Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Football Focus, 31/01/07, The Shape of Art to Come, Relax With Dave to "Sing Sing Death House"

Another week gone, another week wi'out any movement pon the upmost peaks o English football, which some smarmy Italian bastards might tell you ain't all that formidable, but this midweek evenin showcased a couple o the best damn footballers from Newcastle to Naples. I'm talkin o'course about Rooney an Ronaldo (the thinner, better lookin one).

O course, no calcionista is worth much wi'out a fine supportin cast, one which a greater man might yak on bout for days, but not I. Watchin Wayne an Christiano turn from petulant adolescents into model professionals over the course of a year has been a joy to behold, an though Watford are by no means Barcelona, the fellas tore them asunder wi effortless grace. Rooney's finish here, added to his heart-rendingly beautiful strike gainst Portsmouth, invite all variety o temptin comparisons t'Eric Cantona himself. The difference bein, course, that it took a ninemonth ban for Cantona to control his temper, Rooney seems t'have figured that one out already. And say what y'want bout Ronaldo's simulatin shenanigans, he's the best diver out there. An his footwork is simply the best in the world, a glorious combo o individual finesse, and, new out this season, an instinctive team ethic. I don't see this fella sheddin many more tears in his day.

An honorable mention goes to Peter Crouch, who looks more like a real footballer every day. He's put on weight, picked up a yard o pace, an is bangin them in like nobody's business. I talk lightly of him, but he could surprise a lot o folks yet. Another crackin goal today, an his work wi Dirk Kuyt, surely the most talented grafter ever to hassle a Premiership defence, puts him in great shape to hold his England place.

So, wi Chelsea winnin again, even wi Ashley Cole out wi ligament damage, there's no great power shift at the top. But damned if it isn't good to see four quality teams at the top again.

This here's some sample artwork by a young lass by the namea Maureen Twist, who's been scribblin away at sketches for a comic book bein written by myself an my good friend Adam Hanley, himself a greatly talented artiste. We've thrown down two outta the five planned chapters of our wee book already, wi more to come, once I get the gumption to go do it.

This fantastic four are a rock group known as The Distillers, bout whom I've previously ranted more than is healthy for a fella. But they are just that good. Were that good, I should say, for they went their separate ways over three years ago now. Still, the fact remains that their second album, Sing Sing Death House, is one a the best rock albums I've had the pleasurea listenin to. It's freea as much pretention as it's possible t'be free of for a rock band, and lordy but it woulda been splendid for to while away the dusky hours o a summer night in their screamin hysterical presence. The whole shebang opens wi "Desperate" onea a number o tracks lastin slightly below the 1:30 mark. But where a lotta bands fall down on tryin to squeeze every last dropa rock out a track, the Distillers beat it out, move on, an start over. The next few tracks, "I Am A Revenant", "Seneca Falls" an the unmatchable "The Young Crazed Peeling" are, simply put, fuckin awesome. Brody's aforementioned vocal stylins, put over the top of a crashin rhythm section wi more melody than a balls-out (proverbially, in this case) punk rock band should be capable of retainin. The message in mosta the tracks is, admittedly, pretty simple; "It hit me / I got everything I need /... When the birds have been freed from their cages / I got freedom and my youth." But the honesty wi which these lines're delivered charms the everlastin socks off me, an considerin the wealtha clever bands peddlin all manner a cynicism an smarm, Sing Sing Death House is still, five years on, fresh as the first time.



Post Script: We got the bloody bungalow in Vanbrugh Drive!!!!! Thanks, God.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dave on Brave New World, Cricketing Lamentations and What Have You.

I've been takin no enda hassle wi regards to the writin of this bloody essay. It's procedural, doesn't count, and is concerned wi probably the most educational (least inspirin) morsel encountered thus far in the English Lit smorgasbord. To paradoxically relieve pressure from, and speed Icarusly t'ward thon deadline, I've taken to readin a bit o Aldous Huxley, a beltin scribe if ever one were to be found.

