Jah Jah Dub

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Accountability Watch - Shane Warne

August 25th

The break after Old Trafford came at a good time for us and, I would imagine, a bad time for England. We have been able to sit down in groups, on the coach, over meals and in the hotels, to chat about cricket. Of course there are the big team meetings, but a lot of ideas come from more relaxed sessions where we throw in different ideas.

August 31st

England got it bang on before Trent Bridge by letting their players unwind and relax and get away from cricket for a while. Test cricket is about feeling physically fresh and mentally happy.

So it looks like the new arrivals in the flat above us are Australian – the man is anyway. I have to say that this is a result. I trust I’ve made my feelings about Australians clear? Along with Americans and Israelis, they’re probably my favourite nationality.

My favourite Australians - UPDATED.

1) Mick Molloy
2) Shane Warne
3) Germaine Greer
4) Rob Sitch
5) Doctor Clive Gibbons

Bubbling under – Tony T., Guy Pearce, Norman Geras.

NB: List not compiled scientifically.

So I’m on the train to work. I glance up and see some trollface from the year above me at King's, her smug nose nestling in some book about the bloody Renaissance; if it hadn’t been for the two small boys playing “bogeys” beside me it would have quite ruined my journey.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Am I the only person who has watched The Bigger Picture with Graham Norton? It's not great - we couldn't expect that - but it's alright. Good guests on Monday: Germaine Greer; Sonia from off of Eastenders; Elijah Wood; That Bloke from The Office USA.

I might start pretending that I consider Norton a genius.

Do you have a digital radio? I assume you have an internet. Check out my favourite station, Primetime radio. Apart from being staffed by kindly old gents, it is the only place that you’ll hear Scott Walker, Glen Miller and the Pina Colada song in quick succession.

Confession: The following post is shamelessly recycled from an email I once sent to Marty; I just remembered it and thought I'd reproduce it here - a throat clearing cough.

Me: I really like that thing Herman Melville wrote about the fish.
Some guy: Moby Dick. It’s a whale, dude. Whales aren’t fish.
Me: No, they’re not. But “fish” is notoriously imprecise. Anyway, I wasn’t talking about Moby Dick, I meant the Maldive Shark.

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw,
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril's abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat--
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.

Some guy: Truly, you are a remarkable man.


Monday, August 22, 2005

I have had a bad night in a Walkabout.

So did you miss me?

Right. Now that I’ve shed any of the rubbish that was hanging around expecting daily postings I can begin.

How you been? Good. Good. Me? Oh, you know, pretty good. The Wayneyboy was down last week and work’s been pretty hectic, that’s all.

So we didn’t go out that much, as it goes. We tried to find other ways of wasting money: running up a £40 bill in Ed’s; playing a round of golf; buying DVDs. Wayne found a nemesis in Donald O’Connor, which was unexpected. He could hardly bring himself to look at the man. Still, I keep humming that tune hoping that others will join in, and now that I have it on DVD I can easily skip to the good bits – the dancing, that is. He thought that The Greatest Five Minutes in Celluloid History was “alright”, so that was something, I guess. Now excuse me while I recollect.

I see that in my notepad here I’ve written, “The Hermeneutics of Gung Ho’s softball game” and “Impression I’d most like to perfect: Porky Pig.”

As for the former, I could talk about that, but in my day we just called it “following a story”. I should say though, as I was watching Mr Mom the other day it occurred to me that in the eighties American men seemingly chose Michael Keaton as their representative in a role playing game, “The Reagan Years”. How will this working man deal with increasing competition from Japan? How about the emasculating effects of unemployment? There is no equivalent to Michael Keaton today. We are all just a little poorer.

The Porky Pig wish came from watching twenty Looney Tunes shorts in a row. I’ve written something about Foghorn Leghorn too. It is perhaps a relief that I cannot make it out.

We met up with Marty and the Jakester one evening to play Frisbee. Don’t fret, we haven’t all suddenly become keeners – the Frisbee to Beer ratio was somewhere around one to twenty. And what did I find in Regents Park? I turn my head away for five minutes and softball becomes an acceptable pastime for men and women alike. What type of man signs up for such a thing? The only type that signs up for anything - the type that wants to meet chicks. And offer them patronising advice on their "swing". What price a London unihoc league?

After valiantly fighting his summer cold Jakester paid his respects and left. We rocked up to karaoke at the Feathers. Well, what can I say? We spoilt that crowd. Some microphone-misfiring put the dampers on Marty and my “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, but we’d already given a lot; Marty’s astonishing flow-perfect “The Real Slim Shady” goes straight into my all time favourite karaoke moments.


1) She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals) – Me; Leeds Metropolitan University bar.
2) The Real Slim Shady (Eminem) – Marty; The Feathers, St James’s.
3) Blue (Eiffel 65) – Beefqueen; Kings College Bar, Cambridge.
4) Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel) – Beefqueen; Dot Cotton nightclub, Cambridge.
5) Rebel Rebel (David Bowie) – Me; Retro Bar, Charing Cross.

A strong showing from Beef there. To be fair, with (1), I think I may be romanticising my first time.

Then we made a fatal, if understandable, error. We left and went to a Walkabout.

Did we have fun? I refer you to the title of this post.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bollocks of Shaves

I was going to do this post with links and pictures and everything. But I'm on Jane's laptop and it's a little delicate - probably easier to stick to text. What's that? Yes, I'm at home. I'm sitting on the sofa, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans; the sun is caressing my limbs and I'm listening to A Hard Days Night. A friend of mine arrives this afternoon for a few days break in London. Pretty sweet.

My laziness about shaving had gone too far, my beard was already at the fourteen-year-old-discovered-in-the-jungle stage, so I went to buy some new blades. But what was this?! King of Shaves razors? An escape from the Gilette hegemony without demeaning myself with Wilkinson Sword Protector? I would have to try it. Well, it glides across the face just beautifully, but that's all it does. My stuble is somewhat short of Bluto-esque, but it took me twice as long as usual.

The best shaving experience: King of Shaves Gel + Gilette Mach 3 + Nivea Shaving Balm*.

Same as it ever was.

* Fully two actual girls have said I smell nice when I've been wearing this.

I Have Never Had a Bad Night in a Walkabout

I had to do some work socialising last week. "This industry works on personal relationships," they say. Shame. I met them in the pub around six. The usual furious finance pace was set and I was having my third pint by seven. I was canny though: every time I went to collect the round I had a coke. It was ok at first, I guess. My boss did most of the work, I nodded and smiled. Everyone said their ages at one point. Jesus. Is that what a twenty seven year old looks like? Furrows you could grow potatoes in, wedding rings, houses in Romford... I felt like a work experience kid. So it's growing lairier and more boring; I want to stay out, but not with them. I send a speculative text to the Jakester - is he out? He is! I make my excuses - I'm really very tired, I'm so sorry, lovely to meet you - and hook up with him down the road.

Did we have fun? I refer you to the title of this post.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I really can't get over spray starch. If I were famous I would advertise it. It's a product I believe in.

So I'm sticking some new links up. You know where to look. Perhaps I haven't explained my policy. I'm shameless. Your blog may be dire, but I'll link to it if you link to me. If you've read this on the sly for a while, why not tell me?

So I'm in this fantasy football league. Why not join? The details are Chez Marty. It's free, so there's really no excuse. I'm looking at you, Vinnie K. I'm looking at you, Beefqueen. I'm looking at you, "Jamie".

Jah Jah Dub Recommends: Wedding Crashers

The reviews were bafflingly cruel. Yes, it is predictable; but so is Oedipus Rex. Get over it.

It was consistently funnier than I’d expected, and the inevitable, dread, growing and learning was handled sensitively. Thankfully, the stars were allowed licence to roam: if the Frat Pack is given its head, it will rarely let you down.

