Monday, July 30, 2007


The Spot The Difference post has been mothballed until later in the week. Mind you, it's been the subject of cruel indifference from my dwindling readership ... thanks for the lone comment anyway Billy.

However, I have to acknowledge the three deaths that have occurred over the last couple of days, which will probably be acknowledged by loads of other bloggers with more style and decorum.

Rest in peace Ingmar Bergman, who was the fucking business. Which filmmaker is going to throw light onto the human condition now? Spike Jonze? Yeah, right.

Rest in peace Frank Butcher from Eastenders (aka Mike Reid of Runaraaaaaahhnd fame). I'm not really familiar with Frank/Mike's oeuvre, but I know he was the master of the gimlet eyed, thin lipped smile which you only ever see on men from London (preferably accompanied by hairy forearms and a large expensive watch).

Rest in peace Phil Drabble, Midlands naturalist (that's NATURALIST) who I remember from my childhood as being a frequent guest on Midlands Today, usually accompanied by his pointer Bessie (um Bessie was a dog). Phil grew up in Bloxwich, which means he may have remembered the Bloxwich to Walsall trolley buses.

The world is a darker place tonight:(

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I had hoped that the Mike Reid who had rolled a seven was that plastic former DJ dickhead who keeps banging on about Wilfred Owen, or someone like that. I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky.
I didn't know Phil Drabble was a Blocco boy? He was a good egg.
As for Ingmar, I agree entirely. Was his The Old Man and the Sea film adaptation? Rarely does the film ever come close to the book. I've been trying to get a copy of that film for years.
Loved One Man and his Dog, Friday night, BBC2, curled up on the sofa with my Mum and little brother. Loved the bit at the end where they had to pen the sheep.
Another of those moments where the world seems to lose a tiny bit of charm, and Bergman class, and Runarowwwwnd Nowwwa!
But I was out of town on your last Spot The Difference post!

*scrambles for excuse*

*shoves Billy for being the teacher's pet*
omg, ingmar bergman?
I saw The Serpents' Egg when it first came out and it made a mark on me that i still carry. He knew where all those secret places were and what was in them.
Jesus Christ I can't believe he's gone. I am honestly tripping.
Phil Drabble was the Dog's Bloxwich!

Mike Read ... 'ave summuv aaaat!!!!

Ingmar Bergman - always though she was an actress.

*Get's lab coat*
Berman, Butcher & Drabble would have made a fine title for an accountancy firm.

Perhaps the pivotal defining moment for Bergman was the devastating humiliation that he felt at the hand of the Swedish Government which charged him with Tax Evasion in 1976. He was hospitalized for depression.

If only Bergman, Butcher & Drabble had taken better care of his affairs, a lot of grief could have been spared.

I recently contacted B,B&D and inquired about Sweden's notoriously exorbitant taxation rates and they were kind enough to send me the following summary:

A major tax reform in 1991 significantly lowered the top marginal tax rate to encourage growth in Sweden.
The top rate had peaked at 87% in 1979 and then gradually dropped to 65% by 1990 before being cut to 51% in 1991 however subsequent tax increases have since pushed the rate to about 57.6%.

87% in 1979!
Bergman remained exiled in Munich until 1982.
Coinky Dink? I think not!
I came over having though of an extremely witty and slanderous comment re the mj pic and 'spot the difference'.

I read that Mike Reid went down before. But that was for armed robbery. Typical for the cast of East Enders.
Reg - when I heard that Mike Reid had died, I too thought it was the DJ, and assumed that he'd been stoned to death by someone who doesn't like pompous self promoting egomaniacs.

There's a version of The Old Man And The Sea that was directed by John Sturges - is that the one you're referring to? Details at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052027

BBB - apparently the BBC planned to scrap One Man And His Dog because it was considered to be outdated, but there was such a big protest from viewers that they had to bring it back. An example of people in television assuming that everybody else is only interested in what's er, "modern" and "cutting edge" like they are. Sometimes people want respite from all of that stuff!

MJ - the next round of the Spot The Difference competition will be along soon, and you may have a special interest in it.

*says no more, in order to build audience anticipation*

First Nations - he was one of a kind, wasn't he? I was watching a documentary about him a couple of weeks ago where he was being interviewed on the island he'd retired to in his mid '80's, and I just assumed that he was one of those people who would live forever ... which would have been a good thing!

Murph - Phil Drabble later moved to Abbot's Bromley, which is rather posh (well, by the standards of my hometown a few miles up the road). My mother used to work in a girls school there as a maid (not a lot of people know that. Come to think of it, not a lot of people are interested in knowing that).

Ingmar Bergman's final wife was called Ingrid, confusingly enough. It wasn't the same one.

HE - phew! I found out about Ingmar Bergman's exile at an early age. Not because I was watching the likes of Persona when I was twelve, it's just that it was mentioned in Harry Edgington's Abba biography! He wasn't especially enthusiastic about Swedish tax rates and how they applied to Abba either. Mind you, they don't seem to have suffered much financially, do they?

Kaz - the Spot The Difference competition will be along soon: slanderous comments welcome, the more the merrier (not that I'm needy or anything but ... ONE COMMENT! Sob!).

I'm not surprised that Mike Reid went daaaahhn. I bet he was up to no good living in Spain, probably hanging out with the likes of Ronnie Knight or other friends of Barbara Windsor (er, just joking. I'm sure he was a man of fine character).
I'm pleased you used a different Mike Reid picture to me.
And now Michelangelo Antonioni has croaked. Will root out my grotty VHS copy of Blow-Up and gasp at the notion that Jeff Beck was once cool.

Word verification: "lhrkzgu". The Kurdish word for 'lurk'.
Billy - the picture you used isn't appropriate for this site, which has a huge family audience (well ... not really).

Tim - Antonioni as well! This is unprecedented! Well, apart from the time that Frankie Howerd died the day after Benny Hill. He originally wanted Hermann's Hermits to be in Blow Up, y'know. Or was it The Tremeloes?
I thought it was the Pretty Things. But it might just be one of those cinema myths.
Tim - I may have been economical with the truth. There are rumours that Antonioni wanted The Who or The Pretty Things to be in the film, but I like the idea of Herman's Hermits performing I'm Henry The Eighth I am while smashing up their guitars.
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