Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Reasons to be cheerful?

Autumn came suddenly to Redfellow Hovel.

With another grey, greasy, gloomy day, Malcolm's spirits fell flatter than a Tory Shadow Chancellor's magic panacea. And it's too early in the winter to be stricken by SAD.

Even pontificating on the ills and sins of the world comes hard to him today.

There was a small moment of schadenfreude to discover that Miami was flooding because of too much rain.

Heh, heh!

Ooops, be careful, Malcolm: remember that the wrong sort of snigger is a political and personal liability:
HENS CACKLE. So do witches. And, so does the front-runner in the Democratic presidential contest.

Former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris recently described Hillary Clinton's laugh as "loud, inappropriate, and mirthless. . . . A scary sound that was somewhere between a cackle and a screech." Politico's Ben Smith referred to Clinton's "signature cackle." Conservative radio hosts routinely play Clinton's "cackle" on their radio shows.
Thank you, Joan Vennochi for such a show of sisterly support.

However, Hillary has a 20 per cent buffer in the New Hampshire primary to chuckle, even cackle over.

Then, back down south, Malcolm noticed that the current temperature in Miami was 79 degrees, and promising to go to 88. Still, at least he was able to catch up on Carl Hiaasen's column, and enjoy a rather nice Jim Morin cartoon:Which reminded him of a somewhat-disturbing remark, by a returning daughter, just back from being adjacent to the 2004 Convention in Boston:
Democrats are sexier than Republicans; when do you hear of a nice piece of elephant?
Next up, it seems that Hollywood script-writers are going on strike:
Unions representing 12,000 screenwriters asked members on Monday to authorize a strike at any time after their contract expires at the end of this month.

If granted, authorization would set the stage for Hollywood’s first industrywide walkout since writers struck in 1988.

That, according to the New York Times, is categorised as "business", not "entertainment".

There is something else ludicrous here. There are 9,ooo script-writers in Hollywood. There are another 3,000 on the east coast. That totals up to the population of a small town: somewhere like Marlow or Ilfracombe. All those busy fingers, attached, however feebly, to what once may have been fertile intellects. And they still need canned laughter. And manage to produce about two decent movies and one passable TV series a twelvemonth.

This seems to raise the matter of how many script-writers it takes to change a lightbulb. To which the answer seems to be ten:

1st draft: Hero changes lightbulb
2nd draft. English villain changes lightbulb.
3rd draft. Hero fights villain to prevent him changing lightbulb. Villain falls to death.
4th draft. Lightbulb out of the plot.
5th draft. Lightbulb back in. Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft. Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero's Afro-American side-kick.
7th draft. Fluorescent not working. Back to tungsten.
8th draft. Hero forces villain to change lightbulb.
9th draft. Hero has childhood flashback of light bulb. Doesn't change it.
10th draft. Hero changes light bulb.

Which illustrates just how low Malcolm has stooped today, in his depression.

And then, out of the depths, comes a memory, a childhood flashback, no less.

Malcolm suddenly recollects that he knows exactly where he was at 11 p.m. on Saturday, 5th October, 1957.

He was under the bedclothes, with a handbuilt crystal set, trying desperately to locate the signal of Sputnik 1, which had been launched the following morning. For a few seconds he found it, or thought he found it: a faint beep... beep. Almost the chirp of a new-born kitten or chick.

It was a mile-stone in a life.

Looking back, he cannot remember whether he found it was something to cheer or to fear. The Dan Dare reader in him would have uplifted and enthused. The lowering, saturnine image of Wernher von Braun, and what he had done to London, would have pulled the other way.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites