Saturday, 3 December 2011

Monday, 21 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amr said "I heard the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) say, Dhu' Suwayqatayn from Abyssinia will destroy the Ka'bah and steal it's treasure and Kiswah. It is as if I could see him now: he is bald headed and has a distortion in his wrists. He will strike the Ka'bah with his spade and pick-axe" - Ahmad

Ibn 'Abbas narrated that the Prophet said "It is as if I can see him now: he is black and his legs are widely spaced. He will destroy the Ka'bah stone by stone." - Ahmad

Abu Hurairah said that he heard the Messenger of Allah , peace be upon him, say to Thaubaan, "How will you be when the nations will call each other upon you as those who are dining call each other to their dish?" Thaubaan asked, "...O Messenger of Allah, will that be because we will be few?" He said, "No, rather at that time you will be many, but you will be like the froth scum on the surface of a body of water and Allah the Exalted will remiove from the hearts of your enemies their fear of you and al-wahn will be cast into your hearts." "And what is al-wahn, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Your love for the world and your hate for fighting."

Theatre of Blood: Inevitable Truth

It was observed in conversation around 1982-83 that at least half of the cast of the 1973 horror thriller "Theatre of Blood" were dead. On closer examination it proved there was actually a quarter of the cast dead, two of which had died in the year of filming. Given that it was an elderly cast of mainly British acting stalwarts it is no surprise that 38 years after it's initial release three quarters are now dead.

Actor --Year of Death -- Age --Age in Movie

Jack Hawkins -- 1973 -- 62 -- 62

Dennis Price -- 1973 -- 58 -- 58

Arthur Lowe -- 1982 -- 66 -- 57

Robert Coote -- 1982 -- 73 -- 64

Diana Dors -- 1984 -- 52 -- 41

Ian Hendry -- 1984 -- 53 -- 42

Harry Andrews -- 1989 -- 77 -- 61

Coral Browne -- 1991 -- 77 -- 60

Robert Morley -- 1992 -- 84 -- 65

Vincent Price -- 1993 -- 82 -- 62

Michael Hordern -- 1995 -- 83 -- 62

Joan Hickson -- 1998 -- 92 -- 67

Eric Sykes -- 2012 -- 89 -- 50

Milo O Shea -- 2013 -- 86 -- 47

Diana Rigg -- Alive -- 75 -- 35

Madeline Smith -- Alive -- 63 -- 24

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Uh-huh Kobain Iconocaustic: Media and Manipulation

All icons are formed by a process of identification, idolisation and marketing. In opening a new vein on the world of popular music, and here the word popular must be understood in the sense that a niche is found to have a groove in the mainstream, Kurt Cobain and band Nirvana achieved momentary post-modern heaven by promoting the subversive-nihilistic trade in "grunge" theatre. Heavy sounds are accompanied by gloomy, moody lyrics and wry humour, evidently intended to appeal to a minority but ultimately appealing to the zeitgeist of the western hemisphere. With Cobain's well-informed death 'flavour-of-the-month' becomes the stuff legends are made of - particularly rock and roll ones.

Of an interest, and weirdly enchanting, is the sweater Cobain fashioned for the video shoot of Nirvana's seminal "Smells like Teen Spirit" single. To the fan the sight of Cobain earthy strut and leer in a video that appears to break down into musical chaos the singular outstanding feature is the green striped sweater which holds the image of iconic Cobain in a place between rock absurdity and roll banality. The director Samuel Bayer claims Nirvana expected a sub-standard promo but he turned out a highly polished sense of the nature of modern rock. Veering between concert and high-school camp the dark shades help to evoke the passion of the practically inaudible lyrics. But it is the sweater we are concerned with. Now if the band wanted to escape the clutches of corporate domination then making a video like the one viewed was a tactical blunder the weight of Olympus.

