Archive for July 9th, 2008

Jul 09 2008

Blood…Blood…Blood

Published by under Blog

Well, if Ray Foley can nick stuff from me, I can nick stuff from him.

This had me laughing so hard I shed a little tear. Parents may be cruel, but they are comic geniuses for uploading this video:

4 responses so far

Jul 09 2008

We’re Off For A Delightful Weekend

Published by under Blog,Music

Woohoo! Well, we’ve got our tickets and we’ll be off to Oxegen. This is my first festival ever, so I’m very excited. Giddy, even!

So, I collected our tickets this evening (thank you again, Sir). That’s all we need, right? Our tickets, yeah? Nothing else?

I mean, obviously we’ll get a tent. And a big load of toilet roll. Obviously! But that’s it yeah?

Spare clothes? Sure, it’s a festival – we can wear the same ones all weekend. Wait! Rain! Okay, so I’ll bring a spare shirt and tie. I’ll pack two pairs of canvas runners, in case one pair get a little damp. Some spare socks maybe? Nah – they take up too much space.

I guess I’ll bring my iPod, just in case there’s no good music for a little while. It’ll be safe enough I’m sure. I’ll just make sure to keep it beside my tent, so I know where it is. Same for my laptop, of course.

But that’s it, right? I don’t need anything else. Should we bring a few bottles of Heineken? I guess they’ll have some good trendy bars and they’ll probably have table service at some of the venues? Do we need to get to each venue early to get a good seat? I’m sure someone will move if I ask them politely.

I just Googled festival and got some wonderful pictures from the Henley Festival which is also running this weekend. I assume it’s something similar.

I’m really looking forward to it and Lottie is going to look beautiful in her ballgown.

But if anyone does have any advice for festival newbies, please leave a comment or two below. Seriously, please help!

19 responses so far

Jul 09 2008

It’s All Me Me Meme…

Published by under Blog

Mr. B’dum B’dum over at Positive Boredom has thrown down the gauntlet in the form of the latest Meme. It originated with Keiron.

Appropriately it’s called Getting Your Goat.

The rules are simple enough:

  1. List two things that irritate you for a reason (and list the reason!), and two things that irritate you for no apparent reason whatsoever!!!!!!
  2. Give credit to the person who tagged you.
  3. Link your answers to the original blog, that’s here (http://www.skillett.com)!
  4. Tag four new people to participate.

1. Two Things That Irritate You For A Reason

People who don’t speak English who work in the service industry. I know for a fact I’m not alone in this irritation. Just this morning, in fact, I was in the coffee shop and ordered two croissants, a cappuccino and a low fat latte. I am fairly well spoken (unless I’d had a few drinks and my Wickla accent comes to the surface – but I assure you I have not been drinking this morning) and I was very clear about my order, but still she managed to hand me one croissant and…and nothing…that’s it! I tried again and she managed to get me a second croissant and one cappuccino. I tried a third time, but one of her colleagues (an English speaking Pole) got angry with her and told her to do something else while she made the low fat latte.

This is becoming a daily occurance now though. Regardless where I go in Dublin, I am faced with having to explain myself in very slow and very simple terms. It’s both frustrating and embarassing. And it’s not confined to Dublin. In Clare over the weekend I was unable to order a pineapple juice for my brother. The girl didn’t understand what I was asking for. She had to go ask her boss what PIE-ALPEN was. I assure you I pronounced it PINE-APPLE, although Pie-Alpen does sound intriguing.

My second, with reason, is Umbrellas. I had chosen this before I realised Grandad had already moaned about them, but I think it worth mentioning again. I am not six foot tall and yet so many morons and their brollies still manage to poke my eyes, my ears, my nose…last week someone poked me in the ass with their umbrella while trying to get it up. If I was a violent person, he’s never be able to get it up again.

I have actually sustained injuries because tiny little women scuttle around with gigantic golfing umbrellas (they call them GOLFING umbrellas for a reason) can’t see anything around them. I try, I really try to walk around these idiots but sure as I avoid one, there’s another parasoled fool ready in waiting to stab me.

And the most irritating of them, is those umbrella wielding reprobates who insist on upping their weapons during a light drizzle. God forbid they get their €270 Peter Mark hairstyles damp.

2. Two Things That Irritate Me For No Reason

Television adverts with fabric as real people. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but those stupid, creepy, stomach churning Comfort adverts really annoy me. I have to turn the TV off when they come on. They wreck my head. It’s probably connected with my hatred for those Mr Soft mint ads. God they may me feel ill. Feck, I can barely watch it now on YouTube:

Another thing that irritates me and I’m not entirely sure why is large, flowery, excessive women’s hats at weddings or racing event, etc. There’s so many things about fashion that could drive me mad, so many psychedelic shirts and hawiian trousers that could get my goat, but no, it’s those freaky-ass hats that make me want to hurt someone. No idea why!

So, what now? Ah yes, passing on the memery: let’s see if Jo wants to take it on; maybe Darragh (the other one) will take it on; I hope David will give it a go, assuming he’s recovered from his disappointment (sorry about that, Dude); and I wonder if the ever-positive Ken would share his quirks with us?

17 responses so far

Jul 09 2008

Overlooked Classics: Shattered Glass

Published by under Blog,Movie Review,Movies

Stephen GlassTen years ago, The New Republic magazine, reportedly the inflight magazine of Air Force One, published an issue which contained the now infamous Stephen Glass article, Hack Heaven. The article, a clever coup for such a young journalist (aged 26), told the story of a young hacker who, instead of being sued, is hired by Jukt Micronics after he successfully hacked their system. The kid becomes wealthy overnight and even has his own agent. The story is a sensation and Glass confirmed his status as a great journalist within the close-knit group at The New Republic.

