Friday, October 31, 2008

BURN AFTER READING


The Coen Brothers have done it again; they have produced a masterpiece of subtle and simple human messages. Their new film Burn after Reading is an unfolding tale of interwoven consequences as a result of truly moronic behaviour. So disbelieving is the stupidity of human beings that it had me laughing out loudly in the cinema. In fact, I seemed to be the only one laughing. What’s wrong with you people! Do I have to spell out the message? “What the fuck is going on here?” That’s it in case you miss it.

So stupid, that even the American CIA guy is dumbfounded and admits it. Now that is class and had me smiling.

But the true class, aside from the script, is in the acting and casting. Brad Pitt brilliant, John Malkovich brilliant.

Go see it, nice to see American cinema that is worthy of your time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Great White

Last week a friend and I were talking about freedom. This, we both value above all else. We were wondering at the very heart of freedom. Does it lie not in its relation to another but in its relation to self? Knowing and understanding freedom is a life’s work on a journey that has endless possibilities.

I remembered reading awhile back, a dedication that the Pickfords had written in their book, The Miracle Rivers. It goes as follows:

“It was while looking down into the clarity of a nameless waterway in the Okavango Delta that ourselves and a friend came to talking of fish. He told us that no great white shark had ever successfully been kept in captivity. Their demise was due not to disease or lack of food or the neglect of their custodians, but a great withering of spirit. For all its formidable bearing, defiant disposition and fierce and singular nature, when the great white shark is removed from the freedom of the open sea it is deprived of an ingredient so vital to its being that there occurs within it a spiritual death which the flesh is helpless but to follow. Despite all efforts, there has never been an exception.”
Peter and Beverly Pickford, wrote this in August 1998.

The soul cries and gets fearful at the possibility of the curtailment of freedom, a freedom that can’t even be defined. This is a good sign I think, as this is awareness and awareness must be important somewhere amongst the folds in the heart of freedom.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Does size count?

Let’s get right to the point. Yes, it does and I’m not talking willy size here. That’s obvious, of course penis size counts. So boys, get over it if you are small, damn that’s just bad luck! No, what I’m talking about here is dress size, body size, and bum size – whatever angle you want to call it from. The size of a woman, how much does it count?

Well, a prostitute happened to tell me a few years back, that she knows the value of beauty was the difference of 4kgs. This margin she believed meant you were in the game or not. Well that stuck in my mind. It was during that same conversation that I saw an amazing painting of a bum in a thong. I could not buy it so I went home and painted it from memory. It’s now in my bathroom at home. I digress.

So, you would think that prostitutes know a thing or two about shifting weight. But when it comes to love, how much are you willing to let slip? Are you happy for your partner to have 5kg’s to play with either way? What point do you step in to draw the line and just what size exactly turns you on? Now this is interesting because my belief is the size of your brain should do it. A turn on is in the mind, as long as it’s reflected back in an aesthetically pleasing matter in some way. Now look, I’m not including in this discussion the clinically obese, clearly they need to put down the pie, get off the sofa and hit the pavement. I’m talking about normal people in normal lives.

The term ‘letting go’ is used to describe the state in which one who was once attractive is no longer. The measure for this is the media or teenage models in middle aged women’s clothes. Perhaps the stick with which we beat ourselves is the very thing we should be letting go of. Amongst my girlfriends we all agreed that we become a lot happier with our bodies after hitting thirty, something just changed and the allure of being a women was much more appealing that dropping a dress size. Not listening to anyone else’s view but accepting what makes us happy. Now, I have attractive girlfriends, they take care of themselves and they are not overweight. They are just relishing in the imperfections of life. This after all, is what makes someone just that little more interesting. The size of a life lived, the size of the time spent away from measurement and judgement, the size of self. That is what’s worth sizing up next time someone asks you does size count.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I love this song

This is a restored recording of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Girl from the North Country. In my opinion one of the most moving love songs ever written.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bleisure?

I was overcome. Last night I was overcome with tiredness and stress that I panicked in my sleep. So much so that I spent the better half of this morning debating what part of my life was causing me this worry. The boundaries were blurred and I could not decide.

My day tumbled around, after four consecutive phones on totally different projects a colleague remarked to me that I was the best representative of the Bleisure generation that he knows.

Bleisure?