Brave New World is - like the other brochures for dystopian future that followed, but never emulated - both terrifyin an captivatin, promptin the discernin reader into a mania o 'God no's and 'so that's where The Matrix nabbed that off's and so such. There's little more to be said bout the cautionary tales an the prophetic genius - save that they're both in resources plentiful - so here's m'thoughts. 'Pon puttin yon book through the colour-coded letterbox 'neath the automatic book-return (God, puts the cold sweats on jus thinkin about it), then steppin out into the glazed, fragile, glarin sunlight, Brave New World makes its profoundest impact once it's over. Makes a fella want nothin more than to go flyin, to put all he needs in a bag, get on a bike an jus go. Anywhere, doesn't matter, just in celebration o the fact that he can. That's the big deal bout it, that the sufferin inside the book need never find realisation outside. No embryos in jars, no unified identity, no predestination, no fuckin soma, jus the freedom o God's green earth. It's a proper good read. Whips the arse off o The Song O Tittin Roland anyday, that's for sure.

Speakin of arse-whippings, England are in some pretty fuckin incredible dire straits at the minute. Hard to see where you go from successive steam-rollerins from New Zealand an Australia 'B'. 110 all out, 111-1 in 24 overs.
Things are pretty rosy at the mo. It's all quiet on the girl front, alas, which obviously is a wee bit shite, but 'ey, what can a fella do? Wi reference to the aul post regardin Patch House, Amelie etc, I reckon I'm in some way ready for the aul relationship malarkey now, though even the fact that I have to soften the word 'relationship' by surroundin it wi all kinds o bull-words an blather shows more'n I care to think about. But who the fuck knows! Nobody, is who. Alls I know, there could be some delightful young lass wi all sortsa questionable thoughts o a filthy nature regardin myself, an I'm jus waitin for to meet her! Who can tell what tomorrow may bring. Perhaps she'd even be up for a bit o the aul literary banter pon the subject o individuality an Huxley an allsorts. P'raps she's readin this now an takin notes. Who the fuck knows. Sir Huxley certainly has little for to add to the topic. High 24/7 that boyo was.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Liebeskummer is a fantastic concept, created by none other than our German brothers, referrin to that most misunderstood of ailments, heart-sickness. It's taken very seriously as a disease in them parts, allowin time off work for to recover, an even so much as utterin the phrase'll surely secure you a decent 6-12 months to get back to normal.

Regarding the Words of Dawkins, Some Dukely Scribblins.

I've recently been in contact wi the proprietor o the top-quality blatherin website, the Duke de Mondo himself, regardin the touchy issue o God, the universe an all things in betwixt. He kindly gave permission for to publish his thoughts on the matter, which follow:

Anyroad, with regards Mr Dawkins, i'm conflicted no end. I don't believe in creation as told in Genesis, i believe that to be a purely metaphorical story, and in The God Delusion Dawkins makes a fine point indeed about how in whoever's name can modern-day theologians openly announce that they believe the story also to be metaphorical, and yet accept the doctrine of original sin? It's all very bizarre. And Dawkins book IS very very good. I've read it and listened to him read it, and both times i've enjoyed it immensely. But whilst everything he says in there pretty much makes sense, i still have belief in some manner of God. whether or not it does what various religious folks say it can do is neither here nor there far as i'm concerned, i know that for ME, personally, it has been an enormous help. But in saying that i'm not religious in the sense that i believe any one dogma or doctrine. I have my own faith which is nothing to do with christianity or islam or buddha or whatever. But i still love Catholicism for it's iconography, i will say that. maybe cause i was raised Protestant, the sights you mind find in a chapel just seem incredibly alluring and strange and beautiful to me. I don't BELIEVE any of it, but that doesn't make it any less affecting, least where i'm concerned.

So the answer to your question is that i agree with Dawkins that religion can be harmful, and i think his suggestion that moderate religious types do as much harm as anyone by paving the way for the extremists is very well made. But in saying that, i know people who are much, much happier and content since coming to believe in one or other religion, and i would find it deeply unpleasant if anyone were to pluck that from them, or to mock them for having it (one thing i DO find very unpleasant about Richard Dawkins is the occasional, although only occasional, tone of deep smugness that creeps in when discussing these things).

i find it fucking incredible, to be honest, that Darwinism is SERIOUSLY bein contested in science classes on account of manuevering by the religious right, and the fact that probably near as many people are harmed by religion as are helped is obviously something to worry about. but i know i felt a lot better in myself and treated others a lot better when i came to consider the idea that there was some sort of God character (not because i feared punishment if i WASN'T nice, which Dawkins, and many others, Neitzche bein one off the top of my head, suggests to be reason why Christians are 'good', and that in fact it's not moral at all, that behaviour. Choosing not to do something because you think you're being watched is no morality worth considering. i don't beleive in hell, as it happens.) to derive some strength from. And maybe it's just me i'm deriving strength from, but it's done me more good to carry on as i'm doing than it did when i was doing the opposite, and at the end of the day that's all i can go on.

