This week, America’s west coast experienced two major developments in the ongoing fight for same-sex marriage. In Olympia yesterday, lawmakers voted to make Washington the seventh state to allow gay marriage, with the governor likely to sign the bill into law at some stage next week.
In California on Tuesday, a federal court ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional thus effectively paving the way for the gay marriage case to move to the Supreme Court.
Ted Olson and David Boies are the two plaintiffs attorneys who fought in the case Perry v Schwarzenegger. Although now firm friends, the ultra-conservative Olson and the liberal Boies were once famous opponents in the legal battle to decide whether Al Gore or George W. Bush would become the next President of the United States in 2000. The two became friends after Olson’s wife Barbara was killed on Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.
When they teamed up to defend the right for homosexuals to marry in 2009, they set tongues wagging on both sides of the political spectrum. Since then, they have both been named in the Time’s 100 Greatest Thinkers list for their work on the landmark case and in 2011, they were awarded the American Bar Association’s highest honour: the ABA Medal.
All said and done, the story is surefire Hollywood material, courage of conviction in the face of adversity mixed with setting aside political differences for the greater good. As well as this, it is a fantastic study in exactly why there’s little better than good law.
In this extract from a Fox News interview, Olsen calmly and thoughtfully takes apart all arguments thrown at him by a partisan conservative anchor who himself concludes at the end of the interview that he doesn’t see how Olsen could ever lose a case.
Coming soon to a cinema near you? I know I’d watch it.
This is the best time of year for movies. Studios ditch the please-all Hollywood-style blockbusters which invariably fail in their efforts to please all and sundry, and instead focus on wowing the more cerebral audiences in the run-up to the Awards season.
Here are a couple I’ve already ear-marked for the Orange Wednesdays.
For anyone who, like me and my friend Rich, wants to marry Lady Sybil of Downton Abbey fame…
This one is of particular interest to me, because I’ve been a big fan of the odd-looking Eddie Redmayne (above) for years and he’s never properly ‘made it’, as it were. He walked past me as I was waiting for the bus on Sloane Square a couple of weeks ago. He went totally unnoticed.
I only want to see this after I’ve seen the stage version in the West End…
Reviews are one of those magical things that go by the ironic rule: The Worse, The Better. I much prefer AA Gill when he’s lambasting a restaurant for its waiters’ ineptitudes than when he is serenading it with praise.
Back in Aberdeen, a friend of mine’s house was decorated with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Taylor Lautner as Jake in the Twilight movies. It was disconcerting to say the least. The first time I encountered it, I was drunk and it was very dark. I didn’t get over the shock for about a week.
It would seem, however, that poor Taylor, although much-admired by the female population of Northern Scotland, is faring rather a lot worse in the following review of his new film.
It’s so bad, it’s fantastic. And I thought my friend Vicki would appreciate it, and it’s her birthday so here it goes…
Think of Abduction this way: There’s the Bourne Identity, then way below that is Mark Wahlberg’s Shooter. Then there’s 50,000 feet of crap. Underneath that is Liam Neeson’s Unknown. Dig another 100,000 feet until you hit a liquid-y orange-and-brown ooze and there you will find Abduction, a movie so bad it shouldn’t be allowed to call itself a movie. It should be called bad performance art for troglodytic, subhuman Caucasian bed-wetting females with a predisposition for shirtless, roundhouse-kicking dildos. Comparing Bourne Identity to Abduction is like comparing Beyonce’s ass to Danny Devito’s: Sure, they’re both big, but one you want to tap and the other you want to shave and disinfect before you feed to stray dogs.
Read the rest here.
Today is the 42nd anniversary of the end of Woodstock, the great 3-day rock extravaganza, regarded by many to be a pivotal ‘moment’ in the history of modern music. Co-incidentally, today I was walking home listening to one of my favourite songs, which was performed for the first time at Woodstock.
A cover of the original Beatles tune, Joe Cocker’s rendition of I’ll Get By (With A Little Help From My Friends) was always the first and last song to be played in the car with my father when we used to drive up and down, to and from, my boarding school when I was young.
It’s probably one of the best live performances of any song ever done.
I was actually speaking to my father earlier on today, mostly about ‘real life’ in London. I was moaning about the godawful cruelty of a 9-6 working day and he began explaining to me the fact that, while it takes some getting used to, eventually it becomes incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that you forget it was ever difficult in the first place. He sounded a little bit like Michael Gambon in one of my favourite scenes from any movie.
Filed under Culture, Film, Music
Take a look at these statistical comparisons of the GDPs of states and provinces in the United States and China, respectively, in comparison with other nations around the world. They demonstrate rather effectively just how huge the economic might of these two countries is.
And now, to put into context the costs of some of the greatest international issues we’ve experienced over the past decade or so, here’s a short video by InformationIsBeautiful:
On a slightly cheerier note, the new Winnie the Pooh film is coming out this summer. My friend Brough is a huge fan and apparently cried real tears (of happiness, I hope) when she saw this:
The song (Somewhere Only We Know by Keane) goes perfectly with the visual and I think the ad has the desired effect: to make us wish we could be young again, just for a little while, and that seeing this film is the way to go about it.