1) Whenever I had a spare moment during my shift at work today*, I thought bitterly about the fact that many the people Labor Day ostensibly celebrates don't have the day off. Because they have no unions and therefore no/few paid holidays.
*I didn't have many spare moments, because all the people with good jobs and money to spend did
have the day off and were shopping.
2) I recently watched The Hippopotamus
, in which Roger Allam plays a boozy washed-up poet who is hired to investigate a purported miracle at the country house of a friend. It's based on a novel by Stephen Fry, which . . . well, it wasn't as cruelly cynical as I thought it would be, though I should note that the movie's lone gay character was depicted in a way I must describe as homophobic. (I feel like Stephen Fry has form for this, but I'm not completely sure.) It's not a terrible movie, and worth it if you like Roger Allam (Fiona Shaw is also in it, but rather wasted in a small role; then there's a bizarrely miscast Matthew Modine as the lord of the manor, his American accent unconvincingly handwaved as the result of having an American father). I did like Tim McInnerny as the abovementioned gay man, and I think it might have been a better movie from his point of view.
3) I appear to be rewatching as much of Good News Week
as I can readily find. Paul McDermott makes me happy.
4) Speaking of which, DAAS were at the Edinburgh festival and appeared briefly on BBC Radio's The Now Show a week or two ago. They sang "The Sailor's Arms," and to my delight, rephrased the transphobic last line to be better. It's still a song that can deservedly be termed problematic, but I kind of love it anyway and I was glad to see it improved. If you want to hear it, I think this episode of the Now Show is still on the BBC i-Player for a couple of weeks.
5) There's an interesting review of DAAS's Shepherds Bush performance here
. I don't agree with everything about it (I think even DAAS's cruder jokes are cleverer than Regan realizes), but I liked reading about the show's emotional impact, since I'm never going to be able to see it myself unless they release a DVD. The reason I'm posting about it here, though, is that the reviewer writes that Tim Ferguson "is going to die very soon." This completely freaked me out, especially since the review was linked to both from the official DAAS Facebook and from Tim's own Facebook, and in neither case did Tim say, "Um, actually not dying soon that I know of." So now I'm worried that he is
dying and it's something they've acknowledged in the show. Certainly Tim's MS has gotten worse, and he said in an interview that it's moved into the steadily progressing stage and he doesn't expect any more remissions. I even googled "Is Tim Ferguson dying," and found lots about Tim's MS but nothing to say he is in fact dying, so I'm hoping that the reviewer just got the wrong end of the stick. Still, it is worrisome. I know it's ridiculous to feel so concerned about celebrities (plural because, honestly, it makes me worry as much for Paul as for Tim), and normally I wouldn't, but somehow, in this case, I do.
6) To try to end on something positive: I watched the first episode of the new Bake Off and it didn't suck. There hasn't been any attempt to manufacture tension or feuds or whatever between the bakers, which is what I was afraid of. I do very much feel the lack of Mel and Sue, and especially of Mary Berry, but I am one of those weird people who actually likes Paul Hollywood, so I'm willing to watch just for him while I warm up to the new bakers and hopefully the new presenters.