I/Mmature Student 9. New perspectives. Love the arts.

So there’s been no Immature Student blogs this week. The reason for that is I had a go at writing a 15-20 minute bit of theatre. That took up a fair bit of time and energy both physically and mentally. What I was writing is part of a competition from our local fringe theatre group Alphabetti Theatre. We were to write a 20 minute “response play” to a play we saw there. Truth us  first year students didn’t actually have to do this but I’m a big believer in just getting something down, moving out your comfort zone and seeing what happens. I’m lucky that I’m going through a very unblocked period as a writer. There are reasons for that. Go back about 8 years and I could hardly produce a thing. A great friend of mine and fellow comedian Martin Mor gave me a book called the Artists Way. It’s a book that’s as much about therapy as it is about freeing the creative process. It eventually worked for me along with other factors that take too long to get into here.

I was pleasantly surprised when one of our lecturers advised my fellow students to follow some of its practices this week. As for the bit theatre I produced…well quite by happy accident I produced something that acts perfectly as a kind of warm up play to the new solo monologue about mental health I’m putting together. (“Solo monologue about mental health” ??? That’s new. I used to just call it stand up!) That’s why sometimes its worth just going for it. I’ll post it here once the competition winners are announced.

There’s so much to report about this week I just can’t in a quick blog that’s also supposed to entertain. . All I can say is I’m doing things that comedian me would have poured scorn on two weeks ago, but who now is looking at others and the world around him with a shifted perspective. Anyhoo this is supposed to be entertaining. I decided last week Fridays blog would be compilations of things from the arts I love. So here’s some more. have a good weekend.

Here we have Boys From The Blackstuff. The fact you’ll find no BBC drama addressing issues of unemployment, poverty and the disenfranchised on the TV just now is very telling. It’s taken Ken Loach with his new film I Daniel Blake to set the record straight. But this Alan Bleasdale drama hasn’t aged a day. If anything it’s even more important now. Go find the whole thing if you’ve never seen it.

 

 

 

Growing up in the 70s he was everybody’s favourite Doctor. Here faced with a great dilemma. He remained my favourite Doctor for a long time…well until this Scottish bloke arrived…

 

And here he is. Our latest Doctor delivering the greatest anti war speech ever of a so called “Kids show” In fact maybe just one of the best anti war speeches ever. Carling don’t make anti war speeches…but if they did…

 

Time for a musical interlude I think. There are umpteen versions of Heroes out there. But this one from the Concert For New York is among the best. This concert was a remembrance of all who died in 9/11. It was also really aimed at the Firemen/women, policemen/women ambulance men/women etc who died trying to attend to the situation.

Whether you think it was a staged conspiracy or a real event isn’t important. What’s important is the impact this song has on the service workers in the audience. Service workers who give much with little reward all over the planet. Heroes.

 

Rock and Roll is exhilarating. Dion here putting one of the last more traditional forms of that into the charts in 1961. But what they do here isn’t that far from what the next guy did with his first bands…

 

And here’s that next guy. The Sex Pistols is where as a kid I found music. They were  a bunch of kids who had the establishment on the run. What they did has never been repeated…because it has never been allowed to. They learn from their mistakes those establishment types. This song was about the current prime minister.

 

I’m sticking with the great John Lydon/Rotten. He’s done much outside his first band and will always be an icon to me. This song was taken off air because it was out at the time of the L.A riots. As always he was ahead of the game. “Burn Hollywood burn.”

 

As we’re on the subject of Hollywood here’s something they’re good at. Great action in films takes great direction. It has a story and beats to it as the action unfolds. If you just throw spectacle at it you end up with nothing. That’s why Batman V Superman was shit. When I first saw this film I thought it was the greatest Batman movie ever made…It didn’t have Batman in it, it had an assassin called Leon. But really it was a Batman film and heavily influenced by Frank Millers work in that field. This is action as ballet. Every move is perfected.

 

 

 

 

How I think you can have a Rebublic AND Keep the Royals.

