Friday, August 8, 2008

A little sloganeering seen on the canvas tote bag of an innocuous-looking lady on Rogue's Alley outside work:

We Might Not Have a Future.
And This Might All Be a Waste of Time.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oh, go and read a book or, not quite the Amherst Method

The Creative Writing Jamboree gathers pace: now with free acrostics and Moleskines (legendary notebook of Van Gogh, Chatwin, Hemingway, Matisse and CĂ©line!!!!!!!!!)

R.E.S.P.E.C.T or How to Tell a Story Without Telling Your Readers What to Think
When do you need to tell a story and when do you let it tell itself?How far can you trust your readers to understand what is left unspoken?What is gained - and what is lost - by describing characters in the flesh?

Set over four days in the charming upstairs library of the legendary Left Bank Paris bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, Tobias Hill gives the inaugural Faber Academy course, an in-depth workshop for those beginning or in the process of writing a novel. In addition, the course will contain a unique two-part seminar on the importance of authenticity and voice in fiction by multi prize-winning novelist, Jeanette Winterson (more).
Participants will each receive a complimentary Moleskine Paris City Notebook.

Tobias! Winterson! Regular coffee breaks! Free notebooks! Internet discounts! Free glass of wine! What fresh hell is this.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'm spending Saturday afternoon tip-tapping away at my keyboard catching up on a spot of freelancing work. I've a bit of a kink for this sort of thing; I'm helping a London university reorganise some of their webpages, and it's exactly the kind of nitpicking, data-efficient zealotry that I love. Joe is listening to some ambient noise in the next room that more befits a floatation tank than a sweaty desk occupied by one mighty close to finishing his PhD.

This morning, on a tipoff from a friend, we went to find breakfast at a newly-opened bakery at the end of Gloucester Street. Rounding the corner, we cased the joint: called Dozen: Artisan Bakery, white facade, tiny amounts of produce displayed on slate tiles, artful bread and so on. The counter was manned by Aussies. My next sentence we still pre-verbal as Joe shot me the "here we go again" look: 'I suppose you wanted twee confectioner ladies'. Well actually no, I thought, that's not the kind of authentic I was after this particular morning.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shutter shades signal end of Western civilisation...

It's okay Douglas Haddow, I hate hipsters too!

Adbusters loses cool over them polaroid-toting, soft porn-aping, keffiyah-wearing gits. Comes off like extract from highschooler's journal:

We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum.

and, moreover:

We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.

Far more on the money is this: the Onion's Hipster Archive.