I feel today I must try to write some sort of summation of the year. It has, quite frankly, been an astounding one: how can I possibly summarize such an eventful, awesome twelve months? I feel very privileged indeed to have been a Londoner this year; more to the point, it was a privilege to be with Lyn this year. I have never felt so proud as when I sat in the Olympic stadium and watched her play. I have therefore put together this short video to commemorate this extraordinary year. Okay, I’m not completely sure all the pictures in it are from 2012, and YouTube might soon object to the music, but it’s from the heart. It truly is a wonderful world.

reading ‘Bond on bond’ 1

Today has been a nice quiet day, mostly spent reading. It had been a while since I decided to sit down for an afternoon with my head in a book, so today I did. Lyn got me a book called ‘Bond on Bond’ for christmas: while I daresay it is more populist than the academic stuff I usually read, it is a great little text full of intriguing bits of information.. Do you know the actor who played ‘Nick-Nack’ bedded about 45 women on set – great going for someone of his height! Anyway, I’ll review it properly once I get it finished, so for now I better get back to it.

looking back at the booing of George Osbourne

I just came across this nice little Guardian article looking back at the booing of George Osbourne at the Olympics. That was a very interesting and telling moments possibly one of the best moments of the year. In that moment of national pride, what clearer message can you get that the country does not like his government and what it is doing? It could almost have been choreographed: as the article suggests, too, the only reason CaMoron was not similarly bood is that he was always accompanied by someone else. Had he been alone, the country’s contempt for the unelected asshole is so high that the heckling would have been deafening. As it is, the booing of Osbourne was a very telling moment, and one that should be seen as indicating the national mood.

Sick crip bitch

I think I’ll just flag ths up today. As I wrote recently, disability arts are becoming increasingly important, and this applies no less to disability comedy. Sick Crip Bitch is one of a wave of no-holds-barred disabled comedians who are angry and no longer try to hold that anger back. Great stuff, then. Enjoy!

Rewatching the spy who loved me

I have finally got round to starting my methodical reappraisal of the roger Moore Bond films. Lyn gave me Moore’s book, Bond On Bond for Christmas, so I thought I better give him a whirl. Given that it’s opening was referenced at the Olympic games, and given too that I love the theme, I decided to start with The Spy Who loved Me. You know, it was definitely a mistake to try to watch all twenty-two bond films end on end, as I just got bond fatigue. Comparing one bond to another is like comparing wines: the great thing about the Bond franchise is that it has vintages. Watching ‘Spy’ just now, I realised I was watching a great film of its day, one finely balanced, and, while still cartoonish compared to others, not without nuance. Indeed, it has some great touches: at one point, near the end, Bond flips a switch on the submarine and the non-diagetic music cuts out. Genius!

I suppose I was too hasty to dismiss Roger Moore’s double oh seven. He might not be as brutal as the others, and he might be ever so slightly camp, but I realise now he still has a right to introduce himself as ”Bond, James Bond.” Next on my ‘to watch’ list: Live and Let Die.

I appear to be engaged to a megastar!

I have been trying to think of what to write about the queen’s speech yesterday. I know I should try to analyze it in some way, but what can I say? What can one write the day after one’s future wife and her orchestra played the national anthem for the queen at the Christmas speech?

Probably the first thing to note is how proud I am. Truth be told, part of me thinks I’m dreaming all this: first Lyn plays along side Coldplay at the Paralympic closing ceremony, then she is asked to perform the anthem for the queen herself. I appear to be engaged to a megastar! I should explain, of course, that this all came about around two months ago: apparently, her majesty had seen the Paraorchestra at the closing ceremony, and decided to ask them to play for her Christmas address. That is how, one cold winters morning a few weeks ago, Lyn, myself and Dominik found ourselves in a taxi en route to Buckingham palace!

I must say how incredible it was in there: gold, marble and smart red carpets everywhere. The piece was recorded in the grand ballroom, and during the recording I had a chance to look around a bit. You have no idea how much I’ve been looking forward to tell you about seeing the very corridor down which the queen and bond walk in this film! When it was pointed out to me, it made my year! Of course, I had to keep the fact that I had seen it a secret: the details of the speech are supposed to be hush hush! Mind you, I just had to tell my parents.

Now that the piece has aired though, I feel I ought to say a few things about it. It occurs to me that this performance by the Paraorchestra was really rather significant. It is surely evidence of disability arts becoming mainstream: after all, how much more mainstream can you get than playing at the palace? Of course, you could point out that this was not very inclusive, as inclusion would be to have disabled musicians play alongside able-bodied ones. However, I feel this performance is nevertheless a sign of the increased inclusion of disabled artists into thee mainstream, and as such it is very, very significant. We have the Paralympics to thank, of course: it has been widely noted how the Olympics and Paralympics were seen as on an equal footing, and that the Paralympics gave a new life to the widespread perception of disabled people. I find it likely that the Paraorchestra’s performance was another sign of that change in perceptions; it would also add to it. Hopefully seeing the Paraorchestra play at the palace yesterday, as they did at the closing ceremony, helped to change a few more minds about what we crips are capable of. As such I find this performance, short though it was, very significant indeed. Surely having a group of disabled musicians play at such a high-profile event, doing a job normally done by able-bodied musicians, is a huge step forward for disabled people. And I am damn proud that Lyn is part of that.

Merry christmas everyone!

Lyn and I have enjoyed a nice quiet relaxing day at home; one of those relaxing, chilled out Christmases of the best kind. All I have to say today is, A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night..and, if you haven’t, please watch the queen’s speech.

Vo’Cha ha everyone!

I don’t really have much to write about today. Lyn and I are having one of those slow, lazy days when we don’t leave the house and just watch the box or listen to music. Lyn’s bro Mike popped around earlier, as did marta. It was good to see them both. Thus I think I’ll just whish you all the happiest of Christmases and direct you all here.

Why has New York never hosted the olympics?

Why has New York never hosted the Olympics? I was thinking about this yesterday: I have recently become quite interested in the politics behind the Olympics. It seems to me that this is the nearest thing to a truly worldwide event we have, apart perhaps from the football world cup, but even that does not have the same degree of worldwide interest. When you think about it, the Olympics are a unique cultural phenomenon, and thus they are quite fascinating politically.

I started to look into this yesterday afternoon, just on google. It is surprising how complicated the politics just for choosing the venue is. I was astonished to discover too that New York City has never been selected to host the games – that really did surprise me, given how important New York is globally. When I began to look into why, though, I began to glimpse a labyrinth of international politics, deals, old rivalries and alliances, topped off with a great deal of economics. Apparently, one of the reasons New York has never hosted the games is because the IOC object to some of the US broadcast rules. No doubt similar webs of intrigue apply for Paris, who, Like New york, is thinking of bidding for the games of 2024.

So while I’ve been wittering on about the Queeny-Bondy thing for all these months there is a lot more one can look into on the subject of the Olympics and the politics behind it. That sketch still fascinates me, and I’ve written about it’s importance both artisticaly and politically. Yet such things can probably only occur at events like the Olympics, giving rise to my interest in it as a global cultural event. What I think I need to look into now, though, are the global forces behind the IOC: their choice of city is extremely important, and it seems to me that they hold a hell of a lot of power for such a small, unelected body. Time, then, for me to get back to Google!