Music For all kinds of reasons Enya's voice seems like the perfect choice for the soundtrack to 'Lord of the Rings' -- although maligned by the non-sofa set, her albums do weave a sort of fanatsy world within themselves. Although you can imagine the other bastions of her genre gnashing their teeth, especially Enigma who probably thought they'd be a shoo in. And Sinead O'Conner perhaps.
Books In some of the best interviews it is the author themselves who are illuminated, the work being secondary. Dan Epstein of Hybrid interviewed Generation X author, Douglas Coupland and it became the strangest and maddest experiences of his young journalistic life: "After two changes in schedule -- and then even after the disaster at the World Trade Center -- I was able to get Douglas Coupland on the phone. Talking with Douglas Coupland is like listening to an audio book of a William Burroughs cut-up novel as read by Bob and Doug McKenzie. I wasn’t able to include our entire dialogue because it was about 25 pages long (including 5 pages of going off and talking about bad television shows and comic books…and the “uhs” and ”I don’t knows” would have filled up 3 pages by themselves)."
Art The ArtDaily's Anecdote page is update regularly and features some wonderful stories about artists, which resonate even today. You can't help but wonder whether some celebrities should be taking a leaf out of Michaelangelo's copy of 'How to be diplomatic about my private life...': "A priest, his friend, said to him: 'It is a pity that you have not taken a wife, so that you might have had many children and left them all your honorable labours.' And Michelangelo replied: 'I have only too much of a wife in this art of mine, who has always kept me in tribulation, and my children shall be the works that I may leave, which, even if they are naught, will live a while.' "
Life It occured to me today that in past few months I've been telling people to take care more than usual. I used to say it round Christmas time, which is when I feel closest to the nest and when I'm spritually on a high. But lately I've been saluting everyone I meet. I'm not sure if it sounds genuine, but I really do mean it. I meant it to the man I shared a taxi home with tonight. I meant it to the work colleague I hardly know I walked from work with tonight. I meant it to that caller who seemed so far away as she spoke from Canada. I meant it to my friend Fani who I spoke to early to find out what would go well with the bottle of ouzo my Dad was given tonight. I suppose I'm just caring about my fell man more. So believe me, I mean it when I say it to you. Take care.
Mefi And finally -- the Metafilter thread which is distracting me tonight.
Blog! John Munsch -- how do you pronounce that surname?
Huh? Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, may I present...
Art Graffitti is the strangest of the visual arts. Done well, it's breathtaking. Done badly it's an eye-sore...
Life My life is filled with 'random acts'. There are random acts of racism -- I heard an older white woman remark that a clerk in shop hadn't done her job properly because 'she had an accent'. There are random acts of kindness -- helping people with their bags and push chairs across bridges between platforms at radio stations. Random acts of love -- the unexpected kisses and kind words between lovers. Random acts of nostalgia when a smell or sounds sends me back to a moment in your childhood when everything was perfect. Random acts of sadness as I flick through my paper now in the morning. The random act of blogging in moments like this when I haven't thought about what I would write tonight and simple went with what I feel.
Music Slow day today so there really is only one important story (that is a joke). The NME reports that East 17's former frontman Brian Harvey has hit out against people who haven't bought his new single. You assume he wouldn't have said this if his record was at all near the top ten: "This country's disgusting, full of fucking hypocrites. No one's got any taste in f**king music. The country's f**ked, the people are f**ked." In so many ways, I find it difficult to argue...
TV Trekkers in revolt over the theme song which plays over 'Enterprise' opening credits. You'd think they had other things to worry about but I digress. It's another hit from Diane Warren (who's written pretty much every hit movie credits song over the past fifteen years -- even Aerosmith's opus for 'Armageddon'). A petition has been duly signed and packed off to Paramount: "''We wish to express our unmitigated disgust with the theme song that has been selected for the new 'Enterprise' series,'' says one online petition, signed by more than 2,000 fans. ''It is not fit to be scraped off the bottom of a Klingon's boot.''
Manchester Life Watching teenagers trying to kill themselves by hanging off the back of trams is an every day occurance at lunch time in Manchester. Idiots. Now the local council are fitting cameras on the back to monitor the situation -- although the first solution is funnier: "Metrolink spokeswoman Amanda Best said: ''One operator considered putting grease onto the auto coupler at the back to stop them climbing on, but if they did manage to get on and then fell off while it moving, it would be our fault.' "
Blog! Sometimes (just sometimes), clicking the recently updated list at Blogger can turn up some wonderful things, so tonight we have the bi-lingual 'true moments', underlining again how dumb I feel just speaking the one language. I'm sure the latest post is as insightful and spiritual as the writing a few days ago: "I think respecting is a part of living at the present moment. When you are in lecture, you listen to the teacher. When you eat, you eat without watching TV. When you talk, you really listen, and not having your mind wanders somewhere else. Whatever you do, you do it whole heartedly. We do that because we respect (and thankful for) everything that we have and happen to us. I think when we are able to do that, we'll live much happier."
