âAbbey Normalâ perhaps
Friday, June 24, 2011
Maybe itâs because Iâm quite pedantic and a little bit obsessive-compulsive when I blog and put stuff in peopleâs faces, that I had to take issue with this.
Okay. Hereâs the deal.
Belvoir Street Theatre, which has been around for just over a quarter of a century, was established by a bunch (a âposseâ? A âconsortiumâ? A âcultâ? I don't really knowâ¦) of theatre practitioners. Itâs a cool place. Itâs long been the home of Theatresports seasons. Itâs always the home of interesting and engaging theatre. And its downstairs theatre is nowadays often the home of great Aussie comics delivering âtrial showsâ before embarking on fully-fledged seasons of new work.
So Belvoir Street Theatre have gone and compiled a book to mark theirâ¦ not-quite-quarter of a century? Iâm not sure, because although the book is called 25 Belvoir Street, that is also the address of the theatre.
I knowFacebook is the place to bring lots of peopleâs attention to your stuff, and it is by now de rigueur to unofficially go about officially making your âoffhanded, whatever, I just happen to be mentioning itâ unofficial campaign there. But you canât be half-arsed about making your fully-arsed campaign look half-arsed. Too much effort at being âcasualâ ends up looking âincompetentâ.
Let me illustrate:
The Belvoir Street Theatre page announces, âAbbeyâs Bookshop have put up some lovely pictures of 25 Belvoir Streetâ (my italics â so you know theyâre referring to photos of the book rather than photos of the building at 25 Belvoir Street).
No they havenât. Check them out:
Even for a Facebook status update, theyâve overstated their case. These arenât âlovely photographsâ. They look more like someone vaguely aimed a camera in the general direction of the book â perhaps during a coffee break, while valiantly trying not to coffee or cake crumbs on the pages â and barely managed to make you feel as though you werenât peeking awkwardly over their shoulder (though not while standing behind them so much as being suspended above them by the feet from the corner of the room after it had been rotated to an elevation of about 37 degrees from the horizontal) and yet stil managed, in the process of apparent âhaphazardâ photography, to capture the most enticingly sale-able of âlovelyâ photos in the book, of Cate Blanchett.
Despite an either excellent campaign to look truly half-arsed, or an utterly half-arsed campaign to try and look not quite completely crap, they do manage to produce one or two pictures that suggest the book might actually be good â and by âgoodâ, I mean, âsturdily bound with a nice spine and an eye-catching cover with a nicely retro heading fontâ.
But I guess, in a technological age when everyone wants to download stuff for free, anything that makes what is a digital photograph accessed via social networking software look as far removed from the iPod interface as possible is going to grab your attention. Heck, in the time itâs taken me to dribble this modium of scornful bile Iâve also advertised Belvoir Street Theatre, their book, and Abbeyâs Bookshop. So job well done, sloppy photographer and indifferent status updater(s).
How about a âreviewâ copy of 25 Belvoir Street then, so that I may spank off to the yummy photo of Cate Blanchett without having to hang from the ceiling at an odd angle? Although, for all you know, thatâs probably my thing anyway, and if I hadnât let it slip here, youâd not realise until sensationalised news broke of the discovery of my rockânâroll corpse, some years henceâ¦
(âToo farâ, youâre thinking, right? Why did I have to go there? Look back at the photos. Why are the only two images of actors â rather than images of the bookâs spine and cover which, to a bibliophile, could be argued to be just as sexy â depict women in essentially the same leggy, âlook at meâ, sensual poses? Perhaps thatâs why they are at such awkward angles â the furtive photographer isnât balancing a mug of tea or a runny meat pie in the hand not wielding the camera, clearlyâ¦)
In conclusion: these are rather ordinary photos of lovely images.
So may I have that review copy then?
PS Dude in charge of updating the Abbeyâs Bookshop Facebook page â itâs a âsneakâ peek, not a âsneekâ peek. But as I have rendered it, it is also a sneak peak.
Get in touch and Iâll give you the address to send that copy of the bookâ¦