Archive for February, 2007


Shakespearian Slaughter

When you attend high school in Grong its very normal to attend at a play in the first year. Going to the theatre isn’t very popular among students and for most of them this is a once in a lifetime experience. My class went to see “King Lear”, written by William Shakespeare.

The play was staged at “Trøndelag Teater” in Trondheim and had a total length of approximately three hours. It was divided into two parts, the first one being considerably longer than the other. My experience with Shakespeare is limited to say the least. I’ve been meaning to read some of his work but somehow things got in the way and my ambition was crushed (not that I was particularly saddened by that fact). I’ve of course watched “Romeo&Juliet”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, and have also watched the better part of “The Merchant from Venice”, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, and I liked them both in a very peculiar way. The plot and problems seemed o.k. enough but nothing that can be described as groundbreaking today. In the 16th century I’m sure that people were shaking their heads in admiration and what not and that it’s Shakespeare who has been copied – not the other way around, but for me I it did not come as something new. What I did love was the dialogue and his beautiful prose. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever encountered. His words are like good candy – you always take pause and linger with their smell and taste.

The same goes for “King Lear”. The plot and problems didn’t interest me much, but the dialogue was impeccable. I’ve only attended two adult plays beforehand, and I therefore lack the experience with the old fashioned type of storytelling. This resulted in me having to concentrate very hard on divining the meaning behind the colourful language and at the same time cope with plot-twists that seemed more often than not very irrational for me as a modern teenager.

“King Lear” is set in 16th century (I presume) and revolves around the consequences of King Lear’s decision to divide his country into three parts – one for each daughter. The only thing he want’s in return is the title of “king” and the right to free household for him and his hundred men. This sounds quite okay, if not a little illogical, but problems swiftly arise. King Lear demands that the the daughter who loves him the most shall get more land the others, and thus he starts a lying contest between the siblings. The two oldest ones are greedy and not true of heart and they tell him that they love him and nothing else, but he youngest daughter, and the one closest to King Lear’s heart, cannot partake in such sins and tells him only the truth; that she loves him as much as duty commands. King Lear, who is old but not yet wise, gets furious and dismisses all kinship to the daughter and splits the country in two.

But therin lies the rub. The two daughters dislikes the way King Lear and his men behaves and decides to betray him in the foulest ways. The theme of this play is treason and betrayal – and it was wonderfully conveyed and portrayed. The actors were good and I understood what was happening all the time, but what I lacked was commitment and connection with the main characther, King Lear. I left the theatre with mixed emotions and looking back I must admit that “King Lear” did not live up to my expectations. I’m recommending it, ’cause I feel that I’m too young to fully understand it. One thing is for sure; this was not the last time I went to the theatre

I’m raping Ian Dowie’s famous phrase for the sake of a very cool title. Hopefully he won’t take offence at this evil deed and rather see the purpose with taking his football-phrase and giving it a new meaning. The last week has gone by without much Lotta-ference (a.k.a. I haven’t had the chance to pester you with my opinions and what not). I’m sure that it’s been dreadfully dreary and that you’re all looking forward to my comeback. I’m coming back from my trip, and, no; not an acid trip or something equally ill-considered, but my Big-Cities-Tour-de-Force. The streets of Trondheim and Oslo will never be the same again after I was there, blessing them with my presence. It’ll be like summer came and went and everyone kept wearing their winter clothing, blissfully unaware of their surroundings.

But now I’m back and I’m ready to rumble. I’ve loaded up on books, TV-shows and cultural events and I’m ready to share the wealth with you very soon. I confess I could write one very long and eventually boring post which dealt with every aspect of the trip. This course of action would at least point out the most efficient way – so I’m leaning against it. The comeback posts will consists of these themes and they will hopefully be posted sooner than later. I will not rest till you have the full account of my journey (This is an overstatement, but it gets my point across).

