Erm.. Isn't it always the way. It's this site's busiest day in a long while and I'm actually living up to it's name by actually being too tired to write. So instead, as a thank you for visiting, I offer you this link as it's to probably the most beautiful film I've ever seen. Except for this, which is the only time I've cried at the cinema.
Blog! What Does Not Change > ? I can think of a number of things, although at the top would be skateboarders.
Liverpool Life It's a busy weekend, as Liverpool attempts to live up it's title of 'The Music City'. An old airport field has been taken over by 'Creamfields', Glastonbury for the clubbing set. One of these years I may actually go to that, since I'm actually beginning to warm to chill-out music, and I'm a sucker for the experience. I've a feeling however I'd actually be a touch out of place (watching Buffy the other night, it occured to me I may be Giles). For the older audience, the rest of the city is playing host to the annual festival for 'The Beatles' - a chance for every cover band in the world from 'The Yellow Submarines' to 'I am a Walrus' to play in one place. The only side effect that if you pub hop at the wrong moment you might find yourself hearing 'Twist and Shout' ten times in a day.
Hey! There is something unusual about listening to film and television soundtracks years after the event. I've been listening to the thirtysomething soundtrack for years even though I've only the vaguest recollection of actual episodes. I remember the colours - all oranges and yellows; Michael and Hope with their kids; Gary re-appearing as a ghost; the final moments in the advertising firm. But if the music give a flavour of how the show must have been, the track listing glimpses the moments, especially the titularly titled 'begging for sex, part 2' (is this like Ian Dury's 'Reasons To Be Cheeful' series? Is there a 'begging for sex, part 6'?). If ever a show needed to be re-run...
Referrer log 65.55% typed "stavros the dalek" in Google
Blog! Sorry, can't help myself. Wil Wheaton has a blog. You know - that Wil Wheaton. Wesley Crusher. The little kid from 'Stand By Me' (sic balls). And you know what - it's actually quite good. In fact, taking a leaf out of Sean Penn's book, he doesn't pull any punches, especially in his FAQ (the section about leaving ST:TNG is probably one of the most bitter yet honest things written by an actor I've read in ages). Wil we salute you (sort of - Uncle Willy !?!). [via Metafilter]
Exclamation! First sentence explains reason for post. Second sentence links to actual parody. Third sentence points to the reaction of the subject of the parody and it's inevitable fallout in other places. Half-hearted attempt to end comment in closure, even though the argument is still hanging.
Erm... I can't say 'Honey'. Or rather I can't say it as a term of affection. A workmate brought cup of tea today and I, in my most relaxed voice said 'Thanks Honey'. She paid it no mind but I cringed at how false it sounded. I wasn't sure why. I can't swear very well either, but this troubles me a bit more, especially since it seems like an important part of at least this work place. It occured to me the only terms of affection I ever use are 'kid' and 'mate' - not conciously you understand - just to fill a moment - not fantastically intelligent, I know. I suppose it's because I like names so much. Although I do hate people who use your title so much they wear it out - Yes Stuart, No Stuart, Three bags of Stuart.
Life I’ve just heard about the death of one of the new wave of bars in Liverpool City Centre. It was barely open a year, and not too unlike a lot of the bars around town. But the staff were friendly, they let people wear jeans and they had big couches - the only downside being the price (£2.60 a bottle of Bud). There was also a lovely balcony window from which you could watch the shenanigans at the even trendier bar across the street. What really did mark it out from most other venues was that rather than offering the musical entertainment of the pub band, it allowed artists to display work on its walls. And so this was the place – my hook or crook – but more likely stealth I went to my last private view.

If you spend any length of time in the ‘art world’, you will inevitably end up going to a private View. These happen the night before an exhibition opens. Usually, admittedly they are lovely. But sometimes – now and then – they can turn into the worst party you’ve ever been to, the only drink on offer being white wine . . .

A bit like my first Dime, I remember the first art private view I ever attended. It was during a months work experience at an art gallery and I’d been asked along to see what they were like as part of my education.

I didn’t really know what to expect. Actually – I expected lots of people standing around talking about the art and wondering about the universe. What I actually found was lots of people standing around drinking wine and talking about the last private view they went to.

Looking around the exhibition, I didn’t exactly fall to my knees and have an epiphany. Polished stone has never been one of my favourite art materials - so being dragged around room after room of the stuff I began to have flashbacks to boring visits to MFI as a child (or was it B&Q).

Eventually the moment arrived when I would be introduced to the artist. Now I had met artists before – the inspiring type of artists who work for their soul – this guy (who will remain nameless) seemed a touch – affected (something I’ve since realised most artists are). We shake hands and he looks down on me and asks me what I think of his exhibition.

For some reason something twigged inside me. At the time, I didn’t know really know what sycophancy was, but I could tell that this was the kind of reaction which had been visited on him most of his life. And somewhere in the back of my mind I decided that I wasn’t going to go with the flow (believe me I never have). So I look up at him, this self-made God-like figure and say: ‘To be honest I don’t really like it.’

Suddenly there is silence in the group. Some embarrassed grins. A snigger. He looks a back at me – surprise obvious. And the bastard got me. He had a response. ‘Well have you looked properly?’