duke de mondo

Hope that sheds some light on things, certainly did for me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reflections On Wes Anderson, Mix Tape Shenanigans

I figure that the only thing this blog still needs is the propietor's opinion on movies. Alas, my taste in the aul cinematic arts is just abut as bad as my taste in music. But there is one flick in particular that needs mentionin, if I'm never to mention one again. That flick is The Royal Tenenbaums, and it's a work of absolute fuckin genius.
I'm a massive fan of all Wes Anderson's movies. Rushmore appealed to me at a time when I was a massively anti-social geek, though why I refer to that period of my life in the past tense is somethin of a mystery. It struck a nerve, as the critical folks say when they chance upon somethin so perfect, somethin so built-in to the dark alleyways o the consciousness that all a fella can do is say 'Yes! Fuckin...yes!' That's the experience I had wi Rushmore. And, perhaps unique amongst all your blatherin hero's favourite flicks, it doesn't star a girl the likesa which very heaven itself would be rather embarrassed to accomodate. 'Ms Tautou!' stutters Saint bloody Peter, 'Fuck.' No, it's just got that somethin that gets to a fella.

Then there's the newer one, The Life Aquatic, which got Bill Murray somewhat towards the end of his near-legendary long-haul Odyssey as the fella who dun't emote less he absolutely must get off wi Scarlett Johanssen. Between Lost in Translation, that most agreeable o date flicks, the dementedly frustratin Broken Flowers, and this here gem of an ensemble, your man has all his most melancholy guns blazin in an apocalyptically spectacular volley of nothin very much. Murray had the damn good fortune to work wi a buncha supremely talented bastards. The Life Aquatic is probly the best example o Anderson's work encapsulated: the unashamedly grand dreams o the story, the bastard's impeccable discovery o humour even in the most fuck-wrenchingly goddamned gash through your soul destroyin breakdown an weep moments in cinema history, also findin Owen Wilson is actually talented in some way.

The heart-stabbin moments are mostly found in Tenenbaums, truth be told. It's one o the few flicks that made me open the lacrymal ducts an blub for all the hell I'm worth. The man has not only an unrivalled mastery of gettin unfeelin autism-bastards like myself carin deeply bout essentially, basely, at the base a the skull-ly flawed folks, but then had the utter cheek, the sheer gall to take them away for ever in front my very eyes. It wasn't a fella in fiction, then, twas a part a me. The bastard got me to open up, led me the whole damn way through a story so chock fulla wonderful, tear-dragginly beautiful folks that it near drove me wild thinkn about lettin go, then made me. An no-one's been able to do it since. Tenenbaums stars the peerless Gene Hackman, an a supportin cast to remember. On paper, it doesn't inspire confidence, I'll grant you. But watch, I implore, see for yourself, innumerable actors in the best damn parts they'd ever play. Murray, Luke Wilson (best attempted suicide in cinema?), Gwenneth Paltrow (she's fuckin gorgeous, I challenge any livin man to a duel isn't captivated by that glacially detached artist-soul), Danny Glover (!), Ben Stiller, Anjelica Houston, Owen Wilson, hell it melts the heart to think how much cinema has to do to raise the bar to such phenomenal heights. Plus it has undoubtably the best voiceover-soundtrack-sheerfuckintragicohlordmyemotionalgutsarehanginoutmey'bastardAnderson combo ever dedicated to celluloid. I'm sure it sounds to the layman like fan-driven hyperbole, but trust me, if you never trust man again, trust me, that it is the closest a film has come to drivin a fella batshit than any before or since. Check out Nick Drake's 'Fly' off the soundtrack. Brings a fella to his bloodied, emotional knees every time.

