Climbing the Internet Ladder of Infamy

I read in a blogging book that the average blog lasts about three months, which makes this place a dinosaur. Or an antique, or vintage wine, depending on your world view. Part of me was loathe to make a post today because it felt self-aggrandising, but that’s kind of the point of a blog. I wasn’t sure what to discuss – the days when I could write ten lines and get a comment thread 20 posts long? The irony of how I’ve focused what I discuss and get less interest than when I rehashed MCR news with a mildly offensive image? Halloween?

Remember this? I try not to either.
Remember this? I try not to either.

I dunno. In the last few years and months I’ve looked at other blogs and it seems like most people who have been doing it for 18 months plus have bagged themselves a book deal and half a million Instagram followers, which is really hard to reconcile with my experience of blogging. I’ve never read a whole lot of blogs but there seems to be an ocean of people tapping away at keyboards with very little response unless they a) write shit about other people, b) take photos of themselves in vintage clothing for a style blog or c) have a life-changing story. I have no interest in pursuing any of those things, and I’ve lost sleep over how to engage people. Which is stupid, because I will probably continue to write this as long as I enjoy it, and my enjoyment should not be linked to the reaction I get.

It kind of is though, because I was fortunate enough to have a relatively large audience almost from the get-go. Well, from about 2010 upwards, which coincided with the release of Danger Days and my friends’ interest in both MCR and reading my writing instead of doing homework. Course, the end of MCR coincided with a lot of crap in my life – neither of which I really wanted to write about immediately – and a growing sense that Indifferent Ignorance should keep climbing the Internet ladder of infamy. My favourite part of every post has always been the comments; I aspired to be the sort of writer who could garner a dozen every article. Typically, as I began over-thinking posts and trying to get maximum reaction from as few lines as possible, readers started dropping off the radar. My biggest audience was always my friends and family, but while I was still passionate about MCR, bemoaning the tabloid press and never getting a desk job, they were more interested in school work and clubbing – neither of which ever held any lasting interest for me.

When I started The Six O’Clock News in a bid to reconcile exam prep and my hobbies, I felt like I was back at the roots of the site; indifferent ignorance is a pandemic that’s never more noticeable than the headlines. So I decided to hone posts, to go for quality not quantity, to ask questions as much as I paraded perceived indifferent ignorance – and of course I’d never stop writing entire blogs about my dogs or the latest updates from the Musicians Formerly Known As MCR. Despite everything, I still wasn’t getting anything near the interest I was a few years ago, and in the back of my mind there was a little voice saying ‘that was your heyday. Quit while you still have a reader or two and get a proper job’.

I should probably add that I’ve always considered ‘readers’ to be people who leave a comment every handful of posts. Anyone can sign up for updates; most people completely ignore every post from then onwards. Which is okay and your business, just don’t pretend you’re a super fan if you’re not. But that voice was still suggesting I cut my losses, and while finding a new example of indifferent ignorance every week is easy, writing 500+ words and sourcing pictures is not; especially when you’re a freelance writer  and every article which doesn’t get financially compensated is technically speaking a waste of time.

Still my favourite still of  mid-work mess. The piece I was working on, a 'Danger Days' fan fiction, never got finished.
Still my favourite still of mid-work mess. The piece I was working on, a ‘Danger Days’ fan fiction, was never finished.

So I’ve forgiven myself for not wanting to make a song and dance out of today. I’ve still got a few Five Ways to Celebrate Five Years of Blogging to finalise (they have deviated somewhat from mid-August’s planning, mostly due to a lack of funds) which I will hopefully have announced by the end of the year – and what’s a celebration if it isn’t several weeks long?

