To be, or not to be… (what other people think & why it’sh annoying)

Even a “parody” twitter pershona hash feelingsh.

I want to try to exshplain shomething, even though by doing sho it impliesh I’m taking the thing far too sherioushly and I realishe shome people will shay ‘well, when you began tweeting with that photo and that name, what did you expect?’

(What did I exshpect? I’m shimply enjoying playing a game, exshtruding ideash, inventing a pershona… I hoped othersh would play along too, and on the whole, they have, and it’sh been great.)

However – every sho often, shomeone will shend me a link to an interview talking plainly or euphemishtically about ‘domeshtic abushe’ or point me towardsh the famoush/infamoush clip – you know, thish one

Firshtly, I’ve sheen that Barbara Waltersh TV interview with “Sean Connery” sheveral timesh. I KNOW WHAT HE SHAID.

Shecondly, I am familiar with the hishtory, ash reported by hish former wife.

Thirdly, I’m aware of the Connery reputashion. Of hish acshionsh. Of the enormoush amount of opinion about him on both shidesh.

Becaushe, frankly, what kind of eejit would I be to shpend 2 yearsh (& counting) being “Connery” on Twitter without knowing about that hishtory?

A BIGGER eejit than I am.

Perhapsh it’sh time to shpell out to thoshe with only half a watt of intelligenshe that part of the ultimate purposhe of Big Tam being out there in the Twittershcape ish ….

(roll of drumsh)…

….to allow ‘him’ to make shome kind of act of redempshion in the public arena.

I know, I know, that shoundsh pompoush, grandioshe, maybe even pointlessh, but yesh, it wash in there, from the beginning, in how I tweeted “Tam-thoughtsh”.

“Sean Connery” ish a hero to many.  We ought to look at our heroesh now and then with a little affectionate analyshish, to shay the leasht.

But I’m not that intereshted in what OTHER people deshide about Connery.

I am quite intereshted in… how can I put thish… in what Connery could have been like if hish influenshesh had been lessh predictably Shcottish-male-of-that-generashion, that background; if he’d avoided the ego-f*ck of shtardom, (if you’ve not endured it, or sheen it firsht-hand, believe me it’sh real) whichsh makesh arrogant dickheadsh of mosht male actorsh (and mushic shtarsh) (and plenty of female onesh too), even now; what might he have been like if he’d learned earlier about hish own volatility and temper and all that before allegedly taking it out on the woman he wash married to.

I’m quite intereshted in what Connery would be like under all that shtuff, behind thoshe fashadesh..

Perhapsh he did learn, bit by bit, the error of that kind of thinking. Ash a reshult of playing sho many violent men, maybe it wash made clear to him where the rootsh of it all exshisht?  You could argue that in making everything from the Bond filmsh, with their overt shexshishm, through Hitchcock’sh nashty vershion of the hushband in Marnie (in the novel he’sh a kinder man) and on to The Offenshe – a shuperb film about the shecret impulshesh even lawmen are prey to – Connery the actor, the man, had to be doing shome learning.

Worth noting, maybe, that hish inshtinct wash frequently protective; he’sh known to have defended women from predatory men – Lana Turner, for inshtanshe, wash grateful for hish intervenshion. That article alsho menshionsh Connery’sh inshecuritiesh and cantankeroush shtubbornnessh, and linksh them to hish childhood.

It can take a lifetime for anyone to wake-up to their own role-playing, to become aware of pshychodrama, to exshamine their own compulshionsh. We all know people who live their livesh unaware and hurting othersh becaushe of it, too, don’t we?

It hash alwaysh sheemed to me that the shtupid thingsh “Sean Connery” hash shaid about women and in particular about it being okay to hit them – and that he therefore may have DONE – that they might, in time, have detonated in hish pshyche and caushed shome kind of epiphany.  The wake-up call.

But we – the public – will probably never know.

