November 24th, 2007

breaking bad

Bill Bailey

Last night I went to see Bill Bailey at the National Indoor Arena, with H, my daughter, happytune and our old friend B. He was more or less non-stop funny for a couple of hours. I was holding my sides. He's got masses of audio-visual stuff, keyboards that play samples of politicians' voices, dozens of guitars. Last time I saw him was at the University Arts Centre, and he had no equipment beyond an acoustic guitar and a xylophone, and the audience was maybe a couple of hundred. The boy done good.
breaking bad

New genres

I'm just off to my course but I just want to post links to a couple of essays which have set me thinking a lot in the last few days. bradhicks in this post links the rise of a particular type of horror plot, characterised by surviving by abandoning increasing number of your friends to their fates, with the horror of late capitalism (he says Reaganomics, I'd say Thatcherism, same diff). He argues, convincingly that the excellent horror 'novel' World War Z takes the argument a step further.

Meanwhile John Barnes (not the footballer/dancer) has written an essay on 'why SF is finished as a genre'. Now, I don't agree with his conclusion, but I think he's really onto something about what brings a genre into being and sustains it as a creative force.
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