Friday, 30 June 2006

Got To Say It Was A Good Day

At some point this afternoon either Germany or Argentina will have been knocked out of the World Cup. How great is that?

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

On Porn

Brendan O'Neill, whose photo unfortunately makes him look like a smug tosser, writes about Lad's mags and real porn and the difference between the two. He has a few knocks at the "cultural elite" on the way:

So who is it who is really hung up on porn? It is not teenage boys or men in general, but the cultural elite. One section of this thinks porn has the power to damage men, women and society itself while the other section thinks porn is somehow cool, interesting, underground; something to be debated in hallowed halls and broken down in academic tomes.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Multi-media Len

As mentioned on Ten-Bob Dylan's site there's a documentary about Leonard Cohen coming to an Art-house near you. Laughin' Len has a book of poems coming out, too, so it seems that all that time in the Buddist Monastery wasn't wasted. Green Cine Daily point to an interview with Cohen over at KCRW more importantly they link directly to the MP3 of the interview.

The interviewer trys very hard to show that within him beats the heart of a poet too, but if you ignore him Cohen gives good interview.

There's A Simple Solution

Boing Boing have a link to Guruphiliac, which they describe as "highly-recommended false-prophet exposé site". It's a good idea for a site and it does seem to be quite well done, but it make me think that you could probably sum it up something like:

"If someone calls themselves a guru or believes themselves to be enlightened in ways beyond the norm, then they are full of shit and should be avoided as much as humanly possible."

It could just be me, though.

Friday, 23 June 2006

Lou Reed: Grumpy Old Fart

But sometimes in a good way. It seems no-one was quite sure how disgruntled that Coldplay had sung "Perfect Day" live recently, but he was, we can be sure, very far from gruntled.

Then again if that BBC version of it didn't make his head spin round and explode he's never going to be too upset at a cover of his songs.

Good News Everyone!

It seems a month can't go past without new rumours on what, exactly, is the situation with Futurama. Now, and it does seem a little more official than before, the Cartoon Network are said to be ordering 13 new episodes:
Discussions about a revival of the half-hour show began in earnest earlier this year between Futurama producer 20th Century Fox Television and series creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. A sticking point, which has been resolved, had been bringing back the cast, who hadn't worked on new episodes for the show since it left the air in August 2003.

Voice actors Billy West, Katey Sagal and John DiMaggio are on board for the new episodes, which will continue the story of Fry (West), a pizza delivery boy who was accidentally frozen for 1,000 years and who wakes up in the future.

Thursday, 22 June 2006

I Love Grills!

Well, maybe not so much, but these guys really, really do! The top 10 Coolest Grills and then some more. Grill on grill action. Hot stuff. Etc...

Another Story That Cannot Possibly Live Up To The Headline

Whales Slap Flatulent Prey
"The (herring) bubbles are released through the anal duct when the air expands as the fish ascend," explained Malene Simon, who worked on the research. "We do not know if the fish release air when staying at one depth as a reaction when meeting a predator. However, it is very likely that the bubble will confuse or scare the predator in such a way that the herring will have a better chance of escaping."

So, er, the story is that herring farts confuse whales. The whales slap the sea with their tails to stun the fish. Actually, the story does live up to the headline.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Finally, A Reason To Get Fit

Exciting news from the Guardian. Uwe Boll, Genius, has challenged his critics to a punch up, more precisely:
Boll has offered to fly five of his harshest critics to Vancouver, where he is preparing to shoot Postal, another video-game adaptation. There they must enter a boxing ring for a 10-round bout with him. All five fights will be screened online, and snippets from the critic-bashing action will be edited into the final film.

Monday, 19 June 2006

Top 5 Conservative Nursery Rhymes

As you know there's been a recent skirmish in the Culture Wars trying to capture a handful (up to a hundred) rock songs for the right wing. But does this go far enough? Surely we should be trying to invade the minds of the children at an earlier age. With this in thought uppermost, I present some Nursery Rhymes that should really be wrestled from that old communist Mother Goose:

  1. All Around the Mulberry Bush
    Sample words:
    A penny for a spool of thread,
    A penny for a needle.
    That's the way the money goes.

