Monday, 25 February 2013

A story about Alaskan King Crabs

This is what it says it is. Originally written for my friend Pasha, but y'all get to enjoy it too. 

 “I declared war on the Alaskan king crab the day it took my dad. It took many people that year, crab fishing. The most dangerous job in the US, apparently (I'd like to see what the drug mules make of that). At the time, I didn't care. I wasn't ready for the 40 hour fishing trips, miles from port. The Ice, the Wind, the Waves destroying everything you thought you knew. I just wanted to say I had killed an Alaskan king crab.

I had killed hundreds of pounds of crab before I saw it. The King of king crabs. The white crab. We hauled up the traps, one tonne each, as usual. As usual, pitiful catch. Fucking Russians. They'd been exploiting our waters again nothing but kelp and water flooding down.

But in the corner, a monster lurked. Huge, all of them are huge, but this one had a Hugeness to its huge, a fixed point of hugeness. And the colour, the shining white, whiter than the expanse of clouds above us. This was the Moby Dick of crabs.

We heaved the traps upwards and inwards to our boat. Hydraulics screaming. We fell back as the monster fell out. It pulled itself out of our cage and bolted across our boat. Loose crabs are dangerous, ask anyone in this town.”

I knew this already, I had asked the bartender who had given me my first lukewarm beer of the night what happened to her three-fingered hand. She replied with “crabs” and I had to choke back laughter over images of carnivorous pubic lice. I'm new here.

“It didn't scurry like the over crabs do. It sauntered with a purpose. It owned the boat, and people in it. I swear to sweet Jesus it reared like a horse as it came past me. It leered at me. None of us touched it. We could have ended it there and then. We didn't. The bastard simply jumped back in the sea.

It was like coming out of a trance. The imagined silence was broken and our crab was gone. We've been looking for it ever since, and we need more men.”

The end of his speech was like coming out of a fucking trance, the guy's mad, but we're all mad, and I'm a little drunk. “Yes.” 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Books/Films in January

Here we go. 2013: A knowledge Odyssey. (Yeah man, getting all pretentious up in here.) Let's start before I break anymore grammatical laws:


Books:

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
Basically, humanity is evil. So there's this guy, wants to make his name in the world, goes to Congo (because YOLO) driving river barges, all kinds of problems arise. Locals decide they don't like these pretentious steamboats, the steamboats decide they like sinking etc, etc. Anyway, Kurtz, this amazing centre-of-your-universe guy (and ivory trader), has gone crazy, has given himself to his/humanity's "heart of darkness". THE HORROR, THE HORROR. So y'know, it's pretty good. You should read it.

The World's Wife by Carol-Ann Duffy
(AKA "that dumb lesbian") Look, I like Duffy. Ite. These poems are good. They're accessible, they're witty, funny, actually vaguely relevant to life. It's all good maaaaaaan.

Fade by Robert Cromier 
This was a weird and disturbing book about a kid who can turn himself invisible. Basically, everyone he knows has terrible secrets. TWINCEST. And he's in love with aunt. Like, properly in love with her. It's compulsive reading, you don't want to, it's a kind of horrible book, but it comes off. Oh, and I knew what to expect, I've read other Cromier books, man's messed up. In a good way. Probably.

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
Classics, bro. I love that I can get an A-level in this craziness. So Oedipus, kills his dad, shags his mum (has four weird sibling-children with her as well), but he doesn't know it yet. He spends pretty much the whole play making things worse for himself, then works out he's the killer and gouges his own eyes out. FUN FUN FUN. It's a play, so you should go see it, don't read it. Unless you're studying it. Then you should probably read it.

A Very Short Introduction to Geopolitics by Klaus Dodds
It may say it's very short, but this is so tediously written it may as well be the size of the freakin' bible. IT SITES WIKIPEDIA AS A SOURCE. Mate, I don't do that anymore and I'm a child. Please. Also, it was written in 2007, not long ago, but in terms of geopolitics that is fifty thousand years. No green revolution, no arab spring, no Obama, no South Sudan, etc. etc.

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho 
Damn, this book was bad. So some random Slovene decides to die because she's going to get old. COOL STORY BRO. Then she wakes up, falls for some random Brazilian (oooh, is that you in disguise Paulo? Oh, wait, you already used yourself as a character in this book because you're a dickhead). Then she's found love and decides she doesn't want to die. COOL STORY BRO. Basically, in case Drake hasn't properly drilled it into you, You Only Live Once, so don't waste your time reading this pile of steaming bollocks. Or you can, whatever, peace love and understanding.


Films

Beginners
Ewan MacGreggor is sad. His Dad has died, so fair enough (especially when your Dad is as much of a boss as Christopher Plummer) but then he falls for a random, mute girl at a party (it is Melanie Laurent, so fair enough. I may also be slightly in love with her). Things go well, things go badly, the dog has subtitles, life goes on. It was good, though not exceptional, and I reckon Plummer only won the oscar for it cause he gon' die and they don't want a Richard Burton situation on their hands (look it up, Burton's an absolute ledge). 

Apocalpyto  
Freakin' badass man. Yeah, Mel Gibson is a dick, but this is still a good movie. C'mon how many movies do you know featuring Mayans? And how badass were Mayans? 'Xactly. And the main actor, Rudy Youngblood, is really good in this, and I wish it was possible for him to have a film career, but apparently that's not allowed. Peak times bro. Watching this film is like actually being transported back to those times, it's mad. 

Timecrimes
Weird, low budget, Spanish, mind-fucky, time travel film. If that doesn't put you off, then you should totally watch it. Solid performances, a good idea, well carried out. Worth watching. 

Les Miserables
REALLY? REALLY? Ok, so there were eight things I liked. Here they are:

  1. That song "at the end of the day it's another day over"
  2. "CAN YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING, SINGING THE SONGS OF ANGRY MEN?!"
  3. That first song by the crazy innkeepers
  4. That second song by the crazy innkeepers
  5. That random trampy kid
  6. Eponine was hawt
  7. The *CRACK* Sound effect (if you've seen it, you know what I mean)
  8. Anne Hathaway was actually good (it almost pains me to admit it)
That adds up to about half an hour. THE PIECE OF STEAMING OSCAR CRAP LASTS FOR TWO AND A HALF HOURS. It's a musical that takes itself seriously. Ain't nobody got time for that. 

Blood Simple
Now this is my kind of film. A twisty, twisted neo-noir mystery, that involves a guy being kicked very hard in balls. Good. Oh, and it's the Coen brothers' first film. So there. Watch this instead. 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Now this is how you do a musical. It's freaking funny, it's not up it's own arse, and it manages to raise actual questions while still being tongue-in-cheek. Also; Jane Russell. Not just Jane Russell, also Marilyn Monroe. So yeah, this film wins the January battle of the musicals. And I don't even like musicals! (You can add this to the list of musicals I like. Singing in the Rain and this.)