2020 begins!

Greetings, I’m back!

Yes, this is Jon Ellison. The last time I published something on this site was when I played my final respects to Shane Rimmer, best known for voicing Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds. The reason why it’s been so long is because of nothing personal, but because I wanted to take a break, so that I could focus on other writing projects and film related ones too. So in short, work and studies were the reason.
I thought I’d return briefly to reflect on the moments of 2019 and welcome the year of 2020. Believe me, I went through a lot last year, but I’m thinking where I start.
2019 was a pretty easy year for me. I’ve entered my second and final year of my Masters in Creative Writing. There have been some hard subjects, but what do you expect from that level? I’m still enjoying it. I’m still employed which is another good thing. I still claim membership and show my support for the Labour Party and I’ve been attending a few more events. I’ve met some interesting people including Lightning from Gladiators and John Challis, both at Reading festival. And finally, I’m no longer single. It was hard to find a significant match through all these years, but my new girlfriend has made my dreams come true.
Of course, every year has its bad moments. We do hear a lot of talk about the increasing homelessness, but sadly, that’s true. I’ve seen it in my hometown of Leicester and have done my very best to give them a bit of money for survival. Hopefully that fish & chip place in Wales did open to them. It’s not surprising though considering we still have the Conservatives in power. Earlier on, after her failed attempts to get Brexit done, Theresa May as we know resigned as prime minister. Now we have Boris Johnson who is much worse. I’m not just saying that. He doesn’t listen to the public, nor does he realise what Brexit will do to us. I won’t go on about it, because I’ve done that in previous posts. And don’t get me started on his negotiations with Donald Trump(!). Each country has had its fair share of ups and downs too. Again I shan’t go into too much detail, but lets hope the fires in Australia have cleared.
And finally, I shall point out those who we lost last year (I haven’t listed everybody, but here it is);
Mark Hollis
Keith Flint
Judith Kerr
Doris Day
Albert Finney
Peter Fonda
Rip Torn
Luke Perry
Rene Auberjonois
Carroll Spinney
Leonard Goldberg
Robert Forster
Diahann Carroll
Ric Ocasek
Eddie Money
Hal Prince
Rutger Hauer
Dr John
Peter Mayhew
John Singleton
Sid Sheinberg
Katherine Helmond
Andre Previn
Stanley Donen
Peter Tork
Bruno Ganz
Jan-Michael Vincent
Carol Channing
Bob Einstein
and finally Shane Rimmer
The reason I left him till last is because I ironically met him at Leicester’s Space Centre the year before, only a few months before his death. At that time, there was a Gerry Anderson-themed event. It made me think what a lucky sod I was to have met him.
So that was my review of last year. I’m glad I took the time to come back to write this. Here’s to 2020. Here’s hoping that Boris Johnson will start coming to his senses.

Shane Rimmer FAB

On September last year, I had attended a Gerry Anderson themed event at the National Space Centre in Leicester. I came dressed as Aloysious Parker from Thunderbirds. Well, sort of. I remembered Parker wore a suit. But one thing I lacked was colouring for my hair and I should’ve really removed my glasses. But the most special time occurred when I met one of Gerry’s many veterans, Shane Rimmer. He was a truly awesome guy. We got chatting briefly about his experiences and he gave me some useful tips on writing. Those included to research other writing materials and the topics covered in a film/TV episode and to carefully consider the characters’ vocabularies.

Here I am with Shane Rimmer. God bless him.

In the wake of Shane’s passing, I meant to write this blog post around that point, but I had been busy with assignments for my course, work and so forth. During a previous post, I stated that I was taking a hiatus from building up this blog. However, considering how lucky I was to meet Shane and that I’m such a fan of the stuff he’s contributed to, I felt it would be an appropriate time to express my honour to him. Plus today is what could’ve been his 90th birthday.

Most people will remember Shane Rimmer as the voice actor for Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds. His character is known to pilot Thunderbird 1, which launches out of a swimming pool, and he is in fact the oldest brother in the Tracy family. He’s known for his fast-paced talking and quick thinking skills. Thunderbirds was Shane’s first collaboration with Gerry Anderson.

