At the Flying Pig

People love video. Apparently. So I went out and recorded some.

I have always been blessed with friends who are not only super talented and kind, but also have cool and useful hobbies.

So I’ve been able to team up with Photographer Zulfiya Wilde and defiant independent pub The Flying Pig to record a couple of poetry videos. There’s a bit of background hub on the videos - turns out even empty pubs are really noisy! But I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out. It’s my first time doing anything like this and sometimes the camera is more terrifying than a live audience.

Anyway, first up is The Rum: this is a silly short piece which always goes down well at pub gigs and open mics. It’s all about getting carried away.

Secondly, something a bit more meaty. Late Night Flight is the true story of Thomas Fitzpatrick. Back in the 1950’s, Tommy was out drinking in a New York bar. He took a bet that he couldn’t get into New York from out in New Jersey in less than 15 minutes. So right there and then he snuck out to Teterboro airport, stole a plane, and landed it right on St Nicholas Avenue, in the middle of Manhattan, just outside the bar they were drinking at. No-one believed that he actually did this - so, two years later, he did it again.

What I like about this story isn’t the hubris, the stupidity, the skill, the sheer bravado of it all. It’s the fact that he basically got away with it (the first time around, anyway). This is a story from a time which in some was was a lot more strict and restrictive, but in some ways a lot more tolerant and lenient. After 9/11 they’d throw way the key for anyone who did this - but back in the 50’s, the fact that no-one got hurt meant that there was no real reason to dole out punishment.

We can unpick that in a lot of ways - but I do get frustrated and even upset by scapegoat culture, by the need to blame and punish, by the lack of tolerance and kindness shown by authorities. Sometimes we make mistakes and do stupid stuff. And while that’s not to be encouraged, it’s not always something to be punished, either.

Anyway, be excellent to each other, folks. And please don’t steal planes.