History The New York Times has an obituary for Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was a pivotal member of Martin Luthor King Jr's group.
"Mrs. Boynton Robinson was one of the organizers of the march, the first of three attempts by demonstrators in March 1965 to walk the 54 miles from Selma, Ala., to the capital, Montgomery, to demand the right to register to vote.

"As shown in “Selma,” the Oscar-nominated 2014 film directed by Ava DuVernay, Mrs. Boynton Robinson (played by Lorraine Toussaint) had helped persuade the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would lead the second and third marches, to concentrate his efforts in that city."
There's one key moment in Selma which resonated with me while watching the film last night, when, during the second attempt to cross Edmund Pettus Bridge in Montgomery, MLK decides not to go. After a prayer, he turns the group, who've travelled from across country to support him, around and walks them back again. This Guardian archive collection describes it thus:
"In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, King himself led a symbolic march across the bridge once again. While demonstrators were more determined than ever to proceed, federal protection was needed if they were to make it to Montgomery safely. Stopped by police, the marchers kneeled and prayed, then turned around and retreated back into Selma."
The King Encyclopedia has further details.  A key character and story point then becomes the question of why this happened, why Luther King made this choice something which I haven't been able to find an answer for.  It's not really explained in the film, other than that there were safety concerns and that King received a message from God.

But my understanding, my takeaway, is that King decided not to go, either consciously or otherwise, because he was effectively being given permission by the white folk.  As portrayed in the film, the police who at the first attempt in Bloody Sunday had beaten and tortured the marchers were stepping aside to let them through.

The only acceptable scenario King would have had for marching would have been if the road had been empty ahead anyway.  But then of course, if that had been the case, there wouldn't have been any reason to march in the first place.

The film doesn't make this explicit.

But as continues to be the case, in terms of both race and gender, the fight for equality and human rights remains a process of convincing those in power to give a permission there shouldn't be any question of them being in a position to decide to give in the first place.  They shouldn't even be in the way.

The back of my head one day.

TV As part of the BBC's Pop Art season, the latest edition of What Do Artists Do All Day? focuses on Peter Blake and in particular his work on the Liverpool Biennial's Dazzle Ferry. The whole programme can be watched here for the next few weeks. You'll remember I attended the launch of Snowdrop in April and posted lots of photographs of it here but as you'll also have gathered from looking above this block of text, there I am taking said photographs in the programme, so the back of my head has now been on national tv.  Here's the photography I took at almost that exact moment:

And here's the shot I chose to put on the blog in which Blake looked directly at me:

I'm wearing the same coat I featured in this picture with Pete back in 2009.  Still going strong.  Still warm and much needed on that day which despite being sunny was also pretty chilly.

"I hate Bobby Davro. There you go, I've said it. Even my mum and dad hate Bobby Davro."

TV Glancing through the names of celebrities who're soon to enter the Channel 5 rendition of the Big Brother house trying to work out who these people are and what they want, I notice that one Bobby Davro will be joining them. Those of you with long memories will remember that Mr Davro was a key part of the very first seminal series of the show as the four remaining housemates were shown episodes of his television series quite logically as a reward for their abilities as impressionists.

When I was still watching the programme this was high on the list of my favourite moments (along with pretty much anything which happened between John Tickle and Nush in BB4) and here it still is on YouTube. Scroll through to 20:35 on the above embed to hear Anna Nolan's perfectly timed rant on the work of Mr Davro and later Darren as he realises who he is and then the later shots when he's disavowed of his own opinion.  Classic television.

The Starbucks on Bold Street has closed.

Commerce Quite suddenly. My last visit was last Thursday where I sat on the ground floor beneath the stairs near the Wood Street entrance and read that week's comics. Passing by this morning I saw the above. Asking at the check out in the Home Bargains next door but one, it seems have shut on Monday.

Now I know what a couple of you are thinking, and presumably poised to type into a social media text box, it's just an outlet of a multi-national company which doesn't pay as much tax as it should and there are still plenty of independent coffee shops in the area and here's a list of them, and yes all of that is true.

But I like Starbucks coffee and I liked this space which like the best outlets was modular.  The seating area at the front and beneath the stairs.  Half way up the stairs overlooking Wood Street and at the top with the massive table and easy access to the toilets.  Plus it tended to be less manically busy than some cafes, which was probably ultimately its downfall.

Like any space you visit regularly we have history and this blog has history with it. Not as much as I thought, but there's plenty of business here in which a visit to this Starbucks would also have been involved.  In any case, to memorialise, here's an archive of links to previous posts on this blog specifically about Starbucks on Bold Street.

When I entirely failing to deal with a private view at the venue which filled the space before Starbucks moved in (about 2000).

When one of the items I'd Bookcrossed in there was found in 2003.

When another of the items I'd Bookcrossed was found too.

When I went for a coffee with the best new person I met in 2003. Which I reflected upon in 2013.

When it became a third place in 2004.

When I badgered them about buying the acoustic version of Alanis's Jagged Little Pill (which was an exclusive in the US).

