First open water swim of 2012

Rule #1 of open water swimming is hydrate well before swimming in a “rubber suit”(1)
Rule #2 Never swim alone. Where was everyone? If I don’t comment by lunchtime, someone come look for me…

(1) as Wendy would have said…

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I didn’t get where I am today…

In a meeting at the mau5trap today I used the phrase “I didn’t get where I am today…” and then had to explain the humor and it immediately struck me that it was an obvious precursor to The Office. Given Ricky Gervais is only 4-years younger than me he’d have definately been influenced by the original 1970’s The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin tv series and the follow-ons.

I went looking for a YouTube clip and came across this one. Yes, it’s dated. But the content couldn’t be more relevant. The clip, from a program originally aired in October 1976. Not only does it contain some great examples of Reggies acerbic wit, which was a hallmark of the series but he also makes fun of the mediocre, pompous, ex-Army styles that were common in the workplace in the UK still in the 1970’s when I started.

The speech though touches a number of key issues that didn’t come to the fore for a number of years; he talks about growth, chemicals, pollution, destruction of the natural environment, societal approach to weight, food, war and more. I didn’t get where I am today by continuing to work in that environment, CJ.

Humour without consequence, what about sex?

When I used “humour[British Spelling] without consequence” in my earlier blog post, I that thought it was quite a snappy summary of the long drawn out discussion about the differences between British and American humor, apart from the spelling of the word, obviously.

Ricky Gervais has a useful blog entry on the subject, here. I just googled for “Humour without consequence” to see if it was an original phrase, and it appears to be. One search result though leapt out at me, Sex without Consequence, in a blog post on the Daily Kos by Dave Robbins. It totally sums up my discomfort with the current US non-debate about contraception and abortion, that I’d felt uncomfortable about but hadn’t worked out why.

The way the current debate is framed, typically by the right, and mostly by the religious right, is against abortion, against contraception, etc. etc. One small victory recently was the push back that happened against the Susan G. Komen Foundation when it announced it was cutting ties with Planned Parenthood. They tried and tried to position and rationalize it, but when you looked back at the time line, it ultimately seemed it was a religiously and politically motivated attack on an organization for whom abortion is a tiny percentage of what they do for women. And that’s the point, it’s not a for or against abortion post, it’s how comes this always comes down to an attack on women?

Dave’s post nicely calls out the fact that Men have to take at least 50% of the responsibility, and often much more. Nothing is without consequence.

Google Chrome confused by spellings

Badass film…

Carol doing a Q&A at SXSW with Matt Harlock
It’s always good to catch up with people from the “old country”, time to relax and do humour without consequence, and last night I got to go to dinner with Carol Morley, Director of Dreams of a Life, as well as the Cairo, the producer and Andy Whittaker, the CEO of UK distributor Dogwoof. I saw in Dreams of a Life in Stratford down by the Olympic Stadium in December with Lauren and Jamie.

Carol blogged about dinner here in the last paragraph on the Film-4 blog, and for the record, the Football re-union is something we’d like to do, we have not done it yet.

It’s a strange old world though. I first heard about Dreams of a Life when Carol was interviewed on the BBC Radio London Robert Elms show; Robert Elms and I share a love of a all things Flying Dutchman records, and it’s even possible I sold Elmsy one or two; Lonnie Liston Smiths iconic, Expansions was on Flying Dutchman and importantly, Gil Scott Heron had his first album recorded by Flying Dutchman owner and producer, Bob Thiele; Joyce Vincent, the subject of Dreams of a Life met Gil Scott Heron, and the film includes this qoute from Gil: “A pessimist is someone in possession of the full facts.” – I’m guessing neither Robert or Carol realized how square the circle is.

Here are the dates for the remaining screenings of Dreams of a Life at SXSW in Austin. I’m getting a small group together to go Saturday afternoon, please add your name to my facebook link if you’d like to come, complimentary.

ps. Badass? It came from this text I got from Lauren “how lovely! check you out! hanging out with the uk film elite! what a badass!” – ha!

Same SUV, different day

I admit it, I parked next this selfish bad parker deliberately today. I’m going to have to find who it is…. I’m betting it will be someone shorter than 5’8″…

ps. I’m not picking on short people, its just my observation that they don’t have the same spatial awareness as us larger/taller people because they don’t grow up having to duck under things, turn sideways to get through things etc.

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