In UK time, it’s my birthday already! But over here, I still have half an hour left, and I just made good use of my last Sunday evening aged 27 to see Wonder Woman with Todd and Carolyn. It’s been long enough since I last saw a summery superhero action movie that I was able to really embrace and enjoy it, especially the opening section on the Amazonian island of Themyscira. It only left a small part of me feeling a bit ungrateful at the end, since concluding the First World War only bought Europe a mere 21 years of peace – much of which was taken up by influenza and/or depression. If a superhero could volunteer to help draft a better Treaty of Versailles, or get a head start on Keynesian economics, that would be much appreciated.
I have been wanting to write something ever since Election Night, but haven’t found the right way to express my contradictory feelings. It was, at least, a much more interesting and exciting Election Night than everyone predicted – which was good, because I’d invited James over to witness parliamentary democracy in action, and feared it was going to be pretty boring. Not so. But still, I feel sad for the country, still drudging towards senseless economic self-harm, led by a tragic, broken figure – who can’t possibly be enjoying the job – whose lamentable, delusional address the next morning was honestly shocking for how poor it was.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed a happier political story – The 39th – about Will Guzzardi’s successful run for the Illinois state government in 2014. (I saw it as part of a film festival block of short films called The One With The Governor – some others were good, some were less good.) Even so, I’m a little tired of seeing and hearing stories from election campaigns. Campaigns are the least interesting part of politics! I realise a film about how awfully state government actually runs (or doesn’t run) in Illinois when no-one is paying attention wouldn’t fit into a good narrative arc… but I would appreciate it. Sequel?
OK, I’m done being grumpy. (Forgive me, I’m almost old.) Lighter diversions in the past few weeks have included a visit to Podhalanka with Karol. It’s a beautifully calm, old-fashioned, homely Polish restaurant nearby where you can enjoy traditional Polish food and complain about Polish politics. And yesterday, Randi and I joined Catherine and AJ in a return trip to the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival. So to conclude, here is a photo – stolen from Randi – of the pleasant post-festival hour we spent locked out of our rental car waiting for help. (That’s not sarcasm – it was nice and sunny, and we bought delicious ice-cream and played frisbee on the grasss with my Cubs hat. Best locked-out-of-car experience ever.)