A Mad World

Sadly I have to return home tomorrow as I am working on Sunday. I thought lots of people would turn up at the marina tonight, lured by the forecast of temperatures in the mid twenties and sunshine. Maybe they’ll come tomorrow. We are once again alone. One couple and their elderly Jack Russell did arrive tonight, they ran the engine, stowed their gear and disappeared into the (beautiful) sunset. Then the hunters started shooting. Close by. Not nice. Fortunately they have now stopped.

Older Nephew said something to me yesterday about the boat being part of who I am. I think he’s right, and in the aftermath of Mother’s and Aunt’s deaths I am enjoying the boat in a different way to formerly. So keeping the car, keeping the boat is my preferred option for the time being.

I caught up with the review section of last Saturday’s Guardian. There was a piece by Amy Grace about how she (and Margaret Attwood and Donna Tartt) wrote for Playboy. Maybe I need to reread it, but on first reading it made me very cross. Saying Playboy was tame in comparison with what was available elsewhere does not, to me, make Hefner’s empire acceptable. I remember in the 80s feeling despair when very young girls in the school where I taught appeared carrying pencil cases with the bunny symbol, the most charismatic boy in the Sixth Form (a Sikh, don’t think HH’s appeal was merely to middle-aged white men) wore wristbands with the same logo and looked up to Hefner as a rôle model. From Instagram I have been educated with the very unwelcome knowledge that many young women see their worth in their sexual attractiveness and availability. There are more cleavages and bare buttocks, sometimes pouting lips, out there and apparently posted by their women they belong to, than I would have believed possible in 2017.

The number of people, mainly male but not all, who wrote paeans to Hefner when he died nauseated me. The man exploited women, objectified them, belittled and patronised them. Tell me how he is a hero of our times? Then fast forward a week and we have Harvey Weinstein, surely in the same mould as Hefner but younger. I’d like to know how Weinstein saw Hefner. I have feeling he probably admired him. Yet Weinstein is reviled in the press. So how does that work? One predator lauded, one vilified, one elected president of the US. I’d also like to know if Hefner would have received the same glowing paeans had he died after the story about Weinstein broke.

I read of Post-Feminism as though equality had been achieved – if only; of young women saying stoutly that they are not feminists. WTF? Why on earth not? Why, as a woman, would you not be a feminist?

The world is quite mad.

Fortunately there was a brilliant interview with Simon Schama. Or maybe an okay interview with the brilliant Simon Schama whose words about libraries where everything is on open shelves allowing what he calls ‘shelf-cruising’ were music to my ears. I strongly recommend you read the whole piece, it won’t be hard to find I’m sure. If it had been a talk, I’d have been the member of the audience saying Hear Hear at fairly regular intervals. And and oh of surprise at one point when he mentions wife, children and grandchildren. I always thought Schama was gay.

Donald Trump made a speech tonight, or at least it was tonight here when it was broadcast. I find his delivery grating and the content worse. I think tonight he was trying to be presidential, but the showman in him lets him down all the time. I expect catchphrases. Channel 4 followed it with an interview withHillary Clinton, who expressed the not unreasonable belief that bellicose talk seldom leads to peace. I was glad to see that Hillary is able to laugh again.

Our Prime Minister was thankfully not on the news. Or maybe she was but the signal broke up at that point. I am still upset that I heard barely ten intact minutes of the News Quiz on Radio 4. So much for digital. Theresa May’s delivery is also irritating, though not as bad as Margaret Thatcher’s, recordings of whom still make me want to run screaming from the room. Jeremy Corbyn has improved, but he’s not someone I would willingly listen to; Tony Blair perfected a mannered and very irritating delivery. As I am going to hear Gordon Brown speak in a couple of weeks I hope he isn’t suddenly going to reveal an array of ghastly verbal habits.

If the TV signal holds I shall watch Have I Got News For You at 9. Who knows how annoyed I’ll be after that. Why wouldn’t I want to stay at das Boot?

Postscript:

I did manage to watch HIGNFY and Andy Hamilton’s mimicking of Trump was brilliant. Do watch it.

 

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