Tuesday, 3 March 2009

A nanny state

Is it really 45 years since one of the most culturally significant events of the last, well, forever? I am of course talking about the release of the timeless, seminal, awesome, wonderful, pretty damn good film classic - Mary Bloody Poppins.

I must admit that when I first saw it about 35 years ago, as a callow youth, I thought it was, how should I put it, pants. I regarded it as Disney fantasy nonsense with sinister lesbian undertones. Consider the evidence - strong female lead character with ambiguous sexual orientation, and songs with titles such as "Feed the birds" and "A spoonful of sugar". Even the actor playing the male lead (a chimney sweep if you please) was called Dick van Dyck.

But over the years I have come to realise that Mary Poppins symbolises the freedom and power that comes from a good umbrella. A nanny state is often used as a pejorative term but if there were more governesses like Poppins overseeing the troubled youth of this sceptred Albion, we'd all be a lot less scared of knife crime. And spiritually happier as well.

If you have yet to slurp from the glass of this celluloid rioja I urge you to do so. And rejoice in its sheer body, bouquet and class.

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