Posts from 1st December 2005

1
Dec 05

THE FT TOP 13 ENDINGS: 13: AND THEN I WOKE UP

Blog 7Post a comment • 216 views

The beauty of “And then I woke up” comes to every nine year old child at the same time I think. It is a combination of the following factors:
a) Some awareness of classic KidZor Lit which uses this trope (Hello Alice In No-Fun-Derland and WizovOZ)
b) Over ambition in writing a story for class (= this book writing lark looks easy)
c) Having had a dream that ends suddenly before things get good
d) Running out of time on the over ambitious story.

Thus we get classics like:

“Just then me and Steven were caught by the pirates. Steven struggled, but I got away, to look back. Just when I was going to rescue Steven with the knife I had rescued from the old pirate with the grey beard, they dragged him off to be eaten by canibles. AND THEN I WOKE UP.”

Often timed to finish with a side of paper, “And then I woke up”.

Unfortunately this is invariably seen as a cop-out ending (often as it is correctly identified as being because of b) and d) above). However tell that the Lewis Carroll, Jamie and the Magic Tourch and Mr Benn. Kidlit/TV is full of “And Then I Woke Ups”, because its instant restoration of status quo is actual very reassuring. It also allows the rest of the story to go massively off the rails, thus tempting the reader into the fantastic, and to push the limits of standard narrative.

Put it like this: it is a much, much better ending that “And then I didn’t wake up”.

I Tell A Lie (Shock!)

Do You SeePost a comment • 341 views

Actually. I told a slight porkie below. There is one film which could be said to be in the Pink Panther canon which I have a degree of fondenss for. And that is Inspector Clouseau. A rarely seen entry into the series where Clouseau is sent to London to capture a rogue French Bomber (handily called Bomber LeBec) it is notable for bearing very little relation to the rest of the films, and for its usefulness in pub quizes. Truely Alan Arkin is the David Niven of the Pink Panther films (except David Niven is the David Niven of the Pink Panther films, though clearly what I was trying to say is that just as David Niven was James Bond in the Oscar nominated Casino Royale (as was Peter Sellers) not considered Bond canon, then Alan Arkin’s Clouseau might not be considered Pink Panther Canon – if such a ridiculous idea really existed).

THE FT Top 100 Tracks of All Time No.72

FT + New York London Paris Munich/Post a comment • 4,819 views

THE WEE PAPA GIRL RAPPERS: Wee Rule

Is it lame to like a song because it has Wee in the title. Of course not. Luckily, that is not the real reason why Wee Rule, well, rules. Though my description of why Wee Rules rules is partially about the idea of “ruling” in a UK slang kind of way. UK rap was still in its very nascent form, and this – along with Smiley Culture – defined (for better and worse) what we were going to get from the UK rap scene for ten years. Often it was quick snatched verses over a pop track. Or a slow, sonambulent Jazzy B stab at something credible. What We Rule does, in a minor sense, is bring it back to the playground.

You would not hear Run DMC saying that they rule. Or that they were skill. The Wee Papa Girl Rappers were clearly British, albeit leaning on dancehall roots. They were not an Althea And Donna for the late eighties though, this was clearly rap. And it managed to slip French swearing on to Top Of The Pops (and even point out it was doing it). It was a pop tune though, and probably led to more school projects where you write a rap about crossing the road. The Wee Papa Girl Rappers (one letter away from being the Twee PGR) told us they were rap, and were just a cheeky pair of South London girls (who have passed their French exams).

All this and the “Bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp” in the chorus: one of those killer stings that roots a tune in your brain for the rest of your life. The Lawrence girls may not have done much more, but were clearly paving the way for Mel & Kim and TLC (though both groups would probably have been able to traverse an unpaved road).

Alright, it does have Weein the title too. That is a bit funny.

Raping The Pink Panther

Do You SeePost a comment • 316 views

I can’t say I have ever really cared for the Pink Panther films, possibly due to seeing them in probably the worst order (Trail first). Whilst the law of diminishing returns was clearly embedded in the series, there are some nice gags for five year olds (Kato) and the summing up scene in A Shot In The Dark is a nice deconstruction of all country house mysteries. That said, as Blake Edwards was happy to constantly piss on his own creation I have felt rather ambivalent towards the recent remake.

