Thursday, October 11, 2007

I still don't know my RSS from my elbow....

And why the hell would I? After all, I’m just an author and an author writes stories doesn’t he? Shit, how I sometimes wish that this were true, for it’s become clear to me over the past 2 years that actually writing the bloody story is just the start of it! You see, once the prose are finished and the characters happy in their new place, these days the author then has to spend pretty much all of his time presenting himself and his work to the world outside of his book. Now that used to mean occasionally sitting around in carefully selected book stores (preferably near your house), sipping crap coffee and smiling at browsers in an effort to convince them that your book about assisted suicide would be a better buy than the cookery book that they actually came in to the shop for. It used to mean, if you were lucky, radio interviews and newspaper ads. Today though marketing means blogging and any author who tells you otherwise is in denial (as I was until my publisher recently and rather brutally beat me into submission). So now I have my own blog. I guest post to blogs. I read blogs. I comment on blogs. I still don’t know my RSS from my elbow but I will do one day; and this from someone who only six months ago thought that blogging was for losers. In fact, thinking about it, now would be a good time for me to set the record straight on this point because, in my ignorance, I could not have been more wrong. It turns out that the blogging community is ram packed with vibrant and talented people who simply couldn’t produce the quality of work that they do without fully engaging the world outside the blog. For me bloggers are producing some of the best writing, the funniest observations and the sharpest comment (political or social) that you can read today and I personally am pleased to be able to contribute to that achievement at whatever level. But aside from the fundamental things that blogging provides (whether it be commercial opportunity, freedom of expression, communication of ideas, friendship or just plain fun) I still gotta ask, where the hell is all this going? Big question I know, and it isn’t one that I intend to try and answer here, although I would like to close by putting a rather strange thought out there.

You see, last weekend I was reading the latest issue of New Scientist. Now I’m not a regular subscriber but me and the girlfriend were on our way to Greece and she likes me to look clever at the airport (this while she fills her boots with copies of Heat magazine and pictures of celebrities without make up…..and by the way, have you seen Cameron Diaz without filler? Scary shit). Anyway, there was an article in the mag’ that laid out an alternative way of considering reality (bear with me) and a possible answer to the question of life, the universe and everything. If the boffin is to be believed, it turns out that the answer could well be 42. He argued rather convincingly that, whilst the scientific community generally accepts that the universe and everything in it can be defined by maths, more fundamentally than this, the universe is maths. As far as I understood it, his theory would mean that you, me, everything we see and experience is simply the result of some as yet undefined (but very simple) mathematical operation. And here’s the crunch. If you can accept this, or even consider that it may be possible that reality is a mathematical expression, then it may go some way to understanding why humanity seems to be moving, with every new fangled gadget and dogs bollox processor, ever closer toward representing itself in a digital format. Weird I know, but maybe not such a stretch if you put the ideas of evolution and a mathematical reality together because after all, wouldn’t that be the result; a super species that disappears up its own digital arse?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Well done Jason Lewis....and indeed you have been

Yes, well done Jason Lewis. Marvellous achievement, of that there can be no doubt but I have to ask; what the hell have you been doing for the last 13 and a bit years?

Officially we’re told that you’ve been pedalling, roller blading and cycling around the globe but by my reckoning, you’ve only been averaging 0.39 miles an hour. Okay, if I give you some time off and assume that you were at it for 8 hour’s day like the rest of us, this gets you up to a blistering 1 mile an hour. On a bike? Did you have the dynamo on and not realise? Tell you what, first thing I’d do is take it back where you bought it mate.
You have indeed been well done.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

It doesn't get any better than this!

Six months ago, Andy Tilley getting involved in the blogging community was about as likley as England beating the Australians in the rugby world quarter cup final.
And guess what; England 12 - 10 Australia

Yes, it has been a mighty fine day out here in the desert, I can tell you. Kirk, an Australian colleague of mine, had been so confident in an Aussie win that he already had his tickets bought for the semi final at a cost of £1000. Additional to that, he'd lashed out £50 on a new rugby shirt.
As my very knowledgeable friend Jonesy put it:
New rugby shirt, £40
Semi final tickets to see England vs New Zealand, £1000
Kirk's face as he storms out of the room........PRICELESS.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ancient Greece...It'll be lovely when its finished.

So that’s me back from Greece. More specifically, Rhodes, which is a crumbling rock of an island pinned between the Agean and the Adriatic seas. Great time had by all too, especially my mum and dad who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary whilst we were there. We stayed near Lindos, which I’m told is the ancient capital of the place. Lindos is akin to a rat maze. The streets are white and narrow and defined by a tumble of low, square buildings (scattered like feta cubes) each with a roof top restaurant served by white shirted greek boys. Magnificant place but with only one public piazza large enough for the hundreds of coaches to empty their loads of map clutching tourists, entering the town is frantic at the outset; everyone squeezing urgently into the run to sniff out and gather the cheese. Above Lindos there is an ancient acropolis (no doubt where the scientists observe from!) and it dominates today as it did when it was first built over 2000 years ago. It looks broken now, beaten down by shaking ground, harsh winds and the occasional invader. At least that’s what we are led to believe. To be honest, I don’t buy it. You see, having driven around the island and seen the quality of the modern day greek work ethic, I don’t think that the acropolis is in fact a ruin. No, I’m willing to bet my bollocks that they never bloody finished it in the first place.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Celebrity Suicide is just not what it should be.

So did we ever find out what this was all about? More specifically, does anyone know how he attempted to take his life? I ask this because I think that if celebrities (Owen being one of many) are going to insist on trying to kill themselves, then shouldn’t they be doing a better job of it? And just hold on, before you label me as cruel and heartless, I’m not saying that I wish he had pulled it off but only that his attempt should have been a little more, let’s say, showbizzy.

These people have masses of resources at their disposal; money, cars, boats, planes and stunt coordinators for Christ’s sake! I personally feel a tad disappointed when I see on the news that Mr A list was found lying on his bed by the cleaner, feeling slightly poorly after gobbing a handful of valium. Pathetic.
Actors and rock stars owe us. They are celebrities created by us. If they’re really serious about checking out, then surely they should be putting a little more effort in, for their fans if nothing else. The news footage Owen Wislon’s public deserves is images of him leaping from a burning helicopter into a shark infested pool, naked and smeared in fish guts. Celebrity suicide should be just that; spectacular and mind blowing. So come on Jackson, let’s see if you can step up and do a better job.