Friday, September 24, 2004

More Fry

If you'll forgive me for quoting two chunks of Stephen Fry in one day, Tasha Robinson let me know that the outtakes from the Onion Interview she did were up on her journal. Fry talks about acting, and Peter Cook, and Homer Simpson, and then he says the following statement, which gave me something to think about...

Bertrand Russell, the great philosopher and mathematician, got into terrible trouble by writing quite fearsome articles against the first World War when it began. He got all these letters from people who said, “My child is prepared to lay down their life for their country. Don’t you think that sacrifice demands some respect?” He wrote this extraordinary essay in which he said, “Don’t you understand? The sacrifice we’re asking of our young is not that they die for their country, but that they kill for their country.” That’s the sacrifice. To ask a child to kill someone else, whom you’ve never met. That’s a moral choice, pulling a trigger. Having a bullet hit you is not a moral choice. You don’t decide to be killed. It’s a terrible thing that happens to you. But killing something is something you do and that’s a desperate sacrifice. And we’re seeing that in the Iraq war. That’s what this poor Lynndie England did, this tragic soldier who was shot smugly smiling next to naked Arab prisoners. That’s the chickens coming home to roost. It’s not Americans being asked to die by President Bush. It’s Americans being asked to kill and to torture. Not necessarily by name. He doesn’t say, “I want you to kill this or that one.” Of course, politics isn’t that simple. Essentially that is what society does. It asks its young to kill, and that’s what we all have to live with.

Which reminded me of actor Bill Pilkington's statement when asked if he had killed anyone in the war: "Yes, I shot a nice old lady who was just about to give me breakfast." As long as the google cache holds, you can read the full story here.

Hi Neil,In your blog you mentioned asking DC about doing a complete Sandman in one volume. I was wondering, if you or DC have considered doing a new set of hardcovers, similar to the Ultimate Version of the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen that DC did last year. It would be nice to see larger format, slipcased Sandman books...perhaps with the scripts as a supplemental book. It might also be nice to someday see the trades reprinted in black and white. It's just a thought... Anyway, thanks for everything.

I don't think DC would go for it -- apart from anything else, they're very sensitive to accusations that they're trying to sell something to people twice. And I've been alternately trying to persuade them or rather pathetically to beg them to do two or maybe three slipcases for the books for the last five years. But it's one of those things (like recolouring the first two Sandman books) that everyone agrees in theory should be done, but in practice it just never seems to happen. Feel free to mention it to anyone in DC's marketing department you run into...

Hey, you probably dont have the time, but it would be really cool if you checked out my House of Mystery/Cain the Caretaker site. Its at I believe it is the only shrine out there to our charming caretaker!

I think it must be. A real labour of love (or quite possibly lust).

Re: Anne Rice and "Returned to Sender"It's worth noting that the address that "Rice" posted in that infamous review is to her famous house... that she sold earlier in the year. It makes me doubt the truth of "Anne Rice"'s review really being from her, but much smarter people than me seem convinced that yes, yes, it really was Anne Rice snapping and writing nastygrams for online booksellers. Me, I must admit that I found it a little fishy. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time a creative type finally snapped, after all. Not by a long shot.
Greg McElhatton

Well, she confirms that it was her at Which, I think, ends the subject of Anne Rice on this journal.

regarding "Rob Brydon and Dora Bryan" post. Cor, the picture and your comments made me think of the two oh-so-british parents in Time Bandits. It's one of those 'kid meets crazy friends and goes off on an amazing adventure' movie; did you and Dave get any inspiration from it? sax

Not directly, although the moment in February 2002 that Terry Gilliam looked down at the work Dave and I were doing, spread across Jim Henson's kitchen table, and said "That looks like a movie" was the moment that it all seemed to come together; and Dave and I would use the line Terry Gilliam used to describe Time Bandits as our touchstone for Mirrormask -- Terry famously said he wanted to make a movie "intelligent enough for children, and exciting enough for adults". And so did we.