Thursdays come around fast, don’t they? There I am, minding my own business, keeping things together as much as I can, and BAM! My todo list reminders tell me that I’ve once again not done what I said I’d do: Write the newsletter early. Sure, I’ve gathered some links, some rough thoughts, some vague ideas, but that’s all it is. It reminds me of non-writers who think that coming up with the idea is half the battle, and suggest to published authors that they should write about their idea and split the proceeds 50/50. Apparently this is something that happens a lot.
But having an idea is easy. But, just like in Revolutionary France, the real power is in the execution.
I spoke briefly last week about the eccentricities of the music charts, and I have one for you this week too: Brie Larson is currently placed in global streaming charts, for the first time since she was pursuing a musical career at 15. To what do we owe this particular peculiarity? Edgar Wright is releasing a new version of the soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim vs The World to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the film. The first track to be released is Metric‘s Black Sheep with Larson’s vocals, in character as Envy Adams. The track is featured on this week’s playlist.
I do love the Scott Pilgrim movie, and it often surprises me that that’s deemed controversial in some quarters. I get that the film isn’t the same as the comics, and I get that Scott himself is not a good guy. But there’s a lot of fun, a lot of joy to be had. It illustrates Wright’s deftness of touch with music and action that I’m quite envious of, and that I’d love to see harnessed for one of my own screen projects.
In Maestro music isn’t just magical, but magical; and isn’t that how music can make us feel? Doesn’t it, even more, make it not only a wonderful entertainment, but truly vital to our ongoing existence?
I am aware though, back in the real world, that everyone experiences music differently. For some it’s a passive experience to channel nostalgia, for some the music doesn’t matter as long as they can move their body to it. Some use it to divide people, separating them into silos of people with ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ preferences, while for others it exists to bring people together, to share joy. Some people actively find music annoying, a noisome intrusion on their thoughts. But underneath all this, I think there is a rhythm to our world; the drumbeat of this world’s heart.
Loki reminded me of two things this week:
Presented without comment: Harley Quinn Creator Says DC Refused Batman-Catwoman [Oral] Sex [Scene] Because Heroes “Don’t Do That”. Link
It honestly baffled me that this Instagram post caused as much controversy as it did, which just goes to show that I’m probably more naive than you think. But I literally could never choose to spend my life with someone who I thought was homophobic or racist. But then I also once ended a relationship because they were wrong about contemporary art, so…
I have plans to head into London next month to fill the tanks, and I’m tempted to do a photo walk to see some of the Madge Gill works they’ve displayed in East London. It’s part of The Line, London’s first dedicated public art walk, a route which runs between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, following the waterways and the line of the Greenwich Meridian.
“Hey Siri, what are ‘unintended circumstances’?”
“Good question, did you know that media streaming companies were required by the EU to have 30% of their titles be made in Europe?”
“I didn’t but…”
“The UK isn’t part of the EU any more, so no longer counts as ‘Europe’ as far as this agreement goes.”
I mean, it’s not going to be an overnight change, but the UK is Europe’s biggest producer of film and TV programming. It was easy for Netflix and Amazon to meet their quotas by simply stocking up on our excellent creative outputs. But in future that budget will have to go elsewhere, and the UK’s production companies will suffer.
After 15 months of absolute devastation, this is not a twist that the UK’s film and TV sectors needed. When combined with the imminent privatisation of Channel 4, it’s going to mean that there’ll be a lot safer choices being made. ‘Safe’ almost never means ‘good’, and certainly doesn’t mean sustainable.
“Newly commissioned research from Oxford Economics reveals that the UK’s creative sector was previously growing at five times the rate of the wider economy, employing over 2 million people and contributing £111.7 billion to the economy - more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas industries combined.”
And yet this vital industry has been treated as an afterthought, a haven of people with uncomfortable politics, rather than an economic powerhouse that is also the drumbeat of this country’s heart.
When I start writing each fresh newsletter, it feels like a chore to do, an obligation to be fulfilled. But once I get going, something shifts. It starts to feel like I’m talking directly to you. My voice comes through, and it’s frequently been said that reading these is exactly like hearing me speak, in terms of pace and cadence. Though I hope that in person I allow you to get a word in from time to time.
And if you ever feel like you’re not heard by me, in person or when reading these newsletters, do let me know. Send me your thoughts. Interrupt my diatribes. Give me your contradictions. Lets fill each other’s tanks.
Until next week, Roomies.