Vegas is at once scintillating and terrifying, a shirtless stage
drunkard veering between poetic calls to arms, fag-ash bathos and dark,
raging audience participation. A man in the front row is picked out and
berated at length for being Vegas's long-lost twin brother, another suffers
a painful fifteen minutes mistaken for a mislaid baby son, and the whole
routine pinwheels around random audience members - with the house-lights
up throughout, nobody feels very safe. See him if he's touring, but choose
your seat carefully.
|A sterling attack on
the Harry Potter books, underlining some of their
terribly right-wing aspects. Social respect and power and
the superior Quidditch position, but only because your
parents (your real parents, not the lower-class ones
that adopted you) enjoyed the same privileges. I can half-see the final
book in the series being a furious demolition of the conceits
and society that have been built up in earlier books, legions of
children having grown to absorb every word...
Fridge Magnets at whim. Trivial and transient, but
these things satisfy some hungry corner of my soul.
|Hm, the Political
Compass test, with its insightful
divergence into two-dimensional "wings", says I'm a bit left-wing (-2.45)
and largely libertarian (-7.23). Which sounds about right. Little
hesitation in casting my votes, in an unnervingly empty polling
station this morning.
|Further revelations; willself.org.uk
has links to plenty of interviews (written and MP3'd), book reviews, bits of
writing and places to buy his books from. Capital.
"I am a bit of a sesquipedalian, but the only means by which I augment
my word lode is to note the definitions either side of the one I'm
Unexpected Will Self interview in the increasingly tabloidy
Independent today (he actually
writes for them,
which I hadn't realised - wake up, Byliner).
How the Dead Live is
out in paperback tomorrow, apparently.
|ITV's Ratrap is, I think, one of the most determinedly pointless
and self-defeating exercises in broadcasting I've ever half-watched. Besides the dull
teach-yourself-shoplifting footage ("Oh, so that's the best way
to steal bottles of champagne from an off-licence"), there were lengthy sequences where
they set up some tempting thief-bait and kept filming until someone went
for it. At which point previously-hidden crew members leapt out and
effected a citizen's arrest. Oh, no, I'm sorry; at which point nothing
happened and the presenter asked us the viewer to phone in if we
recognised the criminals. Absurd.
|Amusing bit of spam for Infidelity
Today - not, as one might think, a lifestyle magazine for
adulterers, but a simple five-minute chemical test to see
if your partner's underclothes harbour any suspicious trace
enzymes. It shoots itself in the foot quite a lot (excuses
men can make, ways women can sidestep it), but I suppose if you're
suspicious enough to try it once, you're suspicious enough to
keep buying and testing until you're proven right. $49.95
plus postage. Assumes lesbians do not exist.
|I enjoy the way other parties refer to the Conversatives
as William Hague's Conservatives, in their election
leaflets. It's all you need to say, really, isn't it?
|I dreamt that I was a NetHack
"@" symbol, last night. I and a few others were being led through
ruined prisoner-of-war camps on Dungeon Level Nine, a part of some morbid,
torchlit guided tour, long after the area's adventuring heyday and
the hazily-remembered Gnomish genocide. My
universe was one of two-dimensional ASCII characters and total silence,
encompassing cities and societies and oceans, ten levels up. Half an hour
in another reality. Offline brains are amazing.
"And Ivor the Engine could be returning to our screens updated for the new millennium, with storylines which will see [...] the CEO of the Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company blaming lack of government investment for a disaster which costs the lives of seventeen passengers and Idris the dragon."
Untitled Document is back.
|Trafalgar Square's empty plinth is due to be topped
by a statue of itself,
cast in clear resin and set upside-down. Sounds like quite a nice
reflective sort of weirdness.
||New Nomic alert. Legislative
Nomic is an intriguingly parliamentary affair, leaning
towards (appropriately enough) the British political system. One
Player is the King, one roleplays Public Opinion, and the rest are
MPs, tinkering earnestly with the nation's Statutes. Will they strive
for a better world, rig
the votes for selfish motives,
or just machine-gun
each other? Time will tell.