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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:04:14 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Theatre, Watching (all tags)
Theatre: "Death and the Maiden". Museums: "Apocalypse". Watching: "We Need to Talk About Kevin". Reading: "Snuff". Links.


Theatre
Saw Death and the Maiden starring Thandie Newton at what used to be the Comedy Theatre, now renamed the Harold Pinter theatre. Not sure if the old name is a factor, but noticed some laughter at the wrong times from the audience. Perhaps some of them had thought it was a comedy, or were just attracted by Hollywood Star Power. It's a 1990 play by a Chilean playwright, about a woman who was abducted, tortured and repeatedly raped years before; and holds prisoner a man she believes to be responsible.

I've seen the play before a long time ago, and thought it was pretty powerful. Looking at it now it does seem a little stagey in places, with long speeches that feel a bit unnatural.

Newton has a pretty solid performance in the starring role. Was impressed by the way she did the abduction scene onstage: she's fairly slight but still managed to heave the much larger character around.

The other performances were good. Nice set design with some sliding windows separating inside from outside.

Overall, worth a look.

Tickets are pretty good for something with a Hollywood Star: £10 for restricted view, I paid £28.75 at Lastminute for an good centre seat in the stalls (G12).

Review.

Museums
Saw the Apocalypse John Martin exhibition at Tate Britain. Martin was a staggeringly popular, then staggeringly sneered-at Victorian painter who specialized in apocalyptic canvases of Biblical catastrophe.

The exhibition has a good selection. I liked the way it compares different-sized copies of the paintings next to prints and reproductions. Martin seems to have been pretty professional, was interesting to see how the designed for print paintings look so much better at the smaller scale.

The bigger canvases are highly impressive, with lurid colours and dramatic compositions.

When they're all presented together though, you do tend to see the saminess which the critics disliked: a lot of them have the same trope of a muscular foreground figure gesturing in very similar melodramatic poses. Some of the paintings near the end are a pleasant relief, of more toned down landscapes.

There's also a sound and light show at the end which tries to reproduce the melodrama of a Victorian talk and show. I liked it, but for some it's too cheesy and not informative enough.

Overall, not the most brilliant artist, but a good fun exhibition.

What I'm Reading
Finished Snuff, the latest Discworld book by Terry Pratchett. Commander Vimes takes a holiday in the country, but where there are policemen, crime follows.

Not terrible, the book trundled along OK to its conclusion, but not one of the best ones. The jokes, the plot, and the setup all seemed a bit too familiar.

Feels a bit like taking a last loving walk around the garden of a house you're about to move away from.

What I'm Watching
Saw We Need to Talk About Kevin at the cinema, since I liked the book. Tilda Swinton plays the mother of a nightmare child, who is harassed by her neighbours.

I liked it a lot. Has a brilliantly deadpan, shell-shocked performance from Swinton. Her accent seemed fine to me, not sure that the Americans think. Seemed a pretty good balance: a lot of tragedy but some wry humour. I loved the bit where she stopped the pram with screaming baby next to a jackhammer in the street and had a blissful moment of relative peace.

Worth seeing. Tempting to say everyone should see this before becoming a parent...

They made a wise decision not to try too hard to replicate the twist in the book, which wouldn't really work on screen. I don't think it would work in the book if you're expecting one. RT, review, review. review review article

Links
Socioeconomics. Do not pronounce a bank profitable until it is dead. Fat people not overwhelming health service in Manitoba, big PDF, only use moderately more resources. Stagnation predicted for UK. Skilled worker shortage? Britain should join Euro (disagree, but funny how inflation hawks also tend to be anti-Euro). Riots and revolution ("Our explanation of the recent riots is that there was a temporary jump from a low-crime equilibrium to a high-crime equilibrium."). Gen X-ers lead happy, balanced lives. Sex positive feminism. Perry campaign uses flawed economic model.

Sci/Tech. How to use Adblock to stop "Read More" crap being inserted into your clipboard. Small bicycling robot. Abstract: Extraversion linked to more social activity in US but not Germany. Dubious happiness gene.

Politics. No more Parliamentary scrutiny of NHS. Minor scandal for Cameron's guru Philip Blond. Referenda a bigger threat to democracy than EU. Gangs did not play a pivotal role in riots. Abolishing unfair dismissal will achieve nothing. Tories and Europe.

Video. Wonder Woman on a skateboard. Big Bad Wolf. Big Hot Wheels track.

Webcomics. Council of Nicea. Hyperbole and a Half on depression. Money makes people into huge assholes.

Pics. Psychedelic science illustrations. London 1976.

Random. Washed up feet mystery: mostly suicides. Interesting Ask MeFi on introvert/extrovert mixed relationships. Illustrating "The Joy of Sex".

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Ooooh! A sexy feminist link to cli- by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #1 Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 09:20:37 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Inflation by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:04:27 AM EST
Seems a strange argument. One of the drivers for the Irish piece of the crisis was cheap money flooding the housing market, due to rate settings suitable for Germany.

Iambic Web Certified

Well by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:26:30 AM EST
UK inflation is higher than EU inflation. The anti-Europe crowd also tend to be right-wing inflation hawks who bemoan Quantitative Easing , don't like stimulus programmes, and bitch about debasing the currency.

The Euro has lower inflation than the pound, the European Central Bank is less willing to "print money" than the Bank of England, and there's less capacity/willingness for stimulus in Europe. So, if they were serious about their views on monetary policy, you'd think the Euro would suit them better than the Pound.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
See by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #4 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:50:59 AM EST
The ECB are hawks indeed so if the point was a quick off the cuff "Tories are dicks" quip then I get it and we can leave it at that.

Wait, what am I saying, this is the Internet! Though I have no great sympathy with gold bugs and sound money types the argument is that even a group as diligent and hawkish as the ECB will screw up inflation for part of the Eurozone, especially parts less like the continental core with the great economic engine of Germany at its heart. If a group as hawkish and clever as the ECB can screw up inflation in PIG + Spain for so long, how well will that rate suit the UK, really?

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[ Parent ]
I don't think that follows by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:29:50 AM EST
I think the conclusion that most people who support that fiscal policy would come to is that it is desirable to make the BoE more like the ECB. Joining the Eurozone would have far more and further reaching consequences than merely reforming the BoE.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
But a major problem... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:08:13 PM EST
is that the majority of hawks (hell, a majority of economists) have only been interested in wage inflation.
That's distorted a lot of policy making.

[ Parent ]
And not interested in by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:12:45 PM EST
cost of housing inflation.

Although if we hadn't had a blanket 2% rise this year then the oil prices would be far lower ...

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Seems to be a worldwide problem by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:33:19 PM EST
Hawkishness is more about generational or institutional memory of hyperinflation and stagflation it seems.

India just raised rates over price inflation concerns (not asset though I think). I think China intervened due to house and share prices last year.

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[ Parent ]
Art critics.... by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 11:35:07 AM EST
While I was in Paris a few weeks ago I went to a major Edward Munch exhibition in the Pompidou Centre.

One of the things that were prominently displayed were versions of the same painting, some of them developing an idea, some others simply redoing the same thing.

Picasso was notorious for repeating the same themes in man y of his paintings, I would hasten to add that it is the only way an artist can perfect his themes and craft: repetition, repetition, repetition.

To deride an artist fir being repetitive is like deriding Wayne Rooney for scoring too many goals with his right foot.

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