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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

I'm so very proud

25 February 2008
My two favourite things about being Irish today:

1. The Sublime -

(Honestly, I just watched this again, this and the acceptance speech, and actually started crying a little. I freaking love this song, this film and these people. There, I've said it.)

2. The Ridiculous -

We apparently look like "two Japanese boys"

16 February 2008
I love a good telephone-photograph-self-portrait picture. Nothing makes my chin look longer and pointier than when I hold a telephone up above my head and force a smile. It's great.

Myself and Little Sister Edel (that one, up there, on the right) now have the same F*c*book profile photo, which is making the thread in which me and other members of my extended family shout insults at each other very difficult to follow, because some sections of it now look like I'm shouting at myself and calling myself retarded.

But that's beside the point. It also struck me that many other people on F*c*book have these same style of self-portrait photos as their ID photos and this is of course because nobody likes photos of themselves as taken by anyone else.

Either that, or the F*c*book ID photos fall roughly into two other categories:
1. Pictures of you and your boy/girlfriend, both of you grinning like morons; or
2. Pictures of you in fancy dress and/or pulling a face.

And that's it. I think in the summer there may be a spate of ID photos where people are standing in front of somewhere identifiably foreign, but these will fade away just as quickly as their disgusting flakey tanned skin.

I'm interested in why people choose particular photos for their F*c*book pages. What are they trying to say?

With the self-portrait, I think that just happens because you're simply not happy with any other photo posted by anyone else of you on the site, and so you have to take matters into your own hands, and keep snapping away until you get something which makes you look at least bareably human, if not at all like the person you imagine yourself to be. I never look like what I think I look like in photos. I have yet to take a picture in which my face isn't (in my opinion) contorted into the same kind of grimace race horses pull just after falling over a fence and giving themselves a break in the leg that they know in their heart spells the end for them.

The Couples Photo sends out another signal entirely. That one screams WE ARE SO HAPPY LOOK AT US WE ARE SO HAPPY, which of course makes me suspect that they are not. I have been guilty of this photo ID before, which happened coincidentally shortly after He Who Only... because F*c*book friends with one of his ex-girlfriends. I sobered up a few days later and removed it, of course, but then it made a reappearence when I in turn became friends with one of my ex-boyfriends (who is now married) and I needed stress HOW VERY HAPPY AND IN LOVE I AM, LOOK AT US, WE'RE SO GOOD TOGETHER.

The Kooky Photo is, of course, the last resort - you can't find a good photo of yourself, you either don't have a significant other (not that there's anything wrong with that) or your significant other is too ugly to photograph, you're balding and you don't want your school friends to find out, or you just want everyone to know that you're still as fun and fun loving and fun fun fun as you were 10 years ago when you were the life and soul of uni, and having a job, mortgage, kid and wife has done nothing to dampen your party spirit. And wearing an Elvis wig in a photo while winking and curling your lip will hide the pain of your haemorrhaging soul.

Or, you know, it's the only picture you have on your computer, and it's better than one of those stupid silhouettes with a question mark in it.

Norn Irn

15 February 2008

He Who Only... finally achieves the look of an early-to-mid 1980s Bono. And it only took travelling to Co Antrim to achieve it.
I know living in London leaves you twisted, depraved, without proper reason or judgement and evil right to the core of your being, but you also forget just how darned pretty other places in the world are. And there are none more pretty (in my incredibly biased opinion) than some most all places in Ireland. The west coast of Ireland is of course the best place that has ever existed, in terms of almost everything, but the Antrim coast takes a very close second.
We had about half a day to fit in the highlights, and so He Who Only rightly opted to tour around the Bushmills distillery, while I insisted we go see the Giant's Causeway, since it's about 10 years since I was last there. Neither disappointed. However, you're not allowed to take photos around the distillery (the reason given is that there are too many alcoholic fumes in the air, and one text message will make the whole place go KA-BANG thereby robbing the world of some of the most delicious whiskey known to man and beast), so I instead took 35 photos of the Giant's Causeway. I will bore you with only one more:

It's pretty, innit?

They're not even kidding

14 February 2008
We went to see Cloverfield for Valentines Day.

I'm not sure if it was the power of suggestion, but even walking towards the cinema had me feeling a little wobbly of stomach. Picking up the tickets, there are more of the same signs, and then these lovely notices stuck to the door of the cinema. Equipped with the smallest size popcorn and the biggest sized diet cola, I thought I could probably power through it. I don't get sea sick, I reasoned, and it's not like being on a boat - at least this way, when you start feeling a bit ill, you can just look away for a moment, centre yourself back in the room and you're good to go once more.

How very, very wrong I was.

The first 20 minutes are no problem. This will not spoil a darned thing, plot-wise, and don't worry, I'm not going to give away any secrets or even explain the title of the film, but the first 20 minutes are just some slightly unlikeable but very pretty to look at 20-somethings (kind of like Hollyoaks, but with acting and without the sheen of Primark) talking into a video camera about someone you don't care about called Rob. When the first explosion happened, me and He Who Only... turned to each other and whispered "thank fuck for that" because the tedium of 20-something relationship politics was starting to exhaust us. Quite soon after that, the actual travel sickness set in.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE the film. It's tremendous. It would be wrong to say that it's the Best Film Ever, simply because I've not seen every other film. However, it would be right to say that it's one of the best films I've ever seen, even allowing for the fact that I had to leave the cinema for three minutes to stand in the coridoor outside shaking and trying not to puke before heading back inside.

I didn't even know about all the websites connected to it, all the back-stories and side-characters and sub-plots. I've been looking at all the sites since seeing it, starting with the Wiki entry and moving on from there, and it's needlessly and additionally entertaining, but even without all that crap, I would wholeheartedly recommend this film to everyone, even those not particularly interested in big monsters or screaming teenagers or buildings falling down. It's simply great.

I will however never again see it in the cinema. The day it's released on DVD, it'll be mine, but until then I'm going to have to console myself with the viral marketing videos and nonsense conspiracy theory websites and the fake MySpaz pages for the characters. But holy hell, I was sick as a parrot in the cinema and I shan't be doing that again.

Totally worth it, though.

Losing It

13 February 2008
Tonight: a massive update. Photos and everything.

In the meantime, this is one of the best articles about dieting I've ever read. If you're a boy, and you don't understand why girls announce that they're fat and miserable and want to cry (which I do about twice a month, on average), then read this. It very eloquently explains it all. I'm really looking forward to reading her columns.