Wednesday, April 29, 2009

History Is Written On Recycled Paper

When a rich man dies, all his sins are forgiven, quickest by those preparing to spend his fortune. I want to die penniless and owing millions to the tax department, I wish to be remembered for all my sins and to have a car full of unpaid parking fines.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pitch for Possibly Controversial Movie Idea I Had

I have a theory on the Resurrection
Our Lord rose from the dead with a nasty infection
He wanted blood so he joined the undead army
He wanted brains, yes, Jesus was a Zombie!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Can I Take Your Order?

When you go into a cafe or restaurant, it's the job of the wait staff to ask you what you want and then bring it to you in an amount of time that's mutually acceptable. But you, the customer, also have a job to do. It's your job to decide what you want, and while some people manage to scan the menu and make the crucial decision in a few seconds, others seem to find this too difficult a task. These freaks can look at the menu for hours, but ask them what they want and they just don't know. This is not the most important decision you will ever make, if you choose the wrong thing you'll know not to order it next time. 
How hard is that?!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Australia, The Movie

No, I haven't seen it. I've looked at the DVD cover a few times on one dollar day at the video store, but I always put it down again. I'll watch pretty much anything if it only costs a dollar but why does it have to be so long?

My friend's mother saw it and she said it was good but it had "too much dust".

My friend Marie saw it and said that she had never noticed that Hugh Jackman was so hot before and now she's seriously in love with him. She said she only had two emotions while watching the film, horny, crying, horny, crying, and then at the end, horny and crying at the same time.

I don't think I'm ever going to see it, I'm just going to use these two reviews to form an opinion.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Since I started the stupid blog I've noticed I have less enthusiasm for email because it's all about other people and what they're doing and what they want. Posting on your stupid blog is all about you, it couldn't be more about you, no matter what you write about.

When you post something on your stupid blog there's no sense of the reader, you can't see whose on the other side of the curtain so you feel like you can say anything to them. It's an illusion. If Francis Ford Coppola called me for lunch I'd delete my mean post about him in a second. It's the most self-indulgent forum ever invented, and hence, so addictive! For instance where else would I get to use the word 'hence'?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Little Things

The chicken burger is back on the menu at the cafe down the street. It's on bread now instead of a roll, so it seems 25 percent smaller, and it's gone up 25 percent in price, but I don't care. Maybe that was their plan all along. I noticed Nando's has opened up across the street from the cafe and I guess they saw there's a big market for chicken in bread.

This is seriously the best thing to happen all week, even better than the gorilla escaping from its enclosure at the Melbourne Zoo and chasing everyone into the gift shop. Okay I just did some research and apparently Yakini didn't chase them into the gift shop, they were ushered in there and then they just waited for the drama to be over. I prefer to think they cowered.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fan Letter

Dear Francis Ford Coppola,

I just saw your first film in ten years, 'Youth Without Youth', and it was so interesting to see how bad it was. It had something in common with 'Eyes Wide Shut' (apart from being amazingly boring and self-important), which is that you and Stanley Kubrick have both made some really excellent films and then just to surprise us, you make a really tedious one. And it wasn't just that it wasn't great, it was awful, proving that William Goldman's quote about film making is the only thing you need to know - 'Nobody knows anything'. I'm truly happy to see that you've just completed another movie because if you died and this was your last film, that would be a sad thing.

Jenny from the Blog.

P.S. I know you're an old old school movie director but I saw photos of you wearing a beret at the opening of the film, please don't do that again.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Play Time!

This week I went to see a little piece of experimental theatre called 'Scooby-Doo in Stagefright', yes it's a pantomime musical for children. I used to watch the cartoon but I never liked it, it was the same story every time and even as a kid I thought it was insulting. Actually most of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons used to annoy me, I remember when The Simpsons first came out, I felt actual jealousy that kids got to grow up with that when we had to endure The Flintstones. So the Scooby-Doo musical wasn't at the top of my list of things to see, but I had a free ticket and I find it easier to enjoy things if they're free.

