Sunday, 31 August 2014

Parish Notice #4

Lend your Betamax and VHS alms to this worthy cause.

Actually, probably DVD's would be better.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Reynoldsmeister with a fascinating post on the changing attitudes toward Kate Bush. Regular readers will be aware that I am very much NOT a fan of Bush, but it's still fascinating to see how the music press was so hit-and-miss in recognising substantial cultural phenomena, being immersed as it was in its own status-garnering internal competition. What kudos would there have been for a journalist of the time to exalt an artist who my Dad liked?

This is my favourite Bush moment, btw:

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I note that Kriss Akabusi has added his signature, along with other such luminaries as Alan Titchmarsh, Kevin Whately and Bamber Gascoigne, to a petition pleading for Scotland to remain in the UK.

This is very persuasive, but, however, I did have to note the absence of Cleo Rocos, Hugh Cornwell and Sir Mix-A-Lot as signatories. They must be ambivalent, at the very least, about Scottish independence, and possibly even in favour of it.

In the absence of such weighty endorsements either way, I must remain neutral as to whether I think Scotland should vote "No", and still be under the economic suzerainty of the Bank Of England, or vote "Yes", and still be under the economic suzerainty of the Bank Of England, while being able to fly the Saltire a bit more from its public buildings.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Parish Notice #3

The Hebronmeister succumbs to anomie and gives up blogging!

I had the same kind of crisis when I was 19. I left school at 17 not wanting to go to University, spent two years on the dole, and then belatedly did a degree in engineering. I did engineering because it was one of the few courses where you could still get a grant. So again, it was kind of the only option.

Have some courage there Paul. You have to reach at least 45 before you can really say you've fucked up your life.

Look at the picture of Kriss Akabusi below, and feel the motivational energy channeling into you:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Parish Notice #2

A quick note for you all to check out Alex Niven's (of this general parish) recently released tome on the debut album by Oasis aka The Sex Beatles, as they surely should have been called, available here.

I made a rare foray into our blessed capital in order to attend the launch party. Visiting London always makes me weep, mainly due to the price of the train ticket, but I was much comforted by being able to sleep on an inflatable mattress chez Impostume.

Alex gave an excellent talk on Definitely Maybe as a harbinger for what was then a possible but unrealised future, in which Oasis, if they had stuck to their original principles, could have acted as the vanguard of a flowering of socialistic (if not card-carrying socialist) working class culture.

I was quite ambivalent about Oasis at the time, but to an extent I was probably jaded by continual music press hype. They did seem to me to be almost a Rorschach blot in which all kinds of hopes were invested. Oddly, the feeling around them was similar to the atmosphere that currently surrounds the notion of Scottish independence, with lots of diverse but contradictory hopes invested in what is a profoundly ambiguous and unpredictable phenomenon. Could the Oasis story have been different? Might they have avoided the gravitational pull of Blairism and Neoliberalism? Alex suggests the chances were far greater than you might think.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Parish Notice

I've responded to this with this:
I think North's take is basically correct - what we lucky ones who are old enough knew as a living pop culture is dead, and so we indeed get the living death of Spenglerian patternwork.

You can continue mourning what was lost, but I think taking up a different hobby such as carpentry or angling is the better option for those of us who are now middle-aged. Does Kriss Akabusi sit around gloomily pondering all those bronze medals that could have been golds? No. He plunges himself into charity work, and makes lots of entertaining appearances on A Question Of Sport.

That is because Akabusi understands the inner message of Spengler, that death is inevitable, that all things in their inner being must die, even if in cultural terms they can have a zombified half-life. In this sense pop culture is like Persian carpetry, or Chinese porcelain - the outer form lives on indefinitely, whereas the soul-source of inspiration that led to its original creation has long faded. But we're not forced to endlessly contemplate Chinese porcelain; nor are we forced to endlessly contemplate the Kaiser Chiefs. There are always other, more rewarding things to do.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tricksters United

As I live and breathe.

I've long ago identified both Nigel Farage and Beppe Grillo as anti-structural tricksters, and here they are getting together to form an alliance in the European Parliament. There's a great deal of media fascination about the rise of UKIP, but my view has always been that Farage is instinctively a destroyer rather than a builder. He wants to break up the current political consensus, and the parties and institutions that embody it, and he will latch on to any issue that will help him achieve this. UKIP are not so much the future of British politics, as the end of its current, exhausted, structural incarnation. Things might get a bit weird in the coming years.

As for the durability of this alliance, well imagine Malcolm McLaren getting together with Screaming Lord Sutch. How long do you think that would last?

Monday, 26 May 2014

Ha ha! I knew it!
As email is the preferred form of communication between professionals today, following email etiquette rules is especially important. But since everyone is following the same rules, ignoring them completely will definitely make you stand out.

This is what happened in late 2012 when Snapchat's CEO Evan Spiegel responded to an email from Mark Zuckerberg. In his email, Spiegel didn't have a proper greeting, failed to follow proper punctuation rules, and even included an emoticon.

Here's his response: "Thanks :) would be happy to meet – I’ll let you know when I make it up to the Bay Area"

Although Spiegel's email has been called "cocky and arrogant," New York magazine writer Kevin Roose writes on LinkedIn that the email was also "brilliant."

"By one-upping Zuckerberg's breezy, informal style in his reply, Spiegel positioned himself as the CEO's equal," says Roose.

"Call it 'strategic sloppiness.' We’ve known for years that the higher you are on the food chain, the more license you’re allowed to take with the rules of professional communication. It’s why Michael Bloomberg can reply to emails with “tx” instead of spelling out “thanks,” and why many of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s emails to his subordinates consist of only a single question mark, appended to the top of a customer’s email. As the boss, you can make as many mistakes as you want. Cutting corners is a time-saving mechanism that doubles as a display of dominance."