Sunday, September 2, 2007

Of Goodness, of Monarchs and of Telling Stories

Another great picture from Bill Emory  at black and white
who I never get tired of plugging...

There is fiction in the space between the lines on your page of memories,
Write it down but it doesn't mean you're not just telling stories.
Tracy Chapman

In the past, I have spent too long considering the varied ways in which man displays his inhumanity to man that I often neglect to notice the truly great things: our innovative, infinite capacity for positive creation. People are great problem makers, it's true, but we're even better problem solvers. Today's blog is dedicated to humanity's good streak.

Well, that and slagging off a piece of contemporary cinema, but hey, let's concentrate on the goodness thing.

I started with one of Bill Emory's pictures over at Black and White (see pic credit for links). I'm a subscriber to his blog and he never ceases to inspire. If you've missed him here before, check out his stuff right now. He makes you want to dig out a camera.

The Chief is addicted to TED talks on the internet, and with good reason. He showed me this great talk by Allison Hunt, a Canadian woman who 'cheated' her way to the front of the queue for a hip replacement, by volunteering for the hospital shop. It's inspirational.

I love that: Even when a Canadian cheats the system, they do it in a way that benefits humanity.

And we're not just good to people, either. On the 22nd September, thousands of people will run a 7km route around London, raising money to save the planet's gorilla population. Yet, this a charity run with one key difference: all of these people will be dressed as gorillas. Check out the Great Gorilla Run efforts here.

Lastly, I am also an avid follower of Jenny Diski's blog, Biology of the Worst Kind. Her partner, Ian Patterson, aka The Poet, constructed a poem for her birthday, called Sixty Windows for Jenny. According to Ian Patterson:

here the rule was to take phrases that included the word 'window' from page sixty of sixty novels and simply arrange or re-arrange them, with nothing added.

It's genius stuff, and you should go and read it now, here.

After all this warmth, consideration and much listening to music on the internet, I am disappointed when I spend time watching The Queen, shown on ITV tonight, with commentator's reference to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. I have to confess I did not enjoy this film much, although I thought much of the acting was superb. It all felt too mechanical, too trite, too neat and tidy, and altogether too Hollywood simplified for me to enjoy. I think after watching the two Capote films, which I loved for their ability to represent a life in fictional terms, and in so doing make a great reference to Capote's most well known work, In Cold Blood. What I liked so much was to what extent the two films are firm in their portrayal of humanity whilst being transparent enough to make reference to the stories they were telling. Or maybe it's just me. I know loads of you loved The Queen, as t'were.

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