Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tuesday's Observations

1. Steven Milliband suggests that all Londoners will one day carry carbon credit cards, probably attached to their Oyster, all-seeing-eye ID cards (trying saying that in one go). I'm happy with the idea of an individual carbon allowance but more worried about the idea that there will be benefits to not using your carbon allowance, such as being able to sell points. I hate to sound reactionary, but wouldn't this become some sort of alternative benefits system. Either you charge people to use their points, which is a disincentive to work for those who often have the least choice in their working hours or locations*. Or people can sell their points, which is (sounding more like the Mail by the word) an incentive to do nothing. If you sit in your flat, lights off, TV off, heating off and don't travel anywhere, you get paid by some gas-guzzler from Hammersmith. Is that going to keep the economy moving? Or, you have no incentives or disincentives but simply an allowance which, if my generalised view of the British is correct, will be treated as a target. I'm not sure of the way round it but I have a feeling that anything styled like credit cards is bad news in the current English climate.

* That assumes you have to travel to find the best jobs, which is currently often the case. Maybe the carbon allowance should provide more inventives for businesses to provide for working from home?

2. In The Commitments, a film whose soundtrack often makes it onto my phone-MP3 player, the link is quickly made between soul and sex. Nowhere, in my slightly nervous state of mind, is this more apparent than in the song 'Take me to the River'. There's a certain frisson to the invitation to take me to the river and wash me down (wash me down).

There's also a certain religious feel to the song and there is, you might argue, a parallel between the song in this film and the scenes of Oh Brother Where Art Thou where the beautiful girls are in the water being baptised and, in another scene, seducing the heroic felons while in both cases singing. Singing-water-sex, and not forgetting of course Danger. Like a lot of soul classics, Take me to the River has its roots in gospel and, as in Southern America, there are strong links in Ireland between music, religion and secret sex, probably on riverbanks.

The church, let us not forget, is/was the path to the marriage bed, although in truth I suspect this was never the untrodden destination it was billed as. Singing is the union of voices. So, think on.

This isn't going anywhere, just some passing themes and intertextuality to spice White Llama up a bit and remind this blogger of those happy media studies A-level days.

Isn't it getting nippy now?

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