When I the Christmas blend for the first time in 2006.

When I read the first issue of the Buffy: Season Seven comic in March 2007.

When I into a Gingerbread Latte while listening to the Doctor Who audio The Auntie Matter in August 2013.

Bye then.


Books Yes, indeed:

With Big Finish mixing new Who characters with their own and some old favourites (can you believe this now exists?) comes a further example of Doctor Who's "expanded universe" coming into contact with the revival.  To save you a click, @twilightstreets is Who legend Gary Russell, who has form on this.  When we was an editor on the Doctor Who Adventures strip way back when, Mephistopheles Arkadian from the Gallifrey audios made a cameo in one of the Tenth Doctor strips and with a plot point which eventually played out at Big Finish.  Expect a sarcastic line from Clara about "What is it with you and archaeologists".  Your move, Iris.

My Favourite Film of 1984.

Film  Despite my obvious love of film I've never really had a home cinema set up.  My screen sizes have slowly grown larger over time, I've graduated from VHS to dvd to blu-ray, but never 5.1 speakers or 7.1 speakers or any of that malarky and certainly no projectors, however longingly I've looked at them in the BOSE shop at Cheshire Oaks or in Richer Sounds.  Mainly cost but also space.  The rooms in the flat really aren't big enough to accommodate them and we have neighbours who might not be too pleased about having a subwoofer vibrating their ceiling.

Which isn't to say I didn't try and there was a year or several when I plugged my VCR into a hi-fi for the purposes of watching the Star Wars: Special Edition when my parents were away (like said, small flat) and it was at this moment I happened to watch Electric Dreams which I'd just bought on sell through video (in a clever pack which included the soundtrack on cassette) and found myself roundly disappointed because it didn't sound as I'd expected to the point that rather like Mike Figgis during some screenings of his Timecode, I began manipulating the sound live.

The key scene is commonly known as The Duel and it's the moment when newly sentient computer, Edgar "meets" his neighbour Madeline for the first time at least in sound, though its enough for him to fall for her (and me to be honest).  Having bought a vinyl of soundtrack when it was being sold off by the Central Library in town I had fixed in my imagination how I thought it would sound, with Edgar's electronic noodlings bursting from one speaker and Madeline's cello from another underscoring the distance between them physically, geographically and otherwise.

Find above an Spotify embed of the track as it appears on a compilation album though it's identical to the version on the soundtrack. Even listening through headphones, there's a palpable sense of different intelligences communicating from each of the speakers, talking to one another as they improvise around a Bach minuet.  Edgar falling for her, she for Miles his "user" (in more ways that one) and the man she perceives to be her neighbour.  Having imagined this exciting, pulsating piece and how it would issue out from the film, imagine my disappointment on hearing this:

It's fine but it lacks the urgency of the soundtrack version and of course it doesn't work in quite the same way because it's the job of a film's soundtrack to put the audience in the same room as the characters, especially if the music is diegetic, as it is here.  Plus by intertwining the two sounds together earlier, it underscores their emotional connection.  But for all of those rationalisations, I wanted to hear Madeline from one speaker, Edgar from the other.

On rewatching the film, I actually sat with the balance knob on the stereo attempting to recreate the moment manually, even attempting to play the cassette in conjunction with the image but they were out of synch.  I can't explain my obsession with this other than being a teenager but it was my first realisation that film soundtracks are sometimes, indeed usually, nothing like the films from which they hail, often because a musician's allowed to present his original ideas unfiltered.  In this case, arguably the pinnacle of Giorgio Moroder's career ...

... with the exception of Madeline's theme which is just ...

... spoiler warning.

"I walked into that crowd again and I lost myself..."

Music Natalie Imbruglia's back then. After the debacle of the deeply average Come to Life, which still hasn't had an official release in the UK and so is missing from Spotify (was on there for a week then pulled), its emergence borked by the singer's duties as a judge on Oz X-Factor.

Now she's released a pretty good cd of covers of the men's songs including Friday I'm Love and Let My Love Open The Door. It's not Tori's Strange Little Girls (few things are) (well perhaps ScarJo's Anywhere I Lay My Head) but if this BBC Breakfast interview is an indication it has had the effect of reigniting her inspiration:
"Natalie Imbruglia started her career in the Australian soap Neighbours, but when she made the switch to music she picked up a Brit Award, several Grammy nominations and sold 10 million albums worldwide.

After six years away from the music scene, Natalie's back with a new album of cover songs which all have one thing in common - they were originally performed by men.

Natalie told BBC Breakfast why she took a break from music, and how it feels to be singing again."
For new readers, here's some of my previous with Imbruglia from back in 2004 writing about one of the best pop songs of all time.

Here's MEN on Spotify:

New Doctor Who Season 9 Trailer!!!

TV ... which is a thirty second version of the last one. Sorry.  On the upside, this is a rare post with high SEO potential about a show with plenty of CSO.  On the upside, Pertwee's People exists now too.