Friday, 9 March 2007

miscellany bites

something of a pot pourri today. which is a nice way of saying i'm a bit all over the place. first up here's a very interesting (and long) article from the New York Times about the whether man is predisposed to belief in the supernatural and how this could have occurred from an evolutionary perspective. lots of juicy stuff about what "benefits" shared religious belief could have given early man and the evolution of human cognition. not exactly friday afternoon fodder i'll admit.

which is why item 2 concerns the inventive pop stylings of harlem milkshake maestress kelis. for me she veers too unpredictably between zeitgeist-nailing genius and dull as socks sub-r'n'b noodling depending on who she's working with. this is possibly a factor in her album bombing mightily in the US last year. however, the once thing she seems to have done well is to avoid "the mike skinner trap" (i.e moaning on and on about how hard it is being famous and thinking people will indentify with that as much as they did your early stuff). the single she's just released over here (lil' star) has latched itself firmly onto my consciousness. it's very simple has some great instrumentation and is just a very cheery 3 minutes of pop music.

in another time i'd have had myself beaten up for listening to such lightweight guff, but there you go. i blame lily allen.

and finally, just to ensure that i've annoyed as many ppl as possible in this post, it appears that if we make it past PSV, (and we beat them 2-0 earlier in the competition), liverpool have another semi-final against chelsea to look forward to (i'm assuming they'll get past valencia). bet that'll be a boring, controversy-free match. can we play someone else now please?

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

don't i hate you from somewhere?

i rather like crowds. not the back-of-the-stadium-watching-bon-jovi kind of crowd, more the bustling street of busy, purposeful types weaving in and out of each other in a complex ballet of lunchtime errands, shouted mobile-phone conversations and lateness. it gives you an opportunity to people-watch more surreptitiously than in bars and restaurants where people know they're being looked at and are consequently more guarded in their expressions. plus, in the shifting maelstrom of a thousand ppl with 'somewhere to go', your chances of seeing someone you know/recognise go up massively.

now i work in Oxford Circus, haven for out-of-town shoppers, office workers and anyone else too dumb to avoid it without good reason. however, due to it's proximity to Broadcasting House, if you're sharp, and have a good memory for faces, in amongst the burberry-clad spend-monkeys, you can quite often get a "ooh - it's that bird off X" moment, which i rather enjoy as whilst it proves i watch too much telly, it means the rest of my pattern-recognising, simian brain is functioning ok. also, in these paparazzi obssessed days i think it is important for the public to hassle even the most minutely well-known person to such a degree that it becomes thoroughly undesirable to be even marginally famous.

so i now present for your delectation, all my recent crap spots, rated according to my own, arbitrary criteria. basically - the more famous they are, the fewer points as even my hypothetical dead grandmother would recognise noel edmonds, for example. also additional points if they look particularly different from their onscreen persona or if i think the thing they are famous for is in any way cool. no blurry stalker photos yet - still working past shame issues, just lots of low rent comedy goodness:

matthew holness aka garth marenghi: like whoa. is so hardly famous he was actually glad when i told him i liked Dark Place. frankly, he looked amazed that i'd seen it. 5.32

michelle gomez aka Sue White off Green Wing: this is as close as i've come to seeing someone even vaguely impressive. excellent dealing with public skills - completely ignored my attempts to congratulate her (disappointingly normal-sized arms tho). 7 easily.

jeremy vine aka er...jeremy vine: bbc radio non-entity with a great nose for radio. can been seen every morning hiding in EAT quizzing his assistant on the phone about the days events. tall. 2.43

mark lawson aka the fat bloke off newsnight review: and there was me thinking the bbc costume dept gave him those jumpers for a laugh. another illusion shattered. 2.42

samantha siddall aka Mandy Macguire off Shameless: i'm quite impressed with this one seeing as i've not seen more than 30 seconds of Shameless since the first series. nice beret. 6.2

grace strumpet off BB7 aka the poisonous twiglet: the least impressive (due to her high recognisability and low kudos score) and let me assure you, most unimpressive. so shit she doesn't even rate a page in wikipedia. oh for a ricin-tipped umbrella. 0.2361

steve wright - radio 2 deejay: i'd say he'd let himself go, were it not for the fact that he never really had himself in hand to start off with. a potential food resource in a post-apocalyptic london. 3

simon mayo aka god-bothering BBC stalwart: if the bags under his eyes are anything to go by, hasn't slept for at least 10 years. bet he fucking hates ben fogle. 2.54

right - i'm off to bask in the early spring pollution with a sandwich. avanti!