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i went and auditioned for the panto last night - i've got a call back on monday for the part of will scarlett!! am so nervous cos i really wanna be in it. have been kicking myself for not auditioning the past two years - student panto is so much funnier than normal panto. i used to love the rock 'n' roll pantos i went to as a child! but yeah am very nervous cos i would love a part!

Current Location: Y.O.R.K
Current Mood: nervous nervous
Current Music: gimme shelter, the stones

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upon the day when god's enemies are mustered to the fire, duly disposed, til when they are come into it, their hearing, their eyes and their skins will bear witness against them concerning what they have been doing, and they will say to their skins "why have you bore witness against us?" (Q 41:19-21)

we indeed created man; and we know what his soul whispers within him, and we are nearer to him than the jugular vein. (Q 50:16)

the clatterer! what is the clatterer? and what shall teach thee what is the clatterer? (Q 101:1-3)

There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but Time destroys us. (Q 45-24)

it is interesting how texts about relgion seem to be making their way into my life at the moment! currently reading a journal wich seems to be a philosophy of religion, or anti-religion, or the philosophy of satan. the man who writes it - i think it is a man, his name is Bob! - seems very serious about it (see devil_hearts if anyone out there is interested) to be honest it doesn't seem like a religious text - more a philosophical text - i don't think it is pro- anything spiritual - though i may be wrong!

my course this term is focussing on banned literature, and our current read is salman rushdie's satanic verses, which is a very enjoyable and sprawling sort of book. so i have been researching the offence the book caused on its publication. apparantly the passages that offended the muslim community were just 3 brief ones:

1) when the prophet (salman calls muhammed "mahound") receives verses from gibreel (gabriel) that acknowledge 3 idolatrous female deities as equals of allah - mahound later revokes these verses and claims they were sent from satan.

2) mahound's scribe (called salman - hello, mr rushdie!) loses faith in the prophet and changes some of the verses as they are dictated - when salman reads then back to mahound, the prophet fails to notice the alterations

3) prostitutes in a brothel called "the veil" take on the names and characteristics of mahound's twelve wives - apparantly muhammed's wives are historically viewed as "the mothers of the [muslim] comunity" (syed shahabuddin)

the name "the veil" was considerd outrageous as a name for a brothel because it is "the symbol of female modesty and chastity in the islamic ethical outlook" (Shabbir Akhtar). i realised this, but i thought that "the veil" was a good name in that it it is suggestive of looking behind or beneath - the whorehouse is what goes on behind the veil. why do you cover up the naked face? is it obscene? if so, then "the veil" is the perfect name for a brothel because everone wants to look behind it - just like everyone wants to look up your skirt! (perhaps that is an exaggeration!) isn't that view a classic steeotyping of women, so well established that everyone is bored of it by now? behind the veil/skirt/closed door she is (or it is hoped she is) a whore.

i suppose veils are rather topical at the moment. i don't really know how to comment on this. my mum has told me that she finds veils disturbing - she wants to see the facial expression, the personality, the thoughts, that it conceals. i know that if it were the other way around i would be outraged - i wouldn't cover up my face, though if i went to a strict muslim country i would have to. when i went to morocco i couldn't wear short sleeves. i suppose it is hard to understand because, with our victorian history, it smacks of covering women up, shutting them up, putting then away, restricting them - like corsets! to be honest that is my prevailing view of traditional muslim dress. it's to shut you up. it's so they can ignore you. you're covered in fabric, like a piece of furniture, and you are taught to be ashamed of your face, of your entire self. on the other hand, millions of women who wear it proclaim that it is liberating. so perhaps we have different ways of feeling liberated. for me, it's wearing whatever i feel like - it's having the choice to wear jeans and a shirt, or a short skirt and a t-shirt so i can feel the air on my legs. that's what a short skirt is for - it's for myself, not for whoever i want to impress. that's what the people who cover up don't seem to understand - we are apparantly shameless, lewd, obsessed with looks and sex and men. shameless yes - because i have never been taught that my body is something obscene to be covered up, so i have no concept of shame when it comes to that. if you cover the body up beause it is lewd or sexual or "naughty", you immediately both eroticise and assoiate the feeling of shame with it. it becomes secretive. it's pretty counter-productive.

Current Location: york once more
Current Mood: curious curious
Current Music: waiting for the man, velvet underground

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friends are people who share their cake with you!
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Sir Beelzebub

by Edith Sitwell

Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in hell
Where Proserpine first fell,
Blue as the gendarmerie were the waves of the sea,
(Rocking and shocking the barmaid).

