ITEM: I haven’t seen the film yet, but already I have heard some negative comments about Les Miserables, most of which seem to ignore the social context of the work. Let me see if I can reinterpret the film in a way that underlines its contemporary relevance.
Obviously the students taking to the barricades represent members of the Occupy Movement, engaged in an idealistic but ultimately hopeless struggle against the forces of global capitalism. Hopeless because the great majority of people remain ignorant of or indifferent to the plight of the downtrodden, thanks to the efforts of a plutocracy sanctioned media campaign of disinformation.
The grotesque Thenardiers represent Dave and Nick, two hideous monsters whose failure to achieve a satisfactory sexual relationship and have lots of orgasms together has been sublimated into a bloated avarice and overweening sense of their own self-worth, usually expressed through bullying those less fortunate than themselves. And Inspector Javert, the fanatic obsessed with further punishing those who have already lost just about everything they had through little or no fault of their own, and who is so deluded that he thinks he’s acting on behalf of God, is a role that was just made for Iain Duncan Doughnut (stress on the ‘nut’).
I’ve no idea though who Valjean could be. Certainly not Miliband or any of his cronies from the soft-austerity lobby (aka New Labour plc).
ITEM: Seventeen days into 2013 and I haven’t as yet bought either chocolate or any new DVDs, resisting even the blandishments of The Flock going for 99p in That’s Entertainment and half price rum chocolate balls left over from Christmas in QD.
Frankly I’m amazed at my willpower, and isn’t it strange how I always seem to have a lot more willpower when I have a lot less money. It’s one of those inverse relationship things.
Anybody seen The Flock? Did I make a serious error of judgement in not getting it?
ITEM: While I’m a dyed in wool horror fan, depictions of real life operations and the like nearly always leave me feeling uncomfortable. One of the advantages of no longer having a television is that I don’t accidentally stumble across medical documentary programmes while channel surfing.
Unfortunately I have friends who are only too happy to share all the gruesome details, which is why today, after last night’s graphic account of a programme that came with the tagline ‘I wanted a designer vagina, not a dustbin’, my libido is as flat as month old roadkill and likely to remain so for the next week, if not longer.
ITEM: As far as technology goes I’m not a Luddite, but I am rather dilatory, grasping new tinker toys when I need them and not simply because they’re available.
The other night a friend was talking about her newly purchased DAB radio, and I happened to mention that I had a DAB radio, only I hadn’t as yet taken it out of the wrapping even though I’d got it years ago. I’m not much of a radio listener, and only had it because I’d needed to redeem some coupons and the other stuff on offer appealed even less.
This isn’t an isolated incident.
When I first got a computer, a friend agreed to help me set it up, and when she arrived at my house she was amazed that I hadn’t as yet undone the box, even though it had arrived three weeks earlier. I haven’t as yet taken out of its box the printer that came with my new computer in 2011, simply because I haven’t had any need to print something. And though I picked up a digital camera cheaply and with a specific purpose in mind, several years later I haven’t taken it out of the box because the specific purpose became redundant before I could get to use it and I haven’t had any reason to take digital pictures since. And I haven’t as yet got round to using the e-reader that a friend of this blog (you know who you are) kindly gifted me back in November, simply because I haven’t needed to read anything of length in electronic format since then, though that is probably going to change in the next week or two.
Not a Luddite then, so much as a ‘I can’t be bothered until I need to’-ite.
And yes, today I tried out the DAB radio, so that next time I speak to my friend I’ll be able to tell her that it works.
ITEM: Some of the people who know me have a hard time reconciling my vehement opposition to capital punishment with my apparent glee at the prospect of a righteously angry populace dragging the posh boys out of their Downing Street abodes and stringing them up from the nearest lamp posts.
There is no contradiction.
I’m quite aware that murder, even of politicians, is a crime. It’s just that I don’t think anyone should face the death sentence for it, not when something like a stern telling off from ERII and half an hour or so on the naughty step would be more appropriate.