Beat The Clock

I just watched a documentary about being a Mod and various other British Youth cults.

As much as I like some of the art and people that come from these subcultures, I personally could never sign myself up and be a member.

It all just seemed so limited, shoehorning yourself into a way of life. In a way its not a universe away from joining the army – men often need that feeling of being in a gang, a movement and creating some sense of purpose.. Which is usually fake , once you get out a pen ,paper and ontological microscope to study it .

All, that said , it became clear to me the other day , that if pressed I would have to admit the philosophy , look , feel and art of the Beat movement was something I related to hugely, as a teen. In fact I only let go of its hand about 12 years ago – I’m aware to be “hip” you have to pretend you are above the Beats and see through them, you have to say you much prefer the French Left Bank writers and that, frankly, you think On The Road is childish boys games. Such is life.

I guess, “Beat” is something you is or isn’t there isn’t much you can do about it. Bit like being homosexual in a way.

To be “Beat”, isn’t about going on a gap year before going on to Uni or touring Europe or America when you are in your teens/early 20s (as romantic as that is) and then living in London or NY city for the rest of your days…..A provincialist with a city a view form your kitchen window.

Nope, to be “Beat” is to be a full time adventurer (the art is a byproduct of that) ..Movement is premaritally forward and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

The end

The Tale Of The Tape

Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee has wrtitten a column stating “white men” should stop telling her fathers story .
Now, I understand her frustration..If she feels her father is being attacked, she jumps to his defence,
However, to say “white men” in the way she has is the definiton of racism, odd as her mother is also white.

The things is Bruce Lee’s daughter would be the definition of ” privileged ” Not to mention, yes sure if Jews, Blacks, and to some extend Muslims say this kind of stuff , its understandable they have all been kept down in one way or other for 100s of years BUT the Chinese ( a culture I have always liked, generally speaking) have a worse human rights history than most white countries – to this day..

Look how they treat women , workers and Muslims and of course the lies around the pandemic

Now, getting to the point at hand the white man Shannon is talking about is Quentin Tarantino. Now, sure Quentin can be mouthy, he can be shallow , his films are a stranger to depth, largely speaking….He tends to be someone who speaks a good game BUT the truth of him doesn’t quite match up, a bit like Russell Brand.

However, he is 100% correct about what he says regarding the truth behind the TV series Kung Fu.

I was/am a huge fan of the show and of Bruce Lee. For a while, I believed the myth, that is to say Buce wrote the show , took it to Warner Bros, they turned it down , then turned it out with a different actor, one David Carradine .
This I soon discovered was a lie . The tale of the tape, shows the truth, click here for more detail https://tvwriter.com/herbie-j-pilato-tells-all-about-the-origin-of-the-classic-series-kung-fu/ . Ed Spielman wrote/produced the show, they wanted Bruce to be involved , at one point, but the person Bruce spoke to, couldn’t understand what he was saying .. So , Bruce was passed on . The irony is it was Bruce who based his story Warror on Ed’s show.

As I say, I am a fan of Bruce Lee and I don’t see that any of this takes away from Bruce , the man or the myth.
The reason for this is Bruce achieved so much and reamins an important figure in film, TV, Martial Arts history and pop culture in general
Also, and this is key …It wasnt Bruce that claimed he wrote the TV show Kung Fu, it was his wife in Linda Lee, in a book she wrote about Bruce.

The

End




Lockdown Review

As we are all locked in, a hostage to our streaming services.  I thought I would pop up the odd review. I will stick to films on Netflix ,Amazon Prime, Hulu etc …..They are kind of “also ran” types …NOT the Obvious classics in Movie or TV – thus, no Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Mike Leigh films etc, no  Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under , Curb Your Enthusiasm and so on.

Film-

The Foreigner

It says its new on Netflix here, USA, however the film is from 2017.

The film places Jackie Chan in a role that, in the past, would have been taken up by Harrison Ford and these days , for reasons I can’t divine, is usually filled by Limping Neeson.

That is to say Chan finds himself in the kind of role that has an everyman, who nips out to buy a packet of Hobnobs only to find, he has, unknowingly, picked up the wrong Tesco bag and thus is now forced into combat against corrupt, army trained, killers.

In The Foreigner, Chan takes his daughter into town, only for her to get blown up by a Real IRA bomb. Unfortunate.

Chan, unhappy that the police seem to be getting nowhere slowly, decides to take matters into his own hands.

It helps that Chan, although in his 60s , was once in the Chinese Special Forces (before moving to the UK and opening a Chinese Restaurant) and can,seemingly, make explosives out of discarded items from Debenhams lost and found department.

I quite liked the film.

