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1st2thebar

1st2thebar

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Expect Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol at some point.

Reviews written

since 11/05/2005

748

What is the best memory of your 2017 holidays? 20/09/2017

Vision Espresso

What is the best memory of your 2017 holidays? Nothing like a 'Eurostar' London to Paris trip, just for the hell of it! You can't beat the stifling heat of underground travel, locked in a sardine tin rumbling on at a fair rate being sandwiched between rock and water; six hours ten minutes worth. Granted, the closest I've been to the Earth's crust since my close shave with hell, when a cowboy hatted Christian announced a year ago while clutching a huge bible pillow... if a thunder-bolt struck the pavement we were sharing... "I was going down, man..." on the contrary, he was destined to rise after dividing our cajoled ashes -- fortunately the weather was fine that day. I'd intended to walk in the shadows of greatness, namely Michel Houellebecq a French author who writes passionately on Parisien sights and sounds, his sublime novel 'Submission,' left a hollow sense of reality within. In this idiotic era, I wanted to know if the change had come on cue, y'see in 2017 for Houellebecq was when the bouncy friendly culture descended into a seisemic ritual of pavement and ankle gazers; a year when piety had political vigour. I generally can gauge after several hours being sardined for a handful of hours with intercontinental strangers what the mood is like in the camp, for my English englobe sings out like a nightingale trapped in a greenhouse. Then something in print sang at me like an angel from the mire of inequality, despair and tragedy, including acts of angry omnipotent spirits. My eyes were the size of Henry VIII saucers, ...

Will Hay - Oh Mr Porter (DVD) 13/09/2017

Hay Market

Will Hay - Oh Mr Porter (DVD) Year 1937 Director: Marcel Varnel Starring: Will Hay, Graham Moffat, Moore Marriott Produced by Gainsborough Pictures Duration: 85 minutes Plot: William Porter played by Will Hay is deported to Buggleskelly in Ireland (where trains never pass) to be a Stationmaster after having caused ignominy. He then continues to create havoc with his equally haphazard co-workers... Harbottle played by Moore Marriot and Albert played by Graham Moffat -- the trio develop a calamitous working relationship, by hook or crook the end result is the same. Luck. - - - Two or three wrongs don't make a right usually, but Marcel Varnel's work ethic never went via normal steadfast practices -- why he was one of the pioneers of cinematic satire in the 1930s; "what's fun in getting what you asked for?" You got to accept when big characters deliver their craft there's a major factor it ain't what you possibly could be fore-warned about; the best comedic directors possess a 'what will be, will be' attitude (s); especially while working with so-called geniuses... automatically you compute there's an art of being cooperative. Actors aren't comedians and comedians aren't actors; the end result depends on chemistry, orchestrated awkwardness and endearment. However, within the frame there has to be a sense of verisimilitude, regardless of slap-happy idiocies, otherwise everyone will have egg on their face quite literally. 'Oh Mr Porter!' only missed out on the egg by inches, missed by a cartoon drama ...

What is your Summer Drink? 05/09/2017

Malt Teaser

What is your Summer Drink? Before I engage in discussing a topic with the intellectual gravitas of a scrunched up tea-leaf, I like to announce, it's now Autumn and like Summer all beverages could be consumed regardless of season. We have an option in the 21st C, beverages could be chilled via refrigeration, or temporarily put in the freezer; most households have these types of options these days, of the knowledge not everyone has a cellar or a pantry. We all know August is a month of nebulous-news, why I take 'The Telegraph's' view that beer is the 'perfect' summer beverage as a news-filler and not a recent news item either. Evidently, Sophie Atherton who is a beer writer, she coincidentally stated that beer was the nation's choice two years ago, after an influx of beer (s) available on the market, comparable to when Atherton noticed or did a drinks competition - although, it appears there wasn't a summer drink competition after all due to the fact 'The Telegraph' used the idiom: "(Beer) beats off the competition including wine and spirit mixers.." -- because when the UK is blessed with a douse of Summer, everyone is sensible enough to refrain from high ABV beverages; on the contrary, I'm an exception! Whenever Summer shifts into gear, which is invariably... I glug out a sizable 'Special Reserve.' Scotland's finest scotch, matured in oak cases, for a minimum of three years; now this blend has won a competition: notably the silver award for spirits in 2014. For the record, whenever Autumn shifts into ...

