Notes for week of 4 September, 2023

⤳ I didn’t post last week because I was too busy fiddling around with the backend of this blog, trying to fix an issue around the way Jekyll creates these posts. In trying to reverse engineer everything, I managed to break a bunch of stuff and had to reverse the reverse engineering to try and get back to square one. There are still a few broken things, so just bear with me if there are glitches in the RSS etc.

⤳ Coincidentally, I caught up with two old Londonist people this week. I spent a very pleasant couple of hours with my old friend Alex Dawson on Friday for lunch and then on Saturday night I went to see a one-off, live reading of The Quatermass Experiment at Alexandra Palace (where it was originally broadcast 70 years ago) with lifelong Quatermass fan, Mike Sizemore. The show was looooong (four hours plus intermission) and it was the hottest day of the year I think, but I enjoyed every minute of it and felt really lucky to be there. Thanks for sorting the tickets, Mike.

⤳ For my sins I have watched one a bit of the Extraction movies this week. My excuse is that they’re the perfect films to watch while Zwifting, because if you have to focus on something else for a few minutes, then you’re not really going to have any trouble catching up with the action. Also, they are utterly mindless, so you can watch them in 45-60 minute chunks with no problem (in fact, it might be better than watching them in one whole go).

⤳ To make up for all the extracting, I went to see Past Lives at the Curzon Mayfair. Wow, this is a remarkable, beautiful film. And it’s Celine Song’s debut film! Try and see this in the cinema if you can, it’s so gorgeous. But, failing that, just try and see it anywhere. It’s one of the films of 2023 and will win all the awards.

⤳ Some interesting things I’ve read these past few weeks:

This interview with Chuck Palahniuk in Esquire is great. Writer Jonathan Russell Clark just gets what Palahniuk is trying to do and gets beyond the usual Fight Club clichés journalists tend to lean on. (Name drop alert: I interviewed Palahniuk a long time ago, and he was the smartest, sweetest man - definitely one of the good guys).

Everyone has been linking to this article about inmates on death row playing Dungeons and Dragons, and that’s because it really is a fine article.

I am still working my way through Cosmic Scholar: The Life and Times of Harry Smith, and that’s because I’m switching between that and Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (trying to keep the fiction reading trend alive).

⤳ Listening to:

So many hands-in-the-air, reach-for-the-lights dance albums out right now, and I am here for it: