Smirking From Home

Turning ideas into words.

When YouTube was an Insult.

It’s Friday evening and I’m feeling nostalgic. Hey, you cannot deny it doesn’t happen to you too every once and a while. People say you shouldn’t live in the past. Well tonight I say they are talking from their rear ends. Things that make you happy should never be forgotten and should be revisited at any available opportunity.
What’s brought this on? Well every now and then I feel duty bound as a responsible parent to introduce the Wee Lass to my favourite music, both modern day and from times past. Oooh, some might sense an incoming warm front of self-indulgence but I ask ye to bear with me on this one. I’ll not deny that I’m a rocker at heart, a sucker for some riffing and twiddling solos that go on for longer than is truly necessary. This blog post is categorised under “I Am What I Am” after all. However there’s more to these bonding sessions with the Wee Lass than big hair and spandex trousers. I’m also rather partial to your old-fashioned, song and dance laden, Hollywood musical. It’s the drama student still refusing to shuffle from this mortal coil.
Yup! There’s more to film than Pixar and Disney and I feel obligated to inform the Wee Lass of this unavoidable fact. I’ll trade you my song and dance numbers for your CGI any day of the week. The ideal song or perfect routine in a movie will give you much more emotional bang for your bucks than any special effect ever will.
If it wasn’t for YouTube many of these memories may remain just that. I would venture the opinion that YouTube is the success story of the Internet. Maybe not from a business or legal angle but definitely (or should that be defiantly) from an emotional one. Through its medium we can relive those periods in our lives where we felt happiest or even just relive personal favourites from the world of entertainment and all its forms.
Over the next few weeks the plan is, via the medium of YouTube, etc,  to get people discussing what are their favourite moments in particular categories of entertainment. Tonight I’m going to start with songs and dances from the movies. I had intended initially to start with “cover versions” but I’m holding back on that one until I’m 100% sure what my own particular favourite is in that area. So dig yer tap shoes out from your closet and don your glad-rags for a trawl through the highs and lows of film musicals.
When navigating the vast expanse that is YouTube for snippets of tonight’s topic I’ll always revert to this one. Mainly because it makes me laugh. I never cease to be amazed at the sheer brilliance of what this man does and the inventiveness of the routine. It can be no coincidence that it’s also the one the Wee Lass always asks to see. Enjoy the clip below and include your own favourites in the comments. Let’s all reminisce and, I promise, the show will go on.

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Bringing Up Baby, I Am What I Am, Times Past | , | Leave a comment

What’s On Your Mind? – Revisited

Last month I vented forth on the inanity of Facebook. For the most part I vehemently stand by my original opinion, albeit now, with a slight amendment. The reason for doing so is inherently selfish and I cannot feel ashamed nor guilty about it. Accusations of hypocrisy will be taken on board, mulled over, chewed a while, swallowed and removed via the appropriate canals. Every so often a little spot of verbal sparring does no one any harm, so as always, I’m happy to correspond to any contradictions pointed out.
Recently I’ve been adding some old muckeroos and muckerettes to my friends’ list. It’s nice to know they’re all still knocking about and keeping well. One of them has, bizarrely enough, even scaled one of the highest mountains in the world, something which I had casually and unknowingly remarked about in my initial blog post. I’ll readily admit that as I received each friend invitation and acceptance e-mail, a fond memory came with them. IF you’re prone to the occasional moment of sentimentality, then Facebook can offer you a brief moment of comfort in these troublesome times. However, I will also admit to being delighted at the increased size of my friends list as it means a potentially larger number of individuals reading this blog.
A mercenary tactic? Well it would depend on your viewpoint. I genuinely don’t believe it is. The best critics of anything you do in life can be your friends or family, a lot less likely to pull their punches. True, they might also take the opposite route and be untruthfully kind but as someone who aspires to write more and to develop a unique style, a larger reader base is confidence-building. 
Any budding writer’s output will not be to everyone’s taste. We all like different styles of writing and varying subject matters. There are many out there who find Henning Mankell’s work hard going, particularly the non-Wallander novels, yet I believe he’s the most interesting detective in modern literature. Stieg Larsson is accused by his many detractors of blatant misogyny but like the more abundant fans of the Millenium trilogy, I understand he held the opposite view of women and tried to highlight the many injustices they suffer at the hands of men. I’m not intending to compare anything I ever write to their works. Rather it’s an acceptance that not everyone will find the humour in my posts nor agree with my political views. Hell, some of them might even find Dancing on Ice quality entertainment. That’s their choice.
Facebook is a means to an end. Where that end will be I have absolutely no frickin’ clue but the journey will be fun. Although the blog title “Smirking From Home” may convey images of a sad, greying 30-something, sitting at a PC, spewing invective at the modern world, I’ll point people towards the byline. It is about turning my ideas into words. Rantings and ravings, musings and mullings, all rattling around inside this big haired noggin. Like a damn good trump, better out than in, even if the side effects can be messy.
Baby wipes can be provided if you’re prepared to take the plunge. 

