Notes from a Craggy Island: The Father Ted Festival – Features – Films – The Independent

Treat this as a warmup…at this stage I have nothing more to say! Working however on a couple of drafts, and getting back into the swing of things…

Notes from a Craggy Island: The Father Ted Festival – Features – Films – The Independent.

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Breaking the rules

When I first started this blog, I talked about my fascination with creativity. I also made a promise to myself I wouldn’t comment on current events – in an effort not to date my writing! But rules are made to broken – or at the very least bent and misshapen to suit one’s own liking. It’s probably why I loved Play-Dough and Lego as a child. Why have rules when you’re being creative?

But last night I felt inspired after watching a recent Pearl Jam documentary showing only once at movie theatres around the world. Our theatre was packed; you could feel the emotion pouring out of the images, culminating in an incredibly moving moment where both the onscreen crowd – and most of the moviegoers – sang along in an enormous chorus to “Better Man’; Pearl Jam’s anthemic ballad, written by Eddie Vedder as a teenager.  The movie finished – people burst into spontaneous applause. When we got up to leave, I was astounded by the range of people present – not just grown-up Gen X-ers and Y-s – but grandparents, and new, younger generations, possibly only recently discovering what is one of my favourite bands.

I’ve long held a fascination with music, especially when considered as an art form. “PJ20”, while probably only viewed in high esteem by fans of the band and their music, used this as a central theme throughout. There was a child-like innocence to how the band conducted business – throughout their career they have swum against the tide by only acting as they see morally right by themselves, and not on the whim of the music industry. Surely this is why they are one of the few bands remaining from their generation to still be standing today. To some extent, their contemporary Cobain was consumed by the music industry and its demands; instead Pearl Jam learnt to say “no”. As a band they genuinely love to create and as artists, don’t want to relinquish their art direction to some man in a suit and then dilute their creative process, which is what made them successful in the first place!

Pearl Jam have never allowed their music to be dictated by music executives; they have continued to allow the music to grow and challenge themselves. Their band hierarchy has changed significantly since their inception. Vedder is clearly now their dominant creative force, but in their early, halcyon days he was just a shy surfer kid with an amazing voice and a propensity for scaling stage setups mid-concert – yet the core ideals remain the same

It would be clichéd for me to now link through to a clip of PJ performing live; instead to buck the trend, I’ve gone with a brilliant live version of Chris Cornell singing Seasons,a song first featured in the 1992 movie Singles, and with a prominent airing during “PJ20”. Why? By complete chance Soundgarden’s bassist, Ben Shepherd, blew out 43 candles yesterday and I felt it was a nice link to one of Pearl Jam’s fellow Seattle grunge staples…Enjoy!

PS: I also (by virtue of my blog-name) have always worked on the unwritten rule I would only post on Tuesdays! But as I start to write, it is still 11:45pm in Apia, Samoa, so I escape on a technicality!

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Why I Love Tuesdays

I’ve always liked Tuesday. Its child is full of grace. Usually by 8am everyone has gotten over the horrible, contagious Mondayitis, and is ready to put in a busy day. I do like to be productive (despite my infrequent writings in this blog!); perhaps this is part of my love for Tuesdays?

Maybe I’m part Jewish. Mum always wondered if that’s where her dark olive skin tone comes from; I guess too I’ve never found Germans particularly funny. In Judaism, Tuesday is considered an especially lucky day as at the start of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, the paragraph about Tuesday contains the words “it was good” twice.

For those of you who don’t know, Tuesday occurs just after Monday and directly before Wednesday. It is named after the god Mars, in the tradition of the Ancient Romans’ naming of the weekdays after the seven classical planets (the weekday heptagram). The Romantic languages tie closely to the original Latin, and complete the circle (such as the French “Mardi”). In Old-English, “Tiw” was the literal translation of the Germanic god of war (like the Roman god Mars) and so we celebrate “Tiw’s Day”.

Tuesday fills the second day of the 5-day modern Western working week. Interestingly, the 5-day week is a relatively modern invention, only commonplace since the start of the 20th century. Early industrial Europe favoured a 6-day week, but Henry Ford was one of the first to advocate a five-day working period. He argued that a shorter week was no less productive, as workers came back to work fresher after a two-day holiday and thus saw it as a means to greater prosperity.

My take on the working week:

Monday:  usually spent dealing with the shock of being back at work after two days off, and generally requires greater caffeine fixes for success. It’s also the furthest point away from the next upcoming weekend and source of much misery. Sick days highest on Mondays.

Tuesday: I argue that Tuesday is the most productive day of the week. By Tuesday, all systems are firing and you are into the groove of the working week.

Wednesday: Wednesday falls bang in the middle, and is the furthest point between each weekend – hence the “hump day”. Mildly depressing or exciting, depending on which side of the hump you stand on.

Thursday: Thursday becomes occupied with weekend planning and scheming. A subsequent drop off in productivity ensues…Let’s be honest, we all love the weekend!

Friday: easily the most polarising day of all. Before 4 o’clock it drags on and goes VERY slowly – but after 4 becomes a totally different beast. A lot of people love Fridays, but how many of you have found yourselves clock watching Friday afternoon?

I even have statistics to back up my argument. Call me the trainspotter of Tuesdays. A UK ManPower (HR economic performance analysts) paper published in 2007 showed a greater percentage of employed people perform more than 6 hours of work on Tuesdays (84%) than any other day. It also showed that in an average 7-day week, Tuesday accounts for the largest share of working time (18.8%) and Friday the lowest (16.8%) of the 5 working days.


So there you have it. Tuesday takes it by a nose. I imagine that my view on this one is pretty unique, but some of you might just find yourself nodding. And can you really lie with figures from an obscure UK human resources thesis?

Mark Twain however may have my measure on this one; as he popularised from Benjamin Disraeli, the former British Prime Minister in his autobiography:

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force:

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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September 6: Happy birthday Roger Waters!

Yep, another musician this Tuesday.

But Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) had such a huge influence on rock music in the early 70s; so many of their songs are instantly recognisable on classic hits and rock stations. Strongly influenced by fellow British bands of previous eras, such as the Beatles, the Kinks and the Who, their music also had strong blues undertones from his namesake Muddy Waters and his contemporaries. This is a live recording of a Pink Floyd classic from his “2010 The Wall Tour” (someone correct me if i’m wrong)…

PS: Another full blog is currently under construction; aiming for publication next Tuesday!

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Happy Birthday, Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World | Brain Pickings

Happy Tuesday!

I stumbled upon this on one of my favourite websites a couple of weeks back. Even although the event has past, still an opportunity to celebrate one of the richest voices recorded. Like sipping warm milk in a mahogany lined bathtub. It’s a lovely clip of a one of the great singers…

Happy Birthday, Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World | Brain Pickings.

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Asking the big questions.

It is a question for the ages.  Fred Flintstone got the ball rolling while discussing the philosophical merits with his pal Barney over a stack of smoky barbecue spare ribs from Bedrock’s finest: Bronto Burgers and Ribs. Isaac Newton discovered … Continue reading

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Birth of an Idea

Creativity makes us human. More than any other species, it is our ability to adapt in a wide variety of environments that makes us so dominant. It is our ability to think and look beyond the boundaries of the norm … Continue reading

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