sunny spells and cloudy bits

Hello, readers.

One of the things about England is the weather. The weather is one of the things about everything, of course. Even space has weather. Scientist call it space weather. Scientists are brilliant.

The thing about the thing about England that is weather is that it varies quite markedly from street to street, sometimes from shop to shop. Such that one might walk into one side of a shopping mall having exited from a sunny day, and then walk out the other side of the mall, ten minutes later, into fog. Perhaps even some torrential rain. EG says that the way weather forecasts occur in England says a lot about the country, and the necessity of indefiniteness. A man, she says, stands on the screen, waving his hand noncommittedly about the country, proclaiming that here, “We may seen some sunny spells, and over here, a few cloudy bits.”

Occasional weather, readers. OCCASIONAL WEATHER. I will stop shouting now. Yesterday, I shouted STAR WARS at someone in a text and nearly gave them a heart attack. I’m sorry about that.

Here are some things you should be consuming over the weekend:

1) Kenneth: A User’s Manual by Sam J. Miller

2) 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male

3) South Korea fall scenery by drone.

4) One Gram Short by Etgar Keret

5) Margaret Stackhouse, a fifteen-year-old at the time, gives her thoughts about 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick said of them, at the time:

“Margaret Stackhouse’s speculations on the film are perhaps the most intelligent that I’ve read anywhere, and I am, of course, including all the reviews and the articles that have appeared on the film and the many hundreds of letters that I have received. What a first-rate intelligence!”

Happy Friday, readers.

Be well. Do good work. Keep in touch.

If nothing else, at least occasionally.


remember, remember

Hello, readers.

from Mirror (UK)

The Southwark Fireworks Display includes music, circuses of fire and light, food and drink stalls, and, so far as I can see, very little mention of what Bonfire Night in the UK (apparently it’s celebrated on different days for different reasons in different countries) actually refers to, which was remembering and remembering how on the fifth of November, erm, ing, during the gunpowder, treason, and plot, the King and Parliament survived being blown up and so celebrated by setting things on fire.

In the olden days, apparently, it was known as Gunpowder Treason Day and somehow or other attracted a very anti-Catholic sentiment during which, as Wikipedia puts it, Puritans gave sermons on the ‘dangers of popery’. Followed by children begging about town with effigies of Guy Fawkes (did they carry them like torches?) and so the day became known as Guy Fawkes day. Also, there were class riots.

Most of these things, readers, I’m not sure anyone remembers.

Now, it’s all about fireworks and things going boom.

The other night, at BFI Southbank, there was a showing of Brazil (introduced by Paul McAuley). In the film there was a scene in a restaurant in which a bomb goes off and there is much blood and horror, but everyone not directly affected goes on about their day doing their very best to ignore the bombs and the blood, the waiter even pulling a bamboo screen across the carnage so as to better allow his diners to ignore what was happening on the other side.

It felt very apropos to most of life, and I was scared that my life was mostly spent eating food at a table with a veil drawn across what I didn’t want to see. I would prefer to see, rather than not see, or so I tell myself, but I imagine this is what everyone tells themselves all the while some secret waiter, in some secret part of their mind, draws veils and curtains and shuts doors and whispers, “Oh, no, nothing to see, here, nothing worth remembering anyway.”

I will be at Southwark tonight, at the festival of fire and memory, and will report back on whether anything of note (anything worth remembering, that is) burns or explodes or otherwise adds a bit of dark magic to an evening.

Happy 5th of November, readers. Happy remembering.