Sunday, January 14, 2007

I don't want the cheese anymore. I just want to get out of the trap. Proverb

detail from 'Kim Hiding' by Kate Kretz

Have I got a cultural extravaganza for you today?! It's not a real question, and the answer is yes.

I spent a relaxing afternoon with my Dad. We popped down to Gunwharf and checked out the sales in Virgin and HMV before we went for lunch. I don't really understand why the major difference between these two stores seems to be that Virgin feel entitled to sell identical stock, and charge on average £2 more for it.

Anyhoo, they are both selling some classics off at Ker-azeee prices and I came home with DVDs of: Vertigo, Citizen Kane and Bill Murray's Broken Flowers. I haven't watched any of them yet, but will doubtless review as I go along. No cultural experience happens to me in isolation anymore, I always report it here.

In addition to the DVDs, I took the opportunity to go back to the bookshop and find a copy of Safe From Harm by Rollo Armstrong, which I bought for Kate for Christmas. It was one of those gifts that you wish you'd bought an extra copy for yourself, and as they still had them on the shelves today, I grabbed another one.

Rollo Armstrong is a man with a lot of strings to his bow. He's a founder member of dance band, Faithless, Dido's big brother, and works with fellow DJ/producer Sister Bliss as a production/remixing team AND he's a bloody good writer too. On the book's website, Rollo describes the idea behind Safe From Harm:

...Rollo Armstrong decided he was going to write a children's book, but for adults. No, actually he was going to make an album that dealt with his childhood. No, no, he was going to do both..."

Safe from Harm is, thus, an entirely original multimedia project: a book, animated short film, and album - all based on the same central story. Go to the website and check out the 'Watch' option to catch an idea of all three. Highly recommended, and Safe from Harm, the book is currently on sale in the Children's Section of Bookends, Gunwharf. You shouldn't miss it. I've just bought the album from Amazon adn will report on that as soon as it arrives.

I spend the early evening catching up on some long-winded internet procrastination surfing. There's a lot of things going on for me 'behind the scenes' at the moment, and any opportunity to drift away on the dreams and whims of others is welcome distraction. When I 'indulge' in these moments, I invariably find something uplifting and inspiring. Perhaps procrastination too, is all part of the process.

Isn't It Enough

from Rollo Armstrong's Safe From Harm

And as she talked of love that lived on after death
& spirits in the air & karma
& all the ghosts she had seen
And as she talked of Universal connections
& life's ebb and flow
& astronomy and tarot
I thought
'You fool.'

Isn't it enough -
The stars and moon
The streets and the stones
Art and movies, books and coffee
And the way we build our homes
Isn't it enough -
The love between and within us
The love that is practical & small
Tender and sometimes hardly there
Aren't we enough?

How do planes fly,
Migration, alcohol,
How did we discover olive oil, or wine -
Milk with tea.
Isn't it enough -
Virginia Woolf or T.S. Eliot
Jane Austen or Nabokov
Frasier and the Sopranos
The ants at work
Tides and clouds
Sapce, history, time
Life, every moment of it, every drop of it

Three Daily Finds

1. The story of Stetson Kennedy's role in the downfall of the Ku-Klux Klan (courtesy of Freakonomics - check out the chapter 2 summary, if you're interested)

2. The work of Kate Kretz, which move, disturb and inspire me all at once (her portrait of Angelina Jolie as the Madonna has been causing quite a stir, too)

3. Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake (thanks to Pippa for the tip off on this), which you can catch a glimpse of below. I am desperate to see this, but think I've missed its England run (there were tickets left for Tuesday night but it's quite short notice!) and Oz is a but far to travel, even for a ballet. I'll settle for this YouTube clip, instead.

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I never really saw the difference between Virgin and HMV either. I'll have to check out that piece about the wretched KKK, in parts of the states they have yet to reach a 'downfall' and sadly seem to be very much alive. Cool blog.

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