Sunday, October 30, 2011

Specky four eyes!

Over at The Dabbler I peer at some bespectacled popstars, including Buddy Holly (of course), Elvis Costello, Graham Coxon, plus a nasty surprise.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Martyrdom of Dr Giles Fraser

There are many highly comical elements of the Occupy London/St Paul’s debacle – the Trustafarian queues for Starbucks, the empty tents, the misconceived ‘Elf and Safety’ fears, the general sense of it all being such a pointless waste of time – but one that has really tickled me is the martyrdom of Dr Giles Fraser, the Cathedral’s canon chancellor.

He resigned from his post yesterday with “great sadness and regret”, on the righteous grounds that he wanted no part in anything that might involve the Church “using violence” against the protestors. Given that this wasn’t at all likely to happen, his resignation must be one of the most frivolous in memory. But you only need to look at Fraser to know that here is not only one of those clergymen who, given half a chance, would be bringing electric guitars into St Paul’s or trying to get down with the kids by organising (alcohol-free) “raves for Jesus”; but also a man who hungers for celebrity.

He needlessly announced his needless self-sacrifice on Twitter. Bet you anything he’ll be popping up in the media whenever a talking head is required on “What it means to be a Christian in the modern world….”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Stone Roses

I put Second Coming into Record Rehab here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why is Private Eye so unfunny?

I address this and other questions about political satire in my review of The Comic Strip presents... The Hunt for Tony Blair.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sam Warburton

I was sorry to see Wales lose to France - not least because victory would have made my pal and Dabbler co-editor Gaw happy - but I confess I was nonplussed by the ITV commentators' furious reaction to the red card shown to Sam Warburton for his spear tackle on Vincent Clerc. It was a quite eye-wateringly dangerous act of violence, but they seemed to think a sin-binning would have been harsh. Rugby is a violent game but that makes the drawing of clear lines more important.

It seems pointless to compare the apologising for Warburton with the opprobrium heaped upon Wayne Rooney for his pathetic kick on the the Montenegran (described by the UEFA authorities as "an assualt") since football and rugby have wholly different moral codes, but a more telling thought experiment would be to imagine the reaction if it had been an England bruiser dumping one of the plucky Welsh lads on his neck.

Greece versus Germany

Over here I wonder what the music of Germany and Greece can tell us about their current relationship, locked in a loveless economic embrace.

And I ponder the epistemological implications of England's defeat to France in the rugby last week.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Foxy Knoxy

It surely tells you all you need to know about the prurient interest of the meedja in the Meredith Kercher murder case that it is nigh impossible to find a picture of Raffaele Sollecito in any report on the subject. Yesterday's Times devoted most of its front page and a couple of pictorial inside spreads to the news that Amanda Knox had been cleared of the crime, but you had to read a long way to discover that so too had Sollecito. Doubtless the tabloids were even worse.

Flashman versus America

Over at the Dabbler - Flashman makes some modest remarks concerning the concept of American exceptionalism.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Johann Hari

Those who've been following the Johann Hari farce (including Nick Cohen, whose wikipedia entry was maliciously tampered with by Hari using the pseudonym David Rose) might enjoy today's Noseybonk on the Dabbler, in which the 'Bonk exclusively reveals Hari's first assignment at journalism school, entitled What I Did on My Holidays.