Other voice credits for Gerry’s other shows include as various characters in Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons and in Joe 90 and as the titular character in Dick Spanner PI. He also had cameos in some of the James Bond movies including You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Live & Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me, and in blockbuster movies including Star Wars, Superman, Gandhi and even Batman Begins. Some of you may not recognise him in person, but those of you familiar with Thunderbirds will certainly recognise his voice. There’s one more acting role I should point out and that’s as Joe Donelli in Coronation Street, an American former army guy. Of course, that role was a couple of decades before I was born, but my god, Joe’s death scene, when he sings Silent Night while holding a resident hostage, is so great.

Shane also make a valid contribution to writing. If you check out his resume via IMDB or something, you’ll notice that he wrote episodes for Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons (Avalanche, Expo 2068 and Inferno), most of which end with the Mysterons winning a battle against Spectrum, Joe 90 (Splashdown and King For A Day included), one episode of Secret Service, and some for the Protectors (Zeke’s Blues and Blockbuster). In fact, the episode Avalanche was Shane’s first writing credit. In this one, Captain Scarlet and Lieutenant Green (yes, on that rare occasion, Green and Captain Blue have switched main roles with each other, long story) attempt to block an attack on a network of missile bases in Canada, which is Shane’s birthplace. During their investigation, Scarlet and Green check out every single base to find that the personnel in each base has suffocated due to the removal of oxygen. That, I call an awesome debut!

Considering that Gerry Anderson died before Shane Rimmer did, I have yet to know of anybody personally who actually met Gerry in person. If fans of the shows didn’t get chance, they may have been lucky enough to meet Shane Rimmer. Him or any of the other lot who worked with Gerry. As mentioned above, I was very lucky to meet Shane and he was a lovely bloke. He was talkative and cooperative. I shall cherish that picture of us both and never forget that day.

Shane Rimmer, may you have a happy 90th birthday up in the skies. As Scott Tracy and his fellow Thunderbirds characters would say, F-A-B.

Girls & Boys

https://www.wtnh.com/news/connecticut/hartford/100-girls-to-be-inducted-into-boy-scouts-for-first-time-ever-in-hartford/1744918307?fbclid=IwAR158N6wI2Ff8bHmdXeRb8YFB6nYp1eEaQu4EMSlAZXeK2yVL8ozVDggPtE

I was browsing through social media when I noticed a really interesting article, which you’ll find via the link above. Apparently, for the first time in Hartford, USA, a number of girl scouts are joining the boy scouts. Or to put it another way, a more mixed scout group.

Although I welcome the movement, it’s not exactly the first time that’s occurred, which I shall go into detail about in a bit. As many people may know, the Scout Association was founded by Robert Baden Powell, a former soldier, in 1910 and incorporated in 1912. For some decades, the gender groups were separate. This was until 1976 when somewhere in the UK, the girls were allowed access to the Venture Scouts which at the time was aimed for those in their late-teens. Although there are mixed gender groups nowadays, it seemed very rare back when I was a member of the Association. I’m a former Scout member myself.

When I was a primary school student, my brother was already a member and my mom persuaded me to have a go. First I joined Beavers, which is like the first level. I was six at the time. Then as I reached the age of eight, I ‘graduated’ to Cubs. I’d say I found that part of the Association more memorable. I didn’t go to Scouts, as in the third level, because I had quit before I joined. One reason being was because at the time I was still in Cubs even though I had just entered Year 6 in the school year and thought, “I should be in Scouts by now”. But another reason was that I started to get bored with it and wanted to do other things.

Looking back, I didn’t find the experience too bad. I do have fond memories of being a member of the Scout Association. I can remember the games we participated in i.e. Traffic Lights, Dead Lions, the beans game, Frog On A Log (In The Pond), some to name. I can also remember the songs we sang. One of them, which makes me laugh just think about it, was the Coca Cola song sung to the tune of Frere Jacques (“Coca Cola x2, Makes you burp x 2, Have another bottle x2, Burp burp burp x2”). I remember singing the belching song to the tune of Bingo. It went like this; “there was a man who opened his mouth, and this is what came out of it”, and then I took a sip of water and ensured it was still in my esophagus by the time I sang “B-U-R-P” and then belch. I did that three times and then I sang “Of course it was a” and then belch. Those were good times. Plus I can’t think of anybody I didn’t get on with.

