Tag Archives: fashion

Skins: The antithesis of cultural snobbery.

I just watched Skins.

I was really sceptical – like a lot of people – when I heard they were changing the entire cast for season three; and I didn’t like the first few episodes because I was so ingrained in the deep psychological flaws of the original cast. Cassie will probably always be one of my top-ten TV characters.

However, after the last (literal) couple of episodes, I was Twittering endlessly about how – given time to properly develop the characters – the third series was fast becoming as good as, dare I say it, season two.

Tonight’s episode seven was fantastic. From an objective point of view, probably the best yet. Episode six was incredibly powerful, but – like I did with a lot of season two – I was applying the situations to my own life and memories. Nothing beats a bit of televisual catharsis.

The reason tonight was so good was because although I couldn’t connect to it as deeply as other episodes, I was completely enthralled by the storyline, the new interactions between – finally – developed characters (JJ and Emily were obvious, but also between Emily and Cook and Freddie and Katie (honestly, never saw that one coming)).

Might I also point out that my favourite character is Naomi – one of the few characters I did not write off during episode one.

I even like Cook now – the outfits he wears are supposedly a mash up of violent youth culture over the past 50 years, which I think is a fantastic allusion – particularly since it is so malleable a medium.

I complained about the unrealistic feel I got from series three at the beginning: everything was over-the-top, special effects – and there still is an element of that – but the Bristol underworld does not play so big a part anymore. More to the point, it has been given its own place in the background: an integral part of the class system* building up around the characters in a way far more obvious than the previous series. Effy Stonem lives in the same house, yet now, the fact that she comes from a middle class part of the city is far more important. Bring on the bourgouise disillusionment.

*I am arguing that class is becoming less and less important with someone over MSN right now – what a charlatan I am.

One thing I was able to apply to this realisation of how important the class system is in Skins was that I was born to middle class parents, and am of the generation of the characters, regardless of being older than the original cast. Boo hoo.

But from my objective viewpoint, the series revealed itself to be – intentionally or otherwise – modelled on Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot”. I only realised tonight, with the revelation of JJ’s autism, that he could be argued as taking the role of Prince Myshkin. Perhaps this was all too obvious since he was episode seven’s protagonist.

However, on a grander scale, Effy Stonem must be modelled on the damaged and damaging Nastasya Fillipovna: knowing that everyone loves her on sight, but does not really care; treating those around her as objects and experiments.

Perhaps thankfully, her character seems to be opening like a matroshka doll and allowing her true self to come out from within a beautiful shell.

My only concern is that when the main character in Skins – or any programme, since they are all so homogenous anyway – opens up like this, the series is surely drawing to a close. Please don’t leave me, Skins! I need you.

Final point: the music was, yet again, incredibly important. Thank you, Alex Hancock, for giving us an episode littered with Debussy – and thank you, anonymous gatekeepers of the rolling credits, who gatecrashed the screen before the actors names were given and rightfully spelled out the words “Music by Claude Debussy”. I knew we were listening to Clair De Lune on the first two chords, but suppose other people didn’t? Why deprive them from enjoyment out of some ridiculous snobbery?

On that point, there is far less snobbery in culture. I won’t go any deeper, but it is something to think about: maybe that is where the class system is breaking down. I will probably blog on this at a later date since I have decided to launch a journalistic campaign in favour of free downloads and against the restrictions on YouTube from the music industry generally which are hampering my enjoyment of life – no hyperbole.

Anyway, yes, Skins, yes, thumbs well and truly up.

All aboard the tranny train!

Remember I was writing all those blogs ago about how postmodernism was messing me up? I think it has come to a head. I think the internet is making me become a tranny.

Let’s quantify. For one thing, I keep track of all the traffic I get to this site, and an awful lot of it comes from people googling genuinely startling sentence fragments* relating to transexualism. There is the acceptable but inaccurate (“tranny blog”); the borderline Bridget Jones (“tranny diaries”); and the alarming-image-provoking (“tranny sleepover”). All this tranny-traffic makes me think “Oh God. If people come here thinking I am a tranny, does that mean I am a tranny? Well, does it!?”.

*(unrelated, but this one cracked me up: “I am totally paranoid if I think google”. Me too, dude, me too.)

Then, I get a message from a good friend, who seemed highly concerned when she found this entry on a confessions site and thought I had written it. Personally, I think I’m closer to this one. And this guy is my hero.

After a two day binge of both alcohol* and buying clothes online, I realise that I JUST LOOK BETTER IN WOMEN’S CLOTHES. I think they just fit me better. I think this is me admitting defeat. I should have known right from the start, when I was given a girl’s Led Zeppelin t-shirt; a ladies’ black, pretend leather jacket which cost buttons from Primark (which one of the girls on my course also has, in an embarassing turn of events); and a haircut, constituting the most dramatic makeover in my own social history. Ironically – due to the haircut – as soon as I started tranning-it-up, I stopped being mistaken for a woman in public.

*(just like Miss Roj in the colored museum! Where is my blackface make-up?!)

I think the jacket and tight t-shirts work well because they accentuate my shoulders, and contrast with my waist, making me look like a junkie. A junkie man. And a tranny. A junkie man tranny. Which, essentially, is very fashionable. A typical night out now sees me basing my clothes and hair on Agyness Deyn, with the whole paint-on jeans and suicide haircut. Does that disturb you? Should I be more disturbed by my own actions? It’s got to the point now, that I’m just not sure if I AM a tranny or not. I mean where is the cut-off point? How does one know? Yet again, I’m struggling to force myself into a serious reality check.

