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Off-Topic => Something else => Topic started by: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 12:21:12

Title: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 12:21:12
Hi Sue, I'm a nostalgia addict, so you may get more than you bargained for.

So my introduction to The Cure live was in February 1988 (a few months after I'd discovered them in late 1987) and was a few songs from the 1987 Birmingham NEC show on BBC Radio One.

Here's my diary entry on it:

(https://i.postimg.cc/8Cffnt70/DSC03431.jpg)

I remember being blown away by how great they were live and immediately prioritized buying the Concert LP (at that time their only official live album) from the selection of their vinyl available at the local record store.

Then a few months later I went on my first trip up to London's Camden and Kensington markets with my best friend Nicola, looking mostly for clothes. Here's a recent tweet with pics of her and me at the time. She and I went out in early 1987 - my first proper girlf - and then became best friends a year later after we unknowingly both got into alternative music.

https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2/status/1276466408340291585

Those markets back then were fantastic. Full of clothes & music for, and people from, every kind of 80s alternative scene you can imagine. Coming from a suburban village at the edge of a smallish town where there was only me, Nic and a handful of other like minded people (compared to the wash of 80s mainstream culture) it was a real eye opener! I'd spend a lot of great days there in the coming years.

Anyway, what I hadn't realised before that first trip was that there were shops and stalls selling unofficial vinyl productions of bootleg recordings of shows (something that had been going on for decades) and others selling tapes (a more recent phenomenon of bootleggers bootlegging the bootlegged!). The tapes were considerably cheaper ($5-£10 maybe) than the vinyl ($12-£20 perhaps) so still being at school the former were for me.

The first tape I bought was a double - the entire finale show on the 1987 tour, at Wembley Arena. You can see the cover here

(https://i.postimg.cc/7PdntfPB/front.jpg)

Here's my diary entry for 22nd June 1988, a few days after:

(https://i.postimg.cc/L80dyVPw/DSC03434.jpg)

I just loved that tape, it introduced me to songs I didn't know and which became favourites (Faith & The Drowning Man) and even the world of Cure covers (they do an amusingly riotous version of Slade's Merry Christmas at the end - see below). I didn't realise until much later the speed of the recording was a bit fast - oddities like that are abound in bootlegs! - but it was all part of the adventure.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71uyabvV6pg)

So as I say, I could only afford a few of these recordings at the time - I think I got hold of one or two more, very early 1979 shows, but it wasn't until long after my initial 87-90 full on goth phase I really got interested in collecting them through tape trading. I'll leave that for part 2 of the story some time soon, as for now I gotta go cook eggs for breakfast!

in the meantime here's some of my collection (most is long disposed of) and a few more pics of me from that era...

(https://i.postimg.cc/wjS1CD84/006.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Lsx8HPrM/1988.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Y9V2FHrn/Big-Hair-1988.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/Dzwbd7hn/Karen-Rouse-Matt-18th-BD.jpg)

Matt





Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 13:37:46
Quote from: Ulrich on July 18, 2020, 11:23:32Thank you so much! For years I'd been looking out, asking here and there. You're the one who finally "delivered"! Excellent!  :smth023  :happy

My pleasure, and if you or anyone else has any requests, I'll do my best to post them. If a recording exists, I usually either have it or can get hold of it elsewhere and extract the particular track..
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 18, 2020, 14:41:30
Well, isn't that nice - Ulrich getting re-united with a special moment, and me getting a story, with diary entries and photos and all!  :cool  Because I used to set free journalling as part of English assessments, I got to see lots of adolescent journals, and am therefore in a position to congratulate you on your lovely curly heading-font :heart-eyes and the above-average legibility of your general adolescent handwriting.  :angel

Quote from: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 12:21:12Then a few months later I went on my first trip up to London's Camden and Kensington markets with my best friend Nicola, looking mostly for clothes. Here's a recent tweet with pics of her and me at the time. She and I went out in early 1987 - my first proper girlf - and then became best friends a year later after we unknowingly both got into alternative music.

https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2/status/1276466408340291585

Those markets back then were fantastic. Full of clothes & music for, and people from, every kind of 80s alternative scene you can imagine. Coming from a suburban village at the edge of a smallish town where there was only me, Nic and a handful of other like minded people (compared to the wash of 80s mainstream culture) it was a real eye opener! I'd spend a lot of great days there in the coming years.

Haha, your description of your town reminds me of where I went to middle school. :1f635: I was new to the area (and to Australia) - small xenophobic country town.  Not exactly a welcoming crowd, nor a very interesting one (with some exceptions though) - many just loved to ostracise people who were different in any way.  Sadly, I didn't have any amazing alternative places to escape to - although there was a lot of woodland around where I lived and you could go for hours without ever seeing anyone - which is also a good experience.  Luckily, I went to a metro school for my senior schooling, and the students there were much nicer.

And awwww, aren't those photos cute!  Is that a Border Collie?  And, you're a muso.  Are you still playing?


Quote from: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 12:21:12Anyway, what I hadn't realised before that first trip was that there were shops and stalls selling unofficial vinyl productions of bootleg recordings of shows (something that had been going on for decades) and others selling tapes (a more recent phenomenon of bootleggers bootlegging the bootlegged!). The tapes were considerably cheaper ($5-£10 maybe) than the vinyl ($12-£20 perhaps) so still being at school the former were for me.

The first tape I bought was a double - the entire finale show on the 1987 tour, at Wembley Arena. You can see the cover here

https://i.postimg.cc/7PdntfPB/front.jpg

Here's my diary entry for 22nd June 1988, a few days after:

https://i.postimg.cc/L80dyVPw/DSC03434.jpg

It's so funny reading words like "knackered"!  :lol:  I notice you were "talking" to your diary; hello, goodbye, stuff like that.  I did the same as a teenager; it seemed more like a conversation that way and in my case it was because I spent a lot of time isolated on a farm with a family you couldn't have conversations with, and who hadn't any interest in who I was as a person.  Plus, I always liked writing, it gave me a voice, and it helped me to think and to figure things out.


Quote from: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 12:21:12I just loved that tape, it introduced me to songs I didn't know and which became favourites (Faith & The Drowning Man) and even the world of Cure covers (they do an amusingly riotous version of Slade's Merry Christmas at the end - see below). I didn't realise until much later the speed of the recording was a bit fast - oddities like that are abound in bootlegs! - but it was all part of the adventure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71uyabvV6pg

It does sound like lots of fun.  Brett was telling me there's quite a bootleg culture in Europe; I wouldn't know because I wasn't from a particularly musical family and was only 11 when I left.  It's quite funny though; I spent a week in East Sussex in November 1982, in a place called Dallington, near Heathfield, do you know it?  It was to take horses into quarantine (don't ask) and I remember the drystone walls and undulating fields, and tall thorny hedges that divided fields, and it's the first time I ever saw sheep... and a sheepdog trial on TV.  There was a huge hibiscus I pressed flowers from as keepsakes, there was a lot of mud, and it was drizzling a fair bit!  It's also the first time I ever drank coffee, because the woman who ran the quarantine farm made it for me, and it was mostly milk, so tasted fine to me.  The man who ran the motel (converted from cow stables) was a retired bank manager who dressed in a dark suit to serve food his wife cooked, in the converted hay barn.

Oooh look, I found some old photos I took on the trip - unfortunately, none that didn't have horses in them.  One showing how the old buildings were like paintings:

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/old_photo_01.jpg)

...and one showing the countryside and the sheep:

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/old_photo_04.jpg)

The ferry trip over from Oostende was terrible - I was petrified because I had recently seen the film The Poseidon Adventure... :lol:


Quote from: MAtT on July 18, 2020, 12:21:12in the meantime here's some of my collection (most is long disposed of) and a few more pics of me from that era...

https://i.postimg.cc/wjS1CD84/006.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Lsx8HPrM/1988.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Y9V2FHrn/Big-Hair-1988.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Dzwbd7hn/Karen-Rouse-Matt-18th-BD.jpg

Haha, you did the hair and everything!  I'm curious as to how you actually got it to tower like this.  Did you dry it upside-down in front of a fan heater?  With some sort of glue-like styling aid?

I always thought that the easiest way to get hair like that would be to employ a Van de Graaff generator... :angel

(https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2F4--N6KLsZ0Q%2Fhqdefault.jpg&f=1&nofb=1)

...you know, and spray your hair with a ton of hair spray before you take your hand off that dome!  ;)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27
OK, part two. Answers to questions first though:

QuoteSueC: Is that a Border Collie?  And, you're a muso.  Are you still playing?

I think so yes, though I'm no dog expert (I'm a cat person). Her name was Tessa and I used to look after her when Nicola and her family were away. Lovely dog.

And no! Though it was my guitar I can't play! I had a few classical guitar and piano lessons when I was very young but was far too impatient to learn properly. I'm quite good at just picking instruments up and working out how to do the basics, but not much more. All I can play properly now on the piano is the opening bars of Moonlight Sonata and on the guitar the chords of Wild Thing, the start of A Forst and the basslines to Figurehead and Faith. Oh, and the obligatory Stairway to Heaven start.

QuoteDallington, near Heathfield, do you know it?

No sorry, I don't know that part of the country much. It's bigger than you think! (though still very small compared to Australia!)

QuoteI notice you were "talking" to your diary; hello, goodbye, stuff like that.  I did the same as a teenager; it seemed more like a conversation that way

Yep they're all done that way intentionally. I always imagined I'd be talking to a later me, and indeed that's been the case for the most part. Occasionally I'd let others read them - girlfriends, including Karen in that picture who I was going out with in 1989 and 1990 and living with at my parents (including for 6 months after we split up - long story!) - so in those cases I was talking to them too I guess...

QuoteHaha, you did the hair and everything!  I'm curious as to how you actually got it to tower like this.  Did you dry it upside-down in front of a fan heater?  With some sort of glue-like styling aid?

Yeah, things were very tribal back then and if you weren't of the mainstream (not a 'casual' as we used to call it) then for the most part you wanted to identify as such! Plus I've always been a huge show off. *chuckle*

The hair was done with hairspray (the cheap 'Supersoft' Boots own brand I found best, ironically) applied at the same time as heating with the hairdryer. I ruined several of my mum's by clogging them up with spray! This was before the strong gels and putties of today existed. Occasionally people used to try home made recipes - egg whites and lemon juice, and soap were examples - but they tended to turn into disasters when it rained! There was at least one occasion when not at home and devoid of hairspray to fix it, I used superglue on some errant strands. Had to cut them out later!

OK, so back to the tape trading. At the end of 1991, along with many others from various scenes I went off in a different direction, joining the dance and chemical revolution that had started a few years earlier in the 'summers of love' in the UK, getting into rave. Did that for a few years and then chilled through the mid 90s in a haze of smoke. But I never abandon something I like and I continued to enjoy listening to my old goth and alternative favourites, and bought and liked Wish in 1992. Then by the time of Wild Mood Swings in 96 I'd rediscovered my love of darker guitar music generally having got into Radiohead and enjoyed the darkening of trip hop with bands like Massive Attack and Portishead. I was ready to fully re-embrace my Cure addiction, inlcuding seeing them live that year (the first since Wembley 1989).

So it must have also been around then (diary entries are sparse after 1991) that I was up in Camden a lot again, as a friend called Natalie lived there. I remember staying up hers, going round the market and looking at the bootleg tapes again, this time with more money in my pocket. I bought some Radiohead, Smiths, and a few Cure ones including Dusseldorf 1981, Berlin Metropol 1982, and a compilation of rare tracks that included "All I Have to Do Is Kill Her" (later identified as All Mine from Paris 1982). These I loved - my favourite Cure era live.

At the same time I'd recently got daily access to the web at work and started looking at early Cure websites, including Stiff As Toys Tall As Men with its message board and review section for bootlegs, A Chain of Flowers (which still exists of course) and various people's tape trading sites. I was amazed by the sheer number of Cure concerts that had been recorded and decided to contact some of the traders to see if I could trade the few shows I had for others. And yeah, slow at first (to find people who didn't have what I had) but quick once I got going, after a few years of tape-to-tape recording and standing in line at Post Offices with bulky parcels, I'd amassed quite a collection and had created my own website to trade (The Upstairs Room). Here's the list as it stood in 2000:

https://web.archive.org/web/19991110165640/http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Mezzanine/9378/tapes/12zb.html

and by year with brief reviews I did for each:

https://web.archive.org/web/19991104155353/http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Mezzanine/9378/12.html

Compilations:

https://web.archive.org/web/19990819172139/http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Mezzanine/9378/tapes/12zy.html

And the main site:

https://web.archive.org/web/19991013153927/http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Mezzanine/9378/

So I'll stop there as it's time for lunch (there's a theme here)....

Matt
 




 
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 21, 2020, 14:43:35
Quote from: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27And no! Though it was my guitar I can't play! I had a few classical guitar and piano lessons when I was very young but was far too impatient to learn properly. I'm quite good at just picking instruments up and working out how to do the basics, but not much more. All I can play properly now on the piano is the opening bars of Moonlight Sonata and on the guitar the chords of Wild Thing, the start of A Forst and the basslines to Figurehead and Faith. Oh, and the obligatory Stairway to Heaven start.

:) Sounds like a great start!

...an acquaintance took up learning violin in her 60s and was playing regularly in a local orchestra by age 70.  She went on to live to be 100.  Carpe diem and all that.  ;)  You're not too old to systematically do more and have a realistic expectation of progressing - if that's what you'd like to do! :)

I merely had a recorder as a schoolkid, like every other kid who went to my primary school, and I loved finding tunes on it (and really disliked the condensation that collects in the headpiece, which thankfully was detachable and washable - only the body of the thing was wood).  An older cousin who saw my enthusiasm bequeathed me a reasonably decent and large keyboard when she got a new one, but I never got lessons and the instrument never made it to Australia.  This didn't stop me improvising funeral dirges for dying butterflies with my friends for a couple of years - when it gets cold, butterflies tend to die, and we used to put them in matchboxes lined with pretty fabric scraps and arrange their funerals, with sadness and speeches and music.

The first year out of university I took some piano lessons, but found the right hand - left hand thing didn't agree with me, plus I lacked something to practice on once I moved out of a boarding situation.  A few years later I tried out violin, which is much more portable, and found it agreed with me.  I had three years' worth of lessons before travelling, work demands etc meant I reached a plateau, and often I had to put it away for long periods of time, like when my husband and I spent five years building our own house.  An armchair and a book is often what really happens - but it's still nice to get it out and play, and someday I may even get consistent again...


Quote from: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27Yeah, things were very tribal back then and if you weren't of the mainstream (not a 'casual' as we used to call it) then for the most part you wanted to identify as such! Plus I've always been a huge show off. *chuckle*

Casual = Muggle?  :angel

Yeah, my husband and I both disliked the 80s mainstream when we were teenagers, and didn't go along with the fads.  We were just noncomformist (separately, decades before meeting each other) and not visually identifiable as any kind of subculture.  I do sort of get how if you met the right number of nice people from a particular subculture at a formative time, it might create enthusiasm for having a marker that says, "I'm with this mob!"

I remember that at senior high school, we had a kid who'd just emigrated from the UK, who had a towering mohawk.  He was actually a really nice guy.  The boys didn't want to include him, so he became part of the girls' social groups.  He had his head screwed on far better than the average boy from our year.


Quote from: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27The hair was done with hairspray (the cheap 'Supersoft' Boots own brand I found best, ironically) applied at the same time as heating with the hairdryer. I ruined several of my mum's by clogging them up with spray!

ROFL.  :lol:  What did your mother think about this?  Annoyed or supportive?

...a Van de Graaff generator wouldn't have suffered from being in the vicinity of hair spray - so I'm going to keep recommending that method.   :winking_tongue


Quote from: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27This was before the strong gels and putties of today existed. Occasionally people used to try home made recipes - egg whites and lemon juice, and soap were examples - but they tended to turn into disasters when it rained! There was at least one occasion when not at home and devoid of hairspray to fix it, I used superglue on some errant strands. Had to cut them out later!

This is hilarious!  :cool  Did you know that some of the really distinctive African tribal hairstyles are traditionally aided and abetted by the use of cow dung? 

