Ye Mighty… and Despair: Big Screen Smiley and Holy Politics

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What’s getting me excited and what’s getting me down this week

Mighty!      ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’: The Movie

John le Carre’s 1974 novel is one of the greats of the spy-thriller genre and the 1979 TV series must still rank as one of the finest the BBC has ever produced. All of which puts a lot of pressure on Thomas Alfredson who has directed the soon-to-be-released movie version of ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy‘. Gary Oldman is hardly known for his understated performances so it’s going to be a challenge for him to portray mild-mannered George Smiley – the anti-007 – and Alec Guinness shoes are mighty big ones to fill. The good news is that le Carre has been heavily involved in the production and the script and Oldman has a stellar support cast featuring Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth.

(If you fancy a taste of the TV series, some clever bastard has ‘remade’ the trailer for the new movie using clips from the television programme here.)

Despair…      God as a running mate

Rick Perry: Making George W. Bush look like an atheist

The race for the Republican nomination for next year’s presidential election has taken a while to splutter into life but we are now starting to see what the front-runners are made of and they are making George W. Bush look like a level-headed, liberal atheist. Over the least few weeks we have all started to get used to bookie’s favourite Rick Perry‘s rejection of almost anything scientific, from evolution (“a theory that is out there“) to global warming (“yes climates are changing. They’ve been changing since the world was born”), but his rival Michelle Bachmann‘s comment that Hurricane Irene was God‘s way of telling the US to cut spending (a comment she now claims was a joke) took things to a new level. There is nothing wrong with a belief in a higher power but when you’re running for the most powerful political office in the world and you believe that you have a direct line to the Almighty to help with all your decisions then things begin to get scary. What makes Perry, Bachmann and Sarah Palin poor candidates is not their faith, it’s their need to rediscover a Christian value they have evidently forgotten about – humility.

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