Buffalo stance

Isn't the English language a wonderfully broken and ridiculous thing? For example. it turns out that "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically sound sentence. How utterly splendid. This from io9

It has been the talk of grammarians since 1972. According to William Rapaport, its creator and a professor at the University of Buffalo, it means, 'So, buffalo who live in Buffalo (e.g., at the Buffalo Zoo, which does, indeed, have buffalo), and who are buffaloed (in a way unique to Buffalo) by other buffalo from Buffalo, themselves buffalo (in the way unique to Buffalo) still other buffalo from Buffalo.' The sentence relies on a few tricks. The first is that 'buffalo' is a verb as well as a noun and the name of a place. To buffalo someone is to confuse or fluster a person. There's also a missing 'that.' Under normal circumstances, we can sometimes drop a 'that' from a sentence, as long as the nouns still make the meaning clear. All-buffalo sentences muddle it up a bit.

I'm now going to dedicate the rest of my life to finding a conversation in which this sentence would naturally come up. Living near Buffalo Zoo would probably help. A perfectly fine excuse to move to New York. 

Procrastination for creative writers


I've been a massive fan of cartoonist/illustrator Tom Gauld for several years now. My house is littered with his very small comics and gigantic robots. I've even taken it upon myself to suggest a creative partnership between him and Duncan Jones (seriously, just imagine a comic adaptation of Moon).

Every now and then he'll come out with something that really strikes a chord, such as this illustration for the Guardian's letters page, now available as a print. The whole thing is scarily on the nose, it may as well be called "Daniel, Morning". 

So yes, I need this. 

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

You don't see many black and white Iranian vampire movies these days, do you?  Haven't heard much about A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, but the oily, murky photography looks stunning.

It makes me think, maybe some other vampire flicks would look good in black and white – emphasising the contrasts of night and day, pushing the red of the blood into the black of the shadows. I imagine it would work particularly well with Bram Stoker's Dracula, bringing it closer to the early cinema aesthetic Coppola strived to emulate. Not sure it'll do anything to help Keanu's British accent, but you never know. 

AGWHAAN is released 22 May in the UK.

Japanese book repair

Not really sure why/what/who this is, but it's rather splendid. There's something incredibly calming about watching a Japanese craftsman repair a book. Print isn't dead, it just needs ironing. 

Comic People


Jamie Hewlett, one half of Gorillaz (or is it one third? Or a quarter? How do they work again?), put pen to paper for another Britpop star long before he hooked up with Damon Albarn. Way way back in 1995, he produced a mini-comic version of Pulp's Common People for the French release of the single.

Jarvis looks suitably angular, and the general design takes me back to the days of other Hewlett classics like Tank Girl and Hewligan's Haircut. Terrifyingly, this is twenty years old.

In a recent Pitchfork interview, Cocker discussed how attitudes to class have changed since then:

A more appropriate song now would be "Royals" by Lorde, because the working class isn't the same as it used to be in England and America, as far as people actually making things in factories—all that happens in other countries now. It's more like a consuming class, or just people without much money. In the olden days, there was such a thing as working-class culture and things like music came from that, because it was entertainment made by people in a different sector of society. And that had a vitality to it. Sometimes, people from the upper class or middle class would be jealous of that vitality and want to live in that world a bit. But now, certain sectors of cities in the UK are just very rough places. I can't imagine anybody going, "Wow, I'd really like to live like that." So that thing which existed the '50s, '60s, and '70s, where people would search for this energy in lower class things, is maybe gone.

Twenty years.