Oye como va
Whilst we are being mesmerised by British politicians telling massive lies, something rather significant has taken place across the pond where a man once had a plan about a canal in Panama. Some bloke called Raul sat down for a chat with another bloke called Obama and after the brief mano y mano discussion actually shook hands. This might not seem important but if you were born in the 50s and remember childhood nightmares caused by the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban missile crisis, this rapprochement between the US and Cuba is nothing short of remarkable.
Cuba is more than crumbling buildings, ancient Chevrolets, cigars hand rolled on the thighs of young beauties and a tenacious clinging obsession with Marxism; it has the best rum and some of the best music ever created. Setting aside Guantanamo Bay, it looks like Fidel won the waiting game. It seems Cuba is no longer considered to be a rogue state cynically sponsoring and encouraging terrorism but has instead been transformed into a lucrative market. Perhaps the next POTUS, who might actually be a woman, will take a look at lifting the sanctions and embargos placed on Vietnam for having the downright cheek to defeat a global superpower in a war that ended 40 years ago. (more…)
Malice; here are four thoughts…
Firstly; that road looks a bit French.
Secondly; none of the statements are remotely true.
Thirdly; telling blatant lies will not fool even the stupidest voter and…
When something or other turns out to be a little bit popular, it is sadly inevitable that even moderate success will attract imitators, copyists and blatant plagiarists.
Whenever talent and originality emerges or gimmicky notoriety makes money, there are legions of bandwagon jumpers looking to cash in. Hence we had decades of everyone trying to sing like Kate Bush, then Bjork, then the Hemidemisemiquaver 64th note urban yodelling of Whitney Houston, then the artificial removal of the glottal stop in the style of Lily Allen and now the pop star as harlot Lady Gaga persona. When Abba won, other nations decided that the only hope of winning the Eurovision Song Contest was to be represented by two ugly blokes and two attractive women who might or might not be moonlighting from the adult film industry. Thus the nervous nation was on the receiving end of Save All Your Kisses For Me complete with its own funny little dance and Making Your Mind Up with disturbingly kitsch skirt ripping. It is surprising that former minor celebrities up before the bench on serious charges have not cited ripping off someone`s dress in front of a live TV audience of millions as evidence of the period`s zeitgeist. (more…)
Hello? What? Yes I`ve tried that.
As a family, we are experts at dealing with unexpected calamity and the occasional crisis but Sunday proved to be cataclysmic as the full horror of the collapse of internet network connection visited our humble home.
The first horseman of the apocalypse crashed through the roof when an anguished scream was heard coming from an upper storey of the east wing of our small to medium mansion at about lunchtime. Engaged in “blowing away” cyborgs to reach the next level of some surrogate game designed to replace a more sensible passage to manhood, the son and heir issued a loud frustrated expletive when the internet crashed just before he had achieved enough kills to entitle him to deploy cluster bombs. On a previous occasion when male bonding was deemed necessary, I ventured the proposition that if it were a cyborg, then the screen should not be covered with just blood, brains and gore, but that the gloop should also contain the occasional microchip, PCB and possibly a resistor or two. He shrugged, saying that “it`s not real” and then quoted Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and even Descartes. I managed to resist the temptation to slap him round the back of the head. (more…)
Decades before Will Smith`s fictional Fresh Prince migrated from West Philadelphia to Bel Air, singer and pianist Nat King Cole tried upward mobility for real.
As the first African American entertainer popular enough to have his own television show in the 1950s, Nat King Cole`s success brought him enough money to buy a large house in an affluent, all-white suburb of Los Angeles. Soon after moving in with his family, his wealthy, white neighbours invited him to a party to welcome the famous newcomer. However, the invitation made it very clear that he was expected to play and sing and as a reward might be able to have some chitlins and corn bread with the servants in the kitchen. Ever the gentleman, Cole politely declined, explaining that he made his living by playing and singing and helpfully included the contact details for his agent and manager should the host and hostess wish to arrange an engagement subject to a binding contract and the usual fee. The host and the hostess did not make a booking. (more…)