plus c’est la même chose. That’s your actual French! This somewhat Hackneyed (or should I be using some cognate Parisian arrondissement? Is Cliché somewhere in the banlieue, peut-être?) old phrase was brought to mind by a couple of recent events which, if you are sitting comfortably, I shall now go on to relate.
After a few days of relative dryness and warmth – on a couple of occasions I was bold enough to venture out without the prophylaxis provided by waterproofs, and on some 50% of these excursions I didn’t even get wet – normal service has been resumed. This particular part of “flaming” June is, of course, famed for its extreme precipitation: forming as it does that dangerous conjunction of the Glastonbury Festival and the start of Wimbledon. Such is the mythic power of Glastonbury, that even in a year marked by its festival’s absence it is still able to cast a pall over the weather. This is a part of the grail and Arthurian legends that is little mentioned, though Joseph of Arimathea was supposed to have arrived by boat across the flooded countryside, which should perhaps have been a warning (many myths do hold some small germ of truth within). The foolish organisers of the Isle of Wight festival – and more cogently those choosing either to attend their event or who merely wished to visit or escape the Isle – are paying for their hubris in moving to such an ill-omened weekend. If there is one thing Tlaloc loves more than a four day bank holiday, it’s the conjunction of an outdoor festival and a tennis tournament. I rather think he is a fan of the concert hall and Real Tennis: talking of the former, I did wonder if Gustavo Dudamel had been mis-informed about the climate of Stirling when he choose to hold a concert outdoors last night (rather than choosing an indoor setting), the poor audience did look very storm-wracked.
In an attempt to find some psychic shelter from recent meteorological conditions, I have been watching the re-booted version of Hawaii Five O: it does rain quite a bit, but it does look like very warm rain. This is all very glossy and seems to have the sort of budget of which British television can only dream. It also tends to be a tad irritating, but I’ve kept watching it (so far) for Scott Caan’s Danno who is allowed to be sardonic and to limp (though the latter may not be acting, I have not researched the real-life state of his cruciate ligament). However, my primary beef is that it suffers from the same issue as Midsomer Murders (among many others) – no, it is not that the cast is overwhelmingly white and given that it is set in the US, I am willing to believe the rate of violent death portrayed may be realistic (though I have not checked the stats on this) – it is just that the villain is always the most famous member of the guest cast. The only saving grace is that my knowledge of the relative fame of US actors is less finely nuanced than it is back home, and so for a few episodes there does remain a small element of mystery as to whodunit. I think this may be why I find Scandinavian detective drama so effective – I don’t (yet) know their pool of acting talent and so I can still rely on the traditional bases of good police work (so far as I’m aware, CID are unable to use the fame of their suspects to find their (wo)man). I really feel casting is in need of a revolutionary new approach – both here and across the Herring Pond – if detective drama is to regain its ability to confound my expectations.