To sum up: Lot’s of goodness awaits Thee, including Shakespearian Slaughter, Bendable Buffy, and Books in Plenty.

Arsenal-Chelsea 1-2

As requested, I’m posting this little post of misery so everyone who don’t support Arsenal can gloat and do their pesky victory dances, while I’m browsing through the kitchen cabinet – looking for a suitable knife.

It’s not like we didn’t deserve to lose. We fielded a team who a are light years behind Chelsea in experience, if not in quality. This is not an excuse, ’cause I feel like it was a close match that could have gone either way. By my accounts that was what tipped the scales. Much can be said about the Wenger’s decisions, but I can’t really criticize him. He had to play the youngsters, and it nearly worked. Hadn’t it been for Cech and Drogba I’d have said that our team was stronger than Chelsea’s.

There were three interesting situations in the match, the happy one being Theo Walcott’s first goal for Arsenal, and the rest sad incidents that shouldn’t have occurred. I’m very sorry for John Terry and quite mad at Abou Diaby. Football is important, but you don’t go around nearly killing people for it. I know it was an accident, but shit like that has no place on a football field.

The meleê at the end of the match was uncalled for and of course very silly. It seems like Adebayor didn’t deserve the iniatal red card, but his behaviour post-booking is more than deserving.

To sum up: Congrat’s Chelsea. Even though we were more deserving we didn’t win, cause like life – football ain’t fair. We’ll get you the next time around.

I’m taking off tomorrow morning and will most probably not find a Internet connection before Sunday. The reason for this is the aforementioned “Trondheim-Oslo”-tour, which starts out as a school trip to Trondheim so that my class and I may watch “King Lear”, a play written by a nobody that went by the name of Shakespeare. I’ll also be attending several educational centres. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood; I’ll be the one standing at back, pretending not give a damn, but in fact listening intently. It’s all an act, even when I’m not watching plays ;)

The Apocalypse will have to take a breather in the meantime. But don’t despair – I’m sure you’ll find some other place to waste your precious time. Me; I’ll be hanging around in the big city, checking out every bookstore and fish-tackle shop in sight. I’m planning on hitting the cinema in both Trondheim and Oslo. The preliminary pickings are “The Last King of Scotland”, and if it’s available, “Blood Diamond”.

I’m not a big shopper and my sister has informed me that there aren’t all that much going on this weekend in Oslo. We’ll probably end up watching TV, eating snacks and strolling around without purpose. I do have some shopping plans, though. There are several book shops that I’m looking forward to scroll through, and I’ll most likely end up with buying more than what’s reasonable and planned out. I want a new belt, since I lost my old one, and I just have to find some proper headphones, ’cause the pair I’m using now must be intended for deaf people – you can’t hear a god damned thing with them. “Wolfmother” and “the White Stripes” just ain’t the same when you can’t hear them playing…

A fun fact for the road: I’m getting “Buffy – Season 2″ tomorrow, I’m picking up season 5 and season 1 of a HBO show named “The Wire” at my sisters place. And if everything goes according to plan; I might even get my hands on some “Firefly” seasons. Add this to Terje’s standing offer to burn every remaining “Angel” and “Buffy” season, pluss maybe some “Veronica Mars”, I might… ! … have enough to occupy my mind for the next couple of weeks.

Cheerio, then! See you guys later.

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later, but I’d have preferred later. Our very first defeat of the year came against PSV, and even though it wasn’t deserved, ’cause we were better then them, you could see it coming a long way down the road. It just wasn’t our night, which isn’t all that weird considering that Fabregas and Henry had crappy games (and lets not get started with Hleb), and they’re more than essential to our game.

You know how they say that everything is balanced? For every good thing that happens to you, something equally bad occurs later on. Tuesdays defeat was of that kind. RBK won their first real training match of the year, I got a 6 on my Math test and Wednesdays test (which would be today) was postponed till after the vacation. Do I wish it had been the other way around? No, I really don’t, and that’s not ’cause I’m a selfish bastard; I have strong faith in our team and believe we will whack PSV out of Emirates Stadium for the return match.

