Archive for January, 2007

Apple of my eye

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

You know you’re getting old when you have about 1.5% of the interest you used to have in a new version of Windows. Windows 95; “It’s revolutionary – it’ll change your life”. It did – strange things to my digestive system. “Windows 98 – it’s so much better”. They lied. “Windows 98SE – OK we lied last time but now it really is great”. It was better but we’re talking relative to the pile of shite that went before it. “Windows XP – it’s revolutionary – it’ll change your life.” It did. I ended up buying a new PC so that I could run it – bastards. And now, “Windows Vista”. Enough already. I’ve been meaning to buy a Mac for about 15 years. I don’t need another computer right now but when I do…
Meanwhile there are some lovely Mac online ads featuring the delicious Mitchell and Webb.

Favourite Robert Webb line:
Q. How would you like to be remembered?
A. With a memorial fountain that gives everyone verrucas.

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Coming up
I’ve got my invite for the upcoming Gilbert & George show at Tate Modern. It’s going to fill a whole floor and looks set to be great. Tate just keeps getting better and better.

“Gilbert: ‘We don’t look at other artists.’
George: ‘We don’t socialise with other artists.’
Gilbert: ‘We haven’t been to a gallery in 30 years.’
George: ‘We don’t belong to the gallery-going class, you see.’
So they didn’t see Velasquez at the National Gallery? George yelps, as if stung. ‘Never! Why would I want to join a long line of middle-class twits? We want to see the world as it is, naked. We left the house the other day at 6.25am, and there in the street was a dead, flattened rat, and a crow feasting from it. That’s an amazing image, isn’t it? I shall remember it forever.’ At the memory of this ravenous crow and its macabre breakfast, the pair of them sip their Nescafe contemplatively.”

Full article here.

Gilbert & George special report.

.. down at the good old V&A a new experience awaits.
The spanking new café has opened. Comprised of the original Victorian refreshment rooms and a new ultra mod bit it’s a spiffingly good place to hang out, especially on a Friday night when it’s open until 10pm. Great food and the best cup of Earl Grey I’ve ever had.

And now
live from The British Postal Museum and Archive
it’s The Stamp of The Month
are you excited?

Are you feeling lucky punk? Looks like the saying is true – you make your own luck.


Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I’ve realised that I’m a sucker for political drama. Anything involving figures of power, maybe a bit of glamour and a few unexpected plot twists and I’m in. Call me a Catholic. I realise this because I am just about keeping awake right now having stayed up until 1.30am this morning to watch, [ I think for the third time ], The American President. This is a Michael Douglas comedy drama in which the widowed President wrestles with his political instincts, woos and wins The Girl and in so doing flexes his power all over the shop. There are gorgeous DC backdrops and a great supporting cast including Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox and Martin Sheen. [ Which reminds me that I’ve never watched a single episode of The West Wing [ they reused the Oval Office set ] – have I missed out? ] I know the plot of The American President but I still had to see it through to the end, relishing again Douglas’ ‘State of the Union address’ which looks as though it was filmed in the real House of Representatives but was, in fact, blue screened into long shots of a real SoU. So topical. Rumours of Bushbaby’s abortive SoU 10 year 20% emissions reduction target borrowed straight from the film. Those Beeb schedulers are sharp.

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

It’s quiz time
1. Do you know the way to San Jose?
2. Are you ready for love?
3. How deep is your love?
4. Do you wanna touch me?
5. How can I be sure?
6. Is anybody out there?
7. Why don’t you write me?
8. Are friends electric?
9. Could it be magic?
10. How long has this been going on?

Let's Bisociate!

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

I want to be alone. My girdle is killing me.
The unbearable likeness of a marzipan voodoo doll.
Joysticks at dawn.
Meningococcal mingewort.
Trumpet towers.
A starfield of blanket-stitched steel ponchos.
Cheese handbag.
A momentary lapse of velcro.
May I have the pleasure of this charred remnant?
You can please some of the people … ?

With profound gratitude to Arthur Koestler

The R word

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

With the ripples of ‘Jadegate’ spreading ever outwards, it seems that the polarising effects of Ms Goody’s loss of control are provoking a catharsis amongst the nation’s moral guardians and Those Who Would Be Blameless.

Times sure have changed. Who can remember ‘Mind Your Language’, ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren hamming it up with ‘Goodness, Gracious Me’?

We’ve come a long way from the days when the word, ‘Sambo’ could be broadcast to belly laughs. ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’ now seems like a macabre hostage to politically correct fortune and who, now, would dream of telling their friends about their collection of marmalade motifs?

Anyone looking at the current newspaper headlines might be excused for thinking that the evil of Stephen Lawrence’s murder had returned. In a way it has, for without this backdrop and the ensuing convulsions of ‘institutional racism’ the events of recent days would not have pierced the fragile bubble of ‘multicultural’ Britain. Black and Asian people attest to constant low-level jibes based on their skin colour. A little ‘joke’ here, a mimicked accent there – “what’s the harm”? Shilpa Shetty appeared to perform a complete U turn when questioned about her initial perception of events; she retracted her allegation. Was this the C4 damage limitation machine at work? What’s clear, amid all the huffing and puffing is that Jade, and her culturally challenged acolytes, ‘told it like it is’ in the way that it is. Unfortunately, ‘how it is’ is not very nice if you are black or asian. So Jade, in her dysfunctional way, has given us white folk a view of ourselves that we don’t really like very much. She, herself is recoiling in horror as I write; giving her fee money to charity to atone for her sin. ‘Lo, I beheld my plummeting bank balance and mine eyes were opened’. Money is central to all this. C4 “can’t be allowed to make money on the back of this”. Advertisers disassociate themselves from it. Foreign investors from the Indian subcontinent will withdraw. Black and Asian entrepreneurs will not tolerate it. Moral indignation is one thing. Money though, has teeth. With wealthy Indian megadonors to The Labour Party – no place for this kinda thing in ‘Modern Britain’. No matter, in my view. Though the driving factors may be monetary, Jadegate has established a new line, a new awareness of the effects of ignorance and intolerance. If people are inhibited from crossing that line as a result than that has to be good. God knows, with all the sectarian mayhem going on in the world, anything that gives pause for thought is welcome. Now, I wonder if Hilary will close Guantanamo Bay?

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Briefly noted
Truth is officially now stranger than fiction – Big Brother discussed in Parliament.
It’s been very windy round these parts. Picture the scene earlier, Cutecat up a tree being blown around like a cossack in a hurricane. I think he may need counseling.
Germaine Greer with an interesting analysis of the the CBB controversy.
Marky’s back on the scene, like a love machine. [ He’s armed and dangerous ]
Tristan‘s got a new camera and he’s not afraid to use it.
Blue Witch diversifies into skincare.

Monday, January 15th, 2007
Martin Luther King Day 2007
Happy birthday…
We know the key to unify all people
Is in the dream that you had so long ago
That lives in all of the hearts of people
That believe in unity
We’ll make the dream become a reality
I know we will
Because our hearts tell us so

Lyrics: Stevie Wonder

TV moment of the week
Jermaine Jackson with his highly trained Jackson 5 tribute band.
I laughed till I cried.
Link to youtube video clip.
[ Performance starts around 2.26. ]

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

Fab six

Long overdue, after most other nations issued theirs years ago. Aren’t these the coolest stamps ever? I’ve ordered an enigmatic first day cover. Loving the 64p one.

Really enjoyable photos and drawings of cities by Andy Bleck.

Announced on Tuesday, already vast amounts of material have been written about it and nobody seems to even own one yet. Such is the internet fuelled hypefest. Re-reading my report of Jonathan Ive’s Design Museum talk I was struck anew by his admiration for Marc Newson’s cellphone designs.

There are iNfluences no?

10 reasons to love it.
10 reasons to hate it.
Surrogate touchy feely.
Disciples! Worship at the altar of iPhone.
His Holiness, the Steveness of Jobs launcheth the iPhoneth.

Detox = bollox

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Arncha sick of it already?
“Happy noo year!!! Good Christmas? *(don’t wait for reply)* Ooh I need to lose weight, all those mince pies! I’m on a month long detox” What the f***k is a detox? Where did that come from? When I were a lad the only people who needed detoxifying were those addicted to serious drugs, individuals who had inadvertently snorted uranium and anyone who went swimming off the British coast [ sewage surfing I think they called it ]. Now the term ‘detox’ seems to have become a general euphemism for ‘inability to stop eating lard’. Sure, if you stop boozing, eating MacCrappBurgers and walk up the stairs to the office for a week you’ll feel virtuous. You may feel slightly less MacCrapp but will you really have removed from your body all of the accumulated scummage which you have imbibed throughout your life of westernised low fibre, high alcohol, colon clogging gluttony? I think not. Sure you may feel like your wretched carcass is ridding itself of nasty smelling brown things. Trust me, that’s the human condition. Eating diced mango in the morning for a week will not undo all those years of high impact vodka swilling. Get real. No, detox is like “issues” – a linguistic device to make us comfortable. Where once there were f****ups now there are “issues”. “Detox” is the commercial packaging for the fact that we are poisoning our stone age monkeybodies with synthesised gunk which tastes lovely. Then there’s the “Oooh you must drink at least 50 litres of water an hour” brigade. I’m sorry, if I wanted to spend my life in a toilet I’d move to Basingstoke.
I blame Carol Vorderman and her laminated colon.

Musty cruttocks?