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I've had nothing to say for two weeks. Hence the silence.

Nothing has actually changed, I just care less about having nothing to say. Lucky you.

* * *

I read some West Wing spoilers. :::hums Jaws theme:::

* * *

American Idol was on ITV2 tonight. Oh dear God. Why is George gone while Jasmine is still there? Why must Fantasia bawl and squeak as though she is being goosed with a large polish sausage? Why am I watching this show? Speaking of which...

* * *

I just spent an hour watching Britain's Biggest Celebrity Mingers, which was on in Sky's familiar Sunday night barrel-scraping slot. I have no excuse other than post-work lethargy, having spent the day staring at graphic pictures of Akhmad Kadyrov meeting his maker.

(For the record: (3) Ann Widdecombe; (2) don't remember, possibly Jordan or Dean Gaffney or some other dimwitted microceleb with a headline fetish; (1) Mick Hucknall (of Simply Red), who was there, it would seem, for the crime of being rich and having ginger hair, and thus rhyming with the title by being a ginger minger*

*But only if you're stupid enough to pronounce ginger wrongly)

The worst thing was that of the commentators on this fine piece of television, there wasn't one of 'em you'd exactly call a work of art, unless that art was by Hieronymous Bosch.

Most of them were tabloid journalists -- who are seldom beautiful in body or soul in my experience. It's a bit rich to be rude about Camilla Parker Bowles or Vanessa Feltz when you look like a bulldog sucking piss off a thistle.

They were very rude about people with ginger hair. I think this may be a British thing, as according to Scott Capurro, it's mostly prized in the US (though in the Balkans, they think you're a vampire. Or is it a witch? I forget, as Britain's Biggest Celebrity Mingers appears to have melted my brain, marshmallow-like) Is this true? Is there anti-ginge prejudice in the US? Are you strawberry blonde if you're beautiful and ginger if you're not?

I am reminded of the tale of the barber's shop in Chorlton Cum Hardy which charged people with ginger hair two quid extra for a haircut because the bloke who owned it hated the texture of their hair.

Anyway, as a bit of a minger myself, I was well insulted. Not insulted enough to be arsed to turn over obviously, despite the pull of Diarmuid Gavin and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (OMG thierloveissodecorative!!1!) on UK Style (no, it's not a contradiction in terms. Stop heckling at the back) but definitely in the darker shades of nark.

This hammering of anyone who deviates from some imaginary and unrealistic standard for physical beauty is certainly hard on the rest of us.

Luckily for you lot, I happen to know that some of you are rather ravishing (please imagine this as said in a Leslie Phillips-type voice) and one of you even looks a bit like Uma Thurman, though she'd probably be incredulous if I said so. So...

Next week on the Sky barrel-scraping slot: A one-hour special on the bra, including many gratuitous shots of celebrity norks. I shit you not.

* * *

I just downloaded the first two episodes of season one Stargate (you're all bastards. Repeat until fade) but when I tried to play them they had no sound. I just sat there saying "why? why won't you speak to me, Jack?" in a pathetic sort of way. Astoundingly, this did not correct the problem. A shocker, I know. Is there anything I can do to .avi files to make them play on a mac?

Aside from shouting "PLAY, YOU BASTARD!" and hitting the screen with a copy of Uncut magazine? Because I've already tried that.

* * *

I was going to talk about politics but it's all depressing. I may work myself into a cheery froth over Margaret Thatcher at some point -- and I would happily dance on her grave for what she did to the North in the 80s if only the old bag would pop her clogs -- but really she's the only politician I truly loathe from somewhere deep in the reptilian hindquarters of my brain. Most of the rest just disgust me.



These photos in Iraq: I think other people have said what I think, and better, but isn't it a bit alarming the way the press is going for Lynndie England?

While I don't think she's a scapegoat because she was there and she was a vile cretin, the Sun's headline on Thursday was "Witch". She's the only one whose name is tripping off people's tongues. It just smacks of the familiar double standard whereby men and women commit the crimes but the women are truly vilified in the press for them.

Another case in point is Maxine Carr. Undoubtedly criminally foolish and a less-than-nice woman with some mental health issues, but she's not the one who killed the children. She believed her boyfriend and lied for him to the police. Let's not pretend she's Myra Hindley.

