Here we go again. Hold tight for another spin on the celebrity death conspiracy merry-go-round - which could potentially be powered for years, even decades, by the adoring public’s inability to accept that famous and/or beautiful people die just like anyone else. Often in sad, lonely or grisly circumstances, just like anyone else.
We don’t make nearly such a fuss about drug-addled junkies dying in decaying council blocks, and claim that they were killed by the government, do we?
So for the record, Princess Diana died in a car crash. Her chauffeur-driven car was not run off the road by a maniacally laughing Prince Philip in a plot masterminded by MI5 and conceived in a bid to safeguard the future of the British monarchy against the ‘Queen of Hearts’ growing popularity.
Marilyn Monroe died from an overdose of barbiturates. She was not murdered by the CIA, the FBI (or indeed the MFI) because she knew secrets about the Kennedy clan.
And Michael Jackson? He was a screwed-up, paranoid, (allegedly) paedophile superstar who spent his time living in an unreal world, who was massively in debt and desperately trying to make a comeback when he could no longer cut it at performing, and who was clearly addicted to an entire pharmacy worth of prescription medication. It wasn’t murder. It wasn’t even manslaughter. It wasn’t anything else but a run of the mill death, largely brought about through his own foolishness.
“All that’s really lacking is a name for this new wave of writers who, in publishing their shopping lists, Gmail chats, chapbooks and poems about vegan food, come across as a literary extension of Vice magazine and have gained a small army of readers as a result. I’d be inclined to call it Generation Yawn on account of the dangerously high levels of ennui on display, Generation Zzz, Generation Tweet or perhaps more appropriately, Generation :(”—
Ben Myers, writing in The Guardian, attempts to come up with a name for the writers and various po-faced twentysomethings in the circle of wannabes and hangers-on surrounding Tao Lin. I get the feeling that he’s not exactly a fan. Good.
Shopping lists, Gmail chats and poems about vegan food, eh? It’s hard to contain one’s excitement. Really, it is. Perhaps I should try publishing my shopping lists, just to see what reaction they get. They might make me into a cult sensation - or else people will just wonder why I buy so much cheese and Tesco own brand sugar-free caffeine drink.
Also, a small but nonetheless very important point: ‘ennui’ is merely a slightly more poetic (i.e. French) way of expressing boredom and lack of interest. Boring. Uninteresting. I think this is significant, don’t you?
I ‘look forward’ to more chapbooks about boredom. I ‘love’ boredom. ‘Please’ send me your chapbooks by express post. [Note: the Tao-esque quote marks are entirely necessary in this statement, because I really do mean to be ironic, unlike the examples such writers usually employ in their prose.]
It is sunny. Ish. Hazy sun, at least. It is too warm. You should be in the park, getting skin cancer and feeding ducks. But you’re not. No, you’re in the office, tapping absentmindedly at your keyboard and having your brain numbed by overpowering air conditioning, while wondering where everyone else is. They’re on holiday, stupid. Because it’s summer. Nobody - nobody with any sense, at least - works in summer.
So what you need is a Spotify playlist of Late Summer Laziness I created. Just for you. And for you. And for you, too. But not for you, because you’re showing too much flesh.
An excellent article. Whatever you think of Twitter - and I sit painfully on the fence between it being a purveyor of utter inanity and the most innovative means of communication in recent history - it’s certainly high time that the shocking standard of journalistic reporting on the service, and about social media in general, was given a hefty kicking. Most of the stories come across like your grandparents painfully trying to get with the zeitgeist and write about - oh, I don’t know, let’s pluck a highly unlikely subject out of thin air - the Grime scene, whilst employing the same desperate tones of “I don’t understand any of it, but I can’t resist sharing my half-baked opinions about it either”. Either stop it, or do your sodding research.
A brilliant examination of why Powerpoint presentations are immensely dull, which comes complete with a cheeky Powerpoint presentation of its own, featuring all manner of garishly-coloured slides and cheesy transitions.
Twice in my working life, I have given presentations where I decided not to use Powerpoint slides - since I hate them so much - and instead chose to address the assembled office drones without visual aids. Astonishing really, as I am terrible at speaking to assembled groups. On both occasions, the reaction was clearly one of wide-eyed amazement - not to mention discernible uneasiness - that I had opted for this foolhardy route. It was probably because my audience realised they would actually have to look at me and concentrate on what I was saying, rather than be distracted by the oh-so-pretty graphics. (Give us more clip art! Give us more clip art!)
The opportunity for distraction, however, is probably the only good thing in Powerpoint’s favour, so here’s a free tip on how to cope with this bane of contemporary office existence. If you’re short-sighted, as I am, be sure to sit at the very back of the room and remove your glasses. The interminably droning lists of figures and attempts at motivational business jargon will fade into the background as you gradually become entranced by the blurry images, colours and writing floating somewhere in the distance. It’s almost hypnotic.
“Genius idea: Contact every blogger I know and ask them to write an article. The contributions will be compiled in a book called “We’re Still Here”. Each piece will be no longer than 140 characters.”—Blogging Isn’t Dead | This Is This
More incisive and utterly vital research. Further revelations about the internet include that Youtube is really terrific for wasting time watching silly videos, and that people view porn on the web primarily for the purposes of masturbation.
Spam email from the alumni association of my former university. They’re looking for graduates to act as expert mentors to current students aiming to make a go of it in the cut-throat world of business.
I got a degree in Drama in 1993, which I haven’t used since. This definitely sounds like the job for me.
I know that you’ve barely recovered from the sheer aural excitement of my previous Spotify playlist, and yet here’s another one already. Out go electronics (mostly) and tinny sequencers, and in come guitars. Lots of guitars. Very noisy guitars. And sneering. Lots of sneering. Mine’s a Nurofen, thank you.