Recent fings an that innit

Here is a list of recent things that a decent blogger would have made into something interesting and worthwhile to read:

  • Part of M’s job is to perform in front of strangers – her only props being a bizarrely random selection of wildlife including a snake, a raccoonpossum, assorted turtles, a screech owl, baby birds and a black vulture. This is for the purposes of education. I know she’s a great teacher, but I’d never seen her perform until last week, when we both attended a 7 year-old’s birthday party. They had decided to host it within the wildlife center and had requested a turn. I was so impressed, and the kids were captivated.
  • The Roku has provided me with a seemingly endless collection of classic films and so I’ve been on a mission to watch all of the spy films that have eluded me thus far. There are so many spy films worth watching. No time for a list now. Later, later.
  • Together with classic spy films, I’ve been indulging in Sci-Fi. And the problems in that genre seem to be a constant from the beginning. For example, in 1968 Stanley Kubrick directed a film version of an Arthur C Clarke classic, and produced a beautiful, moving, thought-provoking yet baffling film called “2001: A Space Odyssey”. A few years later, the Soviets attempted to rival it by producing a film version of another classic Sci-Fi book: Solaris. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about Solaris heralds the movie as a true classic of cinema. It scores highly on all of the Internet Movie sites worth considering and finding dissenters is not easy. So I have tried to watch it on Netflix, and repeatedly failed. Thus far I’m around 2 hours in, out of 2 hours 40, and the thought of going back depresses me. It’s awful. Really, really awful. It’s the sort of film that would come about by giving a great big talentless ponce a bunch of cash and telling him to make a film better than 2001. And that seems to be what happened. One comment on the IMDB message board said that “it was a film I’d watch when I was bored. ‘Maybe I’ll watch another 20 minutes of Solaris'”. At the time this struck a chord, but now I dread leaving it on for a few minutes. If there’s another still shot of something that doesn’t move for more than 50 seconds, I’m going to set fire to the TV. If you’ve seen the film, then you will empathise with me when I say “the car ride”. If anyone knows why this is popular with anyone outside the USSR in the 1970’s, please get in touch. I need to know what I’m missing.
  • Can you spot David Brent?
  • A week or so ago I bought a garden hoe – it’s my new favorite thing. The dude from “You bet your garden” (on NPR) is always on about hoes being the original way of dealing with weeds, and whether it works in the long-run or not, I’m enjoying slicing the little buggers into pieces with mighty-hoe. What a cool thing.
  • What’s more irritating than a dude on the bus jawing on and on into his mobile for the whole journey?
    A dude with a diabolical stutter on the bus jawing on and on into his mobile for the whole journey. I was so stressed it nearly caused a coronary.
  • A recent thought: people frequently poo-poo (huhuh) ideological ideas by claiming “human nature” will stop them from working. This concept has always struck me as utter bullshit, and this week the true culprit became apparent: ignorance. America’s current problems seem to stem from a (significant) minority of people who believe in fairies. Obviously, most of them don’t call them “fairies”, they use euphemisms like “Astrology” or “God” or “The Free Market”, but in reality, it’s all about fairies. So it’s gratifying to see that the sane majority is mobilising at last.
  • We’ve booked flights back to London! This is massively exciting. I still haven’t met my new niece Lily!
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