But the con was that neither the Beavers group nor the Cubs group were mixed, gender-wise. It was just boys, aside from the group leaders. It was like being in a same-sex school and I’m lucky I didn’t go to a boys school. However, it seemed odd. I remember one of the boys once quoting “girls don’t go to Beavers”. I couldn’t remember if it was at that or Cubs. Sometime later, my mom said that “girls go to Rainbows/Brownies”. Apparently, she wanted to join when she was younger, but didn’t due to financial reasons. The next thing I noticed, when I moved on to Cubs, we each had a handbook and I remember seeing some pictures on the front cover and there was one of boys and girls mixing together. I thought “wait a minute, of course girls do go to Scout clubs. How come we ain’t mixing?”

Oh well. I’m not saying all that just to be PC. I just think that it’d be a great opportunity to include both boys and girls in a Scout Group. Therefore, and even though it’s strange that the movement has not occurred before in Hartford, may it commence!

Lives On Empty Stomachs

Hello felow blog readers, sorry I haven’t posted a lot in a while. I had just been busy with projects and work troubles. However, I’ve had a few minutes to spare to write this post in regards to my disgust with Theresa May’s latest and senseless actions.

Last week I signed a petition, which was pitted against May’s plans to abolish free school meals. Many readers who read my previous blogs may know that I’m a member of the Labour Party. Many other Labour members/voters also signed the petition. Yesterday, I received the news through a few online news articles and an email from Tom Watson that we lost the vote and now May has officially banned free school meals.

These are the reasons why I signed the petition. Firstly, the childrens’ families who are affected by this probably can’t even afford food at all. There is nearly a million people in the United Kingdom who are unemployed, many of who are claiming Universal Credit and/or Job Seeker’s Allowance. Those people earn very little money, an estimated £75 per week which simply isn’t enough to cover food shopping or electric/house/water bills. The free school meals would’ve therefore benefited the children, because at least the meals wouldn’t have come out of the theirs or the families’ limited wages.

As Tom Watson stated in his email message;
“One in five children in my West Bromwich East constituency are currently eligible for free school meals. But not for much longer. Currently, all families on Universal Credit can claim free lunches. New rules mean from April 1, children in Year Three and above won’t be eligible in future if their parents are working and earning more than £7,400.”

It was bad enough when Margaret Thatcher banned free milk for primary school children. But May’s policy on school lunches is about to prove worse. What’s more disturbing is that even the Democratic Unionist Party is behind this. We may soon be living in a nation which’ll rely on someone to steal from the rich snobs in order to save the poor’s lives.

Theresa, if you’re reading this, I hope you and your Tory friends are satisfied. You’ve just put nearly a million British children in poverty. We warned you of the consequences your plans would cause, but you were just too ignorant. If any children end up injuring themselves, get poorly or, worse, die, all due to the lack of food, we’ll all know who to account for this.

My views on Paddington Bear

Good day fellow blog readers, three months since I published my last post (Top 11 Elton John Songs). Sorry it’s been like three months. I’d just had so many things on my mind, but don’t worry, I haven’t disappeared completely. I’m back with my response to a certain news-story that’s been such a high profile one since like the middle of last week.

I’m here to talk about the death of an author named Michael Bond who apparently created Paddington Bear. It’s been reported on every radio station I flicked through, reported on Facebook and even via Wikipedia. I understand how sad it is when someone dies and I offer my sympathies to those who was fans of the author’s creation, but I have to be honest, even when I was growing up, I never liked Paddington Bear that much.

I think my mom grew up with that bear and I heard some of the radio presenters expressing their nostalgia. But nostalgia is something I lack within this creation. I remember seeing pictures and one episode of the TV show, I just didn’t find Paddington that interesting or appealing. So what, he’s a bear who lives in London, hence being named after one of the towns and is dressed as a ploughman? And all the other characters are humans? And he has a taste for marmalade sarnies? I don’t get it. What’s Paddington’s purpose in life? What does he do for a living? What does he wish for? Is he homeless? And speaking of which, that TV adaptation – all the characters, props and settings are hand-drawn and colourless, except Paddington, who’s a stop-mo, er, model in colour? Why not make him the same as the other elements or make all the other characters stop-motion models? It was at least one episode I saw in my life and even as a kid, I found it forgettable and it’s something I would’ve tended to skip.

It seems that Paddington has ironically led an impact among many people. There have been two movies based on Paddington, one just recently coming out. Due to my long lack of interest within it, I dodged the first one and have no intention to see the next. Even the web series-based company voted the TV show as one of The Top 10 British Animated Shows. Er fair enough. But it hasn’t changed my views. Nor did I place it on my personal Top 25 List of UK Kid’s TV Shows, because in my opinion, if pigs could fly, Paddington Bear would compete with more exciting shows i.e. Thunderbirds, Wallace & Gromit, Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons, The Animals Of Farthing Wood, Byker Grove and so forth.

I saw more interesting fictional bears compared to Paddington. These include Baloo from The Jungle Book, Fozzie from the Muppets, oh and Yogi Bear and his kid brother BoBo. Also does Sooty count? I even saw a group of Martian mice who ride motorcycles, turtles who gouge on pizza and have martial arts skills, a dog who works for the law enforcement in Mississippi, an earthworm who wears a spacesuit, a blue hedgehog with an ability to run at the speed of light, some to name. Them creations made my childhood!

Mike, if you’re looking down from heaven, I meant no offence.

2017 begins

Happy new year everybody! Once again, the start of a new year begins. Hopefully 2017 should be a massive improvement compared to 2016. As usual, I shall be exploring what was good and what was bad about 2016 and wondering what we’ll get in 2017.

Firstly, let’s look at the good stuff about 2016… yeah I know, but there have been at least a few. Firstly, I give it credit for Van Morrison’s knighthood, which I think is a well deserved recognition for he’s one of my personal favourite musicians. Cliff Richard’s been cleared of sex-abuse charges and I sure hope the so-called victims, who were probably secretly smirking about it, are going to apologise to him some day, because I just know Cliff is as innocent as hell and would never do such a thing. There are two sides of the argument. I mean you just don’t know if the victims are telling the truth or just seeking attention. Also, certain birthdays deserve some credit and I recently heard that the war in Syria is to be ceased. Hopefully that will definitely happen.

As for me, I didn’t experience a lot of great things, apart from working on about four film projects, plus two show videos and speaking of theatre, finding work with a theatre-based company near Loughborough in Leicester. Also, my brother and I saw Chas & Dave at the 02 Academy in Leicester. To see a really famous music act is always a lot of fun and Chas & Dave are awesome examples! Another highlight being outings with the Labour Party and seeing a mate of mine in a fantastic theatre show in Loughborough (short plays originally performed for the Grand Guiniol).

But unfortunately, I can’t pretend that 2016 was a good year, because aside from those events, it wasn’t. And the following videos state a really good point about it. The first from a totally ace guy named Adam. Warning, it contains very strong language.

And here’s another honest one from Watchmojo.com;

Moving right? Well, I of course sympathise with them. Britain has left the EU and I voted to remain as you can see in one of my previous posts (In EU!). I shan’t go on too much about it, but the fact that we left has left a wider space to discriminate and I just know the economy’s about to get worse. I even made a YouTube video expressing my disgust with the final result; again I apologise for the swearing on that one. David Cameron, who is a member of the Conservative party, which I of course don’t support, resigned as prime minister, because he wanted to remain (I give him credit for that) and felt that he couldn’t get the country out of the mess. What a wuss! Now that Teresa May’s in charge, we hoped she’d sort things out, but she hasn’t made enough of an effort. Then there’s Donald Trump’s election as president of the USA. If I was American, I would’ve voted for Hillary Clinton, because she’s way better than Trump and all I could do was pray that she would win. But no, it had to be a right-wing nut-job who’s religion-phobic and made offensive jokes about sexual abuse and plans to waste taxpayer’s money on a futile boarder around the country insisting that Mexico help out and I don’t think Mexico are dumb enough to fall for it. Also we had a terror attack in Belgium and a deliberate lorry crash in Germany, plus what I’ve just heard, a gunman killing some innocent people in Turkey, during a New Year’s ceremony.

I didn’t have the greatest year of my life myself. I lost a job – made redundant, nothing personal, which means I need to find full-time job soon. Even gym-membership has risen too much in money. Again, I’ll need a job quick or I may have to sacrifice the membership.

Just as things couldn’t get any worse, I had woken up to so many celebrity deaths.

Sylvia Anderson, Harper Lee, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Victoria Wood, Chyna, Zza Zza Gabor, Jo Cox (again referring to my anger with Brexit), Bryan Bedford, John Glen (the astronaut), Robert Vaughn, Ronnie Corbert, Richard Adams, Andrew Sachs, Greg Lake, Frank Kelly, Pete Burns, Rick Parfitt, Paul Daniels, Terry Wogan, Glenn Frey, Henry Heimlich, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Gene Wilder, Muhammed Ali, Alan Rickman,…

But the celebrity death that upset me the most and still upsets me; David Bowie. He was my favourite musician and I never got to meet him. That was a particularly bad start to the year as well, along with Alan Rickman and Bryan Bedford (who had the same illness), and I’ll never forgive 2016 for claiming his life. In fact, I shall never forgive 2016 for all those other horrible events. And especially, my middle finger goes to Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage for trying to influence millions of people through their arrogance.

