Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Book Review - 'On The Road'.

Book Review - 'On The Road'

'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac is probably one of the most quotable books I have read in a long time. I imagine that there are hundreds of people with Kerouac quotes tattooed on them somewhere and this doesn't surprise me because he is a master of one liners. On the face of it, 'On The Road' is basically a load of anecdotal stories about a group of friends going on road trips. In this sense, it reminded me a lot of 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas'. The stories are often crazy and flit between being funny and being sad. The characters in the novel (who are all based on real people) are all desperate to enjoy themselves and find the true essence of life but they are also tragic and this comes across often in their stories. 

It was a very good novel but not quite as incredible and life affirming as I expected it to be through its reputation. Problem is, I have heard Kerouac be compared to Charles Bukowski in similarity of style many times and Kerouac was nowhere near as poignant a commentator on the human condition as Bukowski was. However, what Kerouac was doing at the time was still pretty groundbreaking and his writing has actually stood the test of time well. There were times when I found it difficult to remind myself that 'On The Road' was published in the fifties because parts of it seemed so modern and relevant. 

That's the great thing about road stories. Nobody will ever get bored of the age old idea of someone going on a journey that is both literal and spiritual. I don't know if spiritual is actually the word I want but it's all I can think of right now so it will have to do. The novel is separated into five different parts and I feel the last two parts were by far the strongest. The story of their visit to Mexico is the craziest and this was when I feel the novel reached its full potential. I will read Kerouac again if only to experience more of those sublime one liners and wish that I was on a road trip with a bunch of people as crazy as those guys. I give it seven bananas out of ten. 


On a side note, here is a shameless plug for my own novel that I have self published. You can buy my novel here.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Bubble That Looks Like The Virgin Mary.

The Bubble That Looks Like The Virgin Mary

I read a lot of news articles on the internet. The two main news sites that I use on a daily basis are The Guardian and The Daily Mail. Why The Daily Mail? Well, despite largely being a crock of shit I like to see both liberal and right wing takes on current affairs (and their sports news is often quite good). I really am used to seeing quite stupid stories on The Daily Mail Website...but then I saw this one. 

Daily Mail Bubble Story.

Yep, a bubble that looks like the Virgin Mary. 

The first thing you will notice (as I noticed) is that the bubble looks absolutely fucking nothing like the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. I mean, is it just me or is that not even close? Seriously. I guess there is a very vague outline but basically if I took a few pictures of some bubbles I reckon at least one would look as much like the Virgin Mary as this one does. 

I would like to say this was on the tail-end of the website but it was quite high up and it was one of the stories that had a bold headline and a big picture to try and grab the readers attention. How bloody slow can a news day be? 

Can you find me an even more pointless news story? To be honest, I know you probably can. 

 The offending picture.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Stuff People Make Facebook Profiles For.

Stuff People Make Facebook Profiles For.

#1 - Cats, Dogs and other pets.

I've had a fair few friend requests from cats and dogs. Usually this bores me, however, now and again I have found myself thinking 'yeah, that dog is pretty funny, he deserves his own Facebook'. Of course, cute animals seem to be the second most popular thing on the internet after that thing they are trying to ban so it isn't that surprising. 

#2 - Stuffed toys. 

Also had a fair few friend requests from these. It usually seems to be a bit of a spur of the moment thing. They think it's a good idea, upload a few status updates from the perspective of the stuffed toy and then never touch it again. One of those Facebook friends you immediately delete when you're having a Facebook clear out. 

#3 - Toddlers/babies. 

At least making a profile for a pet or a toy is harmless. To me, there is something inherently odd about making a Facebook profile for a toddler. I had one contact who tried to send me a friend request from a profile they had made for their three year old. This profile had pictures, personal information and nonsensical writing supposedly bashed into the keyboard by the child that would say stuff like dhfuriodsfbjnvbSDJH. I didn't get it either. 

 "Now listed as single? I knew it wouldn't last!"