I’m Spazticus

Sorry to resort to ad hominen bitchiness, but I think I need to note this. Having watched I’m Spazticus last night, this blog entry seems all the more ironic. The article I cite in it is by one of the actors in the show. In it he berates others for using disability a a ‘lifestyle choice’, but hypocritically exaggerates his own condition. On the evidence from last nights show, he can talk clearly yet insists on using a lightwriter, and can walk much better than I can but insists on using a chair. That alone I wouldn’t mind, but the fact he is so prejudiced against people he sees as pretending to be disabled, and then parades himself on channel four as a paragon of disability culture, really is hypocrisy beyond the pale. The rest of the show I did not have a problem with – infact I found it quite funny – I just cant abide either hypocrisy or prejudice.

more mysteriousness

Yesterday was another of those awesome days which were indeed awesome but I can’t blog about as it would give certain surprises away. It’s much too hot for sitting in here writing blog entries anyway. I will just say that we were with the sort of people who refer to the London Philharmonic Orchestra as the LPO, as if hanging around with such an illustrious organisation is just something one does, and that, if you can bear to buy a Murdoch paper, things will all be clarified in next week’s Sunday Times. Things right now are so exciting I really want to say more, but can’t. my urge to write must be suppressed, which is difficult, but it’s made easier by the knowledge that, when eventually you do find out what Lyn and I have been up to, which you will not long from now, you’ll all be blown away.

‘A bit too Ian Huntley’

After my two glorious days in Middle-Earth, it’s back to the real world and far less comfortable things. I think I ought to just direct you here, to a blog entry by Miss queen concerning the case of Tony Nicklnson, who yesterday lost his case to be allowed to ask a doctor to kill him. While I’m not sure I agree with everything Phoebe says, she makes some very valid points, especially about self-pity and the perception of disabled people in general – it’s definitely worth a read for anyone interested in crip politics. As for myself, I do not know what to think, but on the whole I guess that I’m glad that the murder of cripples was not effectively legalized yesterday.

watching Lord of the rings in one go

I have just finished doing something which, believe it or not, I had never done before. Yesterday morning I was struck by the urge to watch all three parts of The Lord Of the rings in one go. It had been an age since I’d watched it last, so I decided that there was no other thing for it than to sit down and watch it. The problem is, all three volumes of the extended edition come to eleven and a half hours long, so in the event I had to split it over two days, and even then I began to worry about neglecting Lyn. While I did enjoy it, and now feell a sense of accomplishment, the fact that I simply could not view it in one go as I would any other mainstream film begs the question, can Lord of The Rings be seen as a film in the conventional sense? Of course, on the one hand it is a piece of mainstream Hollywood cinema, conforming to many of its conventions (including the overuse of introducing reinforcements when any battle seems lost). But on the other hand, this film is not just another part of mainstream post-classical American cinema: when viewed as one text, as I’m sure both Tolkien and Jackson intended, it is too long to be a mere entertainment, or a distraction. Films usually last ninety minutes, at the end of which everyday life resumes. This film demands a special effort to watch: it is too long to be classed as entertainment – it almost demands too much effort and time to be entertaining. Thus it struck me that, given that to condense the plot any more than Jackson did would make a mockery of Tolkien’s book, the old maxim holds true that the lord of the rings is unfilmable. It cannot be translated into film as the word is conventionally used. Remarkable though it is, and, as an adaptation it could have been far worse*, Jackson could not render Tolkien’s work just as an (entertainment) movie: it demanded to be rendered as something more, something special, and that, in my opinion, is what we got. But on the other hand it strikes me, that in a way it ceased to be a pure piece of entertainment in the process; a great story became more of a work of art, in a way changing it’s status to something Jackson might not have intended. After all his intention was to entertain.

*Tolkien purist have reservations about Jackson’s many changes from the original, as do I, but just imagine what a car crash it would have been had Disney got the rights and decided to make a ninety minute version.

‘Love me’ video

As well as being a musician of the highest order, Lyn seems to be fast becoming a great director. Today she finished her latest music video, which can now be found here. I think it’s great, of course, but I am also quite interested in the elongated transitions. You will see what I mean when you watch the film, but it’s a technique never seen in the mainstream. Cutting is almost always invisible, but here Lyn has drawn attention to them by making them longer, so for a while you have two separate images on the screen, two things to look at, one slowly seeping over the other. I find that cool because it makes you realize how much of film editing is stylized artifice. Anyway, enough of my babble, go watch!

olympic closing ceremony

Given that I wrote about the Olympic opening ceremony on here, I should probably blog about the closing ceremony last night. The problem is, I did not find it that inspiring. It was okay, I suppose. I think it was more oriented towards music this time, which is fair enough, but I found it less spectacular than the opening  ceremony: there was less humour in it – no bits with bond or rowan atkinson. Also, to my ear some of it was out of tune and/or distorted. I found the inclusion of Eric Idle singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life‘ a good touch, but apart from that I wasn’t that enthused. Oh well, at least we still have the Paralympic ceremonies to look forward to.

Brits for paris 2024

I just created a Facebook group called brits for Paris 2024. Boris Johnson recently joked about London hosting another Olympiad within the next twenty years. Such a suggestion is, f course, quite mad: no doubt london now has both the infrastructure and expertise to host the games, but we simply could not afford it. It also struck me that, while part of me does like the idea of living in an Olympic city during the Games again, if london were awarded another olympics in the next twenty years, you’d have to feel sorry for the french. After all, they bid for the games of 2012 too; therefore now that the first part of london 2012 is coming to a successful end, I say we brits should get behind the paris bid for the 2024 olympics. It seems only fair, given their bid for the 2012 games lost to us (much to their chagrin, having also had their bids for previous olympics turned down) and that, by then, it will have been a full century since Paris last hosted the Olympics in 1924. So given that we can’t really expect to host another olympics for another fifty years, and that we had so much fun with these ones, we might as well get behind the bid of a city which we can get to easily, but whose games we won’t have to pay for. And anyway, if we had to put up with this shit, so should the french!

Hbd mark

Today is my brother Mark’s 31st birthday. Happy birthday bro! Mark is a physicist, always joking about one ay making a warp drive and exploring space. It is in his honour, then, that I share this astounding picture. It is a view from Mars; the three dots are Jupiter, Venus and Earth. Never before has humanity in it’s entirety looked so small and irrelevant, and never before has an image amazed me as this one does. Anyway, Happy birthday Mark. I hope this picture inspires you as much as it does me.

view from mars

A view to a kill

Our PA Marta has recently learned to drive, so today Lyn and I went for a short trip with her. We just went to one of the local parks, but one where we don’t often go because it is rather out of the way. The park in question, Oxleas Wood, is on a hill and has an amazing view of south London: I reckon you can see beyond the M25 and into the farmland beyond. When we got there, we settled down outside the cafe there to admire thee view; I noticed a few army trucks behind a ringed fence and, assuming it to be some kind of fair, paid it little heed.

A little while later, though, I noticed there were some heavy duty guns there. ”Holy shit,” I thought ”what is this about?” Half aghast half excited, I pointed it out to Lyn, who stated what I should have realized: these were the defenses for the Olympics. No less excited, I spent a while watching the antiaircraft gun swivel automatically, robotically following planes across the sky. Call me a big kid, but part of me wanted the thing to suddenly fire, yet I know, of course, that had that happened, it would herald something far from cool.