Happy Advent

Thu, Dec. 1st, 2016 02:47
gominokouhai: (Default)

Across the nation, every beloved comedian, treasured thespian, and talented musician tentatively opens door #1 on their festive calendar, hands all a-tremble. Can they last through to calendar's end?

It was a choice what was behind that door: a choice between a miniature chocolate and the Reaper Himself. Anxiously collapse that waveform. The chocolate behind door #1 is, however, an advent calendar chocolate, and therefore somehow still manages to be disappointing.

2016 is 91.667% done with, folks. Let's at least try to make it with [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] still intact. Names removed, because at this stage I don't want to tempt fate.

Let's dance

Mon, Jan. 11th, 2016 18:41
gominokouhai: (Default)

Is it just me, or has the quality of radio programming taken a distinct upturn today?

I never got around to Bowie. I've heard his stuff in the background. I can recognize his voice. I've drunkenly sung along to Life on Mars in the pub, despite not, at the time, knowing the lyrics. And I know Under Pressure obviously.

Related: way back when, I only got into Queen at Freddie's tribute concert—although I have vague childhood memories of Live Aid. Apparently, sometimes people have to die before I take notice of them. That's not right.

When I first met her, Jehane could only ever get to sleep by playing a single Bowie song on constant repeat. We'd wake up the following morning and it would still be going. I wish I could remember which one it was.

I've liked him in a general way, but I never really spent any time on him. It's time to change that. Recommend me some albums.

#telt

Fri, May. 8th, 2015 22:29
gominokouhai: (Default)

We did what we set out to do: punish the Lib-Dems and Scottish Labour for siding with the enemy. Democratically, of course. And we got exactly the worst possible outcome as a result: trounced Labour and handed a majority to the bloody Tories.

It's a pretty slim majority, and I understand that the Tories have a long tradition of backbench rebellion, so a coalition of the Left still has a chance to keep the bastards on their toes. For that to happen, the Lib Dems and Labour need to demonstrate that they've learned their lessons from last night.

I suppose we got exactly what we deserved: more work! It's the SNP's job just now to speak truth to power, as the largest effective voting block of human beings currently in Parliament. Labour have more seats than the SNP, but they'll be a complete waste of space until they decide what the point of them is—and that's assuming they even decide to be on the left. They certainly haven't been for the last twenty years. And the Lib Dems are dead for a generation.

Also—let's be honest—some of these new SNP MPs are going to suck, at least for the next while. Nearly all of them are brand new and most of them, when they were listed as candidates, were in seats where they didn't have a hope. That all changed and now they're in charge. Nicola will sort them out; I've met her and she's awesome.

~

Gotta say, I am amused at the huge amount of nothing that was eventually signified by all of Ukip's sound and fury. I am willing to put good money on the fact that not a single one of those 3,881,129 Kippers voted Yes in the AV referendum. One seat they managed under FPTP: no pasaran.

~

Yesterday was a 33-hour workday that started at 1pm on Wednesday and continued through until 10pm on the Thursday: the ninety minutes sleep I got in the middle doesn't really count. I finally got off to sleep at 3am and then the bloody taxi driver rang the doorbell at 03:30. Got back to sleep at about fiveish and then was up again for work at six. At some point on Thursday, I got to see Jehane for a whole ten minutes and I managed to make it around the corner to vote. During that 33 hours, $CHEF had made me a bacon sandwich. It wasn't a good day.

I'm still not keen on the SNP. They're too authoritarian for my liking, too nanny-statish, and I disagree with a hell of a lot of their policies. I don't like the way they cosy up to people like Murdoch and Souter and especially—euch—Trump. (Maybe they'll stop doing that so much now.) Ideologically I appear to be a Green— but only a Scottish Green because the party in England and Wales is still stuffed full of anti-science nutjobs. Yesterday, the SNP were the only left-leaning party with a hope in hell, so my vote was obvious. Also I did it to piss off everyone in England. I'd had enough of all the hysterical pearl-clutching anti-Jock media coverage. You're welcome, England. You brought this on yourselves.

