Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Racists and New Romantics

On my last week off we went into London a couple of times. Saw a couple of Oscar-nominated films and bought lots of CDs and books in Fopp.

The initial plan for this week was to go into London a couple of times, too. Go to a couple of galleries, go to see a critically acclaimed German film.

But with so much to catch up on at home, what's the point?

We've seen the pictures before, we've seen critically acclaimed German films before (it'll be on the telly in a couple of years anyway).

So we're catching up on our reading, our blogging and our Sky+ backlog.

The Bloggies and The Observer List of 50 Most Powerful Blogs are just there really, of no relevance. They just confirm the very opposite way I see blogging - as a social meeting place for people with similar interests. Let them get on with their silly awards and rankings. When they've all given up I'll still be around doing it as long as my cyber friends are.

This week's telly viewing has been a mixed bag. BBC2's White documentary on a Bradford Working Men's Club which started out well but without any real historical context of working class culture ended up with a lot of miserable faces moaning about lack of community and feeling like a foreigner in your own country. The Enoch Powell documentary just added to the impression that this country is overpopulated and the ones that need to leave are the ones without white faces. It was all the more depressing because you just know that this is how a hell of a lot of people think.

Mad Men started slowly but picked up quickly as soon as characters from outside the workplace were introduced. Purely workplace-based comedies can work but dramas need outsiders to make more rounded characters.

The 1986 version of Northanger Abbey confirmed my theory that villains in Austen dress to the left. Peter Firth may have ended up the hero (ooh, missus!) but he was a villain all the way through it. Katherine Schlesinger dreamt her way through her part like a doped up Sarah Brightman - a fantastic performance. It was all very 1980s New Romantic with the look of a music video, gothic dream sequences and all.

And so to today. Betty said we've got a busy day. We've got to buy a couple of sandwiches and some bedding plants. And we've got to visit my old mum before falling asleep later this afternoon.

Ah, the good life.


  1. Oh for a Sky + backlog.

    re BBC2 'White'. The one about the white girl in the muslim school was beautiful to look at but didn't seem much at the time ... but - 2 days later - and I still can't stop thinking about it.

  2. We didn't record White Girl because our backlog was too long.

    Now we've only got two films, Emma and Pulling left.

    Just watched the documentary The Poles are Coming and can't for the life of me work out why it was part of this season. They couldn't understand why British men wouldn't work for £7 an hour working all the hours God sends bending over picking butternut squash. They'd actually rather claim benefits!

    But they did understand why Poles come to this country to pick squash because of the shit wages for skilled and unskilled jobs in Poland which are now being done by Chinese workers.

    Maybe there's a country out there where you can get £21 an hour for backbreaking monotonous work with no prospects and young British men will get off their arses and on their bikes? No, I thought not.

  3. If you haven't seen it already go and see the Peter Doig exhibition at the Tate - it's great. Makes Hockney look like a trainee.

  4. I missed white week but will watch "All white in Barking" today.
    Enjoy the good life, Geoff.

  5. Will go back to my rare copy of the first episode of Curry & Chips (starring Spike Milligan as an Irish Pakistani).

  6. I would rather read about you and Betty buying sandwiches and bedding plants than anything the 50 Blogs have to offer.

  7. Romo - Thank you. Sounds worth a mosey.

    Istvanski - Barking's gone to the dogs since the Braggster moved out. They need his political and cultural nous/nose.

    Tim - Those were golden days. A real melting pot.

    MJ - Today, also, I'm going to buy a sandwich. Betty's not buying one today but will make hers with bread.

  8. You see, if you'd described whether it was whole wheat or rye, or gone into detail about the filling, that would have been too much information and I would have lost interest.

    Keep up the good work.

    wv: vagwa

  9. Shock news! Betty bought a sandwich. It's turned our day upside down.

  10. Shock!

    If you tell me the pair of you skipped your afternoon nap I'll have to rethink visiting here anymore.

  11. No, we've just had our kip.

    Ready for an evening's telly and red wine now.

  12. Hope you didn't get a hangover.

    I saw the Poles one - Poles over here with families in Poland and their jobs being done by Chinese with families in China.
    I suppose it was always like that but we didn't have documentaries.

    Enjoy the rest of your hol.

  13. Norman Tebbitt would be proud of them if they were English.

    Thanks, Kaz.

  14. Must have been a while back if you went to Fopp!

  15. It's still here in London. HMV took it over.