buy a friend

one of the most contentious things about the social networking sites is the friend/follower count. be honest… who has a friend with over a thousand friends and has thought to themselves “what the hell is wrong with me?”

some people like to pretend that they are happy with their 7 best friends on facebook and 3 followers on twitter but for us big-headed divas, this just will not do. not when, for just $450, you can have 10.000 followers on twitter. bargain! and for $397 you can buy 5000 fans and as they very sweetly point out on the website, that’s just $0.079 per fan. well worth it ,don’t you think?

i remember being horrified when i came across an automated friend adder for myspace but myspace sucks anyway, so what do you expect? these cheats take all the fun out of being an unpopular git. or having a band fan page that has been at a standstill for months. i love checking my stats and seeing them drop every week, don’t you? and being unrecognised for the blood, sweat and tears you put into promoting yourself is the whole point isn’t it? puts you firmly in your place when you attempt to compare yourself with the real celebs.

so i’ll go on blogging and tweeting into the ether, not caring if anyone is listening (apart from you lovely 5 readers here). back to nonsense blogging on our shiny new template….

ps anyone got $847 ?

having an open mind

i often pride myself on being open-minded but i came across this quote the other day and it got me thinking…

if you keep your mind sufficiently open, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it

william ornton

the dictionary defination of open-minded is being receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others. this can often be detrimental to one’s health especially mental. it means that you actually have to listen to the ideas and opinions of insane people before you make up your mind what you believe about the issue. if you’re an opinionated git, you can skip that step and just stumble blindly onwards, knowing that you are right, regardless of what other people think.

take your good old-fashioned racists. how simple life must be for them. black people are less than human and don’t count and should be gotten rid of. simple. they don’t even have to argue their case or listen to alternatives because their mind is made up and that’s that. same for creationists. flat earthers. alien conspiracy theorists and sarah palin. the bliss of ignorance.

if you are, and i’m sure you are because you are reading this, like me, undecided on some things, curious about other people, willing to change your mind, open to being proved wrong, you will have to suffer being inundated with off-the-wall, crazy, stupid, disgusting and sometimes, downright dangerous thoughts and ideas of others.

for example, i had to actually go (forced to you understand) and look into the flat earth society, to find out what they’re on about. This is from the Guardian interview with the president daniel shenton:

The Earth is flat, he argues, because it appears flat. The sun and moon are spherical, but much smaller than mainstream science says, and they rotate around a plane of the Earth, because they appear to do so.

Inevitably, Shenton’s argument forces him down all kinds of logical blind alleys – the non-existence of gravity, and his argument that most space exploration, and so the moon landings, are faked. But, while many flat Earthers have problems with the idea of orbiting satellites, Shenton navigates the London streets using GPS. He was also happy to fly from the US to Britain, but says an aircraft that flew over the Antarctic barrier would drop from the sky, and from the planet.

according to conspiracy theorists, man has not landed on the moon, aliens built the pyramids, paul mcartney died decades ago and was replaced by a look-alike, the jews/jesuits/(insert group of your choice) are planning to take over the world. and so on, ad infinitum.

advice for myself: stop surfing the internet looking at other opinions on issues (especially lunatic fringe and right-wing nutjob sites). they are bad for my health. start thinking nice thoughts about harmony and rainbows and everyone just getting along.

have a good weekend…

how to beat writer's block

writer’s block is a real person.

he’s sitting on my desk right now, poking his tongue out at me. he thinks he’s cleverer than me by pointing out that everything i write has been written before only better. he cackles very loudly at my complete dependence on spell check and my blatant disregard for grammar. even the lack of capitals at the beginning of sentences is a source of endless amusement for mr. block. the problem with this unwanted guest is that he doesn’t seem to understand simple instructions like “go away” or “you’re not welcome here”. in fact, the more he hears those words, the more he digs his heels in.

one of the worst traits of wb is that he’s a frequent visitor. one of those annoying people who turn up unannounced on an alarmingly regular basis and declare that they’ll be staying “for a while”. you have no idea for how long. could be a few hours. a few days. forever? sometimes he brings along members of his family. uncle yousuck, auntie giveitup and cousin bigfatfail. and they all seem very content to set up camp in your living room and banter endlessly while you’re trying to “hahahaha she calls it writing!” work.

in a seemingly endless battle to keep this irritating little pest away, i find myself procrastinating, surfing nonsense on the internet and playing mafia wars. what i should be doing is writing the little bugger out of existence. there’s nothing writer’s block likes less than being ineffective. my muse (who shall remain nameless for now but she knows who she is ;-)) sent me a poem the other day. it’s not often you get a bit of real culture on this blog but i don’t think there’s any harm in it every now and then. you never know, it might even do you some good. it certainly did me.

if you lose your pen by ruth forman

and all you find is a broken pencil on the floor
and the pencil has no sharpener
and the sharpener is in the store
and your pocket has no money

and if you look
and all you find is a black Bic
and the Bic you need is green

and if it appears beneath the mattress of your couch
but the couch is dirty and suddenly you want to clean
beneath the pillows
but you have no vacuum and the vacuum is in the store
and your pocket has no money

it is not your pen you are looking for

it is your tongue and those who speak with it
your grandmothers and doves and ebony spiders
hovering in the corners of your throat

it is your tongue
and if you cannot find your tongue
do not go looking for the cat
you know you will not find her
she is in the neighbor’s kitchen eating Friskies
she is in the neighbor’s yard making love

if you cannot find your tongue do not look for it
for you are so busy looking it cannot find you
the doves are getting dizzy and your grandmothers annoyed
be still and let them find you
they will come when they are ready

and when they are
it will not matter if your pockets are empty
if you write with a green Bic or a black Bic
or the blood of your finger
you will write
you will write

being in a band

my top ten tips for being in an unsigned, unappreciated, unpaid, unrepentant™ band

  1. take your music seriously but not yourselves
  2. don’t expect to make make money or become famous
  3. try out everyone’s ideas, however stupid they might seem to you at the time
  4. respect every members talent and contribution
  5. argue as much as you like but always kiss and make up
  6. love every single fan that you gain along the way
  7. accept advice from people but stick to your own convictions
  8. keep full control over your own music
  9. be professional when you play live (turn up on time, well-rehearsed and sober)
  10. if you don’t love what you’re doing, give it up

people dream of fame and fortune but the reality is very, very different. if you want to read more of my thoughts on this, go to the joy of playing. if you are one of the incredibly miniscule number of bands that gets a recording contract, all i can say is well done, good luck and don’t let it destroy your love of your music.

bob baker

bob baker is an interesting chap with a great blog for us indie music types who are trying to make it happen. today he has a post called 5 Steps to Setting Music Goals You Will Reach. if you are like me you sometimes need reminding about things like this:

Make your goals specific and measurable.

Saying “I want to be a rock star” is admirable, but what is that exactly and how do you know when you’ve arrived? Instead, make your goals concrete: “I want to play 25 live shows and build my mailing list to 2,000 people by the end of May.” That kind of goal is also measurable. By the end of May, you’ll know how close you came to reaching (or exceeding) it.

good advice for us diva-like people who have wild imaginations and think we can do it all… by tomorrow. go and poke around at his blog for a while. he is full of good ideas and advice for us flailing music bods.