Tuesday, January 25, 2022

making a spectacle of myself

A couple of things that came up recently over in the Twitterverse which perhaps warrant mentioning at slightly greater length here: firstly I was bimbling about on Twitter, as you do, probably while waiting for some pasta to cook or something, and saw this slightly niche tweet about legendary post-punk slash new-wave bassist Derek Forbes, most famously associated with early pre-enormodome-era Simple Minds in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Permit me a rambling anecdote before we get to the point: my old university flatmate Simon (mentioned tangentially here) was a huge fan of various 1980s bands, most notably Adam and the Ants, U2 and Simple Minds. I mean, this was around 1990 so these allegiances were not especially unusual (well, Adam and the Ants was a bit niche after about 1982), and I myself had a copy of The Joshua Tree, as did just about everyone else in the world. Simon was a big Simple Minds buff though and did the thing that everyone does when they like a band who took a while to really break through: tell everyone that they really prefer the early stuff before they got famous. With the benefit of 30-odd years of hindsight I have to concede that he was probably right, though: the later stuff still strikes me as emptily bombastic stadium rock nonsense (I suppose All The Things She Said has a bit of drive to it, although the video is a hideous mid-80s eyesore) but some of the earlier stuff is a bit more interesting. I have got into a bit of late-70s/early-80s post-punk lately like Wire, Magazine and Gang Of Four, and things like In Trance As Mission in particular are somewhat similar. That song features a distinctive bass intro (played by Forbes) which could have qualified it for the list here if anyone had suggested it at the time. Idiots!

Anyway, Forbes drags me back to the point, which is that I absent-mindedly trawled around some other tweets from the same account and pretty soon came across this one, which gave me a bit of a start:
Just to make it clear, that is a photograph of me, aged probably about 2, and therefore from around 1972. After a brief period of reeling in surprise and spluttering WHAT WITCHCRAFT IS THIS it occurred to me that I had published that very same photo on the public internet back in 2013 as part of this blog post. That made it available to Google image crawlers, and hey presto, a search for "NHS glasses" or similar now leads you to this page featuring a different photograph of me as the header image (commendably my original post is properly credited at the bottom of the page), and also (if you scroll a bit further down the image results) the absolutely legendary primitive-1970s-lazy-eye-remediation photo above.

Anyway, no criticism intended, and Lord knows I am extremely cavalier about properly attributing images that I hoick off an image search for this blog, so glass houses, stones, etc. This slots nicely into second place in terms of Google search results infiltration by this blog, behind my continuing domination of the results for "joanna lumley plastic anus", thanks largely to this original post and the couple of times I've mentioned it here since. 

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