I’m not defined by any one theme. Sometimes I think this is a bad thing, but most of the time I realise it means I’m open to seeing far more awesomeness than if I just scoured the web looking for specific things. However, there are a few things which I’ll always find a soft spot for. Here are some examples.
In my opinion, THE most powerful social networking tool on the face of the planet. That’s a pretty big sweeping statement, I know, but I have my reasons for believing that. I’ve been a resident of Second Life since October 2006, during which time I’ve been able to harbour and nurture a certain degree of creativity and artistry that I haven’t had the resources to do in a real world environment, a lot of which has involved filming machinima movies. The virtual world environment is the ultimate movie set, and I’ve explored it with a virtual camera many times over. More importantly, I’ve met some incredibly inspiring and wonderful people and have made and maintained genuine friendships from all corners of the globe through it, something that I couldn’t do on Myspace, Facebook or Twitter.
I adore the steampunk aesthetic. To me, it represents a zenith of creativity. Whereas in a science-fiction genre like dieselpunk or cyberpunk you can get away with throwing a box of junk at the wall and saying “this is this” (OK, not that straightforwardk, but I’m paraphrasing), in steampunk there are certain boundaries - be they boundaries of the Victorian era or engineering limitations - and it’s seeing how designers and afficionados push those boundaries that I find amazing. I have a custom-made steampunk wedding ring box.
I got into (then) WWF wrestling in around 1997, just as the ‘Attitude Era’ was taking hold and loved watching this perverted soap opera with bizarre characters armed with delusions of self-importance and folding chairs lay into one another with glee each and every week. Nowadays it’s mostly terrible, let down flat generic characters, appalling short-term storylines, all of it fuelled by some sort of warped idea that fans don’t actually want to watch actual wrestling (we do) and would rather see badly executed comedy skits with borderline-racist sterotypes; but I still follow it, probably in the hope that there’ll be a revitalisation of the Attitude Era somewhere down the line, ready to smash me in the face with a folded chair.
Film & TV
My birthday is May 4th: in your face, Star Wars nerds! I win every time! And I was fortunate to be brought up by two wonderful parents who are as in touch with popular culture today as they ever were, upon whose favourite TV shows and videos I started developing a wealth of useless knowledge from. I’ve studied film, I’m a journalist, I’ve filmed things, edited things, written about things, loved things, hated things, have seen things which wrench at the heart strings and others which wrench at the gag reflex.
For the record, my favourite films are Blue Velvet, Brazil, Beetlejuice, Dave, Dark Days, Raiders of The Lost Ark, Aliens, Leon, The Blues Brothers, Life Of Brian, An American Werewolf In London, Rear Window, Oldboy and The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari, to name but a few. My favourite TV shows are Twin Peaks, Spaced, Curb Your Enthusiasm, CSI and The Muppet Show.
I like almost every type of music; that’s not to say I could listen to a whole Disturbed album, but I would imagine there’s at least one song in their catalogue that I could add as a favourite to my Spotify playlists. My interests range from Beethoven to Black Sabbath, to Fleetwood Mac to Fleet Foxes or 1980’s pop to 1990’s hardcore trance. Everyone needs a ‘specialist subject’ though, and I think mine is ambient electronica.
That said, I’ve been a massive fan of mash-ups for a good number of years and have managed to pick up dozens of amazing tracks by DJs who have gone onto bigger and better things since - Danger Mouse’s Grey Album springs to mind, as does the Dean Gray album - the best thing that Green Day have (n)ever done.
Vinyl Toy Art
I started out collecting Qee figurines a few years ago, and picked up a number of different models and designs over the years. it’s an expensive hobby and one that I don’t indulge in quite as much as I once did, but it’s a scene I still follow closely and enjoy watching. Hey, we even had a Kidrobot Mega Munny as our wedding guest book and customised Munny figures as wedding cake toppers!
Collecting comics was my first big hobby. As a kid, they were affordable, regular and inspiring. I haven’t bought very many lately, a few graphics novels here and there, but I do still love following the medium. I’ve been fortunate to have met a number of comic creators, artists and writers alike. I once spent a Monday evening around at Alan Moore’s house. He made me a coffee.