Friday, October 31, 2008
As Brand/Ross rumbles into another day (good job it's a quiet month for news otherwise this would be nowhere), let's check in with another reason our licence fee is money well spent: Paxman. Here he is, interrogating the head of an Islamic school in Acton that teaching antisemitic garbage to its pupils. Never mind the false search for balance; in this clip, he sniffs blood and doesn't let go.
In other news, there's an election on! Don't forget to vote now:
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Lovely encomium to the once-mighty Cure over at Hear Canal. Question: did the Cure go bland, or did my ears just grow up? Could I ever fall for something as darkly florid as Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me or as divinely overwrought as Disintegration again, or would I simply cringe? There's been nothing remotely in the vicinity of the Cure the last decade that's been anything other than awful. No goth, no emo. Nothing. Right?
One of the things I liked about the Cure back in the day was that, for all the laborious back-combing and shakily-applied slap, their spectrum was massively broader than that of your Missions and Fields of the Neff (then), and the hordes of the Emotic (now). No moody blacks or crushed velvet reds. No leather dusted with flour to make them look like desert warriors (I'm looking at you, Neff). The Cure's colours spanned the whole rainbow, even if they were often the garish colours of a bruise. So, if the Cure weren't goth, what were they about? They were about love. Oh sure, they were were also about dogs and cats and piggies and cockatoos and caterpillars and snake-pits and spiders, a conjured menagerie populating Smith's songs from the very beginning, a very English strain of dark imaginings that goes back to Dadd, Tenniel and Lear. But underneath it all, Robert Smith was singing, mostly, about love: fervid and self-obsessed or sickly and hungry or desperate and lost or just sweetly romantic, songs like "Show Me Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Pictures of You" put a whole generation of stunted adolescents on the road to something like real emotion. That's got to be worth something.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, and to Camille in North London. Her backing, uh, 'band' was extraordinary, what with the beat boxing, chest slapping, floor stomping, slinky dancing (mostly from the beat-boxing fellow, it should be said. Camille did a great deal of thrashing about of a decidedly unslinksome nature) and general air of Gallic cool. Camille herself sung herself into the ground, but you sensed there wasn't a great spark between the audience and her. Maybe it's just a London crowd waiting to be impressed, who can say?
We left midway through the first encore, which meant we missed a very special guest who was dragged from the audience. To think: we went all the way to London, and missed Mr Jamie Cullum. Tragic.
Friday, October 17, 2008
The campaign's getting a little strained, to say the least, what with all the terrorists and abortions and angry plumbers. So it's good to see the protagonists have not had a complete sense of humour malfunction:
Funny. But even better:
Dude, he's got game!
This is more mean-spirited. Which doesn't stop it being funny as hell: Palin as President.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Following a recent pub discussion about parasite populations (I don't get out much), I thought I'd post this thoughtful article on parasites.
Was especially taken with this:
[...]a healthy ecosystem is usually rife with parasites, and when the parasites begin to disappear, this may foreshadow serious problems. For example, Lafferty has found that the fish in pristine Pacific coral atolls carry many more kinds of parasites than fish living in nearby overharvested atolls. Marcogliese has found that when acid rain damages Canadian rivers, the parasites fall out of the river food webs even while their fish hosts seem in good shape. Pollution can kill delicate parasites outright, while overfishing may wipe out parasites by removing some of their hosts.
No more on parasites, I promise. Unless I find some seriously cool new vids.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
You know those scenes in films like Wall Street, where the big investor or piratical banker gets him come-uppance in a tumultuous final reel, where we see blinking boards and frantic traders indicating tanking stocks, where, even though the film-makers rarely deign to explain what's happening, we get a frisson as the barely-comprehensible but nevertheless exciting disaster unfolds?
Well, this is like that.
In a world where My Family and Two Pints of Lager continue to be made, Pulling, the fantastically dark show about three women and their adventures in men and booze, has been yanked from the schedules.
Rising food costs, ongoing slo-mo credit catastrophe, and now this? Maybe Kenneth Williams was onto something.