Moore Than This

"Here we are living in paradise, living in luxury..."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Gone to a better place

Having suffered from a near-terminal case of couldn't-be-bothered-to-write-itis for most of this summer, I decided that to coincide with the resurection of my blog, I should move it to Wordpress. The new Moore Than This is now open for business, making the most of late summer sunshine permitting.


Thursday, April 19, 2007


In preparation for writing the big assessed essay for my Japan's International Relations module, I've spent the afternoon in the library, looking over scholarly journals on East Asian affairs for articles I can use. I have to say, the people who write these articles ought to make an effort to jazz up their writing. They are aiming for readership after all. Any publication that can switch its layout to day-glo covers and splash headlines about "Kim Jong-Il's HOT HOT HOT new hairstyle" and "Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in boozy after-hours press conference" stands to capture a substantial share of the market.

Jim Moore is a publishing industry professional. Honest.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Long absence report

After my last post, the various deadlines at the end of term began to pile up so I didn't have to write anything. A few things happened in the interim though: a trip down to Leicester to see my mate Ed before he set to study in Germany, a conference at Leeds on East Asian relations where I listened to some very interesting discussions, catching up on the first series of the truly excellent TV show The Wire, and going to London to see the Hogarth exhibition at Tate Modern. The Easter holiday is going to end on a high note, as we set off for New York tomorrow. I'll be back by next week, hopefully with enough photos to send my Flickr stream into overload.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Respecting refugees, parading puppets, and a filmic Faversham

Today I went down to the Union to help out at the stall for the Leeds Uni Amnesty group's latest campaign, run with the Leeds Student Action for Refugees group. We were campaigning against the destitution of asylum seekers as part of government policy (for more info, see here), and did a pretty good job of getting signatures for the petition, selling cakes to raise money for a local asylum seeker support group, and raising awareness. Some of the artier members of the AI group had made custom designed T-shirts and giant puppets to attract attention, and at one point I put on one of the puppets. While I thought it added a certain something to my outfit, its tendency to list to one side put terrible strain on my back. Still, it's not about me, is it?

During my stint on the stall, a guy came by who said he was going to be arguing for the motion "Should Britain close its borders?" at the debate on Thursday (also part of the events) and wanted to know if we could tell him how migrants enriched the country. I nicknamed him "Private Joker" because he was an enlistee in the military jacket fad that has swept the country, and because his views were pretty laughable. After he told me that Wikipedia didn't have an answer to his question (Zounds!), I asked him if he got all his political positions from Wikipedia. His answer was an admirably honest "yes". All in all, it's a pity I'll be out of Leeds on Thursday. Seeing him in the debate would be ... interesting, to say the least.

In the evening there was an screening at a relaxed watering hole just off campus of Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things. If you haven't seen it, you should - it's great as a thriller, a love story, and an exploration of a side of modern Western societies that doesn't usually get seen.

And on the way home, a giant rat scampered across my path. Bit of an incongruous ending, but there you go.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's a luscious mix of words and tricks

Got the new Shins album yesterday. I've been a fan since I bought "Oh, Inverted World" the summer before I went to Japan, and since then they've always been associated in my mind with that time and settling into my year abroad. The new album, "Wincing the Night Away", is just as good - a subtle album, but a grower. As well as writing some of the catchiest indie-pop tunes since the Housemartins, the Shins' music also features completely nonsensical lyrics. Which leads to some embrassing situations at times, where I have to stop myself singing about "the sacred lambs of Sunday ham" or some such gibberish in public.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lenin wants your lovin

lenin wants your lovin
Originally uploaded by moorethanthis.

Walking around Leeds campus, you'll always be sure to find posters for various left-wing groups and events. This one caught my attention because it was the first I'd ever seen to use humour. Of course, being an Alabama 3 fan makes the joke so much richer (but not in the financial sense, capitalist pig-dogs).

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Downtime in the Den

Just at a time when I was in need of distraction, BBC Two has threw some televisual gold my way last night with the new series of Dragon's Den. I'd call it guilty pleasure TV, but the fact is I learn more about business pitches, investing and running a company from it than I do from sources like the Economist.

The long-running formula involves hapless investors pitching their ideas to a bunch of entrepreneurs who do their best to fit the snarling, hard-nosed stereotype. The schadenfreude factor comes when they realise they haven't prepared enough/have no idea about their figures/have a product that no-one wants, and are subsequently ripped to pieces by the "dragons". It's an interesting presentation of entrepreneurship and business, as while you're entertained by the dragons, you don't admire them (and you're probably not meant to).

At the time when the US show The Apprentice was about to be adapted into a British version, I read someone's opinion that the UK had an anti-enterprise culture as opposed to the US (can't remember where, or I'd link it). Comparing the two shows, it looks like Dragon's Den is far more about individual enterprise than The Apprentice - after all, in the former contestants have to have a business or idea that they can build into a profitable organisation. With The Apprentice, it's all about following doing whatever Donald Trump (or Alan Sugar) tells you.

And even the choice of tycoon makes the show seem dated. Trump was presumably chosen on his reputations as the brash, go-getting businessman of the 1980s, and he plays it as if nothing had happened in the intervening two decades. The companies that make big money and capture the public imagination nowadays - the Googles and the YouTubes - are run on a completely different corporate culture. It would be quite interesting to see a show where a bunch of hopefuls work for a pair of web visionaries, getting pushed to think up the next hugely popular application and taking time out in the bean bag room or whatever they have at Google HQ. Still, given the choice between that and Duncan Bannatyne sneering at someone's flimsy business proposal, I go for humiliation and suffering any day.

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