Bit a music comin up: A mixtape bonanza! A chance for anyone hardy enough to pay attention to this nonsense to buck up their ideas bout the art a music an start listenin t'what I tell you.
1. The Young Crazed Peeling - The Distillers
'Are you ready to be liberated?' brawls the lovely Brody Dalle in the first fuckin line, did y'ever. Too fuckin right I am, Brody, you who were foretold by the prophet: 'an there shall be a hot as fuck girl in a punk band, an lo! her voice shall be unto a fuckin car wreck, but wi more soul than any livin man could possibly handle in person. Thusly, buy her second album 'Sing Sing Death House', for truly, to abide her furious wailin wi'out the intermediary o digital recordin technology, is surely to die.' So, aye, beltin track.
2. Yea Yeah - Matt and Kim
I've covered this before, way back in post #2. It still makes me pine for to be 17 again, at which tender age twas perfectly acceptable to go see a punk band an 'dance' (for to call a fella's spasmodia 'dance' is t'stretch the term fairly fuckin thin) to a wee heart's glorious delight. Forget talent, forget style, forget everything. Put this track on full volume an freak the fuck out.
3. In Other Words - Ben Kweller
I'll tell it straight. I bought Kweller's On My Way, a recent album, a while back, whilst on a trip to the states, an didn't care for it. I found it hollow in places, an lackin somethin I couldn't nail down. His first record, upon which this track features so perfectly, is a worka glorious genius. Wi lyrics like 'butterflies are passive-agressive/and put their problems one the shelf/but they're beautiful,' it's more than a wee bit indulgent, but dear god does that suit a fella down to the ground. Kweller nails the head for so many wee would-be artists it's not even fair. Check out the instrumental rock-out two-thirds through. If that dun't get you dancin, I don't wanna hear it. It's got banjos, for fuck's sakes.
4. Casmir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
If y'haven't hearda this chap, it's about time y'did. He's for the most part another indie kid wi pretensions an the like, but dear sweet golly, he puts tragedy in a key so everyday that it makes ya wonder how he gets up in the mornin. How anyone has the nerve to fit a tender, gentle song bout love an shame an grief o death in the same six minutes is an affront to anyone ever tried to write lyrics for guitar an bass.
5 The Funeral - Band of Horses
Lyrically simple, I can't think of another track better wraps up a feelin o loss and pure cryin ragin railin frustration at the cruel fragility o life an everythin that fades.
6. Bukowski - Modest Mouse
Of particular interest t'anyone's actually read the worka Charles himself, but still a crackin tribute to one o literature's most miserable bastards performed by one whose own wallowin skills are unmatched in popular music. In an interestin aside, I once used my at best peripheral knowledge of Modest Mouse to impress a young American girl I once went a-courtin. It worked, as it happens, and with her I enjoyed the best night of my life, includin the ones that actually ended in physical contact wi a member a the opposite sex. Raeanne, if you're readin, you're still an indescribable joy. Bukowski is for those in a bad mood. Ventin vicariously is th'only way to go.

7 I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie
'If heaven and hell decide / that they both are satisfied; / illuminate the 'no's in their 'vacancy' signs / if there's no-one beside you / when your soul embarks / then I'll follow you into the dark.' Christ.
8 Swing Life Away - Rise Against
The punks take a break from Risin Against all sortsa political/social scullduggery for to give us this wonderful tribute to youth an friends lost. Though it sounds a lot like when a punk band goes overboard wi the emotional balladry, it retains a sincerity that's just touchin, makes y'wanna spout shit like sic transit gloria an find someone knows how t'play Time of Your Life on acoustic guitar. It unfairly picks on my weakness for 3/4 time.
9 Formed A Band - Art Brut
Just a relaxin screamer bout formin a band, an all the grandiose dreams what come with it.
10 No Children - The Mountain Goats
An in contrast, this is an unbelievable song to hate bound by fear a loneliness, told wi brutal truth.
11 Everybody Wants A Little Something - Duke Special
Just to end at a happier pitch, as I've come to realise how much I get hooked on the melancholy an cruelty o life an fiction, this is a beltin wee track from a fellow countryman, off his crackin album Songs from the Deep Forest. Just bounces along, carefree an sweet as fuck.
12 The First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Mr Conor Oberst hangs up his morose bastard boots forever, an embarks on a round-the-globe odyssey wi his sweetheart, fillin the hearts o those he meets wi unbridled joy at the sheer sound o his joyous warblins. Or possibly he just felt good the day he wrote it. Either way, there's no tune to send you on your way quite like it. Except perhaps 'Send Me on my Way' by Rusted Root, or possibly 'The Power of Love' by Huey Lewis and the News. Take your pick, I guess.

SO! That was right an blowhardy. If y'got to here wi'out scrollin down first, fair play, you're a better man than I. Unless y'happen to actually be the aforementioned Raeanne, in which case, give us a e-letter or two, would you ever.

