Another Blogette

•April 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hey dudes and dudettes (jeez I’m getting old!)

I wanted to say hello, there have been a lot of comments made about my sight recently, one of which was the very good point that if I wrote more regularly I’d get more hits.  The reason I haven’t added more articles is simply my internet met the true death and has had to be replaced.  I hope to be back up and running with some new articles and continuations of existing stories et al in the very near future.

I would like to thank all the people who’ve very kindly added comments about my writing, and very complimentary some of them are.  Some seem to thank me for ‘certain topics’ and my knowledge of them, and or seem to refer to entirely to a different article than the one it’s attributed to.  I’m not sure some comments actually refer to my articles, more like they’re being sublimated from another site.  Thanks all the same, as the ones which are worded vaguely enough do make my site look good. There are also mentions of me having a fan page on facebook, I didn’t think there would be a call for such a thing, but why not, watch this space.  You can of course follow me on twitter @FubarRobinson, if you are so inclined.

Other comments very kindly point out the layout of the RSS of my sight, and things that don’t work correctly for them.  Sadly I do not understand some of the terms (RSS feeds/subscriptions being one such term) and therefore do not know how to rectify.  So I must therefore also apologise.  If you face a problem with my webpage and think you can explain how to correct the mistake please do feel free to treat me as an internet layman.  I’m just a writer trying very much to get people reading my output and I’m not very au fait with the more technical aspects of the internet and computer systems. 

Once again thanks for your kind comments and taking the time to proffer them for the benefit of my little blog page, whether intentionally or otherwise, and for your patience, Bobbins will be the first to return, then perhaps something a little different.

To your good health

Fubar

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To sleep, perchance to dream…

•March 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I had a dream last night…

With friends I was, though I recognised none of them.

It was in Whitby, but not the town I remembered from my youth.

Stood were we on a rooftop; a party with drinks and laughter.

Until something began to draw their gaze.

I followed their fearful eyes, but saw nothing out-of-place.

My unknown friends looked out at the unknown town, and I was not perturbed. 

My unknown friends walked to the roofs edge.

Followed I did, and saw a leviathan in the distance; of rock and stone it was. 

A building that did not belong to the Whitby of my youth.

The leviathan was surrounded by cloud, all cast aglow by an unusual glare of white light.

It was a light that should not be, and now I was afraid.

I followed my faceless friends to the edge, and heard their cries.

‘On fire, it is!’

Below me was another building, and it was ablaze.

It’s heat rose up a storm, casting evil ash towards us.

So we all turned and got on the bus that was now on the roof with us.

We gave the bus no thought, and sought its solace.

Onboard my nameless friends were angry, scared, and still not the friends I knew.

And then I woke, afraid.

I wonder what my dream means?

Fubar Robinson

A Blogette

•March 8, 2011 • 15 Comments

Hey folks.

I’m concerned that I’m not being able to update this site as much as I’d like.  I really set up this blog to write as and when the mood took me.  But with circumstances I’ve not been able to. 

I would like to point out that Bobbins will return in the very near future, and with Bobbins comes my most popular articles.  I’m amazed and thankful to all of you who have given Bobbins your time, and for the numerous comments I’m receiving about those articles.  Thank you all so much. 

Until I can get my laptop fixed I’m stuck using this nasty old, uncomfortable PC station in my family home, which is not to my liking.  So the blogs will not be as regular.  Having said that I’m making efforts to continue a new post every week for my other associated blogs.  I’d be most grateful if anyone who has time to read my writing to pop across to these sites.  First The Adventure of Brett Bullstrider (www.brettbullstrider.wordpress.com) which is a weekly blogisode updated every Tuesday.  And also Tales of the Macabre, and the Credit Crunch (www.talesofthemacabreandcreditcrunch.wordpress.com) updated every friday.  I’m quietly proud of these stories and I’m be grateful of any feedback people can give me to make them better.

I hope you are all well, and hopefully it shall not be too long before Bobbins makes his reappearance.

Thanks

Fubar

Fubar Robinson

So Russell…what do you love about Music?

•March 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

William takes out his tape recorder, plugs in the mic, and points it at Russell.

William – So Russell…what do you love about music?

Russell smiles, stands up, turns his chair around and leans into the mic.

Russell – To begin with…everything.

