolini, Fellini, the list goes on and that’s just non-English speakers.

Literature casts an even wider net of great stories which are unfairly ignored due to their not being translated, but I assure you, in one specific case I think you’ll agree: if William Shakespeare managed to change the English language without so much as a college degree, I doubt he needs New York’s help. Your English teachers are all the publicity he needs.

And as for the poor fools who after reading my dissertation on why New York arts snobbery is overrated, especially those people in my street art lectures considering moving there after graduation… have you not read the news?

Talking to these people it’s like Hurricane Sandy never happened, they’re so naive that they’ll make it that they don’t even look up how tough it is for the underclasses in Harlem who already live there. I am aware of the Australian cultural cringe, but surely considering we have actual health care and a safety net here Sydney and Melbourne look pretty good when compared with America which is downtrodden by recession and misery.

I’m out, peace.

March 14, 2013
An Un-Quirky Manifesto

And I don’t care that manifestos these days are associated with mass murderers and crazy people, what I was taught in art school was manifestos used to be about art movements or aesthetics and that’s the excuse I’m going with.

I’m not quirky. I’m an Australian, high functioning autistic man who is somehow expected by the worldwide arts community of the 21st Century to rebrand myself as quirky. This will not stand.

Zooey Deschanel crowned as an IT Girl when the only thing I remember her from is (500) Days of Summer, HBO giving Lena Dunham her TV show Girls which led to her winning Golden Globes, I’m putting an end to it, and by that I don’t mean women in the entertainment industry, because I watch female Internet comedy geniuses every god-damn day on Blip.tv, Nostalgia Chick, Obscurus Lupa, for all their snark they still feel a lot less forced than the people non-Internet TV is trying to pass off as the voices of our generation.

People think sincerity is dead, that snark is all that we can do against the tide of an awful economy and a Hollywood entertainment complex that crumbles a little bit more every second, but I’m sure I’m not the only one taking a stand against quirky.

I bought an iPad mini yesterday, since I write books as my intended future and have motor skills problems that would make a Moleskine notebook inconvenient and hard to manage. I do not buy a bloody typewriter so I can prove to the world how connected I am to the past tools of my chosen trade.

I refuse to buy coffee from pretentious baristas who charge five dollars for a tiny cup, and hence I write most of my novels at home. That said, I’d sooner take my recently bought iPad to a cafe over a fucking typewriter, because I saw that photo of the guy who did that and it made me take people who write on laptops in cafes seriously. That’s how low society’s fallen.

I don’t listen to music I don’t like because other people think it’s cool. I listen to music because I enjoy it. Pavarotti lives on in my iPod playlist at least, and the musical stylings of The Beastie Boys, David Bowie, a-ha, Riz Ortolani, and Ice Cube have earned their place in that playlist through my respect for their talent.

I watched Showgirls and liked it, without irony as much as an appreciation of the behemoth it is. I read ebooks regularly, and enjoy a good anime like Dragon Ball Z or a Tezuka or Yuasa work just as heartily. None of these things are consumed in an attempt to fabricate a sense of identity that’s quirky, I gain my identity from the works I create with my own hands even more than what has been created by others.

I am not quirky, and I refuse to buy into such marketing to sell my work.

Now excuse me, while I check my Foxtel IQ box for new Girls episodes so I can watch it without paying for it while I complain about Lena Dunham some more.

February 27, 2013
End the OFLC’s stranglehold of censorship on the Australian arts and LGBT content

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/End_the_OFLCs_stranglehold_on_the_Australian_Arts/?crkzicb

This right here, libertines and LGBTQ men and women, Social Justice Warriors, artists and enfant terribles alike, we must unite against the OFLC’s continued practice of banning/censoring LGBT content along with other, less political things like Mortal Kombat games and films like Caligula.

Here are the facts:

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4540102.html

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival was due to exhibit the film I Want Your Love at its screenings, which is an LGBTQ film regarded as “pornographic” by the OFLC due to a five minute sequence. In Australia, the most extreme rating that can be offered to legally sold and screened films is R18+. Pornography is effectively banned in Australia under the X18+ and Refused Classification ratings (RC) which not only ban pornography for legal sale in Australia, but apparently certain works of art also fall under this “pornographic” category.

