Monday, January 30, 2012

A Jumped Up Pantry Girl

I know its Monday. I don't write a blog during the week due to family and work. But this is kind of an emergency.


This "emergency" centers around the Morrissey parody blog : Morrisseysworld.blogspot.. If you have not read this hilarious blog and you love Morrissey, you will probably find this site very amusing. Even if you don't really know much about Moz, you can appreciate the wit and cleverness of the author.


I know that I have mentioned the "controversy" in this blog regarding the true identity of the person writing the Morrisseysworld blog. There are a group of us that believe that the author is Morrissey. 


But not all Moz fans are alike. Kind of like in Hogwarts of Harry Potter, you have different "schools" based on your personalities. There are the Twidderdillians (I like to think we are like Gryffindor) and then you have your Mozarmy people (Hufflepuff) and you may even have your So-Lo people (definitely Slytherin). Therefore we do not approach things in the same way, I guess.


Bear in mind that I am new to this whole fan thing in the first place!


Back to Morrisseysworld blog: @MorrisseysWorld followers received a tweet saying the following: "Thank you to my 4568 little tweeting followers. Next stop: world domination. Retweet and I'll post my tour diary when I reach 5000." 


The tour diaries of 'Our Mozzer's' North American tour have been long-awaited. It means a great deal to those of us who have been reading the blog. Some think its simply a ploy-a cruel trick. Others don't give a rat's.


Now, I do not adhere to the notion that you must believe MW is Morrissey in order to follow @Morrisseysworld. But why should you?


1. If you love Moz, what do you have to lose? Even if it is an impostor, surely Morrissey would be aware of the love for him even if it were misguided. 
2. Don't you think-for Morrissey-this would be an amazing marketing tool? I mean, if you officially state that you are not a person or affiliated with a particular person, you are not responsible if something goes "wrong."
3. This keeps interest up. It keeps up the excitement. 
4. He has even stated in a song that he is human. C'mon. He is not a Luddite, I am sure. 


Would you be embarrassed to follow @Morrisseysworld on twitter if it turns out to be a hoax? 


 If it turns out to be a hoax, so what? It is stated on the profile that its a parody anyway. You can just laugh with your friends and say, "Yeah. I knew it all along. Ha. Ha. Ha" in a superior fashion.


I have not retweeted @Morrisseysworld yet. I am not sure there is a point. I have a laughable number of followers and all of them already follow MW. 


I made a deal with Jovanny (my oldest son) today. He followed MW on the condition that I follow Lady Gaga. Then he retweeted and several of his friends are now following MW.


But don't dismiss this little jumped up pantry girl with 24 followers! I know a slew of teenagers. And teenagers are the masters of social networking. Most of my teenagers are Latino as well. And we all know that Latinos love Morrissey. 


Let's see if we don't get 5000 followers by Christmas! Ha! At the time of this writing MW has 4,601 followers. Just a few more to reach our goal.




Note: Just to allay any confusion, I hereby state that I do believe the site known as MorrisseysWorld.blogspot and the Twitter account @Morrisseysworld are the real Morrissey.











Saturday, January 28, 2012

Well, I Wonder

Me circa 1995 when I started teaching and still had one foot out the door.  

Being an artist is the noblest thing one can do: finding beauty and meaning where none exist. Art is a sublime delusion. MorrisseysWorld via Twitter


My friend Rafe recently sent me this picture he took when we shared a flat. He's an excellent photographer so we messed around a bit with photos during that time. But it made me think about the fact that it was taken pretty close to the time when I began my career as a teacher.


I Hoarsely Cry, Why . . .
It's amazing that I stayed in the profession after my first two weeks of teaching in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles. My second week of work I had a fight in my classroom with two middle school girls both taller than me-I am 5'10"-and a drive by shooting. All on the same day!

Although I no longer teach under those conditions, teaching is a sensitive subject. I have avoided writing much about it for various reasons. One, its kind of boring. Two, there are numerous frustrations associated with it. Three, its dangerous in that teachers have lost jobs over what they put out there in the cyber world. Do I need to list numbers four through ten?


Gasping But Somehow Still Alive
I, like perhaps many other people on this planet, long to join the nobility of creators. Teaching does allow you to create. The teacher is the writer, the producer the actor the bouncer and sometimes even their own audience. And yeah, the audience is quite literally "captive." 


