I got this wrong. I saw the first short scene
Some months ago & found nothing to like:
Neither the spoilt lead girl, nor her soft/mean
Parents. I turned it off with no small spite.
I got it wrong. Although in its second
Year it trundles into rom-commery,
With Adam’s midnight dash, & some odd
Plotting, the first is some brave comedy,
As everybody told me & I did not
Well hear. For I was wrong. It’s important,
I think, an important show, one that
Every boy should be shown. Although scant
Attention has been paid to the way
It in detail does nail our post-crash days.
The Social Network, dir. David Fincher
Right now, James Salter, octogenarian
Noveliser, is quizzed on ‘Great Gatsby’.
He pauses, reflects, & says that the Daisy-
Tale is not ‘quite that book’, the nation-
Defining tale of the lone American
Soul. He refers to ‘Sawyer’, to ‘Moby
Dick’, as novels that once the heavy
Burden bore of that elucidation.
The yanks I’ve known have only once
Or twice struck me as ‘Gatsby’-folk:
As often, per-capita, as my Brits
Have chased glitter to sad exuberance.
They meet in this, the great books, the thought provoke:
They chase the whale: that’s their & our one myth.
The Ballad of the Genius Bar, Part 2
He packed once more his broken thing
& strolled into the town
Made his way to Apple Store
Where t-shirts they did frown.
‘What is it that you want from us,
‘Who comes lacking appointment?’
Though highly trained they gave the stench
Of IT disappointment.
‘From Android phone I did not see
‘Booking was necessary
‘But this is my sole work machine,
‘Excuse the rule’ – his plea.
‘Away! Away! Avaunt, we say!
‘For we’re not close to ready,
‘Come back upon the morrow’s dawn
‘When store’s more clearly busy.’
So ignobly closed his first assay
In retreat upon the metro,
& so he slunk all web-deprived
Onto his seat at home.
Where he faced the real horror
Of giving full attention,
To the shows oft lost to surf
Upon his television.
The Ballad of the Genius Bar, part 1
It was an early evening
In the merry month of May
When our hero’s MacBook screen
Contrived to lose its way.
He was not throwing it around
It was not at all unstable,
It was sitting there quite flat
Before him on the table.
He leapt towards his Android phone
Typed quickly into Google
“My MacBook’s screen is black as pitch:
Though machine’s still bootable.”
As he awaited phone’s response
His mind sought guiltily
For what he’d done to break the thing
In its short history.
He recalled his habit, which he’d
Prefer he hadn’t had,
Of shoving his packed lunch into
His oe’rfilled laptop bag.
He also found him guilty of
Being somewhat cavalier,
In placing it around the house
When iPlayering with the gear.
A dread partic’lar incident
Was one that touched him more,
When Orpheus had taken him
& thrown it to the floor.
But when his websearch did return
A sheaf of information,
He saw scenarios much worse
Than those in ’s imagination.
He saw six hundred message boards
Of seething discontent,
Filled with sixty thousand
Who spoke angrily of flimsiness
In Apple’s product lines,
Of poor customer service
& extensive waiting times.
They spoke of Nvidia issues
& outdated guarantees,
Of tricky manoeuvring
To evade warrantees.
& when he came to word of costs
If this problem was found,
He did exclaim ‘Oh no! Oh Lord!
‘Not seven hundred pounds!’
Our chap felt a sinking feeling
He came over very tense
He did regret his lack of nous
When it came to maintenance.
“If only I had done a course
Instead of wasting all that time
On my English Lit degree.”
Noises Off, Newcastle Theatre Royal, April 2013
Often I go alone because the stress
Involved in picking out a show, having
Others pay to support my choice, is less
Easy to bear than the stigmatizing
Effect of lone attendance, which is
Anyway slight. A rare venture, birthday
Party theatre, but having once seen this
Some years before I was able to say:
‘It hurt me with the laughter by the end’.
The longer it went on though… By Act Two,
The confusing back-stage section, I send
A search party for the laughs: Where? From whom?
Thankfully answered within Act Three,
Which is where big laughs should really be.
Thor, dir. Kenneth Branagh; Captain America: The First Avenger, dir. Joe Johnston
Of the thoughtless film clichés that annoy
The spontaneous round of applause is
That which at soul most dreadfully itches,
Having passed from fiction to world’s employ:
We did not clap any shite in my altar-boy
Days. Second worst, at play in ‘Thor’: extras
Who overreact to fancy dress; embarrass –
ment the right response, not fear unalloyed.
Better, then, ‘Cap’, whose costume at first
Is for marketing & ridicule.
Both final reels reflect the core problem
Of Marvel’s filmic thing: that the worst
Part is the climax: but ‘Cap’ wins this duel,
Having a little more wit than Norsemen.
The Politician’s Husband, BBC Two
If story is to reflect our times it must,
Like satire, allow an ephemeral grain
Without too much concern over the rust
That may take in posterity, the wane
In understanding that may take place.
We all have google now, to quickly find
Robin Cook, Geoffrey Howe, put name to face
& face to deed, & the parallel in mind.
In its casual deployment of detail
This achieves a verisimilitude
Somewhat above ‘House of Cards’, which fails
(both versions), to adopt the attitude
That what the audience does not know
It can intuit, no need for blow-by-blow.
Doctor Who: ‘Hide’, BBC One
Now there are things that don’t work at all here –
That the TARDIS can’t but then can go to
The pocket world, the convenient seer’s
Variable pain capacity – but who
Cares, frankly? For the successive week
Has provided a first twenty my child
Self would have found nearly unbearably
Scary. He couldn’t handle a ghost, that mild
Kid. There was a Guy Fawkes tale in a Cub
Scout Annual that meant his Dad had to
Hold his hand to sleep one Christmas night;
A jamboree ‘Monster Squad’ some poor schlub
Of a Kaa had to talk him down from. Just a boo
Set his mind running round in lack of light.
Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral, BBC One
Did we applaud Diana as her hearse
Went down The Mall? The holding of hats
In solemn thanks, the turning of backs
In silent thanks, they work to show the corpse
Respect &/or protest against her years
Of demolition; but applause? Did we clap
Churchill’s cortege? An odd elegy that
Is surely too simply misread – per-verse.
I’ve held my peace throughout the week,
More or less, as I typed on I listened,
Occasionally stopping off to retweet
Today’s unemployment figures: risen.
As the funeral gives way to ‘Bargain Hunt’,
I think of the ways I’ll miss the Iron Lady.
(Source: Flickr / cdfzer)
In sunny meadows, the three variations
On the franchise stroll: Morse, Lewis & Morse
Jr., fresh-faced Endeavour. ‘Of course’,
Says Morse, ‘I established our conventions’.
‘Aye, but I brought them to perfection,’
Says the Sergeant. ‘No traipsing far abroad,
No Venice or Aussie trip. ‘Twas all Oxford
All the time: always lawns, with the addition
Of a soap element you briefly tried
But I made work.’ ‘True,’ says the youth, ‘but I
Benefit from the production team’s
Twenty-year honing of our single tale.
While we all are great I would allege
These period frocks give me the edge.’