I'm Scared To Say Hello

It’s been twenty-four hours, and nobody’s dropped dead yet, so I think I’m safe. Okay, Laura is ill, but she was ill before she ate dinner, so it can’t be blamed on me. Honest.

The recipient of the divine hammer will remain nameless. I'm building a House of Secrets here.

It took them long enough, but Hollywood finally came up with a way to get me interested in a Jim Carrey film. Damn them. Damn them all! In the end, it wasn't hard. Kate Winslet! With! Bright! Pink! Hair! I'm so easily bought.

Anyway, I went to see Lost In Translation today. After the unfair critical mauling she received for her part in Godfather III (like her father hadn't indulged in nepotism during Parts I and II), it's great to see Sofia Coppola continuing being one of the best directors around. If nothing else, this film is beautiful, showing the chaos and serenity of modern day Japan, and how it impacts on two Americans, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), and Bob Harris (Bill Murray), both adrift in Tokyo. It's not a gag-a-minute film; the comedy is slight, but deftly handled (as you'd probably expect with Murray being involved), and the film is equal parts sad, uplifting, despairing, and optimistic. Plus! That workshy layabout Kevin Shields does the incidental music! Bill Murray does karaoke to Roxy Music! And if you don't feel a tear coming on during the final two minutes, you don't have a heart (or, I'm a really soppy person who always falls for these sort of scenes. Hmm). If you can find a cinema playing it, I recommend that you give it a chance (it's only 102 minutes long, so it won't take too much out of your life, I promise).

UK-specific news now. Yay! They finally kicked Cox off the Breakfast Show! This is great…oh. Well, I guess I won’t be tuning back in for a little while yet, I suppose…

currently playing: Beth Orton — Feel To Believe

Knocking On The Door

Rivers of flesh and blood, stretching interpretations of Yom Kippur, gate-crashing a private reception, asking a question that had already been asked, ever-so-slightly embarrassing discussions of female anatomy at midnight, and the uncharacteristic urge to drop a cosmic anvil on somebody’s head. So, yeah, yesterday was a little strange.

But look! Here's a train!

And here's a little bit of copyright infringement, right here on campus (tsk, tsk):

Right, I've now finished running around Chapel Hill looking for ingredients, so it's time to start poisoning people…

currently playing: The Buzzcocks — Ever Fallen In Love?

Sweeping The Nation

I sometimes feel
I’m sweeping the nation
Showing my invisible friend
Places where I used to live, well
Doesn’t your balloon ever land?

The emasculation of a good friend
Is nothing I should be singing about
The tattoos all look old and faded
And stupid with a suit

Before they took the beach away
You used to walk your brains right up the coast
But you ended up sweeping the nation that's
Such a sad sad loss

An ice sculpture when the summer comes
A butterfly in winter
Aaga, Kicks, The Interrogated, Seize The Infidels
Laverne & Shirley
I've been wasting my life
And I've finally realised
I've wasted so much time

Are we as happy as when we had no money?
Yes we are but that's not why
Crippling failure, get crippling success well
Doesn't your balloon ever land?

I've got a red wooden transistor
Everything sounds best on that
So just make sure you sweep the nation
I wanna hear you on that
I wanna hear you on that
I wanna hear you on that
I wanna hear you on that
I wanna hear you on that

currently playing: guess…

The Best Day We Had In Ages

currently playing: New Order — Age of Consent

Come In, I'll Give You Shelter From The Storm

Ian begins the insane biography of LBJ. FEAR FOR MY MIND!

currently playing: The Go-Betweens — Heart and Home

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall

A big celebrational cheer for Laura, who, in her first commissioned article for the Daily Tar Heel, not only made the paper (as opposed to just the web edition), but also got a prominent position on the front page. The web edition of the story is here (and hopefully the dth staff will fix the rather annoying typo in the headline soon). Let’s hope there’s more front-page stories to come :-).