This is one of, if not the last, bits of dialogue in a Cameron Crowe’s ‘Almost Famous’ a movie of a young man who’s blagged his way onto a tour with the band Stillwater, and a nice well-paying article for Rolling Stone magazine. It’s a film that I always intended to watch, and had the DVD lying on my shelf for quite some years now.  Owing to my current, financially frugal, situation I’ve been forced to sell on another clump of my precious DVD’s.  Last time I was happy to get rid of some of my more embarrassing and ‘guilty pleasure’ DVD’s, but this time I’ve had to break my heart and get rid some of my more cherished movies.  Admittedly, Almost Famous wasn’t in that category when I agreed the fee, but having wanted to now finally watch it before saying goodbye, it has to now be classed as a cherished one. 

As a movie, it has everything I love – humour, eccentric characters, Rock and Roll, cute, creative and imaginative women, the geek/loser getting to be cool and accepted, road trips, rock music, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin music, and rock music again.  And it has Cameron Crowe’s personal touch and affection that could only come from a script based on his personal experiences.  But more than anything, it’s made me remember just how much I love music – and as Jack Black says in ‘School of Rock’ ” Rock isn’t about being perfect” (or words to that effect, I’m not good on remembering specifics and it’s late, I can’t be arsed to check the finer points!). 

What’s more it’s made me think more about myself as a writer.  William, the protagonist of the movie, is a wannabe music journalist, and gets to live out his dreams.  I am beginning to feel more like I’m beginning my journey, but admit that it’s a long way (to the top if you wanna rock and roll…couldn’t resist, I love AC/DC).  And something that has been bugging me lately, and prompted this blessay tonight is a sense of the undefinable, abstract concepts that I struggle to define and explain. 

I set up this blog, and the two others associated to it, to get me writing, regardless of the topic or the form.  And at first, for the first month of this blog, I wrote prolifically, or at least as prolific as I’ve ever been.  This second month has been less so, and I haven’t felt the same urge to just sit down and write.  Actually that isn’t true I’ve felt the urge many times, but I haven’t done so because I’ve never had a clear idea/topic/theme/subject to write about.  Vague feelings and compunctions that have eluded my concerns as a writer.  For writers have many things to consider – Theme, plot, structure, genre, character, denouement, conclusion, introduction, twists, style, content, then on top of that I worry about the form of my blogs.  Every other blog I read are wonderfully short and concise, I seem incapable of writing anything short and I worry that this puts readers off, that I’m doing it wrong, and that the content I choose to write about as of any interest or value to anyone.  Then I worry that I’m not writing enough…and then I look at this second month of the blog, I’ve written less articles, and yet the hit count and the lovely comments received from the wonderful people who have taken time out of their busy lives to read my blog, have quadrupled.  I don’t know why or how it as happened, or what I’ve done different…but then, I'[m not sure that I care.

Today is the first time in a while I’ve felt utterly compelled to write, and I’m doing so without any real theme or structure in mind, this is pretty much out of my head and onto the web page.  I made note of the dialogue exchange above, between the protagonist and Billy Crudup’s temperamental lead guitarist, because of the words.  How do you answer that question? “What do you like about music?” Music is beyond definition, beyond explanation, beyond understanding.  And yet Cameron Crowe managed to write a whole script about it! And I ask myself, did Cameron Crowe know all this when he started writing, did he have a definitive structure, did he know it would end in such a vague question and vague answer? 

It has made me remember just how much music means to me, how I love the thrill of a live gig (which I haven’t been able to experience recently owning to lack of funds), I love a mesmerizing guitar solo, the buzz of seeing living gods perform on the stage.  And you forget that these are real, flawed human beings with the same preoccupations as any artist/human being; the two are not mutually exclusive entities.  It’s their flaws that make them such remarkable human beings.

I’ve recently been watching a remarkable documentary series of Beethoven on Sky Arts, which discusses his life and music.  He is, in my opinion, the unequivocal musical genius of music history.  His music has awed and inspired me since I was a young child learning to play the piano.  I cannot begin to comprehend the mind and genius of a man who has written such incredible music that has lived on for hundreds of years and is still revered to this day.  But the documentary states that as a human being, he was an absolute prick!  Were I to have met him I’m certain that I would have hated him on sight!  (Although he was gradually going deaf from a young age, and given his talent it was understandable he should be depressed at such an affliction).  But I will never forget the day I first heard the fifth symphony, nor can I express just how exquisite his music is and how much it means to me.   

