Thursday, 25 February 2010

Enough with the stolen glances - can we just have sex?

I have a confession to make - I'm a terrible flirt. Not in the sense that I just can't control myself around attractive men, I mean I'm really, really bad at it. In my defence though, modern courtship is so bloody difficult, it's a miracle the human race hasn't died out as we all sat around trying to interpret that smile (friendly or flirtatious?) or that look (meaningful stare or staring into space?) - it's like analysing the bloody Mona Lisa.

There's a man in the office I've been eyeing up for a while. He came and introduced himself the other day ( making the first move or just being polite?) and since then I've had no idea where to look, or rather, how to look. Trying to look without looking like you're looking is tricky, especially when even though you don't wan't to look like you're looking, you want to look like you *might* be looking otherwise how else will they get the hint? And don't get me started on smiling (smile first or wait for them to smile first? And what if they don't smile, so you don't smile, but you're looking at each other and now you look like you're staring like a psychopath?) - it's a minefield!

As a precaution, I've taken to staring at the floor with the kind of zeal that could only be mustered by a lifelong subscriber to Carpet Enthusiast Weekly whenever I sense he may be around (creepy or coy? I think I know this answer to this one...).

I'll admit it's easier in nightclubs; sadly in the workplace it's far less acceptable to get regrettably drunk and pin that special someone against a wall to show how much you care by throwing up on their shoes. I don't really want to live in a world where we dispense with all pretence of courtesy and just proposition one another with impunity - and I'm actually not just looking for someone to warm my bed - but could we dispense with the games? My mental co-ordination isn't up to scratch; I'm getting a bit giddy. And you've got to admit, sex would make a pretty good ice-breaker.

F.A.K.E - in tribute to Lady GaGa

Can we take a moment to talk about Lady GaGa? I wouldn't watch the Brit Awards if you paid me, and thankfully I was out last night anyway, but the coverage this morning in the papers was inescapable, and the Guardian's breathlessly gushing comments on Lady GaGa, culminating with referring to her as "edgy and exciting" several times, left me feeling a bit sick.

Lady Gaga, make no mistake about this, is about as edgy and exciting as putting marmalade on your toast instead of jam. She treads nowhere a thousand others before her haven't left a footprint. The elctro pop sound? Similarly irritating and underdressed popstrel Kylie Minogue debuted it a decade ago, and did it better, although GaGa has got the edge in "inspiring" a greater slew of even more depressing imitators (yes, Ke$ha, I'm talking to you).

Regular readers of my rants both here and elsewhere will know I despised GaGa from the moment I read an interview with her where she confessed to wearing as little as possible as often as possible because it got her picture in the papers. But the sad fact is, flashing your gash for cash (in lieu of or inspite of any actual talent) is not a new phenomenon (see The Saturdays, Girls Aloud, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Jessica Simpson for examples).

Judging by the slavish coverage given over daily to her latest kerrraaaazzzy outfit and wig combo (will she be holding a giant teacup? Won't she? THE SUSPENCE IS KILLING ME!) by certain quarters of the media, I can only conclude that "edgy and exciting" boils down to "deliberately dresses like a twat". Is that all it takes to impress on the music scene these days? An obviously cynically faked image? Have we sunk to that depth of superficiality? It's not even original! Think back, if your mind stretches that far, to the 1980s. Prince Charming....Prince Charming...Ridicule is nothing to be scared of....Lady Gaga is actually Adam Ant, only with worse hair!

Lean in closer comrades, and I'll tell you something you won't read in NME. If you want "edgy and exciting" you wont find it wrapped in bacofoil at the Brit Awards. You'll find it in the early 90s, when the Manics reclaimed 70s glam rock and turned it from a joke into a musical and moral statement. You'll find it with bands like Hot Chip, striking out with the synth in a slew of guitar-led landfill indie. You'll find it with Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now!, whose charmingly witty and intelligent response songs are pure pop gold, and like nothing else in the charts (which is probably why they're not in the charts). Originality is out there, but if you think you've found it with Lady GaGa, you're not looking hard enough.