Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Eternal Dandy

"A dandy (also known as a beau, gallant or flamboyant person)" according to Reference.com, "is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies. Historically, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a dandy, who was self-made, often strove to imitate an aristocratic style of life despite coming from a middle-class background.
Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protestation against the rise of egalitarian principles — often including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat".
Though previous manifestations, of Alcibiades, and of the petit-maître and the muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated skeptical reserve, yet to such extremes that the novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined "cynicism" as "intellectual dandyism"; nevertheless, the Scarlet Pimpernel is one of the great dandies of literature. Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle in his book Sartor Resartus , wrote that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man".
Charles Baudelaire, in the later, "metaphysical," phase of dandyism defined the dandy as one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking .... Contrary to what many thouthless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind.""


I'm sorry, but I have a thing for Sebastian Horsley right now. He was a man that could freely admit to being an complete fake in a world where no-one else seems to be able to. Here are some of his feelings about the term "dandyism".

RAGE!!

...no, I'm not talking about the comic that the character Justin Taylor created in the American tv-series Queer as Folk but I'm talking about my mood at the moment.
I will explain:

Previously I've talked about how mad I get when some people are criticized for their weight when actually they’re just normal. An awesome example is the Firefly/Mad Men readhead Christina Hendricks. Sadly, she’s not going to be that for long. Subsequently, I’m a little annoyed. She curvaceous, so what? She beautiful, or rather, she absolutely f-ing stunning exactly the way she is! What's so wrong with having natural assets?


Halloween


Oh, this lovely time of Halloween. The time of zombies, vampires, werewolves, general hordes of dead people and jack lanterns; i.e. it’s one heck of an excuse to get dressed up. Last year I was stuck in Belfast in a raging fit of self pity deep underneath a pile of books as tall as me so this year I really wanted to do something special. Yesterdays Halloween party made Dias de los Muertos meet Arthur Dent and a dead Victorian lady mingled with a modern day soldier. Interesting.
And, ahem... forgotten camera is forgotten. But I’ve got my eyes on a new one - one that can actually take some good pictures. We’ll see.

Btw. Embarrassed as I am about it I’ll have to admit I’ve been listening to Darren Shan’s book series “The Demonata” during the last few weeks and though they’re sometimes both childish and simplistically written I enjoy them. They’re easy on the ear. Supposed to be interesting for hormonal teenagers. It keeps time moving.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

"Aah, shit."

(Post in Swedish follows)
Uppsats, uppsats, uppsats... Den ofärdiga C-uppsatsen som är min nyckel till examen.
Det är vad som borde finnas i mitt huvud just nu men det känns som om det är 3 000 andra grejer som tar upp hjärnan istället.
Mest tatueringsidéer, pengar som skriker på att bli spenderade på en systemkamera, ny piercingslängtan, sjuka djur, kläder och ett smått bubblande hat mot illvilliga människor och min dator som fortfarande vägrar spela mina DVD'er.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Can't help it

Even to a nerdy cynic like myself there are a few highlights of the normal year that I wouldn’t miss for the world (the chance to get coffee with Guillermo del Toro and discuss movies would definitely turn my attention though). One of these important events would be The Medieval Week on Gotland, another one would be Towel Day.
However, there is one event that’s just as significant as the two just mentioned:

There are three of these conventions completed during a year in three different Swedish cities; Gothenburg (Göteborg, or “Götet” for some of you Swedes), Stockholm and Malmoe (Malmö). It’s three weekends of complete and utter nerdiness. Comics, movies, anime, cosplayers, action figures, you name it - it's there. Therefore, I approve. A lot.
Thing is that I live closer to Gothenburg than any of the two other cities and I’ve visited the convention the last three times, walked straight into the sci-fi legend Lance Henriksen one year, lost in the crowd milling around together with Imperial stormtroopers, scout troopers, nazgüls, elves, hobbits, L.A.R.P.’ers, Trekkies and an occasional ewook.

Come to think of it, Henriksen is the only celebrity I can think of that I’ve seen mingle with the fans. Considering that there are at least 4 celebrities at each convention, that’s impressive. Bitterly, I’ll admit that I didn’t dare talk to him when I had the chance; I thought I’d faint like a proper idiot. Billy Boyd and Craig Parker were there the year previous to my first visit (yeah, still mad about that) so don’t come and say that only losers come visit these things.

