Friday, 11 November 2011

Remember, Remember - the 11th of November

Blog's up early tonight as The Quiller swaps his cloak of infinite lexicon for one of infinite beer and possibly cider. But not before devouring two portions of fish and chips (or fips, as The Quiller so wittily names this staple English feast). And this is almost celebratory after the all clear from the doc regarding a mucky mole on his broad, perfectly shaped chest.

So he's beaten cancer, beating heart disease and dueling the evils of alcohol. Yet he still feels like a shaken bag of fish heads because of the common cold.

Bah, Science Schmience.

Rant of the Day

So the verdict on Michael Jackson's death has been delivered and it's not good news for OJ Simpson...shit, I mean Dr Conrad Murray.

What is it with people with railway-tunnel nostrils and greying, crew cut Jheri curls? Keep an eye on Samuel L Jackson, for God's sake.

So the good (or I guess the bad) doctor has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and faces a fairly hefty prison sentence. Wow, I guess the guy must feel pretty awful about these mistakes. But at least the Jackson family and the world can move on with dignity now.

Oh wait, the good people of channel 4 bring you The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson just three days later. Lovely.

Could the title be any more confrontational? Even though it turned out he was guilty of gross negligence, the guy was trying to act in the best interests of, let's be honest, a skeletal nut bag with the brain of a child. It's not as if he closed the doors, clubbed Jacko over the noggin' with his stethoscope, then put his cock in his mouth and took a picture is it?

When Jade Goody died of cancer, there wasn't a programme three days later entitled 'The racist piggy face who doesn't know where Norfolk is'. And I don't recall this book being published after Amy Winehouses' sudden demise.

What? They're both to the point and factually correct. I can't understand what the problem could be.

We're so quick to tiptoe around innumerable trivial issues in society on a day to day basis, from writing letters about a single swear word uttered before or just after the watershed (you can fuck after nine, you can't see a cunt until ten - that's the rules, kids) to banning a fifty year old cartoon showing a cat rolling a cigarette after ONE written complaint. But apparently cashing in on a legitimate mistake made at the eleventh hour of a fading man's life is somehow morally and ethically OK to be broadcast without a single notable complaint?

But then again, it is Channel 4. The people who are responsible for unleashing horrors such as Wife Swap and Big Brother into the world. Their mission statement probably has something like 'Look look! We're trying so hard to be different!' written all over it in purple crayon.

Quote of the Day

As I sat with a bowed head at eleven o'clock for the annual Armistice day Minutes Silence, a thought went through my head about what I could say on the subject when writing the blog today.

There are so many stories, tales and poems that have been written not just about the Great War, but about many other conflicts that have occured throughout the annals of time. Tales of great courage, of love and of sacrifice. And they have been written about so beautifully and gracefully that an average working class chap such as myself would probably fail to do anything more than blunder around their profound points, adding very little of merit other than than tried and tired metaphrases. So I will leave these yarns as they are - perfectly preserved.

All I can offer is an attempt to surmise what this day means to me.

There was word in the news that the Islamic Group Muslims Against Crusades was planning to disrupt the Remembrance day services. This is neither the time nor the place to discuss whether they are right or wrong, or whether they have the right to protest.

For me, it is a time to reflect on the thousands and probably millions of ordinary people - be they Black, White, Rich, Poor, Arab, Jew - who whether through fear, conviction or duty sacrificed the safe confines of the small bubble they called life and went out to stand with bayonet or cannon or sword to fight for their own existence and through their acts, they have shaped the world as we know it today.

For better or for worse is a matter of opinion, context and belief. But the dead of yesterday are all around us, every day. They exist in the language we speak, in the customs we participate in, the holidays we celebrate and in the technology we employ.

If you imagine time as a stroll down a long, straight road at night - as you stand still and look ahead, the immediate path seems vague and blurred. But if you look behind you, you'll realise it's blurrier still.

In just under a century, the world as we know it has changed immeasurably. Yet all around you - the path you tread, the lamps that light the street and the trees that provide the cool evening air were the very same they helped to build, to invent and to grow. They are with us - always and forever.

And I think that spending just one in thirty million minutes a year reflecting on their legacy and what they have done for us to be here now is not too great an ask for every man, woman and child in our (and their) world.

" They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning

See you tomorrow.

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