I've been spending a lot of time in my room as usual (quelle surprise). I can quite easily spend hours reading The Psychothronic Encyclopedia of Film and its amazing companion The Psychotronic Video Guide*. Check out Michael J Weldon's site here. Anyway alongside reading this and some old Curiosa Rubberlineas for nostalgia of PhD 'communities' gone by but I often ask myself these modern-day conundrums**:
1. Kids with trendy haircuts: since when did boys get to have trendy haircuts? In our day the only reason we got our hair cut was to stop bits of twigs getting stuck in it, they were also engineered for maximum embarrassment. From sitting on a plank to dangerously large clippers to old barbers cutting your hair while nonchlantly smoking a fag and chatting to you da, kids' hair cuts were a scary necessity. Since when did kids start looking like their fucking Razorlight or something, all perfectly styled mop-tops. Not to mention babies getting their own landrover-size pushchairs.
2. Mannequins with nipples: This modern conundrum has plagued me for years. Did mannequins always have nipples? or did I only start noticing them when my acursed libido kicked in? I think for once my libido is not to blame, loads of people have noticed it: see sex comes to the shop window and nipplemaina . Not to mention that crap Mazda ad a while back. Still doesn't really explain the insane manga style gigantic head mannequins that sometiems turn up in Cult, the shop for people who have to be told what's cool. You can even buy mannequin nipple enhancers to upgrade the old style mannequins! Christ, no wonder the earth's doomed when we expend energy making this twaddle.
3. Creme eggs getting smaller each year: Visual proof, via Ike, Mike and Mustard. Just generally, they way smaller things started to get marketed as better, the rot started with 'fun size' bars. Now the original 'fun size' bar is probably the same size as a current normal sized bar.
4. 'Travel Money' Part of Barclay's misguided attempted to be friendly and blokey and chatty. Is remaming the 'bureau de change' booth 'Travel Money' like we're too stupid to know what a 'bureau de change' is. It also assumes the only reason that you would need to change money is if you are travelling. Their pen holder says 'go ahead take one' like they know what your thinking. The great Charlie Brooker rants about better than moi.
5. Fucking Virgin Media: Of course telesales are always a pain in the hole but I found Virgin Media's blokey knob of a telesales guy especially pernicious. I got a good broadband deal of about £10 a month years ago and don't want it upgraded or generally fucked with, but this guy was wink winking and nudge nudging through the call like I'd met him in a pub."you'd like Bravo wouldn't you? does late night shows..you know what I mean, freeview? naw mate, naw you wanna get this" etc. I'm thinking 'I've got DVD's that'd melt your face, do you think I'm going to enticed by Laid Bare or Porn: A Family Buisness?'.
*Why do people always say the Bible or the works of shakespeare for the books they'd want on a desert island I'd want these babies. Similary to when I lived in a bedsit with no tv and would just read the tv lisitngs and imagine the programs the descriptions of the films is often more entertaining that Imagine watching them would be. Like Timerider: The Adventures of Lyle Swan, or Northstar aka The Einstein Man. or Spasmo or the classic Mutant on the Bounty.
**It goes pretty quickly from 'modern conundrems' to 'old style rants' , in the olden days we would call it 'observational humour' like 'what about those airplane peanuts' (c) Seinfeld and 'why do you not see white dog shit anymore' (c) Frank Skinner (I think)