Stephen Lawrence hype is so disrespectful

Whine at the Evening Standard about the never-ending flow of Stephen Lawrence bullshit:

Sirs,

Over the last twenty years, it seem to me that the one person most forgotten in the Stephen Lawrence murder is the victim himself, with so many ’causes’ being attached to the event.

To be fair, the greatest source of that has been his publicity-loving family who won’t get off their bandwagon. He’d be able to rest in peace if they’d shut up about it for a while. The whole thing is tedious beyond bearing.

And all this fuss about the Met investigating friends and family after his killing… So what? Most murders of young black men in this country are drug and/or criminal gang related. In most of those instances, friends and family are usually involved. Not only is the intensive investigation of such people necessary, I would say the police were negligent if they failed to carry out those investigations.

The Stephen Lawrence murder was a tragedy for his family and a matter for local police to solve. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a matter of national importance and the media should stop hyping it up as such.

Paul Harper

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“Man of Steel”

Right, here we go. Considered views on “Man of Steel”…

Acting: Actually, I didn’t think the acting was too bad, despite several big names being wasted on stuff like this. None of the characters was remotely believable, but I don’t put the fault for that at the feet of the actors who were all genuinely trying their best to polish a turd. Lawrance Fishburne is getting wider in the face than he is on the waistline these days, Henry Cavill has bulked up nicely from his Tudors role and is very do-able, and it’s nice to see West Wing’s Toby get to help save the world a bit more.

Plot: As coherent as Brownian Motion. All over the bloody shop. The multiple timelines were fine, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was the frequency with which they got to a rare meaningful plot point and rushed through it saying, in effect, “you’ll get this if you read the comics, tough if not”. It pandered far too much to the core audience, which when the core audience is teenage boys with a massive inferiority complex and incurable masturbation habit, is NOT a good thing. The nod to the fanboys in the shape of the small-dicked fat kid who becomes Superman’s “friend” was laugh-out loud funny. And laugh I did. Sadly, this one bit of unconscious parody does not make up for the rest. Ah, the rest. Basically, the rest was an incoherent mish-mash of CGI which could and should have been halved in length.

Audience: The film was totally made for comics readers. It didn’t work as a stand-alone sci-fi film by any means, as too much pre-knowledge was assumed. We were supposed to care about characters without knowing anything about them. Difficult to do. So while the hard-core tissue-users will be happy with it, the rest of us will be left wondering why they bothered making it.

Music: In any other film I would say the music was an overblown mess. But in this one, it was actually quite useful because it told us in the audience which bits we should care about, and which bits were meaningful, thoughtful ponderings on the human condition. Useful tips as I couldn’t have found any of either in this film without these musical clues.

Effects: There should be a new amendment to the American constitution banning CGI effects over a certain (very short) length of time in any movie. After a while they seemed so derivative that I wasn’t sure whether I was watching Prometheus, Avengers Assemble, Independence Day, Avatar or the Muppet Movie. The “big baddy slamming Superman around” was cut-for-cut so identical to the “big Hulk slamming Loki around” scene from Avengers that I expected the Kryptonian to say “puny God” at one point. Same old same old… Boring.

Subtexts: All the subtlety of a full-face sledgehammer hit. “Only you can save her” says Real-Dad-EL, so SuperJesus adopts the crucified pose, does a Javert-like back-fall (which was slightly confusing as it was Russell Crowe playing Dad-EL and watching rather than falling) and flies off to save Lois from the fiery flames of hell. The Vatican couldn’t have written it any better. I laughed so much at that bit that hubby looked over to make sure I was okay. Far too many religious references in the film for my liking, but then one is one too many for me.

Physics: A singularity within Earth’s atmosphere is not just going to go “pop” at the end because it’s eaten all the baddies and needs to disappear now as the film has only three minutes left to run. It’s going to grow until all physical matter nearby, including the whole of the Earth has gone into it. As a defence mechanism, it’s a good method of committing suicide.

Summary: Crap. Not even good crap, but bad crap. Terribly written, lazily directed, over-stuffed with effects and music and under-stuffed with plot. It was not fun to watch. It really wasn’t – it was as though someone somewhere confused the words portentous and pretentious. This was, sadly, two and a half hours of pretentious rubbish that should never have left the screenwriters’ wordprocessor. All in all, not sure I can recommend it…

CQC: Making great strides towards gender equality

The feministas at The Independent won’t publish it, but what the hell…

Sirs,

How encouraging it is to see more glass ceilings coming down in the continuing fight for gender equality.

The CQC, an organisation populated very heavily by women at its highest levels, has shown itself to be the equal of any male-dominated organisation when it comes to corruption and incompetence.

That’s the spirit!

Paul Harper

Well, they did print it, watered down…

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Women Think, Men Do

A whinge in response to Deborah Ross’s piece in today’s Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/if-you-ask-me-dont-knock-a-man-who-falls-asleep-in-front-of-the-tv-and-then-denies-it-8662277.html

Sirs,

Deborah Ross has (unwittingly, of course) highlighted a problem with equality during her sexist rant about men.

She said “men have been cruis­ing along while women have, for the past cen­tury, put in se­ri­ous work thinking about what it means to be a woman”.

In other words, men have been doing stuff – like asserting themselves, grabbing power and generally running the world – while women have been navel-gazing.

One of these days the feminists are going to wake up and realise that the world owes them nothing if they’re not willing to assert themselves and take it. Then, and only then, will equality be achieved.

So please, stop the noisome whining, stop the pathetic “funny” parodies and stop expecting to be given power – get off your arses and take it, like we did. As long as such behaviour is classified by women as “male” then the women have lost before they start.

Stop thinking, start doing.

Paul Harper