Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
If you care, here are some links:
Vice - piece about films based on objects
Little White Lies - review of SUS
Killing Bono blog - first piece in character
- second piece in character
Also the Guardian piece was randomly re-printed in the Sunday Times in South Africa and I have some more pieces coming soon.
Friday, 26 March 2010
My second article on The Guardian went up yesterday:
Haters to the left.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
4. There is a 'cute kid' that falls in love with Jennifer Garner, and by cute I mean 'so precocious, you feel the urge to force your entire arm down his throat just so you can make his heart stop beating'.
6. Apparently every Indian restaurant turns into a Bollywood musical after 10.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Well, I do.
Looking at my life as it is, there are a number of key changes that would need to be made before it could become endlessly repeated on UK Gold.
ME: The fact that I'm gay wouldn't be a total problem but the fact that I'm not 'fun gay' would be. Sitcoms tend to prefer gays when they're bursting into song and designing jewellery. I'd need to replace beer with apple martinis, hip-hop with show tunes and sarcasm with, oh hang on that one works.
It's important to introduce more catchphrases into my everyday vocabulary which wouldn't be a total problem as I'm hugely repetitive as it is. But as it stands, the words and sayings I exhaust might have to be tampered with a bit. Lately I have a habit of overusing 'harrowing', 'rape' and 'your mum'. Having never seen a sitcom that has utilised the word harrowing JUST yet (although I haven't watched an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond all the way through) it might have to go. Instead of describing events as such, I could refer to them as 'fabulicious' and say something T-shirt friendly like 'not without my appletini sister!' or 'puh-lease, that's what I said'. I might have to work on those a bit though.
My current dress sense, which resembles a cross between a 1970s hustler and a kids TV presenter, will need to go and I'll have to start wearing more slogan t-shirts and tight jeans. In other words, I'll need to start shopping at Top Man.
The beard will have to go, unless I'm depressed for an episode, and I'll probably have to smile more and maybe get a job as an interior designer. Oh and I'd have to start swearing like an Eastenders character, e.g. 'You can sod off and keep your poxy job!'
MY OFFICE: The workplace is hugely important and although, like most sitcom characters, I will still have numerous, unexplained days not working, it's vital to create a comedy-friendly atmosphere.
I'll need to tamper with some of my colleagues. In my department there is a Spanish, a French and a Swiss. International characters are fine (although probably not that many) but they'll need to become more offensively stereotyped to work. So, my Spanish co-worker will need to eat Paella for lunch EVERY DAY, hilariously try to play The Gypsy Kings in the office all the time and in one episode, teach everyone how to salsa dance (with side-splitting results). Plus she must be re-named Maria.
I'll need a new boss too. Either a hard-nosed older bitch who will make ridiculous demands, to which I'll typically respond with a dramatic eye-roll behind her back as she calls 'I saw that!' or a zany older man, who always gets my name wrong and confides in his pet parrot.
MY FRIENDS: I'll need to streamline my friends and single out a couple of constants to get involved in the occasional sub-plot and help to appeal to different sections of the audience.
One of my friends will need to be 'hella sassy' and perhaps even be black, just to try and make sure everyone is catered for. She will call people 'girl' and 'sister' (including me, hilariously) and do that clicking thing with her arm that you see on Montel. She will probably be a beautician and she will most likely be slightly overweight (another demographic crossed off). She'll pretty much be an old white producer's idea of what a young black girl is like. Oh and let's call her Taneisha.
In contrast, I'll also have a nerdish male friend who is clearly soap-hot but wears glasses and occasionally makes a reference to something totally geeky like reading books or watching the news. He will be straight but useless with the opposite sex. Taneisha will make him over in one episode and the audience will gasp as he'll look like well dreamy. At the end of the episode though he'll discover that beauty is on the inside and the glasses will return. It will also never be explained why on earth he would be friends with two totally opposite people.
MY FAMILY: They'll only really appear in the odd episode so can be played by vaguely familiar faces. I could perhaps have Felicity Kendal as my wacky, new-age mother who is constantly using words like 'karma' and 'feng shui' and being embarrassing, but never in a serious way. Whenever she appears, she'll always have baby pictures to show my friends and will be overly affectionate with me, causing many dramatic eye-rolls. She'll tell me I'm her favourite son, to which I'll respond 'But mum, I'm your only son!'
