Friday, February 27, 2009

blog round-up

Thought I'd provide a quick overview of bloggy things I've been looking at this week:

Debbie, of the lovely Kept In A Jar blog, is collecting shopping lists and storing them at a new location - Shopping List Hunt. Like Debbie, I've always been faintly fascinated by the lists I've found in shopping trolleys, or abandoned on bus seats - but they've never been quite interesting enough to collect. Debbie has solved that problem by drawing over them. This is a particularly good example.

More visual pleasure can be found over at, which Ben has alerted me to over at his Silent Words Speak Loudest blog. He's spotted an album covers game there which is well worth five minutes of your time; it's nothing like the usual, fairly boring routine - instead it's a series of videos, where album artwork is acted out by mime artists trained at the Paris Conservatory of Contemporary Mime and Interpretive Dance. Brilliant stuff - and bloody difficult. Link below:

Quietus Album Cover Mime quiz.

Elsewhere, my own social life has taken a kicking courtesy of my purchase of the first box set of The Wire. I know that everyone already knows this, and knew it long before me, but I can belatedly confirm that, yes, it's simply staggering. So all of a sudden I find myself throwing off invitations to the pub so that I can feast myself on another episode (or two). Brilliant stuff. And I'm also enjoying Being Human, BBC3's latest drama, and thinking that, despite my earlier misgivings, it might be the best thing on UK TV so far this year.

Over at her Breakfast In Bed blog, however, Rowan does not agree, and has abandoned the show, as well as her enthusiasm for TV in general. I've used the comments box to urge her to give it another try, and she has quite reasonably promised to hold me personally responsible should she do so and remain disappointed. Although fearful of her conclusion, I still think the show is worth a look - which is why, like Richard over at his Grey Area blog, I'm very happy to hear that a second series, comprising eight episodes, has been commissioned.

A couple of other things: there's an interesting post on the notion of 'home' over on Swiss Toni's Place. He writes:

"My wife informed me the other day that I would be on my own this weekend because she is going home. It's an odd turn of phrase, isn't it? We've lived together for something like eight years, and we've been in the same house together for a little over six of those years... and yet when she goes to visit her mum and dad in France, she says she's going home. She hasn't lived there for fifteen years or so, and it's not really the house that she grew up in, but it's still home; it was the place her parents were living when she moved out.

Home. I'm not really sure what that means. I was born in Northampton and my parents lived in the same house a few miles outside that town for something like thirty-four years before they moved last year. Does that mean I should consider Northampton my home town? Did I think of that old house as my home? Was I sorry when my parents moved down the road? Not really."
I've lived in Brighton for over ten years, on and off, and I now pretty much think of it as home - I certainly don't feel that I am a Londoner per se any more (except when fucking idiots like Boris Johnson get elected, and I feel suddenly fiercely protective of the place). That said, when I go to visit my parents - who now live in a house in which I have never lived - I still say that "I'm going home". It's odd. That said, when they finally moved out of the house that I'd grown up in, I didn't feel a sense of loss. So I think the notion of home, for me, is elastic. Anyway - take a look at Swiss Toni's post - there are some interesting responses in the comments, too.

Lastly, back at Silent Words Speak Loudest, Ben's written a very interesting review of Richard Herring's current - profoundly rude - stand-up tour. Extract follows - go and read the full thing. Ben asks:

"Is it simply a matter of deliberately pushing the boundaries of taste for cheap laughs, or is there something more going on? The latter, inevitably. As much as he discomforts the lily-livered and offends liberal sensibilities, he still elicits plenty of laughs and, crucially, at one point suggests he's performing comedy "just like Bernard Manning, but in a postmodern way - I know what I'm saying is wrong". Cue chuckles - but then the question that, for me, cuts to the quick: "But does that make it better - or much, much worse?" That seems to reveal the whole show to be a clever critique of the sort of comedy that pleads irony as a defence for saying the unsayable - albeit while at the same time effectively performing the same trick - as well as a robust challenge to audience attitudes and complacency: think for a moment what you're laughing about - you shouldn't be finding it funny."
Thanks as always to the many bloggers who keep me amused one day to the next...

1 comment:

d e b b i e said...

thanks for the mention jonathan!