The Beta Band are no longer with us (sob), but it's good to see that The Aliens are keeping up the Beta tradition of making daft little films that don't have anything to do with the music. Here's a recent example:
I don't really like this ad. I feel I can sense the meeting where someone said the words 'epic' and 'Bravia balls' in close proximity, and then everyone got excited, without considering why Ford should be doing something similar. Sure, it's well crafted and nicely shot, but there is no reason on Earth why I should go out and buy a Ford after watching this. The Bravia balls ad had meaning - 'colour like no other'. This is advertising for advertising's sake. Doesn't do it for me.
I hadn't sat down and thought about it until this evening, but this is my last week as a Londoner. I'll still be working here, but after Friday I won't be living here. Admittedly I'm not a proper Londoner. I only moved here properly in 1999, after a bit of dabbling between 1994 and 1996. But I've come to consider it as my home - it's going to feel odd not to be here anymore.
At the weekend my wife and I discussed what we should do on our last weekend. Should we go to the Royal Academy and look at the summer exhibition? Go for tea at Claridges? Spend unnecessary amounts in Liberty or Selfridges? Watch an obscure Japanese film? Or eat some poncey grub?
In the end we didn't do any of these, mainly because we just didn't fancy it (it can also be a bit tricky to do some of those things with a 14 month old). To be honest, I think we left London when we decided to move. What used to be exciting and even a big edgy has now just become dirty and slightly dangerous. It makes us sound slightly pathetic, but we can't wait to get out and listen to the silence of the village at night. I'm getting excited about throwing open the back door and wandering into the garden in the morning, without getting annoyed that the Australians over the fence are still pumping out some crazy techno beats at 8am. I'm not going to miss the bass bins in the back of that Audi across the road, or the weird tramp who walks down our street every night at about 2am singing an unknown song and clanking a specific gate in a specific way every night, without fail. I'm not going to miss hearing the neighbours doing their neighbour stuff. In short, I think it's the noise that drove me away.
I know I sound old, but I really don't mind sounding old. When we used to talk about getting out of London, we always used to say "maybe in a couple of years, when we're earning more/working less/bringing more small people into the world."
And then we realised that there was was this strange concept called 'now', and that if we kept waiting for a couple of years, we'd never get there.
My friend Ben points us in the direction of a nice piece in the Guardian by Shane Meadows. It's about his new film This Is England, but also more generally about how life has changed since the 1980s, and about what it was like being a kid then, like I was.
Sorry. Was looking for a positive, as I really want the 2012 Olympics to be a success. But this dog's breakfast of a logo isn't going to help. I don't want to get into the semantics of it (from the street, appeals to yoof, can be customised (wow)).
It just offends the eye, plain and simple.
There is a petition where you can protest against its selection. Just in case you want to vote.
I am not in shape at the moment. I have been working hard and am thinking about mortgages and removal men too much. It's time to hit the road again, and to start myself off, I'm watching Rocky. I reckon if I watch the following clip every morning, I'll be able to take on anyone and anything. Even Spider Rico, or the man who collects the stamp duty.