I'll have a wild sister, probably played by someone like Denise Van Outen, who will turn up every now and then, always with a bottle in her hand. The fact that she is a raging alcoholic will be used for laughs and we'll only ever see her stumbling and saying outrageous things, rather than witnessing her vomiting through the nights and alienating everyone in her life. The studio audience will love her and every time she peers around my door saying 'Can I borrow your corkscrew?' they will whoop and holler.
IN SUMMARY: Life would be a whole lot more entertaining. A simple trip to Tesco would only exist for something hilarious to happen, like witnessing my boss having an affair while trying to hide behind a stack of cans, which would obviously all fall over. It would also be rather tiring. I'd never be allowed to do things like take a shit or pay money into my bank or sleep. Every moment would be punctuated with a joke.
In looking at the sitcom version of my life, it bears absolutely no resemblance to things as they are now. I'm clearly not ready to be sitcomised, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Admittedly, it gives me a higher chance of developing cancer and means I still have to clean the toilet every now and then but it also allows me the freedom to never use words like fabulicious. Every cloud...
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Recently however, this seems to have changed. Now, I’m not bragging, not in the slightest. As the guys who have been coming up to me have been total, ‘wank while watching holocaust footage’ freaks. Monstrous would be an apt word. Guys that look as if they stumbled out of the Hell-mouth in Buffy. So, instead of this being a brag, it’s the opposite. I’ve clearly been batting above my weight in recent years and am being told by some ethereal dating force that I need to re-think what league I truly belong in.
This has all resulted in variously squirmy incidents where I’ve genuinely prayed for some sort of nuclear attack to serendipitously interrupt the horror. There was the guy who decided to tell me about his recent trip to a strip club and his surprise at how wide a vagina actually opens, then there was the guy who genuinely thought I was interested in his job as a flight attendant oh and then the guy who talked at me about how he worked for Cheryl Cole in a job to do with Cheryl Cole and how he met Cheryl Cole, oh and did he mention he worked for CHERYL FUCKING COLE.
My face, clearly unable to fully display my increasing repulsion, has soldiered through these occasions until the one moment I have now learnt to dread. The question which means I have to start lying my ass off, something that I not only suck at, but I also hate doing.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
It has even been confirmed to me by others on quite a few occasions. Whether it's been dressed up as retard, tool, doofus, spazz or just plan idiot, I'm no stranger to the feeling of intellectual inferiority.
It sometimes feels like I missed out on a class where a whole heap of important things were explained to everyone. The ins and outs of various wars, political conflicts, geographical locations, medical terminology, you name it and they all know more about it than me.
I'm 25 now so I feel like I should have amassed a relatively strong knowledge of the world around me but I'm still desperately lacking. I'm losing the few shreds of information left of my university degree and instead my mind harvests anecdotes about the production of The Thing or the names of Jordan's kids. It's depressing.
This descent into total idiocy was highlighted earlier this year on a first date. It had been relatively successful for the most part; a walk in the park, a drink at a pub, a meal at an Italian etc. After we finished eating, we headed back to his place to watch TV (no, really) and encountered his housemate. A number of jokes had been made throughout about the 8-year age gap between the two of us. This made him 32 by the way, not 16. I was therefore, determined to show that maturity didn't have to be measured purely by age.
We had been chatting about the Italian restaurant and the fact that it was owned by a local businessman, who also owned a few other eateries. While talking to his housemate, she made a comment about Berlusconi. I responded by saying 'Is that the guy who owns those restaurants?', to which she replied 'No, he's the Prime Minister of Italy'. Also worth noting that she worked for the Foreign Office - great. We made it to a second date but it all sort of fizzled out rather quickly...
Now, of course I know that he is who he is but my stupid, date-ruining brain clearly doesn't have the speed or agility to work it out in time. I often wonder why I'm so poorly trained. What the fuck was I doing at school, other than getting hit in the head with footballs and re-arranging my locker to look busy at lunchtimes? Maybe I should go back or maybe I should have never left, like Screech or that paedophile who got arrested for pretending he was 16.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Most people in my life would probably not describe me as a particularly placid person. There are some days when it seems as if I'm raging against an imaginary machine. For example, last night I told the television to fuck off when it suddenly got too loud.
But there are times when I find myself a surprisingly weak-willed individual. This usually occurs in situations where I'm feeling rather uncomfortable. I know I've previously criticised people who blog about their haircut and I'm not going to start posting pictures of it or describing it in great detail but yesterday I went to get a haircut. It's a ritual that I absolutely abhor. Like making small talk in lifts or feigning any form of emotion over baby photos.
