A 1950s YouTube video about cricket

Still gummed-up. Just too many things open, I assume.

One particular gummer-upper is leaving YouTube Videos open and paused.

Like this short bit of film (a bit over a quarter of an hour long) done in 1950 by the British Council about cricket and its magically universal, quasi-religious appeal. GodDaughter2’s Dad sent me the link to this many weeks ago, and I started watching, cringed a bit, but then, still determined to force myself to watch it all, in all its post-WW2, pre-Sixties non-glory, I kept the thing paused and open, until now.

In 1950 everyone English loved cricket, and assembled in suits at Lord’s to watch or, if they were a member of the miserable majority for whom that was impossible, no matter. All civilised or would-be civilised people, everywhere on earth, could listen to the cricket on the radio, thanks to John Arlott and his posh colleagues. Arlott himself spoke a bit un-posh, which meant that everyone could love cricket. Although of course, you were, then, ideally English-posh, you didn’t have to be English-posh. You merely had to aspire to that happy state, and who on earth, in 1950, did not do that? Then? Nobody. Look, even people in turbans could play or attend to cricket, no matter what their colour or their creed, or how amusingly and wrongly they spoke English, i.e. in the opposite way to the way other-narrator (besides Arlott) Ralph Richardson spoke English. You could be an Or-stralian, non-posh, even non-white and non-Christian and talk English like a music hall joke character covered in black make-up, and still be part of cricket. Cricket was ultra-inclusive.

There follow a string of comments to the effect that the world is crap now compared to what it was in the 1950s. (I dissent. For starters, I can now have a blog. Nobody could have a blog in 1950. Also, I enjoy T20 cricket as well as the day-after-day-after-day version of cricket which was all they had back in 1950.)

It all makes a fascinating contrast to the equivalent efforts now being made to make cricket really, properly inclusive, in the form of pieces of writings like this, by ESPN’s Daniel Brettig, about all the micro-aggressions that non-white cricket people still have to put up with these days, but really, really should not have to.

Why I now focus on American politics rather that British politics

If, when I choose to bang on about politics here, I further choose to bang on about the USA’s presidential election now, rather than about British political matters now, well, that’s because there’s so much more at stake over there just now. Here in Britain, our Corbyn moment came, and went. Corbyn threatened to turn us into Venezuela, but then we voters sent him packing. Would a Starmerian Labour British government be that much more of a disaster than how the Boris Johnson regime is turning out? Hardly. So here, we’re now back to a world where they’re all as bad as each other, approximately speaking. I would still prefer Labour to lose every forthcoming election ever, but Labour in their current state, winning? I could live with that, as could many others of my inclination.

But in the USA everything is still to play for, for as long as the Democrats remain in thrall to their lunatic fringe of Woke-fascist wreckers of everything civilised. I have long hoped, and am actually now starting very tentatively to even think, that Kamala/Biden will get such a thrashing in the election now under way that the Democrats may then decide to mend their ways, much as Starmer is now mending the ways of Labour. But it has to be a thrashing. A modified dead heat like last time won’t suffice. A lot of normals must change their minds in a way that the Democrats won’t be able to ignore. That happened in the recent election in Britain, and it changed everything.

The above paragraphs began life as the intro to something more specific about the US elections, but that didn’t work out. Also, I am off to the laundrette. More later, I hope.

Meanwhile, I did enjoy this.

The rise of global political parties?

I see that Brazil’s President Bolsonoro has been having a go at what Joe Biden said in the US Presidential debate, about Brazil and its rain forests and what he, Joe Biden, was going to do about them.

I am antique enough to remember when only Bolsheviks would plunge into what were then called “the internal affairs” of foreign countries. I suppose the EU was a big old exception to that rule, but that was only in a rather abstract and windy sort of way. Trouble is, modern communications, and I don’t just mean the internet although that is certainly part of this story, make such self-control ever more impossible. Thanks to the electric telegraph, and now its big bully of an offspring, the internet, it is the work of a moment to become acquainted with an argument in a far away country, and now, no matter who you are, you can join in. So, the idea that nobody should is doomed. Gonna happen. Just pick up a phone and start mouthing off to some foreign journo, and if you’re anyone at all big in the cheese department, they print it, or something related to it. Or, just say something about a foreign country shindig in one of your public performances, and those foreigners will maybe pick up on it anyway. Now, just sit down at your keyboard and bang away.

