August 11, 2013

I’m not sure whether I’m too old, not cool enough, or both to be on this website. Or any website for that matter, that has any “Youth Culture Buzz” (read, teenagers use it a lot and belong to fandoms that are more popular than mine yet none of them seem to like my fandoms). I’m 23 years old and I really shouldn’t feel like an old man except for the fact that I felt out of place with teenagers even when I was still a teenager. Not all of them are bad, really, I hated teenagers when I WAS A TEENAGER so PLEASE PROVE MY LOUSY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCES WRONG and bring some dignity to your fellow gender pronoun. I use that word because I know Tumblr’s all about the fluid identity, and I don’t want people to feel left out just because I feel that way. I just feel very stuck and not going too far in my life apart from my usual creative work and not much else. You teenagers on here seem to have way more interesting lives than I have, and presently feel I’ll ever have.

No idea what to do except hope somebody bites on the fishing line I’ve cast out to ya.

July 28, 2013

printsun:

sweetshytea:

"POC can’t be in fantasy stories, they weren’t around in those areas back then. its just not accurate."

"POC aren’t in sci-fi stories because there probably won’t be a lot of them in the future yknow?"

image

THIISSSSSSSSSS.

Like white people expect to still be the majority in the future.

It’s sad that Ralph Bakshi, a white Jewish animator who’s kinda bad at writing women, still has more POC characters in his films than 99% of mainstream Hollywood cinema. Now I know they’re often drawn in a stereotypical way, nobody’s arguing he’s pre-Tumblr in every sense of the word. Yet I think “pulling a Bakshi” with putting a bunch of POC characters in your movie written by white people is still a good idea. Especially when it’s been 30 years since Heavy Traffic came out and the problematic elements of the Bakshi formula can be ironed out and made better. There is a way. I mean, I’m a white dude and I know I’m not gonna be an old man in a world where white people would be the majority, I just accepted this and sit back while the old white men that make people like me look bad ruin our reputation while I scream at them on Twitter hoping the asylum seekers of the future forgive my impotent generation for having no real power to stop these borderline despotic arsemanglers. And honestly I think the asylum seekers my Australian prime minister and his opposition leader keep tossing into a sea probably would be an improvement over what leaders we have. 2050 will come along, and the goat meat industry here’s gonna be rad. It’s probably gonna be easier to terraform the desert for farmland Halal butchers will build their fortunes on than it will be to transform Mars into a Space Gondola Planet like in that anime ARIA. We’ll get there. Especially when Australia might be a racist country but we have actual Indigenous people in our Aborigine character based movies. Beat that, Lone Ranger.

(Source: charycherub, via tsunime)

March 22, 2013

So I’ve heard rumblings that indie music played on guitars is losing popularity to hip hop. Never fear, straight white males, don’t lose hope just yet. Straight white male art devoid of female influence is in no danger of going away. You could say it never has.

Video games, television, movies, comic books, even regular books, straight male art is alive and well. You may worry, straight white men, that this Twilight and Fifty Shades Of Grey thing is going to destroy the straight white male publishing industry, but really ask yourself, have you even read these books? If you answered “I haven’t read any books, sir”, would you kindly sit in the corner being thumped with a hardcover Complete Shakespeare until you think about what you did. Shakespeare worked long and hard to ensure straight white male plays and literature continue to be enjoyed. For shame, sir.

Just because hip hop is taking over the pop charts, doesn’t mean straight white male art is in crisis. I hear that Seth McFarlane fellow who makes the cartoons on the TV that make straight white men laugh even got to host the Oscars this year, and as we all know, the Oscars don’t stay the whitest, straightest, malest institution of Hollywood on its own. Thousands of straight white men are working hard each day to make the magic of bland lack of diversity happen.

Just because hip hop and K-pop have hit the hot 100, doesn’t mean straight white male art will suddenly go away. Good Lord no, not while straight white male ownership of media corporations and movie studios and businesses and even politics continues to be the order of the day.

At least I think it will. Get back to me on that one in a hundred years, I’d like to see how that one turns out.

January 26, 2013

So last night I ended up seeing The Big Lebowski and Scarface at an actual double feature screening at the Chauvel Cinema. Lately I’ve been deciding on doing fun things outdoors instead of being cooped up in my bedroom all day and night. I gotta say, paying fifteen dollars to see The Dude and Tony Montana on the big screen with a bohemian audience where the action is makes me feel less left out of the cultural arts scene than I used to be.

There’s a lot of stuff on that can be seen and done for not a lot of money, and if it helps me to be frugal in my contribution to the arts I’m all for it. I don’t think I’m the traditional hipster who does things ironically, I’ve been dying to see The Big Lebowski and Scarface in the cinema for yonks, and last night my wish was granted and I couldn’t have been more excited. Seeing films you already love over and over from home video on a big screen with other fans of films you adore is always a fun night out.