So, having cast my vote for the SNP and finally able to tear myself away from the desk at 10pm, it was off down the chippy for a haggis supper, salt an' sauce, anna boatil ay the Bru. I had no particular political motivations for my order—sometimes a man just needs salt an'sauce—but it seemed appropriate. I think I might have gone native.

Yesterday was the first time I've ever voted when the result has actually gone my way. I suspect I shouldn't get accustomed to it.

The next five years are going to be bleak. Look after your loved ones.

gominokouhai: (Default)

So, there was a referendum. That happened. And we voted No. A trillion pounds' worth of international media descended on Scotland for a week—and the weather even stayed good while they were here!—and, as a nation, we had a chance to create a better world and we bottled it. I used to think that it would be embarrassing to be Canadian, but all the Canadians have as a national stereotype is that they are uniformly self-effacing and scrupulously polite. Since 19th September, on the world stage, Scots are craven directionless cowards. All of that William Wallace stuff that we've built up over the last eight hundred years, gone. We are lackeys.

I for one will not stand for it.

It takes time to build up a reputation like the Scots have—like the Scots had. Specifically, it takes eight hundred years. Down-to-earth pragmatists running the world with relentless efficiency in spite of their bewigged imperial masters. Hairy-arsed skirt-wearing maniacs perpetually game for a fight with ye, then a drink with ye, then another fight. The reason the claymore works as a weapon of war is that it's so damn big and heavy that, once you start running with it held out in front, you can't stop no matter how many English cavalrymen are in your way. We pissed all of that away in one night, and now, on the world stage, we are cowards.

I was there at the dawn of the third age of mankind at the vote count for the Edinburgh region. It was a long day. The day before had been full of joyous, jubilant, exuberant marches in the Meadows, of hope and excitement, of impromptu mass choruses of Flower of Scotland. The tang of change was in the air. I could taste it. And then, on the great day itself, with history hanging in the balance, I had weighty duties to which I must attend. I'd set an alarm for six a.m. but was up at 5:30. One doesn't get to create a brand new nation every day. Out at 7 a.m. to witness the ballot boxen being sealed. Touring polling stations all day—technically in my organizational capacity as a polling agent for the Scottish Socialist Party, which is something that still confuses me. I'm not part of the Scottish Socialist Party. I only know one socialist and I'm on nodding terms with two or maybe three others. I'm still not quite sure how this happened, but I had an ACCESS ALL POLLING PLACES pass and I wasn't afraid to use it. I may have spent slightly more of my day than would have been decorous waving the pass at people like Wayne and Garth at the Alice Cooper concert.

In the evening, it was off to the Highland Centre to observe the vote count. History was being made. At one stage, I was on the news. During a coffee break (I was on tea because I needed a sustained burn rather than the quick hit you get from coffee) I got to have a lovely conversation with Andrew Marr: I dislike his politics and I disapprove of his philandering but I bloody love his historical documentaries. I forgot to mention that my girlfriend's mother taught him English at Loretto.

The Yes and No campaign activists were given lounge areas on opposite sides of a big room, separated by a sort of concourse where there was a nice lady selling tea and coffee from a counter. I bought a bottle of water for £2. Bloody hell, said I, aloud, they told me the price of a pint might go up. The BBC and ITN news crews, on the other hand, were separated by fenced-off enclosures with scaffolding and big scary signage. I found this amusing: a physical paean to the civilized nature of the entire debate. Ultimately, we are all residents of these great British islands. Who needs barricades when there is a tea lady?

My role—still, apparently, on behalf of the SSP for reasons I still can't quite fathom—was to observe the count and ensure that no foul play was taking place. I can confirm that, as far as I can tell, the vote was scrupulously fair and above board. It was just that every bastard had put the cross in the wrong box for reasons that remain utterly incomprehensible to me.

It was obvious from early on that the Yes side were losing. As the postal ballots first came out, while I was still skittering around looking for a table to attend, one of my Yes colleagues turned to me and murmured: we're gettin' hammered. Surely not, I said. It's early days. We were always going to lose on the postal votes. It's the regular ballots that will vindicate us. Half an hour later, it was obvious even to me. Tally marks on the clipboard in front of me, sampling a ballot box from somewhere in the southside: 202 No to 75 Yes. You bastards. You sold us out, because some fucker lied to you about your pensions to guarantee his own. Fuck the fucking southside, man.

Later: we were always going to lose in Edinburgh. It's the rest of Scotland that will vindicate us. Then Clackmannanshire voted No. Then Shetland voted No (fucking Shetland, of all places). Then Dundee voted Yes, but only by a baw-hair, where all of our polling had indicated a good seventy or eighty per cent. At that point, we knew all was lost. Facial expressions changed. The evening became a slog. I had been up since 5:30 and it was now 4am and everything left was a foregone conclusion.

I'd got chatting to a fairly well-known professor of events management with whom I'd already done some networking for work, and plan to do more in the future. He's also a stunningly nice bloke, and a Yes voter obvs. By the point it was clear that we'd lost, self-preservation took precedence over solidarity. This is the country we live in now, the country that Scotland has chosen: every man for himself. So in the immediate short term, I opted to promote my own career and come back to making the world a better place later, and when Professor Joe offered to chum me back in his taxi at 5am, I agreed.

So I was there—just getting ready to leave—when the announcement came through that Glasgow, fairly overwhelmingly, had voted Yes. It was a brief moment of levity in the midst of a long night of otherwise unmitigated despair. A chant started up in the campaigners' lounge area: Glas-gow, Glas-gow, Glas-gow. Someone shouted: ya dancer! Someone else: Ye cannae fool a weegie!, and then it was time to go. It was a glorious moment. It was the only one. It wasn't enough.

The next couple of days were numb and bleak. I've been clinically depressed before and I know exactly what was going on in my brain. I surfaced from bed every so often to read Twitter for five minutes or so before I couldn't take any more. And then on Monday it was back to work, to catch up on the paperwork I'd missed during the last week, in time to catch a train down south on Tuesday. The last place I wanted to go. As a deeply pathetic form of revenge, I made sure to take scotch whisky with me, and Irn Bru, and lots of Scottish fivers.

We had a chance and we bottled it. But it was a good fight, and it's not over.

And now I have a branded Yes clipboard, which I'm keeping. Spoils of war.

There is an epilogue to this post, but it's going under access lock.

gominokouhai: (Khaaan!)

I was amused to learn, now that it's all over, that Our Eck is a big ol' Star Trek fan, specifically of Wrath of Khan. I wish more had been made of this earlier in the campaign. Full tax-raising power. No, sir! You have devo-nano! FULL POWERS, DAMN YOU!

Liking Eck more and more, now that it's all over. The last few days I've just wanted to give him a hug, because I think he needs one. Then there was his principled refusal of any seat in the Lords, and now I find he has impeccable taste in sci-fi. And he's right: if the promised powers are not delivered, we will chase Cameron 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before we give him up. Personally I'm particularly looking forward to the flames bit. I suspect Dishface is so greasy that he would self-ignite.

Back in the day, when I was a unionist, Star Trek featured heavily in what passed for my reasoning—although I didn't understand this about myself until significantly later, after a good deal of introspection. Obviously, went my thinking, the logical end goal of civilization is the United Federation of Planets, and we get there by heading towards global unity not away. For one thing, I later realized, adopting, as a genuine political model, a fictional utopia created by a somewhat mediocre cop-show screenwriter might be seen as impractical; and for another thing, I was goal-seeking using a naive hill-climbing algorithm. For shame, pajh.

A utopia is also an eutopia, of course, but it's telling that Roddenberry's vision is the one that took root inside my head as the default position to aim for. Naive it may be, but goddamn I wouldn't mind living there. I'm not sure if it's the proto-post-scarcity economy or the implicit communism that attracts me so much. Or the green alien babes. No, it's the skants. Definitely the skants.