But who needs another review? Who demands such analysis? Look at the poster. That’s it. Look at Vince Vaughn’s face. A part of you is woken. You are suppressing it. You have marshalled your mass ranks of sensible argument; they are preparing to march; they are ready to trample this dissent underfoot. Call them off! Let that feeling grow. Reinforce it! Look at the face again. Look at the snarl. Somewhere inside you a realisation is growing. You are fighting it but it cannot be beaten, only ignored. You know it now. You know it but you don’t know what to do with this knowledge. Embrace it. Bring it in close and cradle it. Feel its warmth. You understand. You know. You know that if you allow yourself the privilege, you will love this film – not with reason, not with analysis, but you will love it. And your love will be pure and true.

Oh, how I wish for my friends to develop into Vaughn, Ferrell et al! But no. No, it is impossible. Englishmen are not made like that. And which part would I play? The best, the absolute reach for the stars, aspiration would be to be like *Luke* Wilson. I am in no position to demand the impossible.

So I liked it. The only downer came about three quarters in: I realised that I was not going to enjoy a film this much until Vince Vaughn’s next one.

Counting the days until Outsourced.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pathos is choking me

I saw this.

A pig-shaped composter. Someone’s idea to make a fortune. They made a prototype, set up a website and announced to the world, “I have compost heaps for sale. They are shaped like pigs.”

Once I might have laughed, or found it endearing. Watching the demonstration video the other day, I wanted to fucking cry.

Ignore it or buy one and help along that man’s dream: I must do one of the two.

From the BBC listings for tonight - may well change.

With his movie-star looks and clean-cut, genial image, Frank Sinatra was an American icon.

Movie-star looks? Right-o!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Comment of the Year - Saving it here so it isn't deleted

Don't slag off The Sun, I read it every day. It's not perfect, but it's basically a decent paper. It may be centre-right, but so are most people in the UK, and their opinions are no less valid than ours. Everything listed on that front page is a problem that the government has failed to address (except the HRA) - not problems that I'm particularly bothered about, but problems that plenty of other people are. It's patronising to say that it's all educated people manipulating the uneducated - the uneducated are perfectly capable of making their own minds up, and won't just buy anything the tabloids tell them. Look at the Mirror - it changed its politics from centre to hard left and lost a shitload of readers. The Sun has a good track record on confronting racism and has run important campaigns on domestic abuse and bullying - if we're going to do the decent left sneering thing, let's do it at the Daily Mail, which really is a propaganda rag.

Also, "gipsies" is a correct spelling, and having been trained by Sun sub-editors, I can tell you that those boys are the best in the business. You won't find better economy of language in any other UK paper, Sun writers are well respected in the industry.

oliver | 08.03.05 - 11:56 am |

Mr Blair, you'll never be Jimmy Carter

Astonishingly, Sarfraz Manzoor seems to say it with a regretful sigh.

Nice of The Sun to summarise their positions so neatly.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My favourite actor is Michael Keaton.

Why does anyone pay any attention to Lauren Bacall? I can only imagine it is for what she represents - a last link with a supposed Hollywood Golden Age when the world was young and films were more than adverts for toys. There’s no Marilyn around anymore, no Hepburns, so she’ll do. And the media listen to her, take her legend status for granted and wheel her out to offer barbed comment on today’s stars.

But you’ve gone too far this time Lauren.

"When you talk about a great actor, you're not talking about Tom Cruise."

"His whole behavior is so shocking," she says. "It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially, but I think it's kind of a sickness."

I’ve never understood the widespread sneering at The Cruiser. I wouldn’t make any enormous claims for his acting, but he is a Star, and a good one. Looking over his career, most of his work is rewatchable, although he should probably avoid the name directors – his weakest films are probably those serious shots at “art”.

Bacall? She doesn’t seem to have done a good film since 1946, when she was 22. This is practically a child star. And it would be easier to take this seriously:

“It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything...”

If she didn't mention Bogart at every opportunity.


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