(https://hadithi.africa/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/5509425996_6cf8bef756_b.jpg)

More here: https://hadithi.africa/2020/03/17/meet-the-mwila-people-of-angola-whose-women-cover-their-hair-with-cow-dung/ (https://hadithi.africa/2020/03/17/meet-the-mwila-people-of-angola-whose-women-cover-their-hair-with-cow-dung/)

All natural, not carcinogenic, won't harm nature, beautiful results.  :smth023   Probably wouldn't work with a culture that spends significant amounts of time indoors...


Quote from: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27But I never abandon something I like and I continued to enjoy listening to my old goth and alternative favourites, and bought and liked Wish in 1992. Then by the time of Wild Mood Swings in 96 I'd rediscovered my love of darker guitar music generally having got into Radiohead and enjoyed the darkening of trip hop with bands like Massive Attack and Portishead. I was ready to fully re-embrace my Cure addiction, including seeing them live that year (the first since Wembley 1989).

Finally Brett has heard of one other person who also likes Portishead!  That's one of his all-time favourite bands.  I don't mind trip hop and I'm jealous that you got to see The Cure live.  My husband saw them back in the early 2000s.  When we were busy building our house out in the sticks we were completely oblivious to the fact that they were actually touring Australia, or we could have gone to see them...  :1f62d:


Quote from: MAtT on July 20, 2020, 14:16:27At the same time I'd recently got daily access to the web at work and started looking at early Cure websites, including Stiff As Toys Tall As Men with its message board and review section for bootlegs, A Chain of Flowers (which still exists of course) and various people's tape trading sites. I was amazed by the sheer number of Cure concerts that had been recorded and decided to contact some of the traders to see if I could trade the few shows I had for others. And yeah, slow at first (to find people who didn't have what I had) but quick once I got going, after a few years of tape-to-tape recording and standing in line at Post Offices with bulky parcels, I'd amassed quite a collection and had created my own website to trade (The Upstairs Room). Here's the list as it stood in 2000:

Thanks for the list!  (I see I have homework!)  Also this new instalment of your story.  :cool

Got to run - fun programme on Australia's booze culture being presented by teetotaller comedian starting!  :)  This will be a bit like The Supersizers Go.

I'm sure I'm going to think of more questions.  Like about the Goth subculture!
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06
QuoteThe first year out of university I took some piano lessons, but found the right hand - left hand thing didn't agree with me

Yeah, that's the part I found hard work too, and I'm not keen on hard work!

QuoteThis didn't stop me improvising funeral dirges for dying butterflies with my friends for a couple of years - when it gets cold, butterflies tend to die, and we used to put them in matchboxes lined with pretty fabric scraps and arrange their funerals, with sadness and speeches and music.

Ha! I love butterflies, always have. I used to capture them as a kid and keep them in large propagators with flowers in. Probably not the best idea looking back, but I never had funerals for them!

QuoteCasual = Muggle?

In the sense of being someone who went along with the mainstream fashion of the day, yes. And that fashion was casual sports wear in colourful pastels, or the very casual sports wear of tracksuits and sports shoes. Whereas the alternative scene was comprised of anything that went against that: goths & cureheads, smiths fans, metallers, rockabillies, psychobillies, skateboarders etc. etc. Often the more aggressive casual elements would taunt or try to pick fights with people in the alternative scenes, which reinforced tribal allegiances.

QuoteROFL.  :lol:  What did your mother think about this?  Annoyed or supportive?

My mum was pretty supportive, at least once I started buying my own hairspray and hairdryers! I think she worried a bit about my going out as I did because she knew it might cause 'agro' as she called it. Not so much at school or in the village (I'm not small and was pretty feisty so could handle myself in trouble) but more going into town or to London in case I got picked on by more serious people. My dad was less so, not so much because of the hair and clothes, but he didn't like the makeup. I think he thought I might be gay, and that generation was less enlightened than ours, at least back then. Ironically now I have nephew who came out as gay and my dad is fine with it! He made a fuss and told me to stop, but by then I was 16 and was having none of it, saying he'd have to put up with it or I'd leave, and as loving parents neither he nor my mum wanted me to have to find my own way, so he had to put up with it!

After a while my mum came to like it I think. She's just missed out on the swinging 60s so I think both in the goth thing and the later rave thing, she lived vicariously through me a little!

QuoteFinally Brett has heard of one other person who also likes Portishead!  That's one of his all-time favourite bands.  I don't mind trip hop and I'm jealous that you got to see The Cure live. 

Yeah they were great. Never saw them live unfortunately. Beth's voice is just the best, and they're one of the darker bands of the genre. I have seen Massive Attack several times and they were my faves. Does Brett know the band Earthling? They had a trip hop album Radar which I loved, but no-one's ever heard of them! They're got more of the -hop in trip-hop than Portishead if you know what I mean, but plenty or trip- too. For me they are really of the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzWss6g62Fk&list=PLqmsbP2u9Jz71WDnx0Fb7b2Qys4IcKqdu

The Cure I've seen many time, first in 89, again in 96, then twice on the 2000 tour (here and in Belgium) twice at festivals in the early 2000s and also at a Trilogy show in Berlin in 2002, which was fantastic. Those later shows were all meet-ups with people from the old message board - we had quite a little Cure community back in the day!

Matt



Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 25, 2020, 03:04:38
Hullo Matt and top of the Antipodean morning to you! :)

Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06
Quote from: undefinedThe first year out of university I took some piano lessons, but found the right hand - left hand thing didn't agree with me

Yeah, that's the part I found hard work too, and I'm not keen on hard work!

Easy fix:  Giving yourself a good kick up your own backside!  :angel  :yum:  :beaming-face

Disclaimer: This method doesn't work if the main problem is lack of energy.  :1f636:

The left hand - right hand thing was a brain issue for me.  With a stringed instrument, your hands are each doing such vastly different things that this worked out fine in my case.  (Well, perhaps not with a harp, but with the left hand finding notes on a fingerboard, right hand playing the strings type anyway.)


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06Ha! I love butterflies, always have. I used to capture them as a kid and keep them in large propagators with flowers in. Probably not the best idea looking back, but I never had funerals for them!

Very cool.  :cool  I had a friend who kept an ant colony in a terrarium.  I feel lucky to have been in the last generation with an automatic hands-on childhood.  These days you have to have hippie parents or parents from some weird religious cult to be free-range and not have screens in your face all day...

If you never had a butterfly funeral, does that mean you let them go again after a bit?


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06
Quote from: undefinedCasual = Muggle?
In the sense of being someone who went along with the mainstream fashion of the day, yes. And that fashion was casual sports wear in colourful pastels, or the very casual sports wear of tracksuits and sports shoes. Whereas the alternative scene was comprised of anything that went against that: goths & cureheads, smiths fans, metallers, rockabillies, psychobillies, skateboarders etc. etc. Often the more aggressive casual elements would taunt or try to pick fights with people in the alternative scenes, which reinforced tribal allegiances.

I think that's so fascinating, tribes in the urban jungle.  Have you by any chance ever read Desmond Morris' The Human Zoo?  It's a bit of an eye-opener, not to mention very funny.  Biologist who researched baboons and then realised how like baboons human were...  :lol:

You can even find him playing his favourite music on Desert Island Discs!


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06My mum was pretty supportive, at least once I started buying my own hairspray and hairdryers!

 :lol:  :smth023  :cool


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06I think she worried a bit about my going out as I did because she knew it might cause 'agro' as she called it. Not so much at school or in the village (I'm not small and was pretty feisty so could handle myself in trouble) but more going into town or to London in case I got picked on by more serious people. My dad was less so, not so much because of the hair and clothes, but he didn't like the makeup. I think he thought I might be gay, and that generation was less enlightened than ours, at least back then. Ironically now I have nephew who came out as gay and my dad is fine with it! He made a fuss and told me to stop, but by then I was 16 and was having none of it, saying he'd have to put up with it or I'd leave, and as loving parents neither he nor my mum wanted me to have to find my own way, so he had to put up with it!

:)

Yeah, isn't it interesting how the non-mainstreamers tend to have far better identity formation, because they had to swim against the tide to do it?  ...depending on the size of the subculture, as well, but yeah, to be different always seems to attract negative responses from mainstream crowds, and also often from crowds of other subcultures...

I'm wondering about that whole anti-makeup thing you can commonly find in a certain generation of men, as pertains other men.  As a female commenting on this, it seems to me that males get more cultural pressure to be very straitlaced compared to females.  I can wear pants and nobody accuses me of cross-dressing (though of course back in the 1930s that might have been the thinking).  I can wear my husband's T-shirt or jumper and nobody raises an eyebrow, but if he wore mine, there'd be all sorts of sexual and identity implications made about it.  I can wear make-up or not, although I guess women tend to have pressure put on them to wear it, while men tend to have pressure put on them not to.  Rum old world.  The younger generations are doing all this better than ours, thankfully!   :cool


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06After a while my mum came to like it I think. She's just missed out on the swinging 60s so I think both in the goth thing and the later rave thing, she lived vicariously through me a little!

Your mum actually sounds very cool.  I've a friend in her 80s now, Alice, who's super-cool like that - she's always listening to her grandkids' and great-grandkids' music with them and really diving in to all sorts of things.  I've known her for over 20 years and knowing her made me stop worrying about getting old, because if getting old is being anything like her, then that's fine.  :)   It's funny because she used to scandalise other "old ladies" who came to our philosophy society (as part of a general mix of backgrounds and ages) by being very open about things "old ladies" weren't supposed to be open about.  :lol:   She's a person, not a number.  She showed me exactly that, by the way she lived.  She won't wear the intellectual corsets and other common ideas on how she should be because she's female, or over 60, or anything else that certain people like to make into shackles to bind others with.  :cool


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06
Quote from: undefinedFinally Brett has heard of one other person who also likes Portishead!  That's one of his all-time favourite bands.  I don't mind trip hop and I'm jealous that you got to see The Cure live.

Yeah they were great. Never saw them live unfortunately. Beth's voice is just the best, and they're one of the darker bands of the genre.

Yeah, Brett only saw their official recorded concert.  By the way, @Ulrich has just read Annihilation, and Brett pointed out to me that the music for the film version of that was partly composed by Geoff Barrow from Portishead.


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06I have seen Massive Attack several times and they were my faves. Does Brett know the band Earthling? They had a trip hop album Radar which I loved, but no-one's ever heard of them! They're got more of the -hop in trip-hop than Portishead if you know what I mean, but plenty or trip- too. For me they are really of the time.

He thanks you for your suggestion and will look them up.

I like the instrumental aspect of the sample track you posted, but to be honest, when they started singing they lost me.  But it's often like that for me.  :angel


Quote from: MAtT on July 23, 2020, 13:24:06The Cure I've seen many time, first in 89, again in 96, then twice on the 2000 tour (here and in Belgium) twice at festivals in the early 2000s and also at a Trilogy show in Berlin in 2002, which was fantastic. Those later shows were all meet-ups with people from the old message board - we had quite a little Cure community back in the day!

That does sound very lovely; what happened to them?

We love Trilogy, and you were at one of the shows.  Brett says, "That's it, now we can't be friends anymore!"   :winking_tongue   :angel

How "Goth" are you? (If that's a question that can be answered?)  Do you have cool dark outfits from the really olden days?  You know, before people wore tracksuits when they went shopping?  :1f635:  I love period piece dramas in part because they're not such an aesthetic assault as walking down a modern street is.  :1f62e:

Brett wouldn't classify himself as anything, but has read the Autumn Cemetery text; also he gave me a copy of Death The High Cost Of Living when we were first getting to know each other.  It was a secret birthday present he snuck on my bookcase when I wasn't looking, next to books he knew I'd go to frequently.  :heart-eyes  (The first book I gave him was Sophie's World, as part of a parcel of goodies for Valentine's Day when we were just friends and I was determined this lovely man was going to have a Valentine's Day to remember. ♥)

We read all sorts of stuff - including things that scandalise fundamentalists, such as the Gospel of Thomas (which is very amusing - infant Jesus blows up the bullies), The Thunder, Perfect Mind (http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/thunder.html), and other things from ancient libraries like Nag Hammadi.  It's quite fun to discover that we have things in common with people who lived thousands of years ago, or to see someone having a grumpy day, all the way back in history, where he's complaining about women to his own grandson.   :lol:

Cheerio!  :)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51
QuoteIf you never had a butterfly funeral, does that mean you let them go again after a bit?

Yeah I did. Though I also collected caterpillars in the hope they'd turn into butterflies, but with no idea of what plants to put in there (I think I thought a leaf was just a leaf so they should be able to eat any). They died, but no funerals. I also kept stick insects we bought from a shop. Inevitably one of our cats got through the netting and made half a meal of them!

QuoteI think that's so fascinating, tribes in the urban jungle.  Have you by any chance ever read Desmond Morris' The Human Zoo?  It's a bit of an eye-opener, not to mention very funny.  Biologist who researched baboons and then realised how like baboons human were..

I'm not hugely well read, but do have The Naked Ape and read it many many years ago. I see it's a continuation of that theme so should check it out. Yeah, humans are very tribal, sometimes harmlessly, sometimes not.

QuoteI'm wondering about that whole anti-makeup thing you can commonly find in a certain generation of men, as pertains other men.  As a female commenting on this, it seems to me that males get more cultural pressure to be very straitlaced compared to females.  I can wear pants and nobody accuses me of cross-dressing (though of course back in the 1930s that might have been the thinking).  I can wear my husband's T-shirt or jumper and nobody raises an eyebrow, but if he wore mine, there'd be all sorts of sexual and identity implications made about it.  I can wear make-up or not, although I guess women tend to have pressure put on them to wear it, while men tend to have pressure put on them not to.  Rum old world.  The younger generations are doing all this better than ours, thankfully!   :cool

Yeah, I've never really gender conformed from those days onwards. Even when I got into rave and then clubbing in the late 90s I was the one in the 3-inch spice girl bufallo boots buying clubbing clothes from women's as well as men's shops. Transgender politics is a strange thing these days - I don't agree with radicals that gender defines sex - I think to do so is harmful to feminism, but I'm very much a trans supporter, use whatever pronouns people like, and would say a trans woman (for instance) is a woman, though not exactly the same as a natal or female-bodied woman. For me gender's just an arbitrary social construct that very much needs dismantling. The more 'cross dressing' the better (though even that term is problematic).

I'm also a Madonna fan (predating my goth phase and as I said, I never dispose of old loves and will always be a fan) and this song strikes a chord with what you said - especially the start. Gender as currently constructed is sexist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYwgG2oyUbA

QuoteYour mum actually sounds very cool.  I've a friend in her 80s now, Alice, who's super-cool like that - she's always listening to her grandkids' and great-grandkids' music with them and really diving in to all sorts of things.  I've known her for over 20 years and knowing her made me stop worrying about getting old, because if getting old is being anything like her, then that's fine.  :)   It's funny because she used to scandalise other "old ladies" who came to our philosophy society (as part of a general mix of backgrounds and ages) by being very open about things "old ladies" weren't supposed to be open about.  :lol:   She's a person, not a number.  She showed me exactly that, by the way she lived.  She won't wear the intellectual corsets and other common ideas on how she should be because she's female, or over 60, or anything else that certain people like to make into shackles to bind others with.  :cool

Yeah, she's not around any more but she was always cool and became more and more so with age. I think that happens a lot, even for people who were uptight in their younger days. I would think getting really old makes you realise the things that matter in life, which though can vary a lot, are almost never worrying about what other people are up to that you don't like (as long as it's harmless). IOW very old people tend to be more 'live and let live'.

QuoteThat does sound very lovely; what happened to them?

We eventually drifted apart, or at least I drifted away and I assume everyone else did. We had some good fun though.

QuoteHow "Goth" are you? (If that's a question that can be answered?)  Do you have cool dark outfits from the really olden days?

Well, 'goth' means a lot of things and comes in a lot of varieties right? Even back then, and even more so these days. I guess you could say I was on the hippy goth side of things because as well as classic Sisters, Bauhaus, etc, I loved bands like All About Eve, contemporary artists like Suzanne Vega, and old stuff like Simon and Garfunkle, and my dress reflected that - lots of paisley shirts and flowing scarves. And of course I'd be thought of as a Curehead, which for some of the older scene (those who were goth from the early 80s) was seen as a bad thing (a pop goth) but for Cure fans was a badge of honour. Tribes within tribes!

