Sunday, September 29, 2002

I've been doing a lot of that in the last few days, and it's usually been quiet and tense thinking. I worry about things. I don't tear my hear out over them, I don't get tearful, you know? But I do worry. I worry about my friend Giles and his difficulties with his family and living situation. I worry that we will be biting off more than we can chew if we go to war against Iraq. But most bitingly of all, I worry *about* a worry. On the 26th of this month, I realised it was the anniversary of my mum's death over 10 years ago. And I looked for a photo of her. I don't have one. So I worried about that. And then started thinking: what's with a photo? Shouldn't I be able to get by with memories if I want to see her again? I thought I was... more thoughtful than that!

Also, tonight I saw Road to Perdition - Sam Mendes' 2nd film, his first being American Beauty. I'll say more about it later - it was very good, but not 5-star material.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Busy little bees
Despite being nearly stung by one this morning, and not knowing why it was so attracted to one particular part of the frame of my specs, I like bees. But how the fck do they know what to do, where to fly, where home is? Can a complex decision-making, evaluative mind exist inside every one of those tiny ickle buzzy things? So when I found Kevin Kelly's article on the hive mind I was sort of transfixed. I'd love to take part in something like that. And I can, right now, by trying to create something.

Monday, September 23, 2002

The Others
This excellent film has finally been released to buy on DVD in the UK, and I'm a very happy boy as I went out and bought the thing today. The website only gives you the barest, starkest information about it, and in many ways that's good. It's a very spare film, but when a film is also a bloody brilliant, emotive, and genuinely frightening ghost story, spareness is often the key to success.

If you've ever seen M. R. James's Ghost Stories sitting on the shelves of a bookshop and thought "pah, Victorian crap" without reading them, you're missing out. Similarly, if you haven't seen The Others, but think it might not be worth seeing on account of its no-laughs, no-screams, dark atmosphere, try it. Rent it. I guarantee you'll be unable to leave the room alone at the end.

Nobody can say I don't do my best to plug films I really really like! Oh. The same for this one.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

M Night Shyamalan's Signs isn't long released here in the UK and already there is claim and counter-claim over its merit. When I saw it, full of expectation after the twin tour-de-force of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, I was faintly disappointed. The trailer promises a film with few special effects and a lot of carefully-engineered suspense, just like Shyamalan's other movies. The trailer, quite clearly, is mistaken.

Taking place on the farm you see to the left, the opening 10 minutes see an ex-minister and his children (and younger brother, sensitively played by Joaquin Phoenix) lifted off the usual mortal coil by the discovery of crop-circles in their corn. Before long, more circles start to appear - notably in Bangalore, India, and elsewhere in the USA. The discoveries herald the appearance of UFOs in the sky near the sites of the circles. The UFOs herald a disastrous re-hash of the 9/11 anxiety in journalistic reporting, but it can't be denied it's riveting stuff at the time. I felt like standing up and leaving - and very unsettled too.

But when all's said and done, I can't help feeling that the film was a rather monumental waste of perfectly good talent. Certainly the lead character Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is very well-constructed and expertly played, but I couldn't help feeling that the others were optinal satellites in wobbly orbit around his sun. Even the director's trademark preternaturally gifted child, played well by Rory Culkin, was nothing more than an instrument for propelling Gibson towards the unsatisfying finale. Some people may be really touched; I wasn't.

Something which did impress me was the photo (right) I found on this site. What a feat! People who make crop circles definitely fucking rock! And maybe we need more stylised alien creatures handing us CDs after all. Long live the mp3; long live the aliens who give them to us.
Those of you who like poofy classical music, and more particularly baroque music, may like what I'm listening to right now. Vivaldi's Concerti con molti istromenti, available here.

I had to post this; there's nothing more I want to say right now, but if you're open-minded you might just enjoy this one. :o)

Friday, September 13, 2002

Maybe, but loads of people are impressed with me today. :o) Take a look at: this, this and this (editorial, but it's archived daily). I'm all nervous now about what the reactions will be!


Wednesday, September 11, 2002

It was faintly unreal to sit in front of the TV and watch, for the first time ever, an entire 4 hours' worth of 9-11, Ground Zero, World Trade Center, Pentagon etc. footage without a single shot of the towers falling, planes crashing. It's almost as if the TV stations here in the UK decided that it was holy time, not to be corrupted with the images of desolation and fractured reality.

