Archive for Film

The Body

Posted in Culture, Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 13/05/2011 by arabrhizome

I watched the film “The Body” last night, some of you who follow me on twitter might have caught my tweets about it. I thought I would review it more thoroughly here, rather than in chunks of 140 characters. I also have had a whole day, much of which was spent sleeping, digesting it and honing my thoughts about it. The reason I didn’t write a post straight away is because I am a little conflicted about it. You see I think that it works very well in certain aspects but really fails in others. So without further ado here are my thoughts about it.

So let us start with the central concept. A Palestinian shopkeeper wants to have some work done in his back yard. However, a tomb is uncovered and an israeli archeologist is called in to figure out what it is about. She seems to be a secular left wing type, although that’s a bit confused and unclear. Anyway, she makes an incredible discovery as a body is discovered in this rich man’s tomb that is crucified. What makes this discovery so remarkable is that some markers in the tomb date the body to 32 AD and while crucifixion was common around that time, it wasn’t usually a punishment handed down to rich men. There is only one person that has been talked about who was crucified and buried in a rich man’s tomb around that time and that is Jesus Christ.

Obviously, if this body turned out to be the body of Jesus Christ then that would be disastrous for the biggest world religion. It would mean that Jesus was not divine and was never resurrected. All of this is surrounded by a difficult political situation where it seems that Palestinians are about to ask the UN to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state but israel isn’t happy about it (I don’t know when this is supposed to take place as I thought that was a given in the UN, which is a first bump for the film). The israeli government’s official who realises what is happening calls the Vatican and informs them, and only them about the situation. They send a priest to investigate it. At the same time a Palestinian fictional terrorist group is snooping around and trying to discover what is happening. Both the israelis and the Palestinians are trying to use this discovery to black mail the Vatican into siding with them in order to get what they want on Jerusalem.

I’m not going to go on about the story more than that in case you decide you want to watch it. As I said I’m a little conflicted about it. Let’s start with the positives. What does it do well? Well first of all the concept and founding premise of the film is very interesting. What if we found the body of Christ? What would that mean for the church and the millions of followers of christianity? How would they react? Would it be the end of a religion that has thrived for over 2000 years? That to me sounds like a great idea for a film. Also, the way in which the film portrays the crisis of faith that is experienced by the different priests is very compelling. The conflict between searching for the truth and wanting to protect the faith/church is very well shown. Being Caught between the idea of the resurrection and all it means for christians and the idea that “the truth will set you free” is a very interesting dynamic.

So that’s what it does well. Now let’s look at the problems of the film, of which there are many. First, on the theological level. Anyone who knows their theology would know that before the establishment of the new testament in its current form there were many different sects of early christians. Some of them didn’t believe that Jesus was in fact the son of god but that he was a prophet. Of those sects some believed that he was crucified and died on the cross, and never resurrected. Others believed that he wasn’t crucified, but that one of his disciples was crucified in his place. That disciple had sacrificed himself to save Jesus. He looked very much like him and so deceived the Romans. This later version of events is the one adopted by islam. It is interesting to note that the theology expert priest never even considers this hypothesis. It never crosses his mind that this is not necessarily a blow to christianity but only to his form of christianity. Or let alone that the muslims might be right.

The second problem is the portrayal of the Palestinians in this film. Basically there are two types of Palestinians: The evil cynical violent terrorist type and the nice naive stupid caught in the middle of something they don’t really care about type. On the other hand israelis are represented as either very rational and compassionate, the archeologist, or violent and extremist although open to rational thought, the orthodox, or cynical and calculating, the government representative. Oh I forgot there is also a Palestinian child who steals from the ruins because he is asked to by the cynical leader of the made up terrorist group. Now, clearly this is very reductive and problematic. Anyone who watches this film without any knowledge about the situation would come out thinking either “oh they’re all as bad as each other but at least the israelis are rational and more like us”, or that “the israelis are rational and nice and the Palestinians are just violent thugs”.

