Saturday, February 25, 2006


Crying during films is usually about something else. I mean it's not really about the characters on the screen is it, because we all know that they're really acting. So it's actually about some reference to our own experiences. A trigger to remind us of the small joys and sorrows, or occasional larger tragedies which have somehow touched our real lives.

It seemed to me, that for much the same reason, a fair percentage of London, and doubtless other places, spent September 1997 in tears. It was okay to be openly sobbing in the street and on the tube on the way to work. There was a whole park set aside for communal crying for weeks, which was drowning in the open and uninhibited tears of men, women and children. A lot of misery was cried out of people's systems that year. And I maintain that most of that misery had nothing at all to do with Diana's death, sad as the whole thing was. I myself cried with the best of them, but I was really crying for other selfish reasons - mainly for losing what I then thought of as 'the love of my life' (and because I had chronic bronchitis and felt like shit.) People were crying for all sorts of reasons, including the realisation of their own vulnerability and the transience of life, all too suddenly revealed to them in a very public way. A lot of sadness and despair got a kind of release that year. And for all the things people look back and thank Diana for, nobody ever thinks to thank her for that. For the month or so when she gave us all an excuse to cry, until we were all cried out.

What has this got to do with anything, you may ask. Well back in 1983 I spent a good many evenings with tears streaming down my face for the impossible decisions (the adorable) Ralph de Bricassart was faced with and the fate of (the beautiful) Meggie Cleary in that classic series The Thorn Birds, which everybody loved, although nobody would ever admit to it. It transpired last night that the (tough-15-yr-old-North-London-gangsta) TH had also loved it(?), when, on perusing the evening's TV entertainment we discovered that some random channel was doing what American TV does so well - showing the WHOLE THING straight through (give or take 2 hours of ads..), and he insisted that we settle down to watch the entire epic. (This, of course, is a very good example as to why I married him).

What a difference 20 years makes....
Call me a cynic, but really the only thing I find worth crying about now is the truly appalling acting of Rachel Ward. Good grief, she's bad. And I got into a whole angry tirade against the behaviour of my erstwhile teenage crush...the Priest (Priest I ask you!) Ralph de Bricassart, who not only falls in love with a child, but then completely messes up her life by popping back now and then to shag her (without contraception), before running back to God afterwards, clearly so as he doesn't have to live in what looked like the most boring place on earth and change nappies for the rest of his life. 'You weak perverted bastard' I was shouting at the TV, and many sentences with words like 'eat' and 'cake' in them. (Although now that I think about it, I've never entirely understood why anyone would want to have any cake in the first place unless they had procured it with the specific intention of eating it....)

So much for the romantic night of cuddling up and movie-tears the TH was expecting.......
But he soon got into the swing of it with retort of the night (and believe me, it was a very long night of retorts). A rough quotation from when Ralph goes back to the Vatican to explain to the Cardinal why he broke all his vows (yeah yeah yeah you creep) - 'Father I have broken all my vows, but I have never found such ecstacy as I found in her....not just in her body, but also in her thoughts, in her smile, to be in her presence, to talk with her, to wake up next to her......'

To which the TH muttered dryly - 'Clearly before the invention of Wi-Fi......'

All of which goes to prove (I think), that I am a lot happier now than I was in either 1983 or 1997.


Anonymous steve said...

that's because in 1997 you didn't know the joy of solo bass. :o)

6:17 PM, February 25, 2006  
Blogger codenameLizzy said...

I am watching American idol.

3:05 PM, February 26, 2006  
Blogger est said...

hmmmmmm. thought for food

12:33 AM, March 02, 2006  

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