Saturday, May 26, 2012

But What if She'd Said No?

In the wake of what for one reason or another has been quite an intense week, I slithered from my pit this morning and turned on the PC to check email and the news, just as I do every day. And like every day, the BBC website was loaded with grim news: 90+ people, including 32 children, massacred by government troops in the Syrian town of Houla; a shooting rampage by a teenager in Hyvinkaa, Finland; the ongoing eurozone crisis; murders, destruction, political or religious conflict, and the expected daily parade of human misery and folly. Same shit, different day.

Then, as I sat sighing and sipping forlornly at my bucket of coffee, taking the weight of the world on my shoulders as I can tend to, Susan (in the living room on her iPad) sent me a link to the simply wonderful little film above. It's so beautiful, so uplifting and fun that it made us both cry with joy.

The scenario is simple, one that is played out thousands of times all over the world, every single day: a guy asks a girl to marry him. But the imagination, dedication and love that has gone into how he decided to do it is truly an inspiration.

Yes, it's easy to get cynical about something like this - to say it's cheesy, that the song is awful, that it might be a set-up, that it's all "so American" and over-the-top, but I feel to do so would be somewhat missing the point. Taking it at face value it is simply a guy expressing how much he loves his girl and going out of his way in spectacular fashion to tell her he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. What could be wrong with that? Good on him, and good on everyone that supported him in his vision. The performance is joyous and his girlfriend's reaction as it all unfolds is a delight to behold. To cap it all, every single person involved is clearly having a blast in playing their part. All in all, then, this will make millions of people smile in this dark and troubled world, so what's not to love about that?       

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Well, Fancy That! # 3

I guess there are plenty of things I could choose to ruminate on today. I could, for example, air my views on the sadly predictable North Carolinian Amendment One vote yesterday, effectively deeming gay and lesbian people in the state second class citizens by banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. I could even talk about President Obama's too-little-too-late response today in coming out in support of the general legalization of same-sex marriage. At least he's had the guts to do, I guess, but - as a gay friend of mine in North Carolina predicts - it's a proclamation that will probably ultimately cost him the presidency.

Anyway, no, I'm not going to talk about this, or any one of a number of equally depressing topics I could have riffed upon. I am instead going to talk about the 'thing' in the video above. This extraordinary clip of film was released to the world today and like millions of others around the globe I find myself fascinated by it. The mysteries of the deep are always intriguing, but every now and again something like this weird entity reveals itself to us, yet offers no answers. Whether in the oceans or on terra firma it is always a thrill when a new species is discovered, but as this oddity lacks consistency with any known species, or even theories, it is proving a genuine head-scratcher. If only it knew what a fuss is being made about it!

No one knows what this creature is, if in fact it is actually a creature at all. Guesses range from a discarded whale placenta to some kind of super-rare jellyfish to, would you believe, a fishing net. I have my own theory, being that it is actually quite simply a typical North Carolinian pro-Amendment One voter out for a swim. I'm not sure my idea holds water, though. Not that it's easy to tell, but this beast doesn't seem to be overtly displaying the requisite levels of bigotry, stupidity and Draconian worldview, so I could be wrong. What is consistent, however, is the lack of backbone, so maybe I do have a point...? The debate will rage on, I suppose.