Come in, it's lovely to see you. Pull up a cushion and stay as long as you like.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dr Who Here I come

Heard on the radio today Florence Welch, from Florence and the Machine, being interviewed and saying that she wanted a part in Dr Who. She didn’t want to take the female assistant role (kind of her) but would like to play a monster.
Well, while we are on the subject and in case anyone with any clout is reading this (well you never know!) I wouldn’t mind a part in Dr Who either. I would happily take the lead role and play the Doctor himself (aim high I say) or a character in an episode like one of the numerous celebs we see popping up here there and everywhere (how do the new wave of actors get parts nowadays?).
I would also like a part in a Bond movie, either 007 himself, M, Q or any part that has either a letter or a number.  A villain. Or the villain’s henchman.  Or the pilot of a helicopter flying Bond over a drop- off zone having to do a really difficult manoeuvre (always a bugger to spell that one). Any part basically.
And I would like to play either Jack Lemmon or Tony Curtis’s role in the remake of Some Like It Hot so I can legitimately dress as a woman, rather than having to sneak around in the flat with the curtains drawn in this matching blue two piece cotton blouse and knee length skirt (note to self edit this bit out before posting). I’m not sure who I would like to play Marilyn Monroe’s role, a tough one that, big shoes to fill. Someone unknown though, I don’t want to be overshadowed.
I would also like to do spoken word books like Stephen Fry does, and voiceovers for commercials, especially for hair care products so that while I was raking in the cash I could have a wry smile over the irony of having no hair myself.
And I want to present one of those documentary series where I get to travel and am filmed walking about a lot and eating and drinking things and talking to slightly eccentric and odd looking folk with opinions on just about everything. And where I get to stand on hills or the ramparts of castles looking into the middle distance or out at the horizon, with my hand on my forehead to shield my eyes from the sun. Or do something exciting and dangerous with a boat that normally would get me arrested (I said boat not goat, just in case the animal rights lobby are reading and don’t have their glasses on).
If the person with any clout is still reading I don’t have a portfolio but will happily attend for a screen test, at a location of your choice. I don’t mind being tested along with Florence Welch and would happily have her as my assistant if I get the part of the Doctor. Even though she said she didn’t want it we all know she would take it.
Right, just edit the wearing the dress line before I click the ‘post blog’ button. Oh shi

Thursday, 13 October 2011

We're Too Old For This

Heard snippets on the radio the other day (was driving so didn't catch all the details) about a 'report' published by someone who had noticed how many commuters on the train were reading children's books and 'wondered why?'.
Of course they couldn't just accept it, other individuals reading choices, has to be some rational explanation and of course it soon came. Wait for it; 'people are so stressed by the working environment and the daily commute and the pressures of modern life that reading children's books is a way of escaping from this'.
Ah right I see. It couldn't have been that adults actually enjoy reading children's books just for the pleasure of it then.
So what about the mass who read romantic or violent crime fiction? That's not 'escaping' then, that's ok, no questions need asking or surveys doing or explanations given. It's just when adults choose to read children's books it promotes comment, questioning and criticism because, and lets be honest here, this is what it really is, a judgement being passed under the guise of a survey. The real statement being made here is that children's books are only for children and adults should only read adult books.
We need to 'grow up'.
This book snobbery has always angered me, ever since I watched Linda Smith on Room 101 wanting to 'put in the bin' adults who read Harry Potter. And by way of explanation she went on to say that it was ok for adults to read Harry Potter to their children but to want to read it themselves that's what annoyed her (It's always Harry Potter isn't it, not Wind In The Willows or The Hobbit. I smell a whiff of plain old jealousy at others success here). So not adults who read violent crime or horror, a lot of which is directed at women and children, I thought she could at least have played the feminist card, but no, just adults who chose to read childrens books, this seems to annoy more than anything else.
Going online to try and find (and failing) information on this report I came across numerous feeds and discussions on this very subject, all from the same starting point, all from, I assume, adults so grown up and intellectual and far too clever to lower themselves to read a children's book.
And all responded to in much the same way as this: 'Can I get away with reading children's books seriously? I don't care; I read them because I want to, and those who want to look down their snooty noses at me are poor sad people who are missing a lot of pleasure.'
I've never heard it said 'Why do adults choose to write childrens books, they must be hanging on to their childhoods, unable to function in a grown up world' etc. It seems it's just adults who choose to read them.
I can fully understand if, for example, you went to see your GP and he had started wearing round glasses and had a lightening scar tattooed on his forehead, and after the examination he said 'I know a spell that will cure this' or 'I need a second opinion I am just going to give Dumbledore a quick ring', then Huston, as they say, we have a problem. This person needs to broaden their reading a bit, for sure.
In my humble opinion a good story is a good story whoever it is aimed at (why should children get all the fun?) and if you want to read it then read it. Why limit yourself. And if your own life is so dull and your imagination so lacking that all you can do is criticise and judge others for what they read (for goodness sake aren't there better things to do) maybe you need to read a bit more widely yourself. These are people who even when they were children themselves they were so busy wanting to be grown up they never allowed themselves to read children's books, never played out in the street or messed about in the school playground and now secretly wished they had.
Try Ursula le Guins Earthsea trilogy, Cornelia Funkes Inkheart trilogy, Philip Pullmans His Dark Materials trilogy, Tolkeins Hobbit, the Roald Dahl books, the Montmorency books by Eleanor Updale, the hilarious Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison, all excellent books in their own right, forget the target audience.
And dare I say it, yes I wholeheartedly do, the Harry Potter books. Or Treasure island, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Are these only for children?
And I challenge you to read the truly excellent Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo and not be moved.
Instead of it being a point of criticism or ridicule it could just mean that you are a healthy grown up with a good imagination, able to choose your own reading matter.
And, just a suggestion here, to those people who have all this time and money and energy to research these 'reports', might I suggest a few hours of voluntary work instead, doing something really worthwhile?