Monday, 31 January 2011

Forests for sale

I apologise that this is a more creative or insightful posting in advance, but with all the rubbish this government is coming out with I might find I increasingly just have to list causes for you to support.

The coalition, in its grasping, short-sighted 'wisdom', wishes to sell off our forests.

Yes, our forests, they belong to us, they are publically managed.

You can go and walk in british forests if you can reach them as easily and freely as walking on a common.

They are part of our collective heritage.

Money, money, money

This is being sold as a money saving necessity.

Someone wiser than me pointed out that they were saving about the same amount that had been donated to defend against deforestation.

Maybe our own back yard might be a good place to invest that money - just a thought.


38 degrees, in their people empowering, sustained and true wisdom are seeking to stop this plan from going ahead, by proving that most of the voting public are against this lunacy.

So stand up for some sanity, sign their petition.

The Green Hornet

Adding to the list of comic book adaptation that seem to be oozing like super power bestowing radioactive waste out of America, Michel Gondry has decided to bless us with The Green Hornet.

The Green Hornet was never going to be particularly groundbreaking, but it did look fun and Gondry is a bit of a visual genius.

Britt Reid (writer and actor Seth Rogen) is the wayward son of a newspaper man.

For those well versed in comic book heroes wayward son of a rich guy is fairly standard.

His father dies leaving him the newspaper and low and behold one of his staff (Kato) sticks around to help him into his role as unlikely crime fighter.

However, what is perhaps less common is that Britt is sent up quite a lot throughout the film through his juxtaposition against his 'sidekick' Kato (Jay Chou) and well qualified secretary Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz).

This film may be unashamedly gun slinging action nonsense, but it has its tongue firmly in the back of its cheek.

Making all the surreal and overblown plot that follows infinitely palatable.

The plot doesn't bear much scrutiny, but it's a hilariously fun ride.

Perfect for switching off and giggling to at the end of a hard week.

It's in 3D for those who care.

I don't.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

You can say that again Mr Burns

It's Burns' Night, enjoy:

Lines on the back of a bank note

Wae worth thy power, thou cursed leaf!
Fell source o a' my woe and grief,
For lack o thee I've lost my lass,
For lack o thee I scrimp my glass!
I see the children of affliction
Unaided, through thy curs'd restriction.
I've seen the oppressor's cruel smile
Amid his hapless victims' spoil;
And for thy potence vainly wish'd,
To crush the villain in the dust.
For lack o thee, I leave this much lov'd shore,
Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland more.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Why you've got to love Bruce

The BBC iPlayer had a little delight hidden away for me today, a documentary on the making of Bruce Springsteen's album Darkness on the Edge of Town.

My relationship with Bruce Springsteen has been a complicated one.

I grew up listening to his music, particularly on long car journeys due to my Dad being a fan of The Boss, as he's known.

However, on reaching my twenties I felt the need to distance myself from what I perhaps unkindly began to think of as Dad rock.

Now that I'm sufficiently old enough to be secure in my own identity and not bound by what other people think is cool I have let Bruce back into my life.

Why Bruce rocks

The BBC documentary encompassed all of the things that convinced me to start loving Bruce Springsteen again.

He is a genuine artist: he is a committed and prolific song writer, he crafts his work to an idea of perfection in his head and keeps going in an attempt to create it.

He is grounded: he creates songs for the everyman and his struggles without patronising or sentimentalising them.

He works bloody hard: he let the work on the album featured in the documentary take over his life, but also anyone who has ever been to one of his concerts will know that his sets are tight and delivered on time, every time.

He has heart: his songs scream of emotion in an articulate yet gut wrenching way and he lives his life according to his beliefs.

It's the way it makes you feel

When someone I know realised I'd been watching this documentary they were surprised, they hadn't realised I liked his music.

When it came to explaining why I liked it, all I could think to say was that it made me feel good inside.

His music reminds me of being a kid, it reminds me of my Dad and it makes me feel however difficult the world might get I'm strong enough to take it on.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Murdoch and media monopolies

I wrote a letter to my MP today, on the issue of the BSkyB merger talks.

Personally I can't believe this merger is even being considered.

You may think that I'm getting this out of proportion as an egotistical journalist, but I don't think I'm being that self obsessed.

Unless you live in a hole a lot of what you choose to talk about over a week is shaped by the media.

The media can help shape election debate, the quality of media drama, the news you do and don't receive...

If I went on I could write an essay, but I've been writing solidly all day and eventually that coffee is going to wear off; plus I'm sure you're intelligent enough to recognise its impact and significance.

Rupert Murdoch's empire

Rupert Murdoch for those of you that might not know owns News Corporation.

As you will see from that link, they, are, massive.

The issue is about him owning more.

More than that whole list.

You can't have one person owning all that, it's madness.


A variety of different voices inspires intelligent democratic debate.

One man owning all of that doesn't stimuate a variety of different voices.

If you're reading this I want to encourage you to make some noise, write to your MP, do something.

Why the urgency?

If this goes ahead without proper consideration turning back is extremely difficult and at the moment Jeremy Hunt, who seems to be far from impartial - you'll notice The Guardian reported he had been holidaying with BSkyB - is conducting this matter away from the public eye.

Make them listen, keep the media varied.

Sorry if this is a bit polemic, by all means research it, but I'm tired and hungry now.

My three song review

I went to another Chekhov's Rifle gig last night; I did say I'd seen them a lot, sue me I enjoy it.

Anyway this isn't about them.

This is my three song review of the Brown Brogues, the last act on the bill.

I would have loved to stay for more than three songs, but I had to leave.

The three song review

I was uninspired by seeing two young guys, one with guitar, one with drums.

My first thought, so they think they're The White Stripes...

My second thought, what is that awful noise the guitarist is making soundchecking the mic, oh please, my head, my head.

My third, oh he's actually making warped but recognisable noises now, that's quite fun.

The gig proper

To me they sounded a bit like The White Stripes mixed with The Hives.

It was very infectious and promised some variation as the third song managed to sound slightly psychadelic despite the paired down instrumentation.

I had fun, I didn't want to leave.

For the music geeks

The distorted mic two piece has apparently been done before by Lightning Bolt.

However, I think these two weren't carbon copies.

Influenced quite strongly perhaps, but not complete rip off merchants.

All in all a good night at The Silver Bullet, next time I'm staying longer.