Friday, 5 August 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
Because I’m spending too much time online. Period. And social networking isn’t real. More pen and paper, less keys and mouse. GayBook, Twatter, DeadBubble and Blagger can do one for a bit. Toodle pip!
LOVE PEACE AND HARMONY
c u when we get there
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Saturday, 23 July 2011
It’s occurred to me that maybe the highest places or principal landmarks from our childhood territories linger in our subconscious for many an old devil moon.
I told my cousin A.Michael, the Horror Apprentice, that I’ve been dreaming every single night without fail for months. He said that’s really excellent, and confided in me 3 new dream secrets of his own.
1. He paused a dream once, like a videotape.
2. He blacked out in a dream, then came back to, still in the dream.
3. He got shot in a dream.
Not to mention a nightmare he can still remember from when he was under 10 years old, featuring a chimpanzee on a coach.
He’s no expert on ASTRAL PROJECTION, but here’s what he said about flying.
Focus on a point ahead, or on the skyline, or where you want to be, but don’t will yourself too hard. The harder you try, the more you’ll skim the floor. It’s all about 100 percent total concentration. It’s a form of meditation, of visualization. You need to be able to picture the scenery from miles around. Once you start to create that landscape, you can look down on it. There are several kinds of dream flight – this hovering, bird’s eye view kind, or the much harder, run and take off from a standstill kind.
No wonder they write whole books about it.
Do you believe in this kind of talk, or are your rests like a black, blank slate?
Friday, 22 July 2011
Don’t you love the crimelord’s justification passage at the end of some movies? Every flick worth its salt has a henchman’s speech. Here is a decent one from a well-known British actor, although the first 2 that spring to mind in my memory are Michael Gambon from Layer Cake (2004) and The Architect from The Matrix Reloaded (2003). You seem to learn more valuable “intel” from these short but intense vocabularies than you could ever learn from school or real life! There is always at least a golden nugget of knowledge in them. Don’t get me wrong, it may be all higgledy-piggledy, but I for one at least like to pretend that there are answers out there. If someone is willing to explain how the world works, I’m well prepared to listen, even if they are an egotistical, power-crazed maniac!
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Friday, 15 July 2011
Every book digs deeper and unveils a little more of the psyche. This is more important than the technique of words and sentences. I see unpleasant aspects in both my own character and in other people. These aspects seem to take a stronghold in the work, but I would hope my justification is this: That the dark parts only serve to balance and enhance the good parts. The unknown territories in each of our capabilities may be vast and deep, but so long as a modicum of good, of light, exists, then all is not lost.
A handful of light is all you need to find your way.
It’s easier to destroy the light in oneself than it is to destroy all of the darkness in the surrounding world, but I don’t believe you can ever fully eradicate that inherent beacon within, that intuitive flare that casts wrong against right, and that knows remorse, shame, guilt. Compassion, fellowship, kindness. Love.
Not in my storylines, anyway. They say you should write about what you know, but if you truly want peace and serenity, write what you don’t. Remove yourself from your pitfalls. Focus on the top half of the glass, ignoring the bottom. It may not be as passionate or truthful, but passion and truth are blind to other people’s feelings.
I started chapter 3 of book 15 yesterday, after over 2 months off it. I’m determined to make it shine. Goodness will flow through it like the wind through the trees.
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Sunday, 10 July 2011
It’s not enough that we have to put up with him on the radio, but now we have to hear that he has a new contract worth a million pounds sterling.
That’s just great, that is. Thanks for that. I’m struggling like an old rag n bone man and meanwhile that get is raking it in. Why are we bombarded with gossip about how well some folk are doing, when not two minutes before we are having the recession forced down our throats?
I’m not interested in government cuts and fat cat bonuses. The common man is nee affected. I stress about my own pocket, and the rising price of oatcakes in the supermarche. C'mon, let me get on with it, and cease throwing insulting figures down my throat.
Have you noticed how nobody hardly mentions a million anymore? All you ever hear about are billions now. Radio 4 do my nut in. For the final time, I don't care about your politics or your numbers or your interest rates. Fack them, and fack you. We all know IT'S ABOUT MONEY, (6) and that you're alright if you have it, but no one gives a shiz if you haven't.
A Yorkshire pub has broken the world record for concocting the biggest ever serving of fish and chips. The traditional English dish weighed in at almost 100 pounds. The chefs carted it out on a tray that looked long enough to be a stretcher.
There was a time when breaking a world record really meant something. World’s strongest man. World’s fastest land speed record. World’s longest ski jump. Skyscrapers, battleships, construction bridges. There was a time when a man doing a million and one keepie-ups with a football was about the dullest record around.
Now, we have professional worm eaters who can scoff 200 of the yucky invertebrates in 20 seconds. We have glutinous greedy guts dunking hotdogs in water so they can slide down their throats with zero resistance. We have morons piercing every available inch of their anatomies. And now this, fish and chips. A waste of time and money, and I’d bet my bottom dollar it went uneaten.
Whose ever idea this was should have their trousers and pants pulled down in front of a studio audience so paint-ballers can shoot their raw butt cheeks. Pillocks.
Friday, 8 July 2011
They say he talks trash, and that he’s cocky. He does, I agree. But like Muhammad Ali, that’s absolutely no problem if you can back it all up. If you can walk the walk, you have the liberty to talk the talk until the cows come home.
Unfortunately for David Haye, and sadly for British boxing, it wasn’t to be in Hamburg, beaten on points against the awkward, boring but effective giant that is Klitschko. Which Klitscho was it though? They could almost be twins. Perhaps the Klitscho corner swapped brothers halfway through the fight.
