Signs of division, or innocent support at a tennis match?

I just have a small observation to record tonight: I was watching the Murray match earlier, when something slightly troubling happened. The camera focussed at one stage on two girls in the crowd, both with Scottish flags painted on their faces, and, possibly for the first time, I wondered whether that had been an overtly political act. Of course, people from all countries have always painted their cheeks like that on on such occasions; those women had every right to do so. And yet, with the referendum coming up, part of me felt it was a political statement, or a show of animosity to us English. I have no idea what their intention was – the girls probably just wanted to support Murray – nor where my feeling came from. In fact I don’t know what my feeling was: concern mixed with, I fear, a kind of resentment. I don’t fully understand where it came from. The fact that I felt such a pang of concern worries me. Could we already be starting to divide? Above all, it already feels like a wedge is being driven between the peoples of this island, giving rise to my suspicions, and that is what I resent the most.

thinking about becoming a republican.

I suppose I have fairly contradictory feelings about the monarchy. I know how I should feel as a liberal leftie: it is an outdated, expensive and undemocratic institution. Yet part of me, I must admit, has a soft spot for good old Liz; as I wrote here, her entrance at the 2012 olympic opening ceremony increased my respect or her. This institution is part of this country’s identity, and in general I see no real harm in it. However, that is provided it keeps to it’s place and does not interfere with how the country is really run. That is why I got a bit angry when I saw this story this morning: for charles to try to influence government policy on something as important as education simply by virtue of his birthright is utterly wrong. He thinks he should have power because he is a member of a certain family. Moreover, he wants a return to an education system which reinforces class devisions. I’m sorry, but someone should put charles in his place. He can keep his pretences and fictions as long as he does not overstep the mark and assume powers he should not have in a democracy; many more stories like this and I’ll think about becoming a republican.

There’s more at stake here than your (re)election, dave

It is now clear that the unelected cretin currently calling himself Prime Minister is putting his own selfish aims before the interests of the country. All thinking people recognise that it is vital that we stay part of the EU, in order that we may work with our neighbours to build a better future. Instead, CaMpron has seized upon the current european election – merely a formality to everyone else – in order to show how strong and decisive he is in ‘standing up to Europe’. In other words, scared of those foolish and simple enough to agree with Farage, he is pandering to ukip-voting morons rather than doing what is best for the county and for humanity. We, as people capable of independent thought, who see the value of multicultural society and cooperation, who see state barriers as the ephemeral lines on the map they are, and who see the folly of Camoron’s short-sighted, short-term neoliberal nationalism, should be up in arms demanding his resignation. He is jeopardising the european project in favour of nineteenth century statism and devision. We urgently need to fight back against the wave of xenophobia dishonestly calling itself euroskepticism currently sweeping the country, an to out ukip as the bigots they are.

The royals come to charlton

I am currently sat outside the gate of charlton house garden. It’s normally open, but tonight, because of the filming, it is firmly shut. Beyond it is a hive of activity: cast in all kinds of costumes, dressed as if for a garden party. I am told Liz Hurley is around somewhere, playing the queen. Thousands of pounds worth of equipment is being wheeled about. It’s quite a surreal sight, if you think about it. The Americans seem fascinated by our royal family – ironic after they fought so hard to ge rid of them – that here they are in charlton making films about them. I can even see guys dressed as beefeaters. It strikes me as a bizarre, fascinating sight, especially given that it’s happening on my doorstep.

Criminals employing criminals

My usual Wednesday lunchtime yell at the tv was slightly worse than usual this week. Why do we put up with this? why should the people of this county have to put up with an unellected tory piece of shit lying from the dispatch box every wednesday, arrogantly batting away the very serious questions put to him as if they did not matter? It is now clear that CaMoron knowingly employed a criminal on his staff, yet he seems to think he is above the law and should be at liberty to employ who he pleases. His attempt to pin the blame on the civil service is an insult to our intelligence: the buck stops with Cameron. He owes us his immediate resignation and an apology for the hurt he has caused, but instead the p’tahk stands thee, patting himself on the back, portraying himself as completely innocent and above all criticisms. ENOUGH! People are dying due to tory cuts, yet they reduce taxes – surely we must do something to free ourselves from the bunch of arrogant liars and crooks currently leading the country their own selfish gain. Criminals employing criminals.