Bliesure, being the blurring of business and leisure. The growing state of many who have decided to throw caution to the wind, work on the hoof, raise the roof and live a little. This maladie finds its friends amongst the Blackberries, mobile broadband, GSM, 3G, power surging, Notebook balancing act of working hobos, like me.

Apparently I’m not alone. Eurkea! I’m cured. I have Bleisure. Now can someone please tell me how to access the internet from the Tsar desert?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The One

That stupid old matter of ‘The One’ came up last night. Awhile back I wrote about The Beautiful One, well he dropped round for a drink last night. He was asking about my impending travel plans. As I was in full flight on the really important bits of the plan, he said “well maybe he is the one”, referring to a friend I’ll be visiting along the way.

“I don’t believe there is just one; I think there are many ‘Ones’”, I replied and carried on without another thought to his remark. India, Nepal, Cambodia, trekking, hiking, yes, yes oh yes, these are things that I love.

As he was leaving, he squared me with his stare and said
“There is ‘The One’ you know, you just have to realise that one is not a Perfect One”.

“Thanks for coming”, I replied, then smiled, my mind was thinking about something completely different altogether.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where’s Hilary Clinton now?


I wonder how Hilary must be feeling with Sarah Palin in the spotlight as the front runner women in the Presidential race. Hilary really badly wanted to be it. Reeling in horror as this comedy/tragedy unfolds? I would like to hear her view on this all, in particular I would like to hear what she thinks of(God help us)a McCain/Palin victory where McCain kicks the bucket leaving Palin first female President.
Ego and pride must of course play their role, but what do you think of a President without merit now Hilary?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

TALES OF SEX WARS AND VANITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

I aspire to describe London life as well as this. My serial womanising blogger but deliciously interesting friend Nicolas wrote this in 2006. It is infinitely better than anything I could produce, it is long but so worth it.


TALES OF SEX WARS AND VANITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: 2006 LONDON

Your admirers on the street
Gotta hoot and stamp their feet
In the heat from your physique
As you twinkle by in moccasin sneakers

And I thought my heart would break
When you doubled up at the stake
With your fingers all a-shake
You could never tell a winner from a snake
but you always make money

Easy money
King Crimson, 1973

'why did you do it?'
'just because I could'


Lapidary, yet eloquent. What Clinton a.k.a. 'cigar aficionado' had to say about the Big Lewinski affair might become his epitath. And much more, eventually, the motto of all powerful and (or) affluent ones those last 15 years. When thinking of the complacent folly of 'the London years', Clinton's comment is everyone's, mostly secretive, conclusion.

London is the Mecca of the money route. The once capital of an Empire built on civicism and good taste, now turned Babylon of easy money. Thatcher and her emasculated followers brought liberalism to a level unheard of, that lead to the greatest concentration of financial wealth known in history. Booya.

London wants your money. London brings forth the most fantastic, most organised, the safest hospitality available to the rich. Flattering to a fault, the capital succeeded at mustering everyone from French tax escapees to dictators in exile to your occasional Russian criminal oligarch.

The latter is delighted to blur a sulfurous 'domestic' reputation by spending wide and large abroad and among a gullible crowd. London socialites are the easiest persons to impress. Cash is king, ignorance is bliss. Exageration? not one tad. Ponder the ascension of Boris B. to the very top of London society realm. Tovaritch tovaritch.

If you thought Miami was the champion recipient of all illicit money flowing from Latin America, welcome to London, where they do that too, only 1,000 bigger. Pilgrims frolic along the money route, calling at minor waterholes such as New York, Dubai or Geneva. But the 'Ego hajj' aims at London, and reaches London.

Then what? Then you get to meet everybody that counts in the world, every elite of their respective country - or acting like such. Veracity is not on the agenda, noone can be bothered to check. The wealthiest families of the world have elected residence in London, de facto, preferring its quality of tax heaven rather than the quality of its sunshine.

For you ephebic expat, this is the coronation of your ego trip. The Bar Mitzvah of your socio-financial self. You are now an accredited player within the biggest adult playground of the planet. Everyone around you now dons this new importance. The folks back home will forever look too small, you wonder how the fuck you could have grown up within such simplicity, but keep this disturbing feeling well inside yourself. The family visit has only begun you are already longuing for the Sunday night flight back to Sin city. Frisking among the top of the pop has become fiercely addictive, innit.

