Sorkin Speculation

Monday 24 January, 2011

On the BBC news the other day, Aaron Sorkin was saying that, as much as he loved doing The Social Network, he’s going to be doing another show. He’s written the pilot and now he’s casting.

I am Very excited with this news. It’s going to be a mishmash of Sports Night meets The West Wing meets Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It’s going to be another show within a show, about people working within a news network. He said it’s based on CNN, but he replied a little bit too quickly for me to really believe that.

The thing is, I really hope he casts his so called Favourite Three.

These are Joshua Malina, who was in the movie adaption of Sorkin’s play “A Few Good Men”. Yeah, the YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH film. He was also Jeremy in Sports Night and Will Bailey in The West Wing.

Bradley Whitford, who, if I remember correctly, was in the actual theatre production of “A Few Good Men”. He was also Josh in The West Wing (DUH) and Danny in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

The last of The (speculated) Favourite Three is Matthew Perry. He went from Friends to The West Wing, playing Republican Joe Quincy, and then to Matt Albie in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Him and Aaron have a LOT in Common, and I believe he’d understand the more grittier of the things Sorkin can write.

These are all three people that aren’t working on anything else right now, or at least not anything big. Joshua Malina is in a very strange webseries called Backwash that isn’t available to watch outside of America.

He’s already tweeted a very strange tweet about trying to stop Bradley Whitford from getting a part in the new series. They’re friends so I’m taking that to mean that they’re actually going for the same part.

The thing is, I would love all these three people to be in this new series. I would also love more people from Sports Night and The West Wing to be in it too. Specifically Sabrina Lloyd and Allison Janney.

… The only person I wouldn’t be happy with getting a part in this new series would be Janel Moloney. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s a brilliant actress. She was fantastic as Donna. I LOVED Donna in The West Wing! And she was great as the Costume Assistant in Sports Night who gave Casey an ear full for taking credit for the clothes he wears. But if she does, I think it’ll shape a lot of what we expect to see from the characters if both her and Bradley Whitford are working together.

We’ve been there and we’ve done that, and some even bought the Tshirts. I know i’m getting ahead of myself, I’m getting ahead of Sorkin, too. But with every show, he brings something new. Something as fantastic as before but better, brighter. He one upped Sports Night with Studio 60. He’ll do it again with this, I know it.

I just hope he proves me wrong if Janel gets a part, even if I would prefer her to not.

Also a great person to have on this new show? Nathan Cordry. I say this purely because he was brilliant in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Very good at the comedy and the emotional. And very good looking.


Am I Too Young to be a Fan of The Proclaimers?

Sunday 23 January, 2011

As I’ve said before, or at least inferred it, I don’t change over the years. I just take how I used to be and add to it as I go along. My life is one big collection of everything I’ve ever been in to.

One of these things are The Proclaimers. Charlie and Craig Reid. I can’t tell them apart, and I didn’t hear much of their music, but the music I did hear, I knew and I loved. Lots.

I was maybe twelve when I really knew 500 Miles. And whilst it wasn’t one of my “Oh My God – Head Buzzing!” songs, it was up there. It’s one of those songs where you’re either lame for knowing all the words to, or you’re really awesome, and I’ve been both.

The second song I got to know was, naturally, Letter from America. My dad would go on about the random ill-fitting rhyming of America with Canada. I disagreed, I thought it was done quite well. I didn’t even know there was a political meaning to it until three years ago!

The third and fourth songs come hand in hand because of the little story that accompanies it. I’m On My Way and Don’t Turn Out Like Your Mother. I don’t know whether I already knew of the songs or not, but I don’t think i’d have had any way of knowing about these songs if it weren’t for I’m On My Way being on the Shrek soundtrack. So I’m guessing it was the constant play on the radio that caught my attention. From there, I had to listen to it all the time and 500 Miles, and Letter from America altogether and I used the Yahoo music video service to watch it. It was never something to depend on but it was great for the purpose at the time. Sometimes the next video was something unrelated, sometimes it was related by sounds-like bands, sometimes it was another song by the same band that you’d already listened to.

