Monday, April 17, 2006

V&A Modernism

I went to this yesterday, with Z. We decided that we would go out on Easter Sunday.

It costs £9 per person, and for the cost, we both thought it was well worth it. It certainly gave me new information I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware that the some of the origins of modernism came from the Russians after their revolution in 1917. I had thought it had primarily come through the Germans and other countries in the central/Western European area, though not the UK, which did surprise me.

V&A Modernism Exhibition

The stuff on show was really interesting, they had an engine from WO Bentley, who went on to create Bentley cars. They showed the first all fitted kitchen done in Germany, and it is so like what many aspire to today. I hadn’t realised that a lot of it came from the ideas of constructivists who felt that there was no need to have individual items, that the area the person was in, would be their space. Modernists were very much into standardising everything, dreaming of a new utopia. Most of it came after the first world war, up until the second world war.

For anyone living in London who enjoys history, and seeing items that to a large extent are still with us today, and how this all started, it is well worth a visit. For those who like aerodynamic cars, and like the look of fancy cars, go along as well. They have on display a Tatra T87 saloon car. A Czechoslovakian car, which had a teardrop type styling and is very impressive in the way it looks.

Tatra T87

Worthwhile going, a very enjoyable show, and for those who are disabled, they can get in for free, if you show your disability card.

Hostel – The Movie

I watched this the other night, and I have got to say what a complete and utter waste of my time. The movie was devoid of a plot, and with Tarantino lending his name to it, I thought it might be much better than it was.

The basic premise for the movie was that 3 lads are in Amsterdam and they want to get laid, they meet a bloke who suggests going to a place where they will get laid with extreme ease. This place is Slovakia. And from there it just descends from bad to worse and even worse.

It wasn’t even filmed in Slovakia, which is funny, given it was filmed in the Czech Republic, and as Slovakia is next door, and possibly cheaper to do the shots in, you would have thought they would get that right….

I have heard the Slovaks are extremely pissed at this movie, as it shows them in a light of being people who murder foreigners, only want to have sex with foreigners so that they can be killed, and are happy to have people disappear within the country.

Well, I can understand their point, but we English are always seen as the villain of the piece, so there we go, we English are always seen as the fools, never the heroes in movies anymore.

But all of this digresses from the point of the movie, well it doesn’t have a point, not something I would ever recommend someone to watch, and all the reviews saying plenty of blood and gore, well that is true, would have been nice if they pointed out it had no bloody plot. Maybe I am turning into one of those grumpy old men on the BBC2 show, where I expect something of the movie.

Ah well, not a movie to recommend and best to save your money and spend it on something much much better.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Depeche Mode @ Wembley 2nd April 2006

Well I have to say, this was really good.

At first I was concerned, the support band in my view were useless, didn't think much of The Bravery to be honest, and the sound system sounded awful when they were playing, no idea why, but it did. Thankfully it did get better, but Wembley in their eyes obviously think that those further back than midway aren't interested in hearing so much as those upfront.

Depeche Mode put on a fantastic show, Dave as ever, the showman at the front of the band, and opening with the first two tracks of Playing the Angel album, was great start. The stage looked great, very good idea with the screens behind showing what was going on the stage, as well as playing clips of other things too.

Martin got to do more singing than normal, and sung some great songs, it seems they are agreeing to have more time with them sharing roles much more now. He came on wearing black wings attached to his back, and feathered hat, quite a look.....

Depeche Mode opened the Arena basically, as they are the first band since the refurbishment, and they did such a great job. I actually felt quite young for once, Z felt even younger, the majority of the fans were as old as Depeche Mode themselves. Suprisingly it wasn't sold out, which I didn't expect.

They played a lot of the classics - Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Just Can't get enough, the full setlist is here

SetList from the night

Very glad I went, Z got to see them for the first time, she prefered the older stuff to the newer stuff, I think for her everything after Violater isn't her taste, which is fine, me, I just enjoyed the whole show, and the whole visuals was so well done.

Here are pictures from the tour, but not Wembley but pretty much similar to what I saw last night

Overall, a really good night, so anyone going tonight can expect to really enjoy themselves, and any Mode fans who are going will enjoy the setlist.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Ice Age 2- The Meltdown

In the simplest description, this is a must see movie for all those who enjoy comedy and enjoy animation.

We saw this last night, and were laughing so much, it is much more a comedy than the first one, this one has so much more going for it, and I am so glad we saw it.

