Apple’s massive Ipod won’t save newspapers; your Grandad already has… maybe.

Apple’s massive Ipod won’t save newspapers; your Grandad already has… maybe.

I start this post with a slight dilemma. Two stories have dominated the trending charts and newsfeeds for the last 48 hours. The first of which has and will continue to blitzkrieg our Twitter pages and newsfeeds in a co-ordinated attack from the Apple PR Luftwaffe and a Panzer division on the ground of feverishly expectant fan boys. I have been wrestling for some minutes now with whether to leave the whole subject alone and give all ten of you a nice rest from it, you and I will find out shortly what my decision is.

The second I am not in the slightest bit qualified to comment on, but…..

Criminally I have never read Catcher in the Rye, but my housemate who when not proofing these tomes studies English speaks in hushed reverential tones when extolling the virtues of Salinger’s masterpiece. I am certainly no scholar of literature but from what I’ve been told this man was the real deal, and despite my total ignorance of his work and his withdrawal from public life decades ago the world is always a slightly worse place when someone of his influence and talent leaves it. So Bon Voyage and Bon Chance JD Salinger wherever you’re off to next.

Ok… The oversized Ipod it is… don’t moan it’s that or the John Terry thing. And I think I covered fornicating sports stars and super injunctions in the Tiger Woods post back in December…. I’m doing it for you dear readers.

But to save you from total Apple apathy I’ll try to look their latest contraption from a slightly different angle.

The gum-flapping post touchdown in the papers and online has focused on its ability to come to the rescue of ailing newspapers. A man from the New York Times was wheeled out, tasked with introducing a platform slick enough to monetise online newspaper content thus saving the industry he loves. Poor bastard.

Now we all know the problem: newspapers are up shit creek because declines in circulation are being compounded by the recession-inspired advertising slump. As a result thousands of journalism jobs have gone, the airwaves are full of untrained bedroom bloggers and niche sites catering to every interest scattering readerships like dust in the wind, and as a result society as we know it will cease to exist, the machines will rise up and we’ll be wiped out in a generation.

Many are foretelling the death of print newspapers; proprietors are waving their arms around jabbering about “paywalls”, “micropayments” and super local news whilst ruing the day they ever stuck carbon-copy versions of their newspapers online for nothing.

It’s little wonder that important people from publishing behemoths like the New York Times are sheepishly getting on stage in front of millions to throw some mud at the situation with the hope that a bit sticks.

The message being sent out is that the future of the defining instrument in the proliferation of mass communication is in the hands of a contraption whose name evokes images of feminine hygiene products.

The Internet is the scapegoat for this impending doom, but I fear Rupert, Steve, Arthur and the rest of them may be barking up the wrong trees.

Newspaper circulations have been on the wane in this country (the UK) for years. There are all sorts of reasons behind this, but it certainly isn’t just the Internet. For example between 1970 and 1997 the Daily Telegraph lost 300,000 readers, between 1997 and the present day it has lost a further 200,000. Figures don’t lie, it would be easy to attribute the most recent drop to the rapid increase in the number of people with home and office internet seen in that period but what explains the dip between ’70 and ’97?

It’s the same story across the board. If you don’t believe me Audited figures for UK Newspaper and Magazine circulation are available here.

Going back to Apple’s creation and its inevitable pretenders, there is a major flaw in the assertion that it can take over as the medium in which people read their news.

In 1945 Grandfathers returned from far afield with a glint in their eyes, and loins hot to the touch, Grandma obliged and with no magic pill to stop Pop’s platoon from liberating her Southern front a lot of women found themselves “in the family way”.

Rampant Grannies

This baby “boom” generation, who will soon outnumber the young are now retiring; they have swelling bank accounts topped up by final salary pensions and the profit made from selling a house they bought for “tuppence ha’penny” for an absolute fortune.

In essence these are going to be the people companies want to advertise at. Modern medicine will keep the buggers going and active and the man from the Pru will give them the funds to do it. While we all count the cost of a decade of excess they’ll be laughing all the way to their next SAGA cruise funded by a mortgage you are selling vital organs to pay off.

Barring a few technically savvy pioneers, this generation will, as they always have done read their news in print. The average reader demographic that newspapers use when selling ad space will change and marketers will quickly latch on to the fact the best way to attract this lucrative captive audience is through good old-fashioned print media.

