How ‘Girls’ (Season One) changed the game – 13/02/17

If you’re anything like me, you might be finding it a little bit tricky to get excited about the final season of Girls out tonight (Monday 13 February). Since the show began five years ago, there’s been soooo much controversy surrounding the series and its outspoken creator/writer/director Lena Dunham that it’s easy to forget the impact the show made when it first came out.

Girls was an uncomfortably relatable insight into a group of young people learning how to adult: juggling unpaid internships, dealing with weird sex situations and finding their place in the world. Its no-filter sex scenes were gritty, hilarious and sometimes a bit gross; relationships were never even slightly simple, and the drive to succeed in the world of work led Hannah to do some seriously strange things (including some really creative things with an eyebrow pencil).

In the pilot episode, Hannah asks her parents to fund her life for just a little longer because she believes she could be ‘the voice of her generation, or at least, a voice, of a generation’. Ironically, Lena Dunham achieved such acclaim when the first season won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series in 2012, and its initial success snowballed into something that got way bigger than anyone could have imagined.

The writing was so refreshingly honest, so evidently personal to her own experiences, that it became hard to watch the show without seeing Lena Dunham The Celebrity stamped all over it.The similarities between the plot of Girls, her memoir Not That Kind Of Girl and her directorial debut Tiny Furniture meant that we felt we were watching the actors’ real lives, and Hannah Horvath’s self-absorbed tendencies could often get a little (okay, really) annoying. When the characters did something far from perfect, people were seldom happy about it.

Actress Allison Williams AKA Hannah’s BF Marnie Michaels, backed this up: ‘A lot of people dislike my character, Marnie. Initially I took it personally and wanted to defend her. But now I’ve realised a lot of the dislike comes from the fact that it’s uncomfortable to watch somebody make such bad decisions again and again. It hurts because we know how close we all come, on a regular basis, to make those exact same choices.’

Jemima Kirke, who plays British-American boho Jessa, added: ‘We’re so blended into our characters that people don’t see us separately. For example, when Hannah has a line that’s delusional and uninformed, that’s taken as Lena being delusional and uninformed and that’s why so much criticism comes to the show.’

Admittedly, the show has gained its fair few critics, and it’s never exactly got everything right. But having recently re-watched the first season in its entirety and remembering how fresh it once felt, I feel like season six will be one worth tuning in to. We’ve come this far, anyway. Here are some of the themes that Girls got so totally right from the very beginning, bringing taboo subjects into everyday conversation right from episode one.

Modern career girls

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When Hannah’s parents cut her off in the first episode, she calculates that she can survive living in New York City for ‘three and a half days, or six days if she doesn’t eat anything’. Yes, it’s melodramatic, yes, it’s so Hannah Horvath, but we can definitely relate to that feeling when pay day is one week too far away. And it’s not just Hannah who job-hopped through all five seasons. Remember the time before Marnie covered ‘Stronger’ by Kanye West at her ex-boyfriend’s work party and decided she was the next Carly Rae Jepson? Well, before that, she worked in admin, as an art curator – and more reluctantly – as a hostess. Jessa did a fair bit of babysitting as well as working in a children’s clothing shop, and Shoshanna was unemployed and still in college during the first season, sitting at home binge-watching episodes of reality show ‘Baggage’. Essentially, the message is: if you don’t feel like your have your shit together career-wise, you’re most definitely not alone.

Let’s talk about sex

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Girls arguably became most well-known for its no-holds-barred sex scenes and the frank way it spoke about things like consent, casual relationships and sexual health. Again, the weird situations that all four girls found themselves in were so horrifyingly relatable and so different to the way sex had been previously portrayed in shows like Sex and the City that it felt almost semi-educational. Scenes with full-frontal nudity and more-than realistic sexual encounters airing out to nearly one million American viewers every week was a huge deal, allowing taboo-topic conversations to take place in mainstream media. There was, however, a serious lack of condom use in the first season, but again, Girls definitely never pretended to lead the way morally, and was instead about mirroring the lives of 20-somethings not previously seen on TV. Sex in season one is lolz: There’s the time where Jessa re-dumps an ex-boyfriend after a quickie hanging out of a Brooklyn window, proclaiming herself ‘unsmotable’ (great word); *that scene* where the ‘uptight’ Marnie runs to the bathroom at a party to, er, relieve her sexual frustration after meeting super-creep Booth Jonathan and, of course, ALL of the wonderfully-written scenes about Shoshanna’s losing her virginity to Ray at 21, which she feels is kind of late (Message from the show? It totally isn’t.)

