On Saturday I'm going to a film evening. There will be food, drink, conversation, and almost certainly a film.

Two weeks ago it was agreed to hold a small fundraising event. The host-to-be of the event approached me after the meeting.

Host: So what do I need for a DVD? Do I need a DVD for that?

Kap: Um. Well you'll need a DVD player. Have you got one of those?

Host: No. Do you?

Kap: I do have a spare one but I'm not sure it still works. But comrade X has a small portable player, comrades Y and Z have one, and I think comrade Q could lend us his.

Host: Could you ask them to borrow theirs then?

Kap: They'll be coming to the evening and they're all over there, so it might be better to ask one of them to bring their player with them.

Host: Oh okay then. If you say so. Can you sort that out?

Kap: [Sigh]. I suppose so. Now, you'll need a SCART lead.

Host: Ah, right. What's that?

Kap: It's a thick black cable, about half a metre long, with large rectangular plugs on either end. It connects the DVD player to the television.

Host: Oh. I don't think I've got one of those.

Kap: Whoever brings their DVD player should also bring their SCART lead.

Host: Can you sort that out?

Kap: Alright. Now, how large is your television?

Host: Um. Well. I don't know.

Kap: Is it large enough for everyone here to watch a film on?

Host: I don't know. Should we ask if anyone's got a big TV we can use?

Kap: That might be a bit difficult. Now, you'll need a place to plug in both the TV and the DVD player - do you have enough power points?

Host: Power points?

Kap: Electricity sockets in the wall.

Host: Oh, right. Probably.

Kap: Well if you don't you'll need a splitter with an extension cable.

Host: A what?

We eventually sorted out who would bring the DVD player and SCART lead, and the host said she'd check her power points.

One week later, a small leaflet was produced and distributed, just to remind us of the location and date of the film showing. The location and date were both wrong, so the next week we got a revised leaflet.

This means there are two otherwise identical sets of leaflets floating around, with different information. I'm 95% sure the one in my pocket is one with the correct information.

Tonight, after another meeting, the host did a little final checking with me.

Host: Are we all set? You're bringing the DVD?

Kap: No, comrade Q's bringing the DVD player, and the SCART lead.

Host: Oh okay then.

Kap: And you're sure you have enough power points?

Host: Power points? Oh, oh yes. I do.

Kap: Good, we're all set then.

Host: Just one thing. Who's bringing the DVD?

Kap: [Blinks]. The player?

Host: No, the DVD.

Kap: You mean you don't have the disc?

Host: ?

Kap: The movie. The disc with the film on it.

Host: Um, well no. Who's bringing that?

I've been told not to worry, that a very capable young lady is sorting everything out - which means when something fucks up on the night, just for once I won't be blamed. Though I probably will be anyway.


  1. Good Lord! It's time to get new friends or join another film club!

    Are these the socialists? No wonder they haven't succeeded in their agenda! They can't even figure out how to plan and follow through!

    At the very least, that flaky host better have food and drinks! And after this crap, it better be alcoholic drinks!

  2. We are indeed the socialists, and like all people united by a big's the little things that get in the way.

    There will be alcoholic drinks. I know this because I'll be providing them. And drinking most of them.

  3. Is the host Amish?

    I'm not very technical but even I know if you’re going to show a DVD you need a) a DVD disc, b) a DVD player c) a cable to connect said player with a television, and d) a wall socket to power the whole thing.

    Invite that host to join the rest of us in the 21st century!

  4. I suspect even the Amish now understand the basics of common domestic technology. Enough to set up a few websites anyway.

    It's just something I've noticed about my fellow socialists. Marx himself was well educated on the technology of his time, and wrote about how important it is under capitalism, but most of his modern followers are mistrustful of technology and decidedly ignorant of science.

    Marx called his system "Scientific Socialism", but I recently had to explain the notions of "atom" and "periodic table" to one of them...who'd had an article published on the scientific method.