Posts from 10th June 2005

Jun 05

The Exam Secret

The Brown Wedge2 comments • 819 views

Many many years ago I was given a book in my Christmas stocking called The Exam Secret. It argued, cogently, wittily and somewhat dangerously, that the secret of exams was to entertain the examiner. This nugget of insight is something I’ve always carried with me, despite the fact that all the examples in the book were the work of congenital smartarses. I recently had to do an exam at work and decided to go full-on Exam Secret crazy. Naturally I failed it.

Not Rockist But Pubbist

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 301 views

There is something gleeful about James Brown’s piece in the recent Time Out about The Boogaloo, London’s latest, greatest rock pub. Perhaps the article shoots itself in the foot too much but noting the Boogaloo as heir apparent to Filthy McNasty’s and The Good Mixer, a title which may not be one any joint might want to get. That said, this copy of Time Out do have Coldplay on the cover, and it is suggested that it is only Coldplay that were pissed off in its morph from The Shepherd’s.

Not so. Firstly there would be mate of Coldplay Simon Pegg. The Shepherd’s gets a mention in Shaun Of The Dead, though they end up heading for the Winchester which does still exist. Also though the Boogaloo is not a great rock pub. It is some sort of pub/bar hybrid which does not really work as either. As for that jukebox…

The article suggests that it has the best juker in London, and certainly the only one programmed by rock stars. Do you really want to listen to Noel Gallagher’s record collection in the pub? I miss the Shepherd’s, as do more than just a few old age pensioners. The Boogaloo serves a section of the Crouch End populous well: but so did The Shepherd’s. And if any of the new punters had ever visited it when it was the Shepherd’s, as Coldplay did, then they would realise why a name change and a few special nights do not make a pub.

How To Pass Time On A 12 Hour Flight

Do You See2 comments • 1,324 views

a) London To Hong Kong

Watch In Good Company. Be surprisingly impressed by this romantic comedy that isn’t. End up making long notes about the Weitz brothers for future DYS article.

Watch Birth with Nicole Kidman. Marvel at Jonathon Glazier’s ability to make a film with a similar austerity and coldness to one of Woody Allen’s least popular films (Interiors). Also marvel at the way the film arses up an excellent set up. Decide not to write an article on this, as the idea behind the film is much more interesting than the film.


Watch and episode of CSI: New York where Sneezy tries yet again to be gritty and funny like Grissom, and fails. Work out who did it in the first couple of minutes which is just as well as the plane landed before it was confirmed. But I wuz right.

2) Hong Kong to London

Read line up of films. Be disgusted that I have seen all of them. Travel companions tell me it serves me right. Pah, sympathy!

Watch an episode of Kath & Kim followed by an episode of Absolutely Fabulous from THIRTEEN YEARS AGO! Notice the central joke of women drinking and behaving badly has not gone sour. Also note that Ab Fab makes a lot of jokes about people who are now dead like Linda Macartney and Paula Yates.

Watch the supposed best of Britcom, including The Sketch Show(!), Little Britain, Nighty Night and Peep Show. Note that none of these would be particularly suitable for five year old kids surfing on their own. Especially the nazi episode of Peep Show and the threesome episode of Nighty Night.


Watch half of A Bug’s Life and be reminded of the one time Pixar were trounced. The circus bugs are good, but the strange romance and the rubbish lead character really lets down this bug film making Antz better.

Watch an episode of Monk. Work out that the show is mere smoke and mirrors, and even the detection is rubbish and relies on the biggest coincidence ever. Nevertheless Tony Shaloub ROOLZ even with OCD and no tie, even if the mysteries are pointless to the extreme, its a show which allows TS to go nuts about a man urinating in public as if it is more serious than murder (which it is!).

Watch the first twenty minutes of a Korean rom-com which seems to have the same plot as dull Irish rom com About Adam. Feel smug for noticing this, until one reads the review in the in-flight magazine where it says it is indeed a Korean version.

Watch kung-fu movie House Of Fury, more of which later. Note to self that even if one has seen all the English language films there might be some worthwhile Asian cinema on. That is not based on half hearted Irish rom-coms.

Watch one of The Sketch Show sketches again to remind oneself exactly how bad it is.

Civ Goes Neo-Con

Do You SeePost a comment • 146 views

From a great big interview about Civilisation IV:

IGNPC: How do governments work this time around?

Barry Caudill: There are no set governments anymore. In Civilization 4, you can choose from various civics and combine them to make the type of government you want…In addition, AI leaders will have certain favorite Civics and they may ask you to either switch to theirs or stop using the one that offends them.

So you too can export freedom, democracy and market economics! This system will also work in terms of simulating religious tension and conflict, a long-overdue addition to the Civ game.

But what about other means of ahem ‘influencing’ your fellow powers? The world, it seems, has changed since earlier Civ games…

We will not be including any espionage options that are terrorism related.

They Can’t Handle The Truth

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 378 views

Perhaps its a symptom of being out of the country for a few weeks, but blanket posters for the new Oasis album are keeping me in fits of giggles. Don’t Believe The Truth is a desperate title for even the notable unselfconscious Gallagher brothers. Your fans haven’t been believing the truth for the last ten years! If there was ever a bunch of people who were able to ignore the truth, the Oasis fans I saw at Glastonbury last year were certainly it.
(They were also a bunch of cunts too, you know who I mean Mr “You Sitting On My Bench” boy).

Poptimism #3 CD Details

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 553 views

If you have a copy of Poptimism CD3 (with the girl drinking cola from the bottle on the cover) then here is what you might end up listening to:

1. COWBOY TROY – “I Played Chicken With The Train” – hoedown hip-hop from the hugely enthusiastic CBT and his Big And Rich pals.
2. FANNYPACK – “You Gotta Know” – shy blippy electro with sass on top, this album is twenty-one quid on import! Give Fannypack a chance, UK biz!
3. RHIANNA – “Pon De Replay” – desperate attempt to pretend I’ve been listening to dancehall. OK seriously, this is good, shake it till the moon becomes the sun.
4. THE FLYING LIZARDS – “Get Up” – see post below.
5. VITAMIN C – “Vacation” – gloriously inventive bit of bubblegum from the Pokemon movie soundtrack (it sez here)
6. TEDDYBEARS STHLM – “Yours To Keep” – acquired-taste twee vocals and an indie-disco groove from Swedish Poptimism favourites, off their 2000 album.
7. R@CH3L ST3V3N5 – “So Good” – it’s a bit of a grower. I didn’t even play it in the end though. Go and buy the album in September!
8. BODIES WITHOUT ORGANS – “Sixteen Tons Of Hardware” – fifteen supersonic tanks through the gates of paradise! Europop favourite of DJ Alang, good luck finding their record outside Scandoland though.
9. LOTO – “Back To Discos” – starts with a kind of rubbish verse but then turns into a harsh spike of Europop self-hatred with a top chorus. I don’t know anything about Loto and will try to find out more.
10. SAINT ETIENNE – “Let’s Build A Zoo” – not sadly a version of Swell Maps “Let’s Build A Car” with a crowd of apes shouting “ZOO” instead of “CAR”, this is from the sampler for their children’s album. I have more to say about it and will later.
11. LUV – “Shoes Off (Boots On)” – I feel I have talked about this record a lot. It is marvellous and never fairs to improve my mood.
12. EARL BRUTUS – “Navyhead” – something for the Dads.

We will have a handful of these CDs as well as our next giveaway at Poptimism#4 (date TBC), so ask for one if you want one then.