The Norwegian referee, Øvrebø, had a great game. Even I couldn’t find anything wrong with PSV’s goal, and I tried really hard… A spotless performance by him. Congrat’s!

America; I’m sorry!

It was late last night that sat down to watch ”World Trade Centre”, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Nicholas Cage. I can’t remember if I’ve watched a better film in 2007, ‘cause this one made a mark upon my soul that won’t come off easily. I expected a cheesy, American film which celebrates its heroes ‘till you want to puke. There’s been made more than the fair share of those, but that description doesn’t exactly fit Oliver Stone’s newest masterpiece. The imagery was probably some of the strongest I have ever seen and it really, really made you feel for the characters. Don’t dismiss this film as American rubbish – it was far from it.

My TV doesn’t really have the world’s best audio equipment and the connection between the DVD player and the TV has been on and off for the last couple o’ months. It’s one of those things that you promise to mend later, but end up putting off indefinitely. Half past eleven yesterday evening enough had become enough and a search party for a new scart-cabel was sent (consisting of yours truly). After some unnecessary, but heartfelt cursing, I was ready to enjoy WTC. Or… enjoy is not the correct adjective for the occasion, “experience” is.

The film starts early morning on the September11th, 2001. The cop, Jimeno, has just arrived at work and started his patrol rounds with his partner, Dominic. All is well in New York, ’till he sees a great shadow pass over him and seconds later a chrashing boom ring coming from ground Zero. Jimeno is part of the task force named “first-responders” and he hurries down to the site with the rest of the force. He and his “Sarge”, played by The Cage’r, decides to go up the tower number 1 (they only have confirmation at that point that one tower has been hit), but in their hunt for oxygen tanks, something devastating happens. The tower’s collapse, and with them collapses the underground passageways between them. Jimeno and his Sarge manages to throw themselves into the elevator shaft (’cause that’s the strongest part of the building) and survives the catastrophe, buried 20 feet and more into the rubble.

From there on the story revolves around the lives and families of Jimeno and his Sarge. We the bravery of the rescue-men, the utter, utter hell that was 9/11. You hear the term “heartfelt” being used about every goddamn romantic comedy and what not, but they don’t even compare to the emotions that WTC managed to convey. I actually cried for the families and the two survivors several times, and people: I don’t cry much. I can’t even remember the last time that happened to me, so this was just heartbreakingly delightful.

Nevermore will I criticize Americans or think that they are overreacting. I loved this film, but not in the way that will make me want to watch it again. It’s a real masterpiece and it deserves to be watched. 6/6, and I recommend it.

*Note: I’ve changed my grading-scale for films to the more conventional and popular “/6″-scale. The reasons for this are simple: It gives me the opportunity to hand out top grades, which I rarely do when I’m operating with a /10-scale, and I find it easier to set the grade as well. I guess I’m a little bit shallow that way :)

I Try not to Judge

I just discovered that Tom Henning Øvrebø will be refereeing Tuesdays clash between Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven. I mentioning it because the last two games that Arsenal have played (excluding the away-win at Reebook) has been riddled by bad refereeing (the keywords here are: “Aliadiere”, “Penalty” and “You must be fucking kidding me, referee!?”), and if any Norwegian is up to the task, it’s Øvrebø. Be that as it may; only God or Scott Lynch or any other such divine character should ever be appointed Arsenal, Øvrebø, I suppose, is the next best thing. At best I’m sure he’ll not make a fool out of himself, i.e. giving PSV any form for free kick , penalty or goals :)

I’m off to watch “World Trade Center”. See you guys tomorrow!

