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Wednesday 7th November 2012

I'd gone to bed with Mitt Romney edging ahead of Barrack Obama and the pundits talking about a change of president or at least the possibility of recounts and close calls meaning it we'd be kept on tenterhooks for weeks before finding out if we were to have our first Mormon president. I am hoping there might be a Morlock president within my lifetime. I don't think he could do any worse than Romney would.
But luckily I woke to discover that Obama was still President and that he seemed to have won fairly comfortably and this was a relief. Not that I think Obama is by any means brilliant, but at least he says progressive things and isn't opposed to gay marriage or abortion or basically letting people make those kind of choices for themselves. America has the chance to be a shining beacon of modernity and freedom for the world, but it could also become an oppressive and fascistic state (you know, more than it is already). Wouldn't it be awesome if the ideals of Obama's victory speech could become reality? It's not impossible that they could. America has made some big changes both good and bad in the last fifty years. I've nothing against Mormons aside from their religion being insane hokum, but I am glad that Romney has no control over my fate.
Was it all the British people on Twitter instructing their (presumably minimal and probably Obama-supporting) American followers to get out and vote? Almost certainly. There's nothing people like more than being told what to do by some outsider. And the kind of people who supported Romney were certainly going to turn on a sixpence (sorry a dime) if some liberal Brit instructed them to.
If Frankie Boyle is the Mick Jagger of comedy, but a Mick Jagger who has very few of the attributes associated with the singer Mick Jagger, then anything is possible. And if he Frankie Boyle is that, then it was the Twitter people what won it. But only if he is. You made need to listen to this week's RHLSTP to understand this and even then you probably won't.
I was sad to hear that good old Clive Dunn had died, though he had a good knock, especially with the curse of Dad's Army hanging over his head and made it to 92. For anyone my age he is firmly at the heart of childhood, the singer of one of the first "pop" songs I remember singing, "Grandad" (one that I remember singing to my grandfathers and making them happy so it's even more emotive) and one of the few songs aimed at someone so young (I also like and remember Rolf Harris'"Two Little Boys" and the Goodies stuff very fondly). But Dunn was also the star of the sitcom that my family watched and laughed at together and he (and Pike perhaps) was the character that appealed to us tots, because he was slap-stick and silly and got panicky even as he called for others not to do so. We didn't know that he wasn't really old (though he was still around 50 so we'd have thought he was anyway). He seemed like a lovely fella too.
He holds a position of real emotional resonance, connecting me to my childhood, to my grandparents, to things that are lost and cannot be regained.
As I got older I appreciated different things about Dads Army and comedy and maybe Dunn's antics seemed too broad to my cynical eye (though I am pretty sure he still made me laugh nonetheless). He was in the TV series Grandad which I fancy that Phil Fry and me thought was a bit childish and pathetic (I was 12 when it started) and yet I find that I still pretty much know the entire theme song. So I doubt I could have been learning it entirely ironically. "Playing the pianna in the strangest manner, the words all right, but the tunes all wrong!" I hope that theme will become a posthumous number one.
Rest in Peace, Clive.

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