Monday, 7 March 2011

It's Just a Little Crush...... Part 1

The world is currently an often disheartening place and there are many miserable and frightening new developments daily. For a young freelance, sporadically employed writer with a penchant for questioning life and its meaning, this can become overwhelming. Creative people write books, produce art, sing songs and interpret in so many other ways in order to make sense of the world we live in; and today the ever increasing power of technology and online communication bears down on us. Whether positive or negative in your eyes, it is daily reminder of how quickly things change.

So, taking this sombre thought and disregarding it. I have decided to- for this post at least- ignore our spiralling debt, unrest in the middle east, sexism, racism, the dissolving of community and an out-of-control celebrity class and write about something altogether more pleasant; the crush.

The word “crush” used to mean a brief infatuation, often allied with adolescence/ puppy love or, as the online Cambridge dictionary defines it, a strong but temporary feeling of liking someone had its first recorded usage in 1884. Yet purveyors of intellectual publications and English Language academics and fusspots would probably still deem it modern slang which drifted to our merry island through Americanisation; a process that began with Jazz and Coca Cola and now is so instant we would barely notice it.

I myself have found it a very useful word. From the agony and yearning of the adolescent crush, to the blindness and awe of the intellectual crush and the all-over-glow of the comedic crush; its rapid one-syllable thud and onomatopoeic quality suits perfectly that moment, when, with one look, you are gone.

When I try to remember my first crush as a young child, not one stands out. Sure, there were boys I knew, older ones often who I used to stare up at idly as a four-year-old and my friends and I have often talked about which Disney characters we “fancied” as children (Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty, Eric from the Little Mermaid, Aladdin and oddly – the Robin fox and grown-up Simba in the Lion King were favourites, but NOT the Prince in Beauty and the Beast who was a very ugly cartoon indeed.); but really it wasn’t till slightly older and boy bands started to appear on the pages of my magazines that I really experienced my first crush.

In the space of 4 months at around age 9-10, the walls of my room which had previously housed my collection of “Pet-on-the-Back” posters and endless horses and puppies and kittens and anything fluffy became shrines to Boyzone; particularly Ronan “blonde and angelic and therefore not too threatening “ Keating, The Spice Girls (my first girl crushes) and Peter Andre (no idea).

Since then I have been a Crush-slut if that is possible, acquiring new ones weekly – though there are a few long termers- with a variety and span of age, looks, talent and sex that seems to suggest I have no guidelines. This is however, false – there are very definite categories which I will outline in part two. In the mean time can I advise you to have as many crushes as possible on as many people as possible. It keeps the romantic and emotional adolescent inside us all alive and kicking in our occasionally humdrum, well-behaved grown-up lives....

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A Poem for Today

We Must

Unrest in the world prevails and desperate soliloquies
On power, On people, on poverty, on a “higher cause”
Permeate our media portholes.
Our solvency is questionable as our caffeine addiction costs more.

Meanwhile we’re told, or were taught, to dream.
A frivolous and cringing word that has lost its roots of eccentric revelry
And become the buzz word of reality TV.
And rash, young Jos and Joannas are indignant
When notoriety and wealth doesn’t come-a-calling.

Choice and Education, Education, Education –
We were promised would better us
Yet parents and mentors who had neither
Still house us in their life’s earnings.

Some work for free in prestigious places
Or crush their hopes and buckle down.
Politicans court us.
They forget they put WWI propaganda campaigns
On the national curriculum.

Look back, look forward.
Work for your country but look after yourself.
The fashion industry is reviled.
“Women can be any shape.”
Except an obesity statistic.

The list of rules grows longer.
Individual responsibility grows less.
Just call the NHS.

Cavemen still dwell inside us all.
We expect so much and yet give little.
A generation doomed, or a turning point.
The old freeze, the young complain about fees.

Opinion changes every day and confusion is prevalent.
Clich├ęs have tarnished the terms of life.
A precious gift, seize the day, live it to the full.
Yet we must.

By Jessica Meins

Saturday, 4 September 2010

I'm back....

Like many heroes, villains and TV personalities. I disappeared for a while... But I'm back with plenty more to say, more often than ever. Unlike celeb has-beens I didn't have to remake a popular old movie, star with a tween or enter the Big Brother house. I have simply given my dear blog a little makeover and a name change; something that suits me better these days.

You'll see why over my next few posts. I'm older not wiser, louder but know not as much. All in all an enjoyable time for any readers of this ode to egocentric eccentricity.
I hope it is new and improved and that at least five people like it.

Joy to all.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Poppies and Pumpkins

Slightly ironic that these things seem to come to my attention at the same time every year and I'm surprised to see them both even though I know the dates.

There's no real link in my mind or this post except that.

I wanted to write a short post today; partly because I think I'm finally getting into this blogging lark and partly because at the moment I only have 46 views of this blog and 2 followers and I would like to be marginally more popular. My ego is suffering.
So, Poppies. Hands down one of the most important charities in my opinion. Seeing them scattered over jackets and coats of various people I pass on the street and are squashed against on the tube makes me happy. I like that people can still be united in care about something. Though at school, and at particular places I've worked, being seen without one was disciplined severely. I don't like that. It just makes people resent them and forget what they stand for.
I myself tend to lose every Poppy I buy, so I buy another and another until I have lonely pins in all my jackets and I eventually find the little red blighters sadly squashed in various places around December. My friend and I are thinking of volunteering to sell them this year. I hope it's not to late.
I will also be opening my war poetry volume and remembering with others' words.

