Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tunesday: History Repeating by Propellerheads ft. Miss Shirley Bassey

Without knowing it, I've loved Shirley Bassey for years. Her powerful voice, her over-the-top dramatic delivery... it's everything I've wanted to be but not been able to express!

If you don't know who Shirley Bassey is, start singing the song "Goldfinger" in your head... yup, that's her.

So throw on a sequined gown and a plump feather boa, elbow-length gloves if you've got 'em, and allow Dame Shirley to envelop you in a fantasy of luxury, stardom, and vocal power, darling. Or, if you prefer, add a glint to your eye and become the sophisticated, criminal mastermind you've always dreamed of being... or globetrotting super spy.... if only for a moment.

If you want the glamorous party to continue, I highly recommend some of her other hits:

As a little bonus, here's my favourite television nerdy brothers, Niles and Fraser Crane being coerced into singing Goldfinger in an empty bar.

What do you think? Was this week's Tunesday a hit or a miss?
Would you rather be a James Bond or a high ranking, sleek criminal mastermind? If you were James Bond, where would your movie take place?

(If you want the villain/bond theme music to continue, check out my other post about Miike Snow's Genghis Khan music video. Not only does it contain diabolical scheming, it comes with a sweet twist and some pretty amazing dance moves)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Three reasons why Minimalists fascinate me

I can't stop watching videos and reading blogs about minimalism:

1. Because of their look book perfect aesthetic.

Whenever I see someone who has that black and white and grey minimalist aesthetic, I envy them because .... damn, they always look good! Aesthetically, if they are a minimalist that follows a minimalist aesthetic (not all do, I fully understand this), they really can't go wrong. Black and white can be casual, it can be professional, it can be sloppy, it can be neat ... and best of all, all of your items will always go with each other! Black and white go together. White and white go together. Black and black go together... it always wins! Your home decor and your closet will always look on point because everything matches, everything is following a theme... People are going to think you live in a lookbook, because everything feels so put together. They are all going to envy you, be inspired by you, and hate you all at the same time.

I personally am torn. I know how much personal enjoyment a house and a wardrobe that look good can be... but I just love colour and pattern so much! I would be so sad if I couldn't wear yellow ever again, or pick up a shirt with a funky pattern on it. At this point in my life, the minimalist black and white aesthetic is not where I'm at... but that may change, and if it doesn't, I know I am going to look fantastic.

2. Because I envy their freedom.

I find that there is nothing that makes me feel like the fattest, biggest, lump of lard than moving house and watching other people haul my belongings around. The idea that you can pack up your belongings into a backpack and just go feels so freeing to me.

When starting their minimalist journey, Minimalists ask themselves "Do I need this?" "If I let this go, can a replace it if I decide I need it?" While I acknowledge that minimalism is a mindset coming from a privileged western position... I also acknowledge that I grew up in, and am still currently in a position of western privilege. I have the luxury of being able to go to the store and replace anything that breaks pretty easily.

I've been asking myself "when was the last time I used this?" "does it spark joy to own it?" If the answer is "I can't remember when I used it last" and "No, It does not spark joy, " I toss it. I have purged quite a lot using this method.

There is something so lightening and freeing about opening a closet or a cupboard and it not being crammed full of stuff. My boyfriend and I downsized our bedroom, moving into the second bedroom, so that we could turn the master bedroom into a study/gym/studio and fully take advantage of the extra space. It quickly became our overflow, junk room and I hate it. I can feel it when I try to work in there. I'm working on fixing this, reorganizing and donating things slowly.

Most of my "toe-dipping" into minimalism has been in this sphere. Thanks to Marie Kondo and her Konmari method I have really cut down my wardrobe to only the pieces I know I will wear. Gone are the frumpy sweaters that I have hung on to because they were gifts. Gone are the shorts that I vow to fit back into one day.

3. Because I admire their "against the grain" attitude.

This is something I'm coming to terms with owning myself; My boyfriend and I became vegan almost two months ago. Sometimes, even though there is no reason to feel ashamed, being vegan can feel like your "dirty little secret". It's a statement and a lifestyle that a lot of people have an opinion about.

From my limited experience "coming out" as a vegan, I have been met with questions and defensiveness. People want to know why I don't eat meat. It seems such a silly question to me, because if you stopped and thought for a microsecond about what needs to happen in order for you to eat meat and animal products, I think you'd have a hard time eating meat, eggs, dairy or honey again too.

The point I'm trying to make is that I feel that Minimalists are like vegans, but instead of animal products, they abstain from consumer products. Just like vegans, the reason why minimalists become minimalist has many layers: ethical (don't want to support factory labour), environmental (don't want to support the depletion of natural resources or contribute to unnecessary waste), emotional (people feel better, less tied down, when they have fewer possessions, and/or their belongings were infused with negative emotional baggage).

Whatever the reason that inspired the lifestyle, you cannot deny that the philosophy of minimalism goes against a lot of what we stand for, here in the west. And anyone who has the nerve and analytical intelligence to observe the world they live in, come to a personal conclusion about it, and act on that new informed mindset deserves much kudos.

And so, to all the minimalists out there, bravo. I am in awe. You inspire me daily.