Saturday, January 31, 2009
Song #1: Thomas Thörnholm, Michael Clauss, Danne Attlerud/Jan Vincent Johannessen: Alt har en mening nå, performed by Wenche Myhre. OK, when I heard that she was going to be in the contest, I rolled my eyes ... immediate reaction: enormously bad idea. Just her in the contest is a totally sucky idea. And this song is ... OMFG. Her outfit is awful, the song is awful, her performance is awful. And the thought that she is so admired in this country, and has so many fans, is truly awful!!! This song can't possibly win. I mean, seriously. I feel like someone's trying to forcibly pull me back in time 25 years. This is 2009, for Pete's sake!! :-o This is a completely gruesome entry and if we send this to Moscow we will be totally shaming ourselves in the eyes of the world. OMFG. Some people need to be protected from themselves.
Song #2: Bertil Bertelsen/Olav Nygaard, Morten Horn, Ronny Bertelsen: Te stein, performed by Publiners. I know, what an awful band name. Like, real 'fun' guys these must be. This is a real band though, they've been playing together for some years and have released a couple of albums. They call their musical style 'folk'n'roll'. :-) And this song is ... actually pretty good. In the sense that it certainly isn't bad. :-) They wrote it themselves, so kudos for that. And compared to the previous entry, this is a classic. ;-) It doesn't have much of a hook, so I'm not sure anyone will remember it for long ... but it's not disgraceful. Right now I feel like that's almost the best we can hope for. A perfectly acceptable entry. And they've got fire on stage, wooh ... :-o
Song#3: Marte Wulff: Ride, performed by Tine Wulff. What a fugly dress ... ! Awful dress, extremely unbecoming on a pregnant woman, but no matter what the dress had looked like, the fabric is so nasty that nothing made from it could have looked good. Oh well. She herself is pretty adorable. And she has a pretty good voice ... too bad the song is so boring. It's OK but there's nothing much to it. It doesn't have much personality, at least not on the first listen. Acceptable, a cute song, but I am not convinced. But she is really charming though. :-)
Song #4: Alexander Stenerud: Find My Girl, performed by Alexander Stenerud. OK, this is not for everyone, but I like it. :-) He's the singer in Zuma, they competed last year ... I dug their song, Always Always. This song is a lot like that song, actually. Quel surprise. ;-) Synthpop light ... catchy ... and I like his performance. The song starts off slow and then, suddenly, hey, it isn't a ballad after all. :-) I really like his performance! Stylized. I like. We may not do well with this, but it's a cool song. I'd be happy to send Stenerud to Moscow.
Song #5: Janni Santillan: Like You Did (Yesterday), performed by Janni Santillan. Another bizarro outfit. o_O She is 18 years old and she wrote this song when she was 14 ... bad sign. Although I do always like it when the performers have written their own entries. She's pretty, she has a relatively good voice, and the song is OK. But it's a ballad, which in itself isn't good ... and it's a ballad that basically goes absolutely nowhere. Bo-ring!! No way this will get through from this round. Sorry, girl, but yawn ... !
Song #6: Julius Winger, Ole Jørgen Olsen: Like an Angel, performed by Julius Winger. Piece of shit!! Dagbladet have the nerve to compare this guy to Elton John and Billy Joel ... !! How very dare they. And I read somewhere that some people think that he is a worthy successor to Erik Bye. o_O How very dare they! Don't listen to them ... this song is one big yawn, his singing voice is awful, and the lyrics are just embarrassing. You brought the sunshine to my life ... ? Gag me with a spoon. >:-(
Song#7: David Eriksen, Tone Damli Aaberge, Mats Lie Skåre: Butterflies, performed by Tone Damli Aaberge. This entry will go straight to the final. No prizes for guessing that. Just because it's Idol-Tone performing it. :-) But it actually is a pretty good song. One of the best of the night. Catchy chorus. It's a straightforward pop song, but it's not at all a bad one. Innocent and non-offensive, but solid craftsmanship. I quite like this one.
OK, results. I voted three times for Alexander Stenerud. My civic duty is done.
Publiners - Te stein
Janni Santillan - Like You Did (Yesterday)
Alexander Stenerud - Find My Girl
Tone Damli Aaberge - Butterflies
The piano ballad got through?? I am surprised. OK, whatever, it'll get the boot in the semi. And who cares, yay, the Zuma guy!! Alright! :-D Last year they only got to the semifinal, now he's in the final. Things are looking up. :-) And Wenche Myhre's out of the running. Whew! I don't watch Idol myself, but I sometimes find myself grateful that others do. >:-) A huge improvement over last week - these songs probably aren't champion material, but we won't disgrace ourselves with either of these. And I so want us to not disgrace ourselves ... :-)
Bagdad brenner by Riverbend Begun in 2008
Krigsbarn by Gretelise Holm - AUDIO
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
The President's Child by Fay Weldon
Sementhagen by Ian McEwan
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
Afrika – en vakker dag by Tomm Kristiansen - AUDIO
The Asti Spumante Code by Toby Clements
Mission to Kala by Mongo Beti
Historiens största mordgåtor
DARLAH. 172 timer på månen by Johan Harstad - AUDIO
Ferdaminne fraa sumaren 1860 by Aasmund Olavsson Vinje
The United States of Wal-Mart by John Dicker
Den hellige liga, volume one, by Alexandre Dumas
10 printed books, 2,067 pages.
3 audiobooks, 33h 45m.
Best fiction: No really great read, but I guess Wonder Boys. The movie's fantastic, I recommend it. :-)
Best nonfiction: Hard to choose!! Ferdaminne was a very pleasant surprise. Much more entertaining than I expected.
Best audio: Afrika maybe? A lot of very moving stories in that book, had me in tears several times.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Stig Frode Henriksen: Yeah, totally.
TW: And something else that's scary ... is Nazis, right? Am I right?
SFH: Sure, you're right, totally.
TW: OK, so, here's what I'm thinking, what is even scarier than that? Like, even worse than both those things?
SFH: I don't know, what are you thinking??
TW: OK, get this, right. Zombies that are also Nazis. Huh? Huh??
SFH: ... !! [Struck speechless by writing partner's brilliant cinematic vision!!]
Well, of course I can't know for sure, but this is how I imagine the brainstorming session between the screenwriter/director and screenwriter/actor team behind this movie. What I can say with absolutely certainty is that they must have had so much fun ... !!! :-D
I saw this movie yesterday, at Saga (screen 3) - me and Anne Ida, I had pretty high expectations, not quite sure about her. I picked the movie. ;-) But we both thought it was hilarious and hugely entertaining. I dug it. It was even better than I'd thought it would be ... and that's actually really saying something in this case.
Brief plot summary: Eight young medical students are going to spend their Easter vacay at a remote cabin in the Northern mountains. The cabin belongs to the family of one of the girls, Sara - she's such a sporty chick that she's hiked ahead of the others, she's going to meet them there after they drive up. They have a snowmobile, they have food and beer and music ... they're happy. The fact that Sara doesn't arrive that night doesn't worry them too much ... she's just taking longer than they thought, she's set up camp somewhere, she'll arrive next morning safe and sound. So they have fun at the cabin ... and it's SO Norwegian!! LOL! The mountains, the snow, the cabin ... ! They play in the snow as the sun shines benevolently on their youthful antics ... snowy field + innertube + rope + snowmobile = crazy fun ... !! :-D The scenic parts of this movie are just a giant ad for Norway as a tourist destination. Norgesreklame is the word I want. Beautiful scenery, dramatic mountains etc. Anyway.
As night falls, the gang gets a mysterious visitor (brilliantly played by Bjørn Sundquist). He disses their fair trade coffee, calls them dumbass city slickers and tells them a creepy story about how back during the War, the inhabitants of the nearby hamlet of 'Axefjord' had a nasty battalion of German soldiers stationed in their midst ... mean & evil Nazis who did terrible things to the locals, and who, as the Red Army approached from the north, got chased into the mountains by the furious pitchfork-wielding townspeople ... the mountains where they froze to death in the pitiless snow, the very mountains where our heroes have chosen to spend their ill-fated spring break. Beware!! BEWARE!!!
So, the old guy's pretty much off his rocker and of course there's nothing at all wrong here. But Sara still doesn't arrive. And the gang find a mysterious wooden box in the cellar. And what are those weird noises out by the outhouse ... ? Murder and mayhem ensue ... wildly hilarious murder and mayhem!! You just gotta see it! :-D
We laughed our heads off at the crazy stunts in this movie ... I know, it's not nice to laugh at the sight of fellow human beings brutally dismembered by Nazi zombies, but there are scenes in this movie that are just so wildly absurd that you have no choice but to laugh. Some of it may be mostly funny to Norwegians ... because this story, with its cabin trip and perfect Easter weather and cranky old men obsessed with the war has a lot of very Norwegian elements to it. But I do think it's a movie that ought to appeal to anyone who likes horror comedies and/or splatter films. It's quality splatter. (Anne Ida says that she's heard that they used 350 liters of fake blood making this thing.) The actors are pretty good - just plain good for a Norwegian movie - the setting is convincing, the action is fantastic, and the music, the music is just amazing. That opening sequence ... ! I can't say what it is, because that'd be a total spoiler, but it's classic. :-)
Of course the plot has more holes in it than a Jarlsberg cheese, but it's a crazy horror movie, it's supposed to be that way. Overall I'd say this is one of the best Norwegian movies I've seen. Funny, scary, entertaining, full of scenes that you'll really remember. >:-) OK, so it does get to be a bit much towards the end there ... that thing with the arm I thought was kind of overdoing it. But all in all I totally dug this movie. It rocks. Go see it.
English title so far: Dead Snow. Tag lines: Bury Yourself In Time (this will probably not be used abroad, it's too Norwegian) and (my favorite) Ein Zwei Die! LOL!! You can check out the movie's website here or its IMDb page here.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I guess I can understand that a lot of average joes are idiots. I mean, it feels like such a natural assumption that that's why they are average joes. But our leaders really, strictly speaking, ideally, ought to be the best & brightest among us. Deep down I know that in my country it is to a large extent not so. (One of the reasons why I to be honest would prefer an oligarchy or an absolute monarchy (of the enlightened type ;-) to democracy. But that's another story.)
