August 14, 2020, 06:19:19

News:

Please consider making a donation to help to sustain curefans. Learn more.


'The 80s and other reminiscences'

Started by MAtT, July 18, 2020, 12:21:12

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 7 Guests are viewing this topic.

MAtT

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:



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



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



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.



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...









Matt





Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

MAtT

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..
Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

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:



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



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



...you know, and spray your hair with a ton of hair spray before you take your hand off that dome!  ;)
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

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
 




 
Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

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? 



More here: 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!
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

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



Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

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, 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!  :)
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

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...











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. :)



Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

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...










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:









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:



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



...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...




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.  ;-)



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!  :)
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

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?





Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

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...

SueC is time travelling

SueC

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).



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

SueC is time travelling

MAtT

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!
Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

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
SueC is time travelling

SueC

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), 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.  :)


SueC is time travelling