There are many people out there who have derided Cher Lloyd because of her attitude and behaviour (I realise it’s quite a leap from Ludwig Van Beethoven to an X-factor contestant, but humour me!).  There was an article recently from another of the contestants slamming her as a bully (I forget the womans name, she wasn’t all that good and was binned from the competition before Cher).  I was bullied at school, and I don’t condone it, but Cher for me was by far and away the best contestant on the show, and she made the final, but was the first finalist to go because people didn’t like her attitude.   Balls to her attitude, she had more talent than all of them put together, and if history shows us anything, artists are assholes!  She may throw away her talent, squander her opportunity, but she could also reshape music forever…you don’t know.  I say let her be a human being, no one is perfect, she seems nice enough to me, and strong enough to deal with the effects of her personality, let her be amazing.  She converted me, I’m not a hip hop fan, but I would happily buy her album. The future is hers to reshape…

So where does this leave me?  I do not know.  That’s the thing, with any of my writing, I find I have to meander through.  Everything should fit together all so perfectly – putting together the jigsaw before you know the picture or the shape of the pieces. It’s maddening and the pursuit of someone who is a borderline lunatic. But now, whereas I would have left the urge unsated, I’m writing, searching for the meaning, for the definition; striving to define something which defies definition. 

So I’m going to write, which was always the intention behind beginning this blog.  Recently that’s all I’ve done, I’ve contributed only to my blogs, as I’ve taken a vain satisfaction on seeing the hit counts rise everyday.  But I need to begin my career, and there are things I need to write, that I cannot bring to this or any other of my blogs.  Almost Famous is a movie that is similar in subject matter to a novel I’ve been planning to write.  It’s been in the prep stages for a few weeks, or in truth a few years as it’s a concept I began writing some time ago and was never happy with.  I’m still not happy with everything, it is once again eluding my instincts a s a writer and is flitting around my mind – so close yet so far.  However, what the hell, I’m just going to write it.  That means that articles my be sparse on this blog for a while.  My Bobbins character seems to be quite popular, and he will continue to reappear, and I have set myself deadlines for the other blogs so they will continue to be updated weekly. 

Cameron Crowe won an Oscar for his screenplay for Almost Famous.  He got it out there and accepted the reward.  I’ve a dream to chase, and it cannot be achieved by doing nothing.  This is why Billy Crudup’s reply is perfect.  What do you love about Music? To begin with…everything!  It’s both vague and concise, it makes no attempt to define what cannot be condensed.  It show his thrill at not knowing.  Perhaps it’s because he has experienced music.  Perhaps only in the experience can there be meaning…yeah!

It’s late, my head hurts from over thinking every word and concept in this literary soup of metaphoric dribble, and I need to step back.  I’m sure this article is again overlong and poorly grammatised, and for that I apologise and thank you if you have persevered to this point. I need to sleep, then I need to to just write. What happens next? Well…you’ll be the first to know.

A goodnight to all of you wonderful, intelligent and creative people out there, I hope I shall write again soon.

Fubar

Fubar Robinson

I’ve got the blog on!

•February 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hey folks,

I wanted to add another blog entry today, something a bit more significant than this note anyway.  For example Bobbins will return in his daily adventures of psychosis and nervousness.  However my laptop has died again.  It’s amazing how dependant I’ve become on the contraption, its guiding light, it’s warmth against my lap, but it’s thrown a Wendy and won’t work properly, so for the time being I’m stuck using the home computer.

I don’t like this computer, it’s big and arrogant, works slowly; deliberately trying to wind me up, and it’s cramped into the corner of the dining room and swamped with camera’s, MP3 players and all manner of familial detritus, and for some reason the chair really makes my butt hurt, you know the bit of bone between your arse cheeks, that is really complaining – all in all it’s a thoroughly unpleasant experience.  Plus i can only really use it at night when i know that a) no one will be using it, and b) no one will be peering over my shoulder asking what I’m doing.

So as its late, and I have already spent a good few hours on a new episode for my tales of the Macabre blog, Bobbins will have to wait until tomorrow.  Fear not, I’m in talks to fix my laptop and I’ll be back blogging all over the place.

Goodnight all.

Fubar

Fubar Robinson

All Hail The Kings Speech!!

•February 15, 2011 • 5 Comments

This essentially is a reissue of a previous post, which I’m doing to celebrate The King’s Speech’s 7 BAFTA wins, and especially Colin Firth’s Best Actor Gong – all were well deserved. 

Having seen this film again Sunday morning prior to the BAFTA Awards show on BBC 1 I wanted to revisit the review I wrote as I discovered new character nuances, visual techniques that just made me understand and love this movie even more – a rare thing as costume drama’s are not normally my thing.  So I thought I’d try and rewrite it (and make corrections to a few deliberate mistakes which naturally you all spotted), i wanted to do more justice to Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter’s performances (both winning gongs on the night), I wanted to speak more of the script, Tom Hooper’s directing. 

