Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (Free, online here) An animated conversation between filmmaker Michel Gondry and big thinker Noam Chomsky It is a beginners’ guide (for people like me) to understanding the links between language, philosophy and science. Made interesting because Gondry is just like the viewer, he isn’t an academic, but like most of us wants to make sense of the world. Love the bit in the film where Gondry asks Chomsky for advice about his conflict with his girlfriend over her interest in astrology. Chomsky relates his own experiences of growing up to bigger questions about the universe; why we should puzzle more about the universe and not assume we now know everything about it, how do babies learn language before they can speak it? These are all big philosophical questions, answered by a great intellectual but made understandable and interesting by a brilliant combination of Chomsky’s responses and Gondry’s wonderful animation.
The Greenham Common peace camp. On 5 September 1981 it was a group of Welsh women from “Women for Life on Earth” who marched to Greenham and set up the first peace camp – just outside the fence surrounding RAF Greenham Common – to oppose the siting of 96 cruise missiles there. The campaign against cruise missiles was one of the most inspiring for many people, both women and men, throughout the 80s.
At this event Bringing Greenham Home on 15 July organised by clubdefemmes at Home in Manchester you can watch the film Carry Greenham Home by Beeban Kidron and Amanda Richardson (who also lived at the camp for 8 months) as well as a couple of short films that are more oblique commentaries on the issues around peace/war. The speakers include Jo Blackman from Seeds of Hope and as usual with Home an academic.
Unlike the 1980s the cuurent peace movement, at least outside Scotland, is on its knees. But we need an opposition to this government’s policy of updating Trident at the cost of £205 billion! So go along to this event, remember how important Greenham Common was, but for me it’s not about memorialising the past , it’s about doing something – now!
Find out about Greater Manchester CND see
Read the stories of northern women peace activists here
To a drama about FC United. “Conceived in a Curry House” is the latest production from MaD theatre from North Manchester. The birth of FC United is a fascinating subject as I found out when I interviewed one of their founders, soon to exit Chief Executive, Andy Walsh. Read it here. Football is something I do not understand but community and cooperatives I totally get, and I think they are one way – particularly as public services are destroyed – of people getting together to create or preserve an aspect of their culture. FC United now have their own football ground, so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their anti-establishment stance.
Watch the trailer here
For info about performances see
A brilliant new performance by Banner Theatre which celebrates the role of the black and Irish communities in Birmingham. Love the inclusion of Ilene French and Jim Dodds telling their story of coming to England as part of the wonderful contribution that immigrants/migrants have and continue to make to this country. And it’s the usual mix of an excellent song by Dave Rogers and wonderful music from Fred and the rest of the band.