Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Conquest of the Irrational

I’ve had enough of America. I can’t take it any more.

So, I’m flying back to the Motherland for the weekend.

The only problem is that I’ve developed a flying phobia. On take-off and landing my palms start sweating, my heart palpitates, my pupils are like saucers. I know it’s mental, but I can’t help myself. That, afterall, is what a phobia is.

After a furious web-search to try and cure myself I ended up none the wiser. BUT, I did find a whole selection of weird and wonderful phobias of other people.

I guess it can always be worse…

“Fear of people reading your mind” shudder – can you imagine!! I’d be in jail by now.

“Fear of gravity reversing itself” – It would be cool, as long as you were inside at the time. It would be like the video to Lionel Rich-Tea’s “Dancing on the Ceiling”. And that can’t be a bad thing!

“Fear that everyone is the world is an actor and you’re the only one not in on the joke” – The only cure for this one is to wear a tin-foil hat, like any normal person.

“Fear of a Black Planet” - 911 is a joke- yo!

“Fear of spontaneous human combustion” – It can happen, allegedly. According to the men in tin-foil hats.

“Penis-Panic” – This one is too weird! It’s a well-documented mass phobia/hysteria where all the men think their penis is shrinking/melting into their bodies. I recommend studying the wikipedia link- just don’t catch the fear.

Thanks to Ben for putting me onto some of these fears and also for potentially providing the solution to all our problems. The people at “Probable Future” seem to have the cure to all our phobias – “You will soon be walking around in a permanent state of increased bilateral Theta or Delta brain waves alike a Zen or Yoga Master, in fearless joy because you will have mastered the superpowers of the Mind and be consciously creating-as-you-go your reality !”

PS. But seriously, if anyone has any hints on how to cure myself of my flying panics please let me know.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Horror

The events I've watched unfold in New Orleans over the past week have sickenend me to the core.

What kind of government allows this post-apocalypitc situation to exist whilst having the means to stop it? A government who proclaims themselves "Christian", "civilized", "defenders of freedom"?

Is this all just rhetoric?

Is it just because the victims are poor and African-American? How many days has it taken for the media to even hint at what was so obvious from the pictures?

It illustrates clearly the terrible fact of American life: without money you're worthless to society.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

He say, “Yes”....

Do you remember “The Man from Del Monte”?

He was a character featured in a series of adverts for the Del Monte fruit company.

The adverts were all variations on a common theme. The scene is a sunkist tropical fruit plantation. The natives are anxiously gathered with their most juicy and succulent fruit ready for the arrival of “The Man”.

On the horizon a helicopter or perhaps a Rolls Royce appears, which delivers “The Man”. He emerges dressed in a linen suit, his face mysteriously hidden by a hat. He approaches the fruit, takes a deep bite, pauses, and announces “Yes”. The natives burst into jubilation- their livelihood safe for another season.

As a child I never thought much about these adverts- but aren’t they actually quite dodgy?

Who is this anonymous and sinister “Man”, who holds the native's lives in a word? Isn't he just a bit the “white-devil” colonial exploiter? Is this the image a fruit company would want to promote? Its hardly fair-trade!

I'd love to watch these adverts again. I don't suppose anybody has them on an old VHS?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Alright, mate?

I just spotted this article on BBC

Its about the etiquette of using “mate” as a greeting. Apparently, an Australian civil servant complained when a guard used “mate” to address them, instead of “sir/madam”. Much to the consternation of John Howard and his cronies who counter; "It's part of the Australian vernacular. It's a term of endearment and of mateship.”.

This struck a chord with me, as together with “cheers” it’s a term that often confuses Americans when I say it.

So here’s a brief users guide….

1. It’s a great way to say hello:

“Alright, mate.”

2. To emphasize surprise:

“Mate! You’ll never believe…”

3. Or just express mateship:

“Mate”.

Not to be confused with “mate”, the South American tea favoured by Gauchos, or “mate”, the act of copulation leading to children.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

So L.A.

This morning I had to run an errand.

My destination was two blocks east, two blocks south from my apartment. About a 10 minute walk.

My first thought was to walk to my car two block aways and drive there. Probably would have taken 20 minutes, especially accounting for parking.

But then nobody walks in L.A. and apparently I've gone native.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Where the wild films are...

I've just started a new blog called "Where The Wild Films Are"

It's a browsable list of my favourite films. The blog structure is based on Simon's manipulation of the Blogger software.

The list is only small right now, but I'll be adding to it over time.

If you think there's a film that I might like or you have an opinion, please post a comment and let me know!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Meaty Delights

Did you ever see “Soylent Green”?

It’s a dystopian sci-fi film from the 70’s starring Charlton Heston. The film is about a massively overpopulated future where meat and vegetables are prohibitively expensive and everyone has to eat something called “Soylent Green”. This foodstuff for the masses has an unpleasant secret ingredient (Hint: It’s long-pig).

I dread to think about futures like this. Meatless futures.

In all likelihood meat will indeed become a luxery item, so in the meantime I’m going to eat it like crazy. Here are some of Los Angeles’ fleshy highlights…..

1. Manpuku: Japanese Izaka-ya style BBQ. The meat comes to you sliced and raw, which you then cook on a large hob in the middle of the table. The tongue is especially good!

2. Baby Blues BBQ: I always order the same thing- Carolina-style pulled pork with mac n’ cheese and beans as sides. Then I cover the plate in their hot sauce and start shoveling. The tender pork just falls apart in your mouth.

3. El Taurino: Mexican taco spot in Pico Union. Again, I never change my order: al pastor burrito with two carne asada tacos. The restaurant is right next to K-town, so there’s always 10% Koreans in there aswell. Classic L.A.

4. Echigo: Sublime sushi. Little pieces of heaven that leave me feeling good about the world (as long as I don’t think about the tuna).

5. Aroma Café: Bosnian cafe with fabulous mini-sausage kebab things called cevapi. Meaty stuffed peppers/cabbage are also tasty. They have sourcream called kajmak which you can stick a fork in.