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Film Review: 'The Motorcycle Diaries'

On the Revolutionary Road

It’s become a common practice to give directors grammatical ownership of a film regardless of how much input they have. So we have Hitchcock’s The Birds, Anderson’s If, and Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, as well as Polanski’s Macbeth and Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. Directors, like managers, are important to some extent, but most people know that when the boss is off the firm runs just as well, if not better. The practice of elevating the director to a position of supreme importance relegates to inconsequential roles the hundreds of other workers involved in a production. To make a film without a director would be difficult; to make one without engineers, musicians, caterers and cleaners would be impossible.

Halo Halo! God, Broadband and Buddhists

Hello Hallo

Back in November David Cameron pledged that by 2020 every home in the UK would have access to fast broadband, although there was some doubt as to whether this could be achieved.

Now, however, the Church of England has come to his aid and is to allow some of its churches to have their spires adapted as broadband beacons bringing broadband access to the approximately one million homes in remote or rural areas of the UK still without it (Guardian 17 May).

We don’t have the full details of God’s involvement or his IT expertise yet, but think of the possibilities. Gone will be the hassle of using that old technology where you had to get on your knees to pray whenever you wanted to contact the Almighty. Now (as long as heaven has a reliable connection) you will have direct access to God whenever you want, and from the comfort of your own home or laptop.

Halo Halo! Angry Christians, Hot Dogs and Venezuela

Hello Hallo

Halo Halo! Angry Christians, Hot Dogs and Venezuela

‘A majority of millennials now reject capitalism’ reported the Washington Post (26 April) after a recent Harvard University poll concluded that 51 percent of people between 18 and 29 do not support the system and only 42 percent said they did. More interestingly, 33 percent said they supported socialism.

Let’s not start winding up the World Socialist Movement just yet though, our job isn’t quite done. The Washington Post pointed out that ‘Capitalism can mean different things to different people’, and noted ‘Bernie Sanders is profoundly changing how millennials think about politics’. Ah, Bernie Sanders, that American capitalist politician who thinks he’s a socialist. Perhaps someone should inform the Washington Post that ‘Socialism’, too, means different things to different people.

Halo Halo! Christian Values

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Margaret Thatcher used to lie awake at night and fantasise about ‘Victorian values’ and how, if only they could be reintroduced, the working class would learn to know their place. These days, however, since there are few cotton mills or coal mines remaining where small children in rags can be put to work for six days a week, or cheery young urchins for that matter, who for a crust of bread can be forced up chimneys to clear them of soot, it’s not an idea we hear so much about.

What we need now, we are told, are ‘Christian values’, and although there is some confusion, especially amongst those who recommend them, as to what they actually are, they probably amount to pretty much the same thing. And their big advantage is that they can be bandied about as the cure for everything from the perilous state of the NHS and the steel industry to street beggars.

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