peterbirks: (Default)
You really have to visit AOL's "Shopping Buddy". Many years ago, Doonesbury mocked the Apple/Microsoft dichotomy with a new Apple interface called "mellowspeak" -- kind of a Dude Lebowksi behind your monitor screen. AOL's Shopping Buddy is more like the infuriating toaster in Red Dwarf. In fact, if it spoke, I'm sure that is how it would sound. "Who R U Shopping 4?" "My secretary." "OK, I'm searching for matches for you. Gimme a sec."

You feel like saying. "Look, I'm not your friend. If you were a human, you wouldn't be my friend. But you aren't even human. You are a piece of software. Just GET THE FUCKING PRESENT SUGHESTIONS!"


A truly significant film on TV in the UK this weekend, rarely shown. Wise Blood (John Huston, 1979) features Brad Dourif, John Huston, Harry Dean Stanton and Ned Beatty. Dourif founds "The Church Without Christ" in the south, after returning from Vietnam. Is it a satire? Is it an anti-religious tract? Huston returned to this kind of attitude to religion with his last film - an adaptation of Joyce's The Dead. Perhaps it's the film's ambiguity that made me like this film. Hard to credit that the guy who directed this directed The Maltese Falcon.

peterbirks: (Default)
The "holiday season" decorations are up in Carnaby Street. At least, I think that they are holiday season decorations. In reality they resemble little more than a Carl Andre installation in a minimalist 1980s home. Sort of silver and aluminum pendants hanging down, rotating listlessly in the wind.

Any signs of "Christmas" decorations are utterly banned these days, as far as I can see, although this seems a bit odd in a society that is meant to celebrate diversity. As a GOM-elect, I am of course heartily opposed to Christmas, which I hate with a passion. I'd like to see it abandoned completely. I have no objection to working between December 24th and January 1st (although it's a bit hard for me to do so, since the office is efectively closed). It's working between January 1st and December 24th that pisses me off.

If Christmas couldn't be abandoned, then I guess the second-best thing would be to follow the line of Jerry Stiller (Ben Stiller's dad, BTW, for those of you who like irrelevant synchronicity) in Seinfeld, who invented "Festivus" and used an aluminium pole in place of a Christmas tree. Clearly the people putting up the "festive" decorations in Carnaby Street are having a subtle in-joke. It's Festivus that we are celebrating in Carnaby Street this year, not Christmas. Seinfeld rules.

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