Bourne, jason bourne

Last night I realized something important had slipped under my radar in relation to my fascination with bond – something quite epic: Bourne! Lyn and I watched the latter three quarters of a Bourne film last night, and I was hooked. Almost instantly, of course, I saw how much they had had a bearing on the more recent Bond films: it’s obvious that, stylistically, the Craig-era bonds draw a lot from Bourne. But, more than that, I was intrigued by the character; with how, unlike 007, Bourne works against rather than with the agency who trained him. On that level, dare I say it, he is much more interesting than Bond.

Time, then, for me to go shopping. What I need to do now is to get my hands on a bourne DVD box set and give them a serious viewing, just as I did with Bond. I was surprised to realise just how little I know about this franchise, especially given it’s importance in contemporary mainstream cinema. Time for me to do something about that: time to engage with Jason bourne. Although there are clearly huge differences, it is also clear that there is a relationship between the two characters, and that, to some degree, Bourne is a response to bond: perhaps Bourne can be seen as a modernized, Americanized version of bond, or one film company’s attempt to muscle in on the most successful film franchise ever, or an expression of American jealousy that film’s most successful hero is, if fact, British, or a bit of each.

Either way, I was struck by an intriguing idea: if Bond can escort the queen to the Olympics, that seems to beg for an American, Bourne-based response. But what could he do? If you think about it, as I touched upon in this entry , bond was an obvious choice: the situation with Bourne is more complicated than with 007, as with Bond you can just assume that M simply asked 007 to go to the palace and escort her Majesty to the stadium. They might even have made a short sketch showing the two talking, perhaps with bond complaining, trying to get out of what he sees as a mundane task in order to go and hunt villains instead. However, his attitude was conveyed far more subtly through a cough – a touch I felt very Bondish, managing to demonstrate something of 007’s character as both part of the established hierarchy yet not entirely respectful of it. With Bourne, of course, things aren’t so straightforward: he does not follow orders, so what would such a Bourne-based stunt look like? What could he do, and at what event?

To me it is an intriguing prospect: in making this short film, it seems to me that Danny Boyle threw down a gauntlet – surely more such postmodern juxtapositions are in order? Indeed, would it not also be cool if bond and Bourne actually met somehow? I must say I’m just itching to work on that idea. Who knows, given the current appetite for such crossovers, maybe I could write a script and put it forward to someone.

although the snow may look pretty

It’s snowing heavily here, and we’re stuck in.

It’s much to early to open the gin.

Lyn’s in her studio, I’m in here

Where snow once aroused joy now I feel fear

I slip and slide so much in my chair

I definitely don’t want to go out there.

So I’ll just stay here, where it’s warm

Perhaps Skype my parents, still where I was born.

We’ll talk about days when I was young

We went out in the snow, me clinging on to mum.

For although the snow may look pretty

For us wobbly crips, it can be quite dangerous.

Good on this waiter!

I think I’ll just flag this story up today. A waiter at a restaurant in Washington refused to serve a group who objected to being placed near a family with a boy with down’s syndrome. They asked to be moved, but were later heard to say ‘Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.” After that, they got no more food and quite rightly too. Good on the waiter, I say! I wonder if any such ignoramuses have ever asked to be reseated because of me. I hope not, but hell itself would open if I found out some did.

North africa – cause for concern?

I had expected to be able to write a good, long, ranting blog entry about CaMoron’s speech on Europe today: I had expected it to be something I could get my teeth into, and give my keyboard a good hammering over. Alas, it wasn’t to be, and now we must wait even longer for this long awaited speech. Truth be told, though, the fact that he backed out of it kind of scares me: you might be expecting me to accuse him of cowardice, and of using this emergency to get out of giving a speech he was afraid to deliver. But I think that would be too easy and too simplistic. If we give CaMoron the benefit of the doubt, if we assume he would have given this speech if he could, then the current emergency in north Africa is huge – it could well be even bigger than the media is currently letting on. Of course, you could point out that we have a lot of oil interests in north Africa, so it’s natural a Tory PM would be very concerned with what goes on there. But the reports also suggest that this is a new front on the war on terror, and that al-qa’ida could now establish a base in north Africa. Surely that must be cause for concern, no matter how cynical one tries to be.

How long till we get such letters?