Here's some more pics of me and friends 88-90, but unfortunately they're at school or at home on school lunch breaks. I don't really have any of me fully dressed up. In fact, in every one of those photo but the first one, all of us are in what we counted as 'school uniform'! The beginning of a lifetime of arguing with authority about dress codes for me! The first pic was at school fancy dress as I recall, but killjoy that I am I don't do fancy dress (dressing up being a deadly serious business and not for fun! lol) so I just put on a few paisley shirts, a long skirt, and declared myself 'Mary Poppins' as I recall! The last one is me with Charlotte from my magic tape story...

(https://i.postimg.cc/LsyjsNQf/Karen-Me-at-a-fancy-dress.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/SxgnLjLb/Abby-Alyson-Lunch-Time.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/mr02V9tJ/Alyson-Zara.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/8CWVp0zX/Claire-ffrench-Blake-Andrew-French-Trevor-Owen.jpgj)

(https://i.postimg.cc/tRDG4P9b/Charlotte-Matt-1989.jpg)

QuoteBrett wouldn't classify himself as anything, but has read the Autumn Cemetery text; also he gave me a copy of Death The High Cost Of Living when we were first getting to know each other.

I'm not a comic book fan, but the exception is Neil Gaiman. I have and love the whole Sandman/Death collection. Quintessential goth reading, so I'm hereby declaring Brett goth-at-heart. :)



Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 25, 2020, 10:30:10
Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51Yeah I did. Though I also collected caterpillars in the hope they'd turn into butterflies, but with no idea of what plants to put in there (I think I thought a leaf was just a leaf so they should be able to eat any). They died, but no funerals. I also kept stick insects we bought from a shop. Inevitably one of our cats got through the netting and made half a meal of them!

It's so tempting to draw a food chain here.   :angel

I used to take in snails for a couple of days as a kid, and test out their food preferences.  (I think that's a precursor to what I do with our Airbnb guests nowadays!   :angel)  Anyway, at around age nine I also drew coloured dots on the shells of a group of snails that was hanging around a rock wall in Italy, named each snail, and kept a diary on their movements and behaviours (you could, in retrospect, just tell I was going to grow into a biologist! :beaming-face).


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51I'm not hugely well read, but do have The Naked Ape and read it many many years ago. I see it's a continuation of that theme so should check it out. Yeah, humans are very tribal, sometimes harmlessly, sometimes not.

You're the second person I've talked to this month who's read The Naked Ape, but not The Human Zoo.  You're in for a treat - The Naked Ape is interesting, but The Human Zoo is in an entirely different league!  :beaming-face


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51Yeah, I've never really gender conformed from those days onwards. Even when I got into rave and then clubbing in the late 90s I was the one in the 3-inch spice girl bufallo boots buying my  shirts from Top Shop rather than Top Man! Transgender politics is a strange thing these days - I don't agree with radicals that gender defines sex - I think to do so is harmful to feminism - but I'm very much a trans supporter as for me gender's just an arbitrary social construct that very much needs dismantling. The more 'cross dressing' the better.

I always liked Jeanette Winterson's comment that one should feel free to write one's life as one would write a piece of fiction.  :cool

Speaking of cross-dressing, the most fun party I ever went to in my life was actually construed by the first English department I taught in - it was a cross-dress wedding theme, with allocated roles.  My Head of Department was the bride - in his wife's wedding dress - and a female senior teacher his groom, moustache drawn on with eyeliner.  I was merely 27 and got the role of page boy.  I rang my parents and inquired if I could borrow a dress suit off my father.  He wasn't there but my mother said yes, so I went and put it on and drew lots of big freckles on my face with light brown eyeliner, and as I was leaving, my father was coming in and he nearly had a heart attack - was deathly pale and protesting loudly at the perversity of it all.

The party was great - held at different venues - one person's place was "The Church" and another's "The Photo Venue" and the last "The Reception Centre."  A male teacher around the same age I was then was bridesmaid, in a shimmering green ball dress, with a bathmat of chest hair bulging out of the neckline, and knobbly elbows also prominent in my recollection of the visuals (women usually are the fairer sex, after all  :yum:).  The food was fantastic, and included sushi - my first (hitherto sheltered existence).


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51I'm also a Madonna fan (predating my goth phase and as I said, I never dispose of old loves and will always be a fan) and this song strikes a chord with what you said - especially the start. Gender as currently constructed is sexist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYwgG2oyUbA

Yeah, a bit of a revenge fantasy?  I don't know if it's great to get in the same gutter that the people who are causing trouble are in - I kind of like the idea that the best revenge is to live well, and not let others throw you off your course.  But I do see the problems she's highlighting.  It's not fun to live with misogyny, and it's even less fun when people deny it exists.  The stereotypical guys in her video make me want to throw up, and I've known too many of them (surely there's crocodile farms in search of fodder? - that's so much cheaper than psychotherapy, which doesn't work on entitled asses anyway :evil:).


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51Yeah, she's not around any more but she was always cool and became more and more so with age. I think that happens a lot, even for people who were uptight in their younger days. I would think getting really old makes you realise the things that matter in life, which though can vary a lot, are almost never worrying about what other people are up to that you don't like (as long as it's harmless). IOW very old people tend to be more 'live and let live'.

Yeah, very astute principle there!  Sorry you lost your mother.  I do think age tends to moderate various idiocies, but there's glaring exceptions too of course - like the Resident Rump.  :1f635:  In the case of people like that though, we're looking at truly entitled asses, who tend not to change.  In that case, another old saying applies:  "Change happens one funeral at a time."  :angel


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51Well, 'goth' means a lot of things and comes in a lot of varieties right? Even back then, and even more so these days. I guess you could say I was on the hippy goth side of things because as well as classic Sisters, Bauhaus, etc, I loved bands like All About Eve, contemporary artists like Suzanne Vega, and old stuff like Simon and Garfunkle, and my dress reflected that - lots of paisley shirts and flowing scarves.

It actually sounds like a lot of fun!   :)  Me, I was constrained by my dysfunctional upbringing, and was below the poverty line from teenage to when I graduated from university - complicated story.  Anyway, I had just a couple of changes of casual clothes, and nothing fancy, until I graduated from university and started my first job, which was in science research.  Even then, it took me a few years to warm up, because I'd had the Cinderella role for too long.  But warm up I eventually did...


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51And of course I'd be thought of as a Curehead, which for some of the older scene (those who were goth from the early 80s) was seen as a bad thing (a pop goth) but for Cure fans was a badge of honour. Tribes within tribes! Here's some more pics of me and friends 88-90, but unfortunately they're at school or at home school lunchtimes, so I don't really have any of me fully dressed up - in every photo but the first one we're all in (ostensibly) 'school uniform'! The first one was a school fancy dress as I recall, but killjoy that I was/am I don't do fancy dress (dressing up being a deadly serious business and not for fun lol) so I just put on 3 paisley shirts, a long skirt, and declared myself 'Mary Poppins' as I recall! The last one is me with Charlotte from my magic tape story...

(https://i.postimg.cc/LsyjsNQf/Karen-Me-at-a-fancy-dress.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/SxgnLjLb/Abby-Alyson-Lunch-Time.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/mr02V9tJ/Alyson-Zara.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/8CWVp0zX/Claire-ffrench-Blake-Andrew-French-Trevor-Owen.jpgj)

(https://i.postimg.cc/tRDG4P9b/Charlotte-Matt-1989.jpg)

This is all such great fun!   :smth023   Thanks for posting these.  :cool  I kind of missed out on stuff like this when I was young - but this is like a vicarious experience - plus of course we're making up for it now.  :angel

BTW, Brett says that if he'd looked like you, he'd have dressed as Dream!  :)


Show & tell is always fun - and unfortunately I have no photographs of the cross-dress wedding theme party.  :1f62d:  But - here's some pictures I only rarely get out in public, because of the whole misogyny thing, and how things can be misinterpreted.  They're some "dress-up" photos from when I was a ripe old 29, from the St Joseph's College Ball - I taught at that school at the time, and had volunteered to attend that evening in order to supervise students, and keep them the required Catholic school physical no-snogging distance apart - you know, social distancing for Catholic teenagers.  :angel

And of course, subverting things is so much fun.  When I arrived, one of my colleagues had this fabulous mock sword, which I borrowed off him for half an hour while he was having a beer, so I could go interrogate students as to whether they were keeping the appropriate Catholic distance and all that.   :angel

The students were much amused, as I had expected.  :angel  The only reason I have photos of this is because this was the school formal, with a fancy photographer in attendance; and as I was going around with my borrowed sword, the photographer said, "Come over here, stand there, charge!" - and I did.   :lol:

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/sword_01.jpg)

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/sword_02.jpg)

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/sword_03.jpg)

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/sword_04.jpg)

I was quite camera-shy as a young person, but this worked because I was "in character" and had a prop, and was therefore entirely unselfconscious. And incidentally, that was the first time I ever had formal photos taken - since I've got nothing from my high school graduation, and didn't get to go to my own school formal, and also didn't go to my university graduations.  So there was a nice sense of - I don't know, but if those were the only formal photos I had taken before age 30, then that wasn't such a bad thing after all.

It's quite funny too; my students were saying, when all the photos were posted outside the library, "Those came out well! That was fun!" and I thought, "Yeah, considering that my male classmates were always making disparaging remarks about me when I was in high school and I was always the ugly duckling, they rather did, didn't they?"   :angel

My lovely husband is now the beneficiary. :angel  Of course, I've been photocopied quite a few times in the last 20 years - it's what our DNA does, internal photocopying, same results - things sort of go a bit fuzzy - but then our eyesight also deteriorates along with everything else, so we don't notice it as much.  :1f634:

And it's always fun to get out some old photographs.  We still dress up sometimes, by the way - I usually dress up as a witch - like for this Halloween party:

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/sue_the_witch.jpg)

At the same party, Brett dressed as a Nazgul, which means I was able to cajole him onto a horse...

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/brett_the_nazgul.jpg)

...because you really can't be a proper Nazgul if you're not riding a dark horse, which I happened to have standing around in the meadow anyway (recycled harness horse in need of good home).  Alas, Brett thinks you can't have a proper Nazgul on horseback without Middle Earth, so he set to with his graphic design tricks...

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/brett_the_nazgul_altered.jpg)


I've never ridden as a Nazgul personally, but it is possible to have fun in other ways - here's fun on a friend's horse (also a recycled racehorse) in Albany Harbour - her stirrups were too short for me so I had to ride this great beast stirrupless, and he liked nothing more than to run, immersed in water or not... good thing I was superglued to the saddle.  ;-)

(http://www.coulstock.id.au/photos/rikki2.jpg)

Rural life does have its highlights and compensations.  :)


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 06:08:51
Quote from: SueC on July 25, 2020, 03:04:38Brett wouldn't classify himself as anything, but has read the Autumn Cemetery text; also he gave me a copy of Death The High Cost Of Living when we were first getting to know each other.

I'm not a comic book fan, but the exception is Neil Gaiman. I have and love the whole Sandman/Death collection. Quintessential goth reading, so I'm hereby declaring Brett goth-at-heart. :)

I shall let him know.  :cool  We don't mind being honorary anythings, so long as they are good things.  Thankyou for providing some fascinating cultural exchange.  :smth023

Depending on how dark your heart, try Maus sometime.  And I take it you will have seen Neverwhere?

Cheerio!  :)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58
QuoteI used to take in snails for a couple of days as a kid, and test out their food preferences.  (I think that's a precursor to what I do with our Airbnb guests nowadays!   :angel)  Anyway, at around age nine I also drew coloured dots on the shells of a group of snails that was hanging around a rock wall in Italy, named each snail, and kept a diary on their movements and behaviours (you could, in retrospect, just tell I was going to grow into a biologist! :beaming-face).

Oh the days before endless TV channels and computers making our own entertainment eh? :) I also recall experimenting, but with ants, probably somewhat cruelly by transporting red ants into black ants nests and vice versa to see what would happen!

QuoteYeah, a bit of a revenge fantasy?  I don't know if it's great to get in the same gutter that the people who are causing trouble are in - I kind of like the idea that the best revenge is to live well, and not let others throw you off your course.  But I do see the problems she's highlighting.  It's not fun to live with misogyny, and it's even less fun when people deny it exists.  The stereotypical guys in her video make me want to throw up, and I've known too many of them (surely there's crocodile farms in search of fodder? - that's so much cheaper than psychotherapy, which doesn't work on entitled asses anyway :evil:).

I can't recall the video but will take a look. It's the spoken part (by Kate Moss I think?) that strikes a chord with me, saying "Girls can wear jeans / And cut their hair short / Wear shirts and boots / 'Cause it's OK to be a boy / But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading". I think that's spot on regarding the asymmetry in clothing and other areas - true equality would demand culture embrace what's stereotypically 'feminine' as well as women being more  stereotypically 'masculine'. It should work both ways.

QuoteYeah, very astute principle there!  Sorry you lost your mother.  I do think age tends to moderate various idiocies, but there's glaring exceptions too of course - like the Resident Rump.

LOL, Rump's not that old yet. Maybe even he'll get there, but that's just a rare glimpse of my optimism talking!

QuoteIn the case of people like that though, we're looking at truly entitled asses, who tend not to change.  In that case, another old saying applies:  "Change happens one funeral at a time."

This is very true.

QuoteIt actually sounds like a lot of fun!   :)  Me, I was constrained by my dysfunctional upbringing, and was below the poverty line from teenage to when I graduated from university - complicated story.  Anyway, I had just a couple of changes of casual clothes, and nothing fancy, until I graduated from university and started my first job, which was in science research.  Even then, it took me a few years to warm up, because I'd had the Cinderella role for too long.  But warm up I eventually did...

Sorry to hear that. I guess I was from a lower middle class family with enough to get by but not throw around. I didn't have an allowance or anything like that, so I worked Saturdays at a local garden centre and made enough to buy a few nice clothes from Reading and London markets, plus a tonne of stuff from jumble sales locally - myself and Nicola were regulars along with the blue rinse brigade (did old ladies have blue hair over there in the 80s - or was that a weird English thing? Never understood that!).

Those pics are all great! I'm an LOTR fan too - always have been - and a bit of a Tolkien geek really (I have most of his stuff and have read all 12 volumes History of Middle Earth!). So swords and Nazgul are right up my street! I was definitely not camera shy, there just weren't so many cameras about in those days. I do remember myself and some of those mates being stopped in the street by American tourists in Reading, so they could take our pictures. I liked that, such a show off.

But I'm sure you had as much or more fun than I did - behind the image I was pretty damn moody back then - , trying to have a live-in relationship with my first girlf Karen at only 17, pissed off with school, and even more pissed off at the thought of having to enter the adult word. it wasn't 'til the early 90s I lightened up a lot. For about 15 years anyway, now my youth's gone I'm a moody git again! ;)

QuoteMaus sometime.  And I take it you will have seen Neverwhere?

Not heard of them, what are they?





Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 25, 2020, 15:01:12
Neverwhere is a treat, other than that the Beast of London Below is actually played by a really cute Scottish Highland moo-cow, and is therefore unconvincing.  :) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwhere



I take it you will have seen Good Omens?


If for some reason you've only read Gaiman's graphic novels, let me thoroughly recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane - not just because of the gruesome scene of the worm in the foot...starting at 3:46 here if my attempts to set it to play from there don't work...



Maus is a very dark graphic novel, which explores horrific themes with great humanity:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus

One of the things it shows really well is how some people get "broken" so that they can no longer connect with others in a meaningful way - which is especially horrible if you're the child of such a person, as the author of this graphic novel was.

But on the light-hearted side, there's always Asterix and Groo, and Dilbert and Footroot Flats and Gary Larson's stuff and Michael Leunig's and First Dog On The Moon...

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/66/10/92/661092fad3974bce7d1b957d9508d2d7.jpg)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 26, 2020, 06:26:57
Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58I can't recall the video but will take a look. It's the spoken part (by Kate Moss I think?) that strikes a chord with me, saying "Girls can wear jeans / And cut their hair short / Wear shirts and boots / 'Cause it's OK to be a boy / But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading". I think that's spot on regarding the asymmetry in clothing and other areas - true equality would demand culture embrace what's stereotypically 'feminine' as well as women being more  stereotypically 'masculine'. It should work both ways.

