Pop culture

Arts&Audience participation&Pop culture01 Sep 2006 08:00 am

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Arts&Audience participation&Pop culture28 Aug 2006 09:06 pm

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Arts&Audience participation&Pop culture23 Aug 2006 01:32 pm

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Pop culture&Self19 Apr 2006 10:07 pm

This is what happens when you attempt to make a list of a few of the most significant/most heard records in your life, like Leah and Swiss. Fifteen minutes later and you start to realise it could go on for ever… and you start alphabetising for kicks… and what’s worse is they don’t even have several of the most important titles (no Smiths debut album! for pity’s sake!), leading to all manner of frustrations and expletives. I’ll stick to the politics in future.

In the meantime, why not make your own? There’s no actual point to it but it’s a pleasant way to spend a coffee break.

Welcome to a brief snapshot of my muddled brain, with plenty of glaring omissions. It’s not entirely representative of the whole, but what the jiminy. Your Mileage May Vary. I make no apologies for the Britney content.

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts if you can be bovvered. Oh go on, you may as well.

Arts&British politics&Global politics&Pop culture20 Mar 2006 09:55 pm

Hugo in mask I saw the film V for Vendetta today. I read the graphic novel yesterday.

Shoot me down, purists, but I thought the film was better.


If you read it in the 80s, you’ll no doubt be bleating in protest already, but I stand by my view. The original is a great and thought-provoking read, to be sure, but it is very much of its time. You don’t write a screenplay to be faithful to someone else’s vision. You write a screenplay to make a film as good as it can be. And the changes to the story made in the Wachowskis’ script were all sensible ones.

The concept of the personified central computer system ‘Fate’ might have been Orwellian and futuristic in the 80s but would have seemed dated twenty years on. The addition of references like a media-led avian flu panic only added to the sense of “Hold on a second, isn’t that a bit like… now?” The decision to swap the Old Bailey and the Houses of Parliament bombing order around was excellent. Much better sense of crescendo, visually. The decision to send V off in the tube decked in roses was brilliant. Cinematic gold, in fact.

I could’ve probably done without the thwarted Evey/V love theme, but it certainly didn’t detract from the story. The fact that Evey didn’t become V in the end was a slight shame, but the theme of continuation and tradition was still there in the dead characters’ reappearance in the masked crowd at the end. If I want, I can still harbour the idea that it was Valerie all along, despite the evidence of Hugo Weaving’s manly form.

By the end, I was thinking “This has got to be the most subversive blockbuster ever released”. And “Do ‘they’ realise what is in this film?” And “Couldn’t this be a highly polished recruiting tool for radical anarchy*?”

[*I’m not suggesting anarchy itself is a violent system, it isn’t. Send me none of your polite hate mail, dear anarchists.]

I mean, think about it. In Blair’s mean-spirited language, it certainly glamourises terrorism. It openly declares that violence is a moral and appropriate response to oppression. It shows that chaos and precarity are inevitable if state power is to be opposed, and should be embraced. It illustrates how the corporate media is the tool of the corporate-dominated state and how the mass media’s non-advertising content exists to distract and instruct according to the interests of its paymasters. (Which may account for the fact that the film has received a stack of “Oh it’s all boring and complicated, don’t bother with it” type reviews from mainstream media. Interesting.)

V for Vendetta So all in all, I’m rather blown away by it. I’d been led to believe that it would be a pale imitation of the anarchic original, when in fact the power of its 21st century impact surpassed it. I should’ve known those Wachowskis wouldn’t let me down.

Now: (i) how long do you think it’ll be before V masks/wigs are available in costume shops, and (ii) do you think the anti-demonstration legislation covering 1 km around Parliament (The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005) extends to people walking through Westminster in fancy dress?

Arts&Audience participation&Pop culture07 Mar 2006 06:24 pm

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Arts&Audience participation&Pop culture26 Feb 2006 01:58 pm

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Pop culture&Random life15 Feb 2006 06:43 pm

Nathan Fillion After watching about half the series of Firefly, it occurred to me that Nathan Fillion (right) was a bit of a sexpot. Yet I couldn’t work out why.

He’s not an obvious sex symbol. He’s OK looking, but there are a million other celebrities who are theoretically more physically attractive.

It took quite a while to work it out. Finally I realised where his appeal, for me, lay.

He looks his age and he’s had no work done on his face or body.

Yes, that’s literally it.

He’s in his mid-30s and you can tell. You can see every facial expression. No Botox, no collagen, no chemical peels. He’s got bags under his eyes and his eyes wrinkle when he laughs. He hasn’t got a stomach like a ladder. He hasn’t got shiny bulbous biceps or a waxed chest. He’s not eerily symmetrical. He’s got the nose he was born with.

He looks like a real human.

Real humans are a scarce commodity in showbiz. Once I realised what it was that made him different, and therefore sexier, it got me wondering.

If non-celebrities are having more and more cosmetic surgery these days, and celebrities are unable to have a career nowadays unless they’re remodelled, even if they’re natural beauties to begin with – Halle Berry and Sharon Stone have been tinkered with in multiple areas, for heaven’s sake – then will we eventually witness the fetishisation of natural ageing in those rare exceptions who choose to go au naturel?

Am I just an early adopter of a future trend?

In the future, will real moving faces and non-Action Man/Barbie bodies be the subject of cult appreciation?

Will pallid complexions and wrinkles one day be as rare and prized as a real hourglass figure or a natural blonde?

Will Nathan read this tribute to unspoilt beauty and cancel his face lift?*

*Joke. He probably hasn’t booked one. [Please don’t, Nathan]

Pop culture04 Jan 2006 10:19 am

I don’t feel like writing about anything, so here’s a Vic Reeves drawing instead.

A family of foxes glowering at some soap - Vic Reeves

Hope you’re all keeping well and cheerful.

Pop culture&Seasonal&Self27 Dec 2005 11:52 pm

Keanu in snow I’ve just been watching Constantine, so here’s a picture of Winter Keanu. As you can see from the snap, he’s helping to dig the snow off the M20, which is good of him.

Yes, I’m in a silly mood. Sorry.

Nails are looking good though.

Watched all 6 Nathan Barleys in a row late last night and squealed with recognition all the way through. It really is a good time for me to be living out of London. You know, I went out with someone just like Nathan. For a whole year. Arghhh. (I am now cured.)

How’s your Saturnalia been? And are you back at work soon or on holiday until the New Year? Yes you, I mean you. You, my dear. Mm?

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