Idiocracy

Today was a really lovely day, so I decided to stay inside and do music. I also watched Idiocracy. I can’t believe nobody has told me about this film before. It brilliantly observes the increasingly selfish, commercialised, dumbed-down and generally irresponsible direction our society seems to be going in, and it is absolutely fucking HILARIOUS. I liked it so much I’m going to watch it again really soon.

Moving broadband provider again

It became apparent today that O2 will provide me with ‘unlimited’ 8Mbit broadband for £7.50 a month, which would appear to be hugely better value than my current 8Mbit service with Zen in which I pay £25 and am limited to 20GB a month. Here’s a quote from the email I wrote to Zen asking them for a MAC key in which I explain why I’m wanting to move:

This is partly because I can make such a huge monthly saving I simply can’t justify the cost of staying with Zen any more. Also, a while back I had an issue in which I couldn’t connect to a certain location via VPN, and this was only happening from my Zen connection and not from other locations, but your engineers were not willing to take their investigation to a level I thought satisfactory considering the high cost of your service.

I’ve now placed an order to move my broadband to O2 as soon as possible. As ever with things like this, I await the changeover with some trepidation.

Jean Michel Jarre at the Royal Albert Hall

The nasty vertigo from sitting up in the circle combined with the fact that I was feeling migrainous caused me to feel simultaneously unwell and extremely panicky, so I wasn’t exactly off to a good start with this one. I had to use extreme effort of will to remain in my seat and to concentrate on, and enjoy, what was happening. Still, I did manage to appreciate it despite the issues I was experiencing.

Jarre, assisted by three other musicians, played all the tracks off the first Oxygène album, and in between each of the tracks was a new piece of music. The thing that made this so interesting was that they were performing using the original synthesizers used to produce Oxygène, some of which are ‘antiques’ and nearly 40 years old. It was therefore compelling to watch these guys wrestling with knobs and patch cables, and sometimes fighting to keep the machines in tune as they were playing. Unfortunately, though, I hadn’t taken my glasses, and we were so high up that it was difficult for me to see exactly what was going on.

Virtually none of the trademark Jarre projections, lasers, visual effects, pyrotechnics, etc. were present. There were a few projections onto a screen at the back, and there were some cool lights that illuminated the synthesizers in different colours that changed in time with the music. But basically it was just the music and the fascinating and unusual nature of the performance that were the key issues here.

So, certainly not the mind-blowing, life-enhancing spectacle that I was so incredibly fortunate to witness at his Destination Docklands concert, but an enjoyable and intriguing event nonetheless. I won’t be in any hurry to buy circle tickets for other events at the Albert Hall, though.