Friendship goals, kinda

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‘You are gorgeous and a vision, you a brilliant genius – when I look at both of you, a Coldplay song plays in my heart,’ quoth Hannah to Jessa and Marnie in episode one (after drinking an entire cup of opium tea). Although she wasn’t totally sober, the first season of Girls arguably felt like the one where they all got along the best – but true to form, nothing ever ended too happily. Hannah and Marnie lived together for a whole nine episodes before Marnie dramatically moved out, Jessa and Marnie went on an NYC night out ending up in a weird man’s flat that one of them would end up marrying, and Jessa promises to look after cousin Shoshanna after she accidentally smokes crack at a party before ditching her to go off with her older man boss. Nice.

Okay, so they’re definitely not the blueprint for a perfect group of friends, but it seemed easy to draw similarities between certain traits of the girls and my own group of friends. As the generation before did with Sex and the City, you and your people just might have assigned each other group-specific Girls personas (I’m mostly a Hannah with Shoshanna tendencies, who can get so Marnie on less than eight hours’ sleep).

Boys boys boys

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Girls wouldn’t have been Girls without the girls. Obviously. But Girls also features boys, and Season One reflected pretty much every (straight) relationship you could find yourself in during your 20s. There’s Adam, the guy who confuses the hell out of you but someone you can’t seem to let go of. Marnie’s clingy college boyfriend Charlie is your first boyfriend who you once thought you’d be with forever but then have to decide if and when you should move on with your life. Jessa’s less able to commit to one guy – until she gets married at the end of the series (remember that!) – and flits between flings with older guys, exes and strangers. Shoshanna’s first time having sex is stopped in its tracks by a guy she knew from college who claimed he ‘didn’t sleep with virgins’. Nice one, bro.

Although it’s more likely your girlfriends will be tuning in on Monday, Alison Williams thinks that Girls is ‘extremely helpful for guys to watch, on an anthropological level’. She said: ‘If [guys] want to understand women, to see the mistakes that it’s possible to make and the kind of breakdown of communication between partners that can be disastrous, crack on.’ That’s the guys told, then.

And finally, the iPhones show just how far technology has changed in five years

Perhaps the most jarring thing about Season One is how weirdly old iOS 5 looks. The existential crises of 20-somethings may be timeless, but that technology is already looking dated.

(Yes, this is my recently dug out iPhone 4, of which I am so fond of)


 

 

Let your hair down this festival season! (Or shave it off, whatever, no one cares)

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It has been in magazines since probably FEBRUARY.

“Get ready for festival season! This boho dress will have you partying until the early hours. Ted Baker, £250.”

For three months have I endured reading heartbreaking stuff about festival fashion. Festival beauty looks. Top tips for festivals. It makes me feel all weird, like laughing at something cause you thing it’s a joke, then receiving serious looks from french-brainded, bindi-stuck, chiffon-clad girls.

Such propaganda! It’s like these brands are trying to sell yet more shit to us on our (just above) minimum wages, with this promise that you’ll look like Kate Moss or Kendall Jenner (who was recently heralded as a ‘bad girl’ as she stuck her middle finger to a camera during Tyler the Creator at COACHELLA!) Rock n roll!

What’s weird about this pseudo-advertising is that, luckily, it’s not like this at all. Not at British festivals anyway.  

In fact, some of the most stylish things I’ve seen at a festival include a mother dressed as Princess Leia holding her baby dressed as Yoda, a man in his pants and thigh high white leather boots listening to Bon Iver, of all things, and a man with his arms straight up in the air at the Stone Circle for like two WHOLE days, as he thought he was a milk bottle and didn’t want to toppled over (okay, I only heard about that one but still – if that’s not style, I don’t know what is.)

