Creative Day – Reactions to Power

A writer’s a reaction to power say a lot about the country they live in, the massage they are trying to get across maybe the same but the way they do it can be very differenet. Both the British and American television landscapes are a good example of this.

Take the portrayals of both heads of state, Prime Minister in the UK and President in the US, here in the UK the portrayal was satirical compared with the US which was done as Drama.

Yes Minister was a sitcom written by Sir Antony Jay (1930-2016) and Jonathan Lynn that was frist transmitted by BBC between 1980/1988 over 22 Episodes and then a sequel Yes Prime Minister which ran from 1986 to 1988 another 16 episodes the whole thing totaling 38 episodes.

Beginning firstly in the British Cabinet ministers office of the fictonal department of administrative affairs, it followed the Ministerial career of the Right Honourable Jim Hacker MP played by Paul Eddington, and his struggles for and against Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby played by the real Sir Nigel Hawthorne aided by Permanent Private Secretary Bernard Woolley portrayed by Derek Fowlds, later the show would follow the same three leads as Jim Hacker became Prime Minister.

Most of the shows humour derives from Jim Hackers pursuing some kind of reform within the ministry and Sir Humphrey blocking him at every turn. 

As for the drama side of this argument, that comes from the writer Aaron Sorkin, and The West Wing. 

First broadcast on the NBC network and Channel 4 here in the UK 1999 to 2000 set in The west wing of the white house during the fictional democratic administration President Josiah Bartlet portrayed by Martin Sheen, it ran for 7 series a total of 156 episodes with a change of writer happening at the end of the fourth series, 

The West Wing featured a lot Real-life situations, From scandal in the first series To the president Non disclosure of Illness And The attacks of September 11th on America itself, Being a drama unlike Yes Minister, the main cast numbered 15 all constantly changing to reflect the stories being told.

Both shows may have gone off the air and have told their stories in a different way, But many of the situations faced by both still remain relevant In fact many of Sir Humphrey Applebees speeches could be transplanted whole into the walk and talks of the West Wing cast gave as a way of explanation between scenes. And Vice versa.

The words might be different but the message still remains the same. Power to the people.

Creative Day – Saturday Morning Cartoons 

Saturday morning cartoons was the huge umbrella term for original animated television programming that was typically scheduled on early saturday mornings for children around the world. Begining in late 1960s frist in the cinemas and then when TV came to it carried on through, but endding in the early 2000’s with muitl channel 24 hour children’s programing.

But a friend of mine Gegg Taylor is trying to bring them back in very small way with the use Youtube and his very own superhero the Red Panda which began life as a podcast, (free to download and listen to) from Decoder ring Theatre. Then with help from artist Dean Kotz and publisher Monkeybrain a new set of stories became a downloadable comic 69 p (british Currency) from comiXology.

Now each of those stories are being turned into motion comics with the original cast reprising their roles, Mr Taylor is releasing each of these every saturday morning (Canadian time). And just like the old saturday morning cartoons you tune in every weekend to see the next thrilling adventure of The Night of The Red Panda.

Creative Day -Southern Nights


Southern nights
Have you ever felt a southern night?
Free as a breeze
Not to mention the trees
Whistling tunes that you know and love so

The way the same song is sung can give you a totally different perception of the songs meaning and tail being told, the best example of this the song ‘Southern Nights’ written by Allen Toussaint

Southern skies
Just as good even when closed your eyes
I apologize to anyone who can truly say
That he has found a better way
Feel so good
Feel so good, It’s frightenin’
Wish I could
Stop this world from fighting

Mr Toussaint was inspired by  his childhood memories of visiting relatives in the Louisiana, and its star-filled nighttime skies a first the song a more soulful psychedelic folk tale.

Southern skies
Have you ever noticed southern skies?
It’s precious beauty lies just beyond the eye
Goes rushing through your soul
Like the stories told of old

But when Glen Campbell took hold of the song it became a more upbeat country song with Mr Campbell adding a unique guitar lick that he had learned from friend Jerry Reed, and changing the order of the lyrics which gave Mr Campbell his last country No. 1

Old man
He and his dog they walked the old land
Every flower touched his cold hand
As he slowly walked by
Weeping willows
Would cry for joy
Joy

Although Mr Toussaint original version never charted it would become his signature song and one of most loved songs he ever wrote. The Mr Campbell version of the song can be found on his thirty-second album called ‘Southern Nights, released in 1977 and Mr Toussaint album also called ‘Southern Nights’ but released in 1975.

