Posts from 26th August 2005

Aug 05

Dumber & Dumbest

Do You SeePost a comment • 701 views

Just a quick note that Freakytriggers favouritest of Five television programmes is returning soon. How? After all, the irrepressibly gravel voiced Tommy Vance has gone to the great razor blade gargling parlour in the sky. Who could replace Tommy Vance in admiring the abject stupidity of his fellow men?

Word is: Brian Blessed.

“Gordons alive!!! But only just: surely only te stupidest of idiots would go up again Ming the Merciless with only ripped T-Shirt on…”

When You Ask Me If I Liked The Movie, The Answer Can Only Be

Do You SeePost a comment • 195 views


Sometimes you go and see a film just to dislike it. I think there was a bit of this about me when I went to see Sally Potter’s Yes, a film which proclaimed itself happily as being entirely in verse. And the opening soliloquy from Shirley Henderson seems very, very odd. It was as if someone who had found a bit of Shakespeare about cleaning. It was exactly like that: which is when the penny dropped. We allow Shakespeare to be performed like this, but never anything else.

Well it might just be the rhythm, or the care taken over the words, or it might be the second-hand Shakespeare connotations. But I really liked Yes. I wanted to dislike it, but actually the veneer of artifice made the performances more accessible. The verse allowed characters to talk about feelings in an unrealistic way, because all of the dialogue was unrealistic. This is just a relationship drama, Joan Allen’s American Irish woman embarking on an affair with a Lebanese chef. There is the East vs West culture clash but nothing that would have stood out if it was not for the verse. Sam Neill is wonderfully controlled, but this is Allen’s film, and it helps that she is captivatingly watchable.

But the real star is the language. I don’t really care how good the verse is: though in parts, especially Sheila Hancock’s death speech, it was excellent. The fact it is being done makes you listen in a different way. The question Yes asks me back is, why did I want to dislike it before I went in? Potter herself suggests a nascent anti-intellectualism in the UK (whilst affirming that she is no intellectual). Perhaps. This is not a difficult film to get your head around, but it is different. And I liked it.

South Central, London

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 1,060 views

An addendum to yesterdays NLA post. If you go to the website (or indeed the exhibition) , click on the Changing Face Of London exhibit. Enter, then follow the link to list projects, and finally click on South Central. You get this frank nonsense:

“London South Central is the new ‘brand’ for the South Bank area designed to encourage investment south side of the River Thames from Vauxhall Bridge to Tower Bridge.”

And in what way is renaming a clearly named and well defined area like the South Bank with a new name which has connotation of the LA riots going to help bring in investment. It might be a good exhibit, but its good to see that stupidity still reigns supreme.

Food Science Day Warm Up: Beer Science

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 424 views

An experiment to see what a “Grey Beer” would taste like.

Reagents: 50% Budvar Dark (a traditional Czech Black Beer with strong molasses taste and equally strong alcohol content)
50% Kronenberg Blanc (a remarkably citrusy White beer which is also remarkably strong)

Place: The Lord John Russell (it being the only place in Britain you can get Budvar Dark on tap).

Results: After the white beer was added to the black beer, a swift slosh to mix took place. The beer got slightly cloudier but remained on the black side of grey. The aroma was described to be that of Turkish toilets. It was however pointed out that this aroma is not uncommon for many ales. On first tasting much of the bitterness of the burnt molasses tasting Dark beer had been removed and the citrus notes remained strong. After a few moments the taste coalesced into something which tasted surprisingly of a Seville orange.

Conclusion: “Grey beer” is

  1. not actually grey
  2. palatable, if smelly
  3. tastes of Seville oranges.