Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hot Hot Heat

A list of things which have struck me since I arrived in Greece:

  • I really should have brought a hammock.
  • Athens really is ugly, isn't it?
  • Why are ants trying to eat my tent?
  • "Hoovering a Neolithic floor" is an hilarious sentence, but not as funny as the activity itself.
  • A pig-knuckle and a human finger-bone look really similar.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hearing Music From Another Time

Members of the British Battalion in Barcelona, September 1936.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The System Of The World

I saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean film over the weekend. It's OK (mostly for Depp, again), but also quite disapointing in its own way.

The thing that I really liked about it, actually, was its use of the British East India Company as a villain: as someone on commented, we are talking about the original country-owning megacorporation. The brief comment on Globalisation in an 18th Century context was easily the most interesting thing the script did.

It also got me thinking about the recent resurgence of interest in the 18th century in popular culture: that series the BBC is running about how the 18th Century created the modern world, the very modern-feeling Casanova series last year, and
Neal Stephenson's trilogy of near future science fiction novels (which aren't science fiction and take place in the 18th century, if you see what I mean). Going back a bit further, there's the short story "Mozart In Mirrorshades", which is one of my favourite pieces of short fiction, and you should read it.

What this all actually means, I don't know. Are we becoming the new Georgians in preparation for Charles becoming George VII? Is it because we've spent the past century doing our best to get rid of Victorian morality? Maybe we just really like frilly shirts?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Just Another Country

So there we are. And at the end all I could think was "Why are they lying on the ground and crying like it was an act of God? They had the ability to change things, yet didn't." For the first time in my life I found myself admiring Phil Neville, as he stayed on his feet, not a tear in his eye, shaking hands with the Portugal players. Like you're supposed to. Like a man.

Quite frankly, Gerrard and Lampard shouldn't be considered world-class if tyey can't score from a free shot from 12 yards. Yet again the fans were great, and the team were shit.

All of which leads me to consider a new policy. When England reach a finals, I will not watch them until they make the semis. They have to prove that they are worthy of my time and effort.