It was then that he began to gain attention from his rivals at Forbes Digital, a technology webzine. Annoyed at being scooped by The New Republic, and in an effort to do a follow up story, Adam Penenberg of Forbes began fact checking Glass‘s article and immediately began to see holes. He could find no existence of Jukt Micronics, nor the wealthy hacker or his manager. Thinking he had discovered that the great New Republic had been duped, he got very excited about this new story and went about contacting Charles ‘Chuck’ Lane, editor of New Republic. From this point on things begin to unravel for Glass as he is unable to sufficiently answer any of the questions posed to him about the origins and veracity of his article. In a very short space of time Lane confronts Glass over this story and others he has written both during Lane‘s tenure and during the tenure of Michael Kelly, the previous editor. It becomes apparent that many of the facts in Glass‘s articles have been fabricated and in even more cases the entire stories were fiction. The acclaimed New Republic had been publishing fictitious articles and the scandal was about to break.

True Story

The true story of the events of Stephen Glass and The New Republic magazine are now legendary and is a cautionary tale for modern news publishers everywhere. Director and writer Billy Ray did an incredible job of bringing this incendiary story to the big screen. His first foray into directing will guarantee him a bright and strong future in the field.

Looking at the story, firstly: it is a tale that is well known and though the final moment, where the full extent of Glass‘s lies is revealed, is completely inevitable, Billy Ray managed to tell the story with nail-biting suspense, wringing every bit of juice from the story without dragging it out. From the hopeful open scenes, where Glass, in ‘flashback’, is lecturing to a class of student journalists, through to his first errors where he uses his amiable boylike charm to squirm out of difficulty, on to his final admissions of guilt, harangued from him by Lane, a man in a highly unenviable position, the story plays out with pace and style reminiscent of All The Presidents Men, a film which is seen by many as the quintessential movie about journalistic integrity.

Hayden ChristensenRay‘s direction is impeccable as he draws us into the story in such a way that we truly care for every character in it. His sparse use of music and the ease at which he allows scenes to unravel without forcing the point, particularly when showing us Penenberg and Forbe‘s side of the story, makes this movie artistically beautiful, without losing any of the entertainment value and pace needed to keep us on the edge of our seats.

But it is his casting that his genius shines: in the hands of George Lucas, Hayden Christensen is a wooden puppet, but as Stephen Glass he is sensational, balancing upon the high wire act of maintaining his golden boy image while the fraudulent weasel hides beneath. Remarkably, though surrounded by some very likeable characters who Glass lies to and manipulates, the true genius of this movie lies in the fact that we are rooting for Glass right the way to the end. It’s impossible not to like Christensen‘s heavily flawed anti-hero.

And his co-stars are equally impressive. Chloë Sevigny, as Caitlin Avery, is almost a big sister to Glass, protecting him from criticism, while criticising him herself for being so modest and not demanding more respect from those around him. She has been completely taken in by his charm and her eventual let down is beautifully emotional.

Steve Zahn as Penenberg and Rosario Dawson as his cut-throat colleague, Andy Fox, are the movie’s examples of ‘real’ journalists, who chase stories, demand credit and dispense with the niceties when a story is breaking. They not only further the plot, but also provide an excellent contrast to Glass‘s goody-two-shoes attitude. One suspects that if he had been working at Forbes Digital, they would have seen through him far sooner.

Peter SarsgaardBut huge credit must be given to Peter Sarsgaard for his role as Chuck Lane, who takes over from his predecessor (Michael Kelly, played by a very solid Hank Azaria) at a time when the magazine is resenting the hierarchy who are demanding big changes from its writers. Where Kelly was willing to lose his job to defend his staff, Lane is seen as a backstabber, walking over Kelly‘s still warm grave. Throughout the film, we are presented with his story, as much as Glass‘s, as we are shown his emotional turmoil, the pressure he is receiving from above as well as the disdain he receives from his staffers. As he is being tugged from all sides, he must then uncover the truth behind Glass‘s lies and save the magazine’s reputation. He has a number of wonderful scenes in the latter half of the movie, including one particularly moving moment in the closing minutes of the film. An Oscar worthy performance.

Christensen/Glass

The negatives in this movie are not numerous. Glass‘s good boy image is perhaps a little fake and the narrative structure based around his lecture to journalism students is not required. It seems to take us away from the story rather than further it. Although, the irony of Stephen Glass lecturing students on journalistic integrity is clever – it is a joke that quickly wears thin.

Additionally, it might have been interesting to see some of his other faked articles explored onscreen, but this is not a real negative – it is more a testament to how well the stories Hack Heaven and Spring Breakdown play out.

Released in 2004 (2003 in the US), Shattered Glass went mostly overlooked by the public though received wide critical praise. If it’s only success was to show that Hayden Christensen was hiding some great acting talent, then this film should be heralded. But it did so much more – it is a dramatic piece about integrity without ever becoming preachy; it is emotional without falling into the love story trap or slipping down the slopes of sop; it tells a well known story with such tension and pace that I found myself on the edge of my seat, even though I knew how it would end. Director Billy Ray has created a classic movie that will be watched by film students and potential journalists for years to come.

Previous Posts:

Overlooked Classics: The Hudsucker Proxy

Overlooked Classics: Dolores Claiborne

9 responses so far