 

 

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TV show-

Blacklist

If anyone has ever sat at home on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon and thought ” Well, I wonder what happened to that actor who played obnoxious rich teens / 20 somethings in the 80s”

Then simply by turning on Netflix and watching The Black List, you can see that James Spader (like all of us) has aged – his hairline has decreased, as his waist line has increased

He has swapped iZod tennis tops (with the collars turned up) and pastel colours , for dark coloured designer suits and a fedora.

The show , in many ways, is typical of NBC/CBS shows- in the same kind of way that BBC and ITV dramas tend to have a certain look / feel.

Spader, plays one of Americas most wanted fugitives who teams up with the FBI to hunt people on America’s “Black list” – mobsters, terrorists and other assorted types one may not want to spend a bank holiday weekend with .

The agreement being, he will work for the FBI only if he can work with a certain female agent …It’s all a bit Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling….

Spader, also followed Hopkins Lecter lead in regards to acting style… We find he too graduated, with honors, at the University of the louche and the hammy .

Spaders character, it would seem, is more cultured than Brian Sewell and deadlier than Charles Bronson in Death Wish – Handy if you want help with an art history essay and also if your best friend has been kidnapped by gangster Muslim clerics

Enjoy

 

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Regarding Woody

Most people , probably, wouldn’t want to order this first quarter of 2020 , if it was a menu option
In fact , I wouldn’t be surprised if the masses demand we re do this whole year .
The entire world will get together and pretend this was just a collective nightmare, that vanished as soon as we awoke into our new “do over” year,- like the famous season long, Bobby Ewing, dream sequence in Dallas.
This would also be handy if you are 21 and want to stay 21 for a year longer, it would be helpful if you were on death row and due to go to the electric chair this year. Although, granted this would be a nuisance if you had to reschedule your Dignitas appointment.

For me, apart from January, I always hate January, this year has been nice. Yes, Covid-19 is frightening and heartbreaking,.. However, it has meant I can work remotely and not have to share an elevator with people who’s total number of tattoos is greater than their IQ score- life is a game of give and take.

One of the delights of this year, so far, as far as I’m concerned, is that Woody Allen’s autobiography was, finally, released and what can I tell you, it’s brilliant, utterly hilarious .

I remember, the fantastic, Victoria Wood once said that Woody Allen had become ashamed he was ever funny, he now just wanted to be a “serious” dramatist. Apart from being not true , it implies Woody had stopped being funny
You only had to watch a number of his films, around the time Victoria said this and beyond, to see it wasn’t true.
This book is further proof that the Woody Allen of old, is pretty much the Woody Allen of the present.
In a way, it’s, almost, impossible for Woody not to be amusing, as his humour is based around his philosophy on life and the many abusdaties that imbue it and flow from it.

It’s the reason he has such a loyal core fan base, which since I first discovered him in my teens I have been a part of, if you “get” Woody, if you are a fan, its largely, due to having a shared view of the world.

“There was no trauma in my life, no awful thing that occurred and turned me from a smiling, freckle-faced lad with a fishing pole and pantaloons into a chronically dissatisfied lout. My own speculation centers around the fact that at five or so, I became aware of mortality and figured, uh-oh, this is not what I signed on for. I had never agreed to be finite. If you don’t mind, I’d like my money back.”

Woody Allen

I say all this, as if you buy, borrow or steal, the book you won’t be let down. The book over spills with “it’s funny because it’s true” observations and Samurai sword sharp quips .

He is, also, open hearted, at least for Woody, discussing his parents, his loves, his likes and his loathes. As well as taking us through his relationships- of course, he gives his side of the story regarding Mia, her children and his wife, Soon Yi as well.

“I helped her get work in TV when she moved to the city. We had no secrets, we were closer than family. This extreme and pleasurable closeness continued decade after decade until I sued her.”

Woody Allen

“But the arguments we had over free will and monads, while heated, were never as combatative as the ones we had over our marriage. I knew I was in trouble when, in one philosophical discussion, Harlene proved I didn’t exist.”

Woody

Anyway, if it doesn’t sell out, the book should be available, at most, closed for Covid-19 book stores, as well as with the usual online sellers
.

For what it’s worth, going by the evidence he gives and from what I’ve read in the past, I can’t help but think Woody is innocent and I can’t help but feel Mia’s greatest acting achievement (even greater than her brilliant performance in Rosemarys Baby ) is her ability to fool people into thinking she should be anywhere which isn’t a Psychiatric Hospital .

I will leave the last word to Woody himself

“As much as we whine and moan and insist, often quite persuasively, that life is a pointless nightmare of suffering and tears, if a man suddenly entered the room with a knife to kill us, we instantly react. We grab him and fight with every ounce of our energy to disarm him and survive. (Personally, I run.)”