So here it is! I’ve milled over these ‘tips’ for the last three minutes and have deemed them worthy enough to be included in this (not so) extensive list.

1) Don’t wear white  

This is more of a tip for general life. I don’t even think I will be able to wear white on my wedding day, since I hear there is usually cake, and a lot of wine.  In an unintentional slip last week, I bought a gorgeous white knitted dress (think Stevie Nicks) intended for Glastonbury, and then proceeded spill Diet Coke on it as I took it out the bag to look at it. Just don’t wear white.

2) Wear white

Or better, do, and wear your stains with pride.  My favourite ever Belle and Sebastian top has cider, wine, and beer stains down it, and I proudly wear it – telling disinterested people the Stories Behind the Stains, like they’re tattoos I got whilst travelling around the world or whatever. Be true to who you are. Without you, stains would know no life.

3) Break up with make up

Now I can’t reallly comment on this as I don’t really have a make up routine, bag, etc – but surely it’s a ballache putting make up on in a field right? Surely it is putting it on every day, right? (Stay with me.)

My usual argument to this is – there are no mirrors at these places – because if there were, people would find a way to do coke off them. You’re not even gonna see yourself all weekend – which makes the first mirror look at home even funnier! (Usual scream at the sunburnt, muddy-faced stranger looking back at you, with tiny eyes and huge pupils.)

Here’s something you could try out for the weekend. Come get us, boys! (NB: You won’t be able to get this off for weeks, so prepare yourself for shifty looks at work, as you swivel around on your chair scrolling through Facebook photos, deep into the comedown.)

Tara’s Beauty Look for Festival Season:

You will need:

1)Moisturiser with SPF (​You can usually get this from your Mum’s drawer)

2) Glitter (​A quid from Poundland. Or someone else will have it. Do it on budget and ask at the next tent. What? That’s like a quarter of a pint!)

1.Mix whole bottle of glitter with tub of moisturiser.

2.Apply twice daily.

Et voila!

Mucky-faced with the dirtiest nails under them acrilix
Mucky-faced with the dirtiest nails under them acrilix

4) Snap happy

Not wearing make up is a suggestion that is often met with the response of people saying – but photos! I need to look good in the photos! Which is true, you have to look great in the photos.

Ways to looks great in the photos:

1)Do a Kendall Jenner and flip em one, girls. That way people will think you don’t care about your sweat patches, mascara-face and cider stains. It’s like we’re at Coachella!

2)Pull the most hideous faces possible, so you can be like “Haha! God, I guess I don’t look great when I pull such ugly faces! (as opposed to) “Haha! God, I must have been reeaaallly drunk in that one!” Make them ALL look bad. BE BAD.

3)Alternatively do just get so drunk you think the flash of the camera is a lightning bolt, and you’re the resurrection of Ziggy Stardust, who is a fictional character anyway, so maybe you’re just a recycled idea, and [continue this way of thinking, ideally with joint in hand – much more functional than a clutch bag, or whatever shit they’re trying to sell us in magazines]

There are solutions to all the problems if you sit and think about them guys. The best one’s will always be the candid ones, anyway – that one of you putting your welly on or pissing in a bottle. Or doing both. Ah, 15 days.

4) Factor 5,000,000

Now, here’s where I’m gonna assume the role of ‘Mum’, but sun cream is so important at places like this – it’s well worth preventing sunburn/stroke (much easier to prevent than trenchfoot, which we’ll come to later.) As glorious at that whole day of sunshine might seem, being all crispy, drunk AND sunburnt is total hell and makes you convert to drinking water over cider, and will make you say terrible things like “How about we all just chill here for a while and watch Ben Howard?”

Your friends will be literally horrified by this severely out-of-character behaviour and will consequently rush to the FRANK water stand to get your free water bottle filled up.

Then you, all sunstroked and floaty: “Is this vodka? I need vodka.”

Passing out from sunstroke is like failing your driving test for parking up on yellow lines – there are way cooler ways to do it.

