Friday, October 19, 2007

great moments in fandom

As I write this I am sitting at the IT desk at UTS, and there is a huge crowd of Harry Potter fans collected in the foyer area outside. They've been singing songs, but now are all lining up for a group photo. And why? Because a web-based podcast (Mugglecast, for those interested) just had a live show in one of the rooms here. Basically, these are fans of a show run by and for fans of a book. Several degrees of fandom. The presenter (for those unintiated, a podcast is like an online radio show, designed to be played on ipods. Or something like that. You can also podcast lectures, etc.) came to Australia all the way from the US for this event, all paid for apparently, this thing makes good money from advertising. This guy is all of 19 years old, and he is currently surrounded by a huge crowd of teenage girls wanting his autograph, to talk to him, etc. Crazy, but impressive. He wielded a microphone pretty well though, from the sound of it, despite technical difficulties.
I'm pretty much in favour of all this, people making communities, having fun. Because being a fan is fun sometime, although I'm not going to go around asking people to sign my underwear (as is apparently happening over there. Not so sure though... Largely this is a wholesome event, with an 8 year old girl running around in an excellent Hogwarts uniform costume. And balloons).

O.k., so most of that was actually written the next day, i.e. today. And I think that this would be a good time to reflect on other events of the week.
Say, Monday night, Cat Empire concert at the Metro.
I have to admit, I turned into something of a fangirl myself this night, and may have spent some time considering Felix to be the coolest man alive. Anyway, a top gig. I went with Sylvia, Chris and a friend of Chris', and we ran into a bunch of people from church, which was nice. Also nice was the fact that we were in about the second row back from the stage (standing that is, so exact position tended to fluctuate). I was so annoyed that I forgot my camera... But I digress. Support act were this funk/jazz/soul band called The Bamboos, they were fun, good music, they all wore suits and the trumpeter and saxophone players all moved back and forth in time, which was something of a highlight. Good music, good vibe, good fun. But nothing compared to the Cat Empire themselves. This has something to do with the fans, it's usually the problem with support acts. And though the crowd were clearly enjoying The Bamboos, they just went crazy for Cat Empire. There was dancing and jumping and singing. The music was mostly stuff from the new album, the band seemed to be having fun. Always fun watching the antics of the trumpeters/back-up singers. Lots of solos, some dancing around on stage, some covers, a few oldies thrown in which people went wild for. I spent alot of time jumping around with a big grin on my face, which is worrying as there was a video camera around, but whatever. In summary, as I said, a great gig, turned everyone into crazy fans.

And now? Back to the essays... Maybe I'll just head out and buy that Cat Empire cd though... :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

events and stories

I finished my thesis last week, and since then have been relaxing, and finding myself strangely uninspired to write a blog post. There're usually most blog posts in times of essay writing and procrastination.
So what have I been doing instead in the (almost) week since I've handed in my thesis? Well, I went straight to the pub (or Manning Bar) and spent an afternoon there with other honours students, reflecting on how good it felt to be finished. Then off to Bible study.
I had uni, I worked (3 shifts since Wednesday), read a very trashy book and started another much less trashy (Crime and Punishment, going to take me a bit longer to finish). I've read a bridal magazine, and started wedding planning. Kind of. I watched 'Beowulf and Grendel' and 'Star Knight'- two very, very bad movies. 'Beowulf and Grendel' is completely different to the poem, 'loosely based' would be the way to describe it. They introduce a completely new character, who has dubious motivation. It tries to convey some sort of message, which would never be allowed into the poem Beowulf, while not being coherently or convincingly portrayed itself. Not to mention that it confuses the Anglo-Saxons with the Scandinavians. Star Knight was just all around bad, a love story with no chemistry, a ridiculously awful script and bad dubbing. You just had to laugh. For instance, the storyline: an alien being in a kingdom in Medieval Spain falls in love with the princess of the kingdom, who also falls in love with him. He cannot speak but somehow is able to communicate with the princess. Ridiculous just about covers it.

Sunday was my 5 year high school reunion. Interesting, and very strange to see those people who I haven't seen for 5 years all in one year, married, engaged, with kids, working, doing PhDs or just studying... I don't know, just a strange experience. Ang and I got the time wrong and so were late, but still had time to see people. I had a glass of champagne on little food and regretted it, but it was fun all the same. Monday was one of the work shifts and today nothing much happened except that I had an assessment for my business course (doing it through work) that I really hadn't studied for. I'm sure it was all ok...

On another note, I've probably said this before, but isn't it fascinating to have such a wealth of stories in the world as we do. From the large scale to the small, the tragedies and trivialities that are found everywhere. There are such terrible things happening in the world, always it seems. Sometimes you have to focus on the little stories to see the hope and the good in life. Not that little stories can't be tragic.