Anyhow, back on the point – I’m already looking forward to that first weekend in March next year that I’ll once again fill a car with friends and head off to the beautiful sight of Gothenburg. All I’ve got left to do now is decide what to wear...
I'm not the least bit obsessed.
A bit perhaps.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Tainted

I'd just like to point out how grateful I am to anyone who happens to drop by and visit this little humble blog of mine. I've had as many as 1150 visitors in the last month alone and it's an ever growing number.
This last Sunday I had 27 visitors in the timespan of one hour.


The Hutt reaches out and taints more people every day,
are you going to be one of the lucky?

"Freakish"

Could it be? Have I found a book that had me caught in ecstasy by the first sentences? I mean, really... I expected quite a bit of Sebastian Horsley’s unauthorized autobiography Dandy in the Underworld but seems to have left out the fact that even I can be surprised once in a while.

Who wouldn’t love a book starting as follows:

“When Mother found out she was pregnant with me she took an overdose. Father gave her the pills. She needed a drama from time to time to remind her that she was still alive. The overdose didn’t work. Had she known I would turn out like this she would have taken cyanide.”

What knowledge of the own person! What deep cynicism. How intreaging.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Boooooks!

Like I’ve claimed before; nerd will be nerd and to prove it I’ve read a few novels in the last two weeks that mainstream Swedes (and other) might not quite fight to get a hold of...

Bareback, by Kit Whitfield
To be what’s to us a normal human being (you know, bipedal humanoid originating from Earth), a creature in this novel rudely called a “bareback” or “skin”, is in fact being abnormal. Turning into a creature with fur and sharp fangs every full moon, a werewolf, now THAT’S normal; at least, it is in Kit Whitfield’s world of lycanthropes and it is under these circumstances that we find our noir thriller where barebacks, all employed by the underdog (sorry) agency called DORLA, cleans up the mess during and after moon nights.
I really enjoyed the originality of the story and the first 75% of the book when it still had a clear purpose, a purpose that was slowly yet undoubtedly lost somewhere along the way. People who’ve read Michael Collins would probably agree with me when I say what I say about the stumbling plot, but all in all it’s an awesomely good idea poorly executed.


The Bartimaeus Trilogy, by Jonathan Stroud.
OK, I know it’s three books but they’re quite childishly funny in that awful giggly sort of way, so I went through them a second time around.
Imagine a world where magic exists, not like Harry Potter, mind you, but rather, a world where an aristocracy is so much more powerful than the commoners (the non-magical crowd) because they're trained to become magicians and therefore able to summon demons to do their bidding, wicked as it might be. London and the rest of the great British Empire are governed by magicians (just like Old Egypt, Babylonia and Prague once was), presently under the rule of Prime Minister Rupert Devereux and his ministers. It’s from this basis we follow Nathaniel, in the beginning a young boy and magician-to-be, who on his journey to seek justice meets demons of every kind, ambition, cruelty, crime, resistance, power-crazy lunatics and unexpected friendships.
It’s a well thought through plot with plenty of characters you can’t sort in the normal stereotypical fantasy categories; “The Hero”, “The Bad Guy”, “The Minions”, "The Love Interest" and so on. Everyone in Stroud’s books has at least two sides – there is no black or white. It’s all a lovely shade of grey ambiguity.
The absolute highlight of the novels is the djinni Bartimaeus as he comes up with new inventive ways to insult humanity and magicians especially.

I highly recommend the audio version read sy Simon Jones. Easy on the ears and easy to follow.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austen)
Basically, it’s precisely what Pride & Prejudice would have been if zombies existed. Instead of embroidering, our heroin Elizabeth Bennett now enjoys cutting the heads off the so called ”unmentionables” roaming the whole country with her katana. If you like the original novel, like I do, you’ll be able to appreciate this as well. If you like zombies, say, like I do, you’ll like it as well. If you’ve read Pride & Prejudice just to find it a bit tedious, look at this as a parody and just laugh at the pure absurdity.

Friday, 15 October 2010

I'm Dead

Min (C:) är död.
Och borta är mitt liv.
Alla mina dokument och alla mina foton är borta.
Jag skulle kunna byta ut alla mina filmer på (D:) bara jag fick mina dokument tillbaka.

What happened?

When did I suddenly turn into some sort of emotionally retarded asshole who'd buy a pair of outdoor running shoes for 800 SEK but not return your calls for a whole summer?
...so, you wanna shoot me now or later?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Z-Day

Killing zombies in Titan Quest Immortal Throne while listening to Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and then move on to watch Shaun of the Dead.

Fuck-a-doodle-doo what a great day.

