Archive for November, 2009



The numbers show that most searchers wouldn’t even notice if the Wall Street Journal and every other News Corp publication vanished from their results. What would definitely happen, though, is a huge drop in eyeballs and ad revenue for News Corp, which would certainly cost Murdoch far more than he could hope to recoup from a deal with Bing.

via NSFW: 1200 words absolutely, definitely not about Rupert Murdoch and Google.

Michael Haneke In Conversation


An interview with austrian film-maker Michael Haneke, whom i totally rate. Or is that who? Meh.

Michael Haneke In Conversation ‹ Little White Lies — Independent Film Magazine.

Borders chain probably to close


Speaking of bookshops (that was here) news comes that the Borders chain of pseudo-bookshops faces an uncertain future.

I went to a Borders once, in london. I brought a copy of the independent film magazine little white lies. Then I left. Aren’t you glad I have a blog so I can tell you all about these exciting little consumer escapades?

Borders future in chaos as administrators pull out at last minute | Business | guardian.co.uk.


An expert commission of African leaders today announced their plan for comprehensive reform of music band U2. Saying that U2’s rock had lost touch with its African roots, the commission called for urgent measures to halt U2’s slide towards impending crisis.

“Our youth today are imperiled by low quality music,” said Commission chairman Nelson Mandela. “We will be lending African musicians to U2 to try to refurbish their sound to satisfy the urgent and growing needs for diversionary entertainment at a time of crisis in the global music and financial sectors.”

 

African leaders advise Bono on reform of U2 – 23narchy in the UK.

IT CAME FROM THE NET [links]


arg! I have become a webclickzombie! I had all kinds of serious bloggage to do but boingboing swallowed my brain! The housework pixies are gnawing on my shinbones…. demanding that i do the things with the cleaning and stuff….

Here are some links to tide you over:

This site is full of funny and twisted writings!

This link has a good round-up of insights and responses to that massive email leak from those climate scientists that have certain reactionary people going “Global Warming Is a Big Con And This Proves It!!!” and is well worth reading if you want to attain a balanced over-view of the whole debacle.

This is both disturbing AND catchy:

musical crush of the week [mp3]


I’m totally crushing on this song at the moment. It’s the slits covering ‘heard it through the grapevine’. Enjoy!

is waterstones the anti-christ?


I really don’t know anymore. I used to quite like Waterstones, always a good place to haunt between second-hand bookshops, till i moved someplace where the local ‘stones was an abyssal shit-pit with a terrible selection of books.

There’s an article over at the guardian which reviews Waterstones place in bookselling over the years, examines the state of bookselling at the moment, and calls for a return of bookshops to places of almost secular worship of the printed word.

Then there’s this nifty analysis of the piece over here, which is where I found the link to the guardian article in the first place.


How much of a kick in the teeth would that be? You’ve yearned to know how your birth father is only to discover he’s one of the most famous psychopaths in the western world?

Link.


The results of an interesting global survey into opinions concerning the free market system of capitalism:

The free market economy is flawed but should be addressed by regulation and reform rather than being replaced by a new economic system, according to a poll conducted in 27 countries.

nicked from my mate Merryn’s facebook wall.

I cite: a world sceptical of free markets.

Insomnia and Eddie Izzard


As I lay in bed last night, supposedly on my way to sleep, things kept pushing their way my thoughts. This happens quite often.  It’s all the lying down and doing nothing. My brain demands amusement. It demands thoughts to amuse itself with. It doesn’t really care what the thoughts are as long as they are plenty. I can do some really great thinking when I’m trying to get to sleep. Ideas for blogposts, stories, bits of novel; they pop up like virilant plukes throbbing red and demanding to be harassed.  Unfortunately, thinking is not conducive to sleep.  Sometimes, to counteract the thinking I recite a mantra in my head over and over, trying to focus on that instead of everything else. It can be a quite useful technique for calming the brain down but it demands a certain dedication i.e. You gotta keep repeating that thing and not let your mind wander.

One of the things that was plaguing me last night was me imagining myself doing stand up comedy. I’ve done this before, quite literaly coming up with a routine in my head whilst i’m trying to sleep. Last night I came up with a quite ingenious way for dealing with a heckler wherein you make out that you’ve seen him (or her) before at your previous shows, creeping about outside your bedroom window, going through your rubbish bins etc., and that the heckler in question is in fact stalking you. I thought it would be quite amusing if delivered right.  I might not ever have a go at stand up but I doubt that fact would stop my brain from turning to it from time to time.

The reason I had stand up on my mind was because I’d just seen the new Eddie Izzard dvd.

Eddie Izzard is probably one of my favourite comics. His free-wheeling, surreal and erudite performance style that veers on the random but is obviously quite carefully thought out just really hits my spot. He has so many routines that just pop up in my head and make me smile. Like this one, and this one, and this one. Truely he is an amusing genius.

Eddie has been out of the standup game for a while now, It’s been 6 years since the release of Sexie, due quite probably to the awful lot of film & tv work he’s been doing. I had some inkling that he was touring this year, that a dvd would follow, and here it is;  Live from Wembly. Oh the joy!

It isn’t his best. I mean, you go back and watch dressed to kill or glorious and you think to yourself  “who is this hilarious maniac in a dress?” for Izzard is a transvestite.  In live from wembly he is wearing jeans. My guess is that with all the film work he has a certain duty now towards a more mainstream audience that might freak the fuck out if they saw a guy in a dress  so he has gently pushed his persona away from the fringes.  There are other difference from his earlier material too that can be hard to put your finger on.

6 years is a long time not to do something. If you stopped driving for 6 years the chances are you might be a bit rusty and this is something that comes across. All the ingredients are there but his timing seems slightly off. Where before he could veer from subject to subject with surreal ease things seem a little forced here. There are several points where he references gags from his previous shows which the audience laps up eagerly like crack puppies at their mothers teat. Two of the jokes seem like they’ve been lifted from Billy Connolly shows (the opera bit and the gazelle bit, although it’s giraffes here) and there is a point in the show where Eddie jokingly tells the audience “These shows are just for me, you know” and maybe this is the case. tv and film probably pay better than standup and it could be that he went on tour again because he missed doing what he used to do.

Even if it is it doesn’t really matter. He’s still really fucking funny. I probably would of found the show even funnier if I wasn’t such a fan and noticed all these things. My only hope is that he goes on tour again in 2010 and releases another dvd, to further re-sharpen the blade of his wit, so that I may worship with abandon at the altar of his very excellent comedy.

If you’ve never seen Eddie Izzard in action I recommend starting with his earlier shows. Or maybe start here and work backwards. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you just don’t like him in which case to each his own. Innit.

update: I just spend a age of monkeys looking for decent videos on youtube for the new dvd and they’re all handheld shakily audience deals with bad audio. Sorry.

what the what?


You may have noticed a series of posts delinearated by roman numerals and that these posts have a bit of a narrative vibe about them.  That would be because they do indeed represent a narrative, a growing one, an experiment. The idea is that i try really hard not to think about this story except for when I sit down to write another, small, part of it. This has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo and is more a way for me to blow of steam concerning the novel i’m writing, which, as i have mentioned previously, I’m all pent-up over lately.  It’s something I can just sit down and do without any thought for the overall narrative, or for characters, just to see where it goes.  This way I feel like i’m being productive even when I’m not working on the novel. Like today, for instance, i have a bunch of stuff to do that doesn’t involve writing, so i have no time to sit down for the 3-4 hours that i would normally reserve for the novel. But i can still do those things whilst ocassionally sitting down to write a paragraph for this experiment, see? That way the writer in my head doesn’t feel like a slackerbitch loser. Plus, being written in short bite-sized segments makes it easier to read online.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

[ xiii ]


Drinking the coffee feels more like a punishment than a cure – The sugar barely cuts through the taste, like sucking petroleum out of a petrol tank with a mint in your mouth. The rousing of my nervous system serves to heighten the paranoia of consciousness, The fight or flight instinct.  I need to get away from this room but I can’t bring myself to leave. I pace back and forth lost in panic. I scratch nerverously  at my scalp, my arms, as if the very air is eating away at me. If i keep going it won’t be long before I break the skin.

[ xii ]


I dress shakily, pulling whatever first comes to hand over my clammy naked body. With coffee in hand I sit on the single rickity chair that passes for furniture in here. My hand is shaking so much I have to put the mug down on my equally rickity desk.  Both desk and chair were recovered from skips on one of my many expeditions through the city,  items discarded as being unfit for their primary use. Nearly everything in the bedsit had been thrown away by somebody else and claimed by me.

When I find something, in an alleyway, skip or simply dumped on the side of the road, i get all tingly with excitement; like xmas in reverse. I am the vengeful ghost of christmas past and my revenge is the gift of life for things which have been left for dead.

 


Is Peter Mandelson the Internet Antichrist? This shit needs to go down in a flaming wreck else we may as well all move back to 1982.

Secretary of State Peter Mandelson is planning to introduce changes to the Digital Economy Bill now under debate in Parliament. These changes will give the Secretary of State (Mandelson — or his successor in the next government) the power to make “secondary legislation” (legislation that is passed without debate) to amend the provisions of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988).

What that means is that an unelected official would have the power to do anything without Parliamentary oversight or debate, provided it was done in the name of protecting copyright.

 

BREAKING: Leaked UK government plan to create “Pirate Finder General” with power to appoint militias, create laws – Boing Boing.


DisturbingAmusing 8-bit animated music video!

Flairs – Trucker’s Delight NSFW « Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog.

[ xi ]


Despite the creeping horror that wears this room like a second skin the idea that this is all there is to my existence is somewhat comforting. That everything outside the window is merely an illusion and that, if i were to walk out the door, I would find myself back where I started through some horrific mutilation of euclidean geometry; as if  i was living in an M. C. Escher lilograph.  Something tells me this is not the case. The memory that I had abandoned all religion when i was a child comes at me through the fog that passes for my mind.  Hell does not exist except for what Man creates for himself here on this mortal coil.  I pour several spoonfuls of brandless instant coffee into a dirty mug and top it off with twice as many spoons of sugar, mixing it together with a splash of skimmed milk. I click the kettle on and search the bedsit floor for passably clean underwear.

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