I have struck up a correspondance through YouTube with a (fellow?!) FTM transsexual, and sometimes, when I am in the shower, and I see the drain clogged up with leg-or-whatever hair, and a little bic razor clogged up with follicles and fluff; I question whether or not the hair came from my own legs, from my own body. Evidently, it never does; I live with two women. But sometimes it’s just hard to tell.

I have no desire to become a woman. I have no desire to even consider myself a cross-dresser. I don’t wish to have anything other than what I was born with. Especially down there (even though sometimes I think it’d be cool just to, you know, cut it off. But not for gender or sex reasons; simply for research and giggles). Sadly, due to the internet, I think that my own will is just not strong enough: one of these days, I know, like Winston in the dying chapters of Nineteen Eighty Four, I shall look at myself in the mirror while applying my heavy eyeliner ( – no guyliner for me!) and accept that I am a tranny. And that I love Big Brother.

You Look Like A Cabbage Patch Doll But I Still Would

I know you hate my blogs about existentialism and the like, and would prefer to read about who I slept with a week ago, but believe me: this way, I have way more copy! Besides, it is important for me to address this issue. And for you to read it.

One of my good friends from work told me a theory of his, about two weeks ago. He said that everyone over the age of 18 still think of themselves as being that age; like a mental checkpoint in time. He said that he regularly thinks of himself as 18 years old and is shocked when he realises that his friends are all getting older, and thus, so is he.

I told him that I didn’t believe such crap; that it was a load of baloney; that I am in fact capable of remembering what age I am at all times. It reminded me of all the times my dad has asked me how old I am.

So anyway, these two girls came into my restaurant earlier this week; sisters. We used to be close friends, when we were younger. I was around 15 at the time, as was one of the girls. Her sister was three years older than us.

There was a bit of tension when they came in. We acknowledged each other, said “Hi”. I thought it best to leave the room at that point, staying out of the restaurant and having a whale of a time in the bar playing with the coffee machine. I really love the coffee machine. I work in a bar and restaurant, by the way.

Now when I’m at work, I get a lot of thinking done – particularly when I’m at the coffee machine. Gotta love that coffee machine. However, the thinking I was doing that day was pretty lightweight; yet I managed to mess it up. I thought the older of my former friends must have been 21, since the younger one and I were three years younger than her and… hang on…

So maybe there is some credence to my friend’s theory. Maybe I have been proven wrong. I must say, it was a total head-fuck, and I still find it difficult to believe that I am 20 years old. Yet it’s not the first time my beliefs have been proven wrong, or at least mortally wounded. I mean, I’m a Catholic and God knows how many discrepancies have arisen from that seemingly minor detail conflicting with my everyday life. However, I’m thinking more along the lines of the time I had a big argument with my philosophy lecturer about how I could definitely tell, at all times, whether I was awake or dreaming. Bear in mind that I also told the same lecturer that I was a staunch, practicing Catholic.

I truly believed that I was able to tell between reality and what goes on when I sleep, yet over the past couple of days, I have had a few things sticking out in my memory that I cannot place. I know I have picked up this certain information from someone, or somewhere, yet I cannot think back to where I got it.

The first such memory is an in depth discussion about pedal notes in music. This is all well and good, but who the hell would ever talk about pedal notes in a conversation? Who would even care? Even I don’t care that much! I wouldn’t question this conversation normally, but I was trying to think how it came about, or where it led, and I cannot recall any details about the conversation other than that I was being a smarmy dick to whomever I was talking to, claiming to know every last detail about pedal notes and trying to give the impression that I was somewhat clued up about musical theory. I’m not.

The second memory is that someone, real or otherwise, said the following sentence to me: “The most famous portmanteau is the word ‘Prada’,” followed by a description of how Prada means “Practical/Fashionable” or something similar. Now, I’m less clued up about fashion than I am about musical theory*, but I swear I thought Prada was someone’s name. If only I didn’t spend so much time thinking at the coffee machine and could “Start Living In The Real World”. Someone should write a book about that.

*This sentence reminds me of Miles Kane, whom I want to kick in. He was quoted in Uncut magazine (which I bought for an underwhelming list of the 30 greatest David Bowie songs, evidently fabricated by said magazine) as saying: “Does the aspect of re-inventing yourself appeal? You should see me at the weekend. Eyeliner, the lot”. This, along with several other quotes which paint him as someone desperate for fame and not doing it very well, riding on Alex Turner’s rather short coat-tails and spouting a load of shit about how “amazing” he is, makes me hate him. Although I did like their cover of In The Heat Of The Morning.

Enough of that bollocks, I want to have an affair with the woman across the road from me. Yeah, you heard! I don’t particularly find her attractive. In fact, I don’t find her attractive at all. Sometimes, when she wears shorts and stands next to her dollhouse-like bungalow, she looks like a child’s doll. An ugly one at that. Even so, I couldn’t compete with her total catch of a husband. He has so many things I don’t have, like an open-top sports car and a rather fetching mullet. This isn’t why I want to have an affair with Pam. I say Pam, her name is really Jackie, but I only found that out last year. For the decade previous, I thought her name was Pam. So anyway, I don’t really want to have sex with Pam/Jackie. I don’t really want to break up her marriage to the total catch with the sports car and the dodgy-cum-enviable hair, I just think it would be funny for a little while.

But I am no longer the kid I used to be. I have learned to take responsibility over my actions; to show restraint and resist temptation; to think about the consequences further down the line than two hours away… Yet I can’t even remember what age I am half the time. I swear, I get more and more like my dad every day…