Friday, December 11, 2009

Plenty Of Fish Night

(This post is dedicated to Jean Smith).

So here I sit: a man and his computer, taking a very sober look (neverminding a mild state of intoxication) at the profiles on PoF. It's horrible, really. Just the headlines tell it all: "Can you make me smile" (to which I retort: yes, but why would I want to); "Looking For An Honest, Fun Guy" (a. she won't be able to handle me; b. her idea of fun probably involves live comedy, alcohol, or possibly 4X4ing); "Are you a gentleman" (in a way, but it's not one of the first 100 keywords in my self-definition); "Did someone say doobie?" (which makes me smile, at least); "summers here" (a profile heading that possibly could use an updating, unless the woman is named "Summer" and announcing herself; either way it would profit from an apostrophe and a couple of capital letters). There's also the ubiquitous ";)" - which looks strange if I follow it with a semicolon; "Allow me to introduce... myself" (which bespeaks a certain vanity and sets a Rolling Stones song playing in the back of my mind, the associations of which do not intice me to wish to date someone). Even worse, we then have "the kind of dirty U just can't wash clean," which even at my most desperate and deranged would have seemed dark and self-destructive and well worth avoiding (what was that old bit of advice - never sleep with a woman whose problems are worse than your own?). She's followed by "meeting new ppl," which I suppose might have been entered from a cellphone - echoed somewhat below by "done with fake ppl" and...

Oh, it just gets depressing. Then suddenly, as I scroll down the list, I encounter a girl who lists "Francois Truffaut films" as an interest, and I perk up! Just LOOK at these interests: "bookstores, post-punk, east van styles"... Okay, so I could do without Hemingway and Kate Bush, but she's only 23, which buys her some slack; and her profile heading is a reference to my favourite Wire song (I won't say which, but suffice it to say that it makes me want to change mine from "Lost In the Suburbs" to "Fish Fingers All In A Row," which is the same thing, really)! She fills me with fondness of a completely useless sort, since (sigh) I don't want to date a 23 year old and she likely doesn't want to date a 41 year old. But who on PoF lists frickin' TRUFFAUT as an interest? (I mean, sure, my profile has Cassavetes and Bergman listed - I left Fassbinder off this one - but that's ME, right? It doesn't even matter to me that I have no particular interest in Truffaut at present, it still counts for something, given the nature of this particular pond). suddenly I get inspired and do "interest" searches for filmmakers. To increase the span of my catch I search for ANYONE IN CANADA who has listed Cassavetes as an interest.

Zero hits. ("Only 0 results are shown below. Your search may be too specific." But believe it or not, this is not entirely foolish of me: I still correspond with a Cassavetes fan in Australia that I met doing a search for "Cassavetes" on Friendster, if you remember them).

How about Bergman?

Zero hits.


Zero hits.

(Sigh): Werner Herzog - but of course; I find two women in Toronto, one of whom has, it happens, just relocated from Vancouver. But she also lists The Smiths as an interest, and I'm not about to move to Toronto... so what point does this serve? I should just go back to searching people close to Vancouver. It's not hopeless: "film," "writing," "cult movies," "horror movies," and "punk rock" all net options...

Hm... what about mumblecore? Nada. Well, let's search for "Bookstores," shall we? That seems like a good idea...


ammacinn said...

Post-script: really, do a search for "Boris Karloff" (...Eugene Chadbourne inspired that one).

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that by trolling dating websites, baiting people and wasting liminal online space with your self-indulgent whining, makes you so much better than the narcissistic Vancouverites and suburbanites you so condemn?
Non-ironic conversations about cellulite in Maple Ridge fall into the same category as: wallowing in self-pity and negativity, going on about PoF filters for paragraphs on end, hiding behind your computer, bothering real and vulnerable people on PoF (whom you know nothing about and whose circumstances are varied and closer to your own than you think…).
All of this follows the logic of the Baroque. Lurid and tacky. But I would go even further and label you and your predatory online collaborators, who misuse their real PoF profiles, as Roccoco. Completely tasteless. Aside from that, need I also mention, socially unethical?
Let’s unpack this: I would like to turn the camera on the journalist himself much alike that famed postmodern scene in the "The Passenger." Swivel. The nature of blogs in general is narcissistic – participating in this online culture of excess automatically puts you in the category of the self-absorbed and the self-important.
But oh yes, you are so very hip and the world needs another blog. Being into the obscure makes you so much better than others. All this just acts as a filter, a screen that you put up to separate yourself from the black hole of “average”. Well, I have a surprise for you- you are average no matter how many obscure PR+subculture references you are able to muster up to try to elevate yourself above others.
I’m glad that Maple Ridge humbled you because if you had anything to do with Main street I’d seriously have a laugh-fest. You probably can’t fit into skinny jeans anyway. All those waifs and pallor-stricken art school darlings.
I would urge you to get out of your sweat-drenched lair and speak to working class immigrants in the surrounding suburbs. You know, real life, for a change. Part-time ESL teaching is clearly not doing it for you. You are as much of a product of vancouverism as any other person around here: sitting around in the glass tower of your own making. I would say especially the hipster types with their holier-than-thou attitude are guilty of this. I have been enlightened and elevated by your brilliant blog. Now that’s irony.

