Internet dialects



I find this guy fascinating, those dead eyes in that handsomely bland face, slightly nasal voice and the overcompensating with the hands and the bobbing and moving from side to side. It can distract somewhat from his point, which is of the well, duh, variety but argued quickly. Sort of a refresher course for internet culture.

Skip the movie, watch the video: Falcon and the Snowman



Part one in what may become a series. Way back in the stone ages, or the eighties as it was know at the time, the movie footage videoclip became a common way to both promote a movie and provide a band with a cheap videoclip. For many of us growing up that time who were too young or lacked the opportunity to catch these movies in the cinema, these clips were the only way in which we saw some of the eighties’ biggest movies. And often once you did watch them, they were nowhere near as good as the video. Case in point, The Falcon and the Snowman, late Cold War spy thriller that never lived up to the promise of its melancholy Bowie theme song.

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?



Back in February, The Grauniad had Gary Numan look back at how he wrote Are ‘Friends’ Electric and what it meant:

All my early songs were about being alone or misunderstood. As a teenager, I’d been sent to a child psychiatrist and put on medication. I had Asperger’s and saw the world differently. I immersed myself in sci-fi writers: Philip K Dick, JG Ballard. The lyrics came from short stories I’d written about what London would be like in 30 years. These machines – “friends” – come to the door. They supply services of various kinds, but your neighbours never know what they really are since they look human. The one in the song is a prostitute, hence the inverted commas. It was released in May 1979 and sold a million copies. I had a No 1 single with a song about a robot prostitute and no one knew.

Of course now it is thirty years later and while its vision of the future never quite came to pass, it still sounds as futuristic and chilling as it must’ve done in 1979. That both Ballard and Dick were influences on Numan doesn’t come as a surprise; it’s clear from the music.

Bonus: Nine Inch Nails invites Numan up on stage for Cars.



And now they know

Once you see it, it’s obvious you can read Frozen‘s Elsa as a trans symbol, as Aoife does here:



Let me first say that, as I propose to offer a trans reading of Elsa, I’m not claiming there is any intrinsic connection between my analysis and the Disney creators. Far from it. I’m also not implying the appeal of Elsa as a trans symbol is universal: my spouse, who is also trans, informed me that she hated Frozen decidedly.

However, when many of us reflect on the stressed, condensed condition of gender dysphoria, of being encased in a fraught awareness internally and a false presentation outwardly, Elsa suggests to our collective spirit of survival the joy of release. We always wanted to believe our lives would get better, that the empowerment of freedom comes from the beautiful truth of becoming. Yes, there are many costs associated with this act to “turn away and slam the [closet] door”, and Elsa must confront in the isolation of liberation. But the slow motion suicide of “conceal, don’t feel” attests to what is truly frozen — the state of denial that rejects the possibility of living free.