Ch-ch-changes… probably…

So, the flower headers are gone, replaced with some random pics from my rock memorabilia collections.

Seems to me when I updated the blog in 2020 and I was painting more, the headers were my art. Then in 2021 I swapped it to my garden as I tried to figure out what the fuck I was doing… I guess this is the fabled mid-life crisis except it’s been ongoing for a while and also I decided against buying a sports car due to the lack of cargo room… granted that was when I was still doing a lot of antiquing and now my house is overly full so cargo room’s not such a concern…

Meh, why spend money on a sports car when my usual old sedan isn’t dead yet? And if I bought an old Lambourghini, I’d have to worry about the crackheads stealing it. Whereas no one wants my shitty ol’ Chevy.

Anyway… I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately leading up to the soft-launch of The Nick White Show and since.

And what I keep coming back to are a few themes:

  • Rock stars, or more broadly: celebrity culture (rock stars being the niche of that which interests me most)
  • Fantasy lives
  • Memorabilia/collecting/iconography (to me, the former are modern secular versions of the latter)
  • Bad behavior of our supposed betters in the elites, along with media collusion to hide such and us plebs’ delight in finding out the dirt and spreading it (which is of course tied in with celebrity culture but also more generally to power structures throughout the centuries… Englishmen in the 1500s had to be more cautious about giggling about Henry the VIII’s foibles or risk losing their heads, which is basically the same about worrying about losing your Twitter account only more so… though with Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, maybe that won’t be such an issue… yeah right…)
  • Taboos and their relation to power and culture and how these are enforced or falsified (eg: anything the mainstream media celebrates isn’t oppressed, no matter what the media tries to pretend)
  • The role that celebrity culture and fandom play in replacing old timey religion and tribalism/nationalism (ie, if you’re not Christian anymore and you live in a culture that has made pride in your roots or preferential treatment to your kin and tribal connections taboo, you replace that with devotion to a team or a band or an IP like Star Wars, etc.)
  • The rise of virtual relationships via the internet and especially social media, and how the perceived connection to favored public figures makes them seem much more a part of a fan’s life than they ought to be, especially as real-world relationships become more strained or even non-existent
  • The confluence of celebrity and politics; cults of personality, etc. (Also related to deification of mortals, eg. the god-kings of Egypt… but I’ve also seen people comment on U2 Instagram posts asking Bono to stop the war in the Ukraine as if he had the powers of divine intervention, too… and on a less amusing note, look at how all the Karens hero-worshipped local public health officials and made them god-kings over the last couple years, too. Which is way worse than naively thinking a rock star can end a war.)
  • Beauty trends, fashion… old and new, and of course usually celebrities act as muses or sales reps for these trends.
  • The contrast/clash between the celebrity (as represented by their publicists, by their detractors, by the paparazzi, and by their fans) and the actual human behind all that who probably isn’t really any of those representations.

Etc. I could come up with more, but I think you can see these are all variations on the theme of mankind’s search for order, meaning, and leadership, and how that’s become increasingly attached to pop culture. The rest is all details.

And I guess it goes to my own life experience: I was one of those kids who bought all the rock mags and had walls covered in pin-ups, etc. and to some extent I’ve not really outgrown it, but merely refined it. (eg: the rock posters have frames now, and I don’t buy all the magazines, just the back issues of some that pertain to my favorites).

Back in high school, almost all of us mostly drew and painted based on magazine photos of our idols. I was getting into old UK punk and alt rock like NIN and Marilyn Manson, other friends preferred to endlessly draw Mariah Carey, others preferred actors.

I recall in Grade 11 making something along the lines of taking a blank Halloween mask and pasting cut-out quotes from magazine interviews with Keanu Reeves on the front and on the inside painting a question mark… which in hindsight looks like an early attempt to do some sort of artsy thing pertaining to that last point on the list, but which my cunty art teacher snarled about to the whole class as me being “obsessed” with Keanu… which I wasn’t.

I probably should have put that piece in my portfolio when I applied to Emily Carr, but instead, I think I threw it in the trash due to being embarrassed.

Teachers fucking suck sometimes, especially the “those who can’t, teach” kind.

Anyway, these are the sorts of things that lie behind the writing for The Nick White Show, mixed in with some lessons learned about the biz from when I was doing my own music and working behind the scenes a bit for an indie label and also being a radio DJ and sometimes music journalist.

I also drew on this well when doing stand-up briefly a few years back, and of course, that was a big part of Under My Skin when I was doing that podcast… and I think I’ve mentioned before about wanting to start a comedy livestream, well, it’ll probably just be UMS version one million point 0 or whatever.

And I’ve been thinking of all the fan art I made as a teen, most of which has been shitcanned long ago. And I’ve been thinking that maybe some fun fan art and pop culture mash-ups would be fun to do again, but with a wiser or at least more cynical eye… and I want to start doing some sculptures along the lines of this:

But with rock stars, of course. And that would be fun to incorporate into videos, somehow, along with talking about memorabilia and collecting and rambling on about the various themes in the list. Hell, I might even start painting again… maybe even the sort of thing that would piss off a certain hopefully dead high school art teacher.

Anyway (how many times am I gonna say that in one post?)… the blog has not been as well-maintained lately due to time constraints. And what I post, I mostly will be covering in the livestream when it starts.

So… expect fewer posts going forward outside of embeds for videos and instead I’ll be talking in the streams.

But hey, things change regularly, so I might start blogging a ton again, too. We’ll see.