Digested 24/10/11

Well, I was supposed to put loads of other stuff between these “what-I-have-been-consuming” posts, but other business has prevented that from happening this week. But it’s a good plan, so like a sanitary towel I will press on.

American Horror Story has been packed with so many cliches that it’s difficult to explain the programme’s appeal. Perhaps it’s the fact that it really is packed. Everything happens in such a short space of time that it becomes ludicrously entertaining. I’ve watched the first three episodes and already it feels like a whole series’ worth of events has taken place. It’s freebase horror, rather than the slow release opiates I usually prefer, but it’s so over the top that it’s difficult not to be drawn in.

Queen of Spades flyer thumb

Done a bit of the theatre this week by going to see The Queen of Spades at the Arcola. In the interests of full disclosure, I should state that this wasn’t the plan and that I had been intending to see Phaedra Wept by Sarah Kane, but that was sold out of pay-what-you-can tickets. So, there was this instead. Truth be told, I was kind of relieved not to see the Kane play, as it seemed pretty fucking miserable. Queen of Spades wasn’t miserable, exactly, but it didn’t really warm the cockles of the heart. An adaptation of a Pushkin short story, it’s a three hander told in rhyming couplets.  When my companion and I left the theatre our reactions were almost identical and can be distilled down to: “well, I’ve seen worse…”

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, is a few years old, but the questions it raises about sexism, homophobia and violence in hiphop music are still very relevant. Unfortunately, my answer was to break out the old NWA albums and crank up the most offensive tunes I could find. Still, the documentary’s worth a look, if only for Busta Rhymes ducking the issue of homophobia in hip hop. It also reminded me of a unconfirmed rumour that flew around a while ago that Method Man and Redman, as well as being musical collaborators and bezzie mates, were in fact doing it on the sly. It should be pointed out that I don’t know if it’s true and that it also made My Mate The Rapper blanch at the thought, which is why it bears repeating.

Sunday turned into an unexpected Shatfest, when I found myself listening to this album (Spotify link) and reading Star Trek Memories, the introduction for which is so hyperbolic that it’s impossible to resist reading further.

Now I boldly go… into the bathroom, stumbling to the sink, where a sting of cold tile and a splash of cold water shock me at both extremities. The cobwebs finally begin to dissapate. I find my toothbrush, and in my hearly awakened state, I even manage to load it up. I now pause to admire my neatly symmetrical blob of tartar-control goo, lean in over the sink, look up into the mirror and come face-to-face with my own image, which scares me.

…My wrinkles, I muse, have been well earned, and they provide visual evidence of a career crammed with wonderful memories, and a life that’s been extraordinarily rewarding, both personally and professionally.

It’s not quite up there with Alan Partridge ending every anecdote with “needless to say, I had the last laugh”, but it’s a close second. And, to quote Shakin’ Stevens, it’s “lovely stuff”.

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