But then I realised that words are a poor replacement for the experience, I’m not nearly talented enough a wordsmith to convey just how good this movie is.  So I would recommend you all go see this movie (and support British Cinema at the same time) – but if your undecided, here’s the updated review to give you a bit of guidance at what you can expect.

I finally got to see ‘The King’s Speech’, spurred on further by Colin Firth’s Golden Globes win, and thought I’d add my own review…because it’s one good movie!

Prince Albert (Colin Firth) has suffered with a stammer since early childhood, and with threat of war and the abdication of his older brother forcing the kingdom on his shoulders, he turns to an unconventional, colonial, speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) to cure his affliction.

Following on from last years ‘A Single Man’ by Tom Ford Firth has once again got the Oscar nod. English actors don’t tend to fare very well at the Oscars, and Firth isn’t helped by the fact he’s playing a character from English history. Because America won the war, you know?

This film’s marketing portrayed this as well cast Merchant Ivory-like costume drama. However historical dramas are generally typified by fluid prose spoken with inch perfect diction. Here Firth plays a man who struggles to speak every word – a stammer a famous tripping point for actors. An affliction developed at a young age, and teased by his father and older brother. A man who’s lived a life of repressed emotions and living during the threat of war. What’s astounding is that with every tick, stammer, and angry outburst, Firth portrays the heartbraking weight laid heavily on his shoulders.
The film opens with Albert (or Bertie to his family) attempting to read a message from his father King George V at the Empire convention at Wembley, and we see how the audience turn in disappointment as he stammers through the speech. When all others fail, he turns to Logue, an antipodeon failing actor, who uses unconventional techniques to help the Prince to overcome his stammer. Logue has the audacity to call the Prince Bertie (only an australian could be so bold!), and insists that the stammer cannot be overcome without delving into the Prince’s personal life. Despite his best efforts to prevent it his older brother abdicates (the famous Mr. Simpson, played by Guy Pearce) the inevitable responsibility of the Empire falls onto him.

It’s amazing to consider all the obstacles placed in front of The King at the time. On the one hand, this was a man who had to overcome some many personal obstacles, and would go on to become a symbol of resistance throughout the second world war (Was there a more inspiring phrase than ‘For King and Country’?). It’s also amazing to view the reception to the Kings early efforts at public speaking. A turn of the head, disappointment, shame. Would that be the same today if, for example, Prince William suffered with Tourette’s Syndrome? Imagine the new lows Ricky Gervais and Frankie Boyle would plumb then? In a time when students will willfully attack the heir to the throne while he and his wife drive through the streets. It puts in to focus just how important The King’s words were, in a time where the wireless was king and the power of words was paramount. And with it came some of the most important characters, and the most important speakers of the war period. Not only stammering King George, but Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother forever loved for saying of the bombing of Buckingham palace “I’m glad we’ve been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East-end in the face”), Timothy Spall’s Winston Churchill (who gave the most famous and most quoted war-time speech) and even footage of Hitler (who the King himself said spoke well – even if the words were of pure hate and prejudice).

The supporting cast are wonderful, you may even go so far as to call this movie a ‘Bromance’ as it’s through friendship that Bertie is let loose of his trappings. A scene where Bertie gleefully swears at the top of his voice, a touching and beautiful scene where after the death of his Father Bertie starts putting together a model aeroplane, a metaphor for the the fixing of a man who still carries with him his childhood fears. Logue is not only taking away the Prince’s disability, he’s putting him back together. The film would live and die on the performance of Firth, and how believable the friendship of these two characters are.  Thankfully both are note perfect.

The maxim in movies is show don’t tell, and yet thefilms’s climax is the speech itself, one that calms the nation after the threat of war, that makes George and the royal family a symbol of strength and resistance, and the culmination of Bertie’s new strength and belief, and his bravery.

This is a film that goes beyond what you expect and is deserving of the buzz surrounding it. Firth portrays a man of wit, charm, and utter frailty of spirit, a man completely trapped within his own body. Supported by a wonderful cast and considerate direction that beautiful portrays one of England’s most trying and difficult periods. The American involvement might well have helped end the war, but without British resistance they may well never have been able to make that boast. Let’s hope that come February the Academy remember it!

