I am suffering from unwelcome throbbing.
Truth is I managed, during a state of mild inebriation, to sprain my ankle rather unpleasantly way back in August. This was following a terribly entertaining afternoon spent at the Ben and Jerry’s festival on Clapham Common – an event which was officially about seeing the Human League (aka the Holy Trinity) but ended up being more about the Merry-Go-Round.
But anyway, after a few jars at the Two Brewers I headed off home thinking “it’s a Sunday, school night, best get a good night’s sleep in”. I then proceeded to bolt across the road, trip over a crossing-slab, vault into the oncoming traffic and then out of it again, crunching things unpleasantly as I went.
Seriously I was like an action-hero.
A drunk and slightly crap action hero.
But after a couple of days of no-movement, the doctor still refused me Physio and so I had to get better slowly under my own steam. And it’s been mostly fine since then; a bit throbby once the sadist has had his wicked way at the gym, mind, but otherwise fine.
Until the current cold snap. And by God it’s irksome at the moment. It starts to ache on exposure to the cold and barely lets up for ages. I’ve gone from being an action hero to the sort of ancient army sort who copped a bullet in the Crimean war and finds it always flares up in the cold and damp.
Someone fetch me some tweed. And a walking stick.
And a comedy moustache…
Now, I’ll be honest. I hate strikes. I always feel that they are a way of a union punishing not only those they have a grievance against but also the innocent customers who rely on a provided service.
And that usually includes me and I – like 99.9% of humans – am a selfish bastard.
So my initial reaction to the current postal strikes was one of “oh for the love of Camelot, do you have to? Can’t you just go into arbitration and sort it out between you?”
I have, however, rather come round to the CWU’s way of thinking. Not least because it’s the Royal Mail management and Lord “of Darkness” Mandelson who are refusing to go to ACAS so I can see why the balance has tipped.
Plus, the Conservatives have pledged to privatise the Royal Mail should they come into power and since everything they are I am not, I can’t support the changes suggested in that area. And more to the point I believe Royal Management are manipulating the figures and are, essentially, a bunch of lying bastards. This article here rather illustrates why.
So no, I think the Royal Mail management should be sacked and replaced and the system left in public hands with workers treated fairly. The Royal Mail is too important to be fucked up like this, and there’s never been a single public-turned-private institution that I’ve ever had satisfactory dealings with. Private companies don’t really understand public services.
Now by an astonishing coincidence I am reading Terry Pratchett’s “Going Postal” at the moment, and it’s proving to have some remarkable parallels – not least of which is Lord Vetinari’s comment about the service which has become a joke.
“Unfortunately the Post Office came to be seen not as a system for moving the mail efficiently, to the benefit and profit of all, but as a money box. And so it collapsed, losing both mail and money. A lesson for all of us perhaps.”
Echoes a bit doesn’t it?
It’s not a surprise that, only a few days after starting to insinuate things about Stephen Gately’s death, the Daily Hate Mail should finally publish a tasteless opinion piece to openly state that being gay inevitably means you’ll end badly.
Jan Moir has come up trumps really, even by the Mail’s usual standards. Her article here is an astonishingly vicious, ill-informed and gossipy slab of outright prejudice. She’s really raised the bar for them – how they’ll keep it up is beyond me.
I dunno… it never ceases to amaze me how much gossip, speculation and innuendo pass off as fodder for newspapers these days. Amazes and saddens.
If only we had ducking stools instead of blogs, eh?
Someone states the obvious.
Someone sneers at all you love.
Someone preaches ugly manners, excluding some (including me).
This is how I learned to hate Rock and Roll.
I was happily partaking of an internet forum the other day (one of a couple I frequent in fact) when a thread was started about a particular pop star – a vaguely diminutive Australian one actually – where a free and frank exchange of views about her last album was held.
But it was all pretty civil because at heart all those discussing it are basically fans.
Until of course the thread suddenly started to fill with killjoys. Now, I’m all for differences of opinion, but I do often wonder what it is that causes a person to join a thread where people are essentially espousing their love for something and feel the urge to just sneer and throw around insults.
Somehow seeing people enjoying themselves does seem to bring out the worst in people doesn’t it?
My favourite comment, by someone in defence of their general tone, was that “it’s the duty of rock to bite the arse of pop” which basically had me gaping in disbelief.
I couldn’t help but feel a little glad that my musical preferences are pop not rock if that’s how you define it. The minute words like “duty” start being bandied around about any form of art I tend to find myself thinking it rather a shame that, once again, people can only see a value in something if it isn’t just intended to entertain.
I am increasingly of the opinion that the creation of enjoyment in others is probably the greatest pinnacle of human achievement.
Just had to blog about these guys, a rather fit pop duo from (where else?) Sweden.
First heard of them on Popjustice with a song called “M.A.G.I.C.”, a nice optimistic little number which has been repeatedly in my iPhone’s current favourites playlist.
And now they’re back with a new single “Into the Clouds” which is another delightful optimistic little tune, with a stuning video to boot.
Ones to watch, I think.
One of my favourite nightclubs is the one held every Saturday at Alter Ego in Manchester, entitled “Poptastic!”
As you might tell from the name it’s one which caters for pop-lovers of all ages, split into a more serious indie room and a more unashamedly chart/cheese sound in the other.
So, guess which room I spent most of my Saturday night in this weekend, huh?
