Monthly Archives: June 2012

Take her away to naughty school for a 1000 years

Granted it was very early in the morning, and perhaps the middle aged lady was not quite fully awake when she began to plaster on her make up whilst 20 or so sleepy travelers sat watching the transformation.  We had brushes, mirrors, lip stick, mascara, foundation all applied as if we were not there.

I’ve been around long enough to know that the idea of make up is to hide the natural ageing process by applying lotions and potions, thereby creating a vista of youthful enthusiasm and vigour.  In principle of course there is nothing wrong with make up – if the barn door needs painting, then paint it.   However, clearly the target audience is people she will be meeting today, so what then does that make me.  Am I an inferior type of person because she is disinterested in my seeing her as it were not only under construction, but in natural form too.  I can’t quite get my head around the idea that she will apply make up for making a good impression, whilst ignoring the fact that in so doing she is making a poor impression.  Do it privately please.

I didn’t really mind, except that awful powdery stuff was splashed around.  I could smell it wafting up my nasal cavity – unpleasant.  Just don’t get me started on nail varnish on trains, the pungent smell of solvent applied indiscriminately.  In my dreams I stand up and explain that solvents are carcinogenic, and I have with me a heath and safety policeman who will take her away to naughty school for a thousand years.

My photo’s for this post are of Egyptian dudes, carved some 3400 years ago.  They reside in an amazing Egyptian museum in Turin, Italy.

The bus conductor had a Sigourney Weaver glint in her eye

How could I forget the spellbinding tension back in 1979 when I sat in the Empire cinema in Middlesborough watching H.R Giger’s monstrous creature come to life before my eyes.  Or to be more correct, not actually appear before my eyes, as tension was magnified, by the sheer swiftness and stealth of the terrifying predator that I don’t think you actually saw it in it’s entirety once.

Do you remember the egg scene in that huge empty space ship – terrifying! Then the bit fairly early on where the guy gets grabbed from above amidst pipes and water, Alien scoops him up to a horrible end.  Most scary for me as an innocent 17 year old was the sheer craftiness of the beast, wedded to it’s ingenuity, intelligence and appetite for staying alive.  Alien the great survivor.

I was so scared, that I went home with a nervous cough.  Filled with fortitude the next day I returned to watch it again – this time nice and objective.  Nope, it dragged me back in with that compounding tension until at 11 pm Alien vomited me out, a quivering wreck to walk home down those dark alleys and wet streets.  Middlesborough had turned into Nostromo, the bus conductor had a Sigourney Weaver glint in her eye, and I was never the same again.

This weekend see’s the prequel of Alien, or apparently the prequel to the prequel.  My daughter who is almost seventeen is at the midnight launch, tonight as I write.  A whole Alien generation has been messmerised by the genre.  It seems, we are fascinated by the idea of malignant evil, personified in a person / creature – Alien.  Maybe it’s just harmless fun, like a rollercoaster, only with our emotions.  Or maybe more sinister the genre evokes a God given fear of unrepentant evil.

I’m so glad that God is at work on planet Earth, that’s why evil atrocities such as those we are seeing in Syria stand out, because rampant evil is exceptional, purely, I suggest because of the presence of God on earth.  Civil war is horrifying because it’s exceptional not the norm, and that is because of the presence of goodness on earth, in neighbours, friends and loved ones, just people being generous with one another suggests a sense of God, certainly the antithesis of a sense of malignant evil.

Whatever, it’s still out there, no one can here you scream and I’m going to watch it Saturday with John Miller.