Yeah, it certainly should, and I appreciate it when people make art and music that's supposed to get people thinking about stuff like this.  It's funny you know, misogyny is not just perpetuated by toxic males, but also by toxic females - and the "policing" of manhood and what it should be, and what men should look like, weirdly seems to be driven so much by other males - the toxic, insecure kind.  So I guess the point I'm trying to make is that gender policing is very much done by the gender that is being policed - males giving males a hard time, females giving females a hard time - and not just by the "opposite" gender.

And just to complicate things - while it's good that Madonna drew attention to this stuff, I didn't think she was a good female role model when I was growing up, and I don't think it now either.  I mean, people can choose to live how they do and that's fine, but she was never a person I admired - she seemed to me to perpetuate some pretty unhealthy stereotypes of how girls and women should be, herself.  In a way, like U2 did that supposedly "ironic" rock star stuff in the 1990s, which just never struck me as genuine, or as good communication.  I didn't appreciate her grovelling on the floor in a short skirt making eyes at the camera for her Burning Up video in the 80s, when I was growing up, because whether that was supposed to be ironic or not, it still perpetuated this idea that women were supposed to be decorative in a particular set kind of way - and in a submissive, come-get-me way - as eye-candy for men who were basically encultured to leer at them.  I don't think that's healthy sexuality, and I've seen that create so many problems around sexuality and body dysmorphia in young women - both in me growing up, and in generations of teenage girls since then.  It's an actual thing, and people like Madonna and Kylie Minogue and their ilk, and all the trashy teen (and beyond) magazines, and a lot of the cosmetics advertising, and reams and reams of the pornography "industry" all perpetuate this kind of shiitake, which by the way is as damaging to males as it is to females.

And yet by contrast, look at those photos you posted of you and your friends when you were growing up, and that actually looks healthy to me - none of you are conforming to the narrow stereotypes around gender and sexuality and body image that have been perpetuated by movies, advertising etc.  Yes, you're adopting the look of a certain subculture, but it was a conscious choice away from the predominant groupthink - there was a definite "no" about what was considered "normal" and acceptable.  I look at the pictures of your female friends and see them as beautiful on their own terms, in a far more authentic way than mainstream culture.  And I do think they look very beautiful, all of them - and obviously, part of that is what I personally happen to find beautiful, and that's different for everyone.  And also the males in your photos - you know, it's funny, my husband uses the word "beautiful" all the time to describe me, yet bristles if I describe him in those terms, but he is beautiful, according to my definition of that word - aesthetically, as well as who he is inside (and of course, the contents are always more important than the wrapping paper).

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7313/27302159640_e70708f6f8_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/HAAGSm)

He's fine with being called handsome, or aesthetically appealing, or good-looking - but "beautiful" is apparently only for girls.  :lol:  Still working on that one.  :angel


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58
Quote from: undefinedI do think age tends to moderate various idiocies, but there's glaring exceptions too of course - like the Resident Rump.

LOL, Rump's not that old yet. Maybe even he'll get there, but that's just a rare glimpse of my optimism talking!

Here's a spectrum, with optimism on one side and delusion on the other!  ;) :winking_tongue

The Resident Rump is 74.  And old is always 15 years or more older than yourself.   :angel


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58
Quote from: undefinedIt actually sounds like a lot of fun!  :)  Me, I was constrained by my dysfunctional upbringing, and was below the poverty line from teenage to when I graduated from university - complicated story.  Anyway, I had just a couple of changes of casual clothes, and nothing fancy, until I graduated from university and started my first job, which was in science research.  Even then, it took me a few years to warm up, because I'd had the Cinderella role for too long.  But warm up I eventually did...

Sorry to hear that. I guess I was from a lower middle class family with enough to get by but not throw around. I didn't have an allowance or anything like that, so I worked Saturdays at a local garden centre and made enough to buy a few nice clothes from Reading and London markets, plus a tonne of stuff from jumble sales locally - myself and Nicola were regulars along with the blue rinse brigade (did old ladies have blue hair over there in the 80s - or was that a weird English thing? Never understood that!).

Australia is very British in some ways, and perpetually trying to be American in other, highly lamentable ways.  :1f62d:   Anyway, yes, we have the blue rinse brigade here too.

I'm always glad when I hear people had a reasonable upbringing, and got through reasonably happy.  You know, the funny thing is, my family of origin wasn't actually poor.  We were, it turns out, upper-middle class in terms of income, but I didn't know that, because I was just a kid and we lived on the surface like many other people - average house, etc.  My father had status toys; set against that was that personally I had fewer material possessions and nice things than my average classmates, on the whole - and that wasn't something I tended to complain about, because I'm not a particularly materialistic person - I had other hobbies - I loved the outdoors, made my own fun, and read books, which you could get in limitless supply from the library - and I was never particularly susceptible to peer pressure, and I didn't necessarily want things other people had. 

Have you ever read a book which had such a huge plot twist you had to go right back and read it from the beginning, just to see how the author did it?  For me, the biggest plot twist in literature is in Joanne Harris' novel Gentlemen & Players (and Brett mentions Fight Club).  And when I hit midlife, I realised that my own life was exactly like that - had a plot twist I couldn't really see till I was more than halfway through it.

My father had money, but especially once we came to Australia, I grew up in some ways like a kid from a family who lives on social security.  I didn't starve, but I was hungry a fair bit, because of malnutrition - and of course, there's variations on this theme with kids growing up in households that live off convenience food and take-out - although those tend to end up as part of the obesity epidemic.  Basically, not enough fresh fruit and vegetables throughout - and of course that's a very common problem in Australia, and the UK as well from what I've heard - and when I was 14, I had to go stay with my older brother, in my parents' investment property in the city, during the week for senior school - and on the weekend, we went home to the farm again.

During the week, there was packed pizza from home, and a tiny grocery budget that allowed for smoked cod and oven-fry chips, and a few items, but not a comprehensive assortment of even basic foods.  I made the best of it and had porridge oats in orange juice, with yoghurt on top, as my standard breakfast (good choice); there was an allowance to get a cheese and salad roll and a small milk from the school canteen each day, and a tub of chocolate yogo at recess (and I had hollow legs, so often that didn't seem enough but was all there was); I had a bag of apples; dinner was pizza that had been packed for us, or that bloody smoked cod and oven fries, no salad etc - or packet tortellini - calories, but not really nutrition.

And I couldn't ask for more, because I had been successfully brainwashed into believing that my father was now poor, and struggling to make ends meet.  This actually wasn't true.  As an adult looking back I can see that my father didn't just have a farm, and an investment property in the city, and a lot of savings from a high-flying job he'd done for over 20 years; he had current income from contract work, and a racing yacht, and a stable full of his own racehorses which he obsessively trained, and I think that was essentially an addiction - he certainly didn't make much money off it - in good years, it just covered the cost of running the operation.

And yet as a teenager I didn't have adequate clothing for keeping warm and dry in winter (no proper coat, and I often had cold wet feet in school too, because fabric sneakers aren't great for winter), not to mention luxuries like music lessons or dancing lessons or a ball dress for the formal, which most of my other classmates had, even the ones whose parents were genuinely struggling.  I didn't have a bicycle, until a classmate restored an old second-hand one for me - which made my father angry - he was always telling me I could be killed cycling on the road - but what this was really about was controlling my movements.  I was enrolled in a city school one catchment away from where my brother and I lived during the week, and had just enough bus fare to get to school and back each day, no other trips, which meant I couldn't see my friends socially very much - unless I went to their place straight after school, or for sleepovers, which I occasionally did.  Of course, when I had a bicycle, the world opened up a little.

The investment property my brother and I lived in during the school week had bare gypsum walls because my father wanted to save money painting himself, but never did.  The total furniture was one secondhand 4-seater dining table, one fixed bookshelf in the lounge, and the cheapest possible bed and student desk in my room, whose only other furnishing was a built-in wardrobe - plus a bed and office desk in my brother's room.  I wasn't allowed posters on the walls.  The lounge was an empty yawning chasm, and if my friends came over, we all sat on the carpet - but it was nicer if we met at their homes.  There was no heating, except a tiny smoky pot-belly in the lounge which I had to chop wood for if I wanted to use it - which I did, and I actually like making wood fires, but the heater was pathetic and very sooty, so I stopped using it; besides, even on full heat it would never have heated my bedroom, where I spent my evenings studying, in layers of jumpers, and wrapped into a blanket with perpetually cold feet. My mother bought me a little bar heater, but I was lectured about over-using it by my father and had the electricity bill counted up in my face, and bar heaters actually aren't very effective - they can grill your arms while the rest of you freezes.

Weekends and holidays I was on the farm, where in winter you couldn't shower in properly hot water more than once a week, and that was only after you finally argued and argued and just went and turned the electric booster on the solar rooftop heater back on, which was verboten on account of the electricity bill, and then you had to stand beside the electrics box ready to defend the switch from being turned back off, and deal with verbal abuse and domestic violence.  Sometimes I got so miserable and cold in the shower that I actually cried - washing your hair especially was horrible, unless you were willing to fight over the booster switch.  There were arguments over how long I spent in the shower too - well, washing and conditioning your hair takes time, as a girl with long hair - not that a balding middle-aged bloke (my father) would know anything about that.  Conditioner was another thing I had to fight for - since I wasn't allowed to visit a hairdresser, and just had overlong curtain hair that perpetually tangled with its split ends unless I braided it.  I needed to get the knots out somehow, and just pulling at it with a brush is brutal.  Shampoo was the cheapest possible stuff, the type that really strips your hair.

I wasn't allowed to work either - for employers, for money, that is - my job was to go to school.  I did work on the family farm, but wasn't paid for that; this was just one way I could repay my parents for the fact that they boarded my horse - and of course, the fact that I had a horse (bought from my own savings plus a chores mortgage when she was a half-price yearling in a drought) was constantly counted up in my face to tell me I was a spoilt brat, and to silence me about other things.  It didn't matter how much I worked for them, I was always in debt - because the cost of keeping horses and raising children was always counted in my face.  It was an informal obligation that had been created - not an open demand - it's just you always felt in debt and nothing you could do was ever enough.  Meanwhile, of course, my classmates were doing paid work on weekend jobs, and starting to save up for cars etc, so they had a head start on financial independence, plus little extras like perhaps a musical instrument or a nice outfit.  Looking back, it wouldn't have hurt my studies one bit had I done the same as them - I just couldn't have worked on the family farm (and we couldn't have that, could we).

And I was the sort of person who would literally rather have starved than rack up more perceived debt with other people, so I went without a lot of things, until I graduated from university and got my first proper job.

Just, it's taught me that things can be very different to what they appear to be.  Most people casually watching from the outside bought the fiction that I was a spoilt middle-class brat who didn't know how good she had it.  It's only some of my friends and their parents, and some of my teachers, who actually saw through that - but in true Stockholm Syndrome style, I would often defend my parents to them.  I didn't fully accept, both intellectually and emotionally, the reality of the situation at the time.  The intellect started catching up on that soon after; the emotions took far longer, and are the Achilles heel - they always are.

This kind of thing isn't uncommon - I'm just hoping that hearing stories like this will make people reading more aware of what might really be going on for people in their own orbits of influence.  There were a lot of lovely people along the road for me to help compensate for what went on in my family home, and that was really helpful, and we can all help make a difference to people who need it (and the ones who need it the most usually don't talk about it).


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58Those pics are all great! I'm an LOTR fan too - always have been - and a bit of a Tolkien geek really (I have most of his stuff and have read all 12 volumes History of Middle Earth!).

OMG, that is a precipitously high level of geekness!   :)


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58So swords and Nazgul are right up my street! I was definitely not camera shy, there just weren't so many cameras about in those days. I do remember myself and some of those mates being stopped in the street by American tourists in Reading, so they could take our pictures. I liked that, such a show off.

That's very funny!   :beaming-face

I had a penpal who lived in America who was so embarrassed to be American, she used to adopt a British accent around tourists visiting her area!  :lol:

By the way, I've actually been to Reading, and could never figure out why it was pronounced differently to "reading" - accursed inconsistent language that English is.   :winking_tongue

It was the one place outside London I was able to briefly visit on a quick working holiday in the UK when I was in my 20s.  Didn't seem a bad place, but of course I've not lived there, which is the real test of such a thing.  :)


Quote from: MAtT on July 25, 2020, 13:19:58But I'm sure you had as much or more fun than I did - behind the image I was pretty damn moody back then - , trying to have a live-in relationship with my first girlf Karen at only 17, pissed off with school, and even more pissed off at the thought of having to enter the adult word. it wasn't 'til the early 90s I lightened up a lot. For about 15 years anyway, now my youth's gone I'm a moody git again! ;)

The ages we're now at entitle us to be grumpy old men / women, but of course I was one before I was even 30!   :winking_tongue

I couldn't wait to enter the adult world, and to finally have independence, which is how it worked out.  But it doesn't stop me from embracing all the ages I ever was.  It's actually a really nice thing to be an adult.  :smth023   And I'd never swap back from where I am now, to being a teenager - that was just way too hard.  I'm in a much better place, and because of my past, in a good position to fully appreciate that.  :)

Still, I really like teenagers, and the way their brains are at the expanding-like-a-parachute stage, and I think we're all a village and can play our part in looking after them, and each other.  :cool

Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 27, 2020, 16:30:52
Quote from: undefinedIt's funny you know, misogyny is not just perpetuated by toxic males, but also by toxic females - and the "policing" of manhood and what it should be, and what men should look like, weirdly seems to be driven so much by other males - the toxic, insecure kind.  So I guess the point I'm trying to make is that gender policing is very much done by the gender that is being policed - males giving males a hard time, females giving females a hard time - and not just by the "opposite" gender.

Yes I think that's right

Quote from: undefinedAnd just to complicate things - while it's good that Madonna drew attention to this stuff, I didn't think she was a good female role model when I was growing up, and I don't think it now either.  I mean, people can choose to live how they do and that's fine, but she was never a person I admired - she seemed to me to perpetuate some pretty unhealthy stereotypes of how girls and women should be, herself.  In a way, like U2 did that supposedly "ironic" rock star stuff in the 1990s, which just never struck me as genuine, or as good communication.  I didn't appreciate her grovelling on the floor in a short skirt making eyes at the camera for her Burning Up video in the 80s, when I was growing up, because whether that was supposed to be ironic or not, it still perpetuated this idea that women were supposed to be decorative in a particular set kind of way - and in a submissive, come-get-me way - as eye-candy for men who were basically encultured to leer at them.  I don't think that's healthy sexuality, and I've seen that create so many problems around sexuality and body dysmorphia in young women - both in me growing up, and in generations of teenage girls since then.  It's an actual thing, and people like Madonna and Kylie Minogue and their ilk, and all the trashy teen (and beyond) magazines, and a lot of the cosmetics advertising, and reams and reams of the pornography "industry" all perpetuate this kind of shiitake, which by the way is as damaging to males as it is to females.

So I know what you're talking about here and agree to some extent. My love of Madonna started when I was 13 so it was before I'd have even considered such issues, but I have thought about them since in the context of her and other artists and art.

Firstly I should say that I do try to separate art from the artists, but the artists themselves I will reject if they turn out to be people I fundamentally disagree with on what I take to be important issues, if they are still living. (Rejecting dead artists is kinda pointless I think, other than to say they have bad views -it's not like you can affect them by not following their social media or seeing them perform live). An example would be Morrissey in regards to what I see as his racism (or at least xenophobia of some sort). I used to see him live, buy his books and new records etc. but now I'd not do that. I refuse to abandon my love of old Smiths songs (and after all The Smiths was more than him) but that's as much as I'll have to do with him now.

With Madonna I think it's less clear cut, partly because she's not doing anything considered beyond the pale socially - it's more. as you said, setting a bad example - but also because there's disagreement even between feminists as to the role of sexuality in culture. (By the way, I'd not call myself a feminist - I'm not sure I can take that title as a man anyway, and even if I could, while my views just happen to coincide with feminist views on important matters, I'm not au fait enough with feminist literature or philosophy to count myself as part of that movement proper) If I was to pick a side on this I'd be somewhere with your countrywoman Germain Greer who as far as I'm aware was very pro freedom of sexuality, but very anti using sex as a sales tool. It disturbs me much more to see scantily clad women in adverts than it does on the street. So, with Madonna this does leave me with a problem, as there's no doubt she's used her sexuality to promote and sell her products.