5) Soak up the D. The vitamin D

Because after all, if we get sunshine, heaven is on Earth – and you’re already in.

6) Stuck in the mud

You’re going to get trenchfoot. Don’t Google it, but you will get it. With 15 days to go, it is worth booking an appointment with your GP now for when you get home.

Welcome to the silly season! Go forth and PLAY.
Welcome to the silly season, baby! Now ignore all my tips and just go PLAY. 

Feminism is not a club. Anyone who believes in equality, choice and freedom can be one – 14/11/2014

Lion’s mane jellyfish, August 1973 - National Geographic.
Lion’s mane jellyfish, August 1973 – National Geographic.

Okay, okay, after a silly but necessary inclusion of that beautiful jellyfish- let’s talk about feminism. Obviously. I mean, obviously we must talk about feminism, because we’re in the fourth wave, and maybe we should just all surf that wave, rather than fight against that current, lest we risk drowning.

What a fantastic surfing analogy to begin this post! I don’t consider myself a TRULY terrible writer (she writes, after writing that comparison), but this issue for me is SO important, so forgive me if I come across a bit teary-eyed, blabbery, and occasionally biased, but I just needed to get some things straight. My realest struggle is not being able to find a single argument against why one *wouldn’t* choose to be a feminist in this modern day & age, because it’s so simple and OBVIOUS, surely?

I am a feminist! I am a feminist! I am a feminist! I am a feminist! Feel free to say this doing a little dance, shout it in a nightclub at everyone who comes near you, in your Instagram bio, on t-shirts, at your little brothers and sisters, liked the Pied Piper of feminism.

There are no problems with this word, that’s the first thing we must DISPEL, my fellow insects called the human race, crawling on the planet’s face. I love language, because it holds so much power. It’s kind of like when the word friend, changes to BOYfriend. It’s a word! Haha! Lolz. Feminism is just a word. Yes, it has lots of weight, as it is so often misinterpreted and misunderstood, but if we keep saying it, over and over, it will become easier to admit that you ARE one (because, well DUH) and enable us to TALK about it more. For me, it is a magical word, because it is so empowering whilst causing lots of much-needed debate. It gets me so riled up, but feminism itself ALLOWS me to get riled up *and* write about it on the internet, on my own blog, which I am entitled to just as a man is, without the risk of being shot or imprisoned for it. Hooray! Feminism!

*aside* seeing as it’s just a word- how about we call it “gender equality” instead. Kind of like you can call your best friend, pal, chum, or matey – they all mean the same thing. The two words are interchangeably synonymous, and the definition of feminism is simply: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. You knew that, though, of course. Not man-hating, just human-loving. Isn’t it a perfect ideal? I presume for those non-feminists, they fear how powerful this could be, and liberating for all. (yes, I’m looking at you boys.)

Emma Watson, spoke in her UN speech of how “If men don’t have to be aggressive, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive.” Guys are bound as much by gender stereotypes as we are, and perhaps the femin- part of the word feminism is what lots of men fear, as they haven’t been told that they can embrace their “feminine side”, for want of a better adjective – the things that are associated with being feminine, such as creativity, vulnerability, taking pride in appearance. Reading poetry. Liking musicals. You know.

Education is fundamental to this cause, and luckily, we live in a time with the GLORIOUS internet, and all these fantastic women writing about it (I’m looking at you rookiemag.com – which I can only thank and applaud for teaching me all I ever truly need know)

Unfortunately, the internet can spew out some hideous monsters, which encourage lad culture, and basically piss on everything the movement is trying to do. I was on @TheMenimist Twitter site yesterday, with a face like :O – not understanding the popularity, or the comments of support, etc. I’m not going to waste my typing efforts, on it- it’s ignorant and NOT cool, not at all funny, under-researched, totally not valid in any way.

It reminds me of a time in secondary school, where one of my male friends was walking through a door- and instead of holding it open for me, purposely shut it in my face. I was all, DUDE, thanks for holding it open for me! and he replied, “I thought you were a feminist? Why should I hold the door open for you? I thought you believed in equality?”

