Archive for February 2012

This thing of Beauty

February 28, 2012

Glass has always had a place in my heart. If you opened me up I’d probably have a Heart of Glass. To begin with it was just pint glasses that made me reel like a boxer that’s gone fifteen rounds with Oliver Reed, then it became transparent to me that all types of this non-crystalline material, even of the non-drinking vessel variety have a charm that transcends prejudice.

My beer glass collection has changed over the years as breakages are common. The fragility of their substance can give the goblets a goldfish bowl half-life cycle. Many have cracked and been deposited in the graveyard of clear ivory. Turnover has been high because to put it simply, they are used regularly. They are toys that get played with, overflowing with liquid gold. Historically, the glasses have been used on many occasions and most of the time the occasions weren’t even special. It is a little known fact that glasses can get jealous. To stop any ill-feeling between them I have no favourites and have to drink from them all using a harem-like rotational system.

Frequently, I am to be seen in the glassware department of most retailers. The legendary sign “Boy you break that thing, you bought it” ( © Springsteen) hangs in most of these outlets. A warning of the perils that can occur. Strangely, this element of danger adds to the excitement as spine-tinglingly I creep through the aisles of crystal clear lightness. I wonder what it’s like to be a Taurus in a place like this.

The relationship between a glass and a man that loves glass can sometimes make life hard for the human. For sure, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve called the gas man, the glass man. And once in the pub when Lionel Messi pirouetted past three defenders I exclaimed: “That was pure glass”. One of my favourite Samuel L Jackson films is Unbreakable. Big Sammy plays a guy called Mr. Glass.

However, it is all not brightness and contentment as glass can be a double-edged sword. For all its diamond desirability it can be painful when it pays you back in shards. Therefore remember the brittleness and handle gently this thing of beauty.


Sunshine and Trouble

February 20, 2012

Stringer Bell famously commented that when the product is weak changing the name is a useful tool in economics. His philosophy seems to have been mirrored by the Rupert Murdoch organisation as it is about to launch The Sun on Sunday newspaper, which is the News of the World in all but name. The NOTW infamously collapsed last year due to phone tapping crimes. Sales of the new tabloid are expected to be high as sensational news stories are a circulation winner. Fancying a job as a freelancer with this rag I sought out some sensational stories to pitch to Rupert.

To begin with, one of my neighbours that I see most days has two dogs, one big, one small (although I can do the Cruyff turn I don’t know the breeds of dogs) that he takes for a walk each morning. His opening comment is always about the dogfight that occurred when the dogs woke up.
“The small dog battered the big dog this morning.”
Sometimes this can be- “The big dog battered the small dog this morning.”
Before I meet him I take bets to myself over which dog will be the current top dog. The violence in this story might appeal to the Sun on Sunday reader added to which they will take sides in the uncertain contest. This could lead to domestic squabbles as brother fights brother or sister-in-law fights mother-in-law over which dog is their favourite: Spitfire or Messerschmitt.

Moving onto more serious matters in society, I’ve discovered an occupation where there is a degree of unfairness in working conditions. This is in the Lollipop people profession. I’d imagine they are all paid the same yet some have it easier than the other. Some Lollipopians are given berths at traffic lights which make the job safer and simpler to negotiate the crossing of the road than the ones that must stop the traffic by stepping onto the street using their road sense. I’m sure the latters nerves are fractured and they wish they had a cushy button pushing number. This dubious employment practise could be a big investigation for the SOS to lead with, pitting themselves against the Sunday Times insight team as the best investigative journalists.

With these two scoops up my sleeve I was almost ready to ring Rupert; I hacked into his phone earlier so I know the number. I just needed one more tale to tell. And it had to be a big one. From out of the black and into the red, one of my sources told me of the outlaw lady, trouble with a capital T that rode into Sharktown freeing the ladies and horses from captivity. They’ll buy this one for a dollar. The Sun on Sunday will be a red top but cover to cover it will be filled with ladies similarly attired like Pink.

Postscript: Love Pink (not Pinkie). Uploaded the video first and worked the script around her. As you do.

