Month: February 2014

Keeping a lid on the crazy!

I’m currently off work for a few days and without something to concentrate on, my mind wanders to crazy land so I have to reign it in by occupying it. I have done so by diving in to the world of TV (top marks for originality). I have been watching True Detectives and I must say it is truly great TV (HBO know how to make dem shows, they know how to make dem shows).

It stars Woody Harrelson (yay!) as the typical masculine cop bloke overflowing with testosterone and Matthew Mcconaughey (double yay!) as his troubled/introverted partner. I’m not sure if you agree with me, but I think there is something about an introverted detective that is just so watchable (think BBC Sherlock, don’t think Elementary… never think Elementary). This is more than just another serial killer show, it has grander aims than that. It offers a critique on masculinity, obsession and best of all the human condition. This is demonstrated by one of Matthew Mcconaughey’s monologues, that he delivers so effectively in a drawling Texan accent. Here is the ONE that really got me going:

“I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

He’s a very troubled man (and I have to remind myself that this is a make believe TV show), but I find this sort of stuff sooooo interesting (plus he’s a big digress-or and if you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll realise that I’m a huge fan of digression). I think some people might be quick to write him off as a lost cause (some people eh?), say that he’s damaged beyond repair, maybe even label him as psychopathic, but  I think he makes an interesting point. Is the ability to think about the bigger picture actually counter intuitive? If we only have one spin on the merry-go-round then maybe it is (ignorance is bliss after all and thinking about this stuff never leaves you with a warm happy glow inside does it? Watching Rom-Coms does, but that’s for another time).

Whenever I personally start thinking about the big questions my head always starts to feel a bit clouded like my brain is trying to say ”no no Philip, I’m not letting you go down that road”. Well screw you brain, I like thinking about this stuff, basically underneath it all I’m a huge fan of navel gazing and this show gives me the opportunity to indulge myself.

To lighten things up here is a wonderful tracky from none other than the King:

See ya’ll later,

Philly out!

Featured image taken from: www.bloguin.com

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Are you a Judgy Person?

Being judgemental is something I have always tried to avoid, my mantra has always been live and let live. However I can’t help but notice those damned judgy thoughts creeping in at times… It really grinds my gears. Who am I to comment on the way people decide to live their lives, what makes me some sort of morally impenetrable fortress??? The worrying thing is that its usually ignorance that causes these thoughts, a lack of understanding of their situation or no understanding of what they are going through. These thoughts are harmful.

For some crazy reason we all live by these ridiculous rules set down by society, that if we’re all honest, we know don’t lead to instant happiness. You must have a nice home, you must have a good job, you must have a partner, you must be slim, you must, you must, you must! I constantly berate myself over these ‘life goals’ and if I’m honest I judge other people on them as well.

To achieve one of these ‘goals’, I made (what was to me), the huge leap of moving to London. Whether this was right or wrong I really don’t know, at the time all I know is that I was obsessed with having a good job. I never wanted to move to London, the plan was when I’d finished my degree to live and work in Manchester. I would be living in a reasonably busy city and I would be comfortably close enough to my family back in Bolton. That was the plan, it was a good plan, ingenious in its simplicity. What actually happened was one of the most stressful and upsetting periods of my (obviously sheltered) life. I applied for 100s of jobs and more often than not never heard anything back. I ended up working in a phone shop just to have a bit money. To make things worse, a lot of my friends had finished the year before (I did a four year masters degree) and all of their achievements and adventures were pasted all over Facebook. I regularly partook in Facebook torture sessions. It was obvious I had to do something, so I decided to widen my job search and I started applying in London. Eventually (after a total of 6 months job searching) I did find a job I wanted, working as a audio engineer for a radio station in Waterloo on the south bank in London. 

When I’m in a reflective mood and I think back to two years ago (almost to the day) when I made the move down and the overriding theme that jumps to mind is of naivety. I didn’t do anything silly or anything, I’ve always been very sensible, I just question whether I made those decisions for the right reasons. It has been a crazy metamorphic period of my life, no different from many other peoples journeys I’m sure. However I’m now almost 100% certain that this idea of the ‘whole package’ is not healthy, I’m not saying don’t do anything, I personally don’t regret moving to London I absolutely love it now and I can’t see myself living anywhere else. What I am saying is rip up the rule book and make your own way. Be brave and do your own thing, naturally people are going to comment and it will upset you at times, but I honestly believe that the most interesting people are the ones who live life on their own terms

I’d be interested to know what other people think on this? Am I talking complete rubbish or am I bang on?

Philip

Brain Combobulations of the Repetitive Kind

Okay I’ve had a long suspicion of mine confirmed again this week, I have an obsessive mind. Not in a OCD way (I’m one of the laziest/scruffiest people you’re ever likely to meet), I’m just a huge dweller (work is actually a huge relief, as I can just envelope myself in broadcast related shenanigans and tom-foolery). My poor BFF Chazzy can confirm this for all of you, the poor bugger lived with me for only one year in our masters year at uni and to say I confided a lot in the geezer would be an understatement. I get hung up on ideas and various other silly things, it drives me to the point of madness at times. I won’t mention everything that’s on my mind at the mo, because lets face it they’d seem incredibly trivial to anyone other than me, so I’m just gonna write about the positive stuff that is currently repeatedly circling my brain. Here we go!

