Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Off Again

And off I go back to France for another five weeks of exile.

[This statement accompanied with a lot of melodramatic sighing, tearfulness and wistful staring into the distant distance, in the manner of Elijah Wood at any given point in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.]

See you all on the other side...

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Do Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller, Actually

Q. Could there be anything, anything at all, more spirit-uplifting, more life-affirming, more pointlessly joy-making, than an entire album of cheesy 80s synth-pop hits mashed up with old-school hip-hop tracks?

A. There could not. And here to prove my point is that Skee-Lo track mixed up with Harold Faltermeyer's legendary 'Axel F':

Skee-Lo vs Harold Faltermeyer - I Wish (m4a)

Ooh, and there are SO MANY MORE where that came from. Public Enemy vs Baltimora! Beastie Boys vs Bomb the Bass! Busta Rhymes vs Neneh Cherry! All so beautifully mashed up you can't even see the seams! Buy this*, and you will never be unhappy ever again. Ever.

* I got it for a fiver in FOPP at the weekend. Bargain!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Middle Class Orgasms

(Anyone who is related to me, or who works with me, may care to look away for the duration of this post, as I fearlessly throw my editorial policy to the wind...)

It's been a long time since I stopped reading Cosmopolitan, and you don't get too many articles about the female orgasm in Wired or the Economist, so I don't know if this is common or not. But essentially, all you need to know (although you may feel that you didn't need to know this at all) is that at times of - ahem - intense sexual pleasure, I hallucinate.

These aren't your run-of-the-mill swirly psychedelic visuals, of the sort produced by illicit hallucinogens. Oh no. They're much more refined than that. More refined, and more materialistic. And quite design-led. So refined, materialistic and design-led, in fact, that sometimes it's a bit like watching a film of A Rebours directed by the art editor of Elle Decoration.

Here, by way of example, are some of my frequently-recurring coital visions:

  • A lovely Elizabethan knot garden

  • A lovely Elizabethan knot garden under the snow

  • An entire collection of retro Marimekko-style furnishing fabric

  • A flotilla of steampunk airships in the style of Fornasetti

  • A set of cushions with bold art naif flower prints

  • Some nice candy-coloured notebooks with a treeline silhouette motif

I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from this, other than that my brain has somehow accidentally got wired up to Condé Nast. I don't know whether I'm inadvertently producing issues of House and Garden, or they're streaming back copies of World of Interiors straight into my head, but either way it's an arrangement that works for me. You can never see enough nice stationery, in my opinion.

Next week: My Middle Class Dreams, starring Florence Broadhurst and Nigel Slater.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Short Post About Films

'I know,' said the lovely Mr BC, 'let's watch All Known Films In Which A Body Part Is Severed And Then Comically Mislaid, And In Which A Large Spider Also Gets On A Woman.'

And so it came to pass that last night we watched low-budget Brit-horror-action-comedy Severance, and high-budget Raymond Chandler homage Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. And both of them were great.

Everyone must see Severance, for not only is it surprisingly gripping and yet also pleasingly funny, and not only is Danny Dyer very likeable in it, and not only does a cute blonde chick get to smack up baddies with a big stick, but it was also written by one of us, namely a blogger, namely the mighty James Moran. And a fine job he has done too.

Also I liked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang because it has good colours. And because someone mentions a talking monkey that comes from the future and only says 'ficus', which is the best line in a film ever.

You can see why I don't really do film reviews.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ontological Grief

The real me has been muscling in on Patroclus's territory of late, which is causing the pair of us all kinds of ontological grief.

The real me used to have the good grace to stay off the internet, choosing instead to sit in a swanky office writing brochures about software packages that do boring, menial things that humans don't like doing.

But the real me was envious of the fun Patroclus was having, with her blog and her wonderful online friends. Perhaps inevitably, the real me bred an army of emergent nanobots, who generated a software package that generates brochures about software packages that do boring, menial things humans don't like doing.

With nanobots now safely in charge of client service, the real me escaped on to the internet to play havoc with my own sense of a single, unified self.

The real me now has her own blog, and her own profile on Twitter. And just as Patroclus fears that one day her 'real' identity will be revealed, the real me fears that one day she will be unmasked as Patroclus.

In some places, the safety curtain between us is already looking distinctly threadbare. Lots of people know at least one of Patroclus's real names. Patroclus and the real me write on similar topics. The real me occasionally accidentally comments as Patroclus, and vice versa. Lexical fingerprinting experts could link us in seconds, probably using this very post.

