25.4.07

MS OR MISS

Ms AMP?

This may seem ironic from someone whose pseudonym over the last few years has been 'Miss AMP', but let's just ignore that shall we? Back in the real world, I prefer to use 'Ms' on official forms and stuff, just because Miss seems gay and Mrs is ugly. And untrue. And... jeez, the whole advertising yr marital status thing seems kind of gauche, really. And men don't have to do it. So I go for 'Ms' on forms. In real life, Anne-Marie or AMP seem to suffice quite nicely. Nobody has reason to call me by my 'title' - I'm not a teacher, am rarely in formal situations, so what's the problem? But I was a little shocked yesterday when I signed up for Brand Republic - you know, "first for advertising, marketing, media and PR" (what can I say? I've been misguidedly trying to take my 'career' a bit serious for once) - and discovered that there was no 'Ms' option. I mean, there was Dr and Prof, but no 'Ms'. I was a bit shocked at this, and even went so far as to send them an email (whoo! direct action!) suggesting that this made their supposedly forward thinking edge pushing brand-building magazine look a bit - well - retro, and eventually, of course, I selected 'Miss'. But not without reluctance.

So yeah. What is the deal with 'Ms' these days. Apparently Lucy Mangan of the Guardian doesn't use it because, well, it makes her feel a bit old, and men don't like it, and neither do some women. Way to go, Mangan. Fight the power. But what about my contemporaries? I've realised that I actually have no idea which box they choose to tick. Let me know. Does the omission of a 'Ms' box on a form or website signup worry you? Or am I just being totally boringly rad-fem about the fact that I cannot see what relevance my marital status has to, well, absolutely fucking anything these days? I think we should be told.

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EVERYBODY LOVES LIAM

More Liam Sullivan - here he's explaining how the process of 'becoming' Kelly - shopping for clothes, applying make-up, etc - helped him understand a lot more about women. Aw.

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DROP ME A LINE




The obsession with letter-writing continues apace. There's something gloriously hedonistic and wonderfully wasteful about putting time and effort into a hand-written letter and decorated envelope you'll almost certainly never see again. Knowing, after you've dropped it in the post, that you've entrusted it to a horde of unseen hands that will help it reach its destination. (Posting a letter is an exercise in wishful thinking). And once you start - particularly if you find a willing co-correspondent, who is not too tardy with the replies (selfish, selfish!) - then it's so hard to stop. You eye stationery shelves with new vigour. Woolworths winks at you each time you walk past, flaunting its glittery stickers for children at your oh-so-tempted adult self. A pink and white striped paper bag from a sweet shop screams to be made into an envelope: you buy white tippex pens to scribe on scraps of black leatherette you bought at Spitalfields market; a tin box that once held chocolates is stuffed with goodies from Berlin, gleaming with fresh purpose. When you're engaged in correspondence, the world is that little bit more alive. No, email does not count. This is a strictly real-world only operation, and it's very, very special.

And. Pod Post are two ladies who understand this. They share this vision, this lust for pretty postable things. This is their Pod Post mail art Bento box. They went to Japan and found lovely things other postal peoples might like to use, and wrapped them up in a bento box. They make also: sew-on badges for successful zinesters and bookbinders; notelets; exquisite looking fanzines. You should visit their site. Buy some things. Send me a message, drop me a line. I'll write you back. I promise.

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24.4.07

THURSDAY NIGHT AWESOMENESS

Get thee to the Nog Gallery on Brick Lane on Thursday night. Upset the Rhythm are putting on an event which will feature a performance from Barr and a reading from Amy Prior. Frances will be dj-ing. Sounds super fun and is only £3. Be there!

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23.4.07

SHOES

I'm finally starting to understand Youtube. It's like a tiny telly. Which is ace because I don't have a telly. But I do have a pulsing 15 inch Macbook. Here is Youtube discovery brilliance number ten million and one; it's called "Text Message Break-Up":



... in which Kelly gets dumped by text message and goes mental. "I'll be like MACE in your FACE on MYSPACE.... Just you wait till you read the shit on you I'm gonna blog about. I'm gonna PODCAST yr BASTARD ASS from COAST TO COAST!"

There's also Shoes:



The videos are the creation of Liam Sullivan, a comedian. There are more. You can download them from his site in Quicktime, Windows Media and iPod versions. One of my favourite things about them - apart from the way they keep turning from soap-opera esque kitchen sink dramas into booty-shakin' hip-hop videos - is the fact that, even though Kelly is a dude dressed as a chick, there's none of the harsh edge that drag can often have; that worrying sense that the female is being laughed at. You don't really feel that Liam is taking the piss out of Kelly. You empathise with her. She feels a bit like one of your friends. <3

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21.4.07

BEST RAD FEMS EVS




A flyer from my fave rad fem activist group of all time, W.I.T.C.H aka Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy From Hell. They practiced a form of guerilla theatre they called 'witch zaps', and ran around putting hexes on everyone and everything, from stockbrokers and bridal fairs to transport authorities after a price rise. Read about them here. Wouldn't it be fun to do stuff like that now? CURSE YOU O KEN AND YR STUPID OYSTER CARD THAT DOES NOT WORK ON MAINLINE TRAIN SYSTEMS SO I HAVE TO PAY THRICE.

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18.4.07

Interesting interview on Venuszine.com with the estimable A.M. Holmes. She's talking about the difference between men's and women's writing; about how there are writers, and women writers; about her refusal to be pigeonholed as a 'woman writer' (a scribe of domestic, family topics); about her admiration for Didion and Sontag and Phillip Roth. It sounds kind of essentialist put like that, but you can see where she's coming from.

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13.4.07


Tonight sees my erstwhile band Shimura Curves play a gig at How Does It Feel at the Luminaire. They're on at 8.20 so get there early to catch the new line-up (featuring Kate St Claire on guitar, my sister Lisa on vocals, ex-member Frances on synths and the mandolin-strumming Ed) take Shimura Curves in a whole new spacerock direction.

Archie Bell = swedish electropoppers with four tracks of downloadable bleepy goodness to help yr weekend get started with a wiggle. Check them out on Myspace.

And look, you can play old Nintendo games on the internet, in your browser, with no downloads required. Bless.

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11.4.07

Jeanette Winterson writing on Djuna Barnes' Nightwood in The Guardian:

Nightwood is itself. It is its own created world, exotic and strange, and reading it is like drinking wine with a pearl dissolving in the glass. You have taken in more than you know, and it will go on doing its work. From now on, a part of you is pearl-lined.

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There's a certain moment every year, every spring. It is shaped like daffodils and birds twittering more loudly than before. The sound of a lorry reversing; cars dashing down the motorway behind yr block of flats. The window's open and the air is scorch-cold but the sun is warm. It's like a kind of Saint Etienne shaped hole where only something by them or perhaps at a pinch Birdie or Dusty Springfield will do. But here is something to fill that hole for 2007: the new album from Johnny Boy, who brought us the Wall of Sound-esque glory that was 'You are the generation that bought more shoes'. It is so perfect for right now: girls singing, massive overproduction, like Go Team mating with Ronnie Spector and it's so ace that they forget their samples and just, like, lean in. Headphones springtime deliciousness awaits you, my friend. Accept it now.

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