Blog archive September 2003
just cleaning out an old box of cd-roms from the mid-late 90s. half of them are photo libraries which i'll keep. the others make me feel nostalgic. exclusive! system 7.5.5 - acrobat reader 3 - internet explorer 3! over 100 brilliant fonts! 150Mb plus of quality clip art [yeah right]. apple's amazing quicktime 2.5! bitmap icon collections. and all those fractal-generating programs that were so trendy back then.
maybe i should keep this stuff. there will be a market in antique software one day, right? fractals will come back?
for daniel from gapingvoid.com
blaine photos here
went to see david blaine on the way home from work, moved by rumours that the stunt will be called off soon. it's an odd affair. he's not as high up as i'd imagined, nor is he over the river. he certainly wouldn't die if the cage fell. and being so close to the ground no wonder he's a target for missiles. it's easy. he looks dishevelled and weak. the weather in london has turned cold, especially at night, and i expect he's feeling it in spite of many clothes and blankets. he looks like a bag person hoisted up. he has bags. he watches the crowd, waves wanly when the children shout. i felt oddly embarrassed to meet his gaze, as if he were naked.
the crowd is a spectacle in itself. all london is there - from financiers and politicians [the stunt is next to city hall] through tourists and ordinary people to lowlifes and latent trouble. people have tied flowers to the railings, as if he were dead. traders have set up unlicensed stalls to milk the spectators - hot dogs of course, someone from HTB has tracts and bibles, others sell flashing trinkets from peace banners on the ground. there's something 18th century about the scene, a person exposed for public entertainment, a hanging or flogging, a crucifixion. hey you up there, why don't you come down?
no time for a definitive list tho - this'll have to do atm
this is my first night off work for a while. have been getting too little sleep for too long. i wanted to change the links on this page, and how i use them - to make it a shopping list of stuff that i need to keep an eye on, for news or because it inspires me. daily medicine, a change of habit. so i'm bringing the sites on the links page to the front. blogs have tended to make links pages redundant, mine has been gathering dust at the back. and yet it's all stuff that inspired and formed me. like a lot of this site it's the mirror of my soul, at least the good bits, and i need to look because i lose who i am/should be. my sense of identity has always been a leaky vessel, especially when tired by hard work. so i've been waiting for the time to check some of the sites out again, before moving the links. i'm glad to report they're all still good. some better.
I'll second all that jonny baker says about the jump london programme and le parkour. i was watching some of it with him. my first reaction on walking in the room was, "this will make great ambient video for alt worship"! it's beautiful anyway, so hopefully it'll appear on dvd at some point.
jen wondered what trainers the guys wore. impact absorbent and sticky soles i guess. just looked like standard nike. but afterwards i thought, it's only a matter of time before there are special shoes to do this. and then there will be clothing ranges and brands built around the image of le parkour. and magazines - maybe already in france? and videos of trick sequences. in ten years time it will be in the olympics - i can imagine the specially designed course, the points for jumps and turns and speed - the disciplines, freestyle [acrobatic] versus freerun [speed]. going to hell in a handcart.
mootblog is the new group blog for london alt worship group moot. looks like being one to watch. atm ian mobsby is touring alt worship places in australia and nz - again!
this was supposed to be my quiet period with free evenings after greenbelt. instead i've had to work late every night this week. i'm only accepting this because my contract is due to end in october [if not before] and i might be glad of the money. it's up to god, but i could use the time off.
saturday was matt's stag night, a bunch of us went to jongleurs comedy club in camden. there were five acts in the evening. which i think is too many, because if someone's good you lose the memory of their lines under the weight of later stuff. we had a stageside table, which put us in line for some abuse. we expected that, but things turned unpleasant with the last act. matt said later, "if i wasn't a christian i'd have decked him", which sums up how we all felt i think. but a guy on the next table really did get angry - the 'comedian' had been hitting him on the head with the mic to make a noise, which he'd tolerated to begin with, but mid-act just snapped. there was nearly a bust-up, a glass got thrown, the comedian had to back off and work hard to get his act back on the rails. we were hoping the angry guy would actually beat him up. at the end of his act i noticed that the stageside security guy followed him off, i suspect to have words about not abusing the goodwill of the audience. it made a sour end to what had been a good evening. there's good offensive but this was bad offensive.
i noted that the less good comedians, or less good material, assumed an 'us' for whose entertainment various 'thems' could be targeted. the problem is that in camden on a saturday night all the 'thems' are in the house. and even members of the dominant 'us' know members of the assumed 'thems'. if you're going to abuse gays, well my work colleague is gay. if you're going to abuse christians, well us at the front are christians. if you're going to laugh about the washington sniper, i think of daniel stuck indoors. if you're going to joke about 9/11, in london there will be people who knew people who were killed. the comedians that get away with playing with fire are those that turn it against themselves - the black guy could use racially stereotyped material that would be offensive coming from a white guy.
the best act of the evening was a swedish guy appearing for the first time - this was actually his audition. his material was deliciously, weirdly original - the audience were delighted. i'd love to have a written transcript, but i'll just have to remember scraps [and delivery is part of comedy, so you'll have to imagine this geeky guy with the svedish accent].
ok you'll have to wait cos it's time for bed
on friday night one of my ikea shelves collapsed under the accumulated weight of snowboarding magazines. i had to take half the stuff off my shelves onto the floor at 2am for fear of further collapses until i could sort things out. i was going to chuck out some books to make more room anyhow, so that's what i spent today doing. magazines are so insidious, the way they build up little by little. i have a huge collection of The Face c. 1985-98. can't bear to get rid of them, my life's in there as well as it being essential cultural history. the clubs i went to, the clothes i bought, the music i listened to, the commentary that framed a culture that was eventually the background for alternative worship. a 1995 issue of the face will tell you a lot, i think, about the mindset of a group like grace.