I just don't see why they have to rub our faces in it. I don't see how we have come to this place where it's actually OK for someone to go public in nationwide media and say, I am a cabinet member and I am an enormous idiot!!! Yes, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, State Secretary of the Health Department, I'm looking at you. And Olav Gunnar Ballo, MP, I'm looking at you!! You are a medical doctor!! Hanssen has, to be honest, never struck me as the sharpest knife in the drawer, as we say round these parts ... but Ballo, isn't he supposed to be, I don't know ... of slightly above average intelligence? I thought people learned stuff in med school. Have I been wrong all these years? o_O
I'm tempted to use the phrase 'deranged by grief' in some connection here, but that would be pretty distasteful, wouldn't it.
It's so sad to see that the general public seems to have so little rational ability, so little interest in reasoning and logic, so little scientific knowledge - and I'm not really talking about facts, either, but just basic and simple methodology. Our educational system must have some fundamental flaw for this sad - I almost want to say tragic - condition that so many Norwegians seem to be in.
I'm talking, of course, about everybody's favorite clairvoyant healer, Joralf Gjerstad, the man from Snåsa. I am SO SICK of hearing about that guy ... !!! To the point that I don't want to get into the issue here. If you read Norwegian, you can go to fellow blogger Gunnar Tjomlid's blog and read his very insightful posts on the subject - this one, or this one, or this one. He's argued the case much better than I ever could. You can take it as read that I agree with what he has to say on this issue. I've had it up to here with stories about how 'there must be something to it' ... I don't want to get into it anymore.
I just want to say a few things that I need to get off my chest or blow a fuse.
Bjarne Håkon Hanssen claims that Gjerstad cured his son's colic. They called him on the phone and he did his voodoo thang and then the kid was cured. WTF??! Did I just get transported to a parallell universe?? Because in the dimension I normally live in, colic is a self-limiting condition.
Olav Gunnar Ballo claims that bleeding can be staunched through prayer. o_O He knows a prayer himself that can do this!! NO, you fucking imbecile, YOU DON'T!!! Show me the money, idiot. Just show everyone the money. It is so sad and so depressing and so basically tragic that a person can go through the school system in this country, through university, med school!! and still not have learned the difference between anecdotal evidence and significant statistics. Say your prayer, man, say your fucking prayer ... and let it be tested in a double blind randomized test. Then we'll see what staunches bleeding. There are so many examples of it [working], so I think there must be some kind of effect. If I wasn't so hopping mad, I think I'd cry.
VG quotes Ballo (who is quoted from Dagbladet in the paragraph above) as having said the following: I think there's more between heaven and earth than we know, and if we as health care personnel deny that, we'll alienate a lot of people.
Someone punch me, please ...
Yes, you may alienate some people. These people are known as idiots. Ignoramuses. Brødhuer. Alienate away!! Maybe if you do, some of them might be inspired to actually learn something. That's not going to happen with your approach, Mr Ballo.
As for there being more between heaven and earth (I am SO SICK of that expression!!) ... that really is a sad, pathetic statement. How did this man become a doctor?? His logical ability seems to be on the level of a grade schooler. YES, there is more between heaven and earth than in most other places. >:-) And no, we don't understand all of it. But that does not mean that there is anything extant that defies the laws of nature!!! Unknown does not equate supernatural. Mr Ballo, your party has lost my vote. I usually vote Labor, but I have been known to cast the occasional vote for the Socialist Left as well. No more of that while Ballo remains on their lists for Parliament.
Joralf Gjerstad now claims that he predicted the war in Gaza. (zomg he must be clairvoyant!! It must be true!! After all, that conflict was so unlikely and so unprecedented that no one could possibly have just guessed that it would occur!! Give me a fucking break.) He claims that he did this during a dinner with (among others, I assume) State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
Not that I think this will happen, but I just have to say it: If Jonas Gahr Støre goes public with his 'support' and 'understanding' of Joralf Gjerstad, then I will lose all faith in humanity.
In closing, I have to say that it deeply saddens me to hear the voices of reason in this debate labelled as 'skeptics', with all the connotations that carries. It does not bode well for the nation when rationality, which by rights should trump groundless belief ten times out of ten, is dismissed as 'skepticism' by those who ought to be the brightest minds among us. :-(
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
OK, so, the weekend of September 13th & 14th last year there was an event here in Oslo which should have been really big but wasn't. It was so weird, they hardly advertised it, I only heard about it from my mother by coincidence, I hardly saw it mentioned in the media or anywhere else. Only when I actually went looking for the info because I already knew about it. Very strange. The event was a collaboration between several organizations - Statsbygg, the state-owned building company, the Norwegian association of landscapers, ditto of ... what, interior designers? I know, right?? And also the Oslo Architects Association. Basically a whole bunch of places that are normally closed to the public were open to visitors that weekend. And entry was free everywhere. It was so cool, all those places should have been packed! But with pretty much no advertising I guess hardly anyone heard about it. I hope they do it again this year ... even with the shoddy turnouts last year ... >:-(
This all sounded very interesting and unmissable, so KAS and I decided we had to catch some of this. We looked through the programs and picked two places we wanted to go to. The first was the Stock Exchange down by the harbor. This building was originally constructed in the late 1820s; back then it was quite small, though - the structure was expanded in 1909-10 to pretty close to its present look. It's quite an imposing building ... at least if you don't look too closely ... ;-)
The exterior. Front of the building, obviously. The harbor area's down to the left. KAS in the foreground to the left, random stranger in the background to the right.