So to conclude this merry rambling; Apple have not saved newspapers, socioeconomics will do that for them.  Millions will buy the thing, a proportion of those may even pay to read the news through newspaper apps, the vast majority though will continue as usual, those who read newspapers will read newspapers everyone else will go online in the traditional, non-appy sense for free.

Newspapers lost the battle before it started, engineering their own downfall by giving it away for free in the first place, then making it better and better, giving us video, the ability to comment and all the other whizz-bang things that make reading news online such a pleasurable experience.

Their future lies in tapping in to the lucrative and numerous older genera tion in the print form, and doing everything they can to bring yoof-centric advertisers over to online for the rest of us.

Either that or I’m just talking bollocks…

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice I managed to write this without mentioning its name once… aren’t I clever?

SG.

Also this, below, sums it all up nicely.

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Peter Mandleson wants your Mum to know what you look at on the Internet in your “private” time… the dirty devil.

Peter Mandleson wants your Mum to know what you look at on the Internet in your “private” time… the dirty devil.

Right… er… I suppose first off apologies and explanations are in order. A planned festive break quickly turned in to protracted blog lethargy… sorry…. Normal service is resumed.

Now the pleasantries are out of the way it’s time to give something of social media, Internet persuasion the Shitegeist treatment…

This weeks topic is neither particularly contemporaneous or strictly in accordance with the Social Media ethos these ramblings have so far tried and failed to adhere to.  But bear with me; it holds great relevance to anyone with an Internet connection, it has more or less died on its arse in terms of press coverage and comes with the added bonus of a corporate sponsored, celebrity endorsed bandwagon to jump on.

I am of course talking about “The Digital Economy Bill”… if the title alone doesn’t cause a stirring in your trousers seek immediate medical help, you may be dead inside.

Peter Mandleson the sometime fraudster, one time owner of the best facial hair ever to grace British public life, is touting the bill under his guise as the Business, Innovation and Skills czar.

BEST TASH EVER!

Among other proposals too numerous and dull to mention Mandleson is proposing, “throttling” and in extreme cases cutting off the broadband connections of users caught illegally file sharing.

Now this in itself is not strictly news, record labels, the government, the movie industry, etc etc have been bellyaching for years about “tackling” the issue of file sharing.  But this is the first time new legislation has been tabled to actually directly deal with the problem in this country.

To quickly break it down, under the proposals ISP’s will be responsible for monitoring the internet use of it’s customers, generating warning letters and then if the problem persists, reducing the bandwidth of the offender. In the most extreme cases ISP’s will also be obliged to completely cut off the Internet connections of offenders.

Now in my other guise I interviewed a thoroughly nice man from Talk Talk, who are admirably opposing the bill though their ‘Don’t Disconnect Us” campaign.

Before going in to the obvious: violation of privacy and infringement of human rights stuff he spoke about the technical limitations of enforcing these measures, notably the issue of people using “borrowed” Wi-Fi connections to download illicit files.

“In a lot of cases it will be people who have no knowledge of any downloaded material that will receive warning letters and have their connections either throttled or cancelled. It is so easy to use someone else’s network. You have heard cases in other countries of people receiving warning letters about the downloading of pornographic materiel, in cases like this you are disrupting people’s lives, it raises questions about people’s human rights.”

Basically it will lead to unfair sanctions being handed down to totally innocent parties. I don’t think it’s very fair to punish Mr. Café owner because the wanker upstairs uses his wireless to torrent High School Musical.

Now the human rights / privacy stuff…

The case with the pornography he was talking about was of a Gay teenager in Germany using a P2P site to download some “once nightly unpleasantness inspiration”.  I’m sure he didn’t plan to come out via the legal department of his Mother’s ISP.

So those who are yet to flock the nest think about your poor Mother next time you use Boolean search terms to fulfil niche and shameful curiosities. Imagine her opening the envelope, seeing it there in black and white, her mind racing at a million times a minute like a pornographic Poirot processing who the culprits must be until through intimate knowledge of your Fathers preferences and a process of elimination she lands on you… Imagine the shame, the disappointment, and the illusion of her cherubic little son smashed. Replaced with an image forever etched in her mind of her precious little boy spread-eagled out on her best Egyptian cotton frantically fapping away like his life depended on it to [insert horrible search term of choice here]. The poor woman. If Mandleson gets his way THIS WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN.

