More details on the new Picard series

I just got this exciting bit of info on the new Picard Star Trek series via the Google alert I set up. It now appears that it will be an ongoing series with multiple seasons, rather than a shorter stand-alone series;  and it will probably  hit our screens in Spring 2020. For  a trekkie like myself, that is very, very exciting news. While I know that there are one or two reasons to  be cautious about this new Picard series, which I touched upon here,  nonetheless I’m looking forward to seeing Sir Patrick Stewart back in that role more than  anything of it’s kind before. Please bear with me: I know I should be looking for other things to write about on here, but you can’t deny an old  trekkie the chance to geek out  once in a while, surely?

James Bond ‘probably’ will never be a woman

As in favour of positive discrimination as I ordinarily try to be, I must say that I agree with this news that James Bond will remain male. Fleming wrote him as a man; indeed he is an utter misogynist who treats women despicably. To suddenly turn Bond into a woman, for whatever reason, would be a complete departure from who the character essentially  is. That is not  to say I don’t think Bond shouldn’t change at all – I still say he can and should one day be played by a black actor  – but making  007 female  would necessarily mean giving the character female characteristics which would depart too far from what Fleming created.

The Suffocation of [American] Democracy

Although it makes for rather uncomfortable reading, I think this essay in the New York Review of Books is worth a look.  In it, leading holocaust historian,  Christopher Browning, compares Trump to Hitler. While that is usually the preserve of ill-informed internet trolls, the points Browning makes  are valid and well measured:  while what Trump is doing does not equate to the type of full-on fascism we saw in the thirties, there are comparisons to be made which are very concerning. While Trump certainly has right-wing authoritarian pretensions, as Browning points out, the american system is such that it will stop the idiot going too far – we hope.

The great Brexit con

I know I said yesterday that I was going  to try to avoid politics from now on (as if I could!), but I just came across this article which I think is a must read. It spells out precisely what Brexit is all about, and has been all along: the deregulation  of the  uk and the imposition of the most sickening form of capitalism onto it. The referendum was won based on lies pouted by those bent on turning the country into a free market hell I’ve been saying that for ages: our human and consumer rights are now in grave jeopardy. No matter how pissed off I  get, the fact is this insult to democracy cannot be avoided, and has to  be resisted.

What I saw on the news this evening

How much longer do we have to endure the spectacle of these embarrassments to human civilisation, dancing onto stages as if they own the place, telling us how wonderfully they are doing? I just watched the news, and hearing May’s speech made me so furious that I was ashamed at  the rage I felt. The tories care about nobody  but  theirselves. That they  pretend otherwise, even as statistics show 120,000 people have died as a result of their cuts, makes my blood boil. And don’t get me started on Brexit: the tories should all be on their fucking knees begging  our forgiveness for deliberately misleading the country, not trying to paint theirselves as some kind of heroes.

What I saw on the news this evening made me very, very angry; I felt powerless and frustrated, and it pushed me into such a rage that I embarrassed myself, so much so  that I think I better try to steer clear of politics from now on.

The Spderman Films

On Friday at school they began a new drama project with the kids based around superheroes, so I thought it would be cool to brush up on the subject by finally getting some of the Marvel films watched. I just finished watching the third in the 2004-2007 Spiderman trilogy. I wish I could write something more positive here: I was  expecting a serious, mature film, albeit one requiring some suspension of disbelief, about a character with extraordinary powers fighting crime. What I just watched, however, was some kind of puerile adolescent drama about a whiney little teenager who claims to be both a photographer and a physics student and his relationship with his next door neighbour. I found these films utterly nauseating and insulting to my intelligence. As a character, Peter Parker is a self-centred, arrogant little wanker; the actor who plays him, Tobey Maguire, is almost as irritating. We’re supposed to side with this guy, yet he treats his friends despicably. As for the script, I honestly think I could pull a better piece of writing out of my arse: the dialogue is pure cliche, the  plot nauseating.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I found these films dire. Like Star Wars films, they are kid’s films pretending to be for grown ups. The thing that most interested me  about these film,  though, was their use of New York: all three are set entirely in the metropolis, so the city becomes a stand in for the world itself. I wonder whether anything has been written  about that aspect  of films like these, and now intend to look into it. Apart from that, however, based upon the films I just watched, I have to say I am very disappointed: they are just a derivative, adolescent mess which I’m struggling to engage with at any level. Admittedly, I’ve just whizzed through them in three or four days, but they made me cringe so much that I rather doubt they would improve with further viewings, especially the third. On the other hand, these films are just one adaptation/interpretation of the original Marvel character. What I’d like to do now is seek out other screen incarnations of Spiderman to see how they compare, and that way build up a better idea of the character and his relationship with New York city.