october 28, 2002
Without doubt the ancient Egyptians have the best Gods, either above or below ground: skinny, half-nude female bodies with cat's head on it just can't be beat for mystical power. Dog's heads, bird's heads, they are all absolutely brilliant and so much more deitically convincing that that old bore with the long grey beard and silly "halo" effect around his skull.
october 21, 2002
Cleopatra and Isis, the Egyptians had all the best women too. Mind you, I think this probably has a lot to do with the elaborate eye make-up, slinky robes, and those stick things they carried.
Since Isis is a Goddess I'll simply say that she looks very beautiful and ladylike. I'm no fool. However Cleopatra seems, you know, very "loose" and ready to go. At least in the pictures I've seen of her she does.
stephenb 14:24 - [Link] - Comments ()
Growing up in an irreligious English family, I always believed the Lord's Day (Sunday) referred to a member of the local Artistocracy rather than to God; a day set aside for shooting, fishing, and collecting tribute from the local peasantry.
october 15, 2002
Consequently I have always thought that a traditional Sunday lunch should include a slice of peacock pie covered with a thick, snipe-stock based gravy, followed by salmon filet drizzled in a blackcurrant sauce washed down with a flagon of ale, then a large helping of cherry pie for dessert, and all charged to a middle-aged woodcutter and his poor, sick family.
Consider my alarm, then, when this Sunday I had to make do with a packet of ginger snaps dipped in weak sugary tea which I had to pay for from my own pocket.
Just another example of the decline in modern standards.
stephenb 13:42 - [Link] - Comments ()
I was fortunate enough to see F. W Murnau's silent masterpiece Faust on Sunday night; though it wasn't really silent of course, because a fine orchestral score had been provided to compliment the images. So much better than the incessantly tedious whitterings, the so-called "dialogue" that accompanies modern films.
october 08, 2002
I was reminded of this on Monday night, when I was asked to see the film White Oleander.
The women I went with complained that the movie was not as good as the book it is based on. Frankly, I doubt that the movie is actually as good as the blurb on the back of the book it is based on. But then I haven't read it so I don't know for sure. Just an educated guess.
On the whole, I think the film would have been much improved if all the dialogue was removed entirely and replaced by, say, a live spoons player. Further modifications could perhaps include erasing all the pictures as well, and just having an old-fashioned magic lantern show instead, or Magick Lantern even, if you like that sort of thing.
stephenb 14:20 - [Link] - Comments ()
With the exception of traditional Czech folk music transcribed for piano, there is no more beautiful sound on Earth than the BBC Shipping Forecast.
october 04, 2002
A litany of strange, evocative names pronounced in precise, clipped tones; Fair Isle, Fitzroy Sole, Fastnet, Biscay, Dover Wight, Viking, Humber Thames, Cromarty. Mysterious areas of ocean known only to long distance trawlermen casting a nervous eye towards the lighthouse, and marine engineers drilling on distant, lonely North Sea Oil Platforms.
"Low 300 miles west of Sole 998 moving slowly northeast, losing its identity. New low expected North Spain 1016 by 0100 tomorrow."
Listen to it at BBC Shipping Forecast
It's so much better than NPR and college radio.
stephenb 16:09 - [Link] - Comments ()
It may be an unpopular viewpoint, but I have to say that West is Best if only because we have developed superior cutlery.
Consequently, in an Ethiopian Restuarant recently: "I'm very sorry but in our country it is the custom to eat with the fingers and the bread."
"That's all very well, but I also have customs, and one of them is eating with a knife and fork."
In the end, I went to the Pizza place next door and got some plastic utensils. Can't decide whether this makes me narrow-minded, snobbish, or both. Probably just pig-headed. But they are the ones losing out, culturally and musically: I mean, what happens to aspiring players of the spoons growing up in Asia? They have to leave home to pursue learning their instrument.
stephenb 13:29 - [Link] - Comments ()