OMG. What's wrong with the site tonight. No offence - but it is so slow it could be being beamed in from North Korea without much of a beam. Normally I'm uncharacteristically as miserable as f**k on NYE. when genuinely I do try my best at most times to remain upbeat. And this year is not only no exception but possibly an all time low. I've got flu. Parents next door have now gone permanently mad and not without spite which they don't recognise. I'm been waiting for an eternity for a scan which is probably going to be delivering bad news. And most of a tooth dropped out just after Christmas and the dentist is on a three week jaunt to Ireland so while he jigs like a leprechaun with his old rugby pals in County Clare my tongue is turning into a diminished and badly bloodied peat bog. Otherwise it's all just terrific. Happy new year to all.
What have I been watching on TV? Julie Walters followed by Billy Elliot. Have seen the latter before but long ago and cried my way through it though in a great way. There are just so many aspects of it which resonate in terms of social history it is extraordinary - going up to a posh big school from a comparatively pleb place, themes of masculinity dealt with brilliantly here, T Rex and the Jam and the Clash, the glorious North and North East where I was at the time of the miners' strike, my own redundancy. dementia, the revisiting of knee jerk reactions on overt swearing in culture for it sits very suitably here to accentuate contrasts and even looking through its lens at the 2019 General Election result ....the list increases as the years go on which is obviously the sign of a very good production. It hugely resonates on about half a dozen levels with people of my generation but is much more than a period piece from our perspectives. Young people need to know. Now they do.
As I celebrate Millwall's 1-0 victory over Brentford, I am noting with interest how gay my selections of choice have been during this purportedly festive season. From the Carry Ons through a night with Dolly and onto (Wood and) Walters and a ballet story, all it needs is Abba and I have the full list. So be it. Especially so as I am so very old now that I am aware that all of these things were originally sexless (other than Agnetha's bum and Parton's tits) until they were embraced by the cultural end of gay politics. That was fine except that it all then meant one had to say one liked these people for them rather than what they said about oneself which was virtually nothing unless as with Elliot it is broadly contextualised.
That is, in my case not on orientation which is absent but that I was crap at competitive sports including in getting your trolley round Tescos and bloody office politics and I loved freedom of expression of all kinds. Anyways, the friendship between Billy and his mate being everyday and bridge building is among many aspects of the film which are moving and it has more clout than any cliché any day. I couldn't give a toss whether this or that fits into any zeitgeist. I only follow people who I rate. But you know that anyway. Do I enjoy Gavin and Stacey? No - although I am not going to upset folk by being nasty about it. And I love Alison Steadman. Abigail's Party especially is pure class. For ever and ever. Auld lang syne. Incidentally, the one thing I had forgotten about the Elliot film was that it featured Peter Reid, albeit with a fake accent.
Oh we've arrived. Hated every year that began with a "2" since 1999. 20 years ago I was trying to be optimistic. Talking of the North etc, I played this Ultrasound (long forgotten band) song continuously in my flat on the lead-in. It is a stone dead classic. "Gary Glitter's gone to seed so who will lead us now?". Almost every leader that has followed, unfortunately:
Ultrasound - Stay Young - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-48qMbjpwVg