Any confidence I had before I enter the hairdresser's evaporates immediately once I step inside. I don't really have a great history with the place. There was that time I almost put my gum in the coat-stand, thinking it was a bin or the time, as a misguided 13-year-old, I brought in a picture of Ethan Hawke and asked my regular hairdresser to 'do that'. Her smirk still stings to this day.
All of this unease translates into me feeling rather paralysed by the time I've reached the chair. I usually begin with a weak 'It's just getting a bit long' while I play with my hair to illustrate this complicated point. I then follow whatever advice I'm given, no matter what my personal thoughts are. I simply don't know what to say or do so hope for the best.
The result is that I normally resemble a member of a late 90s boyband, and not in an attractive, boyish way but more like the 5th guy in the band, who no girl fancies. So, a thinner Joey Fatone then pretty much.
It also doesn't help that I go for the cheapest option out there. I end up in a place called Dare or Slash or Ego or something equally aggressive but non-specific as I just don't see the point in spending over £10 on something that is gonna grow back, almost instantaneously in my case.
It gets worse each time as I spend the duration looking down at the increasingly silver hairs that are coming from my head. It reminds me not only that I'm getting old but also that by this age I should have developed a more adult way of dealing with a fairly innocuous procedure. I frowned so much yesterday that my Eastern European 'stylist' kept asking me if I was okay, to an embarrassing extent.
With this new haircut, I decided to further my humiliation for the week by going to another place which turns me into a creature more passive than a Fritzl child...the gym.
I bored you months ago after I had just joined with a certain amount of vague hope that I would actually commit to a new life of activity and protein shakes. Predictably, not a lot has really come from it. I forget, until I get there, how teeth-pullingly dull the whole place is. Repeated bursts of that evil Cascada bitch drowning my surprisingly small ears in drivel also doesn't help.
Well anyway, I finally booked in my first, free training session and attended this morning. I nodded along to most of what was said as luckily this was just a consultation which meant the whole reliving high school P.E. nightmare is being reserved for next week. I've been informed that I need to eat 6 meals a day (not a problem) and consider taking up Yoga (a problem).
It's only Tuesday and I've already approached two potentially toxic events with relative ease. I may look like the ugliest member of A1 right now but I'm taking baby steps on the way to becoming a fully-formed, non-phobic regular person. Score.
Friday, 2 October 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Why did anyone ever come up with this idea? Why did anyone then green-light this? Why did any self-respecting actor decide to say yes? Not since I read of Ron Howard's proposed Caché remake have I had such a profoundly unsettled feeling.
Then came Frankie and Alice.
For all of those people who re-watched Lindsay Lohan's performance as a one-armed, one-legged stripper in I Know Who Killed Me, consider yourself implored to write to your local council and get something done about this. You see, in years to come, Bad Movie Clubs will need new fodder to be mercilessly ripped apart. We can’t keep talking about brown rice and vegetables forever…
Thursday, 17 September 2009
One of the reasons I hate blogs is because they're so incredibly self-important. I need a haircut, I'm going to get a haircut, I had a haircut, what do you think of my haircut? NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT YOUR HAIRCUT etc.
So I've tried to wait until I've had something semi-interesting to talk about before I splurged all over this thing. But, this has meant that I never update as I'm constantly waiting for this rush of inspiration which may never happen.
I have so many half-written posts here that will probably never be complete. Like parts of my life that I never fully saw all the way through. Fuck, I was gonna be a criminologist for a while. Seriously. I even applied for a criminology degree. I've also been saying for the past 6 months or so that I'm gonna do some sort of 'looking after kids' in a non-Ian Huntley way sort of thing. But I'm still to get past the application form.
The point of all this rambling is that I really need to write more on this blog. Not that anyone will actually give a shit, but I should. Just to write more often. I don't write enough anymore.
Anyway, this is turning into one of those self-indulgent 'me, me, me' rants. I'm turning into the very reason why I hate Twitter. I'm sleepy and I'm going to bed. If anyone needs me, I'll be that guy with the bug eyes, waiting for inspiration, while drooling on the firmest pillow.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Sunday, 19 July 2009
When I was 6, I got married to a girl named Molly. The ceremony took place in the playground, next to the woods where, years later, kiss chase would become the more obvious way to spend the lunch-hour.
