Masquerading as a loom

When Sibyl writes up her lecture notes she types in key-words on Microsoft clipart and fills her document with pictures of little farmers. It makes the screen look like one of my favourite screen-savers of all time, something (or someone) called Bill Posters (geddit?) would come onto the Windows 3.1 screen and paste postage stamp-sized images all over your desktop. I thought it was amazing. I think it’s because I didn’t look at it closely, and I as a young child got the impression that he was a real man living inside our monitor posting illegal advertisements. That’s what I loved about computers when I was little, the possibility that an entire universe could exist behind the thick glass of that screen, all kept inside a CD-ROM. It was fuelled by a yearning for eternity no doubt, or maybe just a joy in seeing cartoons, and clicking on things that make noises and move. Those were always the best toys too, toys that I didn’t own, toys that seemed as if they lived, toys that had over forty different words and phrases, because they seemed real. So that is the task for you, software developers, toy makers and yes, you too, my old friends the advertisers… make worlds.

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Lidl bit of a shock

I’ve got my second cold of the year, this one’s more throaty which is always a lovely bonus. The stuff that comes out of my mouth in the morning is like boiled rhubarb.

We watched a film called Tyrannosaur. It fits into the category of social-realism. Very difficult film to watch, but there seemed to be elements of truth in it, searching for something important, so I think it’s a good one. It’s got some relevant themes too in terms of Christianity and morality.

I went to Cardiff this week with my course. We saw the Artes Mundi exhibition. I especially enjoyed the sildeshow work of an artist called Phil Collins (not that one). It was nice to be in Cardiff, a place I know mostly because that is where my Aunt and Uncle live. It was scary being in a city though, I wanted to get a bus to see my brother on the other side of town, he said he lived near Lidl, so I got on the bus and said – “do you go to Lidls?” “Waddyamean!? There’s millionsah Lidls!” He replied, flabbergasted. There’s only one Lidl in Aber, as you might imagine there’s only one of most things, apart from Polly’s there’s too many of them. I did make it to see my brother, but due to the faff of trying to circumnavigate the beast that is Wales’ capital I only got to see him for twenty minutes. But I got to give him his Bible which he left in Aber, so that’s good.

Sexism & Yankophilia

I was thinking last night about how potentially sexist the concept of cheerleaders is. We didn’t have them in our school, and I have never heard of any British school having such a thing, but I bet there are, because schools have ‘proms’ now, and it’s all because of Hollywood i.e. kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema yo’.

A cheerleader’s job is to worship the male sportsmen with a sacrificial sense of abandon and not expect any pay-off, apart from maybe the team winning. Of course that’s a lovely idea, but I wonder, in these US schools, do the blokes cheer the she-ladies when they play?

Going back to the previous point about Brits being Yankophiles, this continues when the U-Kids reach Uni, not only are girls desperate to become transatlantic short-skirt wearing man-praisers, but by now citizens under the rule of Elizabeth have the chutzpah to play American Football. I say make tiddlywinks mandatory.

 

The Pro-Plural Bookshop

I spent over an hour browsing in a commercial bookshop today. What a joy it was. I had the original and intelligent idea of writing down the books I liked the look of and then reading them in the National ‘Nash’ Library. Problemo was that it takes them a while to get new books, as far as I can tell anyway, so I couldn’t actually get the books I wanted read.

One of the processes I go through in a bookshop is a transgressive act most commonly known as ‘judging a book by its cover’, there’s some good graphic design out there, and it really does matter to me, so much so that last night, Sibyl reported to me that I said—in my sleep—‘You see! That’s the perfect example of a font that just doesn’t work.’ I don’t remember the dream but I can almost guarantee I was talking about Comic Sans. The only font that has become such a cliché that by now even hating it has become a cliché! However I was envisioning a future the other day, when a Wes Anderson-like artist will emerge and use Comic Sans in his work, and make a womderful post-modern-hipster visual statement. We aren’t quite at that stage yet though… soon.