We all anticipate a knockout with the heavyweights. It’s hilarious to see a punch-drunk zombie falling around the ring. These cagey, cautious affairs may be value for money, but for all the smack talk beforehand, you’d think that they’d try to kill each other, not dance around like fairies.
Andy Murray. If he wins, he’s British. If he loses, he’s Scottish. He moans when he strikes the ball either way. I thought it was only women who moaned during play. I call it Women’s Orgasmic Tennis, championed by the chief warrior Sabrina Williams herself. It’s so animalistic and sexual, don’t you think? All that grunting and groaning. Ugh!
What the hell have you got to do before you get disciplined for putting the opposing player off, strangle them at the net? It would be easy to disguise a yell or scream or shout within a moan or grunt or groan. Think of all the possible noises you could make. Agh!
Why are the celebrations always so emotional at the end? Talk about drama queens falling to the floor. Is it not rude to celebrate in front of your beaten opponent? And why shout ‘come on’ after you have won the point? Please, show some courage and shout it while the ball is still in play. Now that would impress me.
Have you seen the way the players point at the ball boys too? It looks so arrogant. And why do they bounce the ball so many times before serving it? What purpose does that repetitive bouncing actually serve?
Big tennis games look great on screen. The gasps of the crowd as the ball trickles along the net. Scrambling legs, drop shots, lobs and volleys. The drama is up there with penalty shoot outs in football and deciding frames in snooker. When you’re picking your own balls up in the park, however, hardly able to string a rally together, it’s a very different game indeed.
And please, Nadal’s biceps really aren’t that big.
It always rains when Wimbledon is on. Solution: Ban Tennis
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Oh no, not another one. When will Michael Bay stop abusing our eardrums with his boring explosions? All this guy cares about is flipping cars. Okay, it’s great for kids, it’s in 3D, with stunning special effects and a spectacular finale, but as an adult, I think I’ll stick with adult movies, like Skyline, and District 9, for my kicks.
Mark Kermode, country’s top critic, did the best review of a film I’ve ever seen on his video blog. It was Transformers 2. All he did is bang his head against a metal door. No words needed. Pity he couldn’t have banged his head into Shia LaBoeuf’s face.
I lost all interest when the huge shape-shifting robots started talking back in the first one. I was half a fan until they started talking. I like to ‘buy into’ a movie. I like to be able to imagine that it’s real. I just can’t get my head around the fact that these technological warfare monstrosities have personalities.
Someone said that this is like sticking your face into a blender. I wouldn't go that far, like.
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Monday, 4 July 2011
Now and again an artist comes along and makes you take notice, and make no mistake, in these times when the word artist is banded about so loosely, attributed to Pop Idol wannbes, Swede Mason is one sure hell of an artist. The true sense of an artist to me, beyond the paintbrush and charcoal stick, is someone who, by the power of their works, is likened to a magician. Because of the wow factor. Because of the amazement. Because of the talent you can’t even relate to.
This guy’s crazy editing skills and stylish funky tunes make a special combination. The way he has focused his energies into something so comically light-hearted is a great credit to him. I think he arrived in MASTERCLASS SYNESTHESIA. I think he was getting into his flow in GIMME BACK MA GUN (featuring Mel Gibson), and then peaked doing this latest overwhelmingly popular project. To make so many people smile must be a swell buzz. And at the very least, they are smiling. More likely, they are laughing. Laughing, sharing, and dancing. I dare you not to smile.
The comments are true. I don’t need to add any more compliments. Apart from the fact that this video is a day-maker. Someone said it’s the best thing they have ever seen. How can a YouTube video be the best thing someone has ever seen? you might ask. Surely that person has led a very dull life. Well, I wouldn’t be so quick to judge. In fact, I’d most probably agree with the guy. I can understand why he might say that, and mean it. I can understand that completely.
This is a concentration of craftsmanship, all over an unsuspecting public like chickenpox. I'm lapping this sh*t right up. It’s joyous.
Check link beneath for a mini Masterchef play!http://piebald77.blogspot.com/2010/02/celebrity-masterchef.html
Saturday, 2 July 2011
I didn’t even realize it’s that time of the month. A new month. A new moon. Is it a new moon? Can’t be far off. I’ve lost track of the lunar cycle since moving geographical locations. I used to be on top of all that, even to the point of sending off for newsletters from The Sky At Night. Now, sunsets and moonrises don’t exert the same pull over me. Inside, maybe, but whenever I get the impulse to get off my butt and go stargazing, or sky watching, or whatever, I do what lazy people do whenever they feel the urge to exercise – lie down until the feeling goes away.
It’s no trivial matter. The soul aches internally over such issues. It’s not a pain, it’s not even a mild throb, or a dull ache; it’s more of a soft purring inside, a hushed whine. And this is the kind of prose I should be putting into a project I have on the go, so I’m going to have to stop there.
When your favourite constellation is visible from your front doorstep, it’s hard to complain though. Cassiopeia, the W, reminds me of two smoking guns, one in each hand. A cowboy. Still, there’s nothing like lying on your back in the dark and spotting a shooting star. Neglecting the heavens spells doom for the dreamer. The Death of Hope.
I put the hours in when writing a novel at about 20 years of age. It was about the universe and dinosaurs and space and time. I threw all my eggs into one basket with it. The amount of research notes amount to the length of a book in itself. Since then, I moved on from all the mysteries of existence and focused on the day to day psychological pressures of modern reality. Perhaps I ought to go back. I’ve always thought that one novel is enough to say whatever you have to say. Everything else, afterwards, is indulgence, rehash, commercial.