    It's never too late to teach fiscal responsibility.

  2. Incey Wincey Spider
    Sample words:
    Incey Wincey spider
    Climed up the water spout;
    Down came the rain
    And washed poor Incey out;

    A parable, as if explanation were needed. If America's actions in Iraq. Especially if we think of Saddam as the Spider and America as the rain.

  3. Hokey Pokey
    Sample words:
    You put your whole self in,
    You put your whole self out;
    In, out, in, out
    And you shake it all about.
    You do the Hokey-Pokey,
    And you turn yourself around.
    That's what it's all about!

    About as clear a statement of American foreign policy as you can find anywhere.

  4. Hush-a-bye, Baby
    Sample words:
    Hush-a-bye, baby,
    in the tree top.
    When the wind blows,
    the cradle will rock.
    When the bough breaks,
    the cradle will fall,
    And down will come baby,
    cradle and all.

    Health insurance can be a great comfort if you can afford it. Also a timely reminder that shoddy workmanship has always been a problem.

  5. Old Mother Hubbard
    Sample words:
    Old Mother Hubbard
    Went to the cupboard
    To fetch her poor dog a bone;
    But when she came there
    The cupboard was bare,
    And so the poor dog had none.

    Note that Mother Hubbard didn't go crying to Welfare or anything of the sort. She had the dignity to let her dog starve than go looking for hand-outs

  6. Bonus: There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe
    Sample words:
    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
    She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
    She gave them some broth,
    Without any bread,
    Whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed.

    A reminder of days before liberals when a sound whipping was all a parent need to maintain order in their household. Of course there's a worry that this woman was a single mother, but her actions show her as a true conservative never-the-less.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Me, Myself & I (A Joint Short Shorts Production)

Due to the expected stoppages thanks to football Blogging will no doubt be non-existant until Monday. Hopefully I shall spend the weekend celebrating an exciting 4-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago. Or possibly getting loads of stick about that not happening.

In a follow up to a post on Ten-Bob Dylan's site I'd like to direct you to Onion AV Club's review of the new Regina Spektor album (though they seem to be having a bit of database trouble at the moment).

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Obligatory Comment is Free Post

I'm not sure who Flic Everett is, according to her profile she likes to write about sex. A lot. not that this should discourage her from pontificating in the Guardian's excellent resource for lazy comedians, Comment is Free, on any topic she likes including football and the state of the blogosphere. Though perhaps if she decides to take on both at the same time then the next time shes tries she should try harder than this:
The World Cup has turned the blogosphere into a virtual stadium full of shouting know-alls.

Once you've missed the point entirely, blogs having been around for at least a couple of world cups and already being full to the brim with shouting know-alls, reiterating it in a couple of different ways only helps to show how wide of the mark you truly are:
If you are a writer who fervently believes that when Sven stumbles across your blog he will finally make that tactical shift you've been suggesting for years, it must feel good to hold power at last; if you're convinced Gary and Alan are scouring the internet, in a desperate bid to identify the next outspoken studio pundit, it may well feel great.

But wasn't it only the other week that the Guardian's movie critic was fervently believing that people should not just read his reviews but act on them?

Burt Bacharach: Blogger

That's right! Over at The Huffington Post, Burt Bacharach has made his first blog post:
Elvis sang my last two lines with the very strong intensity I felt:

"Things really have to change,
Or we're all fucked!"

Nobody has ever sung fucked like Elvis Costello.

Monday, 12 June 2006

In Praise Of Laughin' Len

As my regular readers (yes, that's a cocky plural there) know, I regularly steal links from 3 Quarks Daily. 3QD, though, also generate their own content, today Alta Price explains what it is she likes about Leonard Cohen, sort of:
Leonard Cohen’s music first came to me in my early teens. I fell deeply in love, and thought, this will pass, this is an adolescent thing, a phase, an infatuation; time or luck will have me grow out of this.

