Filed under: dad, family, humour, life | Tags: blogging, blogging for charity, edinburgh hospice, gibberish, mark gorman, millionth hit, pego's millions, St Columba's hospice
You might notice that as the millionth hit approaches (as it surely will) I’ve moved my blog stats up to a more convenient position for the viewing public.
In fact, if you look left right now, you’ll be able to see exactly what the state of the nation is as you read.
In real time.
Things have slowed a touch though I must admit.
Maybe I’ve not been trying hard enough, but I have to say the £850 you’ve invested so far makes me very happy (and I’m sure the people at the hospice are cheezin’ too). Well, some of them.
I have to say, we cheezed a lot when we were there as a family. Because death sometimes brings out the funniest things.
So, I’d like to recount a blog post from right at the start of Gibberish. It was a conversation I overheard between my Dad’s brother (Uncle Christopher) and my Mum.
And it went something like this…
“If I had some eggs, we could have ham and eggs; if I had some ham.” my Uncle Christopher declared this afternoon.
But my mother violently disagreed with this because she retorted…
“If we had some eggs we could have eggs and ham; if we had some ham.”
Not sure about that.
In fact it’s total bollocks – because what she really meant to say, and did, was…
“If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs; if we had eggs.”
You know what…
…I don’t give a monkey’s uncle!
This was my favourite memory of the seven or so very intense days we spent at St Columba’s.
I’m sure everyone is the same, in that in the face of death they find some moments of humour.
Well, I hope so.
If you’ve lost someone to cancer or had a truly life affirming (even in the face of death) experience at this or any other hospice maybe you’ll pledge a tenner.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 1920s, 1977, 1980, 1983, abuse, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, children, crime, david peace, granta, horror, murder, pictures, police corruption, red riding, red riding quadrilogy, the ripper, thriller, yorkshire ripper
It’s a long time since I wrote about books here and that’s because I’ve been a long time reading this remarkable bunch of books.
Collectively they amount to around 1,200 paperback pages and each of the four novels has an overlapping but always quite different pool of characters.
Over the piece there are probably in excess of 100 significant characters that one needs to come to terms with in following the plot.
Then there’s David Peace’s style.
These are crime novels and one would expect them to crack along at a pace and that the only really issue for the reader would be to unravel the clues and spot the killer.
David Peace is one of Granta’s most highly regarded writers, regardless of genre, and that’s because he writes with style and elan. Part of the pleasure of this massive book (Let’s call it one book for convenience sake) is working his writing out.
Each book is individually structured.
Each structure is a clue in itself.
Each chapter in each book has a different (anti) hero.
And then there’s the subject.
The lighter side deals with the Yorkshire Ripper murders, the heavier with child murders.
The real issue though is the polis.
The British Police PR department presumably do not have any of these novels on their reading lists. Because the police come across as double crossing, conceited, evil scum. And yet many of the main protagonosts are the polis.
That’s why his writing is nothing short of challenging. Visceral, gut wrenching, brutal, shocking, calous, taboo-less.
There. That’s seven uncompromising (that’s eight now. Ed) words to describe his way.
Sympathy is not a word that readily springs to mind in David Peace’s world. Did you sympathise with Cloughie in his big seller, The Damned United?
No, this a world of damnation, wolfs, swans, angels, demons, rats, dragons…underground terror.
It’s a book about the underworld. Full stop.
It’s a book of genius.
I can’t even confess to have fully got the plot (maybe I’ve actually lost it having invested six months of my reading life into Peace’s mind) never mind the meaning but it has been a six month reading exercise that has enthralled, terrified and utterly engaged me from start to finish.
This book (in its totality) is an epic and quite remarkable literary achievement.
Few reading experiences have or will (since reading Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as a 17 year old) affect me quite so powerfully.
Now for something lighter.
Phil Adams recommended the Death Machine to me. I’m started on it.
Filed under: Arts, creativity, family, humour, life, politics, stories | Tags: Annette benning, Gay mums, holywood, Julianne moore, Lesbian marriage, mark ruffalo, The kids are alright
I saw this wonderful movie today at the end of its run. So nothing I say will be news to anyone.
I guess it’s not really broken through because it’s hardly what one could call cine-fashionable. (Apparently it is the first movie ever made about a lesbian marriage in Hollywood.)
That’s interesting because the territory is ripe for humour and pathos in equal measure. And that opportunity is grasped with both hands by writer/director Lisa Chodolenko who frankly appears from nowhere.
