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By TheophileEscargot (Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 02:01:17 PM EST) Theatre, Watching, MLP, Reading, Ballet (all tags)
Theatre: "Hay Fever", "Onegin", "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Watching: "Le Havre", "Midnight in Paris". Museums: "Alighiero Boetti", "Damien Hirst". Reading: "Banner of Souls". Me. Links.

Saw Hay Fever by Noel Coward at the Noel Coward theatre. Twenties comedy about various visitors descending on a Bohemian household in the country. Very well-executed, with good performances all round, and some very funny moments. Good version, worth a look.

Theatre 2
Went to the ballet for the first time, saw Onegin at the Coliseum. It's apparently a very modern-style production from a St Petersburg company the Eifman ballet, with Boris Eifman the choreographer. No en-pointe shoes (where they balance on their toes, always looks a bit freaky to me). Had recorded music, mostly from Tchaikovsky's opera, but also some Russian rock music.

Was an interesting experience. The dancers are impressively athletic, and also impressively ripped. Although I did a bit of research this time, I still didn't really manage to follow the plot: wasn't very clear on who was who. So, it was entertaining but slightly baffling to watch the dancers whirl around at random.

The crowd was much more dressed up than usual for London theatre, lots of suits and fancy dresses. Not sure if that's a ballet thing, or if it's because there were a lot of Russians there.

Overall, interesting to try, but I think I'd need a lot more practice to really understand what I'm supposed to be getting out of it.

Review, review.

Theatre 3
Saw the Antic Disposition production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Middle Temple Hall. It's an interesting location since it's a wood-beamed Elizabethan hall, definitely adds to the atmosphere.

Good, solid production with an enthusiastic cast. The protracted death scene of Pyramus was hilarious, had everyone in stitches. Well worth a look.


What I'm Reading
Finished SF novel Banner of Souls by Liz Williams, set in the same haunt-tech future as Winterstrike, which I liked a lot. Atmospheric and with plenty of action, but it didn't really grab me this time round: characters and plot seemed a bit stock.

Saw Le Havre at the cinema. Gentle French comedy about an underemployed shoe-shiner who while his wife is in the hospital, encounters a teenage illegal immigrant and helps him out with the assistance of various quirky characters.

Found it a bit slow-moving and predictable, with the difficulties sorting themselves out a bit too easily. From the audience reaction, it might be funnier if you understand the French.

Rottentomatoes. Watching 2
Saw Midnight in Paris on DVD. Good romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen about an American writer in contemporary Paris who finds himself time-travelling back to the Twenties. Worth a look.

Went to Tate Modern. The Alighiero Boetti exhibition was more conceptual than I usually like, but had some interesting stuff, like the world-map carpets.

The main draw is the Damien Hirst exhibition though. Finally got to walk through the divided cow, which is interesting as you can see all the anatomical structures. The preserved specimens are looking a bit the worse for wear though: the shark's now a bit too wrinkled to look dangerous and the cows and sheep are a bit pale and soggy.

His work definitely has an impact though. The decaying cows head surrounded by buzzing flies was unpleasant but strangely compelling. The butterfly pictures and spot paintings seem surprisingly charming, also liked the spinning drip-paintings.

Overall, the guy definitely has an eye for visually impressive effects, so you have to give him credit for it.

Note: the diamond-covered skull isn't part of the upstairs pay exhibition, you can see it for free if you queue in the turbine hall.

Review, review.

Went to the LHusi drinks, which were good. Be nice to find an alternative to the Anchor though, we ought to think of something.

Didn't go away for Easter, spent it in London with Girl B, but we managed to get out and do a few things, ate out a few times too.

Still no progress on the job hunt, had eight interviews at four companies but no offers.

Economics. What a successfully-exporting US would mean, via. The Incentive Bubble (PDF) via. The Gig Economy – odd jobs, debts and the desperate search for hours.

Articles. Long-term effect of Falklands War on UK. How to be a fan of problematic things, via.

Politics. Galloway election:

The fact that Respect won in every ward in the constituency, and won by a massive 10,000 majority, testifies that that disillusionment goes way beyond the Muslim community. In the predominately white, middle-class ward of Clayton approximately 900 votes were cast for Respect compared to 40 for Labour.
Detailed post on the e-snooping bill.