The entry hall ... picture taken from the second floor. Pretty nice.
Now, look closely at this. Detail of the staircase. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, marble was considered very fancy and it was generally felt to be the thing to do to build important structures of expensive stone. Unfortunately, we were basically dirt poor. No money for stone. So what we did was to build in wood - the way we'd always done - and then paint it to look like marble. ;-)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Per Sundnes - not my favorite, but OK. I can deal. Maria Haukaas Storeng - nice dress. I like them much much more than the previous presenter duo (Synnøve Svabø and Stian Barsnes Simonsen - those two sucked and no mistake). KAS and trilltrall did tell me that the voting was open from the beginning of the show, and - gasp! - I see that it's true! I disagree with that for two reasons. One, that's not how it's done on the international level. Why not keep it simple? And two, shouldn't we, umm, like, listen to the songs before we decide whether we want to vote for them? (I know, you can hear them on NRK online. But you know what I mean.) This is kind of a setup ... all the participants probably had their moms and all their friends and whoever texting like mad to rack up their votes. Yuck. Why can't it be just one vote per cell phone number, or IP address or whatever?? Oh yeah, someone's making money off all us idiots who vote, that's right ... >:-(
To see the performances on Youtube, click on the song titles.
Entry #1: Lars-Erik Westbye & Mariann Thomassen - U Look Good, performed by Surferosa. Meh. This band are really big in Norway, FYI. And famous for the crazy outfits the singer wears. Ooh, crazy outfits, she is soo out there. Sheesh. And yeah, I see she did wear something fugly on Saturday too, as usual. But the song ... meh. It's OK, it doesn't have much personality. The energy's pretty good and the performance kind of fun BUT Mariann sounds pretty unprofessional, like she's getting out of breath after the second verse. That's not good. This song may end up winning the whole thing - I mean the national final!!! not the whole real thing!!! :-D - just because it's Surferosa. Because, yeah, they're big. And they have the kind of fans who may think the ESC is kinda cool. But if we do send this, we won't get through the semifinal in Moscow. Since they did get through this round, think before you vote in the semi. Srsly.
Entry #2: Hilde Marstrander - Men, Men, Men!, performed by Chicas del Coro. Umm ... now I don't know what to say. o_O Their name is Spanish and they wear odd dresses and the song is supposed to be a 1950s pastiche, I think. But with that name viewers are going to think Iberian more than 50s. Have we not learned that this latino shit does not fly for us?? The song isn't completely hopeless. It's catchy, sure ... I mean, it's not my thing, but it is kinda catchy. But it doesn't fly coming from us. This is Norway. Why can't we just wake up and smell the coffee??! Growl. OK, so ... kinda fun song with kinda fun costumes. BUT they totally can't sing. I mean, seriously. They sound like it's open mike night at an amateur club. Aren't these women some sort of ... I don't know, I thought I'd heard they do this professionally?? And have for years? They sound incredibly nervous. No way can we send these two to Moscow. The song will probably do really badly there ... but whichever song we pick, we've got to have someone who can perform it better than these chicas. And sing it better ...
Entry #3: Robin Nordahl & Thomas Ewel with the 'band members' - Party, performed by KeSera featuring Anita Hegerland. (<-- Ooh, I guess.) First rap song in Norwegian ESC history. But I hope they don't think they're the first internationally. >:-) Erm ... amateur night continues. A happy upbeat song, I suppose. But seriously ... if we send this, we're screwed. So it's a good feeling to know that they have no chance. I'd know that without having heard the results. This is a couple of kids playing around. Hegerland's contribution is cool and seems to belong in ... well, a much better song. Schizo. Bad entry.
Entry #4: Trond Andreassen and Christian Bloom - Two of a Kind, performed by Espen Hana. Oh, this sounds like a ripoff ... !! They've totally stolen that intro bit from somewhere. Oh, it's going to annoy me so much that I can't remember where it's from ... ! :-D This is definitely my favorite so far. Well, since I haven't liked any of the others, I guess that's not saying much. ;-) But this is a good melody ... an old-fashioned tune in the crooner style, and it may go down well, sincerity is essential in this contest now that the Easterners are such a big part of it. His voice isn't that good but he does a good job with what he's got ... vocally, at least. His performance otherwise is pretty awful. I cringe, I can hardly look at his face. I know he's an actor, but this isn't acting, this is scenery-chewing IMO.