Everyone at the theatre was under ten years old and I felt the rare sensation of being tall, like a giant in a midget mental asylum. The merchandising stand was swamped with kids so I couldn't even get a look at all the Scooby crap for sale, then during the performance parents were checking their messages and taking phone calls but the kids didn't care and neither did the actors, it was all about the audience participation. There was a lot of 'Look behind you!' from the audience, and a lot of 'I can't hear you!' from the actors, I yelled so loud the kid next to me covered his ears. I couldn't understand the story or much of the dialogue but the atmosphere in the theatre was electric, I imagine it was what it might have been like to see a Shakespeare comedy when it first came out at the Globe. Never have I seen such frenzied enjoyment in the theatre and I'm not sure if that's a reflection on modern theatre or adulthood. Darn those meddling kids and their pesky dog!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

This Saturday is two years since Kurt Vonnegut died, but its only just sunk in. I've read all of his books, first Cat's Cradle and then everything else and after reading them, I wondered how can there be books like these and the world still be like it is? (It occurs to me now that this is probably how religious people feel about their books) Mr. Vonnegut would probably have an excellent answer for that, he had an excellent answer for most questions, I just have to read all his books again and maybe I'll find it.

I've been reading 'Like Shaking Hands With God', a transcript of a conversation about writing between Kurt Vonnegut and another writer, Lee Stringer. It's not a 'how to', more of a 'why to'. Near the end of the book, Vonnegut says, 'Music is proof of the existence of God'. He describes it as 'the most pleasurable and magical thing we can experience'. I worship him so much I'm inclined to agree with everything he says, which makes me ask, if music is proof of the existence of God, what proves the existence of the Devil? Is it the Crazy Frog Ringtone? Is it money? Maybe Auschwitz and Hiroshima, or Vegas? For Kurt Vonnegut it might be Dresden. For me it's something different every day and today it's the property developers who stole my view of the setting sun.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pen to Paper

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I used to write poetry. I know. I wish there was another word for it, but there is no other name for what I did, it was freakin poetry. It's my guilty secret, I never called myself a poet but I had a notebook, many notebooks, and I filled them with words, they didn't have to rhyme but sometimes they did, if it was convenient. It's not that I thought writing poetry was slumming it, more that I was the plus one guest at a dinner party, where everyone was much more educated than me, or I. When I thought about calling the trail of words that came out when I put pen to paper, 'poetry', it made me cringe, and it still does. So, I gave it up and I've been clean for at least ten years, I still write things, but never what you'd call a poem. If I think something sounds beautiful, or beautifully ugly, intentionally or not, I occasionally hear myself say it has 'poetry', but it always sounds too sincere, like I really believe in the mysterious and miraculous power of words. I do, but I don't want anyone to know that shit. 

Last weekend, just like that, I fell off the wagon. I wrote a poem, and the worst part is I liked it. Actually I wrote a few and I loved every minute of it but I had to drown almost all of them at birth. There was one I couldn't kill, because it was smaller than the others and it wagged its tail in a fetching way. I was going to keep it but I think I might give it away to you, gentle reader, I'm sure you're dying to hear it, and yes, I stole two words from Buffy, when she burns the school down in the last episode of season three. I know you probably didn't come here to read poetry (I certainly didn't come here to write it), so don't think of it as a poem, think of it as a list. Or here's an idea, don't even read it, check your Facebook, click on Next Blog and see where it takes you. I dare you not to read it. If you're sensing reverse psychology, even better, I double dare you.  


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fight or Flight

I hate flying, I hate everything about it. Obviously everyone hates how cramped it is, how long it takes, the lining up for everything, and the food, but I also hate the air-conditioning, the other passengers and the part where the flight attendants talk you through what to do before you die. I even hate drinking on the plane even though I love it everywhere else. I also hate everything about the airport, including the drive to the airport. I do like flying in my dreams but that's because I can fly, and there's no plane involved. Actually there is one thing I like about planes, how they look, from the outside.

