Tuesday, 11 September 2012


I was reading an article about Brad Pitt over the weekend.  I quite like him.  I have enjoyed most films in which he featured.  I don't envy him being married to Angelina either; I imagine she's quite a handful.  But I quite enjoyed all the films of hers I have seen too.  In fact I quite like Brangelina as an entity; they have a curious approach to family-creation, but I like what they have done - if you can afford a large family, how nice to adopt several disadvantaged kids.  And they seem to be one of the more stable Hollywood couples (they'll probably split up now I've said that).  And workwise, their moves into direction have been pretty successful too.

But I was quite shocked to read in the interview with Brad the following words, ' I got my frst BB gun when I was in nursery school.  I got my first shotgun by first grade, I had shot a handgun by third grade and I grew up in a pretty sane environment.'  I know what he means.  He means that his was a reasonably normal upbringing in a reasonably normal neighbourhood, and yet he had this exposure to weaponry.  But, I'm sorry, Brad, there will be very few Brits reading this who will think that this is in any way pretty sane or normal.  For us, a sane environment and a normal upbringing would involve anything but real guns.  In fact I suspect very few Brits will ever have held a gun, leave alone fired one.

He went on to say that he and his kids enjoy surprisingly adult discussions about topics in films which they often watch together.  When asked, he said that the last film they wayched together was 'Apocalypto'.  This is an 18-rated epic full of violence and human sacrifice, described by one reviewer as featuring a super-cruel, psycho-sadistic society on the skids, a ghoulscape engaged in widespread slavery, reckless sewage treatment and with a real lust for human blood.

I suppose Mr Pitt must consider that he too is providing a pretty sane and reasonably normal environment for his kids.  This disappointed me more than I would have liked to have been.  Perhaps American lifestyle has moved further away from the British than I imagined. 


  1. I may be about to surprise you Neil although being a farmer's son perhaps I won't.

    I shot my Dad's rifle when I was 8 or 9. Ok he held it but I pulled the trigger. He also let me handle his revolver which he kept in the safe. I can remember finding some of the bullets too and thinking how great they were.

    I loved handling both guns and would have loved to have been able to get out and shoot regularly with them ... but I never did because, of course, he died when I was 11.

    So I've always had a fascination with guns but never taken it further in adulthood. Nowadays I agree that the thought of people carrying guns is totally unacceptable to me. Can you imagine it in the UK ? No, of course you can't.

    Now, 'Apocalypto' ... I watched it two or three years ago and really enjoyed it. I don't remember it being quite as gruesome as you describe it but perhaps it was.

    So perhaps I'm positioned somewhere mnid-Atlantic ?

    1. I suppose that those who have lived more rurally than I might be similar to you, Charlie. I guess I wasn't thinking of shotguns and farmers. And of course Brad Pitt (and many other Americans) live where shooting animals is fairly natural. It was his view (which admittedly I haven't mentioned above) that he felt safer with a gun that triggered my reaction. I haven't actually seen Apocolypto, which means that I have broken one of my vows (not to comment on something I don't know anything about), but when I read that he had watched it with his kids and the interviewer was shocked, I looked it up on the Internet and got pics of bodies being thrown off heights to their death and the review I have quoted. Anyway, the Atlantic does seem to provide more of a gulf sometimes than you would think in this modern world of rapid communication.