PS. I can foreshadow your retort. Oh, I misunderstood you- you are a “true hipster” unlike those impostors! You were down in the trenches and on the scene back in your heyday. You play into the grotesque and the confessional, a poor misunderstood loner. Boo hoo: there is plenty of artifice in what you do. Its particularly dangerous because you mask it behind some noble cause of self-expression for the common good.

-Rant Rat

ammacinn said...

Heh. Well-done, not bad at all! Do I know you?

1. I don't troll dating websites or bait people, "bothering real and vulnerable people" on PoF; I am trying to MEET someone on PoF, quite sincerely, and finding it very, very difficult, for some of the reasons discussed. I don't really think expressing my frustration with the experience is "predatory" or "socially unethical" or a misuse of PoF - though sometimes I do venture onto PoF with my tongue in my cheek, I am there because I'm looking for a partner. Is it in poor taste for me to then vent about the resulting difficulties I experience? Perhaps, but my troubles connecting with a woman online are PART OF MY EXPERIENCE OF LIFE right now, and I don't see that it's totally unreasonable or exploitive or so forth to write about that (even if it may be a bit "whiny." Mea culpa).

2. However, "self indulgent, narcissistic whining" hits closer to home. Sometimes this blog has ventured that-away. 'Twasn't always thus: mostly I've tried to blog about cultural events in Vancouver, and if you've followed this blog at all, you'll see me posting interviews with musicians and filmmakers, reviewing movies, etc - and whatever ego-rewards (or guest-listings or other perks) I might get from that, I've also been supporting a scene that was and is important to me, which, fuck you very much, is a totally valid thing to do - at least as valid as any fanzine or other variant of film or music journalism.

Lately, however - I am in a rather strange position, since I cannot participate well in the Vancouver scene at this remove, and have huge pressing life-issues to grapple with. My choice is to fold up the blog, or to keep it going through this time, which I've elected to do (since I do need a break from my varied responsibilities in Maple Ridge - I'm kept pretty busy here these days). Though I have continued to support artists that matter to me, which you will notice if you scroll up and down from this post, I've been using the space as a bit of a "public journal" of late. Narcissistic? Dangerous? Whiny? Sorry about that, I just don't have the stamina or time to write reviews or interview people at the moment; I do imagine I'll lose a few readers, but shikata ga nai, ne?

(More in a sec - Blogger is having a problem with the length of my comment, apparently).

ammacinn said...


3. But yes, I'm thoroughly average, you're right, whatever cultural references I make. Fact is, I've never pretended NOT to be a hipster - I've been a bit curious about how that has turned into a term of abuse in recent years, in fact. No one actually calls themselves a hipster these days - they use the term to put down others - but if you look at my profile, I actually describe myself as a "hipster in absentia." This is not to say that I am a "true vs. false hipster," either, - I think it's a nonsensical distinction; by calling myself thus, I fully admit that I have been among those hiding from real life and personal failures in a swirl of ego-boosting obscurantism and artsiness: "I know more about Misson Of Burma than you; I saw the Volcano Suns at the Cruel Elephant and you don't even know who they are; I've dined with Eugene Chadbourne, corresponded with John Lurie, and gone record shopping with Mats Gustafsson, therefore I am important and cool and worthwhile, and have the right to affect a superior attitude to you, who have done none of these things, you peasant." It's all a shallow ego-boost to distract me from an increasingly oppressive reality, that I'm just some fat balding 40-something living in suburbia who has great difficulty maintaining relationships, with a very limited social circle and little ability to connect emotionally with the people around me, except my Mom, who is ailing.
I'm looking at a future of deep isolation, which I find very frightening indeed; and
"my books and my poetry" (or my record and DVD collection) aren't going to protect me one whit from that. (Nor will this blog, though it might give me a moment from relief from responsibilities and serve the odd useful public function). Being in Maple Ridge may WELL be a good thing for me - force me to stop hiding in my glass tower and get out into the world, though right now I'm talking more to the senior citizens in my Mom's building than working class immigrants; is that all right with you?

(Having difficulty with this post - more in a second).

4. And speaking of YOU... if we could swivel the camera back around in the OTHER direction for a minute, who the fuck are you, anyhow? You've come to my blog, guns blazing, bravely anonymous, to accuse ME of having a "holier-than-thou attitude," while expecting ME to be "enlightened and elevated" by your snarky comment... It's kind of funny, innit? If I'm an online troll, what the hell do you think you are? Go bother Gerry Hannah or someone, okay? - you are no friend of mine.

Lest you waste your time, I doubt very much that I will publish further comments in this vein, since I don't have the time to reply to them, and don't really see the point in allowing you a free forum to publicly abuse me. I would counsel you to not bother replying...

Rant Rat said...

Hello Allan,
We all have our masks, and I don’t think that you are being entirely truthful in your response. Alas, I’m going to soften up and offer you my condolences for all your losses in 2009. I hope things go better for you in 2010.

cj said...

post+comments=a beautiful ending to what was already a really fantastic day