Sunday, May 21, 2006

Video on demand

While we wait for the absolute last-minute collapse of industrial society and run to the hills, there are some videos you might like to watch to pass the time.
This one is for the little-known director's cut of Heat, timely released to coincide with his big screen reworking of Miami Vice:
I love Heat trailer

This one is the inspiration of the address for this blog, a mini-documentary about the mythical one inch punch:
Minimalist expression in punchy form.

And relax.

Remember kids, Don't Watch Big Brother.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Won't anybody think of the children?

I have just watched Rob Newman's History of Oil, which was originally broadcast on telly a while back, on More4.
Click for link to snippet of the show
After having a flurry of global-political research and accompanied gnashing of the teeth in 2001-2002, back when I first got the internet, I hit the apathy ceiling as I concluded that no matter how much I know I won't be able to change anything, and that I'd much rather let it all slide and just enjoy what I can, while I can, living in what is the relatively happy and wealthy UK.

However, there are situations that you just can't ignore. Or at least, it seems that you really shouldn't.
Everyone can argue about the origins and motivations of current Islam-branded terrorism, the necessity or not of the middle eastern wars of the last 5 years and the scare-mongering of media reporting, which at the moment has UK 'drought' replacing the imminent apocalypse of bird flu.

Amongst all the different perspectives and motives surround views on most issues, there is one issue that is not open to discussion : oil is running out.
You can drag the viewpoints into it; when will it run out, how serious the issue actually is etc., but it cannot be denied that it's running out and we will not have any more.
Our industrialised nations are massively dependant on a substance that will not last, a cast-iron fact.
So we either need to adjust our entire way of life to one where oil and related industry is not a necessity, or we need to come up with replacement energy sources that will supply enough to meet projected demands.

It seems insane that this isn't the most pressing issue dominating parliament, front pages and the TV. What are we going to do? Is it an issue that we can foist onto the next generation or will it affect us too? It's obvious that we can't just let it go until the last minute or we will be faced with multiple disasters on an international scale.

So, we can either pop our heads in the sand, go and live with the Amish (who won't be immune to climate change) or start thinking about how we can adjust to renewable energy.
Maybe we should move to Sweden?

For a little light reading, you might try this site which provides important info as well as suggestions for a heavier apocalyptic reading via a number of books on the issue.

Still at least I know now that the Iraq war was about oil after all. Ha!

Buy a cottage by a stream, fit a small hydro electric power mill and stick solar panels on the roof. Plant a garden and become a vegan. If the stream's clean, that's your drinking water.
Let's go to the country!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Goodbye, old friend

I'm a man with few vices.
The fact that I feel a little uneasy referring to myself as a 'man' despite being within spitting distance of 30 is something that I should probably go into some other time.

But as I said, I'm a man with few vices.
I don't take drugs, don't smoke, rarely touch the booze and for a couple of months now I've committed the pleasures of our friend chocolate to the misty realm of memory.
However, after coming across it in some shop or other last year, I've become a big fan of Diet Coke Vanilla.

I am aware that this news may shock and even disgust some of you, but with head held high I can admit my fondness with no shame.
After a stint in the mid-90s where 'normal' Diet Coke would habitually substitute water as fluid of choice for warding off dehydration (you can swig it from the bottle and thus no tiresome glass washing, see?), I cut back the Coke-related intake to the occasional bottle where a shop offered little alternative for thirst quenching. In the last couple of years juices became a firm friend, and added the leering mask of 'healthfulness' to the consumption so henceforth I skip along blissfully content with all the goodness flowing freely into my maw.
However, the appearance of the new Vanilla variety caught my attention and demanded a sampling, aided by the happy memories of an alcopop I had ten year ago, a clear liquid involving the taste of vanilla ice cream but with an alco kick. I bought it in a 7-11 type place in North Finchley, it was a warm but overcast day in the approach to summer. I suppose I should be worried by how vivid that is but chuckling, I brush it aside and pretend it isn't there, on with the story...