Also the fact that the christian population of Palestine is in its majority arab, or at least Palestinians (I’m thinking of the armenians and other “ethnic” minorities), is completely left out. If someone didn’t know any better they would think that the only christians in Palestine are European. That really pissed me off. But going back to the representation of Palestinians. It is absolutely insane to say that some Palestinians are caught up in things over their heads and that they are not politicised. Every Palestinian in the occupied territories or in israel is highly politicised and has an opinion about the conflict. Every Palestinian cares about the political situation and everyone has an idea of how it should be solved. Some might disagree but no one is uninformed or uninvolved in one way or another.

There are more things to say but that would involve writing more, I don’t feel like it, and spoiling more bits of the film. So in conclusion, do I recommend it or not? That’s hard to answer. On the one hand the good parts of the film are really good, the acting is decent, the characters can be compelling, the main concept is interesting. On the other hand, the bad parts are really bad, the Palestinians are either absent or violent or naive, the Palestinian christians are completely erased, and no Palestinian is shown to be rational and reasonable. It’s really annoying. So I guess I give it a very mixed review. I’d like to know what you think about it actually. If anyone has watched it or wants to watch it after reading this let me know what you think in a comment on this post. In the mean time stay safe, Love you bye.

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Christmas Day

Posted in Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 26/12/2010 by arabrhizome

I wanted to write a nice upbeat post today, because yesterday was mainly a good day. However, I’m feeling a little sad and a little bit ill today. I’ll still try to make it fun but my mood might affect my writing, so I hope you can forgive that. I have been doing well this past few posts and I hope I find some kind of rhythm while I’m writing and get into some kind of fun writing groove. That tends to happen sometimes, so Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will happen today.

So I left you yesterday again on tender hooks as you were all left on the edge of your seats wondering if I managed to reset my alarm clock. If you remember I went to sleep at 22:00 on Friday, hoping to wake up at a normal time, after having basically spent 22 hours awake. Well I’m happy to tell you that I did indeed wake up at 8:00. I’m sure that my sleeping for 10 hours had something to do with me not sleeping properly for the past 2 weeks. Anyway, that made me very very happy. I love waking up early, but cannot manage t for long periods of time, haha I said period, because my body clock is so fucked up, haha I said up. I always have good days when I wake up at 6:00 or 7:00 or even 8:00. It’s just nice to be able to do so much by the time lunch time arrives.

So other than seeming to have started my journey towards resetting my body clock Saturday was christmas day. Now as I said before this was my first christmas in England. In fact, it was my first christmas without any family. I was quite happy about that bit, although I would have liked to have some friends around as well. But you can’t have everything. So with a slight note of mild sadness, I was quite happy. I started my day by having a nice cup of tea and a croissant that I had bought for the occasion. It was nice and decadent, I haven’t had breakfast in a very long time. Also, I haven’t been eating that much for the past few weeks. Although I haven’t lost any weight, I don’t know why.

I spent a bit of the morning finishing my second playthrough of Uncharted 2. I was very happy to finish it again, only this time having collected all the secret treasures peppered all over the game. I am now going to finally finish off Final Fantasy XIII. I have already finished the storyline, but just like every other FF game there are a multitude of side quests and stuff to do. The fact that you can get trophies for them is an extra incentive. What is interesting about the trophy system in FFXIII is that it doesn’t feel silly. Every trophy makes perfect sense. Sometimes games will have really silly trophies like one for a second or a third playthrough. There really is no need for that. It’s just artificially extending the gameplay time. FFXIII has none of that. That said, some of the trophies are really hard to get, haha I said hard. But I am committed now to getting all of them.

At this point it was time for me to start cooking my christmas lunch. As I am by myself I thought a turkey might be a little too much. So I got a piece of lamb shoulder to cook. I also bought roast potatoes, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, Yorkshire puddings, and turnips. I put everything on the hub and in the oven and sat to watch some tv while I was waiting. Santa Clause 3 was on, with tim alan, What an awful movie that is. Although to be fair to tim alan, all of his movies suck, except for galaxy quest. But Madagascar was going to be on right after, and I thought I might as well watch it as nothing else that seemed fun was on.