Entry #5: Christian Ingebrigtsen and Laila Samuelsen - Sweeter Than A Kiss, performed by Charite. OMG I hate her outfit ... !!!!! WTF is she wearing??! :-o Ouch ... !! Song ruined for me now, please disregard my comments. Erm ... pretty girl, good stage presence, OK voice, but doesn't use it very well IMO. She's all breathy and it sounds fake. The song is OK as far as it goes but without any real potential. No personality, no hook. Compare this with, say, Molitva and then you'll see why the latter won and this song wouldn't stand a chance. It doesn't stand a chance here either. OMG what is she wearing ... !!!
Entry #6: Svein Gundersen and Rolf Mokkelbost - Det vart en storm, performed by Thomas Brøndbo. A baby Brøndbo! OK, so ... not my thing, then. It's almost completely safe to assume. I'm sorry, but ... well, that's just how it is. No accounting for taste. Yuck, another awful outfit. A cardigan that's too small - why would he want to wear that? And it doesn't even go with the rest of the outfit. o_O Not really relevant, I know, but ... still. I see it, I can't help that. The song, you say? Music boring, lyrics one giant cliché. I was a god (or boat?) on the ocean of life, now I have capsized again ... ?? Please, spare me. But for the right crowd this will be catchy ... and if even half of his big brother's fans vote for him, he's a shoe-in. Please, spare us!! :-( This song has no chance whatsoever in Moscow. I guarantee it. This entry is 15 years old.
Entry #7: Hanne Sørvaag and Harry Sommerdahl - Tricky, performed by Velvet. This was the only song I was in time to catch on Saturday. Didn't like it then, don't like it now. Catchy? Yees ... if you like this kind of thing. But guess what: Europe doesn't like this kind of thing. Again, send this and we're screwed. This song is excellent proof that some people just never learn. Hanne Sørvaag also co-wrote last year's German entry. It crashed and burned SO badly. And here she is with the same song over again. I mean ... WTF? Some people never learn. This is a blatant Spice Girls ripoff, only ten years too late. Kind of sad to have to watch this. They wobble in their synchronized 'sexy' pose, they dance like you've seen a million times before, and they sing a song that everyone in the Western world already knows by heart ... with lyrics in English that they don't pronounce all that well. Yes, sad. It's lucky for them that they got this slot. I already know that they got through. With the level these entries have been on I'm not entirely sure I can say I disagree.
I like what they've been doing with the intermission entertainments for the past couple of years ... they track down an old winner and have the song performed by a huge choir onstage, until at the climax the original performer of that song comes on stage to sing along. Tonight: Mitt liv, performed by Kate Gulbrandsen in Brussels in 1987. I've seen it better, but I like the idea.
The results - and in this quarter-final only three songs will be cut; two songs will go to the semifinal and two directly to our national final. So let's see.
Espen Hana - Two of a Kind
Surferosa - U Look Good
Velvet - Tricky
Thomas Brøndbo - Det vart en storm
So ... two finalists who don't stand a snowball's chance in Moscow. Now that's what ESC in Norway is really all about!!! :-D
Welcome to the world, Emma Margrethe!!! :-)
Monday, January 26, 2009
This actually isn't half bad. It's catchy, it has a good beat, it has a rhythm that people will remember. I wouldn't be surprised if this song does pretty well. It's not the winner, no chance of that. But depending on the competition it may end up doing quite well. The lyrics, of course, are pretty stupid. Another example of an ESC entry that would have been seriously improved by being performed in - in this case - Montenegrino, so that most of the rest of Europe wouldn't have to understand just how stupid they are. But I digress.
Montenegro have kind of a sad ESC history so far. This will be their third year competing; they failed to qualify for the final in both Helsinki and Belgrade. Yugoslavia aside, they had previously competed for two years as part of another, now defunct state - Serbia & Montenegro. The two nations broke apart in 2006, after a great deal of public debate ... and believe it or not, the ESC was in fact the trigger for this split. Prior to Athens 2006, no agreement could be reached as to the Serbian/Montenegrino entry. The former wanted a Serbian song, and the latter a Montenegrino one. Unsurprisingly. The bigger and stronger Serbia would not accept the Montenegrino winner, a great deal of debate ensued and the upshot was that these 'twin realms' sent no entry at all to Greece. (But you're sure you remember hearing, Hello Athens, this is Belgrade calling ... ?? Yes, since the entrance fee had already been paid, Serbia & Montenegro did cast their votes in the international final, although they did not compete themselves.) The public outrage that led to Montenegro tearing itself away from big brother Serbia was triggered by an article written by a very influential journalist whose name escapes me at the moment - an article about the Eurovision Song Contest, entitled, rather strikingly, No State, No Song!
So ... in 2007, the two nations travelled to Finland to compete separately. While united, they had done quite badly in the contest. Now separated, in Helsinki, Montenegro failed to qualify ... and Serbia won. :-D That's how it goes ... !! :-D
Anyway. This is Andrea Demirović performing Just Get Out of My Life, music & lyrics by José Juan Santana Rodriguez, Peter Match & Gunter Johansen, who will be competing for Montenegro.
I couldn't find a video of the actual performance, sorry! (I know you'll all be so disappointed. >:-) I'll keep looking and update later.
Lyrics here. Pretty stupid.
Hmmm ... how to express my opinion on this entry? 'Piece of shit, and WTF is up with that hairdo'? Does that about sum it up?
