Just seen…

King Kong (1933)

Despite looking like an man in my gorilla suit, Kong is in many ways more realistic here. After all, he is a gorilla in the city and doesn’t understand. He also jealously keep his woman like a possession rather than some illiterate poet which the other films claim.

Faye Wray acts like she is genuinely scared rather than disappointed at lost love. And the death is more convincing too. Kong doesn’t understand seeing his own blood or feeling his dying body. Sure it’s hammy but I liked it.

And he looks like Danny Glover on mushrooms!

Man on Wire

Undoubtedly the most incredible story I have heard this year is learning about Philippe Petit, the French street performer who crossed the gap between the two former Twin Towers in New York in 1974.

At the time they were completed in terms of stature but the inside was still being worked on. Without an official sanction and in secret, Petit and his crew created fake I.D. card and smuggled the equipment into the building.
They passed a 450lb steel cable between the Twin Towers and at 715am, Petit stepped out on to the wire using a 7.9m steel rod for balance and crossed the 43m gap, over 400metres above the streets of Manhattan.
Even the arresting NYPD officer stated at the time, “Unbelievable really….[E]verybody was spellbound in the watching of it.”
Like the French Spiderman free climber Alain Roberts, I salute you, you crazy French fucker.

You’re gonna get fired in the New Year

Looks like Tony Adams is gonna get fired earlier than I thought. I couldn’t believe he was appointed. If a manager cant motivate players in the lower leagues or hasn’t learnt enough from the likes of Wenger then he is finished as a manager.

The problem here is tactical nous and motivational skills. Adams’, the fool, kept saying in his first few interviews, that we wont see his team until next season. That’s right. In the Championship. What an idiot. So he basically takes a successful team and tells the players you may or may not be important to me and demotivates them in a few days.

Genius – prediction…fired by the end of the season.

All My Authors Are Dying!!!

I was also saddened to hear of the death of Harold Pinter on Christmas Eve (obituary here). I read three of his plays last year and got into them as much as you can with a Pinter play. Which means not far.

My mortal literary is rampant right now. I have picked up a first edition A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain (1880) documenting his second trip to Europe.

My little sister bought me Mahfouz’s epic Cairo Triology for Christmas. Those 1250 pages will send me far into the time of brightening skies and budding leaves.

I have also Balzac’s The Black Sheep, Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, Joyce’s Ulysses, a biography of George Orwell, a Modern Anaylsis of Iran and a book entitled Modern South America.

Right now, I am enjoying The Savage Detectives by Roberto Balano who was the acclaimed heir to Llosa, Saramago and Garcia Marquez, only to die of cancer aged 53. It is predictably going very well. Thanks to Linden for giving me the heads up.

Taxi to the Dark Side

Academy awarding winning documentary about the sanctioning of torture by the Bush Administration and the failure to take responsibility for it. The administration merely moved the legal goal posts, let junior soldiers take the blame while attempting to pardon themselves. They ultimately devalued the nation and its hard fought values. The systematic negligence of human rights (including US soldiers) and thorough incompetence and dubious legal standing harks back to the Nixon era. Like everything seemingly connected to the Bush Administration, its an embarrassment to a great nation and a huge, shambolic disgrace.

What is good about this documentary is the evidence and self-incriminating evidence literally speaks for itself.

My words when Ince was hired:

I think he’ll be a miserable failure. when you look at that Blackburn team, man-for-man, you have no real idea how they do so well. And the reason is Mark Hughes. I don’t think Ince has got that. Hughes learnt and played with the best across the continent. Ince thought he was better than he was so Ferguson moved him on. the chairman will do the same in about a season and a half.

And now he’s fired. If only that kind of genius worked on my fantasy football team!

Geordie Heroes Everywhere

Great game on the weekend. Pure magic. I am enjoying this season. Great weekend all round. That Santa suit really, well, suited me.

25 guys and girls dressed as Santa Claus, invading 25 pubs, consuming a half pint in each other. Then we somehow rocked a gay bar!

Also: Abhisit “Mark” Vejjajiva – The House of Representatives of Thailand on December 15, 2008, elected him the 27th Prime Minister of Thailand. Abhisit was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England to Dr. Athasit Vejjajiva and Dr. Sodsai Vejjajiva; he is a lifelong fan of Newcastle United FC.

<– The Sunday Breakfast of Champions

Some Kind of Justice

The Jury reach an open verdict on the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. They rejected the police accounts, discounting their evidence. They rejected that the police shouted a warning, rejected that De Menezes moved towards them and rejected the ridiculous idea that De Menezes’ innocent behaviour somehow increased suspicion of him.

After all, we were first told he was wearing a zipped, bomber jacket (in reality, a denim jacket), that he jumped the gate at the Tube fleeing the police (stopped to buy a paper and went through the gate) and most simply was an Islamic terrorist (a Brazilian electrician).

The murder, 7 bullets to the head from point blank range is horrendous enough but the lies and attempted cover-up made me angry and disgusted at the way the state apparatus sought to defend the clearly indefensible.

More here