There's an interesting comment piece from The Observer on the matter here

Apparently the kinds of humiliation seen are part of a system of degradation taught to British and American forces, called R2I. The thesis put forward here is that what we're seeing at Abu Ghraib is former users of R2I who have become civilian contractors teaching their staff how to use it but missing out one essential part of the training -- where those taught to use R2I get to experience it for themselves in order to know just what a powerful weapon they are wielding. Article here Also, Joanne Bourke on torture as pornography

Ah, the vexed issue of contractors. Or mercenaries, as they would have been called in the 80s. Speaking of which...

Even if you can't stand to read one more bloody word about Iraq, I urge you to give this a try: Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) on language and the war here. So deliciously sarcastic.

I particularly wish to bear his small, hairy manchildren for the paragraph about how Hollywood messes about with history.


* * *

How much do I want to read Superman - Red Son? Very much

I've just finished The Da Vinci Code, a combination of info-dump and proto-film script in which all the "good" characters were twinkly-eyed and handsome and inimaginably articulate and the villain was an evil albino giant. Because there's nothing quite so enjoyable in this world as scapegoating people who look different [/follow-on rant]. Ah, Dan "now extremely rich" Brown; there's a man who took notes on The Eight when he read it. Plagerist!!!OMG!!11!Eleventyone!!! *g*

If I were 15 years old, I would have thought it was the greatest book ever. As it was, I thought it was glib, unlikely and underwritten but I couldn't put it down.

* * *

A couple of driveby recs:

Keane's new album is supposed to be patchily excellent, much as Coldplay's debut was. I can highly recommend Everything's Changing, Bedshaped and Somewhere Only We Know for download. I'm sure that some will say it's a bit MOR but I don't care. It's *lovely*. It has sensitive boys playing *pianos* in a wistful fashion and singing about being lonely. I'll review further when I buy the album tomorrow. (Even though I'm skint.)

Shaun of the Dead How much do I love this film? Almost as much as I love Terry Jones right now (see above re: small hairy manchildren)

It's very, very funny *and* it has lots of fun eviscerations *and* it's a sweet romantic comedy *and* it's genuinely suspenseful *and* it has Chris Martin from Coldplay making a very funny, blink'n'you'll-miss-it appearance. I think the Chicago contingent would love it.

Admittedly, if you don't like seeing someone's intestines scooped out by the evil dead, you should probably give it a miss, but if you think you can stand a few seconds of that, definitely go and see this film when it comes out at a cinema near you. The website alone is brilliant.

A funny British comedy which is not about people taking their clothes off... A sign of the oncoming apocalypse, I think.

* * *

Goodnight

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
jonquil
May. 9th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's all red hair, and it's all good. Stawberry blonde to auburn, we think it's pretty. (I was really surprised to read in Jilly Cooper that the upper-class think all red hair smells like fox.)
infinitemonkeys
May. 9th, 2004 05:39 pm (UTC)
I was really surprised to read in Jilly Cooper that the upper-class think all red hair smells like fox

You're kidding me. Those people are *weird*.
loveanddarkness
May. 9th, 2004 06:48 pm (UTC)
Sodding idiots. My hair smells like shampoo, not fox!
herself_nyc
May. 9th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the red hair prejudice is not an American thing at all. (Although we do occasionally say someone or something is like a red-headed stepchild, but that's a figure of speech.) "Ginger" is purely an Anglicism--it's not a word we use here to connote hair color (except perhaps in cats, and even that maybe not).
infinitemonkeys
May. 9th, 2004 05:42 pm (UTC)
Ah thanks. I'd guessed it probably wasn't -- Lord knows that if it was a prejudice in the US, someone would have used it to hammer Willow or Scully in fanfiction and I'd have read about it.

The thing about not using ginger altogether is interesting though, given that it's used here a lot, as are its politer synonyms: auburn, titian, strawberry blonde etc etc.
matociquala
May. 9th, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, if anything, in the US, redheads are a bit elitist. *cough* I think it's one of the more popular colors for dyejobs. It's got a bit of a cachet, actually. So do freckles. *g*

I even cheat a little to make mine brighter, as it's kind of a blondy-auburn naturally, and I like it chestnut, thank you. *g* (I'm Swedish, Irish, Scottish, and Ukranian. Guess what hair color I got? Yep. I'm a non-redheaded non-stepchild in a family of coppertops.)