I still can’t get my head around this blogging business. Christopher Fowler has a quality blog he updates daily, which you are supposed to do, but a lot of the time, when reading other people’s blogs, I cringe. The amount of personal detail they go into seems so self-indulgent. What can you do, eh? Trust me to be a f**king writer.
Friday, 1 July 2011
Sex in church. Lions on the roof. Driving backwards down the motorway in glue. Anything goes in dreams. It’s like the brain is only half on. I had a dream within a dream the other night, like in the movie Inception, only they had to go too far and have a dream within a dream within a dream. By a dream within a dream, I mean that I was telling people about my dream so far before I had even woken up. A kind of running commentary, to other people in the dream, as it went along. It was in chapters. Do you ever dream in chapters?
There can be as many as six or seven different scenes or stages in one night’s rest. Vivid ones, vague ones. Sometimes, just a mention of something on the news late in the evening can trigger the memory of a dream the night before. It’s treacherous territory even discussing them. The subconscious is pure and genuine. It does not repress, deceive, lie, shirk away, cover up, exaggerate or forget. It’s a mishmash of unexecuted ideas and thoughts waiting to flourish when you switch to standby. It’s the signal behind the TV set. You may only watch one during the day, but come bedtime, all those hundreds of channels flicker on behind the scenes. Even the ones you never watch, and sometimes the ones you don’t want to watch.
Kevin Levrone, legend Bodybuilder turned front man, sings: “I see faces in my dreams, looking back at me, the strangest faces in my dreams…”
Now I’m certainly not about to go into the star headliners, side attractions, bit part players and cameos who appear in my dreamscapes, which are all in high definition full colour with surround sound by the way, but I will share with you a stranger or two who I don’t recognize. I wake up with a sense of wonder. Who was that person? I think. Often, when someone is hazy, we assign someone we know to fit the role, but now and again there will be a complete unrecognisable stranger who we have never met in our lives. Do you agree? Just nod and say yes if in doubt.
Thursday, 30 June 2011
There was some lunatic in the park this morning, around the time of the school’s first bell. He was shouting his head off and making all kinds of hand gestures as if he was having a ruckus with an invisible man. It’s standard procedure to give these nutters a wide berth but nowadays I can’t resist getting an insight into characters like this, so I went over and asked him if he was alright. “I AM NOT, NOT, A MORON!” he shouted. I burst out laughing, because the word moron is a private joke between me and my mate Daz* (we amuse ourselves by calling people odd insults, like melon, plum, spanner, doorknob, etc).
I kept my distance of course but I was intrigued. Plus I was doing my bit for the community. A school mum and an elderly lady had already took detours to avoid him. If he started hacking someone to death I might be too late getting over there. “YEAH, I’M FINE,” he said, “I’M CHALKY. EVERYONE ON THIS MANOR OVER 18 KNOWS ME.” Funny, as I'd never clapped eyes on him. After exchanging pleasantries I left him to it. He said he wasn’t drunk. He was sharp as a fox. I forgot to ask him what he was on and if he had any spare. Damn it.
Ten minutes later he was shouting again. I could hear him from the bathroom. He was quite lyrical actually, a latent performance poet perhaps. This is why the morning is the most important segment of the Earth’s spin. It’s imperative to hear the birds and the sirens before the harsh wash of plain day gets into busy flow. This is why you can’t beat the ghetto, the slum, the streets, the estate, or, according to Chalky, the manor. They’re simply more interesting. Cul-de-sacs and gated communities may be the safest place to raise kids, but there’s a predictability about the same folk passing through every day. First sniff of a stranger and they’re on the blower to the five 0.
*Here’s the link for Daz’s poignant history: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-friend-darren-by-guest-blogger.html
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
“Rolling fly” I can live with (that means driving a got-to-have-me motor). The word “sick” to describe something good I’m not so sure about. I find it funny and cool when others use it but I don’t think I would use it myself. When something is “the bomb” is okay too. That means it’s good or cool or the biz or whatever.
When in doubt, resort to Scouse English. Everyone knows Cockney rhyming slang so we don’t need to bother with that. You can make it up as you go along. Look, I’ll do it now. Let’s just say corned beef legs, for the sake of argument. Corned beef legs means mottled legs, but if I want to develop my own Cockney rhyming slang, I might say something like scabby teeth legs, because it rhymes with corned beef legs. Is that right? No, hang on. White as a Flashlight legs. Still not right is it. Harder than I thought. Bad example though. Let’s try something else.
How about hair? Right, here we go – funfair. Did you see the funfair on that? That’s rubbish I know but you see what I mean. We all know the common ones like Britney Spears (ears), boat race (face), and Ruby Murray (curry). The best one I heard was Phil Mitchell calling someone “brown bread” before I even knew what CRS was. I was like, WTF? It means dead.
Scouse English is even better, although its relation to Liverpool is questionable.
TWO BAGGER = A person so ugly you should put 2 bags over their head in case 1 falls off.
KNEE-TREMBLER = Sexual Intercourse while standing
TURNS LIKE A NORTH SEA FERRY = Slow and Clumsy
LARGE LOAF OF BREAD = Docker’s doorstep
BALD = Eggshell blond
DAISY CUTTER = Low football shot, pea roller
BUM FREEZER = Short jacket
Example = I heard Roger paid for a knee trembler off some eggshell blond two bagger last night behind Iceland bins.
