Sunday, 29 May 2011

159: Frankly my dear, I don't give a dame...

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Before I start, let's have a small musical introduction...

There is nothin' like a dame,
Nothin' in the world.
There is nothin' you can name,
That is anything like a dame!

Or so claims Oscar Hammerstein in his lyrics for the above song in South Pacific. If you've watched the clip, you can see their (ie: Oscar's) reasoning. Even at the time it was written (for a broadway musical in 1949, later adapted into a film), this claim seems to me to be woefully inaccurate.

The example I'll use for my argument is Judi Dench, the British actress, singer and dame.

While she's instantly recognisable due to her variety of screen and stage work, it would be incorrect to say she shares no similarities at all with her contemporaries. For example, Julia McKenzie and Maureen Lipman sit within the same casting demographic, and have a relatively similar body of work. Unless you're a hardcore fan of any of them, they're quite samey.

It's okay, you don't have to look them up. I've made a quick spreadsheet.

^^ Click for bigger

As you can see, they're actually pretty similar. Not identical; I mean you probably wouldn't get them confused with each other, but there's a reassuring pattern between their lives. Besides, the comparison stipulated in the lyrics is "...anything like...", not "...exactly like...".

With this in mind, I think it's fair to say that Julia McKenzie and Maureen Lipman are pretty much like a dame: Dame Judi Dench. Not only have I proved Oscar Hammerstein wrong, but I've returned 200% of the results required to do so. From now on, I demand that the official lyrics to the song be:

There are some things like a dame,
Once you examine the evidence.
There are two things you can name,
That are similar to a dame!, who do I need to speak to in order to make this happen, please?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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