In summer: do you prefer swimming in the sea or in the pool? 01/09/2017

Rectangular Womb

In summer: do you prefer swimming in the sea or in the pool? I was cornered by a retired gruff man from the Navy about four years ago at a charity event, the subject we discussed oddly was about open sea swimming versus chemical pools: "Are you one for the raw open sea or do you prefer the safety of a pristine blue rectangular womb?" I genuinely didn't know how to respond, I quipped; "it depends on the womb." The retired Navy man's current eyes widened: "You are no man if you don't get invigorated with nature's salty tears..." I claimed I hadn't really thought about it to the gent - of the prefix, my mind doesn't automatically judge via gender type where I swim if on vacation. Having spent several minutes thinking about my preference, I'm neither bothered where I swim, but I find myself drawn to a particular blue. For the record, the retired Navy gent remained in social media contact with me until eight months after the EU Referendum result... he was decidedly pique about my so-called... 'remoaning' and suggested I joined the Navy... "our sailors would like some bait ... nom, nom, nom..." Actually, the exchange a few posts thereafter had a poetic sordid thread that only the cliche of Navy personell would compute and label it under... 'character building.' Whether it was the affiliation of his glorifying of the raw open sea, the rebel in me swayed towards the beautifully blue pool that didn't transport sewage nor was suspiciously salty. Suchlike causes an epiglottal spasm, a signal that informed the brain, sea water was not to be ...

Detour (DVD) 26/08/2017

Ulmer's Working Week

Detour (DVD) Director: Edgar G. Ulmer Featuring: Tom Neal (Al Roberts), Ann Savage (Vera) Claudia Drake (Sue Harvey) Edmund MacDonald (Charles Haskell Jnr) Genre: Film Noir Duration: 67 minutes Produced in 1945 Plot: A New York bar pianist goes after his girl who absconds to Hollywood to find her fortune, after having called her with a hefty tip by a punter; he embarks on a road trip across the states via foot and gets offered a lift by a 'wealthy' businessman, the closer he gets to his girl the worse his predicament gets. - - - If I was overly polite I found 'Detour' symbolic.. hence borderline noir; if I allowed myself to express myself fully - 'Detour' should only be viewed as a form of punishment - to be played in Anthony Burgess's, 'A Clockwork Orange' (1962). I'd forgive the production if the formuliac, noir artistry, attempted to remove itself from amateur dramatics. Naturally, noir is all about over-elaborate expression; thus, Ulmer's 'Detour' opens the flapdoodle door. Misjudged by my opinion, for the idea of noir is to do the simple narrative proficiently, with a firm hand on stylistic creations; herewith, what emblems there were, such as the road-side, telephone line close ups and shoddy frame compositions, this film noir was startlingly primitive. I'd denote this could be the restraints of the epoch; as films had quick-fire production schedules during the Second World War years; particularly in 1945 when cinema was very much part of the liberation process. Indirectly, ...

What is your summer song 2017? 12/08/2017

Pulling the Allegri

What is your summer song 2017? I'm under no illusion; I'm no music aficionado, partly because I treat mainstream listening like a take away container, I sniff it, flip the curved edge cardboard top off, dive in with a fork make some agreeable noises and then send the container off to recycling utopia. After that, I rarely think about it. - - - Unfortunately, I did pay attention to the download charts in recent weeks in preparation for such a question. You may've heard of them, the chart with the most up-to-date download stats available to man - said, as if you genuinely care... ah, the wonders of download technology. As one of the pioneers of the digital age, namely getting the strong coffees and testing buffer speeds / encryptions and doing the hard digital slog. The result is the download chart machine, the collector of digital data , hence why I am kind of loyal to the media per se and respect the data processes, but the music creativity abuses my ears and intellect. Currently, top of the pile for quite a while is a song called 'Despacito' sung by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee: not the names I'd choose for serious performers, but hey... you have to run with it, even though no baby should be call Daddy, or Puff come to think of it. The translation defies logic and is incoherent. "I want to breathe your neck... slowly..." no Homo Sapien does that without having a restraining order, furthermore, necks aren't Yankee Candles, Daddy Yankee! And there's more... "I want to strip you off with kisses... ...

