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
, 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
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’