So I asked you folks what I should blog about on my facebook. I got a bevy of interesting answers, including some very kind words - so by way of anouncing which topic I have picked...
...I'm going to do ALL of them!
1) SQUIRRELS. Nutty bastards. But funny. Living in a place with a protected red squirrel population, it was very interesting for me to be in Washington DC and to have a red squirrel casually have a crack at the stitching of my jeans while sat in a park. I know a few people that remind me of squirrels. It's a charming personality, if not a little tiring - I find it hard to keep up with...well most things really.
2) REMAKES. Now I don't think that every remake - whatever the media - is bad. I have, however, seen enough remakes that are absolute trash to know that it is something of a warning sign. Like the number of good remakes is pretty low. In that number I would count Gone In Sixty Seconds (though the original is still better). Re-imaginings...that's a different thing. I'm a fan of remix culture. Modern interpretations of Shakespeare, the gap between Hidden Fortress and Star Wars, samples in hip hop. A prime example of goodness is Kung Faux - a show wherein old kung fu movies are redubbed, given wicked soundtrack backing, and overlaid with classic video game special effects. It isn't the act of remake or remix in itself which makes something better or worse. It is the direction the vision takes us in. Sometimes...that direction just plain sucks, pure and simple.
3) BLACK BINS. A one-size-fits-all approach is a bad approach. I live in a house with four other grown adults (mostly) and the amount of rubbish we generate isn't insignificant. If we had one other person in the house we'd be entitled to a marginally larger bin. Now...I agree with recycling. Better to recycle than to dump. Slapping a big restriction on waste collection, however...that's going to cause problems. I guarantee there will be a significant amount of angry people and uncollected rubbish the moment the new refuse collection laws become...well...law.
4) POWER RANGERS OUTFITS - DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION APOLOGY. This kind of ties into the remake thing. The new Power Rangers costumes look awesome. Halfway between the originals and Iron Man. I like that. In terms of the writer of Dragonball Evolution, Ben Ramsey, apologising for it? ...well in his letter talking about it, he hits the nail on the head. It's not often that the people who get the paychecks actually express remorse for trashing things that other people are fans of. I mean Michael Bay hasn't said shit about Transformers and he's made FOUR of the fucking things. So you know what, Ramsey? You fucked up seven years ago but big up your bad self for taking responsibility for it. (I didn't give a damn about it, it bears mention. I hate Dragonball.)
5) THE RISE OF THE FAR RIGHT IN SWEDEN. So apparently a full fifth of the Swedish population support the Swedish Democrat party (SD), which are troublingly right-wing and anti-immigrant. Almost thirty years old, and formed out of nationalists and racists, I must admit that until writing this blog I wasn't much aware of them. I suppose this is what happens - if your government does the right thing, there's always the bunch of thugs lurking in the bottom of the barrel that wants to spoil things - and sometimes that bunch of thugs will be unified enough to vote for a bunch of political thugs. This is why we need to make it to the polls, people like you and I - because the thugs always will, if they smell blood in the water.
6) TEA BAGS. I don't drink tea. I know. However, I fully believe that tea bags are a wonderful invention that makes the lives of millions easier every day, and we don't give their inventor (the Tang Dynasty in the 7th Century, though it was widely popularised and marketed by Thomas Sullivan in the early 1900s) anywhere near enough credit.
7) PIERS YOUNG. This guy. This fucking guy. I swear down. This fucking guy.
...there you have it! Everyone is a winner. This was actually a lot of fun, I think I should ask for blog prompts more often... I hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing!
Tune in next week for a return to our usual programming!