Archive for the Politics Category

Skin Games

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2020 by dcairns


A gruesome twosome from what one departing filmmaker referred to as Sixteenth Century Fox, if I recall correctly. Here, at The Notebook.

HUMAN CARGO stars Dallas; Quatermass McGinty; Professor Marvel’s brother; Elsa Bannister; and Beard #1

SLAVE SHIP stars The Cisco Kid; Pancho Villa; Mrs. Copperfield; Mr. Yunioshi; Addison DeWitt; Ma Joad; Capt. Alfred Dreyfus; Leuwen Grayle; Victor Radin; Mimi Wynant Jorgenson; Uncle Arn; ‘Sourpuss’; Queen Tika; Emperor Ming; Snug – The Joiner; Dr. John Lanyon; Stymie; Gimpy Lamb; and Laurence Talbot.

Nixon on Ice

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2020 by dcairns

SLEEPER came up in conversation the other day. You might want to consider getting frozen until this is all over (Covid-19/Trump/the Marvel universe).

The specific bit referred to is the reference to Nixon. Woody Allen has been revived from cryogenics in the year 2173, two hundred years after being put on ice. The people who have defrosted him try to bring him up to speed on historical developments.

A bit of TV news footage is screened for him: Dick Nixon addresses the nation. “Some of us have a theory that he might once have been a president of the United States, but that he did something horrendous so that all records, everything was wiped out about him. There is nothing in the history books, there are no pictures on stamps, no money…”

“Yes,” says Woody, “He actually was president of the United States, but I know that whenever he used to leave the White House the secret service used to count the silverware.”

What’s impressive here is that the movie opened in December 1973 and was presumably shot months earlier, and Nixon didn’t resign until August ’74. So that we could say that among his other accomplishments, WA doesn’t get enough credit for being a prophet.

(Please don’t let’s make this a referendum on his guilt or innocence vis-a-vis sex crimes. You’re allowed your opinion and I’m hanging on to my lack of one.)

I wonder how Trump will fare. Nixon, of course, was not erased from history but he certainly didn’t get commemorative stamps, just a bloated biopic. Trump seems unfilmable as even while he’s happening, he remains unimaginable. And there’s no inner life there to explore. Oliver Stone admitted he had to make his fictional Nixon gifted with more self-awareness than the real guy (as when he compares himself ruefully to Kennedy).

Back to SLEEPER: I had to look up a reference right before this one. It’s explained that our civilisation was largely wiped out by a war, when “a man called Albert Shanker got ahold of a nuclear warhead.” I had no idea who that was and probably audiences at the time outside the US didn’t either, but Shanker was president of the United Federation of Teachers. Which I find very funny, even without looking deeper into his character to discover what it was that made Allen feel he couldn’t be trusted with a nuke.

Covid’s metamorphoses

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , on March 19, 2020 by dcairns

The supermarket shelves of Leith have an arid, Soviet-era bareness, at least as far as dry pasta, toilet paper, kitchen roll and tissues, and the supply of heat magazine doesn’t look great either. Has this happened in your neighbourhood. Be grateful if not, but remember that what happens in Leith today will happen worldwide tomorrow. Just look at TRAINSPOTTING.

My sense is that my so-called community is panic-buying, meanwhile coughing all over one another and walking about with grimy, pestilent hands, while schools remained open until today for some inscrutable reason. I’m sure times have changed but in my day Scottish schoolboys communicated mainly through their knuckles, and the possibilities for cross-infection via fisticuffs seem considerable.

Yesterday afternoon, our local, Sofi’s, was fairly thronging with punters in defiance of the edicts (well, not really edicts, more tentative suggestions) from our leader, Boris the Crackwomble.

I have got a reasonable supply of food in. I don’t think I’m to blame for any stripped-down shelving, since I started buying a wee bit more than usual weeks ago. If I get moderately sick I should be able to hole up with Fiona for a couple of weeks, which might be interesting. If the loo roll runs out, I have a supply of very old 2000AD comics which were printed on bog paper anyway. I wasn’t sure why I was hanging onto them: now I have a notion. I could re-read them one last time…

The biggest worry is my octogenarian but healthful parents, who can self-isolate in their flat which is in a complex for elderly people so hopefully the staff can keep them supplied with essentials.I’m very interested in war stories from you guys, feel free to share.