Anyway…

Man from Talk Talk and now sort of personal hero of mine described the unfair powers rights holders (record labels, movie studios etc.) and ISP’s will have over users:

“This will set them up as the judge and jury, in essence they can force us to make a judicial punishment without any legal recourse. It goes against 794 years of the Magna Carta. If this law goes through people will have to prove themselves innocent”

And he’s right… Whether you download or you’re the innocent victim of some pilfering sod piggy backing your Wi-Fi it is not fair to disconnect you from the Internet. The ISP’s will be breaching a contract you signed without these conditions in place without the opportunity to explain yourself.  If you dared breach the terms in your contract for, let’s say, not paying the bill they’d disconnect you quicker than you can say…  “Please Mr BT let me finish myself off first.” Trust me I know.  It has to run both ways.

Now let’s quickly reflect on the issue behind this whole thing. Record labels and the terrifying, and imminent end of their free ride.

Dear Sir / Madame: EMI, Warner, Warner Brothers, Sony, etc etc…

While every other industry, baring possibly newspapers worked out how to sell their wares on the Internet you carried on regardless; signing artists for huge advances based on rapidly declining record sales, pumping millions in to the same old marketing and promotion, selling in to the same old channels.

All this whilst continuing to spend the same colossal sums on the substance fuelled exuberance of your executives, basically doing everything but working out what your next move was going to be. What did you think you were doing?

Yes you managed to stop Napster, but by the then Pandora’s box was open, there was no going back. Why did it take tiny start ups like Spotify to provide an elegant solution? Why could you not use your long acquired wisdom, contacts, reach, resources and expertise to make a streaming service that is actually financially viable?

I don’t know, I’m no expert but was it greed, ignorance or both? Did you think just by ignoring it, it would go away, or did you just want Apple to monopolise the tiny percentage of people that download legally? You had the chance and you blew it guys, you could have finally been the farmer, the wholesaler and the shopkeeper, no more giving a margin to retailers, you could have lived the dream, been Kings once again but you fucking blew it… How do you feel…?

The sad thing is it’s the fans that are going to lose out. Now you serve no greater purpose than flogging every recess of your back catalogue to the advertising, television, film and games industries how is the new blood going to get found and nurtured?

Your paralysis has subjected us to a the musical equivalent of Groundhog Day, Police reunion after Police reunion, U2 album after U2 album, society will be held in an awful war of attrition with these behemoths of old as they pup out track after track of special collectors 25th anniversary, last tour ever drek until they die or we lose the will to live. All this in the name of scraping the very last drops of oil from the bottom of the well after Shell has fucked off like the desperate profiteering, devoid of original thought fuckers that you are.

You were a necessary evil, and as a necessary evil you had one responsibility, keep shit running ok, everyone else managed it, why not you?

Lots of Love.

Shitegeist.

Now I don’t know what the alternative could have been, but the fact that these guys didn’t have a stab at it until the game was well and truly over is a crime against their industry, the pure arrogance of it is enough to astound me.

It’s not all bad news though as record sales decline live music has flourished, the festival and gig scene in this country has never been more vibrant. What saddens me though is because of their failure draconian measures like the Digital Economy Bill are being tabled, middle weight and small bands can no longer make a good enough living to keep making music anymore and as a result another little part of our culture has died due to the ever-relentless economic realities of the age we live in.

Going back to the original thrust of the post you can follow the progress of the bill here, and sign up to the Talk Talk campaign if you are so inclined.

Thanks again for reading….

And thanks for bearing with us during the extended festive break….

SG.

Just to remind you, we still have Twatter, I promise to be more vocal now I’m out of hibernation, 400 followers, a few more listings and some nice mentions, so again a massive thank you to everyone….

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Tiger Woods: Rubbish at PR and Affront to Free Speech.

BREAKING NEWS: TIGER TAKES INDEFINITE BREAK FROM GOLF, IT’S STILL ALRIGHT TO READ THE BLOG THOUGH.

I have been wrestling with writing a post about Tiger Woods. On the one hand I don’t care, on another hand in the spirit of this blog it has been a consistent top trender and top of every news site for the last week, and on my magic third hand, for reasons that will become clear in the post, and no doubt will play out in the next few days, the whole story has developed in to something that can be debated more widely.

