Posts from 20th November 2003

Nov 03

It has been a long day.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 340 views

It has been a long day. People marching around London, I had a seminar and given a window of an hour I need to be at the pub I thought food. Off I went, in the wrong direction, to the Hare & Tortoise for the mentioned before Malaysian Chicken Curry. I get close, despite it being 7:30 there are a few seats free and then : crisis. There is someone else sitting in there, on his own, who I did not want to see. If I say the fellow had black nail-varnished finger-nails you get the drift. What to do?

Well item one is hide behind a pillar outside the restaurant. Hooray for 1960’s architecture. How long has he been in there? What are the chances of me on my own being approached by him – on his own – and attacked. It would be rude to not acknowledge him if I enter, but he is the kind of guy who I want to be rude to. In the end I walk round the corner to a curry house that I rather like.

But double disaster. Hot Chilli is empty. Usually I don’t have a huge problem about going into an empty restaurant, but usually I am accompanied. Dining on your own, in an empty restaurant is probably even beyond me. So I keep walking. Back to the Hare & Tortoise. Maybe he was waiting for his bill. He wasn’t. Suddenly I don’t feel like food, get myself a double decker and pop back to work to write this. Like I say, its been a long day and now I’m off to the pub. And will be hungry when I wake up.

ν is for…Nu Shooz

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 745 views

All I remember about ‘I Can’t Wait’ not being able to wait for the damn thing to end. Turgid rubbish that it was, with its naggingly incessant sample line. For some reason rock critics seem to thing naggingly incessant things are good things. Hello. NAGGING! Like the proverbial mother-in-law. INCESSANT! like the flow of blood from a recently severed arterial vein?

I am assuming the mispelling of New Shoes is intentional, like all terrible rock mispellings. The two members were married of course, which it was why it was odd that they couldn’t wait. Even in the most hicky of hicksville town you don’t have to wait. Its allowed to have sex straight away. Which is possibly what they did when it was pointed out to them, because they never had another hit. But then it was the sampler that was the talented one.

I’m not the world’s biggest rugby fan

TMFDPost a comment • 356 views

I’m not the world’s biggest rugby fan and indeed I’m still not sure that I’ll be watching the World Cup final on Saturday (it clashes with Soccer AM), but this story is pretty interesting on Jonnie Wilkinson’s kicking style and routine. I always wondered quite what he was thinking as all the tics and twitches reveal themselves.

μ is for… μ-ziq

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 744 views

Causing problems for record store rackers everywhere, here comes Richard D. James’ mate Mike Parradinas. Since most people who work in record stores are thick, their knowledge of the Greek Alphabet is probably minimal. What knowledge they might have had is probably bled out by having to listen to, you know, music all day. So where do they rack the albums my Mr Parradinas. Why, in the bin. Which is coincidentally the best place to put them.

Mike shares with his Aphex Twin buddy a willful obsession with making music that even people who like music call unlistenable. So imagine quite how unlistenable that is to me. To be fair I have used the Royal Astronomy album in one of my public lectures to show people what all music sounds like to me. Idiotic ambient noodle boys at the back of the hall seemed to relish this. So I turned it up so loud that they were all deafened. People think they are ear muffs, but they are ear protectors – who has the last laugh? Even if they can’t hear it.

And Jake Slazenger is him too – you’ve been warned.

What do I hate the most in movies and TV? Stupid people.

Do You SeePost a comment • 472 views

What do I hate the most in movies and TV? Stupid people. This may seem harsh, okay, stupid characters. Actual stupid people can be quite interesting on reality TV. Despite playing an college English teacher, Meg Ryan’s character in In The Cut is termendously stupid. There is a hint to this when she illustrates her lecture on To The Lighthouse by drawing a lighthouse on the blackboard. Jane Campion’s film uses shaky camera, intimations of repression and lashings of sex to try to hide her idiocy, but in the end I was waving my fist at the screen as if a group of kids in a haunted house had just decided to split up.

Basically in the sketchily defined world of Ryan, there is a serial killer. For script economy reasons were are only really introduced to three suspects. Kevin Bacon’s weirdo ex, Cornelius her intense black student and Mark Ruffalo’s sexy yet moustachioed cop. We quickly find out that the killed has a distinctive tattoo, which Ruffalo has. Yet this fact is never, ever followed up, through the two more murders. Instead Ryan is happy to keep shagging Ruffalo and then worry about him being the murderer. The viewer, veterans of much more complex TV mysteries, know that if there are three suspects, the culprit is none of them. Since there is only one other male character in it… The tattoo situation being so important that we know from the moment it is raised that the killer isn’t the student or Bacon. Which means it must be Ruffalo, which would remove the suspense so it must be someone else.

Campion would probably riposte that this is not really a murder mystery at all, rather a meditation on sexuality and Meg Ryan’s new brown hair. To which I say don’t make your lead character so stupid. The key point is that a film is always in trouble when it kills of the most likeable character in it. Here this is Jennifer Jason Leigh’s sister character, and from the moment she got it, I could not care less.

My bus stop has been invaded by soup

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 508 views

My bus stop has been invaded by soup. Not only are there Heinz microwaveable soup posters on every available bit of glass, they have also turned the seats in the shelter into giant plastic replicas of the packaging. I was quite confused yesterday morning. Vandalism? Hangover? No, they really had integrated huge, slippery red and yellow tub things into the existing seats. Nobody was sitting on them, naturally. The Heinz website admits nothing about this promotion, and although it might be a personal foible that the sight of wall to wall tomato soup before 8am makes me want to heave, the wish to sit down on something a bit more substantial that a buckling plastic pot is surely universal. However, I did discover from the website that you can download a handy screensaver: “As you make Heinz ketchup a part of your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, the Heinz Screensaver keeps track of the hour in 29 locations around the globe.” How did I live without it?

Paul Robeson-Shannandoah.

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 526 views

Paul Robeson-Shannandoah.

This is the American hymn. just the place names, missouri Shannandoah but also that holy invocation of river, like those big brown backbones are also mothers of us all. having Robeson sing it, it is a shanty for lifting bales, a dirge for his people who died on its shores, and a love song to the place that gave birth to a culture that pushed back.

it is secret and dark, (w)hol(l)y somber