Sarah hb

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nearly 3 months on...

Figured out my life (essentially!) and applied to another uni for FURTHER further study! I had an interview and within a matter of hours they got back to me and gave me an unconditional offer to study there! I was amazed... I must have really impressed the head of department. So yes... I'm going to be 23 in December and yet still a student! I must really love studying or something heh.

Got a part time job as a waitress for celebrity events. It's ok though the pay is shit, the hours are usually long and I always seem to come away with cuts and blisters! I was incharge of a table with a really big A-list star on it last night and that was pretty weird! Forgot to give wine to another celeb on the table... bugger! I probably shouldn't write this down... might be a breach of my contract or something! However, I haven't mentioned any names nor have I mentioned the company I'm working for so ha! I may well be safe yet!

This post has far too many exclamation marks which means I should probably try and work through my recently recurring insomnia and get some sleep... that and I am suffering from solvent inhalation after a ridiculous task work made me do last night! Oh yeah... and when I said I was feeling ill they made me continue anyway until they later decided they didn't need that job doing anyway! LAME!

Right... I should go but shall try and post again soon. Possibly. I like this... it's nice to have no readers and yet to type out random bits of information that noone cares about and will never link back to me... hopefully. Oh God I shouldn't tempt fate. Yes. Anyway! Night!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When the only way is forwards...

That's it folks. I'm done. I'm have myself a BA hon. and that can never be taken away from me. I've graduated from what is apparently the 4th best uni in the country after Oxford, Cambridge and ... ok I've forgotten the other but bottom line is that I'm pleased.

I'm stewarding again tomorrow from 2 - 5.30 and after that it's job hunting time. I've got a few part time things lined up that I'll go into once the work starts late september. The following year is not about selling my soul and getting some crumby (yet well paid) graduate job with a massive corporatation, it's all about finding direction and holding onto as much of my heart as possible. I can be living on peanuts but as long as I've found something that excites me then that will be enough (in my 20's at least).

Tonight is 'Last Exit' which I'm gonna go to and support three bands who are having to split up due to moving to different parts of the country. All three are good but I think Balloon Burning is my favourite. I'll try and post some of their stuff later (at the moment the guitarist has a solo myspace for it but it's hard to find stuff that's the whole band).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

5 things that have made me sad and 5 things that have made me happy today.

Sad things:

1) The hairdresser messed up my hair cos she was a moronic individual (who also had nothing better to talk about than Big Brother at which point the 'conversation' well and truly died because I don't watch TV)

2) Esbjorn Svensson (from the jazz group EST) died over the weekend. Jazz won't be the same without him. Check out the EST song 'Goldwrap' here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mr9Ahdvpbo

3) I'm going to be moving back to London soon now that uni is over. I'm going to really miss gigging with my little band and putting on other gigs in the area for different genres of music. Plus there are some people I won't be able to see as often as I do now. That's life though but sad nonetheless.

4) My university graduation. I'm really not looking forwards to it. I hate the falseness and show of it all. Pay about £100 in total for the 'pleasure' of getting handed a certificate whilst wearing a sticky robe (that god knows how many other people have worn) and then I'll have to have a photograph taken where I'll pretend to look happy and I'll look so grumpy because even if I try and fake it my eyes will give me away - eyes can't be forced to smile!

5) The graduation ball. I've paid £60 for a ticket but am regretting buying one now as I don't actually want to go. Seriously, call me cynical but standing/dancing around with about 10,000 people that I don't really know strikes me as quite an impersonal way to say goodbye to three years of further education (Guy Debord's 'united in our separateness' rings true right about now). I don't understand how a lot of these people can leave with decent degrees and yet still remain almost entirely uneducated/well... stupid (for want of a better word). It's as if they were born incapable of processing practical thought or without the ability to make a reasoned argument. Also... whenever I walk around campus I just seem to hear horribly stilted english as if they haven't read a book since they were about 5! Honestly, it sounds like they're talking in phone 'txt' speak. "O hai! hw u? Yeh i is a'rite thnx. u dun teh readin 4 tomoz lecter." For f*cks sake! You're 21/22! Learn how to bloody well speak! Grrrrrrrr!


Happy things:

1) Drums are being recorded in my flat at the moment :) CT is in the studio and S is playing in the live room/sitting room. It sounds great (and it's even sweeter that all the neighbours are out so they can't complain).

2) I'm going over to ML's later to hang out with her, NS and AR. We're going to sit around, eat vegetables and be generally misanthropic. Good times.

