Saturday, December 09, 2006

The State I'm In

For those of you wondering how to escape the usual dire yule crap on the television this year, you could do much worse than see the splendid BBC production “The State Within”. Those of you expecting this to be a series about self discovery will be the only ones disappointed. It is a jolly entertaining thriller, with a lovely ending. A couple of points about it:

  • It has a rather unnecessary, as far as I can judge, sub-plot about a romantic liaison between the head of British Intelligence in the US and the American under secretary for defence. Although they call it defense. I would just like to assure readers who are considering a career in the British secret service that homosexuality is no longer compulsory, nor seen as in any way advantageous. In my day it was different, of course. At my interview I was asked some very pointed questions, and the aptitude test involved picking a colour scheme for a bedroom. I made my excuses and chose a career as a quiz show host instead. There is more than one way to serve your country. I suppose they added this story so that the series had “something for everyone”, but if so they failed – I found no reference to nor footage of the record stand between Tom Graveney and Peter May at Birmingham in 1957.
  • It starred someone who was either Cagney or Lacey. (These are the names of characters in a television series, not adjectives). Anyone who might have seen that series (and you can see that I didn’t) might find it a little off-putting. It would be the equivalent of one of the actors in “The Professionals” taking the part of a high court judge. Actors should stick at what they are good at. Look at Ronald Reagan.

The other series that I have been watching that concludes tonight is “Into the West”. I am not so sure about this one. The thing is that I do not believe that native Americans speak in the manner in which they always appear to do in movies and tv series. The characterisation has hardly progressed since Tonto first got butt fucked by Kemo Sabe. (That was an unnecessary reference wasn’t it?). I also do not believe that they were any more imbued with natural wisdom or in tune with the universe than anyone else. They certainly had a hard time of it, being on the receiving end of the bad attitudes that were taken to the New World by social rejects from Europe. (How am I doing so far? Anyone who has not taken offence yet should send me an email and I will include a customised insult in my next posting, you twat). I have never (as far as I know) met a native American. There is one who occasionally visits here. What do they talk like when they are not being filmed for television? John Gielgud? Jed Clampett? Cary Grant? Don Corleone? Beryl Reid? I think we should be told.

Please go and visit Adam. He is very lonely over at his blog. He tries very hard. I think it behoves us all to lend our support to one of the few Republicans who can actually write. And, yes, I know that he can’t spell and his ramblings lean towards the incoherent, but I have to confess a great fondness for the lad. I see him as the disinherited son that I never had.
This week, he has a missing word competition on his site. It is great fun. FFE will be particularly distracted by it.


Dave said...

Sharon Gless she is (or something like that). My, hasn't she aged?

I found the homosexuality unnecessary too, and lamented the lack of topic cricket comments within the British embassy.

Dave said...


realdoc said...

Do you think all British embassies are hotbeds of sexual intrigue, homosexual or not? I agree the homosexuality was obviously thrown in to make it more modern or something. Torchwood does the same thing but doesn't have a decent storyline to make up for it.

raincoaster said...

Is Gless the gay one, or is that the other? I can't keep track anymore.

tom909 said...

Now I'm in a right 2 and 8. Is Sharon Gless (that's Cagney by the way) a lesbian. I can't work out whether that makes me want to fuck her more ot less.
I thought she looked good in that programme by the way, I didn't watch it but the missus shreiked, 'there's Cagney'.

Frontier Editor said...


Sorry to disappoint you, but my better half will testify with authority that I am far more easily distracted by shiny bits of tinfoil or scrap metal than by missing words.

I do play a variation of a missing word game, however, when I watch Bush's less infrequent press conferences and fail to hear to obvious self-evaluation: "I'm a f***in dolt who's already been in a six-year intellectually homosexual, sub-dom relationship with Richard Cheney."

Sharon Gless always made me uncomfortable, regardless of whether she was lesbian or not. I suppose it's the same sort of creepiness that Bea Arthur and RuPaul emit. Why can't tv producers just stop tap-dancing around the issue and do a "what-if" with Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss and Kim Philby in a three-way?

Almost forgot - good afternoon >B^D>

Betty said...

I only saw The State Within once, with the volume turned down, when we visited the in-laws.

I have to say that the close up scene of two men kissing is by far and away the best thing I've seen of television for several years, and was crucial to the plot as far as I can tell. A pity that I didn't record it so that I could re-watch it again and again to study the lighting, camera work, use of editing, etc.

I should also state that Jason Isaacs is a rather lovely man to look at.

That's all I have to say on the matter.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you all for your insights on homosexuality.
In all, it adds nothing to the issue.
And no one has yet informed me whether Sitting Bull sounded like Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor or Tiny Tim.

Frontier Editor said...

Ah, another item where I can demonstrate some semi-expertise.

I, in fact, had a beer and some cheese and crackers with Tiny Tim in 1985 when he was the ringmaster for the supposedly Great American Circus as it stopped in Coeburn, Va. for a one-day and one-night command performance. While possessed of a bizarre falsetto while singing, Tim demonstrated more of a baritone speaking voice. I was able to make the comparison because Tim regaled my wife and me with a few bars of "On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine."

I can reliably report, also, that there was no homosexual or heterosexual activity during this incident.

Based on this incident, I think it may be plausible to infer that Sitting Bull did not sound like Tiny Tim given that there are no records of which I'm aware that show Mr. Bull ever possessed a ukulele.

Given that M. Bull also was not known for wearing one glove or for igniting himself while indulging in locoweed, I think it is also fair to infer that the likelihood of his vocal resemblance to Michael Jackson or Richard Pryor is also nil.

I'm afraid that my account fo Mr. Tim is true.

Wyndham said...

I, too, was cheered to see Cagney in the upper echelons of the US government. I would feel a whole lot better if De Niro were in there also, and Pacino, and my personal favourite, Edward G Robinson, was President. At least, we'd know they were gangsters.

dinahmow said...

Oh dear, what the colonials suffer in this Outpost of Empire...i know nothing of the TV programme which has spawned so many comments. I wanna see it!Perhaps the ABC will take it up (silly phrase, but apparently it's industry buzz). In the meantime, all you cricketing chaps might like to Google the ABC's on-line photo gallery of the Victorian fires.There's a splendid piece of advertising to be nicked by either the Immigration Dept. or the Tourism Bureau, showing rural fire fighters playing limited overs while waiting for the fire.(Obviously, before several fires got together to form a 250kms front of blazing hell.)
I think you'll find it at gallery.
I thought "Cagney" was played by the woman whose name sounds like a Northumbrian newspaper? God! We are sheltered down here!

Adam said...

Aww, thanks. Now I had twice as many people leave comments on my blog as last time (it's up to two). But I'm afraid it's a total lie to say that I actually try very hard on that blog. Unlike my previous seizure-inducing works on Bravejournal, my new blog mostly involves linking to crap that I like (or made for a class).

wdnvp- Abbreviation for "Walt Disney's Non-Valued Person." AKA the person who cleans out the Disney Vault: