Posts from March 2006

Mar 06

JABOF; the instinct years

Do You SeePost a comment • 245 views

Freshly (and admiringly) gobsmacked w.the news — via tireless anti-attenborough activist dr vick — that the disney zoo is divided in four sectors, AFRICAWORLD, ASIAWORLD, DINOWORLD and MICKEY&MINNIEWORLD, i have to report that (as so often) the SOUNDTRACK (words and music) to planet earth operate entirely to damp down and defang the startling breathtaking weirdness of the visuals, to place us back in our wised-up quasi-scientific boxes…

i. as we watch a young crab-eating maquaque swimming, the evil recalibrator whispers “It’s almost as if he’s doing this JUST FOR FUN” (or similar) — animals in DA-world are programmed to gobble and fvck and THAT’S IT unless they’re little, in which the “instinct to play” is occasionally allowed.
ii. What we as so often saw was endless oodles of WTF footage, snipped together for maximum OMG (this is a GOOD THING), snidely scored and overvoiced down into explanationista category-dreariness: viz the MOST EXCELLENT PRAWN EVER which lives in the fast cold fresh waters of the upper reaches of the [ganges?], in the himalayas [i think, i may have blinked and miseed a sceneshift] [or more likely TURNED THE ANNOYING MUSIC DOWN and missed a scene-shift]: anyway its hands and mouth are fanned-out fine-mesh nets, and it stands braced against the tremendous current catching tiny blobs of food and ladling them into its mouth ALL THE TIME….
iii. the most awesomely abstract dance of death — old-skool crocodile-vs-wildebeest territory, but slowed down peckinpah style so that it became bulging yaut muscle and gouts of flung water, like an AB EX painting
iv. the waterfalls in brazil, a mile and a half across: all i could think wz, birds aside, who ever gets to sit on the little bits of rock BETWEEN the cataracts — i want to have a picnic there!!
v. midges that hatch and breed in clouds above lake malawi, as if patches of the lake had caught fire — they only live (like this) for one day!
vi. amazonian freshwater dolphins = VERY VERY UGLY
vii. and as we say farewell to the “wide serengeti” [insert actual real placename], flocks of birds too vast to count….

i think what i’m getting at is that the voiceover is a repressive desublimation compared to the near-hallucinatory content of the images, and you really feel that DA’s mind and responses are JUST NOT UP to what he must be watching; everything has to be made common-or-garden somehow — whereas if the johnny-morris-de-nos-jours were doin the animal speech bubbles, all he would have been saying IN EVERY SCENE is the animals just laughing and saying “THIS IS SO AWESOME DUDE!!”

Mar 06

Hooray – The Best Of British Design

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 378 views

Is HALF FRENCH. Winner of the BBC wots design good for award is Concorde – a notably English word there. Well done Half French Half British British Design winner.

(I wonder if this was done in France if Concorde would even come close?)

Mar 06

Who Is Jamie Kane?

TMFDPost a comment • 1,166 views

Maybe he was a member of the Kane Gang? Pat Kane’s secret, slightly more talented brother. Or is it a “whole new way of gaming”. Well, I doubt that. But as a way of wasting time at work – maybe Jamie Kane is the future.

Find out about him here:

Just because I am interested in exactly what kind of pop music the fictional Kane made…

Mar 06


Blog 7Post a comment • 392 views


the latest white house scandal is developing an EVIL TWIN twist!!

Confectionary Complexity Conundrum

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 426 views

First there was the Kit-Kat (it killed babies but was damn tasty).

Then there came the Kit-Kat Chunky: like a Land Of The Giants version of one Kit-Kat finger. But it retaine dthe red branding and was, on the whole, decided to be the most sucessful brand extensions of all time (or at least the last ten years).

And then came the Kit-Kat Chunky Peanut. In a yellow trade dress. Unclear where exactly they are fitting in the peanuts – potentially between the wafer slivers? I feel it is an extension too far, and will lead to the Kit-Kat Chunky Peanut Dark King-Size Special Edition . Which would be wrong, though what do you think. I don’t eat them as they kill babies.

Around The World in 80 Lousy Tunes, Day 61: Stanley

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 458 views

You would think I would be used to traveling by boat after the last few months, but this trip felt like an age had passed since I left Japan. The boat was a piece of junk, which in retrospect might have been better if it was an entire junk. But the Manic Street Preachers put me off junk a long time ago, and I already steered clear of Motown. As such rocking up in Hong Kong was a relief.

I avoid all the gardens and briefly considered going to Mongkok for a potential One Night In Bangkok joke. But as it was the skyscrapers on Hong Kong island were distracting me. I kept thinking of members of minor toytown techno bands traveling in the lifts to the top of – say – the Mitsubishi Building and flinging themselves off. Trip To Trumpton? Trip to the floor.

Instead I decided to travel to the south of the island for a relaxing evening. Apparently some of the finest sunsets in the world could be seen from there, and I like a blood red sunset. It reminds me of the blood of any given pop star when I have stabbed them. Take Paul Weller. I bet his blood is bright red.

