Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On buses and memory

Slow to report back on this, but on Monday night Will Self, in the sedate surroundings of The Geological Society, nominated Stockwell Bus Garage as London's most important building.

Naturally I didn't take notes, which makes me even more glad that Self rehearsed his arguments for the Evening Standard earlier that day too.

A number of things did stand out from his peroration though (amazing isn't it, you spend some time in Self's company, and you end up taking on his vocabulary), not least his basis for arguing why the garage was important - the last reminder of an age of municipal building that could be considered both moderne and truly democratic - and the fact that the site of the building, a bomb site, was (is?) the bed of the long-lost River Effra, now culverted but once important enough that Raleigh sailed up it to visit Elizabeth I; and that psychogeography is reflected in the undulations of the whale-backed roof.

And if you now have an image of buses borne along long-lost rivers, welcome to my mind.


Commercial: Scary removals

"Survive Adapt Overcome" by SgtRock333
"Survive Adapt Overcome" a photo by SgtRock333 on Flickr.

Spotted outside the office earlier today. A somewhat over-wrought brand promise you might think - what exactly are these removers removing? And if they are removing objects from your home for transportation to a new abode, perhaps they could find a less perilous route to take?

Or maybe, they've rapidly adjusted their offer to these seemingly pre-apocalyptic times we're going through, and delivery to your nuclear bunker comes as standard.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Poetry: Hotel verse

Or rather, Marriott is looking for your wedding poetry. The best, as chosen by Fiona Sampson and Matt Harvey, will be put in a book, available across all the chain's 54 sites in the UK.

Can you beat Shakespeare? Of course you can. Ready, steady, quill!


Tigerblood poetry

Seriously. Charlie Sheen's poetry. As turned up by GQ.

And you know what, it's not bad...


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Commercial: Neovella

Beware! If you remember A Million Penguins look away now! New crowdsourced fiction platform ahoy!

Says Neovella:

neovella is an "exquisite cadaver" method for writing stories with your friends.

write your line, watch your friends add on, and witness the new and unpredictable life of your stories unfold. you'll have to be there to experience it.

And then if your storiesa re top-ranked, they could get flogged through Amazon singles. Gang, unleash your vampire angel stories now!


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Commercial: tweet talk give

James Hogwood, he of the rather wonderful pushes emotional buttons, is doing a rather wonderful thing tomorrow, as part of World Book Day. I'll leave it to him to explain; but if you're booky, and generous - which I know you are - you really should take part in:

This Thursday is world book day, a unesco-designated day that celebrates all that books bring us. To mark it, and to raise money for Book Aid International, I'm holding a sponsored twitter book club on Thursday night. It's called tweet talk give, and we'll be discussing Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running".

Will you sponsor us at

Every £2 you give will send another book to a community in sub-saharan africa, the poorest region on the planet. I know it's cheeky to ask, but you'll be giving the gift of imagination, education and hope to people who will really appreciate it. and that's awfully nice of you.

if you're on twitter, you'd be most welcome to join in at 8pm on thursday, on the #tweettalkgive hashtag. Or pass it on to anyone who might be interested. You don't have to read the book, as I'm doing a series of audioboos on my blog that will give you a flavour of it.

Sorry again to be cheeky, but as you're a book-loving bunch i hope you'll take the opportunity to do something amazing.

And while you there, you should also check out James' latest project, notyetemoticons.