Referrer logs Google Search: "at that moment i knew. i knew the way you know about a good melon." (?)
Psychology Social depressives:
"When I go to a party," said Jared Paul Stern, the executive editor of Star tabloid, "I'm there to absorb, not amuse. It's a subtle approach." In Miami, Tom Austin, a nightlife reporter for Ocean Drive magazine, wears a personal fragrance called disdain. "And the more disinterested I am," he said about his beat, "the more people want to talk."
I'm sorry ... what?
Theatre One for the school kids. Someone's decided that Milton's Paradise Lost would make a great stage play. What all twelve books?
LIfe Took my Dad to the FACT centre tonight. He seemed kind of impressed in the way that he's always kind of impressed about everything. Saw Winged Migration with its stunning photography and examination of the indomnitable spirit of the bird. Later on we took a walk in the cool night air of the Pier Head and the Mersey and he gave me a guided tour of old Liverpool, pointing out the landmarks and what they used to be. Meanwhile I pointed out all the buildings I'd been in and realising that for a mostly non-drinker I've been to a hell of a lot of different pubs and bars. Just a nice, easy, enjoyable night.
Relationships Blog favourite Emily Dubberley's contributed great piece to The Guardian about online dating. Not that I took any notes you understand. Although according to UpMyStreet's dating service there is a lively graduate just 547 yards away which based on where I'm sitting would put her in the middle of a field. Hope she's wearing a warm coat or she'll catch a chill.
Appeal My video completely decided not to tape the double bill of e.r. last night. I don't suppose anyone has a copy?
Life So a Scarlett Johansson double bill for the evening. I'm too tired to review Girl with a Pearl Earing but it's a good little film, very much a chamber piece and it helps to like painting. Between movies I went to the Tea Factory a large warehouse style cafe bar next door to the cinema. The seats are large, the music is good and the coffee is strong. It's the kind of place which attracts people from all backgrounds. So there I am at the bar eavesdropping on a girl a few years younger than me saying that '(She'll) be in New York on Friday but she won't be staying...', the same way some of us might say 'I'll come out to the pub but just for one drink.' This is the new Liverpool. Smoking ban on the way ...

the performances at the centre of Lost In Translation

Film It's the performances at the centre of Lost In Translation which make the film work so well. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, despite the generation gap and apparent differences in approach have very similar acting styles. It's a matter of economy. Moments throughout the film are carried wordlessly -- in places they simply sit and look at each other and we somehow know exactly what they're thinking about. Murray's been applying this technique to comedy for years -- again its all about his disdain for the situation he's been thrust into. Similarly Johansson, so perfectly understated in Girl with a Pearl Earing brings that same feeling here, but more relaxed and in a way it feels like a documentary, as though the two actors bounced off each other much as their characters do in the film.

The other strength is the sense of place created by Sofia Copolla and Lance Acord (who shot both of the Spike Jonze movies). Much like a contemporary Blade Runner the characters are dwarfed by the city, and its mass of humanity through which our heroes weave in and out. They make Tokyo an adventuress and hopeless place. The feeling of being in a city not your own is captured perfectly. Everything is loud, flashy and lacking depth in the city, more sedate and interesting in the countryside. Ironically it's within this alien prison that the characters are allowed some freedom to stray from the lives they committed to.

This is a great film. It's Murray's best since Groundhog Day (taking into account the groundbreaking elephant road movie Larger Than Life). Some have commented that it feels like a series of moments which don't hang together. But it seems deliberate -- life is like that, it doesn't flow from one beat to the next and it's refreshing to see a film make account of that. Put it this way -- I had to go to the loo in the middle and didn't mind missing a few minutes because I'd already decided to buy the DVD...
Music The night school course I was going to study with Fani this term was pulled at the last minute, so at a loose end we found ourselves in The Philharmonic Hall watching The Dante Quartet performing Mozart, Szymanowski and Brahms. I would like to review the concert, but as I've already said on many an occasion I can't review music, and I don't even know where to begin with the classics. In the interval the audience (average age over fifty), who seemed to all be part of some society which attends these concerts of chamber music were all chattering away about movements and what they thought of the playing.

It sounded very good to me. But then seeing people who are my age or younger who have the concentration and skill to create something with that beauty, seemingly so effortlessly (barring some heavy breathing and grunting) and find it very hard to criticise. I like not knowing much about classical music because it means I'm not left in the kind of deconstructive mess I usually find myself with films. When I was at school my friend Richard tried to 'educate' me, but got somewhat annoyed when I tapped my feet the Handel's Messiah. I know some of the history and I can recognise some of the tunes, but it's mostly a foreign place for me. Which means I can just enjoy what's presented to me and let it emote or wash over me. Ignorance is bliss is a cliche, but in this case it's a perfect explaination.

We sneaked into one of the boxes for the second half. I say sneaked. I asked if it would be OK first, which is depressingly straight I know and one step towards becoming The Man, but I didn't want to get thrown out. That would have been embarassing. Other than the privacy aspect it really isn't all that special. You're away from the stage by some margin and in this case the music seemed somewhat far off. The acoustics seemed much better in the stall were we'd started out, and we hadn't had nearly as many disapproving looks here (a woman in the next box seemed to be of the crowd who believe classical music is for people with grey hair, even if in this case it's actually being performed by young people). I love spontaneous evenings like this.
Philosophy I frequently chide myself for not knowing enough about y'know stuff from the past. Or rather that I know more about some science fiction shows or pop music than I do about Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Catharine Lumby, associate professor of media studies at the University of Sydney, writing for The Age, thinks that's perfectly normal and rather healthy, quoting commentators making a case for Shakespeare's theatre being the Elizabethan Big Brother:
"Indeed, Hawkes has argued that the true heir of the Elizabethan theatre isn't Tom Stoppard or even David Williamson, but television. It's a claim Australian media studies scholar John Hartley enthusiastically endorses, arguing that television is the modern vehicle for popular drama. Comparing the last Big Brother series with William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, he notes that the latter employed "various stock characters, as carefully chosen as the housemates on Big Brother, to portray familiar types in the target demographic of the popular audience" and was equally "full of stagy artifice disguises."
There isn't any doubt that Big Brother is drama of a sort, and that the programme makers are manipulating the situation and unconsciously drawing out some very human themes such as paranoia and servitude. But will it be studied in four hundred years? Possibly but only as a cultural artifact, as a way of coming to terms with were humanity was at the turn of the millenium. It lacks metatextual depth -- the actual thing itself lacks a substance which can be studied.
Life Sat in the bus station today and ate my lunch. It's the only undercover dry place which isn't work. It's actually rather depressing watching humanity pass by between the chicken and mayonnaise, the tinny music playing through half alive speakers in the ceiling a mix of easy listening and dance music. God I hate the winter...
Weblogging Failed to be nominated again. Only about three of the weblogs I read every day are nominated either. Who says there isn't a scandal this year? If you're listed right, I nominated you somewhere so a pat on the back from me at least ...
News As The Doctor sat down in the small room which had been set aside by the hotel for the press conference he reflected yet again at how he'd somehow managed to find himself the gopher for a beurocrat. He could have been working on the Tardis trying to get his freedom again. If The Brigadier had wanted someone to attend this farago he could have sent Sargeant Benton or any number of people. The world's press were here as well, so it wasn't as though the details couldn't be surveyed in tedious length the following day in the Sunday newspapers. He glanced across at Jo Grant who was looking pensively at the large screen which was being errected on the stage at the front.
"To think they could actually be doing it Doctor." She said.
"I know Jo. The impiceles. Playing about with science."
"At least your here Doctor. To keep an eye on them I mean."
The Doctor grinned. Perhaps he was being selfish. He wasn't a nanny for the human race, but it was a remarkable development given the level of technology which seemed to be available, so he need to make sure another hand, extraterrestrial hand wasn't at work here.

Three figures stepped from a corridor, through a doorway into the front of the room. The Doctor recognised the first man from the photograph Lethbridge-Stewart had shown him earlier. In the flesh, Dr Zavos, a tall man who didn't look like he had the power of lifegiving in his hands. As he sat down The Doctor noted a wave of cynicism seep into the faces of the press. The timelord was more cautious. Jo looked puzzled. She turned to say something but thought better of it.

As the press conference proceeded The Doctor's caution turned to abject concern. Zavos didn't seem able to descibe in any great detail the processes that were being undertaken. He drew parallels with test tube babies and space pioneers. But the content was bland, it lacked substance. For someone who was intermating they were about to make a breakthrough in cloning he was keeping his cards firmly to his chest. When his presentation broke for questions, Zavos advised that he would be keeping the final slide until the end so that those gathered could see how far the work had progressed.

The Doctor guessed what would be on that slide. They'd done it. They'd create a clone. But how and why? There were infertile couples, but they were being helped by regular IVF. It had to be a cover story. He rubbed the back of his neck. Then looked around. As the back of the room, a journalist, from Sky News as far as he could make out, was speaking to an older man with a dark beard, Zavos press secretary. But The Doctor knew him as someone else. He wanted to jump up, but to do so would have drawn attention to himself. So instead he was helpless as the bearded man looked forward into the journalist's eyes and said hypnotically:
"I'm am The Master, and you will obey me!"
Blog! Fingertips posts three free legal music downloads every Monday. Last week there was a new Lisa Loeb track in the mix. With each selection Jeremy Schlosberg offers a pithy explaination tinged by his own musical taste just so that you what you're getting. Like a mainstream version of the lamented 365 days project [via rb]