Also, like you I don't buy the 'doing it ironically' vibe much, at least not any more. I think there was a time for that when it worked, but that time was when it was new (or at least new in this cycle of history). Once it became a popular genre of art in and of itself, too many people latched on to it and simply didn't get the irony. For example, I literally know many people who go to see ironic comedy that's supposed to be mocking sexism, racism, xenophobia, and the like, who are there because they are those things and like to hear someone saying it. Some don't understand it's supposed to be ironic, others think rightly or wrongly the irony is cover for the artists getting away with saying what they truly believe, and others just don't care.

So, how am I going to defend my beloved Madonna? I'll leave you on tenterhooks because this is only a brief visit. I'll come back to this and the rest of your post next time :)

.......

P.S  Brett looks as laid-back as I was imagining him. Way too laid back to be typing on a message board! Sensible man!
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 28, 2020, 02:51:19
Hullo Matt! :) 

Today I am (uncharacteristically) practicing the art of the telegram (wish me luck).  ;)  Yeah, I agree with what you're saying, and thank you for writing it (not just because I happen to agree with it - that's not the main point anyway) - it's great to have discussions and exchanges of views like this.  It's a complex topic with many nuances to explore, and I'm sure someone (not me :angel) could write a PhD on it.  But yeah, I agree that sexuality shouldn't be repressed, and I think that women (or men, either) shouldn't be forced to be covered neck to ankle, and that if a person is showing their knees they're not therefore "asking for it" - the real problem there is the sense of entitlement some people have to other people's bodies, and their lack of respect for other human beings.

Which is not to say that some people's use of their own sexuality isn't toxic - and I consider the use of one's own, or other people's, sexuality to move product toxic - and object to the commercialisation of sexuality (and our society is saturated with it).  I also think sexual predators exist amongst males and females - and again, that's about a complete lack of respect for other human beings.

Where does that leave Madonna?  It's a good question.  I didn't mind her when I was 13 and she did Holiday - I thought she was a good dancer and the song was kind of catchy (I was 13) - but it seemed to me that the tables turned very quickly the moment she started making money and getting famous.  Then suddenly she stopped being this apparently benign young woman, and the role modelling became atrocious  - using her sexuality for commercial gain and notoriety (quite deliberately I think), actually reinforcing problematic female stereotypes she was purporting to overthrow.  If that's a "powerful" and "liberated" woman, then I want none of that for myself - just as I want none of Margaret Thatcher's (or Hilary Clinton's or Bronwyn Bishop's etc etc) "power" and "liberation" for myself - it's so destructive. (Jacinda Ardern, on the other hand!  :cool)

Still, although I'd never have invited Thatcher into our home for a cup of tea, I could probably unbend enough to do that for Madonna (but I'd show her the door if she got rude or snooty to us, like anyone else).

I guess it comes down to respect for the self and others, versus entitlement.  Of course, nobody is perfect, we're all works in progress etc, but you don't have to be perfect to have integrity, and a basic respect and consideration for others and the planet.


Quote from: MAtT on July 27, 2020, 16:30:52P.S  Brett looks as laid-back as I was imagining him. Way too laid back to be typing on a message board! Sensible man!

:lol:  Well, in the case of this forum, he can participate vicariously and outsource all the typing, so why wouldn't he?   :angel   On the other hand, he writes extremely long essays on Cybermen on the Dr Who forum (the Dr Who forum, Gallifrey Base) - because he too has recreational hypergraphia!  :winking_tongue
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 29, 2020, 02:50:02
Quote from: MAtT on July 27, 2020, 16:30:52Firstly I should say that I do try to separate art from the artists, but the artists themselves I will reject if they turn out to be people I fundamentally disagree with on what I take to be important issues, if they are still living. (Rejecting dead artists is kinda pointless I think, other than to say they have bad views -it's not like you can affect them by not following their social media or seeing them perform live). An example would be Morrissey in regards to what I see as his racism (or at least xenophobia of some sort). I used to see him live, buy his books and new records etc. but now I'd not do that. I refuse to abandon my love of old Smiths songs (and after all The Smiths was more than him) but that's as much as I'll have to do with him now.

That seems to me to be a very sensible approach.  It's nice to see other people caring about stuff like this.  Life is complicated, but there are actual things we can do to support positive stuff, and to avoid supporting things that we don't agree with ethically.  That's despite the fact that the mainstream system most of us sit in to at least a degree is in itself designed to perpetuate highly unethical things, overtly and covertly.

Over here, there's a consumer empowerment magazine and organisation called Choice, which aims to educate and to help consumers not to get ripped off by unintentionally purchasing shoddy products, and also provides information on the ethics of production (social, environmental).  They taught me as a young person that spending my money is like voting, and I need to do it carefully.

Random example:  Gossip rags and paparazzi.  Those would disappear overnight if the public stopped funding this stuff by not buying any, yet lamentably, stacks of these things are at every supermarket checkout and hairdresser and sell like hotcakes.  I wish people could see the repercussions of their funding choices.  Sadly, a significant proportion of the public, with the contents of their wallets, continue to actively fund "journalists" inventing lurid stories about celebrities, spreading gossip and rumours, and invading their privacy with cameras.  Or you can respect other people's right to privacy and a peaceful existence by not buying any of this shiitake.

Our turning-40 thing as a couple was to use the occasion of paying off our modest first mortgage to completely change our lives from the ground up in a way we'd not been able to do before.  We bought a small farming block, designed and built our own eco-house (took five years to finish, not the estimated two, hee hee, but at least we stayed on budget and ended up with a super result, a bit more here (https://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/trotters-arabians-donkeys-other-people-479466/page53/#post1970558119)), and now live completely off-grid, no longer supporting big coal with the running of our own household, but using only renewables (mostly solar), with the small exception of four camping bottles of gas annually for cooking ($100 per year, and our only utilities bill, and we're still finding ways to reduce even that, without scrounging on meal preparation).  We're also producing increasing amounts of our own food (beef, honey, organic F&V) as well as feeding other people on a sustainable farming model, and we're doing a whole lot of revegetation, plus stewarding an on-farm conservation reserve - 50 hectares of beautifully preserved and amazingly biodiverse Australian sclerophyll - which are managed actively, e.g. by doing indigenous-style, mostly cool, mostly autumn small-scale mosaic burning.

Meanwhile we've gone from two external incomes to the equivalent of one, and we spend a fair bit of time showing others how they too can do things like this without robbing a bank, inheriting money or earning above-average.  There's a number of ways to do it, and one of them is to be really careful with how you re-invest your money if you've paid off a small mortgage and are going to move - because this one occasion in a lot of people's lives (well, those of us who don't have investment properties and inheritances, but weren't entirely locked out of the housing market) is the biggest opportunity to really reduce how much of your money goes to the big end of town (big banks, big building companies, utilities providers, insurance companies, fossil fuel companies, supermarkets, etc, where the majority of ordinary people's money goes almost by default), from your everyday life ever after - and how much you can instead support the little guys, the family businesses, the not-for-profit community bank, the ethical superannuation people, alternative technologies, sustainably farmed produce, etc.

So doing that, and writing about that, and then discovering a "new" band called The Cure in my early 40s, of course there was some scrutiny of what I was going to support financially if I was going to invest in their back catalogue.  It's sort of like a job interview process.  You look at interviews with band members to determine things like, "Are these people wilful idiots, or really obvious narcissists, or right-wingers, and would they sell their own grandmothers to make a buck?  Do they seem generally respectful towards other human beings?  Are they entitled asses?  Or are they the sort of people I wouldn't mind buying a cup of coffee?"  (...which is kind of what buying a back catalogue amounts to.)

You can't know for sure, of course, but at least you can do a little screening.  Morrissey wouldn't pass this test for most of his post-fame public history, you're right about that, and that doesn't make How Soon Is Now a bad song, it still gives me major goosebumps and I have an early CD on my shelf and am not throwing it out, and as you say, there's more than one person in a band, etc.  But would I fund Morrissey's latter-day incarnation?  No, because I try to avoid funding active, wilful idiocy, bad manners, grandstanding, etc.  There's more decent human beings out there making lovely art whom I can support instead with my finite budget.  And I also agree with you re dead artists.

I'll leave it here for now, and send good wishes from our household to yours.  :)

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fboozebrain.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F07%2Fleunig20catching20up1.jpg&f=1)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on July 29, 2020, 09:31:21
I don't wanna interrupt your exchange here, but: would you both agree if we move the "chat" part (which has nothing to do with Cure songs/lyrics) into the "off topic" section?
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 29, 2020, 10:40:47
No worries from my side!  :)  What about you, Matt?  Any suggestions for a title for the chat part? I'm out of ideas and I'd hate to constrain the new thread to a title... :angel

PS: If I was dull and unimaginative (and I will be until I eat chocolate eclairs) I could suggest Chat Arising From "All Mine Lyrics (1982 05 05 De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands)" - but that would be dull and unimaginative...
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on July 29, 2020, 11:11:08
QuoteI don't wanna interrupt your exchange here, but: would you both agree if we move the "chat" part (which has nothing to do with Cure songs/lyrics) into the "off topic" section?

Sure, go for it!

And I will be finishing my reply Sue, just my mixture of laziness (natural) and business (forced, I'm job hunting at the moment as I was made redundant from my IT job after three months of furlough - not a bad thing, but still a pain now I have to get my ass in gear!)....

Title... um, 'The 80s and other reminiscences'?!?

Oh, and I forgot to say in a previous post, "Reading" is pronounced 'redding' :)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 29, 2020, 11:42:33
Sorry to hear about the redundancy - happened to Brett mid-house-build (highly convenient) and upped the stress for a while until he found a suitable replacement.  The people at his new place are nicer though.  Hopefully you will land on your feet too.  Best of luck to you!

Thanks again for an interesting chat. :cool  Hope we'll see more of you here.

PS:  Got any dressing-up photos, @Ulrich?  Or anyone else?  :winking_tongue
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on July 29, 2020, 11:47:49
Quote from: MAtT on July 29, 2020, 11:11:08Sure, go for it!

Title... um, 'The 80s and other reminiscences'?!?

Great that you came up with a title, as I'd been already wondering how to title the new topic! :smth023
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on July 30, 2020, 10:20:17
Quote from: SueC on July 29, 2020, 11:42:33PS:  Got any dressing-up photos, Ulrich?

Not really. Matt's photos from the 80s reminded me of me trying to have such a haircut too (circa 1989)... inspired by the "new wave" and all that.

(https://scontent-frt3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/116309625_3049102035166894_8075256812066058354_n.jpg?_nc_cat=101&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=R10-brAyQA4AX9l9MLd&_nc_ht=scontent-frt3-2.xx&oh=0f3ad9476eee6855ac296d368ed0f29e&oe=5F4831F2)

(Enjoy it while you can, I might delete it one day...)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: word_on_a_wing on July 30, 2020, 15:10:45
You all sharing your photos inspired me to look through some old photos. Here are two pictures I found of me at 16y/o. I missed out on being a teen in the 80s, but here I am in the mid90s a grungy little thing, with dyed hair and trenchcoat. The first one is me in ultra serious mode (😂) and the second one not so much

Me at 16y/o x2 pics (https://www.instagram.com/p/CDRFw7mJpk2/?igshid=ykm0gqc70ge8)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on July 31, 2020, 10:15:30
Thanks for sharing the pics, woaw.

Some time ago we had a topic, in which I shared a few memories from the 80s:
http://curefans.com/index.php?topic=8741.0

Quote from: undefinedThe Cure - Untitled (the whole album often reminds me of the summer of '89, but this song in particular; I was hanging about with not much to do and rather melancholy at the time - school was over, love lost, what comes next?)

The Cure - Snakepit ("Well I'm out in a car and it's just full of stupid girls" is part of the lyrics - and this is exactly what it reminds me of!! :-D)

The Sound - Sense of purpose (will always remind me of the times around 1987, when I listened to this and lots of other new wave/(post-)punk/gothic music with some friends, while we were driving to or trying to find places where this kind of music was played... yeah we had some long journeys...)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on July 31, 2020, 10:24:12
You two are such champions, @Ulrich and @word_on_a_wing!  :heart-eyes  :heart-eyes  :heart-eyes

Thank you for posting past photos - it's much less scary when other people do it too.  :smth023

Hahaha, @Ulrich - I guess being able to edit posts indefinitely makes it less "risky" to put silly pictures on.  On the other hand, don't both of you feel that having a couple of decades between the present and the photos lends one a little bit of...immunity? 

:rofl  Brett just said I should save a copy of your photo now, and make it my avatar!  Evil curmudgeon, I'm not going to do that, but it's funny anyway...

PS: Some funny pics, this time for logged-in people only.  Brett doesn't like putting any kind of "product" in his hair, but his hair naturally gets like that anyway, like with the wind behind him (that's from our wedding, haha, he saw it and said, "dandelion!"), or first thing in the morning.   :lol:
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 03, 2020, 10:33:44
Nowadays, like most people who grew up in the 1980s, I look back on those days fondly...
But, on second thought, it wasn't always that easy or "golden" as it may seem in retrospect.
(In my memory now, the 80s were good & nice, but also there was fear of a nuclear war etc.!)

Here in the forum, I've already told the tale of how I discovered The Cure (and other bands from the "new wave" era) around 1985.
Now it may look like this was the "golden era" of those bands (and it was in many ways), however the radio waves and music shows on television were dominated by other musicians (pop, new romantics, heavy metal, rap and whatnot...)
Some friends at school liked bands such as The Cure; but many were into U2, BAP (German rock band from Cologne) or Dire Straits or Iron Maiden or whatever. (I listened to those as well, but the new wave stuff was much more "my" own thing.)

With the music I liked, I soon realised, there was some kind of "prejudice": these bands sold many records, but they weren't played on the radio as much as others. Same goes for discos and clubs, the "dance" music which was on there, wasn't much to my taste at all.

In 1987 I got my driver's licence and with some friends (who were also into post-punk, new wave, gothic and such) we were on a "mission" to find the places where such music was played. I do remember driving to Heidenheim, but I don't remember the name of that disco we went to, they were playing stuff like The Sisters Of Mercy ("Alice") and so on.

We also tried other places, but sometimes it was the "wrong" night and they played the usual "disco" music.  :disappointed:

I do remember driving to Kirchheim/Teck one night to the "Café Klatsch" and there they played The Clash ("Should I stay or should I go"), which was cool (keep in mind: this was before the song was re-released and became a big hit in 1991)!  :cool

One "mistake" I made at the time was: I never went to concerts often enough. (We did go to see a German band called "The Multicoloured Shades" though in Ulm in 1987 - they played some kind of "punky/psychedelic" garage rock music.)
Nowadays driving to Stuttgart or other towns is a "normal" thing for me, back then it seemed like a "big journey" and I was under-experienced when it came to the traffic in big towns. Plus the tickets seemed rather expensive (looking back, of course they were ridiculously "cheap" back then)!
Thus, I missed some gigs I should've gone to (some I didn't even know of, others I knew but couldn't go).  :'(

That was about to change in the 1990s, when I finally got round to see some of my "faves", first of all The Cure (1992), Iggy Pop (1993), The Damned (1994), and even Pink Floyd (1994) and many more over the years.  :happy
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 08, 2020, 15:59:54
Hi again everyone - can anyone tell me how to access posts you've saved as drafts? I started on a further reply a while back and want to finish it, but can't find the draft!
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 08, 2020, 18:15:13
Quote from: MAtT on August 08, 2020, 15:59:54can anyone tell me how to access posts you've saved as drafts?

