tag : bright yellow-green apples: January 2006

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Saturday, January 28, 2006

the jukebox has to take a leak

I really can't stop fiddling, so here's another clickable version of a picture I did for one of Martin's tracks.

With so much of consequence going on, I can only quote a song today. I heard it on Desert Island Disks - hardly a regular for finding anything close to popular music - and it seems like one of the most fluidly beautiful of Tom Waits'. Amazing immagery in The piano has been drinking, once again proving a reviewer right when commenting that "he's consistently resisted the temptation to turn crap":

"and the box-office is drooling
and the bar stools are on fire
and the newspapers were fooling
and the ash-trays have retired"

Saturday, January 21, 2006

if you go down to the woods today...

do not attempt a relationship with this man

The lesson of these two films seems to be that if you head out into the middle of nowhere, you'll be surprised.

Brokeback Mountain, adapted from the excellent short story by Anne Proulx, managed to convey the impact of this very intense love story. Ennis, played by Heath Ledger, was especially believable - playing the damaged, yet compelled, victim of love's forces. What the film captured well is that none of them - Jack, Ennis, and their families - were pure victims or monsters in the resulting betrayal and compromise. This is what I mean by realistic. It communicated the agony and ecstasy of the emotional forces we cannot easily control, or even take total responsibility for. From their first surprised fumblings on the eponymous mountain, to the final tragedy of death and separation, everyone has to put up with a lot - sometimes rising to the occasion, but often walking through a fog.

Wolf Creek is a seriously grim film. The tagline is that it's based on real incidents of backpackers and travellers going missing in the Australian outback. But the makers of this story seem to want to condense everything into grisly and harsh endurance test for the audience. The three characters predictably break down, get picked up by a slightly odd guy, fall asleep, wake up imprisoned, try to escape, and get picked-off with lots and lots of blood along the way. I suspect they were watching Jeepers Creepers and The Blair Witch Project while making this one, but this whole type of thing just irritates me. The lesson of this film seems to be that you should never go further than 10 miles inland, in Australia, cos you will get tied up and abused by a man with a receding chin.

In short, go with the gay cowboys and not the apparently nice loner - you might find your heart broken, but at least your skull will remain in one piece!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

made it, now lie in it

A few ago I finished reading this book; and there are so many quotable paragraphs. But since I've been having some graphic dreams recently, I thought this one appropriate somehow. The central character, Grace, is talking about the quilts they make hanging up to dry - looking like flags hung up by armies at war:

"And since that time I have thought, why is it that women have chosen to sew such flags , and then to lay them on the tops of beds? For they make the bed the most noticible thing in a room. And then I have thought, it's for a warning. Because you might think a bed is a peaceful thing, Sir and to you it may mean rest and comfort and a good night's sleep. But it isn't so for everyone; and there are many dangerous things that take place on a bed. It is where we are born, and that is our first peril in life; and it is where the women give birth, whIch is often thier last. And it is where the act takes place between men and women that I will not mention to you, Sir, but I suppose you know what it is; and some call it love, and others despair, or else merely an indiginity which they must suffer through. And finally beds are what we sleep in, and where we dream, and often where we die."

Friday, January 13, 2006

a continued absence

Here's some more politics for you, though of a more light hearted nature, for your delectation. Pretending to be a cat on reality tv is good for politics? You decide.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

au revoir, chuckey bum

Events move fast, and I had been intending to write in support of Charles Kennedy's leadership of the Liberal Democrats. But it seems now we must all write obituaries, because he's been forced out. How dare they. The aggressive swivel-eyed tendency, the so called 'orange group', have had it in for him come what may - despite his being closer to real humanity than most of parliamentary front bench politicians. And nothing seems to satisfy them but to ape the worst of Tory policies - free markets and privatisation. We don’t need another right of centre party, as there are already two as it is. This was a collusion with a media that had little basis for getting at him than unspecific talk of his needing to go.

The frontbench spokesman Lembit Opik - one of the few to courageously speak out against the recent nonsense - put it best by saying: "They have violated the values of some of the party, and crucially they have given the impression their words and their views are more important than the electorate which chose him in the first place." I doubt I will be able to vote for the party for a long while, the way they’re going.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

near enough might as be

I'm not good on resolutions, but in line with the previous intentions I'd like to live more colourfully and cut out more dross. That'll do for 2006, in an entirely unoriginal kinda way.

The year certainly started off well, surrounded by fireworks and falling-over people under Edinburgh castle, stood alongside Mary as we spend some much needed time together. I'm very optimistic for the year ahead. Which seems as good a place as any to include a much-needed pointer to those contemporary artists that inspire me most at this juncture:

The Perry Bible Fellowship
David Godbold
David Shrigley
Nancy Spero