For those immune to news of a certain ilk, male shaving spokesman and golfer Tiger Woods is currently an occupant of maison chien following a string of “transgressions” (his words) with among others, a “porn star” and a “pancake waitress”.

Apart from the highly amusing nature of his outing as the Don Juan of the fairways (an unfortunate meeting of car and municipal property), the story of a wealthy man’s dalliances when he is out of view of the ol’ ball and chain is neither shocking nor particularly interesting. I am certainly not judging or condemning his behaviour. As far as everyone at SG towers is concerned, Wood’s dalliances are between him, Mrs Woods and being America a crack team of sullen faced, misery-mongering attorneys.

Shitegeist’s curiosity has been aroused by a story that popped up on the Guardian website this evening.

Wood’s legal team in the UK have managed to win an injunction, essentially gagging the UK press from talking about his personal life. Now looking beyond the metaphorical two-fingers to the very profession that fuels the $100 million + a year Tiger Woods industry, this move has set a catastrophically dangerous precedent.

The UK being a free country, has in the main a free press, We enjoy a legal system that basically allows, other than in very extreme circumstances journalists to print what they like as long as they can prove what they report as being the truth.

It is widely acknowledged that this is a fair system. For right or for wrong we invest a lot in to our public figures. In the case of a politician using the parliamentary petty cash tin to fund his rent boy and marching powder habit, it is only right the public know.

It is only fair to an electorate that we have a true sense of the characters of the people we empower to run the country.

Beyond ne’er-do-well MP’s a culture obsessed with celebrity will naturally arouse the attentions of a press desperate to hold the interest of readers. The debate of weather the British press steps over the line in the pursuit of certain celebrities will go on forever. However those in the public eye largely acknowledge that if you dance with devil when you are on the up, you must play to his tune on the way down.

The justification seems to be that; In the same way it is right that you know if the producer of the cosmetics you use has shoddy working practices, it is right that you know whether the celebrities who’s products you consume, Movies, Albums, Jazz mags etc, are up to something you would find morally repugnant. These two scenarios are no different other than in one instance you are buying in to a corporate brand, and in the other you are buying based on a persona.

In the case of Woods and his injunction, he has set a prescient that can undermine this essential protection for journalists, and therefore the checks and balances system for public sensibilities.

Wooha, that was a touch heavy…

Right let’s move on to deriding the man for being so FUCKING STUPID IN THE first place…

As I said previously I do not judge him for the actions themselves, but… Jesus wept, this series of image destroying, revenue-curtailing blunders make a certain Mr. Ratner look like a PR genius.

Firstly, if someone said to you, we will pay you tens of millions of dollars above and beyond your already handsome salary as a professional athlete as long as you promise to keep your nose clean, you would bite their hands off with the ravenous abandon of this man.

Secondly: What is it with these people? All you have to do as a worst-case scenario is keep it in your fucking pants. And if you really must continue to sow your wild oats, even though you have a stratospherically attractive wife waiting at home for you, tie the mistress up in a gagging order as watertight as a U-Boats hull. People have successfully led double lives for decades, managing to have two totally normal family lives with far less means than you, it is possible to NOT GET CAUGHT.

Thirdly: do you know what fuels press speculation after a fairly innocuous car accident? Yes that’s right, saying nothing, why didn’t this man’s PR’s literally drag him by his oh so satisfied genitalia to the police interview room at the earliest opportunity to put this thing to bed.

Fourthly: don’t put an open forum on your website allowing the press to copy and paste crestfallen fans, pouring their scorn on to you straight in to articles. I’m sure there were thousands of messages of support but it is the negative ones that will be added to the shit-storm that is the destruction of your reputation.

Lastly: Cocktail waitresses, porn stars and models fuck multi-millionaire sportspeople for a reason. Think about it.

Thank you for reading SG.

That be "total crap" on his fingers...

Celebrity gossip: this tossing rag's stock-in-trade.

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Facebook Campaigns: A Power for Change or Redundant Toss?

On recent Facebook travels I noticed a veritable cannonade of invitations to join the “RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE FOR CHRISTMAS NO.1.” group.

Now, why there is not necessarily a problem with such a “movement” existing it does raise some interesting questions about the online populaces’ ability to promote ‘causes’ counterintuitive to the mainstream media agenda.

Like any media innovation, it will take a while for Facebook to evolve into a real tool for social change, to become something intrinsically involved with driving debate.