Christopher Moore is fellow I’ve been wanting to check out for quite some time now. This is supposed to be his funniest book ever and the “enjoyability” should align itself with “The Lies of Locke Lamora”, which is more than enough praise to win me over. Wondering what the “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” is about? Let’s hear what Amazon has to say:

While the Bible may be the word of God, transcribed by divinely inspired men, it does not provide a full (or even partial) account of the life of Jesus Christ. Lucky for us that Christopher Moore presents a funny, lighthearted satire of the life of Christ–from his childhood days up to his crucifixion–in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. This clever novel is surely blasphemy to some, but to others it’s a coming-of-age story of the highest order.

Joshua (a.k.a. Jesus) knows he is unique and quite alone in his calling, but what exactly does his Father want of him? Taking liberties with ancient history, Moore works up an adventure tale as Biff and Joshua seek out the three wise men so that Joshua can better understand what he is supposed to do as Messiah. Biff, a capable sinner, tags along and gives Joshua ample opportunities to know the failings and weaknesses of being truly human. With a wit similar to Douglas Adams, Moore pulls no punches: a young Biff has the hots for Joshua’s mom, Mary, which doesn’t amuse Josh much: “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the Prince of Peace never struck anyone.” And the origin of the Easter Bunny is explained as a drunken Jesus gushes his affection for bunnies, declaring, “Henceforth and from now on, I decree that whenever something bad happens to me, there shall be bunnies around.”

Bunnies are essential, people. Don’t you ever forget that :)

Arsenal-Blackburn 0-0

sigh…

We should have won. But we didn’t. No excuses. Just sadness :(

sigh.

Yesterday evening I sat down with “Match Point”, starring in particular Scarlett Johansen and directed by Woody Allen. If she hadn’t been casted for this role I am certain that I wouldn’t even have considered buying this DVD, but as things stand I’m glad I did. “Match Point is a good romantic drama (tragedy?), but lacks many ingredients that would have made it great.

The story revolves around Chris, a retired tennis pro. He started out as a poor kid from Ireland and has worked his way up in the world. Now he’s acquired a job as a tennis coach in London, training rich people with too much time on their hands. Chris is interested in opera, so when one of his clients invites him to his family’s personal box, he accepts. It’s there that he meets his clients sister, and one things leads to another untill he’s standing in front of the alter with a ring on his hand. But all is not well in Chris’ world.

Tom, Chris’ client, has a beautiful fiancee, Nola (Scarlett Johansen). Nola’s trying very hard to make it as an acttress in London, but she all out of luck. Luck is a very important theme in this film. Chris might have been one of the best tennis players in the world if the balls had bounced his way some more. The image of a tennis ball hovering over the net is used several times. If it bounces one way; you win, if it bounces the other way; you lose. But which way is the lucky way is open to interpretation.

Chris becomes thoroughly infatuated in Nola, and she feels the same way about him. They lose themselves in each other’s lust, knowing full well that their relationship can only lead to catastrophe for them both. And it does.

My biggest problem with this film is that I couldn’t care for Chris’ situation. I just don’t rank his “big” problem as one worthy of making a film of. “Should I leave my wife, and everything thus losing my life as I know it, or should I stay with her, and have a mechanichal sex life?”. No, that just doesn’t fit the emotional ticket to my heart.

I, of course, started routing for Nola Rice. Scarlett Johansen is so heart-wrenchingly gorgeous that I’m know elevating her position to a place next to Alba and Beckinsale in the house of Living Angels. And the same should you, or you might just as well cut off your genitals and rename yourself Nancy. The keyword is sexy. I repeat; sexy.

For a long time I was considering giving this film a 3/6, but that was until the ending came around. It’s not mind blowing in any way, but the ending was in fact very brilliantly done. “Match Point” is a personal tragedy that won’t break your heart, but Nola Rice will. 4/6 and I am recommending it to anyone, but especially girls. To the male part of the audience I’ll disclose this juicy tidbit; there’s a scene with Chris and Nola and a bottle of oil. That’s worth anything :)

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