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art brit a day lives of others my life work in progress

A Brit a Day [#362]


One of my favorite Brits is Nic Roberson, the foreign correspondent who finds himself in war zones plying his trade for CNN. I’m sure he’s heard so many jokes about being the real Nick Danger that he isn’t even polite anymore. Nic’s Wikipedia article includes this wonderful description:

He has won numerous awards, including two Overseas Press Club Awards, a Peabody, a duPont, and several Emmy Awards for his work in war zones and disaster areas around the world. People magazine voted him Sexiest News Correspondent in 2001 but he is better known as a fearless veteran of the world’s conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Bosnia,Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, the Darfur region of Sudan, Northern Ireland and both the Gulf War and the Iraq War. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 CNN sent Robertson to report fromNew Orleans.
I found a picture of Nic in one of his assignments that I wanted to post. But as the photographer who took it has disabled download capabilities of the photo–that never stopped me–I will honor his wishes and only post enough bits of the photo to make you want to see it in its entirety on Flickr. You can do that here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapperjack/4215430293/lightbox/
I love pictures of actors acting, painters painting, writers writing, even thinkers thinking–so of course, I love this photo of a great reporter reporting. And in addition to that, I really like the looks of Nic in that fine coat.
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art brit a day lives of others music my life spirituality work in progress

A Brit a Day [#398]


My teenage daughter plays a game with her friends that goes roughly like this–they each have their laptops and start on a webpage with headlines like Yahoo! News. The game is to see who can get from that page to a reference to Hitler in the least clicks. They can’t use a search engine, just mouse clicks. It’s a tasteless premise, but kind of amazing because it never takes very long.

I bring this up because, as one of my friends says, I need you to walk with me here. The lyrics of a passage from ‘3rd Planet’ on Modest Mouse’s the moon and antarctica are the only words that will speak for me today, but Modest Mouse is a thoroughly American indie band. ‘3rd Planet’ was written by Isaac Brock, portions of whose life sound like a Thomas Hardy novel…..
When his mother’s house flooded she was forced to move in to her new husband’s trailer where there was no room for Brock, so he stayed behind. He lived on the second floor of the flooded home until he was evicted by the police. After a period of living in a friend’s basement, he moved into a shed he built on the land next to his mother and stepfather’s trailer. [wikipedia]
…..but otherwise, there’s no British connection.
That’s Isaac Brock the living. Major General Isaac Brock, who died from a bullet to the heart in upper Canada in the War of 1812, was born in Guernsey and died a hero of the British Army. You can read more about him here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Brock
THAT Isaac Brock is our Brit of the Day. The rest is just a device for me to be able to make you read this bit of [American indie] poetry by the other Isaac Brock–
Your heart felt good.
It was drippin’ pitch and made of wood.
And your hands and knees,
Felt cold and wet on the grass beneath,
While outside naked, shiverin’, looking blue,
From the cold sunlight that’s reflected off the moon
And baby cum angels fly around you,
Reminding you that we used to be three and not two,
And that’s how the world began.
And that’s how the world will end.
Why is this verse speaking my heart’s song today? You won’t learn that just by walking with me, for I can’t quite explain it. I can tell you this–The daughter I mentioned above is leaving home on Thursday for her first major adventure away from us. She’s going to Europe for 9 days. I’m excited for her, I’m scared for her, I’m in denial that I’m scared or that she might be scared. I just want everything to be great. I want her to be there and be totally in the moment, and at the same time, I want her to be back home, safe, with the trip as just a fantastic memory. I want to stop worrying about Libya and remembering Pan Am Flight 103. ‘3rd Planet’ is one of those songs that just hurts so good, and it’s good to hurt a little, just for today.
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art art brut brit a day eddie argos music my life photography work in progress

A Brit a Day [#1245]

Rather than being decisive about the end or move of ABAD, I’m going to just say that ABAD is on a hiatus of undetermined length. I have enjoyed doing it, and I’m proud of my own commitment to posting almost every day for almost three and a half years, but my passion for it is touching the low water mark at the moment.  There’s no excuse for doing a bad job of it, so I’m going to let it go for now.