Mysteries
Like this and many others in the trees
Blow in the night.
In the southern skies

Mr Toussaint died in the early hours of November 10, 2015 Spain, while on tour as for Mr Campbell he’ had to stop performing in February 12, 2012, due Alzheimer’s, So I have picked appearances by both at the high of their power.

 

Creative Day – One Man Army

This past week I have been able to sit down and watch DVD’s and I found self watching the box set of the old an American TV show from the 1980’s Knight Rider created by Glen A. Larson and starting David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare and Patricia McPherson.

When I saw first time around it was just a show with a talking car, but now if you discount all the dated special effects and just see the story telling, it still hold up.

So I can’t help draw parallel with another american show I know about, this ones a radio show from the 1950’s The Six Shooter created and written by Frank and starting the Hollywood legend James Stewart, Parley Baer and Virginia Gregg.

They both begin with a small monologs

‘Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.’

‘The man in the saddle is angular and long-legged. His skin is sun-dyed brown. The gun in his holster is gray steel and rainbow mother-of-pearl, its handle unmarked. People call them both “the Six Shooter”.

Which set both men apart from the world they live enter into, they each are true lone wanderers with only their horse and car for company.

They many have ‘back-up’ or side-kick for an episode or two and even sometimes there maybe have shared laugh at the end of the adventure.

But the next episode always sees our heroes out on the road again alone.

And in the case of James Stewart’s Britt Ponset drifting though the final days of the old the american west, on his horse Scar, and Michael Knight may have his talking car KITT but just Mr Ponset he to is drifting around on the interstate.

Both shows range from straight up action though to whimsical comedy, there are few melancholy touches along the way,

In Knight Rider it comes in the season four story ‘The Scent of Roses’ were Michael tires to stop and have normal life once again, in Mr Ponset case the same thing happens but only in the very last episode ‘Myra Barker’

As the six shooter is radio James Stewart serves as narrator and whispers though some of the more tense aspects of the storylines,

The same job done of TV by some of the music and the questioning voice of KITT  adding the tension as well as explanation.

There may be some 40 years between The Six Shooter and Knight Rider but they both share a common idea a good story is a good story weather it be a man in high-tec car or a simple man on horse back.

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All 39 episodes of “The Six Shooter” can be found at archive.org for free.
As for all 90 episodes of Knight Rider you could buy them on DVD, streaming service or maybe find the on youtube for free.

OK So…

OK so as you may have noticed I’ve not posted for a few days despite saying I would be doing more not less. I don’t really understand why myself but I can’t really find the words any more.
I read the pages of Day of the Triffids and they just get lost in my mind and find I have to go back over and over, and still don’t really understand what is going on, or I plan out and half start blog post about Ezri or something for creative day (there sitting half written on this very tablet) then lose the thread of the whole thing.
But if I step away from the computer or pages of the book I find myself running lines or even whole fully formed post, knowing how to get my point across or how to interlink two seemingly unconnected ideas.
This kind of thing has happed before, and I dumped my whole Manchester detective book because of it but and I was able to work past that.
Yet if I think if I go to deep into looking for it I will never find it again.
Writing at one point was easy and fun, but now not so, I will write again, it maybe take a while.    

A Little Update

The last thing I posted here was Chapter Five of ‘All The Right Words -John Wyndham’s The Day Of The Triffids’ on the 18 and so far not much else, And I just wanted to explain why. I’v not stopped writing in fact there’s going to be a bit more.
I am going to restart Creative Day no the reason the writing has slowed down is not a lot is going on, Not being able to move Ezri be main point, most of the Rochdale network is under going repair, or had been drained and waiting.
Everyday I could walk up those places take lots of photos but the story would still be the same and no-one wants to keep reading that, and I don’t want to write that.

So here’s what I going to try and do.

All The Right Words will carry on but only one chapter per post as the chapters aren’t all the same length so take long to read and break down.

Narrowboat Ezri will also carry on just when I have something new to tell you about or I can get to film something fun.

Now we come to Creative Day which is going to be a one off blog post about pretty much anything I like, I have done a few before in past the only rule I have for them is they have to be positive, a little bite size run down of something you may find enjoyable.

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All The Right Words – John Wyndham’s The Day Of The Triffids

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Found it… Sorry it took so long but I lost the book for a second time, and with the refit of my narrowboat home it when out of my head were, but now I have found it again I am going continue my book review. But to add to the overall review I found the BBC radio drama so I will be adding that.
I will be live reading to book so that means I read the set chapters and in the same afternoon write the review. I will restart the review on Sunday afternoon and with chapter three of the book ‘The Groping City’ as before there will spoilers. 

