Your worship needed a god.
Where it lacked one, it found one.
Ordinary jocks became gods
Deified by your infatuation
That seemed to have been designed at birth for a god.
It was a god-seeker. A god-finder.
Your Daddy had been aiming you at God
When his death touched the trigger.
In that flash
You saw your whole life. You ricocheted
The length of your Alpha career
With the fury
Of a high-velocity bullet
That cannot shed one foot-pound
Of kinetic energy. The elect
More or less died on impact –
They were too mortal to take it.
They were mind-stuff,
Provisional, speculative, mere auras.
Sound-barrier events along your flightpath.
But inside your sob-sodden Kleenex
And your Saturday night panics,
Under your hair done this way and that way,
Behind what looked like rebounds
And the cascade of cries diminuendo,
You were undeflected.
You were gold-jacketed, solid silver,
Nickel-tipped. Trajectory perfect
As through ether. Even the cheek-scar,
Where you seemed to have side-swiped concrete,
Served as a rifling groove
To keep you true.
Till your real target
Hid behind me. Your Daddy,
The god with the smoking gun. For a long time
Vague as mist, I did not even know
I had been hit,
Or that you had gone clean through me To bury yourself at last in the heart of the god.
In my position, the right witchdoctor
Might have caught you in flight with his bare hands,
Tossed you, cooling, one hand to the other,
Godless, happy, quieted.
A wisp of your hair, your ring, your watch, your nightgown.
- Ted Hughes
I visited the BFI Mediatheque at Bridgeton Library yesterday, and spent a great two hours watching films from the BFI’s National Archive. It’s a great resource, open 6 days a week and totally free!
Blood Ah Goh Run (1982) - documentary about the bungled police investigation of the New Cross Fire in London in 1981, in which 13 black teenagers were killed. The New Cross Massacre Action Committee was formed in the aftermath of the tragedy, which led to a massive day of action on the streets of London, documented here.
Darling, Do You Love Me? (1968) - experimental, avant garde short in which a vampire-like Germaine Greer harasses an indifferent young man.
Another World By Sean Connery (1962) - charity appeal for RNIB, in which an awkward Sean Connery shows us the daily struggles faced by blind people.
It Ain’t Half Racist Mum (1979) - Stuart Hall and Maggie Steed reveal how racist ideas were spread and and facilitated by popular culture - TV news, sitcoms and documentaries.
A Is For Autism (1992) - lovely collaborative animation about the experiences of autistic children, using the children’s drawings and audio footage to help us understand the condition.
Delhi 1946 (1946) - amateur 8mm footage by a Mrs. Lord, of Delhi and, incongruously, her dog dressed in human drag.
Find out more about the BFI Mediatheque here.