Monthly Archives: January 2012

The the impotence of proofreading

Bigger this for a grim of soul yours. My spill chick seems to heave gone wring. You shoed really wodge this shirt phlegm. Space lee if your a right hair. It’s vary fanny.

Reminds me a bit of ‘Allo ‘Allo! and all this sort of thing.

23 Comments

Filed under language

Scorn not his simplicity

But first, your starter for ten: Who was the only non-US citizen to write a hit for Elvis? (Have a think and a read on and a listen, before checking the answer at the bottom.)

In the meantime – with the Loose Bloggers Consortium theme set as simplicity – this song sprang to mind. Derry man Phil Coulter wrote it about his experiences with his son with Down’s Syndrome. Luke Kelly from the Dubliners felt it was a song suitable only for special occasions and not every performance. 

That was back in the days when you could arrive late to the performance with a pint, a fag and a flute. Or if you’d prefer, you can have Sinead O’Connor’s version Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, Music

Beautiful and scary – murmuration

Beautiful and scary sometimes go together… Women, rope bridges, women… er, women, oh, and starlings. Watch this short beautiful and slightly scary video.

Thanks to Frances (& Helen) for telling me about that murmuration over a river in Ireland. I think it was filmed by Sophie Windsor Clive, about whom there is more here.

 Meanwhile, while we’re on the subject of birds and water, here are The Laws of Duck Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Film

Ejector Seats: The Joy of Giving… a Boost

The result of an over-inflated whoopee cushion.

As gifts go, this must be one of the coolest. The gift is your life. Which is clearly not to be sneezed at. But as gift wrapping goes – an ejector seat must be unbeatable.

I was chatting to a guy who makes them a few hours ago. On his way into work he passes a sign saying:

Lives saved: 7376

This year: 02

Lives like Linda Maloney, US Navy carrier pilot. (She’s written a book about being a Military Fly Mom.)

Of course, if you build ejector seats, you can’t spend every day in the office. You get to watch films like this being made. 3.. 2.. 1.. Fire Continue reading

24 Comments

Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

Let’s make a movie together! (Guess what? It’s a musical. No zombies.)

You, me and Harvey Weinstein. We can be film producers. It’ll be great.

We’ll leave the boring old blockbusters to Harve. You and me – we’ll concentrate on something smaller and perfectly formed like this emerging jewel called God Help The Girl.

It’s the brainchild of Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. (Some of you may remember the children’s TV programme of almost the same name. The band got a kicking from Jack Black in High Fidelity, but then again, he was going mad for Katrina and the Waves.) 

So Stuart has got together with a proper Hollywood producer called Barry Mendel (Sixth Sense, Bridesmaids, etc) to make a film of a summer of music and love in Glasgow based round an album of songs.  The hero is a girl being treated for annorexia, who discovers a talent for writing songs and teams up with a brother and sister she meets while on the bunk from her treatment centre.

The video gives a look behind the scenes – and the singers. Aaah…

They’ve got songs, locations, a plot, a script and actors (I think). All they need is a wee bit of backing. US$100,000 to be precise.

Which is where we come in. The producers. Also known as – the funders. Or as I like to think of it – executive producers.

The film is being funded through a crowdsourcing website. It works like this: You describe your creative project on the site – in this case, www.kickstarter.com and set a cash target. Thousands of people donate a wee bit of money. If you reach your target, you get the cash to spend on the project. If you don’t make it, the money is returned to the donors.

But why would any sane person donate?

  1. Loveliness.
  2. Taste.
  3. A desire to see the film made.
  4. To maintain the image of an eccentric billionaire.
  5. Incentives. Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere… (after  this song)

The beautiful voices belong to Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Film, Music

After dark, the books come out to play

If you like books – real books – you may love this wonderful beautiful lovely short film. It’s about what books do when there’s nobody looking. (I saw it at Blue Milk.)

The shop is  Type bookstore in Toronto. Grayson Matthews  composed the music. Click on the link in the video for more details.

12 Comments

Filed under life

Rediscovered comforts

Cate Blanchett as Charlotte Gray in the eponymous film, flaunting her beret.