More about the audience: try finding a more critical and discerning group of people than teenagers. 


However, most of the time it is not art.


I will be brutally honest and say that teaching is not my passion. I am passionate about teaching. But I'd rather be writing. I've always had one foot out the door.


I admire those artists who were willing to starve themselves rather than settle for a more secure occupation. Patti Smith is one.I read her memoir  Just Kids during the summer A great book called Pan and another called Hunger in which the author, Knut Hamson, describes in great detail the sacrifices a true artist makes to pursue his or her craft puts into perspective the heroics of holding fast to your dreams.


I just wonder if we all strive for more? Is it just a few of us? Are there people in the world who long to be accountants or customer service representatives in their wildest dreams?


As I spend more and more time in the Twitterdilly Arms with my kindred souls, do they feel a longing? Are we reaching out for Morrissey's hand or lapel because it represents the greatness that we could not attain? By holding onto them are we vicariously "great."?


Please Keep Me in Mind
I would venture to say that in all likelihood, the Twitterdillians are a talented group. I don't know what each of their passions are.  In fact, for all I know they could already be doing what they are passionate about.


Mr. Rat at http://followingthemozziah.blogspot.com/ has written a parody that is quite entertaining and of course if you like poetry and literature you will want to check out
biblioecubyan.wordpress.com-also created by a Twitterdillian.


But by the mere fact that they appreciate art through Moz, then I know that they must be able to recognize true art elsewhere as well. I think, too, they dream of more.














Saturday, January 21, 2012

Those Wonderful People Out There in the Dark


Twitterdilly Arms
I am one of "those wonderful people out there in the dark." In the darkness I found an island. It's a pub called The Twitterdilly Arms.

After all my whinging last week in my blog about being unlovable on Twitter, I received a message from a kindred spirit. On Twitter! From a Mr. Rat who writes a blog that you should read if you haven't already and if you want to read a blog that REALLY is about Morrissey. Its called Following the Mozziah: http://followingthemozziah.blogspot.com. I highly recommend it. Anyway, he informed me that contrary to what I thought, my blog has been seen and perhaps read by Morrissey people.

And when I mentioned the bit about the fake Moz being so witty like the real one-he told me that it really IS him. In fact, if you read his blog from start to finish, you see that there is a strong argument for it being the real Morrissey.

Much to my surprise, MorrisseysWorld retweeted my blog last week too.

Because I don't really update people on things that are happening in the world of Morrissey, you probably don't know exactly what I am talking about. Let me explain: There is a blog called Morrisseysworld or something like it, and Morrissey has come out three times on his website True-to-You.net claiming that it is not really him. The dreaded three times as in Simon Peter denying Jesus three times perhaps? Methinks he protests too much.

The mere fact that he has come out and thereby drawn attention to a relatively unknown blog perhaps reveals that the announcement was purposely made to draw attention to it. Again, a better, more full account is available on Mr. Rat's blog.

True to You
True to You is a neglected web magazine for fans of Morrissey. Its like a garden overgrown with weeds from 2004 or 2007. It has some great things on it, it just hasn't been updated apart from the weekly or biweekly statements Morrissey makes. Which I have to say brighten my day when they come out.

I strongly feel that so much more could be done with it.

Back to the Arms
So what do you do in a virtual pub based around Morrissey? You theorize, commiserate, listen to awesome music and videos from YouTube based around the man himself. You share with all the other people in the "pub."

So, I am still not in the quad but I am instead part of a cooler group outside of the quad. I feel pretty damn popular.

Can I even begin to tell you the divine feeling I get from communicating with other people out there who like Morrissey as much as I do or even more? I am not alone in my need to check True to You and Facebook pages dedicated to Morrissey. There are other people totally approachable who share my obsession. There are people who see what I see in him.

I'm not really so strange then.

So Low
There is an unofficial Morrissey website called Morrissey So-Lo, and you would have thought that that might be a place for the other non quad dwellers to find a home. But the few times I have been there were just a waste of time. People are not very kind to each other for various reasons. Some people have this unsaid competition about who is more the Morrissey fan than the other and then start mud slinging so to speak. Its also not monitored well so people can say unkind things about Morrissey just to infuriate another person and it gets quite ugly. A hostile environment does not suit my personality.

In contrast, the Twitterdilly Arms is friendly and warm. I mean, just think of the name. Arms. Arms hug you and welcome you. And the word Twitterdilly just sounds kind of silly. Laughter. Twittering about being silly. Nothing hostile in that.

So in between teaching classes and toting kids around I have been tweeting. Believe it or not. I know now when I wake up in the middle of the night due to insomnia, I have people. Its safe being one of the wonderful  people out here in the dark.

Friends of the Friendless
The following scene from I Love Lucy accurately depicts my feelings at discovering my awesome new group of friends.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Unloveable (On Twitter)



video


You Don't Have to Tell Me
No one loves me on Twitter.

I do not tell you this out of  a need to evoke sympathy. Perhaps I should be pat on the back-I'm not quite sure.

Admittedly, I am newish to the world of Twitter and all it's seeming "delights". I have 7 followers and follow 31 people. By looking at other more "successful" twitterers, I have come to the conclusion that the hugely popular people have more followers than they follow.

It's just like high school. I am again relegated to eating lunch outside the theater instead of the quad with all the popular kids.

I Don't Have Much in My Life 
From what I have observed with my limited time exploring the world of Twitter, it seems that if you write something particularly amusing or shocking you get attention by people retweeting or sending your message or status further out into the cyber landscape so your words can be admired or laughed at. Those words will essentially live on.

I, perhaps somewhat bitterly, am not capable of shocking or funny quips to interest people. Can I just say in my defense that I haven't even tried?

Ironically, it seems that if you have the time to spend on Twitter, you do not have time to spend doing things that make your life interesting enough to post on your status.

Again, like high school-its not that the popular people ARE popular. Its just that they think they are and they occupy the quad uncontested.

So Take It It's Yours
If you are famous, you pretty much can tweet that you are making a bowl of cereal and then you will be retweeted and  receive loads of replies-lots of attention.

I'm not joking.

Message Received Loud and Clear 
So, I am pretty much ignored. But at the same time, I do not feel motivated to do much about it.

I confess that I follow Boy George, who tweets fairly often. And I sent him a couple of replies, but what am I supposed to say about his porridge breakfast, or his pictures of attractive naked or near naked men? What can I, a mere English teacher of 46 years, have to say that would interest him enough to reply or even take notice?  Do I care?

Morrissey does not appear to have a real Twitter account. There is the fake Mozzer. He/She is pretty funny. I mean, the Mozzer at least has sharp quips-not completely unlike the real one.

I kind of prefer to think of the real Morrissey as re-reading a classic novel like Crime and Punishment anyway.

Hell, I'm not even noticed by MozArmy or Morrissey followers. But its probably because I don't write much about him.

I peek in at the "quad" filled with Morrissey followers every now and again. Then wonder why I was not invited, but turn away and go back to my lunch outside the theater.

I Wear Black on the Outside Because Black is How I Feel on the Inside
Basically, Twitter is not for those with low self image.

It will probably make you feel pretty badly about yourself if you take it seriously.


I think back to my time as a waitress. My limited time. I was the world's worse waitress. I move way too slowly and I am not that interested in other people's needs or comfort. So I sucked. I forgot to bring mustard or napkins or extra ketchup and had to force myself to walk with any kind of urgency when customers had a limited break. I lost every waitressing job I ever had.

Just on a side note: the only place I was ever a waitress was in Dublin in the early 90s, I think they had high expectations of my American work ethic.

But after feeling like complete shit, I had to laugh to myself. Is it the end of the world to be the World's Worst Waitress?

Is it the end of the world that I am no one on Twitter? Or in the cyber world at all?

Nah. I'd rather reread Crime and Punishment anyway.










Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weegee Bored

Weegee and his camera






 "The worshippers of stars are a heroic clan."--Weegee

Our Visit to MOCA in Los Angeles (Museum of Contemporary Art)
Being on holiday for two weeks is awesome! Its great to have time to do basically, nothing. Yet, after about a week, the beaming smile turns just into a straight line. Kind of bored. Grateful. But bored.

When you have three bored kids it reaches a point where you will die if you have to entertain them another minute or else you will kill them. Then, you think, Ah. Culture. That's what we need. A bit of culture!

