Telly last night included a very tedious Without A Trace. At least, I kept dozing off in patches. Do we really need a two hour hostage drama? I feel like I should receive trauma counselling. Do I really need more Sam & Jack, or any Sam & Jack, of any distinction, for that matter?
Still, with Jack Valenti poised to crush our entertainment industry like the petulant brat that he is, this'll probably be the only way we'll get to see Oz cops on the box, so I'd better watch it out of duty if nothing else.
I was explaining to a friend how I'd seen precious few Oz films of late. Enough to have done my duty, but, like most of my generation, surely you can't ask any more. Life Support (a wicked pisstake of those hideous lifestyle shows) suggested since belting kiddies was now outlawed, you could keep the brats in line by threatening them with Oz films. Cue small child crying. Oh yeah, now there's a threat to keep even me in line.
Yeah, so 90% of Oz fillums suck, but that ain't no reason to crush them underfoot. Most megaplex US movies suck, too. They just have bigger budgets.
Then there was Reilly, which is all the Sam I'm getting this week (grizzle). Reilly, in the knitted argyle vest of shame, decided to go back to Russia, playing himself as a pawn and this time it looks like the love rat is finally trapped. Still, Sam managed to smile smugly throughout.
the high road
Had a chat with BBC guy on the way out the door and he reminded me that I was going to miss the boat with my cards, etc, if I hadn't already. That's the thing with a family OS, one has to think about Xmas much earlier than those without.
Funnily enough, there was a letter from my dearest Aunt waiting for me. Oh, how I long to go home, and not commute home but my spiritual, ancestral home. How I long to be amongst folks who look like me, talk like me and think like me, and not feel so censured and wanting in all the graces all the time (People are always saying how crotchety Sir Sean is, but he's just a Scots gentleman of a certain age - if he was being surly he'd have your head through a window).
It was a lovely letter and I didn't have to squint at the spidery writing, because I was able to anticipate her train of thought exactly. People are always putting me down, but amongst my family (over there, as my mother's family are tall, thin, humourless aliens who have no time for me) nobody can chide me for my appearance, my sweet tooth, my temper or my sick sense of humour without calling the kettle an ill mannered child.
I want to go home. I feel so break up, I want to go home. Alas, no can do as Herr Boss just gave the imperial thumbs down to my holiday plans. Bugger. (My bank might have had something to say on the matter, too, but I say you can't take it with you and it's my plan/revenge to die deeply in debt, but having had a good or at least half decent time).
This is going to be a Xmas and a half, as I shall now bawl anytime I see Taggart, Rebus, Hamish McBeth, Monarch of the Glen, Simple Minds (pre Breakfast Club) or even the Highlander fillum on tv. Whimper.
hope I die before I get old
Meant to go out last night but found myself toddling home. I must be getting old because I wanted nothing so much as an early night and a hot cocoa, curled up with some of the catalogues I'd brought back. Damn you, NGA, as I discover one of the paintings I'd most wanted to see, the picnic one that even ended up as a Bow Wow Wow single cover, was in the book but not on the wall. Insert piss and vinegar rant here.
Re feeling old, for me, it hits home when they back announce a fave record as being 20 years old, or when they bring out 25th anniversary edition dvds. Ouch! One of the worst examples, on my birthday no less, I was window shopping with a dear little friend, and we were looking at shoes and I was going gak over a pair exactly like my First Grade teacher used to wear and she asked had these shoes (70s clogs) ever been in fashion before? Pain. Hurting.
Toddled off down to the dreaded mall in search of magazinage (Ewan, Jude and Michael, oh my). The Xmas decs were not put away with due care last year as they're all scraped and banged up and missing great swathes of glitter and paint. Looks more like the council rubbish pickup than decorations, or maybe some painfully avante garde installation saying something about the shabby nature of the season. Meanwhile my local shops have the nightmarish Evil Santas out again. Ack. I miss the old faded 60s decs which at least had class and nostalgia going for them. Never mind. I indulged in a seasonal frap at Starbucks (it had nutmeg on it, how festive!) so now I am indeed a sugared up lil plum fairy. Bounce bounce bounce bounce. Insert 2001 style trip here.
Just when I think I should put myself back in my box cause folks are complaining about my forthright snarkiness, along comes SFGate, to put my alleged snarkiness in its weedy, anaemic place :)
A little something for my US pals, of which I still have a few, bless (from SFGate without permission):
Be Thankful You're Not Dubya</a>
Craving more juicy reasons to offer up profound gratitude this turkey day? Try a few of these
(By Mark Morford)
This Thanksgiving, as you sip the wine and hug the family and toast the friends and hoard the stuffing and curse the airport security, remember to give thanks you are not G.W. Bush. Hey, it's important.
1) Be thankful that you do not have to suffer Dubya's massive crushing karmic burden, as wrought by inflicting heaps of environmental disaster and vicious unnecessary war and a stunning string of lies lies lies like a firehose of giblet gravy splattered all over the planet.
For it really is all too plain: G.W. Bush is one of the most reviled and openly disrespected major world leaders in modern history. America has never been so embarrassed and reluctant to send a president abroad. We cringe when the man takes the stage. We offer humiliated apologies to our former allies, and to the 200,000 Bush/war protesters in London, just last week.
In Bush's defense, it cannot be easy to be so undeservedly powerful, yet so bumbling and inarticulate and globally loathed for your abhorrent policies and hollow corporate agenda and baffled doofus manner. This Thanksgiving, be grateful you are not him.
2) Thanks, you might want to give, that you are not Iraqi. Be grateful you did not go from brutal scowling despot who at least kept the damn lights on to brutish occupying army no one asked for that is right now laying waste to whatever remains of your once semi-proud oil-rich nation.
