Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bravo and Bernard

I know I mocked Bravo Two Zero but I just finished reading it and IT WAS GREAT!!!! I don't think a book has ever taken me on such a journey before. I don't mean the literal journey across Iraq that Andy McNabb describes, but a metaphoric journal where I started out viewing the book as trashy but then got caught up in the adventure of it and started marvelling at how McNabb coped with the harsh envirnment and then the torture when he was captured. By the end of it I was sort of in love with him. The book is very big on acronyms and SAS slang, which at first I found annoying, but by the end words like "slotted" and "gave the good news" and TACBE did not interrupt my speed-reading style.

I even (shame) went out and bought the DVD of the BBC version of Bravo Two Zero starring the very Yorkshire Sean Bean. I have only been able to watch half of it so. I am unsure if I'll be able to cope with the second half (it has all the torture stuff in it). Fortunately Andy and his boys didn't suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Apparently living in a culture of "taking the piss of everything and everyone" inures you to such things. I had always disliked the army because of the rudeness, but I guess it does psychologically prepare you for being captured by the enemy, where they'll do a lot worse to you.

I could never go in the army. I bristle with silent rage if someone tells me I'm looking a bit tired.

Did anyone see the Bernard Manning thing on Channel 4? I was prepared to give him a chance, never having really seen his act or anything. (For non-Brits, Bernard Manning is a stand-up comedian, famed for his racist humour.) At a hotel in Blackpool he started off quite well, making a self deprecatory joke about his appearance, but it then descended into a racist rant, directed at the sole black member of the audience, while everyone else gacked with laughter. Horrible. Worse still, when Manning was confronted about his racism after the show, he responded with abuse and arrogance "I've worked in Vegas and drive a Rolls! You're nobody! Everyone who hates me is just jealous!" He's dead now. It's probably for the best. I hope the jokes died with him.


KAZ said...

Thanks for banging the final nail in Manning's coffin. The Manchester Evening news was too determined to 'give him the benefit of the doubt'.
I should like Sean Bean - but he just doesn't do it for me. I don't think he can act.

fab said...

Thanks for the B2Z clip. Even though it's a very difficult movie to watch, I think it's a good one. Having the Bean in it helps a great deal, of course. ;) Guess I'll have to add the book to my ever growing pile.