Also, the trajectory of the story is never obvious, as in the latest new Scandi-noir on Channel 4’s Walter Presents, Valkyrien.
Valkyrien (C4, Sunday) is the hot new Scandi-noir series, which is being billed as Norway’s answer to Breaking Bad. In this case, the anti-hero having his mid-life crisis is a brilliant surgeon called Ravn (Sven Nordin). He has become disenchanted with The System because the fancy hospital where he works won’t let him use the potentially life-saving treatment he has devised on his dying wife. (It might kill her, they say — which Ravn, quite understandably, considers a ridiculous, faux-ethical excuse.) So off he goes to sulk in his Batcave — a disused nuclear bomb shelter, accessible via an underground station — for what will no doubt be a series of clandestine medical adventures, using equipment he has nicked from his old lab.
Ravn’s Jesse-style sidekick Leif (Pal Sverre Hagen) works for Norway’s civil defence unit — risk-assessing all the things that might bring the world to an end. It’s the perfect job because. . . .
(Scott’s wife, Catherine McKenna, is the Eco Barbie currently serving under Prime Minister Justin Bieber as Canada’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by the lameness of the politics…)
And here’s another, from a pubescent left-wing activist and BBC regular called Owen Jones, which ought to bring up whatever there is left of your breakfast.
And here – dry heave, now, I fear – is a particularly smug and noisome offering from the deputy editor of what used to be a men’s style magazine, Esquire.
Did you see what they all just did there? Well, let me explain, with reference to a rather strange trip I took about 25 years ago, to Europe’s last (and worst) Communist tyranny, Albania.
The country had just opened up to the West after four decades of abject poverty and misery, most of them under the tyrannical Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha. Albania was a prison state akin to North Korea. People who tried to escape were shot; food was meager; the cities were polluted and uglified with dreary communist architecture; everyone looked gray and miserable; freedom of speech was, of course, forbidden: there were spies everywhere and political prisoners ended up in jail or worse…
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which follows the ex-VP’s continuing attempts to raise awareness of global warming, made $900,000 across 180 screens on the weekend of August 4-6, according to Box Office Mojo.
But the original made $1,356,387 across just 77 screens at the same point in its run in 2006, leaving Paramount’s confidence in the movie’s appeal looking misplaced.
David Cameron was in the news again this week after being paid £1 million a minute to give a speech explaining why Brexit was a terrible mistake at the annual Gay Stranglers’ Guild gala dinner at a brutal dictatorship in central Asia, before spending a week cruising the Baltic on the yacht of Putin’s second-favourite oligarch with the prettiest members of the Russian men’s lacrosse team.
No, wait. My bad. Had he done that, as we know from similar cases, he would have got off scot-free. Instead, the ex-PM did something far, far worse in the eyes of our ever watchful media: he was photographed enjoying himself at a Cotswolds pop festival with a glass of booze in one hand and a fag in the other.
The press launched themselves on Dave with all the ravenous glee of those evil- parasitic sea fleas that gnawed the leg of the Australian boy who went paddling in the sea off Melbourne and turned it into a jellied pulp (just Google it — but only once you’ve had your breakfast). That’s because, get this, our Dave hadn’t just been caught out-rageously letting his hair down at Wilderness Festival; he’d been photographed talking to a woman wearing a sequined jacket with a neon pink heart embroidered with the word ‘Corbyn’. Oh the hilarity!
According to the Independent (an online freesheet) it was Just. About. The. Most. Embarrassing. Thing. Ever. It quoted the jacket’s owner, Lucy Edwards, as saying: ‘He was so mad when he saw me walk off with what was on my back.’ Which I’m sure was exactly what Cameron thought — he wasn’t just being polite to a pushy stranger at a festival or anything.
“Scientists behind a bombshell new report revealing global warming to be worse than ever are now worried that the Trump administration may try to change or suppress it because it contradicts the president’s denialist agenda.”
Or so the New York Times has claimed. And also, in its wake, papers including the London Evening Standard and the Guardian.
This is worse than mere #fakenews.
