Saturday, 11 March 2006

Great British Design Quest

Supermarine Spitfire (1936)
The Great British Design Quest is down to 3 finalists: Concorde, Supermarine Spitfire and the Underground Map. To cast your vote and see the 22 runners-up, click the title link. Guess which one I voted for.

28 Comments:

At 25/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Is there a clue in the graphic?
Concorde is French. Well half.
Whilst I appreciate Harry Becks map [I'm an electrical engineer too]it only tells you how to get around the tube network. It doesn't tell you how to get around London. eg if you want to go to Paddington from east London go to Lancaster Gate and walk round the corner, Warren St and Euston Square are next door to each other etc etc.
You can always tell a professional when the tube breaks down, they just walk off, they know where they are and what to do. Everyone else looks like a frightened rabbit.
If only I'd seen this earlier.

 
At 25/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

I've just had a look at the runners up, interrupted by dinner. The London A-Z stands out. It had to be designed by a woman, Phyllis Pearsall, us blokes don't ask for directions.
Though in those days, one way systems, gyratories, congestion zones etc were'nt a problem.

 
At 25/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Yup.
I thought it was nice of us Brits to claim a half French product with an all French name as iconically British!
See, if you'd been blogging with Coxsoft Art back in March, you could have voted.

 
At 25/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

At least she wasn't French.

 
At 25/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Indeed!
I have soft spot for our early feminists, in particular Mary Wolstencraft. Its the modern variety that drive me to distracion.

 
At 25/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Prefer Dracula myself.

 
At 25/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

He's misunderstood.
Just like Batman.

 
At 26/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Now there's a hero. Pity about Robin!

 
At 26/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Not exactly Tonto is he.

 
At 26/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Are you sure about Tonto, Kemo Sabbay?

 
At 26/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

OK
Top ten sidekicks starting with Grommit.
Your turn.

 
At 27/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

...Hardy. (Careful, I'm testing!)

 
At 27/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Nelson or Laurel?
My turn.
.... Jerry.

 
At 27/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Good man! Laurel, of couse. None of that kiss me hardy stuff. Tom. Tweety Pie...

 
At 28/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

nice one puddy tat but I have to disqualify it along with Jerry and Hardy, U led me astray. We are looking for "sidekicks" along the lines of Robin, Tonto and Grommit. Trusted, loyal and supportive but not with the same leadeship or drive as the hero[ine]. Definately second fiddle but with their own qualities and edge.
And on that note my next choice is.....
Dr Watson
It is now 2-0
U can have two goes to catch up.

 
At 28/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

My dear Sherlock, sidekicks have arguments. Where would Tom be without Jerry or Sylvester without Tweety Pie? Lost. Alone. No Buddy. I reject your disqualification.
My next entry is for Gabby Hayes, whose sole acting job was to be the querulous, humorous sidekick for many cowboy stars. Name 2 of them.

 
At 28/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Hopalong and Cassidy? Not one I would have thought of, but a nice choice and a clear sidekick.

You make a good point but pray tell what is it for you that makes one, rather than the other, THE sidekick? Lennon & McCartney, Gilbert & Sullivan, Mills & Boon, Benson & Hedges........

Jeeves........

 
At 28/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hopalong Cassidy is only 1. You can't fool me. Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, of course.

 
At 28/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

I could have got two by looking up IMDB but that's cheating.

Jeeves was my choice of sidekick; deliberately because he is named first.
It's still your go. we are only up to 7.

 
At 29/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

I forgot to answer your question. It's a straight man and a comedy sidekick. Tom and Sylvester are the straight pussies to their cute little comedy sidekicks Jerry and Tweety Pie. Jeeves is the ultimate straight man to batty Bertie's comedy capers. So Mills & Boon (etc) don't count, because we don't know which one's trousers are falling down.
Nervo & Knox, Flanigan & Allen, Morecombe & Wise, John Wayne & Gabby Hayes (yes, that's the other one), Roy Rogers and Trigger (funniest horse you've ever seen), Jack Benny & Rochester, Tony Blair & George Bush, George Burns and his Mrs, Victor Borger & his piano (best straight piano in the business, and lastly, not leastly, John Wayne & Walter Brennan, who improved on the Gabby Hayes role and made it his own.
I claim victory.

 
At 29/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Not so fast!

The game is Sidekicks. Not funny men opposite straight men. They are different, otherwise we would not need different words to describe them and you wouldn't need to put "comedy" in front of "sidekick" to qualify the meaning you wish to convey. True they can and often do overlap but they are not the same.

Also I'm confused as to which one is your funny one/sidekick. If Jeeves is the straight man to Berties comedy capers then the original Bertie, Stan Laurel, is your sidekick, not Ollie. Also Wallace's comedy capers make him your sidekick to straight grommit! Yet Grommit and Ollie are on our list!

I had Trigger on my shortlist, but isn't Roy Rogers the funny one? Likewise the Lone Ranger, funniest trousers I've ever seen, grommit.

I also had Chingachgook, Lewis, and the genre Dr Who assistant with specific Sarah Jane Smith. Digby, Big Ears, Olive Oil, Pluto and Archie Andrews. I won't mention Mr Spock or Lassie. One of my favourites is Matilda in Leon.

 
At 29/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Now look, we're not talking buddy movies here. The true sidekick offers light relief from the heavyweight playing the protagonist (I won't say "hero", because that would disqualify Tom and Sylvester; they're the anti-hero heavy pussies to their cute little comedy sidekicks.)
This is why I didn't suggest Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Neither is a sidekick. They're equal, which makes them buddies.
Talking of cute little girls, that budding hooker in Leon is brilliant. She definately qualifies as a comedy sidekick to the French heavy. And have you seen Roald Dahl's Matilda? Tatum O'Neal made a cute little comedy sidekick to her Dad in Paper Moon.
Tighest tights in the business, Roy. No anti-fit jeans for Trigger's rider.
With Wallace & Gromit, you're confusing speech with role. Just because Gromit can't speak doesn't stop him being funny. In fact he is the comedy sidekick to Wallace's straight man. Peter Sallis is the perfect voiceover for Wallace and very amusing, but Wallace is the straight man. Gromit is the one you laugh at when his ears are flying in the wind.
Jeeves is the master of straight men. The young master is always falling out of trees or jumping in ponds. The impeccable Jeeves merely raises an eyebrow and offers Bertie a mild restorative.
From the sublime to the ridiculous: Abbot & Costello: thin one straight man, chubby one comedy sidekick. Neither of them were very funny for me.
The brilliance of Laural & Hardy is that they were both very funny. Stan is the one who went for pathos, breaking into tears over every problem, which makes him the straight man. But Ollie was the heavy, which makes him the straight man too. I reckon that makes them buddies.
Anyway I win. Hard cheese.
P.S. IMDb is great. Thanks for the link.

 
At 29/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Well done, you're getting there.
You've just disqualified your own first entry, which you objected to when I did it.
Still think you've won? Smile.

 
At 29/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

Well done, you're getting there.
You've just disqualified your own first entry which you objected to when I did it.
Still think you've won? Smile.

Leon is Italian.

Grommit does speak, but not in words. There are shades of both Jeeves and Ollie in his 'look' and body language.

 
At 30/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Maybe I'll plump for "Kiss me, Hardy" instead. I gave you the choice. You selected Laurel.

 
At 30/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Is he? Then why does he play French characters? I guess that's Hollywood for you. We're all Europeans to them, except when they want a Mexican bandit, then they choose a swarthy European instead of a Nordic type.
I agree that Gromit is a very expressive pooch. That's why he's the comedy sidekick.
You know, we're both missing something out here. It's a class thing. The hero/straight man is usually of a higher social status than the sidekick. Think of Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday. (Jeeves is the exception that proces the rule.)

 
At 30/5/06, Blogger weggis said...

I had always assumed that Jean Reno was French but he's not. He was born in Casablanca to Spanish parents, isn't IMDB wondeful!
Leon was referred to as "the Italian" in the hit-man trade and there was the connection with the Italian restruarant owner who looked after "mi mahnnee". He plays a 'French' heavy in Ronin as sidekick to Robert De Nero. [Don't start again!]

You are absolutely correct. It is status. Grommit is the sidekick because he's the dog, Trigger coz he's a horse and Jeeves is a butler.

Sidekicks are the junior partner who have a skill, quality or wisdom that the senior partner doesn't have. Matilda is streewise. Mostly they have few words to say but will chip in with the gem of wisdom at precisiely the right moment, that's why they are there. Robin is the exception that proves the rule!

Morecombe & Wise etc are all buddies. They are equal. One may be more slapstick than the other, but subtle works equally well for me.

How on earth did we get from a Spitfire to Trigger? I can talk Bx on football up the pub for hours as well. I must catch up with your more recent blogs.

Over and out!

 
At 30/5/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

He was also French in the remake of Godzilla. If he waved his hands about a bit more I might have spotted him as Italian.
Over and completely out.

 

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