If you look at the early beginnings of newspapers, it took Rothermere and Northcliffe’s Daily Mail (spits on ground) to move the medium away from dull reports of parliament and the dalliances of various degrees of deviance from aristocrats, into something people might actually want to read.

Now I’m not saying Facebook is not useful, it most certainly is, it is wonderful tool for getting in touch with old friends, co-ordinating social lives and toying with the agony and the ecstasy of scanning through the photos of the ghosts of sexual conquests past. But it cannot be said that it has unlocked the true potential that comes with having 350 million active users.

Any media proprietor would consign himself to having their remaining years spent with a debilitating limp after a sex-for-subscribers pact with the devil to gain that reach.

Murdoch’s stable of mainly (somehow he has, in the main kept the UK out of it, with the fairly moderate Times) unadulterated toss, News International spends an awful lot of its time spouting despicable fascist rhetoric to the so called “most developed, powerful” nation in the world, channelling it’s odious drivel through clowns like Glen Beck. He even tried to jump on the social media bandwagon in an ill advised, and financially ruinous acquisition of nonce-mecca Myspace.

Skip to around a minute in.

These flirtations by the big boys with social media shows the power they feel it has to, in the main advertise at people but also drive agendas. Murdoch is of course a big exponent of consumer interaction and collaborative debate, think championing of comment boxes on news websites, The Times strapline; Join the Debate, blah blah blah.

Now The Shitegeist is by no means a political soapbox for it’s author. I really am trying to keep political views out of it if possible, but the drivel emanating from the American right on the healthcare debate is just too dangerous to allow to gather steam. View Beck video above for confirmation.

Anyway to get back to the point, it all boils down to the fact that Facebook and it’s rivals have the power to drown out this wank.

This power is displayed in benal groups like RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE FOR CHRISTMAS NO.1..over 450,000 people have joined, and no doubt a fair proportion will put their hand in their pockets to carry out it’s message.

And to talk about the group itself for a moment, it proclaims that X Factor impresario and all round not that much of a bastard Simon Cowell is a part of an “evil empire”, this is ridiculous, the X Factor is entertainment, there is nothing in statute that says you must watch it or listen to the products of it. Also the song it promotes, Killing in the Name, exists for the soul purpose of facilitating a 15 year old boy’s attempts to get “under-skirt”.

Hang on I should explain:

In Shitegeist’s youth, cider fuelled conversations in parks along these lines would take place:

Flossy: Why so troubled SG?

SG: It’s just the fucking system man, it’s getting me down you know.

Flossy: yeah totally, it’s like we are just fucking cogs in a machine man.

SG: I know, we have no voice, except for maybe… uh, have you heard of a band called Rage Against the Machine?

Flossy: Oh my God, you know them, it totally speaks to me.

SG: Let me get my hand in your knickers.

On another note, is whatever tripe being served up by the X Factor any year really the enormous affront to a British institution that we think it is? The esteemed Christmas number 1 doesn’t exactly read like a best of list written by Melvin Bragg, we must all remember Mull of Kintyre, Mistletoe and Wine, and the Noel Edmonds breakdown accelerating, Mr Blobby song.

Anyway…

Without trying to tell everyone what to think, maybe next time we become a fan of “I flip my pillow over to the cold side when it’s hot” we should think, bugger me, I could be soliciting donations to the Donkey Trust or whatever cause floats your boat.

This will all happen by itself anyway, I’m quite sure of it, in the same way that magazines evolved from printing shipping timetables and The Daily Mail evolved from its roots into a fear mongering, hatred inciting, free thought suppressing acceptable face of the BNP party-pamphlet. 350 million Facebook users will unanimously find something and will no doubt start a revolution of sorts.

1 million anti-war protestors will be able to tell you it won’t make the blindest bit of difference though…

——–

In other news, 300 followers on Twitter, head here to join the growing throng…

And a massive thank you to those that have read, commented, edited and promoted SG so far, these things rise and fall on their contributers so thank you, thank you, thank you.

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The Noughties: Cultural vacuum? / Silly, self indulgent wishlist for the 2010’s

So the difficult third post…

During a lull in my Dresdenesque bombardment of the Twitter feeds of everyone Shitegiest thought might look the sort to read this, a trend emerged that pricked at my curiosity.