One day when I was listening to I’m On My Way, the next track started with a very low voice saying “I’m a grown man, I’m over 21. I’ve got an ugly face but I have a lot of fun”. It wasn’t The Proclaimers, which was made very obvious when the voice cut out, there was a suspended chord for a few seconds to fill the air and then BAM, heavy death metal bursting into my earphones. I still to this day don’t really know what that was about, other than a heavy death metal cover of Don’t Turn Out Like Your Mother.

I didn’t think about it for a while, but I had to Google it eventually because those two lines about being ugly stuck with me. Low and behold, I found The Proclaimer’s did a song with those lyrics.

Recently, thanks to Spotify, I’m able to listen to any and all available songs by The Proclaimers whilst I save up the funds to buy all of their albums. The songs remind me of when I first listened to them, other times I listened to them, special times I listened to them, how I felt, how they cheered me up, where I was and why and how I came to listen to them.

They’re very underrated. They’re very political, which I didn’t even realise until a while ago when I read about it all. But you know what? Come rain or shine, these guys have music for all occasions. They’re perfect for post-midnight blues, too.

I would love to see these guys live. It would be a dream come true. And hopefully saying that won’t jinx them in any way, because the last time I said that about a band, they broke up a week later. (Sorry, The Calling!)

So, thank you, Charlie and Craig for existing and giving us all this amazing music. I may have been too young when you first released your biggest hits, but I’ve been on board for 10 years now. That’s got to count for something!


Communication is the Key

Thursday 20 January, 2011

I’ve been incommunicado recently because i’ve had issue after issue with the internet and my computer and it made me restless. Then it made me think of how we communicate these days.

I know everyone and their dog past the age of 25 says the art of letter writing has died, and it has. If you write to someone, it’s either novelty or desperate necessity. I’ve got penpals of my own that I love writing letters to, but I wouldn’t mind if we changed it for something more instant. Some say it’s therapeutic, some other people say it’s nothing but a task that needs to be done. We all must communicate in some way.

There’s also something very… nice, about letter writing. I think even the grubbiest person could write a letter and it would still be these nice formed letters, even if they’re illegible, on a nice piece of paper, even if it’s crumpled. It all gives the letter character, it’s all giving this letter a piece of the writer. Like an unsigned signature.

How very Sherlock Holmes.

But today, in this day and age, we don’t just have letters and emails and phones to talk on, we have texting and Computer IM programmes, and purpose-made Video IM programmes like Skype. Beepers have come and they’ve gone, they couldn’t stand up to the ever-improving, evolving technology of this modern age. We’re not even satisfied with texts on phones anymore, no! We have IM programmes built into them. Pocket PCs, Netbooks, the iPad (which I personally find to be pointless, but that’s not the point here)!

Communication is important, but is it that important? (Says the writer with a smart phone and an addiction to blogging and twitter)

Phones are now becoming commonly capable of video calls. And talking of calls, Star Trek called, they want their breakthrough technology back.

Is this because we’re impatient? Do we like to be able to contact people whenever and wherever and however we like, or do we need the replies back so quickly? Is it that we just now have so much to say that it can’t wait, otherwise we’ll forget it and miss our Nobel Price moment? Or do we just like the metaphorical sound of our actually absent voices?

What has changed to make us need to microblog, or just regularly blog, or update our facebook, or chat over facebook with our friends on facebook who we’d ideally see and contact otherwise frequently outside facebook, who can see our facebook statuses and wall and our “message me” buttons; instead of sitting down at a desk set, getting out a nice letter set and getting our best pens, thinking over everything we say carefully, calmly? And feeling satisfied that the reader will get this letter eventually, that we will hear from this reader eventually and until then, life can go on, giving us more to write about the next time?

I sit on both sides of these fences, and I don’t know the answers.


We Don’t Need No Education… ?

