Archive for Reading

V for Vendetta

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 05/11/2011 by arabrhizome

Today I read the graphic novel V for Vendetta. I didn’t realise that I was reading it on Guy Fawkes night, thus unwittingly making a political statement. I had seen the film before and loved it, although I had forgotten the details of it. The graphic novel is brilliant. It is intelligent, poignant, gripping, insightful, and fantastic. I highly recommend it. It is even more relevant today with the rise of fascism, xenophobia, and religious extremism around the world. It was written in the 1980s and yet still feels fresh and relevant. Alan Moore, the man who wrote it, is a genius.

After reading the graphic novel, I thought I should watch the film and do some comparing. First, having Natalie Portman play Evey is a complete mistake. She’s an awful actress that makes any film she’s in not as good as it could have been. Also, her fake english accent was so bad that it destroyed any possibility for me of buying into the narrative. Then there are so many things that are wrong with the film. I mean it’s a good film in and of itself, but when you’re comparing it to the graphic novel it’s very poor. It fails on certain key points.

One of the things that really bothered me is that Evey leaves and is somehow fine for the whole summer. If we are to buy that it’s a fascist surveillance based society that is being represented than she would have been arrested within a week. The feeble attempt to say that no one recognised her because she’s changed so much on the inside is completely unbelievable and frankly insulting to our intelligence. If a former colleague had seen her, given that in the film she worked at the state tv, they would have recognised her. Journalists are supposed to be observant, even in fascist regimes.

But that’s not the worst one in my opinion. The really bad thing in the film is the last bit when V says that he fell in love with Evey and is personalised in this way. V is a symbol, that’s why anyone who wears the Guy Fawkes mask after him and is free, truly free, is V. He is the hammer, the destroyer, the bringer of chaos before the advent of true Anarchy, spontaneous order through consent. He isn’t a simple man. He doesn’t fall in love with Evey. He trains her for what is to come after the revolution. He is the destroyer and she is the creator. I just felt that it was such a hollywood moment that completely and utterly missed the point of the whole thing.

Anyway, I really really recommend the graphic novel, it’s brilliant. Also, my favourite part in both the novel and the film is Valerie’s story. Alan Moore created one of the most gripping, heart breaking, and believable story for her. She brings home the fact that those who suffer under fascism are human beings. Her story shows that there is no such thing as acceptable bigotry. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, antisemitism, disablism, etc are all evil and must be fought. They must never be allowed to be “normal”. They must be stopped where ever they are found. On this note, stay safe everyone. Love you bye.

No Time To Blog

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 28/06/2011 by arabrhizome

Hi everyone. I don’t really have much time to blog. I’m working and it seems that it’s kicking off in Egypt again. I’m not very sure what’s happening but it seems that the police has attacked the martyrs families who have been camped out in Tahrir. It seems that clashes are ongoing right now. I’ll try to blog more about it when I know exactly what’s going on. It seems that the revolution, that was never completed since the army seems to continue the dictatorial regime of Mubarak, is back on and might be seen through. I am also going to stay up I think and try to work while I’m also watching the news. In the mean time stay safe. Love you bye.

No More Self Pity

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 18/03/2011 by arabrhizome

Right I did a lot of work today. I haven’t produced much but I did a lot of reading. This means I’m getting some of my focus back, which is great news. I’ve also decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and try to be a bit more positive, you know all that hippy crap. I have a lot of stuff to talk about, there’s the Bahraini police/army destroying the monument at pearl roundabout, as if that would somehow make all the angry protesters who want freedom go away. There’s the Yemeni security forces snipping the pro-democracy protesters, killing over 40, and declaring a state of emergency. There’s also the whole No Fly Zone over Libya. The protests in Syria are also a new development. There’s the whole situation in Japan, which is a whole other can of worms. However, I don’t really have time to write about any of these today. I will however write about one, or more, of them tomorrow. If I keep going the way I’ve been going I think I will have enough time to give this blog the attention it deserves. See you all tomorrow.

A Little More Abuse

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 04/03/2011 by arabrhizome

I would like to say hello to the many new readers of this blog. It seems that my review of the Promise being trolled by a few people increased the traffic on my blog quite a lot. I hope you enjoy this blog, it’s usually me moaning and naval gazing. On occasion I write about important events or review shows or books I like. Anyway, I write a post every day in order to keep in the habit of writing. Anyway, it’s not all about you new people, some people have stuck with me for almost a year now and I don’t want them to be jealous. So I’m going to stop speaking to you specifically and start addressing the whole bunch.

So as I said the traffic on my blog increased significantly. I was expecting a little more abuse from zionist trolls, but I only got one comment from A Reader. I don’t think that’s their real name. Although who knows maybe it’s Alan Reader, or Alexandra Reader, or Ahmad Reader, who knows. Anyway, this reader wrote the following: “You’re out of your depth trying to understand, let alone writing about, The Promise. It is to lazy thinkers like you that the series was aimed.” So this particular reader doesn’t think I’m delusional, or just kidding, or even that I’m a racist. Simply they think I’m an idiot. To be honest, I might be. I would think that an idiot isn’t really aware of their own stupidity.

But according to this reader, I am out of my depth trying to understand the Promise. I mean according to them understanding it is not even in the realm of possibilities, because trying to understand it is too much for me. I am so thick that trying to understand a television Drama is beyond me. But then the reader makes what I find to be a bit of superfluous point, by pointing out that writing about it is even more out of the question. You see in the course of my academic work I like to understand something before I write about it (I’m not a journalist hey? You know what I mean? ha! zing! …is this thing on? you see I was implying that journalists write about subjects they don’t understand… oh nevermind! My older readers enjoy my sense of humour and my weird writing style, some would say erratic and bad but they’re wrong).