March 25, 2010 Posted by | Communicating, I Am What I Am | , , | Leave a comment

What’s On Your Mind?

What’s On Your Mind?
Ooh! Interesting. Yer man has decided to stop picking his nose due to a decrease in flavour. I would wash your hands less mate. Who’s next? Let me see. So and so has taken a quiz and discovered they most resemble Dipsy. Did you remember to put the cork back in the bottle before you took the test? Welcome to Facebook, the online social network for those with multiple personality disorders. One minute you’re a Teletubby, the next you think you’re a Jammie Dodger. A natural progression indeed. Next up, what type of prescription drug are you? I’d hazard a guess at Abilify. No need to thank me.
Maybe I should just accept that I’m a grumpy aging fart and that I’ll never fully understand the appeal of Facebook. Actually I do understand the appeal of Facebook, I just cannot see the reason why, if that’s not too illogical. There’s a certain pleasure in knowing that people you’ve met throughout your life haven’t yet been hit by a bus but seriously, that’s as much as you need to know. If you’ve climbed Everest then I can appreciate why you would want people to know but the fact that your cat has stopped shitting in the window box is not newsworthy. Unless you work for ITV.
Yesterday the waffling was about communication and how I felt we should bring things back to basics, make our messages to one another clear and concise. Facebook, though, is not an ideal medium for this, at least not how it’s being interpreted by the majority of its users. Ideally it would be a medium where ideas could be shared, arrangements made and yarns told with wit, verve or pathos. Scratching yer arse whilst listening to is none of the above. I’m sure it gives you great pleasure but I’d venture that 95% of your “friends” would think otherwise.
Somebody asked me just after Robert was born whether I would post pictures of the wee man on Facebook. I know it’s a popular thing to do but I’m currently loathe to do it. I don’t mean to be facetious here but anybody who truly needs to see him has either done so already or is a close enough friend to send personal photos via e-mail to. University and life thereafter provided me with many good acquaintances but pictures of or updates about their children? No Sirree. No matter how chubby their wee cheeks or how curly their locks are. It’s nothing personal. If the baby was born whilst you were riding Space Mountain then that’s a different story. That’s worthy of more than a status update. Maybe I’m being a little hypocritical here, seeing as my profile picture consists of Eloise and her Rudolph Water-ring. Then again, it’s better than my ugly mug.
Facebook is now a behemoth that’s on a crazed rampage throughout our lives. Are we prepared to let it continue taking over? There are other ways of communicating with the people you genuinely care about, and these don’t consist of sending them animated smiles or various farm animals. What makes you think I’m going to poke you now when you refused me the opportunity on that drunken Saturday night back in college? Whatever ridicule is thrown in the direction of the online-gamer, I can guarantee you’ll get more satisfying social interaction from World of Warcraft than you ever will from Facebook. That’s a topic for another blog though.
Naturally I can expect a strenuous series of rebuttles from avid users of Facebook. Bring it on I say. I only request the following: that you use more than 50 characters and you talk as yourself, not as a packet of Monster Munch.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Communicating | , | 1 Comment