Saturday, 31 January 2009

Terrible English

Here's a quote from the film theorist Colin MacCabe, from 1975. Why are academics sometimes the most inarticulate people... like... ever...

(bear in mind that this is a single sentence)

"The problem is to understand the terms of the construction of the subject and the modalities of the replacement of this construction in specific signifying practices, where “replacement” means not merely the repetition of the place of that construction but also, more difficultly, the supplacement—the overplacing: supplementation or, in certain circumstances, supplantation (critical interruption)—of that construction in the place of its repetition."

If I have any aim as a film theorist, it's to not write like this. I realise that the sentence before this one is a bad one, but I did it on purpose. It's also because I've been marking essays, some of which those essays are written with bad english that makes my writing now bad.

The funny thing is that I can't always tell what it is that makes a sentence a bad sentence or poor grammatically I just know when I see it but I know that poor punctuation has a lot too do with it also sentences that are too long also where the same word it used twice in the same sentence (like the sentence just before this one where I said sentence twice)

Saturday, 24 January 2009

I Finally found a use for the Semicolon


A Glass of Pure Heaven

No doubt about it, I'm definitely a middle-class kind of guy. Every once in a while I see something that brings this middle-class thing back to the surface.

I was in my local convenience store today and saw this:

I find stuff like this very difficult not to judge from some kind of elitist perspective. Is it just me? I have a theory that if you read "great deals! 99p Pure Heaven" you're locked into this predicament of either having to think "oh boy, that's a good price for a taste of pure heaven" or thinking "nasty shit".

It's illegible from the size of this picture, but the bottle says across the front "Sparkling Celebration Drink". The thought that people actually celebrate special occasions with this stuff makes me mist over for some reason. Celebrating with a glass of tap water wouldn't have quite the same depth of tragedy than celebrating with a glass of Pure Heaven.

Like I said, I'm middle-class. So sue me.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Can't See a Thing

I don't recall when I first saw this picture of Godard, it's one of those iconic images that feels like it's always been there. I became a projectionist in about 2003, and something that occurred to me quite soon after working with 35mm film is that Godard wouldn't be able to discern a single thing he was looking at. Try and imagine how dark a frame of film is, and then imagine looking at it while wearing a pair of shades. Idiotic.

More recently, however I saw this picture of Eisenstein that was probably taken about 30 years before the Godard one. It's not as well known, but I think it's an awesome picture....

Here is my version of that pose, albeit with a humble strip of 8mm film:

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

3 Generations

I must be into pictures that are alike at the moment (see Munch and Macaulay post). Here is mum, myself and my nephew seemigly pulling the same expression in recent photos.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and all that...

Tea Ski

For whatever reason, I wanted to transcribe a joke that stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg made on his recent album. Don't know why, but I think there's a brilliance to it:

"I wrote down tea ski, what the fuck kind of joke is that? I have no clue. Tea ski? What the fuck... Oh yeah, I remember - I wanna go to a lake and put tea bags in there for like, a hundred of them for like, a week. And then I'm gonna tea ski."

Friday, 9 January 2009

Do Cockatiels Smile?

Do cockatiels smile? No - they just look like their smiling. This dawned on me when I was chatting with a friend a couple of days ago, it's just the shape of their beak.

It must be exasperating to be a cockatiel if you're in a bad mood - everyone will get the wrong impression.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Peanuts and Mirror Neurons

As most people know, the brain is made up of lots and lots of little neurons that are firing all at different moments. More recently, 'mirror neurons' were discovered. A mirror neuron is a something that fires both when a person performs an action and also when they observe the same action being performed by someone else. The neuron "mirrors" the behavior of another person, as though the observer were performing the action themselves. They have been directly observed in primates, and are believed to exist in humans.

Studies have suggested that the mirror neuron system is involved in empathy - experiments using brain scans have shown that certain regions are active when a person experiences an emotion (disgust, happiness, pain, etc.) and also when he or she sees another person experiencing an emotion.

With this in mind, I suspect that one of the reasons that this clip of Matt Lucas singing the Peanut song on Shooting Stars is so funny is because he keeps cracking up, as do the guys sitting behind him. I guess it's called "infectious laughter". All about the mirror neurons...

Monday, 5 January 2009

Rage in a Shopping Center

I'm reluctant to visit shopping centers, or shopping in general for that matter. Or engaging in any kind of discourse with the public domain. One of the reasons I'm glad that I don't have TV is because it's another way that I don't have to think about how our intelligence is continually being under-estimated. Case in point, I was in a shopping center recently and besides having to endure the insipid, limp-wristed music that's being forced in my head, I also saw following:

What's the point in the additional exclamation points? Do they actually think that these will get us more excited about the price reductions? They won't. It'll just edge us that little bit closer into the state of living-death where we're numb to everything and nothing is as fulfilling as it seems.

Obnoxious!!! Idiotic!!! Patronising!!!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Thai Toilets

For New Years Eve I went to a Thai restaurant with my parents in Macclesfield. The graphic toilet signposts put me in a good mood...