JUST AN OBSERVATION
Usually I veer away from politics in this column but it would seem we live in worrying, possibly dangerous, times with the BNP party political broadcast on Channel 5- which hopefully surely no-one is still tuning into- and UKIP leaflets attempting to spread carefully worded doctrine falling through our letter boxes. It would seem now more than ever each individual’s vote is more valid and the European elections next week- May 22nd- followed by, for Scots at least, the independence vote in September are possibly the most important elections of recent years.
Unfortunately I was unable to vote in the last General Election due to being stranded at Gatwick airport at the time of the volcanic ash debacle which disrupted flights for several weeks in 2010 preventing me making it back in time. However my disappointment with the government/coalition which subsequently elected itself due to no outright winner being declared has ensured that I will never again allow the complacency which sometimes set in around election campaign time- the same old rhetoric dressed up in misleading new garb- to numb me into submission. I have consoled myself with the fact that my one vote wouldn’t have changed the outcome but I have also wondered how many other people, like myself, were also affected by the flight delays which prevented them from making it, by only a matter of minutes in my case, to the polling station.
Never before in my lifetime have I ever been so galvanised by politics because for the first time it feels that a vote actually has the power to change things, especially in the case of independence, and move away from a system which obviously doesn’t work.
It was interesting to note a report this week claiming that sales of hard copy newspapers in Scotland has dramatically fallen over this issue as the bias of the mainstream media-let’s not even mention the BBC- has been so covert that it has backfired. Threats, intimidation, cheap tactics and bullying are all accusations which have been levelled at the Better Together campaign and they are justifiable claims which fortunately have backfired as the perpetrators underestimated the unerring Scots inbuilt gene allowing them to see through bullshit; they have had centuries of practise. Fair play to the Sunday Herald who were the first to come out in support of the Yes camp and actually provided a voice for a cause which has seen a groundswell of support improved by the aforementioned threats etc as opposed to the intended fear and backing down.
Use your vote wisely in both the European elections and the independence issue as it may be the only time we have this power at our fingertips before those in power are able to destabilise even this statutory right.
Elsewhere on the cultural spectrum there are several interesting films on the circuit at the moment. Hollywood poster boys Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy both attempt to duck the momentum of their mainstream careers by appearing in lower budget films thus guaranteeing their appeal with the indie brigade and retaining their edgy status as more than mere slabs of Hollywood bland.
Fassbender appears, for the most part anyway, in an outsized papier-mâché head in Frank as a Captain Beefheart type character and although the film may not appeal to everyone I must admit to thoroughly enjoying it and loved its wacky appeal. Hardy meanwhile hides behind a beard and a dreamy Welsh accent-seriously you could listen to it for hours and still be wanting more-in Locke which dramatises its sole character’s life falling apart through a series of phone calls. Both actors are outstanding in their roles but the films are unlikely to trouble the big budget extravaganzas of their parallel careers which is a shame as they are far more charming and interesting films.
I am also really looking forward to the new screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Two Faces of January which I am seeing this afternoon with a review to follow shortly.
Also there are a few interesting live music moments in the near future including Kid Congo Powers, the return of Opium Kitchen after an extended sabbatical at the next Rammed on June 7th and the latest buzz around town, The Trama Dolls. More details will be provided about all of this next week, a little nearer the time.