Thanks for readin,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Richard Dawkins v God.

First, watch him in action. There's a bit in the middle where conceited members of the audience talk about how amazin they are, but once that starts, skip to about 24 minutes in. Here's the link:

Richard Dawkins has fairly made his opinions clear. God is a purely fictional character, invented by man as a surrogate mother/father figure, to variously soothe/protect/motivate/forgive us as we require, and as such, everyone who believes in divinity is deluded, puttin faith in somethin that cannot be enumerated, quantified, or even proved to exist. Worse, this delusion leads to extremist views by logical progression from the original dogma.

I don't feel Dawkins engages fully with the concept of religion. He instead leans heavily on the stereotypes of the religious man: one who teaches his children ‘to believe without evidence’, which, he argues, leads logically on to the phenomenon of suicide bombing and religious extremism, this time showing a lack of interest in understanding the mentality and social factors required for such a fanatic to practise freely.

His theories hinge on the issue of God’s purpose, which, while a fascinatin topic of discussion, by its definition – if we are to conduct such a discussion with the presuppositions of religion in play – cannot be answered.

He often sounds rather frustrated at the fact that his views are even questioned. If you skip ahead to about 24 minutes in, he is confronted by one of the declarations in his own book, the belief that there is ‘very probably alien civilisation somewhere in the universe that is superhuman, even godlike, beyond anything any theologian might imagine.’ He appears insulted to be even questioned on this belief. The UCD Professor, Gerard Casey, performs brilliantly, and in a way perfectly suited to the discussion; he is composed, relaxed, and open to every suggestion Dawkins makes. Kudos.

I'm not havin a go at atheism. I reckon its as legitimate a belief system as any other. What I am havin a go at is someone who is so unashamedly close-minded, to the point of bigotry, on a concept so philosophically open to debate as the existence of God. To take a scientific approach to a matter so intimately connected to the human condition seems like folly, dangerously so. It's noticeable too how Dawkins says nothing on the other Abrahamic spiritual text.

It's easy to be indignant and self-righteous on religion, but it accomplishes nothing, and is really what Dawkins wants. Nor am I sayin there's any way of resolvin the argument to a satisfactory degree; a fella could spend the rest of his days splittin hairs an makin enemies and still be no nearer a conclusion. There are a lot of ideas, and no reason why they can't all be correct. In the end, it's down to the individual to educate his/herself to a degree where doubt can no longer be a factor. So good luck.

Thanks for readin,

So then, Joyce, you right bastard.

There walked a man 'pon Erin's shore,
Saw Erin was shite, walked there no more,
Walked instead 'neath Alpine peaks,
By alpine woods and alpine creeks,
But a voice said clear, a voice said true:
'You'll always be Irish,' o this Joyce knew!
And he was rightly fucked off about it.

So I handed in the aul Joyce essay on Monday, blessedly. I didn't think much of it. It ended suddenly, it was fairly unfocused, if a fella cam up to you an said 'show us a run o the mill English Literature essay, or the bunny gets it' (he has a bunny, and an anti-bunny weapon of some description), you'd have to do no more than usher him toward 'Names and Narrators: the Power of Perspective in "Cyclops"'. God, it's painful rememberin even that much. Even the title's drippin wi convention, like a stripey jumper, or anythin on channel 4. I can only hope that its middling qualities soothe the markers into such a state of incapacitation that they forget what essay they're readin an give it a good mark. These things I hope against hope.

Talkin shite? Borin my beatnik friend utterly shitless? This you may never know.

Joyce wasn't a terribly fascinatin chap, as far as conventional critical opinion goes; the author himself is represented in the book by Stephen Dedalus, an introspective, morose little bastard if ever there was one. Quite a hero o mine, so he is. The most interestin characters, e.g. Stephen's dad, his roommate Mulligan, an the Citizen, are the ones the author paints in the worst possible light. In a strange way, the author has been left thoroughly behind by the sheer brilliance of the text: Ulysses is now so much more than a mere novel with a writer an protags an plot: the fact that anythin like it exists is unbelievable. Some clever chap, I can't remember who, defined art as somethin that makes you proud to be human. I can't thank JJ enough for bustin the borders o literature so wide it made me proud again.