Which made me gasp in bewilderment for how this guy had tapped into some deep intelligent thought that had never crossed my mind! Wow, what a genius! By him, shutting a door on me, leaving me out in the rain, he has pretty much achieved gender equality! Because, OBVIOUSLY, I wouldn’t do the same for him, if god forbid, he was behind me, being a man-hating feminist and all.

Anyway, The Menimist Twitter page is the same kind of smug, cocky, misogynist thing, with ACTUAL comparisons such as:

If I woman hits a man, she is seen as brave. If a man hits a woman, he is seen as an evil, brutal pervert. *RETWEET! FAVOURITE! QUOTE TWEET! Lol! So true!*

I always hate it when a man is seen as a brutal pervert, especially when him hitting a woman is justified.

This is what baffles me when girls, especially, don’t see any place for feminism in their world today. Obviously, there is a HUGE need for specific focus on feminist issues worldwide, with FGM rife and little girls being shot for wanting to go to school- but sexism is there everyday, in some shape or form, and mustn’t we try to change that? Because we genuinely want to, and feel a bit weird if we don’t at least try to do something?

Yes, we can go to university and can study what we like, so why feminism? You owe feminism for those rights. When I was sixteen, a girl proudly announced in front of the class that she wasn’t a feminist because she liked playing Xbox and watching lesbian porn. Babe, say thank you to feminism for that fact you can say that in class. Surely. Thank feminism for the fact you’re in school, surely.

Let’s stay positive about it anyway. Imagine, we could be the generation that gets paid the same as men, has equal representation in Parliament, whilst all standing up for each other, helping each other out.

I have some further reading, for those who have stayed (thanks for that.)

For your boyfriends, male friends, fathers, brothers- this liberating and often unspoken of article on a man’s role in sexism: (and you too, it’s a fantastic and refreshing read.)

http://www.rookiemag.com/2014/06/the-boys-guide-to-not-being-a-jerk/

Also:

http://everydaysexism.com/

For those of you who don’t think sexism is a daily thing. If not for you, it might still be- you may have just become accustomed to it. Read about other women’s stories here, however normalised or ‘petty.’

I truly believe that  everyone who wants to be an advocate for women’s rights can, anything you do, big or small- whether it’s volunteer in third world countries to help women less fortunate than us in the Western world, or just have a conversation with your mum (or dad) about feminism – all helps to bring it into conversation, and the more we say the word, the less scary it will be to say it. We will no longer have to say “I am a feminist, but…”

“I am a feminist.”

There is lots going on to be happy and hopeful about though. My brother picked me up from work yesterday and sang Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off all the way home. I like to think he is subconsciously a strident feminist, but just doesn’t know it, yet.

“A feminist is somebody who is empathetic, who listens, who can’t stand hypocrisy and who loves to see people thrive. Lots of feminists are women, lots of feminists aren’t.”

– Eleanor Catton, 29, author.

Thanks for reading!

TAL x

“I have a lot to learn & I’m starting tonight”

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I am feeling pretty excellent today, not in a really loud and shouty way (actually, I am always doing things in a particularly loud and shouty way) – yet I mean I was able to come home this afternoon and sit in a very cool room in my underwear and listen to the whole of First Aid Kit’s ‘The Lion’s Roar’ and Paul McCartney’s ‘Ram’ and not feel frustrated or hungry or crave a cigarette etc, instead just listening to the layers of instruments and thinking, ‘Yes. This is not bad at all.’  (BTW: My dad listened to The Lion’s Roar last night from start to finish and claimed it was the best album he’d heard in 10 years, apart from Fleet Foxes, well, duh.)

It was around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and after ringing a couple of friends I padded about the house for a few minutes, thought to myself ‘Jean Paul-Sartre once said, Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do-‘ and progressed to sit about just as Sartre would want. It reminds me of the time I auditioned for Drama Centre & the little old man asked me what I knew about existential writers (with a smug little smile) and I just said that quote, and smiled. I can’t remember if my audition slot was around 3pm, but my, what a line if it was. I wonder sometimes how I didn’t get a place.