This is #fakenews with icing and cherries on top, rings on its fingers, bells on its toes, a specially commissioned foreword by Al Gore and a rave review (“I love these lies. I could not have written better ones myself”) written from hell by the tormented shade of Josef Goebbels.
No, actually, it might even be worse than that.
First, the New York Times initially claimed — before being embarrassed by the Daily Caller into a retraction— that this draft report from a National Climate Assessment by scientists from 13 federal agencies had “not yet been made public.”
Nope. As even some of the scientists who had contributed to it had to admit, draft versions of this report had been available on the internet for months.
Think before you give Lucky and Tiger another mouthful! They may look cute and affectionate, your dog and your cat, but at heart, they are ravening planet-destroying creatures whose insatiable appetite for meat and deadly feces threatens to kill us all with deadly global warming.
According to the study, by geography professor Gregory S. Okin, the 163 million cats and dogs in the U.S. alone eat so much meat that if they were a country they would be the fifth largest meat consumer after Russia, Brazil, the U.S., and China.
Also, they produce 5.1 million tons of feces — the same as is produced by 90 million human Americans.
Indeed, 25 to 30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the United States is created by cats and dogs.
Their carbon footprint — about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide each year — allegedly has the same “climate impact as a year’s worth of driving from 13.6 million cars.”
A top EPA official has resigned, supposedly in protest at the direction the Agency has taken under President Trump.
Or — as we climate realists prefer to put it — #winning.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland had worked at the EPA for thirty years. But on Tuesday she resigned from her post as director of science and technology in the Office of Water, claiming “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”
Just what incredibly good news Southerland’s departure is can be best be appreciated by reading her farewell letter.
It’s supposed to be her Parthian shot — a damning indictment of the decline of a once-great institution under the wicked Donald Trump and his sinister henchman, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
But, actually, it tells you rather more about the weird, reality-denying mindset which prevails among the inhabitants of the swamp which Trump is busily trying to drain.
Its documentary Daughters of Destiny, about a remarkable free school for India’s untouchables, doesn’t steer you to any conclusions but lets you think for yourself.
All this week I have been trying, with considerable success, to avoid being bludgeoned by TV programmes telling me in various sensitive and imaginative ways just how brilliant, heroic and historically maligned homosexual men are. I achieved this by sticking to Netflix.
One of the great things about Netflix (whose annual subscription costs just half the BBC licence fee, by the way) is that though it’s probably run by lefties it doesn’t try to ram its politics down your throat. Maybe this is one reason why its 100 million-plus subscribers are so much less resentful than BBC viewers: they’re being offered choice, variety, entertainment — not worthiness, race, gender quotas and compulsory indoctrination.
This week Netflix helped me catch up — under Girl’s instruction — with an addictively trashy series from 2012 about spoilt rich kids in New York called Gossip Girl; and also with a gripping documentary series — Captive — about how horrible it is being taken hostage. Best of all, though, was Daughters of Destiny — a four-part series telling the delightful true story of the Shanti Bhavan school in India’s Tamil Nadu province.
I guess congratulations are in order for Nolan managing to unite high-brow male critics and very annoying people on Twitter under a common bromance, but to me, Dunkirk felt like an excuse for men to celebrate maleness—which apparently they don’t get to do enough.
Yes. Can confirm; saw the movie at the weekend: the film really does celebrate maleness.
It celebrates the kind of maleness which – contra Marie Claire‘s movie critic Mehera Bonner – we hear all too little of these days in this feminised, unpatriotic, self-hating age when papers like the Guardian think the time is now ripe to publish essays like this:
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has been caught red handed erasing record-breaking cold temperatures from its data records.
The BOM has now been shamed by media investigations into ordering a review of its procedures. But it has yet to provide an explanation as to why it made these “adjustments” in the first place.
These “adjustments” seem to go only one way. The BOM is perfectly happy to record and announce it whenever Australia’s temperatures hit record-breaking highs. But when the temperatures reach new lows it’s a different matter altogether.
For some strange reason that the BOM has been unable to explain, when temperatures go below a certain point it either deletes them as if they had never been – or it enters them into its records at higher temperature than the one actually recorded by its thermometers.