OK, first of all, this guy looks like an idiot with that hair. Not that there's anything wrong with that, etc. But if he goes on stage in Moscow looking like that, he's going to lose a lot of votes ... because although that look may be cool in Eastern Europe (I doubt it), to Western eyes he's just going to look very funny and they (OK; we) will all laugh and will not vote for this song. The performance here is odd too - more than 30 seconds of just instrumental melody before he actually starts to sing? Although I do actually quite like that instrumental bit ... but I'm not at all sure that it's enough of a hook to be worth it. I will be so not surprised if they change that between now and May ...
Anyway, the song isn't very good either, so they're pretty much screwed this year. Dumbass lyrics, of course, but that doesn't really matter. Ie, it doesn't make or break a song. I don't think his performance is good, he looks nauseatingly smug. Yuck. And what an outfit ... ! The more I hear this song, the more I think it's actually kind of sad ... because this could have been a pretty cool song, Wig Wam style, if they'd had the guts to really run with it. But they just don't go far enough. Nowhere near far enough. >:-)
This is all to the good though, as Belarus cannot possibly be permitted to win the ESC. I'm serious: no matter how much you like this song (as if, I hope), DO NOT vote for it. They can come play with us, we're nice people after all, but seriously, they cannot possibly be allowed to win.
So ... Eyes That Never Lie, performed by Petr Elfimov, with music & lyrics by Petr Elfimov and V. Prokhozhy, who will be competing for Belarus.
Switzerland will be represented by a group called (I kind of like this name) the Lovebugs. :-D They've been playing together for 16 years and have released 10 albums, so they know what they're doing, at least. The song is still a secret, so whether that'll be any good remains to be seen. Their song last year was fantastic, even though they didn't get very far with it.
Here in Norway, we held our first quarter-final this weekend - I haven't seen the show yet (egads!!) but I will ... hmm ... tonight, and then of course will share my thoughts with the world. My hopes are not high.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Frankly, my dear - and I know that by now the entire audience will join me in saying - I don't give a damn!!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Today's post was going to be about the Katzenjammer concert at Rockefeller last night. (It was fantastic - even better than the one in November. Srsly.) We had a great time (there were seven of us who went together). Sold out again, and the girls totally rocked the house. :-D I took lots of pictures ... a bunch of them came out really well ... and some videos too, one of them pretty funny and one of a song that they haven't recorded (a cover, originally by some now-defunct band that I've never heard about). But I'm having trouble with Youtube, it's taking a million years to upload anything ... and I can't fiddle with this all day. I'm going to the Cinematheque at six (I'm doing it, I'm totally doing it!) and I have to go shopping first, Raphael needs a new lightbulb for his basking lamp and I probably need to pick up some food for tonight ... and maybe I'm meeting Gunnar of unfiltered perception fame for a cup of hot chocolate before the movie. :-) And after the movie I have to literally rush off, to KAS and trilltrall's house to watch TV. Yay. :-) Tonight is the first semifinal of the Norwegian ESC selection, so obviously we must watch intently. It intrigues us. Not sure I'll get there in time, though ... but chase play is a wonderful thing. ;-)
Anyway ... what was I saying? Oh yeah. Stupid Youtube won't upload my videos properly. >:-( Growl. So the Katzenjammer post will have to wait ... instead, here are some other pictures I took last night. I was waiting for trilltrall to meet me at Youngstorget (a big square in downtown Oslo) and since I had nothing better to do I took some pictures. I just stood by the fountain and turned 360 degrees and took these. It was at about 8pm. They came out pretty well. I mean ... kind of fun to look at. :-) So ... here's a bit of Oslo for you to enjoy. It's nice here in the summer, honest ...
Friday, January 23, 2009
If you're a Norwegian citizen, you should be aware that your government is working to limit your freedom of speech.
PLEASE take a moment to educate yourself on the proposed new law which will penalize those who offend 'religious feelings' or religions. Getting rid of the 'blasphemy paragraph' is a good thing, but what our government want to replace it with is equally dangerous, if not more so. The proposal for a new & expanded 'racism paragraph' has the stated goal of 'maintaining the need for legal protection against qualified attacks on systems of belief' in order to protect 'different religions and the religious feelings of the individual'.
It makes me sick to my stomach.
Religion is an intellectual crutch for those who are too weak-minded to under their own power endure the thought of their own mortality. I cannot and I will not respect it. Where is our freedom of religion if I am to be made to do so, at the expense of my own personal beliefs?
No one has the right, in our society today, to not be offended for their personal convictions. What kind of society will we get if we do give certain groups that right? I see it as my right, based in my freedom of speech, to criticize, mock and satirize any belief held by any other person. And let's not forget that to a number of people, any form of criticism, no matter how valid, of their religious beliefs is mockery ... and these are precisely the people whom we most need to be able to speak out against.
What is a 'qualified attack' on a religion? No one can say. Our government has no definition - this will be 'up to the courts' to determine. So the chances are very high that this altered law will become a hindrance to the criticism of religion that is vitally necessary to our society; that is becoming more and more necessary the more Muslims we import into this country. I'm not a racist (oh, that expression ... !) but in all seriousness: Can anyone doubt that this alteration to the law would never have been suggested if it had not been for pressure from Islamic groups? In this part of the world, no other religion has followers who believe that their religious feelings are so sacred and so important that they are entitled to protection from the law. Not in any numbers that matter. This does not apply to all Muslims ... but certainly to enough of them to matter. I say again: These are precisely the people we most need to be able to speak out against.
