Tag Archives: Rant

You must be impeccably dressed for the firing squad

I keep reading about this dandy recently. Firstly here and then in an old copy of  Le Gun in the new coffee shop on Wilton Way. Now you get to watch him. ‘Success is a matter of luck, ask any failure’ – just one of the gems buried inside.


Trash Humpers

It’s been eight days now. It’s still not clear. Harmony Korine’s new film ‘Trash Humpers’ hit the London Film Festival Screen last Monday and my head is still fuzzy. Seventy-Eight minutes of VCR of actors made to look old in footage made to look found. No plot, cackling melting-faced degenerates, with buttocks too lithe for their wizened masks, larking about the suburbs at night looking for kicks amidst trash and booze, whilst repetitively singing an eerie nursery rhyme. I like recalcitrance. It makes feel less stoopid, stupid. If there is nothing to get then I haven’t missed anything. Sure one could dig for social commentary…the decayed nature of the VCR editing evokes a feeling that we have wasted our freedom…the use of elderly miscreants suggests that the older, numerically abundant, generation’s quest to live free has screwed the planet. Sometimes it hurts to pigeon hole the ridiculous. Interpret it yourself. I tend to think that Korine could be a great film-maker if is work to date – Kids, Julien Donkey-Boy and Gummo – is anything to go by. Trash Humpers is a stage of evolution in his career. One of those random stages that isn’t caused by need but more of a freak mutation that doesn’t really affect much initially and becomes the norm. Genetic drift. That sounds rather condescending but Korine is playful, he is experimenting, perhaps kicking out at the overly-processed nature of film-making through this essay on the short, the nihilist and the random. For me Korine deals in the search for Herzog’s ‘ecstatic truth’ and I’ll watch him wade through trash trying to find it. Not every day mind you, we all need a little narrative now and again.

Speaking of Herzog and narrative, I caught the showing of Nosferatu at the Old Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey on Halloween. Nosferatu is a classic vampire horror, the classic vampire horror, originally made by the German expressionist director Friedrich Murnau in 1921. Herzog created his homage in 1979. It was this homage that was selected to be the final screening in the V22 Herzog season which has been showing the director’s work across London during September and October. It’d be great to tell you that I’d really enjoyed the film. I’m going to moan though. Not because of my precious Werner but due to one of the worst film audiences I’ve ever encountered. Oh Lord I know I sound pretentious but the constant talking, sniggering and laughing ruined my appreciation of a wonderful looking interpretation. Perhaps Halloween and the mythic Nosferatu image brought out the wrong crowd. Not that I should ordain how fellow viewers interpret and enjoy a film but once you have laughed at the sight of Nosferatu or the slight melodrama of the script once or twice is it still laugh-out-loud funny every other time? As Jeremy says to Mark in Peep Show after being kept awake by a new Aussie housemate, ‘I just want to know, what’s so funny?’ The situation wasn’t helped by the fact the organisers couldn’t work or position the projector or that glass bottles bought from the bar rattled on the concrete floor every few minutes, or that the space was cold – physically cold – and, worst of all, had terrible acoustics. All of this meant the atmosphere was poisonous for concentration; I had to near meditate to engage with the film. A good idea poorly executed, and absolutely nothing to do with the very little sleep I had the night before. Nothing.

A 4-1 defeat amongst hints of nightmares.

My beloved Recreativo Hackney were away to second-placed Llamas FC yesterday afternoon. We ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline. That’s the same end that normally makes you whinge about all the day’s knocks about 19% more. But as Joe and I cycled gingerly back from the park, I felt great. Yes we’d been exposed by younger, slicker opponents whose star is on the rise. Yes we were shattered, but only because we’d given everything we had. We’d raged against the dying of the light. After going in 2-0 down at half-time we came out strong and had their heads ringing. It wasn’t glossy stuff but there was blood pumping in our veins. We pegged them back to 2-1. Yet we couldn’t keep up the intensity. One silly mistake later and the game was lost.

This week, in exposing one nightmarish aspect of modern society and then giving a platform to another, the wizened print media have managed to prove both a continuing relevance and a peculiar ability to self-destruct.  The thread running through both cases has been increasingly important role played by the new kid on the block, social networking. Forgive the stretch but I wonder if the print media feel slightly like I do today? Battered, bruised and beaten by the yoot, but still a contender.

The case of oil company Trafigura and it’s legal firm Carter-Ruck, highlighted by the Guardian, exposed the Orwellian world of the super-injunction and the truly frightening prospect of other unknown-unknowns. I reckon the shape-shifting lizards that David Icke claims rule the world probably have a super-injunction against their existence being reported. We should all feel proud that the print media are still fulfilling their role as the ‘Fourth Estate’. It’s not all seasonal recipes and wall charts; the black heart of an arrogant and greedy oil company was well and truly exposed. That Tweeters also helped to turn up the lights on the media black-out means that the Trafigura scandal stands as a great example of how social networking can help journalists get to the bottom of a story.

This pride quickly gave way to revulsion with the publication of Jan Moir’s abhorrent piece of, fingers crossed, career suicide. Linking the untimely death of Stephen Gately to his sexual habits through a heady mix of insinuation and innuendo is simply pathetic. I must say it is strange to be in the righteous moral orthodoxy on this one. This must be the kind of moral outrage that Mail readers feel when they hear about politically correct immigrants getting over-paid jobs at the BBC and making prank phone-calls to old actresses from the Good Life in their native tongue.

It is easy to joke about the editorial policy at the Daily Mail but this is a low. That a record-breaking number of complaints were made to the Press Complaints Commission and several big-hitting companies demanded the removal of their ads from the on-line article was remarkable. That this was in response to what Moir has complained of as, ‘heavily orchestrated internet campaign’, is even more exciting. Too bloody right there was an orchestrated internet campaign! Why does she say this as if it is some kind of technological liberal conspiracy against her? Oh those bloody lefties with their bloody internet, did you know, thanks to this Twitter, there are some kids out there who can only concentrate long enough to understand 140-characters of bigoted rant before they think about knife crime?

The co-ordinated response excites as it underlines the potential power of social networking. The instantaneous connectivity on offer saw the offending article, and info on how to formally complain, disseminated with lightning speed securing a harmoniously loud response. It is a little depressing that the editors at the Mail will ultimately respond quicker to the loss of advertising revenue than any potential PCC action…but nevertheless, thanks to Pied Piper’s like Stephen Fry and Derren Brown they will surely think twice about printing such unmitigated bollocks.