One of the things I’m tired of hearing about George Floyd is when people keep bringing up the fact that he had a criminal record. As if that, in some way, makes his death acceptable. That the fact that he was once in prison makes it okay that a police officer put his knee on George’s kneck for almost 8 minutes. Why does it matter who George was or what he was doing at the time? Nothing should be able to justify the death of a man regardless of what they’ve done. And what about all of those white men who were arrested for mass shootings? How many of them are still alive in prison despite murdering people? I mean Nikolas Cruz shot 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018. He was arrested “without incident”. Without incident? All George Floyd was arrested for was allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note. Allegedly. And he was killed. A 19-year-old white kid shot 17 other kids and was arrested “without incident”. And people still don’t think systemic racism exists? It’s bullshit.
One important thing to think about at times of civil unrest is how to explain the situation to young people. Parents need to find a way to make sure their children understand why people are angry and how we have reached this point. It’s all very well and good doing anti-racist reading for myself but what about anti-racist reading lists for children? How can you possibly help a child come to terms with the idea of systemic racism and how it explains the death of innocent people? You don’t want to traumatise them or make them too fearful of society. However, you need to understand that people are protesting for good reasons. That the violence of the Black Lives Matter movement is different from the violence performed by police officers. So, I decided to check out some fiction intended for a younger audience. Just to see what’s out there.
In December 2019, I listened to an episode of Mark Kermode’s podcast where he was talking to Lesley Manville and Edgar Wright. I’ll admit, I was mostly listening because of Edgar Wright but I’ll never be upset to hear from Lesley Manville. She’s an amazing actor and generally just seems wonderful. She was talking about the release of her new film and it sounded amazing. Terribly sad, obviously, but amazing. In her interview, Mandville told Mark Kermode that the film embraced the humour within the story and brought the humanity to the fore. I never got around to watching it when it came out but I was always interested in seeing it. It’s probably not the most uplifting thing to be watching during the Coronavirus pandemic but Lesley Manville promised that it wouldn’t be all doom and gloom. I feel like I can trust her.
I’m an avid listener of Adam Buxton’s podcast and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of his new book. He’s been banging on about how hard it’s been to write for ages, so I was worried that we’d have another George RR Martin on our hands. But he did it. The book was finished and it started appearing on book sites. Obviously, I’ve preordered a signed hardback of the book for when it’s released in August but, thankfully, Adam Buxton is a really nice man. He decided to produce the audiobook version himself so we all had something to listen to in quarantine. I used my Audible credit to preorder the audiobook and waited for its release. It took me a while to get through it because I started it on a bit of a whim. I couldn’t sleep one night and decided the only thing that would calm me down was listening to something. Then I had to finish the other books that I was reading before I carried on. But I got there eventually and, thanks to a bit of desperate listening this week, I finished it in time to review.
I’m never one to turn down a cheap deal on an audiobook. Especially one that I can finish in under 2 hours. It always helps to have a few super short books on hand just in case I need to get a review out in time. I’m not doing awfully well with my current book so I definitely needed something to fill this post. Thankfully, Audible had me covered with their half-price sale. I bought a few bargains and pre-ordered Adam Buxton’s upcoming book. I never really count audiobooks in my book buying ban but I probably should. I never buy them at full price but I guess it should be included in my book haul. But that’s beside the point right now. I listened to this book before I went to bed yesterday. I kind of regretted it because it’s never a good idea to come face-to-face with mortality just before you turn the light out. Still, I’d wanted to read it for a long time and being able to do so while lying back and doing nothing was even better.
It’s Friday and I’m only just posting my TBT review. This can only mean one thing. I’m massively behind schedule. I had an impromptu night with my sisters on Thursday and didn’t have the energy to write anything last night. So, I’m here on Friday night with midnight fast approaching trying to get myself to finish this damn review. And I’ll do it, goddamit, if it’s the last thing I do. Because this week’s film is a genuinely good film for a change. After watching Jacob Tremblay in Good Boys there was really only one film that I could watch. Okay, there were two films but I have weird memories of watching Superbad for the first time that I don’t need to think about right now. So, instead, I went back to Room. The film that saw Brie Larson become an Oscar winner before Captain Marvel saw her become hated by Marvel fanboys all over the world. It also introduced the world to the adorable Tremblay and put him in a tiny suit at the Oscars. More than deserving of a rewatch.
