Friday, September 29, 2006
It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that the new "Zidane" film is a pile of crap.
I wish it wasn't...particularly since, along with Diego Maradona, he is my joint No. 1 all-time greatest footballer, (Colin Stein comes in at number 3 in case anyone is interested).
The film is a study of Zidane in one football match, Real Madrid v Villareal.
There are loads of different cameras around the ground which concentrate solely on Zidane, so effectively we monitor Zidane in close-up through an entire match.
There's various pretentious subtitles and bizarre juxtapositioning of world events happening on the same day as the match.
There's a trendy, ambient soundtrack going on, and they've seen fit to add some odd sound effects like the players studs on the grass, and Zidane's trademark gob, (I assume this is definitely a sound effect as all the gobs sounded EXACTLY the same, and as I'm sure we all know, in real life, each gob has a slightly different personality in terms of sound and content?).
Anyway, I'd imagine that the film's director would proclaim his work as a ground breaking insight into a footballer's soul, or something like that.
It's not exactly original.
"Sky Sports" have been doing the "player cam" for years whereby if you press the red button you get a camera that follows one player around.
I don't think they do that anymore...probably because no-one could ever really see the point of it. Did anyone ever actually press the red button?
The main problem is that Zidane is not the most expressive of people.
He maintain exactly the same facial expression throughout 99% of the film, only briefly breaking into a grin when he shares a joke with Roberto Carlos.
I actually like this aspect of Zidane as it gives him an air of mystery, but in the context of a film like this it's a disaster.
It was a long, long 90 minutes.
Apologies for Mr CBQ for taking so long to get him and the Butterbean headline off the Blog front page...!
I'm off now to devote more time to my campaign to get a full DVD box set release of "Dr Findlay's Casebook".
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Dave Reilly AKA "Cloudland Blue Quartet"
Last night, I popped into the "Beanscene" cafe round the corner from my flat to see a "Cloudland Blue Quartet" concert.
(btw he is going to beat me up for my cheeky Blog headline, but hopefully he'll see it for what it is...an affectionate punch...a term of endearment...).
Anyway, it was a dreich Monday night and there wasn't too many people in, but I have to say I enjoyed CBQ's selection of songs.
There is an air of melancholy running through a lot of his material, and in some ways it resonates perfectly with Edinburgh on a miserable Monday night.
Good stuff though...!
I did chuckle slightly about one song where he compared himself to a rabbit on a motorway verge "eating all day".
He's on tonight (19/9) at the "Beanscene" in St Andrews, and tomorrow night at the one in Nicholson St in Edinburgh.
I recommend you pay a visit and hear some of the songs of Edinburgh's most prolific singer songwriter ever...probably...!!
I was watching Man U v Celtic in a pub with the self-styled "Abbott and Costello" of the Edinburgh Samba School, Grahame and Mark.
There was a bit of tension in the pub at one point as one man wasn't happy that another man had squeezed past him without saying "Excuse me!".
After a short confrontation it seemed that peace was restored.
However, a few minutes later I became aware of people squeezing past me who were saying "Excuse me!" in a theatrical, somewhat sarcastic way.
It was as if I had been wrongly identified as the person who took exception to the non-utterance of "Excuse me" by the other chap.
I don't like getting wrongly identified in pubs.
The last time this happened, someone (who I'd no idea was) punched me in the face for no reason, and I had to spend a night in hospital with a broken nose and concussion.
As if this wasn't bad enough, I was treated with thinly disguised contempt by the staff at the hospital as they assumed I was just a typical drunken twat who regularly causes fights in pubs and had just received his come-uppance.
The last time I felt such a rage of in justice was getting the belt of a PE teacher.
He gave "one" belt to 6 boys who were larking about on the stage of the Assembly Hall.
He then called me over to get belted as well.
I hadn't been anywhere near the stage! This was an outrage...!
However, I hadn't realised the truism that the "teacher is always right even when he is wrong", and was given 6 of the belt for arguing my innocence.
The Guildford 4.
The Birmingham 6.
The Queensferry High School 1.
Great injustices of the 20th Century...
I remember me old mucker Nicky Hind getting mistaken for someone else by a girl in Edinburgh as we were walking through the Grassmarket.
Nicky immediately realised that he was not who she thought he was, but rather than disclose this he decided to play along and actually be the person she thought he was.
He actually went as far as to contradict some information she told him about "mutual" friends.
Now that shows confidence and a great spontaneous commitment to japery.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I was ambling down the Supermarket aisle when it caught my eye...
"Vesta Chow Mein (with crispy noodles)"
I hadn't seen this product for more years than I care to remember.
When I was a little boy, this dish was highly prized and was deemed just about as sophisticated a piece of cuisine as you could possibly hope to indulge in.
Occasionally when I stayed with my grandparents, my aunt would treat me to this sumptious feast.
Without hesitation I bought one....
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it.
This is in spite of the fact it is full of shite.
But it was really tasty!
I'm working on a screenplay.
It's about a young girl who secretly manufactures quality cheeses during the second World War.
It's called "The Dairy of Anne Frank".
Last night I competed in a "Scottish Comedian Of The Year" heat in Helensburgh.
I didn't win, but was flattered to later read that the promoter had described my act on the comedy forum "Chortle" as "the most original set I have seen for ages".
The Clyde Bar is a great comedy venue.
A big noisy crowd, which was expertly marshalled by Alan Anderson.
All the acts did well I thought, and the winner was "Wee Man".