I just came across this quite unsettling news about cuts to care for people with Disabilities: ‘Adults with disabilities in England are being deprived of basic care and support and are at risk of being forgotten in the wider reform of the social care system, campaigners say.” That is shocking, but dare I say not really surprising. Time and time again throughout history, whenever a society comes under any kind of pressure, social, economic or whatever, those with disabilities are always the first to suffer. Right now, Lyn and I are fairly okay – we both have the support we need. But such news items make me worry, and wonder how long it will be before we get a letter through or door saying our support will have to be cut. My heart also goes out to the increasing numbers of people who have already received such letters.

Being a good little cripple

I think I have been a good little cripple of late: I’m reading again, work on my thesis is picking up, and I haven’t got blotto in a pub in over six months. In all seriousness that had to stop: when I was hanging around with chopper, I was going to the pub three or four nights a week, and spending thirty or forty quid each time. It was getting inane. Fortunately, with the help and wisdom of Lyn, I got out of it – chopper was a bad influence all round, and, to cut a long story short, I don’t expect to see much of him any more.

I am, however, still quite partial to a good real ale. Recently, I’ve thought it wise to drink only at weekends; but that just lead to me waiting till Friday then downing four or five beers – not good either. Simply trying to go tee total seems not that fun, so I have decided the solution might be to take a ‘little and often’ approach – just have one or two beers with or after dinner two or three nights a week. That way I do not get drunk, and it gives me a chance to try lots of different types of beer now that I’ve found the shop in Greenwich I noted a few days ago. I’m also considering using it as a self reward system, perhaps for working on my thesis. A good solution all round I think, and much more sensible than propping up a south London bar.

Gangnam Disabled Style

It looks like I’ve been beaten to it. I have been thinking about making my own version of Gangnam Style for a wjile now – after all, I’m still not satisfied I’vve come up with a decent sequel to Spastic Ballet – but yesterday I came across this awesome version from a group of disabled people in Panang. Too be honest, they probably did a better job than I could have, but I still can’t help feeling that I’ve been beaten to the punch-line. Oh well, I’ll just have to work extra hard to be the first crippify the next meme.

Yesterday’s ironic walk

I thought about going to the football match again yesterday. The cones were out once more, meaning Charlton were playing at home. A quick check online told me that their opponents this week were blackpool. Yet it was very cold out, and we had a heating system to oversee the repair of, so I decided not to go. In the end, though, I went out anyway – my optician called to say that they had a replacement frame for me.

I decided to couple my trip to the optician with what I initially thought would be a short walk. I have written many times on here about how I like to go for drives in my electric chair: I think I now have a favourite. I head, from Charlton, to the royal standard, skirt Blackheath; turn into Greenwich park (beautiful at any time of year). There I drive up to the observatory and the statue of Woolfe, taking in the magnificent view. I then press on through the park into Greenwich itself, with it’s market and shops. I now have a new incentive to go here, as yesterday I came across quite a nice little wine shop which had a good selection of speciality beers.

There I bought something to drink with dinner yesterday and today, by which time, with a shocked look at the clock on my Ipad, I saw it was time to get home. Luckily, it was not far, but the ironic thing is, as I approached Charlton, I hit the pedestrian traffic coming out of The Valley. I might as well have gone since I had spent the time outside anyway. Oh well, there is always the next match (football matches being hardly uncommon events), and I now have a couple of good beers to enjoy.

Euroskpticism is just plain stupid

Why is euroskeptisism still seen as a valid political position this weekend? After this week it should be dead, and those who still cling to it should be perceived as outdated and irrelevant. It is surely now clear that they have lost the argument: America has made it apparent that it wants Britain to stay in the European union, and it thinks that it is in Britain’s best interests to do so. Were we to leave the EU, the United States would simply ignore the UK and just do business with Europe; we would loose our position as bridge between the two trading blocks and in so doing relegate ourselves to a tiny third rate power. It is only if we keep our place in the European union that Britain can have any say in world affairs. Euroskeptics and Europhobes claim to act out of patriotism and in the best interests of the county, but how can they be patriotic when their views, if put into action, would be so disastrous for the country? I don’t think the European Union is perfect – it could do with being a tad more democratic for a start – but it is surely clear to any thinking person that leaving it would be the biggest mistake this country could make, and thus euroskeptics should be seen on a par with racists, wife-beaters, homophobes, and those who want to see hanging reinstated.