I’m a fan of musicals.
There I said it, I’m completely 100% straight and wondering why I need to explain that .. but I love musicals, always have, always will.
Possibly because I used to watch them with my family, my Granda was a big Jolson fan, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly,. Then my mum from a later generation loved Calamity Jane, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Oklahoma etc..
My dad, a Sinatra fan loved anything Rat Pack related .. for example Pal Joey or On The Town .. not exactly a musicals .. more films with singing. He also loves West Side Story, possibly relating it to the gang related culture of his youth.
Musicals were a big part of my upbringing because of these family influences. I put this down to the escapism these films provide from the drab poverty of Glasgow slums. My folks watching these elegantly dressed singers and dancers in their perfect techni-colour worlds .. even although back then they only had black and white tv sets.
Last night, having watched the 10 minute feature on the latest musical La La Land on Now tv, I found the film on my Kodi box, the quality was excellent, but got to tell you .. and this might be unfair as I only watched the first 10 minutes .. I was bored.
It just wasn’t exciting enough and felt contrived and hard work.
I had been looking forward to Ryan Gosling’s piano playing, not that I’m convinced that they didn’t fudge the shots, particularly when he was rolling up and down the keyboard which is much harder than playing chords.
A big disappointment really and I wonder what the fuss was about.
Maybe I’ll give it a second go, but not until I hear some positive reviews from friends who’s judgement I trust.
So I searched for something else to watch and took the recommendation of my younger daughter to watch the movie Lion starring Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame.
The beginning of the movie has a Slumdog feel to it, Indian children, brought up in abject poverty and facing abduction and abuse by the animals of society.
I won’t spoil it for you, but lets say that if this film doesn’t have you crying happy tears then there is something missing in your soul.
The closing scenes which show the real people that the story is based on brings the reality of the situation home and its a joy to celebrate how humanity can overcome adversity.
Poverty in Glasgow or India, different cultures, but similar problems.
A few thoughts on poverty.
Of course Glasgow and the UK have social systems which are supposed to protect people and provide for them in their time of need.
But it’s no longer time of need .. its now endemic .. people have an expectation of hand-outs, there are generations of people from certain areas who have not worked and don’t want to work. They think that hand-outs are their entitlement. Additionally people arrive here from all over the world thinking they can have a slice of the pie.
Even today walking to work, there is an increasing number of beggars on the Glasgow streets, people from all over the world. Some of them are organised groups, who occupy the same location every day and get picked up and dropped off by their gang-leader, who takes their shoes away after dropping them off or so the story goes.
These people are abusing our social systems, using up the resources of our National Health service. Something has to change.
Personally, I don’t feel sorry for adult beggars. I don’t, it may be tragic, but in my opinion most cases can be traced back to lack of personal responsibility.
Adults make their choices, they can get a job and get on with their lives or beg.
However, children don’t have that choice, children need to be cared for and no child should ever face poverty.
So where do we go with that?
Throw money at parents who don’t look after their kids, knowing that they will only waste it on what ever habit they have and the kids will still have social issues as well as poverty.
Or take the kids away from parent who don’t provide adequate care?
For the small number of neglect and/or abuse cases then thats a simple decision, but it’s not that easy is it?
The vast majority are ordinary families with one or both parents working and they just can’t meet ends meet. Those families deserve our help, they deserve our resources, which should not be frittered away giving hand-outs to all and sundry, particularly those who have never contributed.
That really is La La Land.