Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

Killed by mutineers in Uganda

1. The remodelled MAO invokes a strong 'what the hell were they thinking?' feeling. It doesn't help that the current exhibition is the least inspiring for a while, but the old foyer now looks like 'an out of use foyer in which we have put art'. The kitchen still seems to be in the basement with the new bar / cafe thing being an unwelcoming space and seemed to have been far emptier than the old one would have been at the same time. The old cafe had a bunch of unappealing seats facing a screen showing an unappealing DVD. Is this its only configuration? I hope not, since we have YouTube, iPhones etc. and videos are not new and exciting to be watched as a communal experience these days. I wonder whether MAO will survive the current Cameropacalpyse?

2. I read somewhere (Twitter / LJ / news / other) that the Museum Of The History Of Science has a funding shortfall. Whilst in principle it is irksome that it should have a shortfall, it has got to be the most expendable university museum. The building is interesting for what it is, but very little is made of that, and it is not quite clear how you could since science is a process not a collection of stuff in glass cabinets. I would personally like to see an explicitly confrontational presentation of the enlightenment smiting ignorance, superstition and religion. Videos / dioramas. Preferable gruesome, with dissections and vivisection (CGI cruel experiments on animals, obviously, unless the Monkey Torturing Facility would care to provide live action video, no, thought not).

3. Talking of the Monkey Torturing Facility, do they really think those iron railings and the odd security guard wandering past will make any material difference if a hard-core [fill in term of your choice] decides to attack it?

[intermission - oh, it's the mildly racist bank commercial again]

4. Whilst in the early morning state of being sleepy and having had too much coffee, and also being light-headed thanks to a hair cut and styling, it struck me as bizarre that Blackwells should split art, music and computers between three bookshops. The music shop looks as doomed to me as ever, but there must be something to it as it has seemed doomed to me for years. It did strike me that the 2nd hand book section, though rather random, looked much more interesting than the first-hand book section. I almost bought a book on minimalism for six quid, but having leafed through it I decided that leafing through it was enough and it wouldn't sustain a detailed reading. The computer book section in the main bookshop doesn't seem to have retreated further, which is probably the best we can hope for.

5. St. Michael's Street looks rather sad. The inexplicably central book restorer and binder has moved to one of the light industrial estates of Oxford ('let me take you by the hand and lead you through the light industrial estates of the periphery of Oxford, I'll show you a number of things that will faintly boggle your mind'). A bit of the North Gate Hall or possibly the thing next door is boarded up. And of course how we laughed when the evangelical Christian organisation gave up the lease and it became a lesbian and gay resource centre at one point.

6. I miss Borders. I realise the toxic mix of leverage, British management and demographics meant it was unlikely to survive, but I miss it nonetheless. I think it started to go down hill the fateful day the Borders coffee shop turned into an in-store Starbucks due to the malign intervention of Synergia, the Muse of irksome corporate deals. Clearly A Nice Place To Buy Magazines was not meant to survive.

7. I remain amused that the memorial to some of the more sordid and futile episodes of British imperialism remains in the heart of the multi-cultural city. Unfortunately, I cannot think of a way to get the name changed from Bonn Square to Thruston Square whilst steering the right path between condemnation and glorification (and after all, Oxford was gipped by twinning with a capital city and ending up with a suburb of Cologne :-)). Like many Englishmen of his class and time he clearly found many aspects of African and Arab culture admirable, but clearly he was bat-shit insane and had a death wish. His biography defies precis which is why I haven't selected juicy quotes. Maybe I should work up a multi-media presentation into a one weasel show. I may need some help but I think the skills exist on my friends list. I am torn between employing cloudhigh or mr_snips as the reader.

8. In non local news, I hope those of your worshipping at the temple of Jobs have downloaded the BBC News app. It is quite good and of course one must say 'yar boo' to the forces of evil who would deny the BBC the right to do anything new that might show up their own piss-poor efforts.

9. I have bought the DVDs of Fringe. Never in the course of human history has one series looked so much like another. Which leads me to the obvious question of why did ITV or Channel 4, during the dark days, never do a Doctor Who with the serial numbers filed off? (see, of course, http://www.ntk.net/2005/misc/dandylord.html ).

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