Movies I Must See

I got my own copy of "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" two years ago and have since watched about 150 more of those movies mentioned in the book than I had when I started out.
Some of them have been true masterpieces and a pleasure on the eye, no doubt there, but some of them have just made me wonder what idiots it was that agreed to produce that kind of crap to begin with. Personally, I found Blade Runner to be one of those, a fact that made me lose friends on Flixster.com. And I never quite understood what was so wonderous about Dead Man with Johnny Depp either.
However, the book has made me take a look at movies I never thought I'd find without it. Movies that has made a difference to me; In The Mood For Love, Withnail & I, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Down By Law just to mention a few of them.
Anyway.
Since I got my 2005 edition there's been a few more, much because they never stop making movies; the latest published this year and the list You Must See is now, judging from my latest rummage through the internetz, about 1079 movies long (this is counting all the movies that's been removed from the rest of the book to make room for new "masterpieces", say, Avatar and Inglorious Basterds in the 2010 ed.).

I guess I'll just keep going.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Shit

The thing that really disappoints me about life is that time and again I believe something negative will happen and life never proves me wrong...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Jorden anropar

(Tillfällets inlägg blir på hederlig svenska eftersom jag är för trött för något annat.)

Tänka sig att jag faktiskt också kan ta mig i kragen ibland. Jag hörde av mig till min handledare i förrgår (äntligen, det är ju inte alls så att senast jag hörde av mig till honom så var det typ två veckor kvar till valet) och bokade en handledningstid för min fabulöst bortträngda c-uppsats. En telefonhandledning. Det kan bli riktigt intressant. Ändå är det enda jag kan tänka på hur kort lånetid jag har kvar på mina böcker och hur jag inte kommer hinna läsa dem. Jävligt omotiverande. Jag köper hellre ett löpband.

På tal om löpband så sprang jag mig också svettig på gymmet idag men ignorerar fortfarande att jag behöver packa väskan inför helgen i Kalmare stad. Snarare en lördag i Kalmare studentstad. Ovve-sittning på lördag med hattema. Ovve är alltså mer känt som overall i studentkretsar. Inte så att vi kan rädda Corehouse från dess sorgliga öde (ett visst oengagemang från studenterna har orsakat jobbarbrist) men vi kan ju fylla lokalen medan stället är kvar. Resten av helgen kommer att spenderas i mysiga kläder hos bästaste Fisken.

Jag är för övrigt lite irriterad. Syster påpekar alltid att nörd är den nya innegrejen men jag har inte riktigt velat tro henne av uppenbara skäl (varför skulle något man mobbas för under ålder 6-19 plötsligt vara något häftigt?). Jag insåg dock hur rätt hon hade så fort jag äntrade Stockholms multikulturella tunnelbanesystem. Överallt såg jag kavajer, stora stickade halsdukar, kängor, piercingar, hängslen och glasögon som ser precis ut som mina. Att deras brillor förmodligen var 2000 kronor dyrare är inte det som irriterar mig, nej, det är att jag plötsligt såg ut som om jag försökte passa in.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mushrooms! (again)

We went in search of mushrooms but didn't quite expect a veritable forest of them. After two hours we got angry when there wasn't any more basket to put mushrooms in. "Desperate times - desperate measures" I thought and plucked off my beanie but changed my mind.

Yes, much of my life circles around food.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Dignity, pfft.

It's really hilarious how everyone assumes that just because I work within the elder care business and with disabled children I want to become a nurse or anything remotely close to nursing.
I don't.
I study politics.
However, since no one else wants to take care of others that by circumstances unknown can't take care of themselves, it's ridiculously easy to get a job like that. Assistants of any kind. Leave dignity behind, sell your soul and forget about high salaries but it's better than nothing when you're not yet done with your university degree.
That's NOT in nursing.

STHLM

I came, I saw, I drank a shitload of beer.
Now that's a good summary of a friday night well spent in good company at the Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival of which I've already informed you (see the post: "Love Hurts"). It was amazing but got more than a little strange when I tried a beer tasting like cherries...

Beside that, I met Nee-san and her man and marvelled over how two people and a dog can live in a hut... sorry, cottage... no, house, as small as theirs. It obviously works for them. Despite the tiny space available I didn't really feel like leaving their valued company. There's nothing like eating breakfast with those two; it has never been cherished that way in any household I've ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Also met people whom I've grown to love over the years as we've met only once every August for The Medieval Week on Gotland. We ate great food (thank you Nee-san for the mushrooms), drank quite a bit of wine and talked until three in the morning. It's been a while since I did that without noticing.

Stockholm's still one of those places I need time to explore. I will definitely return. If not only to investigate more cafés...

No pictures. I didn't forget the camera. I forgot the batteries.