Thursday April 12, 2007

Been ages since I blogged, I know, but sometimes I just don’t feel like it. I hate March.

Here’s my recent, unusually active, media consumption:

Jamie T: one-man Arctic Monkeys meets Lily Allen meets Eminem. I go through phases of really liking it, then thinking I’m overrating it. Recently came across this clip on Youtube which swung me back into the like-him-again camp. My overall conclusion is he’s the real-deal and is one for the future.

Amy Winehouse – there’s a point at which ‘influenced by’ becomes ‘stolen from’ and she may have reached it, but decent sounding.

Sunshine, by Danny Boyle. Audacious sci-fi tale of 6 astronauts on a mission to re-ignite the sun to save a freezing planet earth. Well worth a look this film, but perplexing at times and not in the satisfying way 2001: A Space Odyssey is.

Hot Fuzz. Waste of time.

The Trap. 3-part documentary series by Adam Curits shown recently on BBC2 about ‘the concept and definition of freedom’. Not nearly as dull as it sounds, mostly because its visuals have an almost cinematic quality to them, borrowing a lot of footage and music from films and its story arc as good as the tightest Hollywood script. I disagreed with an awful lot of this documentary, particularly as it reached its most opinionated peak towards the last episode, and although 3 hours in length it feels like it skims over some important issues at times. Despite its flaws, The Trap is important television and you should watch it. You can get it from UKNova.


A Profound Conversation

Thursday April 12, 2007

With a drunk in Shepherds Bush tube station:

Him: Does this train go North?

Me: No, East

Him: East?

Me: Yes.

Him: What’s East?

Me [struggling to properly define ‘East’]: Errrrr, opposite of West

Him: That’s the same as North isn’t it?

Me: Yeah, the same as North

Then he walked happily away.

God Bless ‘Er

Friday February 23, 2007

I saw the Queen today, in Bank (London). Big entourage (3 cars behind, 3 cars in front and several motorbikes), big hassle (all the joining roads were blocked off as she sped through Moorgate), big car (gorgeous Bentley) and big hat (silly green thing).

World Press Photo of the Year

Thursday February 22, 2007

Some stunning shots from the World Press Photo of the Year competition. Once you’re on the site click on ‘next winner’ for some memorable photographs.

This is the winner. Bagsy the one in the white.

World Press Photo of the Year

The Perfect Bet

Thursday February 22, 2007

I won’t go on about Liverpool’s victory last night, except to talk about a bet I placed. This screenshot portrays the best possible scenario for a punter, a bet you can’t lose.

I placed a bet on Liverpool to win the Champions League at 28. I knew that Liverpool were under-valued and Barcelona over-valued, therefore if Liverpool got anything out of last night’s game the price would tumble. I was right. After we won the price fell from 28 to 13! This screenshot shows that through hedging it’s impossible for me to lose. God, this sounds really boring, but actually is quite interesting. Sorry. Never again.

Thrilling Demonstration of the Perfect Bet

Wish I Was Here

Tuesday February 20, 2007

Can’t get out of the habit of watching Rio’s Carnival live on TV just before I go to bed at night. In case you don’t know much about Rio, the current Governor of California made a helpful travelogue several years ago. This makes even me squirm.

Warning: the following clip shows pretty explicit scenes of white men dancing.

Foreign Minister and She Knows It

Monday February 19, 2007

It’s probably not a good idea for me to watch Fashion TV’s live coverage of the Rio Carnival. It just causes me to feel sorry for myself, horny (they wear hardly any clothes, although far too much plastic for my tastes) and to call people who I shouldn’t who don’t answer anyway coz they’re too busy enjoying themselves at the Carnival.

This woman is officially the fittest Foreign Minister on the planet. Country? Yep, Colombia. Being Foreign Minister is Colombia must be pretty shitty. I’d hate it coz I’d be overseas all the time trying to convince people there’s more to the country than kidnapping and drug trafficking when you’d much rather be at home <licks lips> looking after Colombianas.

Media consumed recently:

Estudando o Pagode from Tom Zé.  Ace.  This guy is really old but you couldn’t tell from this CD, a really nice mix of contemporary and traditional Brazilian music

Hard Candy.  Over-rated.  I think if you make any half-competent film with a ‘challenging’ subject matter (teenage girl turns tables on pedo) you’ll get positive critical reviews.   But beyond the challenging subject matter, this film is pretty hackneyed.  For a really challenging, but well-made film, see Todd Solondz’s Happiness.

Best of the Jackson 5.  Really.  For probably the most striking vocal performance ever in pop music, listen to ‘I Want You Back’ from an 11 year old Michael Jackson.   Such pain, agony and torment from, worth saying it again, an eleven year old.

Dirty, Nasty, Slimy, Kinky!

Thursday February 15, 2007

Is one of the most shocking lines I can remember in a film, delivered by the brilliant Michael Caine in Mona Lisa, which I just watched again for the 100th time. Mona Lisa has to be my favourite film of all time. Just about everything is perfect in this film

  • Bob Hoskins, as the hapless, besotted hero, hopelessly out of his depth
  • Michael Caine as the evil pimp
  • The script…so many memorable lines: ‘You can fuck me George, but you can’t fucking hit me’, ‘He’s a pimp. He’ll drive around in a Bentley and then go home to his bedsit with a paraffin heater.’
  • The soundtrack. Louis Armstrong’s songs bring a real melancholic air to the film, hinting that tragedy’s always just around the corner.
  • Hell, I’ll even defend the Phil Collins ‘In the Air Tonight’ segment.

According to IMDB, it’s being remade next year with the title ‘Shame’. What justification is there to remake a perfect film?

Update:  fool, fool.  whisht reminds me that the soundtrack, of course, is Nat King Cole’s, not Louis Armstrong’s.

Evolutionary Psychology

Tuesday February 13, 2007

Fascinating article from the LA Times. In short, certain psychological conditions may serve an evolutionary purpose, even suicidal tendencies.

Aaaaaaannnndd: brain diseases I wish I had.  Upon reflection, I might already have a few of them: Tertiary Neurosyphilis seems likely and PSAS (Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome) is guaranteed.

New Passport. A Great 2.5 Years.

Tuesday February 13, 2007

Back in my freezing cold London apartment, Samaritans card in one hand, can of Stella in the other.

It’s finally time to say goodbye to my passport. It’s 2.5 years old and the pages are finally full with stamps, and it now gets comments everytime I go through a passport control office. I’ve been to, in approximate order of frequency:

  • Macau
  • Hong Kong
  • Morroco
  • China
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Latvia
  • Romania
  • United States

Plus the European countries that don’t stamp your passport anymore: Spain, France, Ireland, Germany and Austria. That’s 18 countries in 30 months, a new country every 1.6 months for those, like me, that prefer things expressed in that way.