I know I keep banging on about the weather but I really cannot remember a summer like this. Apart from a brief period of time in June, the prevailing weather in the UK throughout July and August has been cool, overcast and rainy. This sucks big, hairy balls. Winters are long in Britain and it is those few months of some sun and warmth that gears us up for it. Is it any wonder that we eventually want to live in Portugal or Italy?! SUN.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Michael Moore. Years back on (I think) BBC2 there was a TV show that he did which is where I first discovered him. I liked the fact that he was fearless in the face of opposition and wasn’t afraid to voice contrary views. “The Awful Truth”, that’s what it was called. Well remembered, Sir! So I have always followed his career and have enjoyed “Bowling For Columbine”, was caught up in the pre-release furor of “Farenheit 911”. I saw “Sicko” and “Capitalism: A Love Story” which, whilst good, lacked some of the humour and bite of his previous efforts. It was the humour that I always felt the key ingredient – you will always listen to a different point of view or an awful truth if the person presenting them make you laugh. This week, we decided to watch his most recent film, “Where To Invade Next” and it was spot on. Funny and heartfelt, Moore travels to Europe and visits various countries that have an alternative – and successful – way of dealing with social issues that the USA stumbles or down right fails on. It is always fascinating to see how other countries deal with issues and you do spend a lot of time watching it wondering why the hell everywhere else cannot adopt such solutions. It was a really good watch, the only downside for me was the fact that there was nothing that the UK could contribute, which is a bit sad.
Do you remember those National Lampoon vacation films from the 80s starring Chevy Chase? I used to love them, “European Vacation” coming out at around about the time when any kind of outrageous and rude comedy flick would go top of my list. When I saw that they were doing a reboot of them (minus the National Lampoon branding), I wasn’t expecting much. However, having seen the DVD for sale cheap, I figured it might be worth a watch, especially as it had Ed Helms and Christina Applegate in, two comedy actors I like. I could not have been more wrong. Yes, it was somewhat predictable. Yes it hit a lot of the same beats but it notched things up a bit with a knowing nod and a wink to the past, bordering on being meta in places. It really was 90 minutes of good fun that had us both laughing out loud a lot. A cameo by Chevy Chase was a bit disturbing (mainly because he was dialling in his performance, looked like he had swallowed an air balloon and is, frankly, a bit of a cunt in real life) but it didn’t detract too much.
Jeez, still on “Homo Deus”. It’s not that I read slow but it is an in-depth read which requires a lot of attention from the reader. Full of big ideas, it’s not a book you can skip through. Maybe by the next blog I will have finished it!
As I don’t often listen to music or necessarily seek new music, I will broaden the “Heard” portion of the LOTW to contain anything interesting I hear. This time I will focus on the complete debacle of Trump talking about the neo-Nazi rallies in the USA where a woman was killed. He is such a tit, he really is. Anyone that cannot see this must be just as ignorant as he is. You can almost see his brain ticking behind his eyes as he tries to work out what the hell is going on. Let’s look at the three speeches. The first he came out and very nearly did the right thing. Watch it and you see him condemn the events. But then he wants to say something else, to try and appear clever and wise so adds the “on both sides” aspect which will hopefully be the final nail in his Presidential coffin. The second speach he was clearly strong-armed to denounce the neo-Nazis and the KKK. Delivered without enthusiasm and reading off a script, it may not have been heartfelt but at least it was the right thing to do. Then, day three and he comes out like a rabbit caught in headlights. When asked about his initial “both sides” reaction, he has to dig his heels in and go even further into the rights and wrongs of both sides, even going so far as to say that there were “good people” among the Nazis. Oh dear. His ego just won’t allow him to appear wrong or contrite, so he spouts whatever garbage he can think of believing that, if he says it loud enough, people might believe it. For fucks sake America, it is time to flush this turd into the Hudson.
Ashtrays. Lots of bloody ashtrays. Even though smoking is no longer a popular activity, there are those that collect ashtrays that have either alcoholic branding or tobacco branding on them. For home bars and the like, they are really popular and sell fast, usually between £10-£20 a piece. So, when I can pick them up for cheap, I do and, at a recent car boot, found 40ish of them for £30. Perfect. Listed a few of them so far, sold a couple so the remaining 38 or so will be pure profit. Kerching!
I’ve had some antique albumen photographs of Italian landmarks for a while now. It was fascinating seeing these places we know so well as they were 100 years or so ago. They would have been produced for the tourist trade but most don’t last as the albumen (egg white, basically) fades over time and turns the image silvery. I have sold a few over the past couple of years but, this weekend, a sensible customer came along and hoovered up most of the remainder. Sad to see them go but glad to have rescued them from being chucked.
Donating a couple of hundred DVDs to a local charity shop knowing that it will generate about £500 for them. It’s nice to be nice.
On a personal level, the trusty Range Rover failing its MoT. Frustratingly failing on one aspect of the emissions test makes it awkward to determine the cause. Fingers crossed it has been narrowed down to a faulty/failed throttle position sensor coz, if it isn’t, we will be car-less from Saturday onward 🙁
Remember a couple of weeks back I said that two of our ducks were missing? Well, one has been found. Unfortunately, just the beak, bones and feathers. Ducks occasionally just die for no real reason (sudden death syndrome) and this one must have done just that, but in a part of the garden that was too overgrown for us to see. Presumably, a similar fate happened to the other – we have had this happen before a few months ago. It was a big batch, 16 in total, so hard for the mum to keep all the eggs at the correct temperature throughout. It is this that causes a weakness in the ducks that you are only aware of when they drop dead. Sad.
On a broader level, the various terror attacks around the world since my last LOTW just sucks the soul out of me. The thing in America, then Spain, then Finland. I see no end to this – we are dealing with people that do not fear death and believe they are in the right. They don’t want anything from us, except our demise, so where can negotiating even begin? You cannot eradicate everyone involved or everyone sympathetic in an instant and, with each attack, more people will be recruited and every successful move the west makes against them, the more those on the fence will join up.