Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Things I like 2 - Paddy Considine

Until a few years ago, my favourite actor was Bruce Campbell. Now, this wasn't really down to his acting ability per se, he only actually plays one character, and were I to meet him I expect I'd find his real life personality surprisingly familiar. I just like the man. Can't help it. He's a B-Movie actor, he knows he's a B-movie actor, he's where he wants to be in life. That's the impression I get, anyway.

But then, a few years ago, I watched 'Dead Man's Shoes'.

If you haven't seen it, go buy a copy now. Buy it new, you won't find it in charity shops. I know, I'm cheap, I tried. Anyway, although it's fantastically written and directed, it's fair to say that what makes the film such a powerfully emotional one is Paddy Considine. His performance is so believable, I automatically assumed he was one of those 'people from real life' that directors like to pepper their films with to give some kind of gritty authenticity to proceedings. Shane Meadows is a dab hand at this, and successfully as well - look at Thomas Turgoose. But that wasn't the case. He's just bloody good.

After 'Dead Man's Shoes' I bought 'A Room For Romeo Brass', Considine's first feature length film, and....

I told you I'm rubbish at writing about things I like. I just reread the above and it's turgid rubbish. I'm still posting it, I've written it now.

To summarise what I have and was going to say. Paddy Considine is a consistently brilliant actor. His directorial debut 'Tyrannosaur' is one of the best films I have seen, full stop, and along with 'Nil by Mouth' one of the few films to convincingly portray the actual aftermath of violence in the domestic world. His next film has something to do with boxing apparently. It will be brilliant.

The only way the Christopher Nolan 'Batman' films could have been better is if they'd sacked off Gary Oldman and made Paddy Considine Commissioner Gordon.

Things I like #3 - Daphne and Celeste

Does anyone remember Daphne and Celeste?

For a few months in 2000 (it was the turn of the century, the Millenium Bug hadn't happened, people were wigging out a bit) Daphne and Celeste were everywhere. This was before the days of Youtube fame, where any teenager who should have reached puberty by now but hasn't can gain instant fame because every other teenager of a similar ilk wants to live through them vicariously and dream of getting rich by doing absolutely sweet F.A. No, Daphne and Celeste were your actual proper created pop sensations.

The thing about Daphne and Celeste, right, is EVERYONE hated them. Someone was buying their records, yes, but everyone hated them. The music press regularly found excuses to slag them off, the mainstream press had articles on how they showed the sorry state the music industry had become. Even your Grandma wrote me a letter telling me she thought they were shit.

And here's the thing. They didn't give a shit.

They turned up at Reading Festival. They were on the main stage, 2 bands before 'Rage against the Machine'. To put that into context, imagine Westlife thinking 'I know, let's do a turn at Download'. Daphne and Celeste knew what would happen, and they didn't give a shit. 15 minutes they did, 15 minutes of being showered with a rain of bottled piss not seen since Clare Sweeney turned up outside my house (then she caught on fire, so I stopped).

My theory at the time, and one I subscribe to now, has never been very popular. Daphne and Celeste were the last true punk band. They galvanised opinion like nothing since the lazy hazy days of '77. Their music was shockingly bad, but they made sure everyone listened to it. They went exactly where they weren't wanted, and they stayed there.

I don't know where they went, but I hope they're happy. They worked for it :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

6 Months on...


I forget things, that's what the problem is. Or I move on to other stuff. Or I just get so angry about things that I feel I am teetering on the edge of a precipice and if I actually go online and rant about things, I may end up arrested.


I'm going to embrace my sporadic nature. Occasionally I will come on here and write something. It may be of interest. It may not. But in the future, Caitlin will be able to come and read this and go "Wow, he talked a load of crap in not real life as well"

Monday, 9 August 2010

Raindrops on roses.

See, it's happened already. My blogging has dwindled almost to nothing.

I've sussed it though. You see, I find it quite easy to write about things I dislike. My 2000 page epic novel, 'My Brass Knuckles: The Clare Sweeney adventure', is shortly to be published by Pan Macmillan.

But I'm generally a happy chap. It's a quandary. I like writing, but I tend to do it to the best of my ability when i'm a bit fed up about something. So I have set myself a challenge, and I will write a little bit about five things I like. But not all at once.