She is aided and abetted by a stunning cast. Julianne Moore is magnificent as the “wife” to Annete Benning’s refreshingly unmacho bull dyke dad, both of whom are mom’s to Joni (Mia Wasikowska, last seen in Alice in Wonderland as Alice) and Laser (yes, I know).
I never said this was gonna be easy.
When the kids decide to track down who co created them through their lesbian mom’s Cryobank records they find a Dad that’s cool, sexy and life changing.
Mark Ruffalo has surely never been better in a role that he clearly loves – most particularly when rigorously reintroducing Julianne Moore to the delights of the male body for sexual satisfaction.
The fact that Moore, at 44, is willing to get down and dirty, freckles (millions of them), unfashionable red hair (by Hollywood standards) and all just shows what a great actress she is.
The film gradually develops from light comedy into really insightful and moving reflections on the meaning of family in an ever changing and disposable universe
And the relevance of lesbianism?
It’s just about families, marriage and the unbearable toughness of being.
I found it very inspiring.
Filed under: bbc, conservative, creativity | Tags: Gillian mackeith, I'm a celebrity, Simon Cowell, Strictly come dancing, x factor
Three rival reality tv programmes have a cuckoo in their respective nests right now. Ann Widdicombe in Strictly; Wagner in XFactor; and Gillian MacKeith in IACGMOOH.
Each is a total loser in their own distinctive way but none more odious than MacKeith. But the point is, if you put power in the public’s hands enough of them will vote contrarily enough to piss off the establishment, whether that be Simon Cowell, Bruce Forsyth or the would be queen of poo herself.
I love this anti voting culture that was started on Facebook last Christmas when Rage Against The Machine undid Simon.
This year anything could happen. Maybe it all started in May when we, as a nation, voted in the worst double act since Jedward.
Whatever the outcome in these hilarious anti-establishment phenomena; the journey is worth it.
Filed under: creativity, dad, family, humour, life, Scotland, stories | Tags: gibberish, mark gorman, mark gorman gibberish, markgorman.wordpress.com, million hits, pego's millions, peter gorman, St Columba's hospice
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Pego’s Millions. After only a week you have donated a whopping £766 to St Columba’s Hospice. (My target is £1,000 but originally it was £500 so let’s see if we can power our way through that milestone this week).
The good news is that my site stats only grew by 5% last week so there’s still probably (at this rate) about 37 days until my millionth hit which remains at or around 21st December.
So, if you want another guess (and remember it’s all going to a good cause) plus the chance to win £100 and a bottle of Tesco’s finest bubbly you’re more than welcome to have another go.
Just visit this site and it’ll work it all out for you. (Actually it won’t, you’ll need your wits about you but if you become unstuck just send me an email with your guess or stick it into the comments box on this post.)
It’s £10 a pop and all you have to do is estimate at what time and on what date markgorman.wordpress.com will register its millionth hit.
Imagine the excitement as the deadline approaches.
It’ll be just like that scene in The Soccial Network, for those of you that have seen it.
Filed under: Arts, music, Youtube | Tags: Infinity guitars, punk, rock, sleigh bells
And a certainty for my best of album. Infinity Guitars by Sleigh Bells.
Filed under: Arts, creativity, movies | Tags: Chloe Moretz, cloverfield, hollywod, horror, Kodi Smit McPhee, Let me in, let the right one in, love story, matt reeves, vampire, vampires
I am ashamed to say I have not yet seen the original Swedish version of this movie although it is on my list of to do’s for the very near future especially after seeing the Holywood remake which is in one hyphenated word.; Jaw-dropping.
From the very first frames it captivates you with every cinematic tool available. The scary bits are very scary, the photography stunning and the acting beyond description for a cast starring two 12(ish) year olds. But then Kodi Smit McPhee has previous starring as “the boy” in The Road, another mature and beautiful performance. One wonders just how far he can go on the basis of these two Oscar quality performances. Abby, the vampire is played by Chloe Moretz who absolutely stunned in Kick Ass as Hit Girl.
It’s billed as a horror movie but it’s actually a love story and a very moving one at that. The quietness and intensity of the young couple’s illicit (in so many ways) relationship is at the core of the movie and their shared screen time are the real beating pulse of the movie. You will not see a better and more intimate love story this year.
Matt Reeves, as director, is surely one of the most promising Hollywood talents out there. His previous film, Cloverfield, is one of the most underrated films I’ve ever seen. Why is it not considered amongst the best aliens movie ever made? Anyway, you can be sure, that after this he will be moving onto the A list.