Friday, May 07, 2004

Hear The Creak That Lets The Tale Begin

I found all the old school magazines yesterday while I was looking for the Bert Kaempfert CD. My wife sat reading them and giggling at the jokes and bad poetry (none of it mine - poetry was naff then). I am thinking of OCRing them and putting them up here for a laugh but maybe I need to get 'clearance' from the authors. The only things of mine in them are some terrible drawings of Space Shuttles and the A10s, which used to fly low over the school. This struck me as odd and an indication of my complete lack of political awareness at the time. Some of my classmates were brilliant at public speaking or won awards for community action, things, which made me slightly jealous of their application to these good works but never really bothered me. I was a bit out of the general community, being an incomer to the area. My colleagues here joke about my residual Worcestershire accent (Listen to The Archers to get an idea of what a Worcester accent sounds like); I do not think I have any accent at all but Liverpool people say I sound 'southern' at the very least or West-Country at worst. People from home say I sound scouse, in fact a few people said that at my graduation when I had only been here for six months. It has taken me years to recognise irony and micky-taking but this is enough to get me to make like Demosthenes though not quite as far as to put pebbles in my mouth to exercise the clarity. I have trouble with internal Ts which more often than not are glo''al stops. If I try to enunciate the letter, it sounds forced.

I have got a long way from the magazines. I don't have them to hand so I can't go through them much. There was some rudimentary political opinion about CND, which tried to steer a path between the two extremes of belief in disarmament. All the local kids including me went to the village hall once to see The War Game, the film about nuclear war which was banned in cinemas. Almost everyone went to see it; I have no idea whether my dad was happy for me to see it but I don't remember any screaming match about being allowed to go. It wasn't actually CND who organised the showing but some more fuzzy international and supposedly multilateral group. Bearing in mind that the DVD is rated 12, it wasn't actually that gruesome in itself. The real problem was that the events, had they really occurred would have happened to everybody which made it so difficult. Something which is not that bad in terms of its violence is much worse when the fear if projected locally, given a gloss of reality. One's own mortality or safety is threatened by such things and that makes it far worse. Maybe the 12 rating is the result of the lessened threat of nuclear war. If all the missiles were still targeted and ready to go in the four minutes would we give such a film a 15 or an 18 because of the worry it would cause. Not that it made much difference to all the kids (including me) who watched it. We didn't throw up everything and start quoting CND policy.

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