This post may get a bit serious – as I am concerned about the parlous state of the nation. I refer, of course, to the dog’s-BREXIT with which we are now faced. Anarchy looms, innit? But worry not – we have Choices. And these are?
- (a) A second Referendum.
- (b) A General Election – (“What ANOTHER one…?”)
- (c) Leave the EU with No Deal
- (d) Leave with Mrs. May’s deal – which includes the Dreaded ‘Backstop’
So, (a) is plain silly. “We didn’t like the result of the first one, so we’re having another one… Tell you what, how about we go for “Best Of Three?”; (b) is a Cunning Plan by J.Corbyn to get into Government; (c) equals Economic Catastrophe; and (d) – plus Backstop – actually means “we have left the EU but we are still part of it so we haven’t REALLY left at all.” Or to coin a phrase “Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no, but yeah.”
What do you think of it so far?
Yes, it’s rubbish. And why are some politicians banging on about getting No Deal ‘off the table’? Surely No Deal is a bargaining chip?
Picture the scene in the Soukh. You are haggling with the chap in the turban for a rug. He has dropped the price a bit, but not enough. What do you say? “Well – don’t worry – I’m going to buy this rug anyway – but could you go down a bit more for me?” Or do you say “Right – that’s it – I’m walking away,” and stump off? It’s all a bluff, but it’s part of negotiation. (Says she, who couldn’t get 5p. off a cracked tea-pot at a Boot Sale.)
Delay Brexit-ing. Hm…… Could be the answer – but then uncertainty, which the Economy abhors as much as Nature does a vacuum, will just hang around for longer.
As my ex-flat-mate’s mother’s charlady used to say as she sat down with her cuppa, “Ah well, I don’t know – do you?”
Aren’t you glad you aren’t Theresa May? Although she seems to be managing. Bearing witness to proof of the phrase “If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you – possibly you don’t understand the situation…”
Have you had enough? Thought so. Shall we turn our attention to the Season of Misseds and Mellow Goodie-Bags?
Yes the BAFTA’s – the OSCARS and the GOLDEN GLOBES have passed us by in a flash of Red Carpet and Manolo Blahniks leaving us wondering what it was all about. As you know, I ‘abstained’ from the BAFTA vote this year (Funny Left Hand and Tennis Elbow Syndrome makes it a bit tricky loading the DVD-Player). However – I did manage to look at some of the Short-List screeners and I am going to give honorable mention to the winner in the BAFTA ‘Best Picture’ Category – “BLACKKKLANSMAN” here. It has deserved all the accolades it received, although it didn’t quite make Best Picture at the Oscars – but then what do THEY know anyway?
“An American biographical crime-film” (WIKIPEDIA description) does not do this picture justice – although it is indeed based on the memoir of the same name by a US police-detective –RON STALWORTH – published in 1974.
RON STALWORTH, the first black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, is the film’s protagonist – the action takes place in the 1970’s and follows Ron, as he sets out to infiltrate and expose the local chapter of the KuKluxKlan.
A serious subject, but there is a huge amount of dark and ironic humour in this piece which throws both the cruelty and the idiocy of racial prejudices into sharp relief. For example, Ron, posing as a white racist, talks frequently on the telephone to WALTER BREACHWAY, the local KKK convenor. Ron smiles cheerfully as he curses all ‘niggers’, saying how much he hates the ‘fuckers’, and listens enthusiastically to Walter’s similar invective in response. Breachway is fooled by Ron’s grammatical speech patterns into thinking he is talking to another white man – so no holds are barred, while the black Ron Stalworth takes it all in and agrees in order to gain his confidence further. One of the KKK aims, according to Breachway, is ‘to make America great again’. (Where have we heard that before?)
So far so good, as far as ‘infiltration’ goes. However, trouble arises when Ron is invited and agrees to go to a local KKK Meeting with Breachway and other members of the Klan. Big problem – Ron is the wrong colour – so it is expedient that another detective from the Intelligence Department impersonates him. This is the role his colleague FLIP ZIMMERMAN accepts – Flip being the ‘right’ colour.
However, Flip is Jewish – a fact which had meant little to him until he was thrust into the centre of a group of racists. The farcical element of a Jew impersonating a black man at KuKlaxKlan meetings is not overlooked by the writers and producers of this film and yields more material for black (no pun intended) comedy. However, what we are dealing with is nasty stuff.
Stalworth now begins regular telephone conversations with DAVID DUKE – the KKK ‘Grand Wizard’ – thus infiltrating the group further. On the way he meets PATRICE, a young black activist, in favour of violent protest. This complicates matters as he rather falls for her, but needs to ‘use’ her for information – thus betraying her trust. (Ron is firmly against her extremism.)
In the end, the vicious KKK members are all killed accidentally by their own bomb – the Colorado Springs Police Department congratulates itself on the successful closure of the case and the film ends with footage of the Charlottesville 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ Rally and President Trump’s equivocating speech – followed by a shot of the Stars & Stripes in full colour, slowly turning to black-and-white as it falls in flames.
It’s strong stuff – but its message deserves to be heard – especially since its message is delivered with so much humour and humanity. ‘The Guardian’ calls it – “Masterful…entertaining…but more frightening than it is funny…” OK – but personally I thought it got that balance right.
RON STALWORTH is played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON; FLIP ZIMMERMAN by ADAM DRIVER; PATRICE by LAURA HARRIER; WALTER BREACHWAY by RYAN EGGOLD; DAVID DUKE by TOPHER GROCE.
PRODUCER is SPIKE LEE; CINEMATOGRAPHY by CHAYSE IRVIN;
WRITERS; CHARLIE WACHTEL & DAVID RABINOWITZ
And now, after all that seriousness , we come to “One-Hundred-And-One Things To Do With A Ball Of Putty”. Yes- that is where the trail of the Funny Left Hand leads – to the Neuro-Physiotherapy Ward of the DGH.
So far I have had two Physio sessions (privately) and one on the NHS – plus a cortisone injection in my left elbow, courtesy of my GP’s Surgery. And I have this ball of builders’ putty in a poly-bag which I squeeze regularly according to a list of printed instructions, with accompanying diagrams. And things are getting better – but at a snail’s pace – this being the nature of Physio, I am told. The cortisone injection appears to have ‘worked’ and I think the actual inflammation in my left elbow and forearms has subsided. I am, however left with damage to my superstructure meaning my arms and hands are weak and floppy from months of disuse! So – ‘Putty-Squeezin’ Is Us’. I am gaining a Ph.D in the number of positions in which you can hold a ball of putty in one hand – but I will spare you the details.
The Neuro-Boffins still hover – the NHS Physio lady is keen that I get to see them, but as they are so over-subscribed I think my condition will be better before they get to me. Apparently, all the nerves in your neck come out through your elbows and a scan of my neck is what they are after. But my information is that, if an operation on my neck is indicated, I am too old, and it is too dangerous, for it to be offered. In any event it is my view that this is simple ‘Tennis Elbow’ caused by dragging a wheeled cabin bag through various airports last year. I know the exercise knackered me on each of the four occasions – but I didn’t know that I was doing such orthopaedic damage. This year we are going for “ASSISTANCE”….at all airports.
Anyway I can tell you that last week I held a knife-and-fork in both hands to eat a steak-and-ale pie when Jim took me out to dinner in the local Gastro-Pub. This may mean nothing to you guys, but it is the first time I have eaten a meal without resorting to a fork only – held in the right hand- for 6 months. (On bad days it has been no fork – just hands!) Progress, eh?
I must say I am gaining some sympathy for the unfortunate ‘subtitling’ gang. I have been experimenting with some “Speech Recognition” software (due to the FLH Syndrome) and one’s voice doesn’t half produce some funny printed results on screen. Perhaps it’s all down to people’s poor diction?
However, I offer you “..the male there has been pushing its way all through the night..” (Yes, love, I know what these males can be like) – and, In Sport, it would appear also that Manchester United have been “salivating all night” due to a recent victory. Back to the weather forecast now – (and this is possibly good news) “the fog is very sick this morning…”. All together now – “Aaaaahhhhh”
THE ONGOING SAGA OF JUDE ET JIM – GERIATRIC LOVE-BIRDS:
Well – what has been happening to the pair since the last report? This being winter – not a lot. All the same, Valentine’s Day was celebrated lovingly with one-dozen red roses (Marks & Spencer’s best), a card and dinner out at the new Italian up the road (Jim). Jude sent a card with affectionate Teddy-Bears on it which, despite its First-Class stamp, arrived at Jim’s two days late – and Jim stayed the night with Jude and drove home in his bedroom slippers, leaving his shoes in Jude’s hall.
TIPS FOR THE OVER-SEVENTIES;
Remember that driving your car in monogrammed velvet slippers is a bit tricky – to say nothing of walking up your muddy path to your front door……..
PS: The ‘Chalk Circle’website is now up and running. Please visit http://www.chalkcircle.org.com