One thing that struck me about the bookshop was its emphasis on secular humanist writers such as Christopher Hitchens, Phillip Pullman and Terry Pratchet. I have heard from Christians and non-Christians alike that these men are good writers, but I’m currently battling with an inner intolerance I possess of prejudicially leaving these authors out in my reading scheme, purely because of their atheistical notoriety. I have read one Terry Pratchet book, Truckers but that was before I knew he was well into euthanasia. It doesn’t affect me when it comes to music, I have been known to listen to Gary Glitter for example, and I famously spoke to the nation on the 6 o’clock news about the importance of recognising Michael Jackson’s musical talent ahead of his alleged child-molestation (it was when I worked in Virgin Megastores, I still stand by the fact I single handedly saved MJ’s career towards the last couple years of his life). Anyway, the lesson is, engage with people who have different views to you as being un-blinkered leads to less foolishness and a greater ability to discuss. The other thing is that artistic ability is by no means road-blocked by immorality (or as I say in my Conrad video – ‘talent is no racist’). I like the film/play Amadeus for showing that- Mozart is a twit but he makes beautiful music.

So I stop barking for a minute to get chips and drinks.

Have we got lager?

No.

Have we got cider?

No.

Fine then, I’ll have coke.

I said cocoa not coke.

Oh, I don’t want cocoa.

Do you want tea?

Yes, I’ll have ice tea.

Oh, we only have warm tea, hot tea, tea from a teapot.

Oh.

What will you do?

I’ll go out and buy chips and Dr. Pepper, that’s what London’s like, you can buy any thing ant any time. Will everyone dig in if we get a big bag of chips?

Yes, of course we will. While you’re gone we’ll learn the Welsh alphabet and each word that corresponds to each letter, there’s going to be a lot of mutations.

Make sure you have fun trying to explain the pun you can do with the ownership of a peacock.

Will do. Will do.

I revel in the privilege of breaking school rules in the final sentence of this post, I use the word ‘and’ at the beginning of it.

Was it yesterday when I said it was easy to wake up early every morning? Well, even though I have no belief in any such concept as ‘jinxing’ there’s got to be something –at least psychological– in it. This morning was pretty horrifically difficult on the tiredness front. But feeling weakness is good, we are fallible beings.

We got one of these dongles from a mobile phone company which gives you internet, it’s a modest amount per-month. They call it ‘mi-fi’ and it sits in yer house and sends you teh internets through the air. When we first got it, speeds were high, but by now, perhaps in a cruel metaphor to how my week has gone fatigue-wise, it has become too slow and too hairy. Of course in the same way as I don’t believe in jinxing, I don’t believe in Murphy’s Law, but when I called up the makers of this so-called ‘mi-fi’ the internet worked well. Always the way. I reckon they press a button which makes it go faster when you complain, to scare you off. The calling experience was pretty amazing. I really really really don’t want to let myself become a “bloomin’ call centres” obsessive. I think it’s brilliant that I can talk to someone in India from my sofa. Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about how amazing it is that they can control my computer. I press a button and suddenly –from India– she is moving my mouse/cursor and typing in test words like ‘fasceboolk’ on Google to see the speed of my internet. That impressed me. And scared me a bit.

No one likes it

A week or two of discovering academia anew. Recalling how to read. Wrestling with theories. Singing the word phenomenology to the tune of Mah Nà Mah Nà. Waking up every weekday at 6:55 to get up the hill for early morning practice. That’s easier than expected. Having to go to bed earlier has not been fun though.

There was rain this morning, Sibyl doesn’t like having wet feet, no one likes having wet feet but Sibyl really doesn’t like it. I have assimilated this p.o.v. and get more grumpy than I did at previous occasions in my life when my toes become damp.

We were in a tent once and it was raining and I was having a nap and Sibyl woke me up saying “YOUR TOES IS WET!” I groaned. “YOUR TOES IS WET!” Why is she telling me my toes are wet, and why is she using the third person singular present of be when are would suffice? “YOUR TOES IS WET!” I’m angry now, my feet are not even moist and what are you ON about!? “YOUR A.W. TOZER BOOK! IT GOT WET IN THE RAIN! YOUR TOZER’S WET.” True story.

In 2009 I made a YouTube video where I had a white plastic carrier bag covering my hair. I had just been in the rain and I told the world that I had officially grown up, because I no longer liked rain. There’s another YouTube video of me dancing in the rain, but that was taken before the grumpy vlog, so maybe I was a child at that point. This morning I really liked standing in my doorway waiting for my Danish buddy and watching the rain and feeling like I was watching the roof of the church opposite our house in HD. The sky was white. I liked rain then, so maybe I was a child for ten seconds, but then I walked up the hill and got wet and became an adult once more.