It’s finally happened. I’ve really made it this time. I’ve invested in three films and one of them has really paid off.
I’ve just received my first huge return. I’ve taken a photo of it in case you’re sceptical.
Yup. There it is. A trillion smackers. $1,000,000,000,000. My good intention has been rewarded.
I’m thinking of buying a few trips on the space shuttle – or maybe 2,000 of them. Nah – something closer to my heart. I think I’ll spend it on Ireland. With Turkey thrown in too, if I can’t get change from a trillion dollar note.
Whatever I do, I can’t let the larcenous crew who got us into this financial mess get their grubby paws on my cash. Who? The bankers of course, according to The Big Steal.
Because my $1tn note is my return from my friends’ movie The Big Steal. They’re Julian Darley and Celine Rich, of Mysterious Movies – just two of the many outraged at the greed of the banks and the cynical way taxpayers’ money has been transferred to dodgy banks and then moved offshore or transformed into bonuses. So what? Lots of us are cross about it – but what can you do? Well, you can turn it into a film. That’s what they’re doing. The film will be called The Big Steal – but unlike most heist movies, this time the thieves are behind the counter, not breaking in. Can anyone stop them? Watch the film and find out.
But before you watch it – they have to make it. And they need help. They’re looking for lots of mini-donations, from a dollar upwards, to crowdsource the film and take it to the Cannes Film Festival this year.
So if you’re looking to bash the banking system and get a bit of retaliation in – here’s a way of doing it. Lots of good perks too. Being part of the film, getting your name in the credits Continue reading
Filed under Film, friends
Is this racist? Or sectarian? Or more simply – just bullying?
Or perhaps it’s somewhere on the spectrum between fair comment and edgy political satire?
That’s one side of a lantern at what some call the world’s biggest moving outdoor art display – the Basel Fasnacht. The other side – the more offensive side is Continue reading
Filed under art, life, politics
Every year the normally sober sensible law-abiding Swiss go a bit crazy. They risk life and property by dragging huge flaming pyres through narrow streets. That’s for starters.
Then they converge on the city of Basel (or Basle in French) for a 0400 kick off. Yes, that’s four in the morning. It’s called the Morgestraich. At that moment all lights, including streetlights, are shut off. Then band after band of bizarre, grotesque, odd and even cute creatures begin three days of Continue reading
James Joyce. Writer, musician and singer, in Zurich, 1915.
And now this is another thing I’ve got in common with James Joyce… We’ve both been in Switzerland for St Patrick’s Day – which is today. Though I’m not planning to spend quite so many here as he did.
Greetings to everyone, from one who – like St Paddy – is “first of all, countrified, an exile, evidently unlearned, one who is not able to see into the future…”
I wish you strength in times of tribulation and the ability to take joy when it’s possible.
But I should really be offering something more amusing than that. Oh yes – there’s always my favourite St Patrick’s Day joke – it’s here. (Sorry, I’ve just the one.)
Is my ear on fire?
I’ve temporarily escaped from the fire that threatened to set alight me, the small boy beside me and the shop behind me. Continue reading
Wait till you see the other one...
Just another election poster, you might think. But I think it’s hilarious. Hilariously cack-handed. And possibly illegal. But mainly funny. You really need to see it alongside the other one to get it… Continue reading
Sam Spade investigates (Humphrey Bogart smoulders) in The Maltese Falcon, 1941.
“When I see you turn the corner, I will know the target is coming just behind,” he said, “and then I will begin shooting.” It was my first day on the job and I wanted everything spelled out clearly.
“Won’t they mind?” I asked. But my concerns were brushed aside. This was Switzerland, nobody gets excited here, except, sometimes about football.
I had been roped in to help a private detective with some surveillance. Continue reading
Marriage Book - China
This is how you get married in China. Thanks to our newly married (Congratulations!) guest contributor who’s currently expat in Beijing. I’ll let M take up the story:
Last week I caught a sleeper train to Changchun on Monday night. I was in a room with 5 big fat Chinese men, one of whom snored like crazy. He was in the bunk above me, and I really thought it would collapse, he was so fat.
I got to Changchun, and remembered how cold it was. Warmer than January, but still around minus 12. Met LN and we went to the registry office, expecting to complete everything that day. China is drowning in official paperwork and red stamps. Turns out the red stamp on LN’s “Hukou” (family book that lists your parents, siblings, and crucially what province you ‘belong’ to) was not clear enough. Continue reading
Filed under friends, life