Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

Thursday, June 26, 2003

A friend of a friend of mine is a flaming metrosexual. What's that? Here's a bit of an illuminating New York Times article that provides an example:

By his own admission, 30-year-old Karru Martinson is not what you'd call a manly man. He uses a $40 face cream, wears Bruno Magli shoes and custom-tailored shirts. His hair is always just so, thanks to three brands of shampoo and the precise application of three hair grooming products: Textureline Smoothing Serum, got2b styling glue and Suave Rave hairspray. Mr. Martinson likes wine bars and enjoys shopping with his gal pals, who have come to trust his eye for color, his knack for seeing when a bag clashes with an outfit, and his understanding of why some women have 47 pairs of black shoes.

But, as the article goes on to say, Mr. Martinson is straight as an arrow. My friend's friend's girlfriends (got that?) describe him as 'just gay enough.' That is, he's got stereotypically gay attitudes toward things like fashion, the arts, style, etc. Yet, he's still hot for the women-folk.

As a sort of scientific study, we raided his apartment to see just how metrosexual he really is. The results, I think, speak for themselves (click for larger versions):

You'll note the subject's obsessively (anyone seen American Psycho?) organized closet, the Inform shelf unit, the dried flowers, the white terrycloth robe, and so on. Yet, by all reports, he's quite a player with the opposite sex. Is there something in this whole loofah and pedicure business? I think this all started in the mid-90s, when more and more straight men started reading Details magazine and believing they needed Tourmaline Charged Protecting Lotion or Bio-Molecular Perfecting Fluid.

I'm of two minds on this, and would be curious to hear womens' opinions. I'm sure women prefer their men to look nice, but I've always hoped 'nice' also meant 'a little rough around the edges'. I mean, does she really want my skin to be smoother than hers?

I shouldn't talk, though. I don't leave home without some love from my Aveda Styling Stick. Mind you, following my stylist's advice, I rub it on my head as if I wear polishing hockey skates, but I suspect I'm just compensating.

1:15:45 PM        Mixed Bag

I've been playing computer games since the dual-floppy IBM PC. My game playing tends to go in three-to-six month cycles, in which I play one or two games exclusively. Lately I've been playing the fantastic (and free!) Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. At some later date I'll describe why this game rocks.

I mention this because I've just ordered Star Wars: Galaxies. This will be my first MMORPG, and I'm hoping not to become hopelessly addicted. I believe this check list from a Slashdot thread on the subject says it best:

1. Wife: Divorced. Check.
2. Kids: Military school. Check.
3. Dog: Euthanized. Check.
4. Cats: Who cares? Check.
5. Friends: Gone. Check.
6. Phone: Disconnected. Check.
7. Doorbell: Ditto. Check.
8. Food: $500 worth on Top Ramen in pantry. Check.
9. Breaks: 10 cases of adult diapers. Trash can with lid next to computer. Extra liners. Check, check, check.

11:06:35 AM        Technology

Mamma Mia, the musical based on ABBA's music, is coming to Vancouver for three weeks and apparently selling like Swedish hotcakes. It's done ridiculously well in London and Toronto, so they're taking it out west.

Despite my Y chromosome and heterosexuality, I like a good musical. Stephen Sondheim's work, for example, is generally entertaining, musically-complex and deeply theatrical. Call me the Queen of Yaletown (turns out there already is one), but I know most of the words to The Sound of Music and Rent, and gosh darn it, I'm proud of it.

Thus, these musicals-based-on-bands really gets on my skirt. I saw the Queen musical in London and it sucked. It was hardly a musical at all--it was just a bunch of talented singers working their way through the Queen catalog. The plot (even for a musical) was wafer-thin and the thematic content (besides 'rock and roll music is good') was nil.

That said, the rest of the audience loved the frickin' thing. They were all singing and dancing along like they were at a rock concert. Good for them, I guess, but I was bored silly.

These shows are safe. They're safe for the producers because they've got a built-in audience and they're safe for the audience because they can attend confident that a) they'll like the music and, more importantly, b) they won't be the least bit challenged by what they see. These shows trade on nostalgia, and the music often isn't even that good. Sure, Billy Joel's songs tell stories, but ABBA? They're a disco band.

I know I sound like a musical snob (interesting phrase, that), but I feel particularly sorry for any composer who's trying to find a spot for his musical on Broadway. This trend looks like it's set for a good long run. Me, I'll wait for Nevermind: The Nirvana Musical.

10:53:06 AM        Music The Arts Vancouver