Jamie's Blog

The ramblings of a programmer with a little too much time on his hands

Tag: The Mask

Dictators and The Hip Bone, or: Do The Dip

Today, more than a few things happened in the world; some of which I was witness to.

You’ll remember, hopefully, a previous post about my Nan and her meds (or lack there of). Well, it turns out that she’s been unable to wake her husband properly for a few days. When she has, however, he’s been very ill. There’s talk around the family that his ‘journey may be about to take another step.’

Whilst I don’t know the man very well, he seems like a great guy – he makes my Nan happy, at least – and he always seems to have time for anyone. I remember him helping me out with some history homework about the Second World War.

That aside (neither do I want this to be a sombre post, nor do I wish to spend a lot of time discussing how nice this man is), I wish to tell you about a friend of mine. He is a very dear friend, one of my longest serving, too. He’s been there for me, for over a decade. I’d like to think that I, him too. He’s a great person. I was his best man.

I’m telling you about him, because he took a bad fall yesterday. A bad fall that ended with him breaking his hip. He was taken to the hospital, where the doctors had to operate on him to set his hip straight again. He’s told me that he’s doing OK, and that his doctor’s think he’s doing well¬† – as they’ve moved him to the osteopathic ward at the specialists hospital.

Clearly this week is not a good week to know me. ūüėČ

All joking aside, I feel terrible. Terrible, for the plain and simple reason that someone I care about is in a bad way. I want to pay him a visit, but I wont be able to do so until Friday, which is making me feel worse.

‘Don’t put yourself in danger, though.’

That’s the kind of guy he is. When I said I was going to pay him a visit, he told me not to bother if it would put me in danger.

So, I’ve spent some of my day staring down a mighty (and I mean mighty) spreadsheet, and a greater part of it thinking about my friend.

When I got home, I found that the mail had been delivered. ‘That isn’t such a great feat,’ you might think. Well considering that we’ve been without mail for 2 and a half weeks, it’s a big deal.

Luckily for me, that meant sorting through nearly 3 weeks of back dated mail. Amongst the bills, pay slips and letters from the various banks I have accounts with was this little gem:

Front book cover art for the book The Mask

That's right, it was a comic book before it was a film (Image via Wikipedia)

This gave me the distraction I was looking for. I’d been waiting for it for near enough to a month. I’d definitely recommend giving it a cursory glance. Ipkiss and ‘Big Head’ are completely different in this version of the tale, but you can see where the ideas for the film came from.

As I delved deeper into my pile of freshly delivered (yet sent over a month ago in places) mail, I also came across this:

Poster for 'The Great Dictator'

His second greatest film, in my opinion (Image via Wikipedia)

I hadn’t seen this film for years, and I love it more now than ever. The reason I’ve said (in the caption) that it’s his second greatest film is because that accolade goes to the 1921 film ‘The Kid’, simple as. Although, I could harp on about why ‘The Kid’ is the greatest tale ever told for hours. In face, I may just do that the next time I watch it. That is, after I’ve had a good cry. What a film!

‘He had a great duality about him; he could make you laugh and cry with the same breath’ – Michael Jackson

The last time (read: ‘first time’) I saw this film, I was a wee nipper, and it was quite strange and long, but with many a comical scene. Now that I’m older and can appreciate films, their characters and messages better, I can understand things in this film that I couldn’t back then.

I can see where shows like M*A*S*H got their later ‘War == Bad’ ideas from for season 5 onwards, simply by watching the final scene. During his speech, the Jewish Barber shows us what Chaplin had in his heart, and how we should all feel toward each other.

“I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor, that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.”

What’s scary about this film is that it was written in the late 30’s BEFORE Hitler invaded Austria, BEFORE the concentration camps, BEFORE the holocaust, BEFORE the propaganda against Jewish people was put out.

It’s been said that, ‘Since [Chaplin] had all this silence around him, he was able to see and hear things the rest of the world could not’ which seems to ring true. This was his first ‘Talkie’ film, and the script was written in the mid 30’s.

Lot’s to think about there, I hope

Interviews, Homework, Literature and Music

Today I’ve been having a relaxed day. It started with a phone call about an interview on Friday, followed by¬†Enchilada’s, some DvD entertainment and some light reading – so far, that is.

It seems that I’ve got an interview, for a job I know nothing about, on Friday afternoon at 2:45pm. Because I’ve been unemployed and claiming unemployment benefits for six months, they (the benefit people) have decided that they’re going to apply for jobs on my behalf – maybe they think I don’t know how to apply, or something. Either way, they passed on my details on Thursday, and the company managed to get in contact with me this morning.¬†Because this job was applied for on my behalf, I have no clue what the job entails. The gentleman I talked to this morning said that he’d send me some information on the role, in the post. That was nice of him.

My brother had decided that we were going to have Enchilada’s for lunch. ¬†He’d even been out and bought the ingredients while I was on the phone with the gent about the job. So, we made them together – as we always do – while chatting about this and that. Although we see each other everyday, we always have something new to talk about. It was about this time I received the classic film ‘Network’ in the post. Naturally, I was enthused and my brother, not so.

We retired with our food, and sat down to watch a little Ultimate Force, and amazingly well done British TV series about the S.A.S. It stars Ross Kemp (of TV Soap Eastenders fame) as the hard bitten but loveable Henry ‘Henno’ Garvie, the leader of Red Troop. My brother has been a fan for a long time, but I’ve only just started watching it. It’s very good.

After we’d finished watching a particularly good episode – wherein Red Troop are sent into a post Soviet Era country to rescue two little girls who have been kidnapped by Russian loyalists – I streamed the new Michael Jackson song (‘Breaking News’), as my brother had not heard it yet. I’d recommend listening to it, even if you’re not a fan. Here is a link. However, I’ve been having trouble streaming it since it when live yesterday. I figure that they’re having bandwidth issues, as everyone and their mother have been trying to stream it since it when live.

After that, I decided that I would partake in some reading. The only question is, What to read?


Some of the books, I have to read

As you can see, dear readers, I have quite a few books to work my way through. I concede that the top three are DvDs, though. Still that’s a quite a few books to get through before the years end. I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve had the Charlie Brooker ones since May/April time, after a friend of mine lent me them (‘These’ll keep you busy till you find a job’, he’d said). I’ve only managed to get half way through the first of his (Screen Burn) so far. I’m on my second read through of ‘Moab is my Washpot‘, and I frequently re-read sections of Oscar Wilde’s Complete Short Fiction.

That’s not all, though, dear readers. I’ve a stack of comic books to read through, too. I’ve recently gotten my hands on the classic Shadowman and The Mask comics. The first thing I noticed about The Mask comics is that they’re completely different to the film that was based on them. I wont spoil anything for anyone who wants to read them, though. The same with the Shadowman comics. Except it wasn’t a film that was based on them, it was a very dark video game that was based on them.

Right, I’m going to sign off. I’m not sure what I’m going to read, but there you have it.