Rugby-tackling an old person

According to my indisputably canny friend Lizzie, it's perfectly acceptable within the confines of the law to rugby-tackle an old person to the ground; it just depends on the circumstances.

When I go swimming, the way that I walk to the leisure centre goes over a railway crossing, and each time I come to it I find myself hurrying slightly to get across, just in case the barriers should come down whilst I was halfway. The thing is, those barriers come down pretty fast, and I'm not convinced that I could actually dash across in time, which means that essentially I would have to flatten myself along the fence or the barriers until the train had gone past, and I don't know which of these two subsequent eventualities would be worse; the mortally close tendrils of wind whooshing past my face as the train speeds by, giving me a solemn glimpse of what the impact would feel like, or the icy, condescending stare of the train driver as they eye me, thinking is he going to kill himself using the big metal front of my train, or is he just being a daring twat?

One more scenario that is even more worrying is the idea of an old person doddering across and them getting trapped by the swiftly closing barriers, like some form of symbolic, clattering guillotine, portent to the imminent and bloody death of an octogenarian. I brought up my concerns of happening to be around if this were to happen, and Lizzie said that she would rugby-tackle the old person out of the way. I suggested that, if she injured them, they could sue her, but Lizzie said that's not very likely, and also, because of the Good Samaritan Act (1996), it would be thrown out of court. The Good Samaritan Act (as the name suggests) recognises an individual's conscious attempt to save another person's life in extreme circumstances should that attempt fail. Even if the old person dies as a result of Lizzie's massive tackle, chances are she would still walk away - it's a case of accidental death as apposed to certain and abattoir-drainage-system-that's-flooded-over-esque death.

Although Lizzie's sweet-tasting factoid did give me a modicum of hope not only in the legal system but also in the sheer power of reason and common sense, it did also bring forth a few shitnuggets of doubt. For example, supposing a person were to rugby-tackle and old person, then take the Good Samaritan Act, but in actual fact just use it to cover up the fact that they simply wanted to rugby-tackle an old person; a Good Samaritan Act act you might say. Or supposing, out of sheer force of prudery, a person opted for the Good Samaritan Act act to make it look as if they simply wanted to rugby-tackle an old person out of sheer ageist spite, but in actual fact they wanted to save said old person's life (to whit, the Good Samaritan Act act act)? Act infinitum.

How a conversation would go between Charlie Kaufman and I would go should I ever get to speak to him about Synecdoche, New York (2008):

Fox - So.

Kaufman - So.

Fox - I saw Synecdoche, New York the other night.

Kaufman - Yeah?

Fox - Yep. Thought it was good.

Kaufman - Oh, good. Thank you.

Fox - Yeah. Lot going on.

Kaufman - Yeah, I guess so.

Fox - I mean, don't get me wrong. I liked the fact there was a lot going on. Kept my attention. Made me feel..

Kaufman - Intrigued?

Fox - Don't put words into my mouth.

Kaufman - Ok. Sorry.

Fox - Made me feel.. intrigued.

Kaufman - Ok. Good. Well, I guess every film maker wants their audience to be intrigued.

Fox - Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn't look anything like you.

Kaufman - What?

Fox - Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn't look anything like you.

Kaufman - Who.. said he was supposed to look like me?

Fox - Well, I just assumed you'd pick someone that looked a bit like you.

Kaufman - Why?

Fox - I mean, Nicolas Cage kind of had your hair in Adaptation.

Kaufman - Yes.. but he was playing a character called 'Charlie Kaufman'.

Fox - Oh, hang on.. yeah, I see now. Sorry. I assumed Philip Seymour Hoffman's character was supposed to be you.

Kaufman - Why would you assume that?

Fox - Because.. I don't know, actually. But, hang on, everyone assumes it's meant to be you.

Kaufman - Do they?

Fox - Well, yeah. I think so. It's something people expect from your films. I think people tried to look for you in John Cusack in Being John Malkovich, in Jim Carey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind..

Kaufman - Well, good luck to them. But only Adaptation. had a character called 'Charlie Kaufman'.

Fox - Yeah, yeah. I know. But, you know, people were looking for something a bit more subtle with the other films. Aspects of you rather than actually you.

Kaufman - Nicolas cage isn't actually me.

Fox - True..

Kaufman - Anything else you want to say about Synecdoche, New York? I mean, it's your dime..

Fox - You know the bit where Hazel's sitting on the bench with Caden? Where they kind of go on the lunch date?

Kaufman - Yes..

Fox - ..and Hazel says she's been reading The Trial?

Kaufman - Yep.

Fox - Well, is that inclusion of a reference to Kafka anything to do with people labelling a certain supposed genre of recent Hollywood films as being Kaufmanesque, and you've reacted to it by highlighting the label Kafkaesque, as if to draw some ironic comparison towards yourself and Kafka - but not in an egotistical manner, instead just as a tongue in cheek nod towards the similarity between the two phrases and the comparisons that certain people will no doubt draw between them?

Kaufman - Got it in one.

Fox - Really?

Kaufman - No.

Fox - If I made a film where the main character bared similarities to me.. with me? With me or to me?

Kaufman - To you. You're still assuming Caden Cotard is based on me.

Fox - Yeah, whatever. If I made a film where the main character bared similarities to me, and he wanted to employ someone to act out himself on stage, I'd chose Brian Cox. Ha!

Kaufman - I see what you did there. Very clever.

Fox - Yeah, and, right, if I needed another actor to play a version of Brian Cox's character who's playing me on stage, I'd choose Anthony Hopkins. Ha ha!!

Kaufman - Mm. Good one.

Fox - I like the fact that Emily Watson got her boobs out, though. They were quite..

Kaufman - Hang on, that's wrong.

Fox - What's wrong?

Kaufman - What you just said. About Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins.

Fox - How's it wrong? They both played Hannibal Lecter.

Kaufman - Yes, I know. But Tom Noonan didn't play Hannibal Lecter. He played Francis Dolarhyde, aka The Tooth Fairy, in Manhunter. As dis Ralph Fiennes in Red Dragon. So what you should have said is you would chose Ralph Fiennes to play you, and then get another actor to play the actor playing the actor playing you.

Fox - Like who?

Kaufman - Do you like Frank Zappa?

If there's one thing that initially draws people to Frank Zappa & The Mother of Invention's Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970), it's the cover. This is surely one of the most provocative and strange album covers in rock, if not all music ever created by people who create the magic what is music. The entire album is an astonishing journey into rock, jazz, fusion, and avant garde noise. Most of the album was recorded live (either at shows or in the studio), which is indicated at the end of several tracks with Zappa thanking the audience for seeing the show.

Certain tracks (like opener Didja Get Any Onya and Weasels Ripped My Flesh) are dark, abyssal experiments with feedback, irregular time patterns and atmosphere. It is easy to spot the influence of this kind of noise on John Zorn, and again Mike Patton. Others display the keen blues and rock musicianship of the band (Zappa's guitar work notwithstanding) as well as guest musician "Sugarcane" Harris's incredibly emotive singing voice; Directly From My Heart To You is a stunning bluegrass track, and includes a virtuoso violin performance from the man. Get A Little and Oh No are also great vocal-driven tracks, and perhaps a good place to start to ease yourself into the world of Zappa.

Note: I'm not sure why I'm writing about films and movies on my blog. They're not supposed to be reviews as such, more an indication of how things excite me as I watch, hear, catch or smell them. I'm not sure if what I write is supposed to be going anywhere.

But clearly it is.

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