The first single I ever owned as a child was God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols. A song that probably still wins the title of most subversive UK number 1 ever. A period in our history when a bunch of snotty nosed street urchins had the establishment on the run. A period that has never been repeated.

The lyrics to God save the Queen weren’t just considered inflammatory, they were seen as treason. The song shook  up the system so much that when it reached number 1 in the charts it was decided there was to be no number 1 that week. Through one song these young kids managed to induce an almost Orwellian type of censorship. Number one is two, war is peace, truth is lies etc, etc, etc. Eventually in 2001 the BBC issued a statement announcing that the song had in fact reached number 1.

Personally I feel the song and the LP that accompanied it have  been the most influential pieces of art in my, and many other people’s lives.

So am I a republican? Well yes, but it’s not a title I go giving myself out loud. My main problem with the royal family is that they reinforce the class system. As long as they exist they are the constant reminder that there are people who are better than you. In fact their very existence reinforces the class system with such vigour it’s like having Prince Phillips voice on a loop in your head asking, “So who do you sponge off, so who do you sponge off?” A question he did actually put to a bunch of women’s community support workers. Of course the answer is…the same people as you. Your royal twatness.

Saying this I don’t really despise the royals as people themselves. I don’t think you can. And I can feel empathy for them.  At the last Royal wedding as a republican I would have given William and Kate what they really want…their privacy.

There are many arguments for keeping the royals in place. We’re told the Royals are great for tourism. The problem with that is of the top twenty tourist attractions in the UK only one of them is related to the monarchy, Windsor castle at number 17. Ten places ahead of that is Windsor Lego land. So working on that logic if our next monarch was made of Lego they probably would make a fortune from tourism. The real crunch is they might as well be made of Lego. For all that privilege and status that the royals have, all they had to do to earn it was arrive here via the right vagina.

All this leads me to a suggestion. I fully appreciate the Royals are held in high regard by many people in Britain. So how about we reach a compromise? First thing take away is any powers they have as head of state. You may not be aware but the Queen has the power to sack the entire government and have them replaced by the women’s guild knitting society. Yeah but she would never do that…would she? Try telling that to Australians. In 1975 a bunch of rebels came to power in Australia who were making all sorts of unconstitutional noises and like Darth Vader in the name of the Empire the Queens power to sack their entire government was used to get rid of them.  You can read about it here…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis

And the second thing we do is take away all state funding. In short…We privatise them. If the argument is they generate a lot of money from tourism then can you but imagine the amount of real lolly we could make from them by putting them into the private sector? Come on you know it makes sense Prime Minister!

And I’m not just talking charging tickets to look at their hats. Let’s get properly commercial here. How popular would an event like The Queens Monster Truck Demolition Derby be? You could fill a stadium at fifty quid a head with an event like that. The grand finale being her royal highness herself comes out in a massive Range Rover Monster truck and drives over  a row of Fiat Uno’s while shouting “Buy British.”

As one we would rise to our feet and finally have a real reason to sing that dreary fucking anthem. In the meantime here’s a much better version…

 

 

 

 

 

God Save The Sex Pistols

God Save the Queen.

I absolutely despise our national anthem. I switched on TV today to catch about 70’000 morons holding their chests and singing it at some American Football event being held at Wembley.

It’s not just that it’s a fawning piece of outdated pageantry. It’s that people seem to revel in the fact that it’s a constant reminder that yes we have a class system and as long as there’s a Queen or King you will NEVER be at the top. No matter if you cure cancer, end famine and bring about world peace all on the same day. As the song says, “you will never be royal.”

For me the most important single 45 of all time is God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols. For me God Save the Queen isn’t just a great song, it represents a unique moment in British history when 4 young kids from impoverished backgrounds had the establishment totally on the run. Via a song a bunch of juveniles reminded people for a fleeting moment what’s really important in their lives.  And I don’t think that’s ever been really achieved before or since in the poptastic pop charts..

