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In praise of middle-brow

One can criticize Bond – of course it’s not Richardson as Falstaff for the Old Vic or one of Pinter’s:

Sometimes though, one’s done enough penance to the semi-highbrow for the week and wonderful they were but perhaps something now a little more middle-brow?

So, a good Christie Poirot or Marple, a Rumpole or Yes Minister, a Midsomer or two, a Maigret – these soothe the brow over an ale or three. Or perhaps a James Bond classic – I have Dr. No and FRWL revitalized.

Morse can be stomached now and again.

Dipping a bit lower, the occasional Arfur Daley or Del Boy passes a half hour.

Can’t bring myself to go low-brow though or gutter – X Factor, Big Brother, modern Corrie, East Enders, TOWIE, Strictly with their porn suits – those are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

The absolute bottom of the barrel, in fact the gutter into which the sludge is poured, would be scruffy Brand, Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross – that sort.…

Bond 24, if I was penning it

Rossa sends the Mail version of the story, this is the Mi6 version.

The traditional divisions used to be between those for whom Connery was the only one, those who liked the authentic, grittier Bond, including Dalton’s and Craig’s outings and then those who like the whole lightweight escapist thing, of which Moore was the chief exponent.

There hasn’t been a really satisfactory Bond movie after FRWL, Goldfinger and OHMSS. Leaving Lazenby aside for now, although his action sequences and love scenes with Diana Rigg were first class, the film itself was top notch as a film in its own right. The cast was star-studded and Louis Armstrong’s song remains.

When I say there hasn’t been a satisfactory movie since, I mean there’ve been some excellent ones in many respects but, IMHO, they’re so uneven. Octopussy was quite good in many ways but that yodelling through the jungle about killed it and Kamal Khan was weak.…

Planet Peelsa and the coming of the Idahij

Wiggia points out, from the Immigration Act 2014:

• allow the Home Secretary to deprive a naturalised British citizen of their citizenship in cases where they have conducted themselves in a way which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK, where the Home Secretary has reasonable grounds for believing the person is able to become a national of another country

That would seem to take care of the naturalized, if there was the political will and the EU or the ECHR “allowed” it. The concept of actually making and passing a law of our own does not seem to occur to our leaders.

The issue is these misnamed “British” thugs who went over there, put up the vid etc. The sticking point is, of course, whether they’re born here or not.


Using Sci Fi or future world as an analogy, imagine a smashing movie where there is a planet called Peelsa, with inhabitants from different ethnicities, different cultures, each in their own lands and they basically co-exist, if not actually “get along”.…

For all you Old English fans – Beowulf ond Godsylla


Beowulf ond Godsylla, by Tom Weller

Meanehwæl, baccat meaddehæle, monstær lurccen;
Fulle few too many drincce, hie luccen for fyht.
Ðen Hreorfneorhtðhwr, son of Hrwærowþheororthwl,
Æsccen æwful jeork to steop outsyd.
Þhud! Bashe! Crasch! Beoom! Ðe bigge gye
Eallum his bon brak, byt his nose offe;
Wicced Godsylla wæld on his asse.
Monstær moppe fleor wyþ eallum men in hælle.
Beowulf in bacceroome fonecall bemaccen wæs;
Hearen sond of ruccus sæd, “Hwæt ðe helle?”
Graben sheold strang ond swich-blæd scharp
Stond feorth to fyht ðe grimlic foe.
“Me,” Godsylla sæd, “mac ðe minsemete.”
Heoro cwyc geten heold wiþ fæmed half-nelson
Ond flyng him lic frisbe bac to fen.
Beowulf belly up to meaddehæle bar,
Sæd, “Ne foe beaten mie færsom cung-fu.”
Eorderen cocca-cohla yce-coeld, ðe reol þyng.