Life Imitates The Simpsons

Not, though, in a good way:
Two brothers are seriously ill in a Southampton hospital after a family barbecue exploded when it was doused with petrol.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Totally Expected Context

Kathy Sierra over at Creating Passionate Users has a thought-provoking post on the power of unexpected context. Especially this bit:

Context: Rock concert--successful indie band
Delightful Out-of-Context Surprise: The lead singer calls out the names of long-time regulars from the fan message board who said they were going to be there.
That happened to my daughter at a Travis show in Denver.

Of course, the thought the above provoked in me was Travis reading out a list of names is much better than Travis doing any of their songs. And it probably rocked harder.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Cut Out & Keep

Has porn entered mainstream cinema for good? asks Mark Kermode in the Guardian. His answer could almost be a cndb for frustrated cineastes. I'll be printing out copies and hand them round the pub at the weekend...
Over the past few years, Cannes has developed a reputation for championing porno chic, much of it thoroughly meretricious. Back in the late 1990s, I got thrown out of a screening of Lars von Trier's imbecilic The Idiots for heckling a fatuous, hard-core sex scene which was provoking cries of 'Bravo' from the boorish cognoscenti. Last year, the equally empty-headed Mexican movie, Battle in Heaven, received a standing ovation for no reason that I could discern other than the fact that it started and ended with a blowjob.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Even More Jokers To The Right

Feeling the success of his list of top 50 Conservative Rock Songs, John J Miller gives us 50 also rans.

Now, considering that five of the last few songs on the previous list were: "Taxman, Mr. Thief," by Cheap Trick; "Wind of Change," by The Scorpions; "One," by Creed; "Why Don'’t You Get a Job," by The Offspring; and "Abortion," by Kid Rock.

You might be wondering what level of suck that the cast-offs from such a list would run to.

I actually didn't write much about the first list as the wrong-headedness of it seemed to be the joke. The fact that somebody had to misunderstand the lyrics and the intent behind songs by The Clash, Bob Dylan and Joe Jackson among others to even get the list to 50 seemed to suggest that the author had only passing acquaintance with reality.

This list has the usual talent-free metal-lite bands, some older, confused proper metal bands and any number of lesser songs by acts who should know better. There's plenty to goggle at hear while wondering about the exact classification of John J's idiotry. My favourite:

"Little Red Corvette," by Prince.
A cautionary tale: "Honey you got to slow down / Little red corvette / 'Cause if you donÂ’t you gonna run your little red corvette right in the ground."

Yep, that was my initial take on "Little Red Corvette", too. Cautionary tale. Those who thought it was a reminisence for a great shag he'll never have again go to the back of the class.

By Choice

In commeration of another series dead before its time, or not, Matt Zoller Seitz over at The House Next Door has declared this week Deadweek and is devoting it to Deadwood. Here he tries to explain what he likes about it:
HBO's "Deadwood," which begins its second season tonight, is the greatest dramatic series in the history of American television. It attains this distinction by doing so many difficult, contradictory things at once. It is, in no particular order, a western, a gangster picture, a political drama, a lewd farce and a comedy of manners; an operatic potboiler chock full of sex, violence and profanity; a sustained long-form narrative that interweaves parallel plots tighter than hangman's rope; a satire on American hypocrisy and greed; a portrait of needy, ambitious people who see through other people's illusions but cleave tight to their own; a revisionist look at frontier life; a case study of a civilization struggling to create itself, and a weekly showcase for characters and dialogue so rich in complexity and contradiction that they deserve to be called Shakespearean.

He's right.

Thursday, 1 June 2006

What Other Reason Is There?

More than half of young Britons drink to get drunk: survey
Fifty-nine percent of Britons aged between 18 and 24 drink alcohol just to get drunk and the practice is expected to rise during the football World Cup, a health information charity said.

The survey for the Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP) also found that 43 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds consume alcohol to get inebriated.

In total, 24 percent of all Britons share the same aim.

Just what is everybody else drinking for, then? I guess with real ale, wine and whisky it might be the taste. Or it might just be to accompany a meal.

What it seems to be is that someone has decided that there's a difference between social drinking and drinking to excess, but I would say, especially for the lower age groups, that it's difficult to seperate the two. Social pressures and expectations meaning that social drinking will always have an element of getting blathered because, well, that's where the fun is.