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Diary
By nebbish (Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:46:56 AM EST) Sister's wedding, books, films (all tags)
You should see some of the others


Philip K Dick quote there. I might use it as my sig on K5.

This week - no money, digibox thingy broke half way through Planet Earth, cheapo meals, stone cold sober (and I've got another week of this), but I've enjoyed myself for some reason - good books, getting some writing done, plenty to look forward to.

In the future

It's my sisters wedding the weekend after this. This should be very, very cool. Apart from her being my sister and getting married to an upstanding bloke who I get on with like a house on fire, there will be much wine and food, and the following day a hired hall with one Sheffield's finest house DJs.

I have money squirreled away for the proceedings, train tickets and hotel booked, so there's nothing left to fret about on my side of things - oh, apart from the fact that I've been asked to do the photos as apparently I know my way round a camera. Thing is, I don't really. I have already voiced the disclaimer that "they might turn out crap". This was met with a "whatever, have a go".

Saturday I'm off up west to buy a new pair of trousers and a shirt for the proceedings. I have roped Alison to come along as she's a girl and good at that sort of stuff. Trouble is she has loads of vouchers to spend in clothes shops and I'll have to go along with her. Think of it - Going round clothes shops with a girl who has to spend a lot of money but doesn't know what she wants to buy. Jesus.

After that though we'll hopefully be retiring back to hers to play Shadow of the Colossus. Cool.

Books

Finished "I Am Alive And You Are Dead: A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K Dick" last night. I learnt a lot about the man and his work, but the journey into his confused psyche in the last few chapters of the book was like stepping inside a schizophrenics thoughts - rambling, incomprehensible and ultimately very grey and dull. It was an effort to finish it. The critique of Ubik in the earlier chapters was worth the price of the book alone though, gave me loads of ideas.

Thought I'd put a bit more effort into The Metaphysical Poets, the idea being if I try to understand really hard poetry, any poetry I read afterwards will be dead easy.

I'm getting to grips with it. Most of the poems seem to be about death in one way or another. There was a really cool one by John Donne (wish I could remember what it was called) about dying and parting from a loved one for the last time that I found quite moving. I had to read it about five times before I understood it, but that's what it's all about apparently, getting across deep concepts in a few short lines. It's good stuff, I'm enjoying it.

Also book related - there was an interesting interview with Alan Moore on The Culture Show on BBC2 last night. You can watch it here. The more I know about the bloke the more impressed I am. I think I might try Voice of the Fire, his trippy book about Northampton. I'd like to see what his non-comic book stuff is like.

Films

Watched Sin City last night, and realised how long  it's been since I've seen a film that genuinely confounded me. I didn't know what to think afterwards. This is a good thing.

It was sharp and original, and I think the only time I've seen the comic book (in general, I haven't read any Sin City) transferred to the big screen effectively. The extreme cartoon violence worked well, but I'm not sure about the misogyny - the context of the world it's set in sort of makes it OK, but it's done with relish and made me feel uneasy.

Sexism aside, the intertwined plot was so bad it could have been from a video game, and I found parts of it strangely boring and unengaging, especially the first half hour or so. Small criticism of such a brave film though.

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If you think this world is bad | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Suggested edit by R Mutt (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:57:10 AM EST
Michael Moore -> Alan Moore.

ROR! [nt] by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:58:52 AM EST

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
On Dick's quote and other things Dickish by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:18:58 AM EST
Your line from Dick reminds me of the old joke, ``an optimist thinks we live in the best of all possible worlds while the pessimist fears that this is the case.''

A while ago a friend of mine leant me a book on the making of Blade Runner that included all of the negotiations and talks that the producers and directors had with Dick while trying to option his story. His decline seemed to be pretty obvious. His behavior just kept getting more eratic and bizarre as time went on.

I probably ought to try reading some Dick again. I had tried reading one of his books when I was teenaged sci fi buff. I don't recall which one but I couldn't be bothered to finish it. I found it to be the slowest, dullest, incomprehensible thing I've ever tried to read. I picked it up simply on the strength of Dick's reputation and have wondered for years why Dick was so well respected in the sci-fi community while, at the time, much better authors like Theodore Sturgeon were neglected.

Sturgeon's writing still kicks my ass.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
The three I've read have been very good by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:29:01 AM EST
The Man in the High Castle
Time out of Joint
Ubik

The Man in the High Castle is the one generally recommended as an introduction, then the other two I mention. Time Out of Joint is relatively straighforward (it's a bit like the Truman Show), Ubik is very strange indeed but still a great read. His later work can be really baffling I've heard, though rewarding if you know a bit about him. I'm going to try one soon.

Should add that although they are very sci-fi in presentation, the actual ideas are quite spiritual and unscientific, though none the worse for it. Again, the Man in the High Castle is a good introduction to this.

He's not a great writer - it's all about the ideas - but he can be very, very funny. Ubik is hilarious in parts.

Theodore Sturgeon has been added to my wishlist :-)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
And I forgot to comment on Sin City by lm (4.00 / 2) #5 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:39:49 AM EST
I think you meant to write: The intertwined plot was so bad it could have been from a video game comic book.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
I didnt like the indiscriminate violence by cam (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:44:22 AM EST
in Sin City either. I remember saying to a mate at the end of the film, that if that is the new standard in violence in hollywood cinema they have lost me as a customer. Shame too as I have been a constant consumer of the comic-to-film genre, even way back in the unpopular days of Tank Girl and Barbed Wire.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

I didn't really have a problem with the violence by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:49:19 AM EST
As such. It was very cartoonish, though I can see why some would find it offputting. I should add here that I like slasher films so am hardly representative.