There’re loads more here but I don’t want to give them all away! Look Scouse English up for yourself. I don’t need a search engine: I have a precious little paperback. So there. Ya fackin cant.
g And speaking of giving things away, piebald77 has been under scrutiny in regard to last year’s fiction. Having contributed myself, I was worried that my ideas and the ideas of people like Jamelia K and Sharon Hood might have been cast to the ether forever to be illegally reproduced or reprinted or whatever. But you know what, I have it on good authority that every author should have an online presence with samples of their works on, and blogs are better than static websites. Better yet, piebald77 no want your money. Just your occasional visits. Make DONNIE'S DUSTBIN a part of your day.
Yeah, so as I was saying, all the fiction from 2010 (DNMF), is here to stay on the blog. Rest assured, I have something special up my sleeve when it comes to publishing personal projects. There’s a helluva lot more where all that came from. The blog is just the tip of the iceberg. I have tried and tested, self-sustaining methods of producing entertaining (to us) writing. And I may have just stumbled upon some similar methods for producing art.
; Here’s to another hot one here in the north of England. June’s riding out. Kick back and enjoy it, homies. Scorchio!;
Sunday, 26 June 2011
I firmly believe that when I die and ascend to Heaven on the back of the monster from The NeverEnding Story, God will produce a tablet with a screen on (no, not an i-pad), and show me a condensed video of my life. If I’m right, then surely a video of this importance can only be made by Alex Ardenti.
I hope that you might understand what I mean even if bodybuilding doesn’t appeal to you in the slightest. The subject could be gymnastics, rowing, or dinner ladies doing the hokey cokey, and I would still hold these videos in the same high regard. For those who can relate, these are the weightlifting equivalent of Rocky videos. I’ve always said that quality footage needs very little else apart from skillful camera work and ace music.
You could point a camera in one spot, come back later, and I suppose you could call it a movie. Anything goes, I guess. But this is genuine footage, where the camera is busy, busy-busy-busy, zooming in and out fast like a bouncy ball, sliding to the side, slowing down, speeding up, jerking around, going into black and white, sharp focus, soft focus…I don’t know the lingo, but I know what I mean, and I know what I like.
There’s always something happening. Every single shot. Every transition. Effects, touches, sequences. With Alex, montage is king. You just know that painstaking hours of work have gone into embellishing less than 3 minutes of screen time. It’s all about the timing. And the music, of course. In both cases, for me, because it’s rare, and fitting, the music is exceptional, the icing on the cake. Videos like this deserve their own special music. They are too passionately created to simply slap someone else’s melodies over.
Absolutely outstanding. The benchmark for camera work. Take a bow, Alex Ardenti!
Friday, 24 June 2011
There’s something oddly cinematic about a blond covered in blood. Now, before you start reaching conclusions from that statement, let me explain…
I say this mainly because of the movie Scar (2007). After being held captive and tortured, a young woman chainsaws the bad guy at the end. As she grimaces and gets into the chainsawing of him proper (there’s more to it than pulling a trigger), her gritted teeth and cheeks are spattered with blood. It’s gruesome, but at the same time, you’re thinking, go on girl, stick it to him, the dirty mother! It’s almost inspiring, after what she’s been through, the real moment of glory for the underdog.
The clip here reminds me of The Exorcist (1973) an awful lot. The Ruins is one of those movies which you remember for one standout scene alone. Nothing special had happened prior, but once it took off, you were like, wow man. This is disturbing, without being overly twisted and sick or bizarre. The movie is far from a bloodfest. There’s so much gore out there, but hardly any of it is done for any worthwhile purpose. Think of all the Final Destination (2000) deaths. Sure, they’re imaginative and skillfully executed, but come on, they’re just for laughs at the end of the day. This, for me, was a shocking thunderclap of emotion in what was otherwise a quiet, non-eventful movie. It was wrenching, moving, and brilliant.
If you want to call someone twisted, call it Conrad Williams, whose latest crime book is called Blonde on a Stick! Haha. I recall his reading last year at Manchester Book Market. It was a bright, beautiful day, the hottest day of the year thus far, and he was reading about blood oozing out of cut throats! Now that's a man into his horror.
Oh and by the way, in case you miss it like I did the first time, keep your eyes on her forehead when she swigs from the bottle.
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Sunday, 19 June 2011
What can I say, apart from go and see it? I can’t emphasize the importance of going into movies fresh as well. Pull out all the stops to be naive. The trailers and the hype spoil all the surprises. There were no opening credits, because great cinema doesn’t need to hook you with big names at the beginning, so I was welcomed by happy pop-ups such as Gretchen from Donnie Darko, or Jena Malone if you prefer, and Scott Glenn, the guy who keeps money under the floor in Training Day (2001). This got into flow fast. As is so often the case, an unseen “star” reaches the radar in almost 2 consecutive films – Abbie Cornish, from Limitless (2010). It’s funny how someone you are unaware of can feature in 2 movies you watch back-to-back and suddenly they are the hottest thing on the box since sliced bread and there’s no one else you’d rather be slobbering over, cough, I mean watching. This last occurred with Evan Racheal Wood, in The Wrestler (2008), and in King of California (2007), alongside the man virtually guaranteed to lose his rag in every production, the legendary Michael “goddamn” Douglas.