Woody Allen

“All that I ask is my ashes be scattered close to a pharmacy.”

Woody Allen

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Names of the days seem meaningless, now .

It’s getting to the time, where you start to forget just how long you’ve been in “Lockdown” …
The initial novelty value of being able to work from home in your pajamas and talk to your cat  has worn so thin it no longer exists.

No matter how much you love your partner, after so many days stuck together,  you can’t help but feel like the Paul Sheldon character in the film Misery .  If you live alone, there is no escape, you are both Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes.
Lots of us who were working from home, now find ourselves put on “furlough” ( another way of saying laid off, without pay, until, something like, normal  business resumes) . Just how do you pay your way, with no way to generate income?

As each day passes another, strand of “life” vanishes .  Seeing people fight over toilet roll, a reminder of how “flimsy” “Society” actually is .

Still, what is one person’s hell, is another person’s paradise.. If you are an adrenaline addict, you no longer have to go and climb a mountain freestyle, race a fast car or jump from an aeroplan… All you have to do, to get your weekly dose of danger, is walk to the local convenience store….If you see someone cough, it’s akin to seeing a Muslim suicide bomber approaching ….
If someone steps too close, you jump back as if a London midnight mugger is trying to stab you
In some ways a dash to the local shop resembles the scenes from The Walking Dead , when characters brave the zombie apocalypse, in order to get a case of  Oxo cubes, or whatever other items remain , in a pre looted, abandoned supermarket.

In a way, I would rather dodge the walking dead than avoid the Coronavirus,  at least you can see a Zombie..
If one comes towards you, you merely turn into Usain Bolt and  run away or do a nifty two step and hit it over the head with a spade, before taking a bow and carrying on your way.

If you are unlucky enough to get bitten, you know you are infected and you take yourself off to the general location of your least favorite family member, wait until you “turn” and eat them .

With Covid-19, things aren’t so defined. You can’t see it coming. It’s everywhere, it’s nowhere..You just don’t know.

You can return from the shop .. Start coughing, convinced you have the virus you draw up a will ..Say all your goodbyes to family and friends ..Only to feel better a few days later and have to ask for all the possessions, you gifted,, back….
Alternatively, you can return from the shop,  rose cheeked from fresh air , feeling fit and hearty, only to drop dead a week later .

If life was fair, God would let us return this year 2020 and swap it for another.
Ah well….

Racism In Reverse

It was a rainy day, in the desert town, so I sat down and watched a documentary about Elvis (my first fave and still one of my top fave’s all these slated years later) it was an enjoyable watch, alas I have forgotten the name of it and I can’t be bothered to google it- lazy I know, sue me sister.

During the documentary some decided to take Elvis to task for “Cultural appropriation” (oh, momma throw me a yawn, thankyouverymuch). This was regarding the hoary old criticism that Elvis stole from black music…Blah de BORING blah..
Well, this charge is true and its false…He did cover black artists BUT he also covered lots of white blue grass and county artists, furthermore lots of blues music actually has its roots in old country and Celtic folk songs …

Really, “cultural appropriation” (as its defined today) is a form of reversed racism, as its only really used, as an insult, against white people .

If you said “Oh no, a black person can’t study Wilde, Shakespeare or The Greek Philosophers, its taking from the white culture ” or “a black person can’t study classical music that’s white music” people would (rightly) have a fit, yet that is cultural appropriation…

In short (for the dim out there) culture at its very essence is cultural appropriation.

Yes, Elvis did take from black culture BUT then Prince stole wholesale from white artists, especially Bowie and new wave artists (whatever they are )

All that said , the truth is, lots of things Elvis and Bowie (and Prince) get praised for starting .. Little Richard did first

Speaking of racism and accused racism , all this Liam Neessan carry on , says more about the “click bait”, fake “outrage” of our times than it does about actual racism
In fact it seemed to me, to some the part about Liam thinking something ‘racist’, 30 years ago, was worse than a man raping a woman.. At least that’s what I was getting from the comments I’d read.
which can only make a logical being think “What a pathetic little culture we live in.”

Liam said his thoughts (30 years ago ) were wrong.. And guess what if someone you love is raped you may not think too clearly.. You may say and do something which may cause a stir in a library in Surrey..

Treating Liam Neeson like some hard to the core racist and placing him next to the Richard Spencers of this world does nobody any favours, in fact it helps real racists as they can hid among the muddle .

These are dim wit times, where fake outrage takes the place of considered opinion and where people use another’s momentary lack of virtue (imagined or otherwise) as an excuse for malice and pittyless attention seeking spite.

Life as it’s lived and sold today is fake. Films, music and books remain the real reality

The end

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