Posts from 13th January 2005

Jan 05


FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 4,447 views


List drawn up by (meta alert) The List. Belle & Sebastian are unsurprising winners considering all their twee fans live to artificially raise their favourites position on any poll going. They came in at Number Three in the World’s Most Beatiful Beach In The World poll last year, which has lead to one tour operater offering a sold out package trip to Stuart Murdoch’s navel. Apparently, according to Murdoch himself, its a wonderful view.

It is further down the list that the fun starts to happen. How Scottish does a band have to be (The Eurythmics)? How much of a band (Fish – who beats the Jesus And Mary Chain)? Still proof, if we needed it , that Wet Wet Wet are better than Prml Scrm.

And the poor old Shamen. As if falling off a mountain wasn’t enough.

some themes in tintin

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 350 views

some themes in tintin:

Sistrah Becky gave me L’Oreille Cass’e for xmas and i am rereadin the whole lot – viz things of note posted on ILC so far, inc. tintin’s hopelessness at tying ppl and (as raise by tuomas) the Changing Nature of Realism

also a top microtrivia question? (w/o lookin it up WHAT IS TINTIN’S ADDRESS? and i don’t mean marlinspike/moulinsart)


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 1,007 views


I’ve always been in two minds (ha ha Janus-faced) about writing in books. On the one hand I’m suspicious of the fetishism of trying to keep a page clean, rather than treating a book as a machine for thinking (and for living, which is pretty much the same thing), as an external harddrive for our own memory. But I abhor writing in library books, which makes them a machine for not reading, as it becomes impossible to read without reading the marginalia, or to scan a page picking up only what’s been underlined by someone smarter, or dumber, or just with a different agenda to your own. I’m intrigued by the possibility of palimpsest, of rewriting the text, and of layering your own revisionings on each visit to a book, and fascinated by the chance to confront your own earlier thoughts as alien and obscure: why did that matter then? Who was I? Yet it can be shaming and embarrassing to do so. No really, what was I thinking? So I rarely mark up books unless I am working on them for a particular project, and with deadlines looming, it’s become a necessary shortcut for my current project. But on picking up my copy of Dialectic of Enlightenment (the new & improved translation, in a beautiful Stanford UP edition) this morning, to be confronted with the ugly scrawl of pencil underlinings, I felt an intense sense of melancholy. I’d forgotten they were there, and it felt as if I had vandalised my own possessions.

The Biggest Enemy To Resolutions

Blog 7Post a comment • 289 views

The Biggest Enemy To Resolutions

Okay, I said I was anti New Years resolutions the other day. I did not really mean it. I suppose I am anti-breaking them (which unfortunately I have done with the break wind one). I guess my position can be modified to say that I think public New Years Resolutions are generally a bad thing.

Why are were making the resolution. Generally for ourselves, to improve aspects of our lives we are unhappy with. So why do we need to publicise this? Clearly to explain exactly why we are not smoking, drinking etc. There was absolutely no need for me to publicise my scatalogical resolution, as I hope (heaven forefend) that I’m not known as Petey Fart-Pants.*

Publicising your resolutions put more pressure on you. Particularly if you have friends like me. After all, I have just broken a resolution, the last thing I want to do is surround myself with successful, be-will-powered friends who can do anything they set their minds to. So maybe buy the non-drinker a pint before they turn up, offer them a cigarette, feed them beans.

So I have actually made some other resolutions, which I am not going to tell you. They are all rather benign, mostly personal, and ones which I intend to keep. And I don’t need the extra pressure.

*I have always assumed that the nickname Stinky Pete is merely taken from the character in Toy Story 2.

HIDDEN LONDON: Buckingham Palace and the Mall

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 296 views

HIDDEN LONDON: Buckingham Palace and the Mall:

ok this is hardly “hidden” in the (surely played out?) iain sinclair/psychogeographical d’rive sense, but in 22 years as a londoner i only once before looked at BH in the flesh, and that time wz more than a decade ago and i approached via constitution hill

i wz killin time this time also obv (usual tale: screening at ICA at 11, mark s arrives promptly an hour too early), so i wandered round st james’s park, gazed at Army HQ (not knowing that’s what it wz) and Duck Island – Dr Quack must be pleased her constituency central office is so well-placed, Establishment-wise – then wandered up to the oh dear GOD it is an ugly stalinist blob of a building!!

The only ppl on the Mall these days seem to be tourists. Time was, 150 years, it was high society’s top catwalk, where all the nobs came out to see and be seen – some ridin, many walkin – and much political and other business was done here. Famous military nincompoop Lord Cardigan redesigned the King’s Royal Hussars’ uniform to include skintight cherry pants, pretty much just so as they cd look drop-dead hott when parading here etc etc (they were so committed to being fashion pioneers that as part of the Light Brigade they charged down the Valley of Death towards the thundering Russian Guns w/o breaking formation – thus somewhat proving Cardigan’s point, that fear of not being hott trumps fear of dropping dead…)

[i tried to find a nice colour pic but no dice sadly]

anyway that’s all gone now: even on sundays the rich and famous are not to be found on this not particularly attractive promenade… except oddly enuff on leavin the ica i encountered one w!ll!am le!th – co-contributor to the nme in days of yore, who i haven’t seen for like 15 years – headed in that direction. self-involvedly faux-dizzy as ever, he has a book out shortly. what’s it about? “it’s about me!”

Vacuum Energy

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 310 views

Vacuum Energy
Rachel Steven’s new single is written/produced by Swedish electro group Vacuum according to popjustice’s top showbiz links. So here’s an link to all you need to know about that secret Army of Lovers plan to rule pop by 2005.

(NB popjustice’s slogan “We love the pop – so you don’t have to”, a) that sounds familiar, b) but we want to anyway, c) we love you too!)

Bonus science: Vacuum Energy Problems

Evidence for Scooby Doo as post-modern epic.

Do You SeePost a comment • 803 views
Evidence for Scooby Doo as post-modern epic.
It is only funny in self-reference, cf: ‘Scoob and Shaggy you go that way, me and the girls will go this way’ : *roll eyes* ‘Now why don’t I like the sound of that’. There was never an innocent moment in Scooby Doo, every phrase coming ready packaged and cultishly ready-to-go.

The whole background repeated indefinitely whilst the characters run on and on (how many vases can one hall have?) is a sign of this internalisation – the whole only makes sense in a referential arc, the one vase only understandable in the context of the others, which only makes any sense when the whole of Scooby Doo is considered.

Scooby Doo conforms to a very basic pattern. Scary monsters always turn out to be the first person met in the scary hotel; the strict system, as in structuralism, only making sense in the context of the same pattern read in previous episodes. However, as in post-structuralism, the people entangled in the system of signs and signifiers cannot read the pattern. Being so deeply embroiled in them, they always misread the signs until the last moment when the mask is removed and the bad-guy unmasked. We, of course, are outside the system of signs and so can objectively see the beauty and the flaws in the greatest post-modern saga of our times. Maybe.