Sucker Punch (2011) is made for big HD tellies. And people like me. It’s always a good sign when the opening soundtrack is one of the teenage anthems that marked you growing up, a good remix of The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This. Did I recognize Bjork’s voice throughout, too? I was so impressed by the opening sequence that I almost started it again, which is super unusual, but I didn’t want to be there all night. That was 5 minutes in. At the 26 minute mark I had to take my hat off and take a breather. I almost turned it off so my memories of that first 26 minutes could live on as they were, and not be tarnished by another 82 minutes, which would only serve to surely water down the intensity of what I’d viewed so far.
It was the best 26 minutes ever. Its unforeseen evolution and skill truly "sucker punched" me. One epic twist is rare enough, in 90 minutes, such as Orphan (2009). By 26 minutes, in this, there’d been 2. And we’re talking a twist of Gothika (2003) proportions, when Halle Berry awakes as a patient in the hospital where she works, very early on in the film. There was that sense of reality flipping on its head, and then flipping on its head again. Dual existences and fantasy are what it’s all about, for myself. That sh*t is my bread n butter. Again, as with Hannah (2011), I could almost have been watching an adaptation of my own work.
Knowing others out there have emptied the entire contents of their creative psyches into scripts and then had their ideas propelled onto the screen via visual effects teams and millions of bucks reaffirms my Wheel of Life typology i.e that the individual hardly matters, as the life of humankind is a self-perpetuating cloud of regenerative / regurgitated / reincarnated artistry and creation. Phew! Best point in months! Months, I say!
It went on just a bit too long, milking that other reality for every cent, like The Hulk (2003) (2008) changing back-and-to far too many times; of course, expected, this is Warner Bros. here, but you can’t ask for a better balance between Hollywood happy endings and mind-bending, off-the-rails filmmaking than this. It was Gothika, Beowulf (2007), Resident Evil (2002), and a war movie in one. The thing is, however, I thought I was watching something like Gothika, so when it did its cross-genre tricks, I was stunned and gob-smacked with awe, fixed to the screen like a toddler watching Thomas the Tank Engine. Sad thing is, these very tricks are tools of promotion on the front cover and the marketing, so others will judge it against out-and-out single genre movies.
I swerved the front cover at first because it looked like something silly, and was only “sucked” in by a description line which mentioned the words “institutionalized” and “alternate reality”. Again, I stress how thrillingly rapturous it is to be swept away by a drastic change of course in a story rather than to enter it with preconceptions defined by billboards or adverts. Imagine your reaction if a talking, cigar-smoking unicorn in red leather boots made a debut halfway thru an episode of Columbo, against your reaction if you knew it was about to happen – no comparison, is there? Remember the Cadbury’s gorilla advert? Did you see that, or hear about it first?
There will always be a dilemma between selling the pitch and not giving too much away.
Go see this. Now. Or I’ll discipline you like I’m your dad and treat you like I’m your pimp. hohohaha
P.S Forgot to mention Carla Gugino from Snake Eyes (1998). Strong cast this.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
There are all kinds of torture horror genres out there, including death metal horror anthologies (oh jeez), and frankly I feel that whoever is spending their time writing gratuitous prose about dismemberment and whatever else may just be a little unhinged. In this case, Sebastian extended our joint venture THE PLACE in a way to express how such sub-genres and other elements of society have grown so fond of gory brutality. Plus, essentially, it’s absolutely integral to the story.
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Also alongside was best-selling author and poet John Siddique. He confidently assumed a central seat. He surprised people in the room by saying he was against self-expression in some respects, admitting that he wasn’t too fond of any old wannabe artist “squirting their smallness all over him.” This comment had me fighting off the giggles which I couldn’t afford to let consume me. That’s the thing with giggles though – they are only giggles if people are looking and you shouldn’t be laughing*. Afterwards, John and I had a private conversation, and it was the most I have ever engaged with a professional writer. I'm pleased to report that we both refrained from squirting our smallness all over each other!
My heart was beating so much when it was almost my turn to speak that I thought it was visible through my shirt. I wished I had worn a T-shirt underneath. I was sure they could see it thumping away. Taking deep breaths didn’t help. It was out of control. This was only my second ever public speaking engagement about writing, and the 1st one had been over a year ago. But once the ball got rolling it was okay, and I remembered saying something along the lines of “Art is the difference between getting up in the morning and rolling back over.” I thought this one dreary morning after a ruff ole night and the idea really resonated with me, but I never made a mental note to say it in the future. It just came out live, from memory, on the spur.
A Cambridge student in the audience, Daniella Elson-Drummond, has agreed to quote this line from me to open her thesis with. I feel like I have flicked a chink of my soul out there and she has caught it in her little skilled hand. Great, great stuff. Subsequently, completing the questionnaire she has since devised for me as part of her studies was a unique opportunity to write about myself in an open, informative fashion. It was once suggested by a medical professional that I figure in some university studies, when I was a teenager, and I declined. Not this time, baby.
Also in the audience to ease my nerves were Sarah Grainger-Jones and Catherine Chamberlain, who have both helped me within the Koestler. And I must say that it was a real booster to see playwright Dean Stalham present, of Art Saves Lives, because Art Really Does Save Lives.
