Things I can't believe I didn't know, part 1

So, before they made the abomination that was Jpod – The Series (hi, Bree isn’t asian and descended from the queen) there was a 4 minute short, made by bookshorts, (this is the OMG I am an idiot for not knowing this part) and starred none other than current crush du jour, Scoot McNairy. You can watch the whole 4 minute spectacular on the bookshorts website here. I’ve embedded the trailer below. For the record, it seems much more Coupland than the series did, Bree does look like Bettie Page and there’s Helvetica everywhere..

and everybodys waiting on the end of the world…

I found this on someones flickr the other day:

It seemed sort of apt, since I’m currently 2 pages away from the end of Girlfriend in a Coma, and reading it this time has been more poignant than any other time I’ve picked it up. The things Karen notices, and juxtaposes about modern society and 17 years previous are the exact things I can’t stand about 2008. I’m a child of the 70s, and I definitely remember people actually having leisure time back then. There was a theory in the 90s about the reason shows like Friends and Seinfeld and Frazier were so popular, the notion was time porn. All the characters did was hang out with each other, rarely working, just hanging. Western society tuned in en masse and swooned a collective swoon at the notion of being able to just drink coffee for 4 hours straight. The other thing that Karen picks up on is the hardness to people and the lack of sincerity. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll rarely meet anyone more pro the internet and personal space than me, I don’t like to interact with people unless I choose to, but look around in the streets, it’s not just anti-social fuckers like me who can’t leave the house without an i-pod. Thousands of us all walking around in our own little worlds, with little to no connection with the real one that’s going on around us. And I for one am praying for the death of irony. I don’t know whether I feel these things because I’m now nearer the age of the characters in the book, or because things have gotten even more fucked up since the last time I read it. But back to the point, I do feel like I’m trapped in a Coupland novel, although me and my friends feel like the only characters who have read it before.

d-o-w-n- and that's the way we get down.

I’m feeling particularly creative today, I put this down, in part to being 2 thirds of the way through Girlfriend in a Coma (again – that book will never stop grabbing me and dragging me in) and also to spending hours searching through art and design imagery on t’interweb. It’s crazy how often I forget who I am.
Here are two of my favourite finds of the day, both come via theghostfactory.

All I'm losing is me

All this leaving is making me sad. It’s funny, you don’t expect people to leave London, unless they’re moving to NY, cos, where else would you go?

Anyway, with all the things that have been going wrong recently, I turned to my old friend Douglas Coupland to find something comforting or at least explanatory.. I remembered this passage from Life After God almost perfectly, it’s from In the Desert, the short story he wrote forĀ  Michael Stipe. It’s about a guy who breaks down in the desert in the middle of nowhere while on a mission and the desert rat/hobo he finds who leads him to a service station and inadvertently saves his life. The protagonist is upset that he can’t find a way to connect with the hobo..

“The fact of the matter was he was simply a very far-gone desert rat. I felt naive and middle class for having hoped – even briefly – that I could bond with the unbondable, for thinking that all it takes to make crazy people uncrazy is a little bit of hearty attention and good sense.

And then I felt sad because I realised that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to suprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it’s already happened”

This blog post makes me seem more melancholy than I feel. But then, so does reading early Coupland… If you haven’t read Life After God then you should probably rectify that quicksmart. It exemplifies all the amazing smart, simple, warm things about Coupland, without any of the irony and less of the pop cultural infusion.