You get to see more of the squirrel as well, and you can't not watch it without just laughing at the way the little animal goes for the acorn and tries all manner of things to get it.

I enjoy animation most times, they although generally aimed at children so they say, there is enough in there to keep most adults more than happy.

I would strongly recommend seeing it, and I know it gave me and Z a good night out, with plenty of laughs to be had.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Depeche Mode are in London this weekend

One of my favourite bands is in town

This weekend Depeche Mode are in town playing at Wembley Arena, I was lucky enough to get tickets when they went on sale last year, and they will be opening to a rebuilt and refurbished Wembley Arena, so I am hopeful that they are going to put on a great show which won’t be ruined by the arena, as it has been in the past. The arena had to remove banks of speakers in the past due to complaints by locals, which always amazed me given that the arena has been there for as long as I can remember and I am in my 30s, so what did they expect, and literally next door to the Stadium, well will be when it is finished…..

I am looking forward to the concert, it should be a really good one, 25 years now Depeche Mode have been going and this last album has some good tracks, and each listen is always something different coming to the fore. They are also a fantastic concert band, they really do a great job of playing live and giving a great performance, so one to look forward to. I just wish the tube didn’t have engineering works on at the same time making travel more awkward, well organized that was…

Anyone that is going, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I expect to

Budget response by me

I am not political in any sense, well not attached to a party that is for sure

This budget has actually left me worse off, fantastic, those who suffer are single people who earn what might be termed as a reasonable amount, well in London it is far from reasonable, but that is another issue.

Budget impact breakdown

Has The Budget Made You Richer? – Not in my case!!!

From this I would like to know how it is that the “middle class” is yet again burdening the pain of increased tax, whilst those who are just a little better off, whether by their own means or not, are not shouldering an equal amount of pain. This budget had nothing in it to ensure that things can get better, the health service was left to flounder, which under recent headlines is going to continue in ever increasing fashion and which for people like myself is scary reading. The NHS should be there as preventative medicine, ensuring that people don’t fall ill where possible, or if they do, ensure it is caught early on, so that people suffer less and thus by suffering less you actually make the NHS cheaper to run, a novel idea I must admit, but one that has plenty of validity.

This article here shows more about the NHS and the problems - Regaining values of the NHS

But back to the budget, this budget was one of so many missed opportunities, nothing on health, nothing on transport, more on education, just ideals, nothing concrete, and why does it cost so much more to educate in the public sector than it does in the private sector which pays it staff considerably more than the public sector? Conundrum, I believe that will never be solved.

Drivers in London, why so many traffic jams.

I think I finally figured out why there are so many traffic jams for drivers especially on the main days of the working week. It is because there are so many moronic drivers out there. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not anti car, I am just anti-morons!!

To give a simple example – To and from my workplace which I travel each and every working day of the week, I take the tube to west London, and then a bus for the final part of the journey, this bus only has to travel about a distance which in walking takes about 20 minutes or so, so give or take a mile or so.

But the smart drivers of London ensure that a journey that should take at most maybe 5 minutes or there about, takes 2 or 3 times as long simply because they don’t understand the highway code, and thus cause major traffic jams and wonder why they get nowhere, because so many others behave as they do.

In this country a box at a junction means you can’t enter unless you can exit that box, quite simple thing to know and quite simple to remember as well. Well so you would think, uh uh, not so it seems, there are so many drivers who drive through west London, towards the hanger lane, whom drive across the junction and yet seem unable to see the box junction clearly marked beneath them and then wonder why there is no flowing of traffic at all, because all their fellow drivers behave in the same fashion meaning that when the lights go from red to green those with the green light, can’t move because of moronic drivers.

I am stunned at just how few people understand even the basics of highway law, but then I am also one of those people who wouldn’t drive whilst talking on a mobile phone which is illegal and carries the penalty of a fine in this country, but most people seem happy to take the risk of the fine, which clearly means the fine isn’t high enough. So maybe the fine should be more intune with the dangers that come with driving whilst talking on a mobile phone in your hands. It is very easy to not be paying attention to the road and kill someone when you are driving along with a mobile phone in your hand and be having a conversation with someone. So if the fine was more intune with the fact it was dangerous driving and grounds of driving without due care and attention, maybe more people would not use their phones whilst driving.

As I say I am not anti-car, just anti-morons, and the sooner some of them are removed from the gene pool the better this world will get.