There is a reason I haven’t been posting for a long time. (Well, I always don’t post for a long time, but this time there’s a reason, so yay.)

I have bought a blackboard, and have been writing “The net doesn’t help you write.” 500 times every day. It’s been that kind of a month. I have written many half-essays and part-stories. I started all of five posts on Nick Cave but had to abandon them because I couldn’t do them justice. I still am going to write a post comparing The Boatman’s Call and No More Shall We Part, simply because I want to. Besides, I have a readership of ten, and five of them like Nick Cave, so it won’t be as obscure as a comic-book post might be.

Speaking of which, for a supposed comic-book fan, I have missed an astonishing* number of comic-book movies. I didn’t watch X-Men 2, X-Men 3 or Batman Begins, and I do not in the slightest remember what Spider-Man 2 was about. I will, however, watch Dead Man’s Chest**, because I love Johnny Depp. He’s got style, and I’d much rather watch a stylish performance than a good performance in a pulp movie. (For example, I’d rather watch Ian McKellen hamming it up in The Lord of the Rings and X-Men, even though I know he is an awesome actor.)

[ * Typical comic-book exaggeration. ]

[ ** Pirates of the Caribbean was not a comic-book movie, of course, but it is probably what a comic-book movie might have been like had comics through the ages not been mired by superheroes. Sort of the light side of the pirate comic(s) in Watchmen. ]

Speaking of British theatre actors, I recently read a book that McKellen called the most honest book written about theatre actors. This was Being an Actor by Simon Callow. It is a good, and very well-written, book, if rather overlong, and there are a lot of wonderful insights on the craft of acting. I generally prefer film acting to theatre acting, but I have an immense respect for the one-man show. I find the concept of one actor holding an entire audience for over an hour simply through her/his performance quite astounding. I think the narrative structure of this kind of show has a lot of potential, especially for experimentation, and I think any person talented and confident enough to take on the task of not only enacting a number of characters – shifting the audience’s centre of belief once every few minutes – but also guiding the audience through it all has to be worthy of monumental respect. As I said, I also find the structure very interesting to work in and I would love to write a one-man show someday (after reading and watching enough of them, of course).

One particular play I’ve seen that is not exactly a one-man show, because it does have other actors in it, but which I think is still interesting for anyone who likes them, is Keith Waterhouse’s Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. I saw the Peter O’Toole version (on DVD) and it’s quite wonderful – funny, mocking, increasingly surreal over its duration, and full of Waterhouse’s beloved Soho characters. You like the character of Bernard (who was a real person) a lot, but you also feel for the women whose lives he’s ruined by marrying them. O’Toole is just exquisite in every way, and he has both the world-weariness and the zest for life – apparently paradoxical – down to perfection.

While writing this post, I was with a friend (who I think is a very nice guy, in case he reads this) on IM, and I was walking him through installing a freeware software. When it came to choosing a mirror site to download from, I told him any one would do, it didn’t matter which one he chose. And he broke down because he was confronted with too much choice.

I was looking for information about books written by Steve Gerber, when I found out that there is a comic-book character called ‘Giant-Size Man-Thing’. No comment.

And now, at the very end, so that you leave the post happy, here’s the most wonderfully weird description of a sexual encounter I’ve read in ... well, ever, really (unless maybe you count an ‘Aristocrats’ joke).
You took me back to your place
And dressed me up in a deep sea diver’s suit
You played the patriot, you raised the flag
And I stood at full salute
Later on we smoked a pipe that struck me dumb
And made it impossible to speak
As you closed in, in slow motion,
Quoting Sappho, in the original Greek
– Nick Cave, ‘Nature Boy’