I wonder if the British prejudice against redheads has anything to do with anti-Scots/anti-Irish prejudice? Or maybe we can blame the Danes...
infinitemonkeys
May. 9th, 2004 05:59 pm (UTC)
It's got a bit of a cachet, actually. So do freckles. *g*

Well, auburn does here too, I suppose, though only when you're an adult. If you have red hair as a kid at school you're fortunate to get through the day without being called "carrots", "ginger" (rhymes with singer in this instance, no idea why) or "Duracell" or worse.

(I'm Swedish, Irish, Scottish, and Ukranian. Guess what hair color I got? Yep. I'm a non-redheaded non-stepchild in a family of coppertops.)

I'm from a family which divides between rather dramatically dark-haired, sallow-skinned but blue-eyed Norwegians (Portuguese shipwreck, island ancestry, long story *g*) and coppertops. I have mousy brown hair which occasionally blondes up a bit in the sun. It seems very unfair.

I wonder if the British prejudice against redheads has anything to do with anti-Scots/anti-Irish prejudice? Or maybe we can blame the Danes...

I can't discount that but I sort of doubt it. I seem to remember Scots ribbing others about ginger hair. Will ask the Irish and Scottish friends tomorrow.


pauraque
May. 9th, 2004 05:41 pm (UTC)
What on Earth is a minger?
infinitemonkeys
May. 9th, 2004 06:04 pm (UTC)
It's a slang term that's become popular since the late 80s. It rhymes with "singer", and it means someone who is ugly, but it's more than that, as someone with distasteful habits who is good-looking can also be a minger.

It carries flavours of careless promiscuity, dirtiness or commonness as well as ugliness when applied to people.

As a verb, it's used of smells, places etc. It mings, it is minging etc.

So, for example, sour milk would be minging, as would a damp hovel.
sharinlilbit
May. 9th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
American Idol was on ITV2 tonight. Oh dear God. Why is George gone while Jasmine is still there? Why must Fantasia bawl and squeak as though she is being goosed with a large polish sausage? Why am I watching this show?

It's the train wreck from which you can't look away! And maybe you're a little like me, in that you have high hopes that you'll see it implode right in front of your very eyes. *g*

Minger? Norks? Actually, I get what that one is...I rather like it. I'll try to slip it into conversation soon. ;)
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 09:16 am (UTC)
It's the train wreck from which you can't look away!

It is! Only LaToya holds a candle to the final three last year. I think she's possibly one of the best singers they've had on but I don't think she has the X factor. I could imagine her being an absolute wow on stage where she's playing someone, but as herself she seems a bit ill at ease when she's not singing.

Fantasia seems to be getting worse by the week and I can't bring myself to give a damn about Jasmine or Diana. I'm sure they're both very nice, but who cares?
(Deleted comment)
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
Could there be a higher authority?
{/Chandler Bing}


Nooooo! Hey. How you doin'{/Joey Tribbiani}

Trust me when I say I understand, and that {snip wild-eyed rant about the U.S. VP, so as not to set your LJ on fire}
Ahem. Yup. I have one of those.


Believe me when I say I understand. I'm approaching Thatcher c.1987 levels of detestation of Blair right now. Actually, I would be interested in your VP rant but I suspect your blood pressure would be unhappy during it.

I might check out Angels and Demons when I've put a bigger dent in the to-be-read pile
loveanddarkness
May. 9th, 2004 06:51 pm (UTC)
look like a bulldog sucking piss off a thistle.

Kim dies laughing. But wait, no, she's coming back. Because:

I read some West Wing spoilers. :::hums Jaws theme:::

Do share either the spoilers or the URL. The shark jumping of the West Wing is a crime against television. Smart smart good show gone sharky? A fucking sin is what it is.
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 10:06 am (UTC)
spoilers
If you chuck in "bewarne" and "west wing" to google, you should find it.