This is why I pray to god that 2017 be a better year; claim less people’s lives, hatred and prejudice to be cut down on and to ensure the futile war stays ceased.

Please be a good one 2017. Goodbye and good riddance 2016!

IN EU!

Hey guys, not long now till the polling station opens in regards to the votes on whether the United Kingdom should stay or leave the European Union (EU). The voting begins on Thursday and there’s been some debate on the subject of staying in/leaving the EU. For the purpose of this post, I want to share what I personally think.

I’m voting to remain in the EU. When I first heard that voting was to take place this year, I was unsure what to vote for. But through one of my monthly meetings with the Labour Party, we had a discussion on the EU and one of my fellow members, who is a war veteran, stated that he was in favour of remaining in the EU and pointed out that the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the other European countries are like a ‘brotherhood’. Plus he recalled his experiences during the war and remembered when the UK and the other countries worked together to attempt to end the war. I say he had a darn good point! The EU was set up with the aim to end the wars between the neighbouring countries. There’s no reason why we can’t get along.

Another reason why I’m for being part of the EU is because x% of the UK’s jobs are part of the trade unions. Some of the large businesses are networked across the continent. If we leave the EU, we could face a much deeper financial crisis than we are in now. If we stay, we could receive an opportunity to defend/extend the rights of people and work. Jeremy Corbyn recently said this and those were words from a pure intelligent man.

We were even faced with a few confrontations in recent times. At one point, members of the British First (a party which is a cross between UKIP and the National Front), crept into my hometown Leicester, a county which is meant to be fascist-intolerant, and campaigned for Britain to leave the EU. The crowd rightly said “racists are not welcome” and Paul Golding of the British First was rightly arrested. And this is another reason why I’m favour of staying in the EU; anti-racism. The British First, National Front and UKIP are clearly too ignorant to understand the meaning of ‘civilisation’. They complain about the amount of immigration there is in Britain. I don’t give a damn how many immigrants there are in the UK. I’m proud to have interacted with people from foreign countries. They’ve made a massive and positive contribution to the UK. We’ve had film-makers and artists and caterers, hell I’m proud to have had a French teacher at my school. Without her, I wouldn’t’ve obtained a GCSE in the subject. The foreign interaction also relates to the European workers network. I even dismiss the various comments “oh they’re taking our jobs”. Whoever says such a thing needs to get one’s own facts straight; they’re just doing jobs that certain ‘Brits’ don’t want to do. If people want to make the UK ‘British’ again, then I don’t recall racism being British. I don’t even recall it being American. The problem isn’t to do with immigrants, it’s businesses purposefully exploiting cheaper labour. If you don’t like immigrants, explain the fact that certain Brits are emigrating to other countries. EXPLAIN THE HYPOCRISY!!!

As I was saying about civilisation, it doesn’t mean banishing people, it means welcoming people. Simple as that. Treat people like you would treat your family and friends, no matter what their nationality is. Even Leicester is known to have welcomed various cultures. A few years ago, a friend of mine commented in the Leicester Mercury on how great the restaurants are and expressed the positiveness of the different cultures Leicester has. Many countries have worked with each other since the beginning of time.

So in short, this is why I’m voting for the EU; more jobs, more opportunities, less racial hatred and a stronger future. Anybody who sends me a flyer representing a Leave campaign is wasting their own time, because I ain’t going to be brainwashed by the phoney £350 million saving clap-trap. I know whatever they said about that ain’t true.

Before I end this post, I also want to pay my respects to Jo Cox who was killed last week. As a member of the same party she was MP for i.e. Labour, I also want to express my disgust with the murderer Thomas Mair, who said “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”. I say that’s disgusting, because clearly, he’s likely to be a member and/or support of the British First and using that as an excuse to harm innocent people who have a brain and know what’s really right for Britain and the rest of the world. It makes me sick to think that members/supporters of the British First or equivalent commit such acts, just because the victims happen to be from an ‘intolerable background’ according to their policies.

I’m sure Jo would’ve wanted to see Britain win the Remain in EU vote.