Sorry - sorry - SORRY! OK? I'm really sorry! On Thursday, with all the computer expertise for which I am famed the length and breadth of, er, this room, I carefully composed a brief but elegantly worded post informing you of my absence. Just to prove it, here it is:
Well, it's calling me, at any rate, on personal business and theatre business on Friday and Saturday. I will get home in the wee small hours of Sunday morning so you can expect a Sunday Rumble - but not too early!
Having written it I then saved it as a 'draft' ready to publish on Thursday night before my departure early Friday morning. And yes, you are quite right, there it stayed in my 'Draft' box unpublished until now, and whilst I think 200x lines is a bit on the steep side of course they will be completed and handed in on Monday morning! There is nothing more irritating than regularly visiting a gossipy blog which suddenly stops dead without warning and you are forced to keep clicking back on it to see if it has started up again. Those of you hoping that this one was indeed dead and buried must delay your celebrations - I have returned! My usual Sunday rumbles will commence a little later.
Sam Walters, The Orange Tree Theatre: Part of the theatre business that occupied me yesterday was a visit to The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond to listen to a talk by Sam Walters, its founder and manager. At one stage he described himself as 'a jobbing director' which was absolutely accurate but under-stated the breadth and width and depth of his theatrical experience, and his total and absorbing love for it all. He was entertaining, shrewd, enthusiastic, slightly disorganised but through it all you could positively feel the drive behind the man which led him to start with a theatre in a room above a pub and which has now moved to a room next to a pub and which provides a small theatre in the round. Being so close to the metropolis, and given his lifetime of friendships in theatre, he frequently attracts top class actors to his tiny performing space. Plus, I suspect, his obviously tremendous charm plays its part in getting the 'luvvies' to work there. Well worth a visit for any of you metro theatre lovers.
'Enemies of the Earth': Regular readers will know that under my strict accuracy policy that has long been my re-arrangement of the name 'Friends of the Earth'. It appears I am not alone. 'Bishop Hill' attended a seminar given by some cove called Pascal Bruckner - yeeees, quite! - and he jotted down the main points that came across:
- The idea of catastrophe has replaced the idea of progress
- Racial minorities, women and slaves have been replaced as principal victims
by Mother Earth
- Fear has become something to be desired.
- We are being transformed into children, ready to obey the orders of an
- Friends of the earth have become the enemies of mankind
- Environmentalism is universal but "end of the worldism" is purely western.
- Environmentalism is about keeping the world for the bobos (bohemian
Sound fella, that Bruckner despite, or perhaps because of, his formidable name!
"Bye Bye Miss American Empire": Continuing my secessionist agitprop, there is a review in The American Spectator of an interesting book which looks in detail at the myriad groups of what they call 'seceshers'.
Some seceshers, like those in West Kansas and New York City seek to form their
own states. Others, (Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, Vermont and the old confederacy)
long for complete independence.
Apparently their chances are minimal to zero!
It’s a cliché to say that lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for,
but that doesn’t make it any less true. And, as Kauffman reminds us, “I know:
Breaking away is impossible. Quixotic. Hopeless. So was dancing on the Berlin
These are Kauffman’s kind of people, the kind who hesitate to say the Pledge
of Allegiance, not because of the phrase “Under God,” but because of the word
“indivisible,” which clangs on the ear like a cell door. Self-government
dreamers, small-is-better believers, localist underdogs and home grown patriots.
How can you not love them?
Someone is to blame! But I don't expect they ever will be, except, perhaps, by the historians eventually. I refer to the somewhat dismal record of the British army in recent times. There is a truly dispiriting article in Commentary Magazine remarking on what looks like a total cock-up in Camp Bastion, the British base in Afghanistan, in which an unguarded perimeter was attacked and two US marines killed and six Harrier jump-jets destroyed. The writer, Max Boot, reminds his readers of the shambles in Basra after Iraq II when the Brits, full of supposed expertise in urban counter-insurgency gained from the Malaya campaign onwards, more or less handed the entire city over to the gunmen and eventually the American s had to go in and clear up after us! Too, too, embarrassing - but no-one in command has been blamed!