Sunday, 14 November 2010

Why do we do it!?

There are a plethora of vintage blogs out there on the information boulevard. The ones I enjoy,and this includes not just vintage blogs are those where the author’s character shines through the text. Effectively the best blogs are diaries, I really don’t like the PR/Sales pages masquerading as blogs. You can see through them in a nanosecond and it is disappointing how many of these faux blogs get recognition, especially when you can see the PR  media rewarding it’s own and thinking the idiot public don’t cotton on. That’s why it is nice to see sites such as Diary of a Vintage Girl, Retro Chick and Katie Chutzpah  , because behind everyone of them is a distinct personality. If blogs are essentially egotistical you want the egos behind them to be interesting. I’m happy with commercial bloggers if they are supporting some kind of customer community or rewarding loyal interest, it is just those tedious ‘this is really great!’ (I’m not flogging it, really I’m not) sites that peeve me. The only one’s that peeve me more are those ‘pictures of people on the streets looking kool’ ones. Sheesh!

Community blogs are good too, my favourite is Retro to Go, trawling through the retail world looking for cool things so I don’t have to. I get the impression that the bods behind this know what they are talking about unlike some. I would also like to say that I like the very occasional blogger as much as the prolific one, one interesting post in two months is great.  I do sometimes wonder if the cartoon below applies to me!  For some follower numbers are a competitive thing. I am surprised and grateful any one follows this blog (thank you!) but would probably persevere even if only 20 people bothered although I appreciate it and wish I had more time to communicate with people who make contact in this way. I write to feel in some small spare moments, and I type quickly so for me this is a time-filler as much as anything else.
Where is this blog coming from though? It is not technically ‘vintage’ in the popular sense. I am not part of the new retro scene, it appeared like a magic beanstalk when I was abroad. Before going and in the eighties I knew the same group of  people; re-enactors, jive fans, rockabillies, Goths and the willfully eccentric who now get pigeonholed generally in this nebulous amorphous vintage thing. Some are annoyed by this and you can see it in the anti-burlesque feeling that seems to be circulating.

I’d like to say I am coming at it from the grumpy forty-something Londoner on the loose direction and cannot make any claims to charm, particular erudition or style. I do however know the bits of the city I know very well. This can be a source of annoyance, if only to myself. It is nice when people discover things and share them, but not when they rave they have discovered somewhere that has been known to Londoners forever. It isn’t intentional, it’s the way journalism tends to be now: new, new, new.  I like the old, old, old. Boring farts like me remember how much Francis Bacon smelt, , that Norman in the Coach could sometimes be quite nice and which stool in which pub a famous serial killer used to favour.  People like me must  sometimes be tedious, the 'yawn, been there, did it before you and did it better' brigade.  But to be fair you natural get really irked to read some fellow blogger describing a wonderful 'vintage' place that you personally know has been utterly ruined, in a recent refurb or listing a useless list of ‘vintage’ events and suggesting even crappier shops.  Of course it is all relative, my shit is someone else’s treasure. But still you want to twat them sometimes, but don’t  verbally or otherwise because there is really no excuse for rudeness and an opinion is an opinion. But nontheless...grrrr!
What Redlegs aspires to...
Mind you I am old fashioned and like nice chatty friendly people, anywhere, dressed in any way and anyone like that will get a Redlegs thumbs up even if they are all wearing Abercrombie and Fitch. But I like places, restaurants and bars with character and pfizz. They don’t need to be clean or glamorous. I like old baggishness in men and women (a state of mind rather than an age) and a touch of bad behaviour. I just hope to connect with this kind of person. My aversion is to shiny young unquestioning minds (not peeps) perhaps because I used to be a teacher and hated dealing with that kind of child. I preferred the ones who made fart noises and giggled. That probably sums up my approach to life: live it with fart noises and giggles, and if possible nice shoesies, a bottle of rum and an accommodating person on your arm.
More often he reality...
I’d like to know what motivates other bloggers to blurb on blogs? Is it wanting to meet people, a time-filler, to help their business or to hone their writing skills? Why do people read blogs? I am nosy.. I want to know!