It might work out all right. I could be being over-fretful. But it certainly smacks of shark-jumping.
minnow1212
May. 9th, 2004 07:29 pm (UTC)
So it took me a moment to figure out the jumping the shark reference, a nonplussed moment in which an image of Bartlet being stalked by Jaws ran through my mind. Like, he's on Air Force 1, on the runway, and all of a sudden there's a tidal wave, and OH NO! sharks. And Bartlet would know lots of shark and sea mammal related trivia and insist on relating it to everyone.

>I just sat there saying "why? why won't you speak to me, Jack?" in a pathetic sort of way.<

Aw. I have no advice, but I send good karmic vibes your way because a silent Jack is a saddening things.
cofax7
May. 9th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC)
I just sat there saying "why? why won't you speak to me, Jack?" in a pathetic sort of way.

As Minnow says, no one deserves a silent Jack. It's one of the saddest things about season 7: less Jack, and he looks tired when he shows up. Sigh.

Ah, Dan "now extremely rich" Brown; there's a man who took notes on The Eight when he read it. Plagerist!!!OMG!!11!Eleventyone!!! *g*
Bwahahahahaha.

I hated The 8, couldn't believe I'd waded through all that kerfuffling for a stupidass macguffin like immortality. Sheesh. I don't think I'll like The Da Vinci Code, especially since "da Vinci" is hardly Leonardo's last name. It's like calling me "of California". Dumb.

Marvelous to see you post. {{hugs}}
(Deleted comment)
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Jack is now speaking but his picture is in one file, his voice is in the other, and thanks to syncing problems, the effect is rather like a badly dubbed movie *g*
barkley
May. 9th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC)
Bastard with a Mac here
I just looked at some Stargate .avis I have and this is the codec that was used on them:

http://www.3ivx.com/download/index.html

Also, if that fails, Divx Doctor might work (but I haven't had to use that lately...so if the above codec doesn't work, then perhaps there's another one you need.)

VLC will play most anything you toss at it though it's only available for 10.* and I have no idea what OS you're on:
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Happy Viewing!
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Bastard with a Mac here
Thanks. I tried VLC but it will not work on my machine. refuses even to launch.

I had the DivX doctor downloaded and I ran the sound through the codec. It sort of works. Kind of. It's like a badly dubbed Japanese monster movie but that sort of suits Stargate.
barkley
May. 10th, 2004 06:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Bastard with a Mac here
Hmmm. Every few months VLC goes wonky on me and won't start, and I have to re-install it. (I'm on 10.2.8 btw. Also, I have QTPro (though I don't think the Pro adds anything here) 6.5 installed.)

These are the codecs that I have listed as installed under Hard drive/Library/Quicktime:

3ivx D4 4.5.1 for OSX
DivX 5.component

The first one comes from the site I linked above. The second one came from here:
http://www.divx.com/divx/mac/

marakara
May. 9th, 2004 09:51 pm (UTC)
This may be a repost - LJ is acting sporky
My brother-in-law is trying to suck me into Stargate the way I got him hooked on Farscape but I don't need another show, dammit!

It just smacks of the familiar double standard whereby men and women commit the crimes but the women are truly vilified in the press for them.

One of my endless talk radio shows opened with the host asking people about Lynndie England. The host wanted to know that people thought of her. The response was almost the same as mine. Now, this was before we found out the pictures were even worse than what we saw, but the idea was that guys behave badly in groups. It is usually the "mom" or the "wife" or the "girlfriend" who tells the guys to pipe down, behave, act like a grown-up when they're behaving badly.

Here, it looks like there was no difference between the men behaving badly and the women that were around them. Instead of being the voice of common sense, they were as bad as the men. We're all equal now, and we seem to be less for it.

Take Care
Mara
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 05:48 pm (UTC)
Re: This may be a repost - LJ is acting sporky
My brother-in-law is trying to suck me into Stargate the way I got him hooked on Farscape but I don't need another show, dammit!

I know. And there's so much wretched backstory. I guess it's good cheesy fun -- or it seems to be so far.

Here, it looks like there was no difference between the men behaving badly and the women that were around them. Instead of being the voice of common sense, they were as bad as the men. We're all equal now, and we seem to be less for it.