Saturday 8 January, 2011

It shouldn’t do, but it still surprises me when I realise how much government-funded associations fail as the go-to people in this country.
They want people to eat healthier, but they’ve hiked up the price of the healthier foods in shops, not sure the details behind that though. Wholesale prices have risen, so our local fruit and veg shops also have to hike up their prices, making them no contenders in competition against the super markets.

Unhealthy and more accessible foods remain the cheap alternatives.

They want more people to adopt healthier life styles, but they’ve got rid of most of the easy-access healthy lifestyle schemes throughout the whole country. That means those who were eligible for it, their target audience being the elderly and essentially the poor who can’t be full members of a full-time gym, can no longer take part. Kind of puts everybody back at square one…

Then there’s education. I don’t know what the government think they’re doing with all these academies when nobody wants them, and the ones that are already around have already proved themselves worthless. The education board are looking in to buying every kid a Kindle, so that there bags are lighter, yet they can’t pay for more resources, and some schools can’t even pay for up-to-date textbooks, or enough teachers to cover every subject.
And I remember being twelve. I remember being scared of breaking school property and ruining my text books, yet all the lads in my year flinging their bags around, kicking them under desks, dumping them down in the mud to play football in the rain. The education board thing it’s a good idea giving kids who can’t even keep their uniforms mark-free for a day expensive things like Kindles? Or even worse, iPads?

I’d like to not go into Education Transport because I know it’s not relevant to your average school goer, but it’s something that a lot of people Should know about. It’s important. When I was in school, I was an unfortunate victim of educational transport due to my disability. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part it was ok. Except I couldn’t stay after school for extra curriculum activities, and that’s where many friends are made and interests and hobbies are honed, and then when I got older, I missed most of my GCSE revision lessons due to them being after school and during holidays. It didn’t get so bad until the educational board swapped efficiency for cost-effective. Taxis and small mini-buses were swapped for massive mini-buses. I was late every day to college, I didn’t get back before 5:15 every night, and my social life never improved.

I’ve heard it’s gone even more down hill since then.

It’s obviously a case of the bigwigs at the top, once again, making all the major decisions which affects everybody else but them. They’re not the ones having to depend on the service, but i’m sure if they did it would be vastly improved. I’m sure they’d have something to complain about if they were told they’d just have to deal with being late for an important meeting which could mean the end of their career. I’m sure they wouldn’t like being told that the people behind the service they have no option but to depend on, are doing the best that they can do to assure they’re doing their best and would be surprised to hear anyone depending on the service are at risk of losing their job because they’re always late.

Change meeting and job to exam and any worthwhile education and you have pretty much the average experience of everyone I shared a mini-bus with.

The worst is the state of our libraries. I’m not sure whose behind it, but libraries are in danger because apparently, they’re not keeping up with todays trends. Let me tell you this, it’s not that they’re not keeping up with today’s trends, it’s that their not helping intergrate the latest trends with the old trends of using a library.

My local library has an online catalogue. I’m sure everyone’s local library does. But I can put in any top authors into the database and every search comes out “No results found”. Does this mean that the library doesn’t have any books by these authors, or does it mean that the database hasn’t been kept up-to-date? Your average potential library user probably has more important things to do than go to a library on a chance to see whether or not it has a book that every library should have, and probably chooses to pay out for a certainty at a book shop instead. People need to know there’s a reason they should go there, it’s not enough to say “Hey, we’re a library, you should assume we have what you need.”

I now find it completely pointless to struggle going to the library myself, due to not being able to take the time to find it and look around once i’m in there. There should be a Home Service for “the elderly and infirm”. Not only is this completely marketed to an O.A.P, which I find a little insulting, but also to get such services, you need to go for an assessment appointment at the nearest major library. I have history with said main library, but unfortunately, it’s back where I used to live and nowhere near where I live now.

If this is a service designed for the house-bound, how are they meant to go to a land far, far away to be assessed as eligable for such a service?

It’s a cruel irony. The social services and government is all a cruel irony.

Well, I suppose we are British after all. In some ways, it’s poetic justice. But god, I wish someone would, for one minute, think these things through and actually do something to help instead of creating these loop holes that allows them to refuse their own services to people who it’s targeted at.