stories, some that are still being formed, some that went over the transom in the last century
The "Brit a Day" series
What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.
I've been a fan of Harold Pinter's plays since I designed sets for a couple of them at a Pinter festival in the 80's. A forgotten Pinter piece has recently resurfaced, and it is brief enough that I could post it in its entirety here. The timeliness of this short play from 1960, in light of the current uprising of the 99%, is uncanny. As usual, I can't resist casting it for your enhanced enjoyment. Here is "Umbrellas" with Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of A and Matt Smith in the roll of B--
Two gentlemen in deckchairs on the terrace of a large hotel. Wearing shorts and sunglasses. Sunbathing. They do not move throughout the exchange
A: The weather's too much for me today.
B: Well, you're damn lucky you've got your umbrella.
A: I'm never without it, old boy.
B: I think I'd do well to follow your example.
A: Yes, you would. Means the world to me. I never find myself at a loss. You understand what I mean?
B: You're a shrewd fellow, I'll say that for you.
A: My house is full of umbrellas.
B: You can't have too many.
A: You've never said a truer word, old boy.
B: I haven't got one to bless myself with.
A: Well, I can forsee [sic] a time you'll regret it.
B: I think the time's come, old boy.
A: You can't be too careful, old boy.
B: Well, you've got your feet firmly planted on the earth, there's no doubt about that.
A: I certainly feel secure, old boy.
B: Yes, you know where you stand, all right. You can't take that away from you.
A: You'll find they're a true friend to you, umbrellas.
B: Maybe I'll buy one.
A: Don't come to me. It would be like tearing my heart out, to part with any of mine.
B: You find them handy, eh?
A: Yes ... Oh, yes. When it's raining, particularly.
Professor Snape and colleagues applaud the writers who have lent their support to the Occupy Wall Street movement at occupywriters.com. This contribution from Lemony Snicket is brilliant--
Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.
3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.
5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.
6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.
7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.
8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.
9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.
10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.
11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.
12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.
13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.
Monday is United Nations Day, and the celebration of it is observed today by my daughter and all of her Hetalia cosplaying friends [see here and here]. Above, we see Scotland accepting a temporary truce with his life-long tormentor, England.
Thank you Henry Ian Cusick and Alan Dale, for one of the most jawdroppingly unexpected scenes from the final season of 'Lost.'
A Brit a Day is not exactly a news organization, but I am pleased to share this current event. Dan is shown here both in his virtual presence at the 2011 Scream Awards [top] and in his actual location, New York's Lincoln Center, collecting the Ultimate Scream Award on behalf of 'HP and the Deathly Hallows, pt.2.'
This picture of Alan Rickman is a long time favorite--the eyes, the hair, the jeans....the hand. I'd forgotten about it until I came across a print of it I was using as a bookmark in a book I read a long time ago.
Okay, Mr. Daniel-Craig-as-Mikael-Bloomquist, you've got some big shoes to fill--please don't let me down, especially after I told everyone that 'Cowboys & Aliens' had to be good just on the strength of your appearing in it.
Here's what collider.com has to say about it:
The script, which captures the novel’s bleak tone (its original Swedish title was Men Who Hate Women), was written by Academy Award winner Steven Zaillian, who wrote Schindler’s List, and it departs rather dramatically from the book. Blomkvist is less promiscuous, Salander is more aggressive, and, most notably, the ending—the resolution of the drama—has been completely changed. This may be sacrilege to some, but Zaillian has improved on Larsson—the script’s ending is more interesting.
We San Diegans have been in the head-lock of an unseasonably warm weather system this week. It has been ridiculously hot! However, as of this weekend, things are cooling off a bit, and coolest of all, San Diego finally has its own LEGO store! --hey, I'm with the band!
My son told me yesterday that he wants to be either Dr. Who or the doctor's nemeses The Silence for Halloween. I hope he chooses Dr. Who--the costume will be much easier. He already has the above-the-ankle pants.
Back in the day of Hans Gruber, I would have loved to see Alan Rickman cast as Mikael Bloomquist. Of course, 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' was just a candy bar in Stieg Larsson's back pocket when 'Die Hard' came out.
The photo editor may have been targeting the cigarette for excision, but smoking was no big secret back in the day--unless, I suppose, you were making a TV show for kids. Setting a bad example for fans, but otherwise a brilliant photo of David Jones from the 1960's.
"With the band holding a quiet groove, Argos came off the stage, joined the crowd, and improvised a fantastical tale inspired by a real-life visit to Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum. His voice a whisper, Argos took the audience on a long ride down, in a secret elevator. As the tale unfolded, he urged fans to squat around him on the floor.
In Toronto, where music fans often stand, arms crossed, in the face of infectious dance grooves, the buy-in was impressive. Live performance is about creating and maintaining a connection with an audience, and Art Brut's Friday night set yielded one of the coolest moments of the ongoing NXNE festival. With a few hundred festival-goers crouched quietly on the floor all around him, Argos broke down a wall, creating a moment that could neither be replicated or rehearsed.
As he wrapped his monologue, the band hit a crescendo and the squatting fans sprung up to form a pogo-infested sea. Then, Argos was consumed by a wave and, for a moment, performer and audience were one."
I don't have BBC America in my cable package, so I don't see episodes of 'Doctor Who' in real time. I watch them at Amazon Instant Video, and I just saw the S6 finale last night. Oh, you, Matt Smith, I had such sweet dreams about you as I slept. Oh, you, Steven Moffat, native of Paisley, just west of Glasgow, you are such a creative genius. Bravo!
Today's brits are unnamed denizens of the Isle of Jura, waiting for the ferry back to Islay. I nabbed this picture from scotlandphotos.net because, as everybody knows, I can't get enough of Scotland in my life, especially Islay and Jura. These folks pictured might be tourists like I was, but they are waiting for the Feolin ferry--traveling between Islay and Jura is done by only a small percentage of tourists, and I think that makes them honorary Scots [and therefore honorary brits] for their time in the Scottish islands.