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A perhaps curmudgeonly point. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
A perhaps curmudgeonly point.

Is it a sad thing that an actor has died?  Well, yes, in that the death of any man diminishes us all who remain, insofar as we are involved in humanity.

 

And yet, let us be frank.  I do not condemn those, I do not judge those, for whom this was someway personal news, who were moved to comment upon it, who mourned.  Nevertheless, at a time when the policies of Gordon Brown as Chancellor are now become the Nemesis of Gordon Brown as PM, at a time when, fantastically, the government of the day – tarred with corruption and regularly facing police enquiry – are engaged in surrendering to faceless and unelected bureaucrats in Brussels what is left of the sovereignty of the Crown, of Parliament, and of a free people, and doing so in haste so as to do all the damage they can do before they are hurled at last from the seat of power – this seems to me no time for the death of an actor to be the most emphasised news.  A seven point swing from Labour to the Tories, a ten per cent. swing from the LibDems to the Conservatives, would bring about a Tory government; less would suffice for a hung parliament.  The clock is ticking, and, driven by its urgency, the government are engaged in the direst of machinations, constitutional, political, and economic.  My condolences to Mr Ledger’s family, but, really, is it right that the public are rapt by this death and the sort of other news stories best fitted for the Silly Season, and taking not a blind bit of notice of what is afoot at Westminster and Threadneedle Street?

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dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: January 24th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm afraid this is just another instance of not everyone on Livejournal thinking the same way. To be honest, I'm really not sure what I can do about it - or that I ought to, if I could.
dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: January 24th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
That probably came across as a little harsher than I intended - apologies.

All the same, the day everyone on Livejournal thinks the same way is the day I leave and don't come back. Different things matter more to different people - that's part of its charm.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, all right.

(And no, I didn't take the first post as being at all contentious).

I agree: everyone has his own interests, her own priorities. It is the prioritisation that stunned me, insofar as Mr Ledger's death, although unfortunate, simply seems to me to be of somewhat less significance than many seem to have invested it with. As I said, however, I don't condemn them; I do wonder if they are at all paying attention to anything else, which was all the point I had (well, that and posting the link to the interactive electoral map).
dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: January 24th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, all right.

Glad I didn't cause offence. I am trying to put together a Very Important Document, and my brain is running round my skull in circles, whimpering to be let out. This makes articulating my meaning difficult.

Also, I like your Godric icon below.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

I suppose it is logically possible...

... that you could offend me, but I cannot imagine how, m'dear.

Best of British with yr Important Document.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

What reason could that possibly be, I wonder.

To paraphrase Dr Johnson, the prospect of the next Hamas rocket attack from Gaza concentrates the mind wonderfully.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ah.

There's a meme going 'round that includes the question, 'Look to your left. What do you see?' I have been tempted to respond, saying, 'the Cameron wing of the Tory party', but haven't done yet.

And the news will always hunt one down, won't it.

(PS: 41? Youngster.)

Edited at 2008-01-24 07:46 pm (UTC)
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: January 24th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me - I was slightly thrown by the fact that he was so young. And also the human interest side.

And even thinking about politics makes me depressed despite me signing up to work the elections again this year. And if I started thinking about politics, I will just go off on one and give myself an ulcer :D
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Reasonable enough.

Particularly the ulcer possibilities.
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: January 24th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's just that....

I'm turning into my dad. A grumpy old man and deeply cynical about the whole political process.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 26th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Grumpy and cynical?

My dear, it's worse than you think: you're turning into ME.
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: January 26th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pfft. Probably

Yeah. I probably am. I think you two might get on despite being on different sides of the political spectrum.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 26th, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, judging from you...

... He must surely be a splendid chap and well worth knowing.
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: January 26th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well, judging from you...

:) *beams*
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: January 24th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
One factor may be that a lot of LJ users perceive it as a 'fannish' space, rather than a political one. That they post about light entertainment rather than politics does tell you that they're interested in light entertainment; it doesn't tell you they aren't interested in politics.

I suppose I have a mild case of the same phenomenon: I do listen to the news (even watch it, sometimes) and read various papers, but I don't talk much about it on LJ. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why. Subconscious fear of being divisive, possibly (though heaven knows that doesn't stop me going off into fits of Anglo-Catholic squee at times, so that can't be the whole story).