Five star review from me. *****

Fubar

Fubar Robinson

A Nihilist Pick of Romantic Movies

•February 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As it is now that day once more…Valentine’s Day, the most corporate friendly Hallmark holiday of fake annual sentiment (and no I’m not just saying that because I’m single… and yes that might well be the reason I’m single!)
In an effort to alleviate the stress of picking a good movie to watch with your loved one I have selected 10 romance-alternatives for your viewing pleasure…but a small note for the guys, these movies might not guarantee you getting laid (because we know that’s the  only reason guys go along with this ‘holiday’ , or else you’d make romantic sentiments throughout the year)

1.  My Bloody Valentine

Trashy 3D horror with some plenty of bloody, not much Valentine as pickaxe wielding maniac seeks revenge on a mining town.  It might scare those of a nervous disposition, so here’s hoping you date a schizophrenic(!), plus it has perhaps the most naked horror victim in cinema history!

2. (500) Days of Summer

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the once funny little kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun) and the beautiful Zooey Deschanel as the not-so star-crossed-lovers who embark on a relationship.  All the typical (not to mention nonsensical) paradigms of the rom-com are there – boy likes girl, girl doesn’t like boy, boy makes a fool of himself etc, etc.  But no happy ending (per sé, but the dude kind of ends up with Minka Kelly in the end, so definitely a happy ending of sorts) – plus it’s funny, inventive, a rom-com that isn’t a rom-com, and who wouldn’t fall in love with Zooey Deschanel (her character likes the Smiths, likes Karaoke, and likes playing a game where she shouts ‘Penis’ as load as she can – in this country we use the word ‘Bogies’, but whatever, she’s totally forgiven.)

3. Lost In Translation

Not a Rom-Com, but it’s funny, and definitely romantic.  A beautiful counterfoil to the greedy hollywood think tanks that continue to fund shallow predictable and boring Rom-Com’s because for some reason people actually want to watch them.  But Sofia Coppola’s Japan-set drama is beautifully observed, and any film that has the beautiful Scarlett Johanssen and the legend that is Bill Murray has got to be a good thing right? Touching, endearing, and the classic ending that you and you loved once can discuss to your romantic little hearts’ content.

4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

From Judd Apatow, but not by Judd Apatow, the comedy movie juggernaut that’s replaced Adam Sandler’s brand of ugly guy romances hot girl with knob gags with their very own brand of ugly guy gets hot girl with knob gags.  Except this one is funny and written by star Jason Siegel as he attempts to get over the harsh break up with actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell) by visiting Hawaii – where he runs into said girlfriend holidaying with rockstar, douchebag boyfriend Aldis Snow (a perfectly cast Russell Brand) and falls in love with the lovely Mila Kunis, and who can blame him.  Hear that? The only way to get over a break up, is to get another partner!

5.  Shaun of the Dead

The Socrates of the Zombie-com sub-genre.  A slacker (Simon Pegg) and his bigger slacker mate (Nick Frost) fight Zombies, save relationships with tired girlfriends, deal with matricide (she does turn into a Zombie!) and fight more Zombies.  It’s scary, funny, and Frost and Pegg are the kings of the movie bromance – never forget your mates guys!

6. Casino Royale

Speaks for itself I think.  Daniel Craig, as James Bond, kicks butt, sleeps with a lot of women, falls in love, she lies to save him and then gets killed in Venice, he gets cranky and seeks revenge – essentially the plot of the sequel ‘Quantum of Solace’, which turns him into the tux wearing womanizing spy we all know and love.  That’s amore!

7. Mullholland Drive

I wouldn’t lie to you dear readers, you know you can trust me on this one.  If you’ve never seen a David Lynch film let me say it plainly…he’s the most romantic director of our generation!  And there is a beautiful romance in this movie, between two women, who get topless.  Nuff said!

8. Let The Right One In/Let Me In

Both Swedish and American versions are noted here as both are pretty good.  If I was to pick for one I’d chose the original swedish version.  But if don’t want to read subtitles Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield) remake is just as good, if a little more horror-centric.  The movie is about a relationship between a bullied little boy, who befriends a little girl with a secret, she’s a vampire and much older than she seems.  All jokes aside there is a touching friendship at the core of this movie, a fierce, disturbing but beautiful loyalty.  It’s scary and sweet in equal measure, a film that is not to be missed.

9. Date Movie/Epic Movie/Disaster Movie et al.

These unbelievable flatulent attempts at movie making are simply that poor that you might as well switch them off. Two hours of your life are better spent feeling up the one you love.

10. Airplane!

Because it’s the most awesome movie ever…simple as. R.I.P. Leslie

Fubar

Fubar Robinson