Tuesday, October 6

The End Is All I Can See

"What you know is gonna change the world forever?" (Anna McDoogles)

"Just like The Office and Extras, you're gonna watch it for the comedy. But I am gonna sneak in some other ideas, an emotional journey and some drama," Shout And Twist's 4th Favourite Comedian Ever Ricky Gervais told BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mayo of his directorial debut The Invention of Lying. Having just watched it, though, he more than 'sneaks' in these other ideas. Heck, the whole picture turns from romcom-with-an-angle to a pro-atheism sermon on why it's healthy to look beyond what 'they' tell you.
Really, it mocks the ignorant world like Sacha Baron Cohen did with Ali G/Borat/BrĂ¼no, but in a trackway where Gervais plays a God named Mark. Jennifer Garner is splendid as the vulnerable Anna, the one who rebuts her surrender to fakery by choosing what to give credence to all by herself (albeit via an unnecessary romantic subplot).
It's depressing in a good way, too. Anna sadly represents the bulk of humankind's illiteracy, but her picking to take in her heart even after Mark tells her that there actually isn't 'a man in the sky' is what one hopes from all of Christ's kids. Or at least their kids.
What does let it down a little is its lack of humour, but then we already knew Gervais left his finest hit wonder back in a Slough office.
So, following the poor showing that was Extras (and the Hollywood adventures), RG is seemingly back in the best way possible.

Muse 'Thoughts of a Dying Atheist'

The Greatest Author On Earth

If like me you have more than half a brain, you'll be fully aware of the fact that there is no such thing as God. However, the nearest thing to an all-empowering skipper we do have - and this one is actually a real human being - is Richard Dawkins. I have read much of his material on evolution over the years, only now he seems to be getting some much-deserved and much-important recognition.

Here's a nice quote from him -
"There is a truly pernicious idea going about that everything is just a personal opinion and everybody is equally entitled to their personal opinion whether it fits with the evidence or not – as if there's nothing special about evidence, evidence is just a patriarchal, chauvinistic way of learning about the world.

"Evidence is evidence! Evidence is how we know what's true. Of course you can hold views that are contrary to evidence if you want, but don't expect anybody to respect you for it."

And here's a link to buy his new book The Greatest Show On Earth.

Eugene McGuinness 'God In Space'

Thursday, October 1

Album Of Last Month

The Cribs 'Ignore The Ignorant' (Wichita)

Weird, this. 'Ignore The Ignorant' is the worst Cribs record to date, yet it's still the best album of the last four weeks and a brawny, tasteful 40-odd minutes. The addition of Johnny Marr on guitar was an out there move to carry out; it was unnecessary and probably made out of 'Well, he's Johnny Marr'-type vindication than for the good of the group's progression. And really, it doesn't work for the first half. Hell, nothing does. 'City Of Bugs' and 'Hari Kari' are grossly rushed, which is unnerving for a band who only need to rely on their first three LPs' prowess in order to excuse there way in line at Koko on a Friday night. But then 'Emasculate Me' happens - at last The Cribs we recognise - and the title track, followed by 'Save Your Secrets' and 'Nothing'. Principally, half number two has the chompier strings and extra sentiment advancements we were hoping for, Marr or no Marr. A shaky and teetering start but thankfully 'Ignore The Ignorant' embraces an archetypal resurgence to pull off a rather decent record. Well, it is The Cribs, after all.

Best Track
'Emasculate Me'