Well things didn't exactly go quite to plan over the last few weeks. The thing that had to come out did come out nicely and those nice people in the path lab confirmed that it was completely cuddly and nice and was all in one piece. Unfortunately, one of the things on the long list of possible outcomes happened and now I have an extra hole in my head which I need like ... er ... a hole in my head. This sort of stops me doing much - me being self-conscious and other people going "yuck - that's disgusting". Trouble is it doesn't hurt so I'm pretty much just sitting here twiddling my thumbs. There was one positive outcome in that as I lay on the bed in hospital with only The Telegraph for reading matter, for the first time ever I managed to complete the Cryptic Crossword without dictionaries, anagram solvers or son's rinky-dinky little electronic gizmo though this did put my blood pressure up momentarily until the ennui kicked back in. Anyway - solution may be just time or it could be more knife and needle work.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Monday, May 09, 2011
I was expecting modern dress but this was modern dress of an alternative reality with rusty ceremonial fittings to distinguish the real warriors from the effete royalty, non-functional chain mail glued roughly to faded army surplus contrasting with the Post-WWII functionality and cleanliness of what I think were Luftwaffe uniforms. Of course everyone starts on the same side until Macbeth and wife fight only for themselves, driven mad with ambition that exceeds their capabilities and states-of-mind. There is no "side" to any of this - the monologues are intense and wordy as in all Shakespeare but nothing is outside the text. Maybe you can find analogies that point to Will sucking up to James Six/One but this is an action movie with some added self-psycho analysis thrown in for the quiet bits and dramatic they are. The whole stage for Macbeth to strut his ambition on and how does he celebrate the murder of a king with she who encourages him? He stands shocked and bloody skulking in an alcove at the back, like a thug in an alleyway after stabbing someone.
And the witches appear again, to give him comfort with their seemingly cast-iron guarantees of success that boost his self-confidence above his doubts, the hubris reacting with the madness created by earlier doubts to create an insomniac monster who deserves his fate entirely. We are left with the powerful Macduff panting at his success like some animal, yet bending his knee to the Wet and a Weed king Malcolm, while Banquo's son begins the video-pointed-at-itself rise to royalty.
This is a fitting last play to stage before The Everyman is knocked down and rebuilt. It is powerful and tight.
Friday, May 06, 2011
The aircraft make a sound that hurts, a deep roar that cracks the top end of the hiss on my head. From left to right it flows, from the distant land of rigorous R&R to the North down across the deserts where we live and on over the strange apparatus that makes up the towns of the south. Just as the sound fades to nothing we see the black bombs drop from the wings to the ground where they explode in a flash of fire and black smoke, using the precious oil as fuel for month-long fires. The sound reverses, fading in from south to north as the computers return the planes to their bases resting tranquilly in the foothills of the greener European mountains. What style, pilot less, without windows - if only the targets could be the same. Let's agree on a planet out there and send out all our machines to fight for whoever wishes to and leave the rest of us to get on with things like living.
The history we used to be taught was about Kings and Queens, Politics and envy, wars, the big things. We forget that wars just facilitate a short life of thuggish dictatorship, which fades to a vacuum that is filled by the creeping historians who write it all up as they want. Real history is how we laid fires, what we did for food and shelter, things that seep into the fabric of existence, that gives us mannerisms and ways of doing things that we can trace back for thousands of years. There is behaviour that is a combination of evolution and instinct, of folk memories and day-to-day existence. Stuff Starkey and his pompous, snobbish attitude to living history. I imagine he has to shake the dust off himself after a heavy day of analysing the long dead we used to have in command. Centrism has won and real history is much more interesting.