I think so.’ I answer, squirming slightly at my lack of an actual plan.

‘Well I think you should come and have proper look – perhaps in your lunch hour.’ Trigger cocked. Bang. In other words - I don’t have a lunch hour – we artists work as the mood takes us.

My private view experiences since then have been mixed. But I think they all are except for all but a select few. Which brings us back to that opening at that trendy bar.

I was given an invite by a friend, and since there was a bar, decided that at least I’d have a choice of drink. It turned out, this time the work amounted to three paintings and a screensaver projected on a wall.

And I walk in and look around it dawns on me that these aren’t my people. I don’t know completely what it was, as I can usually work in any given situation, but I’d entered a room full of people just looking at each other. Glancing at their beer. Looking back at each other. Sip of beer.

I like talk. I like chatter. Admittedly, a few arty types are talking and the token goths are looking bored because (quite rightly) they refuse to pay these prices. I buy a beer and begin the long dark stand to oblivion.

I buy another beer. I look around and decide to bite the bull by the horns. Two girls are sitting rictus-like on a three seater couch.

I approach with a ‘I don’t know anyone here who are you . . .’

They look up nervously.

‘Erm . . . I’m Sally.’ Pipes up the brunette.

‘Julie.’ Mumbles the blonde.

By now I’m sitting down – and I realise that I’ve lost the power of speech. Creeking moments go by.

‘Do you know the artist?’ I ask.

‘No.’ says Sally.

‘No.’ says Julie. They got the tickets from a friend.

‘I know what that’s like.’ I say just that little bit to loud.

I think it was Julie who glares at me first. Oh well, I think, all is not lost yet. And the exchange continues (me first):

‘What do you do?’

‘We’re students.’

‘What do you do?’

‘Hispanic Studies.’ (mental rictus – what the hell was I going to do with that – ‘Isn’t that Jennifer Lopez doing well for herself?’ – I think not.)

‘Second year?’

‘How can you tell?’ (Oh don’t you know I know all and see all. My mystical Hex powers are infinite)

‘You have that world weary look.’ (Yes, that’s what I actually said, but come on - I was desperate. So desperate, the whole mystic powers stick was my back up).

So then we sit there. Julie nervously comments on the how she likes the décor. I ask her if she could live with it at home. She carries on talking but suddenly I’m in the Seinfeld mumbling episode, nodding along without a clue what she’s saying. Sally leaves. Julie says she’ll stick around and keep me company. We sit some more. I start to blabber about a friend whose got minimalist décor in his flat. She seems vaguely interested. I continue. There is no friend of course. I stole him from an interior design programme from about six months ago. Another friend arrives wondering who the hell I am. She starts getting interested about this none conversation I’m having about this fictional friend. My hands get clammy. Finally they ask me what I do. There is a brief exchange about an exhibition I thought was dull but they thought was ‘Top’. Then I use my sucker punch secret weapon:

‘I’m a writer. I write.’

They both perk up, and ask ‘Had anything produced?’

‘Not yet.’

I don’t think I’ve seen a droop in interest as quick before. Within moments they’re at the bar desperately trying cocktails.

I get up and leave.

The moral being if you’ve got to one of these things, take a friend, that way, if you’re going to be boring, you can be bored together.
Blog! I won't just be point to blogs with *really* cool URLs but it evidently helps. The startlingly titled is a the blue heaven of Paula, who doesn't blog often, but blogs well.
Hey! Buffy, the best written tv show in the world is back, and tonight she dusted Dracula. American readers will be reading that sentence and wondering if they've lost a year of their lives. Well, no. It's just the BBC are an entire calender year behind you people, a common problem with imports on UK tv. There is a supposed method to this madness. During the 1990s, there was a spate of big licensing before US shows got off the ground and cancellation tremours - which led to some high profile shows being bought and quietly dumped into the small hours after only managing that magic initial first eight episodes on a US network. Now UKtv is being a bit more cautious. Channel 4 waited a good year before buying (and hiding) the West Wing and The Sopranos (but not Angel - but that's a whole other sordid story). And of course this breeds spoilers. In some ways there may be little point actually watching this new season of the Bufster - after all I already know what happens in most of it...
Chris's Edinburgh Festival Diary Hot off the press. His companion, Simon, has been Morris Dancing with Mark Little!
Review! I was caught short again this morning, not by the epic chances of war, but an Mtvshowing of Louise (ex-Eternal singer, married to a footballer) and her cover version of Stuck In The Middle With You. In the video, a kitch version of the ear-chopping scene from 'Reservoir Dogs', we find Mrs. Rednapp in silk stocking and little else loving rather than torturing the man in the chair. I'm suddenly filled with mixed feelings. One half of me loaths all this for the travesty it obviously is, but the other half (the half with shakes his booty to Lady Marmalade) thinks it may well be a work of genius, the juxtaposing of two entirely dispirate entities for a winning combination (think Joyrider's version of Jane Weidlin's Rush Hour). Perhaps we should leave the last word to Blind Eye View at the ezboard.
Blog! a penis and a vagina is the gloriously titled blog of John and Andria (although John seems to be doing all the work lately). Hope you can work everything out with Alison, John. I know from experience how wierd such relationships can get. John left a message at the guestbook, pointing out that this page has a few errors on it pointing to this page by way of explanation, which frankly fightened the life out of me. Is this some new internet form of the thought police?
Commuter Life A woman ran through Lime Street Station today, chasing after a corgi, and screaming is name, which we all found out was Milo. Milo, whose little legs seemed to have stamina of a greyhound, was almost out the door and living the life on the streets of Liverpool, until he eventually skided and rolled over on the floor on the slippery floor. He was picked up moments later by his owner, who admonished him for doing what came naturally.
Review! Ian Jones of 'Off The Telly' on The 1993 British Comedy Awards (yes the one with Julian Clary): "(Jonathan Ross) seems bemused, however, at the order in which special guests have been organised to hand out the awards. First out is Jerry Hall, who seems vexed, and when Jonathan ribs her over a new yoga video she snaps, "Do I look like a girl who needs money?" to complete silence. Then it's Hulk Hogan, also on the promotional trail. "I guess the world of scripted comedy is no stranger to you," cracks Jonathan. "It's a bit lowbrow for my tastes," recites Hulk. Who decided on these two cardboard goons as opening attractions?"
Blog! I'll be following Piquant Penny carefully over the next few days, to see where she goes. Her site does point up something which is becoming depressingly clear - 'feeling listless' needs a redesign and soon. But rather like an Indie film-maker whose be promised the lone of camera for their epic, I've been promised a scanner. Better get that thinking cap on...
Blog! Actually, mentioning LinkMachineGo is probably a bit redundant - surely everyone reads this one. A mixture of comic book and real life news, I wish I could find some of the stories this guy does, striding about the place like a one man Metafilter.
Ugh! Had something of a shudder this morning. During BBC Breakfast's reporting of the UN's entry into Macedonia and Sophie Raworth asked Jeremy Bowen, what they were doing there. Jeremy, out in the field where he belongs and where he's at his best seemed to step forward slightly and in his darkest tones said, 'To prevent war in Europe.' I shuddered because in Britiain we tend to think of Europe as all of the countries closest to us - and as safe as can be - Germany aren't likely to invade France again any time soon so we'll be OK. It doesn't occur to us that all of the principalities on the other side may not be too stable. Especially if the old grudge match between Turkey and Greece is re-ignited. As Jeremy said those five words, as I pulled on my socks, I suddenly felt very helpless.
Review! Atomic Kitten at the Shepherds Bush Empire, London seen through the eyes of Matt Wells of 'The Guardian': "All this could have been forgiven if the rest of the act made up for it. But little thought had been put into the performance: there were no costume changes, and not a hot pant in sight. We weren't expecting fire and ice, but some hip-swinging would have helped." This will be the last 'Kittens' reference here, I promise. Along with Mel C these three are now the pop ambassadors for Liverpool. Great. I suddenly feel nostalgic for Half Man Half Biscuit (this has got to be the first official website asking fans if they can give bandmembers lifts home. Image if Bono tried that 'Anyone got a Jet? I need to get back to Dublin after the gig...')
Hey! Novelist Robert Harris has spoken out against the re-writing of history by Hollywood. A bit previous in the year of Pearl Harbour, but still needed to be said. After all, much of the time, the restructurings of time and character are non-sensical, or change for the sake of it. Losing the Carpathia from 'Titanic' weakened the film no-end. And the super speed walking of William Wallace troops in 'Braveheart' meant we never saw actually how much of an endeavour walking all those miles at that time actually was. Bottom line? You can't improve on history.
Erm... Public transport in Liverpool City Centre is in chaos, with passengers having little idea when their bus will come or if at all. How did this state of affairs develop? The arrival of Arriva? A strike amongst bus drivers? Actually no. The collapse of a building. Or rather the collapse of a building on one of the few main routes out of the Central Bus Station - and they can't clear the rubble until someone works out who actually owns said building and whether they can demolish and remove the rest of it even though it's a listed building. Douglas Adams, your whimsey is alive and well...
feeling listless classics When I first gained posting rights at Metafilter I took to adding something every day. With a membership that large, someone was bound to bristle and eventually they voiced their opinions in an 'Atomic Kitten' thread of all things. But rather than throwing mud around, I took it to the Mefi-talking zone thingy and threw the thing open to debate. I just looked at that discussion and I'm amazed at how perceptive some of the writing is considering the minutae of the topic...
Ugh! Next time you're reading one of those funny articles about the things those web-users get up to, might do to think about the actual people, especially if names are named. recently ran an article about Camgirls, bloggers who have webcams on their sites. The article focused on wish-lists - suggestions for presents users might want to send the writers when Birthdays or Christmases come. Candy from strangers is a short article, but the effect on the girls mentioned has been catastrophic. The implication is that having a camera on your site and asking people who view it to send presents and money, is tantermount to prostitution. Visiting the actual sites via the links in the piece, you get a picture of people who suddenly feel that this thing they do to get by each day, which actually gives them a purpose is dirty and exploitative. Good thing they mostly seem to be taking things in their stride and 0 comments