#in2010 featured fairly high up the list of trending topics and got me thinking all philosophically about what is to come and what has gone before.

The noughties as it has been posthumously dubbed has been a decade of defining events, from the obvious; 9/11 and the metaphorical financial blizzard of shit of the last three years to the less mainstream but still generation defining.

The rise of the web and subsequently Web 2.0, which while it can never be forgiven for subjecting the world to Lily Allen via Myspace, has unquantifiable merits such as Shitegeist, free streaming pornography, Twitter and the best thing that has happened to stalking since Galileo popuralised the telescope; Facebook.

But despite these cataclysmic, change the world forever innovations and events, the noughties has left itself bereft of any cultural identity. It doesn’t have a defining image that pops in to your head when you think of it. Not like say the 60’s and the halcyon show reel of beautiful young people lolloping about in Hyde Park, whilst simultaneously fornicating, dropping acid, sorting the whole civil rights thing out all while mourning the death of Brian Jones.

To think of it all decades have it.

The 70’s has the moustache and the color brown. The 80’s has coked up tossbags in bright blazers charging around London using 50-pound notes as kindling to set fire to tramps hats. Even the ruddy nineties had Blair, Oasis, a few nice summers and dirty jumpers.

The noughties, unfortunately is a vacuum, it was just a decade of watching the telly occasionally punctuated with a visit from an estate agent. Not exactly Hendrix at Woodstick or Dylan going electric I’m sure you’ll agree.

I’m certain our images of these decades are totally warped, I’m sure the 70’s weren’t all brown and Magnum P.I facial hair. I’m sure it was actually pretty grim, what with the three-day working week and all. But when your kids ask you what your twenties were like and all you have to say is, “uh well son I bought a starter flat and then lost it in the recession.” I don’t think it will inspire the same wonder and fascination as thinking of your old man, mustached, flared and off his nut on Campari chatting up exotic disco women to a Bee Gee’s soundtrack. And frankly this stuff matters.

The only real legacy of the noughties then is the best part of a decade of unapologetic consumerism leaving us all in a torrent of credit card debt, secured loans and a one way ticket to the pallor of a man who’s soul sustenance is own brand cup noodles.

But fuck it, it isn’t all bad. You got some nice chattels out of the whole orgy of spending. Who says the odious offspring of your odious offspring can’t hock your original Ipod on Antiques Roadshow as a chincy relic; much in the same way we flog another of Grandad’s war medals if we want to go out for a curry at the nice new place at the top of the High Street.

Some people even got to feel rich for a while as their two bedroom semis hit value parity with Blenheim Palace, hence the aforesaid mentioned endless visits from estate agents.

The overwhelming feeling of the decade for me though is the feeling of being constantly bollocked.

DISCLIMER: Now before I go too far in to this I must say, I am not trying to promote a “those bastards in Westminster have taken our civil liberties, political correctness gone mad, health and safety is shit” type rhetoric, I am not a politician, nor a Sunday newspaper columnist and would like to keep the stock in trade of both well out of this.

But…

Lose some weight, don’t drink so much, don’t smoke in the pub, don’t even go to the pub… ever, don’t drive too fast, don’t drive… ever, don’t spend any money, spend loads of money, under no circumstances eat broccoli, IT WILL give you cancer and most of all switch that FUCKING light off.

I KNOW ALL THIS. I am a cognitive human being, I know it is well intentioned, I know it is all there to help me look after myself, to help me look after the planet and to stop me plowing down school children in my car, but bugger me. The human race got this far; even twentieth century society got this far with all it’s industrialization, consumerism and media sponsored rotting of our minds and all. Someone needs to tell these people we have not some how turned in to bags of flesh and bones with the motor skills of an infant and the common sense of a bottom-of-the class amoeba.

But anyway, that is me, that was then and we have now and the future to look forward to, if that makes sense.

So going back to the original #in2010 thrust of this post, I think it prudent to talk about what lies ahead in the future, now I’m no Nostradamus, and I’ll be buggered if I’m going to spend hours poring over economic data, government white papers and technology journals to give you, dear reader, an insightful, useful and measured prediction of what 2010 and beyond has in store for us.

