i see my pal Sean McKinnon at Bent Books still hasn't put our last set of bookmarks online. From that set, here's my portrait of Geoffrey Chaucer.
I was pleased to meet Baba Brinkman, the Canadian writer/performer who does the rap version of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, at the Brisbane Writers Festival last year while we were both waiting to go onto different panels. He gave an unusual performance on the opening night where he had been requested to thank the festival's eighty sponsors in rap style. I was impressed by his ability to compose a piece of one-off throwaway oratory, though it is probably beyond comprehension outside of the situation for which it was writ. And the naming of sponsors is fraught with complication...
Judged on face value, Shane Meadows' new film is honest, earthy and affecting. Two lonesome teenagers - one British, one Polish - befriend each other on the streets of London. They hang out, get drunk and lope off in doe-eyed pursuit of a foxy French waitress. Half-an-hour in, the Polish dad has an announcement to make. "Today, I went on a fast train through the tunnel, under the sea," he says. "It only takes a couple of hours either way. Not bad, eh?"I usually experience this problem from the other end, in those occasional comic book assignments i pick up where depiction of actual real world things, such as a label on a bottle, is forbidden as i found when I put a bottle of Gordon's gin in a scene in Batman and then had to obliterate the label. Most writers would like to be free to name products or commercial entities in dialogue just as people do in real life. I would like a character in my fiction to order a drink by name, just as I do. I have never ever asked for just 'a beer,' or god forbid, 'a whisky'...
Under normal circumstances this remark would sail by unnoticed, but these are not normal circumstances. When one realises that Meadows' movie is entirely funded by Eurostar, it's hard not to hear the line as a sales pitch - a word from our sponsor. The question is, does it undermine the integrity of the film as a whole?
For many years, there have been a number of unusual webcams to view over the Net - The “Jenny” cam, The “Watch Corn Grow” cam, The “Fridge” cam, The “Watch Paint Dry” cam and The “Ashtray” webcam. Millions of Internet visitors, over the years, have logged onto these highly popular and slightly whacky cams which have given much enjoyment to many online visitors.(if you didn't ask for a Bruichladdich by name, you'd certainly never get it by accident.)
Now starting in March 2008, Internet webcam users will be able to view live, one of the worlds most unusual and riveting ever webcams, The “Watch Whisky Mature” cam.
For the next ten years (3,653 days) sit back and watch this live streaming webcam overlooking a cask of X4 whisky, the world’s strongest whisky, maturing live in the Bonding store at the Bruichladdich Distillery.