I have no idea where I will go from here. Indifferent Ignorance might not make ten years, and if it doesn’t that’s okay – I’m going to prioritise my health and peace of mind over a website even if it gets 10,000 independent readers a day. I might keep taking the piss out of the press; I might talk more about social issues or pay a designer for the sidebar I’ve always wanted. I’ll probably keep being disappointed when entire essays go unnoticed, but if I’d wanted to get loads of attention from people on the Internet, I’d have opened a Facebook account aged 13. I started this site with no agenda other than to carve out a platform on which I could say what I wanted, and I’m going to try to stick to that ethos. I’m grateful to everyone who is still reading, or who isn’t but used to, because it’s definitely more fun when there’s a conversation. But it’s okay if there’s not – and I’m delighted that it’s taken nearly a thousand words to say that… continuing as I mean to continue!

So have a good Halloween (or Friday, or both) and don’t accept any sweets from creeps. Unless you’re looking for a pathway to self-destruction, in which case don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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The Ten O’Clock News: Enduring Legacies and Other Less Pretentious Ideas

I realised over the course of this evening that today is fifty years since JFK’s assassination, fifty years since the first Doctor Who episode and three years since Danger Days was released.

I was first going to do a post about JFK and how he’s become an icon, then about JFK and Doctor Who and how they’ve both become – very different – icons, and then I remembered Danger Days and how that’s already legendary, but probably is so because I was there when it happened.

I mean, the Kennedys are like America’s royal family, and everyone knows the old “what happened in Dallas on 22nd November 1963? Don’t know, wasn’t watching it then” joke/quiz show answer. People know where they were when it happened and everyone has a theory about Lee Harvey Oswald, etc. etc. Stephen King’s written a book about stopping it, G Way wrote a comic about ensuring it – President Kennedy seems to have become an idea more than a person in many ways.

Doctor Who has kind of defined science fiction, British television and eccentric dress sense over the past five decades, and since the Internet has attracted as many, ah, enthusiasts as JFK. Everyone has an opinion on the writing, the acting, the regenerations, the best Doctor (David Tennant, for the record), the scariest ever villain (gas mask children or weeping angels, for the record). It’s always been there and hopefully will keep being there, because it’s excellent. I have no idea what’s going on about seventy per cent of each episode, but it’s fun, and funny, and one of the few things I’m proud is British. Plus the TARDIS is up there with Hermione’s beaded bag on my list of fictional things I’d like to play with. It’s a thing, you know, as opposed to a TV show.

Danger Days might be my favourite MCR record. It’s bright and loud and dirty and colourful, and the concept is so, so clever. Danger Days is a world which started with Art is the Weapon and has continued through the videos and shows into the comics. Well it technically started with a comic and evolved into a record and went from there… my point is, it’s tangible. It’s believable too, because we aren’t all that far from nuclear war or semi-permanent medication (I got a badge at the Freud Museum in the summer that says “In the future, art will be taken as pills”). The storylines in the comics are relevant today – I don’t want to give away spoilers, but Red and Blue’s situation is real, and so is that really irritating Party Poison-imitating dude whose name escapes me. The corporate clean-up’s in our faces.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my gushing about Danger Days is similar to what people are gushing about Doctor Who and JFK on other sites, today and over the past fifty years. For some people, JFK in terms of history and legacy and political meaning is what they’re passionate about. For some it’s Doctor Who. For me it’s MCR shit. Everyone has a thing, you know, and sometimes it’s hard to explain it to other people. But I think it’s important that we have them, and reflect upon them when the time is right.

What’s yours?!

Where would we be without DESTROYA, S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W or Planetary (GO!)? Well, our keyboards might be better off… Happy Birthday ‘Danger Days’!

Today is one year since Danger Days: the True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys was released. I’m still not sure if the ‘the’ should be capitalised… Normally the word after a colon isn’t, but I’m not sure if that affects titles. If this was a Tweet, I would add #GrammarNaziIssues.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite interviews, press releases, videos and general stuff rom the past year (some of which I will never, ever, get tired of posting):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring on the next year.

This One Isn’t a Five Minute Job, I Promise. There’s Links.