What our government is doing is to attempt to strengthen religious dogma, at the expense of the citizens' freedom of speech. Why is this necessary? How can this be considered right? Religion is subjective, irrational and has no foundation in reality. One individual may 'feel' that a phenomenon/item/person/whatever is 'sacred'. But s/he has no right, under current law, to force other individuals to share that perception. Our government wants to change that. Don't let them!!
Jews can't eat pork ... but I'm not a Jew, and I don't care. Muslims can't draw their precious 'prophet' ... but I'm not a Muslim, and I don't care. Christians aren't allowed to take the name of the 'lord' in vain ... but I'm not a Christian, and oh my fucking god christ on a crutch I don't care!!! To all religious people of the world, let me say this: It is not the task of the state to protect your delusions.
FUCK YOU IF YOU CAN'T TAKE A JOKE.
No expansion of paragraph 185!!!
Sign the petition now!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I strongly recommend that you click to enlarge ... !!
She looks so cool, and so right - happy happy!! :-D I mean, I'm happy happy. ;-) She looks just right, almost exactly like I've pictured the character in my mind. Now I really cannot wait to see the movie. Six weeks, bwaaah ... !! I don't wanna wait six weeks!! :-(
Article with more pictures here. Trailers here and here.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
More than a girl - a future queen, and the first Norwegian woman in the 1200 years of our history to ever be born to reign.
Of course there's no telling how long our monarchy will survive. But it's strong - perhaps the strongest in all of Europe - and support for the republic grows so slowly that at the current rate, it will take literally centuries for the nation to discard this, our oldest tradition. I certainly hope I will never see the end of the monarchy while I live. And - although I suppose my chances are slim; Crown Prince Haakon is only three years older than I am, the men in his family are notoriously long-lived, and Norwegian kings do not abdicate - I hope, very much so, that in my lifetime I will get to see the beginning of the reign of Queen Ingrid ... the first queen of Norway ever born to the throne.
But fortunately, that won't be for a good long while yet ... !! ;-)
Happy birthday, little lady!! :-)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Hardly anyone cheered for Georgie, that rocked. :-) They are just so over him. :-D
Why aren't they consistent with the names? The Vice President-Elect Joseph R Biden Jr ... but Vice President Dick Cheney?? Why not either Joseph R and Richard B, or Joe and Dick? I don't get it. I mean, I'd get it if they were consistent either way. But if they're going to say Dick, they might as well say Joe, too. He doesn't go by Joseph any more than Cheney goes by Richard.
Oh, and Tricky Dick II injured himself while packing papers in his office?? Hm. Papers that were going to the shredder, then, I assume. >:-)
Rick Warren can't count. The transition from one president to the other is not happening today for the 44th time, like he said; it's the 43rd time. Just like New Year's Eve 1999 did not see the dawn of a new century (ho-hum); the new century began on January 1st, 2001. When will people get this?? God obviously won't be helping anyone with it ... I guess god can't count either.
WTF was that thing on Aretha Franklin's head?? Doesn't she have mirrors in her house?? Her birthday's in a couple of months, I hope someone will give her one.
zomg he's president!! Barack Obama's president!! :-o And he's still alive. I've got chills. But aww, he was so nervous! :-D Charming IMO - whereas if GWB had done the same, I'd have decried him as a retarded monkey. Isn't that interesting. >:-)
Speech IMO not great, but good. Some incorrect statements of belief (eg 'our workers are as productive as ever, our minds are as inventive as ever' - lol, I highly doubt it!!), some bullshit, some creepy pandering to the warmongering demographic. But what he said about the environment, resources etc - that was very good and very important. I just hope someone will actually listen ... but again, I tend to doubt it. :-(
Overall a good speech, but hardly 'Four score and seven years ago' ... to my ears, at least. It got better towards the end. Inspirational, I guess ...
All this god talk is so annoying. God bless this and that. What's wrong with these people?? Do they not read the papers?? This god of theirs blessed them with GWB, that's how much he loved them, and now look what things are like over there. Yet another example of how those who suffer the most from it are always the ones who most staunchly defend the system ...
Joseph Lowery's speech got really good though. The ending bit about the colors, that rocked. He's funny. :-D
Oh, the Star-Spangled Banner. What an awful, awful song. I'm sorry, Americans ... but your national anthem is a really bad song. It's nothing to do with you or your government's politics or anything else. It's just a very bad song. You poor people who have to force your way through it. Give me the Hymn of the Federation any day. But at least they only sang the first verse.
OK, so it wasn't that the President (woo-hoo!) got nervous, it was that the other guy did it wrong. Ah, of course! Obama obviously can't do anything wrong. I should have known.