For the first time in ages I felt like I was part of something bigger, if only for a night out with my twin brother who I shouted the extra ticket for to convince him to go with me. Family bonding at its finest I guess. I felt like I was able to laugh and live easier around other people.

Today I went out to go to the ATM because the local one was broken, went for a $2.50 train ride there and back on my DSP high functioning autism travel allowance, which gets me all sorts of places for not a lot of money either. While I was in the Town Hall area I bought The Beastie Boys’ License To Ill for seven dollars, and a DVD of the Clue board game movie for four dollars. It was the most frugal shopping trip I ever had, with the rest of a twenty dollar bill I bought some ice coffee drinks from 7-11. I know 7-11 isn’t seen as a very bohemian place to do business, but I challenge you to find a place that serves the needs I have for less money considering I’ve been to fancy cafes too pretentious to put ice cream in an ice chocolate. Also whenever I drink ice coffee in a bottle from 7-11 it turns me all William Blake visionary and I end up writing down some of my best ideas.

I worry about running out of ideas for books even though I’ve written complete drafts of novels before, because I worry about a lot of things. Getting out and about in the city and doing something fun for not a lot of money tends to get me out of my head.

I have a Kindle that I read eBooks on that I take most places I go, and I buy iTunes music and CDs if they’re cheap, especially if I want an uncut rap album or something of that nature. I am a fan of popular art, that is to say art that people can afford to take home with them. I don’t think I’m a poser who likes things ironically. Most often if I buy an obscure as hell DVD or Blu Ray to take home it’s not because I’m trying to pretend I’m cooler than you because my DVD shelf is more hip. My brain just likes being fed with weird animation and art house films with insane directors who push boundaries of good taste.

I read books by authors both Australian and not, because I love supporting Aussie creatives but even when the author isn’t Aussie I’ll support interesting projects people are working on wherever it’s from.

Sometimes there are more Kickstarters than I can donate to, or they come up at times when I’m broke. A lot of them I want to donate to but worry about balancing my puny budget. I want to give money to artists as good habits so people might buy my art I make one day. I do what I can and try to give to those in the arts who need it most.

I can’t promise I do all the right things all the time. I work hard on making things rather than just passively consuming the works of others. My social life is abysmal but my inner life of imagination and creativity is rich and rare.

January 21, 2013

I don’t believe that the art world and the science fiction, fantasy genres have to be mutually exclusive. Usually when they collide, great things happen, Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Lord Of The Rings, AKIRA, Scott Pilgrim, The Incal, Watchmen, Welcome To The NHK’s touches of Superflat pop art in its purely prose language that evokes anime’s soul without a single picture, Discworld with its recreation of the Renaissance and beyond with fantasy tropes, Conan, HP Lovecraft, Peter Chung’s Moebius inspired animation for Aeon Flux… to pretend that people who go to art school all become insincere hipsters who devalue the popular culture loved by nerds is foolish and intellectually dishonest.

I go to an art school and I’m a nerd. Online I was reviled as insincere for admitting this, but I go to my classes with no performative clothing to appear cooler than I am, my Eastman and Laird Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt I consider myself allowed to wear cause I read the comics, my I Survived Jurassic Park t-shirt I wear with shorts in public, I don’t wear video game t-shirts because that’s not where my skill or passion lies.

I once tried to convince people on a forum that my art school understanding of Banksy was relevant to understanding the street art dystopian future of Tim Maughan’s book Paintwork but I was dismissed as a hipster for trying to be a visionary thinking that a discussion of where nerd culture and the art world overlaps was worth having. I guess the society of that forum wasn’t ready for that discussion so I left that board for this Tumblr page.

I think it’s a discussion worth having, like a lot of things worth giving thought to and time well spent observing and enjoying ideas.

January 12, 2013

Part of what I enjoy about being a writer and photographer is great writers and photographers are the kinds of celebrity that are allowed to grow old, yet the people they write about and photograph are not.

Such is life in a fame obsessed culture where the loss of youth is a crime. Growing up my heroes weren’t teen idols you read about in magazines or the fame junkies you saw on reality TV… I wanted to be like Osamu Tezuka, Daido Moriyama, John Green, The Cinema Snob and Leonard Cohen. John Lennon said never to trust anyone over thirty but I could have sworn when I was a teen I couldn’t confide in anyone under twenty five, at which age people suddenly treated me with some level of human dignity.

June 8, 2012
Well Meaning White Guy watches Fresh Prince Of Bel Air

Well Meaning White Guy watches Fresh Prince Of Bel Air

March 22, 2012
Post Prom Society

Permit me, if you will, to imagine a society where the American Prom/High School System no longer exists in reality, hence no longer existing in pop cultural media either. It may be a world where stuff like Battle Royale and The Breakfast Club are considered as much cultural anachronisms as Song Of The South is (not due to racism this time, but due to evolving narratives beyond John Hughes films and associated media which becomes less accepted in future).