I’ve just got back from a walk with my mother, which is very rare. We only walked the public footpaths around where we live but she still claims she’s never walked it before. When I said, ‘Seriously! I always walk round here.’ – or pointed to a riverbank where I once sat and read Beth Ditto’s autobiography in a whole afternoon (true story), she simply said ‘No you didn’t. Don’t lie’ and carried on walking, complaining of her hay fever and suffering her bad case of hypochondria. I love her very much but I think sometimes it is hard for us to be open with each other. It must be hard to see me growing up as I’m her youngest, and I think my incessant chatter about travelling and my gap year and continuous weekends stumbling home drunk (usually at 7am) is making her miss her youth a little. Still, she rocks and is my rock etc etc.

Meanwhile, I am luckily back into writing in the most frequent way for months; aiming to write for at least half an hour a day- with many of those half an hours spent scribbling, ‘HmMMM??!! What shall I write today??!?’ and then BAM!! Half an hour is up and I am a writer.

Also: reading:

‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ by Hunter S. Thompson, something discovered on the endlessly delightful Brain Pickingsimage (1)

 

 

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Most delightful dedication ever written. Bob Geiger, I love your work (for reasons that need not to be explained here.)

 

 

 

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Greatest chapter titles.

 

 

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& Ralph Steadman’s iconic illustrations (which are sooo tattoo worthy.)

Listening to lots of things, also:

 

 

 

Finally, photo (1)

 

I promise I am done now. Thank you for reading, and for your patience.

X

 

“She’s the colour of a magazine”

– something I wrote about Suede, and glam rock, to help aid and justify a delicate day after the night before. Also, I’ve been meaning to write something on here for the past few days as I realise some of my friends are now looking at this! Hey! How you doing!

I am so surprised I am even able to write this right now. It is half past 4 and all I’ve done since returning home this afternoon is sit very still, occasionally scribbling something down in my notebook, such as ‘I am going to have a cup of tea and then I will read Othello.’ Turns out Othello is pretty long and written in a form of jibberish. Writing down these little affirmations in the hope that I will be inspired to start getting on the productivity thing- whereas in fact I feel much better about myself today lying on my bed, half asleep, half-chewing my gum from last night, coming in and out of naps.

The other day at the gym I was absolutely sweating and beaming out all the endorphins imaginable, and I had a really clear thought where I went, ‘Suede!’ I’ve never written anything about Suede, (except tiny pleas/love letters and explicit drawings of Brett Anderson) so I thought it was good if I could explore them through my writing in order to discover the undiscoverable and unexplainable magic of the whole thing, man. (I am still feeling pretty baked.)

Aside: (I was listening to Suede earlier to rekindle the old obsession, but as I write this I am listening to none other than 3 Feet High and Rising, the best album ever recorded. This had to be mentioned.)

So, let’s begin with Exhibit A.

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Beautiful, androgynous Brett. I saw Suede last winter in Nottingham with my dad and he still has that compelling, captivating stage presence that just makes you hooked on his movements and the lyrics he’s singing, (Brett Anderson, not my dad.)

I searched his Wikipedia page in order to unravel the mystery a little for the sake of the blawg, and the anonymous and undderated writers of Wikipedia summed him up, perfectly: “[He] combines Morrissey’s homoerotic posturing with David Bowie’s glam theatrics”

I love the band because when listening to them, feeling a bit regretful and lousy, they manage to translate every bad decision I’ve made into something beautiful and otherwordly,  + *spoiler alert*AND THAT IS THE BEST THING WITH GLAM ROCK!!!*

Bowie, Bolan – it’s all about glitter, glitter in excess, excess, theatricality, making mistakes but turning those bad feelings into something else. It’s about saying, I’m gonna put on a show for you guys because life can be humdrum and monochrome at the best of times so we may as well make a big deal of it. Then, all of a sudden: pastel colours look simply washed out- what you thought were neutrals ‘beiges, creams, whites’ are replaced with the real essentials: ‘leopard print, sparkly silver, red, shiny black’ – and bam! You are in a good place, amongst friends.