So hear it is, the Shitegeist wish list for the next decade, (other than sorting the climate, poverty, disease, war, and the Middle East and shit.):

The return of curtains as a sensible haircut, The Police to promise not to reform for the entire decade, that hover board I was assured would exist by now, anything ever mentioned on Tomorrows World to materialize, that inst-hydration hangover tablet I had a dream about once, the total unwavering social acceptance of corduroys as a sensible and fashionable winter trouser, favorable taxation for lap dancers, that smell that emanates from Subway to be criminalized under antisocial behavior laws, a brief reconsideration of the smoking ban, another blues revival, Keith Richards to keep soldiering on, my mate Dan to finally graduate after 5 long years of trying, and finally, and most importantly, devastatingly false and salacious revelations about Shitegist’s private life to appear in the Daily Mail so as to allow him to pursue the deformation and liable case of the century that leads to the total undermining of their ability to operate as a commercial or media entity.

Now Shitegeist is aware of the terribly self-centric nature of the end to this post, so in response invites you all to make comments to give me a taste of my own medicine by telling me your 2010’s wish list.

On another note as I write this we have just hit 100 followers on Twatter, Shitegiest is genuinely humbled, thank you. In other Twatter news we have been listed on Slidemags funnypeeps list along such lumiaries as David Mitchell, Bill Bailey and Rob Brydon, which is nice.

SG

Liars…

Fucking Liars

Gasp!

Throw out the Clinique... NOW

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Bang goes the generation: Twilight: New Moon

Bang goes the generation: Twilight: New Moon sexualises poor Dave and friends.

So as we start this merry journey in to the wonderful world of social media in earnest, the question of what oft blogged, retweeted and tagged cultural phenomena to examine first has left the author, and no doubt you on the edge of your seats.

After some minutes of introspection, pontificating and a quick scan through various social networks and blogs it appears publishing and silver screen behemoth Twilight: New Moon is the prime candidate to bust the Shitegeist’s cherry.

It is best at this juncture to inform you that the author lacks the time, budget, and even faint whiff of a desire to see this film. “But how can you examine then!?” I hear all four of you exclaim.

“Patience: All shall be explained.”

My apparent ignorance, and total lack of any qualification to write about this film is for the best, as it appears every other bastard on the planet has. So a review, précis or deep analysis of the story itself would be totally redundant to an audience already fully conversant in what appears to me to be a bizarre vampire, werewolf, lady love triangle.

Before getting to the heart of what makes this thing so popular and why it has been pebble dashing my Facebook wall and Twitter feed in a fashion akin to a 1960’s housing association builder we must first come over a little statty.

Since it’s release in late November it has grossed close to $0.5 billion globally. Bugger me. It’s predecessor close to $400m. Bugger me backwards. And before it was even a twinkle in the eye of a studio accountant the series of books sold 85 million copies. Ok, at least do it with some warmth this time.

So why? A glance through reviews certainly don’t garnish it with the praise you would expect of a film riding so high in the box office charts.

Aggressive cancer of a publication The Daily Mail, which while not attaching itself to the lymph nodes of British cultural sensibility and right minded thinking finds time to print the Hitler diaries, and on the odd occasion review films, described Twilight: New Moon as: “tedious, long-winded and not so much undead as almost entirely devoid of life.”

Now the Daily Mail is a proper newspaper of sorts, it is bought in shops; over 2.1 million people subject themselves to its bile. I’m sure its reviewer, Chris Tookey knows what he’s talking about, he is the voice guiding England’s Barrat home dwelling, sensible car driving classes on their cinematic choices after all.

Sentiments are also shared in non-Nazi sympathising paper The Times, they only gave it a damming two stars. And this is much the same story across all mainstream media.

So what is it that turns a seemingly loose premise of a story, albeit one as old as time: boy is vampire, girl meets vampire, girl likes vampire, vampire likes girl, some vampirey shit happens, romance ensues… (expert plot notes courtesy of Google and an overheard conversation) into a Potter bothering cultural and commercial tour de force?

A literary expert, author and man that reads a lot that I know has a theory, that after much discussion I totally agree with. Wait for it…

It’s masturbation. (Some of you may be shocked, but fuck it, you’re not as shocked as me for being able to get through one and a bit posts of a blog about the internet without mentioning the dark elephant in all our rooms that is once nightly unpleasantness.)

