Yesterday vschanoes and I walked from Angel tube to Abney Park cemetery via New River Walk in Canonbury and Clissold Park, looking at deer and various gravestones. In Canonbury, we turned into the Walk and found ourselves standing a foot away from a heron, which looked at us, and then looked away and just stood there, trusting. It was the sort of encounter with the natural world you do not expect in comparatively central London.
2. The reason why Galloway could nail Hitchens so crushingly, and why Hitchens' response in an article a day later is surprisingly effective in the circumstances, is that they are two men with an awful lot in common. We always hate what we fear is ourselves.
They are, in the end, both overgrown boys who eroticize and idolize the irresponsible and brutal use of arbitrary ruthless power. That, in the end, matters more to them than Galloway's sentimental attachment to some vestiges of socialist ideals or Hitchens' fetishizng Orwell-worship.
There is probably a shared reason why both of them are solidly anti-abortion, but I am not their therapist.
3. Reading the mainstream critical responses to the Sith thing almost makes me want to defend Lucas, who has become the whipping boy for everything critics rightly dislike about Hollywood. I am inclined to think that he is a tragic case - someone with an interesting vision who mostly has not trusted other, more competent people with his baby except when it comes to expertises like design in which he knows himself incompetent. 'The Empire Strikes Back' had a good script-writer and that is why it is so far and away the best of the six films. If there is a malaise in Hollywood, it is not so much the cult of the blockbuster as the fact that people tend to put the quality of the script low down on their list of priorities.
'Kingdom of Heaven' is a case in point, with lines that should never have made it onto the screen. 'I fought for two days with an arrow in my left testicle'(and considered myself lucky) is a clunker comparable with 'Yonder lies da castle of my fadda' or 'War. War. War. That's all you think of, Dickie Lionheart.' Or my personal favourite: 'Lenin, meet Trotsky'/'Stalin, you've been avoiding me.'