Saturday, October 31, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 48

"You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers."

"I have plenty of talent and vision, I just don’t give a darn."

"Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness." (Woody Allen)

Don't do this at home



VG writes about "poor" Chinese guy Sun Meng who was having an affair with a married woman as the husband, inconveniently, appeared. He climbed out of the window, on top of a air conditioning box which is so common in this part of the world, and had ended up standing there naked while being thrown insults at by the disappointed husband.

But Meng himself apparently takes the whole thing light-heartedly, complaining that the weather was so cold that he appeared to be "smaller" than he really is...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Palin son-in-law to be naked in Playgirl

TMZ reports that Sarah Palin, the now out-of-work former vice president candidate in the US, will have the chance to see her former son-in-law, Levi Johnston, naked in Playgirl magazine soon. "His manager tells us Levi's gunning to shoot the nudie pics on November 16th ... the same day Sarah Palin makes her Oprah debut."



While I won't actually be running out to get the magazine, I'm still quite sure that these photos will be the best thing that the Palins have done in a while (if I'm so kind as to count him in the family still...)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My bookstore

I just remembered that I have my own bookstore: Bjørn's Amazon Store. I remembered it because I got an email from Amazon telling me that I had earned a few dollars in the previous year on sales...

Well, maybe I should do more about this store. Any suggestions on what kind of categories I should include?

(Presently, it includes Alexander McCall Smith, My favorite movies, My recently read books, Gay, Books on A Room with a view and 100 best books. An obvious candidate may be Mathematics?)

Movie: Notorious



There are great names behind this movie: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman have the two main roles and Alfred Hitchcock is both writer and director - as well as the producer. Hitchcock of course also turns up in a tiny scene, as was his habit.

The movie takes place in Rio, where the US intelligence is tracking down Nazi refugees involved in criminal activities. While the contact with the Germans imparts some drama, it is the scenes with Grant and Bergman that are the most convincing.

The movie is on the list "1001 movies you should see before you die", as it should be.

Notorious (1946)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Movie: Så som i himmelen



It's not often that I see a movie because of a song it contains. However, lately I've heard the song "Gabriellas song" so many times that I got interested in the movie.

The start of the movie is simple: a world famous conductor has a heart attack, and has to stop his career. He goes back to his hometown to rest, and slowly gets to know the people there.

It is a beautiful film, with a bit of the same warmth as "My life as a dog" and other great Swedish movies.



Så som i himmelen (2004)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

This blog 5 years – the best from 2005-2006

This blog started on February 26th, 2005, which means it has a five year anniversary in February 2010. Leading up to this, I will try to write five blog posts (one every month until February), each summarizing one year.

One of the first things I did was to go back to my round-the-world trip of 2003 and write a series of blog posts on the different places I visited (Johannesburg, Reunion, Mauritius, Singapore, Sydney, Dunedin, Queenstown, Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Wellington, Napier, Roturoa, Auckland, Papeete, Moorea, Los Angeles and Montreal).


(I notice that I didn't realize Flickr existed until October 2005.)

And later I blogged on my trip to Tuscany.

But to balance it out, I also wrote about things to see in Oslo. I've also written many posts on art to see in Oslo, such as Vinternatt i Rondane and other highlights from the National Gallery, as well as The Freia park.

I also very quickly started to write posts on movies I saw - the first one I commented on was Der Untergang.

I kind of like my idea of blog metrics, which included for instance the "sex"/"work" ratio: "How many times have you mentioned the word "sex" in your blog - divide that number with how many times you've mentioned the word "work"."

There was also a little text about Adam and Eve that I had forgotten.

On May 26th, I mentioned that I had had 10,000 hits. By that rate, I would now have approached 200,000 hits, not the 1,200,000 hits that I have now passed.

Part of the success is of course due to the inclusion of some sexy photos, such as Mr. Gay Europe contestants.



On July 3rd, I had my first post on the Roskilde nude run, which is still a popular subject. And then, from time to time, I do a post on The world's 100 sexiest men or something like that.

Another subject I've revisited again and again is gay marriage. One post was called "12 irrefutable reasons why gay people should not be allowed to get married". Of course, I didn't know that in less than five years, I would be a married man. In another post, I mention getting this message from a guy in a discussion: "You are so typical gay, Bjørn. I bet you wear a dress and a top hat as well!".

And almost every year, I've been complaining about Daylight "Saving" Time, for instance by posting DST - Depression Saving Temperature.

I've mostly kept personal issues out of the blog, but had to mention that my boyfriend moved in with me in January of 2006.

"The Man who Loved Yngve" best gay movie

I have heard rumours that "The Man who Loved Yngve" has been awarded the Jury Prize at Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. That is good news indeed - it is a great movie. See my comments on the movie in an earlier post.



(Update: The rumours were correct - see The Seattle Times.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 47

"I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." (Oscar Wilde)

"As a general rule, I am more prone to listen to those who are as outraged by the indecency of homelessness as they are by the indecency of music videos." (Barack Obama)

"Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies." (Woody Allen)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Movie: La ley del deseo



It's already 18 years since I saw "Law of desire" (La ley del deseo) for the first time. Now that my age has almost doubled, I still like the movie, although not as much as when I saw it for the first time. For the first half of the film, I find it too convoluted, so I don't really get the hang of everything.

Of course, it's always great to see a young Antonia Banderas. I'm not too happy with his acting here, actually, but never mind.



La ley del deseo (1987)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sex revelation about something everybody knew

I'm fascinated to read in Aftenposten that local media in Gran Canaria has done some investigative reporting and revealed that there is sex going on in the dunes of Maspalomas. According to the newspaper, "The local population demands that the authorities take action to make sure that the activities are stopped, before both Maspalomas and Gran Canaria has their reputation spoiled".

I wonder what's next in this series of shocking news. Will someone reveal that prostitutes actually have sex with their customers? For pay?

I'm sorry for being a cynic, but I really had no idea that the locals were so naive. Even my 2001 Lonely Planet guide noted that Maspalomas was a well-known cruising area. Actually, a google search for "Maspalomas and sex", for instance, will get you quite a number of hits. This makes me quite certain that this is a case of people ignoring the issue until approached by a journalist, at which point they feel that they have to claim ignorance and protest...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Translator to teenagerish

Lingvisme makes me aware of a site that translates text from English to Teenagerish. Here's an example of a part of Hamlet:

Original:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

Teenagerish:
2 B OR NOT 2 B TAHT SI TEH QU3STION
WH3THER TIS NOBLAR IN DA MIND 2 SUFAR
THE SLNGS AND AROWS OF OUTRAEGOS FORTUNE
OR 2 TAEK ARMS AGANEST A SEA OF TROUBL3S
AND BY OPOSNG END THEM?!?!???!?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Movie: Mars & Venus



This is a painful and beautiful movie about what happens when a married straight couple doesn't have time to communicate anymore. The non-communication leads to a downwards spiral that is hard to break.

I like the movie. But I do have problems with the references to the highly problematic "Men are from Mars, women from Venus" theory - by which some straight couples try to explain all their disagreements. To place such an emphasis on the difference between the sexes seem strange from my point of view - as a married gay man. I think the human experience cannot easily be divided into two different planets...



Mars & Venus (2006)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 46

"Bore (noun): A person who talks when you wish him to listen." (Ambrose Bierce (Devil's Dictionary))

"On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down." (Woody Allen)

"I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid."

Movie: Carne trémula



I'm a big fan of Pedro Almodóvar, so every time I have the chance of sitting down to watch one of his movies for the first time, it's with great expectations and joy.

Victor (Liberto Rabal) is a young and unexperienced man in love. Sadly, he gets involved in a shooting incident in which a cop is paralyzed, and "his" girl marries the cop. However, a prison sentence doesn't last forever, and Victor still has an interest in these people when he comes out.

There are feelings all around here, and we get to understand more and more as the film progresses. Combined with great actors and (of course - it's Almodóvar) great actresses, it becomes a good film.



(In English, the film is called "Live flesh".)

Carne trémula (1997)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Trafigua scandal - the bliss of WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks is an interesting sites - trying to make available documents that have been censored somewhere in the world.

For instance, they include the article by The Independent on the Trafigura scandal, in which "the biggest toxic waste scandal of the 21st century" is described. The company Trafigua is apparently trying to keep these documents from getting publicity, but seems to fail.

Read also a comment on this case from Aftenbladet, if you read Norwegian.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New photos from John Andresen: Romeo

John Andresen has updated his website, this time with photos of 22 year old dancer Romeo:



Strange from the BBC

BBC reports that US president Barack Obama will repeal "don't ask, don't tell", the policy that demands that gay people serving in the US military should keep quiet about being gay, or be thrown out (and, on the other hand, that the military should not actively research their soldiers' sexuality). He is also reported to want to repeal the Defense of the Marriage Act (the law making sure gays will not be allowed to marry) and fight discrimination concerning government benefits.

The report ends in this strange sentence: "In many places in America, gay people enjoy a high profile, economic and political clout, our correspondent says."

I can't really imagine an article on straight politics ending with a sentence saying that "In many places in America, straight people enjoy a high profile, economic and political clout, our correspondent says."

R.I.P. Stephen Gately

Stephen Gately is reported dead.

Sad news, indeed. I will quote a participant in the Stephen Gately forum:
"for me, he came out at the same time that i was struggling accepting that being gay is acceptible in life... he was not only an inspiration and a role model for me at the time but he showed that u can be gay and out and accepted... it helped me to have the courage to do this for myself and for that i will always have respect for him... my thoughts are with his family, his partner and the rest of boyzone. and also the rest of us, his fans of which there are so many. we will miss you.
i will miss you."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 45

"Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends." (Woody Allen)

"It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying."

