Another irritating mindblock yesterday evening, sparked by seeing Simple Minds (eugh!) on VH1 - I couldn't for the life of me remember who directed The Breakfast Club. Isn't Internet Movie Database a wonderful thing? But I shouldn't be forgetting such things, it's worrying.

"I saw The Breakfast Club at the Capitol Cinema. I loved it then, and, I'm ashamed to say, I love it now . . . Not that it was all that spectacular a movie, but it had the benefit of hitting me at a time in my life when I was just forming an idea of who I wanted to be, and in that dusty theatre, I was presented with five suggestions."

Jeff Gomez, Our Noise (1995)

I still don't know who I want to be, but for now I'm me, and getting used to it gradually.

Last night I went out in Bradford with some colleagues for a great curry. I had a good time, the food was wonderful, the conversation quite fun. I got round to thinking about the eclectic cultures that exist in this melting-pot nation of ours, something which I was never really exposed to as a kid, growing up in a small village. Now I'm coming to appreciate it, the way that we are able to pick over the aspects of different cultures that we like the idea of, it's a kind of pick-n-mix global lifestyle really. What to eat this evening? Indian? Chinese? Indonesian? Italian? American? Fish n Chips..? But not just food (I'm not actually a big fan of food), it's getting there with music too. It's a pretty fun planet, really.

Eclecticism is the degree zero of contemporary general culture: one listens to reggae, watches a Western, eats McDonald's food for lunch and local cuisine for dinner, wears Paris perfume in Tokyo and 'retro' clothes in Hong Kong; knowledge is a matter for TV games.

And it's the same in art - kitsch, confusion and 'anything goes'.

In the absence of any aesthetic criteria, money is the only yardstick. All 'tastes', like all 'needs', are attended to by the market."

Postmodernism For Beginners

Food. Ah, yes. It seems more people are coming round to my way of thinking. There was a report on the BBC News pointing out that many more under-30's are choosing to eat microwave meals, and that the 'art' of cooking is dying out. The interviewees cited precisely my reasons for their shopping baskets full of convenience food - it's simple, reasonably tasty, and quick. Who wants to get home from a long day at work only to slave over a cooker? Not me, that's for sure. I think the etymology of cookery will evolve as my generation matures, such that the verb 'to cook' comes to embrace the mere action of heating a microwave meal. There'll be the usual protests, of course, from the older generations. "That's not cooking!" they'll shout. But in time the OED will come round, and we'll have seized another word to use for our own purposes, just as we did with 'awesome'. Gen X is coming of age.

Mail from the book club. Seems I paid them twice last month. I am now in credit, which is more than can be said for my current account. This world seems to get more confusing every day. Still, I need some new books, so this accidental over-payment needn't be a bad thing. Ordered:

  • Paul Hoffman - The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth
  • Richard Branson - Losing My Virginity
  • David Hillman & David Gibbs - Century Makers

so that should give me something to flick through until Christmas. Those bullet points are ugly, aren't they? I think I'll have to make some of my own.

Don't you love it when you suddenly discover something about somebody which you never previously knew? At the weekend I discovered that the mother had appeared in a video intended for teaching medical students about mood disorders - she had to act as though she had cyclothymia. Well, today I finally got to see the footage, and had a good giggle. I can see why she kept this quiet for so long!