You go to the top, click on your (nick)name on the left, then a little window appears, you choose & click "forum profile", then you'll get just this (your forum profile). There you choose "profile info" and then you get a handful of possibilities, one of which is "show drafts". (Unless it's too long ago, they should still be there.)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 09, 2020, 01:33:25
Oh, and if you like using emojis  :cool  :evil:  :angel  :1f62d:  :winking_tongue  :1f635:  then don't post from draft because they malfunction - just select all and copy, and paste your text into a "new" window below the topic you're replying to, and then your emojis will work properly.  :beaming-face

Hoping your hunting is going well, Matt!  :)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 09, 2020, 02:10:33
@Ulrich, I'm trying to interview Brett to get some 80s reminiscences from him, but he didn't start going to concerts till the 1990s himself, and he says:  "Well, the 80s were all bad.  It was a worthless decade.  There were some good films I guess.  Some good comic books, but musically, it was the trough before the peak.  Yeah, the 80s - what were they good for?"

Please note, it's early morning here and my husband is not a morning person.  The only reason his eyes are open is that it's raining - when there's morning sunlight he screws them tightly shut while squirming and muttering, "Not the light, not the light, get it away from me!"  So your chances of getting sensible, unbiased discourse out of him are at a low ebb at this time of day.  In fact, it's taken a little training from my side to get him to cease his prior depressing habit of several years of waking up with the words, "I hate people!"  :1f635:

Please also note, his opinions and mine only partially overlap.  :angel

When the 90s happened, I turned off contemporary radio and started listening to classical music instead.  Grunge was not for me, it gave me a rash.  Of course, grunge was not all there was, but it was all over the contemporary music stations, including the "alternative" stations for goodness' sake.  And yes, I do indeed like some 90s alternative music as well.

More of Brett on the 80s:  He was watching Countdown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countdown_(Australian_TV_series)) in the very early 80s - for those of you who've not seen it, it was a highly grating music show.  I was gonna say muzak but Brett immediately accused me of character assassination and opined, "Well, they did actually support Australian artists, much good it did them, but they were basically a Top-40 show.  Most of the 80s music was basically like The Wiggles with big hair and bad synthesisers.  The absolute highlight of Countdown was them showing a trailer for The Empire Strikes Back, which was a big deal for me."

I watched Countdown myself for a couple of years in the mid-80s, because it was the only music show on, and they occasionally showed things I liked, such as the clips for Tom Petty's Don't Come Around Here No More and Thomas Dolby's Hyperactive and She Blinded Me With Science, and some non Top-40 stuff, and some interviews - and being pre-Internet, you were dependent on TV and radio for stuff like this.  Nowadays you can just find what you like without having to also put up with excruciating things.

By the way, NZ band Split Enz were doing things with hair way before many other people were.  Here's a 1976 album cover.

(https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.radionz.co.nz%2Fassets%2Fnews%2F87606%2Feight_col_Split_Enz_eeb3e.jpg%3F1477944016&f=1&nofb=1)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 09, 2020, 10:27:08
Quote from: Ulrich on August 08, 2020, 18:15:13
Quote from: MAtT on August 08, 2020, 15:59:54can anyone tell me how to access posts you've saved as drafts?

You go to the top, click on your (nick)name on the left, then a little window appears, you choose & click "forum profile", then you'll get just this (your forum profile). There you choose "profile info" and then you get a handful of possibilities, one of which is "show drafts". (Unless it's too long ago, they should still be there.)

Great, thanks for this! And your advice too Sue. Will be back in touch...
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 10, 2020, 10:06:25
Quote from: SueC on August 09, 2020, 02:10:33...but he didn't start going to concerts till the 1990s himself, and he says:  "Well, the 80s were all bad.  It was a worthless decade.  ..."

Please note, it's early morning here and my husband is not a morning person.

Oh well, please ask him again when he's elated in the evening after a good dinner or so...

I can (sometimes) see why people hate the 1980s, but: it wasn't all bad.

Also: it is a matter of fact that I grew up in the 80s - and it could've been much worse! (After all, I had a good childhood in the 70s and early 80s and "coming of age" is never easy, doesn't matter so much when it happens...)

Seeing I had no choice back then, all I could do was living my life; what I can do now is look back with fondness on the good things (e.g. The Cure and so much more)!

Of course the start of the "plastic music" was terrible (I never liked "disco" much and it got worse with acid house and whatnot).

My life in the 80s may not have been "perfect" (nor was it in the 90s), but my musical taste was "formed" back then. (Okay, "rock music" might've had its "peak" in the late 60s and 70s, but there was good music later as well.)

As described above, I was "drawn" towards the "outsiders", those bands who weren't played so much on the radio or tv shows. They were a little different compared to the "mainstream". My love of (post-)punk & new wave began in the 80s and I still like many of those bands. (I also listen to tons of other music - as I already did back then, I began to dig up "influences" on those bands I listened to, which meant looking back on the 60s and so on)!
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 10, 2020, 12:23:02
I think he is a bit of a stirrer, @Ulrich, but I also think he really genuinely hated the 80s - the politics, the materialism, the majority of the music - particularly mainstream.  He felt way more comfortable once the 90s started.  He went to a funny high school all his teenage years and didn't have a good experience there, so it's pretty much tainted for him.  He says next to the school was a large park in which people were drunk all day long, day in, day out, and this also didn't make him feel any better (rampant alcoholism is unfortunately commonly seen in Australia, even now, over three decades later - and we've just finished watching a really interesting documentary (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jul/22/on-the-sauce-shaun-micallef-brings-sobering-eye-to-australias-relationship-with-alcohol) on Australia's fraught relationship with the stuff - in this country, if you don't drink and you don't like football, many people think you're not a proper Australian).

While I personally had many bad experiences at my middle school (new immigrant, Australian racism in a backwater town), I moved schools to the city for my senior high school years and that was actually a really lovely experience for me, worlds apart from what had gone on before.  So I don't see the entire time all black like he probably does, but I also didn't like, even as a teenager, people like Thatcher and Reagan and what they were doing to the world, and the complacency with which most of Western society seemed to meet this shiitake - and the whole "greed is good" thing and the horrible me-me-me-ness that was in our generation, and still is...and it was there in the majority of our year's stated ambitions in our leaving yearbook, as well.  I often wished I'd grown up in the 60s instead, when it seemed that more people cared.  I personally didn't think the 90s were much better at the beginning, but by the end of that decade I taught my first lot of high schoolers and was so impressed with the kids in my first Year 12 class, who had a maturity and an ethic that was so much better than what we'd had at their age.  They were a particularly great bunch, but it was also a genuine pattern I noticed through the next decade and a half.  I genuinely feel that the world has a better chance once these generations replace the current people in power.

Getting back to the 80s, I too had this deep loathing of mainstream 80s music as a teenager, because it seemed to me to encapsulate all that was shallow and trashy and self-obsessed about those times, and much of it seemed insultingly immature - considering these people were supposed to be adults, from the perspective of a high schooler.  And I included The Cure in that, when I first heard Why Can't I Be You which to me seemed absurd and out of Playschool, and part of the general anaesthesia of the times (I didn't hear their more serious stuff, as you know - wasn't played on the radio stations I had access to - and these days I'm OK with many of The Cure's absurd songs).  And for instance, Wham! with their bloody Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, like a whole bunch of people partying on the Titanic, and most of the stuff that was popular with my middle school classmates at the time.  I think Brett is pretty much spot on actually, when he says that much of 80s mainstream music was like The Wiggles, only with big hair and bad synthesisers.

Have you ever watched Ashes to Ashes?  It's a time-travelling drama from 2008 where a contemporary person was thrown back into the 80s, and it was great fun:


...precisely because you could now look back on this stuff as an adult.  It's funny how the fashions and the mainstream music and the general attitudes were actually just as bad as I remembered them!  :lol:  The series really milks these things to the maximum.

And that's why I was drawn to alternative music in the 80s - people who weren't partying as the ship went down, people who thought differently, who thought seriously, who actually cared about the quality of what they were doing, and why they were doing it - instead of producing chloroform in the guise of music.

I think when I was young I always felt like a person who was from a different planet and had arrived here by accident, precisely at the wrong time in history.  But, it was nice to discover that there were other people who didn't just blithely go along with the herd.

In hindsight I see more than I did at the time, as you'd expect.  It's actually really interesting to sit in midlife and look back through a telescope at the history you lived through.  And these days, I don't loathe 80s mainstream quite as much as I did - because I'm looking at 20-somethings from the perspective of someone twice that age, and I see them as so young, when as a teenager they seemed so terribly grown-up!  :)

PS:  To be properly fair to 80s mainstream music, I'd have to investigate how it compares objectively to mainstream music before or since, and I've not systematically done that (and I don't think it would be a very enjoyable task).  I will say though that Top 40 radio at any time of my life so far has never been inspirational to me and I'm always turning it off if in a position to, and thinking about taking earplugs to the supermarket etc.  Yeah, the odd good song makes it onto popular radio, but mostly that medium seems to contain a lot of music that is rash-inducing to me.  Actually, in the last ten years I've heard some stuff on the radio that's arguably even worse than the average 80s mainstream music - and at some point I vaguely noticed there was an 80s revival and it seemed to sound even worse than the original stuff too (while alternative music keeps producing listenable stuff).  I read an interesting article recently that argued that music is actually getting more simplistic, losing both sonic and lyrical complexity.  I might have to dig that up for this forum, it actually analysed these things in-depth.
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 11, 2020, 01:46:10
THINKING

Greed and Protest

So, this topic has me thinking a bit more.  Clearly, the teenagers of the 80s didn't invent greed, materialism etc - it was being projected at us from mainstream culture, by people who were older than us - the next generation up was into driving expensive cars and general ostentation and thoughtlessness, you could see that, but it went further than that - not just Thatcher and Reagan's neoliberalism, but something that had always been there in human nature - just look back at the disposable 50s in America where they thought it was a great idea to throw out plastic plates instead of doing dishes, and to start using disposable nappies that have sat in landfill ever since - and even at the Roman Empire with its feathers and buckets so you could throw up and keep eating.

But although the teenagers in the 80s didn't invent that, they were also pretty happy to go along with it, on the whole (many in my class saved up so they could wear Reeboks, for instance) - it was a minority who objected to that strongly, and to me it seemed that the teenagers of the 60s hadn't gone along so easily with the idiocies presented to them.  Of course, to complicate matters, some of the teenagers of the 80s were the children of those teenagers from the 60s, and some of those teenagers from the 60s were the ones now driving around in red Ferraris and Armani suits.

While the proportion of teenagers protesting idiocies in the 1960s was greater than the proportion of 1980s teenagers doing this, I'm sure part of the glow of the 1960s to someone who wasn't personally there is because in retrospect, these things are probably reported through rose-tinted spectacles as well, which a person experiencing them would not necessarily have been looking through.  Also, accounts of history carry bias and editing...

Back to music - mainstream 80s probably wasn't any worse than mainstream before or since, but the 80s was when mainstream music was most inflicted upon me by circumstances beyond my control - and subsequently I could mostly avoid it.

Radio

I'm going to think about it in terms of the radio stations we grew up with in Perth - we actually had a pretty decent radio station in 96fm at the time, whose presenters talked like normal human beings, not like shrill megaphones.  They were thoughtful and respectful and friendly, and would always give you a bit of background on the music they were playing.  They never tried to sound "cool" and they never sounded like they were up to their eyeballs in amphetamines, either.  If they interviewed a musician, they didn't gush or titter or act stupidly, they just had decent conversations with them.  For those of you who know Australia's Triple J, the presenters were basically very much like Richard Kingsmill in the 90s (by which time 96fm had been bought up by Triple M, and was therefore effectively killed).

96fm played mostly a mix of what they called classic rock, and alternative music.  They did not play gormless dance music, they didn't play country and western, and they didn't play rap (with the odd exception, if it was intelligent stuff, on some of their late-night music shows).  Their playlist was pretty extensive and broad, but managed to mostly exclude the trashy stuff being played elsewhere on screamy Top-40 stations.  I've got to take my hat off to them, because they remain the best contemporary station I ever heard anywhere in Australia, and yet sadly they were sold off soon after I left school in the late 80s, and to the best of my knowledge, there's not been another station like that since, or I really would still be listening.  They covered both history, and current experimentation.  I rarely had the urge to turn them off, and I often heard really excellent stuff, both from before my time and from odd corners of the world - they did a fair bit of unearthing, and introducing their radio audience to things they'd not otherwise have heard.

Triple J, later on, at its best, was an OK station, and unearthed a lot of local Australian music, and played some of the stuff you could no longer hear on other stations once 96fm had been killed off, but they also played a lot of tedious music, and I honestly had no desire to listen to tunes like Too Drunk To F*ck.  That would just never have passed 96fm's IQ test, and rightly so.

Countercurrents

Growing up in the 80s with the concomitant worship of material possessions and the self, it was such a nice contrast to the general anaesthesia in popular music to hear songs with thoughtful lyrics, and with actual passion.  96fm, while they existed, provided this regularly - through artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega, etc etc, who embodied actual social conscience.  When I was 14, I went to the university library to check out the bookshelves, and was drawn to the social philosophy section, and then spent most of a day sitting in a cubicle breathlessly reading Martin Luther King's classic on social change and nonviolent resistance.  It changed the way I thought.  And they'd put a bullet in him and that was that.

And on the airwaves at the time, like a breath of fresh air amongst all the plastic bubblegum music, this song embodied all the grief and all the outrage of that so perfectly:


This song has such dignity, and was such an enormous contrast to the general self-absorbed atmosphere of the 80s...

(Bono, like me, grew up in a war zone, and had much childhood experience of violence.)

While we're there, we may as well listen to the next song on the album, one that few casual listeners have heard but is such a gem:


Those Synthesisers

Penultimate subtopic for this post:  The 80s and bad synthesisers.  There were quite a few songs spoilt by this phenomenon, to me even when I was in the 80s.  I mean, it's easy for people to hear that now, but it stuck out like a sore thumb for me even then.

Let's take what I consider to be a decent act, Howard Jones, who was actually rendered more lightweight than his lyrics suggested, just by those darned keyboard sounds, and by some of the vocal delivery at times.  What he's singing in both the songs below is well-considered and positive, and I'd give you an odds-on bet he's a really nice person, but though I never turned off the radio when he was on, I've never bought one of his records either.


That one actually isn't too bad, as he's mostly set this to piano.  But this earlier one has those 80s keyboards...


You see, on the surface that's exactly like the kind of 80s music I didn't like, but he redeemed it by writing considered lyrics and emanating a lot of antidote to the disposable mentality of the time.  This last one, for instance, is NOT another, "Hey stranger, let's shag!" type song - although the chorus may seem to imply it, if you want to read that into it - if you don't believe me, go look up the lyrics, because it actually presents a very different kind of message to the use-and-dispose attitude of the time.

He's still at it, by the way, and good on him - and it's nice to see he's actually improved some of the sounds since the 80s.  Also, I love how he turns choirmaster at the end of this track, and gets the crowd doing harmonies. :)


Another band played on 96fm I didn't turn off, but never bought anything from either, is this one.  This is another example of what I consider awful keyboard sounds:


There's sounds like that on some Cure songs from the time as well, like in Let's Go To Bed (which in my innocence, when I was 12 and first heard it, I thought was about getting some beauty sleep).  And OK, so that song is apparently a parody, which explains both the words and the sounds, but when you're 14 and your BS sensors suddenly turn on, this is going to be in the firing line.  Parody like this is similar to U2's 90s "ironic" rock star claptrap, and for me, equally hard to like - I prefer more intelligent parodies...

Now let's contrast the above songs with two mostly synthesiser songs from that general era which I think are musically fantastic:



That last one is by Icehouse.

And Now, The Cure

...and of course, there's a lot of lovely stuff from The Cure like that too.  This isn't all from the 80s, but here's some personal favourites where the keyboards don't detract at all, quite the opposite:


...we were playing this in the rain driving to Denmark for our stormy hike on Sunday, and it was just picture-perfect for it, and completely hair-raising.  The intro to this song is so amazing that I'd class that amongst the most beautiful sounds ever created by any artist, any genre - so that's lots of serious competition, from people like Arvo Pärt (first movement, Tabula rasa) as well (I won't give more examples or this will take hours).  And actually, The Cure have a lot of music like this that's just hauntingly, achingly beautiful, which is why I have become a much-belated fan, having now got past the radio songs. :angel

The composition in that piece - take all the voices apart and you've got individually beautiful parts, each and every one of them - the introductory keyboards, the more staccato guitar, the sliding guitar, the steely notes, the piano, the percussion - gorgeous melodies, and such tonal beauty as well - and together, all of that becomes pure, breathtaking magic .  Music like that is one of the most profound experiences it's possible to have. ♥

By the way, my favourite recording of my favourite classical piece is now coming up on YT, so here's a treat if you've not heard it, and then we'll go on with a load of gorgeous Cure songs that are indeed in the same league.  Like with all great music, this is best listened to up loud, sitting in the dark (or at least with your eyes closed), and giving it your total focus.  This piece builds, but oh my does it build - and actually, that's something The Cure often do as well.  And, this piece demonstrates how powerful the use of silence and space can be, in music.