There's a reason that there was so much fuss about that plane that landed in the river in New York (apart from the great visual spectacle of it), it was because that never happens. When passenger planes hit the water, usually everyone dies. People give you that tired old argument that you're more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash, but it's not the likelihood of dying that I'm scared of, it's more the way you would die. Car accidents happen fast but planes take a long time to fall, long enough to panic and have regrets. 

The fear of flying hasn't stopped me traveling, when I have a long flight, I take a valium, watch a movie and try to pretend that I'm not five miles above the ocean. This was working pretty well until one day when I have a flight from Helsinki to New York and I decide, hey, I'll be brave and do without the valium for a change. It's a morning flight, only a few hours in the air, I'll be fine. Wrong. There's no movie screens on the plane at all, not even above the aisles. Screened entertainment is the only thing that makes flying bearable, if I'm watching Two and A Half Men, how could anything serious happen? Sure, I could read a book, but I didn't sleep very well last night because it never gets dark in summer in Finland, so maybe I'll just have a little sleep. 

I close my eyes and I'm just starting to forget that I'm on a plane, when a woman starts screaming. When I say 'screaming' I don't mean 'Eek a mouse!' squealing, I mean 'I just found my husband's severed head in the overhead luggage compartment' kind of screaming. Like a horror movie. And not just one scream, again and again, and not stopping. My eyes snap open and everyone's heads are spinning around like in the Exorcist, trying to see what's happening. I'm in the last row of the plane and it sounds like it's coming from behind me, in the space past the toilets where the flight attendants go to get away from the passengers, but it's curtained off and we can't see what's back there. Everyone has the same look on their faces and I assume I have it too, it says 'We're all going to die'. The only people who don't look like that are the kids across the aisle, they look excited and curious, oh to be so innocent. 

Nobody moves, everyone stays seated, waiting for someone to rescue us. After what seems like an age, two female flight attendants run down the aisle, moving quite fast in their heels, the wordless screaming stops and becomes screaming with an eastern European accent, 'They're trying to beat me! They're trying to beat me!' This goes on for a while and then an old woman is dragged out from behind the curtain and escorted to her chair only two rows away from me, her hands are tied together with those plastic things serial killers use on cop shows. The person next to her talks to the flight attendants but of course we can't hear anything over the noise of the plane and we can't tell if they're traveling together or not. 

Everyone's heads are practically exploding, so great is the desire to know what is going on, but no announcement is made, nothing at all from the pilot over the intercom thing! The hostesses walk away and there is a lot of whispering for about three minutes and then the old woman is up and running back down the plane. She trips over right next to my aisle, she falls face down and can't get up because her hands are tied. And then she starts screaming again. The 'fasten seat belts' sign comes on but they don't need it, everyone is glued to their seats. The flight attendants run back, this time with someone who might be the co-pilot. They all pick her up and carry her into the back of the plane, eventually they come out, but she does not. Again there is no word about what's happening and people start talking, all I find out is that she's Russian. About an hour later, I go to the toilet at the same time that a flight attendant is coming out from behind the curtain, and I see the old woman, she's cuffed to a chair and now she has electrical tape over her mouth, she's gagged with sticky tape! Is this really the best we can do? Her eyes fix on mine and they beg, 'Please, please untie me.' I feel bad for her, maybe she just hates flying and forgot to take a valium. 

Finally we land in New York and now the pilot makes an announcement, not 'Sorry for the disturbance', but something like, 'Please remain seated and do not remove seat belts until further notice'. We wait at least half an hour and then twelve huge New York City cops and some other people in suits, board the plane and disappear up the back. They come out with the old woman, escort her off the plane with her hand luggage, and ten minutes later we are allowed to remove seat belts and get off the plane.

Welcome to the Big Apple.