Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Today's Thoughts

So what have I been thinking about today? (apart from the fact that I have got nothing in the way of work done, save for reading through my introductory thesis chapter and thinking about the unknotting number of knots)

Firstly, I'm quite amazed by Radio 1's decision to censor "Fairytale of New York", the famous Christmas song by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. I accept that there are a couple of lines with pretty insulting language in it - but surely, if it is insulting it was always insulting? Why, today, 2007, is it suddenly MORE insulting for a woman to call a man a "faggot" - or for a man to call a woman "an old slut on junk"? Twenty years have passed since the song was first released, and only now does Radio 1 think that it is offensive - but Radio 2 thinks that it doesn't need censoring! I really, really don't know what to make of this... Having had a look through some of the comments on the story I think this is the one that I liked the best:

"It is just an inspired song. The most intelligent and real of any Christmas pop song. Sad and romantic. Full of lost dreams and lost love. Without that line the Female voice is blameless unless you believe the man's words. With it you see that she too is to blame for the sad situation they are in."

Warren Ellis puts another thought out there on communicating ideas to people. There is such a great simplicity and elegance to it, I'm surprised that I've never seen mention of it anywhere else before. I know that at several points in the past noisms and I had talked about doing some kind of e-zine, but the "broadside" could well be used as a global one-sheet daily newspaper, something like that. Like Ellis says, the overheads are so low as to be almost non-existent. As simple but effective ideas go, it's a winner.

Empire has the new trailer for WALL-E, next year's joint best film (along with The Dark Knight), and it is just lovely. Everything that I have heard about WALL-E has made me want to go and see it, and this trailer is no exception. Funny, sweet, utterly beautiful animation and such a fantastic idea for a film - I hope that there is not a huge gap between the US and UK release dates as there seem to have been with so many Pixar films.

I finished reading A Short History of Nearly Everything on the bus this morning, and if you haven't read it I heartily recommend that you do. It just covers so much about science and the world, and the history of both - it's by no means a short book, but I'm amazed that Bill Bryson was able to get in as much as he did. It was exactly what I needed to read, as lately I've been thinking a lot about things like extinction and so on, and while it did make me sad for all of the creatures that we have destroyed I am now extremely hopeful for the continuation of life itself no matter how badly humans abuse the world around them.

Wow. That's quite maudlin. Umm.

On a positive note, I think I have found my next challenge, or rather a challenge of challenges: 101 things in 1001 days. The nature of the challenges I set myself are obviously undecided at the moment, as I only came across this today, but a sudden flash of inspiration gave me my start date - Tuesday April 22nd 2008 - 1001 days before my 30th birthday.

Any suggestions?


mattiecore said...

Die and come back from the dead.

It doesn't have to reasonable, does it?

zero_zero_one said...

It has to be something that I can do with a bit of effort... I came across it through someone else's blog, I'll post a link to that tomorrow and show you some of the goals they've set themselves.

I suppose I could do your suggestion "Flatliners"-style, but really I don't want to do anything in the tradition of that terrible, terrible film...

Amanda said...

I like that 101 things in 1001 days. Maybe I'll give it a go too!