Digressing (as per), but for me, the way DB wrote Starman ‘which had shaken everyone with its somewhere-over-the-rainbow chorus…’ – as Morrissey puts it in his Autobioraphy as well as ‘he is a Wildean visionary about to remould England’ – which always makes me smile as it’s lovely to see how musical influences all link together. (really digressing now)

I suppose Morrissey is not totally regarded as a glam-rock icon, but he was intrigued with the ambigious sexuality of the movement with Bowie, T.rex and particualrly the New York Dolls for instance. He also adored the gender-less nature of Patti Smith, and writes of her chef d’oeuvre, Horses, ‘[it] told me that, however heavy-hearted and impossible you might feel about yourself, you can still bestow love through recorded song.’…The fact that you don’t look like a pop star in waiting should not dishearten you because your oddness could be the deciding wind of change for others.’

The first Suede album I came across was ‘Coming Up- my dad handed me the CD and said, “listen to Track 9”, and I did- for a very long time over & over and it has actually inspired a lot of my little writing pieces over the last few years.

“Oh, we are young and not tired of it, we are young and easily led , oh – with all the kids getting out of their heads.”

I am growing sleepier (you don’t even know how long its taken me to write this post – today has been very delayed and mellow) – so I will leave you with a few more songs to hear, if you can handle the barrage on all of the senses.

“Shaved heads, raveheads, on the pill, got too much time to kill.”

“What does it take to turn you on now he has gone?”

“Sunshine will blow your mind, and the wind blow your brain.”

So good, so good.

Oh, so good.

“I love you, Internet- but I just don’t like you anymore” & “my old friend, the scrapbook”

Hey! In this post I’m writing about the Internet! All users of the Internet definitely will find this interesting. Oh, wait- that’s you, isn’t it?

I wrote here before about the headaches of the Internet, which you can read about  here.  In the post, I started to tap (har har tap, as in tapping on the keyboard) about my agg with this beast, which I said I’d write about soon. Today is soon! Before you get all righteous and suspicious…like, “Hey, this chick SAYS she has itchings with the Web, yet she’s writing a blog!! She’s using the internet! She’s a hypocrite!” I’m not I swear, I love the Internet!

I love the internet as a thing, without the internet I wouldn’t know about half of the books I’ve purchased cheaply for pennies on Amazon, I wouldn’t have been bothered to learn the guitar, only being able to learn old stuffy songs in dusty books on the top of Dad’s wardrobe, (like, I can maybe see why people like Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence, but please can I learn the chords to this instead? Oh wow, I can?! Gee, thanks Internet!)

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Just to prove it’s all I do

Ugh, I love it so much. But I deleted my Facebook this week. I was sitting on my bed, listening to Horses, (again, all I ever do is listen to Horses) and I remembered what I said once, I must have been about 12. I said, “Oh, yeah I’ll delete Facebook when I’m 18, so I can live without having to document everything on line, and actually start to live.” So I just did. Now, my friends would laugh at this, my best friend once saying that I used to delete my Facebook more than I had a period, but now, we have so many other cool ways to utilise the Internet (hey WordPress! Hey Twitter!) I thought, why should I feel obliged to have it? It’s not creative, it’s no longer for me. Sure, I used to get my thrills from sending potential crushes pictures of baby seals, but this technique didn’t ever work- apart from one who replied with “is this a virus”

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about. There are other ways of documenting your life, on PAPER form. (HEy you’re writing a blog you’re jfsiahfakk…)

I found my old scrapbook earlier! I think I started this around 3 years ago, and I have about 7 free pages left. They’re just scrappings of old magazine pages that I thought too precious to chuck away, but they’ve brought back a hella memories of my different tastes, and how my likes have changed. Lookee here:

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This is from the first page. As with all first pages, one always feels obliged to make A HUGE EFFORT so I even went 3D with it, by terrifyingly taping worry dolls down to the pages. I love the first few pages, because they showed that although I didn’t know what I wanted to do whilst scrapbooking, I was enthusiastic, and now when I look at everything altogether, those first pages seem so different, but still sweet.

