Sunday, 23 May 2010


One of the hottest flames I’ve ever seen, and I was a flame warrior for quite a few years. Not a surprising opinion, but it’s all in the expression. 

But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived [Louis Armstrong] by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture - something that we all should be totally embarrassed about - and afraid of. We ignore this, "let it slide", at our own peril. - Pat Metheny on Kenny G

Useless actions

One thing that divides Man from the animals is our ability to perform useless actions in a graceful and beautiful way. That’s the only explanation for Balanchine, or Van Beethoven, or this bloke fucking about on his bike.

Most of your actions are useless, I suspect. Does it even occur to you to do them gracefully?


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Bonne nuit

In a hotel room too hot, with foamy unsupportive pillows, I dreamed you were gone off with some man who seemed to have enchanted you. You were far from me, and I felt an immeasurable distance between us. I awoke at 4am with a feeling of melancholy, that the last of something had happened, without my awareness.

All of which is true, of course, except that the man in reality is not a sinister figure. He's just a guy. But the distance and the finality are utterly real.

Analyse that, Freud, if you dare.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Bayliss: What if the one true love of your life was an Eskimo, and you lived in Des Moines?

Pembleton: There are a lot of nice girls in Des Moines.

from Homicide: Life on the Street

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Up In the Air

Oh my God, a Hollywood movie that romanticises the sacking of thousands of American workers. You don’t have to be Barbara Ehrenreich to find that utterly repellent.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


I’ve figured out what it is that makes George Clooney so sexy.

Fuck you if you think I’m telling.


People send you links to videos, thinking they’re the first. But they found the link via someone else. What is wrong with this picture?

I think we need to have badges according to the amount we use the net. Then a badge no. 2 would know not to send me, a badge no. 7, anything at all. Everyone lower than 7 would have to leave me alone, and I’d only have to take links from Sal Towse and Jason Kottke.



One of the main problems about letting your beard grow, is that sooner or later you begin to ingurgitate your own hairs. Unlike other foreign-body hairs, your own seem to be less readily rejected by your body.

I guess this is a problem only men have. I’ve seen old women with facial hair, but none with hair like I’ve grown since last September. Now we know there’s a price to pay.


I don’t often look in the mirror, for obvious reasons, but today I happened to catch a glimpse. And found a bite-mark.

No, not a sexy vampirish twin puncture. The imprint of a full set of choppers. Not a bite, a bruise.

Where have I been? And what have you been doing to me?


I have a grey horse, who shares my bed with me. He’s about one hand to the shoulder, and in fact you can hold him in one hand. My children gave him to me one Fathers’ Day; they’d been looking for a donkey, my beast of choice, but this would have to suffice. They may have been unsure, or even imagined I wouldn’t spot a ringer.

He’s pretty useless for snuggling (and he’s indifferent to my philosophising and snowman-building) but I keep him in my bed anyway, so that the children will see him from time to time, and know that he’s still close to me.

Monday, 3 May 2010


You think you're being polite when at the end of an email you go, "Thanks in advance". In fact you're being insufferably presumptuous. Thanks in advance means, Get it done, bitch.

Whatever happened to "Your humble servant"?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Lovely Bones

There's a very effective, Hitchcock-like moment in The Lovely Bones, involving a creaky floorboard, a desperate sister and a serial killer. Watching it, I was not only reminding myself that I already knew the outcome, I was also admiring Hitch's definition of suspense, and director Peter Jackson's willingness to wring every last drop from the scene.

But please OMG, don't hope for anything else from this dreadful, bungled movie.

Alice Sebold's novel may not be great literature, but her description of how a family reacts to the death of one of its members was, for me, utterly convincing, and I've been in the situation. It's terribly hackneyed to claim the film wasn't as good as the book, but all film adaptations are better than this one. It failed not only to capture the narrator, who without spoiling is a murdered girl. It also failed to capture the father, who goes a bit nuts; the mother, who bolts; the sister, who becomes an avenging angel; the brother, who doesn't understand anything, until he does; and the detective, played by Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos, and getting less to do than if he were the guest on an episode of Extras.

Oh yeah, and it fails to develop the Indian boy, the clairvoyant girl, the Indian boy's mother -- all of whom were characters in the book, all well-developed.

How could a film miss so much? Partly it's in the nature of film, as we all know. That doesn't excuse why things went so wrong. Maybe Peter Jackson is just a crap director. He's famous for Lord of the Rings and King Kong. Maybe he's out of his depth when doing things on a human scale.