Give thanks, furthermore, that you are not one of the estimated 10,000 Iraqi civilians killed to date by U.S. forces, not to mention one of the untold tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers who were hammered by our million pounds of billion-dollar ordnance in the first few days of the massacre. Be grateful you are not dead in the name of American political and petrochemical profiteering.
3) Give thanks you are not a member of the much-abused U.S. military. Sad but true. Be grateful you are not right now suffering that sickening sinking feeling that you are not, in fact, protecting America from any sort of marauding terrorists, or defending our honor, or our way of life, or guarding innocents from swarthy evildoers and nonexistent WMDs.
But that you are, instead, a wholly disposable henchman for the BushCo corporate regime, with the odds increasing every minute that you will soon join the more than 9,000 U.S. wounded or more than 400 "necessary" dead U.S. soldiers Rumsfeld mentions when he shrugs off the latest round of guerrilla bombings that killed another batch of your friends. Support our troops. Bring them home right now.
4) Be grateful BushCo's ratings are slipping lower than an SUV's mpg rating, and there is only one year left until he joins his father as one of those embarrassing historical footnotes, a jagged scar on the heart of a wary America that other countries point to in years to come and say wow that's a nasty scar where'd you get that, and we reply, George W. Bush, and they go, oh my God, that's right. So sorry.
5) Be grateful you are not right now in any way related to, or serve as a spokesperson for, or are employed as one of the apparently very deranged or heavily drugged plastic surgeons who worked on Michael Jackson. This is a gimme.
6) While you're at it, give thanks you're not Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, Bennifer, Britney, Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers, Howard Stern, Ann Coulter, Ashton Kutcher, Bill O'Reilly, Anna Kournikova, Madonna or Mary Hart. These are lives you probably do not want to lead. Give thanks your soul is not all withery and Botoxed and that it still manages to radiate cool colors like one of those funky cheesy fiber-optic lamps from the '70s.
7) Be thankful they have yet to figure out a way to blot out the sun. Or, for that matter, the moon.
8) Offer immense gratitude that despite a massive ongoing Herculean effort on the part of numerous world governments to rape and pillage and pretty much slap down most all tender offerings of the planet, Earth still manages to produce for us an astonishing array of flora and fauna and oxygen and edible delicacies and awe-inspiring trees and relentless merciless beauty.
9) Be thankful the planet rather effortlessly continues to baffle scientists and confound astronomers and completely entrance biologists and philosophers and poets. We still, for example, have no idea why whales sing, or how long they live, or where blue whales, the largest and most magnificent creatures on the planet, go to mate. Be grateful for the Mystery.
10) Kneel down, right now, for free speech. Oh yes. We must. Because it is under severe duress. To exercise it now, to speak out against BushCo and war and global corporate profiteering, is a true sign that you are a traitor and an al Qaeda operative and a personal friend of Barbra Streisand. This is what they sneer at you.
Give it up, instead, for free unfettered alt-news sources like truthout.org. And commondreams.org. And alternet.org and counterpunch.com and buzzflash.com and smirkingchimp.com and even Slate and the BBC and The Onion. Cheney scowls, Rove oozes, Ashcroft would love nothing more than to shut down the entire impious godforsaken Internet. Be grateful they can only quiver and hiss and rattle their chains. So far.
11) Molly Ivins. Gore Vidal. Michiko Kakutani. David Foster Wallace. Don DeLillo. Maureen Dowd. Caroline Myss. W.G. Sebald. Tom Robbins. Starhawk. William Rivers Pitt. Rob Brezny. David Attenborough. Dave Eggers. Joseph Campbell. Lewis Lapham. Haruki Murakami. Katha Pollitt. Et al. Thank you.
12) For baskets of locally grown organic small-farm produce delivered to your door. For handmade whiskey-filled chocolate truffles smeared over a lover's tailbone. For Bernese mountain dogs. For the return of Opus. For Rufus Wainwright and Beth Orton and the Mini Cooper. L'Occitane honey incense and the Apple iPod and "Six Feet Under." For Cate Blanchett, The Sun magazine, The New Yorker, Peet's coffee and "Spirited Away."
13) Here is the big cliché. Here is the final praise. It cannot be overstated: Despite an impressive assault on civil liberties, despite savage BushCo attacks on everything from national forests to air quality to rivers and oceans and water quality and health care, despite attempts to numb the national consciousness overall, we must give enormous, unfettered thanks for this incredible and kaleidoscopic America.
Ours remains the most breathtakingly beautiful, diverse, epic, multifaceted, multiorgasmic landscape on the planet today. It's true.
We tend to forget. We take for granted. We presume it must be like this everywhere. But one quick trip abroad will only serve to remind you and reinforce your devout appreciation for what this country can offer, the free expression and the religious autonomy and the clean water and the good dentistry and the fresh produce and the space to explore.
We are deeply flawed. We are massively arrogant. We are bratty and insolent and abusive and sloppy and violent. But we balance it with astounding acts of love and beauty and art, nature preserves and activism and organic awareness and sex positivism and community awareness and quiet personal spiritual questing and lots and lots of great bookstores.
14) Here is where you make you own list. Here is where you set aside the cynicism and the sighing and the bitterness, just for a moment, and get quiet, look around, look inside, check the karmic inventory and offer up heaping pies of gratefulness for what you find.
Sure it seems clichéd. Of course you don't need some holiday to be deeply thankful for the radiance in your life. But, hey, an opportunity is an opportunity. Just remember, big meaty drumsticks of general gratitude are absolutely fine. But the divine, personal gravy is where the real flavor is.