I watched Madagascar while eating. My food was delicious. I ate so much that I felt I could burst. The good thing is that most of what I ate were vegetables. In fact they were quite healthily prepared vegetables. So I didn’t feel like I over indulged, even though I definitely did. It was a little magical, I know I sound like a silly mawkish idiot. But watching a silly cartoon film that’s not that great while eating some very good food made me feel all warm inside and christmassy.

Anyway, the rest of the afternoon was spent between watching stuff on tv and listening to a bunch of podcasts. It was great. Then as I told you yesterday, I was crazily excited about watching the Doctor Who christmas special. I love Doctor Who. I love everything about it. The writing, the music, the stories, the characters, and pretty much everything in it. But most of all, I love the Doctor himself. He represents everything I look up to. The show’s message is a very simple, yet lovely one: It is all about the triumph of intellect and values of rationality and humanity. And the Matt Smith incarnation of the doctor is so good it makes me pee myself a little from excitement every time I think about it. Also, Stephen Mofat, the main writer on the show since Smith became the doctor is a genius. He is just so good at evoking childhood fears and reinventing them in a wonderful way. Some of my favourite Doctor Who villains were created by him, like the Vashta Nerada and the weeping angels, but I have talked about this before on this blog.

Anyway, I don’t want to give away too much about it, but it’s called A christmas Carol and so is a reinvention of it. However, It is a lot more than a simple reimagining, it is so much more, as anyone who knows Doctor Who would have imagined. Also, in this episode something happens that basically changes some very important rules of the show. Basically the rule book has changed in a very basic sense. Nothing will ever be the same. I have to say I am incredibly excited about what this means. After the show finished, we were treated to what is probably the most exciting and most awesome trailer for an upcoming series of any show, let alone a Doctor Who series. In fact, as I said before, I was so excited I peed myself a little bit, both figuratively and literally. Relax, I’m only joking I actually pooped myself a little bit. Relax, I’m only joking, I actually came a little. Relax, I’m only joking, well on this occasion I wasn’t actually joking. I did have a small orgasm.

After that I watched a bunch of stuff that didn’t really make any proper impression on me. However, at 21:00 it was time for my favourite christmas movie of all times: Die Hard. I really enjoyed watching while tweeting at the same time. It’s great to watch television while tweeting. You follow a trending topic and see what everyone else is saying about it. Some people are really funny. I do love Die Hard though. I love it on so many different levels. I do love it on face value and completely unironically. I also do love it ironically as a terrible 1980s action flick. There are so many classic lines in it, like for example: ‘Now I have a machine gun ho ho ho’, or the other classic: ‘No fucking shit lady! Do I sound like I’m ordering a pizza?’ Anyway, after the film was done, I was quite happy about my christmas day. I was also ready to go to sleep. I’m very glad I was sleepy at this normal time. I went to sleep around 00:00 all happy with this lovely day of indulgence and entertainment.

Staying Awake

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Silly Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 24/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Right new blog post. I need to figure out what to write. I’m not sure. What could I write about? I’m not sure. This is most regular (I know it should be irregular, but this happens to me everyday so it is regular. It’s a joke, stop being phrase nazis). As you might tell I’m slightly high on caffein and sugar. Can you tell? Can you tell? Huh? huh? You bunch of Punks! Wanna take it outside? I’ll kick all your arses. That’s right I will. Well I just hope I don’t hit the downer while I’m writing this, otherwise it would turn out to be quite an inconsistent post. And we can’t have that, can we my precious? No we can’t. That’s what I thought.

Anyway, seriously. Why am I so high on caffein and sugar? Well you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read about it. I’m not going to tell you and there’s no way you’ll find out by yourselves. It’s such a mystery. But so Thursday. What happened on Thursday? Well as I said yesterday, I was planning to stay up until a normal time. That way, I thought I could get to wake up at a normal time on Friday. So I was up from around 19:00 on Wednesday. I spent the night playing Uncharted 2, and watching Back to the future 2. I thought after watching the first one, I had to see Marty McFly go to the dizzying future of 2015. I discovered that in 5 years, the internet will have disappeared. But we’ll have flying cars and hover-boards. Also, we’ll have clothes that automatically fit, and dry you if you get wet.

