Monday, 11 April 2011

Beda #7 Things Twitter has Taught Me.

I felt like writing something 'newsy' today so instead of going to the trusty BBC, I turned my attention to Twitter to see which interesting stories were floating around. 

Let's start with the bad. YouTube piano man Mike Lombardo posted earlier; "Here's your daily dose of stomach-churning hatred and bigotry. Enjoy." Of course I had to click on it and it was as horrible as I expected.

I haven't posted this quickly enough for you to be able to watch the video as it has been removed but you can read the news story here.  There was a conference happening this weekend at an American university called The Awakening. It was a political conference for 'Christians'. You must excuse my punctuation here but it really is necessary.  There was a panel called Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda: A Zero Sum Game in the Military and Beyond. In it was a discussion on semantics and how rebranding 'gay' will help in 'the war'. Apparently "‘Gay’ is a left-wing socio-political construct designed to create grounds for fundamental rights [based on] whimsical capricious desires,” said Ryan Sorba, chairman of the Young Conservatives of California. “Gay identity does not exist.” If the war is to be won then 'gay' should be replaced with terms such as "same-sex attraction', "same-sex intercourse", "sodomy", "unnatural vice" or "anti-Christian".

All of these terms are despicable as they attempt to dehumanise the owner of the label. Particularly "anti-Christian". Shouldn't we be approaching the point where we feel sorry for these people? They seem to believe that the biggest threat to their religion are people who like members of the same sex. Apparently homosexuality is the biggest threat to the criminalization of Christianity. Again, really? For an intensely religious country like the USA, that seems mildly ridiculous. That the religion of the founding fathers would be banned is absurd and a few people in a university conference room surely aren't going to make the rest of the country think otherwise. I hope.

***edit - Mike informs me that the idea that the US is a Christian country is a pretty simplified view and one that people like this cling to. This will be pretty interesting to investigate as the amount of religious rhetoric that comes out of the US (or is reprted at least...) would definitely lead an outside observer to a different conclusion. I guess The West Wing can't teach me everything!***

In a way we should be glad. Without intolerance there would be no tolerance. I think people like this do more good than harm. They show us what we don't want to become. 

Another America story then I promise I'll stop... I love you guys really!

The Modern Library has released it's top 100 books. Compare the "official" list to the reader's list. The differences are pretty obvious. Would it worry you if I said that 7 out of the 10 books in the reader's list were by Ayn Rand or L. Ron Hubbard. I hope so... And my beloved Gatsby is relegated from 2 to 12! 
Have a look here.

Now to a story from right here in the UK. This comes from The Daily Star: Sunday, courtesy of Jon Swaine and DeevUK.  For all the international readers out there, this is a publication that calls itself a newspaper. It's not. It's celebrity gossip and boobs. They printed this picture.

Yep, that really happened. Apparently it's a good job Ricky Gervais isn't gay because if he was then his weight loss MUST mean he has AIDS. Really Daily Star? Oh and starting a sentence "Not being bad but..." is just crappy writing. 

Finally some nerdy reading for anyone who's interested... I'm currently reading this book.

It's fab. I'm finding it really interesting which is strange as I have no design skill or even knowledge. Just "I know what I like" opinions. I really recommend it because I read this Salon article about Helvetica on the NYC subway today and enjoyed it. I blame the book.

Let me know what you think of any of this in the comments!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

BEDA #6 Present idea...

Forgot to blog today and no time! Sorry...
But look!  I would very much like this. The fact that it exists makes me happy.

Read all about it here.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

BEDA #5 A blogging milestone... The Sweeney

So I was sent my first press release today.  This feels like a big deal. Feel free to put me straight film bloggers of the world!

It's from Vertigo films who are responsible for good stuff like Monsters and slightly less good stuff (to me anyway) like Streetdance 3D. The film is The Sweeney and it's a remake of the 70's British TV show.

It looked like this.

It looks a bit funny but it was the coolest thing on TV at the time. It was pretty violent, had loads of action scenes, a cool car and cool actors. Honestly. It was the 70's!

Nick Love (The Football Factory) is directing and the casting has been announced. Ray Winstone will play Jack Regan and Ben Drew will play George Carter. Ben Drew is the man behind Plan B who sound like this.

Here they are...

Sorry guys but I really hate this picture. Drew is just looking at the camera with a slightly confused look on his face, Ray is giving it attitude!

This project's been around for a while and Ray Winstone has been attached all along. Some bigger names had been thrown around to play Carter though. Like Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy and Ewan McGregor.

I'm not overly worried. Ben Drew had roles in Adulthood and Harry Brown and, from his music videos, seems to have some charisma. It's his first starring role though so fingers crossed. Ray Winstone can always be relied on for an entertaining performance.

On to the gushing quotes...
Director and co writer Nick Love states, "I'm very excited about Ben playing Carter - he brings an intelligence and sensitivity that is crucial for THE SWEENEY.  Ben is also one of the most promising and multi-talented young performers around.  For me, Ray (Winstone) and Ben are the ultimate casting for a character driven action thriller set in London today."

Ben Drew adds. "It's a dream come true for me to be in a film with Ray Winstone who is one of my favourite British actors of all time and I’m really excited about working with Nick Love in what I feel will be a challenging role for me to play"

Ray states, “I cant wait to work with Nick Love on The Sweeney, it was an inspired casting to have Ben Drew as George Carter, I’m a huge fan of his.

Finally, here's the better photo...

So there you go. What do you think? Are you looking forward to this or are you going to give it a miss. I think I'll hedge my bets until the trailer appears.