The final few scenes with the young girl were pretty nasty - that's the misogyny side I'm talking about. Violence is one thing, when it's sexualised I start feeling uneasy.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I also didnt like when the bloke hit by cam (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:51:28 AM EST
the leader of the prostitutes and she responded with a kiss. It was probably meant to make me feel uneasy, but even so, I didnt like it.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
Yes! by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:53:09 AM EST
That bit was pretty unnecessary. It might have been the point at which my flatmate said "I don't think feminists will like this film very much."

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I'm not exactly the poster-child for feminism by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:29:17 AM EST
But I didn't see a problem with the misogyny as it was a very deliberate misogynism - at times used to paint the cartoon character of the evil villain, and at other times used to convey the cartoon of the '40s no-bullshit private dick style character.

Regardless, I thought it was a great film.  I'm not a big film watcher, but that one really gripped me.

That said, the "intertwined" storylines were perfunctory at best.  Rather than just having the balls to have an anthology of stories, they had to link them together in such deep and clever ways as a character being in the same bar.  Meh.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
The context of the film by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:43:50 AM EST
Is what allows it to be so misogynist I think. There's no way a more mainstream film would have got away with it.

However, it's not the best excuse. As Martin Amis said when told he was sexist, "It's not me who's sexist, it's the characters in my novels." Yes, and who wrote those again Martin?

Sexism didn't have to be part of the film.

Seperate stories definitely would have been better, and I thought it was going to be like that for a bit, like one of those old portmenteau horror films. Would have been much better.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
well put by tps12 (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:49:51 AM EST
The way it seemed to me was that the misogyny of the [really] bad guys was conceived as part of their evilness, but not in a way that gets refuted from an empowering or feminist perspective. Instead, the film presents the [sort of] good guys' chivalry as the antithesis of the bad guys' misogyny, with no apparent awareness on the filmmakers' parts of how objectification is common to both attitudes. Sort of completely backwards from how the character Caleb was dealt with in Buffy.

[ Parent ]
Yeah by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #15 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:48:17 PM EST
In creating a world where misogyny is the norm, the good guy's misogyny, in being better than the bad guys misogyny, becomes good, which I think is a bit dodgy.

I can see gazbo's point though - who knows, maybe it was meant to get us thinking like this. It's quite an ambiguous film and I wouldn't be surprised.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Best Phil Dick quote by gpig (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:22:39 AM EST
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
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(,   ,') -- eep
WTF? by calla (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:40:05 PM EST
I can't watch Alan Moore on The Culture Show on BBC2 because I'm USian?

WTF?


That is a real shame by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #16 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:52:27 PM EST
Something came up about this on boingboing.net about another brit feed, I think this time from Channel 4. Watch this space, there was a way round it. I'll message you...

Alan Moore knows the score.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
nebbish - may I call you nebby? by calla (4.00 / 1) #17 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:58:52 PM EST
nebby, you are such a dear.


[ Parent ]
You may call me nebby by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #18 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 07:13:13 PM EST
In fact, I quite like it

It'll be monday before I check though... It's 5.30 in the morning over here and I am drunk, stoned, and really should be in bed...

I need to be at "work" to put actual work into the internet

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
not to worry. by calla (4.00 / 1) #19 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 07:22:29 PM EST
nebby, you are kinda cute when you've got all sorts of chemicals in your system.

When and if you run across the runaround, let me know. Thanks.


[ Parent ]
I say tomato, you say tomata by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #20 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 07:30:30 PM EST
What do you mean by runaround? American slang gets me confused sometimes.

I'm not in that bad a state, I just like staying up late - with a bit of help from some chemicals

How's the illustration going? And have you still got that amazing long red hair?

:-)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
runaround - way 'round the BBC2's by calla (2.00 / 0) #21 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:03:10 PM EST
block against FREEDOM!!! (or other way to the Alan Moore interview)

You may be better off than I am. I made a drink for the big guy and he gave it to me. I'm a bit tipsy.

Illustration - sweet of you to ask. I'm working on a online portfolio and have a meeting with a recruiter for $LargeHard on Monday.

The long red hair is quite a pain. No matter how careful, someone in the house complains about finding a long red hair in their food at least once every couple of days. But thank you.

Did I miss a link to your most recently published article?


[ Parent ]
Illustration by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #22 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 10:31:16 PM EST
I'd be interested in seeing your stuff... You're on my watchlist so I suppose you're not too keen on showing it off online - fair enough, but what sort of illustration do you do?

I know a guy who works in a shitty job and freelances a bit - he works SO hard, getting the ocassional commision illustrating for magazine pieces, I really hope his effort will pay off for him one day.

It seems like an area of art where you can actually make a bit of money and get somewhere without selling out, not like advertising or design. It still has that fine art edge - once you get there. It's hard getting there.

Hope your interview goes well, but you're still vague about what you do - illustration is a big world!

Article - there's a link in my last diary, or last to one diary, I can't remember. Hopefully with the amount of writing I'm doing now and sending off there will be more in the future :-)

Hair - mine used to be very, very long, down by my butt, but once the nineties were over that was a bad look for a boy, so I shaved it off. It was nice at the time but yeah, mine used to get everywhere as well.

You should keep hold of that amazing hair of yours, it is something else, quite stunning.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I've posted some stuff. by calla (4.00 / 1) #23 Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 04:11:03 PM EST
I know you saw this diary.

What I'm putting online now is more design. I'll send you a link when it's up.

Design has been the bulk of my career. Illustration jobs haven't been frequent enough to live off. Illustration has been mostly freelance.


[ Parent ]
I remember now by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 12:24:39 AM EST
The colours in the first one are amazing.

I'll keep an eye out for more :-)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
If you think this world is bad | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback