Category: Uncategorized

Dancing in the Dark

My thanks to Mike Halliwell for this snappy little acrostic poem:

Lambeth-walk
Or
Charleston;
Knees-ups
Delight
Our
World-weary
Neighbours.

Lambeth Walk

To any choreographers who may be reading this, how about some bright new versions of those good old dances to incorporate social distancing? Meanwhile, here’s my own stripped-back acrostic based on a randomly-generated word:

Crampon
Lack
Impedes
Mountain
Bid

Hmm … that’s either a shock headline in Mountaineering Weekly or an obscure metaphor for, er,  you-know-what! Not much else to talk about, really, is there? Other subjects are available, I’m told, but like homing pigeons my scattered thoughts keep returning to our collective dovecote of doom …

Did I just say that out loud? Well, strange days breed odd outpourings … as absolutely nobody said, ever!

And talking of odd outpourings, here’s another:

Collect enough data today –
Lift lockdown tomorrow, they say.
If stuck in a pit
Maybe digging ain’t it
But ladder-less, hell, dig away!

Oh dear, grumpy or what? There’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover in my next post – just you wait and see! – but just for now and while I’m in this somewhat strange mood, let me leave you with the not-so-fresh prince of despair …

 

 

image: Vauxhall, Oval & Kennington

source: climb from https://randomwordgenerator.com

Creative Licence

As our world grows more dysfunctional there appears to be a corresponding upsurge in control freakery of all kinds – focus groups, market researchers, spin doctors and the like. Uncertain times naturally breed a desire for commercial safety but what is designed to please everybody often ends up delighting nobody. A formula movie composed by committee might tick generic response boxes but most likely lacks the art to stir and inspire audiences – an art that can only arise when film-makers who have real flair and passion are given their heads.

Such art is often controversial but controversy is the mark of a mature community and we should beware a situation where creative freedoms are constrained in the interests of mere uniformity. Socially-aware cinema has always given a voice to those in our society who may otherwise struggle to be heard.

For that reason I can thoroughly recommend Sorry We Missed You, the latest offering from veteran director Ken Loach who at the age of 83 has lost none of his fire and crusading spirit. It’s the touching and often intensely moving story of an ordinary family caught up in the gig economy. More than one commentator has observed it should be required viewing before the UK election of 12 December. At any rate, laughter and tears were never far apart in what I found to be a deeply cathartic experience.

Image result for sorry we missed you

To end on a lighter note, I’ve just watched this documentary on the making of A Hard Day’s Night. Lasting less than 40 minutes, it’s an engaging and often joyful insight into more innocent and optimistic times (sigh!) when even the suits would risk giving genuine talent a free rein. Hard to believe now that they went about it in such a haphazard and ramshackle way – though somewhat easier, especially after watching this, to understand how it all somehow succeeded!

 

Bifocals

This sharp little poem has really struck a chord with me!

To work out why, I tried substituting author for archer and applause for prize. There’s no doubt an overwhelming desire to show off is a surefire way of taking your eye off the ball … or bull. Double vision indeed!

Amazing that the poem was written 24 centuries ago, don’t you think?

When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets -
He is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed. But the prize
Divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting -
And the need to win
Drains him of power.

Chuang Tzu

 

Image result for archery clipart

 

                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: ClipartWiki

Midnight Meditation

I couldn’t let today pass by without saying something about the climate change protests that have taken place around the globe. Let armchair critics have their outraged rants about schoolchildren missing lessons and adult working days being lost, their fury fueled by reactionary media in cahoots with tax evaders and toxic polluters. I believe we’ve heard too much cynical mockery of youthful idealism and more than enough nasty ridicule of the ‘snowflake’ variety. The future belongs to young people and their children and it’s absolutely right that they have their say now, before it’s too late. The times, along with the old demographics, are changing and if politicians understand anything at all it is the power of symbols to change hearts and minds – a power exponentially amplified in the huge whispering gallery of a deregulated social media. In the increasingly faint but fervent hope that our wars can remain purely cultural, I’ve chosen a picture which seems to strike some kind of balance. It’s a balance between science and art, man and nature, pessimism and optimism, work and play, now and forever. After all, as everybody really knows, the best things in life are free …

Image result for climate change pictures

 

Image: Time Magazine