- Link Not Work Safe.
This video is a montage pointing out the oddness of Sun's "News in Briefs". Wherein the Sun's Page 3 topless models espouse views on todays news (well editorial comment based on the Sun's editorial policy, at least). I had to explain to Canadian's about Page 3. They thought I was making up the idea that there's a national newspaper that has a topless model in it every day.
A paper that is scandalised by any sex pervert, sex romp or slight possibility that a child maybe sexualised or sexually active. Yet they have semi-naked ladies on the second page of the paper. I'm not really saying anything new, except that 'wow, only in Britain, eh?'. You have to walk away sometimes to get perspective.
Which makes it odd calling the link Not Work Safe... surely Page 3 must be work safe, or The Sun wouldn't be able to sell it to people everyday.
I have Men Without Hats' Safety Dance stuck in my head now after being shown a video of it two days ago. The video is special. It feature Morris dancing, medieval dwarves and new wave singers. I am not sure these three things were ever meant to mix.
I do now have tickets to the below mentioned gig. It's not until March, so I am sure I can find some rube to take the spare ticket and keep me company.
... except for when they do...
March 3rd : Billy Talent, Alexisonfire and Against Me!
Against Me! is particularly a band I want to see live. Sweet.
Seem to have insomnia for the last few days. Not fun. Need a little rubber hammer to put me too sleep.
In other news, last month I brewed my first batch of home brew for a long, long time (old friends will recall the "batch" I made in Heslington Road). Having read a little more about how to do it, and the importance of clarifying the beer, this lot wasn't bad. It was a Pale Ale made from a wort kit (a cube of liquid ready to brew) with not much else to do than keep all the pieces clean.
The brew came out looking good, but I rushed it a little, so didn't have much body and too much sparkle from the bottle fermentation. Drinkable. I now have a an Oktoberfest/Marzen lager on the go, which after the primary fermentation was over was looking, tasting and smelling much better. Not rushing it, but hopeful I'll have something worthy of sharing this time.
I suspect that the top 100 of all time as voted on by XFM listeners was biased by Oasis splitting up, as the top 10 contains 3 Oasis songs:
10 Muse – 'Plug In Baby' 2001
9 The Verve – 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' 1997
8 The Smiths – 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' 1986
7 Nirvana – 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'1991
6 The Stone Roses – 'I Am The Resurrection' 1989
5 Joy Division – 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' 1980
4 Oasis – 'Wonderwall' 1995
3 Oasis – 'Don’t Look Back In Anger' 1995
2 The Killers – 'Mr Brightside' 2004
1 Oasis – 'Live Forever' 1994
I can see 10-5. But the top 4 are well, just good indie tracks. The KiIlers and Oasis have another track in the top 20 (as do Muse with Knights of Cydonia). Always the problem with the best x - EVER lists, always biased towards the here and now, or what has happened recently.
How 0-0 a.e.t by Thousand Yard Stare isn't in there, I just don't understand.
In other music news, getting the two God Machine albums on MP3 has made me very happy. "Stare into your, Dream Machine".
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8014189.stm> Ronnie Biggs is terminally ill and has been freed (pending paperwork) from prison. According to his son "Finally common sense has prevailed, you know, my father has done his time.". Sorry Michael, Ronnie didn't do his time. Ronnie beat a man over the head with an iron bar during a robbery, got caught and then spent only 18 months of a 30 year stretch before doing a runner. He returned, feted by the Sun for no good reason, and was sent back inside in 2001... so by my count he did about 10 years of his "time".
AND the only reason Ronnie came back to the UK was to seek medical attention. I'm not sure why I am meant to feel anymore sorry for Ronnie Biggs than, I dunno, Peter Sonny Martin O’Halloran (google for him, I just found him at random). The only thing I could feel sorry for Biggs is that 30 year sentence in the beginning, which seems rather long.
Sure, releasing a sick man who poses no danger is fine, but lets not pretend he's some sort of hero or saintlike figure.
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8171314.stm> - People are disputing whether Barack Obama was a natural born citizen of the US, as otherwise he can't be eligible for president. This debate is stupid.
Firstly, as the evidence seems pretty clear that Barrack was born Hawaii (including birth notices from 1961... takes a pretty strong conspiracy to fake back that far). Secondly this sort of debate has has been and should have been finished long before he took office. Thirdly, this the sort of right-wing petty racism which makes people despise politics. And finally, you'd really think they'd have better things to debate about Mr Obama's first six months than a Certificate of Live Birth.
Bush's supporters were the first to say you have to back the Office of the President, it's wrong to attack the person, and to support your country. Unless the president is a liberal, of course.
Stupid Partisan Politics.
Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, recorded an album of Calypso songs under the name "The Charmer". One of the tracks is "Is She Is, or Is She Ain't", a song about Christine Jorgensen, the first person to be widely known for gender re-assignment surgery (male-female).
Allmusic.com has a snippet here : http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:3xfoxcyhldte
(I'd never heard of Ms. Jorgensen until reading about J Edgar Hoover, who I was reading about because of Pretty Boy Floyd, who I was reading about because of John Dillinger, who I was reading about because Johny Depp plays him in his latest film which had just been advertised on TV which I watching because... well, we can stop there, I think).
I really don't write enough. Here or anywhere else. I need to get in the habit of writing more. Only way to keep in contact with some people, it's rewarding and occasionally it's useful and rewarding to document what I've actually done, thought or said.
But enough navel gazing (I wouldn't want to gaze at my navel for very long, de-fluffed or otherwise). On with the most recent arts and culture stuff what I has been reading/seeing/listening:
"Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" - Amanda Palmer
PZ Myers had a link to the video for 'Oasis', which I watched, and loved. It's a pop song about abortion, rape and love of Brit-Pop. I had a vague awareness of the Dresden Dolls but not really on my radar. A collaborated album with Ben Folds couldn't be an awful thing, and it's not. A mixing of catchy tunes, more soulful piano/vocal numbers and the aforementioned pop song, which is the lightest of the numbers. Fantastic.
"Swoon" - Silversun Pickups
Not Silversun (who sound like the Pet Shop Boys for the indie generation). Silversun Pickups. I'm not sure if they are named after a brand of electric guitar parts, or trucks. They might once have been shoe-gazers, if shoe-gazing had met emo and Billy Corgan. The vocals sound emo anyways, but the rest of it is layered guitars, long instrumental breaks and insistent rhythms. The single 'Panic Switch' is pretty typical of the rest of the album, and probably my favourite track from the last three months.
"Matter" - Iain M Banks
Mr Bank's last sci-fi "The Algebraist" was noodling space opera bunk. It started well, wandered off into Piers Anthony any three ideas will do and left the reader hanging with no real ending or fulfillment. With "Matter", we're back to the Culture, sort of. A low tech race living on a mysterious multi-leveled planet are at war. The Culture is at peace, but still interferes where it sees fit. As do a variety of other races, and were led on an interesting story split between the Culture's interactions with other highly involved races, and the more human scale story of the war, revolution and aftermath. Much better, but still not as good as earlier works.
"The Steep Approach to Garbadale" - Iain Banks
I've decided Iain Banks is just not good at endings. Maybe that's my problem wanting a good ending with most of the threads resolved. I don't mind short stories with hanging endings, but if I read 500 pages, I want some sort of resolution and pay off. Especially if you wend of into a long chapter about a boat trip which seems to serve absolutely no point, despite promising to. Maybe I missed something subtle. Great writing, not so great plotting.