Be Honourable!

In July I was one of a about six or seven artists approached by Josie Long to create a t-shirt design for her Edinburgh show Be Honourable!. I know she liked it, but like everyone else in the project I haven’t actually heard from her since sadly it didn’t quite work out as a screenprint-friendly design.

Not to matter. I’m publishing a slightly different version here under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Go and make a t-shirt for yourself.

Creative Commons Licence
Be Honourable! by Matthew Sheret is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at matthewsheret.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://matthewsheret.com.

Farewell Ellerbisms

Sad, but not unsurprising news over at Marc Ellerby’s Ellerbisms, but like today’s ‘Stuff No One Told Me’ says; “Sometimes quitting is the bravest decision”.

I’m being glib to join up dots – Marc isn’t quitting. He’s putting to bed one of the most consistently entertaining, heartbreaking and heartwarming webcomics of the last five years. There are a wave of creators like himself and Adam who are or will be wrapping up these diaries and long term projects, moving on with a whole book of lessons learned in public, which is a very very brave thing to do.

Ongoing projects are really hard. The sense of perspective and success is so endlessly changeable, with no barometer for measurement beyond your own interest in the project. The fact that any of these things get beyond two months is an unbelievable success, the idea of them continuing as long as three years simply staggering.

I could thump Marc for depriving me of one of my high points in the internet week. I probably will, current events notwithstanding. But I’m really really excited to see what he comes up with next. In the meantime lets enjoy these last couple of months, before Ellerbisms wraps up.

Well done 6music

Congratulations 6music.

You know, my feelings on 6music and broadcast radio generally are very mixed, but 6′s attitude and response to the last few months of uncertainty has really converted me. It helps that Mark, my longest serving friend, has been freelancing there for six months. The insight he’s offered into life in the national entertainment service has made me respect a lot of his industry an awful lot more.

6 has taken this opportunity, this threat, to really make itself an integral part of a lot of listeners lives, mine included. I hope it keeps doing that, so I can keep listening.

New Doctor/New Decade

I’ve been on hold a lot this morning. one of the perils that comes with moving house. That’s okay – it’s some of what you sign up for – but it’s distracting. It breaks solid concentration on projects, links, work… the whole deal. In the meantime I’ve been poking at my current favourite reference point/metaphorical stand-in in one of my little notebooks: What can I tilt around the new Doctor?

In my wrap-up of pop in the 00′s for Global Comment I pointed at The Doctor as a perfect reference point around which the regeneration of pop stars took place. We saw Damon Albarn’s infinite guises match moves with Kylie’s, while the out-of-history perfection of Lady Gaga existed as strange visitor, subtly controlling all. It’s still early, and the shadows of those figures still loom hard over music (two were Glastonbury headliners the weekend just gone while the other stomps all over the Last.fm charts still) in much the same way that Tenant looms over Smith. But there are cracks in the dominance of that: Matt Smith on stage with Orbital, Glee’s popularity, Scott Pilgrim’s totally awesome forthcoming world-dominance. It’s all a bit twee, a bit charming, a bit big. A bit bright, definitely that.

Other notes: The 11th Doctor loves fairy tales, and in the last century they’ve become softer, happier things. He likes stories, believes in the power of them, and of shared, collective things. And he’s got faith in himself too, confidence occasionally bordering on swaggering – that’s pretty inspiring. The more often I jam different facets of popular culture together – for work or for fun or for both – the more important I feel those qualities are to talk about.

I probably will. But not just yet.

Almost anonymous

A quick trip to the bookartbookshop this week led to a new zine purchase, fabulously titled So, you are one of those popular boys that loves to play with bookish girls. The content is in three parts, written in English, French and Spanish (I think it’s Spanish), littered with faded reprints of photographs and YouTube screengrabs. It’s the look of the thing, the object-ness, that led to me picking it up, printed as it is on the kind of paper that feels like it’s going to degrade, leaving only a cover behind.

The English segment is an odd read, a dialogue between two – well, ‘lovers’ seems to be pushing it… ‘fuckers’ perhaps? – that’s clearly been translated, but carefully enough that it feels broken only infrequently, faltering by design. I’ve got no idea what the other bits say, and I don’t mind either because there’s so much about this object I’ll never know, so finishing the content feels like a betrayal of all the other mysteries.

I bought it without context, I’ve no idea if it’s part of a collective effort, I’ve no idea who the authors are, I’ve no idea how to find them… all of that stuff is willfully obscured. I find that absolutely appealing and completely ugly at the same time.

I still get people finding my blog on Google after searching for information about the Los Campesinos! tour ‘zine ‘Because We Cannot Lie All Night Together’. So far as I can tell I’m the only person who blogged about my contribution. Every other contributor entered into the process open to being obscured. I can understand why because of the content, but as someone wanting to find more by these creators it’s deeply frustrating. Gareth never let me know who the others were. There are, I guess, maybe half a dozen people who do know. It feels strange to be in that position, the only one breaking cover.

I like that I can be found. I like the idea that I can be in a position to take the flak for things I put out there. I might not respond to it, but I can hear it. It remind me of a conversation I had with Kieron back when he lived in Bath, where a very passionate (very drunk) Matt said that people really had to do that, that even people writing under pseudonyms should have a fidelity, should respond in that context. Of course it’s complicated, sometimes, but I probably still believe something like that.