I’ve constantly been thinking about making a short film, its something I’ve wanted to do for ages. I recently had a jolt of inspiration after reading the concept for the Spike Jonze film ‘Her’ that everyone is talking about. I won’t spoil anything but I will say that I bloody love sci-fi, specifically films which peer into the future and portray a kind of urban anomie in the shape of some sort of distopian future. The book ‘I am Legend’ written By Richard Matheson, in the 1950s, though not in the now ultra popular ‘distopian’ category is a great example of plonking a reader in a world that appears eerily similar to the modern norm that we’re used to, but has gut clenching differences that feel very believable and possible. The story on a basic level is about a survivor who is just living day by day in a world that for unknown reasons has gone down the pan. It focuses on the human condition, developed through the eyes of the protagonist. I would love to be able to capture just one of the themes this book encapsulates so clearly in a short film. This book has actually been adapted so many times onto the silver screen, sometimes successfully with ‘Omega Man’ and ’28 Days Later’ and sometimes not so, the books namesake ‘I am legend’… rubbish.

Another jolt of inspiration occurred on Thursday when I decided to go on a wrecky into central London. I grabbed my camera and took a load of random shots on my travels. Whilst out and about on Southbank I bumped into a group of people who were promoting a film they are trying to get funding for, they were a cool couple of guys and the little short clip on their kickstarter site has a few moments of magic:

Its all very well feeling inspired, but we all know that the next stage, motivation, never comes as easily. I think I need to get a routine going (which by the way I’m currently achieving in the world of physical fitness with my regular gym sessions to the up most degree) and get a plan/timeframe together. which will probably start with me drawing a storyboard out at home I reckon. Stay tuned for more developments as they come in…

Anywho… Don’t go changing,

Philly out

All Night Long

Hello people of the internetty-sphere! Welcome to my dark place (or my bloggy blog as I sometimes call it). Blatant  plagiarism makes the world go round I reckon. Anyhow let’s continue.

On Saturday a friend and I hosted a house party of reasonable proportions. I must mention that I get really nervous about these sort of occasions (I went to a school of hard knocks but came out a gibbering wreck) the pressure of everyone having a good time is crazy and the worry of getting enough people to come is enough to drive you mad (if you’re not interested in first world problems then I apologise, this post is not for you, however my next post will be on solving world hunger so stay tuned).

I must admit that I actually did very little of the pre-party leg work, my house-friend ‘Young David’ did pretty much everything. He made the house look great, he sorted out some sweet party punch and various other party essentials. My one and only job was music, ahhhhhhh yeah. I like to think that I was only given the one job so I could give it my sole attention and thus create something of wonder and awe. I took a complex approach to designing and building the ultimate playlist, I went for a three tiered approach with planned peaks and troughs throughout. I’m an engineer by trade so the logical brain was in full swing.
Playlist one was ‘the easer’. The objective being too ease everyone into a good mood while they knock back the drinks. On this playlist you could find a bit of Paul Simon, Stevie wonder, the strokes and even Roxy music. When it was finished it was actually 8 hours long, I was committed and also very good at letting Dave know how much effort I was putting in.

Playlist two was ‘the disco playlist’. The art to this one was activating it at the right time. I hit it at about 11pm and i think this played a huge role in getting to stay longer, the danger in London is that last trains are at midnight, so parties terms to end as they’re just getting good, but everyone taxied it home much later instead, I took that as a good sign (I love my friends, in case you couldn’t tell). To sum up playlist two was a huge hit. Crooning to Lionel Richie’s ‘all night long’, dancing along to ‘easy lover’ by Phil Collins and foot stomping along to prince’s ‘1999’ were my favourite personal high hitting moments.

Playlist three was ‘the calm everyone down’ playlist. Bob Dylan’s ‘wigwam’ featured  early on in this playlist. This song is from the royal tennenbaums (those of you that know me well know I’m obsessed with this movie) when oldies etheline and Henry decide they love each other, its a wonderful tender moment, I love it. The calming influence of the playlist became very necessary later on as well because the neighbours got really upset, turns out they’d only moved in that day. They must think we’re a bunch of party maniacs. The stark reality is it’s only once a year and that is more than enough for this guy!

Anyhow that’s my yammering over with. If you have a chance check this programme out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer/episode/b03v0svf

It’s ace and definitely worth a watch, there’s some sweet Peter Gabriel Genesis on there and a classic track by Nick Lowe, ‘I love the sound of breaking glass’.

Stay classy… World.

Philly-Themed Update!

philly2

Some of you might remember that one of new years resolutions was to make a short film. Well I’ve made significant steps towards achieving that goal, I now own a camera, as you can tell from the picture above (and what a picture!).

I’m still dead serious about making a short film and a work matey is now attached and keen to do it as well (if anyone reading this lives in london and is interested please let me know!).

I’m not sure how to approach it yet.