Youku video for those in China after the jump. (See update, too.)
I want to make clear that it’s not the presence of Li Bingbing that makes this video sad; it’s everything. Down to the way she coughs at the 3-minute mark, then squeakily apologizes to what appears to be a polite, mild-mannered interviewer, to the way the cameraman gently pushes the microphone held by a Chinese journalist out of its shot, this is real life in the town of Brentwood in the Borough of Brentwood in Essex County, England, full of comportment and decorum and a wisp of old-fashioned gentility retrofitted to our iPhone generation, and it’s all sweet and bucolic and if I ever lived there I’m pretty sure I’d rip my fingers from their joints out of boredom.
Also, the saddest sound in the world has to be one lone pair of thundersticks. You hear it at the beginning. Bang bang bang, it says, with no emotion. But then! Two volunteers from Samsung come sprinting forward with a BAG of them! JOY TO THE WORLD! BONG BONG BONG! Holy FUCK YEAH, bambams!
And now… a Coca-Cola truck! A… Lloyds TSB truck! A… oh, that’s it.
“Once in our lifetime,” says someone on a vehicle, passing slowly, like time itself. And then you’re dead, she means.
The local Brent and Kilburn Times tried to put a positive spin on it, and here we get winsome: “The community came out in force to welcome the torch and their 13 community heroes and cheer them on as they completed the relay,” people like…
Leah Carter, 16, from Brentwood, who plays hockey at regional level and coaches younger people; Louise Jones, 18, also from Brentwood. Louise runs her own blog Teen: Dreaming, and was named Channel 4’s young blogger of the year in 2010 for her blog on the mass media coverage of the terror attacks and the wars following 9/11 that have affected her generation.
They also included Matt Smith, 22, from Hornchurch, who has been a volunteer swimming teacher at Hornchurch Swimming Club for seven years; and Ingrid Brandon, from Elm Park, who is a volunteer and part of the Elm Park Regeneration Partnership which organises community events for the area.
Also running with the torch was Li Bingbing a Chinese actress and singer who is the Chinese equivalent of Angelina Jolie.
You have to love a dedicated community paper. Hooray for the local volunteers! Also, there was this world-famous Chinese broad who’s been in movies and stuff. Hooray for our 2010 young blogger of the year! Boooo 9/11.
Hooray Olympics fever!
UPDATE, 2:19 pm: Welcome, good people of Brentwood! If you’re one of the 32 followers of the Twitter feed
@lovebrentwood, which so graciously retweeted us, I just want to say for the record that I find your town lovely and fascinating in its own way. I assume I’d still rip my fingers out and feed it to the canaries if I lived there, but that’s not a knock on your quaint burg.
Also, as pointed out by Linda of Boredom Busters: Dog and Puppy Services, the Brent and Kilburn Times is not Brentwood’s local paper. I regret the error.
The Brent and Kilburn times is from Brentford, nor Brentwood. It’s not local to Brentwood at all, it’s on the other side of London!
And of course, any local paper would celebrate local people – they are the people who buy it!
Thank you, I was waiting for this correction. Update appended.