I was surprised that the internet disappeared. Because as we all know Back to the Future is a documentary. I thought the internet would have become sentient and order all of our machines to enslave us. Although, we have the ultimate weapon, and that is tea. All we need is to drop the contents of a cup of tea, it could also be coffee, or water, or juice, or soda, or alcohol, in fact any liquid, onto them and we would render them useless. Maybe that’s what happened in 2012. Who knows, that might be what the Mayans were on about. I also thought it was odd that with all these advances, future Marty’s broken hand that doesn’t let him play guitar anymore couldn’t be fixed. Anyway, who am I to question the veracity of that documentary.

Other than that, I started getting sleepy around 10:00, that was always a hard time. But I survived it. I then got sleepy again around 12:00. And I survived again. I was quite pleased with myself. The came the dreadful 15:00. But I managed to stay up then as well. I thought that was it. I was going to sleep at a normal time, catch up on some sleep, and wake up on Friday all refreshed and ready to face the world. At 18:00, I thought that’s a good time to sleep, because I have had such bad sleep that I am bound to sleep for more that 8 hours. I crawled into bed and just like that I was out. Out like a light. Out like I’ve passed out. Out like someone knocked me out.

Now you’re all asking yourselves, did I actually wake up at a normal hour? Does the fact that I am so high on caffein and sugar have anything to do with it? And if so, what exactly? Did I go insane, and I’m now using this blog as a last plea for help? Or am I just being humorous? If so, am I successful in this endeavour? Or have I just alienated my core readership? Are the voices in my head real or not? The answers to these questions and many more will be revealed in tomorrow’s post. See you then. Well not exactly see you. I guess the right thing to say would be write you tomorrow. And you would reply, yeah read you tomorrow. Or maybe, no I’m away from my computer tomorrow, but read you in a couple of days, all at once. Or something like that. Bye.

Beer Festival and Children of Men

Posted in Culture, Food, Friends, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 16/10/2010 by arabrhizome

So today was going to be my day off as promised. Well mainly promised to myself, but I did write about it here so I guess I promised you my readers as well. So the day started earlyish for me. I had a nice bit of breakfast and just fannied around for a while. I love this expression, first introduced to me by B last year. Then it was time to go to the beer festival at Nottingham castle. We’ve been wanting to go since we first came. We didn’t the first year, for some reason, and then again the next year, but that was because they ran out of beer at the beer festival. This year though we were not going to be stopped. We bought advance tickets and prepared for the day. Now a lot of you might think, but hey aren’t you a little ill? Should you be drinking beer? And you’d be right. I shouldn’t. However, I did, more on the consequences of that decision later.

So we went to town and decided to have a bite to eat before going there. There is food there, but we thought we don’t want to take our chances with van food. So we went to a pub and had a burger, as well as beer. We then made our way to the festival and got in the grounds of the Nottingham castle, which is more of a big cuboid house. There was a giant tent there filled with rows and rows of beer barrels. I had a couple of different beers and had a lot of fun with my friends. It was very nice to catch up with M and B who I don’t see often enough. The atmosphere was generally positive and we didn’t witness any acts of violence. Which, as anyone who’s been in Nottingham town centre on a Saturday night will attest, is a very rare thing.

Everyone was there to have a nice bit of harmless drunken fun. We saw some weird stuff though. We had a bit of beef jerky, and this very drunk man came up to us in a bit of a frenzy. He asked us where we got it from and told us that he’s been looking for some jerky all day long. We directed him to the stall and told him that they were starting to run out. He gave his beer to a friend, as well as his half smoked cigarette and rushed inside to get himself some of that brown rubbery meet. It was like he was taken with gold fever, except it was mainly beef based. We also saw a couple, man and woman, drinking beer or cider form penis shaped straws. It is a bit of a strange site to see a grown man and woman sucking on a penis shaped plastic object in broad daylight and in public. I usually have to give my credit card details before I can see anything like it. That was a joke of course, I never pay for my porn.

