28 June 2011

Cinenova interview...

I interviewed Emma Hedditch and Marina Vishmidt about Cinenova...you can read it at Mute.

16 June 2011


Here is a cut-up made from the blurbs of shit descriptions of shit movies:

An ageing World War II veteran guards a rebel leader’s harem at a Catskills resort when a huge snowstorm gets pulled into the virtual world created by a 19th century inventor and his acrobatic butler. In the unprecedented storm a platoon of marines overcome racial differences by perpetuating rumours that they sleep around. To detach himself from the agony of boot camp and the futility of war a man endangers himself by befriending two locals. He charms and scratches his way through the turmoil of the American Civil War and rethinks his life in the light of his daughter’s pending marriage. Meanwhile the feuding cat and mouse duo turn to a life of crime to pay the bills after a delinquent gang leader weighed down by unfulfilled aspirations makes a pact with the Devil (an insensitive jerk). Embarrassment ensues.

6 June 2011

Mary Midgley's 'The Myths We Live By'

an extract...

'I lately came across a mug inscribed with the following remark, which it attributed to Margaret Mead: 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.' It struck me at once that this was a mug badly at odds with current thinking; indeed, it cannot lately have been attending to the media as an educated mug should. These days, the message that we chiefly hear is that changes in the world are due to something on a much larger scale - perhaps economic causes, perhaps a shift in the gene pool, perhaps cultural evolution - certainly far grander than a few people worrying in an attic. Is the mug therefore wrong?

This seems to me rather an important issue. We always have a choice about the perspective from which we will look at human affairs, whether we will examine them from the inside, as participants, or from some more distant perspective, and if so, which of many distant perspectives we will choose. Or can we combine these angles? In theory, we know that these points of view are not really alternatives but complementary parts of a wider enquiry. Yet current thinking urges us to find, somehow, one key explanation, a single standpoint that is guaranteed right because it is scientific.'
p75, 2003

This is a really interesting book by moral philosopher Mary Midgley about how that which we consider myth is not the opposite of science...

Hopefully more on this at some point.

2 June 2011

Goon writes to snack company

date17 May 2010 22:33
subjectIced Gems

To whom it may concern,

Having been, as many children of the '80s were, a great fan of your product 'Iced Gems', I found myself embroiled in a debate with my then classmates which has yet, after some 15 querulous years, to be resolved. 

It consisted of the following disagreement: Your biscuits - a delightful and colourful sugary shape sitting on a biscuit base - suggest that the jewel shaped sugary treat is the 'gem'. However, grammatically speaking, the biscuit base is in fact the gem given that it (the biscuit base) is the noun being described by the adjective 'iced'. 

Thus, shouldn't the biscuit base look more gem-like and the icing look less so?

Unless of course the intention is that the sugary shape is the iced gem, presumably an invisible gem that has been covered in icing, that is; iced, and is now resting on a biscuit base which, sadly, has no place in the title. If this is the case the product becomes 'iced gem on biscuit base' or, better; 'iced gems on biscuit bases'. Wouldn't you agree?

Granted, neither of the above are catchy names, but isn't the name 'Iced Gems' somewhat misleading?

I am an editor of various prestigious underground publications and a proud pedant to boot. Plus I have a sweet tooth and would like once again to enjoy your lovely treats but find myself unable to do so when my stomach recoils anxiously from this grammatical error every time I extend my hand towards your product in a shop.

As you can imagine this is, at times, very distressing.

If you could reply with some explanation or solution I assure you of my lifelong custom.

Many thanks,
M. Mattar

----- Forwarded by Joanne Jones/Technical/UK/United Biscuits on 19/05/2010 11:12 -----
From: Jacobs Consumer Services
To: miramatter@googlemail.com
Date: 18/05/2010 12:36
Subject: 20/024263JJ
Sent by: Joanne Jones

Dear Ms Mattar

Thank you for letting us know about your disappointment with Jacobs Iced Gems.

We thank you for taking the trouble to contact us with your views, as consumer opinion is very important to us. Your comments have been passed to the appropriate quality control personnel at the factory where the product is manufactured.

We acquired this product from Jacob’s over five years ago, and have not considered altering the name or product.

It is very important that people let us know their opinions, as they help us to continue to look at ways of improvement and for us to ensure that each and every one of our products reaches our consumers in the best possible condition.

Many thanks for taking the trouble to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Jones
Consumer Services Coordinator


frommira mattar miramattar@googlemail.com
date3 June 2010 10:49
subjectRe: Fw: 20/024263JJ
hide details 03/06/2010

Dear Joanne,
Many thanks for this reply. I appreciate it. I would like to know about the current status of my query, and if it has been passed to the appropriate person.
Mira Mattar
date4 June 2010 09:44
subjectRe: Fw: 20/024263JJ Iced Gem enquiry.
hide details 04/06/2010

Dear Mira
Thank you for your E-Mail, as previously stated we have referred your comments relating to the product to the appropriate personnel.  However, the product has always been branded as 'Iced Gems', and is the name known and recognised by Consumers.  Our interpretation of the product is, that the icing is the gem not the base.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact us.
THE IDIOTS WIN AGAIN...but at least we have an answer...