It will be a world where not only is high school NOT considered the key element of YA novels and Disney Channel sitcoms, but once the American Prom is no longer seen as the default High School Narrative, other countries like mine (Australia) and parts of Europe and Asia who do not have the same “high school popularity IS the meaning of life!” mentality American Prom related media has, may produce an alternate vision of narratives consisting of high school dramas where Prom no longer exists, or is replaced by a fancy dinner like it is in countries such as my own, where spending too much money on a suit to be worn on a single, barely memorable evening is considered a sociological no-no.

Not such an absurd idea, given the way the GFC propelled our collective world in a different direction from excessive consumerism into cultural expressions of more meaningful social rites of passage that do not involve being a bitch to anybody who can’t afford a limo to take them to a Prom or in countries where Prom does not exist, maybe the students of future high schools make their OWN models of social interaction events associated with graduation not handed down from previous, 80s Dan John Hughes Nostalgia era types of social expressions no longer relevant to a post Internet youth?

It is a fascinating idea, no?

March 11, 2012
On Radness

There are many times within a day where I ask myself, “How CAN I justify MY thug?” - and one answer I return to was found in the documentary Beautiful Losers. To the artists featured therein, “rad” is not an academic conceit, but a personal, perhaps spiritual one. To be “rad” or for a thing or abstract philosophy to become so, is not the concern of anyone else but within one’s own mind to these DIY artists starring in this worthy doco.

The question is not “this is not rad” but “how could this be anything but Radness Incarnate?”. So allow me to explain my personal findings on the subject of finding that which is rad.

There has existed for the past ten years a divided discourse whether anime fandom is either weeabooish fanboying and fangirling which masks latent Orientalism or if anime fans legitimately see anime and manga as more than a fad but a pure, bold new medium of Japanese expression. I was at a loss at one point to sum up a response to this debate raging amongst us, but thankfully my personal idol, Osamu Tezuka laid bare certain simple truths about Japanese animation before his death, conveniently available on the Australian Madman Entertainment release of The Experimental Films Of Osamu Tezuka DVD.

His simple truths regarding Japanese animation, are here paraphrased:

"Anime was always bigger than Japan, we made the films we did to inspire other animators around the world and people who wanted to see them outside Japan."

Such revolutionary statements fly in the face of both Western Orientalism and the Galapagos Theory of Japanese sociology. Tezuka knew all along that anime was not great merely because it was Japanese, but because talented artists worked hard to create anime which would be enjoyed by artists and fans worldwide. Tezuka died too soon but even in his old age he was ahead of his time.

Hence I believe anime’s radness is not because other countries’ animation is somehow inferior, but because anime allows the culture that create it to bring new, thoroughly rad ideas to the table of the popular culture’s art world.

Without a doubt country of origin influences elements of rad, but each nation has a different concept of what is indeed truly rad to their people. One cannot assume that hip hop originating in South Africa is devoid of rad because it is South African, especially since very real efforts by Die Antwood combat this inaccurate claim.

Truly exciting, very rad things exist the world over. In Australia there are dozens of utterly rad Ozploitation flicks that despite many of them being rated a mere M15+ (Aussie version of PG-13) they are sometimes so gnarly and rad you’re baffled as to whether the MPAA rates them as R in the States or not.

Ozsploitation reminds us Australians that our country once made entirely rad films, and will once again, just like many Japanese ex pats see anime as something rad from their culture they can share with non-Japanese friends who want to share ideas with their multicultural mates. It is no accident that many an Anglo-Asian bromance alliance begins with a DVD of Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon.

Rad knows no race, gender or creed, and those who seek out that which is rad… will FIND IT.

January 6, 2012
Outrageous claims from today’s SMH.
I don’t understand how you can expect Australian men to dress like Italian blokes in the middle of bloody summer. Bugger it all, when I went to my private school the worst part was probably having to wear the blazers and pants in the February heat out of some bizarre imagining of the headmaster that Hogwarts was somehow translatable to reality.
Why dress like an Italian guy in a suit down under anyway? Chips Rafferty here’s got the right idea. He’s the legend on the left rocking khaki like a boss.

Outrageous claims from today’s SMH.

I don’t understand how you can expect Australian men to dress like Italian blokes in the middle of bloody summer. Bugger it all, when I went to my private school the worst part was probably having to wear the blazers and pants in the February heat out of some bizarre imagining of the headmaster that Hogwarts was somehow translatable to reality.

Why dress like an Italian guy in a suit down under anyway? Chips Rafferty here’s got the right idea. He’s the legend on the left rocking khaki like a boss.

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