After that though I started feeling a little bit ill. I wanted to hang out with M and B more but I knew that I should go back home and be in my own space, because my gut was going to take its revenge on me. So I went back home and sure enough I wasn’t too good. I’ve been nauseous since I got back. But it’s that kind of nausea that doesn’t lead to anything except discomfort. So I’ve been doing very little and burping a lot. I did however watch a bunch of things, including the latest film I got from lovefilm, which is Children of Men.

I had seen an add for it back in Lebanon. It seemed interesting, yet also a little bit pointless. I’m not going to get dragged into the argument that all films are essentially useless. No, I said I won’t, so stop trying to drag me there. I am not mentally ill. I had asked M and B about it at the beer festival and they had highly recommended it. I therefore sat down ready to have my mind blown away. It did exactly that. This movie is very good. It works very well and is directed admirably. You are sucked into the pre/post-apocalyptic world of London 2027 straight away. The opening 15 minutes or so of the film set the tone and the atmosphere very well. As M noted one of the most striking things about it is how the advent of a fascistic society is presented in such a mundane way. Fascism instals itself in the most banal and straightforward way possible.

As you might know the main issue is that women have stopped being fertile and the world of 2027 is a childless world. No one knows why humanity lost its ability to procreate but it has plunged the world in deep chaos. It is a strange type of chaos though. Terrorism is rife, but people go on doing their jobs and living without thinking about it. The government of the UK has become a fascist style government that issue antidepressant drugs to the whole population. Immigration is illegal, and the illegals are arrested, put into cages awaiting their incarceration and eventual deportation. All of this is mundane and irrelevant. People go on living their lives, some join crazy post-apocalyptic cults, but most just carry on. People are constantly bombarded with adds asking them to report all illegals.

The genius of the film is that everything in it is recognisable. The world is different enough for the viewer to know this isn’t now, but it’s similar enough to today’s world to create an instant feeling of unease and disturbance. That feeling doesn’t leave the viewer throughout the film. Everything that happens is recognisable and familiar. It really works. The acting is very good and Clive Owen is fantastic in it, I don’t usually like him or his choice of films. The writing is very solid and manages to be witty and intelligent. All in all a very enjoyable hour an a half. I highly recommend it.

Agora

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 23/09/2010 by arabrhizome

I watched Agora yesterday when I wasn’t able to sleep. For those who do not know Agora is a film that kind of passed unnoticed. It is about the last custodian of the great library of Alexandria, the Philosopher Hypetia. The film is set in the 4th century AD and shows the rise of christianity in the faltering Roman Empire and the final transformation into the Holy Roman Empire. It is a very interesting look at the conflict between religious ignorance and reason. It shows the way in which absolutist and unquestionable beliefs become tyrannical and always lead to tragedy.

Let’s start with the performances. Everyone in the cast was fantastic although special mention must go to Sami Samir who plays Cyril, the leader of the christians and the one who takes over Alexandria through force, violence, and intimidation. He plays the role of the evil fanatic very well. But the outstanding performance must go to Rachel Weisz who plays Hypetia. She offers us a magnificent performance. She plays the questioning philosopher who is passionate about knowledge with incredible grace and intensity. It is really the performance of a life time. I have seen her in other films and always found her good. But in this role she was brilliant.

The story as I said earlier revolves around the rise of christianity and the gradual transformation of the roman empire into the holy roman empire. The film begins when the library of Alexandria is still functioning as the greatest repository of knowledge in the ancient world, a place of study, and a place of worship for the pagans. The classes go on undisturbed by the growing disturbance caused by christians, who, emboldened by the fact that their religion is no longer illegal, are causing trouble for the pagans. Some of Hypetia’s students are in fact christian, some pagans, and some it seems jewish (although that was never made explicit). She tries to build a sense of kinship between all her pupils and defuses a situation that could degenerate into violence between a christian and a pagan student through math, which is one of the coolest things I’ve seen. She argues that if A=C and B=C then A=C and since the two students are the same as her, i.e. human beings/good people/learned people, then they are the same as each other.