The Bucket List #3 – Destruction

February 11, 2012

The tunes were all in the deaf Beethoven’s head and Rodin could see the figures in the marble before he chipped his way round the stone. It’s a gift to be creative. The opposite of creative is non-creative. Non-creativity is a lot easier to accomplish. For this reason, and for the fun of it, I’d like to put in a virtuoso performance of annihilation.

How good would it be to demolish a building with a wrecking ball?

This weapon of destruction causes carnage and chaos as it is not certain which way the bricks will crumble. Imagine being in the cabin at the controls swinging this almighty leg chain and ball. Stage by stage you can Jenga the edifice with an artists precision. Watch with tingling spine as you devastate lumps of masonry that form massive dust clouds. The only thing I think of that comes close to this powerful juggernaut for sheer elation is snapping bubble wrap even though bubble wrap snapping is a serious addiction for some.

Good times never last and the pendulous wrecking ball crane is past its prime as controlled explosives that level a building in one fell swoop are favoured today. Crowds gather, cameras at the ready, to record the concrete avalanche as the fuse gets ready to blow. This quick dismissal is symptomatic of today’s Twitter, soundbite generation: speed texting, swift broadband speed, rolling news. Not for them the crunching, devastating, deafening as Ludwig van’s fifth, marathon test match viewing of a few days of wrecking ball madness.

As my chances of operating a wrecking ball are slim, health and safety practises would have something to say for a start, I will have to set my sights on something attainable that could give me my destructive fix. In a picture in my head I see trees. One day I am going to cut down a tree. And not just any old tree. I’m talking about a huge tree that you find in a forest. And you can forget about using a power saw. No siree, it’s roll your sleeves up time and hack away with an axe.

After tears, blood, sweat, toil and lots of cola the big tree (I don’t know the names of trees, I’m not a botanist. A tree is a tree is a tree) will come tumbling down. Satisfied? Not yet. The next task is to hollow out the bark using chiselling tools. Rodin the lumberjack would like this. Soon a tunnel will form and I’ll be able to see the daylight shine right through. Then I’ll lie down inside and sleep like a log.

Wiki started it

February 6, 2012

A few weeks ago the online dictionary Wikipedia had a site black out to protest against new anti-piracy laws. A few other online organisations followed suit. Wiki claimed that the regulation would infringe on their right to write using the freedom of information rule.

For a lot of people copyright has had its day. Millions of users download music, movies and books every minute. The pirated material is not as good as the genuine article; however, the try before you buy concept means a lot of pirates will then purchase legitimate items thus helping to boost sales for the performers and authors. At the moment, there is a lull in the fighting.

This impasse was broken when a revolutionary decided to up the stakes. As always happens in these cases, it happened by accident. The urban guerrilla dropped his shaving mirror while trimming. A thousand shards littered the floor and the man’s face, half-shaved, was Che Guevaran. Hoping to ward off seven years bad luck he started a Facebook page taking the fight offline and into the real world. He encouraged pirates against copyright not to use mirrors. His band of brothers grew to epic proportions.

Before long the city was awash with ragged, stubbly men sporting shaving cuts and tufts of hair that the blade had missed. Hairstyles also went to the dogs with side-sheds as wonky as a school table and hair gel sticking the rug up in a simple meerkat fashion. With no mirrors there was no vanity. Civil war hadn’t broken out yet, yet there were tensions between the looking glass lookers and the don’t-need-a-mirror advocates.

Women soon joined in the struggle taking sides. Mascara and lipstick was cemented on giving a mosaic look to the faces. Asymmetrical eyebrows were all the rage. A new magazine called Plastered Women hit the newsstands. Mirror sales concaved emitting the illusion of a thin pole. The pirates were winning until the urban guerrilla decided to escalate the warfare and wreak more havoc on mankind.

The Facebook group page was updated with a new rule for the legion of followers. This attempt at expansion was sheer folly. It was written that all pirates against copyright should close their eyes causing total blackout when entering a toilet to um, do their toilet. This message made most of the gang see the light (and the mirror) and come back to reality. For the true believers keeping the faith, the bathrooms of darkness and waywardness were part of their fight and they sprayed with false abandon. For the non-believers, enter these cubicles with care.