This effects all kinds of content, some of which isn’t even that violent, sexual or graphic to individual eyes and ears. It doesn’t make any sense and it makes Australia the laughing stock of the Pacific. I’m not saying that the banning of this film is the only reason why I wish to end the OFLC’s iron fist over Australian arts and film, video game content etc, but if ever a time Tumblr deserved to get angry about how LGBTQ/LGBT content is treated by government agencies that decide what you’re allowed to watch in your own home, it’s now.

Please sign this petition and make sure the dinosaur of censorship never gets the Jurassic Park treatment and stay extinct forever.

February 8, 2013

So my Facebook pal Jason Pettus brought this to my attention:

http://jacobinmag.com/2011/01/hipsters-food-stamps-and-the-politics-of-resentment/

Now, I’ve long been confused about whether I love or hate hipsters, or might be a hipster. I don’t like being called a hipster because it’s a loaded word that is associated with the negative aspects of the arts community rather than the positive ones, but I can’t say I’ve been very fond of the nerd/geek Internet forum community either, and while I identify as a nerd, I’m a nerd who’s a nerd of things the more mainstream nerd community doesn’t gravitate to, I love retro and current anime, Cannibal Holocaust reawakened my passion for sociology with grindhouse flair, I adore Transformers The Movie and its awesome 80s soundtrack without a shred of irony. I like reading books like Train Man and Welcome To The NHK which say much more important things about my generation than HBO’s Girls is throwing out there. I even write my own books about such subject matter and take photographs inspired by such important street photographers as Daido Moriyama.

But I don’t think I’m a hipster in the negative ways society tends to see that label, I don’t actively seek out bad movies to hate on them, I love Showgirls and the cinematic oeuvre of Jean Claude Van Damme. I like reading fun books, watching weird music and listening to bands that are pleasing to the ear. I am a liker of things, but also a creator of other things inspired by the things I like.

If hipsters are, as I have long suspected, merely “likers and consumers of the arts” - perhaps the following theory isn’t out of line.

The way I see it, the arts market is like Dracula, the villagers are terrified of him, speak of him in hushed tones and hug their crucifix necklaces, yet Dracula’s servants, let’s say Renfield like figures who fetch Dracula materials and have odd diets (in this case, rats and insects stand in for gluten free and vegan) - and his job is to go around fetching Dracula his goods and bragging to strangers about how brilliant Dracula is.

Renfield is the hipster in this analogy, in case you haven’t realised.

I don’t think hipsters in this sense are a bad thing. As bad a flack as hipsters get, nerds too have an equivalent for people who if they don’t create nerd media themselves archive and collect media created for that audience. They’re called fanboys and in a sense, hipsters in their promotion of the art world market and consumption of underground, non-mainstream media are no different in society.

Artists/creators need these classes of people to buy their work, it’s a fact of life people often forget. Somebody has to buy tickets to Star Wars Episode VII when J.J. Abrams releases it, just like hipsters who support art galleries pay the admission fee to see the Francis Bacon retrospective in my city.

PEOPLE WHO ARE FANS/CONSUMERS OF MEDIA/ART ARE STILL HUMAN BEINGS EVEN IF THEY’RE NOT CREATORS THEMSELVES.

I think people should have more respect for nerd/geek fanboys and hipsters, especially if you create art and media for sale. They pay your bills, even if they’re not making a rebuttal to your own work. If you disrespect your fans, and they do make a more successful rebuttal to your own work, you just got served.

January 30, 2013

I think a few people I’ve known online might think I’m a fake nerd boy.

I’ve gone over this for a while, probably since the fake nerd girl debate, but I definitely think the nerd agenda needs to take a long hard look at itself if it starts asking people of either gender “I need to see your papers”.

What kind of identity card would I need to present? My AKIRA action figures of Kaneda and Tetsuo that are 12” tall, along with my Blu-Ray/DVD Steelbook of the movie? My Jurassic Park, Blade Runner and Highlander VHS tapes to match my Blu Ray copies of the same movies? My first edition Tokyopop paperback of the Welcome To The NHK novel, now out of print and ungodly expensive?

Or is that material proof of my nerd pastimes discounted by the fact I own an iMac to use for my creative projects I hope will get me published/and or personally fulfilled enough that I can survive my single life long until I finally find the right person?

I’m not good at video games, you can’t log the amount of hours I spent writing novels or taking/editing photographs like you can with unlock able Xbox Achievements. I think you can log how many books you read with Goodreads but I’m still trying to figure that out with my Kindle.

