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writing, film, TV, radio, theatre

HIGNFY shows its true colours

It’s not exactly a secret that the luvvies on HIGNFY and the Beeb are rabidly leftwing – witness the attempts to do down Boris and William Hague on occasions – but they used to do it with clever asides about genuine faux pas on the part of said pollies.

I saw a bit of the Nigel confrontation from the latest HIGNFY and was appalled how the assumed mask of neutrality has finally been cast off – it was open attack, including a great deal of actionable and false allegation.

Nigel undoubtedly knew he’d be in for a battering but possibly thought those two particular allegations had already been done to death in the media and in the Clegg debacle. He probably had reason to believe that HIGNFY would not attempt to resurrect old issues which had already been answered and shown to be baseless.

The sight of the luvvies desperately trying to keep the issues going and the hand-picked audience jeering on cue was nauseating.

Perhaps the best Maigret series of the lot

Of late I’ve been watching Maigret.

First came Michael Gambon’s version , panned for the English accents but I felt that if you could see it as a typical Brit cop romp, a la Morse, it was most enjoyable.   However, it was very English in tone for those wanting French atmosphere.   It wasn’t even filmed in France.

Then it was back to Rupert Davies whom many still miss and yes, it was fine except that the production values and the quality of the prints are rather poor now.   It does detract, along with the dodgy Dr Who style cardboard sets and wooden acting.

By accident, up came a version with Bruno Cremer and it was in French.   The good thing though was that the uploader, JLo, had subtitled in English and suddenly, there was an accessible Maigret in the right setting.

More than that – being produced by the French, entirely unanglicized, it delved into issues which only the French would be concerned with, one of these being the unease between the Flems, Walloons and French.…

The spectrum [and Victoria Coren]

rainbow from the window

There is actually a point to the ramblings in this post but disclaimer – it’s not about rainbows, it gets savage further down.

Some days ago, Wiggia had up here two pics of a rainbow and an immediate question is why colours form the bonds they do – why are reds one one side and blues on the other?


Before your eyes in this post are a whole lot of letters grouped into words and words into sentences. They’re typed in a certain sequence and you derive meaning according to the filters you put them through.

Chomsky had much to say on linguistics, as did I in one of my professions – language learning.


Political scientists have been forever producing models by which opinions on every issue under the sun can be placed and thereafter pinpointed. The most simplistic and not without merit over a limited number of broad opinions, is the left right linear continuum.…

The Upwinders and the Downwinders

Here’s another one, this time from the States, via Chuckles.

“Teaching is a political act, and you can’t choose to be neutral. You are either a pawn used to perpetuate a system of oppression or you are fighting against it,” Radersma said during the session. “And if you think you are neutral, you are a pawn.”

OK, let’s take a deep breath, step back and analyse this. I need to make a model here which might serve. Not a very good one, admittedly, but it might do.

There are two groups of people on a plain, a steppe, one group upwind of the other. The group upwind rely, for their protection, on armed forces who can come down the hills at that end of the plain and strike at any moment. In redoubts on the tops of these hills are the PTB.

These people are largely lazy, relying on others to do things for them and some time back, the PTB offered “protection” if the upwind group, let’s call them the Upwinders, would do as the PTB wanted.…

The rearranged order of Bond films after Skyfall


Read a very interesting article about where to place Skyfall in the canon.

IMHO, those who rate it top 5 fail to see its deep flaws and dire aspects, far more than any but the worst four or five Bond films, so much so that these flaws ruin it as a piece of entertainment.  It’s certainly not lower half – too lush for that, too varied, Xavier Bardem too good, obviously better than Quantum and yet not, at the same time.


Was looking through various lists from Empire to Forbes to Eon and we can be pretty sure which are up the top.   In no particular order – FRWL, Goldfinger, Casino Royale, OHMSS [glad to see more people putting this top 5 now].

Then we get to Goldeneye, The Spy Who Loved Me, Dr. No, Thunderball, FYEO – that calibre of film and hard to know in which exact order to place them.…