I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet, because I need another couple of inches to do that, or a rib removed, heehee – no, the object of this post, the hidden gem, is apparent below. You see, the pretty young lady standing in the bottom photo (who just so happened to be Pat Lemsatef’s daughter) is asking a question which is then addressed onto me, and I was too busy with my camera to fully absorb it all. I therefore had to pretend like I had heard the whole question and not just the last bit and give a half-assed answer in return. I nearly had slimy undercooked egg on my face and I felt like a right drill bit. I was so busy taking back some of the experience via my turdy antique camera that it almost backfired. Lesson learned.
l The moral of this post then is to just enjoy some opportunities. Too often these days we are recording things with our phones and cameras, and we are in danger of missing the woods for the trees. We are like dogs peeing on every lamp post on the block. Some things need to be savoured, without pictures, without tweets, without distractions. Some moments demand our rapt, undivided attention, because they don’t last long, and they are easy to miss l
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
HENRY’S CRIME (2010) features Keanu ‘wooden’ Reeves at his most stiffest and concrete, as if a smile would crack his face, along with Farmiga and the catalyst, James Caan. This cast I simply had to see. The result was me smiling fondly along for much of the movie, mostly because of just how bad Keanu is when he’s not up and down on those cables in The Matrix, and by bad I mean good, but in a bad way. He has perfected that dumb, vacant look, and Caan, who, to me, will always be the poor Paul Sheldon in Misery (1990), who perfected how to smile and look pleased while simultaneously fearing for his life, still pulls off those hilarious expressions. At one point Keanu arranges to pick him up from jail but then turns up without a car, suggesting the bus station, and Caan stares at him with as much disbelief as he does when Kathy Bates, as the deranged Annie Wilkes, decides to hobble him with an axe.
SOURCE CODE (2011) is a scorcher. Take it from me and listen to what I'm telling you. A scorcher. It’s all good. There doesn’t seem to be a beginning, middle or end, just a chunk of movie more or less all the same. Slammin’ viewing. Never seen anything that had me so engaged from the first shot when Jake Gyllenhaal appears on a train not knowing who he is (we’ve all been there eh?). It’s what I call a ‘situation’ movie, because it’s all about a character being caught in a situation. They have a different ‘arc’ than traditional movies. There’s no waiting around with them. Think Groundhog Day, with action, on steroids, and you’re in the ballpark. Was much better than expected. Mainly because of the fact that it was set on a moving train. The premise asks a little much, but if you can grasp the philosophical ‘brain in a jar’ argument, then no amount of sci-fi Hollywood storylines will ever throw you off. You know the one, that life is a computer simulation and all that.
If you are ever confused, just tell yourself that his brain is in a jar somewhere. It works with anything. I was lost within the very first 5 minutes of Inception, and with 142 minutes of running time left, it was either Di Caprio's brain in a jar or my head up my arse.
Thursday, 9 June 2011
When I was first took by surprise with the trailer I thought it might be an advert for aftershave or something masquerading as a movie trailer. I thought this because it kind of looked too good to be true to be a movie. It looked hyper, if that makes sense. And, like the Inception trailer, I quickly switched over and made a mental note to watch it. Unlike Inception (2010), I didn’t fall asleep during the time I got around to watching it. It started with a writer down on his luck before completing a book in 4 days, so I was pleasingly and surprisingly gripped from the word go. Then the movie evolved, and had me from feeling comfortable about myself in the beginning to not so comfortable at the end. It really took me on a journey, this one did, and left me in considerable deep thought after it had ended, which probably hasn’t happened since Donnie Darko (2001). The unmistakeable sign of a cracker is when you are rewinding it as you watch along.
With the one word title of someone’s Christian name, which is always a good sign, and the striking cover image below the names Eric Bana - Chopper (2000) and Cate Blanchett - Notes On A Scandal (2006), I had already seen enough after one glance at the dust jacket to know I was going to like this one. I was not disappointed after pressing play. There was too much choreographed fighting, which I detest unless it's used comically*, but like The Book Of Eli (2010), it was not enough to ruin the rest of a belting, truly cinematic movie. At one point, I may well have been watching an awesomely impresive adaptation of the last book I wrote (excluding short story collections), entitled The Violent Arsonist (girl grown and raised as an experiment in a special research facility). This phenomenon happens very rarely and it is a very rich natural-high experience when it does. The movie Slither (2006) was so identical at one point to my book Slithering Lake* (a man barricading himself into his bathroom during a mutation phase), that I am still half-convinced to this day that the content of one of my old hard drives fell into a movie director’s hands…
These, considering the types of movies I watch, are the absolute pick of the bunch at the moment. Best in a long time. I would have liked Hanna to be more like a book and continue to steer off on a tangent, instead of tapering to conventional Hollywood rules, but that’s asking for too much, and the reason why I hold independent films like Ink (2009) in such high regard. What horrified me as well is the fact that both Limitless and Hanna have their main male leads fighting off a gang of baddies in a subway station, Jason Statham style, which was either sheer coincidence or some producer somewhere financing multiple projects who has a very healthy appetite for underground subway station fights. Who knows? I don’t know how any industry works.
*See, they hardly even bothered changing the title.
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
No site is worthy of so much fiddling about. No blog deserves this patience. Need to concentrate elsewhere. Writing for an audience is 10x better than writing for thyself though. 10x better. I’m kind of bitten by the instant age we now live in. Will post a few movie reviews soon, if you’re interested. If not, you know where the gore sites are. There are plenty of people taking their last bloody breath on camera for your amusement, and even more desensitized racists leaving hateful comments beneath these tasteless videos. Happy clicking.T’ra for now. Got to cook, wash up, train , write, draw, read, call my boss a flippin' idiot, and shoot a couple of cats before brunch. Oh, and inject cannabis into my big toe. Then have a conversation with my big toe. Coz I’m dope.
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
What I’m on about here is small fry compared to what some folk go through, but it still has me yelling and wanting to smash plates. I can’t help it. I felt like demolishing something just then. I pictured a washing line of glass panes hung up outside and me swinging at them with a baseball bat.
