August 29th, 2013


no more photos; Alison Bechdel and Guys and Dolls; all the XL Ladies

I am suffering a crisis of confidence over which camera to have next. The old one's shutter has now gone, leaving me showing people phone snaps like some kind of digital savage. I never much cared for it anyway. It had none of the charm of its predecessor, in recent years digital compacts seem to have evolved their character and quirks away into a ponderous tangle of pointless features and bland auto-settings. Tellingly, most of the reviews are from people who bought them for their tweenage daughters, with a smattering of those who needed something unattractive to thieves. I still have a pile of film and trad cams in a varying states of repair, but the whole toy camera thing seems then not now. But then, what is now?

Now, I suppose, is not seeing photos of my newly-painted stairs and hall. I tried photographing it on my phone. It looked like a murder scene, and not in a good way.

I picked up my own copy of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home at the weekend (and fully intended to buy the sequel too, but somehow didn't) and have read it through again, in a greedy rush. It's a curious thing. I don't like it as much as Dykes to Watch Out For (showing my usual preference for fiction over reality and fun over complexity) and yet I can understand why she had to stop doing Dykes and why the next thing she did inevitably had to be this. It's admirable and excellent and yet irks me as a triumph of the ordinary; success legitimised because it is non-fiction, documentary, autobiography and about that most all-American topic, coming to terms with one's Father. I would like to deny that narrative of (coming to terms with your father) but oh but strips like All this was sea -- and weren't they always among the best received and most linked? Well, after all. They had a serious topic. On the thorny topic of gender, I took a punt on an amateur production of Guys and Dolls at the Pegasus and discovered a crowd of extremely serious (and hilarious) extremely young old musical re-enacters vibrating with excitement and talent. Awake again in he middle of the night I found myself pondering whether the famously unreconstructed Guys & Dolls passed the Bechdel test. It does; of course. Several female characters, all named, and they talk about religion, music, earrings, saving souls, giving up gambling (and that's without even breaking into the stuff that's kind of abut something else but really talking about guys). Take back your mink, indeed.

My Badger bring it t-shirt is here. XL Ladies is my size du jour, it seems. Although I do have quite a lot of medium t-shirts (and at least one small) that are bigger than what passes currently as a Ladies' XL.