For a global sporting event to be considered successful, it must be preceded by dire predictions of unfinished facilities, dangerous infrastructure, drug scandals, blatant corruption and civil unrest. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad delivered on all those requirements and surpassed previous Olympiads by throwing in the threat of a particularly nasty tropical disease. The first half of Rio 2016 will be remembered as the games that had everything. (more…)
August 23, 2016
May 28, 2016
Viewed from this considerable distance, watching Hollywood musicals produced in the 1930s is tinged with an indistinct melancholia. With sumptuous sets, casts of thousands, spectacular production numbers and improbably storylines, the golden age of RKO, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount and Warner Brothers portrays a fantasy world in stark contrast to the Great Depression that preceded the Second World War.
In these marvellous yet shallow movies, “ordinary” Americans pursuing the American dream would tap dance in penthouses the size of aircraft hangers; relax with cocktails by the pool, fly down to Rio; dress for diner with minor European royalty and always have a happy ending. A few precious nickels and dimes, or shillings and pennies, could in those dark days buy a couple of hours of escape from a harsh reality. Now, at this considerable distance, Busby Berkeley has been replaced by reality television as a means of escape. Sadly, this escape is based on watching people being thoroughly unpleasant as a form of entertainment and as a reassurance that there are, out there, people more unpleasant than us. (more…)
May 20, 2016
Being blessed with merciful anonymity, the little town of Walsall seldom attracts either wanted or unwanted attention. The diurnal 15 mile tailback at Junction 10 might excite the traffic reporter at a ghastly local radio station and the occasional nail bomb lobbed at a Mosque by some deranged Eastern European neo-fascist certainly raised a few eyebrows but, in terms of global influence, Walsall is generally happy with inept local politics, average football and a minimal media profile. There are, however, certain moments when the planets align resulting in an event horizon that places Walsall at the epicentre of galactic flux. (more…)
May 15, 2016
There is compelling evidence that suggests a direct correlation between prolonged delusional hallucinations and even the most casual or brief use recreational pharmaceuticals and or strong drink. Medical science has produced irrefutable data proving that even a tiny sip of demon alcohol or just a puff of the Devil`s weed from Hell proves a causal link to a lifetime of madness, surreal visions and nightmarish imaginings. Pity then, an entire generation that wake every morning to warped apparitions and are haunted at night by weird and unreal ghosts for this is the generation that decided to take acid in the 60s. (more…)
May 9, 2016
At long last, evidence of complete impartiality, balance, transparency and the highest standards of news reporting, accurate journalism and complete commitment to revealing the truth has been allowed to prove conclusively that the British Broadcasting Corporation offers astonishing value for money in covering breaking stories across the entire planet, Europe, the United Kingdom and, more importantly, the cabinet room at Number 10 Downing Street.
After years of unfounded accusations of bias, BBC News has finally laid to rest the preposterous notion that the organisation is in some way operating an agenda that ignores the wider United Kingdom by only focussing on the South-East, London and the Westminster bubble. In a tour de force of heroic reportage, the BBC has provided comprehensive coverage of a Labour party melt-down in local council elections; a Labour party wiped out in Scotland and a Labour party crushed in Wales. Rejected, humiliated and universally loathed by all decent members of the electorate, the Labour party according to the BBC is unelectable, dead, over, finished and a complete waste of space. Events in London are irrelevant when compared to the monumental disaster suffered by Labour in the regions and so events in London do not need to be reported as anything other than a meaningless side-show. (more…)