Communists, as I say, have been doing this ever since they got started in the middle of the century before last, during the first few years after the electric telegraph got started (Samuel Morse – 1844). Said the communists, contemplating this latest technological wonder: Workers (which was almost everyone in those days) of the World Unite! And from them on, whether in office or merely trying to be powerful, in public, in private and in the strictest secrecy, they interfered as much as they could in the internal affairs of other countries and they gloried in it. I mean, that was the whole idea.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, however, the world did not abandon nationalism. Quite the reverse. As it turned out, the most important customers of those international electric telegraphs were newspapers, who were printing strictly national versions of world events to suit their strictly national readerships, and businessmen, who didn’t much care and who just want to get rich.

So, towards the end of the twentieth century, most politicians were still going through the motions of not being too public in their disagreements or (perhaps more interestingly) their agreements with politicians in faraway countries. Who the people of The Republic of Elsewhere choose as their leaders is a matter for them, and we will work amicably with whoever they choose, for the greater good of mankind. Blah blah. In private it got more heated, but in public that was the etiquette to be followed, and it mostly was.

Maybe it’s only my personal proximity speaking now, but I’d say that the Reagan Thatcher moment was when this hands-off-the-foreigners rule started being seriously put to one side. Those two made no secret of the fact that the warmth of their connection was not just based on him being President of the USA and her being PM of the UK, special relationship, blah blah. No, they downright agreed with each other, and by clear implication, wanted each other to win all their various elections, against other locals, with whom they clearly disagreed. It helped that all this happened within the Anglosphere.

More recently, I recall President Obama making it very clear who and what he wanted to win the British EU referendum. He was told my many of those who did not share his opinion not to interfere in our internal affairs, but given that he wanted to interfere, there was nothing and nobody to stop him.

Now even the Nationalists are at it, forming what is quite clearly a sort of global National International. Trump and Trumpists everywhere (think Nigel Farage) are starting to show up on the same platforms and to be more than usually friendly towards each other. Trump fights for his corner, which is the USA. And he expects other political leaders to do the same for their countries and to be equally upfront about that. And he wishes them well in their elections, against other politicians who have different tastes in such matters.

Trump has also been sceptical about climate change, as has Bolsonaro, which is all part of why, thanks to all those electric telegraphs, the American Left now hates Bolsonaro with a passion and can spend its entire day hating him, should it be inclined. So, Biden having a go at Brazil is popular with a lot of the people whom he wants to be voting for him. And Bolsonaro makes a similar calculation and hits back at Biden.

There’s lots more I could say about all this, as I often like to say when I am about to stop, but one thing worth emphasising is that the old arrangement – keeping one’s hands off of the other fellow’s back yard and him doing the same – was an unstable equilibrium. It worked if everyone did that, near enough. But once any big time politician breaks from this cosy arrangement, the pressure on the others to follow suit is irresistible.

Signs for Trump that passed my LOL test

Found this here:

I don’t know if it’s real or merely computerised. My first guess was the latter, but if so it’s very well done. Either way, this passed the LOL test with me. I really did LOL when I saw it.

This one is definitely a computerised contrivance, but once again, I really did LOL:

This may be a bit out of date. Now that the Dems are starting to fear that the riots are hurting them and helping Trump, they are starting also to disapprove of the riots.

Am I the only Brit finding American politics massively more diverting than British politics just now?

I think it’s because we just saw off Corbyn and Corbynism, for the time being anyway, and as far as Corbynism being in official charge of things is concerned, whereas in America they haven’t yet had their vote on the same approximate subject, but very soon will. This means that the contrast between what is now at stake here and what is now at stake there is far greater even than it usually is.

I think that Trump will beat Biden by a thermonuclear landslide, but that could merely be because I hope that Trump will beat Biden by a thermonuclear landslide.

This taxi-with-advert couldn’t be cropped down to 1000×500

1000×500 is usually the size I crop taxis-with-adverts down to, for display here. Or to put it another way, first I chop them down into a big 2×1-shaped horizontal rectangle, and then reduce that down from whatever it was to 1000×500.

But I couldn’t do that to this taxi-with-advert, now could I?:

I may do so eventually, if and when this taxi-with-advert takes its place with another big gallery of taxis-with-adverts. But in the meantime …

This photo was photoed in January of 2014, hence the absence of 22 Bishopsgate, the Biggest Thing in the City of London Big Thing Cluster, yet despite that, so boring that it is still seems to be known, if known at all, as “22 Bishopsgate”.

The far less boring Scalpel was also yet to be built.