OK, now in the same league of amazingness is Plainsong, and I'm going to post a live version because like a lot of Cure stuff, it sounds even better live, and also because I usually prefer things transposed down by at least half an octave - I think the bass transposition is magnificent... and since we've had the excellent Hyde Park version so much lately, let's go back to a really lovely night version, with a particularly nice crowd:


That crowd I would have felt comfortable in, and that's unusual for me, because I don't actually like to be in enormous crowds, generally speaking - and definitely not when there's hysteria and bad behaviour.

On a trivial note, that was 80s keyboard, but it really wasn't.  ;)

On a less trivial note, I first heard that song around two years ago, when we ordered in Disintegration, and it blew me away - none of the live albums we had featured the track.  Trilogy was the next thing we bestowed on ourselves as a treat, after that.  I know a lot of people think this song is all sad and negative and depressing and like it because of that, but I don't read it like that myself - this music reminds me of all the very best things about being alive, and how miraculous it is to ever have a life, and how utterly astonishing the things most people take for granted are:  The shapes of raindrops, the roll of the ocean waves, the slant of afternoon sunlight through leaves, the enormous distances in space, the moons of Jupiter, what tiny ants we are, the way light refracts through a prism, the way flowers unfold, the songs of birds and frogs, human sexuality (because we're subverting it and using it as metaphor, etc etc), Rayleigh scatter (which makes the sky appear blue to us), friendship, photosynthesis, laughter, joy, gravity, the colours of a sunset, etc etc etc.  I don't think it's an accident that this song is called Plainsong.  I think this song is closer to worship than it is to tragedy.  And I also think that about the Arvo Pärt piece posted above, which a good friend of mine can't bear to listen to because to her it depicts agony and despair.

Since this bracket was loosely under the theme of keyboards not detracting from compositions, here's some more wonderful watercolour impressionism in musical form:


I may add more to this later - there's not exactly a shortage of material.  Of course, I'd be happy for people to jump in and post their own examples of gorgeous Cure tracks where the keyboards don't detract... (and no, The Walk isn't one of them...)


Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 06:41:54
Quote from: SueC on August 09, 2020, 02:10:33More of Brett on the 80s:  He was watching Countdown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countdown_(Australian_TV_series)) in the very early 80s - for those of you who've not seen it, it was a highly grating music show.

Robert half agreeing in 1981:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r9fHrL5t0o
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 07:07:35
OK Sue, so I lost my draft by timeout, cos I'm useless. :)

So I'm going to give a much abbreviated version of my reply and just say that in my ideal world, gender should be much devalued, and disconnected from biological sex. In other words, the stereotypical gender associations of men and women (from appearance, to comportment, to personality traits) should be equally expected in either sex. Some men and women will be what we used to think of as stereotypically masculine, some stereotypically feminine, and vice versa. I think this is how things would work without all the sexist historical and cultural baggage humanity drags around with itself.

But also in my ideal world, that we're now a civilized and technological species means the sexist systems and institutions we run, which for messy evolutionary and historical reasons have been created for and run by men and are so based on those stereotypically male traits of competitiveness, even ruthlessness, should be rejected as outdated and replaced with stereotypically female ones of cooperation and empathy.

If this view has me labelled a man-hating reverse sexist so be it! The label is wrong, because it assumes in its premise the very stereotypical gender to sex relation I reject, but what's true is that I'm biased and discriminatory towards people and systems that are cooperative rather than competitive (and most of the other components of the same stereotypical m/f dichotomy).

And so to Madonna.

For me she's the product of the non-ideal world we live in. Like many women she either just naturally is - or has at least learnt to be   as good as or better than men 'at their own game' (again, taking the stereotypes I ultimately reject as a given) which includes exploiting her sexuality for that purpose. And for that I don't blame her but rather say 'more power to her', while at the *same time* knowing ultimately both that *no woman (no person!) should need to do this* and that doing so has the unfortunate by-product of *elevating* the very thing I wish to overturn.

Phew, does that make sense? Once again it's very early in the morning and I'm only half awake!

(PS: job hunting - OK, just started really. Not panicking yet!)

Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 17, 2020, 08:21:19
Quote from: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 06:41:54
Quote from: SueC on August 09, 2020, 02:10:33More of Brett on the 80s:  He was watching Countdown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countdown_(Australian_TV_series)) in the very early 80s - for those of you who've not seen it, it was a highly grating music show.

Robert half agreeing in 1981:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r9fHrL5t0o

Bwahahaha!  :lol:  Thanks for this clip, it was from before my time - I was still in Europe, and as @Ulrich will be able to attest, Hitparade is even worse, and I never voluntarily watched it, although one of my best friends did, and she was always going, "Isn't that great?  Isn't he cool?" and I was always going, "Ehhh, no, I can't see it!" (because Germans say what they think instead of beating around the bush - we were 10, by the way, but two things I really didn't like even back then were Hitparade and screechy opera...)

Can you interpret something for me?  I don't quite catch what Robert Smith says Top of the Pops is full of - is it drugs, or drunks, or droids, or something else?
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 09:01:35
Quote from: SueC on August 17, 2020, 08:21:19
Quote from: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 06:41:54
Quote from: SueC on August 09, 2020, 02:10:33More of Brett on the 80s:  He was watching Countdown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countdown_(Australian_TV_series)) in the very early 80s - for those of you who've not seen it, it was a highly grating music show.

Robert half agreeing in 1981:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r9fHrL5t0o

Bwahahaha!  :lol:  Thanks for this clip, it was from before my time - I was still in Europe, and as @Ulrich will be able to attest, Hitparade is even worse, and I never voluntarily watched it, although one of my best friends did, and she was always going, "Isn't that great?  Isn't he cool?" and I was always going, "Ehhh, no, I can't see it!" (because Germans say what they think instead of beating around the bush - we were 10, by the way, but two things I really didn't like even back then were Hitparade and screechy opera...)

Can you interpret something for me?  I don't quite catch what Robert Smith says Top of the Pops is full of - is it drugs, or drunks, or droids, or something else?

Full of "dross"!

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/dross

Used here to describe (usually cultural) things that are boring, derivative, dull...
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 17, 2020, 14:42:53
Thank you! It's been a while since I heard that word!  :lol:  I tested the clip out on Brett this evening and he had it straightaway (he's very British, just as his name would suggest, and has a history of using that word for the purposes of sneering...)

But guess what I found - the extended interview, which is quite funny:


...and that Countdown considers 5 minutes 11 seconds an "extended" interview gives you another clue to that programme... :angel
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 17:20:12
Quote from: SueC on August 17, 2020, 14:42:53Thank you! It's been a while since I heard that word!  :lol:  I tested the clip out on Brett this evening and he had it straightaway (he's very British, just as his name would suggest, and has a history of using that word for the purposes of sneering...)

But guess what I found - the extended interview, which is quite funny:

...and that Countdown considers 5 minutes 11 seconds an "extended" interview gives you another clue to that programme... :angel

Ha! I'd not seen that before! Very interesting as it must have been very late 81. So true what Robert says about work.... thanks!
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 18, 2020, 01:36:16
I guess that depends on the type of work you do.  I think it's probably true for the majority of people who get into the hamster wheel thing of getting a job and a mortgage and climbing up the housing ladder (in Australia, that's what the majority does, although property is becoming so expensive that the younger generations increasingly can't reach entry-level - like in Europe I guess).  (And for the vast majority of people on the planet, it's just about getting basic food and shelter so they can survive.)

But it really wasn't true for me - because I loved the work I did, and that's why I did it - my career choices weren't based on wanting to finance a "normal" life in terms of Western materialism, they were based on doing things I found enjoyable and worthwhile and worth pouring my time and energy into.  Things I would have done anyway if money hadn't been a factor in the equation.  I love finding out things, the natural world, reading, and working with young people, and by working with things like sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation and most of all, education, I actually got paid for things I really really wanted to be doing.

So, no regrets, although of course this didn't maximise my financial gain from my education, but in order to do that I would have had to sell out on what was important to me.  I can look back and say that all my time and effort was well spent, and that what I did made a positive difference which is still sending ripples through the communal pond, and the biggest thing that made a positive difference was authenticity, because when you are an authentic adult (and slightly insane  :winking_tongue) around young people, they take that as permission to be themselves, and to question the accepted way of doing things, and they can see other ways they could be.

And yet, the majority of jobs on offer these days seem to me rather pointless for spending your time on - open up a newspaper page to employment and tell me if you actually would like to do the majority of those things - and if you'd do them voluntarily if all your finances were taken care of in other ways.  Personally I think sales and marketing and even most management jobs don't actually contribute much of worth to society, and are parasitic on work that is actually productive.

It's extraordinary how since the 80s, the proportion of futile sorts of jobs seems to have gone up, while a lot of really important work that's begging to be done in things like environmental conservation and social justice isn't getting done because the "free" market (mostly synonymous with "money-making") doesn't value it, and governments don't want to put people on to do the things that really need to be done, when you step back and look at things objectively.  It's like we're on a driverless bus and just pulled here and there arbitrarily or because it's the way someone with power makes a lot of money, rather than sitting down and really thinking about where we should be going and why, and then actually going there.

There is a fair bit of work that seems worthwhile to me - work that's about caring for other people, for the earth, for promoting critical independent thinking (science and the arts equally important there IMO), creative work that has a positive effect on others, things like that - and if you're in those areas (and they're not the only areas, just examples that are obvious to me) you're not doing something meaningless.

But yeah, if you're on a largely meaningless hamster wheel that you're only on to finance the material possessions the status quo says you must have (much of middle Australia), or in order to just have basic food and shelter (much of the world) then that does largely preclude ever having much freedom to think and be creative, let alone be authentic.  Sadly, and that's one of the many things we've all got to get together to change while the pandemic has slowed down the Titanic somewhat... and got people actually talking, and in part because there's a lot of people off their hamster wheels just now, or looking critically at their hamster wheels if they're still on them...
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 18, 2020, 16:39:39
The really bad thing about the 80s is not the 80s themselves, but "80s nostalgia" - and that already started towards the late 90s! (Compilation albums with 80s pop music were released, tv shows were looking back at 80s fashion etc.)  :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Don't get me wrong, I liked some of the 80s pop back in the 80s (e.g. Kim Wilde, Mike Oldfield, Duran Duran or whatever), but the "nostalgia" made it seem there was nothing else, looking back mainly on "synth pop". For me, the 80s were so much more than just that.

The charts in the 90s were even worse than the decade before. For a while there was a "typical" formula: man raps, woman sings - almost every song in the German charts was like that. Yuk.
At least the "techno" music had its counterpart in "grunge" (yes I did like some of it) with distorted guitars and depressed lead singers...

For me, the 90s were "adventurous" musically. I discovered some 80s bands (I started listening to The Waterboys around 1991) - better late than never.

Like I said, "grunge" wasn't too bad if you found the bands with some decent songs. (Let's not forget, the groundwork for grunge started in the 80s with bands like the Replacements, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr...)
Some "alternative/indie rock" bands were quite successful in the 90s, e.g. Belly and Sugar (both of which I saw in 1993 on a bill with The Cure at a festival in Finsbury Park).

That brings me to the subject of "live music", which I hadn't had enough of in the 80s, however in the 90s I finally got round to seeing many of my favourite bands live (The Cure, The Stranglers and many more).
Also, in the mid 90s I started going to see little known bands in small clubs, which was fun.

At first, in the early 90s, "punk" seemed to be "dead" - but then famous bands (like Die Toten Hosen or Guns N'Roses) covered old tunes from 1977 or whatever and there was something like a "punk revival". Not a bad thing for a "punk & new wave nostalgic" like me.  ;)

Then there was folk-rock (now called "Americana") from bands like The Walkabouts (from Seattle, but still not much to do with grunge).
Acoustic music like "singer-songwriters" had not been "big" in my list of fave musicians, but even that was to change during the 90s.  :cool

"Brit-Pop" came along and was another counterpart of "technoid" music. I liked some of it, the songs were good and nice to sing along to. (Sadly, despite them being an archetypical British "pop" group, the press failed to praise the Cure for being the forerunners they were.)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 19, 2020, 10:32:33
Quote from: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 07:07:35OK Sue, so I lost my draft by timeout, cos I'm useless.  :)

Take care now!  :winking_tongue   If you say stuff like that, it starts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  (This is a broken record of mine that is also frequently applied to my husband. :angel)  I too have lost quite a few drafts due to technical issues, but it doesn't make me useless - 1) it's one tiny aspect of life and 2) it just meant I had to learn to do things differently, to reduce the problem.  I don't tend to lose drafts on CF because it kindly autosaves - if you let it do its thing.

But I vividly remember losing a 2,000 word university essay I'd spent most of a day on, back in the day, because I'd relied on the hard drive to do the right thing, and then it didn't - the computer malfunctioned in a big way.  That was really bad, and resulted in a tearful allnighter.  :1f62d:  And then I started backing up to floppy (remember those? :angel).

I like what you're saying in your post above about gender and biological sex etc, and wish more people loosened up a bit, if not for themselves, then at least with regard to others, and quit the judgement and bullying around difference.  Isn't it funny how humans tend to seek safety in numbers, and many are apparently too insecure in their own identities to not be threatened by other ways of being - including biological difference, cultural difference, individual difference.

In nature, diversity is always a good thing - and yet many Western humans especially have this tendency to want to regiment everything - nature, other people, etc - and to get rid of diversity.  We've bulldozed much of the biodiversity on this planet and are busy destroying what's left in other ways; the diversity of agricultural breeds/varieties is also shrinking rapidly, as are the gene pools in the fewer and fewer breed/varieties left behind (and the smaller the gene pool, the less secure the long-term survival).  There's a craze for conformity, for all beef cattle to be Black Angus (what reason?), all Granny Smith apples on the supermarket shelves to be the same size, shape and colour, ditto other F&V - as if these things are factory made and as if everything has to be homogenised and a clone of each other.

There's a backlash, thankfully; people going to farmers' markets and/or growing their own heirloom F&V, people into "slow food" as opposed to fast food and its homogeneity and horrific implications for human health, animal welfare and environmental destruction, even people supporting "all shapes, all sizes" at the more enlightened supermarkets (now there's an oxymoron)...

I'll step off my hippie soap box now; I just brought it up because I think it's part of that whole problem with distrust of diversity and difference.


Quote from: undefinedBut also in my ideal world, that we're now a civilized and technological species means the sexist systems and institutions we run, which for messy evolutionary and historical reasons have been created for and run by men and are so based on those stereotypically male traits of competitiveness, even ruthlessness, should be rejected as outdated and replaced with stereotypically female ones of cooperation and empathy.

If this view has me labelled a man-hating reverse sexist so be it! The label is wrong, because it assumes in its premise the very stereotypical gender to sex relation I reject, but what's true is that I'm biased and discriminatory towards people and systems that are cooperative rather than competitive (and most of the other components of the same stereotypical m/f dichotomy).

Yeah, and you know, don't you think it's also a form of abuse to socialise boys into cut-throat competitiveness and lack of respect towards women in particular and other entities that aren't human males in general, just as it's a form of abuse to socialise girls into being compliant doormats displaying a learned helplessness that's designed to make males feel "alpha"?  Etc, etc.  I see any attempts to amputate aspects of people's full humanity in the name of gender as being completely misguided, even downright toxic.

Thankfully, it seems to be that the younger generations are less rigid around gender roles etc, as well as LGBTIQ, than my own generation was, and than generations before that were - that's both from working with young people for a couple of decades, and from surveys about various things our ABC conducts, which you can then read back to compare answers between different age groups, ethnicities, etc.   :smth023   So there's a bit of cause for hope, I think.


