Been away for just over a week on SAGGA summer camp at Rhydd Covert, next to West Midlands Safari Park at Bewdley. Much of what I did over the week was to paint the climbing tower with red and green hammerite, and I think I may still have some paint stains. Lots of familiar faces, and some good evening relaxation over a beer or two after each day working/out in the local area.
In one respect it’s been a difficult week. Nicola and I had both planned to be there, and given Nicola has been spending her entire summer away on a Scout campsite, I had been looking forward to spending some time with her. It wasn’t to be however, Nicola has contracted some sort of illness that the Doctor in Bewdley thinks may be Glandular Fever. This meant that Nicola was not on camp with me for all but the most fleeting of visits, which put a big downer on the whole thing.
People in the more extreme wings of the press keep on that Britain is seen as a soft touch by refugees and asylum seekers. Well if this is anything to go by we are, and personally I’m quite proud to live in a country that’s only as racist and hard hearted as the one I was born and live in.
Last day of work today until September vitually, and assuming no internet access at camp, probably my last ‘blog entry. Virtually no loose ends to tidy up at work, and a few “Thank You” leaflets to deliver at home before I set off to Rhydd Covert tomorrow.
Now my Kinja account has settled down it is proving useful in sharpening up my weblog reading. I’ve caught one or two articles I would have missed with more random surfing. One article I must highlight is this one from Amy about the Mersey supertram debacle. A well informed and interesting read, if a touch polemical. Other bloggers have been taunting me with their fitness reigmes.
Well spending every other day working on SAGGA camp may get me fitter. I will be of course offsetting this clean living by drinking some small quantities of beer. Unlike this bear which drank a large quantity of beer.
Two days left before I take a week out of the office, this time not to visit another office, but for SAGGA camp at Rydd Covert near Bewdley. Nicola is also coming so I should be able to spend some time with her. Currently Nicola is working at Bramhope so I have to visit her there.
At work we’ve just done a major release so my “issues” are now of a lower priority.
Was having a discussion on a blog related email list about aggregators. Will and Ryan have set up an aggregator for the LDYS members who have active blogs, which saves them visiting each other in turn to see if anyone has anything to say. That’s cool I think, I could do with somthing like that to cut down the web surfing I do round people’s blogs of a lunchtime.
Then someone, (I’m sorry I can’t remember who) mentioned Kinja which allows you to set up a personal blog aggregator so you can see who in all your favourite blogs has posted recently, and go straight to the new entries, cutting out the surfing round of blogs that havn’t been updated for a month or so. It doesn’t look as smart as Will’s efforts, but it’s very handy. I set up a Kinja account to do a digest of all the SAGGA blogs, just click on the button at the bottom of the SAGGA blogs section to visit it.
If you want to have a look at my own digest click here.
I must lay my cards on the table before starting this “review”; although I haven’t yet seen either of MooreÂs previous films I was an avid viewer of TV Nation and thought “Stupid White Men” was a great read. I recognise and enjoy the elements of humour, satire and polemic in his work, and generally appreciate his over the top and in your face way of getting his message through.
The first thing that struck me was that the film was that it was shot in 4×3 proportions, rather than 16×9 widescreen. I notice things like that because my job involves working with High definition TV technology for the US market. The second was that the cinema was fuller than normal, and the audience more restless.
The film charts the George W Bush presidency from the beginning when we thought the other guy had won, through the recounts and challenges, to September 2001, and the reactions to that to the second Gulf War.
MooreÂs broad brush and in your face approach to presenting facts is evident throughout. As well as being a master polemicist, he’s a great film maker and frequently grabs you by the guts by his use of, and in one case omission of, shocking imagery. There are laughs along the way, although given the nature of 9/11 and the Iraq war, these are grimmer and more infrequent than I’m used to as a TV Nation viewer. Occasionally he does go too far, leaving himself exposed. For example for a cheap laugh he lists the morineffectualal members of the “coalition of the willing” conveniently missing out any members who actually provided troops. It is funny and you laugh but you kick yourself afterwards for going along with such a naughty trick.
I had three main problems with the film. Firstly much of the source material was TV news footage and outtakes, blown up to greater than screen size. This causes strobing and flickering that can make the viewer feel sick for all the wrong reasons. Second was a jump cut to footage of an explosion, cynically placed at the end of a sequence of kids playing in the street in pre-war Baghdad. Thirdly the film seems to go on too long and could do with loosing 20% of the running time.
Is that all you say? Well IÂm a lefty and a Moore sympathiser, did you expect me to disagree with the thing all that much? That said I left the cinema slightly depressed and disappointed. Disappointed perhaps because I didn’t think IÂd learned anything new, and depressed because IÂd been reminded of what a terrible mess we’re in.
The Friday Thing on the Rapist Lottery winner:
“This week convicted rapist Iorworth Hoare (currently nearing the end of a ‘life’ sentence) won £7 million on the lottery. How, screamed the media, can this be right? Well, the answer to that is that the little coloured balls are neither sentient nor clairvoyant. Number 1 (and all the other balls) don’t think to themselves ‘If I go down the chute, some rapist is going to win. I’m staying put.’ This point, and many others, seemed lost on the media, which generally went a bit
Logged on to Amazon today to be invited to enter my email address for news on when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is published. This piece of information had completly passed me by, but appparently the title was announced on JK Rowling’s website back in June. Apparently the eponymous prince is neither Harry nor Voldemort.
Of course with Nicola being dyslexic, I’ll have to wait until Cover to Cover have their version out.
My description above among other things describes this blog as “Part newspaper column.” In the beginning I seemed to have so many ideas. I still have ideas, I resent strongly for example Michael Howard blaming the country’s law and order problems on “Political Corretness.”. However I don’t feel motivated enough to post the article on the recent Tory descent into back-of-the-taxi politics.
It seems to happen all the time, bloggers start out full of the best of intentions, and loose enthusiasm for the medium. Some like me retreat into a description of everyday life, leaving the outside world on the back burner, others let their blogs lapse posting nothing rather than the mundane and personal. The rare breed keep blogging interesting stuff every day.
Maybe I will improve my expressive writing skills over time, and become more interesting. Who knows.
Well everything is getting back to normal- almost.