Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Monday, November 14, 2005

Traitor! (and other short observations)


It's just been brought to my attention that the Right Rev. Ian Paisley was one of the MPs who voted against the 90-day internment law. Therefore, in the eyes of The Sun, the man is a traitor to the United Kingdom.

Now, while I'm no fan of Reverend Paisley, I'd still pay good money to watch Rebekah Wade tell him he's a traitor to his face. That'd be some Reality Television I'd approve of.


William Shakespeare is shite. OK? And anyone who says otherwise has simply been brainwashed by the British education system. Deal with it.

His dialogue is stunted beyond belief... stunted to the point of unintelligibility. All this horseshit about "wonderful use of language" is just that... horseshit. I mean, it's not the archaic nature of the language, it's the sheer badness of it. Cultural imperialism has meant that Shakespeare gets revered all round the world, but it's perhaps the biggest example of Emperor's New Clothes syndrome that exists within literature.

The plots are unimaginative and flawed on almost every level. The characters never inspire the slightest bit of empathy and are often crude racist stereotypes. And dear god, that wooden dialogue.

Yes, I do have a wee chip on my shoulder about the fact that I - as an Irishman - spent some time in the British educational system and was exposed to the myth that Shakespeare is the pinnacle of literature in the English language. At the same time that I was studying Henry IV (1 & 2) I also happened to read Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

Night and fucking day.

Which isn't saying that you have to look to the Irish for good writing (though that's never a bad idea), and there's plenty of truly excellent literature to be found in this country. But I find this sycophantic lauding of 'The Bard' to be vaguely nauseating.

Oh yeah, and Falstaff just isn't funny.


There's an interesting website that I've just encountered (via Curious Hamster) called Last.fm. The basic premise is really very simple. You download a wee plug-in for your media player which then uploads the track information for every song / piece of music you listen to on your PC. This data is then put into charts and can be cross-referenced in all manner of interesting ways.

A very groovy site indeed if you listen to a lot of music on your computer. You can check in on what I'm listening to at any point by heading over to my own Last.fm page (which I've also conveniently made the top link on my left sidebar).

Coming soon

I'm starting to get the urge to write about stuff again (can you tell?) I think we can thank (or blame) The Sunt for this reawakening. Silver linings and what have you.

Currently in the works is a piece about just why it is that artists selling their music to advertisers is so shoddy (lots of stuff about fugue states and psychological imprinting / manipulation... kind of highbrow but with enough swearing to make it sufferable I hope).

I'm also a little tempted to get involved in the nuclear energy debate currently going on between Rochenko over at Smokewriting and Tim Worstall.

I'm aware that my off-hand dismissal of economists has irritated Tim in the past, and I'm genuinely sorry about that. He's a smart chap with some interesting stuff to say (for an economist). And I'd like to point out to Tim that my flippant remarks about economists are merely an attempt to prick the bubble of self-importance which surrounds the discipline. A bubble that I'm sure Tim (if he was feeling honest) would admit is there. It's no different to the habitual use of the phrase "tree-hugger" to prick exactly the same bubble that environmentalists frequently disappear into.

Economics can be an interesting and useful model of human interaction. But my problem is with those (and they are many in number) who confuse the model with reality... the map with the landscape.

Anyways, I'm part of the anti-nuke crew. For a whole bunch of reasons. And I hope to get round to expanding on those reasons soon. Though it's possible I may use the comments facility on Tim and Rochenko's blogs to do so. If that's the case, I'll provide a handy link from here.


Blogger Justin said...

Hey Jim. On the last.fm thing which I've done over at my place. If you're so inclined, you can stick the rss feed for your last fm page into Feedburner. Using a little bit of FB's native javascript, you can then have the last X tunes you played displayed on your site.

14/11/05 07:43  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Hmmm... I'll have to look into that, Justin. Sounds like exactly the kind of waste of half an hour that I love. I used to have a list of "currently listening to" albums, but it was too much of a pain in the arse to keep updated manually.

Have to admit, last.fm really brings out the geek in me.

14/11/05 12:50  
Blogger Justin said...

And where's the frickin' moblog? The ability to post photos directly from my mobile phone is going to keep me amused until at least Thursday.

14/11/05 14:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha, you sad, sad men [furtively logs out of Librarything].

14/11/05 15:14  
Anonymous Rochenko said...

That was me, for what it's worth.

14/11/05 15:15  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Yay! Got it sorted. Though it does increase page-load time by several seconds... that might end up annoying me.

Also, I've noticed the feed doesn't update nearly as fast as last.fm does... I can be so demanding!

Have to say that the idea of mobile-photo-blogging calls to mind all manner of ugly ideas regarding happy-slapping snuff blogs. I presume that's not the road you'll be going down, Justin.

14/11/05 16:02  
Blogger Justin said...

Happy-slapping had a whole different meaning when I were a lad. You could still get arrested for doing it in public, mind.

So no, it'll be arty shots of Brighton's dogshit epidemic and other such hard-hitting photo-journalism.

14/11/05 20:37  
Blogger zoe said...

wow@the last.fm thing!
i can see myself not leaving my living room for days on end. thank you.

20/11/05 15:34  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Zoe, last.fm is indeed excellent. Unfortunately, the week I joined (and chose to recommend it to everyone) is also the week they've been making some software and hardware upgrades, with all the associated problems that can entail.

Still, I can forgive the short outages when I'm being given such a great site for free.

20/11/05 16:21  
Blogger Jarndyce said...

Economics can be an interesting and useful model of human interaction.

I'm not sure I agree with this. I'd say: when it comes to questions of survival, subsistence, power, money-politics and the like, it's the only model of human interaction any good at describing and explaining on a macro-scale. Of course, it very much depends on what flavour of economics you subscribe to... I wouldn't necessarily agree with all or even most of the estimable TW's blend.

21/11/05 14:14  

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