QuoteAnd so to Madonna.

For me she's the product of the non-ideal world we live in. Like many women she either just naturally is - or has at least learnt to be  as good as or better than men 'at their own game' (again, taking the stereotypes I ultimately reject as a given) which includes exploiting her sexuality for that purpose. And for that I don't blame her but rather say 'more power to her', while at the *same time* knowing ultimately both that *no woman (no person!) should need to do this* and that doing so has the unfortunate by-product of *elevating* the very thing I wish to overturn.

Phew, does that make sense? Once again it's very early in the morning and I'm only half awake!

Haha!  :)  Yeah, I think you're just kinder than I am here, and are cutting her a slack I personally wouldn't, because I expect powerful women not to abuse their power, same as I expect powerful men not to.  So I have little sympathy for Thatcher and the other she-men like her, who just beat stereotypical men at their own ugly game, for which I also have little sympathy to begin with.  Likewise, I have little sympathy for powerful women (and equally, men) who could make the choice to be positive role models selling out instead for personal gain - e.g. exploitation of sexuality, in the case we are discussing.  We're all responsible for the choices we make; and especially if we weren't under hardship when we made our choices.  I really dislike me-firstness, and people abusing any power they happen to find themselves coming into.  I think Madonna had, and has, as great a responsibility to avoid this as a politician or a teacher or a doctor, etc etc - as anyone else who wields any kind of social power.

I think Jacinda Ardern is a wonderful example of a female who wields a lot of power while taking great care to avoid abusing it - and in popular culture I think Suzanne Vega, Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), and other women who employ their skills and intelligence in ways that don't cause harm are far better role models for girls and young women than Madonna and her ilk.

So we're gonna have to agree that you can have leeway to like Madonna and cut her slack, and I can have leeway to dislike what she stands for and how she has wielded her power.  I've worked with a lot of young girls, and seen firsthand their struggles with body dysmorphia and what their sexuality should look like etc, not being helped by how Madonna and her ilk conduct themselves as adult women in the popular spotlight and wielding power.  I'll choose those young girls and their welfare over Madonna's versions of womanhood and "freedom" (AKA entitlement) any day.  And I think your Goth girl classmates totally rock by comparison (as well as generally).  :)

And while we're on this topic, we can probably both agree that Robert Smith has been a generally positive role model for boys through the years looking around the world at versions of manhood. While I don't think he was the most responsible person imaginable and I'm not giving him an A for that, I do think he generally showed you didn't have to be toxic or aggressive to be male, and that you didn't have to conform to a stereotypical male appearance, and that you were allowed to both have and talk about emotions :1f631:, and that you could love and respect people, and think for yourself; good stuff like that, which is really helpful for young boys to see - and actually, for young girls too, as they are also looking at representations of adult manhood, and creating sexual and social scripts for their own lives based on various alternatives of manhood / womanhood that are presented to them.  Whereas I would give Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shane Warne, Mick Jagger etc a total F as role models - really unhelpful.

I'm sure Robert Smith never set out to be a role model and probably would have cringed at the idea, but the reality is that everyone with any kind of power and in any kind of spotlight becomes exactly that de facto, whether they want it or not.  Ultimately I think we're all responsible for having a positive effect, rather than a negative effect, on this world with our personal conduct.  We don't have to be perfect, but we do have to be aware of this.  :cool
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: word_on_a_wing on August 19, 2020, 15:13:27
Yes I agree that we should all aspire to be positive influence in the world, or role models as you say Sue. This actually hits a real nerve for me at the moment. I've recently learnt that someone (male) who has been somewhat of a teacher to me may have been capable of extremely disturbing things behind closed doors. A scared and vulnerable feeling takes hold, and my instinct is to isolate myself from the world, but that isn't helpful either. Im finding it hard to remain open and trusting in the world 😥
What is the answer? I'm still figuring it out. I think it's a reminder though to not look outside myself for the wisdom I seek ...the best teacher is the one within. I also wish everyone could just do the darn best possible to treat each other well and be good role models.
And as a prophecy of the way forward....
perhaps in the future humans will be more evolved, conscious and intuitive, and secrets could therefore no longer be kept. Would we all be living differently if every action and thought could be known?

...sorry, I think I spun this thread down a strange rabbit hole
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 19, 2020, 18:08:40
Quote from: word_on_a_wing on August 19, 2020, 15:13:27...sorry, I think I spun this thread down a strange rabbit hole

No problem for me... follow this down...
(sadly this program was never finished as such - if anyone got any footage lying around, send it to me please!)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 19, 2020, 18:27:10
Hullo, @word_on_a_wing - lovely to see you here! :)  And good to see the numbers in Melbourne getting more encouraging at last, and a specific thank you for all the things you're doing personally to help with that, which helps to keep all of us safe in the Australian community.  :cool

I'm sorry someone you looked up to has possibly got a "secret life" of betraying trust, and has therefore betrayed yours as well.  I don't know any answers to that either, I just know that sadly, this happens, and happens more frequently than it should.  All we can do is to continue to be true to ourselves, and be determined not to let that throw us off our own course.  Sort of like when someone you loved and looked up to dies, and you have to learn to walk this world in the face of that.  In that case though, you can walk on from henceforth in part to honour them, and in the case you present, that becomes an unpalatable proposition, and would be so distressing.  :'(

Nobody is perfect, but when does imperfection become horrifying?  I guess when it breaches trust, when it causes harm to others, and especially when the person involved is unrepentant and not attempting to make reparation.  And even more so if they assume a "pillar of the community" position/reputation which clashes wildly with what they will secretly do to others.  Abuse of power, and not practicing for themselves what is preached to others...

It's enough to give anyone the bends.  I think it's really healthy though to acknowledge that possibility and to be prepared to re-think a person, than to be in denial about it as is often the case.  I'll give you an awful, but sadly common, example.  One of my best friends was molested by her stepfather from age 8 to age 12, at which point she finally told her mother, who didn't believe her then and still doesn't nearly 40 years later.  She didn't want to rethink her partner and the narrative she had constructed around their lives, or to confront the idea that her partner didn't really fall in love with her, but only used her as a tool so he could get close enough to victimise her daughter.  Where does that leave a person with their parental relationship?

Likewise, when I discovered I had complex PTSD and first got unbelievably graphic flashbacks of early childhood experiences around violence, in the form of vivid nightmares at first, and later on in the daytime as well, I had to rethink my own relationship to my parents, and indeed to myself, now that the missing emotional information was suddenly accessible to me and the big wall that I'd built as a child in order to survive had collapsed.  That was one of the most distressing things I ever had to confront, and I can likewise imagine your distress when hitherto missing information suddenly appears, and deeply affects how you think of someone (while probably questioning your own judgement, but the thing about secrets is that they are so well hidden and often you can't see them from the outside).

One helpful thing I think is to avoid putting any human being on a pedestal.  When looking at role modelling, it's better to say, "These are things that this person seems to be doing well" and to be aware that they will also have things they're not doing very well - rather than seeing them as some kind of exemplary superhuman, because none of us can live up to that - and people living double lives can use that inappropriate adulation to gain (and betray) more trust.

I guess we learn as children to look up to our parents and see them as superhuman, and when we reach the stage of brain development that allows us to deal in abstractions etc, we suddenly see their flaws (typical teenage thing), and part of the vehemence of our emotions about that is actually that we couldn't see it in the first place.  But I also think too many people then go on to put other people up on the pedestal they've rightly removed their parents from, instead of understanding that you really shouldn't put anyone on a pedestal, for your own sake as well as theirs.  I think that whole adulation thing mimics the child-parent relationship, when we ought to be learning to have adult-adult relationships of equal standing.  But it feels really unsafe for a lot of people not to have someone "bigger" than them in their own minds, as a sort of dyke against the big scary world, so they go on making other people bigger, and themselves smaller, and never really get to their own potential either because of it.  Which ties in well with what you've said about the teacher within. :)

If you think for yourself you'll still be making mistakes, of course.  Just, they will be your very own mistakes, and not someone else's!  :lol:

Here's an 80s song on that theme...and it's even Australian.  Definitely very very 80s :angel but excellent thinking.


PS:  Haha, @Ulrich, just saw that!  :lol:

PPS:  @word_on_a_wing, I was thinking about a Leunig cartoon in relation to this subject.  Here it is!  :)

(http://leunig.com.au/images/galleries/cartoons/P-255-guru-SLV.jpg)
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 19, 2020, 20:10:24
No thanks for one of the worst 80s synth pop earworms (John F..)... I never wanna hear it again. :P
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 20, 2020, 01:36:49
Quote from: Ulrich on August 19, 2020, 20:10:24No thanks for one of the worst 80s synth pop earworms (John F..)... I never wanna hear it again. :P

Bwahahahahahahahaha!  :lol:  My apologies for having tripped your vomit-meter.  :yum:  It's very unpleasant when someone does that, but it turns out we can be set off by different things, so that's gonna happen when we discuss music.  :cool  (I keep a bucket beside me for that purpose.  :-D)  Yes, that track is dreadfully 80s, and the artificial handclaps give me a rash (and The Cure use the blasted things in, I think it is Close To Me?) - but in You're The Voice, I can look past it because of what the song says - sort of like with the Howard Jones example (http://curefans.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=6futav0jalp2villhalif7oiu3;topic=9345.msg773369#msg773369) in an earlier post.

But you have an ally here.  Brett says that if he is ever elected emperor of the world, he'd be happy to completely expunge John Farnham's entire body of work, so that it will be as if it never was - and that just because he's going to operate a fascist regime doesn't mean he can't do some good for the world.

Now personally I doubt he can do this, because how will he ever get into people's minds.  But he's going, "Re-education camps!  Aversion therapy!"  :evil:

Brett says that he's also willing to consider other 80s artists for the same fate and that people might find him agreeable.  :rofl  He says to send him requests if you're desperate.

Sort of like, on 6UVS-FM which we both listened to in the 1980s, you could send in a request to their request show for them to destroy a record you hated on air.  And this was in the days of vinyl, so it was a very crunchy and satisfying sound.  Lots of requests were made by the alternative music audience to destroy Wham! records and Pet Shop Boys records and Jason Donovan records, in particular.  :lol:
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 20, 2020, 09:49:48
Quote from: SueC on August 20, 2020, 01:36:49Now personally I doubt he can do this, because how will he ever get into people's minds.

TV, radio, smartphone, mind control.  :cool
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MAtT on August 25, 2020, 14:08:07
Quote from: SueC on August 19, 2020, 10:32:33
Quote from: MAtT on August 17, 2020, 07:07:35OK Sue, so I lost my draft by timeout, cos I'm useless.  :)

Take care now!  :winking_tongue   If you say stuff like that, it starts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

*chuckle* Don't worry, I don't really think I'm useless. If anything, I have to guard against thinking too much like the rest of the world is that! I try for a happy medium of knowing we're all flawed, but trying to channel my own flaws harmlessly. :)

I agree with pretty much everything you say about the sexes, gender, and sexism. I'll try to expand another time when I'm less caught up in stuff going on IRL.

QuoteI think Jacinda Ardern is a wonderful example of a female who wields a lot of power while taking great care to avoid abusing it - and in popular culture I think Suzanne Vega, Karen Matheson (Capercaillie)...

I don't know those people, but do know and love Suzanne Vega. Long time fan again, having first bought Solitude Standing for a girlfriend who asked for it before I even got into alternative music, and like it even though I thought it odd at the time. In a way she even predates The Cure for me.

And Robert Smith - yeah, a pretty good role model in many ways. Though I've always tried to separate the music from the people to some degree, lest I be disappointed (as happened with Morrissey!) too much.
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: Ulrich on August 26, 2020, 11:23:57
Quote from: MAtT on August 25, 2020, 14:08:07And Robert Smith - yeah, a pretty good role model in many ways. Though I've always tried to separate the music from the people to some degree, lest I be disappointed (as happened with Morrissey!) too much.

Well Robert has (almost) always talked sense in interviews (yeah he lied sometimes, but he admitted to that himself). In recent interviews (2018) he said real good things about how he views the world etc.

I've had the luck to meet some people whose music I like - and I can't agree with the usual "you shouldn't meet your heroes because they can't live up to it". Those I met were (mostly) the persons I thought they were (such as I "knew" them through interviews, books, songs, videos etc.)!  :happy
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on August 26, 2020, 11:44:39
Well you know, that's why I advocate a formal selection process for which musicians you would like to sponsor, before you buy anything!  :angel

Also I think if you don't actually turn people into "heroes" but just like their work, there's far less chance of being disappointed than if you project superhuman qualities onto them.  The no-pedestals rule - although to be merely inspired in permissible!  ;)

In fact, if you expect everyone to be a total turnip, you're actually going to get a fair few pleasant surprises.  Unfortunately, I have trouble lowering my expectations of people, but that doesn't stop me recommending it to others.  :angel
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on September 01, 2020, 16:25:10
Quote from: word_on_a_wing on August 19, 2020, 15:13:27Yes I agree that we should all aspire to be positive influence in the world, or role models as you say Sue. This actually hits a real nerve for me at the moment. I've recently learnt that someone (male) who has been somewhat of a teacher to me may have been capable of extremely disturbing things behind closed doors. A scared and vulnerable feeling takes hold, and my instinct is to isolate myself from the world, but that isn't helpful either. I'm finding it hard to remain open and trusting in the world 😥

I remember how it threw me into real disarray in my 20s when I learnt that Martin Luther King, one of whose books had made such an enormous difference to the way I thought, had almost certainly serially cheated on his wife, of whom he had always talked in the highest terms.  I mean, those could have been made-up rumours - there are always plenty of people to throw mud and it doesn't necessarily make it true.  But I felt very similar feelings to what you're describing - this terrible disappointment, not just in that person but by extension, possibly justabout everyone else I thought was halfway decent - like the world, which had just begun to seem to open up in good ways, was suddenly cold and spiky, and like you could trust absolutely nothing and noone.

And perhaps you can't trust anyone absolutely - maybe it's more of a statistical proposition.  High probabilities of being trustworthy, versus lower, through to nonexistent.  And then categories of what you can and can't trust various people with, again on a sort of probability scale.

As always, other people is nothing we can change.  All we can really do is work on being trustworthy ourselves.  I saw that once on a poster, "Be the change you want to see."  And I think that's already a fulltime job. ;)  I've taken that very seriously, but I'm way from perfect myself.  Incrementally improving in some ways, probably deteriorating in others - these days, I'd cheer if some people were struck by meteorites, for example.

I guess all the disappointment can lead to us withdrawing into shells of some sorts, or it can be a fuel for doing the best we possibly can, not to be such a big part of the problem/s.  Next time someone disappoints you or is rude to you etc, try making a point of being kind to three different people you randomly come across, for each instance of disappointment or rudeness or whatever.  It sort of adjusts the balance, shows you you're still free to make choices, helps develop good habits, and means the darkness doesn't win this one.  Light has a tendency to spread, if we'll send it out.

PS:  I now have the hippie pants to go with the speech!  :angel
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Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: word_on_a_wing on September 02, 2020, 14:36:53
Quote from: SueC on September 01, 2020, 16:25:10I guess all the disappointment can lead to us withdrawing into shells of some sorts, or it can be a fuel for doing the best we possibly can, not to be such a big part of the problem/s.  Next time someone disappoints you or is rude to you etc, try making a point of being kind to three different people you randomly come across, for each instance of disappointment or rudeness or whatever.  It sort of adjusts the balance, shows you you're still free to make choices, helps develop good habits, and means the darkness doesn't win this one.  Light has a tendency to spread, if we'll send it out.

PS:  I now have the hippie pants to go with the speech!  :angel

Beautiful sentiments!  I will try remind myself of this rather then get pulled down by the negativity, thanks :)  :smth023
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: SueC on September 03, 2020, 01:38:38
Best wishes for it, @word_on_a_wing!  :)  If you've got any unusual tried and tested strategies that you've found useful for dealing with the real world, please share too - it all helps... and we're all in need of help, and mutual support.  :cool
Title: Re: 'The 80s and other reminiscences'
Post by: MeltingMan on September 30, 2020, 10:34:26
🤭 😎