Everything’s gone green

Well, not quite, there has been a thaw and today the temperature’s been above zero and is expected to be through the night but we’re not seeing the green shoots yet.  The link refers to a previous use of the ‘green shoots’ analogy by Norman Lamont.  At the time the interweb thingy didn’t exist so I could only bother a few friends with it but the fit with the gardening analogy in the brilliant Peter Sellers film Being There was a source for humour missed by the illiterate satirists.  In the film a childlike person, Chance the gardener, who has worked as a gardener for almost all his life gets made redundant and sent out into the World and, through a series of coincidences, ends up as the confidant of the President of the US.  This is mainly through people taking his recitation of gardening knowledge as sagacity about the political situation facing the World, e.g. ‘there will be growth in the spring’.  This has long been a favourite film of mine, showing how easy it is for people in politics to adopt a herd mentality and follow the latest fashion.  I was interested to see it was directed by Hal Ashby as last night I watched Harold and Maude, which is another favourite film of mine, and he directed it too and I hadn’t realised.  Clearly I’ll have to watch out more closely for Hal Ashby films in future.

Arbeit macht frei

The title for this weeks post relates to this week’s dress down Saturday.  It was the title of the second song from last weeks fellow Mancunians, New Order.  I had heard about Joy Division and heard some of their songs on the John Peel show.  I bought their second album ,Closer, then their first.  For my eighteenth birthday I was given the last song by Joy Division, Love will tear us apart, and the first by New Order, Ceremony, as a present by a very good friend at the time.  I saw them in the students union at Reading University on the first tour after the end of Joy Division and had a great time.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a video available of the song from the time so here’s a film somebody shot later:

The title of this piece is from the gates to Auschwitz. In German, work makes you free.  There has been a lot of speculation about fascist sympathies amongst the band as Joy Division was the name given to a part of a concentration camp where the inmates performed services for guards etc. and there is something in that piece relating to it.  New Order too was what Hitler referred to as what the Nazis were seeking to create and what would follow them.  In fact a google search for the band comes up with a bunch of Nazis in America claiming to be heirs of Hitler amongst the top ten.  I’m not linking to it as I don’t think it needs any more publicity.  The next video is of Shellshock.  I lost touch with New Order for a while and was reminded by a girlfriend in 1986.  She brought me to this for which I will always be grateful:

The sound at the start is a bit tinny for what should be a powerful start, just like Ceremony.  It was on a tape I was given and was just such a joyous celebration of life.  I loved it when I saw the band with friends not long after, again at Reading University, and this was played as an encore, despite the fact the relationship had ended and I was not happy about it.  I’ll finish with what was probably one of the best England football World Cup anthems ever, World in Motion.  There were lots of other fabulous New Order things, go explore:

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