Knitting And Catastrophe

“Knitting And Catastrophe In The Cinema”. Who could resist a talk with such a title? Certainly not me, which is why I pranced majestically through the south London streets in freezing temperatures yesterday evening to go and listen to Jonathan Faiers explain all.

Unfortunately, Dr Faiers turned out to be an academic, so his talk – which contained some interesting and intriguing snippets – was couched in dreadful brain-numbing postmodern gobbledegook. I realise that to carve out a career in modern academia you have to talk and write like that, but how one yearns to hear a simple, straightforward sentence! Instead, it’s all “discourses interrogating notions of the Other”, blah blah bollocks. I think “interrogate”, in its various forms, popped out of Dr Faiers’ mouth half a dozen times in little more than twenty minutes. I would happily have subjected him to a proper interrogation, tied to a chair in a secret police basement with a Klieg light shoved in his face.

Things were not helped by the fact that he was unable to master the technology to show us the film clips with which he meant to illustrate his blather. These would have included scenes from The King Of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983), Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1961), Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968), and Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944). You see what I mean? It could have been very interesting indeed.

In spite of all, I do applaud Dr Faiers for his title. “Knitting And Catastrophe In The Cinema” deserves its place in any list of highly amusing academic studies, alongside the one I devised thirty years ago, in tandem with my then colleague, the journalist and television person Tracey MacLeod. We planned to insert, in a bibliography, reference to a paper entitled “Topiary And Miscegenation In Contemporary Cinema”. Alas, it never appeared, for reasons I cannot now recall.

4 thoughts on “Knitting And Catastrophe

  1. Firstly, if the technology were so bad how on earth could you hear the word ‘interrogate’ more than half a dozen times? Can’t you be more accurate than that, given that you were so keen on counting [sort of]? And secondly, please get your facts right. Dr Faiers was in no way responsible for the mastery of the atrocious set up of technology, it was the fault of the inadequate organisers who invited him to present his paper! Don’t you realise that invited speakers don’t actually set up the technology? Others do.
    Thirdly, Mr Key, you appear so bold here, threatening to subject Jonathan to a real interrogation and yet rather two-facedly have the gall to contact him more privately, passing on information about the film you cite above with no mention of your offensive and intimidatory rant. Not so brave to be a shit to someone directly, eh? Hope you are contented that you have been so despicable to someone who provided you with at least a page of poison in combination with references to films that you may go and have a look at for yourself. Then you can simplistically think about them [maybe], which may satisfy your craving! Doubtful though as you seem to be someone who revels in denigrating and dismissing others, without looking in the mirror that often. Still know Tracey MacLeod do ya? Doubt it!

  2. Yipes, “Who are you?” Visit the site before you yammer. Enjoy the surrealism. Take a deep breath. Try not to be so deeply offended by someone else’s experience of a talk that you or your hero gave. Mr. Key is not on the tenure committee. Be grateful that any member of the public bothers to listen to academics at all.

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