Genderwise, all men who come to London do so on a career move or tax evasion. I mean, why else. Why else would you move to 'fish, chips, cup 'o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins... LONDON' [that's cousin Avi in Snatch: best line in the history of cinema].

Some women come for great job opportunities too. The City legendary competitiveness will soon take its toll. They'll give you a sad, 'screw you - ain't need no cock to support me' look as they walk out of various HQ sanctuaries of Bishopgate and elsewhere. They read Viriginie Despentes and own 2 to 3 dildos on average. Facing the biological wall, they will get pregnant at the age of 36 and breed a spoilt monster of a only child who is likely to snort his first line before (drunk n') driving age.

Let's face it: most women come to London for its glitter, sharing one sole common interest: the majestic pea-cocks reigning over the financial zoo. And they will take any bullshit work to justify their presence around them. Great classics are 'marketing', 'public relations', 'personal assistants'. Debutantes with higher self esteem will shoot for Art galleries or better, the classic Art course at Sotheby's. The mothers are supportive.

Finger crossed. Their elected offspring may do better than they did, they might land one gullible banka. By proxy, the mothers will live their daughter's' thrilling, epic crusade among the rained-on glitterati. When all goes as planned, those mothers are very often much happier than the bride on wedding day. For the bride, like the groom, know they are making a big mistake. They both know they met on a playground, that the chemistry was all altered and wrong. What to do, what to do.

Of all steps upon hitting London, the debutantes will first liaise with seasoned agents i.e. girls who have already beaten the bush for a year of two. What may seem like a fantastic elan of solidarnosk in reality is nowhere a favour. Noone in London thinks about others' interest as much as his/her own. Being seen around with a new face will definetely revamp the zoo interest for 'deja nu' female seniority. If it's not for their personnality alas, it will be for the very respected quality of meat provider to the market.

The usual tip given to the debutante is to get familiar with monthly Tatler, a total feature in the court of London. Where in theology both Jewish and Christians are know as 'people of the book', London girls could be tapped as the 'girls of the magazine'. In essence, Tatler tells the wannabe social climbers, month after month, what to wear, where to lunch, what to buy, where to get their nails done and ten different styles of waxing.

More importantly, Tatlers briefs its readerettes on when and where and how to spot da rich men in town. Cunning is the way. In 2006 Tatler wrote an article on hedgies (i.e. hedge fund managers or traders). The catchy editorial went like 'dudettes, forget oil barrons forget heirs [catching her breath] forget trust boys, hedge funds is where the real money is - we're talking gazillions of fast new money and girls girls [gulp] remember the newer and faster the money the more likely they will blow it on stupid things [like you]'

und so weiter. You know when the dentist starts telling you about his stock portfolio..oh well...when the Ladies finally got to know what an hedgie was.. it was time to short the market. The article was remarkably done. It went a very long and technical way so that a Lady would no longer take 'I'm a banker, wanker, brokerkerker' for an answer. She'd enquire about your position, your headcount, and possibly the VaR you are allowed to trade. Romance killed by due diligence.

As a corollary, the 'journalist' gave a pinpoint list of places outside London where they could spot this magnificient animal. Roughly put, all the crap, no-fun outposts of the money route: Verbier, Gstaad, Crans-Montana or Courchevel when it's cold, or St Tropez, St Barth, Monaco, the Hamptons etc when it's warm. But it will be cold. And leave you with an ankward feeling that takes years to be distilled.

Sorry for writing about the fair sex in such manner. Well, Ladies first hey, they had to take one for the team. In all honesty now, men started sex wars. Yes they did. Men act like real assholes. Upon reaching London they do what they do reaching any place: spot the right spots where to play and flash large and 2002-2007 bonuses have enabled them to do so. As much as they've known the classic outposts for years, they may now focus on a more specific, tricky terrain. London has its codes and you need to move fast - by the time you get familiar with a popular venue rumour has it the joint has already become out of favour.

Hilarious uh? There are more rotations in London clubs than in Dow sectors for any given period [nerdy pun]. The right spots... London has perfected the Art of door policy (otherwise known as the Art of killing the fun). London invented the concept of members clubs. Basically, a typically British, polite excuse to deny entry to anyone who sucks. One dry, Tomahawkish blame will have the applicant refrain from ever trying again. More generally, one may envisage door policy as an initiatory ritual as the ones who don't suck, are stilll suckers. They will have to queue in anguish.

