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Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Queen, and Zardulu

Hello again.

I was half awake, still in bed, on Christmas day. Groggily scrolling through the news in bed, I saw a picture of the Queen and immediately thought it looked like she was wearing an old school starfleet uniform. Her brooch even looked like the insignia. I giggled to myself, screenshotted it, and tweeted my stupid little joke. Then I got up and had breakfast.

By the time I checked my phone again, my tweet had - and I believe this is the correct young persons vernacular - blown up. It was an odd and fun thing to watch the retweets and likes flow down my phone's screen over the next couple of days, often faster than I could read them.

This happened..


And then, for some reason, this..


It was strange, and a bit scary, as I realised that something was happening that I didn't have much control over. What was particularly joyful, though, was that since it was a bit of a nerdy joke, I was getting retweets from some top class beautiful geeks... people who work for NASA, yer actual rocket scientists, astronomers, professors and such. Nice.

But the internet is the internet, like the force is the force, there is a light side and the dark side. Or at least in this case, a cool, nerdy, fun side, and a confused, missing-the-joke, trolling side...

Some people were funny..

Some just saw it as an opportunity to tell the world how much they liked the queen..


Some took it as an opportunity to tell the world how much they didn't like the Queen...

Some took it, perhaps, a little too seriously... (I got literally dozens like this)

 Some made astute and delightful observations...

And some..honestly, I have no idea...

And then there was this guy, who states in his user name what a huge supporter of the next US president he is..

 I know, don't feed the trolls, but it was Christmas, so..

Which sent him scuttling away to try to cause some damage to me elsewhere on twitter, resulting in this enjoyable little exchange..

(a free variety show, you say? Where can I watch it? Right here - and you can subscribe to my channel here - thanks for bringing it up)

 You might think that was the extent of the craziness, and you'd be right, oh..unless you count someone trying to convince me that THE QUEEN IS IN FACT LUCILLE BALL AND THE SIMILARITY OF THEIR EARS IS PROOF..

Yep. That was just the start of that fascinating little trip into weirdville. She was serious. And angry. And blocked.

Oddly, my favourite response to it was from Curtis Stigers. Yes, that Curtis Stigers.  Who proved himself as witty as he is saxaphoney..

So that was all very strange and kinda fun. It's settling down now, and I'm sort of glad. 

As I write this, it's new years eve, and I just came back from an early morning walk along the beach to watch the sun rise, and clear my head of clutter. Out of this, completely unplanned, came some new years resolutions, so I'm going to write them down here so that in a years time the internet can taunt me for having failed to keep them. That's how it works, right? So:

(1) - Try to let the weight of the sad and depressing things of the world squish me down less. This not to say ignore the news, or disengage with the world, but I'm fragile and oftentimes the feeling of powerlessness to do much to affect horrific things happening far away, triggers all sorts of crappy stuff in my head and makes me unable to do much at all. I have to work on this. Partly by actually, y'know, finding ways to do things to help, and partly by remembering my role as an artist and maker in the world. And you know what helped me with this? Zardulu.

Zardulu is the subject of my favourite podcast episode of the year. You can listen to it here, and I really recommend you do. There's also a follow up, complete with actual interview, here.

I want to be more like Zardulu. Or at least let the knowledge that there is a Zardulu help me believe that the world is a little more mysterious, magical, and fantastical than most of us are lead to believe. There's a lot to be said for the power of enigmatic oddness to change the lens through which one sees things. Bad things still happen, but so do fun, inexplicable things. Childhood was full of those feelings, maybe there's space for them in adulthood too, just a smidge, for balance.

(2) - I'm going to try - god I'm going to try - not to engage with idiots posting stupid shit on twitter and facebook. I don't think anyone in the history of the universe has actually ever debated anyone well enough to change their opinions on a social media platform. What, in my experience, happens, is that you start out polite, and then pretty soon it's all Hitler this and Obama that and terrorist whatever, and then I spend the rest of the day needing more Zardulu type stuff to cheer me up. So, from now on, I'm going to avoid confrontation online. If I don't like what someone is putting in front of me, there are myriad ways to click a thing and quieten someone down. All the energy I might spend on arguing, I'm instead going to spend on making cool stuff. That way my mental health ain't so shonky.

(3) - I'm going to be the opposite of my dad. Long story. Cliche. I know.

Happy new year, and stuff, innit.

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