We piled the feuding kids in the mini van and drove to downtown LA. The traffic was horrific and the kids were bickering and it was plain miserable. We considered turning around and heading back home but we were determined since we'd already invested an hours drive.

By the time we exited the freeway, we had been on the road for nearly two hours! Then, we had troubles following the poorly marked signs for the museum so we had to pull over and find the directions from the website. Luckily, it wasn't too far from the warehouse district which is where we ended up-fruits and veggies and sea food are interesting, but, not exactly a charming part of town. Kind of smelly.

We discovered that we had to park in the Disney Concert Hall parking lot. We did that quite easily. We had to pay $20 for parking but were guaranteed $11 change when we left. (It's true). It was no problem as a working adult, but that would have been quite a sacrifice back in my student days!

Of all our kids I would say Jovanny (Enrique) was the most excited since he loves art and galleries. Oliver is pretty open to the idea. He has studied a bit about art and artists through a program at his school call Meet the Masters. Miguel, on the other hand, would probably rather have a root canal than go to a museum of any kind. He has very specific interests-WWE (Wrestling) and video games (mostly of WWE wrestling).  His body exudes boredom and disinterest as he follows you about-waiting. Waiting. Looking at you and waiting. Not looking. He actually will look at the blank ceiling or wall rather than the art that is hung upon it. Art, to Miguel, is not to be experienced. It is to be tolerated.

Sculpture outside MOCA


We Finally Arrive!
Bearing  the time it took to get there, the traffic, the price of parking and then attitudes and then imagining the traffic on the road home, Roland and I were kind of grumpy. Kind of wondering if it was all really worth it. 

We decided to split up. Jovanny on his own, Oliver with Roland, and me and Miguel. My task was not an easy one. But, remember, I am a teacher. A teacher must always find a way. Give us a rubber band and a paper clip and we might make an airplane. You never know!

How to Interest the Disinterested?
So I had an hour to try to make the museum a little less boring for Miguel. My technique: identify one piece of art he finds the most interesting in each room and tell me why. I know, its such a teacher-like thing to do. But, it worked to an extent. The only problem was that he didn't take too long to find somthing. There wasn't enough time for me to examine the works I was interested in. So once he found his art piece and read the information about it, he was done. And then he did the waiting thing.

Those Were the Days My Friend
Gone are the days when I could stroll into a museum and quietly examine what intrigued me. After about an hour I would have a cup of tea or coffee in the cafe reading more about what I loved. Or just reading a book. Then, I would casually stroll through more of the museum and leave WHEN I FELT LIKE IT!


Miguel "enjoying" some sculpture
My method got us through the first gallery which consisted of some well-known artists such as Piet Mondrian and Andy Warhol among many others. Miguel found some of the modern art amusing such as the white canvas of Mark Rothko.

Or Not
I reached a point, by the time we entered the next exhibit, that I just stopped worrying about him. I'd given up. I focused rather on the Weegee Naked Hollywood photography section. Besides, I couldn't really apply my technique here. Miguel was pretty good about it, but I sensed his innate boredom.

Naked Hollywood Exhibit
Weegee was a photographer who became well-known in New York for his photos of New York City. He came to Los Angeles in 1947 and spent about four years here photographing film premieres, Hollywood award ceremonies to skid row and strip joints. He published a book of his photographs called Naked Hollywood. He is perhaps best known for his distorted images of celebrities.

I love this portrayal of Hollywood. It's true that things are literally distorted here and Weegee's art just demonstrates this idea so well. This was an exhibit that really interested me as a fan of a celebrity. Weegee, in fact, stopped taking so many photos of the stars and turned the cameras on the fans. He found them more interesting.

He also found mannequins interesting, but for a different reason-I hope!

Icon Exhibit
Jovanny spent the whole time in the Kenneth Anger short film exhibit where he noted all the "Lady Gaga references." Of course he does not realize that as lovely as she is Lady Gaga is one big reference to other artists and performers.

Shhh. Don't tell him!

Marilyn by Weegee

I have to say that by the time we all walked out of the museum, we felt pretty good. The ray of sunshine was back in our lives.Perhaps Miguel  learned how to keep himself at least a little bit interested in art. I'm glad he gave it a try!

The traffic back to the OC was lovely!

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are interested in seeing this exhibit or any of the other works of modern art on display, its good to know that MOCA is free every Thursday from 5-8. Website: www.moca.org