We got five years, my brain hurts a lot

Today is the fifth anniversary of the very first post on this blog. To mark this auspicious occasion I had been thinking of collecting our best 100 pieces into an ebook, but then I realised that that might be just a little narcissistic, even for me, so I’ve settled for compiling a (slightly) shorter list of the posts I’ve been most pleased with over the years. They’re in chronological order, to show the development of our style, such as it is. Most are from 2009-2010, which was really our golden age, but every year has had some highlights.

Actually, what’s been my favourite part of writing this blog has been working in all the references to music I like; here’s another one.

2007

Virtual intimacy
This ain’t the Mudd Club
Attack of the Mutant Space Zombies
On the Game Grid
Working for the Linden Dollar
The thousand natural shocks
Elf actualisation

2008

Conduit (not) for sale
Diane …
Reptilia
A foreign country
Bunny worship
Uncertain principles

2009

Modern Romance
The best laid schemes
Nietzsche work if you can get it
Cargo cult consciousness
Greenies may have invaded some time ago, we hear
Et in Arcadia ego
Less than zero
Plunging Necklines
Live from East 3rd Street
Twilight of the Replicants
Ferrisburg, Vermont
Do boys make passes at avatars with glasses?
No man is an island
Flogging a dead zombie
Twixt and between
The killer awoke before dawn
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Second Life
Why we hate and fear the BBC
On being kind not cruel
Liberté, Egalité, Virtualité
Virtual Bakumatsu

2010

You say you want a revolution
Two Galleries
O Superman
The Kid With The Replaceable Head
The Linden Principle
Прощай Woodbury
Digital Death Day
That gum you like is going to come back in style
From Off the Streets of Cleveland
Bastille Day 1989
On the unreliability of memory
Virtual alchemy
Upon the dismal shore of Acheron
Anatomy of a scandal
The rest is silence
The Revolution Will Not Be Twitterised
Cut Away
Red Ties
Reoccurring Dreams
That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

2011

The Social Network
The wrong move at the right time
The Great Gonzo
The Leopard
The Solution
Spaced Out
Do You Believe in Rapture?
The Physical Impossibility of Running an Art Gallery in Second Life
Subdivisions

2012

Planned obsolescence
I’d work very hard, but I’m lazy

All Stars

My new Chucks arrived in the post this weekend, marking, for me at least, the official beginning of the summer.

I’ve spent the summer months wearing the same style of sneakers – unimaginatively paired with skinny jeans and a t-shirt – for upwards of two decades now, but it’s only relatively recently that I started treating myself to a new pair every year. This isn’t because they’re wearing out any quicker – in fact I’m sure the build quality has improved since they started making them in China – but rather due to an age-related decline in my willingness to walk around in beat-up old shoes. Shiny new ones don’t look too cool either though, so I guess I’ll have to spend the next few days splashing through mud to obtain just the right degree of shabbiness.

Austerity check

This could turn out to be an interesting week in European politics, with local elections today here in the UK, and Presidential and Parliamentary polls in France and Greece respectively on Sunday.

In all three cases it’s looking likely that candidates opposing (to a greater or lesser degree) the programmes of austerity imposed by the incumbents will do well.

This probably won’t have much effect in the UK, since the Conservatives will still be in power on a national level, though a heavy defeat might add to the general air of crisis surrounding the Government, and prompt them to at least partially reverse some of their more unpopular cuts.

The result in France could be much more significant; a victory for Francois Hollande will not only lead to a change in domestic economic policy, but will also deprive Angela Merkel of her principal conservative ally in the EU, making it much harder for the Germans to wave the big stick of fiscal discipline at the struggling governments of Southern Europe.

Which brings us to Greece. Theoretically the incoming government, of whatever political persuasion, is already committed to honouring the terms of the EU bailout, but it’s hard to see how that will be democratically sustainable if the popular vote favours parties opposed to that deal.

In the short term I think we’ll have another period of crisis in the Eurozone, the long term impact of which is difficult to predict. There are signs that popular discontent with austerity is fuelling a resurgence on the left, but the far right is on the rise too. Interesting times indeed.