Friday, 8 May 2009


The Graham Norton Show
5x08 (30/4/09 edition, uncut repeat)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Mad Men
2x13 Meditations in an Emergency [season finale]
Absolutely brilliant! And who knew the line "I haven't got a contract" could be one of the best, most triumphant 'finishing moves' ever? Can't wait for the third season now. Pray they never cancel this series without giving the production team notice, because the subtle cliffhangers they produce are unbearable. (As in you can't wait for the resolution, not as in badly done. Just so we're clear.)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


7 Weird Bits Of Star Trek Merchandise by James White
(from Total Film)
Ah Trekkies, always good for a laugh!

The 10 Most Famous Geek Arguments by Jason Clarke
(from Topless Robot)
A very entertaining read, especially if you've ever been embroiled in any/all of these... debates, which span TV, film, comics, literature and even science. Though at least one assertion suggests minimal knowledge of the topic involved: "The only Doctors [as in Doctor Who] to ever challenge [Tom] Baker's supremacy have been the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and the current Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)". McCoy?! I love McCoy, but I don't think he's ever really troubled Baker in terms of popularity.

11 Things We Love About Terminator Salvation by Andy Lowe
(from Total Film)
They've seen it! They liked it! And here's some good stuff from it! Beware of spoilers though. It makes me want to go rewatch the first three (well, two at least) before it's out. Heck, maybe I even will.

Review of Star Trek
Review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine by Roger Ebert
Two negative reviews of this summer's first two major blockbusters. His points on Wolverine are mostly valid, though show a lack of awareness of how the character is in the comics (fair enough, he's only reviewing the film), while his Trek review is pleasing in its different perspective from all the over-congratulatory reviews everywhere else. I can well believe everything he says is correct.

Poem of the Week: Photographs of the Notebook

by Luke Kennard

There are two common misconceptions about prose poetry:

One, that it's a bit of writing that fails to tell a story effectively or fails to sound good enough to be poetry, so is lumped somewhere in between. While I'm sure it can be this, good examples are not. Yes, they fall somewhere between the two stools of literature, but they land closer to poetry -- it is, for whatever reason, a poem in prose form.

Two, that it's very modern and avant-garde. Not so. There are examples of prose poems dating back thousands of years, especially in Japan, and even the modern 'popularity' can be dated to the mid 19th Century. Since then it's been adopted by more outside movements and steadily moved into the mainstream, but it's hardly a modern invention.

I'm no scholar on prose poetry -- in fact, I'm no scholar on poetry as a whole -- but having recently been introduced to a few examples, here's one I thought worth sharing. It exhibits many poetic qualities, but I think is also an entertaining read for anyone (especially if you're a writer). There's also an argument to be made that readers not versed in verse may find prose poetry more accessible, as it's closer to the more-widely read form.

I used to keep a notebook on my person at all times -- to write down ideas, observations, openings for stories. It took me almost a year to realise that the book was hexed, that as long as I had it in my pocket or rucksack I would be blank -- not only deaf and blind to the world around me, but mute as well: unable to express even this strange impotence in anything other than silence.

I ripped out all ninety-six pages of the notebook, one by one. I filled the empty leather cover with ninety-six photographs of the notebook and had it rebound. I gave this book of photographs to an artist I know in the city. She sealed it in an envelope and mailed it to herself -- so as to copyright the idea -- but it must have been lost in the post. She is no longer speaking to me, but that's because of something else.

I shredded the ninety-six ripped-out notebook pages and used them as stuffing in a writing cushion. I took the writing cushion to a shop where it was immediately bought by an old man with pince-nez who has since died in obscurity.

I used so many cameras and films when I was taking the ninety-six photographs of the notebook. Even now a set of photographs will come back to me from the developers and among the smiling friends and rivers and parties, there will be a perfect portrait of the notebook, just there, in between us like a reminder that we're all going to die.

Today I bought a new notebook, but so far this is the only thing I have written in it.

This piece is taken from Kennard's book The Harbour Beyond the Movie, published by Salt in 2007, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Forward Poetry Prize.

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'