  I feel that it’s been far too long since I posted a blog with words in, not least words that require thought processes, so I thought I’d sit down and have a nice little chat with all you computer-people.

  How is lent coming, I hear you ask… To be honest, I’m a bit crap at it. I keep forgetting! In Berlin I hadn’t eaten a meal all day, so when we got to the hotel and someone offered me an Oreo I practically inhaled it. I also devoured a couple of Jaffa Cakes (sorry Rhiannon) but I don’t think they count as biscuits. I ate a chocolate biscuity caramel thing on Saturday… it was a Twix, basically, but not by Twix, so I just ate it without thinking.

  Twice.

  In other news, I made marmalade yesterday. Well, I say ‘I’ and ‘made’ using the terms loosely. Mum helped and we aren’t sure if it set or not, but I’d had enough of the pan overflowing every five minutes after an hour, so we decanted it. Except the amount of liquid seemed to have grown instead of evaporated away, so we ran out of jars pretty quick. I can’t post a photograph because my camera’s batteries went in Berlin and I can’t find the spare ones. So imagine this, times about twelve, in various containers:

  A few of you may have seen the new Planetary (GO!) video which came out yesterday. If you haven’t:

  A lot of people have been saying they’re disappointed by the lack of cinema, story, etc. This is stupid. My Chem are a band and last time I checked, bands play music. So enjoy the lights and dance! Speaking as someone who was at the Hammersmith Apollo when this song was debuted, the reaction to which was what made them release it as a single, the energy has been captured perfectly.

  While we’re on the subject of My Chem, MCRmy.com has been relaunched! Yay! Let’s all go play Killjoys and Draculoids with our masks on!

  Talking of relaunching… Is it just me, or does this look rather like the Indifferent Ignorance font? Just saying.

  Happy World Water Day.

One Chapter Ends and Another Begins… Or Maybe a Whole New Book.

  This week I posted my centenary blog and today it has been exactly one year since this. And this.

  I still remember how the pit of my stomach fell twenty floors when I read that… How could they do this to us? The MCRmy is a family and FAMILIES TELL EACH OTHER STUFF. I was so freaked out I think I punched a tree. I was so distracted by the thought of my favourite band ending before I’d even got to see them live that I forgot to be nervous for my first GCSE module. One year on, MCR have definitely not broken up. I have seen them live twice and, because everything comes full circle, had another module this morning.

  Looking back on it, I wasn’t just upset because Bob had left and they didn’t tell us (though that was part of their lives more directly than ours and they had – still have – the right to privacy). I was freaking out because I thought one of the only constants in my life was kaput. I’m pretty cynical when it comes to pretty much everything so I don’t trust an awful lot of people. I had put my trust in My Chem, and where the hell had it got me? A sore fist and some battered CDs.

  Since last March, the band has made a comeback that is, quite frankly, way cooler than Take That’s first show with Robbie in fifteen years. Their music has taken a slightly different direction, their hair colour has swapped ends of the spectrum and you are now expected to bring rayguns to shows. Danger Days has changed the way My Chemical Romance are portrayed, again.

 

 

  Thinking back to 23rd October and 12th February, two of the best days of my life because I got to see them live with some of the people who I love most in the world, I don’t think they would have happened if My Chem ended with Bob’s departure. We had to wait four years and deal with the fallout of the fourth-album-that-never-was-but-someday-could-be in order to get Danger Days. Looking at those pictures of the band over the last nine and-a-half years, some aspects of the band have never changed. Their determination to make art as different to their previous work as possible and their passion for what they do, for example.

  Which is why I’m making an effort to tell you this exactly one year on: sometimes you have to be patient and ride out the storm. Sometimes something you think will last forever will kind of crash and burn while you watch. Sometimes, when you look back, that’s the best thing that could possibly have happened. In retrospect, I could have said things or treated people differently over the last twelve months and then maybe some of the stuff I’ve had to deal with wouldn’t have been so difficult… I will bet my My-Chem-commemorating ring you could have too.