He does a "ned" character act.
There's a lot of ned references in your average common-or-garden Scottish comedian's set, however the "Wee Man" creation is a very intelligently drawn character with some fantastic lines, and rises high above his comedy peers in this area.
I wish him all the best for the final.
I think my act seemed perhaps a bit too "avant garde" to thrive on a night like this, but a lot of people spoke to me afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed it.
I went for an amble in the mountains overlooking Loch Lomond before the gig.
It was a cracking day.
Loch Lomond has a bitter sweet feel for me.
I love the place, but a close cousin of mine died there in a boating accident, along with 2 pals, when he was 18.
It affected me really badly as a child when it happened, and I struggled to come to terms with it for a long time.
I still really enjoyed being there though. Amazing place.
I've been thinking about my Dad a lot lately as well.
Jeez, I really miss him.
I think you spend the first few months in a kind of shocked state and just get on with things.
I feel at a different stage now.
I was playing with the Samba Band in South Queensferry at the Ferry Fair day.
We paraded round the town and I remembered doing the same thing last year and my Dad was standing at the pavement at a point on the parade waving at me.
As we passed the same point this year, and he wasn't there, I felt the biggest rush of grief I've experienced since the aftermath of his passing.
So, you kids out there...be NICE to your parents...you'll miss them when they've gone.
I certainly do...
Anyway, Walter Smith and the boys punished me for having the indecency to bet on Lithuania to beat Scotland on Wednesday night...
Serves me right....
I have to say though, that I'm delighted that Walter has disproved my misgivings of his ability to turn things round...
Bring on the French...!
I am also tempted to back the USA to win the Ryder Cup.
This is the first time EVER that Europe are the bookies favourites to win...
Hmmmm....this is an acute moral dilemna....
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I was watching the Festival Fireworks show on Sunday night in Edinburgh, and it got me a thinking.
As part of the ongoing strategy of "The War On Terror", it might be a good idea to make the Al Quaeda organisation co-ordinate next year's fireworks display.
My rationale is similar to that of a father who finds his young son smoking a cigarette and as a means of deterrent, insists that he smoke the rest of the packet, thus making the son extremely ill and hopefully, unlikely to continue with the filthy habit beyond that day.
Al Quaeda tend to specialise in co-ordinated bombings.
So I would say to them, "So, you think you can do co-ordinated explosions do you?
Well, here's a challenge. There's 785 separate devices here to let off in a defined sequence and you must also keep the fireworks going off in time with the music as played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Princes St Gardens."
So anyway, they'd be running round like headless chickens for 2 hours shouting "My God! My God! What happened to rocket 552 that was supposed to co-incide with the timpani crescendo in the 3rd movement!"
"I Let it off accidentally in the Overture. I got the detonators mixed up...!"
At the end of this exercise, they'd be so sickened by the whole process, that they'd never attempt another co-ordinated bombing and we could all live in peace.
The stress might lead them to start smoking cigarettes, but that's a much lessened threat to global security, isn't it?
Shopping At "Victoria Wine"
I get very affected by television advertising.
I've seen that Virgin credit card one a few times recently about someone saying "Yes" all the time, and getting up to all sorts of enjoyable high jinx!
In the aftermath of witnessing the said ad, I'd popped round to Victoria Wine to get a bottle of wine, which I duly selected and approached the counter.
The customer assistant then informed me that if I bought 2 bottles of my selected wine I would get one free!
This seemed far too good an offer to turn down, so I promptly plucked another couple of bottles from the shelves.
I was then informed that if I bought four, I could have TWO free bottles!
I hesitated for a couple of seconds but eventually came to my senses and went along with this amazing offer.
Within 10 minutes I'd actually bought 256 bottles, with an amazing 128 free bottles thrown in.
At this stage the assistant gave me a free wrap of heroin and offered me a selection of pornographic DVDs with a unique 6 months interest free credit arrangement if I signed up on that day.
Before I knew it I'd bought the whole of the Victoria Wine shop, and was granted possession of the title deeds.
A bonus was that in buying the whole of the shop I was entitled to a 50% share of the Victoria Wine shop in Morningside.
I went round there to inspect the premises, and thought I might as well buy a bottle of wine while I was there...
Before I could say "Crap Overpriced Chardonnay", I'd bought the whole of Victoria Wines Plc and was legally bound to inform the Stock Exchange of my successful takeover.
I had a bit of explaining to do when I went home, I'll tell you....
Saturday, September 02, 2006
recent photo of me
I received two postcards today.
One had a drawing of a fried egg on it and the other had a drawing of a pirate on it.
The former was had the statement "You are a fried egg!" inscribed on it, whilst the latter informed me "You are not a pirate".
I take these allegations very seriously and have already been in touch with my lawyers to ascertain whether legal action would be appropriate in one or both allegations.
The signaturees to these missives are "Pirate Alice and the Pirate Hinds".
Alice has already consistently demonstrated her "pirate denial" philosophy throughout my recent holiday in Portugal.
I should point out that I will shortly be in Spain at a Pirate Convention, and have been asked to deliver a keynote address to the delegates.
This continuing questioning of my pirate status is very damaging and could easily have an adverse effect on my future earnings and career prospects.
Also, the accusation that I am a fried egg is clearly ludicrous and will be laughed out of court at the earliest opportunity.
While walking in the Pentlands yesterday I passed someone going up the hills on a unicycle.
That's something you don't see every day.