But I didn’t get to see a blood red sunset or anything of the sort. It was foggy when I got there. And then I realised the name of the place. No wonder I had fantatsized about Weller’s death. I was standing in Stanley Market, on Stanley Road in Stanley. Still, they did sell gin.

PAUL WELLER: Stanley Road

Did Weller fall into a tannery in the early nineties? Or is his current permatanned face a natural development of aging. Certainly it is a constant reminder of how horrendous his music is. He is so terrifying that Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films has moved down into second in the chart of “leather-faced figures of fear”.

Apparently Weller won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits this year. Does that mean he is about to die? It is unlikely seeing how well preserved the hardening and tanning process has made his body. A man made entirely of leather need face no fear when out in the world. Luckily he does no go naked, as his waterproof skin would allow him. Except perhaps in the woods, which one assumes Wildwood is all about.

To Stanley Road then, a song and concept album about the place of his birth. Certainly I have made a pilgrimage and desecrated that sign drawn so badly on the album cover. This came from a period when he started to be called the Modfather – surely a deeply ironic soubriquet. It was after all at this period when there was nothing modern about his music at all, and his fathering skills are some what suspect – if we think of previous abortions such as The Jam and The Style Council. Instead he keeps peddling plaintative ballads about why D.C.Lee left him (not stupid) and how remarkable Tory a former member of Red Wedge can appear to a generation. Let’s hope that lifetime achievement award knows something we don’t.

Sorry Ana

Do You SeePost a comment • 222 views

Reading the Sight & Sound review of Syriana (handily on-line here) you get the feeling that reviewer Ryan Gilbey did not want to like the film from the off. And I don’t really have a problem with that. A review is very much a negotiation of the text with the prejudices and tastes of the reviewer. Interestingly what this review manages to articulate better that most reviews I have read, is exactly what is so good about Syriana. The fact that so much is happening, much of it a bit half-hearted, slap-dash and open for criticism. So you want to notice how there are only really two female speaking roles. Its a valid critique. The torture happens to an American, rather than the current way of the world? Spot on.

Gilbey also tries to insinuate that Gaghan’s direction is lousy however, and there he falls into patchy territory. Not because Gaghan is particularly good, but rather Gaghan has written a pretty director-proof screenplay. One imagines that the shooting script made clear that everyone needed a moral ambiguity. It certain follows in soundtrack decisions which distance and occasionally disorientate.

The best thing about Syriana is that it isn’t that good. And it does not pretend to be anything like a comprehensive last word on the oil situation. Indeed the futile fumblings of its cast (and perhaps its crew) mirror the situation and create an incomplete big issue. There are good guys, there are bad guys, but they rarely stay that way and it is just a matter of opinion. Perhaps the secret of Syriana is that right wing, isolationist Americans could watch it, and see it as a justification of all they do, as much as left wing environmentalists.


TMFDPost a comment • 1,076 views

Not some mad fantasy born out of Dave Boyle’s World Cup Spreadsheet (TM), but REAL RESULTS from the Pop World Cup, which has been running in the parallel universe of the Poptimists LJ Community for eight weeks now and has just reached the end of its group stage. There are new matches every wednesday, and the final should happen just before the ‘real’ world cup final.

Join the fun at Poptimists.

And catch up on the matches you missed here.

Proper Science

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 227 views

It’s Ig Noble time again. Which can only mean it time to laugh at silly scientist proving stuff that is obvious or useless – eh? God those brain-boxes would probably get run over if left to their own devices on a normal street, showing Star Wars to locusts.

At least this article attempts to not just laugh at the intellectuals. In particular, one of the ignoble winners (about whether people can swim faster in water or syrup) actually comes up with a not intuitive result. THUS PROVING THE POINT OF THE EXPERIMENT.

You know this is a lousy subject, lazily dragged up yet again however when the best comment is in the Talkback section! And that is “Why is there no Ignoble prize for peace?” Unfortunately there is one, and it was last won in 2004 by the inventor of Karaoke.

Punk 4 Sale

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 554 views

Have you been to Selfridges recently (and I don’t mean its dreadful flash heavy website)? The department store which has never had the balls to use “We don’t just sell fridges” as a slogan, has turned all punk. There are effortlessly tastefully tasteless window dressed displayed of punk past and future. Its less of an issue to put a safety pin through the nose of a plastic mannequin I suppose*.

Selfridges has, over the last year or so, realised that to remain distinctive they have to put on events. Up until now these events have been on the whole geographical in nature. Last year we welcomed Brazil in store, previously Japan got a look in. But time is just a different sort of geographical displacement, and punk does make for good visuals. And so they are showing punk films in store (Filth & Fury, Rock’n’Roll Swindle), plus curating ideas such as FuturePunk which is as lame as it sounds. It is odd seeing the punk mannequins in the window – but as this Time Out article suggests, not surprising. Punk did not so much become commercial as get eaten whole – and that Mr Selfridge wants in on the bandwagon thirty years on should surprise no-one. The only really surprising thing is that the tedious old pantomime dame John Lydon is not involved.

List of events here: CarsmileSteve of this parish will be bitterly disappointed to miss the Punk Rock Karaoke I fear.

*Unless of course she turns out to be an Egyptian Princess played by Kim Catrall in which case it might still cause some aggravation.