“There are times when familiar, reassuring thoughts come back as comforts.” So says Ian Poulton. He’s a Church of Ireland vicar who writes the For The Fainthearted blog.

I’m stealing his thoughts for this post for the Loose Bloggers Consortium. Ian’s a reflective wide-ranging wonderer and storyteller. He was one of the first to encourage me with this here internet writing. And he’s talking about sleep – which is something I want to rediscover for myself – before the bags under my eyes become haversacks.

This is some of what he says about rediscovery:

There is the line in Sebastian Faulks’ moving novel Charlotte Gray, where Miss Gray is about to be parachuted into Nazi-Occupied France as a spy. An RAF bomber is flying her through the night, deep into occupied territory, and one of the bomber crew announces to her that they are just passing over one of the French cities.

It was a reassuring moment to me, the image of an aeroplane moving through a clouded night sky, almost as though it was tiptoeing so as not to wake anyone. The city below was a place I knew from summer holidays, but it was more than that; there is a feeling of safety, of security, in a community asleep below in the deep darkness. Is it perhaps that sleeping people are unthreatening people, or is it that sleep represents a refuge from all the worries of the world?

I remember reading Father Niall O’Brien’s story of his ministry on the Philippine island of Negros, a tale of struggling against violence and oppression. Many of the sugar workers led miserable lives as day labourers, yet there was one moment where Niall O’Brien describes stepping into a hut late at night to be met with darkness in which he could make out the sleeping figures of itinerant workers. Sleep seemed a moment of relief, a few brief hours of respite from the grinding poverty in which they lived.

The late great Pete Postlethwaite as Prospero

For Prospero, in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, life itself is a Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under art, D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

Is it time to see more breastfeeding in public?

Image credit: “Yo Mama” breastfeeding her daughter while sitting with her teammates from the Anarchy Angels Roller Derby Team (photo by Russ Desaulniers) via Avital Norman Nathman.

Is it time to see more breastfeeding in public?

As it’s a good, healthy and natural thing – though not easy for every woman – the answer has to be yes.

Anything or anyone trying to discourage or make uncomfortable a breastfeeding mother strikes me – as Mr T would say – as a crazy fool. As with that TV show you hate – you don’t have to watch.

And as Helen Lovejoy reminds us – Won’t somebody please think of the children? It’s for their good.

So in the spirit of support and encouragement, here are some inspired breastfeeding pictures. They’re from the Blue Milk blog (thinking + Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under politics

Marketing disaster: Mountain Dew v Poitín

After drinking Mountain Dew

Pepsi is so determined to fight off a $50k claim for damages that it’s claiming that its Mountain Dew drink dissolves flesh into jelly.

Riiiight… I just hope no customers are listening.

The story is that Ronald Ball from Wisconsin alleges that a can of the drink he bought from a vending machine made him so ill he began to vomit. When he looked inside the can, he says he found a dead mouse. Nasty.

So what should Pepsi do? Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under life

Back handed compliments

When the glittering showbiz bus rolls in to our wee town, it’s easy to get carried away with the attention and take it for granted that all publicity is good publicity.

But is it sometimes wiser to say no – or should you forget any qualms and just think of the kerching!?

When Gillies MacKinnon made his good, funny and gritty 1996 film about sectarianism, gangs and family in Glasgow, it was released under the title Small Faces – which was a good name. (Review here.) It was originally going to be called Easterhouse – after the intimidating scheme (or high rise complex) of the same name. But local representatives complained that it could blight the area – whether or not the portrayal was accurate – and successfully lobbied for the name change.

Small Faces: "You are now entering Tong Land."

So when Rihanna brought the global entertainment spotlight to bear on Northern Ireland, it was funny. I’m thinking of her topless run-in with a County Down (as in Down with this sort of thing) DUP councillor and farmer. But it was also unfortunate in another way.

Sure – what a compliment that she chose the New Lodge in north Belfast in which to film her We Found Love video. Fun. Excitement.

But what was that chorus again? We found love in a hopeless place…

Ah right. The hopeless place being Belfast Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Music