Cartoons. Bad reasons to have kids. Movie hacking, real hacking.

Video. "Rear Window" edited timelapse. Oh, the huge manatee. Butlins 1961 Make and Model Your Own Bikini contest. Morphing hexapod robot.

Posted to the Stoic Forum on the Inner Acropolis.

Pics. Odd animations of old photos. Edwardian street photography.

Science. Bigender individuals perceive their gender differently at different times.

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While the sun shines | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 03:35:18 PM EST
Wow, that brings back memories!

I'm impressed that they've refused to sell the domain for so long.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

The 1990s revival is in full swing! by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 03:51:41 PM EST
I passed a stall in trendy Camden Market the other day proudly advertising vintage Nineties clothing.
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 ]
i just found out that my firm considers by nathan (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 10:51:23 AM EST
"Unacceptable Use."

LOL, better not try to surf to f*ckedcompany

[ Parent ]
Perhaps by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 09:03:15 PM EST
Cynicism is considered dangerous to the company.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
We're lawyers by nathan (4.00 / 2) #11 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 10:10:27 PM EST

No one wants Pollyanna for a lawyer. Unless you work in civil rights, insufficient cynicism is grounds for getting disbarred.

[ Parent ]
Fascinating economics links as always... by Metatone (4.00 / 4) #3 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 05:01:20 AM EST
The Gig Economy echoes research I was doing nearly 10 years ago now. Interesting to see that I was reading the signs correctly. It should make many economists stop and think, but I don't think they are any more ready now than they were then to grapple with the notion of involuntary under-employment. It causes too many complications.

Incentive bubble is a great essay. It has many points in common with Roger Martin's "Fixing the Game." I think it's a bit weaker on remedies all around though. He dismisses public blunt instruments (taxes, regulation) too lightly. Engineering for complexity in other fields teaches us that one route to safety is blunt - safety margin, reinforcement and an exchange of some efficiency for some robustness/resilience. Instead he expresses preference for private blunt instruments (changed managerial oversight and pension fund assessment) but not only are those still blunt instruments, but there are few ways to encourage them. At least in principle, tax and regulation policy can be changed directly through the democratic process. Changing the ways private actors do their oversight is much more "action at a distance..."

Tyler Cowen frustrates me. He's like Malcolm Gladwell. Very smart, always spotting new and interesting observations. And then somehow he doesn't follow up. He posits all these changes in technology and then doesn't seem to think they'll affect energy usage patterns or location decisions. I think he presents good reasons to expect a short term manufacturing resurgence in the USA, but his long term analysis seems to rest on fracking not being (to use his term) low hanging fruit, which is a big assumption and alternative energy sources (nuclear, wind, solar) not being industrially viable - which in the long term seems odd.

Don't get me started on his persistent misreading of income stats, but if manufacturing productivity is going to rise then it will push society even more toward 1% (instead of his mooted 10%) at which point I think there will be big upheavals in the structure of economies around the world. The dynamic export sectors of Thailand and even Germany are socially sustainable while people think they can get in on the action - as that kind of "social mobility" recedes, lots of things change politically.

inner acropolis vs. inner citidel by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:16:42 AM EST
I think both words are problematic for most of us in this day and age. Neither gets used much and when they do get used, they tend to get used in a strict, narrow, and technical sense that is unlikely to capture the fullness of the Greek.

Part of this is that few modern cities are built defensively. I take your idea to mean that the reference is to defensible high place at the city's core that functions as a city center for worship and other activities during times of peace. There simply isn't anything comparable in the experience of most people in the industrialized world. We do have city centers still. But, generally speaking, they're the last place to go in times of strife.

Probably the closest thing these days is a sports stadium.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Therefore by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #5 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 10:02:40 AM EST
... the mind which is free of passions is a Wembley ...

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
Replaced by gated HOAs. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 10:20:36 AM EST

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

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Superdome, the new acropolis <no taste> by wumpus (4.00 / 2) #8 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:59:32 PM EST

[ Parent ]
I briefly thought about making that comparison by lm (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 06:48:43 PM EST
Post-Katrina Superdome and the fictionalized Wembley Stadium in 28 Weeks Later were the two locations I had in mind when I wrote that.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
While the sun shines | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback