Okay, so I did the Social Media course at Sydney Uni yesterday, taught by Laurel Papworth, so, even though it was only a day course, it was a proper course, and it was such a struggle to get the day off, and I paid for it myself, and it was very much worth it as, being so firewalled for years, I'm so out of touch now and completely lacking in the basics. Like adding my contact details (duh). Which I'd not added for good reason, but these days there's no such thing as privacy and I'll just have to own my peversions and maybe that's why nobody ever contacts me any more?
I mean, I even miss the hate mail, how sad is it, I don't even get hate mail any more. I miss the blog trolls. I miss deliberately baiting a certain boy because I'd be bored and I'm a brat and he used to bite so easily it was just a simple matter of finding the trashiest article of particular interest I could find, reposting it and waiting for the angry snap. I used to think of it as a game. I must have been so annoying, but it was fun, in a wicked, taunting kind of way, and like I said, I was bored and I'm a brat. I miss it, though. I miss it a lot.
Speaking of missing a lot, there was a prolonged sulk over not receiving any birthday or xmas messages this year. Well, my apologies, you did send them, and Yahoo just dumped 700+ messages in a folder of undelivered mail, and, slowly working my way through them, I fould them all there. So a very belated thank you (and bollocks to Yahoo). There, too, were all the receipts and tickets for stuff that had caused me so much trouble (phoning airlines and hotels to confirm bookings, double ordering stuff cause I thought the first, and even second, order hadn't gone through), all there. Not a single spam message I note, just the stuff I really needed to see. Nice one, Yahoo.
So, last night we did the arty thing. First off it was the AGNSW to see the Archibalds before the exhibition closed. Wasn't that wowed this year, very samey and every artist seemed to find themselves the most noteworthy person in the country. Oh, don't get me started (wankers, literally).
Then it was coffee and past the closed Asian wing (wow, Stalinist revisionism in action re regime change) up to the Australian Symbolism exhibition, which I loved so much I wanted to camp there. All my favourite favourites were there, including the Sydney Long I have a poster of. All the other usual suspects were there (Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Rupert Bunny, Bertram Mackennal) and the fact that these are my favourite favourites and I'd seen most of the pieces many times before probably says something about my deplorable taste in art, but here it is, buy the catalogue, see what I dig. Flights of fancy art noveau girl down to my bootstraps, I'm afraid (which is why I liked so Brooklyn museum and Art Institute of Chicago so much). It just speaks to me (my grandmother must have had some art noveau about the place) and makes me happy.
Lots of arty paintings of nymphs in the Oz bush (see also Picnic at Hanging rock, again). All very exotic, but I can't help but look and think flies, sand flies, mosquitos, sunburn, bull ants, bindi-eye, burning sand, etc. Not at all romantic, but I've suffered and learnt the hard way about trying to recreate particularly bucolic picnic scenes. Did I mention spiders and snakes?
We also whipped around the new Oz art hang and then it was exit through the gift shop (I got a discount on account of being a friend of Himself, and yay, because I miss all the free stuff - America, you spoilt me).
Then it was down (at a cracking pace, my poor ankle) to see some of Vivid, or, as I do call it, the Festival of Fairy lights. Usually I'm on the other side of the Quay and it's all installations, some better than others, a lot of artists just can't make art that stands up to the elements or the public, and they really should if they're going to exhibit in an outdoor art show, but down by the Quay it's all lit up buildings and projections, whih, I must say, filled me with childish delight. When the lights switched on it was like cracker night back for me. Oooh, pretty. Lights and blinky twinklies all over the place.
Most impressive would have to be the Opera House. Yes, I could have done without the interpretive dance all over the sails which went on forever, but I was astonished by the abstract pieces, the way they made the shell seem to crack open and peel, then the sails ripple and billow and look like someone was pressing up through them. Spectacular.
I also loved the MCA getting its abstract freak on with all the expressionists projections, whirling windmills of our minds and what seemed like dancing Mondrian chacters. Customs House was also brilliant with an everychanging cartoon and cityscape of daily life, and, after remarking that Vivid had become so impressive it had out New Yorked New York (well, the first one was a bit slidenight, let's be honest) it was funny to see Customs House clearly showing American animations on its walls (the little yellow taxis and yellow schoolbuses beetling along the colonades were a dead giveaway, we don't have those here). It was so cute and so cool though. I loved it.
I ooohed and aahed my way around but we were tired so it was just a bit of Vivid we did, we didnt do down through the Rocks, alas, but we did manage to squeak into my favourite restaurant, Selah, which is very like Inoteca (so much so I guess it accounts for the comfort factor), it's cosy, gret food, good wine. I had the leg of duck this time, yum, yum.
Happily, it's just a short stagger across the road to the taxi stand (but just going up to one's room is far easier, I liked staying in hotels with good resturants, hell, resturants, attached) and, would you believe it, green lights all the way and home in time for Grimm (I swear I did not plan it that way, we just got tired), so it was Grimm doing Cinderella and a nice cup of tea.
A grand evening out.
Can't talk about work stuff, but watch an episode of Rome or Game of Thrones and you'll get the basic idea. Not fun. I'll be one of the nameless bodies being pecked at by ravens on the battlefield, ta very much.
Anyhoo, during a long rant last night, which did encompass seeing a pic of a young Mr Bell, stylish man about town, circa early Sixties, and wasn't he just so stylish, like James Bomd stylish. well, hello, sexy.
Then there was that pic of Mr John Wood, from 1963, in a doublet and hose that left absolutely nothing to the imagination. I mean, good grief, if he doesn't have a couple of avocados and the rest of the entire fruit basket shoved down there. This was why Himself couldn't look that portait of John Wood hanging in the Archibalds in the eye. I don't think either of us will be able to look that gentleman in the eye ever again. What a photo.
Somehow then the conversation wandered onto notorious ancestors, and the unfortunate who once lived on the infamous Gertude Street, site of a notorious VD clinic, hence the song Gertrude Street Blues. This led to a rollicking talk on the clap in Oz culture (see also AC/DC's The Jack), and, incidentally, and, oddly, mercifully, the consequences of free love in Oz in the 70s (we didn't really get the Sixties until 1974, it's a thing), and all those VD posters on trains and buses I remember as a small child, meant that systems were in place dealing with the AIDS crisis that came ten years later (see also Grim Reaper ad), which is cited as one of the reasons we had the most effective government response, because back then disease was considred a medical problem, not a religious one, as it would be now that the conservative pendulum has swung back to 'burn the witch' levels.
Anyhoo, apparently as a project someone once tried to trace an outbreak of STDs in Sydney back to the source, in what became colloquially known as the Pram Factory crabtree. Snerk. It's now a shopping centre and food court. Enjoy.
This is the stuff we talk about over dinner. This is probably why I never get invited to parties.
Speaking of things grim, apparently Once Upon a Time is rating, but not with those key demographics advertisers seek so much (kids with pocket money, why I will never know). Has anyone told TPTB that fairytales, in the UK and here at least, were banned and taken off shelves (ditto Ms Blyton) in the early Eighties onwards for being non PC and violent? Therefore, the target demo, being anyone younger than me, will not have any familiarity with the subject matter. Just a thought.
Maybe it'll spark an interest, but for now, the assumption that these are established brands and known myths? Not so much.
Meanwhile, an annoyingly Fassbender free episode of Hex, but at least the wee PC and the interwebs are working for me today. Gotta get a break somewhere.
Gertrude Street Blues
Australian Theatre History. The Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory
Grim Reaper (advertisement)
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24 June 2012