Wednesday, November 17, 2010


What a major thrill -- I have finally discovered how to generate symbols without going into the Special Characters menu -- and I wasn't even looking! Obviously, many of those I "discovered" won't translate equally well on all the potential monitors that might display this blogpost, so I'm not going to make a big effort to show off this discovery, but -- for instance -- I can finally write 'cliché' correctly, online (I could always do it in Word dox, but could not reproduce that effect online). Nice, huh. And 'Æsop's fables'. It's a simple trick and different keyboards no doubt have different combinations that help achieve it but on the MacBook Pro it involves the OPTIONS key, various combinations of. I didn't get it right away because on earlier machines, to get an accent into place, I had to highlight the letter then type the required accent. With the Options key, it's a bit in reverse -- for the é for instance, it's Option+e, then e again. ƒåßçîñæ†ìñ©… (translation: fascinating ...)

The 'and I wasn't even looking' is my lead-in to another recent MAJOR THRILL -- watching the Beatles movie 'HELP' the other day, on DVD. I always loved this film -- I saw it on the big screen, in Bombay (at EROS Cinema, Churchgate), maybe a year after it came out, and if I could have, would have seen it many times over to memorize key scenes -- but of course that wasn't really an option in those days, as I was still in (boarding) school and wasn't at liberty to just dash off to see any movie I liked.

It's been digitally remastered and is absolutely sumptuous. I didn't realize at the time I ordered the DVD that iTunes was going to be show-casing the Fab Four starting today (or was it Yesterday?), not that it would make a difference -- but I may have felt I was band-wagoning if I'd known. Which I wasn't.

Watching it again reminded me that it was still very funny in a way that anticipates Monty Python's Flying Circus by about five years (I had to check to see the dates -- 1965 for HELP, '69 to '70 for MPFC) -- it's something I didn't recognize at the time I saw MPFC, though I knew they were channeling the Goon Show -- but also just their own I-Am-The-Walrus wackiness. They anticipate political correctness to an astonishing degree, considering that it was NOT the order of the day: they use a multi-armed deity they name 'Kaili', importune a goddess they call 'Perverti' and though characters are obviously dressed to simulate SubContinentals, they're just enough off the mark (I suppose ...) to get away with their spoof. They're quite vicious towards the British characters in the film -- the manic scientist who complains bitterly about the lack of Govt recognition and the daft elderly-lady neighbours, f'rinstance. The mumbling conversations of the 'Head Priest' in which he complains about young people not being attracted to human sacrifice any more, 'such a shame!' and wonders what can be done to make it more palatable. LOVE it.

Like I LOVE the tiger, the idiotic winking lady, the Beatle-fan who was the original sacrificial victim, the crazy 60s clothes ... and of course, of course, the boyz themselves, singing.

For me the best bit is the way Ringo finally gets the ring off his finger --SPOILER ALERT-- not all thru the main part of the film, when he desperately wants to, but only at that moment when he's distracted from the need to get it off his finger and is no longer obsessing over either keeping it or removing it and because at that moment he genuinely wants to help the petitioner. I always thought (but yes, of course I romanticize the Beatles out of all proportion) this was totally THE HEIGHT of transcendental philosophy revealed in the banal-pop medium of a Beatles film. Way out.

To top this, I have also ordered the DVD of Magical Mystery Tour, which I've never seen. Yes, yes, I know it was such a low-tide moment in cinema that even die-hard Beatle fans are embarrassed by the film. That's why I want to see it. I want to Love The Hate. Haven't got it yet! Will report when I do.