August 4th, 2010

Grumpy Stuff

It's raining. It has rained through most of this middle summer. The weather seems to be good for spiders. I keep walking into webs. The other day I found a very small spider had spun a very small web in one of the coffee cups in one of our cupboards. 

The Deep is the secondhand title for a secondhand TV show. A submarine full of beautiful people is going down under the arctic ice to encounter a nameless terror. It took all of an hour before they encountered it and- well I never- the black girl was the first to die. My money's on the Asian bloke to go next. Minnie Driver (sick and tired of Hollywood according to the Radio Times) chose this plodding drama to mark her return to the old country. I imagine it was only her faintly starry presence that got it greenlighted.

The Queen of Air and Darkness- liber secundus of The Once and Future King- is more of the same to less purpose. Wart has grown into an uninterestingly priggish young man. King Pellinore is in love- so is now not only silly but wet. The introduction of Celtic characters means we can have jokes about saints and shillelaghs and lots of ersatz Synge. There's a rather striking chapter in which the Queen of Orkney boils a cat and another in which her sons butcher a unicorn.  If this is really a classic then I'm Aristophanes.

Our War on Drugs is a Channel 4 documentary series about the futility of pushing puritanical wishful thinking into law. Yes, we'd all like it if human beings- including ourselves- would behave as if made in the image of god, but we don't and we won't- and, besides, a roll in the mud can be fun. One statistic sums it up: British police and customs stop a mere one percent of all the heroin that is ceaselessly pouring into Scotland. So why bother? Is it simply to keep the Puritans happy? What I say is, "Fuck the Puritans."

Poster Art

The Telegraph has a nice little collection of Polish film posters for crap British films of the 50s, 60s and 70s. The strapline is "The posters that lost the plot" but what they actually demonstrate is that sometimes communism did things better. Where the British posters for the aforesaid crap films are garish and schlocky, the Polish ones are lovely- witty and expressive- and only reprehensible in that they suggest that what you're going to be seeing might actually be quite good. Apparently art lovers used to follow the bill posters around, stripping the posters from the walls as soon as they went up. I'd love to own Bronislaw Zelek's design for Far from The Madding Crowd.