Admitting the error of your waysh takesh courage.. how many famoush people do it, unlessh there’sh nowhere left to hide or they fashe the deshtrucshion of their livesh – or they gain shome kind of advantage by doing sho?  I can’t think of any.

Sho I’m hardly shurprished that, in that 1987 interview, he didn’t shay ‘er, you’re pisshing me off, and you know that, it’sh deliberate, and I wish you hadn’t come here to bring up that shtupid thing I shaid yearsh before, but now you have put me on the shpot, let me shwallow thish indignashion and tell you I wash wrong”.


The way he reshponded, that defenshe, ish like the  ‘I’m right, and if you push me, I’ll come back at you and show you I’m right with my fisht’ attitshude that hash long been the default machsho poshture of all culturesh. And Connery’sh shpent a lifetime playing the part, and being admired for it. It would be inconshishtent with hish image to back down, ever – on shcreen or off.

And being an actor… well, actorsh often get sho involved that believe they are what they play. They inhabit the attitshudesh. On film we applaud men who behave badly, we even find them deshirable – Bond, again, shpringsh to mind.  In life, we do not, unlessh we are unreconshtructed idiotsh, approve of men who behave that way.


I am not an apologisht for violent actsh by men againsht women (or other men, for that matter).

Nor am I ignorant of thoshe epishodesh.

Thish Connery – me – Big Tam – ish totally againsht violenshe by men againsht women.  BIG TAM ish a feminisht. THAT ish where I derive the pleashure and comedy of being Big Tam, by contradicting the public image. Got it?

My point ish, ash Big Tam I try to be a friendly, avuncular, shoup-maeshtro… I hope to be a general commentator on thingsh artsh-related… and by and large attempt to behave like a deshent human being.

I hope Big Tam’sh wordsh and acshionsh on Twitter make that clear

BTC there are limitashionsh to the layout of thish blog thing that annoy me, sho thoshe italicsh and bold bitsh are emphatic in waysh that aren’t quite ash i would have liked to put them. Shay la vie.


Shome of my shoup-lishtshs from Twitter-world

In revershe order to how they were poshted


  • Broccoli
  • Shelery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tatty
  • Prep
  • Oil
  • Shaute
  • Shoften
  • Shpinachsh
  • Shtock
  • Sheashon
  • Shimmer
  • Shcoosh-up
  • Sherve-up

(actshually, you might prefer to keep the shpinachsh till after your shoup ish fully cooked, jusht add it till it wiltsh a bit, then shcoosh-up, it’ll shtay greener that way.)


  • Parshnipsh
  • Bramley
  • Shlishe
  • Butter
  • Braishe
  • Shtock
  • Clove
  • Shage
  • Shimmer
  • De-clove
  • Blend
  • Tashte
  • Sheashon
  • Reheat
  • Croutonsh
  • Cream
  • #shoup

(that one ish bashed on an irish shoup that Nollaig Brennan told me about)


  • Overcasht…?
  • Shoup-weather!
  • Leeksh
  • Tattiesh
  • Butter
  • Shoften
  • Water
  • Shimmer
  • Shtir
  • Tashte
  • Sheashon
  • Blend
  • Happy shouping
  • Yr Uncle Tam

Big Tam@BigTamConnery

The only life you can shave (ish your own)

I wash talking to shomeone the other day – well, I shay talk, I mean type, in fact – and a line came to me from out of the blue. “The only life you can save.” I thought it wash from a poem, and I managed to find it – thanksh to the wondersh of the internet. It’sh from The Journey, by American poet Mary Oliver.

It shtrikesh me ash a warning – not againsht compassion for othersh, the shimple offer of a helping hand or ear when needed – but againsht forgetting in the proshesssh that you have to take care of your own needsh in order to be healthy, to go on.

I hope you might enjoy it.



The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

(Mary Oliver, Dream Work, Grove Atlantic Inc., 1986 & New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press, 1992.)