Everyone is now dumber…

People are dragging this scene from Billy Madison up practically every time Donald Trump makes an appearance on TV. But, I reckon that it’s worth memorising for any situation in which you have to listen to an ill-considered opinion!

“Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”


The writer and director of Bitter Lake has a new film that looks even more interesting and disturbing in equal measures:

“HyperNormalisation tells the extraordinary story of how we got to this strange time of great uncertainty and confusion – where those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed – and have no idea what to do. And, where events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control – from Donald Trump to Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening – but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.”

Seven Brides for Seven Rapists?

Currently reading Mary Beard’s hugely enjoyable SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. One of the early surprises to emerge is the connection between between the legendary ‘Rape of the Sabine Women‘ (or ‘Abduction of’ as in Poussin’s representation below), and the musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.


According to Beard:

“[The rape] is a scene that has been reimagined in in all kinds of different ways, and media, throughout history. The 1954 musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers parodies it (in the case, the wives are abducted at an American barn raising).”

Now, I’ve never seen the musical, basically because every time I’ve seen a few minutes of it on TV, it has made me groan loudly and reach for the remote control to rescue me from its sheer cheesiness. Strange to think that the idea of this ‘family favourite’ sprang out of the story of something so dark.