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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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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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brit a day james may lives of others

A Brit a Day [#1206]

One James May, one very strokable jumper, and one restored classic Honda 400 four.  I enjoyed reading about how Mr. May came to own this bike in a clipping posted by the bike restorer, David Silver, here:

http://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk/stock/Classicbike_April_2012_web.pdf

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A Brit a Day [#1204]

I know way too much about James May’s personal garage–it has become sort of a fetish with me to find pictures of him in it on the internet.  I haven’t resorted to Google Street View yet, though.  I’m not that bad.

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A Brit a Day [#1200]

Today is ABAD’s 1200th post, and more importantly, my elder child’s first day of college.  A couple of years ago, she cosplayed as Idris, the ‘Doctor’s Wife’, for Comic-con–she was the best Idris anyone had ever seen.  To commemorate, here’s some Doctor Who 50th anniversary art from this year’s Comic-con program.

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A Brit a Day [#1198]

Hiya.  This post is for the one I missed on Sunday.

I now know that these two were cast as the Reagans for the movie “The Butler”.  Will I see it?  Haven’t decided yet–it could cause my brain my to explode.

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A Brit a Day [#1162]

OOPS!  I forgot to post yesterday because I was busy at Comic-con doing things like, oh, meeting Henry Ian Cusick!!–I’ll give that amazing experience its own separate post later….

Anyhoo, this post is for Friday, and the internet is all aflutter because some people are 100% certain that they believe this fella ^ will be at Comic-con today.  People have been in line since 6 o’clock last night for a panel that that starts at 6 o’clock tonight that he will probably be involved in.  I haven’t seen a single picture of him in San Diego on Tumblr yet, so I’m a tad skeptical, but it doesn’t matter either way, because I’m not getting in that line.  My only hope is to see him just walking around the convention center like a normal person. Right. And if he happens to be in the Nintendo Lounge or the XBox lounge while my son is playing video game demos and he sits down next to me while I’m on a comfy couch reading my Batman novel, all the better.

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A Brit a Day [#1141]

Today’s choices were inspired by this picture I recently found by Edward Steichen of dancer Isadora Duncan.

We consider Ms. Duncan an honorary Brit because she had children with legendary set designer Gordon Craig.

He looks very tame here, but Gordon Craig was a visionary who was way before his time, working in a medium that was far from being able to realize his designs. My god, the things these people did before we had modern lighting and contemporary theatre technology.

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A Brit a Day [#1080]

So, may I elaborate on what bright idea had me googling AR yesterday when my senses were assaulted by the sight of his otherwise gorgeous face looking out from Ronald Reagan’s plaster-like head?  I think I had googled something like ‘alan rickman rock star’.  Yes, there’s irony in this story.

It was because these four rock stars made a road trip from Lands End to John O’Groats on Thursday in a custom pink Rolls Royce to raise awareness and donations for Breast Cancer Care, a charity in the UK.  They are, from left to right, Professor Brian Cox, who was briefly a rock star in the 1980s and apparently took his rock-star proceeds to go back to school and get a Ph.D. in particle physics; James May, who simply is the essence of ‘rock star’;  Gary Barlow, who actually is a rock star, well, pop star; and Chris Evans, a popular and wealthy radio DJ, television presenter, radio and television producer, yada yada yada. And we all know that DJs are just frustrated rock stars, so there you go. [Don’t listen to me, I’m just jealous that he has owned a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder that cost eleventeen million pounds and I have not.]

The pictures of the four of them together reminded me of a photo montage I saw years ago that included ‘Robin Hood’ era Rickman and some other shaggy actors photoshopped in as various members of The Who.  I’m not describing it very well, in fact I may not even be remembering it very well, but in any event, I couldn’t find it and if you know what I’m talking about please contact me.  I would so love to see that picture again!

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A Brit a Day [#1072]

And as the microphone squeaks 
A young girl’s telephone beeps 
Yeah she’s dashing for the exit she’s running to the streets outside 
“Oh you’ve saved me,” she screams down the line 
“The band weren’t very good 
And I’m not having a nice time” 

Yeah but his bird thinks it’s amazing, though 
So all that’s left 
Is the proof that love’s not only blind but deaf 

He talks of San Francisco, he’s from Hunter’s Bar 
I don’t quite know the distance 
But I’m sure that’s far I’m sure that’s pretty far 

I’d love to tell you all my problem 
You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham

Men from Yorkshire seem to have a way with words.  I’ve always said that Sheffield boy Alex Turner [who wrote the song ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco’ for his band Arctic Monkeys when he was about five or something] could make the English language lay down at his feet, rhyming.

And then, of these three idiots who make me laugh until the tears come, two have a connection to Rotherham.  James May grew up there.  And Jeremy Clarkson trained to be a journalist at the Rotherham Advertiser.

And then there was Albert Gardner, a displaced Yorkshireman who, along with his wife May, made us feel like family when we visited Kilwinning, Scotland, in 2000.  The Gardners became like adopted grandparents to me, and while Al may have been able to keep the neighbors in stitches, I’ll never really know how witty his jokes were.  His Yorkshire accent was so heavy that I understood naught of what he said.