Jeez. Not bad for my three-thousandth entry.

Why I’m concentrating on proper sports

I was just speaking to my dad, who was bemoaning the turgid state of British/english sport, especially he cricket. But as I see it, it’s not that bad: the cricket team may not currently be doing that well, but not so long ago we were on top of the world game for the first time in decades. Last year a brit won Wimbledon for the first time in 77 years; even if Murray does not win this year, that is still pretty awesome. Two years ago we put on an amazing olympics, and had our best medal haul ever. Not long ago we won the rugby world cup. When you think about it, there is a lot of glory in British/english sport’s recent past.

However, there is one glaring exception to this: football. When you look at it, english international football has been on epic let-down after another for almost fifty years. I was appalled at their recent performance, and, like many people I’m sure, very pissed off to hear that our players prioritise their club over the international game. Why should anyone have any respect for these overpaid, pampered jackasses? If you ask me, football has betrayed us, letting us all down. That’s why I’m going to ignore it from now on, and concentrate on proper sports more worthy of my respect.

Hearing strawberry swing in the shops.

I was over in Bexleyheath this afternoon, just on a routine visit cruising the shopping arcade, when across the sound system came Strawberry Swing. It might sound strange, but not being a particularly avid fan of Coldplay, I have rarely heard that track. In fact, by my reckoning, this afternoon was the one and only time I’ve heard that song outside of the Paralympics. But, of course, as soon as I recognised the faded guitar pattern over the tannoy this afternoon, my mind swept instantly back to that glorious night when Lyn and the Paraorhestra played that very song before the world. I smiled to myself: I reckon I will forever have such moments now; Moments when London 2012 will be mentioned, or something linked to them, an my mind will go back, and I’ll be able to say I was there at that once in our lifetime event, as it lives on in our collective emory. And, as much as Lyn takes it all in her stride, I cannot help but think that is awesome.

Where I should have been yesterday

Yesterday was quite a fun day for me, mostly spent cruising around visiting people. However, I’m now kicking myself as I should have been somewhere completely different. It seems I missed a huge anti-austerity march up in central London: 50,000 people marched against the government and their cuts. The odd thing is, though, I haven’t heard a peep about this story on mainstream news, which, given the size of the protest, strikes me as odd, ad even somewhat worrying.

Non Academic yet important details

Now my masters is all done and dusted, I have started to go through my old files. I did a of of writing for it which didn’t make it into the final thesis. At one stage during the process, I explored he personal Aspect of filmic love, where I look into the social side of cinephilia. Looking over these short pieces, I see why they were cut. Strictly speaking these anecdotes were not academically relevant as they have little to do with ideas like those concerning the contingent, at the core of cinephilia. Yet part of me wishes I had left them in, as they describe moments i love in both film and my life. For example, I detail the night that tony and Charlie took me to see casino royale, and how that experience in part gave rise to my adoration of the ending of that film. I mention somewhere too that part of my passion for Star Trek stems from my friendship with Andrew fox – I mention his death, but leave out the non academic details which nevertheless enrich the story on a personal, social level.

However, it seems time to put that right. My blog does not need to abide by the same rules as my thesis. In this entry i noted the links part of me wanted to include but didn’t; I also began to touch on this idea here. I will probably include more as and when they occur to me, but it certainly feels like I have started to put something right.

Farewell Brazil

Farewell Brazil it’s all but over.

Two one to equador is pretty dire.

Time to head home, back through Dover

Then decide who to keep and who to fire.

So much for this cup for another four years

Why do we always raise our hopes so high?

We just get rowdy after too many beers

And keep telling ourselves it’s worth a try.

So soon the team will come home

No silver, but nice and brown.

Next time, they’ll say, and we’ll all groan

Once again we feel let down.