Bruce Partington-Plans said...

I only started blogging because you started telling us Chaps about your blog. So in my case it's YOUR fault! ;-p

Seriously though, I originally started my blog as a time-filler and compared to the FaceSpace nonsense it seemed the lesser of two evils. I intended it to be a bit of light relief for my own benefit as much as anyone else's - all the bad news stories in the world were depressing me and I fancied an antidote - and to begin with there wasn't even a vintage theme, I just blogged stuff that made me laugh. Over the course of a few months I started gravitating more and more towards vintage news and now I concentrate on that. In my more positive moments I see it as a sort of public service, weeding out interesting and oft-overlooked retro-inspired articles. If nothing else it's stopped me from drowning in a sea of newspaper cuttings like some cranky old man!

As an added bonus, in the year since I started my blog I've discovered a whole host of wonderfully like-minded people and goings-on that I might never have come across if I hadn't begun blogging. Plus I really do believe it has kept my writing skills up, if not actually improved them.

So those are my reasons - sorry for waffling on so! I should really thank you for inspiring me to start my own blog. Much obliged!

RedlegsinSoho said... that has probably made my Sunday!
Minn x

Unknown said...

I love this post. Lady, you are a genius for using the line, "But still you want to twat them sometimes..." Haha!

I blogged as I was bored, I know my fashion stuff, I'm opionionated and I am heartlessly sick of seeing idiots and affected wannabees talking complete rubbish with no sense of fashion or fragrance perspective. Phew! *old baggishness definitely served*. Cheers for the lovely mention, Minna. K x

Yesterday Girl said...

Hmmm, I suppose I started blogging because I like a good chat, and in a way it becomes a conversation between yourself and other like minded folk that you meet online. I love the fact that so many of the lovely pals I have, I have met through mine or their blogs. And, as my most recent post demonstrates, it's an outlet for me to moan/whinge.x

Retro Model Sari said...

I love to blog because I allways enjoyed writing. When I was 10 I wrote a book and sent it to publishing houses. This did not work out, but I still enjoy writing 19 years later. I enjoy to share and I feel like opening up to the world when blogging. You know, there are many people that you see on their photos and they seem distant and you can´t imagine them beeing real living people. I want to avoid that. I rather wanna be that pin up girl that you feel like knowing. The blogs that I care to read usually feature topics and things that I enjoy myself, so I like to hear others point of view, look at nice photos or just hear what the people that I find interesting are up to. I LOVE blogging and blogs!!!

Lisa said...

Hmmm, I've been pondering this. I think I do it because I'm a terrible attention seeker and any avenue where I can get comments and compliments is worthwhile me following up! Sadly I am one of those people who keeps track pof their follwer numbers and looks at their stats every day. They aren't that high yet but seeing them build gives me a little rush. Such an egotist. Oh, and also I hope I'll start getting free stuff one day. I want free stuff.

Lisa said...

Also, sadly, my spelling ability has been impaired by last nights overindulgence.

Mim said...

I'm not sure if my blog has much personality, but it's definitely not a sales blog - it doesn't even have adverts on it. I had originally wanted to put retro-styled embroidery and knitting patterns I'd designed on my blog, as well as all the other stuff that interests me, but owing to a quirk of my employment anything in that line that I do belongs to work. I decided to start it anyway, but the patterns have stayed in my head and I've stuck to talking about other stuff I like in the hopes that other people will like it too.

I've deliberately steered clear of much personal stuff - I'm quite reclusive, so it'd get updated about three times a year if I only talked about going out, and people like Fleur de Guerre, Retro Chick and yourself are far better at social blogs than I could ever be, whereas I am quite nerdy about film, books and suchlike.

I especially like your restaurant reviews and observations of London. London fascinates and terrifies me - only in my 30s have I learned not to feel overwhelmed by it. Amazing place.

Straight Talking Mama! said...

I agree wholeheartedly, I love blogs with personality I like to 'get to know' someone. I also agree that PR/Sales blogs suck, I originally started one for my company but it's not within me as a person to continually go, oooh look what I'm selling, I would find it boring so I thought others would so I stopped, pretty sharpish, I think I only did 3 posts, it's was soooo boring, even though I like what I do.