"I can resist anything but temptation." (Oscar Wilde)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Movie: Shank



Being in a gang and being in the closet at the same time can not be simple. Cal, the protagonist of this movie, has such problems to deal with. His life is full of bullying, drugs and destruction when one day something happens...

At times it's great to see a movie portraying something you know well. At other times, it's great to get to know a totally unfamiliar territory. This film is in the second category - I know very little of what goes on in such gangs, but find it fascinating to see.



Shank (2009)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Nobel peace prize for US president Barack Obama

It took me by surprise that US president Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Looking at the reasons used, it makes a bit more sense. Barack Obama has made dramatic changes in US policy, signalling that his country should stop torturing its prisoners, that it will take an active role in solving the climate problems, that the international community should cooperate to reduce the nuclear arsenals and signalling a more helpful position in the relationship with the UN.

He gets the prize more for creating a new "climate" than for getting real results. I sure hope that there will be results to follow.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Nude law students

In a quite short article, Dagbladet writes about a few law students who had a nude swim outside the beautiful opera in Oslo today.

My guess would be that it was fairly cold - but a wonderful place for a bath.

Movie: An Englishman in New York



I've read the book "The Naked Civil Servant" by Quentin Crisp. It tells the story of his life, and is both sad and immensely funny. This movie tells the story of the last years of his life, after moving from Great Britain to New York to find a new audience.

John Hurt revisits his role as Quentin Crisp, and does a wonderful, wonderful role. Of course, lots of Crisp's great one-liners are included. But it doesn't get really interesting until Crisp makes some particularly insensitive comments ("Aids is a fad") and is out of favor for a while. His wit is not well-suited for dealing with a catastrophe. The movie also lingers on the theme of what's different nowadays compared to Crisp's youth, which is quite a lot...

It's great to see stories of such courageous people as Quentin Crisp.

An Englishman in New York (2009)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Movie: Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band



I admit that I had never heard any of the music of Pansy Division before entering the cinema to see this movie. It was not even one of the movies at the film festival that I really wanted to see - I just came along when a couple of friends wanted to see it.

It turned out to be a nice aquaintance, though. I'm not really into punk, but at least this band had hilarious lyrics, which is a plus. The story of the band was quite interesting (even though there was a bit too much told about the constant look for new drummers...)

After seeing the movie, I've even considered looking up some Pansy Division records...

Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band (2008)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 44

"I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible." (Oscar Wilde)

"Belladonna (noun): In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues." (Ambrose Bierce (Devil's Dictionary))

"In this business you either sink or swim or you don't." (David Smith)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Movie: Miao Miao



Taipei is the city in the world that I've spent most time in, except Oslo. So when the chance came to see a movie from Taipei, I just had to grab it, even though it was portrayed as a lesbian movie.

It's a noticeable phenomenon, this, that at the Oslo International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, almost no men go to see "lesbian movies", and almost no women go to see "gay (male) movies". It's not strange, though, as part of the point of the festival is to get to see movies portraying your own kind of love - so everyone is busy doing just that.

Anyway, it turned out that Miao Miao has equal portions of both lesbian and gay (male) love. And it was quite beautiful. A new girl arrives in class, she is an exchange student from Japan. She quickly falls in love with an owner of a record store who is in love with someone else, while a classmate falls in love with her...

It's hard for me to be "objective" when seeing this movie (isn't it always?) - because just seing Taiwan on the screen makes me happy. But it is an interesting story with many layers, and it's well worth seeing.

Miao Miao (2008)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Nude artwork in London

According to a website, there's a cool "artwork" in London's Trafalgar Square. "Every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days without a break, different people occupy the plinth and do as they like."

Needless to say, some people take the opportunity to confront society's attitudes towards nudity by being naked for an hour. The videos from the performances are available, see for instance JoshB's hour of nudity.

Cool project.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Movie: Dare



"Dare" tells the story of three high school kids whose lives are on the surface very, very different, but who face similar problems, it turns out. The cool little trick of the movie is that the three kids are the main persons of a third of the movie each, which, in my opinion, works quite well. First we get to know Alexa, a "perfect" girl who hasn't really experienced much, Ben, a good friend with no life on his own and Johnny, the cool kid with lots of money and lots of relationships with no depth to them.

The blog Wires and waves writes that "Dare evokes no strong feelings in me at all - it's just kind of there". I don't quite agree, at times I get emotionally involved in the film. But it's not great, and wouldn't have made the way to a cinema in Oslo if it wasn't for the gay angle which made it suitable for the gay and lesbian film festival...

Dare (2009)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at Collectorz.com.)