The universe was pleasingly joined-up this week. OK, as an opening line to a blog post of pretty disparate things that’s rather bad, but hear me out, because it extends slightly further in truth than the fact that I came out of seeing Blade Runner in the cinema to see a ‘Bladerunners’ hairdressing salon opposite, and smiled at the neatness. Ah, Blade Runner. I’d never seen it before, and this was apparently the newly re-edited version with the ‘happy ending’ removed. To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to imagine the original crying out for more bleakness in the first place. It’s not exactly a cheery romp, and although it’s good (in fact it’s very good) Blake references always make me edgy. I half expect him to pop out behind me, offering me up more poetry to despair at before gallivanting off to worship a hallucination of the Virgin Mary. Why oh why must all dystopian futures be set in a big grimy city? Remember Hot Fuzz? I liked Hot Fuzz! That was really on the right lines. Big grimy cities really aren’t so bad, and at least you don’t have to live in a parish.
My grandparents live in a parish. I went to see them with dad on Tuesday, and it occurred to me that their names have probably never been published on the Internet at all: not even on a single Facebook page. But I won’t break that now. Suffice to say, growing old isn’t easy, is it?
We dashed back from Suffolk to make the QPCS Winter Concert, which was (as it usually is) really very good. In fact, why not go all excitingly multimedia and check out a video or two? I am always rather in awe of the people who get up to perform – especially to sing – but they pull it off with gusto. In the interval, I saw Clare again, who always gives flatteringly warm greetings, and then span round as Saoirse appeared to slam a large, fat book into my hands. The Women’s Room, by Marilyn French. I’ve got to read it by New Year, too. No worries, though, because I’m really enjoying it so far. (Perhaps ‘enjoying’ is the wrong word, but you know what I mean.)
The only downside is that Marilyn French – or rather Saoirse, because I’ve never met Marilyn French and they seem to be largely identical aside from bracket usage – has now taken up semi-permanent residence in my brain at the slightest provocation. So when watching Enchanted today (what do you mean it’s aimed at young children? It was a grandparent – grandchildren trip, alright! And I got a free meal out of it!) I spent the film mentally complaining about reinforced gender roles and a terribly stifling view of marriage. Even though it was tongue-in-cheek. Largely. On the plus side: some catchy musical numbers. I better move on quickly.
Quickly to bed – and more reading – but politics, politics. No, that’s not an excuse to stop reading. I forbid it. And I’ll be quick. First up is the tragic news of splits in everyone’s favourite association of racist thuggery, the BNP. According to BBC News, ‘BNP leader Nick Griffin is accused of “behaving like a dictator”‘. This made me laugh more than it should do. Soon they’ll be complaining that the party’s equal opportunity policy is getting a little rusty. Over in the Lib Dem camp, newly-elected Nick Clegg got a momentarily glance of the spotlight when it turned out he didn’t believe in God. Hurrah indeed, but then he goes and undoes it by trumpeting the fact that he’s bringing up his kids as Catholics. Presumably, there’s a nice way to put this without wondering outright how wise it is to publicly acknowledge that you’re bringing up your children to believe lies?
Ah, well. I’m all for Ricky Gervais, who put it to the Archbishop of Canterbury that you wouldn’t want an adult to still believe in Santa, so why God? “Belief in Santa doesn’t generate a moral code, it doesn’t generate art, it doesn’t generate imagination”, he said in reply. So there you go. Not only is the Archbishop clearly ignorant of the entirely theology of being naughty or nice, but he’s also keen to defend religion on the basis that belief in it apparently produces nice things, not that it’s in any way true. Fascinating. At the moment, Mira from The Women’s Room doesn’t believe in God either. But then I’m only at page 156. So we’ll see.