Saturday, May 29, 2004

I have shut myself into the flat, and bunkered with a pile of rented DVDs, leaving only to return and renew the collection and stock up on cheap groceries from the German grocery chain across the street. The viewing programme consists largely with old classics. In particular it has been a steady diet of Alfred Hitchcock films (hence the previous entry). I have the obsession with which at times distracts from the main characters in the centre of the frame. I love looking at the peripheral details from these old films. It's a glimpse into the past. Simple things which have ceased to exist. The style of light switches, advertisements, wallpaper. In addition to that I think about the extras. We all know what happened to the stars. Big deal. Being in a film was the job. But, what about the guy whose sole job as to walk behind the starlet as she tells the leading man not to leave her.  Was he an aspiring actor, or in the right place at the right time to pick up a little extra cash. Did he brag to his friends about being so close to those famous people? But, what I mostly think is, 'Did everything turn out alright for him?' These films are sufficiently old that there is a good chance that the people alive upon the screen are dead or have lived the vast majority of their lives and have but only to reflect on it. I want to hear that despite how terrible fate can be, it is worth the effort. I want to see a subtle wink and the OKAY hand gesture just before he goes off camera comforting me that even the extras of the world do alright.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Alfred Hitchcock's favourite joke.

A boy and a girl are sitting next to one another. The girl is very shy. The boy asks, "What's your name?" The girl blushes and coyly says, "My name is the same as something that sticks on the wall." The boy looks confused and asks, "Shit!?!" The girl exclaims, "No! Ivy!"

Good morning everyone.

Monday, May 17, 2004

As I walk these streets filled with sameness. Same business guy a thousand times over with only a change in tie. Same scowled faced teenagers. Grouped by fashion. Sulky scowls in black go over there. Miscreant sulky teenagers in trainers and track suits over there. Occasionally, I witness something or someone unique.

A little girl who is sitting on her father's shoulders. She exageratedly swings her arms and makes stomping noises like a giant rampaging the city. Amen. A little rampage keeps the soul clean.

The ever present wind tickles the scarf of a petite young asian girl. Her shiny black hair dances about and the ends of her white scarf billow behind her like angel wings. It's nice she chose to walk amongst us mortals rather than fly safely above us.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

The cliché "Some things must be seen to be believed" is very true when
speaking of the Eurovision song contest. It is surrealism at its European
finest. The opening act had a woman singing and gyrating with a Caesarean
section scar painted with glitter. This could be interpreted as a refreshing
change from the Americans obsession with absolute physical perfection for any
performer. But, lack of beauty or disfigurements is not the only deficiency that
was witnessed. What's worse than pop music? Now I know. Bad pop music with
operatic singing thrown in just because she can sing opera. Remember, I am just
talking about the first act which was last year's winner. If it wasn't for the
million dollar production, and the twenty-somethings gyrating their
bronze-in-a-can bodies covered only by glittery skimpy undies, I would have
thought this was a grammar school's talent show. On top of this, the
English-speaking commentator spends the whole night mocking each horrid act and
laughing out loud at the sheer crapness of it all. At one point, they try to
communicate with journalists covering Eurovision parties all over Europe. Each
time it was this awkward exchange befuddled by satellite delay and communication
conducted in neither party's mother tongue. It culminated in trying to talk to
the correspondent in Spain. An older bottle blonde woman with skin the colour of
shoe leather. Something went wrong. She didn't know she was on and ten seconds
were spent watching this woman try to clear her nostrils of something. The
British commentator enjoyed that moment thoroughly. Also, when the two
presenters rather than saying 'time to start the show', tried to warm up the
crowd with a little sing a long of "Ohh laa day. Ohh. Ohh. Ohh." To which the
commentator suggested, I wish they would have just said,  'time to start
the show'. Finally, at the very end, Europe votes for their favorite. Each
country cannot vote for themselves. So, What do they do? Vote for their
neighbours. Greeks would rather vote for Turkey than any Scandinavian country!
It becomes farcical. You can actually guess who a country will vote for. Unified
Europe! Ha! They can't even get the parochialism out of voting for crap pop
bands! Fuck trying to get a coherent and pan-European economic policy. I hope
everyone at some point in their life can see the absurdist masterpiece that is
the Eurovision song contest. Where else are you going to see a bald lady dancing
on stilts?

Friday, May 07, 2004

Politics. I've tried to be political. It's not in my nature but in the past year or so the inertia of external forces has urged me towards action. Unfortunately, I am not a team player and the political organizations I have attempted to join turned out to be more of a pretense for socializing. Frankly, I don’t need police harassment as part of my social calendar. Also, most people I met just parrot propaganda they have heard. Ironically, this does not impede their mocking of those who just happen to get their propaganda from the other side of the fence as mindless drones.
Most of the characters whose blogs are listed on this page are politically minded. This is one of the reasons I admire those individuals. This admiration is not simply because they are political but because they are well versed and articulate in the language of politics. I am interested in politics but am quickly overwhelmed by the futility which is so pervasive. Someone famous and most likely dead said, ‘History is made by unreasonable people’.1 I think there is sense in that. Reasonable people find a way to abide whatever political injustice blows their way. It’s those folks who call bullshit and do something about it that get things changed.
I grew up knowing a Nazi. That’s right kids. Uncle Jarred once knew a real live Nazi. Not the goofy back-wood ones that you occasionally find on daytime television, but a genuine man from the third Reich. Fortunately, He was also not of the unrepentant jew-killer bogeymen that appear in films on occasion. He was just fourteen at the time and after the allies bombed his home in Dresden. Whoever was in charge handed him a gun and pointed towards the east and told him to kill a commie for mommy. He and several others immediately stepped into the forest and ran west. They knew being captured by the Americans or British was a far better deal than what the boys with the red stars had planned. Beating all odds, he was captured by the French and that was just the beginning of this remarkable man’s life. I am glad I had the pleasure to know such a person. He called me “dummkopf” which is German for “best friend”. But, before all that he was a Nazi like everybody else in the neighborhood. Church on Sunday. Hitler youth after school. It seemed perfectly sensible for a person to ‘hail Hitler’ when one purchased a loaf a bread or crossed paths in the street. I bet most of the soldiers who even had the task of sealing the doors or dropping the little cyanide tablets into the holes in the roofs were reasonable men. It is frightening to think it is only circumstance that has saved most of us from having to make that dreadful decision or even worse being conditioned to think there was no decision to make. Thank god for unreasonable people.

1. Most likely he also said “ reasonable men”. Dead guys are usually pretty chauvinistic.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

This is my favorite picture when I googled my own name. This was on "meet the employees" page for a machinist company website.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

So English means "The people who form Aisles (Queues, Lines, Whatever). You see it comes from the old german "Angles" As in the Anglo-Saxons who were the first to invade this island. Really they were second or third but whos counting. Although Angles was eventually corrupted to English and England, "The land of the Aisle people", the word 'Aisle' has the same lingistic root but has not suffered the same corruption. So, it is that reason that the sacred practice of form queues still exists upon these aisles.

It's true. I just made it up. Scots on the other hand, I believe means "ones who vacates their bladders upon the streets". I'm not sure. I could be wrong.

I went to the hills to watch the Pagan Summer Festival. This is were a few pagans and a whole lot of hippies run around naked and painted different colors. Seriously, it was actually a beautiful ceremony. A man was dressed as the green man escorted the May queen to four circles. At each of the circles they preformed a ceramony. I went with the usual scepticism but it was very nice to watch. The only problem was that a lot of people just used it as an excuse to get drunk. So during this ceremony people were shouting and belching. Shame really.