But today has had a sense of fracture all the way through it for me. It's like experiencing the whole thing again. The days leading up to the attack - where you didn't know it was going to happen a year ago, but this year you do. And it does happen again, at least in my mind. It's a sort of ghost-time we're living in today. We have fresh significances beamed at us over the airwaves, but surrounding it all are the ghosts of the things we heard, the feelings we felt... where we were.

This evening we get the carnage all over again.

Surely everyone knows these by now. In case you want to remember in immediate ways, in case the horrible nature of the events still mysteriously fascinates you like me, these are good links to follow:

Web archive
Attack on America
TV Archive
Web resources
Why the towers fell

Monday, September 09, 2002

Iraq's Potential
Just got this link from Gareth, about how Iraq's potential for developing weapons of mass destruction may reach new levels of potency.
Looking for...
Just looked to see who's been here lately, and why. Surprisingly, nineteenth-century porn, muslim porn and Bud Dwyer are all optics which seem to fascinate people.

Sheesh. Maybe I'm in the wrong career.

Oh, and if anyone reading this can spare about £80 and wishes to make a donation to my outstanding phonebill of that amount so I can have my phone service back, please feel free to email. I don't know whether I'm joking or not! Sigh.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Dad's out for the whole day. I have the house entirely to myself. The hall is quiet. The bathroom door is ajar, the light left on because it can be, and I don't care. In a room downstairs the paper is open where I left it, waiting for me. Steam rises from my coffeecup. From the open window I can hear a bird singing somewhere. Dust settles slowly in the loft, rubbish settles slowly in the bin outside, and 10 minutes ago a hedgehog was snuffling along the edge of the school field at the back of the garden.

Everything is quiet. I have the freedom to sit naked if I want to, to play my music as loud or as low as I want, to wank, to read, to stretch and groan loudly while doing so... the ability to do that which I wouldn't usually do in anyone else's company.

I'm happy. :o)
The Guardian's been running a "Best British Blog" competition until today, and since I patently have had no chance of even being noticed in the thing anyway, and didn't enter, I'm putting this here. It's a kind of handy good-link thing for all those people who put the effort into their blogs.

I don't put effort in. This thing is due a major overhaul. Advice, anyone? Suggestions?

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Porn discovered: Police foiled
East Belfast was in a state of shock this morning as a substantial amount of obscene material was found at the heart of a local community.

A resident of Sydenham Avenue said: "I was just coming out of the house when a large van pulled up and the neighbours started loading cardboard boxes into it in a hurry. At first I thought they were moving out but everything was so hurried and furtive."

Material removed
His suspicions were further aroused when one man took a break from loading, and puffed "I found it all on top of his wardrobe. We've got to get it out - now. I won't have it in the house.

"I've seen some things in my time, but nothing like this. Never such way-out stuff. It's dynamite."

Huge load

Frantic efforts continued

A woman, believed to be the mother of the anonymous hoarder, who is believed to have fled to Australia, was shocked at the discovery. She commented: "I would never have believed it. It's all the more disgusting when you know he was such an unassuming boy. It's this sort of thing which drives families out of quiet communities like this one." Neighbours jeered the family as the van sped away.

A police spokesman, contacted by peripathetic, said "We didn't know anything about this, and the news has come too late for us to confiscate the material in question. Our usual yearly seizure of illicit pornography could have been doubled if we had due notice. We ask that anyone having seen a large consignment of tattered cardboard boxes comes forward to assist us. Rioting, republican flags in the City Hall, hardcore pornography - we have a big job on our hands."

The spokesman was unable to suggest where the consignment was bound, but said he would alert Brisbane Customs. Enquiries continue.
Okay. See an earlier post about Ciara, PDAs, and manly things. This caught my eye in connection: courtesy of this site:

disturbing searches

Hehe. :o) HAHAHAHA. :o)

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Now, this link tells you everything you need to know about stuffing a chicken. No, I'm not talking dirty, you evil-minded fiend. I'm talking about the preparation and roasting of a perfect dinner. Yum, yum.

If you want to dribble food over a book while eating the delicious bird, try looking here (not a shop, btw) to get some ideas. I particularly liked the Kerouac story. :o)