Anyway, all of this is turned upside down when the pagans decide to respond to what they see as insults to their gods by the christians. Hypetia protects her students from getting involved. However, this turns into a tragedy when the christians, who vastly outnumber the pagans, besiege them inside the library. I won’t go on about the story. But it is very well told. It is slow at times and might not keep the sufferers of ADHD glued to their screens. But if you are a rationalist, or someone who believes that reason is the only real defence against ignorance, superstition, and the destructive power of unquestionable faith, this film is for you. It isn’t necessarily and atheist film, but it certainly is a rationalist film.

The film echoes in many ways Yousef Chahine’s Destiny, which deals with much of the same themes. Chahine’s film is set around the fall of the islamic empire and the struggle between the rationality of Ibn Rushd or Averroes against religious extremists. Again themes of book burning and the dangers of unquestionable faith are echoes of each other. I highly recommend both these films.

I was very touched by this film. It spoke to me on more than one level. Hypetia represents everything I want to be. She is a philosopher who even when surrounded by death, religious and political upheaval, and the rise of extremism is still preoccupied with the question of the heliocentric model of universe and trying to solve it. This is not to say that she doesn’t care about the death and destruction. In fact she actively tries to find a way to resolve it. She is a strong, intelligent, and independent woman in a world of men. She does not accept the role that society wants to impose on her.

She has become one of my new heroes/heroines. In a world that is increasingly falling pray to the barbarism and ignorance of religious intolerance, she represents the power of reason and the intellect. I tweeted that this had happened before and will happen again and that reason is our only hope to keep the barbarians at the gates. We must not forget that superstition and absolutist faiths necessarily lead to religious wars and the destruction of knowledge. Today more then ever we must remember Hypetia and the the fact that knowledge and rationality should not be surrendered to the insanity of superstition.

This is Spinal Tap and The Last Ever Post About Andromeda

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 18/09/2010 by arabrhizome

So I was planning on writing a post about something else, namely just Andromeda, but I watched ‘This is Spinal Tap’ and I must write about this. ‘This is Spinal Tap’ is probably the funniest thing I have seen in a very very long time. It is absolutely hilarious. It is basically classic scene after classic scene. Also, classic line after classic line. To think that most of it was improvised as well just makes it even more impressive.

So what is ‘This is Spinal Tap’, well it is a mockumentary. A mock documentary, or a mock rockumentary. It was made in 1984 I think, and follows the band Spinal Tap. They are a fake hard rock band and the documentary follows them on their US tour in conjuncture with the release of their latest album ‘Smell the Glove’. They are basically becoming obsolete and this documentary charts that. It is almost impossible to say more about it, not for fear of ruining it but because there is very little more to say. It’s just brilliantly funny.

Anyway, I am going to buy it and watch it again and again. I recommend you all watch it. Now let’s talk about Andromeda. So I started loving it, the first season representing what I saw to be everything good that scifi can represent. All the multiculturalism, multilateralism, and the power of idealism. But then in the other seasons it turned and became quite bad. Most notably I hated the way in which the captain became a sort of intergalactic slut who sleeps with every woman he meets.

Well I finished the series now and I can safely say that this series is all in all a rubbish series. The last season is actually the most dire of them all. The crew of the Andromeda find themselves stranded in a system outside the space-time continuum. Last time I said that the minor characters were still interesting and I cared enough to watch to see what would happen to them. Well they took that and shat all over it. They basically took all the characteristics I liked about the crew and changed them. Everyone became venal and self centred. One of the best characters was dropped for most of the season and was replaced by a bimbo with big breasts, Brandy Ledford. In fact, this seemed to be the role she played, a big breasted android. Her acting was quite dire throughout the series and she replaced one of the best actors in the series, Lexa Doig. Also, once she rejoined the series, all of the characteristics she had gained as an android who is becoming human seemed to have gone away.