So as I was saying from my experience if one cannot understand a given text they definitely cannot write anything about it, so the point seems to be superfluous. But the reader continues and points out in what seem to be a statement that contradicts their previous statement that the series is made for lazy thinkers like me. This confused me, it might be because I’m an idiot, but if the series is aimed at lazy thinkers like me, then why would I not be able to try to understand it. The point seemed to be that I am too stupid to even attempt to understand it. In other words, the series was way too intelligent for someone as thick as me. However, if it is aimed at a lazy thinker like me then shouldn’t I get it? Or maybe the reader is making an even more disparaging point about me. They seem to be saying that even though it is aimed at a lazy thinker like me, I’m still too thick to get it.

Now this seems to be a little much don’t you think? I mean I don’t think I’m a genius, but I didn’t think I wouldn’t get something that is aimed at me. Well, my liking the Promise and writing about it has made me discover many things about myself. I am apparently a thick, delusional, lazy thinker, who is somehow equivalent to 22 arab states and is a racist. If anything I’ve learned that about myself. Thank you random internet trolls for allowing me to understand myself better. I thought I new who I was but now I have this whole new complex identity to deal with.

Working, Hanging Out, and Stand Up

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Friends, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27/02/2011 by arabrhizome

Yesterday was a good day. I haven’t had one of those in a very long time. It started a bit weirdly. I ended up sleeping for about 12 hours and woke up quite late. I decided to go to town to work, rather than staying home. So I went to Broadway Cinema and sat in the cafe there. I spent most of my day doing work. Again it was mostly reading, but it was better than nothing. It was fun seeing the cafe fill with people and get quite loud, then empty up and become quiet. It was a bit of a cycle. I was going to meet a friend who I met on twitter during the height of the Egyptian revolution.

Around 6 she came over and we went and had some food at an indian place and then had a bit of tea. It was really fun. I haven’t hung out with people in a while now, and it was nice to go out and see someone. She was here to work, she’s a stand up. I went with her to the club and hung out with her and the other comics in the dressing room. It was an incredible insight into the world of a working stand up. The club, it has to be said, was a bit of a shit hole. But it still made me want to try out stand up even more.

Everyone was so nice to me when they heard about me wanting to try as well. Everyone gave me names of promoters and were really encouraging. I will try to write some material and have it ready to try out this summer. I want to get through writing a couple of chapters of my thesis before I try though. I need to get my work in order, than try stand up and see how that goes.

Anyway, this was the first time I met someone online and then met them in real life. I knew this friend before from a few tv and radio appearances and liked her material a lot. We got to talking while tweeting for the revolution in Egypt and just met up when she was here. I can say that I have a new friend now, and I’m really happy about that. After the show we hung out a bit with the headliner, who was a very nice guy, and chatted about stuff. The whole day, afternoon, and evening, were just lovely and I had an excellent time. It’s been a while since I felt this way and I’m glad I made the effort to go to town. Anyway, I need to go back to work now, I’m still quite late.

Quick Hello

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 26/02/2011 by arabrhizome

This is a quick hello to all my faithful readers. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to look at the number of hits on this self indulgent project of mine. Thank you very much for coming back to read about my insignificant ramblings. I am in town working today. I don’t think I will make it home before the midnight mark, as I am going out to watch a friend do some stand up later. I have therefore decided to write this quick note now.

I don’t have much to say. I’ve been trying to work hard in order to make the deadline in a bit over a week. I’m still a long way away, but I’m making some progress. Hopefully my going out tonight is going to recharge my creative batteries and I’ll be able to write a few thousand words in the coming few days. So far I have mainly been reading and gathering concepts and ideas that will go into this chapter. The problem with this phase of the work is that I can’t see the results. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Anyway, that’s pretty much all from me. I am waiting for a friend now to meet me here in order to have a chat and a coffee before tonight’s gig. I will therefore leave you and get a little more work done before she gets here. Thanks again for coming back, especially when my posts are so boring and tedious. Hopefully, once the work starts flowing they’ll be a little more entertaining. Bye for now and see you tomorrow.

Supervision and Teaching

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , on 22/02/2011 by arabrhizome

It’s going to be a short one today I’m afraid. Also, it’ll be about my life and not politics or the revolution. So today involved me going to University in order to teach and also in order to be chastised for my lack of productivity in a mid day supervision. Let’s begin by talking about the teaching. I’m a seminar leader in this first year module. Basically students give a 20 minutes presentation and then I take over and basically fill in the blanks. I had three sections to go through today. I like this class, as it is quite easy and quite pleasant. It’s nice to see the students’ minds open up and expand as they start to get more and more intellectually stimulated.

Anyway, the first class went fine. The presentation was pretty much what I expected. It was very much what one would expect. The second presentation however blew my mind away. It was fantastic. It was a truly complete and perfect presentation. I really didn’t expect this from first years. It was easily on the level of final years. I was riding high. I was really proud of my students. However, I was brought back to earth by the third presentation. It was awful. 5 minutes, no powerpoint, even though it’s about interpreting art. So that was a real downer. But I explained that the next presentations need to be better.

Finally, let’s talk about my supervision. I have been writing about the fact that I am quite late with my thesis and not really able to work for a while now. The fact that I was going to be chastised by my supervisors was a matter of time. Today was the day. They were very nice still, but made it clear that if I don’t produce something soon I would be in real trouble. We have now drawn a very tight schedule. I need to write up this chapter in 2 weeks, and then write another one 5 weeks after that. I’m hoping to do that. However, this would mean not doing much that is not work. So all I’m saying is that I might still write a few long posts from time to time, but most of them in the next 2 months will be short. Anyway, that’s all from me now. Good night you lovely readers.