Same Rules Apply

Morning Tash Appreciators,

A couple of weeks ago I saw Filth, the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh‘s book of the same name. For the first 45 minutes or so the audience laughed as Bruce Robertson – a dirty, racist, sexist, drug- addled cop – strutted around Edinburgh causing chaos and doing his utmost to manipulate his way to a promotion:

Tash Friday 25:10:13

After that though, the perception of his appearance changed as the audience discovered the reasons why Bruce is the way he is. I don’t think I’m ruining the plot by saying that, while he is all of the things I’ve already mentioned, beneath his filthy veneer is a broken, lonely man struggling with mental illness. At the end of film, as the credits whizzed by to “Love Really Hurts Without You” by Billy Ocean, I was in bits. It’s stuck with me since then and I’ll never listen to that song (or a cover of “Creep” by Clint Mansell) the same way again. This week’s Tash, by the way, is Billy Ocean:
Tash Friday 25:10:13 2

I was thinking about the film afterwards, and what really upset me was that Bruce was totally alone. He was alone because of the way he treated those around him but it struck me that he had lost his family, he bullied his only “friend” and he hated his colleagues. Even without any underlying issues, circumstances like those would pose a problem for any person. After all, by my reckoning, we spend the majority of our lives in three ways: asleep; with our friends and family; or with our colleagues. If something has upset our relationships with one of those groups then that would be upsetting, but if something is wrong with all three then that’s a perfect storm – just like the tempest in Bruce Robertson’s mind.

The same rules apply to family, friends and colleagues: we don’t often choose them; we don’t always like them; we will in all likelihood be around them for a significant time; but, if by some quirk of fate we find ourselves with people who end up being a blend of family, friend or colleague then that’s something to really cherish. In the film, Bruce’s problem is that once he’s lost his family, his friends and colleagues follow shortly after.

TF usually has a point and this week’s is two-fold: firstly, people who appear to have filthy characters tend to be that way for a reason; and, secondly, most of us are driven, intelligent folk who could, if we wanted, manipulate those around us for our own ends. The most common example of that is in the workplace but, to my mind, getting ahead in that way is a pretty hollow victory – is it not better to be able to say your colleagues are friends rather than being promoted but without any support? The other thing is that if you act in a way that is manipulative or underhand then, when someone has the opportunity to get you back, the same rules apply.

If you get the chance to see Filth, take it: James McAvoy is unbelievable:

Have a great weekend folks!

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