I think that you're right and that's the problem. I've been reading a book about nurses in the Middle East in WW2 and they're spoken of as a civilising influence. Granted they were nurses, but that's what we expect of all women, I think.
xsabx
May. 10th, 2004 12:38 am (UTC)
Hey!
Nothing has actually changed, I just care less about having nothing to say. Lucky you.

Actually, I'd beg to differ. More, if that's okay...? :D
cazling
May. 10th, 2004 02:04 am (UTC)
The weird thing is that if you're naturally red-headed, you're a ginger minger, yet red hair-dye sells by the bucketload. I suppose when people dye it they go for quote-unquote 'dramatic', 'titian' shades rather than genuine ginger, though. I've also noticed that while during childhood gingers of both sexes have an equally miserable time, once you grow up red-headed girls tend to have a much better time of things (possibly to do with the odd stereotype of redheads being all fiery and foxy and passionate) while poor ginger boys still tend to fare badly (I fancied a ginger bloke once at Cambridge but when I told my best friend she just looked at me, hard, and said, "Have you tried imagining what he'd look like naked, though?", and I'm ashamed to say that the thought of all that pale skin + ginger body hair = end of crush).

These photos in Iraq: I think other people have said what I think, and better, but isn't it a bit alarming the way the press is going for Lynndie England?

While I don't think she's a scapegoat because she was there and she was a vile cretin, the Sun's headline on Thursday was "Witch". She's the only one whose name is tripping off people's tongues. It just smacks of the familiar double standard whereby men and women commit the crimes but the women are truly vilified in the press for them.


I get the feeling people don't really know what to do with the idea that women were involved in perpetrating such cruel, brutal acts, because yeah, it flies in the face of conventional gender expectations (those vaguely Victorian ideas that still persist about how women are fine, delicate, civilising creatures who act as a good influence on strong, big, beastly men). I'm struggling to recall whether women have been involved in any military scandals other than ones having to do with sexual misconduct among ranks since having women integrated into the American and British armed forces became commonplace, but I can't think of anything. I think maybe this vilification of Lynndie England is the flipside of the Jessica Lynch affair - there, people got upset by the thought of what could happen to her, and she was cast, very cleverly, as simultaneously the damsel in distress and the plucky little all-American fighter. In both cases I think people got their dander up over the feeling that these were situations in which women should just not be involved. I've been seeing a fair bit of comment about all this in the press: Salon had an article the other day which wasn't as perceptive as I might have liked, but it might be worth a look: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2004/05/07/abuse_gender/index.html
veejane
May. 10th, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC)
I've also noticed that while during childhood gingers of both sexes have an equally miserable time, once you grow up red-headed girls tend to have a much better time of things (possibly to do with the odd stereotype of redheads being all fiery and foxy and passionate) while poor ginger boys still tend to fare badly

Huh. Thinking about it, the only red-headed man I can come up with? Is English. That guy from The Forsyte Saga, Damian Lewis, who has hair like copper wires. (And I pity him the amount of sunblock he must use not to be dead already of skin cancer.) Although I can think of plenty of men with blond or brown hair whose beards grown in red.

My BIL has golden brown hair, but was considerably redder as a child; we're all just tickled to death that my niece his daughter it turning out to have ginger hair. (We're using ginger, in this case, to mean "redder than the dishwater brown of the Nuttykin, but not like a house on fire".) Baby Casper does not yet have freckles, but we pretty much expect her to, and they will be remarked over with as much goofy affection as her dimple and her folded ear ridge -- cute idiosyncrasies.
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine used to whisper "ginger pubes" when checking out auburn young men while we were out clubbing. I think the prejudice is worse for men
lilydale
May. 10th, 2004 07:24 am (UTC)
Nothing has actually changed, I just care less about having nothing to say. Lucky you.

I know you're saying that sarcastically, which means you are wrong. *g*

Diarmuid Gavin and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (OMG thierloveissodecorative!!1!)

LOL!! If I'd been holding something as I read this, I would have spilled it all over the computer.

I'll review further when I buy the album tomorrow.

Yay! Buy, buy, buy! This album better have been released in the past two weeks or so or I may be annoyed about not having it myself. ;)

Shaun of the Dead

Is this the zombie trailer I saw?
infinitemonkeys
May. 10th, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
It is indeed the zombie film. I should've persuaded you to go see it. *g*
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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