So then, Joyce, you put me through hell, and I'm not even sure what I gained from the experience. But by God, I loved every minute I spent in your company, engaged in a work of fiction that made you sorry to leave. Every man jack floatin bout Dublin that day in June was a sonnuva bitch one way or another, but its the full realisation of that shitty sidea folks makes a fella so happy to spend time with them. Finally, says the wee voice that'd rather be playin Baldur's Gate, finally a writer who knows what people are like.

In other news, I was out second in a field o seven at poker the night. Scundered I was. I was gunna buy a coppy o The Riverside Friggin Chaucer (Pointless Expenditure Edition) wi the winnings. Bastard Middle English.

Tomorrow: Dave on Richard Dawkins and 'The God Delusion.'

Thanks for readin,

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dave's Football Focus, 14/01/07

Another weekend of football that didn't hold much movement at the top or bottom o the table, but by jove I'm gonna write about it anyway. And I'm gunna say it right out, right up front. I like Man United. They may only be the better of two evils in terms of 'who do you support what doesn't threaten the ideals we had about football until reality reared it's ugly head and we realised folks actually made money out of this whole malarkey', but hey, they just play better football than Chelsea. The fact that Arsenal play the kinda football that'd make you want to take up poetry written solely bout the subject of twenty two fellas and a ball is another matter altogether.

Which brings me to my next port of call on our magical journey round Premiershipland, teams I like cuz I feel a bit sorry for them. First, Newcastle, undoubtably the best team ever to play the majority of a campaign in the bottom half. The hell does that work? I'll tell you. An injury list readin like the who's who of Uefa Cup football is the hell that works. Newcastle have had shockin luck, but goals like what Obafemi Martins scored 'gainst Spurs in a spectacular display of grit and other hard-working-team clichés won't do a licka harm.

Which brings me neatly to Tottenham. Never has a team lived so profoundly in the shadow of its local rival. Spurs are the untalented wee brother of l'Arsénale, the one who'd look pretty good and probly attract its fair share of womenfolk if it wasn't so unavoidably contrasted by its gorgeous older brother, who has a tattoo and took a gap year to Venezuela. I like how Spurs play; I like Aaron Lennon, who will always kick Theo Walcott's ass for best twelve year old North London midget winger; between Berbatov, Defoe, Keane and Mido they've got a strike corps to be feared; they've even got a capable defence wi the likesa Ledley King and that keeper who's shite but still the best in England somehow. Where's David James when you need him.

Which brings me neatly to Liverpool, though maybe they don't belong here. I can't remember a club as big as Liverpool being such (league) under-achievers, and approaching every match in that framea mind. They've world-class players: Gerrard, Hyypia, Kuyt, Alonso, Luis Garcia, the list goes on. Yet they retain a number of players it's impossible to see as heroes in any sense but that they're punchin above their weight, sometimes literally: Carragher, Finnan, Bellamy, Kewell, Dudek, and of course, la tube de la tube, Peter Crouch. How that man continues to be an international-quality striker is beyond my comprehension. He's a puddin. I cannot make that clear enough. But neither can I make clear enough how much I love that man. I want to meet him in the street, shake his hand, give him a knowing look and start pissin myself laughin. I think he'd know what I meant.

So now the good stuff. Manchester United will take the title this year, unless Christiano Ronaldo gets injured. The transformation of that wee fella has been nothin shorta incredible. Last year: crybaby whingin bastard. This time round: team player par excellence, a mature, controlled, master of the pitch who's made Rooney look like he's had a quiet season. And now, far more than last year, they've the squad to carry it off. Chelsea don't look like a team up for a fight. 4-0 against Wigan is one thing, but they did it in such a ho-hum manner, with three o the goals comin from rotten defensive slips. A Ferguson team woulda been more disciplined, woulda torn a strugglin side limb from limb; they would never have had to answer to idle talk bout the boss leavin (at least not til the enda the season). Whether it's a ploy by Mourinho to bait the board into givin him more cash - would you believe Chelsea's pockets are closed, now? - there's no way something like this can be good for the team. This week: A tie on points, but United win by split decision.

Post Scripts: How good is Thierry Henry. How good is that gorgeous French bastard. Right bloody good, is how. Not a bad dancer, neither.
David Beckham is now on $1m per week, playin for the LA Galaxy. Good luck to him, I say. Bout time the Americans learned how to play proper football.
Sylvester Stallone. Did you ever.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Patch House, Amelie, and Forlorn Realisations

The party was awesome. I had great craic, saw a buncha people I hadn't seen in a while, got dressed up like a hobo, marvellous. Now to the interesting part, the part where I start thinking about myself, for I think of nothing else. I'm an artist, y'know.