Pumpkin-wise, I have to confess to being a bit of a Halloween fan. It is the only time of year that other people indulge in my love of the magical. I love to carve pumpkins and to see them glowing on doorsteps, though these days it is likely that some kid with an ASBO would probably nick it and throw it at a passing car.
I also love dressing up. Becoming something fantastical for the night and its the only time really you can really push the fashion boundaries. This year I had the great idea of going to a party as Medusa. I was even going to buy those bright green coloured contact lenses. But I've just found out the theme is gore. Any suggestions?

Anyway, I hope that there is plenty of treats and no tricks for all of you out there this Halloween.

Image (c)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Question Time and The Museum of Everything...

Last week I had a day which really made me think. Not a big surprise really, considering that most days I manage to overwhelm my brain with thoughts so frequent and varied that I'm often surprised that I'm not in a mental institute. However, these particular thoughts were more lucid and seemed to fit to a certain theme so I wanted to blog about it.

Of course, because of who I am, it has taken me four days to get round to it. It all started a few weeks ago when I received my posterous subscription from India Knight's page and found out about The Museum of Everything. I wanted to go immediately and the quirky website convinced me further but I only got round to going last week as I wanted my artist friend to come with me and she's always so busy working waitressing jobs. Eventually I gave up on Artist Friend and instead took Photographer Friend, a fashion fiend who I thought would also be a good option. Incidentally turned out not. Though an artistic person, she's also pretty conventional and had dislikes the pretentiousness of art - specially the modern kind. I think she switched off as soon as she saw the placards in the museum which were written by various eminent persons who were advocating each artist and did have an air of the consciously-culturefull about them. (and yes that is a new compound adjective- I love them and inventing new ones)

I loved the museum. It was not so much the art in it, though among the pieces were some beauties, but what it represented. Diversity, value in craft, in time and in hobbies and beauty in the everyday object. The pieces had been collected from far and wide from the attics and kitchens, cupboards under the stairs and garden sheds of the world. Made by old men, madmen, those with genetic disorders, middle-aged women, nuns, priests, the strange, the gifted, black, white, brown, yellow, cream, beige and everything in between. Yes these pieces might have been levered into the spotlight by some accepted notable figures, but they were shown. Yes, they may have been shown in a warehouse building in the typically more accepting North London but it was a stones throw from Regents Park and the leafy suburbs where a certain Hamlet-player surely copulated with the Nanny. They were shown and accepted and praised. From Nek Chand, with his life-size mosaic sculptures from the mountain rock garden of Chandigarh to the Nebraskan farmer Emery Blagdon who made recycled wire mobiles which he believed possessed healing powers. Much of it was odd and some a little discomforting; the religious connotations behind some of the work seemed to me, a young person raised in a time where religion has only really meant war or Christmas trees and paper-mache angels, a little unnerving.

However, above all, this exhibition gave me hope. Hope, not for the world; that is a tad idealistic even for me, but for the art world which has recently been so often an elite club where a few men's interest means money, party invites and controversy.

I left upbeat if a little confused.

I went on to a coffee on Primrose Hill where despite my epiphany I would not have been sad to catch a glimpse of a dishevelled Jude Law and then on to my Shorthand Class.

Shorthand, I can tell is going to be the bain of my life. As a mild dyslexic and someone who did not take easily to either driving or playing piano, I knew I would find it difficult. Apparently though, my ability to chatter in French, which I thought might be my saving grace is really no help at all. I struggled. It simply does not come naturally to me and seeing some of my favourite words squashed and forced to fit into a text speak stereotype only worsened the situation. I am already sure that the only way I will ever get it will be if I practise everyday. Yawn.

However it is not Shorthand that I wish to talk about in conjunction with The Museum of Everything, though its selectiveness when it comes to letters does sort of link with what I do wish to talk about; the BNP, Nick Griffin and Question Time.

My Irish Shorthand teacher, who incidentally is far from what I had imagined a Shorthand teacher to be, having the typical Irish hedonism that renders them so attractive. Anyway Irish Teacher asked us all if we planned to watch Question Time and I and most others rather emphatically said we were. He did not seem pleased and seemed to think that his not-watching would make the point of his distaste. However he did not persuade me. Despite my reservations that the BBC should not have given The Vile Man the honour of appearing on Question Time; a program which I believe is an honour to be asked on, as it suggests you have an opinion that people are interested in.

And do you know what...

Watching The Vile Man made me feel sad. Sad, yes that this country is in such a state that Britons feel it necessary to vote for The Vile Man's party. However mostly sad for The Vile Man himself. He is a disgusting, racist sexist. However, what is he shutting himself off from in being this person is far worse. He will not accept multiculturalism, different races or different people. Therefore he has closed himself off to so much. As he blathered and stuttered through his answers only pausing to chuckle haughtily; presumably to give the illusion of comfort and control of the situation, I cringed.

This man will never be happy. This man has closed himself off to really seeing the world and will miss so many of the incredible things it has to offer because of it.

The Museum of Everything encourages individuality and undiscovered talent and mainly the cosmopolitan. Nick Griffin has and is none of these, just a small-minded man who will never understand how wonderful humanity is.

Was that a little corny, do you think?

>>Please excuse my bad punctuation and grammar if you spot any, it is almost 2am and I slept not one hour last night<<
Image of Museum of Everything (c) Sarah Hartwell