Board games: which are the best for you? 31/07/2017

Boundless Balderdash

Board games: which are the best for you? The game is a Robinson and Toyne creation from 1984 A combination of bluffing and wordplay Under the categories of: words, people, initials and dates (the year not fruit). The manufacturer denotes Balderdash has a registered trademark. - - - Balderdash isn't merely a board game but has metamorphosised into reality, in my adulthood I have a tendency to play the game whenever possible, sometimes undetected -- While on the phone, I string a sequence of murmurrings, in the mix there's a fragment of truth. I may elongate the conversation to the dental receptionist and stipulate being long in the tooth for my age... only to hear a lengthily pause -- indeed, confirming a check-up is temerariousness personified - at least I'm remembered, y'see in the game of 'Balderdash' sesquipedalianism plays havoc, one of my irritants is etymology, wordage trivia; and communicating it over convincingly enough to gain a card - although, in real life, it's a metaphorical one and you're the only active player. Humanity is swimming in a sea of balderdash, and I live in trepidation that our future generations are too distracted and disillusioned to make a theoretical analysis about where we are at and where we're going. No twenty-something year olds yet has told me anything on par to being... visionary; where are the fresh-face George Orwells, two decades ago I could pop to Shepherd and Woodward on the High Street in Oxford and talk 1984 or 'Dungeon and Dragons' with the ...

Tattoos: friends or foes? 22/07/2017

Temple Graffitti

Tattoos: friends or foes? My body is a temple, albeit, you have to remove your shoes and socks before you experience divine's work. I may have got the Corinthian verse 6 muddled up with a draconian pious message during cerebral transit from head to fingers... call me Indiana Jones and the temple of doom. My impurities go deeper than skin deep, deceptive really of the notion I've an adonis frame and don't require any attractive enhancements. For the record, I don't mind tattoos - this possibly is to do with the cultural drip, drip acceptance of permanently marking ones' skin, the slow seduction of permanent markers, lazer printing the largest organ of the body under the terminology of: vanity project. There's nothing in Corinthian's to say you can't inkjet your temple - then again Corinthians was decidedly nebulous about permanent markings on temples, I haven't read the small print about graffitti. Presumably, the muddled comment just concentrated on destroying God's temples just for the sake of it, alas, in this debate, some people claim that tattoos destroy the skin and body. Inadvertently, this amounts to the same hellbent scenario, mucking about with divine's work has dire results, why? Well, because all temples are sacred. You could argue that crumbling temples have much needed refurbishments therefore it's only right that we should have Gary Lineker eating Walker's Crisps on our shoulder. Cheese and Onion flavour isn't as painful as Salt and Vinegar apparently. Now I'm rubbing salt into the ...

Love Letters Of A Portuguese Nun (DVD) 18/07/2017

Dodgy Berger

Love Letters Of A Portuguese Nun (DVD) Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun was made in 1975, cleared censorship in 1977. Director: Jess Franco Genre: Erotic / Gothic Featuring an adolescent Susan Hemingway, William Berger and Herbert Fux Available to watch on 'You Tube.' Plot: A fifteen year old girl named Maria (Hemingway) is subjected to divine-orientated torture by a Priest, played by (Berger), who spotted her having an innocent dalliance. In a bid to rescue her from evil, she enters the Serra D'Aires convent - and there she naively experiences at every turn a punishment, and quickly denotes, repenting is superfluous under the umbrella of satanic prophecy. - - - The idea of forbidden fruit activates the animalistic in the adolescent, this is what happens when innocence runs in the woods and jovially giggles... "you'll have to catch me first..." to a young man, bedazzled and drunken with concupiscence. This is the start of 'Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun' - hormonal teenagers mesmerised by the pool of temptation. Jess Franco by this point had made his name with 'Necronomicon: Dreamt Sins' -- (1968); gravitated to the Marcel Proust theorems that the journey of revelation isn't merely about experiencing new landscapes, alas, comprehending the result of one's action (s); Franco's directorship takes the theory to heart. Such imaginative freedom is a joy beyond any measure and never fades... for it blossoms the soul magnificently. Overtly, this epitomises Jess Franco's directorship, even the horror is tongue in ...

