Alea jacta est…

(賽は投げられた)

So here we are… right at the very beginning.

“You should really write something…” urged one of my friends quite recently, furrowing their brow at me. Presumably this was not a coded request to jot down something on a scrap of paper or a post-it note, but perhaps something a little bit more substantial, maybe even a small booklet or pamphlet at the very least.

Having dispatched them rather confusedly with a copy of the most interesting word I could think of at that moment hastily scrawled out on the back of a receipt from Sainsbury’s – I found myself reflecting upon what they’d said. This wasn’t the first time someone had said something like this to me, in fact, many people had expressed a similar viewpoint over the years.

No their recommendation was clear – apparently even when I didn’t think I had very much to say, there may have been a certain something about the way I said it. Something which others had found either entertaining, or educational, or I don’t know, just couldn’t quite find a good enough excuse to leave the conversation.

Since I was small, I’d always held a great respect and interest for the world of words. Books and stories both factual and fictional were devourable morsels for me, I took pride in selecting reading material only from our school libraries’ stock of “hard” books, marked with purple stickers on the spine (Which, ironically turned out to be one of my favourite colours, I’m sure that’s no accident there), after I’d decimated those books, anything was fair game. I’d finished all of the intermediate books on Dinosaurs so my Mum started buying me academic books – and all the comparisons with Ross from Friends end quite abruptly there I’m afraid.

Words and wordplay were like literary Lego for me, and engineering and combining them to form new structures in myriad hues and shapes was very much to my liking. Once I’d been liberally coloured with some life experiences, by which I mean having survived the prolonged paintball battle that is Secondary School and Sixth Form, coming out the other end looking like Joseph’s Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat had been handed to a second-rate dry cleaners – I was able to describe with far greater clarity, the world that unfurled around me.

Fast-forward to many years later – and here I am. A rather curious creature to be sure, the kind of man who would be invited to just as many dinner parties as he might be black-listed for. The kind of man who would consider taking a good few hours to build a Lego pirate ship at the age of 30 time well spent, almost as much as practicing scales on guitar or reading up on photography techniques or listening to ‘80s Japanese rock.

“Obscure” is what’s written on the hang-tag of most of the things I’m interested in – not out of some hipster-ish pretence of being the kind of guy who only listens to things which are out of print. No, merely that the things I gravitate toward tend to be on the darker side of the road, far more inaccessible and isolated than their brightly-lit counterpart – which makes things bloody hard when trying to find any CD or book I’m looking for… thank heavens for Amazon.

So from the twisted mass that is half a collection of odd pursuits and tastes, and equal measures of  scathing sarcasm and erudite effrontery (and an evident love of alliteration), comes a big-fat goth with a pen, a camera, and all fingers intact with which to document the sights, sounds and smells of a truly bizarre world – but bizarre in the best sense of the word.

This is where that journey, or at least the record of which, begins. With my trusty steed resplendent in British racing black and purple (they told me the dye wouldn’t have any prolonged side effects), saddle bags loaded with Jaffa Cakes, instant noodles and more technological devices than you could shake several sticks at.

Will I ride triumphantly and interestingly throughout the wastelands of the internet? Or will I die exhausted and followerless somewhere in the web’s equivalent of the Rub al Khali? Who knows, but at the very least I’ll have one or two witnesses to tell the tale much like the story of Keyser Söze, just with less hair and potentially more fire in the background.

Hence – the site’s namesake – Obsidious – a portmanteau of “Obscure” and “Insidious” – reflecting my inclination towards the darker and delightfully odd side of everything from art, music, science and language.

…and yes before you write in to tell me, I am aware that the word already exists, albeit in a rare form to mean “besieged” – and is also the name of a Thrash band from New Zealand if the internet is to be believed.

So what can you expect here? I hear you ask. Well, that would be telling – but hopefully a compelling collection of articles, reviews, commentary and photography from the darker recesses of the world – delivered with just the right mix of dirt, eloquence and caustic humour.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, outlines my Modus Operandom.

So get comfortable, crack open a beer or spirit of your choice and we’ll see what awaits us – for the net is vast and infinite.

And here we are… right at the very beginning.

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