Yes readers, without encroaching too much on the line between illuminating, informative, eloquent prose about a subject impossible to ignore, (don’t ask me how I know but educational physiologists do a good number in this) and just crudely talking about the bashing of your bishop, Twilights like many things in life’s appeal boils down to; the knuckle shuffle, shaking hands with the unemployed or if you are of that inclination, the virtuoso mastery of the pink oboe, (alright I’ll stop).

You see, Twilight is for teenagers, and there are two types of teenagers.

The first are teenagers that spend every other waking moment thinking about rumpy-pumpy, and the remaining half of their time frantically fapping themselves whilst thinking of rumpy-pumpy, to the uninformed they are called boys.

The second are teenagers that sort of think about rumpy-pumpy, they like the idea of it but have the ability, and slight skepticism of the whole horrible mess to excerpt the self-control required to think about other things. These girls as we’ll call them like the idea that boys think about them but despite being fully aware of their disgusting intentions crave a world where they love them for them.

After an extensive and frankly exhausting minute on Google I found the line in the film that optimises this dichotomy, and therefore explains the success of this, and it’s entire genre in 8 words:

“Bella, you give me everything just by breathing!”

This short excerpt of unadulterated, unapologetic tosh is the billion-dollar moment. To “girls” this is cultural cat-nip: “the sexy man loves her for her, not like my Dave who is trying to get his clammy, desperate hand up my skirt for the umpteenth time today at this very moment as I sup from my jumbo, multiplex, vat of watered down cola.”

As far as Flossy is concerned it doesn’t have to be vampires it could be about accountants or men who work on the bins, as long as they’re sexy and don’t immediately try to gain entrance to their sacred space she’s buying it.

Dave on the other hand, has just spent the few stolen moments when he is not trying to get his hand in Flossy’s knickers having a cataclysmic, stroke like bondage awakening as he watches dark makeup, leather clad vampwhores prance around. If Flossy’s knickers don’t yield, not fire, flood or famine will stop Dave from pillaging the Max Mosely section of some of the internet’s less salubrious recesses after watching this. Approximately two minutes after returning home poor Dave will have gratitude usually reserved for the brave men of the lifeboat service for the producers of Twighlight for putting this life changing idea in his head.

Dave’s sub-conscious, Mother, Internet Service Provider and part of his brain that regulates a healthy attitude towards women will not. But fuck it that’s consumerism.

So there it is, the secret of Twighlight’s success lies in the most human and universal of experiences, the sexual awakening. Your Father had “Tennis Girl” and Ursula Andress for his, and he turned out quite normal, he married your mother after all, and I’m not even sure if after parenthood you really think about sex anymore.

Poor old Dave’s generation on the other hand have the terrifyingly wonderful world of sado masochism, whips, chains doms and gimps for theirs. Time to invest in that PVC manufacturer you saw on the money programme, you might as well make a few bob before the apocalypse.

Thanks for reading….

Shitegeist.

———————-

Multimedia, convergence, buzz wordy gallery of sexual awakening through the generations…

Nice.

Very nice, arty.

Fucking shit a brick, we’re doomed.

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What on earth is this Shitegeist?

Er Right then…

What is My Weekly Shitegiest you may ask?

The Shitegeist is, in essence, a thinly veiled attempt, masquerading as an insightful commentary on the modern world we live in by a journalism student to try and understand this “social media” business he keeps on hearing about. It also doubles up as a platform to write sort of semi-balanced diatribes about whatever takes his eye on Facebook, Twitter, Google news and the like.

The initial grand-vision was to create an eloquent, scientific record of whatever topped the Twitter trending charts, Google search terms list or “most read” stories on the BBC website every week. This dream however stood in tatters when the author discovered he does not have the talent, inclination or in some cases technical ability to arbitrarily write about whatever subject tops these lists every seven days or so.

So instead of a fascinating weekly snapshot of the issue that sits at the very vanguard of the online consciousness that we can look back on in a decades time in a nauseating E4, We love the nineties kind of way, it will be a series of examinations of what has caught the authors eye in the social media universe. Whether it be a film that is doing the rounds, a lesson in self-flagellation on Youtube or another bloody “x has become a fan of cardiovascular respiration” nightmare on Facebook Your Shitegeist has it covered.

In the spirit of it all please feel free to comment, suggest things for the Shitegeist to cover, or if you are really that way inclined generally disagree with every word ever published on here.  Revelations about the author’s private life will not be tolerated.

We also have a Twatter account: it can be found: here.

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