Monthly Archives: September 2002

Morally Ambiguous Cop

Last night I watched nearly two hours of Channel Five’s new cop show, The Shield. I enjoy television drama when it’s done well and I think Five (as they are now called) could do very well out of this one:

The Shield stars Emmy Award ‘Best Actor’ winner Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey. Mackey leads a corrupt, but highly effective, Strike Team in the fictitious L.A. precinct of Farmington. Michael’s portrayal of the morally ambiguous cop challenges the viewer: do his ends justify the means? [Channel Five]

I would write more, but that really sums it up.

On this day…

2004: The End Of September
2003: Good TV?


Why am I always tempted to begin these posts with ‘It’s Sunday’ or something like that. I am sure you can read the date at the top and look at the calendar to see whatÂ’s going on? with ‘It’s Sunday’ or something like that. I am sure you can read the date at the top and look at the calendar to see whatÂ’s going on?

Last night (which was, of course, Saturday) was a good night and I met the friend of a friend who I had met before but was not very keen on. Well, last night we seemed to get on OK, so I guess all is OK!

On this day…

2004: I Pressed The Button
2003: Silent For A Week

Working Late (again)

Working. I want to work, thatÂ’s for sure but I am not sure what I want to do for a living. My job is OK and pays well but itÂ’s hardly the most stimulating of careers and, whatÂ’s more, I was in the office until almost 9pm. 9pm on a Friday night. Somehow, I donÂ’t think this is right:

  • I do not think itÂ’s right for me to work so many additional hours. ItÂ’s not the first night this week by a long shot. I do get paid reasonably well but I want to work to live rather than live to work.
  • I do not think this is right for my relationship. I am so exhausted by the time I get home that all I do is eat and sleep. This is not much of a life really.
  • I do not think this is right for my health. Lengthy hours equal stress in the desire to get home (and I am sure must lead to mistakes somewhere along the line). I need to eat (decent food) at a decent hour and not (fast food) at some late hour before I fall asleep on the sofa or crawl to bed.
  • IÂ’’m not even sure itÂ’s right for the company that employs me. IÂ’’m sure that by putting this much pressure on me, they are not getting the best out of me.
  • And above all itÂ’s not right for my spirit. It depresses me to spend so long working. I know I am lucky to have a reasonably paying career but if this is all life is then I am not sure I want it. The career, that is, I do want the life!

But at last, the weekend! Time to re-charge.

On this day…

2005: I Wonder Why?
2004: Shrewsbury Abbey at Flickr

Hot or Cold

“In a stunning new series from BBC Science, Donal MacIntyre is blasted, roasted, frozen and soaked on an epic journey to experience and understand the wildest weather the planet can throw at him”. [link]

I’ll say (or was I just too drugged up – medicinally – to care?)

Last night, in my ill state (thanks, but no I still feel really bad and if had any sense would be at home right now rather than sitting in the office), I just about managed to watch Wild Weather on BBC One. I was absolutely fascinated by it. Donal MacIntyre always annoyed me on TV (I’m sure he’s really rather nice in real life) until yesterday. Wild Weather, however, is was one of the most interesting, brilliantly shot programmes I have seen for a long time. Thank goodness I still pay a licence fee. Hoorah for the BBC.

If I was feeling better I would talk at length, but I suggest you watch it next week or read this.

On this day…

2005: A New Champion
2004: Lord Hill’s Mighty Tower
2002: Plastic, Moi?

Our Country Friends

How many of us who live amidst an urban sprawl would rather be living in the countryside? I suspect it’s a conversation that keeps the wine bars of large parts of London alive. The quest for a quieter, simpler life is something many people search for. Indeed, it is something I have thought of many times. Move all my worldly goods to the South West and see what happens. Well, in truth, at this moment in my life I don’t actually want to do it. Sometimes, however, I wish I could lose the congestion and stresses of inner-city (or, in my case, suburban) living.

And why am I asking myself these questions? Well, last Sunday was the day The Countryside Alliance marched through London. I avoided the centre of town for most of the day but I did enjoy a lunch at Wandsworth Common. Seated at most of the tables surrounding us where groups of people who, quite evidently, had been on some part of the march. What intrigued me was why so many of them had taken a train out of central London to Wandsworth Common.

Of course PY, who seems to have a greater understanding of many of these things than I, claimed that many of those people sat there on Sunday afternoon were in fact local residents but they had been marching for the countryside cause – “Liberty and Livelihood”. Upon reflection, I think he was right. Many of them may have other houses in the country, perhaps even own large amounts of land. But what struck me most was a simple economics. If all the money they spent in the restaurants of Wandsworth Common each Sunday was spent in the countryside then rural communities would be booming. Not only that, but if they all went and lived outside the city and enjoyed the life they were marching to protect on a daily basis (rather than at weekends), then they would free up a great deal of housing stock in urban areas. Thus, the countryside benefits (it’s full of people spending money and supporting the “lifestyle”) and those of us wishing to remain (for the time being) city dwellers would also benefit from less ridiculous housing costs. Doesn’t everybody win? (Well, I know there is the matter of jobs, schools and other infrastructure etc. but you have to admit it’s starting point, if not wholly thought through. And more importantly it’s plainly hypocritical to march for something you don’t actively – economically – support).

For a more interesting read on tweed in the town, see here.

On this day…

2004: A Shirtless State Of Mind

Individual Portions

Rachel makes individual pots of her organic yogurts. This is news to me and I am, at this very moment, delighting in the bio-live wholemilk raspberry variety. This has, right now, made me feel a lot better. The power of food, huh? [Link]

On this day…

2004: Crazy Name, Worthy Cause
2002: I Have An Unbearable Feeling Of Sadness
2002: Nike 10K

I Have An Unbearable Feeling Of Sadness

You may recall I said, on September 11, that my thoughts were with Bart who was going through the process of coming out as a gay man to his parents. He has been discussing this process in his blog for months and, finally, posted them a letter telling them he way gay. Their initial reaction seemed positive and supportive but now it seems to have turned negative and he is receiving email from his father quoting a range of anti-gay websites.

Now, I have an unbearable feeling of sadness. Here is a young man trying to do the right thing and here are a set of parents whose world seems to have fallen apart. While a blog is only small insight into somebody’s personality and the life that they lead, I do get the impression his parents are good people. So why do his recent entries make me feel so sad? I am certain they love their son and want the best for him. I am positive that they are trying to do (what they see as) the right thing. I am also fairly sure that they will accept their son and in years to come regret the way they handled the news (doing it all by email is, perhaps, not an ideal way to do this). Still, a certain part of me wants to believe people are good, supportive and that discrimination is something we will, eventually, only see in historical movies. I fear I am either naïve, or (as I would rather be) eternally hopeful.

There are coming-out experiences posted across the web. All are useful to a certain extent and all are useless by the fact that none of them deal with our own families and the dynamics of our relatives and their own belief systems. Many of them, good or bad, serve to show the world what a painful process this is for many gay men. Will it ever change? Tom posted an entry (see September 16th) which summarises some of this and, one day, I may post about the awful way I procrastinated the subject for too many years.

On this day…

2004: Crazy Name, Worthy Cause
2002: Individual Portions
2002: Nike 10K