I know it seems like I’ve spent all of April having religious experiences, but that is not exactly true. A few weeks back I saw Bleachers (not a religious experience, although they did have two drummers, which is a plus) and had brunch at Karol’s (not a religious experience either, although he does have a large map of the world on the wall of his apartment, which is both a plus and a great way to learn about odd little islands in the middle of the ocean which Britain still owns).
Randi and I also enjoyed watching Caius power through to win University Challenge: not just my alma mater, but a team featuring my long-lost college brother Michael! I count myself as having a good episode when I can get up to 5 correct answers, so I didn’t appreciate Will Self popping out at the end to scold viewers at home for not “taking account of the mental agility involved” to play in person. I am taking account of the mental agility, Will, and I am noting it primarily in comparison to my own incompetence.
More non-religious experiences: being treated to dinner by Sharon, who once hosted me in Washington DC many years ago when my main priority in America was to watch new episodes of The Simpsons, and seeing both Balm in Gilead and Eyes of a Thief. The former is a 1965 play following the daily rhythms of social outcasts in and around a boisterous New York café. Hard to get into at first – with lots of unconventional staging, a huge cast and overlapping dialogue – but I enjoyed the second half more.
The latter was Palestine’s Academy Awards entry this year, and I saw it with Katie as part of the Chicago Palestine FIlm Festival last night. Apparently it got some flak for ‘glorifying violence’ – it doesn’t, really, although I do find the main character a bit clean-cut and perfect given his dark past. The director said some interesting things in the Q&A about making him Christian, rather than Muslim, to emphasise Palestine’s struggle as a national rather than a religious one. That as may be, the real message of the film for me was how striking the landscape looks when you watch characters motorbike through it. It almost makes me want to visit.
But I will leave this disjointed and meandering blog post with a different kind of beauty:
That’s one power-team of U-Haul stackers right there. Go team.
Abigail Osbiston, Randi Lawrence, Robert J. Peters, Katie Sharing, Sue Buxton liked this post.