Thursday, 7 July 2011

Authenticity Wins Out

The News Of The World saga shows that.

For years they've been feeding us bullshit, coming up with scandals or focusing our minds on irrelevant nonsense.

But now they themselves are the scandal. And they'll be finished as a publication when the week is over. They're irrelevant as a news organisation. We all knew this of course, but now the whole country is on board.

People want something real. It may take a while, but they get there.

Everyone on the good side of the fight is coming off well in this story.

These newspapers think they are invincible. They think the families of murdered children are part of a game, they think they can abuse the trust, security and stability of them.

But now they've been caught out and as a result they're immediately extinct. And any journalists mixed up in it will never work again. New Media is honest. The internet holds you accountable.

"The internet is written in ink, Mark!"

Murdoch is irrelevant now. Our tabloids, our police officers, they've been shown up for all their disgusting wrongdoings.

Let's not get too depressed about it -- a change is happening! We have power now! The News Of The World is a dinosaur. The worst parts of this story aren't out in the public yet, it'll get worse before it gets better. But a transformation is taking place.

We need to protect what the internet is. We need to keep an eye on news organisations and we need to stay aware of what the social networks are doing with our information. We need to keep everything authentic and honest. If we can do that, then bit by bit, we can overcome so much corruption in our world.

Care to share?


I've been listening to this song since I was eight years old. Maybe it was before that. My parents had it on CD, and on Vinyl. On casette too. It's the only song I never get tired of. Not even a little bit. I know every inch of the MTV unplugged version. I know all the moments when the crowd cheer or scream or breath.

The song means everything to me, but I don't even know what it means. Sometimes I think he loves Maggie. Sometimes I think he's bitter. What I know for sure is the guitar solo towards the end is magic. 

Your favourite songs aren't just your favourite songs. They're more than that. They're something that's inside of you. Something you carry around. Everyone has that one song that will get them up at a party. Or get them singing in a car. Or get them smiling while walking through town with an iPod screaming out songs.

Whether the song is as great as I think it is or whether I'm bias because of my affection for it isn't relevant. Or at least, it doesn't matter. Sure, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' could be the best song ever, but it's not important. What is important is what matters to you. Some songs make us happy. Some songs we want played at our funerals. Some songs make everything okay.

On 3 mins 21 he sings "You stole my heart, but I love you anyway."

And then there's the solo. It steals your heart. But you feel the love. Some music just sinks into you and resonates with every bone in your body. You might only find three songs in your life that do this, but they become the soundtrack to your life. They make everything okay. They make sense of all your love, your pain, your problems.

He sings "Maggie, I wish I'd, never seen your face." But you know he doesn't mean it. Or he means it but he also means the exact opposite too.

In the unplugged version, he changes the line "You stole my heart and that's what really hurts" to "You stole my heart, but I love yous anyway."

And it makes sense. Because you can never hate Maggie. She breaks your heart, but you love her anyway. "You stole my soul but I love you anyway." What a great line. 

'Maggie May' is truthful. It's honest. I say this without ever quite figuring out what the song means. 

That's what great art does. Says EVERYTHING yet somehow stays open. It means something different to every person.

"You made a first class fool out of me
But I'm as blind as a fool can be
You stole my heart, but I love you anyway."

Why do some songs stay with you? I was just a kid, listening to whatever trash was in the top 40. But 'Maggie May' got through to me.

I guess the important thing about this song--------- it's FUN! You can turn it up and enjoy it! He's not trying to break your heart or depress you or excite you, he just sings. But by doing that, he succeeds in breaking your heart, depressing you and exciting you. I guess that's just it; in this song, Rod Stewart recorded who he was, who he is. And that's why, when I think of myself, and who I am and what I'm about, I listen to this song. It reminds me of who I am.

Care to share?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Whispers From The Second Row

My post Opening Weekend, and Seventeen Years Later started slowly. It had no comments and I was convinced, as I nearly always am, that people disapprove of, or are disinterested in what I am writing. And then there were a few interesting comments, and my fears quietened -- the commenter's began talking about the comments section itself. 

Happy Frog & I: "I'm really surprised no one has commented on this post. There are certain films that I can put on when I have had a horrible day and I know they will make me feel better. The Big Sleep, Before Sunset, Gross Point Blank, the list goes on and on. I know what I write and what I'm interested will not appeal to everyone but I try and stay true to what makes me feel good."