By the time they reach the rope, and the door bitch a few inches above, their self esteem will have gone so low they will only speak average English. Muttering life-saving exercises like 'I know..' 'I'm a friend of..' (wish they were more creative: 'My sister got bonked by the owner - you owe me' 'my mother is your mistress - we are 5' etc) while bouncers & door bitch wonder, not without pride, how good they'd have faired in a Nazi camp.


Memorable door moments include:

[woman walks past the whole queue]: 'my husband is managing director of Lehman Brothers - can I come in now?'
[door bitch]: 'will you please go and queue. Pa-lease.'

[little black dude approaches shily]: 'ahem.. it's just me and 20 models - can we come in?'
[door bitch]: 'show me where they are.. ok..yes.'

[some Middle-East debutante]: 'do you know who I am? my father could buy your club like it's a pair of Pumas'
[Nazi camp grins uneasily and stares past]: '...'

[Nicolas Goudard]: 'it is notorious that abusive bouncers compensate a minimalistic, shredded penis size and that you (door bitch) haven't had a non-self-inflicted quality orgasm since the Falklands war'
[random outcome]


Now now. The ones who don't suck at all have been initiated. They are either members, or have booked a table. Ze Table!! Tish. Table. Mesa. A favourite subject after bouncers. You see, ever since we were old enough to go clubbing there has been a strong, persistant, personal infatuation with the idiocy of nightlife in general, worldwide. The bully security staff, the doorcunt full of him/herself, holding THE list like Moses held the commandments.

What about the near God status of a DJ then - one clever bastard who knew dead on it would be the one sure (and only) way to get poontang (aplenty). If this was not unfair enough, he has been serving sewage R&B to the moronic crowds throughout 2002-2007. Thank God London expats don't master English to the point of understanding R&B lyrics. They would probaly shrink and blush realising the 2000s songwriting was all and nothing but Cristal flowing past a silicon valley of babes bathing in the jacuzzi inside the Bentley parked on the yacht.

'we doin' big pimping'

That's right. Jeffrey Lee Pierce and other glorious songwriters of the jiggling 80s can go fuck themselves.

So yes, the nightlife gave power to the idiots, and we are left to face a cruel display of sensational inequity, that reaches its epitome in London, like most things do. They NEED a queue outside. Even and especially if it's empty inside. See how logic got dangerously twisted? A queue outside is meant to show something is happening inside an empty club. Wish Woody Allen had commented on that one.

Back to the table. You hadn't seen the point in spending a week pay on a table (dude where are you from - Utah? Marseille?) where you end up stuck in a territorial stance, paranoid about the suckers (who let those guys in?) around you, hesitating about dancing away at the risk of losing the precious plot, in short, having the worst clubbing time of your life? Well if you hadn't seen the point London will open your fish eyes. Two choices indeed: you either lose your manhood and the respect of your friends and potential date and/or potential employer in the queue outside, or you pay the big bucks to get straight in knowing The Table will alienate any possibility of fun.

Clubs were supposed to be about music and dancing remember? Do you remember the dancing floor? The latest trend in 2003-2004 London was to launch clubs with hardly any space for a dance floor, replaced by more Tables. The longuing of bygone days. Clubs in Amsterdam where everyone mixed, where bouncers did smile and greeted with a 'hello'. Where rock-hard DJs didn't dress to impress but slapped a transexual near you with house so deep one could smell sulphur.

We can use two extremes for examples: Sinners in paradise in 2001 Amsterdam. Best club, versatile crowd and killer music. And Pangaea in 2003 London. To anyone who experienced it, probably the worst place to club in the world back then. But a marvel of marketing. A Temple of Vanity for our freemasons of strass. They managed to convert a former anonymous venue called Tokyo Joe -a total, sterile parallelepiped of a place- in the poshest haunt of that moment.

No dance floor. 100% tables all around. Territorial instinct bordering on a mania. Worst bouncers on the planet. Very nice door guy, who drives a Lamborghini. It makes you wonder. No. Actually noone cares about the way he 'really' makes his money remember, ignorance is buh-liss.

