The Null Device
Oh, this is amusing. A weblog devoted to sniping at indie-pop webzines, with the classicly cliquish combination of bitter antagonism, oblique name-dropping and insider pretentiousness that will be familiar to anybody who has stumbled onto an indie-fan mailing list. Not to mention copious use of Britishisms, so much so that some suspect that it's some kind of Austin Powers effect and the authors are Americans pretenting to be British for indie-scene cred. More vitriolic than NtK and Graham in patablogging mode put together; more amusing to watch than a crowd of 18-year-old late-1990s "Mod" kids.
Ambush marketing: Apparently, Japanese companies have hit upon a novel mass advertising strategy: send people to the Olympics with big signs advertising their products, in Japanese. It seems that the McLympic Brand Police can't, for the most part, read Japanese. (heard on 3RRR)
This Sunday is the start of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, which has several hundred events (including theatre, comedy, music, dance and visual arts). Something to check out.
Tonight I watched Trekkies, a documentary about the Star Trek fan subculture. While it was made by Paramount, and thus put a positive spin on things (they would not risk alienating their audience by selling an exploitation video depicting them as an unmitigated freak show), it was nonetheless most amusing, where it depicted extreme and often absurd examples (the awkward-looking guy who changed his name to James T. Kirk, the guy who had his ears surgically sharpened, the small rural town that designated itself as the captain's future birthplace and hosts Star Trek tractor pulls and the Trekkie Elvis impersonator are some highlights, as well as various individuals in uniforms and costumes). Still, they could be doing worse things than wearing their Starfleet badges to the local Wal-mart; like dressing in black and shooting up high schools, for example.
One thing I noticed is the quirks of diction and non-verbal cues of some of the fans interviewed; could this be the same phenomenon as the "fannish accent" noted by speech therapist Karyn Ashburn?
In any case, Trekkies is recommended viewing for anyone interested in fringe subcultures or human oddity.
In an attempt to stem the decline in reading by men, publisher Mills & Boon, best known for their cookie-cutter romance novels, are releasing a line of books for the male market. The Stony Man books are what you'd imagine the male equivalent of romance novels to be -- blood, guns and undercover missions, all in a short, easy-to-read format. The books, ghostwritten by a team of writers, have been spectacularly successful in the United States.