Paul S: "The lack of response to this post just highlights how flawed Blogger is as a format. People like Happy Frog are an honourable exception because the vast majority of bloggers pay scant attention to anyone's writing but there own no matter how interesting and inspiring it might be.

I was going to share the films that always make me feel better but I stopped and thought, will anyone read this ? and will anyone care? Sadly I don't think they will, or maybe I'm just having a bad day ?
Kid, you deserve better!""

A couple of things got touched on -- one, the lack of feedback a writer gets -- and secondly, the hopelessness of the person leaving a comment. Is anyone reading? Does anyone care? These are common concerns for writers, whatever format they are working in. 

It's just a blog, is a common thought. But blogs are personal; and the interactions take place between people who, like in any other form of conversing -- they need to know they exist. They need to know somebody cares. 

When things really suck, people make it known.
When things are good, people aren't inspired to say anything. 
When things are great, people assume great things are already being said, compliments given, etc. 

After that, Invisible Kid commented directly on the subject matter of the blog. Thoughtful, opinionated and fascinating comments like this often get read by me, and possibly few else. A huge amount of my followers do so by email, and don't see the comments. It's a shame, because you miss things like this:

Invisible Kid: "I hear and agree - ultimately you must do what you need to do and if others get it as well then so much the better. However we all have to pay the bills, but we can still manage to do that while retaining some integrity and dignity.

I too am a fan of Kevin Smith - although as you so succinctly put it, he seems to have lost his passion. I may have read or heard on one of his prolific podcasts that he was to give up directing in the near future. I gather he intends to prefer the podcast/internet radio route to getting his message (such that it is) out there. He seems to be of the opinion that he has been bluffing his way and is just waiting to get found out.
I think that what made him successful has also been his undoing - That and the whole social networking phenomenon/curse. I may be going off at a tangent here but it seems that everything has to be reduced down to a sound bite or a 140 character tweet. Facebook used to be a great way of keeping in touch with friends and family around the world, but nowadays it seems full of insignificant people posting insignificant nonsense about where they are and what they are doing - they seem to have their noses stuck into a digital device for so long that surely while they are recording for posterity the last thing they did or saw or thought, they are missing the next half dozen. At the risk of making a gross generalisation, many people don't have the time or inclination to read a blog, let alone write one. They need the fast food equivalent in manageable bite sized chunks. Easily digestible but ultimately bland and unsatisfying.
The same is true of movies - as audiences seem to have increasingly shortened attention spans, there seems to be a worrying lack of originality in mainstream cinema. Oh I know its there if you go looking for it, but most multiplexes are only interested in bums on seats and popcorn cartons on the floor. 

My taste in film is akin to my taste in music - fashion and trends have nothing to do with either. If I happen to like something that you also like, then good for the both of us, we have something in common, which is nice, but I will continue to like what I like for my own reasons and not because someone says I should.
I am going to end it there because I can feel the ideas starting to bubble and I feel it better that I sort them into some semblance of order and turn it into a post of my own rather than rambling on in this fashion and hi-jacking your blog as I have done others on occasion. Oh and that post may be some way off or may never see the light of day so don't feel I am self promoting."

Great thoughts there, but also, some things resonate deeply when they're short and simple. LEAT somehow came across a posting of mine from September 2010 called "Don't Keep Your Talents At Home" and left this comment.

LEAT: "I know this is an old post, but it resonates so much on a summer morning listening to Ben Folds. There's always an audience, and if there isn't then there's the collaborators; and if you don't have them you have the creation. GOOD MORNING WORLD!"

What a wonderful thought. Worth repeating: There's always an audience, and if there isn't then there's the collaborators; and if you don't have them you have the creation.

The comments are an important part of this website. But too often they get marginalized, pushed to the side and forgotten. I am writing this post to remind people that, on a personal level, I care about them deeply, I love it when people share their thoughts and ideas and passion here. But I am also aware, as Paul S helped bring to my attention, they often seem invisible, or irrelevant. I will be doing a lot more posts like this in the future, bringing the conversation out in a more open and hopefully deeper way. 

Care to share?

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Eating On Set

What I ate and drank today, in order:

Cereal Bar
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Coffee (One mouthful. Thought it was my tea.)
Half a Bagel (plain)
Kit Kat Bar

Care to share?