Monday, October 20, 2014

Buffy's hair

Yesterday I was flicking through the news on my phone and came across a story about Sarah Michelle Gellar's new haircut. This inane article about Buffy's bob caused me to instantly start composing another smart-arse blog post in my head. I was going to tell you all about how the modern media sucks and how celebrity haircuts shouldn't be news and why we are also destined to become imbeciles.

But then I though about it a bit more.

I could fill my head with 'important' news stories. I could know all about Iraq and Syria and even those less popular wars in places with no oil. I could read about Ebola. I could think about how bad it all is. I could condemn politicians for doing the wrong things. I could get really angry about it if I wanted to. It wouldn't make me a better person though.

Choosing to be "well informed" is largely just a form of personal branding. It's much the same as choosing what you are wearing. Some people will choose a serious suit and to know what the Reserve Bank governor said about interest rates. Other people will choose a boob tube and knowing about Buffy's latest look.

By getting riled up about celebrity haircut stories I am  being a snob. I am like one of those annoying super-healthy people who say you should only have vegetables and that fairy floss shouldn't exist.

People like fairy floss and sometimes instead of all those bitter stories about war, disease and idiotic politicians I think it is perfectly fine to have something which is sweet and sugary and of no value to your intellectual diet...

People just need to be aware of where their intellectual nourishment is coming from. Getting all your information from TMZ is a bit like doing your grocery shopping in a lolly shop. Getting it from Channel 9 is probably like going to Woolies and skipping past any of the green stuff at the front. Other outlets are a bit more like the health food store, the jolly butcher who calls you 'love' or the chick with the bangles who sells space cake.

 Sarah Michelle Gellar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The sad decline of cheerful whistling

If we were to graph the amount of whistling going on in society, we would see a long precipitous decline. It's dying out like rhinos.

It used to be that loads of people walked around whilst cheerfully whistling away. Their heads weren't clogged up with thousands of different thoughts; just a single little tune. It was brilliant. No one could ever be rushed, stressed or unhappy while they were whistling. 

Whistlers could carry their tunes around anywhere. They didn't need a phone, ear plugs and a charged battery to keep it all pumping out. They didn't need to download anything or sign up for some streaming service and have their musical tastes monitored by a distant corporation which would later pester them with targeted advertising.

Often the whistlers didn't whistle a set tune at all. They were constantly composing, making up their fabulous little ditties on the fly. Whistlers were like human birds - somehow lighter and freer than all those serious non-whistlers.

But the whistler is a dying breed. I can't envision many kids becoming whistlers. Few have the long walk home anymore which encourages the habit. Instead most are scooped up in to an SUV with the radio playing. The posh ones stare at the little TV built in to the headrest. 

Even if kids are forced to sit at the bus stop, not many will whistle away the wait. Most will feel an addictive impulse to pull out a phone and be entertained by a glittering world of games and social media. Time which was once free will be spent carefully managing an online identity. After all, who knows what could happen between the school bell and the arrival of the 288?

Perhaps we should put our faith in hipsters to encourage a whistling revival. A group which loves Ned Kelly beards, fixed wheel bicycles and typewriters should surely embrace this now antiquated activity.

Whistling seems far superior to all these established hipster drawcards, which each suffer some fairly serious drawbacks. Typewriters quickly expose poor typing and spelling. Fixies are pretty much useless the moment you encounter a significant hill. Ned Kelly beards can have the same effect as spraying a full can of lady repellent.    

But even if hipsters do embrace whistling, the habit may not be as permanent as their sleeve tattoos. After all, we live in an age of frenetic multi-tasking, with little space for extravagances. Ever harder we work to pay the bills and project the right image, hoping one day we might scrape together enough cash to afford the deposit on a slightly crap semi under the flight path.

Sadly no one in Sydney has time to breathe, let alone whistle.