I went with a few friends to a contemporary music concert last night. Given that I was surprised to find I liked contemporary theatre last week, I was fairly optimistic, and went with an open mind. To be fair, there were some quite good musicians there, playing some good music. But there were other things which were simply bizarre, and I can only describe them as noise.

I have a pretty broad sense of what I define as art: it has two criteria – art must either be aesthetically pleasing, or say something. In other words, it must engage the observer on some level. Last nights performance, unlike those of last week, did neither. The was a comment on the dehumanising properties of popular culture; the art of corruption was a comment on the nature of art itself. They were both funny too. Last night’s…thing…held neither a message nor amusement. Most of it was simply the incessant making of noise for the sake of it, it seemed. Either that or taking themes from pre-written pieces and adding noise to them, which is kind of like me taking a line from Shakespeare and scribbling on it.. I’m sorry, but I just did not like it, but thiss, of course, is just my opinion. It was certainly experimental, and experimentation should always e encouraged.

lit review

I just read this fascinating overview of the portrayal of disability in three short stories. To be honest, I haven’t looked into this field too deeply, although I maintain that the more disabled people are portrayed in literature and art, the better. I must agree with Norlie’s conclusions: for the most part, we are portrayed accurately in lit, but there are some blinding oversimplifications and uses of stereotype out there. I’d want to see more of the former, and less of the latter. Go read.

baghdad burning

I recently heard of this site – it’s the site of a woman in Baghdad, and is highly critical of the occupation. She seems to have the ability to look at things from both an internal and external perspective, making he a very good analyst.

The blog is, however, anonymous, meaning this blog could be written by anyone. This woman could be an ex-Ba’thist for all we know, writing to heighten criticism of the Americans. Indeed, for all you guys know, my blog might be written by a tame monkey which some guy called matt keeps as a pet and feeds squirrels to. Nevertheless, this blog is very well written, and allows one to glimpse what is truly happening in Iraq. It is also up for BBC four’s Samuel Johnson prize for non fiction

No monkeys, tame or otherwise, were hurt in making this entry.

non issue

Does anyone else think this is a non-issue? We all knew Blair was going to resign before the next election. Indeed, logic decreed it – he knows he’s losing popularity, even if he doesn’t admit it, and he knows too that, if he hands over to brown, labour have a better chance of winning the next election. Even I can see that, and have noted it here before.

So why are the press now in a tizzy just because Blair said something in Australia? He didn’t even say much. I don’t get it, and, frankly, was far more amused when I saw dame Edna taking the piss out of the Americans.


It’s becoming increasingly rare that me, mark and Luke are together. We’re all students of one stripe or another, each at different universities, so it’s often six months or a year between instances when we are together. They are both down for the weekend, and we are together in the house where we grew up.

They’re both musicians. Mark is quite a good pianist, as, it seems, is Luke. After we got in from a walk, this afternoon, Luke was tinkling on the piano, making up tunes and playing things from memory. He went through his favourites, and mine too, but he suddenly broke into a tune I have not heard in ages. Before my brothers left for uni, they sometimes played a duet together: Chopsticks, a quirky, happy melody, which has lots of room for embellishments. Luke was playing the higher notes, simply tinkling distractedly. Then, spontaneously, mark came and started to play the harmony, and the house was suddenly filled with a tune it had not heard in nigh on six years. It was quite beautiful.

These days, I am happier than ever, going to pub quizzes and partying most of the night with friends I would like to keep in touch with my whole life, yet that cannot beat the moment when mark and Luke played together once more. Beautiful.


yesterday my uncle forwarded me the following. Thanks uncle aki!

Sign seen in Washington, DC.

“Would someone please give him a blow job so we can impeach him.”


I went to the campus theatre again last night. Contemporary arts students certainly have strange imaginations. This time I saw ‘the’, a comment on commercialisation and globalisation. However, the message of the piece was not as clear as it had been with ‘the art of corruption’: I found it a far more vague piece, where the actors said seemingly random things.

There were, however, a couple of very good performances: Maria portrayed her pregnant, loud scally girl to perfection (‘If we do it again I can have twins, yeah?’) and Pete played a very good wise man, who seemed lost in this collection of misfits.

Maria: I’m bleeding now! Pete: then we have a situation

Maria: what situation?

Pete: situation is, baby is coming.

Trust me, it was very funny. However, I must note that one guy was portraying a ‘junkie’, but this junkie seemed like he had CP. Many of his movements were highly reminiscent of someone with cerebral palsy, most notably the way in which he held his hands was very CP-esque. While this did not offend me per se, I have to raise an eyebrow over the confusion between junkies and people with CP; I am sure this could not have been a coincidence.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself very much last night, and have been invited to tonight’s wrap party. It promises to be one hell of a night; I just hope I can get up in the morning.

the art of corruption

I am often put off by contemporary theatre; I find it vague and elitist. What the creators are trying to say is often unclear which puts me off. However the piece I saw last night was different. I went because many of my friends were in it, but I found it had a sense of both self awareness it commented on art itself, whilst being a piece of art. It said all art can be corrupted while it was corrupted itself; as if to say, all art is bullshit. Whilst being bullshit itself, I therefore found it likeable because it said something. although I was disturbed by some of the imagery, I found it very enjoyable on the whole.

alsager, Fl?

I’ve finally got round to blogging the election now all the fun is over. MMU just elected it’s new student representatives, although it must be said that it was quite a farcical affair. At one stage, comparisons with the events of Florida in 2001 were being made, as there were reports of the online voting system going down, and candidates putting extreme pressures on voters. I was just itching for someone to use the phrase dimpled or hanging chad. I got fed up with the whole affair when it appeared that the favourite candidate was being investigated on an obviously trumped up charge, and made a petition. I got about 50 people to sign.

In the end, however, this was not necessary, as Robert got elected. He was obviously the favourite as he is practically everybody’s friend, but I got outraged that he, of all people was being investigated. Anyway,, all’s well that ends well, and he should be an excellent union officer.


it appears that I have found something that I simply must go see. While looking for the postcode of my college, I found the wikipedia entry for Alsager, where I noticed something unexpected. There are barrows near alsager. Monoliths thousands of years old! now I just want to go explore! who knows what one may find