Sunday, 4 March 2007

Gangsters and Politicians

There is something intolerably tedious about student politics. When the time comes around for university elections, numerous scruffy, earnest chancers emerge. It is distasteful to watch a set of inexperienced and unqualified fools struggling to interest the tiny proportion of students who vote, armed with nothing but a few vague statements of intent which promise nothing, and a some spectacularly forgettable tag phrase. It all stinks far too much of real politics. And there is no way I’m voting for a white girl with dreadlocks. Ever.

The student common room is hardly crying for more unread, cheaply printed posters in any case. The student’s space at university is a tragic affair, groaning as it is with the colours of multicultural murals and piecemeal furniture. The whole space is made sadder when you stumble across one of the flop-tastic music nights that hobble into the room some evenings. Which is probably why the trying-but-not-quite-cool-bar, clockworks, seemed so fun on Friday night. It also dredged up halcyon memories of the first year of my degree, when going out did not seem like a self-destructive act of rebellion and an insult against the teaching staff, because maintaining a life and a Japanese degree has begun to seem like a Herculean feat.

It was at clockworks that I wore my new waistcoat, only to find my good (and more stylish) friend was wearing one ‘which he had had for ages…’ Well, it’s no real problem for me, as the waistcoat is part of a new image Idea I am trying to put together. It has probably come from the fact that I have been spending a bit of time with various Japanese fashion students, and it has dawned on me that many of the boys, while capable of being incredibly stylish, have a propensity to look slightly sleazy, as if they have just fallen off the back of a Yakuza van into a fashion course… and so I have become interested in the idea.
I found a Dior image that I think expresses the feeling quite well. So I became interested in collecting clothes that have a slightly 'untrustworthy' image. It's difficult, because if you take a step too far, you look like a cheap mobster, which is not ideal. However, I think if you get it just right, you might be tapping into the very nature of male fashion; because men may have a more utilitarian view of fashion, in that they are more pointedly interested in how the opposite sex respond to their clothes. So, if you are willing to embrace the sleaze a little, you might be able to make a comment about how men interact with fashion. Maybe. 今日はそろそろ。

And you may begin...

I once heard it said that it was a particularly male foible to obsess over the fist line of a piece of writing. It is ironic then, that perhaps the most famous of fist-lines in English literature belongs to Jane Austen. The pressure of cutting through the white of silence means we are all wont to disappoint ourselves; our voices all too squeaky and hollow as we write into a void. A novelist has the enviable ability to flit though time; construction a beginning only one an end is comfortably in place, so that an opening line may rest upon what follows it. A diarist has less of the godlike in him, and must be obsequious to the same forward march as his readers. Although, perhaps less god leaves space for more human.
Yet the question resounds, why 'blog'? It seems impossible to call self-publication anything other than supreme arrogance. By bypassing the judgement of publishers, and diminishing the actual necessity of readers and their money, you are bypassing all external judgement and proclaiming your own thought as valuable enough to spew onto a stage straining under the weight of actors, with no quality control. And so here I pledge to offer no guarantee of worth; merely my own curiosity to see whether I can spark interest in others. I also offer no promise of candid honesty, for trifling things like facts and events are merely shackles on truth. A fiction writer collects the flotsam and Jetsam of thoughts in an attempt to uncover the currents that move them, and that is a freedom a should like to have recourse to. Of course, I plan for this to be, in the main, a journal.