Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A Frootless Custard?

Not sure of the details yet but it looks like Custard Factory staple eaterie Rooty Frooty's has bitten the credit crunch bullet. Pretty sad as it always had that relaxed 'Bohemian' atmosphere much loved of that 'Creative' crowd especially in the Summer when you could sit around the pool (remembering not to drink the water) and take advantage of the Sun (remember that) and free Wi-Fi. So now all you've got is 'The Kitchen' which i find really sterile and Yumm which i'm told does great food but no interior seating and definitely no Rod spinning Northern Soul obscurities. Coupled with the building work currently going on i'm wondering why people would want to make the effort to come down in the week at all which can't be good for the handful of traders left. On a positive note it looks like the Newsagent is nearly ready to go (hopefully with cash point and catfood) which will hopefully keep things ticking over till Summer and the opening of the expanded flea market. In the meantime that'll be me, drinking the Kitchen's 'tea' sitting on the bandstand watching the beer bottles float by and wondering where the new Custard Factory's 'hangout' will be.

ps: feel a bit of a shit now for rarely eating the food there cos' it all looked a bit 'funky'

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

St Patrick's Day Prohibition

St Patrocks stage @ St Patricks day parade Attended my first Birmingham St Patrick's day parade this year EVER (the shame!). Actually quite impressed, great turnout and even better weather shining down on the Green and White togged throng. The real baffling thing though was the Councils (last minute) decision to bar drinks into the stage area (St Patrocks)*!?. So, witness the live spectacle of The Destroyers, Neck (ex Shane McGowan & the Popes) and The Scarlot Harlots with not a drop to be taken past the precious barriers. Understandably the turnout was pretty poor but still a good time appeared to be had by all despite.
OK, it was the first year they've tried a live stage like this but still it isn't good enough, thousands of people seemed to pack Digbeth every year (and especially the Custard Factory) without resorting to hoying the plastic glasses at each other, were the music goers considered untrustworthy?.
Here's to next year with hopefully a beer sodden music event.

*you'll notice there's some lasses in the photo with drinks but that was some subtefuge on their part.

Blogging Senna Pod

Well it seems the simple solution to struggling with full blog posts is to dabble with short blog posts. So now i have a Tumblr site which i wish i'd started months back. More of a scrapbooky affair than a regular blog but at least you can keep it ticking over with regular snippets of stuff without having to worry about composing proper pieces of 'cod journalism'. Should add it's a bit more of a trashy affair than this site but what the hey, at least it keeps me off the streets :).

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Blogging Constipation

satan on toiletMaybe it's just the time of year, that bit when the Winter doldrums slowly turn to Spring and y' think will we have a Summer AT ALL this year but my blog rate (posts/month) has dropped right off. You'd think that a general blog with no specific agenda would be easy to fill up with random stuff and trivia but apparently not (maybe a Sheldon blog hain't such a bad idea :)). I'm thinking (hoping in fact) that it's possibly because i'm not working as much now (slacker habits die hard) and not getting to engage with people and see enough stuff . Posting matters are further complicated when the one sentiment that has been bubbling at the back of my head was suddenly crystalised perfectly into words by somebody else (Michael Grimes of Citizensheep infamy), hope he doesn't mind if i quote two sentences which leapt right off the page...

"If I had something to catalogue, or a hobby, that would be great. But I’m too lazy, distractable and easily put off to stick at anything.

"My problems are two-fold: I don’t know what I want, and I never finish anything."

(a bit misleading as i happen to know he's not lazy and certainly does apply to and finish things ie, Big City Plan).

So, what to do?. I think it's just a case of reinstating some New Years resolution stuff like getting the bike out, Sorting job out, getting away for a bit (maybe to some festivals (even if it's just the Bulldog)) or maybe getting my Poker account out of mothballs.

Short term though i think i'll give the St Patricks day parade a spin which i don't think i've EVER been to (the shame!). Maybe i'll get some inspiration there :).

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Melon farmers *

Straw Dogs Another slack week for me so it was off to Wolverhampon for 'In The Realm Of The Censors' talk at the Lighthouse. Interesting couple of hours presented by film examiner Ian Mashiah of the BBFC on the machinations of film censorship classification and the complications they face when bestowing age limits on films, TV and video games.
So... pop quiz hotshot, the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan vs. the whipping scene in The Passion Of Christ , Sex scene in Team America : World Police vs. Sutherland and Christies romp in Don't Look Now and (a 10 yr old) Bart Simpson skateboarding naked down the street in The Simpsons movie. What do you do? what DO you do?. Mashiah explained exactly what they did and how they used BBFC guidelines and legal counsel to come to their decisions (and how they faced criticism from Christian groups who felt the 18 classification was to high for 'the greatest story ever told'). A job not made any easier with the rapidly changing moral and cultural climate 'F' word acceptable nowadays, 'C' word still not?. I couldn't help but feel it was a bit of a PR job (not enough examples of them getting it wrong) but stacked against the studio backed American MPAA system i think they came out looking pretty 'firm but fair' . The real Elephant in the room still looms large and grey though, in the rapidly changing world of global media delivery where i'll be able to stream ANY film from ANYWHERE in the world straight to my digital watch isn't this organisations days numbered?.

PS: nothing more amusing than academics using the 'C' word and people nodding along knowledgably.

pps: not sure if the 'hand job' scene from The Ketchup Effect was included to demonstrate the BBFC and POCA guidelines or just make the cinema go 'Ouch!'

* a reference to one of my favourite 'censorship' stories