Next, is this page about SUBCULTURE, which probably came hand in hand with my discovery of riot grrl and No Doubt. So, I’d fallen for Courtney- and these ‘Pamflet Commandments’ were my life mantra for a while. Pamflet, a former zine and now a website, was my first real education into feminism and how it’s the best lifestyle choice.

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“WWCD?”

And then comes the frantic scrapping, going out buying old poetry books, ripping and sticking. DH Lawrence remains a favourite poet, which I no doubt would have forgotten about if I hadn’t pasted him in my book.

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Also: fashion I liked, once. And still do. Hey, it’s in the book- I’ll always have a thing for everything in the book.

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Documented here is the first time I used COCKTAIL sticks for nail art. I’d badly and neatly scrapped a page full of Jean Seberg, after watching ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ so fucked it up with gross old nail art sticks. Better.

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Sometimes just for newspaper articles I’ve enjoyed:

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And now for the greatest thing of all. By this time, I’d pretty much got the hang of old magazine cut outs, I wanted something else that would feel a bit more personal to me. You know those pictures that you’d never post to the internet because you’re not in the right angle, you have too much sunburn, your smile is a bit too teethy? They’d make it into the book.

Prom photos that didn’t make the cut:

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And when I went to Barcelona with my friends. I have so many great photos, but these ones were too dark, or blurred- but now I prefer them for their imperfections. I think we try so hard to forget that some things aren’t completely perfect, everythings photoshopped, drunk status updates deleted. They still happened, moron.

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On a really drunk shopping spree through a souvenir shop, I tore this “100 euro” note off a toilet paper roll….id won the lottery

 

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And that’s that. I still have my seven or so pages to fill. It’s nice, because most of it is essentially rubbish, but when things are all collated together that you really like, you end up really really liking your scrapbook.

I’d love to hear about your guilty memories stashes.

Keep reading, and thanks for doing so.

Tara X

Patti Smith- a love letter

Tonight is going to be well spent: I received Horses in the post today… I’ve already played it 3 times already and although it is BEAUTIFUL BLUE SKY outside and I’ve been polishing up my bike so could go and get some fresh air (I probably will do after this now, so forgive me if  this is a little short-lived, that just sounds v.enticing) I could listen to this forever and ever, (until the phase vanishes that is, and I start listening to Ke$ha again, not even really ironically.)

Reasons why I like this album already:

  • The opening track ‘Gloria’ makes me feel happy to be alive. Can you just watch this and tell me if this doesn’t EXCITE you? If it doesn’t excite you, you’re heartless and so not punk rock.
  • The way she POUNDS her chest in the chorus in ‘Break it up’ She’s pretty much the queen. Let’s all emulate this. For those who have not been aurally treated to this, remember when you were little and used to bang your chest and pretend to be Tarzan? THAT, but whilst singing and y’know BEING PATTI SMITH.
  • My brother just walked through the room in which I type, reeking of aftershave, and said, ‘What the fuck is this shit you’re listening to’. This means it’s very good.
  • My DAD walked in after and started going, ‘Yeah! Patti! She’s so very…’ Me: Punk. Him. SO. And then we started shouting PUNK ROCK!!! A good moment for anyone who knows my dad.

I read her touching memoir Just Kids in the summer, and, although I hate this word a lot, it was really completely ‘unputdownable’, I read half of it on the way back from London (you can buy it from places outside London I’m sure) and laughed the whole way home, gasped at all the namedropping, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix, Edie S. etc etc, 

She has the most poetic way of talking about everyday things, along with her lovingly elaborative anecdotes and her besotted-ness with the dreamy photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who took the picture of aforementioned album:Image

Intense. This quote reads beautifully:

” I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.”

*sighs with admiration*

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Image This is my favourite ‘Could all you idiots shut the fuck up’ face. Will try and recreate with my cigarettes this weekend.

And finally, (seeing as this was a la mode on my blog last year and I enjoyed looking back on them, how can we look like Patti?) 

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It’s not about the clothes though, it’s about the ~vibes~. People above included Henry Miller, Bob Dylan and the poetry of Blake, of whom she was influenced by too. 

Follow me on twitter! @taralepore

God bless X