Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bob Dylan's Interactive Like A Rolling Stone Video

Execution, idea, interaction, everything about this is just wonderful. Having shared it on fb, twitter, tumblr, g+ and pinterest, I now want to call everyone I know. Sort of idea that I would have, love, then shelve because it's too ambitious and couldn't imagine anyone getting behind it. It's the sort of idea that gives you faith in ideas. I could not love this more. No, I could love this more if they kept adding channels after it blows up the internet. Love that Marc Maron and Danny Brown lend it an air of believability, but now I want Brian Williams and the Real Housewives of Who Gives A Fuck to be added.

Watch here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

News from 12 years ago

31/10/01 – Hallowe’en News

Tony Blair goes East – an end to terrorism. Metal doors on planes. Good times coming to an end? No more dumped cars, though.

Tony Blair was not stunned in Damascus when the bombs weren’t going down well. If the smiles look uneasy, that’s not surprising. Syria doesn’t support Israel and isn’t happy. “It is difficult to come here and do anything, but let’s at least try”. The NY attacks are changing things – new relationships, one small bridge built. Tony’s odyssey. Blessed are the peacemakers – not around here they’re not. Syria is vital – it’s hard-line, an enemy of Israel. We have a common interest in peace. They all stand clapping Assad, but little really changes. Syria is linked to terrorism with infographics. Syria will stick to a removal from the occupied territories. We join our friend in Jerusalem. What will he achieve? Two messages: support for the “coalition”, stop the drama. Hoping for a historic declaration in Saudi Arabia. Remember the prize.

Warplanes keep dropping bombs – on a “stronghold of the Taliban”. The Muslims would like the war to stop for Ramadan, festive peace. Relentless bombings continue. Over the past few years, we’ve always fought during Ramadan, say the Northern Alliance. They cheer the bombs. Inflammation of public outrage. Thank you.

American people should stay calm. Bush throws a ball to represent life continuing. Ministers are losing the battle for the hearts of mind for the British people. Duncan-Smith is talking about a confusing war, confusing messages. You need to sing from the same hymn sheet. The government says thank you, but fuck off. Thank you very much. Bulletproof doors that have locked doors. A man on a plane points at the door – BA and Virgin point out the hinges. A repeat of the incidents of September 11. Richard Branson says its great, experts say it’s dangerous. Pilots are against the doors – they are a marketing device. But the airlines are convinced.

No new cases of foot and mouth. The government wants rights to kill any animal with the passing of the “Animal Health Act”. What will the government kill? Sheep farmers may have the most to worry about. Or sheep. Empty fields, ovine holocaust. A farmer speaks of vaccination, cutting vet’s wages, contractors back and forth, tourists. A cool reception.

Confidence has dropped to its lowest level. A woman in Bluewater tells us that people are pessimistic about the economy but reckon they’ll be alright. An uneven picture “They want to buy!” “People were devastated”. People have more money because they’re not going on holiday. Manufacturers are having a horrible time. 2 million letters don’t get there on time every day. Beta interferon for all. Dumped cars are big magnets for arsonists. Watch out if you’ve got a shit car. Woman in a green jacket shouting over the sound of crushing metal. Sir Peter will receive one and a half million pounds. Farmers are taking advantage of climate change. Global warming supplying the pickle industry with walnuts. Climate change. Obviously.

Party leaders have portraits. Anna Ford half-smiles. Charles Kennedy makes people laugh.

Cafe (2003)

So, the cafe seems empty, but isn’t. A few anthropomorphic shadows fill the difficult voids. I sit, with slight discomfort from attempting to ascertain my place in the room. I am customer, young, perhaps waiting. I try and break my mould by removing a book from my pocket. I have decided to be alone but my self consciousness betrays my waiting. I want to tell each individual that I am not waiting for anyone, merely passing some time, in from the cold. I look around me and the cafe still seems empty. I readjust in my seat. Try to read the first paragraph, acutely aware that it is the first page, and would feel so much more comfortable midway through. Try again, but the phrases mix with my thoughts, each time sub-consciously returning to the first words. An octopus? Return again to them.

My attention is waning for the book, my mind straying. “Hi, there.”

“Hi. Could I get a coffee. Just filter. Cheers”


The exchange is forgotten. - “It was a dream. No, it wasn’t.” My mind skims the words fast, the implications faster. Style, pace, double meaning. Pretensions, translation. Again the paragraph is lost and my eyes track back to the beginning. While my vacant stare feels along the words in a mockery of myself, I feel another imaginary stare taking me in. Waiting. Tense. I am neither of these things. Now both. Again the words elude me, my focus lost. As an exercise, I read the paragraph again, taking no meaning, just a sense. A feeling from the choice of words, resenting anything more. Great beads of blood? Sweat? A sense of heaviness and penance. The octopus is a dream. No, perhaps not.

My coffee arrives and for the first time I get a real sense of outside involvement in my activity. It is only a glance, but reminds me, beyond my perception of events, I am still on this page. If anyone cares or has noticed, they know I am involved in unrelated thought or suspect me of serious study. Strangely, I am neither. Now both. Adding sugar and laughing at myself, the situation, the pettiness, I glance around at the empty cafe, nodding a vague hello at the occupant of another table. Through carelessness, through absent-mindedness, I have spilled some coffee into the saucer. It is a large cup, I notice, with too small a handle, as I mop the spillage with a tissue. Again I laugh, but more through discomfort than actual amusement, though this amuses me.

Relaxing, the book is making stabs at sense. “Everywhere the same catastrophe.” “The very air was in a fever.” I put the book back in my pocket, its sense not welcome. I arrange my hands deliberately, sipping my coffee. I look around the empty cafe, expecting too much. Then rise. I guess I don’t feel like a cup of coffee right now.