So…this isn’t good-bye, just an exceptionally mushy post.

If I have to leave a parting thought here for a while, though, it would be this:

A few years back, I developed a crush on the charming and charismatic frontman of a British band called Art Brut.  His lyrics blew me away. They were funny and ironic and seemed to expose every fear a 20-something young man could have–which are not that different from the fears a 40-something old woman has. I reached out to him as a friend on Myspace, that antique social medium that revolutionized my six-degrees-of-separation world.  Now there could be one degree.  To make a long story short, over the years I have met Eddie, hung out with Eddie, drunk vodka-and-apple-juice cocktails and bad wine with him.  I have met [through email] Eddie’s mom in England [she’s exactly 2 months older than I am].  Two of Eddie’s paintings hang in my house. He says that the story I’ve told him of how my preschooler misconstrued the words to one of his songs has become a part of his patter onstage.

Friday was Eddie’s birthday.  I emailed him my good wishes.  He emailed me back his thanks.  My point is–never doubt your heart.  You can feel a connection through pictures, music, video….to someone you would never have met in your ‘normal’ life or perhaps will never meet outside of the internet.  But the connection is no less real.

So…if you’re reading this–I’m connecting with you.  And isn’t that cool?

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brit a day james may my life

A Brit a Day [#1244]

James May, what am I going to do with almost 500 pictures of you saved?  That really is the question.

I’m struggling to take my next step.  ABAD evolved from a fiction writing blog to justify my love affair with the ease of clicking and saving anything and everything pictured online.  It hasn’t exactly taken on a life of its own–I get about 3 hits a day, I think.  I’ve thought about moving the ops over to Tumblr where the ease of access might give me more viewers and thus more reason to continue, but most of these images come from Tumblr in the first place.  So that would be pretty pointless.

If you really are out there, and you have an opinion, comment or email your thoughts.  I think I’ll take another week to think about it.

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A Brit a Day [#…….Sorry, I’ve gotten way behind…]

It’s a bad sign that I have forgotten to post on my beloved blog for 2 days is a row.  I’m going to take a little break to figure out what A Brit a Day should do next–and I mean a tiny little break, because I’m sure I’ll be posting something James May-ish on Monday. Just try and stop me!

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art brit a day fan art henry v tom hiddleston

A Brit a Day [#1243]

These are the final 2 in the series of ‘Hollow Crown’ fan art offerings that have so amazed me recently.  Top is Henry V by medusa dollmaker on deviantart.  Lower is Henry V by namecchan on deviantart.

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art brit a day fan art henry v tom hiddleston

A Brit a Day [#1242]

“Practice_Henry V” by sunsetagain on deviantart.

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brit a day james may

A Brit a Day [#1241]

Happy Monday from Mr. May–every day is better when you know how to make a proper paper plane.

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-12-10/james-mays-ultimate-paper-plane

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brit a day harry potter

A Brit a Day [#1240]

Two of the HP movies were directed by directors who only directed one of the HP movies….erm, you know what I mean.  One was Mike Newell [above, on the set of HP4] and the other was Alphonse Cuaron, who directed HP3, ‘Prisoner of Azkahban.’  I thought they were both brilliant–they are my 2 favorites of the bunch.

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brit a day henry v percy bysshe shelley shakespeare tom hiddleston

A Brit a Day [#1239]

 As I was telling my friend Lu, the tragedy of ‘Henry V’, and Henry V, is that for all the hand-of-God achievements he made as a warrior and a king, it was all gone to hell by the time Henry VI got done with England and what was left of France.  And because I can’t help myself when it comes to pointing out the parallels in certain aspects of our culture, it brings to mind the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Ozymandias,’ that recently came into the spotlight when the producers of ‘Breaking Bad’ used it in a trailer.  The final lines read–

And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

In other words, once you’re dead, it’s unlikely that there will be anyone around to defend your legacy indefinitely, so get over yourself.

But there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy the Shakepeare/Hiddleston legacy for the rest of the year.  When ‘The Hollow Crown’ aired in Britain last summer, a kind Tumblrite made these wonderful wallpapers.  If you like to plan ahead, they make a great slideshow for your desktop.