Hello, Internet world.
Originally, this post contained a rather lengthy diatribe about stuff and liking stuff and dealing with an over-saturation of, well, everything. As I said, it was long and confusing and, yes, probably a little obnoxious or even a little precious. It probably also contained a few too many “I…” statements.
So, tonight, I am stuck on the couch with a perfect storm of sore arms from lifting weights last night (my front shoulder is going to be INSANE this summer, guys), whatever kind of nose/throat/face illness that Dave had earlier in the week, and gross cramps, etc. from my period that just decided to arrive. A real upstairs/downstairs affair. I should probably be sleeping but I can’t get past the fact that 8:30 is just too early for a dame like me to be hitting the hay. Instead, I’ve selected a variety of DVD and VHS delights to
get distracted by view while working on some of this writing and planning and dreaming business. My choices are an A&E Biography documentary about Amelia Earhart (swoon.) The Day the Earth Stood Still (Klaatu! swoon.) The Prince of Pennsylvania (for the hairstyles… and because it’s actually good.) and, the one I chose to watch first, The Matrix.
I never thought that I would say anything nice about The Matrix (besides to comment on the incredible form of Carrie-Anne Moss’s front shoulder) but, over ten years later, it really isn’t so bad. In fact, I’m having a bit of a problem with concentration. I just can’t keep my eyes off of that sallow and dusty landscape! Now that folks aren’t trying to rock pleather pants and teensy, reflective sunglasses- this whole cyber-punk thing doesn’t look so bad. Not like a lifestyle you should aspire to, but way better than steam-punk. Not to be a hater but I tend to prefer the nerd subcultures that would be out of place at Burning Man. Can you really blame me?
I’m actually surprised by how much I’m still enjoying the Matrix aesthetics. (I’m also really into how The Matrix envisions a future based on the then-current system of data-storage: the disk/mini disk- just as Brazil is based in a future that runs on reams and reams of good, old-fashioned paper.) It exists in its own world very well; a bleak future but a full, developed sense of place… with just enough cheesiness (“I know kungfu?!” sez Neo…) to make the viewer cringe.
This brings me back to what I was originally going to complain about in this space. You see, it’s been a while since I’ve been flush with direction about aesthetics and “what I like”. Because, hey! I like a lot of things. I am a big liker. And when I was about 14 or 13 and discovering that there was more out there than what was immediately offered to me by the geographic and social landscape of Toms River, NJ…well… I became a really big liker of a bunch of things. Every little part that I came across that I liked- liked deeply and madly in the way where your heart stops and your mind screams at you, “THIS!”- would point to another part. I learned to how to like things, how my interests fit together. In the late 90s and early 2000s, becoming “cool” was still (for perhaps the last time ever) a process. These past few years have compounded time and information in a way that I almost can’t fathom. Now, you can be told how to like something. Pull up any well curated Tumblr and receive instant aesthetic alpha and omega! A great information Oroboros! But no mystery; no draw. Instead of shared interests, I think what I’m seeing is more about assimilation. All catch but no chase. Everything viewed through a common gaze: consumption. Stylization as content.
It’s so hard to invest myself in something when I know how it will end.
I’ve recently come across a “curated image” blog for “Relic” which is, as far as I can tell, a company working in the ubiquitous “Brooklyn Vintage*” genre that manufactures expensive stickers and patches. If you can sense a palpable disgust in my words, you are correct. But their blog has some very top-notch image choices and great juxtaposition. That and they seem to link most of their images to their original source- (re)placing them into context and moving away from being another disposable image of something “cool”. I’ve gruelingly slogged through all 100+ pages and, wonder of wonders, I actually stopped to pause and contemplate what I was seeing and how I was seeing it. Impressive for a bunch of neat pictures.
When it comes down to it, though, Keanu Reeves is way better as a moody teenager than as a quick-moving computer hacker. But you probably knew that.