In the past three days, I think I've walked the entire area of Chapel Hill. So it's time to have a rest; no more walking over the bridges of 15-501 for me today; instead, I'm wondering just how long it's going to take for these clothes to dry, and wondering if I can modify the toy gun in the corner to be fully automatic…

currently playing: Low — Point of Disgust

What Kind of Week Has It Been

currently playing: Aimee Mann — Lost In Space

Silent Number That I Can't Dial

An entry made of pictures:

currently playing: Patti smith — gloria

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Ann Coulter is delivering a talk at UNC on Wednesday. That makes as much sense as Enoch Powell hosting a talk in Harlem, or Bill Clinton being the keynote speaker at the Conservative Party Conference. Still, I’m tempted to go, just to see if she gets out alive.

Spent this afternoon in the Pit. Hurrah! I got my Pit Preacher experience again. I think this was one of the same ones that I saw earlier this year, one of the more reasonable ones. We had some good discussions on the historical accuracy of the Gospels, although I think he was on dicey ground when he tried to convince us that Gandhi was in Hell because he wasn't a Christian. Not wishing to get all Godwin on his ass, I didn't ask about the current location of Hitler. Then somebody brought up evolution. I wish they wouldn't, as it it inevitably leads to a forty-five minute discussion that goes nowhere. The guy has been doing this for years now; he has a veritable truckload of anti-evolution rhetoric and arguments. And. He. Will. Use. Them. All. Meanwhile, most of us don't seem to be Biology majors, so we can't really argue back. I agree that the Theory of Evolution has a few problems, which is probably why it's still a Theory. On the other hand, I can't accept the Creationist line of "God clicked hir fingers, and it was all there. Don't ask questions!", as it makes everything far too simple.

I have to admire the guy, actually. I don't agree with a lot of what he says, but he's been doing this for years, and he seems like quite a nice person (the best part of the afternoon was when he was talking about his children, rather than preaching). Anyway, I left as the evolution debate threatened to stretch out into its second half hour.

paul! morley! on my blog!

currently playing: The Cure — Inbetween Days

Spirit of The Staircase

After this morning’s latest installment of “Ian should really think about things before he opens his mouth, so as to avoid potentially embarrassing situations which he could have easily averted if he had engaged his brain”, I went to the Carrboro Music Festival, with it being the right day for it and everything.

I love this place. They close down the main street of Carrboro, set up open-air concerts, open all the music venues, plus they have a big blue train. Do not underestimate the appeal of a big blue train, especially one driven by a crazy madman who likes driving in circles and chasing people down the street.

The music itself was wide and eclectic, varying from bluegrass to avant-garde jazz, African storytellers to Russian folk, white noise to melodic pop. And the whitest band ever performing Sly and The Family Stone's "Thank You (For Letting Me Be Myself)", which was much better than you would have expected. I finally discovered where the Go! concert venue was (funnily enough, there's a big sign on the front that says GO, but I must have missed that when walking past it for an entire year); it was a lot smaller than I expected, but it gets by due to the nice floppy sofas it has in the raised section, and for placing the toilets on either side of the stage, rather than, say, at the back.

Yesterday, random people were shouting my name and waving hello from a car. Today, I bumped into Ryan from the new UNITAS floor (I met him on Friday night during a very drunken game of electric taboo), and we wandered around the festival together for a little while. He pointed out a stall where a man was making stunning drawings by just using spraypaint, and only taking about ten-fifteen minutes to boot. It was pretty amazing.

I decided to leave after they reopened the road at six. The big blue train could no longer run free along the road, and it felt as if the heart of the festival had gone (I really liked the train, ok?). Plus, I wanted to get back before it got dark. Hey ho.

Oh, and from last night: we got bhangra mix CDs to take home. The quick KLF masterclass if you want to repeat the success of Mundian To Bach Ke: 1. find a nice, uptempo bhangra beat. Preferably with vocals. 2. Locate an a cappella section in a fairly popular Western song, e.g. parts of SNAP’s “You Got The Power”. 3. Apply ProTools. Hurrah! International fame is now within your grasp (offer void where applicable).

currently playing: Life Without Buildings — PS Exclusive