wht a beeautiful baby

I stole this from ouch. I don’t usually watch deal or no deal – once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, I feel – but noel edmondds’ reaction in this clip is a very good example of how scared we now aall are of offending anyone. his istant change of mind is as if his life depends on it.


I went to a ctp show last night, and I must say I was distinctly unimpressed. I have tried to understand Ctp (contemporary theatre and performance) for a while now, but last night brought me to a somewhat heretical conclusion: ctp is bullshit. I’m sorry, but it is. As far as I can make out, ctp is about taking a base text (last night’s was Quartet) and playing about with it. The problem is, this removes all of the meaning and beauty of the original, leaving a garbled mess. The result is neither intellectually or aesthetically pleasing.

Now, I like to see myself as an artistic liberal: I am open to anything from opera to star trek. Klingon Hamlet? Why not? But that – that was taking a base text, and a beautiful one at that, and virtually scribbling on it. It is like turning Lady Macbeth into a drag queen. I have no problem with postmodernism, but I fail to see the point. I also loathe the way it is caked in pseudo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo: given the stated aim is to produce a performance without meaning, any and all justifications of what I saw last night are null and void. Any questions one may have about why the actors did what they did are irrelevant, as that would be to incur meaning. What, then, is the point?

I, personally, like to think of all art as having two components: meaning and beauty. The quantities may vary from piece to piece. Bach’s moonlight sonata does not have much meaning – there is no message within – but it sure as hell is beautiful. At the other end of the spectrum, my brother’s PhD thesis is not beautiful, but I’m sure it means a lot. It seems to me that ctp has neither meaning or beauty, rendering it obsolete. It’s proponents seek to make neither, even dismissing the idea of pleasing an audience as antiquated. The audience, they seem to argue, is irrelevent. If this is so, would someone teach me the difference between ctp and a complete waste of time. Humbug!

to the stage!

In the breaks between doing my various assorted tasks, including, but not limited to, drinking coffee and talking, I am still going to the final music performances. Charlie’s last one was today: it was good, workmanlike, but, I hesitate to say, didn’t have quite as much panache as her violin recital. Jess, however, did quite a good set of operatic arias, including one from Bizet. I just love Carmen, and it was a joy to hear live. It must be noted that our main theatre on campus – The Axis – doesn’t have the brilliant acoustics of, say, the bruntwood at the RNCM, so its not a great venue. Frankly, it reminds one of a school hall, and the fact that my music student friends have the total mark of one unit resting on this performance is enough to raise ones eyebrow.

Speaking of theatres, last night Kate c and I came up with quite a good idea. We are going to collaborate writing and directing a play. I better not record the details here – it is, after all, only in the embryonic stage – but I’m quite excited about it. I really hope it takes off. Well, watch this space!

monster monster rules

My home computer isn’t up – it keeps crashing anyway – so I’m only able to blog from university. I just got in, and after my mail is checked, I’m, weather permitting, off to a barbeque.

Monster monster was cool it was quite fascinating. It was burlesque-come-porn-cum-light bondage, butt not in a seedy way. It was pretty freaky. My bro Luke and cousin Cyril felt a bit out of water, and the drum and bass music isn’t quite what we usually listen to, but I nevertheless had a great time. Although the place was downstairs, and I had to stand up to see anything (I was on my pins for over an hour, making my back hurt and forcing my early retirement) I most definitely intend to go again.

Well, better make this a brief one. I have emails to read and then sausages to eat. One final question: where does one get body paint?

more recitals

I really am liking my friend’s music recitals. They’re top mates, so I want to support them, and given that my course is over apart from a few bits and bobs, I go to everything I can. this morning was Becky’s trombone recital, followed one bag of crisps later by Nicky’s singing recital.

Becky gave a competent performance – very competent – but Nicky’s had more umph, I felt. More swing. It was jazz; the type of jazz sung late at night clubs; the type that puts me in the mood for a martini. Mind you, long day tomorrow. Me and Luke are, all being well, going to Monster Monster, and I want to be at peak performance for it. Better not drink. Anyway, where was I? yeah, jazz. It rocked! It was a most excellent performers. The pianist accompanying Nicky was especially good, and sounded like he too should be in a late night club.

Things feel good right now. I think I’ve sorted out my support for the rest of term. Can’t wait till tomorrow though!

happy memories

it may be lazy blogging, but I’m posting thisfor nostalgia reasons. It’ll probably mean nothing to most readers, but it’ll have my family jumping up and down with recognition

Charlotte’s violin recital

I just got back from charlotte’s violin recital. She invited me along, as she did all her friends. I must admit I am quite lost for words. It was beautiful. For the duration, charlotte was no longer c or Charlie but miss Jones, a woman with sublime musical ability. It far surpassed my expectations; I daresay in the past I have paid good money to see something of half the quality of that recital.

It’s beauty was not that of a beautiful woman – a vulgar beauty – nor was it possessed of the beauty of a good meal. It’s beauty was far deeper, like the nights sky over Uluru, or that morning in Yosemite. It was a profound beauty: her violin made a haunting sound, textured and subtle. I say this not as her friend, but as one who appreciates good things; as a writer, and as an ‘intellectual’ (although I use that term loosely). I found her choice of music ever so slightly questionable – they weren’t all the pieces I would have chosen – but the inclusion of the theme from schindler’s list at the finale was inspired. It’s just such a spellbinding, heartbreaking piece.

What can I say? It was simply awesome. During the performance I felt myself drift away, letting the music carry me off. I found myself with the profound urge to write again. And read. And watch, and listen and talk. Performances like that fill one with joie de vivre; it made me think of travelling and reading and everything good. It was as if it reminded me, through it’s beauty and majesty, that there is still beauty and majesty to be found in the world. It was just inspirational.

more goats

Carrying on with the goat theme, this makes me laugh. It had been a pretty poor day owing to last night’s excesses, but it just got better. You can just imagine it: ‘what are you doing with my goat?’

goats in trees

A few days ago, graham told me about this. did you know that goats climbed trees? well, there’s the proof. they lok perfectly happy up there. in fact, it is my considered opinion that they’re nesting, like sheep.

need to research this too!


I am starting to think writing, as an art form is quite limited. Sure it is the central art of culture, we all write and use language – how else would we communicate? Its scope is also huge: this art ranges from the snows of Kilimanjaro, to the Sun. I still adore literature and writing, but part of me says it’s a bit boring. While it can be very powerful, I want now something more, some extra quality. I write by sitting at a computer, typing, just as Hemingway sat at his typewriter in Idaho, or Tolkien at his desk at Oxford. But for all its greatness, for its scope, and rage, and beauty, writing remains a solitary act. Hemingway fished with friends, but he wrote alone.

I don’t even know what I’m looking for, perhaps it’s a new art. Graham recently opened my eyes to drama. Somehow it seems more alive. Writing for all its wonders will always be words on a page. It can utterly chill someone. It can change lives, but I need something more.

It’s too general, I see myself as a writer, but so is everybody. My brothers write, so they’re writers. But I am thinking of/about pursuing a less general art, something more visual. I love film, so maybe that would be it, but first the difference between film and language still needs work. What are the boundaries of film?

All this intrigues me.