Aye, so there's a beltin lookin girl there, beknownst only to me as 'white hat girl'. She had a white hat. She was pretty as hell. And Amy had a great scheme for me to go talk to her. She would occupy her friend wi idle banter, while I smoothed in and engaged white hat girl in all kindsa witty talk and charmin word-flirtin. The very idea terrified me, and it was no small relief when the scheme, Wile E. Coyotean though it was, din't work. Turns out she had more than one friend at the party, which is really where the operation fell down at a conceptual level. Point is, I was scared shitless. Not only at the thought of puttin myself in a situation where some demands might be made of my personality, not only at the possibility of rejection, but at the very idea of turnin somethin from an idle fancy into reality. This problem is only too easy to see: Even on this page alone there are pictures of women I've got all sortsa romantic childish notions about. Look at Audrey Tautou, there, would you ever. Gorgeous, she is. And just the kinda woman about whom I could imagine all kindsa romantic shite, like she only ever bathes in a bathtub fulla finest silk, an her day job is bein a muse for poets an artists across the land, who bask in the soothin glow of her beatific visage.

The fuck that's what she's like. She probably enjoys gettin wankered like anyone else, and laughs her arse off at fart jokes. The fuck I know what she's like. And alas, I've a tendency to do the same for real people. Too many, in fact. It's fucked up, and I'm not sure from where it stems, but it's somethin to be dealt with. Hopefully from this day forth.

The essay's progressin, though it ain't terribly good. Shite, you might say.

Thanks for readin,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Windle, Winona and the Warriors.

I have a blog. I've mentioned it to a few people, cuz, let's face it, why have a blog with no audience? Madness, is what that is. So there've been mixed reactions. "Isn't that like what the emo's have on MySpace?" The fuck? MySpace is where bad programming goes to die, where bad poetry goes to be indulged by folks with more fringe than sense wi' names like xXxdarkangelbutterflysatanxXx an more friends than IQ points. This here is a blog, a place for me to vent whatever opinions happen to scream into the aul brainpan of a night's drinkin, for instance the one I've just had, where we decided Chris was an ethnic minority, despite fairly obvious evidence to the contrary, wi hilarious results. Poor bastard didn't know what the fuck.

So aye, ideas and the kind. Joyce has been excitin all kindsa synapses I never figured could have life breathed into, and bringin the senses to a level that I'd enjoyed quite thoroughly before the holidays began an my mind went into a kind of permafreeze which proves mighty tough to bust outa. He reminds me o how folks like myself oughta sound, afore we get all softened an anglicised for to fit in wi our surroundins. I've no doubt that most Belfast folks have no problems hangin on to what's theirs, but I've always struggled to sound like what I was, even since when I was wee. Joyce, even though he's a southerner who lived in Italy most his days, reminds me more o who I'm sposed to be than any writer should legitimately have the power to do.

So there's folks outside the room orderin Efe's. I'm thinkin bout the best films I've seen recently, and the one that springs most readily to thought is the delightful "Girl, Interrupted" starrin the lovely Winona Ryder, in what's somethin like a feminised take on One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, incidentally also a crackin flick. What's most worryin about this choice is that so much of it hinges on how much that lass's eyes hook mine, all brown an lovely, all full of deeper meanin, all kinds of shite I might wish to project onto that troubled soul. Cuz Winona never seems all that mental, in the film, and seems to suffer from nothin more than a case of the introspecties. An' I dig that sometimes your natural reaction to a certain situation errs somewhat from what other folks might call the norm, and what have you to justify it? You're a weird one, is what. But here, no, says I, no, I'm not a weird one, mental is what's up wi me. A wee bit cracked, wi all the artistic an philosophic advantages such ailments seems to imbue a chap with. Ignorin the characters that are actually broken, beyond fixin, and thinkin here, if I could harness a wee bit o that for my own, just imagine! All kindsa discussions could be thrown about, all kindsa unorthodox mind-waxin, and why? Cuz I'm a bit mental, that's why. But Winona's not mental, and neither am I, and as soon as she figures it out, that's when she realises her true potential.