All was marvellous. The set was a bit toothless to start but from the moment friend Helen demanded the Pet Shop Boys’ Go West things improved enormously.
Admittedly there was a wobbly section when a sequence of 2 Unlimited, Scatman John and Cotton Eyed Joe arrived (and I suddenly realised that dance music of that era was precisely why Britpop arose) but on the whole it was a fantastic night.
Aside from… well, the DJ himself. I’ve not encountered this phenomenon before in clubs – perhaps you have – but he did seem to love the sound of his own voice. Every now and then he’d talk over the music just when we were enjoying it the most and tell us the most unnecessary things.
Things like “This is Poptastic on a Saturday night” (we knew), “lots of pop classics still to come” (we had hoped) and “if you’ve got a request come over to the DJ booth” (well, there’s a relief: my psychic projection is a little rusty) and “if I’ve got it, I’ll play it” (well, that’s just excuses).
Basically I do think DJs shouldn’t talk to their audience by microphone. It’s invariably vapid stuff at best and just gets in the way of the tunes. I suppose he, like many of us who’ve done it, suffers from the vague awareness that he’s not really a DJ but more of a glorified CD changer and feels the need to build up his part.
But frankly the urge to dash over there and ask if he could give us “Shut the Fuck Up” by “the Poptastic DJ” was somewhat overwhelming. But since he was otherwise rather good (aside from three, count em three, Britney tracks in an hour and the Steps version of “Better the Devil You Know”) maybe that would have been a little bit churlish.
All good fun, anyhow. I can heartily recommend it as a night out if you’re up that way, and it certainly provided the kind of abs workout I haven’t had in a long while.
I really need to club more often.
So, the screenwriter of the recent hit film “Milk”, Dustin Lance Black, is suffering from a minor scandal at present as a result of the odious gossipmonger Perez Hilton.
A tape has apparently been leaked of Dustin having sex with his boyfriend and Perez dutifully posted it on his webshite.
Now my reaction was pretty much “oh, damnit those are hot pics”. I’d thought DLB was a bit cute before, it now turns out that he’s not only really rather buff but also has hot sex too.
But it seems that some of his fellow campaigners for gay equality are having a pop because the fact that he’s having unprotected sex with his boyfriend is not helpful to the cause.
I’ll be honest. I’m not sure that a cause which says two grown men can’t make their own decisions as to what they do in a long term relationship is a cause worth following, really.
So, we have a tube strike in full swing.
What I’m finding most amusing is the fact that despite the strike, the Northern Line is operating at optimum levels – a complete contrast to its usual lacklustre service.
Amazing that it takes the entire shut-down of the rest of the network to make the Northern Line look good, isn’t it?
A team of dedicated professionals over at PWL (or, PWE as it is now known) have been working through an horde of DAT tapes in the archive and have started to release waves of old PWL and Stock/Aitken/Waterman stuff to iTunes.
So far they’ve just done the Kylie and Jason albums, all the Jason singles and the one attempt at a pop career by a scary Australian bodybuilder by the name of Carol Hitchcock (it’s a great track, mind) but I have a nasty feeling that in the long run this whole thing is going to bankrupt me.
Aside from the pleasure of listening to crisp, freshly remastered versions of tracks I’ve previously had from various hooky sources, they’re also including previously unreleased instrumentals and mixes as well. Which naturally I have to own too.
And, more amazingly, the Jason singles also contain the backing tracks used for PAs as well. And let me tell you, some of those backing vocals are just some of the most gorgeously melodic and harmonic things I’ve ever heard.
Kylie’s singles are likely to hit in a week or so and so I may be on the streets before you know it. (But with a very full iPhone.)
Now, see, I don’t really do gay movies. I’ve even committed the cardinal sin of never seeing either the Wizard of Oz or Beautiful Thing, but the flatmate’s always had a bit of a thing for them. Latter Days, Shelter, Angels in America and so on he’s purchased and devoured.
In keeping with my general outlook on life, though, I stick with the TV. The redeemably awful Dante’s Cove, the irredeemably awful The Lair (I mean dear Christ that’s a bad show, but that’s another post), and the beautiful Christian and Olli storyline in Germany’s Verbotene Liebe are much more my thing – because they’re TV not film (it’s an odd metal block I’ll admit).
I’ve tried, though. I bought 200 American which was a reasonably enjoyable film, hampered by stilted dialog delivered with porn-star like subtlety and – something common to a lot of gay-to-DVD releases – lousy sound recording. And, given that nothing was on TV last night, when Amazon suggested Were the World Mine I took one look at the trailer and decided it looked barking enough to get on special delivery.
And, much to my annoyance, some of the dialogue was unintelligable (I gather it’s some sort of indie-film thing – an attempt at realism I guess) but my God, I think I love this film way too much to be true.
It’s got some thumpingly good tunes (of its own, I mean – although Patrick Wolf’s Magic Position is in there a lot too), the lovestruck Timothy and object of his desire Jonathon are just gorgeous, and if the story were to be summed up in three letters you’d be hard pressed to decide between “WTF” and “LSD”. It is, frankly, insanely good fun. And all loaded with so much from A Midsummer Night’s Dream you feel quite educated watching it.
So I’d recommend it heartily. Go get. Go watch. Go see. And go enjoy.
(And if someone could arrange for Tanner Cohen or Nathaniel David Becker to be delivered to my bedroom soon I’d be very grateful. Ta ever so.)