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:
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.

A Brit a Day [#915]

OK, I got all kindsa things to say about this picture.  1] Spoiler Alert!  Henry V dies!  But an even bolder choice on the part of the BBC production was to open the play with a sequence from King Henry’s funeral, thus making the whole of the action a flashback–brilliant.  2] Seeing Tom Hiddleston playing the dead king is one of the most beautiful and disturbing things I’ve ever seen–he’s my New Favorite Corpse [NFC]; and finally, 3] What is going on with the two crowns here?  Was there a special lying-down crown made for not poking the back of his head?  I guess it would be difficult to play dead if you are wincing from the pain of your crown.  “Uneasy lies the head…”  In any event, it seems to be a serious matter for the two costumers on set.  And Hiddleston hasn’t even broken character as he lifts his head.  How DO you get in character to play a dead monarch?

A Brit a Day [#544]

Today is a day for remembering heroes, and at the literary end of the hero scale, I salute the hero of the Harry Potter saga, Severus Snape. Here is a nice video that gives us some insight into Alan Rickman’s utter possession of that role. [I watched it in 780p; you have to fiddle with it at the Youtube page to get it to load at high definition, then just wait for it to fully load at high def…]

I’ve also employed another member of our Brit a Day cast to help me with my remembrance of this ominous anniversary–you can see my slideshow tribute if you go here:


A Brit a Day [#470]

Not being a religious person, I still have a philosophical and historical interest in the many published versions of the life of Christ. And a human interest. I recently watched Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ,” and for me, that movie raises an issue I’ve encountered before. How many of the gospels [and beyond] does the narrative of this film combine to tell its story? Isn’t the whole point of having 4 books by 4 different witnesses at the beginning of the New Testament that these 4 points of view are not to be combined? Different authors’ interpretations of events are often mutually exclusive, so portraying all disparate accounts of those events as one historical flow is a distortion. What makes the film “The Gospel of John” a standout–besides Ian Cusick’s knockout performance–is the use of only one interpretation, word for word the book of John, as its script.

A Brit a Day [#242]

The week that I dedicated my posts to the cast’s hands, Ian Cusick was represented in his role as the resurrected Jesus Christ. It’s hard to call it ‘hand porn’ when you’re looking at Christ’s hand. So to set the record straight, and let that hand-lust flow, here are Ian’s hands. Above, he wears the Black Band of the Sistahood. Below, we have both hands–I believe the right hand pushes the infamous button. And finally, bottom, if you had any doubt that these are not Jesus’ hands, have a look. I don’t think CPR had been invented in the first century A. D.

A Brit a Day [#192]

Henry Ian Cusick–a face so nice I thought you should see both sides of it.

Today is my mom’s 87th birthday. I’ve definitely inherited some of my tendencies from her. When she was just a blushing girl of, oh–maybe 80, she had a tiny crush on the handsome 30-ish guy who made photocopies for her at the copy shop. Her friend, another elderly lady, was appalled. “He’s probably married,” the friend said, as though she seriously thought my mom might act on it. That was ridiculous. My mom and I both know that you are allowed to have a life in your head that belongs to nobody else–it doesn’t even really belong to your earthly self, it’s separate from that. She said to her friend, “You know, I’m not dead yet.”
Happy birthday, Mom. I love you heaps, and I love your style.

A Brit a Day [#188]

This post is for Sunday.

There have been a couple of mighty quakes in my psychological sphere in the last two months, complete with aftershocks. My self-confidence is low, and what I need is to be reassured; I am lucky–my family and close friends provide more than enough love and support to do just that. But we can all use a bit of proof now and then that our more public personae are valued, too.

So this week’s theme is going to be The Best Face You Can Put on It. I’m going to have the guys strut their stuff. Starting with Alan Rickman–his beauty transcends a slightly wrinkled suit and gently tousled hair. He has earned every graceful line in that majestic face.

A Brit a Day [#187]

This post is for Saturday.

Graham Nash [left] isn’t the owner of the biggest whiskers in this picture, but he did make up the refreshing Brit-pop quadrant of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This photo by Henry Diltz is from one of my favorite photo sessions of all times, from the tour on which ‘4 Way Street’ was recorded. The center fold of that album cover hung on the wall in my room for a long time, a single shot taken within minutes of this one, as I remember it. I found this one decades later, but now as then, the harmonies these guys made seem like they could only have come from angels. Yet they were so solid they made you feel like you could reach out and catch the notes in your hand.

A Brit a Day [#107 and #108]

Dedicated to Ian and Dominic in appreciation for their years of brilliant work on ‘Lost.’

So, about that finale…..well, no spoilers here. Because I have believed for most of my adult life that if you were to replace the word “God” with the word “opportunity” in most religious contexts, you would then create an essentially spiritual context that almost anyone could agree with.

Thank you, ‘Lost’…..for the love, the enlightenment, and for touching us with opportunity.

A Brit a Day [#97]

It’s Thursday, therefore this must be Ian Cusick. You were expecting Desmond with the speargun in the Looking Glass station, or Desmond in the shower in the Hatch. Or perhaps Ian himself all sweaty after a run…oh, stop me.. But nothing compares [cue Sinead O’Connor], really, to his portrayal of Jesus in ‘The Gospel of John.’ This lovely sight is courtesy of the work of John the Baptist, and I think, of mumsypower for the screen cap.