A Cry For Myth - Rollo May 05/07/2017

Rollo Unwrapped

A Cry For Myth - Rollo May Publisher: W W Norton and Company Year released: 1991 Duration: 324 pages Price: 12.99 GBP Format divided up into four parts. Words don't come easy to me when it comes to engaging in myth - and I know why, much of the twentieth century subconsciously devalued myth. Y'see myth isn't real, of course you may know this; but in the West our focus has been about profiteering on fact. Rollo May is right when he relays the absence of myth will have a derogatory impact on all of us. I, for one 'warts and all' can see the benefits of myth. - - - Whether we need a 'cry' for myth... my position is luke-warm - unwittingly, I find myself walking on intellectual eggshells, of the notion myth is too much of a broad church to derail the ambiguity. If myth was imply a term about conceptual prose I would conclude Rollo May's theories warrant a greater prize, alas, not... piety is an obstacle. And May's mistake is to quantify myth as a credible source of reason biblically - actually, when literal meaning dupes myth into reality, somehow via history / documentation there's an odious justification for insane crimes against humanity: reference 'Faust,' written by Goethe in 1808. ------ Naturally Rollo May doesn't partake in this prose, partly of the de facto... the book was written a generation ago before the explosion (s) of sub-being ideologies and smart-technological advancements commenced. There's a kinship to both, duly of the knowledge consciously immense advancements tends to have a ...

Hand Spinner: what do you think of this new phenomenon? 01/07/2017

Whirring Logic

Hand Spinner: what do you think of this new phenomenon? Thanks to this phenomena I've designed a hula hoop for the thumb, the idea is to get everyone looking as if they've got their thumbs up, in turn the concept will make society appear friendly. - - - Innovative invention for decades have by habit woken up our youth culture from their hormonal apathetic doldrums - I confess, it has been a durable sleep since Britpop and that exhaustive 'Girl Power' message which energised youth culture to fever pitch. Youth culture overtax surely, I recall watching our youth culture engaging in Spice mania thinking, "you'll better stop, or you will burn yourselves out by the time you are a young adult..." They did burn themselves out, and I knew it'll take a miracle to raise our fresh faced darlings up from their self induced malaise and do something productive. Praise thee to the hand spinners, notably a technological marvel that's not interactive... or requires updates or subsequent downloads, ye-h, it's an object. How rousing, furthermore the object is a testimony of grand design and has the capacity to solve modern day social issues too - anxiety, boredom and turns attention away from smartphones. Remarkable, being of a curious type I decided to delve into the hand spinner's philosophy. My hands are clammy, my mind is in a spin at this gargantuan topic of hand spinning philosophy, of the premise our culture for over decade resembles a pinball concoction of apps, trends, threads and cats chasing lasers. In retrospect, the hand spinner ...

Is Parliament still sovereign? 27/06/2017

Sovereign a Problem

Is Parliament still sovereign? Our current administration simply showed their true colours when it came to the subject of sovereignty... this passed year; practically everyday the zombies go through all of the constitutional practices of seventeenth century parliamentary ritual only to derive none of it goes in, let alone comprehend any meaning. This has proven to be very dangerous... it's like an off-duty soldier gayfully walking on the front line armed with a cheese grater and bottle opener believing it'll be a picnic. Not exercising a nation's sovereignty is total incompetence; yet not knowing of its existence is truly minacious for all citizens. To make a comparison, to the French political landscape... sovereignty was actively at the forefront of Le Pen's 'Front National' campaign, exactly the same 'sovereignty rhetoric' was exposed by the right-wing Tories during 'GE2017,' yet they govern via selling the nation myths about sovereignty. The French have smelt the coffee, the UK obviously have a cold or are too senseless to have noticed the waft of fascism stripping back all that we hold dear. - - - In December 2016, I was not surprised at the idiocies I witnessed; indeed, ye-s, the May administration was going to the Supreme Court to find out whether parliament was sovereign. "What an absolute mess?" I thought, I can only surmise that the current administration didn't know sovereignty was decided thanks to the English Civil War. Yeah, a good 'ol fashioned Civil War commenced and gifted government ...

Father and Son - Edmund Gosse 20/06/2017

Digging up the Gosse

Father and Son - Edmund Gosse Edmund Gosse (1849 - 1928) Duration: 250 pages Genre: Biography Originally published by Heinemann in 1907, my copy was published by Penguin Books in 1949 Synopsis: 'Father and Son' is a chronicle of Edmund Gosse's background, indeed is a clash of two temperaments, notably, written in pain not anger. To be case studied or simply understood that individualism in retrospect is a non-entity - because we all have a responsibility for each other; humanity isn't immune from awful scenarios, only a fool turns away. Edmund Gosse's memoir is a venturous recollection of heart-wrenching realities, duties, loyalties and senseless faith. What eclipses all of that is the glorious detail of poets, popular culture and seismic heroism which is sadly irretrievable. - - - This classic, 'Father and Son' was published without a fanfare, written by Edmund Gosse probably for self-character-exploration. 'A study of two temperaments,' although, I suspect too much of a clinical title considering the closeness of the author's blood relation - i.e. the two studies. In turn, I'll respectfully respond fastidiously. I have the added joy that my copy has been well loved, what with the pencil markings highlighting psycho-analytical comprehension and signs that various liquids have gifted my copy oodles of character, there's a sense of holding fragile greatness. To give you a concept of age - one shilling and sixpence is printed in italic in the bottom right corner; (yes, an original copy) - evidently ...

The Thirty Nine Steps (DVD) 13/06/2017

Smoke and Mirrors

The Thirty Nine Steps (DVD) Director: Alfred Hitchcock (1899 - 1980) A Gaumont-British Picture Corp Year of production: 1935 Featuring Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Peggy Ashcroft and Wylie Watson - - - Reading John Buchan's 'The Thirty Nine Steps' - (1915), I found myself pondering: 'circumstances' and the concept of 'what ifs?' Probably a logical response to recent atrocities which intrudes on our lives and media networks. Escapism via watching the 1935 Hitchcock film version of the same name caused a soothing distraction. I smiled at the archaic smoky focus, disjointed edits and chance meetings - the suchlike didn't discommode me. Sometimes the only thing to do is partake in some silver screen therapy after having to pay observation service on a traumatic event or experience a timely irritation. Film script (s) and visualization in the pre-world-war era seemed simpler; perhaps a smidgen innocent - yes, an ideal comfort far less fattening than scoffing the contents of a cylindrical tube of 'Pringles.' Not a bad time to coin Arthur Schopenhauer's renown phrase: "The more I love mankind, the less I love men." Indeed you're systematically looking through a prism deciphering the colours of characters, and when you tilt your head you find you adore women more, almost as much as freedom itself. John Buchan slid in this shadow by activating the goodness of chance, as Alfred Hitchcock did while film-making wise he coloured in the black, grey and white landscape, and gave the Buchan narrative visual ...

Which sport do you practice most and why? 03/06/2017

My Greatest Feet

Which sport do you practice most and why? Engrossing topic, duly because the UK's General Election is obviously comparatively insignificant: for the continent, knows the UK and US are nations of protectionism these days; nothing to write home about there. To liven up matters, the 'Brexit' talks should be classed as a sport... why not call it: Blowhard?' I'm certain the phrase... "You cannot be serious" - will be heard once again in sport. Points will accrue for most convincing lies during the game of blowhard, not forgetting the slow-m-o-t-i-o-n replays of expressive neck wobbling, facial winces and close ups of kamikaze spittal all available on pay-per-view; forty pounds per month. Sport has been known to be an option to improve one's health and well being of course; a means to unwind if you're toey or a clock - nothing better for the ticker. Being athletic, I've grasped sport as if it was a credible lifeline, a means to keep mind and body in shape. Y'see, I'm ill at ease with 'weak and wobbly' terms, if I allow myself to slip down this road, via diet or training program I'd lose that edge over my competitors, not that there's many who get their socks off lay flat on the ground and wriggle about like a wounded worm; now, by that description you probably guessed I'm a keen Toe Wrestler; originated in the mid 1970s. Those with croaked toes aren't built to be proficient in the sport and can disfigure the toes moreso causing mobility issues in the long term. I suppose, this is the upside of wearing clumpy 'Clarke' ...
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