Sadly, it was never meant to be. Around the same time that my parents got a divorce, so did hers and Molly moved away to the big city and our marriage began to feel the strain. From then on, it consisted purely of fraught small talk at the odd birthday party and before we knew it, we had become just another statistic.
My next memorable relationship was with a girl named Alexis. Alexis was mute to everyone but me, which gave me a fantastic feeling of power and I flaunted it whenever possible. No-one knew Alexis like I did. I was the only one who really knew what her favourite colour was. But alas, it didn’t last. Dating a selective mute makes dinner parties a struggle.
I hadn’t thought about Molly or Alexis for a long time. The only reason they dropped back into my memory was because of something my little brother had said recently. He’s 10 and is turning into quite the womaniser. He had recently told me about ‘dumping’ his most recent girlfriend ‘because he felt like it’. All of this said with a casual shrug of the shoulders.
He had then gone to a birthday party recently and upon entering, grimaced and muttered to my father, ‘Oh God, my ex is here’. Now it’s an understandably tough situation when you arrive at a party and see that your ex is also in attendance but it’s not one that you typically expect to arise when you’re in your first decade. I can just imagine the tension that then pervaded throughout the party that day.
‘I saw you with a new girl by the climbing frame’ or ‘You still have my copy of A Bug’s Life and I NEED it back’ etc.
It frightens me that the word ex and the concept that comes with it is even in my brother's head. Maybe date-speak is more commonplace these days with kids. I can guarantee (divorcee jokes aside) that I was unaware of such complications at the age of 10. I was too busy wearing waistcoats and making my own radio shows.
I'm rather old-fashioned when it comes to what kids should and shouldn't be aware of. Being a kid for as long as possible is paramount in my mind. I'm not talking about being breastfed until 11 or wetting the bed at an age where you can wash your own sheets but just avoiding growing up too fast. Avoiding all the shit that inevitably pours down when you start caring about the way you look and what people think of you.
Although maybe all of this might be a good thing. Maybe I was too much of a kid for too long. My little brother is already more romantically experienced than I was at the age of 18. Maybe this means that when he does start dating proper actual women, he'll be a pro.
I, on the other hand, spent my middle and high school days in the wilderness. As puberty kicked in and I lost the ability to walk 5 metres without tripping over my own shoe, the brief flings of my younger years started to dry out.
In middle school, I spent most school discos awkwardly shuffling from side-to-side and then spending the duration of the 'slow dance' eating strawberry laces with the fat girls as I waited for my mum to pick me up.
Things went from bad to worse in high school. In the 5 years I was there, I got asked out just one time. I'd come from a different area so I carried a certain 'mystery' in the initial stages. This mystery led to me spending many a lunchtime huddled, alone, over a notepad in a classroom, willing the time to pass quicker.
It did also cause some romance. I was approached by a questionable girl from my class who told me that her friend wanted to go out with me. A friend who I later discovered to have the nickname 'Thirsty Cunt' - no kidding. I panicked and said I was too busy with my homework. Even at the age of 13 I was putting my career first; an admirable trait, even if TC didn't quite see it the same way at the time...
All of this meant that when dating finally did begin, I was hopelessly inexperienced. All of the mistakes and heartaches you're supposed to go through as a teenager, I encountered much later. I don't regret it though. It allowed me to spend my high school years relatively untroubled by the problems which plagued many of my classmates. I wasn't worried about anyone calling or not calling or whether I was really shit at kissing, I just pleaded ignorance.
It also meant that I avoided the fake girlfriendery which many homos go through. I didn't break anyone's heart or cause some girl to forever think she turned a man gay. Sure, I made out with enough and, in one head-smashingly embarrassing moment, turned down a bizarre bathroom threesome with two American girls, but I never made it all the way.
From my brother's nonchalant attitude towards 'dating' and the opposite sex, I'm pretty positive that when it really starts to matter, he'll possess all of the cool dating know-how that I didn't learn until much later. He'll be spending his high school years making a list of all the girls he's dated, rather than making a list of all the films he owns.
Anyway, maybe I'm just bitter because I was a 6-year-old divorcee...
Sunday, 12 July 2009
1. If I have to watch another movie where Vince Vaughn confuses loud rambling for being funny, I'm going to drown every single person named Vince in the entire world just to prove a point. Four Christmasses wounded me. Deep.
2. How fat is Jon Favreau? Wasn't there a time when he was a legitimate love interest? Now he looks like if he laid on top of Kristin Davis he would literally crush her ribs.
3. Any film where someone winks and a sound effect occurs, I know that we can never be friends.
4. Films such as this highlight how sexist Hollywood is. Would the female equivalent of Faizon Love (aka Monique) or Jon Favreau (aka Roseanne Barr) ever be cast in this film?
5. Jason Bateman needs to develop better script reading skills fast. Oh no hang on, his next project sounds like a winner. He's starring in a film where Jennifer Aniston impregnates herself with a turkey baster. Great, sorted.
6. I like Malin Akerman but she is seriously pushing the limits of our friendship. If she doesn't end the film by setting fire to every other character then I'm deleting her from my Facebook.
7. Vince Vaughn gets into a dangerous situation with some sharks and survives. Stupid fucking sharks.
8. I always assumed that Kristin Davis spent her non-Sex and the City months asleep or cryogenically frozen but this film proves me totally wrong.
9. There is something so asexual about Kristin Bell. Sure, she's cute but can you even imagine her having a vagina?
10. Oh look, a sleazy, foreign yoga instructor named Fabio who makes overtly sexual gestures towards the women AND men! Who the fuck finds this kind of shit funny? I want names. I want names and addresses now.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
This week saw the death of Michael Jackson and with it, one of the ugliest forms of participation sports began to rear its malformed head: public grieving.
It's always struck me as a bizarre practice. When a celebrity dies, one with a mass appeal, ordinary, seemingly sane members of the population turn into irrational fools. Crying on the news, lighting candles in their windows, posting over-emotional Facebook status updates and generally making me seriously consider emigrating and never coming back.
I just fail to understand how you could feel such grief for someone you have never met. I'm pretty sure a lot of these MJ mourners have poured out more emotion over his death than they have for real-life family members or friends who've died.
In my lifetime, I first remember this form of mass hysteria when I was 13 and Diana died. Admittedly it was a tragic event but the ensuing "Great British" reaction was one of the most embarrassing periods of recent national history.
From the radio stations not playing anything but classical music to the public weeping to the constant, mind-crushing news coverage it was a sad time for all the wrong reasons. Around the same time, Mother Theresa also lost her life but received about one hundredth of the attention. But then she didn't dance with John Travolta at the White House...
It's at times like then and now that I feel incredibly alienated from people as a whole. It's not that I'm denying the tragedy of death at all but I just don't feel linked enough to someone I have only ever encountered via the television to feel much emotion.
Along with Madame Tussauds and autographs, it's a side of celebrity culture that I have always failed to understand. I think it's another example of people desperately trying to cling to something they're not really a part of. By grieving for Michael Jackson and by telling EVERYONE about it via Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, messages in bottles, you're implying that you're part of this special community. Membership to this community puts you one step closer to the celebrity you're idolising, whether they be dead or alive.
If it was real grief of course, it wouldn't be so disgustingly public. It's this very reason why I despise RIP Facebook groups for classmates/colleagues/family members who have died. If I died and someone created a Facebook page to commemorate me, I would haunt them severely. Like proper Poltergeist haunting, none of that Truly Madly Deeply shit.
Another reason for this sort of insanity is linked to mortality in general. When Jade, Peasant Princess, died a few months back, people were scared by how young she was when she died. They projected their fears of their own death onto her and this whipped itself up into a frenzy of black-topped OK! covers and yet more public weeping.
This whole, horrible form of group grief will only worsen with time. The closer people get to their idols, by following their Twitter feed and pretending they have some sort of interaction with them, the more they can fool themselves into thinking they're allowed to wear black for a week when they die. I'm not denying that a lot of these people do feel genuine sadness when someone like Michael Jackson dies. I'm just worried by the frightening lack of perspective this might suggest.
Maybe I'm just a heartless bastard? I was labelled 'Tin Man' by an ex before. But personally I think real, genuine grief should be private and should also have some sort of basis in reality. To play me out here are some sample 'Tweets' on MJ's death:
RIP Michael Jackson never cried for someone as much as I have for you.
Why is it Pres. Obama is not making a statement over the death of Michael Jackson?
Dedicated my last two evenings to remembering michael jackson
cant sleep still thinkin bout mj.....
he reached across space and time, across genres and cultures, upward, outwards, beyond...a star on earth, now a star in heaven...RIP MJ x
MJ I MISS U MORE TODAY,THAN YESTERDAY....
Oh and just to point out these were all from the last 4 minutes...