Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I Guess I'll Have To Tell 'em/That I Got No Cerebellum

I dare say that somewhere in the rules of criticism, there’s a paragraph on keeping an open mind and trying not to pre-empt the viewing experience.

Last night I broke that rule, when I saw End Of The Century: The Story of The Ramones. I knew that I would like this film just because of its subject matter: a band that I’m rather fond of. End Of The Century is the tragic-comic story of what happens when a geek, a junkie, a right-winger, and someone with technical skill form one of a century’s most influential bands. They make some music, it fails to get the success it deserves, and they then spend 25 years testing each other to the point of breaking.

All the Spinal Tap hallmarks are here: the endless merry-go-round of drummers, the footage from the tour-bus, the interview interrupted by someone’s wife, and the absurdly rock ‘n’ roll moments (Johnny Ramone pulling The Clash and The Sex Pistols through a window in 1976). What lifts End Of The Century above the level of standard fare is the genuine sense of tragedy that surrounds the band’s two deceased members, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone.

In a sense, a documentary like this isn’t that hard to make: there’s a story which naturally tells itself. It’s also hard to turn a Rockumentary into a meditation on the nature of truth like Capturing The Friedmans. End Of The Century succeeds by giving what feels like genuine insight into the lives of people who are heroes of yours because of what they did, not who they were. As such, it comes recommended.

Monday, February 21, 2005

End Of A Century

The Edge...There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
- Hunter S. Thompson, Hells Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga Of The Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966)

So, now Hunter S. Thompson joins the list of those sleeping the big one, along with John Peel, Douglas Adams, and various Ramones. It's like someone just said to me: we're seeing the 20th Century die off.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Digital Guerilla

So, the film project is, as of 3 PM today, finished. It's only two minutes long, but given that it had to be written, shot, and edited by me in six hours, I think that's enough.

Featuring footage snached from the top of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, quotes by Poet/Dramatist/Occultist/Nationalist/Twat W.B. Yeats, and a soundtrack of the most obscure Pulp track ever recorded, the film will see its premiere tomorrow morning.

I'm working on finding a way for all of you to see it.

Monday, February 14, 2005

"I'm A Self-Facilitating Media Node"

Well, today began my intensive week-long course in Postgraduate Training. Up until now I was an untrained postgraduate, fit only to be used as cannon-fodder in the culture wars.

The day began with an icebreaker. Based around a PhD-themed game of Snakes & Ladders. Next time I want to break some ice I'll use a sock full of snooker balls.

However, I did manage to turn the situation to my advantage. I volunteered to produce a 4-minute film for the presentation on Friday. So I'll be spending the next week getting some official training in what is essentailly my hobby.

Soon I'll be part of the hip 21st Centuryu techno-elite. Or the same loser I was before. Either way's good.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Jackass Monkeyfucker

So, the ebayer of my copy of Windows 98 SE has proven to be a Jackass Monkeyfucker (and I mean that in the classic sense of the term). A week has gone by since he bought it. I invoiced him theday after he made the purchase. Five days after he made the purchase, I sent him a friendly e-mail.

Looking at his ebay profile, I see that he has purchased (and completed the purchase) of another copy of Windows 98. One that cost a bit less.

Now it is possible that he did not realise that clicking on the "buy it now!" button constituted a legally. binding. contract. But I suspect not.

I'd feel a whole lot worse about this if it weren't for the fact that I will get £30 of credit to spend on ebay and a free relist for it. So his Jackass Monkeyfuckery has actually made me more money.

Over at N.A.O.W.F.I.T., I've written a little piece, just for fun. It's very...me.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

On Dealing With Footpads...

The two-part article Self-defence with a Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions.

Part one is here.
Part two is here.

I so need to get myself a gentleman's walking stick!