  But hey. Sit something out and perhaps it’ll turn into the most brilliant thing that’s ever happened.

Contaminated: London (for the second time)

There are some events which never get old, no matter how many times you experience them. For example, you’re sitting with your cousins in Wembley Arena, laughing at different outfits people have turned up in and doing a Mexican Wave with 10,000 other people.

The crowd starts to get restless after the fifth wave, and is only briefly distracted by the YMCA and Macerena, all of which were instigated by three very crazy but brave girls sitting at the back of the pit. Everyone has had enough of looking at Killjoys’ outfits and cheering every time a band member’s photo crops up on the PowerPoint screen… They want the band they paid to see.

The lights go out. For a split second, everything is silent. Then the screaming starts. Quietly at first – a gentle hum. As Look Alive, Sunshine fills the stadium, people get out of their seats and turn to face the stage.  As Na Na Na starts, the hum has turned into – oh, just watch:

That isn’t my recording, but we were on that side of the arena – just a bit further up and closer to the stage.

Last night was my second time seeing My Chemical Romance live (read about the first here) and the second the lights go out will always be my favourite part of the show. My favourite part of any show, in fact. That heart-stopping moment when you and thousands of other people can’t quite believe if This Is It.

I’m not going to talk about the actual performance… Too many other people will do it for me. Kerrang! will discuss Gerard’s messy haircut, Mikey’s brief bass change when he broke a string and his version of an ‘I ❤ UK’ t-shirt. Fans will go on forums and point out Mohawk Girl, who made a brief appearance at the Hammersmith Apollo show last year. People will ask, “What did Gerard put on before Teenagers?” and someone’ll reply, “This girl’s jacket which she had just bought.” “Did she get it back?”

Would you want a jacket Gerard Way had sweated all over?

There will be discussion over songs – personally I wanted to see Bulletproof Heart and another rendition of Prison – but there will be acclaim for the encore track, Vampires Will Never Hurt You… I’d place money on jokes about the whole of Wembley Arena simultaneously orgasming during DESTROYA.

For the benefit of my fellow Killjoys, Toxic Waste (Isobel) and Radioactive Raccoon (Ellen) – and my long-suffering dad, who filmed almost every song, here are the videos from my camera. The bad singing is almost entirely mine. Unless it was 9,999 other people or Gerard.

Check out pictures on my new shiny Photobucket page.

NME Awards 2011

  I told myself I wouldn’t do any more My Chem only related blogs for all my readers who aren’t into My Chem.

  But since there’s probably only one of you, what the hell.

  So, without further ado: VOTE FOR MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE AT THE NME AWARDS OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND STEAL YOUR PETS. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE GET NME BACK FOR THE BITCHY COMMENTS THEY MADE IN NOVEMBER!

 The band is up for the following awards, click their picture to vote:

  If you want to vote for anyone in any of the other categories, start at the beginning of the voting and work your way through. You’re supposed to vote for one category to get through to the next, but I changed the last number of the URL and got the next page… I didn’t want to vote for who was more stylish or had the best blog. Because we all know who should win that (hint, hint, Blogger’s Choice Awards are now open for nominations. I would be proud to receive Most Obnoxious Blogger).

  This is what you’ll be voting for:

The Box vs. My Chemical Romance.

Spread the word. Pay your siblings to stay up all night clicking. VOTE.

Introducing Agent S.

  I made her this afternoon after we got let out of school early because it started to snow. Honestly, this country has lost all its backbone since the war… But enough about the weather; meet Agent S., the newest Killjoy to grace my back garden and fight in a zone:

 

                                                           

                                                                   

  After I had frozen most appendages rolling snow, I made cakes with Danger Days playing, helping me keep beat as I battled with sugar. Apart from discovering the flour ran out in August, nothing too bad happened. Well, my plan for blood-red icing got foiled because the food colouring expired in May. And the sprinkles exploded onto the counter so I couldn’t use many of them. But nothing else.