The episode with Lee Ridley’s I’m Only In It For The Parking taught should have me never to say anything about books before I’ve actually read them, but I just came across this New Statesmen article about David CaMoron’s new attempt to justify himself in prose. How the man can possibly have the gall to try to absolve himself of responsibility for the catastrophic mess the country is currently in is beyond me. According to the article, in the book the p’tahk tries to claim that a referendum on EU membership was inevitable, but we all know he called it to resolve an internal Tory party issue. The country was perfectly happy in the European Union: any moderately aware person could tell leaving it would be utterly stupid, and risking it in a vote would be complete folly. Yet CaMoron got cocky, chose to put his party interests before those of the country’s and we all have to pay the price. The imbecile can write all the books he likes, but it won’t change the fact that history will record CaMoran as the man who totally screwed the country.
Far from the ongoing and ever-deepening farce that is Brexit, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the biggest, most profound news story of the day. Scientists say they have found a potentially habitable planet orbiting a star 111 light years from earth. “Astronomers have for the first time discovered water in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting within the habitable zone of a distant star. The finding makes the world – which is called K2-18b – a plausible candidate in the search for alien life.” This is potentially mindblowing, earth-shattering news if you ask me: the first tangible sign that we aren’t alone in the galaxy. It’s just a shame that we’re all currently so consumed with the political drama to pay much attention to it.
I was making my way to Eltham in my powerchair this afternoon to sort out a few things at my bank. I go there quite regularly these days because I want to get to know the area. I was going along quite happily, when all of a sudden my right tyre blew. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my tyres recently, and it’s getting irritating. The bang it made made me jump out of my skin.
I was about to turn back and get the bus straight back to Charlton, when I remembered seeing a small mobility shop on Eltham high street – perhaps they could help me out. It was worth asking. I headed straight for it, and then something awesome happened. Within ten minutes, my chair had a new tyre and innertube fitted, and I didn’t even have to get out of my chair. The staff were so supportive and professional I was very impressed. What could have turned into a bit of a catastrophe was sorted within half an hour. I was so impressed (and relieved) that I thought it definitely worth a blog entry.
Just as an update on an issue I touched upon two or three weeks ago, I just came across this beeb piece on whether James Bond could ever be portrayed as a female. It’s quite a thorny, complex question: by all means, modernise the character. Bond has always changed to reflect contemporary attitudes, with each of the franchise’s six actors bringing something new to the role. Yet they all play Bond within parameters defined by Ian Fleming; stray too far beyond those parameters, and he stops being 007. The question therefore becomes exactly what those parameters are and whether they include 007’s gender.
I’m not sure what to think. As much as I love the franchise, I think perhaps it is time it was opened up to fresh ideas and new directions. All art should always be open to new ways of seeing things. Then again, I need hardly say that such experiments have in the past been known to backfire catastrophically. This is a very old, well loved franchise which viewers expect certain things from. Change it too much and you start to loose their interest and affection. At the end of the day, the only way to see whether a female Bond would work would be to get a woman to play 007.
The beeb screened a couple of documentaries on Monty Python last night, obviously kicking off the fiftieth anniversary celebrations, but I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with what I saw. For one, both docs, aired back to back, covered pretty much the same ground: both were histories of Python, largely telling the same stories, even using some of the same footage. The second felt like a repeat of the first, although it mentioned the 2014 reunion. Yet that was the briefest of references, so I was left feeling unsatisfied: that reunion – python’s revival after so long – warrants a lot more exploration. This is a golden jubilee which obviously deserves to be marked; it’s just strange that the bbc would do so just by airing two very similar programmes in quick succession.
If Monty Python has had an impact on British comedy as big as the one both programmes said it has had, I hope the beeb celebrates it’s fiftieth anniversary far more lavishly than this. I felt it was a lame start to a birthday party which should be far more stupendous – this is Monty Python, after all. Even if another on-stage reunion is out of the question, I just feel something awesome needs to be done to mark Python’s legacy on British and world comedy.
The2019 Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival began yesterday and continues to the fourteenth. As I said a few days ago, I’m a bit low that I didn’t contribute to it this year. They are a wonderful way to get film into the community, and of showing films’s relationship to culture at street level. I keep thinking about writing something lengthy about such festivals and other forms of filmic love like cinephilia and fandom, but predictably I haven’t got anything onto paper yet. It seems to me that, in the way they are planned and organised by a local society – from the ground up, so to speak – means they have a unique link with a particular urban community,, and perhaps we can read something about it’s character in the films it’s members chose to screen. I reckon that might be interesting to explore to some depth. What could opting to screen a certain film at a certain time tell us about the attitudes and outlook within a given community? Could choosing to screen, say, Wonderwoman (to pick a title from this year’s CWFFF list) imply certain opinions on gender, say? Or is it silly to try to psychoanalyse an entire metropolitan borough? Either way, if you’re in South-East London, please check out some of the screenings.
After watching the news today I decided to submit an update to the dictionary, just to make things simpler.