Warning: Rants likely for at least 5 paragraphs

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another way

Well, I managed to go a whole fortnight before my commitment to regular postings went out the window, but in my defence I have had a busy week. Not only have I started rehearsals for the next play, but have been taking various courses at work including the test for my personal licence and going on various other trips.

Still, the delay in the post means I've decided to go for a double-whammy, giving personal info and also sharing my discomfort at an increase in xenophobia that seems to be either unnoticed or approved of.

To start then, the details of my new play are thus: First Love, by Victor Sobchak, inspired by Beckett. We'll be performing at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre, Gaisford Street, Kentish Town from 8th May - 24th May. We'll then be off to the Prague Theatre Festival for a week there. Further details can be found at the Act Provocateur website, linked above.

After that bit of shameless plugging I'd like (just quickly as I need to get to work) the crappy attitude that is becoming more and more prevalent. It's most noticeable on adverts such as the Direct Dial insurance piles of shite. Why, please, is a 'UK only call-centre' automatically virtuous? Answer: It's not, and the advert appeals to the latent xenophobia that so clearly exists in this poor, stupid country.

If it was an economic argument I'd almost understand, although unlike the beef or steel industries it is not environmentally better to have this industry close to home. Nor do I understand why it is better for someone in England to have a job rather than someone in Asia.

No, the sentiment is very clearly asking, "You don't really want to be calling an Indian with your problems, do you? No, it's better if it's a nice white person answers." This despite the fact that over here, our call-centre answerers are unmotivated, doing fill-in jobs until they can get a real one, while in India they are sought-after jobs filled by university graduates. And anyone who thinks that we can do the call-centre work better in this country should try calling their local LEA or local council.

Anyway work beckons.
Until next time...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

What's the point?

Protests in Tehran. What about? The sailors have already been arrested! What exactly do these fuck-wits want now?

Anyway, back to the UK. I managed to make a bit of a fool of myself last night by attempting to kiss a friend of mine who I've kind of fancied for a while. We've been flirting for a couple of years now and, since alcohol makes me amorous I decided that the iron was hot. It wasn't.

Fortunately, she's in a play which opens on Tuesday so I won't be seeing her at work and thus my embarrassment will have time to fade.

It's been a long week, including a couple of mornings on stage door, which pays well but means getting up in the morning. But I got to watch a few dvds including Day of the Dead. Nothing like the walking dead to freak you out when half asleep alone in a (supposedly haunted) theatre.

Happy April Fool's by the way.

-God bless those pagans

Sunday, March 18, 2007

She had hair the colour of phoenix fire

I've come up with a fairly loose editorial policy, as it seems to be the done thing. I've decided that my posts will come about once every two weeks (just because that seems to be how often I get the time to do more than comment on other people's). Also, I'll be going with a point of controversy and/or list of some sort, alternating with an update on the life of this particular big old geek.

So for this fortnight, I have a question. Billy and I were discussing this earlier and would like to ask if anyone can clarify something for us. I don't know, possibly one of you secretly works for a shampoo company. Anyway, you must all have seen the adverts for various cosmetic products touting the idea that if you use their product your hair will be 30% shinier.

OK. If that's the case, then shininess is quantifiable. What, then, is 100% shiny? Is it when looking at your hair damages your retina, as when you look at the sun? And if your hair has 0% shine, does it suck the light from the universe like a black hole growing from your head? Answers on a postcard, please.

By the way, I'd just like to take this opportunity to express my relief that Wales were able to win at least one game in the Six Nations this year. And if you're going to win only one Six Nations match, it's obviously best for that to the the England game.

-Gangs of tough, sinewy youths roam the countryside terrifying people with their close-harmony singing.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Going around and coming around

I was at the Phoenix Artists' Club last night (or, as everyone except the manager calls it, Shuttleworths) and noticed a ten pond note on the floor by the bar. I picked it up and asked the customers next to me and my friend whether it was theirs. They said no, so after a moment of consideration - do I keep the tenner, given my relative poverty - I handed it to the barman, feeling generally good about my moral health. And in a piece of instant karma, the barman gave me the two pints on the house.