Well, that's that. Congrats!! Change has come. (Sorry, but: *rollseyes*) Kinda creepy when someone, before the principals had entered the stage, said the word 'change' in some context, and the crowd cheered just because of that. Umm ... Here's hoping that all the massive amounts of hard work that the American people no doubt have ahead of them won't be off-putting to anyone. Their culture in the 21st century so values struggle and sacrifice, so it shouldn't be a problem. *cough* Well ... good luck, guys. You're gonna need it. But now you at least have a hell of a guy to break the path for you. Please don't shoot him.
Bush is leaving town! Yay!! Me so happy, happy! That's one bad habit you've kicked already right there. ;-)
I'm not saying that from here on out we will all be swimming in milk & honey. On the contrary - as always happens in American elections, they're really just trading one right wing nutcase for another right wing nutcase. But intelligence, integrity, respect, humility, a top level education, a varied background and the ability to actually learn from one's experiences ... these are good things. That's all I'm saying. They're good things.
Monday, January 19, 2009
This video is so fucking funny ... ! I laughed my head off the first time I saw it and I still laugh now every time I watch it. (Yes, I am immature ... you got a problem with that?? :-) Make sure you watch it with the sound on, and read the subtitles. The subtitles are the whole point. It's so simple and so funny.
The clip is from an interview that Keanu did with Sandra Bullock to promote The Lake House back in ... 2006. But the subtitles, it's the subtitles ... !! :-D
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I hope to do better this year. Didn't include it in my New Year's resolutions, cause obviously that didn't work. ;-) But here's hoping. On Thursday last week I was at the movies with KAS and trilltrall, the screening was at Saga and they had the Cinematheque program available there ... we all took copies and while we were waiting for the movie to start (review coming up :-) we discovered that this time, they've actually got a lot of good stuff up their sleeves. We're going to go really often now. Totally. Watch this space *cough* ...
Anyway ... I thought I'd blog about this, in an effort to get people to nag me to actually do this. KAS, trilltrall, I hope you're paying attention here - I'm doing this to help us. ;-) This is what I'm interested in seeing from this current program. If anyone's in Oslo and thinks any of this looks interesting too, let me know! I'm there! :-)
Saturday 24th, 6pm, Tancred
(Yes, they're doing Saturday screenings now!)
Benjamin Christensen: Häxan
This is a silent and this will be a concert screening! How cool is that! :-D
Sunday 25th, 4pm, Tancred
Victor Fleming: Gone with the Wind
Friday 30th, 8:30pm, Lillebil
Victor Fleming: Gone with the Wind
Saturday 31st, 3pm, Lillebil
Hayao Miyazaki: Porco Rosso
Wednesday 4th, 7pm, Tancred
Billy Wilder: The Front Page
Thursday 5th, 6pm, Tancred
Rikli/Buhre: Kampf um Norwegen
Saturday 7th, 1pm, Lillebil
Clements/Musker: The Little Mermaid
Saturday 7th, 3pm, Lillebil
Stephen Daldry: Billy Elliot
Sunday 8th, 4pm, Tancred
Gunnar Sommerfeldt: Markens grøde
Sunday 8th, 8:30pm, Lillebil
Billy Wilder: Some Like It Hot
Tuesday 10th, 8:3opm, Lillebil
Billy Wilder: Some Like It Hot
Wednesday 11th, 7pm, Tancred
Rikli/Buhre: Kampf um Norwegen
Saturday 14th, 3pm, Lillebil
Rob Reiner: The Princess Bride
Wednesday 18th, 7pm, Tancred
Ivan Pyrjev: The Brothers Karamazov
Thursday 19th, 6:30pm, Lillebil
Billy Wilder: The Seven Year Itch
The 70mm Festival 2009 opens on February 20th!! Don't miss it!!
Friday 20th, 7pm, Tancred
Robert Wise: West Side Story
Friday 20th, 10:15pm, Tancred
Ron Fricke: Baraka
Saturday 21st, 7:30pm, Tancred
Basil Dearden: Khartoum
Sunday 22nd, 12pm, Tancred
David Lean: Doctor Zhivago
Sunday 22nd, 3:30pm, Tancred
Aleksander Zarkhi: Anna Karenina
Monday 23rd, 8pm, Tancred
Richard Brooks: Lord Jim
Wednesday 25th, 6pm, Tancred
Aleksander Zarkhi: Anna Karenina
Wednesday 25th, 8:30pm, Tancred
Basil Dearden: Khartoum
Wednesday 25th, 8:30pm, Lillebil
Tian-Ming Wu: The King of Masks
Thursday 26th, 6pm, Tancred
Tim Burton: Batman
Thursday 26th, 8:30pm, Tancred
Robert Wise: The Sound of Music
Thursday 26th, 8:30pm, Lillebil
Tian-Ming Wu: The King of Masks
Friday 27th, 6pm, Tancred
Ron Fricke: Baraka
Saturday 28th, 2:30pm, Tancred
Robert Wise: The Sound of Music
So ... pick one of each, obviously :-D ... most movies are screened twice when they're on the program here. Tancred is much the better screen, it seats almost 200 to Lillebil's about 65. All the 70mm screenings will be in Tancred, of course. Full Cinematheque program here, full 70mm program included. Some good stuff. Hope I'll see you there. :-)