I love Star Trek to bits, of course, naive as it may be, but these days my politics are much more in line with Babylon 5. I am prepared if necessary to go as far as Blake's 7, but I hope it won't come to that.

Thinking about this as I type, I should probably make a more detailed inspection of Malcolm Hulke's Doctor Who stories before I fasten my colours to any particular allegory, here.

Obviously I'm deeply disappointed with last Thursday's result, but I've decided we may have been foolish to think we could win against the combined forces of ignorance and cowardice, backed by the full might of the British state. We were not foolish to fight. And we will not be foolish to do it all again in a couple of years, with lessons learned and a new generation of engaged citizens on our side. The future is coming, whether it's got green-skinned babes in it or not. That better world we wanted to create?... independence didn't quite work out, but it's still waiting to be created. We'll do it some other way.

The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Off down south tomorrow for a company meeting. I went to the bank today and withdrew £20 in Scottish fivers, because I want to piss them off. The bank teller had never heard that one before—seriously? I honestly thought everyone did that—and told me I'd made his day.

All set for this goddamn nine-hour train journey tomorrow. Gots my sound-isolating earphones, emergency Irn Bru (can't buy it down there), emergency whisky (Islay Mist, won't react with the metal in the hunt flask), gots my vindictively pan-European sandwich, and my instructions for haxx0ring free train wifi. Spent some time with [personal profile] stormsearch perfecting my Scots accent.

Michael Mcintyre has this bit that he does about, every time someone wants to spend a Scottish banknote, some mad Scotsman pops up from nowhere and shouts don't you know that's legal tender. It's funny because it's true, and not, I hasten to add, because Michael makes any effort to make it funny in any way. He crams this bit in to any set he can. Heard a Scots accent on my way to the theatre tonight. Reminded me of that guy who says: don't you know that's legal tender . And off he goes again.

[personal profile] stormsearch is not a qualified voice coach and her instructions have been sporadically helpful, but with her experience combined with my voice-talent nollij, we made headway. The word £ is a particularly difficult word to say in Scots. There's an argument that it's pronounced poouwnd and another, equally legitimate, argument that it should be pronounced pnd, and both of these should be done simultaneously, while also pronouncing the ou as an ai except that it's really more of an eh but do it with your face all scrunched up like this. I got there eventually. As is so often the case with learning experiences in my life, whisky helped.

Thus, I am now ready to have the following exchange, should it be necessary, with an unsuspecting southerner:

Good day to you, shopkeep, and what a marvellous day it is indeed. I would like to purchase this bottle of Coca-Cola® if you'd be so kind. What's that? You doubt the authenticity of my cash monies? Well, dear shopkeep, I do so regret that it must come to this, but I fear you leave me little option but to go Full Scotsman on you. Ahem. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT'S LEGAL TENDER, that's a five pooouwnd note ya wee numpty, huv ye no seen a five pnd note before ya great sassenach.

Interesting, perhaps, to note that, although I am a trained voiceover artist and a remarkably good one, it's only been since this week that I've been able to pronounce sassenach with the appropriate amount of sass.

And I know there's no such thing as legal tender, but the unsuspecting southerner won't.

gominokouhai: (Default)

The irrepressible and frequently incorrect [twitter.com profile] dhothersall started it. It's not my fault, I promise.

So #indyrefpoetry is a thing. All of my efforts have been far, far too terrible to commit to the Twitters, but that's what I have a longform blog for, so now you all must suffer. [personal profile] scotm deserves credit for originally enduring all of these over IMs. He will testify that, although terrible, they were at least written very fast. Regular readers may recall that I seem to do all right at iambic pentameter. How bad can it be?

Pretty damn bad, actually )

My last attempt actually fit into 140 chars, and was Oh, ye cannae shove yer Westminster oligarchs aff a gravy train. Thus was it indicated, quite appropriately I think, that it was time to stop.

ETA.

Oh, no, there's more )

I tried to do a pastiche of Sassoon, but it just isn't going to work. Sassoon is beyond my meagre skills. You should probably consider yourselves lucky.

No, I'm not going to do Rabbie, and you all already know why.

gominokouhai: (Default)

So there was a march on Parliament by the EDL and the BNP. Naturally there was a counter-march by Unite Against Fascism and Hope Not Hate. Coincidentally. there was also a march by a group of girls in badger costumes, protesting against the badger cull, led by Brian May, probably the world's greatest astrophysicist rock god.

It was this latter badger-becostumed group that chased the EDL off.

(Reports that the EDL tossers were crying aah snake aah snake! ohh, it's a snake as they fled remain unconfirmed at this point, so we're forced to assume that they did.)

This is a real thing that happened. I love this country.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Today's link is obvious enough that it gets a linkdump all its own:

There will be more later, but right now I have a bottle of limited-edition, Ximenez finish, single-cask 1996 Ben Riach I've been saving for today.

Ding dong.

gominokouhai: (Default)

I heard that the entire Organising Committee of the London 2012 Olympic Games can only have an orgasm if they kill a dog. That's just something I heard somewhere.

Context, for them as needs it. Also, go fuck yourselves in any available orifice, LOCOG, you disgraceful bunch of cunts.

gominokouhai: (Inspector Fuckup)

At times like this I'm reminded of my youth. When I was in the Cadets, despite being located right next to a large body of something which was technically termed water, there aren't many places to go sailing when you live in Hull. Hiking is a possibility. Drawing semi-permanent artworks on the surface of the clayey soup known as the River Humber is a regular pastime. In order to get in a boat that goes anywhere, you have to travel for some distance. To get to Welton Water, where the mire was sufficiently ungelatinous to be navigable, we had to drive for half an hour and go through one of those antiquated level crossings where you have to press a bell and wait for the wizened level-crossing-supervisor to wake up and get out of his little house and determine that no trains are coming so that he can ponderously wind the barrier up for you with a big handle.

And when we got there, there were no facilities. I remember a pissing session up against the wall at the back of the boathouse. There were no toilets in the boathouse so it had to happen at some point. I hate having to do this, my commanding officer said to me as we stood next to each other, pointedly not looking left nor right, and as we waited, as one does, for the streams to emerge; going back to nature, doing as the animals do. Surely, I thought, but did not say because he was the CO and I was young—but mostly because we both had our cocks out at the time—surely, thought I, this is glorious! going back to nature, as the animals do! Let us run free with the metaphorical wind in our hair, and let us piss up against this wall as MEN do, as VIKINGS do!

I thought it but didn't say it, because, even aged fourteen, I wasn't a total fucking fucknut. Male urinal etiquette is awkward enough without introducing naive conceptions of Romantic philosophy into the argument at the point of, for want of a better word, expression. We finished peeing and I went back to trying not to drown in my jeans because I was too young to own any proper sailing gear yet, and no more was said about it. But it's a conversation that has always stuck with me.

And then we get this.

British company Captive Media thinks it has developed a product that fills a gap in the market - a urinal mounted, urine-controlled games console for men.

It calls it the first "hands-free" video gaming console of its kind.

There really is nothing left. When a man can't pee without being sold something, then surely we've lost all conception of what it is to be people.

Personally, I think that civilization ended when they started putting adverts at eye-height above the urinals. All that's left for us now is vomitoria and an inevitable invasion by the Turks. What we're seeing now is just the final decline before we all become a footnote in the history books of future evolved cockroaches. Let the President lead the way!

This blog post brought to you by the letter P and half a bottle of Zoładkowa Gorzka. Poland's best kept secret, it says on this label, which means that my staff have been holding out on me.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Sirs,

There's nothing I like better than to look at pictures of a bloodied, brutalized corpse before breakfast (your front page, Friday 21st October). Despite this, I presume I'm still not allowed to say fuck in these pages.

Yours aye,

pajh

...yeah. Take that, The (Scots)Man.

(Appropriate credit for inspiration where it's due—but having seen that picture on his Twitter page, I rescind the offer of kisses.)

I do have to observe, howevs, that the Hootsmon's prior tautologous reasoning was bang on the money. Now cue the comments telling me that that wasn't technically a tautology.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Cutting-edge political insights, as ever, from The Scotsman:

Mussolini was hanged from a Milan petrol station for public display. Such a scenario would ensure that Gaddafi did not have to face a court.

Goddammit

Thu, Apr. 28th, 2011 15:58
gominokouhai: (Default)

I suddenly find myself unable to continue ignoring the royal wedding. It's got Daleks in it.

A royal wedding street party with a difference will see a Dalek serve up trays of drinks and snacks to guests on Friday - presumably with cries of 'Extermi-Cake'.

More likely, WOULD YOU CARE FOR A PLAS-TIC CUP OF LUKE-WARM CHE-RRY-ADE. Although, the more I think about it, the more this starts to make sense. What better way to celebrate a great British institution than with a terrifying symbol of imperialistic aggression? Particularly, one that some bloke from the Home Counties has spent a week painting red, white and blue?

I am no stranger to those odd periods of mass hysteria that we're all subjected to on occasion. When Diana died I bought Candle in the Wind twice. I saw Titanic three times in the cinema (and each time, because it is a four-hour-long behemoth, I had to go to the loo just before Kate Winslet gets nekkid.) We're all allowed to get emotional beyond the bounds of reason now and then, especially if we blog self-deprecatingly about it years later. But this one just seems supremely pointless. Two people I don't care about are performing a ceremony I don't care about. I'm not invited. I don't get any of the cake. I am unsure what, as a nation, we all gain by waving flags to solemnize the fact that, according to a book most of us haven't read, two young people are now permitted to fuck.

I shall be at work tomorrow. Although I might take the opportunity to have an excuse to rewatch The Princess Bride.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Kettling is a tool used solely to stifle dissent. So we now have a handheld Iphone app to avoid kettles.

In Egypt, they shut down the internet. So the Egyptians built their own one.

This is a message to The Man: don't fuck with geeks.

Four Lions

Thu, Apr. 29th, 2010 16:38
gominokouhai: (Default)

Apparently Chris Morris says that attempting to create controversy is one of the most boring things you can do. It seems odd, then, that he never sits down and thinks: for my next project, I'll write about the droll antics of a cartoon dog. Instead, for his first feature film, he's taken on the popular subjects of Islamic extremism and suicide bombing. A rollicking good time is guaranteed for all.

Morris is doubtless going to receive unending flak from the same people who spectacularly missed the point of Paedogeddon by claiming that it was making light of a taboo topic. But terrorism is comedy and has been for some years now. Remember the Glasgow Airport attacks? Two idiots drove their car into a bollard, a wee jakey baggage-handler having a fag break kicked them in the nutsacks, and they fell over. While on fire. That's not terrorism, that's slapstick. With a provenance like that, a film like Four Lions can't fail to have comedy value. But is it good satire?

It doesn't have to be. Morris' satire is uncompromising and uncomfortable; it goes beyond amusing into disturbing when he depicts a bunch of bizarrely stupid people, then turns the mirror around and says, That's You, That Is. You squirm in your seat and maybe come away with a different view of the world, but you don't laugh. This is why I've always preferred The Day Today to Brass Eye; it's sillier, and it bites less. No one can deny that Morris' satire bites with the viciousness of the deadliest shark, but you don't always want to settle down and watch a fun comedy only to find, halfway through, that your arm's hanging off.

So in tackling the very current and pertinent subject of Islamic terrorism, Morris has wisely chosen to use it only as a setting. This isn't a film about terrorism, it's a film about dysfunctional group dynamics. The characters are jihadists, but they might as well be a five-a-side football club or a scout group engaged in some crazy caper. Actually, thinking about it, they might as well be The Young Ones. There's the bossy one, the thick one, the cool one, and the slightly-saner one. As they bumble and bicker their way through doctrinal disputes and IED manufacture, we get to see some wonderfully-drawn character moments and learn convoluted new insults amongst the immensely quotable dialogue.

