January 7th, 2006


Alas the fleeting years!!!

Earlier today, fastfwd was complaining about how, the trouble with ageing, is that the cultural landmarks in your mental landscape die, and are not there any more.

And of course this is true. But it is not the whole story, because one of the weird things about ageing is that it gives you perspective, not only on the big things, but on quite minor cultural artefacts.

I've just been watching 'Billion Dollar Brain' which was the second cinema movie Ken Russell made, after several of the really good films for the BBC, and before he went crazy in public with things like Liztomania and Tommy. Not that I don't love those films in their own way, but sometimes I wonder what Russell might have been if someone had stopped him being terminally self-indulgent.

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And in those days Michael Caine was young and cute and oddly hot.

And wonderful character actors like Ed Begley and Karl Malden and Vladek Sheybal were around to be in cold war thrillers.

Come to that, there was a cold war, and it seemed like it would go on forever.

Only twenty-five years later, there was no Soviet Union, and the Latvians had their independence ( which is what the film is about - a mad US millionaire tries to invade ).

Deighton moved on, but I wish he would write the book about what happened to all his characters of the sixties thrillers. Did Stock, the brutal, fair-minded Russian patriot live to see it all fall apart, or was he lucky, and died with his illusions? And Harry, what happened to him? Surely he did not end up as Harry in 'Spooks' - that would be a scary thought.

The other thing about the movie is the computer - which Midwinter (Begley) uses to plot his invasion. Rooms and rooms of banks of tape decks, doubtless with less processing power than my mobile phone has. Old ideas of future tech look strangest when one was there at the time and remembers.


I want to find a new ISP, preferably a reliable free one. CIX has been annoying me. Any thoughts?