Book Sale

Today I went to a book sale at Radciffe public library, as a child I would spend hours in my local one in Bury town centre I would even go sometimes after high school but over the years I stopped and in fact today was first time in many years.
As a child would read all I could but as I grew older I found it harder and harder to read the adult books until I found out that you could get them as audio books, big plastic tape case 12 tapes in all complete and un abridged, there for whenever I needed them from Dick Francis to John Mortimer and everything else you can think of,
So now the world have become all mp3 and CD people don’t want old tapes even libraries have no room for them, so there they sit boxes and boxes of them, all waiting for someone to go thought them to bring them back to life.
Most people dismiss them now that they don’t have tape players but I have wonderful old walkman and a mic cable with means I can give them new life on my computer and  save them and all it cost me was a few pennies, so please not forget about tapes they can be the start of something good and help those who find it hard to read  

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Up In Smoke

There is a man called Chris Guest who has lived with any kind of hot water, heating or light for 3 years, thanks to a misunderstanding with the company who give him the gas and energy, Now I am not going to get into the row about who’s right or wrong.
     Using a rough guide here is what it cost pre month to have Gas and Energy from three of big  six company in here in the UK

British Gas    Standard £116     Fixed (2016) £122
EDF     Standard £104    Fixed (2017) £111
Scottish Power      Standard £105    Fixed (2017) £122

There are pay as go meters you can have installed into your house which works out to around £70 – £80 pre month (Gas Only) which for most people could and dose work but once the money has been spent you have to go and a buy more so it can still mount up at the end of the month.

Before we had the energy companies wire up our homes and house we all had fire places or big kitchen rages that would heat and cook, Now I know that we can’t all have a fire or a cooker but want we can have is solid fuel stove or Calor Gas Heaters, Hear me out I have numbers to show you.

A cheap Solid Fuel Stove – cost £299.50 + £700 (to put the thing in) so that £1000 in all ok that sounds a lot but once that’s over you will be able to heat a room for pennies a day as a bag of smokeless coal cost £8.48 and if you didn’t want coal you can make your own paper logs with a Log Maker for £19.98 which could help with ID theft.

Ok, that sound very expensive I know so lets look at Calor Gas Heaters which are used a lot by the caravan set and unlike Solid Fuel Stoves can more around the house or flat, the lowest price one I can find is from Calor Gas themselves for £79.99 + £55.75 (for the bottle of gas which goes inside) so that £135.74 all in, Gas heaters may sound scary but there no more or less that have a gas cooker,

Now for the math,

British Gas total a year is     £1,392 (standard) which mean going up and down  £1,464 (fixed )
 
EDF     total a year is      £1,248  (standard) which mean going up and down £1,332 (fixed)

Scottish Power   total a year is  £1,260 (standard) which mean going up and down £1,464 (fixed)

Solid Fuel Stove    £1000 (installation cost)  total a year £3,052 (using coal) make a fire every day

Calor Gas Heater   £135.74 (with gas) total a year of the gas bottle £6,745 having it on every day

Now I know that your not going to make a fire every day or use the heater, but having British Gas/EDF/Scottish Power means that you can call on it any time you like so here a second set of figures if you only use gas for November, December, January, February, March, four of the coldest months
 
151 days % 2 days (buying a bag of coal) = 75

 if the cost of the bag was £8.48 it would cost £636

151 days % 3 days (buying a gas bottle if run it non stop) = 50

if the cost of the was £55.75  it would cost £2,787

So there are the all numbers I not going to tell you want road to go down or how one thing is better than the other I just showing you want I found out in the space of 24 hours, its clear that something needs to be done but the question is what.

Creative Day – BBC: Code Breakers Bletchley Parks lost Heroes

There were three heroes of Bletchley Park, the first was Alan Turing the second was Bill Tutte and the third was Tommy Flowers

Alan Turing famously cracked the Enigma code at Bletchley Park early years of World War II,
Bill Tutte was born in Newmarket in 1917. He was educated locally at Cheveley Village School and then in Cambridge before going up to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1935. In 1941 he was invited to join the so-called Government Codes and Cipher School at Bletchley Park.

As the war grew so did Bletchley from the small one attic room, it had been 1939 to the hazard maze of small hut and blocks, in the grounds of the house.
If you could brake into the right radio signal you could be one step ahead of the enemy, and that was the task given to the people of Bletchley