The plot follows our eponymous Lions through the tribulations of martyrdom: building suicide bombs, trial runs, selecting targets, and avoiding detection. Everything is presented in such a straightforward way that when they finally start to execute their plan in the final reel, it comes as a jarring shift in tone. The awkward juxtaposition of domestic comedy with real horror perfectly mirrors the characters' own feelings towards the end of the story, and thus was probably intentional on the part of the filmmakers. Morris may not always be subtle, but he knows his craft.

There's some incredibly effective use of hand-held camerawork to create an immersive feel, and not in the usual, tired manner in which they lazily emulate the fly-on-the-wall documentary. Since the characters spend half of the film pointing cameras at each other, when your point of view wobbles it simply means that you're standing in the living room with them, a fifth uncredited co-conspirator with another camcorder. The performances are genuine and natural: the characters are just blokes who happen to be making explosives on their allotment.

If anything, that's the message of the film. Terrorists are human beings, just like you: which means that, just like you, they're incompetent, clueless, and foolish, vainly stumbling through life in a harebrained struggle to find some sense to make of it all, an attempt that's ultimately doomed to be an utter failure. Most of the kneejerk criticism from the tabloids is going to be about the fact that the film portrays terrorists in a sympathetic light, but what it's actually doing is portraying people with bitter, nihilistic cynicism, in a heartwarming sort of way.

The climactic scenes are set at a major public event such as that where terrorism might conceivably take place (no spoilers here). They feel like a bit of a copout, as if it's an attempt to cram some extra humour into the film by having everybody in silly costumes at the end. If so, it's a wasted effort: the film is hilarious without help. I laughed a lot. And because it wouldn't be a Chris Morris production unless it made me feel horrendously uncomfortable in some way or other, I laughed a lot, realised with horror what nightmarish events I was laughing at, and then started to laugh at that instead.

It's a very British film. I think it's a very important film, but only in an incidental way. Mostly it's a film with brilliant characterization. If it horrifies us then it's because we find ourselves relating to and engaging with monsters, but we did that in Frankenstein, Downfall, and Dr Strangelove. Sometimes it's good to stare into the abyss, and to realise that the abyss is pathetic.

Just like you.

On stones

Sun, Jun. 15th, 2008 15:17
gominokouhai: (Default)

Somebody has left a pamphlet in the office about the evils of caffeine. I'm very glad they did. It reminded me that I have a cup of tea brewing. Mmm, tea.

~

Today's constitutional crisis, threatening to rock the very foundations of the Scottish establishment[0], is that Our Eck reckons that the Stone of Scone is a fake. I'm not sure what constitutes fake when we're talking about rocks. Is it secretly made of plastic? Is it just rock veneer on a cardboard facsimile? Is it somehow less rocklike that we've been led to believe?

I've always thought it was a pretty stupid national symbol in any case. Down south, they have the Crown Jewels in all their resplendent finery. Up here we have a chunk of rock, and we're proud of it.

Mind you, Edward I the Scots-Hammer went to the trouble, in 1296, to raise an army and come all the way up here in order to steal the same said chunk of rock. Who's looking foolish now?

And theories persist that instead of the historic throne of Scottish kings, he was given a toilet seat instead. Who's looking foolish now? I've often wondered how that would have worked. Let's imagine it together, in Braveheart-style glorious Technicolor™-o-vision:

Lights! Camera! Irish Army Reservists! Action! )

From the article, Professor Ted Cowan says: How credible is it that you can just make a replica of something like that in five minutes because Edward I of England is coming to steal the real one? Actually, it's really very credible indeed. It's a rock. You can find them just lying around.

The Professor, we're told, is one of Scotland's most senior historians. And yet he doesn't seem to know the scarcity value of rocks. I think Edinburgh isn't what it used to be.

--
[0] Pun not intended, I swear.

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gominokouhai

July 2017

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