Fantasy New Year’s Eve Party

Red Lamps

Gather round…

Philosophical journalist (Pop Philosopher? Celebrity Proust Fan? Oh, I don’t know) Writer Alain de Botton has a quick little post up on the Guardian’s Arts blog called ‘My Fantasy New Year’s Eve‘ where he picks out his ideal guests for NYE. Even better than Alain’s picks (Proust, Keira Knightley) are the comments:

"My ideal dinner guests would include Jonathan Ross, Catherine Tate,
Jade Goody, Pete Doherty, Posh Spice, Paris Hilton, and Dawn French.
Once they were all safely seated, I would make my excuses, leave the
building, and call in an air strike."

My own fantasy NYE list? In addition to friends and family, of course – it would be nice to unite my scattered tribe – I’d love some time to chat, drink and play Guitar Hero with the following… (all of them still alive, because if you’re going to go around collection dead people, you’re never gonna beat Bill n Ted):

John Squire

(Both fairly obvious really – I’m massively into Guitar Hero at the moment, so having two top guitarists on the list would make for some fun)

Gordon Bown (Hey, it makes sense to get in with the new boss!)

Hayao Miyazaki (Japan’s greatest living director. Need to convince him to make a movie of the novel I haven’t yet written, because he keeps threatening to retire. From the documentaries I’ve seen about him and his studio, he looks to be a fairly entertaining, if slightly cantankerous guy)

Mamoru Oshii (Director of both of the Ghost in the Shell movies, in interviews he’s fabulously uncompromising and challenging, particularly on the subject of humans, robots and AI)

David Mitchell (My favourite author. Would only be invited if I could control my jealousy.)

Chris Anderson (Wired editor. He’s an entertaining speaker – I saw him at the London launch of his Long Tail book – and who better to talk to about technology and magazines?)

Penguin’s new media/digital/technology team (Of all the big publishers, they seem to have been doing the best when it comes to the opportunities of new technology – I’m a big fan of their blog, of the Glass Books and their various other experiments online)

Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme (Creators of the West Wing, creators of superb drama and characters)

Courtney Love (She can come across as eminently hateable, but then you remember ‘Live Through This’; I’d love to talk to her face to face, see what she’s really like)

Richard Holmes (Biographer, writer. my ex-tutor at UEA, he was consistently thought-provoking and inspiring: "Everyone needs to talk about their own past, the forces and experiences that shaped them, and how rarely this constant need is satisfied in the competetive, pressurised world, except in moments of emotional crisis." – Footsteps, p207/8)

Nigel Slater (His cook books are great, and he’s an excellent writer, too)

Sir Howard Stringer (Head of Sony. Someone needs to ask him what the hell is going on what with that firm and tell him to make the most of the chance he’s got)

Will Wright (Creator of Sim City and the Sims, he’s an eloquent and thought provoking speaker: "The human imagination is an amazing thing. As
children, we spend much of our time in imaginary worlds, substituting
toys and make-believe for the real surroundings that we are just
beginning to explore and understand. As we play, we learn. And as we
grow, our play gets more complicated. We add rules and goals. The
result is something we call games.")

Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake (Founders of Flickr, the website that has, after Yahoo Mail, become the biggest online part of my real life)

Happy New Year everyone!

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