Archive for February, 2008


The Next Day

Well then, with all my delusions of grandeur, I really must knuckle down and make a proper entry. Now, I’m predisposed to coming up with Half-Baked concepts and most of them never see beyond my tin of notes (If you’re interested, it’s a ‘segsations’ tin) so I thought, I’ll put them on the internet. So, here we go. This weeks segment is mischief themed – so don’t be expecting grand life changing ideas.


Idea 1 – Sonic Grenade

Now, I’m not laying claim to the concept for a sonic grenade – they’re called flash bangs and add something to my concept. My concept, however, is more similar to blasting someone out with sound. The device is shaped like an old WW2 German grenade (if you’re not familiar, kind of like a potato masher with the mashing bit filled in). The ‘grenade’ is a large speaker and the tube contains a swivel arming system (twist and throw) and a USB port. From this port, you can upload any sound clip to the sonic grenade and then it’ll ‘play’ that upon arming.


Mostly, I would use it in a minor (verging on major) annoyance device, hurling it into rooms and sprinting away, as the device bellows “SONIC GRENAAAAADE!” over and over again while the inhabitants desperately try to disarm the thing.


When it comes to mischief, I tend to err on the side of mind games, so the grenade’s messages would become ever more devious and mocking. “YOU CAN’T TURN IT OFF!” for example. I very much doubt I’ll make much money out of this device, and doubt even more that I’ll make any friends with it. But then, if people insist on leaving their phones in a room they’re not in while the phone is either texted or rung every 7 seconds, they should expect the occasional sonic grenade.


Idea 2 – The Toilet Poster

Now, it’s pretty much a fact that the toilet is the most personal room in a house – a lock is a staple in toilet design, due to the highly personal nature of the room. So what better way to shatter the privacy than with a little mischief firmly footed in voyeurism theory. People (on the whole) are not particularly fond of being watched during this particular process – so a poster is placed on the inside of the toilet door. The design is a picture of anyone (probably works better with someone the intended victim knows) pointing in the victim’s direction and the slogan “I am watching you PEE!” emblazoned underneath. I imagine it would be highly disturbing without an actual invasion to privacy.


Idea 3 – My Book

In a slight break from tradition, here’s something slightly more serious – my first book book. In that it’s not a comic book and it’s not a book of pointless things. This is a delightful book about living my life in a certain way. Life is a series of challenges from day to day, starting off with the ever devious ‘Should I get out of bed?’ and the terrifying ‘Peanut Butter or Blackcurrant Jam?’. And despite how difficult and important they seem at the time, the average day is unflinchingly dull and monotonous. So I thought I’ll mix it up and make life like the game shows that entertained me in my youth (and, if I’m honest, now.).


Thing is, it’s not easy to live life like a game show, because all the game shows around today are terrible. ‘Eggheads’ is people playing against a team of pub-quiz hustlers with the world’s most gigantic egos. Golden Balls is terrible because it’s the death of Jasper Carrot’s career and the only way you win is to crush your friend at the end. Congratulations, you’re rich and have shown the world that you’re a backstabbing jerk. So, when I say I want to live my life like a game show I’m talking about classic and important shows – like University Challenge, Funhouse, Terror Towers, Gladiators and of course The Crystal Maze, probably the greatest game show in the history of all shows.


So, week to week, I’d try to recreate a game show of choice on the weekend before becoming quiz master during the week. And of course, my house mates will be contestants, whether they like it or not. All on a student budget. And I’d give it a clever title. Ideally, I’d call it ‘Starter for Ten’ but unfortunately, that’s already a book (and film).


When I read this back, I’m sure that my book seems far more trivial than how it appears to me in my head, but believe me when I say I’d really like to do it. I can even validate this book from a narrative theory position.

(Beware! Theory ho!)

Using lesser narratives and easily recognisable public references, I’m trying to turn a day to day un-chronicled life into a narrative which relies on cues from game shows. This allows me to analyse the effect of highly manufactured environments on regular people. Will they draw on the stored cultural images of famous game shows or will they refuse this social experiment and wander around in a bemused fashion? Hopefully they don’t ALL go to the second one, or it’ll be a very dull book.


A Terrible Realisation

I was recently shown in one of my lectures the web diaries of some of the previous years IMP class and I must say, I was suddenly thrown into a realisation that I had been wasting a valuable chance.

I’ve always been of the opinion that coming to university and taking the class I took, I would be suddenly thrown  into a world of what I deem a less pretentious “Coffee House Culture”.

The term “Coffee House Culture” as I understand it has something of a negative connotation – that one becomes overly pretentious and sits about in armchairs ‘blogging’ (A word that I find so aurally displeasing, it leaves a foul taste in my mouth upon uttering it – similar to how I believe a dark incantation would do if this where some Lovecraftian horror.)  on their brand new Mac Book Air (Which through it’s release is exceedingly useful for my point – a fantastic weighting of aesthetics over actual use or practicallity.) talking about inconsequential matters in overly flowery language (and at this point, I deeply hope I’ve not stepped there myself.) trying to appear profound infront of their usually circular internet group.

Now what I wanted was to be deep in conversation about slightly more meaningful things using overly flowery language so that I could reach some actual profound meanings through educated discussion. Furthermore, I wanted to be a single voice in a group of people who were all so individual – so much so that they demonstrated it on a level of dress and habit. Myself, I believe in a more atiquated manner system and have a predelticion to the fashions of the late victorian era. And I wanted to be one of many people who walked around in eccentric dress with complicated reasonings behind them.

However, I was so ready to cast aside ‘blogging’ (ugh.) as the tool of the starbuck scener that I couldn’t see it’s use in matters such as this. So, I’m going to use my journal a whole lot more. I have a real journal as well – one of my favourite things is to record a thought on paper so much so that I’m usually carrying in excess of three notepads – but that is far more of a private journal for perusal at different times. This web journal I believe would be best suited to display my character – a modern day portrait of my character etched in words and images.

I am who I am, and I am not ashamed. Not one bit. I just had to realise that it was ok to say so on the internet as well.