Blog: The Assassination of Pop Culture
BY KYLIE KLEIN NIXON
One day back in 1988 or there abouts I skipped school in favour of endless hours of daytime telly and prancing about in my PJ's singing Duran Duran into a hairbrush. So much, so Ferris Bueller. But little did I know the decision to skive would change my life forever.
It was all down to TV One which, in those days, was a hotbead of indie music-adoring whimsy. I will always thank them for slotting that random episode of UK youth music show The Tube in between Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara because, amid the inane bumblings of Jools Holland and whoever else was high enough to co-host that 80s nightmare, I fell in love with a band.
There was a short guy with flippy dark hair and silly dark glasses playing a Les Paul almost as big as he was on my TV. 'Huh,' I thought to myself. Next to him was a tall, lanky chap with a boss jaw and hair of a height I had not until then known hair could attain. 'Huh, huh,' I thought, and blinked at the screen.
As he of the mighty hair flounced his way, hips first, across the stage, warbling like someone had him by the throat about a girl called Sheila, I was ensourcelled. I'd just turned into the kind of teenager who loves The Smiths.
KYLIE KLEIN NIXON
Hobbit hysteria has hit my home town like a tonne of trolls. A tonne of very excited, handsomely dressed, high-heel teetering trolls - in Tamsin Cooper couture and Armani suits.
What I mean is, Wellington is throwing an out-of-this-world party and everyone is invited! The world premiere of The Hobbit is on Wednesday and Wellington is embracing the fantasy, clutching it to her hilly breast and giving it an unrelenting troll-hug.
There are hobbitses everywhere, and dwarves too. And beings of indeterminate species. And film makers and incredibly good looking movie stars, and fans thirty deep at barriers, and bars with drinks named after elven queens, and basically, Wellington has gone insane.
The Hobbit, an unassuming, strange, old fashioned little children's book, is full of charm and stiff-upper-lipped warmth which pretty much struck the mould for fantasy fiction. (Where do you think J K Rowling's haughty story-teller voice came from for the Harry Potter books?) Combined with Director Peter Jackson's unerring eye for elegant and homely design it makes for pretty pleasing pre-premiere decoration round these parts.
Every day there's some new visual treasure in the capital to remind you that Wellington in now the Middle of Middle-earth, she's exchanged her sturdy grey wool suit for a pair of kelly-green leggings and scarlet tunic. In short, Lady Capital has donned the bright spun kirtle of celebration.
KYLIE KLEIN NIXON
Crafts, once the domain of Nana and other blue rinsed dames of her ilk, has had something of a hipster/geekster boost in recent years.
From stitch-and-bitch sessions to pub knitting circles (no, really), ye olde tradition of making stuff is not just what you do when no one wants to hang round with you becuase you smell like lavender soap and moth balls.
It's hip, it's cool and, to be honest, if you're as cheap like me, it's a really inexpensive way to get your Christmas list in some resemblance of order while still foisting your passions on your friends and family. Win-win, friends!
It may seem a little early to get in on the Chrismakkah (That's a combination Christmas and Hanukkah. I'm totes inclusive, doncha know) thing, but if you're going to make stuff to give folks, you'll need the extra time.
KYLIE KLEIN NIXON
If you could tell any story, what would it be? And how much of your life would you give up to tell it?
These are the questions thousands of people the world over are asking themselves this month as another round of NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writers Month - kicks off.
During the 30 days of November we NaNoers will try to write a novel - flat out, no editing, no angst; just us and our lap tops, blatting down almost 2000 words a day.
We'll write in our lunch breaks, on the train home, after the kids have gone to bed or the flatmate's turned off the telly.
We'll write anywhere, anyway; squeezing those words out of ourselves like blood from the proverbial.
BY KYLIE KLEIN NIXON
Halloween is that special time of year when we get to throw off our day-to-day personae and adopt masks of mayhem and terror in the pursuit of the natural fodder of the chaos hungry - junk food.
This is a new thing for us Kiwigians - a thing we've learned from American TV shows and films and the bargain bins of the Warehouse in the dying days of October.
Some of the greatest moments of pop culture history have included references to this weirdest of holidays: In cinema E.T., Donnie Darko and horror masterpiece Halloween (kind of obviously) all revolve around this turn of the mystical year.
TV shows in the US can't go a season without the Halloween special either - weekly horror extravaganza Supernatural is particularly deft with them, and The Simpsons' Halloween episodes are legendary. In the world of rock, My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero celebrates his birthday on October 31st, making it a practically High Holy day for my little emo brothers and sisters.
But do we Kiwis need to celebrate it?
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