The meeja inform me that the grand ole US of A has more than one firearm per adult head of population and there is a mass shooting incident with four or more fatalities every 9 or ten days. In Las Vegas someone dies in a firearms incident every day. And Don the One announces that any gubmint debate on the issue would be ‘premature’.

So why do I bother to write about it? Surely we are all so accustomed to these facts that we no longer react – except with an ‘oh, not again’ under our breaths?

Well, I don’t think it can be too late to protest against such madness, such profligacy, such barbarism. But if you ask me what can be done, I haven’t the slightest idea. Do you?

Margot’s the name (Hollywood’s latest Flame)

Your friendly, neighbourhood contemporary culture editor is back again. (Stop groaning at the back)

The only show me the money to be made in Hollywood today is in Superhero flicks. The Days of Wine and Roses are gone replaced by spandex and CGI. Even a devoted Marvel Man like me is getting tired by the regurgitated clunkers that have been produced recently.

The latest shlocker is by our Distinguished Competition (That’s DC, folks!) and is called Suicide Squad. It has been hyped to the gunnels and expected to break all box office records. One thing going for it is it features an up and coming starlet from Australia named Margot Robbie. She’s currently at the cinema appearing as Jane in The Legend Of Tarzan. (Still think Maureen O’Sullivan is the ultimate Jane. That time she started the fire with a couple of twigs in Tarzan and his Mate. Yodel-Lodel-LEEEE)

Margot, naturally, cut her teeth in Neighbours. That soap opera has produced more studs and mares than the Darley Arabian. Here’s a wee photo of Margot as a super baddie.

Overrated: Gardening

The gardening lobby are a dismissive lot. According to them everything else is as exciting as watching paint dry. Bog Sage, these are the people that watch grass grow!

A garden should consist of a flat lawn and that’s it. Nice and simple, nothing fancy but the world is full of would-be Percy Thrower’s. Who really wants the hassle of extra work and of doing it outdoors? Mowing, sowing, cutting, potting, digging, raking- boring. All those -ings are nothing more than a recipe for sleeping. Endlessly working, always renovating, this gardening charade is nothing more than being an eternal horticultural barber. Just give it a Kojak and be done with. Continue reading “Overrated: Gardening”

Overrated: Classical Music

“Unlike the truest kind of genius, he did not grow artistically”

These words of critic, John Simon, on the shortcomings of the career of Tennessee Williams could be applied to the musical form that is self-proclaimed as classical. Classical, my baroque left Bechstein pedal.

The classicists are stuck in a time warp. They listen, over and over again, to the same pieces of orchestral music; a blaring maelstrom of noise. And they party like it’s 1799. Honestly, some of the ghastly tunes sound as if they’ve been composed by a deaf man. And the titles are boring New York street numbers: Mozart’s piano concerto no.25, Haydn’s symphony no. 76, Bach’s cantata no. 211, Balfour’s bagpipe quartet no.1872.

Continue reading “Overrated: Classical Music”

We are all Radiohead

Good evening, all you old rock ‘n rollers, it’s the resident music editor here with all the gen on the latest in the world of rock. The experimental rock band, Radiohead, have released their ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, to much admiration from the critics. Radiohead’s jagged alternative music with its subliminal lyrics, nasal singing and robotic humming reference points has always left my ears unamused. I’m going to play the irony card: they’re too cheery for me. Yet, the hypnotic quality of the sounds draws me back to them time and time again. There must be something in the grooves.

Now onto serious matters. The name of Radiohead can be added to the list of victims in this age of terror. Those of you that follow the news will have heard of the Radiohead fans that were attacked by Islamists in a record store in Istanbul while they were listening to a stream of the new album. These fundamentalists didn’t like that the fans were drinking alcohol and listening to music during the holy month of Ramadan. There you go, you’re not even safe in the secular state of Turkey.

A much less serious problem concerns the video for their new single, Burn the Witch. The inspiration for this animated film was an old TV programme for children. The creators of the original work are unhappy that their copyright was used without permission. They weren’t chuffed either with the dark tones of the story. It could end in court. The video also pays homage to an old horror classic. I’ll let you watch to find out what it is.

Play it loud and prepare to be hypnotised.



The oil tanker is heading for the iceberg

It will be interesting to see the share price of Sports Direct in the coming days. Even though it was a low gas, lukewarm “grilling” by the Business Select Committee, Ashley’s performance hit the zeitgeist as he played it like Trump. It’s now over to the city to see how they will react.

Gory details

The obituaries columns in newspapers do throw up some interesting facts and sometimes not even about the deceased. Reading the Prince obituary in the Times last week it was revealed 2 me that on account of the sexualised lyrics on some of Prince’s music a new profanity police was created. It came in the guise of a similar looking woman to Mary Whitehouse. This being was the second lady of the United States (1993-2001), Tipper Gore, wife of the veep (same years or ditto), Al Gore. It was Tipper that instigated the “Parental advisory: explicit content” sticker that prevails on CDs to this day.

Well played, the Gores. Not content with saving the planet they also are trying to save the innocence of youth. Ironically, Prince toned down his act, curtailing swearing, and became a Jehovah’s Witness.

As for the Gores, they are a couple no more. Still, nothing compares 2 em. The ozone’s got his hat on and you need to prove you’re 18 before you can buy a Cannibal Corpse record; tip, tip, tip hooray.

Better than Bradders?

Statistics don’t lie, do they? The higher the batting average the better the player. Top of the list of Test cricket’s batting averages is  Andy Ganteaume. The Trinidadian played one test for the West Indies v England in 1948 and scored 112. The politics at the time prevented him playing any more tests so his average remains the best.

Andy joked he was a “one cap wonder” and kept his feelings to himself until 59 years later he complained bitterly about “the establishment” in his autobiography, My Story, The Other Side of the Coin. He died on February 17, 2016 aged 95.

Not better than Bradman, of course, but it’s better to be a one cap wonder or a one hit wonder or a one day wonder than being no wonder at all. Well played, Andy.