Welcome to another edition of ‘Digital World Wired’. As always each edition will bring you the latest news from the worlds of Entertainment, Science and Social Media outlets.
Living in Britain during the Thatcher Era has not left me with many good memories of the 1980s. The release of Government documents under the ‘Thirty Year Rule’ has reminded me why many of us were so political back then and how right we were that Government and Politicians are out of step with the people they represent, not to mention never taking a long term view of anything.
Right under our noses in 1983 (the year of a General Election,) The Government and Whitehall mandarins, were planning and making ready for war. Surprising because the great British public knew nothing of this, even though 24, 000 reservists were being called up in February of that year.
Much is made of The Queen’s recorded video speech that thankfully never saw the light of day. And one it has been hinted at that she herself never saw.
All this revelation has done is to remind me just how right many of us were to be political, to campaign and ask questions of our then Government. Given War was being planned, why wasn’t chemical warfare suits issued to the entire population? Simply put, we didn’t matter. We would have been collateral damage in a war based on the notion of fighting “Evil Empire”. How close to a 1984 Society we really were. Quite literally.
Speaking of 1984, as if it wasn’t enough to have a CCTV camera for one in every fourteen people, it now seems (according poll carried out by Nokia,) that one in twelve Britons admits to photographing attractive strangers. Approximately seven million UK Adults admitted to taking intimate pictures of themselves. Certainly improved technology of smartphones has made photography far more accessible to Joe and Jane Public than it once was. This Editor will admit (even though not polled himself,) to being guilty of what the poll reveals. I have only ever photographed a complete stranger once and that was on a bus some four years ago. I could not resist the act, as the lady was dressed classically in 1940s fashion making her truly unique. I still have the picture to this day. On the subject of intimate pictures, this is the individual’s choice but unfortunately such pictures have a way of finding their way into the public domain. This could be via ex-partners taking revenge for the break-up of a relationship or the person themselves making a mistake with the technology at hand and finding they have text or uploaded their photos by mistake, maybe to Facebook as an example. Such things do happen unfortunately. Smartphones are now like ‘Tri-coders’. They are now our personal databanks, libraries and repositories of our lives. We lose them, they are hacked into or stolen so are our lives. Our very privacy. I recently downloaded a range of pictures of all descriptions from a compatible smartphone I have had for nearly five years. I was surprised at the pictures I had rediscovered. Some very intimate. We need to be far more pro-active in protecting our privacy.
Moving onto the world of Literature and Entertainment, it would seem that now the works Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are out of copyright, there is a lawsuit going in the US, that could see the estate seriously out of pocket. It is a fact that the revival of Doyle’s most famous creation Sherlock Holmes, is enjoying a revival on both sides of the Atlantic. Two Guy Ritchie films (a third to be produced), another series of BBC’s Sherlock in the works and the success of CBS’ Elementary (featuring Jonny Lee Miller as a New York-based modern day Sherlock Holmes,) shows times have never been good for Sherlock and the Estate or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
One could well argue that Sherlock has never out of popularity as some film and TV drama has always been produced of the character. Basil Rathbone has been one of the most memorable portrayals of the character but there have been countless film and television adaptations over the decades. So what is it that makes the character so successful now that he wasn’t over the years? I can only assume the recent film and television productions have breathed new life into the character by taking different more radical approaches. Both BBC and CBS productions set Sherlock Holmes in a modern day setting (London and New York respectively). Guy Ritchie by casting Robert Downey Jr., and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson respectively, will draw in audiences that follow both actors but who may not necessarily be interested in the characters or have read the books. Having said that, I was watching the 1990s television adaptations with the late Jeremy Brett, when my daughter surprised me by knowing the story (she had studied it at school). So maybe a younger audience is aware of Sherlock Holmes but were waiting for a version that spoke to them. Now there are three.
William Boyd as a Writer is someone I have a great deal of time for. I have been aware of William and his work since 1992 so I am pleased to discover that the Estate of Ian Fleming commissioned him to write a James Bond Novel. ‘Solo’ is due to hit bookshops in September and the story will be set in 1969. I for one will be reserving my copy. As a side note, Dominic West will be doing the audio book version of the Novel. We the readers and listeners are the true winners on this one. That said:-
There is plenty more to see, read, and watch domestically and internationally throughout this edition of Digital World Wired.