Yesterday the keyboard comes out and a tune gets done. About f**king four hours of f**king about. Record a bit, save it, listen to it, try and match it up, bin it, try again, tinker the volume, no good, start again, adjust the microphone, in and out of the chair, up and down, on and on, four hours.
Finally. Got it. Listen to it a couple of times. Bit more tinkering. Pull keyboard out again so I can sit down. Still not right. Push chair under desk so I can get keyboard in again. Every bleeding 2 minutes. Keyboard’s on a bloody ironing board by the way. This is just the tip of the iceberg. But ah, at last, nailed it. Listen to it a couple of times. Yeah, not bad.
Then gone. The whole thing. All my craft. Gone at the b*stard click of a b*stard button. Don’t ask me how.
What can you do? Curse and yell, naturally. But what then? Take a walk? Good idea. Cool off. Nail it when I get back. Know what to do now. Do it all again in about an hour. And I did. No probs. Told ya.
Today, June 5th. Different day, different song. Better song. 3 or 4 hours again. Go the garage. Finalise when back. Sorted. All done. On YouTube. Laughing. Oh wait. Something’s wrong. Oh yes, of course. Gone at the click of a button again. Layers and layers, sounds and effects, disappeared. All my craft.
8 hours in total, down the swanny. It’s not sat still either. It’s a stressful and frustrating trial and error process.
Start again tomorrow? Make it even better? Probably. But it won’t repair that despair in the pit of my gut. That loss. That howling void. Makes you punch walls.
I’d forgot about that. Them. Him.
^^^ Sad. ^^^ Angry.
I feel you bro.
Lock your car doors if you see me approaching. Big man coming. He ain’t a happy bunny.
Only Desire shepards us from Death – Cradle of Filth
Saturday, 4 June 2011
Disclaimer: The views and language of Big Chest do not represent those of admin here at PIEBALD77
Big Chest couldn’t give a turd about anyone or anything other than his massive big chest. His only goal as a child was to pile slabs of striated beef across his pecs and he did exactly that. He would ask heavy men including bouncers and wrestlers how they got theirs and jot down their advices in his training journal. He recalls how when he became huge himself, with time, the younger generation would ask him questions too. Usually, he telleth youngsters to eat an armload of red meat every day and train like a wounded animal, but he never responds to stupid questions like HOW’S THE DIET GOING? WHAT CAN I DO FOR MY GLUTES? and WILL INJECTING WINSTROL INTO MY ERECTILE SHAFT GIVE ME A BETTER STONK ON?
Unlike virtually every other bodybuilder, Big Chest is open about steroid use. “I never injected,” he says, “because even looking at a needle makes me dizzy, but when you talk to me about pills, I would drop them by the handful. I ordered them online from a lab in Mexico. There was a picture of a mutant cow with muscles on the box. Within minutes I’d be tearing doors off the hinges just to see if I could, and snapping them in half over my knee. I tipped my neighbour’s Fiat Punto over once, and ripped my fiancé’s duvet in half. Then I lay awake on the settee sweating all night, unable to sleep, hearing that insomnia song about one dry potato, the Faithless one in which he’s tearing off tights with his teeth, and my heart was pounding so much I would have the first two 9s of 999 already dialed on my mobile, with my finger waiting on the button for the third. There was a point when I was dialing the hospital every other night. I was calling ambulances like pizzas. And they always told me the same thing, to stop my crazy gym lifestyle and all that went with it.”
But true worthy champions never give up what they love and Big Chest is indeed the truest and the worthiest of true worthy champions; none more so than when he’s sat off down town in his tank top eating pork luncheon rolls. People gather round the behemoth and ask him to pose, like a trained ape.
“I remember my first photo-shoot for a magazine,” he says. “They gave me bermuda shorts and some sunglasses to put on. They wanted me to make a 20 pound dumbbell look heavy and smile as I did so. There was a guy with a squirty water bottle on hand to spray me with fake sweat. I was like man, get these mother**king c**ksuckers outta my sight, I don’t wear sunglasses when I train, are these crazy b*stards doolally or what? So they agreed to come back again and do it my way, with blood and guts and heavy-ass weights, only they turn around and tell me at the end of a grueling legs session that they'd run out of film, and hadn’t recorded my personal best set of intense high-rep heavy-breathing deep-knee-bend parallel barbell squats, which I hardly ever do because I'm so busy doing chest all the time. He hadn’t wanted to disturb me, was his excuse. I was lying down on the floor being sick when he asked could I go through it again if he went and grabbed some more film. Go through it again! Legs? Was he fecking mad or what man!”
Big Chest can be contacted for advice on how to build a big chest at email@example.com
P.S (only 15 sheets for a signed photo)
Thursday, 2 June 2011
How much does it cost to freeze your head so they can bring you back in the future? (Answer - more than I've got) Can they just freeze your brain and stick it behind someone else’s face? Can I have Tom Jones’ head (coz it has plenty of room inside) with Jean Claude Van Dickweed’s body (so I can slap people in the face with my feet?) How about you? Rodney Trotter’s legs?
I saw a white pigeon earlier. “Never in my life,” I said to myself. It was more like a dove. An albino. It must be an omen, I thought, a sign. Amen. An hour later I returned the same way and it was roadkill on the tarmac. FFS. These drivers will kill anything these days.
