27 August 2010

Thought for the day:

Caption fail:

Revenge of the cat:

One Night Only

25 August 2010

On Sunday night, after a family weekend, I returned from a family weekend to my latest arrival from Lovefilm. Dreamgrils, a movie from the musical of the same name is a fantastic musical portrait of an era in American social history defined by race, music and culture. “Dreamgirls is a roman à clef of the histories of the Motown record label and one of its acts, The Supremes“. A car salesman who signs a trio of 8-year-olds, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James “Thunder” Early, love triangles and internal politics.

But it’s the music, incredibly all original, that makes this film. One I should definitely own (even Eddie “party all the timeMurphy is a surprise!). My favourite track has to be One Night Only, performed in turn by the downtrodden Jennifer Hudson (whose awesome voice tugged my heartstrings) and in a more upbeat style by Beyoncé:

Moralising at tangents

25 August 2010

I was pointed to an amazing moralising Christian article by a Facebook friend recently. I’m not going to make any judgment on the diary piece in the Newyorker magazine it refers to. But I will copy one incredibly written but fabulously tangental paragraph from it.

“Why do we allow ourselves to be raped repeatededly [SIC] by the homosexual media? Who are they to invade our lives? They lure our teens and 20-somethings off into darkness with nasty promises. They violate the conscience of millions of Californians with activitst judges. They taunt the vulnerable even on our tv sets, adding subversive messages to every child’s show, from Glee to True Blood. And they are not finished yet. Once they grab the young generation from the real world, they are not even close to being finished. Who could describe or truly know what our Malthusian future holds? For now, they destroy our values with each stomp of their damp, musky sneakers on after-hours disco floors, crushing our very souls as harsh lights illuminate their flourescent Charlie Brown t-shirts and cocaine-pale faces and even then they find new frenzies, rubbing harder and harder into each other, aspiring to the perfect veneral opprobrium to all the hopes and dreams that people like Sarah Palin represent”.

I have a number of problems with this. I won’t go in to them all but

  • since when has True Blood been a child’s show?
  • was the Judge in California really activist? Or just implementing the law?
  • what are these hopes and dreams Sarah Palin represents?

It’s a wonderful piece of prose but the implication that the homosexual media lures people is plain wrong. You can’t be told to be gay. And where I lose all respect for the writer is the implication that homosexuals are all disco dancing drug fueled sex-maniacs. By all means – from your point of view – criticise 28, male, Williamsburg, gay [who wrote the Newyorker diary] but sweeping generalisations and aggressive assertions do nothing to sell your point of view to an intelligent reader. More importantly, though – how far off of the original point of view is this? And why say that Williamsburg is “stone’s throw away” from Ground Zero when that stone would have to be thrown over three miles, if not only to exaggerate outrage? This is moralising at tangents.

There’s a lot wrong with the gay scene. Attitude’s issues issue, and the Observer report on it, prove that clearly. But surely it would be far more constructive to seek to change that, to provide alternatives, to help the disproportionately large proportion of gays who suffer problems of mental health.

The fact that “the result of living as a stigmatised minority is that you self-medicate” with drug and sex addictions proves how much damage articles like ChristWire’s do. If that’s your point of view surely it’s better to do something proactive than moralising and making sweeping judgments.

Lies, Damn Lies and Luxembourg

25 August 2010

I was reading about Luxembourg this morning.

That source of all knowledge Wikipedia had some amazing information on the country (Michael Scott, the David Brent of the American Office once said that because anybody can contribute to Wikipedia you know you’re getting the best possible information). It’s an unusual country, it is the world’s only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy, and it’s landlocked position provides a strange statistical quirk.

"Luxembourg consumes the most alcohol in Europe per capita. However, the large proportion of alcohol purchase by customers from neighboring countries contributes to the statistically high level of alcohol consumption per capita; this level of consumption is thus not representative of the actual alcohol consumption of the Luxembourg population."

Fascinating, eh?


24 August 2010

I’ve realised this for quite some time, but a party I went to the other week really brought it home how lucky I am. Not only do I have a large number of friends in London, I am also lucky enough to have a number of very good friends here too. It’s a city I am glad I have chosen to make my life in, and I am amazed to have such good friends both here, and elsewhere.

GCSE Results Day! My results…

24 August 2010

Today is GCSE results day. (Didn’t it used to be on a Thursday like the A’levels). I still remember picking up my results. I never really enjoyed school. I loved the learning but didn’t enjoy getting bullied. So going in to school during the summer holidays wasn’t sometihing to look forward to! Still, it was worth it.

I got:
3 C’s (never was very good at maths… or German for that matter),
2 B’s
4 A’s a,d
1 A* (in english language – a class I couldn’t take at A’level, sadly).

GCSE’s certainly set me up to do well in life.

Good luck to everyone getting their results today!

Earthquakes in London, you should be shaking in your seats

23 August 2010

Last week I went to see Earthquakes in London at the National. A play about the legacy of the babyboomer generation on the planet it’s certainly food for thought about climate change.

How many people can this planet sustain? What kind of world are we leaving future generations? They’re questions that have been posed before: “When environmentalists say that the world is overpopulated, they mean that the environmental consequences of the excessively high human population are destroying the biosphere–the Earth’s life-support system”. What are the environmental consequences? How many people can the Earth really support? What kind of world do you want?

If you have children, or – as in my case – a new niece, you surely must wonder what kind of future you’re leaving your child. A world where populations displaced by climate change – climate refugees. If you think that immigration and refugees in your country now are a problem, what about a future where whole populations are displaced?

Mike Bartlett hit the nail on the head with his play. It can’t be an easy topic to encapsulate in a script, but he does incredibly well. And it’s a topic that perhaps drama needs to address. It’s a medium that can bring a subject to peoples minds and make them think.

Jason Hall has a much better review of the play than I ever could. Read the review. See the play. Then contemplate what kind of future you’re leaving.

Ever looked at a politician and thought…

18 August 2010

…he really reminds me of someone?

A TV character perhaps?

A Children’s TV character?

Thomas the Tank Engine Character?

Well maybe after you look at nothingbutawordbag’s brilliant blog post you’ll see similarities, not just in words, but in the explanations too!


Goldfrapp Cerrone Houdini

17 August 2010

I saw the words ‎”Cologne Cerrone Houdini” on facebook today. Of course my first thought was “what the heck is that all about?”. (Well, wouldn’t you?)…

Turns out it’s Goldfrapp lyrics (I should perhaps have guessed). But, still, what on earth is that all about? My friend who posted it pointed me to a website which answers all your song lyric questions.

It’s interesting to note that this track marks yet another reference to French disco legend Cerrone (Supernature is also the name of a classic Cerrone album), but Goldfrapp’s explanation of the title is more of a random coincidence than another tribute. “We were jamming, and the word ‘Cerrone’ just came out of my mouth,” she says. “Subconsciously, maybe I was thinking of Cerrone, but it wasn’t something in the front and center of my mind. The ‘Houdini’ part came because I was reading a book about him and the whole idea of escapism. I used this as a metaphoric idea about an ex-boyfriend who tried to escape from as many situations as possible.”

And when you see the video for Cerrone’s Supernature you can perhaps see the influence he’s had on Goldfrapp… Compare it

to perhaps Number 1, A&E or Alive (videos below), and perhaps even a little Rocket. I think I’ve found a brilliant new French musician to enjoy!

Or perhaps as was pointed out to me after I posted this perhaps Cerrone’s animal head and shaky camera fetish had more of an influence on Goldfrapp’s video for Train:


2 August 2010

Today I recieved a Facebook message from a friend from abroad:

I was dreaming of you last night. You were working for the Queen, and I was visiting you at work, and it was kind of embarrassing because the Queen and I didn’t really have anything to speak about.

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