Soo… watching The Strain and here’s laughing boy Eldritch Palmer:
And I thought… “Where do I know that name from?”
I feel thick now. 😛
So, I was going to post a load of Powell & Pressburger films up, giffing them or whatever. But I got stuck at A Canterbury Tale because the film has such an emotional effect on me.
It’s of an England I never experienced as I hadn’t been born (in India) yet. But there are so many things in it that make me nostalgic for this time I never lived through.
There’s a scene where they’re in Canterbury proper and they drive down a busy street, on the left of the frame is a Boots sign. Just seeing that sign takes me back to being a little kid.
And the bits of strange romance between Thomas and Alison are so, sweet, so like real romance that they make my heart flutter. Whenever I see romance in TV/films, it never feels real to me, it never has the right mix of ambiguity, risk, strangeness and sheer weirdness that those sweet moments with someone do. ACT nails that. Boy, does it.
I just watched a bit now, here:
And I had to stop as I know I’d just start weeping.
Honestly, I have no idea why. Some art seems to just set me off like that, there is no rational explanation for it. The same happened when I saw Pollock’s Summertime: Number 9A in the Tate Modern for the first time. Fuck knows what’s going on.
I swear, if I ever find a woman who feels the same about A Canterbury Tale as I do, I will probably propose on the spot.
Ilove to watch cop shows but (apart from Gotham), we must never forget that these are all FANTASY SHOWS.
The real police are a bunch of homophobic, sexist, racist, Klan-loving criminals. As corrupt and venal as they are prejudiced and murderous.
They’re just another gang.
I loved The Closer. It was brilliant in every dimension. I was worried that Major Crimes would be a dilution, an over-extension.
My dash is full of so much telly that’s, frankly, not that great. A lot of that is driven by the fact the stars are sexy, young things. Fair enough, there’s a place for boybands, there’s a place for YA telly with outrageously beautiful casts, simplistic characterisation, shonky dialogue and glaring potholes.
There’s also a place for TV drama that can move effortlessly between farce and tragedy, for acting that’s on a par with anything on the big screen and for tight plots, 3D characters and realistic continuity.
All of that, Major Crimes has. In fact, it’s got so much of it, it should really play fair and share with lesser shows. It makes emotional sense, it doesn’t throw characters under the bus for the sake of an individual ep. In fact, characters grow and change, believably. If you look at the character arcs of Sykes or Rusty or Felix or Sharon or… well, any of them. It’s beautiful. It’s real.
But my favourite thing?
That’s to watch a show where the major concern of each ep is not who’s fucking / fucked who and what will x do when they find out, ohmygosh. And, unlike most other cop shows, the villains in Major Crimes aren’t CRAZY MUSLAMIC TERRISTS. So fucking bored of that shit now.
If you haven’t watched any Closer or Major Crimes, you can start with either series, they’re both brilliant. They have expert, steel-sharp casts who mesh perfectly as ensembles.
Give them a go but with this warning: you will have to engage your brain, unlike most telly.
Just watched 2007 crime caper ‘Flawless,’ starring Demi Moore and Michael Caine ~ loved it! The ’60s feel is lovely and it serves a tight screenplay that’s ably fleshed-out my Moore and Caine. Give it a go if you’ve not seen it!
(Oh, and bonus baby Natalie Dormer too!)
In March 2013, Malala sent a message to the 32nd congress of Pakistani Marxists (the biggest of such meetings in the country’s history). Her statement read:
“First of all I’d like to thank The Struggle and the IMT [International Marxist Tendency] for giving me a chance to speak last year at their Summer Marxist School in Swat and also for introducing me to Marxism and Socialism. I just want to say that in terms of education, as well as other problems in Pakistan, it is high time that we did something to tackle them ourselves. It’s important to take the initiative. We cannot wait around for any one else to come and do it. Why are we waiting for someone else to come and fix things? Why aren’t we doing it ourselves?
I would like to send my heartfelt greetings to the congress. I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation.”
This is the Malala the Western corporate media doesn’t like to quote. This is the Malala whose politics do not fit neatly into the US’ neocolonialist, cookie-cutter frame of presentation. This is the Malala who recognizes that true liberation will take more than just education, that it will take the establishment of not just bourgeois political “democracy,” but of economic democracy, of socialism.
Malala does not hide her socialist sympathies. “Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation,” she counsels.
Funny that, innit?
On Saturday, I staggered out of bed after not very much sleep at all (DJing the night before, innit?) and then joined up to 100,000 people marching in London on the TUC-lead Britain Needs A Payrise demo.
People are currently facing the biggest squeeze on their incomes since Victorian times, and wages have fallen in real terms every year since 2010. We believe that as growth returns to the UK economy, everyone should get a fairer share in the recovery.
The time has come for Britain to get a pay rise.
I managed to meet up with my buddy Matt and despite me having a stupid gammy leg, we did the march from Embankment to Hyde Park. It was an amazing day, seeing all the huge union balloons and banners, as well as smaller, beautiful banners like this one:
Obviously, the bourgeois press gave no coverage to tens of thousands of Britons marching in opposition to the government’s economic policy because, you know, we only see dissent on our screens when it’s against the Chinese or some other enemy government.