Here’s a recipe for peanut butter chicken I concocted earlier. Simply put 2 defrosted chicken breasts in a wok with at least a full jar of peanut butter (has to be smooth, crunchy would be disgusting) and leave on a low heat. Go to work, come home, and transfer the contents to a plate (you may need to hold the wok upside down and bang the bottom with a brick). Next, microwave on full power for 90 seconds. Serve with white rice. Brown rice? Again, disgusting.
Here’s a nice anger management tip. My favourite new catchphrase is: YOU F**KING STUPID TW*T. Saying this regularly throughout the day, if need be, really helps. If the autoplay on your stereo system doesn’t work, call it a f**king stupid tw*t. Call it your car, your phone, your TV, or indeed anything that pisses you off. I swear, this is working miracles for me. It’s so important to voice your emotions. Don’t let them bottle up. Pronounce each word clearly and distinctly. YOU F**KING STUPID TW*T. Note: calling another person this is immensely satisfying.
Another one, if you are feeling particularly decisive, is to address someone as HEY DICKHEAD. For example, you are in a shop and you are not certain if someone is in the queue or not, you may say HEY DICKHEAD, ARE YOU IN THE F**KING QUEUE OR NOT? Or HEY DICKHEAD, PASS ME A F**KING LION BAR. I’m not making this up. I’ve seen HEY DICKHEAD used many times by my boy Andrew Steel, of Widnes, and he wasn’t joking.
Why do some people stand about ten feet behind the till point when there’s a small queue? Has anyone ever noticed this sh*t? I feel like pushing them in the back. It’s courteous to give a person some space, but don’t stand off like they have the plague and force the queue back towards the door. People these days eh. More brains in sausages.
What kind of fackin moron runs over a white pigeon? Splat!!!
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
He was a lanky middle-aged geezer who wore clothes that went out with the arc. His trainers were HI-TEC. I remember them well because I had a pair when I was a nipper, before my pair of blue PONY. They are so old that they have now come back into fashion. The same goes for GOLA and DUNLOP. These brands are back in bid'ness.
When all else fails in life the easiest thing to do is to resort to insulting people’s clothes and hair cuts. I saw a man with the worst spiky dyed-purple hairdo ever last Friday morning. For years I’ve had this joke were if I see someone I know with a new haircut I’ll say, “Who dunnit?” After they tell me, I’ll say, “Don’t worry, I’ll sort them out for you.” But with this guy I was genuinely interested in what careless perpetrator might be responsible.
Correct, I was tempted to ask an outright stranger who had cut his hair, and not in a flattering way. In a very shocked and appalled way. Thinking back, it looked like a DIY jobbie. And he looked like a maniac. One of those maniacs who produce kitchen knives from the inside pockets of CAPRI SKI JACKETS on the street and hack innocent lollypop ladies to pieces.
But let’s not regress from THE BIRKENHEAD FINGERNAIL. For some reason, in protest against his other nine normal fingernails, the pinkie one on his right hand had been left to grow to phenomenal proportions. He had just a single little fingered nail much longer than all the others. Plus, just in case no one noticed, it was black with grimy dirt as well. I recall he used to go out rambling all day. Mainly around
Oh and by the way, I saw someone dressing absolutely ridiculous in TK MAXX the other day. And I mean ridiculously ridiculous. Here are some of EMINEM’S lyrics, in the song MARSHALL MATHERS (track 11), on the MARSHALL MATHERS album:
Lookin for Big's killers,
dressed in ridiculous blue and red
like I don't see what the big deal is
Ever since I first heard this I associated blue and red (together) as leaning towards the ridiculous side of the spectrum when it comes to wardrobe colour coordination. It seemed to resonate with me during my bookish season when I was maturing from my all-black phase. Don’t hold me to this though. It’s Eminen’s idea, remember. I’m just saying…
This TK MAXX guy would have made EMINEM p*ss his pants. Seriously. He had red pants, blue top, and a bright yellow jacket to remove all doubt. I had to walk towards him head-on and pass him straight-faced. I actually turned around once he’d passed, stopped, pointed at him, and said aloud to myself, “That guy is dressing ridiculous.” I kid you not. He was that ridiculous.
I have a little more to say about yellow jackets, but that can wait till next time. Ciao douches. Donnie.
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Just think, you were here for at least the best part of 9 months. Trippy or what? At what point did you become you? The fact is that whether you remember it or not, it was the same brain in your head which you use to think with today that once formed cell by cell in the snugness of mommy’s womb. There must be some kind of repressed memories, surely. Try to imagine. How can you not remember being in such a place?
The more I think of it, our consciousness is like a stamp onto our physical vessels. At what point we become self-aware, I dread to think. Personally, I can barely recall anything before running out of infant school at the threat of Mr Ellard’s cane.
If there is such a thing as the soul, and the jury is still out on that one, then there must be, in my book, different kinds of soul. Whether your soul was planned since the dawn of creation by God, or whether it just occurred randomly, by accident, hardly undermines the sheer miracle of it either way.
The fact that we have arrived at this moment in time together is against the odds. How many permutations of chance had to happen not only for all our ancestors to meet each other, but to screw around, resulting in our parents, thus making us? All that way back through time…and here we are. Me and you.
Will I live again? Have I lived before? How would I know? Would I be someone else, if I wasn’t me? Am I someone else, when I’m not me? When you turn off a light switch, there is still electric current in the wires.
Buddhism’s reincarnation theory reigns supreme for me, if for no other reason that it’s the most imaginative idea. Call me mad, but I genuinely think it’s possible that I’ve been here before. And that, in the famous words of Arnie…
…I’ll be back.
the longer you sleep the more you dream....i return to the womb every night