tirsdag 30. november 2010

I'm getting out of here!

Sometimes, trying to photoshop my way to the essence of a photo, takes me to extremes. I didn't plan to go that far with this one, but when I had started, I simply couldn't stop until I had cut it down to the core. I like it. At least I think so right now.

mandag 29. november 2010

Don't call him Shirley!

The death yesterday of Leslie Nielsen, at the ripe old age of 84, is one of those that reminds one (that is me) of pleasures had but, if not forgotten, then ... not thought about in a while.

Nielsen was a great actor. His very prescence was funny. Often funnier than the lines he was given, to tell the truth. The clip above starts with eighteen seconds of fantastic comedy. The rest is ... OK. You may skip that.

As a vampirologist, I find Nielsen's performance a special a special joy, though. He actually was a really good Dracula. He should have been cast for a straight Dracula movie.

What I, as an ex-curler and curling fan, really wanted to show you, was a clip from the Canadian curling comedy Men With Brooms, which shows a slightly different side to Nielsen. But YouTube won't let me embed that, so you must watch it in situ.

RIP, Leslie Nielsen. Seriously ... Shirley!

lørdag 27. november 2010

Children's song

We live in our own world,
A world that is too small
For you to stoop and enter
Even on hands and knees,
The adult subterfuge.
And though you probe and pry
With analytic eye,
And eavesdrop all our talk
With an amused look,
You cannot find the centre
Where we dance, where we play,
Where life is still asleep
Under the closed flower,
Under the smooth shell
Of eggs in the cupped nest
That mock the faded blue
Of your remoter heaven.

_____ R.S. Thomas

"Be quiet, Peter"

And now he is. Now they are.

mandag 22. november 2010

Cuteness from beyond

There is cute. And there is CUTE. And then there are children drawing the monsters of H.P. Lovecraft. And that's beyond cute.

To quote the article from which the pic was stolen:

"Since their original publication in the 1920s, the stories of H.P. Lovecraft have endured and grown into an entire subset of the horror genre unto themselves, with themes of the unavoidable insanity that comes with knowledge and cosmic insignificance that are far more subtle and ultimately terrifying than the average ghost story.

Which makes them
great entertainment for eight year-olds"

Thought David Milano, who told his children's choir Lovecraft-stories and had the draw the monsters of H.P. You can see some of them by following the link above, or see them all if you follow the links to the galleries from Milano's own blog post about the project.


(Via Bodil at Facebook.)

torsdag 18. november 2010

A grey day

Photo: Mr. P

It was a grey day in October. Really, really grey. The picture is in full colour. There just aren't any.

onsdag 17. november 2010

I. Wanna be. Anarchy

By/via/whatever Георги Петков on Facebook. Thanks to The Wakefordian, that paragon of a true punk lifestyle.

fredag 12. november 2010

Nice leg!

Photo: Mr. P.

This is obviously pure, damn luck. Snapped five or six shots of these guys. In one of them the pose was perfect and the leg flew by.

torsdag 11. november 2010

Today goes to eleven!

In one year from today, 11/11/11, is the official Nigel Tufnel Day. Which is more than reason enough to remind ourselves of the genius of The Nigel. It does, after all, go to eleven ...

They Shall Not Pass!

Sunday, October 4th, 1936, The British Union of Fascists (BUF) had called a march through the East End of London, at that time home to the largest Jewish population in England. It was a blatant declaration of BUF's virulent anti-semitism.

In the battle of Cable Street, a rather nondescript street i Whitechapel, protesters clashed with police. The result was many injured, 150 arrested and that BUF had to move their march elsewhere. It is considered one of the highlights of British anti fascist history.

It is estimated that at least a quarter of a million people took to the streets to protest the march. "They Shall Not Pass!" they chanted, quoting Spanish anti-fascists. And the blackshirts did not.

What was it good for? To quote Wikipedia: "The Battle of Cable Street was a major factor leading to the passage of the Public Order Act 1936, which required police consent for political marches and forbade the wearing of political uniforms in public. This is widely considered to be a significant factor in the BUF's political decline prior to World War II."

The video above is one of my favourite bands, The Men They Couldn't Hang, hailing the battle fifty years later, in a song from their second record, How Green Is The Valley. Here is some of the footage with contemporary comments:

onsdag 10. november 2010

Death, decay and a cup of tea, second edition

Photo: Mr. P

It's autumn in Oslo. Actually, it's winter soon. But this was a week ago. The sun was shining, even though it's botannical cousin was setting. Tonight, snow fell. And though it's gone by now, winter is a coming and death is in the air.

It's definitely time for a cup of tea.

tirsdag 9. november 2010

The Goat at the top of Oslo

Photo: Mr. P

This is just me bullshitting. Taken this summer with my iPhone (using GorillaCam). The face was just a blur and to save any details, it had to be photoshopped into ridiculousness. Unsaveable as a proper photo, all that was left was to photoshop it even more. I kind of like the result. It was taken at Ekeberg, at the top of Oslo.

mandag 8. november 2010

Seagulls and cranes

Photo: Mr. P

It's a while since I did any serious photography. I spent a morning taking pictures last week, and will do my best to stay bitten by the bug. Some of my best new work will show up here.

This has been cropped, but that's all. Click pic for a larger version.

Update: The more I looked at this post, the more the cropping annoyed me. So I've re-cropped it. This is way better. Now the movement is in the birds, not in the cranes.

fredag 5. november 2010

Take me to ... Shangri-la

Shangri-las was in my humble opinion the best girl group of the sixties. Or any other decade. They didn't record much, but more or less every song is a classic. Here are a few:

torsdag 4. november 2010

The Awakening Conscience

A lot can be said about William Holman Hunt´s painting The Awakening Conscience from 1853. And most of it has been said. It is a strange mix of religious piety and social liberation, which makes it hard to accept for many of todays viewers.

I like it. I like most things Holman Hunt made in the early years of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. And I like that strong moral sense.

She is a held woman. And sitting on the lap of her "gentleman", they have been singing "Oft In The Stilly Night". It reminds her of home. Of another, a better life than this. Of how things could have been. Her conscience awakes. She hears the knocking on the door of her soul by the one holding the light of the world. All that stuff.

What I really like about it, though, is the trick of the window. At a casual glance, it seems like they are sitting in front of a window. Actually it is a mirror. Which means she is looking out of the window – towards the light.

Not only do we see her. We see what, or at least some of what, she sees. We too see the light. If only as a painting of a reflection of one.

tirsdag 2. november 2010

Death, decay and a cup of tea

It's raining in Oslo. And the wind is literally whipping the last of the leaves off the birch outside my office. It's November and sweet melcancholy is in the air.

It's time for the last tunes from a dying man, Schubert's late sonatas. Schubert finished them in Sepbember 1828. By the end of November he was dead.

In my book the one to play these sonatas is Sviatoslav Richter. I first heard them in a recording with Andras Schiff. And they left me cold. Or rather, I simply stopped listening after a few minutes.

The first time I heard Richter play them, I fell into the music from the very first note. Richter is perhaps my favourite pianist, and nowhere is he better than here.

It's time for a cup of tea, methinks.