Are you getting bored of these Endgame related posts yet? Don’t worry, we’re in the endgame now. I’ve posted my almost impossible to write spoiler-free review on Tuesday and my spoiler-filled musings on Thursday, so what could possibly be left? Well, I wanted to do a quick shout-out to some of favourite small moments in this film. It was so full of great callbacks and blink and you’ll miss them moments. It was a film for the fans and it paid us much service for our 11 years of loyalty. Of course, I had to stop at some point otherwise I’d just have listed everything that happened in the entire film. And neither you nor I have the time to do that. I managed to narrow it down to 12, which I think is a manageable chunk, right? These aren’t really in any particular order because who can pick between them. Also, feel free to let me know what your favourite moments in the film was. Did I miss any great ones? Probably. I spent most of the battle trying to catch a glimpse of Dr Strange. I’ve missed him. I wanted more of him and his face. But I always want more of him and his face. Anyway, on with the list.
On Tuesday I posted my spoiler free review of Avengers Endgame. I wanted to make sure that anyone silly enough to come to my blog before they watched the film wouldn’t see anything that ruined any aspect of that film for them. But, I also have a lot of feelings and ideas about it. So, just like I did with Infinity War last year, I’m also posting my spoiler-filled post about the film. Last year I did a separate post from my TBT but I wanted to dedicate most of this week to this film. It feels that important. Plus, what film is good enough to pair with such a meaningful film? And, I want to do a final post on Friday without getting too post heavy this week. So, I hope you’ll forgive me this once.
Let me tell you a story about social media: it sucks. Last year, before I’d managed to see Infinity War a person I used to follow on Instagram gave out a massive spoiler to the film. It was a girl who thought she was being really discrete. She said something like, “I don’t want to spoil anything but I just think it’s so sad that after just after he gets his life together he dies”. Her exact wording made it super obvious that she was talking about Loki and that he died very early on in the film. Now, I’d already guessed this was going to happen but to have it confirmed by someone who didn’t think she was making it obvious bugged me. I promptly unfollowed her and anyone else who even mentioned the film. What is the matter with people? I get that we aren’t going to stop people talking about having seen the film but why go into any details? I even feel like all the people who have talked about being devastated are giving too much away. I’m planning to write a specific post about it later so I’ll stop ranting. But because of last year, I knew that I wanted to see Endgame as quickly as possible. I couldn’t risk anyone ruining this for me. It was going to be the movie event of the year. The culmination of 11 years of fandom. The culmination of 22 films. It was the end of an era and I wasn’t ready for it to be over. But I couldn’t wait to see it.
I think it’s safe to say I got into the spirit of Remembrance Day this year. I mean it’s been 100 years since the guns stopped during the Great War. A war in which millions of young men from all over the world lost their lives fighting for freedom. For the freedom we now have to ignore their sacrifice apparently. Now I know we live in a superficial age where mentioning things on social media isn’t necessarily considered the greatest tribute but it’s still a social platform on which you can express yourself. Yet, I spent the day dismayed by the apparent apathy of the people I follow on Instagram. I decided, as I do every year, to post a simple shot of a poppy with my Penguin Little Black Classics collection of Wilfred Owen poetry. Now, the algorithm hasn’t been kind to me in general lately but that post did worse than normal. And, in general you can rely on Penguin books to do well. To put it into perspective, after that had been up for 11 hours it had 44 likes. I then posted a fairly crappy picture of my fireplace, which got 49 likes in 4 hours. What the fuck is up with people’s priorities? So, you could say I’d already had enough of humanity by the time Peter Jackson’s documentary aired on BBC2. At least it meant that I was extra prepared for a very emotional experience.