Friday, April 14, 2006

Straw Poll

Is this a very funny joke or a real-life version of that "I'm not gay but if i was I'd be really, really dedicated to it" story that was in the Onion a year or so back?

Mothers Against Noise

You decide.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Importance of Being Earnest

Hi. It's Friday night and I'm taking advantage of a rare empty read my last chapter out loud and start fiddling around with ideas for an introduction. I'm 24 years old...but strangely content.

This will probably only reach the people who I know from back home (which might be a somewhat presumptuous way of beginning a paragraph, as I don't know if any of them read this), but this reminded me of our long-lost acquaintance Paul Bennett. From the Nicky Wire-esque heading to the inclusion of Homage to Catalonia- we can presume it's on his sixth-form reading list, presumably Of Mice and Men didn't make the cut- this is the bookshelf of the kid who has It All Figured Out. I remember the angsty youth reading out Nietzsche's aphorisms from Beyond Good and Evil to an indifferent, or at best baffled, study centre in the days of Friday nights at the Castle Taverns and Ginger Brown gigs.

I will write a proper apology one day to attone myself for using this page as a pedestal from which to unfairly savage other literary blogging, but it will have to wait. For now, I'd like to imagine the discussion the kid has with his father at Sunday lunch:

Dad: You'll change one of these days son, everybody does. Don't worry, you have plenty of time to grow conservative. It's good for the young to experiment.

Son: DON'T FUCKING PATRONIZE ME!!!! (Storms off upstairs to listen to Pete Docherty's "band").

The End


Wednesday, March 08, 2006


From Amazon:

Customers who bought books by Paul Celan also bought books by these authors:

John Felstiner
Brian Massumi
Hilary Spurling
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Terry Pratchett

Who knows?

Monday, February 27, 2006

happy 70th post, moths of boredom

Over Christmas, my mum (who has just joined one of those online video rental things that lorc has been raving about) asked me what films I'd like to see. I thought for a minute, and said "Polanski's Macbeth", which I remembered loving when I was a GCSE student. Typically, the film didn't turn up for two weeks, which was- you've guessed it- the day I had to go back to Norwich. So my chance to engage with a fragment of my educational past was delayed. Now, however (fingers crossed) I've ordered the same movie for a fiver from Amazon. Within five days I will be able to see:

- a very young Keith Chegwin riding a horse
- Francesca Annis pretending to be mad and walking around naked
- the bit my teacher kept on freeze-framing where the guy gets an arrow stuck in his head
- the bit where MacDuff chops off MacBeth's head
- the cynical ending where Donalbain goes to the witches
- the weird merkins that the witches wear

What I actually mean is that I think I'll see these things, because I'm not altogether sure that any of them were actually in the film.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I don't have enough mates in the (ahem, splutter) "Blogosphere" to inflict this on (or do I?) but here are my responses to Lorcan's questionaire:

Seven things I must do before I die

1: Find a hat that doesn't constrict my cannonball head (or make me look like a Mekon).

2: Tune a guitar by ear.

3: Come up with a completely outlandish romantic gesture, ie. bigger than skywriting.

4: Go to a week-long party with whoever turns out to be our generation's equivalent of Oliver Reed and Keith Moon. Dine out/ bore grandchildren with tale for rest of my life.

5: Start liking flying.

6: Be on Newsnight Review at least twice. The first time I'm going to be Emin-drunk, the second time I'll be sober as a judge and deal with the other panellists' wry remarks really casually. A superannuated Clive James will be so impressed with my performance that he'll buy me dinner afterwards. Over steak and claret, Clive will hand me a treasure map featuring incredibly complicated instructions, telling me that "it's a job for a younger man". The following adventure will become the subject of an award-winning travelogue, which will subsequently be adapted into a film starring someone who's a child actor at the moment but will have grown up by then.

7: Do all the outdoors stuff I've been shirking for the last couple of years, including the Appalachian Trail.

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Drive a car.

2. Act reasonably 100% of the time.

3. Click my fingers/ whistle (these count as one.)

4. Get rid of my "eye-bags".

5. Stay in at night without worrying about people having a good time without me.

6. Dance the Gay Gordons.

7. Stop being sarcastic

Seven things that attract me to a city:
1. Cool metro.

2. Well-named trainstations (Good: London, Paris, New York. Bad: Glasgow- too pedestrian.)

3. Cheap and delicious food.

4. Bars full of rumbunctious, friendly, outlandish people without airs and graces. London does not score highly on this account, whereas Newcastle does.

5. Sense of community and everyday life visible in city centre (cf the markets and charity shops in central Budapest).

6. Relative obscurity- Trieste, San Sebastian, Norwich

7. General joie-de-vivre- Barcelona, San Sebastian.

Obviously, you don't find all of these in the same place.

Seven things I say:
1. Who's making tea?
2. Fuck, who's ringing?
3. Can I pay on card?
4. Maybe...I'll have to see...
5. What's for dinner?
6. Wasn't like that in the war.
7. fucking hell

Seven books I like:
1. Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
2. 1992 Non-League Football Year Book by Tony Kempster
3. Collected Stories of M.R. James
4. Concluding by Henry Green
5. The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet
6. Germinal by Emile Zola
7. This Sporting Life by David Storey

Not necessarily my seven favourites though.

Seven movies that I’ve loved:
1. Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom)
2. The Rock (Michael Bay)
3. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy)
4. Don't Look Now (Nicholas Roeg)
5. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick)
6. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)
7. Ivan the Terrible Pt.1 (Sergei Eisenstein)

Top of my head, again.


Monday, January 02, 2006

wake me up when we cross the county line

Back in the Vale, weather always on the cusp of ice or post-rain that you never see fall, frosting and unfrosting. Dales to the West, up towards the watershed and the river brim full, Moors to the East. Lumps on all horizons. In the Vale are silos rising from flat fields and farms, some of which are all-but abandoned and occupied by a breed of person much like the "squatters" you find in H.P. Lovecraft. Dusty rooms full of unpriced antiques, windows that look out onto yards strewn with hay. Arterial roads and railways and villages with quiet pubs that have Sky TV on in the corner, out of town garden centres frequented by couples who listen to Jim Reeves in the car on the way home.

Monday, September 05, 2005


One thing I've noticed about the response to the devastation of New Orleans (see Dumb Riffs) is how the boundaries between the so-called "United" states have been emphasised in the media. Reporting has made the movement of peoples between Lousiana and Texas (for example) a pseudo-international issue. This must mean one of two things, or both:

1- That our collective consciousness isn't prepared to allow for the possibility of such a thing happening in the "developed" United States so we're carving off sections of it to create areas (or countries of excess). It doesn't compute with our realist fiction of America.

2- That the White House is twisting the media arm in order to elicit the above response.