But what good does all that head-arse interfacin do a fella? Nothin would make me happier than findin a girl o sound mind, sittin down wi her to watch a shitty movie, the likesa the 1979 classic The Warriors, maybe even a bit a Rocky, and for me to never have to explain to her who's fightin who and the why and the wherefore and the can't we watch Harry Potter instead. Just enjoyin each other's company. And now we get right the way back to my original point about the emo and the self-indulgence an the "O, nobody loves me, I'm a unique, incredible soul is my problem, an there's no one in the 32 counties can understan the likes o me." Truth is, I'm an insular, navel-gazin wee bastard like any other, the only difference bein my access to an internet diary.

So what to conclude? Joyce is amazin, Girl, Interrupted is a cool wee flick, despite the lingerin shots o Ryder's beautiful eyes, and I wish I'd got some Efe's! So that was right an productive.

Thanks for readin,


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Vaughan, but not forgotten.

Good news! Michael Vaughan is back and battin well, Paul Nixon looks like the bona fide wicket keepin-batsman England've been looking for, and that's the last Twenty20 match England'll have to play for a while. On the other hand, they were shocking. Australia batted out of their skins, fair enough, but they were never tested. Australia bowled well, but Flintoff and Pietersen combined for 11 runs on a decent wicket against a strike force that could hardly be described as world-class. The dropped catches tell their own story. The world cup is in exactly 60 days, and England seriously need to pull their socks up if they're even gunna survive the groups. Hope the selectors have Gough on speed-dial.

Liverpool 3 - Arsenal 6!! Holy shit! Makes you think of the good old days when Liverpool beat Newcastle 4-3 every week. We took it for granted that once Newcastle went 3 up Keegan would send on more strikers, just in case. Jose is clearly a talented guy, but I can't stand to look at Chelsea these days. So many talented players, playin the kinda football you'd be ashameda playin in the park. Kudos for Benitez and Wenger both, who play beautiful football whoever they play against. The special one can get tae fuck.



Monday, January 08, 2007

Dave rattles on.

Over the holidays I stumbled across this pair of New Yorkers bangin out some fucking beautiful punk rock, the best I'd had the good fortune to hear in a long time. Besides bein probably the cutest couple in town, an the most earnestly joyous performers I've seen on any screen on the Intertubes, they lay down some bloody good tunes, the best of which can be found on YouTube, at this address:

"Yea Yeah" to my ears speaks volumes about these crazy cats, and the catchiness of the song coupled with the barely co-ordinated spazzin out proves an essential law of rock: No matter how complex your time signature or chord progression might be, the truth remains that two twats with drums, keyboards and barrelloads of soul can and will blow you out the fuckin water.

On other matters, I arrived back in (Old) York the day, pumped to the gills with anticipation of havin in my possession a PS2, an housemates with a fuckin dance mat, did you ever. Also, Monday the 15th will see the last meetin between me and Joyce for manys a long year, in all likelihood. I'll miss the bastard, to be honest with you. Ulysses is probably the best work of fiction I'll ever set eyes upon, and encounterin some of the foremost thinkers on the subject last term is a memory I'll treasure.
Last, but by no means least, I gotta spill my guts about this dude, Neil Gaiman, and his outstandin graphic novel series, The Sandman. I've never been a big fan of comic books, and I always considered "graphic novel" to be the token of a genre strugglin to be taken seriously. After readin through the ten volumes and then some concernin this uniquely rich universe Gaiman has created, I recognised my brute ignorance. Between some fabulously engaging characters, a gloriously broad story arc containin a degree of care and intimacy I never thought possible, a truly original take on religion, history, fiction and all things in between, your man has made a series of graphic novels that are, above all, fun to read. Incredible, is what it is. That said, the collections are a little pricey, and while neither the sex nor the violence are excessive, they are there, which might put some folks off. Fair enough. But to dismiss The Sandman would be to dismiss one of the few occasions where graphic art and literature meet, and dream up something fantastic.
That's about it! Thanks for readin, hope you're suitably enlightened.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

This is the first post of my blog.

So. I've started up a weblog. Given the dearth of these things on an already crowded web, I can only imagine that this will be a blog like many others. I don't imagine that my life is more interesting than anyone else's, or even that my writing is of a higher quality - this whole endeavour is motivated by selfishness. If one person reads this and like what they see, then that's a bonus, but hey. It's all about the joy of just writing. Even if there's nothing much to say.