Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Of Childish Things!

On this day of all days I'm not going to write about Obama. Everyone and his dog are doing that today. Please don't get me wrong, I am perfectly aware of the implications. ‘Black man in the White House’. I do get it, But think everyone else will be having their word about it, so what is the point in me adding to the debate? 
Though it does occur to me (yes all right I couldn't resist it). I am put in mind of Margaret Thatcher. I greatly admire her for getting where she did, A woman Prime minister (in the UK), a great achievement that I don't see being bested in the near future (say a coloured Prime Minister. Say a coloured, lesbian, woman Prime Minister). That is as far as it goes, I despise everything Thatcher did as Prime Minister, and truly believe nothing worse could have happened to the country. She left the country with a despicable mess that we are only now beginning to pay for. Unfortunately British politics is a thing of short term goals, short term gains. The Conservatives still congratulate themselves about the state of the economy as she left power (any longer and we would have had to shoot her).The problem is we are only now receiving the backlash of many of her policies. The credit crunch is a direct result of Thatcherite usury and letting the financial sector run itself without Government interference (In my humble opinion, slyly kicks soap box back under table).
So enough about not writing about politics.
What I actually want to write about are two people. Actually two programmes I watched On television last night about two people.
The first is Oliver Postgate.
Ashamed as I am I have to admit it, until his death I did not really know about this man. Amazed as I am how much he actually touched my life (my childhood particularly) through such classics as ‘Ivor The Engine’, ‘The Clangers’ (my own personal favourite. I have the DVD), ‘Noggin The Nold’, and even to some extent ‘Bagpus’.
Why mention him now (and not when he actually died a few weeks ago)? Because of a quiet amazing occurrence last night. I was watching Charlie Brooker's ‘Screen Wipe’. This episode lambasting children's television. Much to my pleasure the usual heavy serving of bile and vitriol was forth coming from Mr Brooker as usual. Until the last five or ten minutes. Now this is going to seem needlessly sentimental (but what the hell!). Almost as if the whole show had been an excuse to include it, Mr Brooker then introduced the fact that whilst making this particular programme, Oliver Postgate had died. What followed was one of the most heartfelt, moving and beautiful eulogies to the man I have heard or read since he died. A lot of very poignant points were made by Mr Brooker
It actually left me with a tear running down my face, especially using the Bagpus mouse organ theme for the end titles.
The second person is John Mortimer.
Again, not having V+ (or Sky+) I am subject to the vagaries of the schedulers’ whim. So actually get home and watch TV the old fashioned way (i.e. just watch what’s on).
I have to say again I was very surprised. There was much I didn’t know about the man and this little documentary was very informative.
I was impressed by the gentleman’s ideals and the way he lived his life. Much impressed by his attitude, that if you are not enjoying life, just change it. As indicated by his three changes of career in his own life. Paralleled in my own life where I started out as an accountant (didn’t like that), changed to working in the retail catering trade (a horrible industry to be in if you are in the UK), and am in IT where I’m quiet enjoying myself (at the moment).
I was already a great lover of Rumpole of the Bailey but this just totally endeared the man to me and actually made me a little sad that I had not realised his wit and intelligence, even as a wheelchair bound seventy to eighty year old.
I was much amused by clips of his debate against the arch fiend Mary Whitehouse, over pornography.
Most of all I was impressed by his joy of life. His almost unending persistence and refusal to give up.
Two very interesting people.

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