I'm just hoping we stay separate for long enough to run into each other online. In theory it could be a beautiful friendship - we have so much in common - but I have a suspicion that we don't actually like each other all that much. The mischievous postmodernist in me is really looking forward to finding out.

UPDATE: If anyone can shed any light on what Dante Gabriel Rossetti was trying to express with that doppelgänger painting up there, I'd be most grateful. My book about the Pre-Raphaelites is rotting away in the cellar of my French house, and the so-called 'information supernet' is annoyingly unforthcoming on the subject.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


George Clooney is apparently making a mini-series of The Diamond Age!

Hmm, I'd better actually read it, then, eh?

Monday, January 15, 2007


Especially for Pashmina*

I saw this notice sellotaped to the automatic doors of Chiswick M&S today:

The automatic doors are not working at this current time. Please use the other doors.

Please don your deconstruction helmets and prepare to march on M&S HQ wielding sawn-off copies of the Economist Style Guide.

* Whom it was lovely to see at the already legendary GW convention on Saturday, along with fellow bloggers and commenters Aimee, cello, ducatilady, Heather, Marsha Klein, realdoc and many, many day all round!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Forty-Eight Hours Earlier

There are many sensible reasons why I should have found it difficult to get out of bed and go to work on Monday. Some of them are as follows:

1. It was cold.

2. It was dark.

3. It was raining.

4. I'd just come back from holiday.

5. The bed was nice and warm.

6. Also, there was a very attractive man in it.

7. My laptop was still broken.

8. I had a thrilling article to write about internal helpdesk systems for banks.

However, none of these things was going to prevent me from springing from the bed at 6am like a newborn gazelle and embracing the promise and joy of the first day back at work. Oh no. But I hadn't really bargained for reason number nine:

9. Fear of zombies.

I probably shouldn't have watched the first twenty minutes of 28 Days Later on Sunday evening. Then I wouldn't have spent the whole of Sunday night having terrible dreams about being chased across Turnham Green by the living dead and (as if that wasn't scary enough!) divebombed by zombie lapwings.

By the time the alarm went off I was still terrified, and refused to leave the flat before it got light, lest I be pursued along Chiswick High Road by shuffling yummy mummies and their undead tots.

Tonight I shall watch Season Two of the O.C., and pray that I don't have dreadful nightmares about being hounded by hordes of skinny comic book geeks sporting faintly subversive indie-band t-shirts.

Although, on second thoughts, that might not be so terribly bad...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Readers: Your Stories Needed

Woo hey yeah (as we thirtysomethings say when we wish to appear hip), I have commandeered the blue cat iBook while its unsuspecting owner is in the bath.

Today I was thinking about my book, and then I remembered that I don't agree with books, as they are simply products of the capitalist machine, designed to manipulate the masses into handing their money over to evil publishing corporations that are probably all ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch, only disguised as something rewarding and cultural, even though most of them are by 'Sophie Kinsella' and therefore not rewarding and cultural at all, but rather just a list of other products of the capitalist machine designed to manipulate the masses into handing over their money for things that are even less rewarding and cultural, and then I came round and found that I was walking very fast towards Chiswick, mouthing the words to that acid house remix of 'Personal Jesus', and scattering old ladies and infants in buggies in my haste.

Then I persuaded myself that if I did get a book published, it would probably be morally OK if I also serialised it online for free, and that's when I thought I could really do with enlisting the help of my blog readers.

If you've read this far, you shall now reap your reward, because this is where we get to the audience participation bit.

My book (should it be published, or indeed written), is about how the 'participatory internet' has changed life in Britain. And for this, I need your stories and anecdotes about how it has changed things for you.

By 'the participatory internet', I mean anything that's online in which you actively participate, rather than just looking or reading. So, if you write a blog, or take part in chat forums, or put your own music or videos (original or 'mashed-up') online, or post reviews of things on websites, or even email or instant message people, can you think about how this has changed your life, and either let me know in the comments, or send me an email at quadrireme at googlemail dot com?

It doesn't have to be a massive, earth-shattering kind of change; trivial stuff will be just as interesting, if not more so. And although I said I'm interested in how things have changed in Britain, I might change that, so even if you don't live in Britain, please do still let me know.

If this comes to any sort of fruition, I will of course solicit your proper permission before anything is published.

Gentle readers, I thank you in advance, and look forward to receiving your stories.

Still AFK

Laptop still dead, back soon. I hope.

Monday, January 01, 2007


1. Write a book! Woo, yeah, it will be the best book ever, about the internet and stuff, and everyone will want to read it, except newspaper lifestyle columnists, who won't want to read it because it will contain UNPALATABLE TRUTHS.

2. Erm, that's it.

PS Happy New Year!