Anyway I have no idea why I do my blog really, I like sharing what I do, have bought, or I like with other online friends, I've met some great people through blogging which as a fellow 40 something I find incredible in a way, how can you genuinely make friends online, well you can!

Great post by the way, I like your blog because I think your personality shines through, hope to meet you at the Rhythm Riot!

LandGirl1980 said...

I guess I started to blog because I was reading so many and thought I would join in. It has proved to be exactly what I thought it would be - a burgeoning on line community with lots of lovely people who have more than adverts to show me. Like you, I like the "diary" aspect of most blogs and being a diarist myself for the past.. well.. *ahem* 20 years I guess it is a continuation of that. With pictures. And rants. I also love other peoples finds and their vintage/vintage inspired outfits.

When I first started to dress in the way I now do, I felt like an outcast. I found a whole bunch of virtual chums who shared my interest in things long past and dressing as such. And I pleased that I found them.

Top notch post :)

Penny Dreadful Vintage said...

I started blogging because I was setting up a vintage store and wanted a blog to go with it so I could talke about what I was doing. I didn't really think about it much, and after a bit of a false start not really knowing what I even wanted to write about, now I love it. I love finding cool little things and being able to pass them on, and having a group of blog 'friends' with ongoing comment conversations, and the fact that sometimes I manage to make people laugh. It has been a surprise to me how much I have loved this blogging lark, I never expected that I would even be any good at it so I am ecstatic that people seem to like reading what I put out.

Very much agree with you on the commercial blogs, the ones I like best are always people with heart and personality.

Retro Chick said...

Oooh, I see my name in your blog and I'm all a fluster :D

I started blogging for completely different reasons than I blog now. I think my blog was rubbish when it started! Shh, don't tell anyone!

I also love reading blogs with a real person behind them, I love making friends online and finding out about people.

I like to use my blog to share stuff I get excited about, whether it's shops, parties, outfits I wear, outfits other people wear or stuff I see in shops, whether I can actually afford it or not! (P.S. If I ever "discover" something you've known about for years then I do apologise, I don't live in London ;o) !)

Oh, and I'm also a massive fan of Old Baggishness. I like people who get drunk, fall over and say things they regret. Elegance and sophistication is far over rated!

Unknown said...

I started my blog, because I had always wanted a blog. I'm not entirely sure, i think it was probably to see if anyone would actually give a rats arse about my life, then i discovered vintage and i actually had something to blog *about*.

It was pretty well timed, as i decided to base my blog on how my vintage style type thing has evolved (?). It's nice to look back and see how shit my first posts were, and how much better dressed i am now!

Pancake xx

Unknown said...

Just got round to reading this Minn - fab post. I started my blog just for the craic - didn't know of anyone who had one except my pal Alex... Now there are tons of amazing ones by people I actually know. It's great! X

Lavender and Twill said...

I think I started blogging just for the fun of writing... I love recording what's going on around me, and if other people want to share that, it's all great, if not I'll keep doing it anyway! ^__^

bonita of Depict This!

Louise LeMans said...

First, terrific post.

I blog because as I started doing more pinup modeling and wanting to talk about it, I came to the realization that it was perhaps inappropriate for my graphic design blog/portfolio site.

So, it's a vehicle for me to prattle on about fashion and events I go to, which is fun. I've always liked to write, and I work in publishing as a designer, so my blog gives me an outlet for that — though sometimes it's hard because I write like I talk and it's not always very clear! I do a lot of editing. Also, I was a big, big letter writer and journal writer growing up so I think I enjoy it because it's sort of like that.

Bruce Partington-Plans said...

By way of a thank you I have just nominated you for a "One Lovely Blog" award. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve Smith said...

I like reading about London too.

But do you really "write to feel in some small spare moments"?

Touching if true ...

Steve Smith said...

I like reading about London too.

But do you really "write to feel in some small spare moments"?

Touching if true ...


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