The lyrics to God save the Queen weren’t just considered inflammatory, they were seen as treason. The song shook  up the system so much that when it reached number 1 in the charts it was decided there was to be no number 1 that week. Through one song these young kids managed to induce an Orwellian type of censorship. It’s not happening. You’re opinions are suspended. Truth is lies. The thought police are monitoring the charts.  Eventually in 2001 the BBC issued a statement announcing that the song had in fact reached number 1. Rumours abound that the person who released that statement is now locked in the Tower making trainers for ASDA.

Personally I feel the song and the LP that accompanied it has been one of the most influential pieces of art in my, and many other people’s lives. It informed me of the importance of having an opinion. Do I dislike the Royals as people. Many of them yes. these new younger ones seem a tad better.

But here’s a thought for all you lovers of Wills and Kate. If you really do love them then why didn’t you give them what they probably really wanted out of their wedding…i.e. their privacy.

In most countries, parents can tell their kids that if they work hard and do everything right, they could grow up to be the head of state and symbol of their nation. Not us. Our head of state is decided by one factor, and one factor alone: did he pass through the womb of one aristocratic Windsor woman living in a golden palace? The US head of state grew up with a mother on food stamps. The British head of state grew up with a mother on postage stamps. Is that a contrast that fills you with pride? Imagine letting you’re pride in a person being dictated by the fact they arrived via a certain vagina.

Because in this country that’s all you have to do to be in charge. and trust me the establishment love that fact and will hang onto this style of privilege until it’s prized from their guillotined corpses.

But John the royals do so much for our country? Really? Were told the Royals are great for tourism. Out of the top twenty tourist attractions in the UK only one of them is related to the monarchy, Windsor castle at number 17. Ten places ahead of that is Windsor Legoland. So working on this logic should we to build a lego man and make it head of state? it would probably make more sense than the idiot Charles.

And there’s another flaw in most royalists opinion of the old institution. Many royal lovers don’t actually like certain royals. Look at Prince Charles. The majority of Brits don’t even want to see Charles as King. They want to skip him and put up William. Ah, no sorry. You see that’s republicanism and that would require a vote. And thanks to the current system you can’t have it both ways.

It’s an unhealthy society that invests in people being given God given privileges of the highest order over that of an impoverished child.

A couple of years ago I was in Scotland for my nieces wedding. While there I popped into a supermarket to buy some batteries for my camera. In front of me at the checkout was an elderly woman who was possibly buying her weeks shopping, it all fitted into a hand basket. As her groceries were being rung through she enquired as to why she was being charged twice for the two for one ready meals. The girl on the desk pointed out that one of the meals she’d picked up wasn’t in the offer and so she would have to pay the £2.99 extra.

At this the woman became visibly upset, almost panicked looking, because this extra £2.99 was beyond her budget and she had to take the embarrassing choice of putting the other meal back.  On the same day we were spending an obscene amount of money celebrating another old woman. It was the golden Jubilee.

I don’t hate the Queen. I hate this outdated system we have where privilege comes through blood and nothing else. If you want to go out and celebrate royals fair enough. But spare a thought for the other old lady whose budget probably didn’t stretch to being able to buy a flag to join in the pageantry.

So I’ll finish with a little bit of my stand up…..

I don’t hate the royals. In fact I quite like the weddings and Jubilees because I collect royal souvenirs. I think I’m one of the few people that owns a Camilla Doll….it used to be a Diana Doll…but I left it by the fire.

Do you know what I found most ominous about the royal wedding, is that they gave her Diana’s ring. That’s a bit ominous. it was like they were saying, “Let that be a warning to you.”

Will she live? Will she die? To tell the truth I don’t really care. As long as she outlives Elton John. No really if I have to listen Candle in The Wind again for another three months…I’ll probably drive myself into a wall…..So there you go. Bang goes the Royal variety show.

But we do like Prince Harry though. He seems down wiv da kids. he was on telly this week and it was pointed out that while he was at posh military academy Sand Hurst they had a nick name for him…they called him Harry Potter…that’s a bit rubbish isn’t?

I bet even Harry was going, “What? Is that the best you can manage? For Christ sake I’m ginger…And that’s not even my dad.”

No future , no future, no future….repeat until dead.