Monday, 20 October 2008


Extract from the Bella Italia waiter training manual:


1) Think about your worst ever experience as a customer. How did it make you feel? Did you ever use that company again?

I WRITE: Bad. No.

2) What do you think we mean by 'Exceeding expectations'?

I THINK: Is this some kind of provocative Magrittean language game?
I WRITE: Nothing. I become so baffled from this point onwards that I genuinely can't muster any kind of response.

3) Pretend I don't understand 'exceeding expectations' and explain it to me so that I could go away and deliver it.


4) Do we have a manual on how to exceed expectations? If not, why not?


5)Who benefits when expectations are exceeded?


Sunday, 19 October 2008


Ay ay, that Simone Weil was pretty good wasn't she?

'When science, art, literature and philosophy are simply the manifestation of a personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for a thousand years. But above this level, far above, seperated by an abyss, is the level where the highest things are achieved. These things are essentially anonymous'

Friday, 17 October 2008



Chris Moyles's actually pretty perceptive summation of 'Creep'.

Aside from the fact that this is, from a certain viewpoint, a remarkably poetic and lovely evocation of a relatively mediocre tune, Moyles also picks up on an issue that I've been mulling over for some time, namely: that Radiohead's great tragic flaw consists in the perennial non-rythmic amorphousness of Thom Yorke's vocal phrasing.

Listen to any given 'Head tune with this fact in mind and I promise you the nagging question that has been gnawing away at your musical psyche for years ('I adore my Radiohead, but why can't I truly love him?') will be instantaneously demystified.

'Bullet Proof', 'Airbag', 'No Surprises', 'Knives Out', 'Pyramid Song': WHERE IS THE FUCKING RHYTHM IN THE VOCAL PART?!?!!

When Mr Yorke does bother to inject a bit of gumption into his writing for voice (bits of 'Paranoid Android', 'The Bends', 'Just', 'Ideoteque', the much-underrated 'Wolf at the Door') the results are nearly always gratifyingly good, so I really don't understand why he spends so much time failing to rise above his default ethereal sigh (top marks for this on a purely melodic level, but a good songwriter really must be consistently hitting the bullseye on both targets - melodic and rhythmic).

Anyway, all of this merely serves to confirm my longstanding suspicion that Chris Moyles is the modern-day Samuel Johnson.

But more on this later.