Monday, 4 April 2011

BEDA #4 Cheating

So tired.  So this will have to do. To be honest I would have talked about these videos today anyway. You'll just have to imagine the witty commentary!

First, the trailer for 'The Governator', Arnie's new cartoon...


Then there's Meatloaf freaking out at Gary Busey over some paint on Celebrity Apprentice. Gary Busey is calmer than I've ever seen him... he's worrying me more than Mr Meat.

People are weird.

Sleep time!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

BEDA #3 Things What I Like

Since we'll be spending a lot of time together this month I thought I'd do a little round up of some of my favourite things.  I'm going to limit them to internety things for this post so expect loads of links and videos to explore. Tell me the things you like in comments.

Vlogbrothers!  These guys have to be my first choice. I was really unaware of the sense of community the internet could have before I found these videos. I had a YouTube account but wasn't subscribed to any channel. I didn't understand how it worked and how to get the most out of it. After realising that they communicated almost exclusively through written forms (texting, instant messaging & email) two brothers pledged to alternate making a video a day for the other. This started on January 1st 2007. They're down to 3 times a week now but still make great videos and a whole community has grown around them that has done some amazing things. I think I secretly like John better (shh, don't tell Hank!) because he's a writer who's actually really good. Here's a favourite recent video.

And the amazing thing is there is a follow up to this because the people who liked the video worked together to find out what happened to Gussie Manlove after her husband died...

My next choice feels like more of a confession. I really love watching some make up artists videos. I think the beauty guys get a bad rep on YouTube. Some people are just showing how much disposable income they have but there are a couple of professionals on there who are amazing to watch. I love that it can be art when it's done well. Like this video from pixiwoo.

Sam Chapman transforms herself completely to look like Pamela Anderson when she's finished. You might not want to walk around with Pammy make up but it's fun to watch!

Lisa Eldridge is amazing too. She's one of the most highly regarded make up artists in the world so it's amazing that she does YouTube videos too. She works on celebrities as well as high end editorial stuff.


Hopefully you're still with me! On to blogs!

I LOVE Hyperbole and a Half. I realise most of you have already come across this blog at some point because it's just so wonderful but if not... go now!

Margaret and Helen is hilarious. Posts are few and far between but worth waiting for. Margaret and Helen are two old friends in their 80's who write to each other. Commenters seem obsessed with proving that Margaret and Helen are just characters and someone else actually writes the blog. I refuse to believe it. They talk about American politics mostly and when it includes lines like this who can resist...

"Dear readers, In case you are new to my web page blog, I'll give you a little background. I told my friend Margaret that I thought Sarah Palin was a a bitch." and of course the infamous annual 'Thanksgiving letter to the family'

Hooters According to Sauce is a really entertaining blog. I don't live in the US so I don't have first hand experience of Hooters but that's not an issue for me. I think anyone who's worked in the service industry will find something to relate to here plus the fact that Sauce is a girl with obvious intelligence and wit
make the blog incredibly readable.

And last but certainly not least there's The Intermittent Sprocket. My very favourite film blogger who's recently branched out to show off his considerable song-writing talents. His latest offering is a Damien Rice-esqe ballad about an imagined romance between James Bond and Oddjob in Goldfinger. Yep. That song exists.

These are just some of the internety things I like... there are too many more to mention. What are some of your best finds?

Saturday, 2 April 2011

The film I always go back to: 10 Things I Hate About You. (Beda #2)

This post is part of Kid In The Front Row's Blogathon. Read all about it here!

This one was easy. A no-brainer. So easy that it might be really obvious and boring so apologies in advance if that's the case.

10 Things I Hate About You is the film I have seen more times than any other.  If I'm sad, it cheers me up. If I'm happier, it makes me happier. If I find myself staring at my DVD collection and feel uninspired, this is the film I reach for.

Now that I've started writing this though, I'm not sure I can put into words exactly why this is.

Maybe it's the time it came out.  I was 16 in 1999. I'd just left school and deciding what to do next. I must have identified with Julia Sitles' character Kat.

I remember I read The Bell Jar after seeing this. How predictable am I? Although the font in that book must be MASSIVE. It's a really short novel...
At that time I imagined myself to be pretty cool. I liked the right music and was interested in politics and liked to think I was well read and intelligent. I really wasn't, but the fact that I aspired to be helped me to become more that way. The desire to look like I knew some stuff forced me to go out and find out the stuff.

But that's the pretentious reason why I like the film.  The real reason, and the reason I revisit it so often is because it's funny.  It's got a clever script, a heart-warming ending and wonderfully charming and natural performances.

It was Heath Ledger's breakthrough role and it's really not surprising when you remember that he looked like this.

He was cheeky and realistic and very different to the typical Hollywood leading man and this makes the film even more charming.

JGL, David Krumholz and Larisa Oleynik are a perfect triad of cuteness, Krumholz providing some of the biggest laughs.
"There's a dick on my face isn't there?"

Oh, and also, ALISON JANNEY. Say no more.

Sorry I can't be more insightful. It's just great. Brilliant performances, a clever script, a lively soundtrack and interesting, likeable characters. It's just fun.

Friday, 1 April 2011

BEDA #1 Here we go...

I'm attempting to do BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) this year. "But Jess, you're rubbish at posting regularly!" I hear you cry.  Yep. That's true but if I've got a challenge I really try to stick to it so we'll see how it goes.

A short one to start... Here's my favourite April Fool's joke of the day.  I say favourite but I really wish it was real.