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"Don't panic."
"Who said anything about panicking? This is just culture shock..."
-- Ford to Arthur in The Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Quote! "But we can't escape into the future like we can escape into the past. So those of us who are not certain of things, and there are an awful lot of us, often rush back to the past. And each one has a particular past he prefers to the present. Sometimes I feel that any past is preferable to the present." Tom Baker speaks. [via LMG]
Life Our usual taxi company (so usual they're actually on our BT friends and family) are throwing out the traditional method of shouting destinations through a radio for the cabbie to choose from, in favour of a Knight Rider Kitt style computer read out which targets the drivers closest to a proposed fair and sending them there. The idea being that the customer will get a taxi faster and the driver won't miss out on a fair which is in his area.

As a closet luddite, to me this seems like yet another example of humanity being removed in favour of a technology for only a token improvement in efficiency. On the cold mornings when the cabbie is in no mood for chit chat, that radio is the only breath of the outside world existing in that box on wheels. The one sided banter of the caller punctuated with niceties and arguments the perfect soundtrack as the not-so-scenary drifts by. With the new readout that will be gone, in favour of the humming of the engine, or else the seeping tedium of Local Radio with its 'pop music' and 'competitions'. As will the scene I once wrote for a script I was working on, in which the radio started talking to the passenger about where his life was going ...
TV No more Pure 24. The BBC have lost the rights to show 24, which is a big disappointment of course, especially considering how much work they did in promoting the series in this country. So Tamsin Sylvester will no doubt have to find something else to do every sunday for half of the year ... [visit The 24 Weblog for lots more coverage and that Tamsin joke again, written in a funnier manner]
Site News Just noticed that my blogrolling links aren't working so I'm looking at following some other blogs of having an off site links page, which would also house those review links which are resulting in the massively long time it takes for the weblog to appear. There isn't much you can do with the format of a weblog, but I'm going to try two columns for a while and see how that works out. All change by Monday (hopefully!) then...
Architecture The Avalon Hotel, Beverley Hills, because some hotels are just like the movies. Right down to the names of the waiting on staff...
"The Avalon was a welcome sight, as were its valets. Ivory greeted me: he with pleasantries and I with a warning that I was a nut with 95 lb worth of luggage ... After checking in, Ivory and I chatted briefly about New Zealand: it turned out he had basketball-playing friends there. The genuine conversation is standard, as I continued to find with other very cosmopolitan members of the Avalon’s staff. So much for the American who thinks the world is divided into four time zones.
Yes, Ivory. Other staff members include Korzen and Wearstler. Just one inuendo away from a James Bond film.
Music The death of the album? The thrust of this piece is that the power of the album as an entity has been erroded through digital music because people have stopped listening to the thing as an experience spread over a hour or so and instead as single track entities. This process actually more than likely started with the skip button on a CD player -- if you don't like a track, unlike a LP or cassette where some messing about had to occur, you could just shift onto the next one instantly, to some extent loosening the cohesion of the experience. Some musicians agonise about the piece flows and probably think about pacing as much as film makers.

I'm as guilty of this as anyone else -- although Real One, my MP3 player of choice doesn't have a random facility as such, it's easy enough to put the tracks into alphabetical order then pick an inpoint at random. To be honest although I understand the argument put forward, what some artists are probably more worried about is the fact the slightly weaker tracks on the album which could be largely masked to some extent by the music around them, are left dangling, their flaws there for all to see. This is particularly true of pop -- the first Liberty X album has some very good strong tracks, the singles mostly, and a lot of filler. Now we can filter out the filler -- but really we shouldn't have to -- everything should stand up to scrutiny.
TV The new issue of Off The Telly is online with a couple of fascinating interviews with programme makers. Tom Ware is the series editor for the always too good to miss Time Shift documentaries on BBC4; David Bodycombe is behind such greats as Treasure Hunt and The Crystal Maze.
Music Quote from my World Music class tonight regarding a village talent show in Tailand in the 1980s which I think can be applied elsewhere: "(You can win) if your song is good -- or bad enough to be distinctive."
Philosophy Can Ego inhibit creativity? Probably, it would appear:
"We have powerful tendencies to set up judgments about ourselves and others that limit creative expression. As actress Madlyn Rhue noted, 'The mistake we all make is in thinking that certain standards exist and that we must meet these standards in order to establish our place in the universal hierarchy. But hierarchies in artistic expression are not valid nor universal; they're personal.'"
Watching the Golum documentary in the extras for LotR: The Two Towers it becomes apparent that even though Andy Serkis was essentially creating a character, to some extent he had to fight to validate himself as part of the cast and not just as a stand in for a character who'll be added in later. He knew the job he was doing and the important part he was playing, while Elijah Wood and Sean Austin seemed to look upon him as a space filler until they noticed he was really giving a performance. They had their standards, but Serkis was fulfilling his own all along.
Life I've officially been working in my current job for a year this week. Unusually for me, I'm not actually thinking about leaving - the work is simple but interesting, pays well and I don't feel like I'm waisting my time while at the same time not giving too much of myself away.

Will I be there forever? Probably not, but then I'm part of the generation which never keeps a job for life. When I was sixteen I decided I wanted to be the kind of person who can look back at a later age and see all of the amazing things they've done. I'm 29 and already my head is spinning. I haven't jumped out of a plane or diffused a bomb yet though, so perhaps I'm easily pleased.
Film I finally got the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers DVD and ploughing through the extras (six hours again) so with one thing or another, I'll be neglecting my duties for a few days. For some reason, after reading this, I feel the need to tell you that's were I am ...