Saturday, January 31, 2009


Tis almost February and my morale now lies crippled, further kicked and beaten by circumstance (and some wankers)

No job at Best Buy, I need three years experience because...well actually there’s no reason whatsoever, I’m perfectly capable of doing the job. Then there was the recruiter, who called me back about a job that had become unavailable, and then there was the woman who found my CV on Monster, told me to get in touch, but by the time I tracked her down had forgotten what she had called me about and subsequently never called me back.

But the most crippling blow of all came from a new Super Yacht website. Providing a service to the uber-wealthy, bastards as they’re commonly known, they wished for me to write a piece advertising the location of Aruba to this audience. I did, not expecting much, but I was called on this last Thursday and asked if I was busy on Friday to come in and do one of those selection/interview type day things. I said yes, but there was a catch, and that was that I needed to put together another 600 word piece. It was for a front page feature, on any yacht subject I chose.

So I got started, finished at 11 the night before, and made my way down to the interview place for 10:30. After waiting quite a while, we got started. We were told quite a lot about the site and the market and so on (this was when we learnt what roles were available. Strangely, these roles weren’t actually the one’s they’d advertised). Then the exercises – one where we were to sit down in a group, half of the ten of us, and talk about ourselves and the pieces we wrote, the other, where we would be given a bad piece of copy and had 45 minutes to re-write as best we could. If we get through this, then, and only then, do we get an interview.

It’s heading towards 12 and I get put in the group that does the talking and discussing. And I get to go first. So I introduce myself and then they get the piece I’ve brought in with me, they say it’s well written but more of feature piece and not really suitable for the front page. Then they critique the Aruba piece; say I was right to emphasise one bit but wrong to mention this bit, and before I can really offer any real defence, it’s on to the next person.

And everyone else’s work is perfect for the front page, great stuff, lots of discussion. And to add insult to injury, these are people here with 20+ years experience on me. I go through the next stage, do my best with the copy test, but I’m finished basically. And then after lunch (which they didn’t provide) and then another half-hour after that, waiting for them to come back, I learn that I’ve not made the cut – no surprise. It’s now 3pm.

Four and half hours I was there, and that doesn’t count the amount of time I spent working on the pieces of work I did for them, and for what? I should feel pleased I got selected from amongst the 120 test applications that were sent in, but it’s hard to feel great when you work hard, commit a great deal of time to something, and then get a quick 5 minute brush off in front of a group other. I must have spent less than three minutes actually interacting with the interviewers.

Fuck em, bunch of c@&*s

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Yeah... It's not going too well to tell truth. I spent New Year's Eve pretending it wasn't New Year's Eve because I had stomach flu and was too afraid to eat anything, never mind drink anything. I wasn't going to risk subjecting myself to another seven hour bout of regular twenty minute trips to the toilet with acidic diarrhea (I don't think my sphincter will ever recover).

As for the jobs, well, any leads I had prior to the changing of the year seem to have gone dry. No word from John Lewis and it's approaching two months since the interview.

My only hope now seems to be an American company called Best Buy who are setting up in the UK this year. They're kind of like Dixons and Comet, only they turn a profit. They want four copywriters, so I would hope that I had a reasonable chance of getting one of them - although they do want photoshop experience, which isn't something I have too much of. I'll have to wait and see. As usual...

Delusion of the Day: Cotard Delusion: a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that he or she is dead, does not exist, is putrefying or has lost his/her blood or internal organs.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Filmy Filmy Films

DDDDDD – Exceptional and unparalleled.
DDDDD – Excellent, a special film.
DDDD – High Enjoyable, recommended.
DDD – Worth watching, but unexceptional or flawed.
DD – Bland, dull and average.
D – You’ll envy the deaf and blind.

Barton Fink (1991) John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, John Mahoney. Dir: Joel Cohen.

A playwright accepts a job in Hollywood, experiences writer’s block and experiences a series of strange events. Deliciously dark study of the creative process and the breaking down of a pretentious artist, as he faces the dark and baffling world of the real people he supposedly knows all about.


In a Lonely Place (1950) Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy. Dir: Nicholas Ray

An actress provides the alibi for a screenwriter accused of murder, they romance, but his unbalanced behaviour begins to give her doubts. Interesting noir thriller which contains an unusually intense performance by Bogart, but it is does veer too much toward the melodramatic.


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn. Dir Tay Garnett.

A drifter and his mistress plot the murder of her aged husband for ownership of his highway diner. Famous presumably for being sexy for the time, dim and irritating characters ineptly scheme to become somebody by inheriting a crap shack in the middle of nowhere. Double Indemnity is better.


Blood Simple (1983) John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedeya, M.Emmet Walsh. Dir: Joel Cohen.

A Saloon owner hires a killer to murder his wife and her lover, but it backfires, bringing them all down. First Coen feature is stylish and full of unexpected twists, but it could do with more pace and a bit more humour to fit its contrived plot.


The Firm (1993) Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris. Dir: Sydney Pollack

An arrogant young lawyer joins a law firm run by the mafia and is then harassed by the FBI. Cardboard characters and a bland, clichéd script make for a watchable but rather vacuous two hours of entertainment.


The Masque of the Red Death (1964) Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, Patrick Magee. Dir: Roger Corman

A Devil worshipping Prince holds a party within the safety of his castle while plaque ravages the land outside. Shot with more money that the average Corman adaptation, there’s less tongue in cheek in this darker Price vehicle, with a grim finale. It’s stylish and intriguing, with many memorable moments.


I Know Where I’m Going (1945) Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Pamela Brown. Dir Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell.
A determined girl is unable to sail to her fiancée, and waits for the weather to pass in a Scottish village with a desirable nobleman. Beautifully shot, restrained British romance which is subtler than viewers will be used to these days. It isn’t exciting, but is very cosy and warm.


A Matter of Life and Death (1946) David Niven, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey, Kim Hunter, Marius Goring. Dir: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

Having escaped death, a pilot in love discovers he should’ve died and must fight his
case in heaven. Beautiful and imaginative film, which is both sentimental and silly, but also intelligent and thought provoking. The charm, wit and optimism of it all will be irresistible to even the most cynical.


The Stepford Wives (1974) Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Nanette Newman. Dir: Bryan Forbes
Man and wife move to a too perfect community, full of grinning idealised women. Too long in the build-up - the twist was probably quite obvious even then (Buffy would’ve solved it all in 45 minutes). But there are some memorable and effectively creepy scenes,


The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) Boris Karloff, Myrna Loy, Lewis Stone. Dir: Charles Brabin.
The diabolical villain wants the sword of Genghis Khan so he can unite the East to rise up against the West. Immense amounts of camp OTT fun, with great sets and set pieces - providing you can laugh at some of the less than PC attitudes on display.