Archive for December, 2004

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Closed until next year.

Waning lyrical

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

You know when you’re listening to the radio and you hear a line from a song and it strikes you somehow? I thought it would be fun to trawl back through 2004 and record twenty lines that did it for me. Some of these made me laugh, some I like to sing along to. Some have a resonance with how I felt / feel. Some I just liked and don’t know why. How many can you identify?

1. I can do it put your ass into it.

2. I can teach you but I have to charge.

3. Just as you started to make your big advance with the milkshake and that little doughnut in hand.

4. I can see everything here with my third eye like the blue in the sky

5. My heart was broken, I was not open to your suggestions, I had so many questions, That you just kissed away.

6. Why can’t the boys be the toys, That the girls want the boys to be, And why can’t the girls see the world, That the boys want the girls to see, yeah.

7. I messed my pants, When we flew over France.

8. Straight to the hotel, I’m cellabut so, boy,you gets no tell, Kiss,kiss and still you gets nowhere, Just two blue balls down in yo’ underwear, I play unfair, I’m a hot gal.

9. I’ve been dreaming of a time when the English are sick to death of Labour, and Tories.

10. Sunrise, sunrise, Looks like morning in your eyes.

11. Winter fruits and summer wine, Sweet perfume and columbine.

12. Can’t think of a better way, and that’s all I got to say. I love you, is that ok?

13. I saw this thing on ITV the other week, Said that if she played with her hair, she’s probably keen.

14. Satellite’s gone way up to Mars, Soon it’ll be filled with parkin’ cars.

15. Won´t you just tell Cincinnati, I´m gonna need your love, Don´t you give me your love.

16. My performance is easy, I am the god of romance, And in my confusion I have the right to reign.

17. Free! don’t think about being less than yourself.

18. I don’t mind spending everyday, Out on your corner in the pouring rain, Look for the girl with the broken smile, Ask her if she wants to stay awhile.

19. slash dot dash dot slash dot dash dot slash dot dash dot slash dot com slash dot dash dot slash dot dash dot slash dot dash dot slash dot com dot com dot com.

20. Guns don’t kill people, rappers do, From Bristol Zoo to B&Q.

What I hate about Christmas

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

A logistical operation, matched only by major military campaigns, underpins a futile consumer orgy of waste.


Flashing santas.

Christmas singles.

Gold fake Christmas trees.

Being asked, “Good Christmas?” by people who don’t care what the answer is.

Eastenders annual despairfest and cliched cockerney community spirit.

Worthy televisual nonsense featuring pillars of the British Acting Community – Judy Dench, Patrick Stewart, Kenneth Branagh et al.

Cheap nasty ‘seasonal merchandise’ cynically materialising everywhere.

The inability of organisations and people to function correctly for two months either side of Christmas like it caught them by surprise.

Manufactured jollity.

Deferential royal propaganda.

The endless speculation about whether it will be a white Christmas – then the endless weather warnings and chaos when it snows.

The sharp contrast between my comfortable well padded holiday and the sadness and suffering all round.

Watching too much telly.

The intensity of it all.

Missing people I’ve loved – very much.

What I love about Christmas

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

That people make time to spend time.

Coloured lights that bring a touch of magic to humble houses.

The no mans land in between Christmas and New Year when time stands still.

Home made mince pies and Christmas pudding.

Films worth watching on late night TV.

An excuse to consume about ten thousand calories a day.

Mandarin oranges.

An extra bit of niceness in the air.

Purring inwardly when someone gives you something you really like – because they knew you would like it.

Red and green things – especially dark green leaves and scarlet flowers and berries.

Being a bit spiritual.

Being a bit spiritual – single malt especially.

Coloured birds in winter sunlight.

The intensity of it all.

Seeing people I love.

Thought for the day

Saturday, December 25th, 2004

“If the governments of the rich countries were as ready to devote to peace the resources they are willing to commit to war, that would be to see with new eyes and speak with a new voice and perhaps then others would listen to us with new ears.”

Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Friday, December 24th, 2004

If you’ve got any money left – clickez

Graphic frenzy

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

Mariscal – his name adopted from a philandering grandfather – designed the famous Cobi mascot used during the Barcelona Olympics in 92. His studio site is a quality piece of work, blending thoughtful personal philosophy with some wonderful images of his prolific and distinctly Spanish work. The studio designed the visual identity for the Glasgow Lighthouse and took visual cues from the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect of the building.


I’ve never seen this before but apparently it’s a vastly popular site.

Portraiture at it’s most elemental. Minipops use pixels most sparingly to caricature celebs. Worryingly addictive.

On the same site:

10 fun things to do over C*******s.

Even more C*******s cheer.

Last minute

Fret no more – that gift problem is solved. Who’s heart would not melt upon receiving the Princess Diana clock? Hurry now to order before he runs out of Pritstick.


From B3TA comes their rude ripoff of Bandaid. [Some of us addressed this theme previously] With a strangely familiar masthead in the opening frame. Surely they wouldn’t? The vid is very funny if you’re sick to the back teeth of ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’

[ A. I think they probably do by now – shut the f**k up ]

Thought for the day

“Birth is circumstantial. To whom one is born and when and where one is born, amounts to nothing more than circumstances. What is important after birth is to not confuse these circumstances with essences.”


Monday, December 20th, 2004

The apologists

Pity them for they will live the majority of this decade governed by a man they have little respect for – and they are truly sorry.

Here’s one for you to make later

Should you be in need of some creative exercise during the next few weeks why not make one of these?

All you need is electricity, a suitably configured computer, a compatible printer, printer ink, paper or card, scissors, sharp knife, sticking plasters + directions to nearest hospital, glue and a bit of patience.

Better still why not make several and give them to all your friends and relatives as expensive and fascinating gifts that will remind them of your generosity throughout the year?

I bet you feel good now – I know I do. Clicky

Play your cards right

Those Labour gurus are a bundle of festive fun.

So confident are they that you will want to pay £85 for a plastic card with your eyeball on it they are urging you to sign their little petition.

Current cost: estimated at £13 billion. [This will go up. This sum would significantly alleviate African hunger – I vote to spend it on that.]

They say you won’t be compelled to carry it. The police say you should be compelled to carry it. I wonder who will win? There are c. 60 million people in the UK. What proportion of these are potential terrorists / NHS & benefit fraudsters? and how will a plastic eyeball card catch determined naughties? Plainly there are better ways of achieving those objectives so what will the cards really be used for?

It reminds me of teachers who punish the whole class to flush out the badboy. We used to riot when they did that. I refer my honourable readers to the alternative arrangement I recommended some months ago.

It’s not too late to fax your MP.

What have we learnt this month? *

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

Rhubarb can cause double vision.

If Jesus were alive today he would probably be a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

Mutant has been arrested for being naked in public.

Blue Witch is a sucker for soft toys.

Neville Brody designed the Guardian website.

Contemporary musical popularity is at odds with my ageing perception of quality.

Kylie suffered from ‘deConstruction interregnum’.

Russian history is not always black and white.

If current trends continue, all Americans will be overweight by 2050.

Zed is lingually perforated.

There are at least 3 types of wheel clamp, Hanson, Triangle and Dutch.

I know this because soon I can become a

fully qualified vehicle immobilisation executive.

[* Month as in 4 weeks]

Encounter with Libeskind

Saturday, December 18th, 2004

Suitably disoriented by trying to find it within the grim Barbican complex, I had the place pretty much to myself. What other fool would be visiting on a cold wet evening in late December?

The exhibition is presented in a haphazard grouping which echoes the fragmented aesthetic of the architecture itself. Projects are grouped around loose themes rather than chronologically and are represented in slideshows, models and panels. Sadly there weren’t many orginal drawings or sketches to be seen. This gave the show a sterile quality that was only partly relieved by some talking head footage of Libeskind discussing his work on the opera, Saint Francis of Assisi [2002]. I’d known that he’d been a virtuoso pianist and accordionist before taking up architecture. I hadn’t appreciated how much music is integral to the conception of his ideas. When you know, of course, you can see it – not least in the poetic titles of many project elements. ‘Wedge of light’, ‘Park of Heroes’, ‘Air Shard’, ‘Void’, ‘Orion’ – to quote a few.

Of course, it’s the World Trade Center rebuilding project which has propelled Libeskind fully onto the international stage. This project takes central place in the exhibition and is represented chiefly by a reproduction of the winning model from the New York competition. [Shame you can’t get closer] This model gives a strong impression of the cluster of new buildings grouped around the hallowed Ground Zero. The towers, benign sentries with steeply angled roofs all pointing down towards the twin tower footprints etched into the memorial park at their base. The model is lit from within and the translucent walls of the buildings glow comfortingly like church candles. There is strong emotion running through this design which reconciles the almost impossible tension between the need to remember with dignity and the need to satisfy Manhattan mammon. I wrote back in February about the difficulties Libeskind has been having in realising his vision. Having seen at first hand the coherence of his ideas for this site I hope the vision can survive – it will be a fitting and powerful memorial.

A tantalising glimpse of the axed V&A Spiral in the form of samples of the fractal tiles which would have covered the building. The exhibition text describes the Spiral as though it is a live project – a day after the show opened they decided it wasn’t to be. Our loss.

Libeskind apparently makes no distinction between unbuilt and built projects. He’s interested more in the ideas. What it is to be driven by your ideas – sufficiently brilliant to get others to pay you to develop them? The sometimes disorienting visual language came from music. A suite of early drawings, shown in the exhibition, articulated a musical score-like aesthetic which can be seen running through the subsequent architectural and theatre projects. I’d not known this previously. I still don’t fully get it. Those drawings are very mysterious to me. He’s out there on the edge this man.