Anyway, I have to say that this series really disappointed me. Mainly because it had so much potential to be a new Star Trek the Next Generation and ended up being a dull, predictable, and quite pedestrian scifi series. I was actually excited about watching a good scifi series, but this did not deliver at all. I’m still looking for a good series, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Right, that’s about it for me, now I will go and watch match of the day and then maybe work a little bit. I still have a lot to do this weekend. I am looking forward to tomorrow though, it will be my second tennis lesson, more about this tomorrow. I am really enjoying playing tennis and will hopefully be able to play actual games soon. Anyway must watch match of the day now.

Work, Gym, and Moon

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13/09/2010 by arabrhizome

So I woke up on the late side today, around 10:30. I know it’s not very late but I need to wake up earlier. My body clock is still not completely fixed. I’m trying to get it back to normal. The problem is I think that my body clock is naturally all over the place. I have trouble keeping it on normal times. Anyway, I slept around 4:00 last night and that’s how it’s been. I really need to get that fixed.

Anyway, So I woke up and did some work all day. My work has been going weirdly. I need to be working much harder than I am right now, but I am not able to bring myself to it. I don’t know what’s wrong? I must find a way to finish what I’m working on now quickly. I need to get at least one more chapter finished quickly so I can scout for conferences and try to publish something.

In the afternoon I went to the gym and finally lost one kilo. A single kilo lost in all this time. I have decided though that I have gained some muscle mass, because I’m able to do things I wasn’t able to do before. For example, I am able to do two full sets of pull ups quite easily now, I have to say though that I am getting help from the machine. For those who have never used the pull up machine this is how it works. You set the weight you want, the more weight you put the easier the pull up. I am at maximum weight right now. But I used to have trouble doing two full sets even with all the possible help from the machine. I am now able to do that. This means that I have increased my muscle mass around my back, chest, and arms. So I must have lost more than one kilo of fat, yet gained a few kilos of muscle.

While I was there I listened to the Collings and Herrin podcast and at some point while rowing laughed so hard that I had to stop. It is sometimes quite embarrassing to find yourself laughing out loud in public because of something only you can hear. I realised that many people were looking at me funny, although I saw that some had a look of recognition. They seemed to be relieved that they’re not the only ones who do this. As I was leaving, someone asked me what it was that I was listening to because it seemed to be really funny. I told him, but explained that it is very explicit and can sometimes be quite grotesque. The Herrin character seems to have no filter and says some horrible things. But it is so funny and done with the complicity of the listener. However, I think people need to listen to the podcast from the beginning to see the characters develop and become what they are today. Anyway, I hope the man doesn’t think I am a sick individual for finding this podcast funny.

On my way back I went to the supermarket and got a few things for the house. The supermarket was full of people and they all somehow seemed to be in a bad mood. Well bad mood is putting it lightly they were all really angry and silly. A few times it looked like it might kick off between two patrons of the shop. I tried to keep my head down and get my stuff quickly and without any incident. It was hard though and was made harder by the general sense that people were being rude for the sake of rudeness. Indeed people left their full trolleys in front of certain shelves making it impossible to reach the products without moving it, but then they would get angry because you moved it. So I didn’t get everything I wanted and tried to get to the check out quickly. The queues though were gigantic, which only added to the sense of anger filling the place. By the time I got out I was physically and mentally exhausted.

I got home made myself some food and watched the movie Moon that I got from levefilm.com. I have to say the film is fantastic. It is very hard to talk about it without giving away some of the twists in the story, so I won’t. I will say however that everything in the movie is done very well. The soundtrack, the acting, the directing, the colours, they all work to feed the story and the mood of the film. I have highly enjoyed it and I have to say that all the hype around it is completely worth it. The concept is just great and it is executed very well. I have seen many movies that are built on a great concept, but then the execution is just awful. This is not the case. Moon is a film based on a high concept that is executed perfectly. It is very hard to classify. Some have said that it is a psychological thriller on the moon, but I don’t agree. It has elements of psychological thrillers, elements of dystopian films and books, elements of theatre, elements of sci-fi all meshed together into a very coherent whole. I highly recommend it.