Well, I was there. I saw London swamped with citizens who want a change now, who are fed-up with MPs awarding themselves 9% pay rises at the same time as saying they can’t afford 1% for nurses.
We will keep marching, we will not be ignored.
On Friday, the lovely chap above, Ian, had me guest DJ at HDIF again and, as ever, I had a whaaale of a time.
It’s the first time I’ve DJed in The Buffalo Bar and I love the venue, it’s got a wonderful vibe and it was soon packed with shimmying indie peeps. There’s a gallery of pics here but they’re mixed up between Ian taking them and my snaps as his camera unfortunately crapped out.
I played indie(pop) oldies that made said peeps whoop and holler and some brand-new tunes that went down brilliantly too!
Here’s what I played:
Broken Bells – After the Disco
The Tops – Blind Faze
The Bristols – who does she think she is?
Withered Hand – Heart Heart
Cornelius – Count Five Or Six
The Primitives – Really Stupid
Alvvays – Next of Kin
Talulah Gosh – i can’t get no satisfaction (thank god)
Let’s Wrestle – Pull Through for You
The Lucksmiths – Self-Preservation
The Delgados – Under Canvas Under Wraps
Cheatahs – Get Tight
Dananananaykroyd – Watch This!
All Girl Summer Fun Band – Theme Song
The Wake – Crush The Flowers
Herb Alpert – Casino Royale
Martha – Present, Tense
Jonathan Richman + The Modern – Roadrunner
Stephen Malkmus and the Jinks – Rumble at the Rainbo
The Human League – Empire State Human
The Hidden Cameras – Gay Goth Scene
The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Want to Get Over You
The Field Mice – If You Need Someone
Gold-Bears – Yeah, Tonight
My Bloody Valentine – Thorn
Le Tigre – Deceptacon
Huggy Bear – Herjazz
Kishi Bashi – Carry on Phenomenon
The Shins – So Says I
The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress
Eternal Summers – Never Enough
The Cure – In Between Days
This Saturday, I’ll be marching in the CND bit of this massive demonstrations. What are we marching about? Here:
Come down, make your voices heard!
Remember – there’s always money for war so don’t believe the government lies about the coffers being empty. If we can afford to bomb Arab civilians, we can afford decent wages.
This weekend just gone, 3-5 October, I had the wonderful good fortune to be able to go to Destination Star Trek 3 at the Excel Centre, London.
I arrived a bit before my mate and fellow Trekkie, Matt and I quickly got changed into my Voyager costume. Once we’d got ready, we hit the main hall and were quickly surrounded by all manner of geeks in a variety of uniforms and outfits.
IT WAS AWESOME!
This was my outfit:
The pips aren’t quite right but I was very happy with it for the forty-five quid it cost from Cosplaysky. I added the metal badge myself, that was quite expensive at twenty-one quid but worth it.
So, we walked round the exhibits, spotted stars, stood at the end of massive queues trying to spot other stars, took pictures of random splendidly-costumed fans: everything you’re meant to do a con.
The whole weekend was full of fun and surprises, I met so many lovely, new people there and have since added a few of them on Instagram and Tumblr. I also met this suave motherfucker:
There were also parties on the Friday and Saturday nights and they were silly fun, too. Loads of people asked to get their pic taken with me and I didn’t really understand why but Matt said it was because I stood out and looked quite imposing? I have no idea but here I am towering over fellow trekkies:
Looking at that pic, I guess I do look like I could chuck someone out of an airlock fairly easily. I swear, I’m not that big really. I mean, I’m fat, obviously but I look like Starfleet Security here. (HEY, ABRAMS, IF YOU WANT FAT, BROWN SECURITY FOR ST3, GIMME A RING!)
Then, courtesy of the lovely girl on the bottom right of this pic:
I GOT MADE UP AS A VULCAN! BOOM!
Although I think I look a bit more Romulan, should have had some tatts put on.
I felt good but I couldn’t compete with the effort these peeps had gone to:
There’s really waaay too many pics to post up on here but they’re all in a handy little gallery which you can see by clicking here.
The whole weekend was inspirational for me. Star Trek remains the most powerful vision of a utopian future in popular culture. Where other films / TV shows are dystopian, with us being killed off by nukes / viruses / uppity AIs, Trek offers hope. Trek posits a future where we can learn from our mistakes and eventually end up with a moneyless society where war, poverty and disease have all been eliminated. No guesses for what I think that economy is based upon.
This vision of a better future, of a future where humanity isn’t segregated by all the -isms that fracture us now, was mirrored totally in the Trekkies at the con. Yes, I loved meeting Denise Crosby and Brent Spiner and Karl Urban but the main attraction of DST3 was the other fans. Intelligent, funny, inspiring, silly, adventurous, the people of Trek are diamonds.
So, if you’ve never been to a Trek con before, make sure you don’t miss out on the next one near you. Honestly, you won’t meet a nicer bunch of people in your life.