The skill set I have isn’t one I’ve felt represented often among other nerds, and like I said before, I don’t think the visual or literary arts and Sci-Fi/Fantasy are mutually exclusive. Problem is some people encountered online seem to think that, since I grew up with different nerd things than they did, and suddenly I’m a fake nerd boy for being unfamiliar with Doctor Who when my formative years were spent with the works of Osamu Tezuka, ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com fandom, and a brief yet meaningful dip into superhero comics fandom through Alan Moore’s classics like Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke. There’s the anime fanboying too but right now I’ve had to take a break from that to work on making my own worlds, for other people to enjoy.

I’m not a girl, but even by nerd boy standards I feel like I’ve had to prove who I am to other people on the other side of the world I tried to talk to on forums because I was forgotten about after high school and had nowhere else to go.

I just want to belong somewhere that feels right. I want to come out of the cold and stop feeling like a ronin with no master, and no clan to belong to.

January 22, 2013

I’ve never been one to rock and roll real hard on the guitar. I tried ukulele once but it didn’t take. I know I’ve typed novels with the ferocity of a madman, but I’ve never truly rocked.

There’s a joke in The Late Show where Mick Molloy says today’s generation is fucked because if there’s a war on the music will be shit. The examples he cites are Marky Mark and Billy Ray Cyrus. If only they understood it would only get worse from there. I can’t see anybody driving a tank to Flo-Rida or Kesha’s music.

January 21, 2013

Jake’s Best T-Shirt Ideas

1: A t-shirt which depicts a cartoon cat o’ nine tails with the slogan “Whip The Rich”.

2: A Call Of Duty parody shirt for Roma gamers that says Call Of Gypsy: Modern Roma.

3: A t-shirt with a photo of Al Capone on it that says Original Gangster on it in text that curls around above and below his classic black and white photo face.

4: A t shirt with the image of Robert Kerman smoking his pipe with the slogan “I Wonder Who The Real Cannibals Are” on it.

5: We really need a new Jurassic Park t-shirt that’s widely available online in Australia. Seriously Universal get on that one.

6: A Highlander themed T-shirt that says I’m Not Spanish, I’m Egyptian in the movie poster’s font.

That’s all the horrendous T-shirt ideas I have for now. Maybe I’ll get some royalties for at least two of them. Not getting my hopes up.

January 13, 2013

Watching The Story Of Film with SBS On Demand at the moment makes me feel misty eyed, because my brother graduated with a degree in film, and clearly has a lot of passion for the cinema.

The field he chose to enter has a lot more to it than the comparatively cheaper, non-video based and book related mediums I work in on a daily basis, so I’m looking at this documentary series with awe and wonder at what other humans that aren’t me can accomplish.

I feel so humbled by this documentary series, that I’m connecting with why my brother’s cinematic ambitions are to a certain extent, loftier than mine. My goals in life are high ambition at low cost, whereas his are high ambitions at high costs, since the film industry demands a certain cost of entry and training before you can start making what you want to make.

In an age of remakes and sequels, I can totally see why the average film student just starting out would feel dwarfed by the sheer human achievement shown in The Story Of Film: An Odyssey. I get it. The modern age with its recession era Hollywood and highly restrictive copyright death grip seems like the death knell of art in our lifetime.

But I don’t think it is. The key theme that The Story Of Film keeps coming back to is this: it’s not money that dominates film as an artform. It’s the passion for cinema. It’s a lens of the world that seemed alien to me because I’m used to working in the cheap and cheerful corner of the arts. Yet am I truly as ambitious as the legends of cinema who dared to put their money and in some cases other people’s money to make gargantuan monuments to human achievement?

Probably not. I just write books and take photos in between University classes if you look at my life in that context. My lo-Fi DIY indie basement ethos looks utterly tiny compared to what the old masters of cinema accomplished before I was alive.

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

January 11, 2013

I don’t think I’m a philistine when I say a lot of the art I enjoy that speaks to me on multiple levels was popular art that was mass produced and made available to ordinary people, paperback novels, comic books, art house cinema DVDs, CDs of classic rock and hip hop albums… I love that I live in an age of digital distribution too on top of that, because I’ll live in a future where artists band together and say “Here, you may be a peasant who can’t afford to buy something from The Louvre but here’s my little thing I made which I don’t think you’re too poor, too dumb, or too white, black, retarded, gay or weird to enjoy.”

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