Wednesday, 11 September 2013

You're just ordinary

There was an enormous irony that Nobel Peace Winning President Obama was ready to bomb Syria back to the stone age, the deeply unpleasant President Putin managed to shaft him by leaping on the suggestion that Syria's chemical weapons should be put under international control.  You can say what you like about the KGB, but even now they're one step ahead of the west.  look out, there's probably reds under your bed.

At home, we're getting ready for the start of a new era.  The Cat goes off down to Exeter at the weekend.  We're driving her down...a change from when I went there and and to head south west under my own steam.  Aren't the young pampered these days?  There's been a round of buying to make sure she's suitably equipped, and hopefully it'll all fit in the car...we're taking the small one as The Cat's Mother doesn't want to drive my tank.  Meanwhile, The Boy is still hoping to go off and do a season at a ski resort, but is finding in the real world, promises are easily broken - the place that offered him a job last year is proving truculent this, and alternatives are few and far between.  We have our fingers crossed, but Plan B may have to be created very quickly....

I think I'm in trouble with Grandma in Cyprus again.  We've not headed to Cyprus this year, and from over there it must look as though we're avoiding her...after all we've been gallivanting everywhere else.  Scotland, Geneva, Burgundy, and soon Turkey.  But not one of those holidays has been for us...Scotland to see the kids perform, Geneva and Burgundy for a wedding, and Istanbul for an American friend's 50th birthday surprise.  Back home we're trying to sort the kids out (see above), and in between I'm trying to do some work (actually I'm trying to do a lot of work).  So we'll get there, but I'm not sure quite when....

We watched two programmes the other night about decline and fall.  Both on the BBC, one about Ford in the UK, one about the once great city of Detroit.  The one about Ford was oddly perverse.  It used lots of Ford promotional videos and was extremely upbeat...only mentioning in passing that Ford no longer makes its cars here because of old fashioned labour practices and expensive overheads.  I don't think they mentioned how many ordinary people had been put out of work.  The other one was called Requiem for Detroit and was a startling piece about the decline of the city.  It was built on the success of the motor industry, but became a car crash itself when people stopped buying them during the financial crash (those bankers again) I'd recommend watching it.  Alongside the collapse of Detroit (it filed for bankruptcy this year) a new industry has grown up - photographing the decaying remains of the depopulating city centre.  Some of the pictures are stunning in their beauty, and some of the best can be found here.  And here's a trailer for the programme

BBC Documentary: Requiem For Detroit from Logan Siegel on Vimeo.

I laughed and laughed and laughed when seven BBC executives sat in a committee room in the House of Commons and were grilled like lamb chops over payments to departing executives.  Somewhere in the discussion the phrase that "ordinary people will find it hard to understand" that these folk were given overly generous handouts for no reason.  On the same day, a journalist said that she'd got a ticket to an event, but she didn't know how ordinary people would get one.  So that day I felt very ordinary indeed.  But then we are all ordinary aren't we?  It's just that certain groups feel they are a privileged elite.  A cosy club who should be immune to the same rules that the majority are.  For the BBC, the grilling was a tragedy as the senior management team came out of it looking arrogant, out of touch and elitist...and that's not what anyone wants from the BBC.  It's one of our greatest institutions, and it would be a disaster if idiot managers provided the fodder for another arrogant, elitist bunch - politicians - to tear it to shreds.