Wet riser inlet

While I’m on the subject of One Blackfriars, as I was last night, here is a rather charming piece of urban sculpture to be seen outside its front door, photoed earlier on the day I photoed the photo in the previous posting:

I’ve heard this expression but never understood what it was about. Having read this, I now understand it a bit better:

Wet risers are used to supply water within buildings for firefighting purposes. The provision of a built-in water distribution system means that firefighters do not need to create their own distribution system in order to fight a fire and avoids the breaching of fire compartments by running hose lines between them.

Wet risers are permanently charged with water. This is as opposed to dry risers which do not contain water when they are not being used, but are charged with water by fire service pumping appliances when necessary.

Part B of the building regulations (Fire Safety) requires that fire mains are provided in all buildings that are more than 18 m tall. In buildings less than 50 m tall, either a wet riser or dry riser fire main can be provided. However, where a building extends to more than 50 m above the rescue service vehicle accesslevel, wet risers are necessary as the pumping pressure required to charge the riser is higher than can be provided by a fire service appliance, and to ensure an immediate supply of water is available at high level.

Blog and learn.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

NFL photoer photos The City Cluster (plus video of a stadium roof opening)

I do like an interesting hat, when I photo a photoer:

And I admire this photoer’s choice of subject matter. The Scalpel was looking especially fine, its angle catching what was left of the setting sunlight. We’re at the top of the Tate Modern Extension, by the way. A favourite spot of mine.

But, going back to that hat. What does it say on it? P……..S? Philadelphia Eagles? Pittsburgh Steelers? A bit long, but conceivably one of those.

Hang on, I wonder if I photoed any more photos of that same photoer, which might shed light on the matter.

Yes:

I hope a robot couldn’t identify this guy from that photo, what with it being so blurry, although I dare say his loved ones could. But, anyway, what that says is that the hat goes P….OTS. And we have our answer. He is a supporter of the New England Patriots.

And no wonder he is proud to be sporting this celebratory headgear. The Patriots are due to contest Super Bowl “LIII” (53), against the Los Angeles Rams, this coming Sunday, which I will be watching on my TV. Here is a Daily Telegraph report about that.

The game will be played in Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, of which, the Telegraph says:

That jagged-looking roof opens and closes in a very pleasing way:

The “:” is there because there then follows video of this pleasing effect (that being it on YouTube). I greatly enjoyed this.

Blog and learn.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Recovering with McFarlane

I am now (a) recovering from last night’s meeting, (b) feeling pleased that my recording of it came out quite good, and (c) I am now watching a video of Alan McFarlane talking about the Anglosphere.. As I concoct this posting, I can hear McFarlane talking. Which works well, because the visuals made his early points, but not later ones. This is the first time I have seen him in action, seen what he looks like.

(c), and things like (c) is/are the reason/s why I joined Twitter. If you are on Twitter, but all it does is communicate to you a world of screaming idiots, you are not, unless a world of screaming idiots is what you want, doing Twitter right.

There is lots of extraneous noise in the Alan McFarlane video. There is far less on the recording I made last night. But all that matters, in each case, is what is being said. If what you are being told is good then you can tolerate any amount of extraneous aural clutter. If it is not good, then audio-perfection makes no difference.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Le Corbusier gets Dalrympled

Instapundit’s Ed Driscoll quotes two early paragraphs of a review by Theodore Dalrymple of a book about Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, aka Le Corbusier. I like these paragraphs, from near the end:

Jeanneret’s pronouncements, and the belief in them, led to the construction of a thousand urban hells, worse in some ways than traditional slums because they were planned and because they were specifically designed to eliminate spontaneous and undirected human contact or social life. Jeanneret hated what he called derisively the street, because the street was messy, it was unofficial and unofficiated. He hated it as an obsessively house-proud woman hates dust.

But the puzzle remains: How was such a man able to obtain and retain such a hold over other men’s minds, or at least over important men’s minds? I have no complete answer, though I suspect that the First World War had much to do with it. Without that cataclysm, Jeanneret would have been a crank, or a mere antisocial misfit; but so great was the emotional and intellectual dislocation understandably brought about by the war that almost anything seemed worthy of notice or consideration afterwards, anything that was different from what went before. And so Jeanneret had his chance.

As regulars here will know, I absolutely do not share Dalrymple’s hatred of all architectural modernism. And I even like some of Le Corubusier’s buildings, the more quirky and individual ones, although I am sure not having to live or work in them helps a lot. But what happened to the world at the hands of the architects, and in particular the city planners, who were influenced by Le Corbusier was appalling.

The book that Dalrymple was reviewing is cripplingly expensive, but I might just buy it anyway, on a kind of “vote with my wallet” basis.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog