Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Post Office Tower and London Eye From Holly Mount, Hampstead
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers
Currently Reading: Jonathan Sacks 'The Home We Build Together'.

I'm only halfway through this and finding it hard going. Sacks is basically arguing multiculturalism is a bad idea that encourages separatism that leads to activities such as the 7/7 bombers. We should all force everyone into one homogeneous mass as that would make us all get along. The middle 89-90ths of the book seem to be a history lesson, stretching from his childhood back to biblical times to prove his point, hopefully at some point he'll address what we do with those sections of the community that have quite strict notions about how much they want to be part of the larger community, such as say the Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon and Golders Green. At the moment I'm unconvinced that breaking down ghetto walls will do any more than inflame passions and break down society even more.

Currently Listening: 'This Fool Can Die Now' by Scout Niblett. Inspired by her guest appearance as a goddess in 'Phonogram' I found out what her latest album was, downloaded it, liked it and bought it properly. There's a bruised beauty to the songs, sometimes suggesting that the main character can only just keep it together even if she's deliriously in happy. 'Kiss', a duet with Bonny Prince Billy is probably my favourite song, if only because she sounds like she's going to burst at some point. I may be missing a subtext but 'Dinosaur Egg' sounds like it's a genuine deadpan plea to a stolen dinosaur egg to hatch in time for a party she's holding so her guests will be extra impressed. Either that or it's about the internal politics of Bolivian opposition groups in the early 80s.

Currently Watching: 'Firefly'. The thing that puzzles me is the short memories of TV execs. Look at Chris 'X-Files' Carter. Alright, so he got three series of 'Millennium' made, but his other shows got cancelled when they were barely out of the gate and, the last I heard, he was in Production Hell on 'X-Files 2' which he surely doesn't want to do and which few people can be interested in. Then there's J. Michael Straczynski, and the mess that was 'Babylon 5: Crusade', not to mention that awful 'Legends of the Rangers' TV movie he did a few years ago and of which we do not speak except after much alcohol. And Joss Whedon, he gave us 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (which went on too long but seemed to be still mostly popular when it did finish and has a fairly successful new series of comics coming out right now) and 'Angel', so I don't understand why TV executives, so determinedly made of FAIL as they are, killed this so quickly. For the three of you who don't know, it's a space western, only good. Watching the half a series that has been released on DVD I can't think of anything that ever came out of the gates as quick as this (not B5, not BSG and definitely nothing with 'Trek' or 'Wars' in the title) except possibly in a different genre with 'The West Wing'. Russell T Davies talked recently in an interview about how he felt he became a good writer when he was able to write a scene for a show in which two characters discuss getting divorced from one another without ever having to use the word once. All of 'Firefly' is like that, scenes where people don't necessarily explain the plot to you but at the end of which you know what's going on. It's indecently funny too.

Yes, I have crushes on all the cast too. So? You want to start something?

I went for a walk around Hampstead this afternoon. I admire the way that famous people like Edith Sitwell and Gerald Du Maurier get blue plaques. There are also brown plaques for people who's fame doesn't extend outside the postcode, people who edited the parish magazine a hundred years ago and many similar people. The weather was again mild as it has been for most of January. It makes me wonder if we're going to have a dry 2008 or whether we'll have a damp Spring.

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