The girls hoover around, looking at tables. Litterally, looking AT the tables. They are counting the bottles, the easiest maths to evaluate pea-cocks' worth. And the club is the easiest pick-up place of the planet. Players have a field day as they don't care about morale too much. The next day, after variously happy awakenings (from coyote ugly to diva), they will exclaim London long-lasting favourite line: 'I hate those girls mate - they're are all golddiggers'.

[audience laughters] Dude. You have spent considerable social effort to know the right circle and the right guys at the door. You were ok to spend a few grand on a table. You were ok when they brought your bottles with NASA fireworks on it (they invented it in Beirut, pioneer of bling bling before war hit the fan). You wore a T-shirt to show the muscles you got at the gym (you hate long sleeves anyway, they hide your whats-this-button-for Swiss chrono). You snorted a blindman stick long line of coke. All went smoothly.

Now. Were you expecting to meet Marie Curie, or Queen Rania (an example from Jordan, nothing to do with R&B) in such a set-up. Just ponder the way you communicate again, Dummkopf. Isn't it logical that you landed a hairdresser from Croydon, or a Brazilian receptionist after all. Ten years too late she still thinks French manucure gives an edge. Remember the coke you gave her.It quite helped. How strange that noone ever wonders why folks have to take such vast quantities of dope to have fun in London.

That's right. All out Pat/ricks Batemen sporting flashy cars flashy everything AND the right business card walk-talkin' the walkie talk scratching their nose outside the toilets (an international sign of 'I'm so cool' recognition) are still wondering why they are not meeting 'Miss Right'. This is the farce of London and assorted outposts. Metrosexuals have lost their manhood. They can't see, nor acknowledge, that it all sucks. Men play London and the world circuit by the book.

Women consequently and rightly so, have lost any respect for them. So they play their side of the game 'by the magazine'. Both camps are having the time of their lives... not (..not! Borat). Insightful critics have compared London dating scene to a sushi conveyor belt [audience laughters]. As soon as you're done with one person for whatever reason ('i didnt like the sauce', or more like 'there was so little to eat Im still hungry'), you can jump on whatever is (irremediably) coming your way. London is spoilt by numbers.

Should you have lived in a village 30-strong, promised to the school darling/sweetheart from the very start, you would have had no choice but to abide. Life wouldn't be that complicated after all. You'd live the life you were meant to, like they did for 6000 years until us. Fucking boring, but it made for good, pastoral paintings available at the museum near you. Things get complicated when the population (read: temptation) grows around you.

They get absolutely confusing once confronted with the million options of London, amid declining morale. Humans are bad when left with options. Believe it or not they dread freedom and would rather do what they are told or whom they are introduced to [snap]. Such confusion leads to perpetual unsatisfaction. This disease is called 'the next better deal'. it's not new but again, such evil has reached its epitome in London.

Men behave poorly in what they see as a candy store with new flavours and sizes brought in every other day. Women too start measuring and comparing men like on a shopping spree. Eventually, they have outsmarted men in the game. Every strategy yields its geniuses. One peculiar aspect of sex wars is that there are no vanquishers, only victims and prisoners on BOTH sides.

The farce of London has also created its monsters (of innocence). Many a man has been abused in a rather fancy but criminal way. Credit card theft is a great classic where your 'girlfriend' can always tell the Officer 'I am used to shop with his card', with the most angelical eyes. Bless her. The matter becomes all the more astonishing when such abuse is lived and suffered knowlingly by some guys.

In trading, we call this self-sabotage. Somewhat a very subtle and tricky inclination towards wiping out money that one reckons has been earned too fast. Some men in London do realise they don't deserve the money they are making. They do know they simply got immensely lucky, and opportunist. They will therefore accept a notorious golddigger as a sanction, a financial succubus who is just the logic and tragic answer to their very own vanity.


Morale della favola? Something must be wrong when 90% of your 'social network' is single. Corriere della Sera wrote a paper on this new trend. Madonna, if it is happening in Italy it must be happening everywhere. It's called 'the new 40-year olds', dubbed the ever-young. ever-cool crowd, totally commitment-impaired. The most self-centered, narcissistic, selfish generation in history.


'But why were you like that?'

'.. just because I could'

Nicolas Goudard

Time passes

I was pissed off with Google analytics. I was pissed off I lost my comments. I was just pissed off. But now I’m back so here are my thoughts again.