Comedy Comedian Rowan Atkinson is understandably nervous about his career in the light of proposed laws in the UK to outlaw insightment to religious bigotry. Having built his career from playing comedy vicars and priests you can imagine him wondering if all his old material is suddenly worthless. Downing Street has sought to re-assure as usual but you can see why he'd be filled with uncertainty. As he points out in a situation were personal opinion is involved, how would one tell if one was breaking the law. For example, some stand up comedy may be fine, but how about movies? Where does 'The Life of Brian' stand? Or 'Dogma' for that matter... [metafilter thread]
Listless As I left this morning, for the first time I just sighed. He asked me what was wrong. I told him I knew there where about a thousand worthwhile things I could be doing today instead of going to work. He didn't know what to say. I usually have a bit of nervous excitement on the train journey to Manchester, but I read my paper quietly, yawning. During work I seemed fine. On my way home I flicked through a not very good web magazine but looked out of the window for much of the time. I ate a pizza for tea tonight, but it wasn't a bit appetising (even with coleslaw). My only truly contented moment was seeing that new graphic unfold just above. For this first time, in a long time, this website has lived up to its name. It is the next day. I am happier. But will still be eating coleslaw -- there is nothing better for hiding the taste of frozen pizza...
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Disappointed to find out I'm Data -- there go my contractions --
Blog! Can't help but adore anything called 'Ain't too proud to blog' especially when it's this lush to look at. The attention to detail is stunning, almost everything everywhere curious and amusing -- from quotes ('You're so vain, you probably think this blog is about you' a particular favourite) to a link list which is entertaining in itself (you can be sure 'My So-called Wife' will find itself listed here before long). The blog proper is a heady mix of the domestic and striking writing about current world events. For once, my hyperbole is justified.
People I fell in love with Janeane Garafolo after seeing 'The Truth About Cats and Dogs' -- which is odd because she apparantly hates the thing: "I think it's soft and corny, and the soundtrack makes you want to puke, and everybody's dressed in Banana Republic clothing. The original script and the original intent was very different than what it wound up being when it became a studio commercial film. It was originally supposed to be a small-budget independent film where there would be much more complexity to all the characters, and Abby and the guy don't wind up together at the end." Oh well... [From: The Onion]
Books One of the revelations of my youth, was discovering that the lion, Aslan in 'The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe' was a metaphore for Jesus. Disappointed to find some nunce denouncing the whole of the Narnia cycle as 'racist, misogynist, "poisonous" works'. Happy to find an intelligent rebutle.
People Even though their father is constantly on televsion waiting for the other shoe to drop, Jenna and Barbara Bush have been invisible. Almost. They have been spotted travelling on commercial airlines flanked by security.
People For those amongst you who have always wondered ... how Salma Hayek got breasts ...
History Britain in the late twentieth century had quite a cavalier attitude to preserving history, the attitude being: 'When there is some much of it about, what's the point in saving anything new unless it's really extra-ordinary?' As extra-ordinary as the remains of The Rose Theatre I would have thought. Well no -- we'll build an office block on top of it. Times change, and now there is a plan for a proper excavation, thank the gods.
Blog! It would be hard to imagine The Naked Blogger doing commercials for a supermarket (suggestions welcome for what kind of product endorsement he would go for). This has bags of personality, and a subtle line in activism, which can always be a good thing.
This site Something for regular readers (hey!). I'm hoping to develop the 'about me' page. What I'm looking for is for you to email the top ten questions you'd most like to ask me. Anything will do, from my opinion on things which interest you to what's happening in the world. Specific or general. And if you've got a website, include the URL and I'll link back to you. The traffic around here is bizarre ... feel free to use this comment tag ...
Film So is the DVD of 'The Phantom Menace' worth buying a player for? Well -- yes. Although famously I don't like this film, I actually positively feltl in love with it today. This is actually an unpublicised special edition -- the pod racer scene is developed and we find greater depth to the planet of Currocant. The picture quality allows the detail of some of the artwork shine through and although Binks still jars, I can at least marvel at the technical achievements. The extras are fascinating although weighted towards the technical aspects of film making (there are no interviews with the actors, for example, and little in the way of script development). The included documentary is great, although it may have been nice to have seen the equally superior BBC documentary put out at the time of the film's theatrical release. But is it Star Wars? Still -- no. But on it's own terms, it's still a superior experience.
Travel I've always wanted to visit Louxembourg, if only because of the name. I want to go even more now that I know how many surreal artistic cows live there. And yes, you did read that sentence correctly.
Blog! It's been said this weblog is prolific -- but not as much as Stafani Louise who seems also to have Asimovitis. Like all good bloggers she just writes about the detail of her life: the therapy of bathtime, the dangers of warehouse shopping, the importance of good pins in corkboards.
Film For years, the bad guy has been evolving. Now it's no longer valid to have a human being of pure evil -- now they feelings and a motivation for being bad -- witness the mutation of vampire Spike in Buffy from beast to bunny rabbit mothering The Slayer's sister. As they cold war drew to a close, the motivations of the Soviet Union became apparent and in 'The Hunt For Red October' we found they are just like us (as though this wasn't apparent already). Eventually the only villian which had mystery was from the Middle East -- now that isn't even possible. How is the universal story of good versus evil going to be portrayed now? The Hollywood Reporter looks at how films, especially adventure films are going to be marketed in this climate and where film makers can go for their villians.
Music I attended a concert for piano students at a local Christian Church in Liverpool's Chinese community, to give my mate Fani some moral support as she performed. For two hours the ills of the world dissolved for everyone as they sat watching children playing nursery rhymes and masters play traditional chinese instruments. Blinding moment at the start as the priest asked for everyone turn off their mobile phone and everyone went for their pockets and bags. How can we as a people have the ability to communicate but at the same time can't find a way to talk to one another?
War The bombing continues with little sign of an end. I've already heard talk eavesdropping on street conversations and media outlets that this is a World War -- which is true in that this is the world and there is a war in it. But wouldn't something on a much greater scale on a number of ront need to occur before we have a World War III status -- or is it not about the scale, but the number of people effected personally and emotionally? After all, people are dying in protests against war, in their own way giving their lives for what they believe in?