Nobody comes to give him his rum but the
Rim of the sky hipopotomus-glum
Enhances the chances to bless with a benison
Alfed Lord Tennyson crossing the bar laid
With cold vegetation for pale deputations
Of temperence workers (all signed in Memoriam)
Hoping with glory to trip up the laureate's feet,
(Moving in classical metres)...

Like Balaclava the lava came down from the
Roof, and the sea's blue wooden gendarmerie
Took them in charge while beelzebub roard for his rum.
...None of them come!
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i am soooooo close to completing that terrible tangle of a henry james essay that has been plagueing my life all summer! so close! (which is a good thing as it's due in on monday) so why am i on here instead of diligently typing away at it? because i love procrastination. procrastination is my friend. procrastination will get me far in life. procrastination sounds great when you repeat it lots!

i went on the life list the other day - it's very interesting to look at all the things we want to do before we permanently stop moving around. so because this is my journal, and i can do what i like, i'm going to write my own life list down - which has changed a little bit from the one i put on the forum cos my goals change from day to day!

1.travel back to morocco and visit the cascades d'ouzoud again
2.carry on acting - specifically get into alice in wonderland and juan's house of chicken y pollo this term!
3.win a million pounds and buy my parents their dream home!
4.learn to play the harmonica
5.write and illustrate a children's book and dedicate it to my little brother
6.learn to understand my big brother more!
7.perform the most hilarious stand up version of the aristocrats ever to a room of complete strangers
8.NEVER start taking myself too seriously
9.if i get married i want to have a minuscule, simple ceremony and then an enormous party afterwards - and i will not wear a white dress!
10.make an entire outfit for myself by hand
11.do something for charity every year - my last charity event was the morocco hitch.
12.laugh at something every day
13.at some point in my life, become as cool as bob dylan (the epitome of cool - he so is!)
14.travel through different countries
15.live by the sea
16.write more
17.take my parents out to dinner
18.for once in my life be satisfied with myself - give the girl a break!
19.chat someone up (so far in my life i have only been the chattee, never the chatter, cos i'm shy, awww!)
20.learn to tapdance!
21.send someone flowers
22.listen to every one of my dad's vinyl records
23.tell someone the complete truth!
24.tell someone on my course to get over themselves - i'll probably be a wuss and say it to them on the day we graduate, and then run away.
25.become an excellent cook
26.learn to play my grandmother's piano
27.fall in love with someone
28.control my temper
29.learn another language - possibly french if i want to go to morocco
30.save the planet more!
31.take a piss standing up - without it running down my leg! (i have never tried to piss standing up yet!)
32.remain sober my whole life
33.never be able to say my life has been wasted

and after i die...

1....have an enormous comedy funeral - so that if people have to cry, they cry with laughter!
2.be remembered as a swell gal!

ok that was a pretty long list so i hope that it wasn't so boring if anyone actually bothered to read it all! i'll probably think up some more stuff
so...return to henry james. but i might put a poem in above, cos i love the quotes!

Current Location: york (again)
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: hotel california, the eagles

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Nude Descending A Staircase

by X.J. Kennedy

Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on, nor on her mind.

We spy beneath the bannister
A constant thresh of thigh on thigh -
Her lips imprint the swinging air
That parts to let her parts go by.

One-woman waterfall, she wears
Her slow descent like a long cape
And pausing, on the final stair
Collects her motions into shape.

Current Location: york
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: you got it, roy orbison

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a black cat sneaked into the house last night when it was raining. she kept rubbing up against my feet and then then tried to bite my knuckle - perhaps she thought it was a mouse!

supposed to be finishing my henry james essay right now. i think that what i didn't realise before i came to uni was that i hate writing essays. i hate having to quote people. how can you generate any original ideas when you have to back up everything you say with a quote from someone else who is cleverer than you? all you end up doing is rehashing other people's work. perhaps i don't 'get' university. perhaps i'm just too darn stupid! i like reading books. that's all i like. i like reading books and collecting ideas that inspire me to do my own thinking. university does not encourage independent creativity. it prepares you for the system of faffing and waiting in queues and never-quite-understanding which is probably all that's waiting for me "out there" in the "real world".

anyone who says that university is not "real" is an idiot. there are people here who have borrowed money to get themselves through it, who have to hold down a job so that they can eat and still get through the same amount of reading and noting down endless quotes and going to seminars as all the people who can afford to lounge about.

