2016 — 9 July: Saturday

Good ol' Brian Matthew's music has been going out unheeded until his programme's nearly over this morning.1 Last night's entertainment consisted, in part, of a film that's somehow now over 50 years old: William Wyler's "The Collector". I'd seen it only once before, soon after its cinema release, but instantly recalled its utter, claustrophic, creepiness. It's prompted me to order his 1961 version of Lillian Hellman's play "The Children's Hour" which I've long been aware of, but not actually seen.

I mentioned...

... the blurring of news and satire yesterday. Today's example:

The cry gets louder for a second referendum... At last, with no loss of face, Prime Minister May reluctantly grants their wish... Take your shoes off. Go back to bed. When you wake, Boris Johnson will be leader of the Labour party. He was, he says, always well to the left of Tony Blair. What can you do?

Ian McEwan in Grauniad

The Brexit "result"...

... has lessened the day-to-day cheeriness I generally feel. It's a problem I'm working on.

Celebrity culture?

I blame Anthony Trollope! He asserted there were only a thousand people in the UK "who mattered". And concentrated on them in his (excellent) fiction. Fast forward to December 1984. On the assumption that it might be interesting to read a modern list, I bought Miller's book, with its 450 "key personalities" of the 1980s. (I fear I stalled on the letter "G" at Susan George.) But note the front cover blurb:

Miller and Hennessy books

Val Hennessy mentions this book in the scathing introduction to her 1989 book of interviews with 50 or so "writers", each of whom has a book to plug:

There exists a paperback upon whose cover I am quoted as saying "People will 
rush out and buy this book" and when I tell you that what I really wrote in 
my review was "Only totally moronic people will rush out and buy this book", 
need I say more?

Recall this exchange from March 2008?

Does everyone have a novel in them?
They have all kinds of things in them — liver, spleen, perhaps recklessly inserted lightbulbs. Whether you want any of those things to be removed and then sold to strangers is the question.

AL Kennedy quoted in "50 arts secrets revealed" in Grauniad

I'm enjoying...

... the pseudo-random set of music tracks (non-album — that is, ripped from my various compilation and "soundtrack" CDs) by performers whose names begin with the letter "S". That "playlist" consists of 590 tracks, and would run for 1 day and 11.5 hours (if I let it). I just paused it to look up the lyrics of Bacharach's "A house is not a home" as performed by the lady we sometimes called "Burly Chassis". I'm pretty sure just a few years ago they would have emotionally wrecked me, and (in still earlier times) I would probably have barely registered them. Life can really only be understood backwards.

Now that she's just sung "Goldfinger", of course, I have a mild hankering to watch that film again. Its plot is no less ludicrous than last night's "The Collector", and the vintage is almost identical. I shall give it a whirl. [Pause] Golly! We don't make 'em like that any more. I know Gert Fröbe from just four of his many films. "$" (1971) being my favourite, partly because of its extremely cool Quincy Jones soundtrack music.



1  I've been busy sleeping, it seems.