Thursday, July 28, 2011

Captain America

It's great to visit foreign countries and sample everything their culture has to offer. So today I went for lunch at the Elephant & Castle, a Canadian chain pub named after a decrepit shopping centre in South London, purchased Anno Dracula, a British alternate history written by a man from Somerset, and watched Captain America, a film about a bloke in blue tights from Brooklyn.

Along the way, my parents materialised in Halifax after a short flight across the pond from London. We installed them in the hotel and then discovered that there was a welcoming party laid on by the hotel with free drinks for anyone who arrived on a Wednesday. These Canadians really are gosh-darn nice.

Sadly their beer isn't so nice; I had a bottle of Molson and a pint of something 'amber' in the Elephant & Castle, and neither of them were wonderful, though not as bad as the faux-Guinness from a few days ago. I had some wine for dinner (sorry, with my dinner - I'm not a dipsomaniac) and that wasn't bad - certainly better than the homemade wine/turpentine I tried to choke back a couple of days ago.

We're not drinking beer on the boat if I can help it: wine seems to be the safer option. Well, the more predictable one, anyway.

After we'd put my jet-lagged family to bed (how can you be jet-lagged if you spent less than 24 hours in airports and planes, anyway?) we went to a cinema in the basement of a shopping mall, to watch Hugo Weaving chewing the scenery and Chris Evans crash-bang-walloping a bunch of faceless clockwork Nazi types into submission. It's a pretty good film, or at least not a terrible one, although as with Transformers 3 it seems to think that vapourising humans is completely acceptable (no annoying stains, I suppose), and, more strangely, all the villains have to yell 'Heil Hydra!' as though we can't use Nazis as shorthand for evil any more, because ... because they're old hat? There's an extensive audience of 80-year old Germans they don't want to alienate? They don't feel history has quite made up its mind about the validity of the Third Reich? It just is a bit odd to suggest that far worse than the Nazis was an internal fragment, led by a bloke with a red plastic head and aided by a scientist who looks a bit like a pig and didn't seem to realise guns kill people.

What will I want next? Intellectual comic books? Will that help me celebrate truth, justice and the Canadian Way?

Hang on, which country are we in?


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