So everyone wins. Except whoever lost the tenner in the first place...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I'm holding out for an Olivier anyway

Some interesting stuff in today’s Observer, notably Mark Kermode’s take on the latest British offerings to make it into the Oscar nominations. And I thought I’d take up his challenge to identify my five top British films and check how many Oscars they got between them.

More difficult than it sounds in that I’m never entirely sure what constitutes a British film: Is it the cast? The director? The funding? Where it was set or filmed? Does Batman Begins count as a British film, given that it has a largely British cast and crew, and was largely filmed in London but has American money behind it?

Anyway, I’m listing the top five that my first instincts tell me are British, and feel free to disagree or rip my assumptions to shred. Incidentally, I'm not putting these in order of preference; that will vary depending on my mood at any given moment...

1 - Perhaps predicatably, given what I said above, I'm plumping for Batman Begins. 1 Oscar nomination.

2 - The Devils, directed by Ken Russell.

3 - The Italian Job, directed by Peter Collinson.

4 - The Three Musketeers, directed by Richard Lester.

5 - Alfie, directed by Lewis Gilbert. 5 Oscar nominations.

And just in case there's a rush of people who take issue with Batman's validity, I have to include Nuns on the Run, directed by Jonothan Lynn.

Actually in the course of putting this blog up I've run accross a number of others that probably deserve to be here, some by Hammer, some by the Pythons, but I'll await any contributions from the blog world. But check out the list above: Mark's right, if you want Oscars you're probably better off being stereo-tpyical than gritty or funny.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Money, money, money

Is there any feeling worse than going to get some cash from the hole in the wall (there's a phrase I haven't heard from the while) and finding you don't have available funds?

Yes, but the story alluded to by Llewtrah in my last post's comments won't be told here as I'm still feeling far too ashamed.

In the meantime, I reflect that a great many inspirational figures have the same tendency as myself; namely, I find that when I have money I'm wont to spend it freely, oftentimes on my friends. But then I find myself absolutely brassic, and borrowing from those same friends. Not to mention my seeming inability to save enough to afford new head-shots / a stage combat course / time off work to do some Fringe... Take your pick from any number of options.

As I understand it, Marx, Kropotkin and others were just like me in this respect. Unfortunately, I also can't help but think that there are countless others in a similar position who aren't remembered like the above, or were ever successful at all.

Still, for the immediate future, I'll have some more money to lose on Thursday. And thanks to Billy for the tenner he's lent me in the meantime.

-Sometimes I feel like a pelican. Everywhere I turn there's an enormous bill in front of me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Back once again

First post since the holidays finished. It's been a while, and since the last one I've survived two colds and the (mercifully brief) loss of my voice. It's interesting how many people think you're making some kind of joke when you tell them (whispering, obviously) that you've lost your voice. What sort of joke would that be, I ask? The beginning of a bizarre practical joke aimed at a complete stranger? I may have a somewhat twisted sense of humour, but I'm also far too lazy to come up with something like that.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year. Since not too much else of note has happened since (barring Director Friend's stag night last night which was very much a standard night out, just with a meal at the front) I shall now list a few of my Christmas presents. I hope everyone else liked theirs.

- Angel Srs. 5 and Amistad on DVD, both of which I'd requested and so was very happy to have recieved, though I haven't gotten around to watching Amistad yet.

- Slippers and dressing gown. Fortunately I already own a pipe, but annoyingly, I don't smoke it.

- Homer Simpson socks. And Homer Simpson slippers from my sister. I'm guessing she and my mum didn't consult on the slipper front. And I've received a pair of slippers from my parents before...

- Whisky liqueurs. No-one else here seems to like them, but I think they're very nice.

- Money. Always very useful. Some of it will shortly be spent on some new trainers. Currently I only have my boots and my work shoes. And three pairs of slippers.

Until next time,

"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer, as quoted on my new socks.