So there I am, with my half litre of Vanilla Diet Coke probably in some cinema or other because why pay their prices, right? And it's a delight. Sweet, tasty, refreshing, the vanilla is evident and I become a fan. From then on, If I'm out and about and thirsty, I check out the cokes in the shops before juices to look for my seductive vanilla temptress.
Towards the end of 2005 I notice that I'm coming across the brown vanilla goop less frequently, and the new corner shop that opened down the road is selling their cans and bottles off in some special offer, hinting at the end of the line for my fizzy friend. Still, I didn't dwell too much, and seeing as I still found the odd can or bottle every couple of weeks, I wasn't too worried, but just recently it seems the supply is drying up.
Just about every beverage purveyor I frequented has come up wanting, and so I am left with one last outpost of sugar-free sweetness, shining like a beacon in my travels. I don't know how long the supply will last or if the bottle I had today will be my very last, but such is the understanding I have for those of you who may share my affection, I'll let you in on the location of what may be our last hope:
On Shaftesbury Avenue is what I think is now called a B2, the Budgens shit version of a Tesco Metro or Sainsburys Local, (basically it's a 7-11) and it's opposite the back of the Trocadero on what I think is the corner of Rupert St. The entrance is in the corner of the store, and if you head to the back you'll find them on the far left side of the stacks of coke bottles in the drinks cabinet-thing, £1.09 per bottle.
No, don't thank me, I share your pain.

So farewell Vanilla Coke, we've had some good times. It's never easy saying goodbye, but times change and we must move with them...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A breath of fresh air

It's funny that in this techno-heavy existence I still appreciate the simple things.

I went back on Xbox Live the other night as I haven't played anything on it for a while and I've just paid forty quid to use it for the year. Halo 2 is the gamers' staple, and I'd forgotten just how addictive and exhilarating it is-I had a massive surge of adrenaline which left me shaking so much it felt like the core of my being was charged. And now that Halo 3 has been announced in teaser trailer form (C&VG) I begin the long wait for the new version.

What's this got to do with the simple things of life? Nothing, but this is a picture that does:

Spring blossom falls to the floor like a blanket of pink snow. It was prettier in the dusk of the previous evening, but I didn't have my camera on me then.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brandi Svenning

So even though I find myself with a constant lack of time, perpetually unable to do everything that I want to, I find myself starting a blog. I don't even know what a blog is, what's the 'b' for?

Perhaps the impulse to cram in as much experience as possible is a result of anxiety over possibly missing out, and I often consider myself a jack-of-all cultures and master of none because of this. Dipping my fingers in the pies of anime, east-asian cinema, gaming and films in general keeps me from developing a true level of geekery, though I suppose that there is a general focus on the visual arts there.

When I was younger I was always dimly aware of the idea that 'other people' had drive, ambitions and goals, they had an aim they were working towards and knew how to get there, and that I was destined to drift, with no particular unifying passion or dream to condense all my efforts into a single direction. True, I know very few people who have had single-minded career aspirations since they were six, but as I struggle to get myself out of retail I constantly dash myself upon the rocks of indecision; what do I want to do?

Writing is something I enjoy and I suppose actually find fulfilling, though I'm hardly scribbling away 24/7, and I'm obviously a big fan of things filmed so here I am, channelling all my energies into criticism. As ever with no plan of action other than an end in the dim future where I turn it into a living. Pshaw.

So, providing myself with yet another distraction can be justified because it might prove helpful, all this writing. It's easy to tell yourself these things - watching DVDs is research.

Introverted navel gazing, it's what the internet is made of.

Be sure to stay tuned for more exciting developments!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Famous first words...

A tantalising glimpse into the complex psyche of the capuchin known as Ross is one of the myriad spectacles that you will strain to glean from this place.
I haven't really decided what this is for, but I mean to have it. I imagine this will be the nest from which the fevered scribblings I conjure forth shall spring upon the world. But isn't imagination a wonderful thing?
The most likely result will be brief impressions of the latest anime shows out of Japan and the useless compiling of lists.
I bet you can't wait to return!

edit-02.08.06And here's a photo for my profile.