No more: Watch The Trailer and feel soiled.

Steve Martin should have learned with Bilko. To be fair, he should have been banned from ever appearing in a film again after Bilko. But this? Where is the humour value in putting someone pretending to have a silly French accent in a film with a French actor with a real French accent. It makes, like the rest of this film, no sense…

the THREE LAWS of ROBOTICS: update

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 1,041 views

the office text-scanner was jus now caught helpfully changing the adjective “anti-scientific” into “anti-semitic”, a statement of moral equivalence that presumably reflects its hard-wired beliefs – viz that not knowing much about chemistry (or caring) is rather more disgracefully evil than we at this small arts journal grasp

The Weber Cup (Bowling Fortnight)

TMFDPost a comment • 827 views

So when I left you, Europe were up two games in the Weber Cup. They maintained this form through Saturday, and started the first session on Sunday at an impressive 12-10. Indeed the only part of their game that was looking shaky were the Baker Games which finished every session.

This lack of form in the Baker Games was put down tot he fact that it is a format that is rarely used in competition in Europe. However, this line seems suspect when you consider what a Baker Game is. Basically it is the whole team playing: player one plays frame one and six, player two plays two and seven. This differs somewhat to the doubles games where the players just alternate balls – thus picking up spares if the partner is k.rub. But in the end, in bowling tactics are not a major aspect, the order of bowling should not matter beyond placing your strongest bowlers in the right place (frames one and five). So the fact Europe lost every one of the Baker games was not only a mystery, but an increasing liability. Especially on Sunday when Europe’s bowling fell apart.

Europe walked in to the Barnsley Metrodome, two frames up. We walked out for tea two frames down. 13-15, the US needing only three frames to win. In the evening session, much like snooker, it just keeps going until there is a winner. And Europe lost the first frame. 13-16. Frankly, things were looking bad. So bad that I left Carsmile’s (somewhat nippy) house at 10pm. Only to receive text updates of a comeback. Indeed more than a comeback. With no Baker games left, and only singles to play out the day, Europe mopped up five in a row. We won, 18-16. White Russians all round.

Bring on the El Paso Bowlerama 2006…

Great Bad News For All Our Readers

Blog 7Post a comment • 541 views

In December, Blog 7 will be the blog of endings – final chapters, grand finales, fade-outs, fake-outs, and all things terminal. Why? Well, partly because it’s the last month of 2005, a year a lot of us will be happy to see the back of, and partly because at the end of December…

one of Freaky Trigger’s blogs will DIE!

Of course this wasn’t really our choice. The new European Commission Directive on blogging allows any organisation to run a total of only six blogs unlicensed, and none of us fancy a trip to Brussels*. So one of them has got to go. We thought of doing a vote, but in the end it’s a very personal decision we have to take here, so we’re going to have a look at all of them and then decide in the pub.

Popular, and Tanya’s blog, aren’t affected in this, as they’re personal blogs not team ones. So up for the chop are:

NYLPM
Do You See?
The Brown Wedge
Pumpkin Publog
Proven By Science
Blog Seven

oh yes, and TMFD.

(In the six blog era Blog Seven will, naturally, still be called Blog Seven. If it survives.)

*this isn’t true at all, but none of us fancy a trip to the Weblog Licensing Office there.

Compliments of the season to you

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,558 views

Now it’s officially really actually December we can all start listening to Christmas songs. There had been some talk of doing a flood of Christmas posts on here, but it’s been pointed out to me that I have a list of best tracks ever to finish, so I’m going to concentrate on that instead.

People wanting some festive cheer should wander over to Poptimists, which always has a few MP3s going and is running an audio advent calendar. (You might also wish to visit Poptimists’ monstrous disowned sibling Sukrat). If that’s not enough for you, or if LiveJournal brings you out in hives, then I recommend this ILM thread for all yr Wobs greed needs.