James Bond Changed the World

(This is part of a series of posts that I am doing in the run up to my first Sydney Fringe Festival show in September. It is called One Man Show and it is a split show performed with Andrew Barnett, in the run up we have another website to promo the show, check it out if you get a chance. Original Post)
The first James Bond movie I ever saw in the cinema was “A View to a Kill”. The pre-credit sequence, I’ll never forget, it in some ways changed the way I looked at life and the world, forever! During the duke out in the snow, Bond gets knocked off his skis after blowing up a snowmobile, fortuitously the front ski of the snowmobile lands close to Bond, so he decides to use it as a snow board. From that point on Bond uses it to escape the bad guys all to the tune of the beach boys, in the snow. I was baffled, I had never seen snow boarding before, and like every thing Bond did seemed as alien and futuristic as any thing seen in Star Wars or Battlestar Galatica.Growing up in Dublin in the 80s, we had access to British TV, we lived in glorious 6 channel land, unlike my country cousins who languished in 2 channel land before the arrival of multi-channel in 1988. The one show I used to catch, but couldn’t fathom was Ski Sunday, here we saw people who got to travel all over the world and … ski, bizarre! They might as well have gone into space, which Bond did in Moonraker, the possibility of doing such a thing, for me, was about as likely. But then in 1999 I was sent to the States on extended business and during a relatively dry winter I finally got to a mountain of snow. It was Hunter Mountain, in the Catskills, in upstate New York. As people who know the mountain, it’s not great, a big lump of ice and if there is ever anything that is like piste, it only lasts about the first 20 minutes in the morning before it is all scratched away.However, I couldn’t believe it at the age of 23, I finally got to hit some slopes, I forwent learning skiing and went straight to snowboarding, why wouldn’t you, didn’t you see James Bond skate across the water on one? The first weekend was hard, the second weekend was hard, the third weekend was hard, but slowly I got it, graduating out of the green slopes, which are still the most dangerous, to blue and then hints of black. I was doing it, I was just like James Bond. Twelve years later I still am.It was while I was traveling around Europe recently I came up with the theory that maybe James Bond was, if not created, but in some way used by the establishment to help heal the broken continent after the war. It is truly amazing that now you can glide between France, Italy and Switzerland without border controls when the same places lay in ash 60 years ago. While the James Bond books were written in the 50s, Bond arrived in movie form in the 60s, he traveled around the world, lived the high life and treated women in a way that would surely have him reported to human resources for sexual harassment in the work place, just because Miss Moneypenny didn’t say no didn’t make it right. He was showing a possible life style that we some day might enjoy. Sure we have to take low cost airlines like Ryanair, but an inhabitant in one part of Europe can be in another in the space of a morning (usually very very early in the morning, with carry on less than 7Kg) and modern day smartphones leave most of the Q gadgets for dust.

I have very much enjoyed, the most recent incarnation of Bond, in the form of Daniel Craig, I still can’t believe there were so called purists that felt Bond could never be blond. I hope that after his more than competent performance they are hiding in the same hole as people who were putting down Jedi as their religion on census forms back in the late 90s. That of course was before Lucas decided to make them all celibate monks, thus matching the reality not the fantasy of those said fans. I am looking forward to the next movie and have them filling out the roster, the next movie, Skyfall, is supposed to have Q and Miss Moneypenny. I myself have recently auditioned for a classic part, and am waiting to hear back if I got it. It’s “Man with Wine Bottle”, it’s a pivotal role I think you’ll agree, I just hope that being a student of the method acting technique doesn’t kill me in the process.

I don’t know if Bond can change the world again, it would be nice to think so, but I will always have the beach boys playing in the back of my head while shredding up a mountain. Now if only I can see if I can get into space.

Younger than an average gamer!

(This is part of a series of posts that I am doing in the run up to my first Sydney Fringe Festival show in September. It is called One Man Show and it is a split show performed with Andrew Barnett, in the run up we have another website to promo the show, check it out if you get a chance. Original Post)
I have a confession, well I suppose it is more like stating a fact, this year I turned 36. I am now older than both Jesus and Batman and am one year away from being a Monty Python Old Woman. But, believe it or not I don’t feel very old and that is probably because I still have managed to still be younger than the average gamer, which they are still reporting as being one year older than me, currently at 37. Four years ago when I was 32 it was then at 33.

I have a huge background in computers, but I have never really been much of a gamer. When you work on computers all day long it is less of a relief to then play them at night. During my daily life I can get into discussions that cover topics like we should set up an instance of a Xen server is paravirtualisation mode or full virtualisation (bizarrely I am also married). However, it feels almost like there is a societal conspiracy that one day I will eventually come to my senses and join the gaming masses. Even my Dad, who is retired, plays more computer games than me (thanks for keeping the average up Dad).

Though game play and sales of consoles and titles are big business, this year in the UK games sale exceeded movies, the launch of the Wii a number of years back was credited with bringing both girls and old people into the gamer world.

Maybe also, for someone like me, the level of computer gaming is just not realistic enough, yet. There are some systems that have haptic feedback controllers that shake and rattle if you take on some enemy fire. A little bit of shaking is neat, but I grew up with the Star Trek vision of a holodeck. If there were able to create a system where you can feel the bits of brain tissue and shards of skull slap off your helmet as you exercise an extra judicial killing, requested by, but not officially sanctioned by, your own government in the steamy jungles of Vietnam or Laos, then yeah maybe I might be interested in checking out this gaming thing again.

Sydney Fringe Festival

OK I am very excited, it doesn’t happen very often, but here we go. I have been traveling the high roads and by roads of Sydney to perform comedy and in a lot of those travels I have crossed paths with an Aussie comic, Andrew Barnett, during a trip to Newcastle, a while back, we discussed and decided to see if we could put on a one hour show together. The Sydney Fringe Festival is coming up and we were lucky enough to be able to secure a venue for it. Our show is called “One Man Show“. Here is the log line for our show:

In the 21st Century there are many expectations about what a Man should be. Between them Dave Keeshan and Andrew Barnett meet almost all of these expectations.

Due to a variety a timing issues, all the arrangement for the show occurred while I was traveling through the south of France and Italy.  There was a awkward morning where I had to wake up my wife to take a picture of me against a blank wall so that the poster picture below could be made up, I think she still respects me.

We have two nights of show, Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th of September 2012 in the Factory Theatre in Marrickville starting at 10 PM.  Tickets can already be purchased online and you can find them here. It is going to be a great night, so make sure you book tickets before it sells out.

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I was RickRolled

I usually think I am relatively internet savvy, if I get a friend who sends a panicked mail about how Facebook is going to be closed down, I’ll usually wander over to snopes.com and send them to the relevant page.

So I was surprised when I got pull in by this headline for a blog post:

Children warned name of first pet should contain 8 characters and a digit

I thought it was an interesting, if different premise.  It was only by the time I got to the end that I finally figured out it was a joke and I had been, in my own special way, rick rolled.  Even a line like this, to me, seemed pretty reasonable:

Expectant mothers have also been advised to choose carefully where they give birth. Anywhere that has a place name is best avoided. These are listed on maps, which are freely available on the Internet.