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Sunday, 4 July 2004


Topic: Looby

It's been pointed out to me that I got more than a few details wrong in the previous post. Firstly, I was going to Suffolk, not Norfolk. Apparently, the two counties/areas/whateverthehelltheyare have loathed each other since time immemorial, and the mere fact that I'd never heard of them and had no idea where they are is no excuse or reason not to feud for a few centuries. Well, millennia, probably, thinking about where they are. (Viking territory, right? Anglo Saxon collaborators, hisssss)
Also, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was going away for a weekend with Martin - I was of course going to Alistair's wedding, and Martin, Zobo, Louiz, and fortunately Alistair's new wife were also going, but only Martin has a blog.

My car broke down on the way, then I got lost because of course I didn't bring a map with me, reasoning that every town in the South of England has a 'London Road' that points downward, and surely that should be enough to orient me. Surprisingly, this method of navigation usually does work.
Which meant I missed everything but speeches and cake. All the jokes about the female vicar's peep toe shoes were therefore lost on me.
Between the reception and the barbie, knocking on the bride's front door resulted in a set of ten fingers through the letterbox and a small voice informing me that 'mummy is upstairs'. Cue much shrieks of 'oh no, they're consummating! We'll come back later.' And that is the honest reason why I was caught red handed outside the chip shop twenty minutes later. Honest guv'nor.
I've never seen a newlywed husband leave his bride at home on her wedding night to go down the pub with his mates, before. I'm presuming the aforementioned consummation will be withheld for a further eight years as punishment?
Apparently I was scowling or looking miserable most of the time, or so I was repeatedly informed by those who had access to alcohol when I did not. I restrained myself from pointing out more than once that I was missing Gay Pride, (these days rebranded as 'Pride' - we'd not want any nasty 'GAY' clogging up the name, oh no, no room for all the PC acronyms there), aka my one serious chance to pull this year, and it's hardly my fault if they couldn't remember to try to look like 12,000 rhinestone trannies. Nevermind, toasting hot dogs more than made up for the opportunity to have random drug sozzled al fresco sex with a sequence of strangers.
It was very sweet to have a pub conversation where when talking about computers (geeks, eh?), someone blushed and admitted in a quiet voice that they mostly liked reading blogs these days. Oh what conversational suicide that was. Couldn't shut me up. Pub Blog Bore.
There's been a lot of Weather, innit? It veers through flash storms, gales, then back to raging summer within the space of forty minutes. Surely no other country's this changeable. In windscreen wiper flicker terms, I drove through 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the same stretch of road.
Okay, maybe describing my journey in windscreen wiper ratings is less than engaging.
The journey up was enough of a nightmare to make me navigate via tiny country 'B' roads most of the way back. I bet you can't wait for all my photos of quiet market towns A through E, alongside the old ladies I helped into church, my chats with the garden centre woman who makes her own Disney costumes for adults, the dog I had a walk in the dunes with, the cinema I popped into to catch Fahrenheit 9/11 (which didn't mention Ray Bradbury once!), or the sixty acre piggery I explored. On the basis of a three hour lazy lunch during a downpour, I'm checking out derelict property prices in Aldeburgh (aka North-London-by-the-sea).
Before I left London, I mused over a lightly browned English muffin with two teaspoons of French compote that B & B breakfasts are always revolting. True to form, the next morning I grinned a watery grin and told lies to the help about how lovely my limp, damp, whitebread 'toast' was. What the fuck do they do to it? Wave it around the fridge freezer, then run it under a tap? And it cost #6. Bastards.
I found out that some other blogger who shall not be named, ups his stats by trying to predict the next day's search terms. Gasp! I'm glad to tell you that I would never never exploit events of the magnitude of the sweaty underdog Federer's Wimbledon glory, of Shapapova's very tight knickers, or Greece's 1-0 Euro 2004 success, or of the rebuilding of Ground Zero, merely to inflate my own sense of self importance.
Not blogging the date. Aren't I discreet?! Who knew?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Unluckyman

"Fuelled by alcohol once again, just when I should be exercising the restraint I?d shown in the cold sober light of day, I?m doing the exact opposite: I?m obtaining ?cashback? on my credit card to pay for a private dance in the ?Penthouse suite?.