i think im still trying to get my head round the whole thing. what exctly is expected of me? get a degree that makes the university look good and then get out. maybe i don't fit into the university idea of a good student. maybe i'm just not a good student full stop.

i have been alive for 20 years, and i'm really not sure what i've done with it all - all that time. i don't know what i'm going to do with the rest of it. if i died, and if my heart was weighed, i think the scales would balance perfectly. but that's because, it i've never done anything really bad, i've never done anything really good either. i can list the interesting stuff i've done on the fingers of one hand:

i've hitch-hiked to morocco
i've acted at the edinburgh festival
i've acted in the vagina monologues

that's about it. in all my 20 years i can count 3 things. i've never done anything brilliant, that would make me really proud of myself, i've never done anything extraordinary.

actually, i said above that i hate quoting people - really i love quoting stuff - i just hate doing it in the context of an essay - how can i quote brilliant writers in a work that is so mediocre whatever i do?

ok. here is a quote that i love, because it is so true about so many people's lives:
"and i have known them all already, known them all -
have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
i have measured out my life with coffee spoons."

sorry, don't want to come accross as all pretentious and studenty and terribly serious about life. i love life, i really do, i love laughing and being with people i love - i'm just sad because university separates me from them more than i would like, and i don't have anything i'm brilliant at at uni to keep me feeling good about myself. and really, i'm worried about being one of those people who has measured out their life in coffee spoons, who will measure it just the same for years to come.

Current Location: york
Current Mood: anxious anxious
Current Music: just like heaven, the cure

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wow, i am bored bored bored. am all on my own in the house - ALL my housemates have gone to the library to do work. i suspect they are not real students. my room is roughly the size of a shoebox, and i optimistically brought about 10 pairs of shoes with me. but actually the house is really nice it's absolutely teensy, but i think that we 5 girls get along a lot better than my previous house did. there were ten people so there was a lot of room for squabbles and differences of opinion and hatred and all that jazz.

but yeah i'm pretty bored cos i've been on my own most of the day, just sticking up pictures in my room and meeting up with my lovely smug seminar group on campus. so obsessed with their own artsy wonderfulness, so indifferent to anyone who is seriously flawed and awkward such as myself. they just kind of look at me over the tops of their (oh so stylish and wonderfully gifted) noses and sit me in the corner so i can be i-g-n-o-r-e-d. they're very good at having conversations over my lap. part of this is my fault because i have a humgous problem with shyness, and so most of my utterences in their majestic multiple presence take the form of a little mouse-with-a-sore-throat squeak. and i think i come accross as a very weird, awkward, staring-at-the-floor totally unintelligent type. so i suppose they can't be blamed too much for never talking to me! it's just they're all so horribly convinced of their utter exclusivity and talent as draaaaaaaaama students. there was a real war at the edinburgh festival. much flinging of jealous and muddy insults along the sophisticated lines of "y' talentless bastard" among the writing and performance artistes!

to be honest, there's probably something wrong with me. how can so many people be so horrible? it must be me and that's why i bitch about them so much!

Current Location: back in York
Current Mood: numb numb
Current Music: Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb (how appropriate!)

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"The first time an angel heard the devil's laughter, he was dumbfounded. This happened at a feast in a crowded room, where the Devil's laughter, which is terribly contagious, spread from one person to another. The angel clearly understood that such laughter was directed against God and the dignity of his works. He knew that he must react swiftly somehow, but felt weak and defenceless. Unable to come up with anything of his own, he aped his adversary. Opening his mouth, he emitted broken, spasmodic sounds in the higher reaches of his vocal range...but giving them an opposite meaning: whereas the devil's laughter denoted the absurdity of things, the angel on the contrary meant to rejoice over how well ordered, wisely conceived, good and meaningful everything here below was.

"Thus the angel and the devil faced each other and, mouths wide open, emitted nearly the same sounds, but each one's noise express the absolute opposite of the other's. And seeing the angel laugh, the devil laughed all the more, all the harder, and all the more blatantly because the laughing angel was infinitely comical.

"Laughable laughter is disastrous. Even so, the angels have gained something from it. They have tricked us with a semantic imposture. Their imitation of laughter and (the devil's) original laughter are both called by the same name. Nowadays we don't even realise that the same external display serves two absolutely opposed internal attitudes. There are two laughters, and we have no word to tell one from the other."

- Milan Kundera, The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting

Moving back to York on saturday. it's my last year at university - yikes!

Current Location: still in the wirral
Current Mood: mellow mellow
Current Music: barclay james harvest

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