Being an at least partially political blogger, you might be expecting me to comment on Boris Johnson’s speech to his party earlier, but I’m not going to. As far as I’m concerned, whatever that disgrace to human civilisation said today is irrelevant, and the media are wasting valuable airtime reporting it. The only valid thing which that p’tahk can possibly utter is an immediate resignation, preferably with a grovelling apology. Anything else coming from him should be ignored as just one more piece of shit in an already contaminated, diseased sewer.
If there’s just one video everyone should watch today, without a doubt it is this one. The double-barrelled scrotum Jacob Rees-Mogg was confronted by a disabled man in Manchester yesterday. I don’t know who he is, but my hat goes off to him: he really puts it to the tory twat, shaming him for ruining so many lives through the Tories’ cuts to benefits. What gets me angry though is how, after the confrontation, Rees-Mogg walks away trying to justify himself to camera, claiming that what his party has done has in fact helped people with disabilities. Instead of spewing such crap, if Rees-Mogg had an ounce of honour in his body, he would have sunk to his knees and started begging the guy’s forgiveness.
I woke to the sound of helicopters overhead this morning. It was clear something was happening out there, but I didn’t put two and two together until Serkan got here, quite late, and told me that it was utter chaos outside. The roads were apparently gridlocked, with just about all of London queuing for petrol. It was a sunny day so I rolled out a bit later to see for myself, and it was indeed horrendous: I have never seen the roads around here so packed. At every petrol station I passed, tens of cars were queuing, their drivers nearly all shouting at one another. What gets me, though, that rather than admitting that this chaos is a direct result of Brexit, the Tories are trying to tell us that it’s a similar situation all over Europe, and has nothing to do with them screwing up the country so royally? Are there traffic jams this long in Europe? Can choppers be heard over Berlin or Paris? Just how stupid do the Tories think we are?
It has been a while since I mentioned Sir David Attenborough on here, but I find it staggering to note that he shows no sign of retirement. The greatest ever broadcaster is on our televisions again this evening, presenting The Earthshot Prize. From the looks of it, it is an attempt to reward and encourage efforts to look after the natural world. Prince William is linked to it too. While it might not be the type of epic natural history documentary series we usually associate with the great man (at 95, that sort of program is probably behind him) it really is good to see Attenborough still on TV. He is pretty much a cornerstone of British TV culture: to think that this man’s first programs were broadcast before my dad was born, and he still seems to be going strong, it really does blow my mind.
Yesterday evening I did something on Facebook which perhaps I shouldn’t have: I posed a rhetorical question about a film which I had recently seen, but which not everyone had. The question concerned the film’s ending, so it was quite a big spoiler, and it got me a bit of flack for posing it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have asked it, yet thinking about it, I probably had every right to: for one I did not explicitly name the film, so the link was not that overt. For another, I was talking about a film which was in the public domain and which just about anyone will soon see anyway; if I shouldn’t have asked it then, then how long should I have waited. As a writer, blogger and social commentator, it is surely my job to ask such questions. It concerned arguably the biggest filmic franchise in popular culture and the substantial change it will now presumably have to undergo as a consequence of the conclusion to it’s latest iteration. The issue had been bugging me all day, and I wanted to know what others thought; so while I’m sorry that I may have given the game away for others, I hope they understand that asking such questions is what guys like me do.
If you’re interested in hearing what Toilet Guy thought of No Time To Die, go here to listen to his spoiler free review. I think I agree with Dr. Kermode’s opinions about the film: maybe not quite as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall, but still a pretty good film, and a nice send-off for Daniel Craig’s Bond. The question I’m now mulling over, though, is where do they go with the franchise from here?
Just as a little update, Lyn’s bungalow in Charlton still sits empty. I go over there every few weeks, just to check on the place. It has been empty for months, which is surprising, because I would have thought the council would have moved someone in by now. I don’t hang around there long before continuing my trundle, of course, but today I noticed something which made me chuckle: back at uni, I used to occasionally go to campus discos dressed as a bunny. My costume was a black leotard and tights, plus a cheap pair of bunny ears and a white tail. I brought it down when I moved in with Lyn, but I hadn’t seen it in years. Thinking about it now, it baffles me that I ever got away with wearing that stuff; I doubt I could even get a leg into it these days.
This afternoon, however, outside Lyn’s place underneath the car shelter, amid the dirt, leaves, grime and rubbish, I saw the white bobtail I used to pin to my leotard. Smeg knows how it got there; it was probably thrown out when I moved. Yet the sight of it, there on the ground, brought back so many memories, making me frown and chuckle at exactly the same time. A fragment of a time long over; gathering dust outside a home once so full of music, but which now lies silent.
I have just got back from watching No Time To Die at the cinema. The web was filling up with reviews and opinions on it so quickly, I felt that I had no choice other than to get it watched. After agreeing with Charlotte that it would probably be easier just to go watch it by ourselves, I went at a quiet time during a weekday in order to minimise any risk. Now that I’ve seen it though, I’m not entirely sure what to say here as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. The truth is, I don’t think it’s my favourite Bond film by any means: don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely set in classic 007 territory, and there are a few nods to previous films in the series which I really enjoyed. Yet the ending of the film didn’t really leave me satisfied, for one. Without wanting to give anything away, the conclusion of the film differs from every other instalment of the franchise, and I’m not sure I liked it. All the same, I can now check out what others are saying about it, think things over, and perhaps go and rewatch it in a few days.
More or less the first thought which came to my head upon waking up this morning was “I wonder what Toilet Guy thought of No Time To Die.” No doubt he went to the premiere last night, and will be reviewing the new Bond film on his radio show on Friday. Of all the critics’ opinions, I value his among the most.
I am, of course, referring to Dr. Mark Kermode. Toilet Guy was Lyn’s name for him: she never really listened to him much (talk radio not being her thing), but whenever he was mentioned she called him Toilet Guy. I don’t think L was being disrespectful, but linking an unusual name to something she would have been more familiar with than most. Lyn must have needed to use commodes lots over her lifetime, and was presumably so familiar with the term she couldn’t help cheekily noting the similarity whenever he was mentioned. I suppose, over the years, the habit rubbed off on me, so that now I inevitably think of Mark Kermode as The Toilet Guy in my internal monologue.
I still miss Lyn a great deal. Life with her was always full of such little jokes and games. She didn’t share my interest in Bond, yet, in a strange way, I cannot help associating the Bond Films with Lyn, especially those of the Craig era. The last three films were released when I was living with Lyn in Charlton; and let’s not forget both Lyn and 007 had roles in London 2012. For a new Bond film to come out now that Lyn is no longer here feels different and strange: life goes on and the world will continue, yet having lived with someone so remarkable for so long, it’s impossible not to occasionally feel their absence. There will always be moments, references, events and names which have the power to take the mind instantly back and remind you of a loss.
Thus I’m looking forward to Mark Kermode’s review of No Time To Die this Friday. I hope he liked it. I expect it to be long, detailed, learned and interesting, as his reviews of the last four Bond films were. Yet, due to Lyn, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop thinking of him as The Toilet Guy.
I don’t have much to say today. As someone who doesn’t drive, I don’t feel there’s that much I can contribute to the current discourse. Of course, out and about, I see queues at petrol stations everywhere; it is total chaos out there. I’m just glad my powerchair is battery powered, to be honest. I also just want to point that I don’t remember the country ever getting this screwed up when Labour were in power.