It was raining cats and dogs and frogs and
Fearing the flood would not abate I built
A boat; And two by two my zoo took shape
Caterpillars shared room with centipedes
But man, I kept the spiders from the flies
No tigers about so no life of Pi
Gathering my flock I prepared to sail
Then the heavens closed to bring sunshine
Thank God for that as I am no Noah
The animals are all female, probably
And it would be the end of humanity
“Never give a sucker an even break”
Unlike those boring people that go out all the time I’ve stuck to my couch and began to take an interest in the reality television programmes concerning real-life policemen. You know the type of shows I’m talking about: Road Wars, Night Cops, UK Street Crime etc. etc.
Even these dramas played out factually are beginning to become formulaic. The car chase sequence went downhill after Steve McQueen yet it’s still in use, overuse. The voice over guy tries to ratchet up the tension as the siren-blaring cops race after the bad guys. Red lights are driven past, the wrong side of the road is used and there’s a swerve or two. All Beano and Dandy and seen before. Just when you think the baddies have got away they are captured. Most of the time because of the big bird in the sky.
The police helicopter tracks the progress of the villains giving the pursuers in their squad cars vital intelligence (it also doubles up as the programmes TV screen plotting the adventure). To give the felons a chance the helicopter should not be used. It’s not as if the carjackers have ground to air missiles in their armoury. Put those cheating copters away. As Shere Khan would say, It would make the chase more interesting.
Evangelical Protestantism is on the rise in South and Central American countries.
This part of the globe has historically been a catholic stronghold in matters of faith but the flock are turning. Brazil and Mexico, the two largest catholic nations in the world have had many converts to the Evangelical side and other Protestant church communities: Pentecostals, Baptists and Methodists. A personal relationship with Jesus is most important to evangelicals, whereas in Catholicism, priests and the church hierarchy are tasked with interpreting the Bible and being “God’s representatives”. Has the continent of Pele et al seen the light shining?
With chapel attendance dwindling in these areas it begs the further question, was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Jesuit cardinal from Buenos Aires the newly appointed successor to Saint Peter, chosen purely to revitalise the ailing roman church in Latin America? In modern times we don’t expect political intrigue straight out of the Borgias yet the appointment smacks of a desperate attempt to woo back floating voters by installing one of their own. And was the retired/deposed Benedict part of the scheme? We’ll need to wait until the papal archives are released. Read more…
A friend recently told me that established fiction writers of thrillers and detective mysteries use other authors to pen for them. The famous authors have ghost-writers doing the chores for them while they have a break from writing. The reason for this is so that the publishers can carry on cashing in on a “big name”. The ghost writes in the same style as the previous books to give credence to the novel.
This diabolical invention has made me think twice before reading a book in case it is false. Just how long this shady practise has been going on is anybody’s guess. And it has spread to other literary outlets. It is now commonplace for blogs to be written by a ghost. Here again, the ghost apes the unique manners of the real blogger. You can never tell what is what in cyber space. For all you know, this blog could be the work of A.N. Other and not me. Doubt has now been formed, no doubt about it.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound? Forgetting that, if I make the world record high jump in my bedroom and nobody’s around to record it, would anybody believe it?
Well I did.
Placing a pole next to the mattress on the bed and using a small run-up- just like those fancy penalty kick takers in football that do the dink shot- I cleared 2.5m. This is a new world record according to the Guinness book of world records. Now I’m not going to boast and say I did it on my first go. It took many attempts and lots of hard work but I got there in the end. Trouble is the constant battering of the mattress left it in a helluva state. My wife will take one look at it and wonder what I’ve been up to. I could be for the high jump.
Just caught the end of the darts Premier League on the Evil Empire. Phil Taylor was playing somebody called Michael van Gerwen. Darts is one of those sports that I don’t watch yet I forced myself to watch the conclusion of this. It ended 6-6 for those that are interested.
What did catch my eye was at the end of the game it looked as if MVG (that’s what the commentators call him) was going to throw his darts into the crowd. Was this customary at darts? You know, just like the golfers that throw the golf ball to the spectators at the end of the Open. I waited for the carnage. Thankfully, for the punters, he was just kind of a punching the air with his darts.
If you ask me I’d say chucking missiles at the audience would make the sport a lot more exciting.
The cacophony of passing strangers was wearing me down. Their random snippets of speech jarring my ears as they stride past me. The random fragments of their stories that will be forever unknown to me, unfinished Schubert conversations
“Tomasz Wrzesiński wins Gold for Britain,” howls the newspaper vendor.
Living in an over-populated urban metropolis means that when outdoors there are very few moments for quiet reflection. The bustle of crowds and the usual noises emanating from a big city environment are contributory factors to the dearth of good pastoral poets in this neighbourhood. The only one that made an impact in the literary scene was B. Keeper but he was the exception. Read more…
Occasionally I am given some promotional material from my friends in Hollywood. One such item arrived today. It was the script for the new James Bond movie that is currently in production. The film is called Supremacy. I was told not to show the screenplay to any one or I would not receive any future goodies. Rules are there to be broke so I have copied the opening sequence for Charioteers eyes only.
1 Close-up of hay. Camera pans out to reveal Bond and a girl getting dressed. They are in a barn. Read more…
Using the mid-life crisis excuse a handful of us hit the town last night to see the latest Quentin Tarantino flick, Django Unchained. Opinion was divided over the merits of the movie. For me it was three hours of valuable drinking time lost.
Django is an indulgent piece of filmmaking by Tarantino. It bristles with all his familiar motifs: snazzy dialogue, quirky music, in-jokes, women’s feet, unrestrained violence, nods and winks to cult films of the past. Set just before the US Civil War it is an episodic, overlong, plot-holed, spaghetti western. The last half hour is a cartoon bloodbath that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the children’s musical gangster film, Bugsy Malone.
I really loved Pulp Fiction. This non-linear epic was filmmaking brilliance. Trouble is Tarantino peaked too soon. As the critic, John Simon said of Tennessee Williams “unlike the truest kind of genius he did not grow artistically”. This could also be said of Quentin who seems to be playing it for laughs nowadays. It could be summed up that when Tarantino makes a cameo appearance near the end the laugh is on us. Read more…
There was a report in yesterday’s The Times (sorry no link, Times Online is a pay site) regarding the soaring production of shale oil in the US. BP forecasts that this year the States will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil, most of it from rising shale output. Understandably, OPEC is not amused and will have to cut production to avoid a collapse and keep prices steady.
The loss of hegemony for OPEC in the oil market can only be good for consumers. Analysts predict that the price of a barrel of oil will drop by 20% in the next decade. Europe seems to be lagging behind in the development of shale reserves because of environmental concerns, fracking bans and lack of infrastructure.
The shale revolution has thrown on its head, for the time being anyway, the general consensus that global oil production is in decline. While welcoming the fact that the Arabs are squirming, the Middle East might become a more volatile place in the upcoming years.