I couldn’t decide which edit I liked more. Both were taken with my iPod and edited with Snapseed – the first one simply using tilt shift and the drama filter, which I saved then continued editing, which became this second version when I overlaid it with another drama filter, then selected one of the vintage filters. The slightly muted, dark and dramatic colours is an aesthetic that I’ve been attracted to for some time, recently, and that I would like to use more in my photography. Sometimes it creates lovely, moody atmospheres.
There are two lines in the Florence + the Machine song, “Dog Days Are Over”, that for me is a particular hook in the first part before the chorus,
“With every bubble, she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink.”
That particular lyric blows me away every time. It’s beautifully poignant, and speaks a wonderful poetry. It’s also unexpected: bubbles and sinking are not associations one normally thinks; if nothing else, bubbles, like those in champagne, lift. Juxtaposition at its finest.
(My other favourite song from Lungs is “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, in particular the lyrics: “And in the spring I shed my skin/And it blows away with the changing wind”.)
One day while playing “Dog Days Are Over” on loop, I Googled “Florence Welch poetry” and discovered a BBC radio series called Rhyme and Reason with Florence reading poetry and discussing it. It was also, thankfully, uploaded by someone on to YouTube and that was how I was able to listen to it. (Unfortunately, it seems the BBC website for Rhyme and Reason does not exist anymore.)
Videos are embedded after the jump.
It was announced at The Velvet Onion that there is a new series of Matt Berry’s radio comedy I, Regress beginning tonight at 11PM (GMT). If Matt Berry’s name rings a bell, you might recognize him from The IT Crowd as Douglas Reynholm, the son of the owner of Reynholm Industries or as Dixon Bainbridge from the first series of The Mighty Boosh TV show. In I, Regress he plays Dr. Berry – a hypnotherapist who uses regressive means to solve his patients’ phobias, with often dark and twisted results.
I caught the first series of I, Regress last year and it was a treat! The third episode was my favourite, with Dr. Berry treating a patient who has a fear of heights. Spoiler alert – pigeons are from the moon!
I, Regress airs tonight at 11PM (GMT) on BBC Radio 4. If you’re not in the UK, you can easily listen to it – from wherever you are, with an Internet connection – using TuneIn Radio, either online or the app.
The first series of I, Regress is also available to buy on iTunes. Each episode is sold individually as an EP for $1.99 (Canadian) each.
Last year I chanced upon a BBC documentary called Wogan on Wodehouse. Broadcast in 2011, Terry Wogan pieces together P.G. Wodehouse’s life and its parallels in his writings, often brilliantly inspired. Unlike some documentaries that try to uncover supposed hidden truths or darker aspects in an author’s works through their life, the parallels only further illuminate Wodehouse’s brilliance as a wordsmith and his ability in seeing the humour in life.
I believe I was between the ages of thirteen and fourteen when I read my first Wodehouse book, Carry On, Jeeves. Since then, I’ve read more of his books and enjoy them as much as I did upon first reading them, if not more so. After reading any of his stories, I always come away with a feeling that I can only describe as rich and uplifted. How he uses language is invigorating.
Most of the enjoyment that one gets out of reading his writing is his use of simile, alliteration, and witty, sometimes irreverent, allusions and references to Shakespeare and classical studies, usually the Romantic poets, and the Bible. All of which are handled deftly. His writing is such that he is one of those very few writers in which one derives more enjoyment by reading it himself than hearing it read out loud or narrated, as when listening to an audiobook.
Today would be Douglas Adams’ sixty-first birthday: a fact celebrated by today’s Google doodle. I first read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when I was twelve or thirteen. I don’t remember knowing much prior to reading it, but I do remember after how it left me confused more than anything. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t laugh once, or was ever amused while reading it. The only memorable thing I was left with, back then, was that humans have a habit of stating the obvious, as exemplified by stating the weather. (Saying it’s a sunny day, for instance, when everyone can tell that the sun is shining.)
I really only began to get the comedy fairly recently, as much as a year ago, when I started to listen to the radio series. The radio series actually came first, then it later was published as books and turned into a TV show as well as a movie, among other formats. (I haven’t watched the TV show or movie, though I’m thinking perhaps it’s time to take a crack at the book again.)
Now I appreciate it and actually can make reference jokes to it or understand references to it (such as Roy’s 42 tee shirt in The IT Crowd, which is also sold on ThinkGeek). Perhaps I was too young to get it, but I’m glad I do now. If I like the Boosh and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, its brand of humour should be something I like.
One other Douglas Adams book I read and enjoyed was The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. I loved Dirk Gently with his I Ching pocket calculator, as well as his habit of following a car in traffic, whilst forgetting his original destination, but always arriving where he was needed.
This is a book I’ve been waiting to read for months! I put a hold on it at my library when it was still on order, back in September of last year, and finally was able to borrow it yesterday.
It is a treat.
P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters, edited by Sophie Ratcliffe, contains several letters written by Wodehouse to family, friends, and great literary figures from back in the day such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. It isn’t just strictly letters, though, as Sophie Ratcliffe has combined correspondence with biography, thereby providing context and insight. There are also footnotes, providing further context when need be such as social or historical references.
In light of this, I shall leave you, for now, with a quote from the introduction regarding his opinion said biographical context:
Wodehouse is also a writer whose works resist a certain sort of biographical approach. He disliked investigations into his personal life and circumstances, partly because he found them intrusive. [...] And he also intimated that biographical context was, to a degree, irrelevant to understanding a work of art. Writing about Shakespeare, he noted that “a thing I can never understand is why all the critics seem to assume that his plays are a reflection of his personal moods and dictated by the circumstances of his private life. You know the sort of thing I mean. They say, “Timon of Athens is a gloomy bit of work. That means Shakespeare was having a lousy time when he wrote it.” I can’t see it. Do you find that your private life affects your work? I don’t.”
Near the end of 2012, the American Oxford Dictionary named “gif” (pronounced either “jif”, as in Jiffy’s Peanut Butter, or “gif” with a hard G) the word of the year. The gif, short for graphics interchange format, is twenty-five years old.
The Economy of the GIF, a panel at this year’s SXWX, discusses the importance of the gif and its current status in Internet culture. I wasn’t there, but I was able to keep abreast of it on Twitter (#gifecon) and it was there, in fact, that I found out about it in the first place.
Described as occupying a space between photos and videos, the gif has been deemed appropriate for increasingly shorter attention spans and that it takes longer to process a video. Most interestingly, it has been mobile technology that has revived the gif. Tumblr is the leader of the pack for usage of gifs and it’s been suggested that it’s one of the top reasons why more and more teens are going to Tumblr and leaving Facebook, as Facebook does not currently support gifs. Gifs are used as a communication tool, such as in texting or email, and are possibly more dynamic than emoticons, such as with “reaction gifs”: gifs used to respond to messages, with or without words.