Sitting in a ?de luxe? vibrating leather chair watching a young Brazilian divorcee undress in front of a fake, illuminated city skyline, I suddenly realise I?m literally sitting in one of those ?dark corners? I reserve for soul-searching questions. Even at the end of a surreal, escapist, ostentatious day, I?m sober enough to realise this is excessive, not moderate, behaviour. Why am I here? I wouldn?t normally do this kind of thing. Haven?t I got a good, healthy social life already? Do I really need this? (Of course, I stay. It?d be rude to walk out)."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:04 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:56 PM BST
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Monday, 5 July 2004 - 6:21 PM BST

Name: NeverMind

So what did you think of the movie?

Monday, 5 July 2004 - 9:01 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Cinematically? Some bits overwhelmingly emotional. Some bits too painful. Most bits too partisan, and too far from the facts (but that's Moore's style). Why not more of the impact of the war on the nation and on the world? Is that why no links to other wars? If it's purely an anti-Bush platform, it's dating itself. Moore's more intelligent than that. Not much, but a bit.
No conclusion, no ending - annoyed me.

Politically? Still, the propaganda machine is strong enough for this to be an important film. Over in Britain, for a liberal like me reaidng liberal media, Moore's ideas are the Orwellian boot, the ideas you're not allowed to disagree with, and that rankles slightly. But as long as real lives are being messed up, I'll pretend to agree with him for the sake of action.

I would have added a review on the main page, but the last time I commented on Moore's work, it was picked up and quoted by a big name Republican blog, and sped around the world as a right wing soundbite. So, no more!

Monday, 5 July 2004 - 9:56 PM BST

Name: NeverMind

Thanks. I like reading your opinions because you are never knee-jerk one way or the other. You see layers.

Haven't seen it yet. Not sure I will.

Monday, 5 July 2004 - 10:07 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Personally, I'd watch it rather than not, but mostly to see a great if heavy handed illustration of how propaganda works (that's on both sides, left and right, fact fans), but I'd make sure I'd have something a bit more subtle*, like Three Kings, or Apocalypse Now, or Platoon to watch afterwards.

*obvious joke: although I do like Three Kings.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 3:27 AM BST

Name: NeverMind

See, I don't know. I already know how I feel about G.W. Bush, I don't need Michael Moore to tell me how I should feel. I probably should see it, I just kind of don't want to. NOt sure why, maybe because I lived it.

Something you wrote a while ago comes to mind. You said Americans were so upset that people did not like them. I think you are almost there, but not quite. What I found so shocking was not that we were so disliked, I knew that. What shocked me was that we were thought of as evil. I don't know any one of us who thought of ourselves that way. Evil.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 3:39 AM BST

Name: NeverMind

Three Kings? Never heard of that, not sure what it is.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 8:12 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

It's an action blockbuster film with Clooney et al in, focussing on the adventures of corrupt soldiers in Gulf War I (remember that one? When we invented 'precision bombing'. Shudder)
It's your standard jingoistic gung ho rubbish, full of jibes about towel heads, until this one moment partway through the film, where one of the gang buggers up a diamond heist caper, and a tanker is overturned, losing its load. The village go nuts, things get heated, the lads realise they have a very volatile situation on their hands, and prepare to leg it out of there with their necks intact, when .... the tanker's cargo, the thing people are shooting for is revealed as milk. The reason for the riot is that the villagers are on the verge of starvation.
And at that point, it stops being an action caper, and becomes a very politicised film as the lads slowly come to recognise the people they're fighting as ... well, people ... and begin to risk themselves defending their right to freedom.
It's nicely done simply because it suckers you in to a lazy judgement, and is aimed squarely at the teenage boy audience. I loved it.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 8:15 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

That's an inevitable by-product of war, though. Surely?

I didn't myself mean to imply 'evil' at any point. I just thought it important that the facade of everybody loves us was recognised as misinformation. Most Europeans are brought up to dislike Americans even before any war comes into the picture, way before Bush comes into the picture. Therefore their political and cultural responses are often formed partly by this.
Knowledge is power, in other words. If you know your own national sterotype, then you have the means - in an international forum such as this - to begin to beat it.

I hadn't intended to upset readers - I simply didn't think there was any value in running away from the information or putting heads in the sand and pretending it doesn't influence our exchanges.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 4:56 PM BST

Name: NeverMind

No, you didn't upset me. It is interesting to talk to you.

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