You may know I try mostly to keep a relaxed tone here. I’m not interested in being contentious. However, there are times when even a romance-history-fiction novelist has to speak up on suggested public policy initiatives and plant a flag, and I apologize in advance.
“…I am delighted to be presenting the award for Best Actress tonight, particularly as I am wearing the badge for ERA, which is the campaign for the Equal Representation of Actresses.”
He continued: “Currently, for every one female role, there are almost three male roles. This is an inequality that is not only about our industry, but it is an inequality that is absorbed by everyone on their screens every day.
“As the father of two children – two girls – this should change.”
I watched him say that live. I’ve needed several days since then to think about my reaction to it. Because as a novelist, I’m underwhelmed.
We’ve been watching the political-melodrama U.S. TV series Madam Secretary. But you don’t need to know the details of the program to get this post. I thought I’d use it as a basis for some “fun” today – it’s Friday – mostly due to the episode we just saw and because, as you probably know, my wife is English (and we have been married for, uh, quite a few years).
In that episode from its 3rd season, the U.S. Secretary of State’s twenty-something spoiled, mouthy, annoying pain in the neck for the previous two seasons and now continuing to be so apparently daughter has returned to Washington recently after a summer in Oxford with her English fiancé.
In the kitchen, unexpectedly she gets all emotional and reveals to Mom (the Secretary of State, I repeat) that she was like wow really unhappy with her English husband-to-be when they were in England. Suddenly, she announces she doesn’t want to live there. She says she hated the place.
Caught up in writing and other life matters, I had somehow totally missed promos for this new BBC series. I learned of its existence only last night just after the opening episode was underway on BBC 2. So I didn’t see it:
I had just gotten back from Luton Airport with the Mrs when I happened to stumble on it mentioned on Twitter. Initially glimpsing only that it was called Versailles and centered around Louis…. briefly my heart sank. “Oh, no,” I thought, “my novel?”
My novelist uncle in Rhode Island was messaging me again yesterday. It wasn’t about writing or books, which I actually find useful. This time is was about the NFL’s New York Jets playing at London’s Wembley Stadium this weekend.
Are they? I had no idea. Regardless, he should be writing his next book (I’m still cleaning up mine)…. not messing around on Facebook. Eh, but nevermind, it got me thinking:
I remember Sky Sports, in the late 1990s/ early 2000s, showing the NFL from the U.S. on Sunday evenings to what must have been about “a few dozen” U.K. viewers – half of them probably Americans. (Five hours ahead here, watching the entire “4 o’clock game” E.T. was too late for anyone with a job.) The two anchors – one American, one British – hosted while sitting on what looked like reclaimed furniture. The set would not have been out of place on a U.S. TV cable local access show.
The USA Eagles are 2500-1 underdogs to win the Rugby World Cup 2015. So what? Only 20 countries play in the final tournament – which is being held here in England this year.
If this is all new to you, here is a USA Eagles preview by the Guardian’s excellent rugby writer, Martin Pengelly:
Their first game is tomorrow (Sunday, at 7 AM ET), against Samoa. If you are in the U.S. and can see any of the games over the next few weeks, and have never watched rugby, well, if you like NFL football…. give it a watch.