1 - Books.
I can read anywhere. On the bus, on a train, up a tree. Upside down. Back to front. I love reading so much that, as long as it's in english I'll read it. Jen told me off the other day in the car as I was reading the label on a jar of Mayonnaise. But if I hadn't been reading that, we wouldn't now know that there are 3000 calories in a jar of Mayonnaise. Now who's foolish?
There is just something so special about a book, just knowing that for at least a few hours, possibly for a few days or even weeks, you're going to be immersed in another place. The fact that you have no choice but to get involved when you're reading a book - that the characters have no faces unless you create them, the places have no scenery until you see it in your mind. It's special.
Some people do not read. I pity them. Some people WILL not read. I ignore their existence.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Bigots are ugly

So, about 2 months ago, myself and Mr Foxon (my genial chum with the fabulous Nordic stylings) are having a chat.
Well, I say a chat, what's actually happening is i'm rabbiting on and he's nodding and humouring me in his genial, nordically styled way.

"Have you noticed," I begin to generalise in a way that I hate when other people do it, "that people with mixed race parentage," (and here I quoted a few examples, including I seem to recall Johnny Depp and Tia Carrere, although why she popped up I know not ), "tend to be quite attractive?"

"And, it occurs to me now,", me thinking I have stumbled upon a fundamental truth of life, " People who would oppose such unions between people of different races, well, they tend to be a bit minging." (and here I quoted a few examples, including Hitler, Nick Griffin and, probably, Plug from the Bash Street Kids).

"I suppose, what I'm basically saying, is, right, Bigots are ugly".

I think Mr Foxon agreed with me. Or maybe I'd just talked him into submission. Anyway, I decided, 'Bigots are ugly' was a slogan for a new generation, a rallying cry. And if not, at least it'd look good on a t-shirt.

You see, I tend to think things could be a lot better sometimes if we simplify things. Killing people is bad, so don't have wars. People being upset is bad, so don't be nasty to them. And intolerance of another person on the grounds of race, sex, sexuality, and a hundred thousand other things is not just bad, it's silly. And sometimes the simple and the silly is the best way to try and fight something.

So, today, I got my t-shirt. It's fantastic. I have no doubt some people will think I am trivialising a very important issue. Some people will no doubt take issue with the t-shirt. I am waiting patiently for the day someone says to me "Oh yeah, so what's a bigot then?". I look forward to turning my back on them. Basically, it's a statement I agree with so much I don't understand why I never thought of it before.

Oh, and thanks of course must go to Mr Foxon. He made the t-shirt. He's not a bigot, and is therefore so much more beautiful than those who are.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

My Old Cat

(Hal Summers)

My old cat is dead,
Who would butt me with his head.
He had the sleekest fur.
He had the loudest purr.
Always gentle with us,
Was this black puss,
But when I found him today
Stiff and cold where he lay,
His look was a lion's,
Full of rage and defiance;
Oh, he would not pretend
That what came was a friend
But met it in pure hate.
Well died, my old cat.

low rumble

And don't get me started on the bloody Pope.

In the news

Daily, more and more, my hatred for TV news grows. 'The Day Today' was supposed to be a parody, for Bruce's sake.

Raoul Moat - it's now been going on 6 days. There is nothing new to report. That's okay though, because they can just make stuff up. Not spoken to his mum for 20 years? That'll take up a good few minutes. Didn't look like evil incarnate when he was 4? a minute and a half of amateur psychoanalysing. Once scowled at a neighbour's cat? 30 seconds of solid airtime.

Now, some say we can't blame the 'media', and i'm italicising that because it's a very wide ranging title and I'm referring very specificly at the moment to 'news'. They say they are only giving the public what they want. I say the public are idiots, who are told what they want, and believe it. Jordan sells more books than Murakami. People watch documentaries about Kerry Katona, and Flight of the Conchords languishes on late night BBC3. Yes, it's a snobbish, elitist point of view. It's also true, so shut up.

This is, of course, just a moan for moaning's sake. It's not going to change, it's going to get worse. And maybe i'm wrong. Maybe Cheryl Cole having Malaria is more important than the 1.5-2.7 million deaths each year from Malaria of people who aren't Cheryl Cole. Maybe the uncle of someone who once lived next door to someone who was in Grange Hill being slightly effeminate is more important than the fact that 93 nations in the world still legally punish homosexuality, 7 with the death penalty. It's just a bit, well, sad.