All posts by CJ

Le weekend de CJ

Friday: Took in a gig at Henry’s Cellar Bar. The opening set from Carla Bozulich and avant-garde drummer Chris Corsano was my favourite.  Got to sit at a table and still see the band- perfect, I hate standing unless I’m dancing. The second set by Rashomon, just a guy and his guitar and pedals, made both Paul and I think of Stu.

On Saturday I went to stuff my gob full of yummy, spicy, cheesy Mexican food at Coconut Grove with not one but four Mozellis in honour of our Paolo’s birthday. Was not nearly as frightening as I expected as all Mozellis are lovely.

Sunday: Back home to screen my own double bill of O Lucky Man! (1973) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). The first one, a sort-of sequel to If (1968) was 3 hours of disappointment. Michael Travis (Malcolm McDowell), the school boy revolutionary in If, is a few years older, working as a salesman for Imperial Coffee, and is a little cynical about it all (“Do you realise that this Nigerian coffee is being packed straight back to Nigeria?”). Promising, eh? It soon becomes apparent that Travis has lost his youthful idealism and decides to set off on a mission to make as much money as he possibly can (“Poor people are poor people and they don’t understand. A man’s got to make whatever he can and take it with his own hands,” sings the accompanying band.) Along the way he narrowly misses getting turned into a pig at some top secret government plant where he hands over his body to experiment for £150. He gets embroiled with the government of an African nation where he helps to ship off some poisonous substance to be blanket sprayed over the country as a cheap and clean way of killing off insurgents. Eventually he ends up volunteering at a soup kitchen in the East End of London. Lost? So was I.

Sunday night:  Back to P’s to meet Disco D; the chat started off with British cinema and ended up with the impossiblity of paying a gas bill, the ridiculous cost of trains, and the general state of the nation. This was a good point to shift to Opium where we could not really hear each other talk.

Ars moriendi

I’m aware that I have not written a proper post in ages as I seem to have been spending most of my free time doing Latin or moaning about having to do Latin (just ask Nat if you don’t believe me). I’m the only person left in the class who is not retired/ over 60 and who didn’t do Latin at school (they seem to remember everything even 40 years on!). They all spend several hours a day on Latin and I get left behind feeling a bit stupid. But I will not be defeated.goya_hell.jpg

Last weekend I had the good fortune of visiting Tate Liverpool on the final day of an exhibition of the work of Jake and Dinos Chapman (“Bad Art for Bad People“). I was quite impressed.

Good art: Some reworkings of Goya’s Disasters of War etchings and some sculptural “hellscapes”. Severed limbs, decapitated bodies, McDodonaldses and swastikas aplenty. The exhibition blurb didn’t add much. We are just drawn to the grim and the gory, end of story, no? Not so according to the free booklet I picked up on the way out: “Through an aesthetics of horror and disgust, they deal with the instability of moral and ideological belief systems, particularly those founded on eighteenth century Englightenment thought, Christianity or consumerism.” Well there you go.

Bad Art: Distorted dolls, genitals in the place of facial features: yawn. Freudian trash. Hans Bellmer was doing similar things to dolls in the 1930s.

And in the news, Jean Baudrillard has simulated his own death : (.

Flatmate required asap

To share with one CJ, one Nat and one boy in lovely-ish Morningside flat. As no one wants us so far we will consider almost anyone. Flat is a bit expensive but you will be sharing your room with a boiler (nice n cosy) and the tramp resident on the stairwell is always happy to point you in the direction of the latest local booze offers.

Please get in touch with one of us asap if you are interested.

x CJ


Congratulations to Jessica who is going to be working at the same place as this archive! Was I seething with envy, did I have to go for a walk cos I was too excited to stay at my desk, even though it's not even me?

Welcome to TF. We need some more archivists around here ; )


My Bloginality is INTP.

ETA. I've just noticed how old this is. Perhaps it is a symptom of my absent mindedness that it has taken me til 2006 to discover personality tests.

I think INTP might be another word for geek (or would that be nerd?)


The map exhibition was everything it promised to be and more. I went three times in one week. Yes, that does make me feel a bit sad but I doubt I'm going to be back again before it closes in March. The first time we were kicked out because it was closing time, the second time my visit was tragically curtailed by a fire alarm, and the third time I went alone with plenty of time to spare for unforeseen mishaps.

I would recommend going alone unless you a) have a like-minded friend or b) want to filter out unsuitable dates. My perfect man would clearly be able to last at least three hours at a map exhibition without complaining about boredom or threatening to drop dead with some mysterious malady.

Behold this map of 1593. Prior to the Great Fire of 1666 London is but a slip of a town and London Bridge is the only bridge to cross the Thames.

In 1593 bubonic plague is ravishing London, Shakespeare is writing The Taming of the Shrew, the original Globe Theatre is yet to be built.

Bored yet?

A small petition

I was told that I was obliged to go into an internet cafe and post on TF even when I was on holiday.

However, consider this imaginary variation of a likely scenario:

Two youngish people, CJ and Travelling Companion (TC) are standing outside an internet cafe somewhere in Paris.

CJ: Do you mind if I pop in here to update the folk at TF?

TC: TF, what on earth is that?

CJ: Taking Fire, it's well, sort of, a blog.

TC: Oh, I didn't know you had a blog..

CJ: Well, it's more of a group blog.

TC: That sounds cool, what's the URL so that I can look it up when I get home?

CJ: It's aaronbelldotorg

TC: That doesn't sound like a group blog. Who is this Aaron Bell and why do you have to  post on his website?

CJ: Em.. [sighs]

TC: Wait a minute, 5 euros an hour, we could almost buy a Parisian pint with that.

CJ: Good point!

The pair stumble off and continue their vain attempt to locate a 'rock bar' in Paris. 

So, how's about it? A new URL to reflect the flourishing group dynamic that will surely ensue. I'm told this website used to be good, so why not make it even better?

Here ends the petitioner's petition.

My missing post

There's nothing I hate more than having to rewrite something that I've already written, but it happens all the time due to my bloody ineptitude. (It was meant to be on this thread).

I don't think I said anything about the departure of our good friend. There was no apology for turning up at a party empty handed, drinking all the drinks, not writing in the special book, not taking any polaroids, and not helping to tidy up despite being one of the last guests to leave.

I did witter on about ArcMap and clever stuff that I can do with old and new maps.

And an exhibition I really want to see.

And the statistical chances of surviving a night on a park bench in Paris at the beginning of December.

The human memory is a completely unreliable record.. it can be corrupted, augmented, and voluntarily (or involuntarily) deleted. Does anyone know if witness statements are trusted as evidence in the absence of material or circumstantial evidence?

I can't be bovvered working today I'm too excited.