widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Milking Hedgehogs for their Heroin

Current mood: Cultured

I have been trying to catch up on my book reading and DVD watching in an effort to make myself seem more cultured (and also in order to be able return the various items of culture that I have borrowed and have been in my possession for the best part of a year) and inspired by the crab system of reviewing I will unload my thoughts on some of that stuff here.

Jerry Springer the Opera by Richard Thomas & Stewart Lee
I bought this for my brother for his birthday, but have decided to steal it and watch it before he is able. When I first heard of this a few years ago I was mildly intrigued, but thought it was probably a cashing-in exercise that was as morally & culturally bankrupt as it's inspiration (see, that's three 'culture's already, I must be it, cultured, that is, ooh look there's another one). Had I realised who was behind it from the start, or even actually watched it, I'm sure my thoughts would have been different. But as it is I refused to see it even as it was being broadcast on telly last(?) Christmas, although all those Daily Mail death threats should have been another pointer to its greatness. The creators have managed to turn a hideous yet entertaining car crash of a show that reveals our society's worst excesses (bar what we find on the evil Jeremy Kyle's freak show) into a very funny, thought provoking and bizarrely existential piece of contemporary musical theatre. Not that I am the best judge, having very little (or, indeed, no) experience in that area (ooh, bugger, I have revealed my unculturedness), but I enjoyed it very much.

The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinburg
This book was brought to my attention by comedian Rob Newman, after seeing him live last year with Mark Thomas, and was bought for my birthday by a mate. It's a very enlightening, but ultimately scary read, that is if you believe everything written in this book, which I pretty much do. The evidence seems robust and I think it's pretty much impossible to overestimate the industrialised nations and multinational corporations' ability to focus on short-term profits and ignore long-term planning and the consequences of their actions.
The Gist:
1. The Earth's energy-rich resources (most specifically oil) are running out. Or at least reaching a peak of extraction whilst our energy consumption is still increasing.
2. We've left it a bit late to explore the alternatives (like wind, solar, hydrogen, etc.) without some huge lifestyle changes.
3. Oh shit.
The silver lining is that eventually we'll probably live in a happier, more fulfilling, less consumer-based society, BUT it's going to get worse before it gets better. Suddenly I feel vindicated that I've never bothered to learn to drive. If I didn't already not want to bring children into this world (because I despise them & they serve no useful purpose, except for objects of ridicule) this book would make me think again. Well, at least it means that there'll be less energy to run computers, we'll have to go back to good old pen & paper and you'll be spared from having to read this word-baloney on a regular basis.

Phew, to bring my system back to it's content & unthinking equilibrium I may need to embark on a week-long Hollyoaks & Abba binge.

Currently listening: Rather Ripped by Sonic Youth


Blogger AlphIANo said...

Ooh, nice and actually informative reviews, the book sounds really good.

Although I noticed no crabs out of any crabs on the review front - sloppy. In fact, I've just patented crabs, get yer own system!

Seriously, nice post, good to know our future is "oh shit!"

3:39 am

Blogger Jenniedee said...

Well, hark at you sounding all intellectual and cawchered, like!

After such a promising title, it's a shame to know we're all "fucked" as you so elegantly mentioned yesterday... or are hedgehogs the answer to saving the world's resources...and Jerry Springer lovers??

5:51 pm


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