3) I'm excited about living with CT again next year. This year has been great with just the two of us in the flat and I can't wait for him and I to get a place in London as well. Is it weird that everything is just as exciting and great with him after two years as it was in the 'honeymoon period'? Most people say how the passion wanes but for us it still seems to grow. I sometimes wonder if it's all too good to be true. I spent years and years feeling unsettled and like I was waiting for a bus or train to arrive and no man, friend or activity could loosen that feeling until I met C. With him I feel like I've got on the bus/train and am just enjoying the journey but not desperate to reach the destination (which I guess is when you can sit down in an armchair at age 80 and look back retrospectively over your life).

4) Exams are very much over and I've got another 3 days off before part-time stewarding till the end of term.

5) I've deleted my university blog and had a ruthless clear out of literally hundreds of old emails. I feel much much better for it and now never have to accidentally stumble (or click upon) something that reminds me of bad times.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Old stuff and the new

Today I found something old (that I'd written about three years ago - hence poor use of semi colons):

99 word story:
She let live a heavy sigh. It did not change any world but hers; and it made her wonder, made her ponder, on every woe that engulfed her mind.
She thought, maybe, she had died in that deep, mental, well; or at least kept falling deeper.
When, eventually, she awoke; she saw her weary face reflected in her looking glass. “Where is that small and eager face?” She spoke out loud whilst already knowing the answer.
Alice knew that youth had had run away from her over the years and she could no longer fit down the rabbit hole.

I also found something new... Deputy Dog Blog. He has some really amazing facts on there.

In other news I've finished my finals at uni and am preparing to get a job in the 'real' world. Good times.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Something along those lines

I don't write anymore... not poetry, not really even songs. I just don't have time. I have 49 hours off a week (inc. weekends) and I usually like to try and get some sleep... try. Hard when you're a bit insomniatic esp when 3 days in to not sleeping you start going pretty mental. I was so tired at one point last week that I thought there was some 70's disco dude in the room. There Reeeeeally wasn't. Oh well!

Been listening a lot to Stanley Clarke's The Toys of Men album. 'Chateauvallon 1972' is an AMAZING piece of music. I reckon that if it doesn't move you even in the tinniest way then you don't have a soul. Obviously I'm completely rational in my opinion...

I decided to sit and breathe in the song as it played and take my time to write whatever first came into my head so I did. I sat still and let the music wash over me and whenever another section came in I wrote the next part. By the end I was left with:


Light and lyrical
Full of passion
Everything yet just the beginning?
Toy with my heart
Play with my soul
Rip me apart from inside out.
I wanted this
Wanted to feel this way
A cat on hot coals – where pleasure equals pain.
Hold me and dance
We only have tonight
In the morning it will all be gone.


Yes... I know. I need to seriously start trying to practice writing again cos this is SHOCKINGLY bad. However, Stanley Clarke.... pretty pretty pretty good. Seriously... that song is amazing. Have a listen.

I made caramelised pears with a dark chocolate sauce drizzled on top for pud tonight. It was raaaather tasty.

Did some bass practice tonight. Looking forwards to July... holiday will = lots of bass practice, guitar, piano and finally flute again!

Taking a day or two off in a couple of weeks to do more recording with the band. Gonna record 'The Need' and 'Hit the Wall' (ah gotta love crazy time signature changes). Recording in our flat will probably piss the neighbours off again but it's only a couple of days so feck it. I'll bake them some cookies or something to say sorry... or profiteroles... noone can say no to my profiteroles.. they're lush!

If anyone reads this then the myspazz is .com/issue18band and was recorded in the flat last year. There's now quite a lot better equipment so the next recordings done by m'lover should sound even better! The song is ok although slower than it is live and also done in not very much time! On the plus side it was our first signature song so has sentimental meaning for us at I18 headquarters. Just wait for 'The Need' though. Damn it's catchy (even if I do say so myself).

Laters yo!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh so sleepy

So why am I so tired all the time?

It's probably something to do with the fact that my average week consists of reading 4-5 books/texts, writing 2-3 reviews and watching an artsy movie, most weeks, for my course. Then I also have bandsoc stuff which involves meetings and planning and trying to prepare for sponsorship and putting on a £6000 set of gigs (in Jan) that we should be at the very least be breaking even on, organising socials and gigs and bands and then practicing with my own band and gigging with them (we have a gig soon with a band that has dragon forces ex-drummer in... no pressure then :P)

I don't have time to socialise anymore and my relationships are really feeling the strain at the moment. It's not even as if the uni work is easy... it's really complex stuff like Adorno, Greenberg, Jameson, Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin etc. I'm in my final year though so it's just a few more months and then I'm done for good.

I'm sad about Christmas this year as I'll be working on my dissertation so will only get Christmas Day and New Years Eve off to let my hair down. Nevermind. End of June I'll be free from all the stress and strain and then I just have to find a job. Hohoho.

I cried yesterday evening just because the strain really got to me. I was so tired. Spent 5 hours in the library then went to my 3 hour seminar where 5 of us had to just talk and talk about the texts. There are a number of problems with a situation like that. Firstly, I find it really hard to have an intellectual discussion in front of a group of people. Secondly, 3 of the students are the kind of people who you KNOW are going to go on to achieve some of the finest grades in the country and go on to attain ridiculously high positions in the art world as critical theorists or even make some breakthrough in a whole new take on the Culture Industry (or something to that effect). The point is that I'm left to feel unworthy of sitting in the same room or making any kind of comment as everything I seem to say is just nonsensical jibberish my mind hashes together in a vague attempt to keep up with their minds. The simple truth is I can never attain the high standards that they can. I work harder at Art&Spectacle than most of them and read so much for the course but nothing I do will give me the sheer mind power and eloquence that they have.

At school I was in the academic top 2% of the country but at university that means nothing especially to my classmates minds. Essentially I'm jealous. I have no trouble admitting it and I openly shout it to the world. I am jealous of those 3 class mates and no matter what I do or how hard I try I will never be their equal.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Theodor W. Adorno - Culture Industry Reconsidered

(My very poorly expressed opinions on and summary of the chapter)


Theodor W. Adorno (1903-69) was a leading member of the Frankfurt School and in 1963 gave a lecture entitled ‘Culture Industry Reconsidered’. Four years later this radio lecture was published.

The text is succinct, packing a vast amount of thoughts into comparatively few pages (eight to be precise), and although Adorno’s mind flits from one idea to the next, the essay flows well. The language is relatively easy to understand and only a few paragraphs require the reader to return to them for a second look.

In this study, ‘mass culture’ is redefined as ‘culture industry’ in order to separate it from those supporters of ‘mass culture’ and the so-called benefits it has to offer.

The main argument appears to rotate around the notion that the critical thinker and individuality of a person, object or idea is subject to damage and even destruction due to the commoditisation and normalising sameness of art that is caused by the Culture Industry. The links between this writing and that of Benjamin’s are consistent and it even makes a reference to Benjamin’s theory of the ‘aura’ saying how the Culture Industry doesn’t have an alternative to the aura so basically it tries to conserve it. However, this is not possible so it’s almost going against its own ideology here.

Adorno discusses the masses saying that they are secondary not primary and are ‘an appendage of the machinery’. The Culture Industry appears to be there in order to bring a mode of order to the people inhabiting the supposedly chaotic world they reside in, yet things that the CI claim to preserve actually end up being destroyed. An example is made of colour film and also of homeland depictions which lose their uniqueness to banality and general sameness. The CI ‘impedes the development of autonomous independent individuals who judge and decide consciously for themselves.’

The power of the CI’s ideology means that conformity has replaced consciousness and people are actually cheated out of the same happiness that the CI claims to imbue one with. Therefore, the overall effect is one of anti-enlightenment even though the CI is trying to turn itself into a public relations haven that goes about manufacturing ‘good will’. The people are, at times, almost force fed every day commodities such as ‘pocket novels’ and family TV shows. Advocates of the CI would say that these mundane things of the Culture Industry can offer advice and create stress reducing patterns of behaviour yet the advice is clichéd and the behaviour patterns are conformist.

As for the term ‘Industry’ it is not necessarily referring to the production process but instead to the ‘standardisation of the thing itself’ and the products of the Culture Industry is actually an eternal sameness that changed about as much as man’s motivation for profit.

Adorno also makes a brief reference to ‘Technique’. He states that the art technique remains concerned with the ‘internal organisation of the object with its inner logic’ and the technique of the Cultural Industry is ‘one of distribution and mechanical reproduction that always remains external to its object.’

This text is easily accessible to all and does not need its reader to have thought too hard about what it is that is going on around them in the world and so this is quite useful. However, I find it hard to imagine that not everyone has spent time in their formative teenage years mulling over these concepts and despising the mass deception they are living in. Therefore this piece of writing is nothing new but it certainly reiterates the main points and reminds us what it is that we are all subject to.