The world is fickle and the eye is attached to that which it sees and desires. Cool Cobain, renting out angst in buckets, is formed entirely from guitar and green striped t-shirt, and all worshippers seek to find where they can imitate their 'idol' and search high and low for comfort in identification. The "business" is eager to help, and entombed the sweater in various locations to please the morbid glee of the pilgrimage of those underlings of the lower floors. The media pretends innocence in these matters and so we follow the idea with growing cynicism. Cobain's death could have only been bettered if he had only worn that sweater. Still it is a cool sweater.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Michelangelo Antonioni's Event Horizon of Negation

Antonioni's three English-speaking movies completed between 1966 and 1975 demonstrate the versatility of the artist at work and without any consideration for criticism or censure. Beginning with "Blow-up" he achieves the positive non-story as it unfolds upon both viewer and critic and both are meant to be puzzled by the absence of meaning. A Wonderlandesque sense of unaccomplishment but still one that we are expected to have felt lifted us somewhat out of the depths of the lives we lead, to mystery, suspense and finally realisation of meaning in its actual meaningless. Do not all viewers pick the tennis ball up at the end and surrender to the absurdity Antonioni is proposing. He has played a trick with our sensibilities by first squeezing them through the rack of arrogance and then mashing them in the certainty of ignorance. Attempting to stretch this sequence of philosophical calibrations in "Zabriskie Point" Antonioni hones the blade even more subtle, to the point where the criticism this film received parcels out the meaning one is intended to observe. Again, we are shown the 'tennis ball' but this time it becomes a reality in the mind of the heroine, and we placate our views that such a scenario is possible, if unlikely, and the course of the film will leave most suitably puzzled. But it is "Blow-up" again, with the key motifs of rebellion, boredom, sex and meaning being played over again to encompass the jaundiced view that we do not achieve our full potential.
With "The Passenger" Antonioni realises the perfection in the utter negation of any semblance to a core truth as seen by the observer. As the Nicholson character ponders taking on the role of the dead 'mystery-man' we follow and sense the inevitable conclusion to his actions. And we are left to ask what difference does it make? The dead man in the hotel room is finalised in the Nicholson character, Locke, but truly already dead is that character who is a man adrift in a world he finds no meaning. His death, or too be correct, the death of his-self becomes the logical extension to both meaning and sense. And Antonioni brings us full circle with the roll of the 'tennis ball' but the problem is by then most have taken their eye of the ball. Pity.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Mustafa Abdul Jalil: On Libya

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala grant mercy and good fortune to the faithful people of Libya and bring them to righteousness and clear guidance. Insha'Allah in Mustafa Abdul Jalil they have the best man to lead them in overcoming years of poor leadership and mismanagement. In his liberation speech, he spoke of Syria and Yemen, and could well have included other countries where despotic rule is enforced. In Libya perhaps there is an example not just for the Arab world but for the whole world.

Huh? Odd-One-Out

Cherie Lunghi, who played Guinevere in John Boorman's superb "Excalibur" is pictured here in season 5 of the British series "Tales of the Unexpected". Perhaps only noticeable to myself but she looks distinctly different to how she appears in practically all her other roles. I formulate the perception that the eye speaks the truth and the smile delivers the reason. This is a puzzle no more...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Friday, 26 August 2011

Sunday, 7 August 2011

It's Only Rock N Roll

Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she's got the mercedes benz - She's got a lot of pretty pretty boys that she calls friends

You raise the blade, you make the change - You rearrange me till I'm sane

Rulers make bad lovers - You better put your kingdom up for sale

It's a town full of losers - And I'm pulling out of here to win

As you lie there naked - Like a body in a tomb - Suspended animation - As I slip into your room

My brain hurt like a warehouse - It had no room to spare - I had to cram so many things to store - Everything in there

For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself - For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself

You put your hands into your head - And your smiles cover your heart

To find a queen without a king - They say she plays guitar and cries and sings - La la la la

I've been waiting here for so long - And all the time that passed me by - It doesn't seem to matter now

The nights are hot and black as ink - I can't sleep and I lay and I think - Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain