July 29th, 2004

breaking bad

Bye bye Harry Starks

Last night was the fourth and final episode of 'The Long Firm'. The broad caricatures and the comedy of this episode work better in a TV show than in a novel.

In this section it is the 1970s, Harry Starks is in prison, and his ‘victim’ is an idiotic sub-Marxist sociology lecturer: references here to the whole academic/adultery genre of David Lodge and the rest of them. Starks effortlessly outmanoeuvres the sociologist, ‘How can you study Deviance Theory without reading Foucault?’, ‘Well, erm...'

Funniest line: ‘He said sociology wasn’t empirical so I nutted him.’

In the final section Starks escapes from prison, into early 80’s London. This is the London I lived in, and it was nostalgic experience for me.

Best line, right at the end. ‘Evil people can be sad too.’
breaking bad

Political rhetoric

Obama seems a great guy, and his speech to the Democrat convention reads well, and he delivered it well. I hope he will one day be president of the USA.

There was one thing he said, though, that brings many non-Americans up short. He said 'In no other country in the world is my story even possible.' His story being that his father was an immigrant, but he is on the verge (surely) of election to the legislature.

It makes me wonder what Americans think the rest of the world is like. We have traditionally had routes in place to allow poor people and marginalised people to rise up through the system: free University tuition would be an example. In the British parliament countless members are the children of immigrants (for example the leader of the Conservative party) and 11 MPs who are black immigrants or the children of black immigrants:
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