Two more deadlines swoosh by

Location | Mood | Date 2 April 2009
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Franny Armstrong
2 April 2009
Evening all, 
To paraphrase Douglas Adams, don't you just love the whooshing sound deadlines make as they fly by? 
The two we failed to meet today were: 
1. Pricing for Indie Screenings: It's not that we don't want to tell you how much the licenses are going to cost, or that we don't appreciate the 400-odd (400-odd!) groups champing at the bit to start setting up their own Stupid screenings, it's just that it's a damn complex algorithm and nobody's ever attempted such a system before, so we can't just pinch existing research. But, never fear, Adam is on the case, and we'll reveal all just as soon as he's worked it out. 
2. Launch of Not Stupid site:  Yeah, this one slipped through the net too, which we're gutted about as our whole "turning viewers into activists" mission is a little hollow without it. But Tom (of the uber-cute design skills) and Leo (of the witty twitters) are slaving away and it really is looking extremely lovely. New deadline: Friday. Or maybe the weekend or next week. In the meantime, check out the new Action Stations page, jammed full of Not Stupidness from spoof newspapers and railway flashmobs to alternative OBEs and outdoor pursuits involving wind turbines.  
This morning's excitement was filmmaker Richard Curtis (of Blackadder/Notting Hill/Four Weddings fame) on the Today Programme discussing which "quintessentially British" films Obama should watch while he's in the UK for the G20 debacle. Richard chose 84 Charing Cross Road, because it "shows how well the British and Americans can get on as long as they don't meet face to face",  The Italian Job because "the banks have been stealing from us, we should take it back.... take direct action", Ken Loach's Raining Stones "about how hard it is to live when you haven't got any money... you don't want [Obama] to get too doey-eyed just because he's met the Queen" and then went on to say "We also have to seriously try and move [Obama] in the right direction.... I think he should watch this new documentary that's come out called The Age of Stupid. Just to make sure that while everyone's worrying about the financial crisis they don't forget about the huge issue that's going to make us all look stupid if it's not dealt with, which is the environment." Listen here (at 07.44):
Tonnes of emails and texts came in following the show - does anyone on here not listen to Radio 4? - but our favourite was from Greenpeace climate dude Charlie: "I nearly spat out my muesli. Team Stupid, you rule. You've reached the parts that others cannot.  I take my hat off to you.  Again. And you can quote me on that."
Seems to have been Stupid spin-offs week: 
>> Had a cracking few hours with Dan from ActionAid who's designing the schools resource pack, which will be landing on small desks throughout the land in September (not-coincidentally perfect timing for getting the kids geared up for Copenhagen). Just to blow their minds, we might set the whole thing in 2055, so they have to pretend to be in the future looking back at the Stupid Age... Or maybe there could be an exercise where they set up a future tribunal to assess who should be held responsible for our failure to act... And on and on, the possibilities are mind-boggling.... The first 1000 schools to sign up get a free copy, so please pass this link on to your kids/teachers:
>> Then we were wined (well, hot chocolated) and dined by lots of book publishers and agents fighting over The Stupid Diaries, or whatever they end up being called. Totally thrilling thought that we will have our very own book on the shelves next spring. I've been having fun wandering round Waterstones (sorry, Camden's indie bookshop closed down through lack of punters) looking at all the possible formats. 
>> Today was the first big brainstorming session with the Torchbox and Not Stupid boys'n'girls who are designing the much-talked-about Matchmaker. You remember, the cunning online system which is going to link up those "what can I do?" viewers with all sorts of actions and campaigns up to Copenhagen. Favourite question so far: Would you rather: a) chain yourself to a bulldozer, b) stuff envelopes, c) take to the streets or d) stare at a computer screen. 
>> Stupid editor David Hill has stepped bravely back into the cupboard, I mean corridor, I mean edit suite at Stupid Towers (we managed to drive out the tenants in the office above with our insufferable enthusiasm so we're expanding upwards). David's got a week and a half to edit the extras for The DVD - due in the shops mid July - which is a frighteningly short amount of time given the McLibel DVD took us a year. Hmmmm, may be a design flaw there. 
>> Katie and Claude continue to battle through the super-complex Multi-language DVD, which now has its first six languages inputted and checked, with the other 26 following close behind. 
>> New recruit Maria and old-hand Composer Chris are firmly on the case with the Soundtrack Album, coming to a download site - and possibly a music shop (are there any left?) - near you soon. 
>> The gorgeous Countdown to Copenhagen Clock which Pete P launched at the premiere has been having a busy time: last week it joined its first protest march (see attached) and has now gone off to Prague with Oxfam on a secret mission you'll be hearing about shortly. If anyone would like to borrow it over the year for their own climate action, please contact
Meanwhile, the cinema release rocks on, with Panton Street Odeon and Sheffield extending to a third week, despite my first-ever drunk Q&A at Panton St on Sunday night, and Oxford finally coming in for a whole week after three sold-out screenings. Lots of other cinemas are also coming onboard for shorter runs, including Brighton, Dartington, Frome, Fishguard, Great Torrington, Grimsby, Buckingham, Dublin, Dundee, Harwich, Hawick, Holmfirth, Narberth, Nottingham, Oxford (an extra week), Presteigne, Reigate, Saffron Walden, Totnes, Truro, Wells, Winchester, Wolverhampton. (This experience has done wonders for our geography.) Complete list here:
New confirmed speakers this week include Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, comedian Rhona Cameron,  NEF's Andrew Simms and Dr Richard Betts from the MET office.  Details here: Lizzie and I are continuing to slog round the country: 
-> Franny: Everyman Belsize Park, Thurs 2nd April, Picturehouse Notting Hill, Thurs 2nd April, Norwich 6th April. 
-> Lizzie: Dublin 3rd April, Derby 30 April, Nottingham 24 April, Brighton, May 7. 
We have now given out a quite unbelievable 15,000 free Action Packs at cinema screenings. Great news for all the climate action they are hopefully instigating, but not such good news for us as we've got to make lots more. So, it's another shout out for volunteers: anyone free this Saturday and/or Sunday? We'll be packing near Old St (Central London) and there's a Stupid t-shirt and food/drink for all volunteers. Contact if you fancy it. The packs cost about 25p each, which obviously adds up once you get into 10s of 1000s  - we decided to spend our cash on these, rather than advertising, which may or may not have been the right thing to do - so donations towards the action packs are of course very very welcome. 
That's about it. Award for the best premiere caption goes to oneclimate for the below. Not sure I'll be living that one down any time soon. 
See you