Posts from January 2006

Jan 06

DAY 59 – Hiroshima

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 339 views

Tokyo had defeated me. What with its cans of sweat and its omnipresent neon, it was like someone was constantly playing AC/DC at me all the time. And that makes Tanya a very upset girl. So I decided to get out of town and see more of this great nation who shall never rise above the stain placed upon its name by David Sylvian. So I though a bit of history would be in order, so I caught a train to Hiroshima.

I have always been interested in bombs, ever since I substituted a prop for a real one in Chumbawumba’s Ticky Ticky Ticky Time Bomb video. They got knocked down, and did not get up again for a significant amount of time. But for all the times I have threatened to flatten Mick Hucknall with nuclear ordinance, I have never seen exactly what a nuclear bomb could achieve. Hence Hiroshima (I would have gone to Nagasaki if it wasn’t for the godawful jazz standard by Stefen Grapelli and Django “Gap-Fingered” Reinheart.)

But, dear reader, I have been let down on both fronts. Firstly the train I traveled on was a Shinkansen: which is like riding the Sarah Records Express (pansies in the boiler I daresay). But when I arrived at the now lovely restored city, I was reminded that there was indeed a terrible song about Hiroshima, which would haunt me forever.

GARY MOORE – Hiroshima

There is a certain strain of lyric writing (and strain as in constipation is the correct word) which defies criticism. Heart-wrought commentary on terrible word events dare the critic to say that no matter how poorly written, they are from the heart. Nevertheless Gary Moore defies me to say his paean to the dead in Hiroshima is not an insult to their memory. Surely words like this make us all understand the true horror of Hiroshima:

They still remember the day when Little Boy dropped from his womb.
They still remember how their homes became their children’s tombs.
Their suffer mourn each soul who died that August morning
Why don’t we listen, why don’t we heed the warning?

They make us understand via simulation rather than the pure force of language. Is the pain of hearing his raspy horrid voice saying these clumsily rhymed words really equivalent to being burned alive in a nuclear holocaust. Of course not. I am alive longer to experience the suffering.

Hiroshima, the place where innocence was burned.
Hiroshima, the memory makes my stomach turn.
Hiroshima, men came to shadows where they stood.
Hiroshima, this kind of evil brings no good.

Nice that Gary is very accepting of the evil that does bring people good. He would be more understanding when I kick in his Braille face. But you have to feel sorry for the guy, a man whose own official website seems a little bit more dedicated to his famous dead mate than him.

Already Quite Good Story Improved By Addition Of Pirates

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 307 views

One can imagine some sort of Gallic CSI wasting hundreds of man-hours on this case: namely that of a murdered woman that they could not identify because it turns out the body was 500 years older than first imagined. Why they did not cut through her leg and count the rings in her bones I don’t know, but clearly Brittany sand has special preservative effects. Any similarities to the plot of Francois Ozon’s Under The Sand are also blown away by Ananova’s addition of potentially spurious factoid about the perpetrators of the crime. Clearly when a crime takes place over five hundred years ago one need not be so rigorous in attributing blame, so good luck le flic who made a punt at the crime being perpetrated by pirates. Arrrghhh!!!!

I Will Survive

Do You SeePost a comment • 297 views

Well at least we know that he can probably survive the tirals and tribulations of prison.

Huzzah, everyone loves a “winner is loser” story.

Jan 06

Zorro – The Novel

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 119 views

What do you think of when someone says Isabel Allende? The House Of The Spirits? Nice solid family saga type storytelling? Eva Luna?


I know. That’s why I picked it up at the library. What was Isabel Allende doing writing something called Zorro The Novel. Not a adaptation of recent films, no real tie in to previous cinematic versions (no credit on Zorro’s creators). Just a new novel about the origin of Zorro, still Don Diego de la Vega, and his adventures California. What was she playing at.

Well. Having read it, and being aware of its ilk (the comics origin story) it is both remarkably faithful to what has come before and yet a very contemporary take. The nearest thing I could compare it to is Batman Begins, another painstaking origin explanation which is at leisure to do the pre-Batman action as much as the pointy ears. Indeed every aspect of Zorro’s skills, persona and outfit are given more than cursory attention (almost to Power Girl boob shot levels) and this reducto is almost ad absurdum level. And yet this is (here comes the word) a rollicking good romance. There is adventure, derring-do from the moment Zorro’s mother (I told you it goes back a long way) attacks the local mission. She also manages to get away with the biggest problem with a character whose adventures tend towards the episodic – namely an ending. For much like Batman Begins, her ending is the beginning.

In short, Zorro The Novel, is a whole heap of fun and more literary authors should be pumping out stuff like this.

Gah! MY EYES!!!!

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 285 views

Those of us whose bodies were hard-wired in the 1970’s often accidentally slip into the trap of repeating past behaviour. Habit, I believe the behaviourists call this. Anyway, one of my worst habits is typing, the poor lost lamented domain name for this site (you know, the domain we lost the WEEK we got that great Entertainment Weekly write up). When it was snaffled away it quickly went to some awful multi-pop-up linking portal, which was a right pain in the days before pop-up blockers. The American Singles held the forward for a while – in the way web-squatting pathetic money spin sites are wont to.

But now. Type in (or just click on the link) and what do you get? A site where you can buy lasers? What could the possible connection be? SCIENCE. And us blinding you with it?

Missed Marketing Opportunities – #1 in a series that probably won’t last

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,037 views

‘Pret Burns’

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Jan 06

TEACHIN KATS to KOOK #1: omlets innit

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 421 views

OK this is not an proper omlet but a SPANISH OMLET minus TATERS but PLUS PAELLA but MINUS RICE

i. Fry big bunch of pre-cooked shrimps or prawns in butter and a bit olive oil, ideally in griddle pan (=has little ridges)
ii. Also smoked mackerel (take off oily skin) (now remove mackerel skin also HAH) be fried also, in little pieces
iii. Beat 3 x ordinary size eggs or 2 x super large eggs in bowl w.a little salt
iv. when prawns and shrimps are getting a bit brown and crispy, add egg all over
v. mix up as egg goes firm — it will magickally fold the butter into itself!! — but don’t let it get TOO firm

add pepper and serve!! use a wooden spoon or stick to get it out from the ridges, it will come v.easily

you can also add eg chopped onion or red pepper but actually it is supernice just as is — i did it yesterday w.steamed broc, mange tout peas, asparagus tips and tiny corn-on-cobs, all in one little steamer


Showing Off

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 386 views

Also from Never Had It So Good by D.Sandbrook:

“When the budding promoter Andrew Loog Oldham wanted to impress the American record producer Phil Spector in the early 1960s he took him to lunch at the Angus Steak House in Soho.”

A mainstream criminal

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 203 views

From Never Had It So Good by Dominic Sandbrook:

“The writer Peter Vansittart recalled an appearance by [Colin] Wilson at the ICA, where he announced: ‘Man’s enemies are herd-values, triviality, the weight of mental inertia, stale ideas and irrelevant history; escape is in self-realization, self-mastery, to expand luminous moments of vision and insight into authentic freedom.’ During the question period, a bizarre exchange ensued when a middle-aged woman stood up and asked Wilson: ‘I have a beautiful home and a well-kept garden, a loving husband and two friendly and well-behaved boys. We have saved and made sacrifices to afford them an excellent education. We enjoy simple things, and go abroad to see places of historical interest. So please tell me, in all seriousness, where I have gone wrong’. Wilson then rose, ‘a man of wrath’, and stormed:

‘You…you’re the worst of the lot! Unspeakable! A mainstream criminal! Of course you enjoy simple things, you’re incapable of anything else. Your house is garbage, your garden a midden and a swamp, your husband is Gordon FitzHomo and your children are dung. Their school should be prosecuted. You’re the dregs of the country, barely conceivable in your enormity and it’s apalling that you were ever conceived. When you nerve yourself to go abroad, black flags are run up and the port authorities hold their noses.’

This was not an untypical performance.”

Sandbrook’s book really has it in for Colin Wilson, who he pitches against the ‘Movement’ writers (Amis, Larkin, etc.), it being clear where his sympathies lie, even though Amis and Larkin come across as sneery young fogeys. The debate seems all too familiar, to the point where you half expect to see “Comments (63)” after Wilson’s quoted rant. The question – and it’s a question that recurs pretty much every time I dip into the inter-aether – is why there still aren’t more people who can display cultural and intellectual hunger and enthusiasm without it going hand-in-hand with this sort of cultivated contempt?

No Relation

Do You SeePost a comment • 427 views

Peter Sarsgaard and Stellan Skarsgård are not related.

I know, it makes it really difficult to make glib comparisons (where none are appropriate) between their acting. And watching Jarhead at the weekend I realised just how many Peter Sarsgaard movies I have seen in the last couple of years. Normally I like him, and his movies, he slots in the soft indie sensibility where his slightly disconcerting voice can mark him out as neither completely sympathetic or completely disturbing. Great in Kinsey, good in Jarhead, manages the twist in Skeleton Key well, and even going back to an arthouse porno like The Center Of The World he impresses. His only real dud is Flightplan, and since that film has DUD written down it like a stick of rock, it is not completely his fault.

Or is it? Quote from Pete:

“When people say, ‘The movie sucked, but you didn’t; that means you didn’t swing hard enough. You bunted. If the movie goes down, I want to go down with it.”

Well, you went down in Flightplan, well done. I also think I can add him to my list of celebrities I look a bit like.