Oh, and: Is it a sad thing that an actor has died? Well, yes, in that the death of any man diminishes us all who remain, insofar as we are involved in humanity.

There's potentially more to it than that: if you like someone's work, then it's legitimate to be sad that there will be no more of it, especially if the person in question was cut off at a comparatively young age, when you might expect them to have years of good work ahead of them. I know I was rather upset when the news about Terry Pratchett came out.

Edited at 2008-01-24 06:30 pm (UTC)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, you know, I intended from the first...

... to eschew politics here myself. But current events do rather crop up. And for writers, fannish space or no Spanish face, to pretend to ignore them, well.... Very odd.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: January 24th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well, you know, I intended from the first...

And thus you end up singeing the king of Spain's beard?

Or something like that; it's been a long day.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

So it has been.

Or, as a schoolboy once put in a paper, Drake singed the king of Spain's beard and then circumcised the world with a forty-foot clipper called the Golden Behind.

Now, THAT's a looooong day.

Edited at 2008-01-24 08:43 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

I suppose that's quite true.

And what a dire commentary upon modern life and atomisation it is.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 24th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
"...but, really, is it right that the public are rapt by this death and the sort of other news stories best fitted for the Silly Season?"

Mr Ledger died over here in the Emerald City, where every season is silly. And we don't know how long he had been dead because the maid thought he was sleeping, and the masseuse who sensed a problem called, not police or paramedics, but Mary-Kate Olsen, who dispatched her private security detail; they called the police. That, you have to admit, is pretty funny.

I was momentarily diverted because he didn't have the reputation of someone whose death would be entertainment, but I am a very busy woman; I have to go wash a Beulah Speckle-face fleece, and also none of my fair-skinned dollies wants to dress up like Benazir Bhutto.

So, back to life.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 24th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Back to LIFE?

My dear, apparently all life in your metropolis is truly surreal.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: January 24th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

...all life in your metropolis is truly surreal

That's why they all come here to die, I suppose.

I mean, Mary-Kate Olsen???? Do you know who she is??? (I would be bitterly disappointed if you did, and she was in California when she took the call.)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 26th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Of course I know who she is.

She's a commonly used Muggle-born OC beloved of 'writers' at the Pit of Voles. Isn't she? Or is that Mary Sue?
woman_ironing From: woman_ironing Date: January 24th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Between a northern rock and a hard place

The main thing in Gordon's and his crew's favour is that they're not Tories. Right now, though, I'll vote for anyone who'll do away with the appalling ID card scam.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 26th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're leaning towards Clegg, aren't you.

I remember when I first heard that 'Clegg is standing for LibDem leader': I thought, 'Clegg? Barry I could see, but Clegg? What WILL Nora Batty say?' Then I found that Peter Sallis wasn't involved, and gave up.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: January 25th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem, I think, is that many people on my flist (and 'd include myself to this in some degree) are fannish in a way about film/tv/books that they just aren't about politics. A lot of us younger people have grown up with Heath Ledger, followed his career with interest, over-identified with film characters or blah blah blah, conducted elaborate fantasy relationships with him in our heads when we were 15 (I have done none of those things, really, with regard to Ledger, but there are other actors who would affect me similarly) and thus when he died it hits people in a different way.

I'm unusual in that I am 'fannish' about politics. I like the soap opera of it, and I get invovled with who's talking to whom, who's in, who's out. It comes of being brought up on Private Eye and Have I Got News for You (I learnt much of what I know about politics from my dad explaining the satirical jokes to me when I was 10 or so).

So I suppose what I'm trying to say is that people are more personally wrapped up in the lives of their 'heroes' - none of whom are political figures - than in politics, however important they may think it is and however much notice they pay to it in their day-to-day lives. Of course, it would perhaps be better if more people were emotionally involved in the way the country's run, but I don't think that's going to be the case anytime soon. (Bread and circuses has always been the order of the day)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 26th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thus proving, in the end...

... that politics really is 'Hollywood for ugly people', I suppose.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: January 26th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thus proving, in the end...

Dear Tony always did give impression that he thought he was on stage, didn't he? Though I think Gordon might be in it for more sinister reasons. (And God knows what Daisy Dave thinks he's doing)

How're your head?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: January 26th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Och, dinna ax sae loudly, hen!

Actually, I'm well enough, under the circs.

As for what Dave is doing ... well, least said and All That.
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