Baby Driver

Baby Driver felt fresh to me. It borrows elements from various places, Reservior Dogs and The Transporter notably, but it feels very sure-footed and confident. The soundtrack is delicious and just beautifully deployed. It violent, but not traumatically so. Just sorry that I didn’t make an effort to see this one in the cinema.

The story might seem familiar and predictable, by the joy for me was just how well Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim) put this film together with verve and care.

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The Longer Trip

I feel certain that I have rambled on about The Trip with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. I enjoyed both the films, but after hearing the television version praised highly on one of the podcasts I listen to, I bought them for the princely sum of fifteen dollars each.

The films are edited down to about half the length of the six-part series, and I must confess that I wondered if the film version might be all the good bits without the fluff. However, just having finished the first series, I now wonder how the film could have captured the pathos of the television series, a pathos made all the richer by their delicious bouts of impressions and bickering.

Byrdon plays the real hero of the show, a grounded, humbled and silly version of himself, while Coogan plays an egocentric and self-important version of himself. At times they can both be pitied. And at times both made my cringe, but it was a tremendous journey and you got anything at all out of the films, then I’d recommend the television series really highly.

But in the age of double speak

“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”

As I sometimes read the news, I am struck by how rare it is for people to speak in a plain and disingenuous way. Even the populist “plain talkers” on the right talk about crime in cities when they mean immigration and religious freedom when they mean just preserving the status quo.

It is tempting as you get into middle age to decry double speak as a modern trend, a break from the plain speaking of when we were young. When you are feeling that, dear and gentle reader, it is worth remembering that 1984, the George Orwell novel that crystallised the notion of speak to obscure meaning, was published in 1949, some twenty-one years before I was born.

My own personal axiom with that if you want the facts, concentrate on the words after “but”.

For example,

We are serious about corruption, but we doon’t investigate all reports of it.
Same-sex relationships are equal to heterosexual ones, but do promote unhealthy practices.
I want want to help you, but I have other things I need to do instead.
I’d like you to do this work, but I am not offering to pay you.

As it happens, I do not like big buts.

The Returned

Forgive me, dear and gentle readers, it has been some time since I have detailed by sins and shortcomings.

It was RUOK day yesterday, which marks four years since the episode of uncontrollable sobbing.

Annoyingly, this stirs my recollections a bit and it does makes me angry that my employers are still investigating the things that I reported, three and a half years later, without being able to draw any conclusions about the bullying and financial misconduct that I reported, along with about thirty of my colleagues. An investigation, officially, continues, although I am yet to be interviewed.

I was half tempted to send an email asking for an update, but I’d be wasting my time. The investigation was never genuine and there is nothing that I can do to make it so.

So, instead, I’ll just be grateful that malefactors at my old school didn’t manage to sack me and that I am now at a terrific school, with colleagues that treat each other with respect, kids that are kind and productive, and all the money is spent properly.

All’s well that ends well, but it does sting that the people who did these things to me and so many others are still doing what they do, but I guess that’s just beyond my control.