Friday, 23 March 2012

Think I lie down now ...

Passing through Leicester railway station this morning, the rabbit went to buy a newspaper. No, not the above one. The front page of the Daily Star did however attract the rabbit's attention. It was one of those 'do I inhabit a parallel universe or does everyone else - or at least a very large number of other people?' moments. I hadn't the faintest idea what the headline meant. I mentioned this to the woman behind the counter as I bought my daily dose of liberal rhubarb - sorry probably the best daily newspaper in the world. 

'You don't watch the X Factor, do you?' she asked.

Nope. Never seen it. Heard of it, though. One of those gruesome talent shows. probably something to do with Simon Cowell. I'd sooner stick my appendage in the blender than watch it. No, not literally. Investigations followed.

Duly 'enlightened', rabbit explaining this rubbish services will make all clear...

Tulisa is named Tulisa Contostavlos and - apart from being a judge (sic) on the X Factor was formerly a singer with something called N-Dubz. Someone wanted to sell a sexually explicit tape of her for £500,000. Details remain obscure save to say that she is apparently giving someone mouth to penis resuscitation. 

'Moi?' cried our heroine. '100% fake', it was announced on her behalf. 'Tulisa has categorically never allowed anyone to film her having sex'.

Jolly good.

Except the tape isn't fake, it emerges. It's 100% genuine. Plus our heroine now has an injunction prohibiting anyone disclosing - erm - images of 'an intimate moment'. 

If anyone cares, the recipient of her attentions is apparently named Justin Edwards aka DJ Ultra. Inevitably, Tulisa has addressed her adoring public on YouTube. It's like the Queen's Christmas broadcast save that Christmas has come (very) early for drooling idiots everywhere.

Hits (in no time at all) 1,809,456 and rising. This is drivel and demeaning drivel too. Why should anyone care? Why is the brain dead dimwit press obsessed with this rubbish? Think I lie down now ...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Dreadful - and quite clever - adverts ...

Pausing only momentarily to ask 'is facebook killing blogging?' (I have a nasty suspicion that the answer is 'yes') one of my favourite facebook pages is false advertising, which is presently having a discussion on the most annoying TV advert. There is a consensus emerging around the infamous Go Compare adverts (overseas readers, they are a car insurance comparison site) - the YouTube entry is introduced with 'Warning: song is annoying and will stick in your head'. This is very true and you were warned. I am on record on facebook saying what I would like to do to this person's moustache. It does not bear repetition in a family orientated blog. The advert below will make your brain bleed too but at least it's clever as opposed to merely annoying. I've some vague idea I may have posted this before. So suffer ...

Cadburys have produced a number of clever adverts, some featuring a gorilla ...

Parting shot: they say you should learn something new every day. Yesterday I  learned that there really is a place called Knob Lick in Missouri. TMI!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Marianne Faithfull

I defy any heterosexual male of a certain age not to fess up to the undoubted fact that in their adolescence they were madly in love with Marianne Faithfull. Apart from an extraordinary pretty face and an extraordinarily pretty voice, she had an extraordinary background. Her mother was an aristocrat from the very former Austria-Hungarian empire - an exotic state of affairs compounded by her being a dancer in productions by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill. How cool is that? Plus her great uncle was one Baron Sacher-Masoch whose erotic novel Venus In Furs resulted in him giving his name to a certain activity - namely masochism.  Venus In Furs of course later became a song by the Velvet Underground.

She had hits in the early 60s, notably with the above, married and had a son. the marriage did not last long. 'My first move was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend. I slept with three and decided the lead singer was the best bet'. 

Hmmm ...

Anyway, she became a subtext in various songs by the Stones and others. And below is probably her major hit of all time, a Jagger/Richards song.

Then things totally imploded, she split from Jagger in 1970 and lost custody of her son in the same year. She ended up heroin addicted, anorexic and literally on the streets. She came back in the end but differently. Her voice changed. Laryngitis, cigarettes drink and cocaine abuse produced a new husky voice.

It worked and with Broken English in 1979 came her most critically acclaimed album. It wasn't a smooth ride thereafter, drugs continued to feature along with disastrous relationships. It probably never will be a smooth ride. She's high maintenance. Inevitably health problems have followed. All those years later, I'm not in love with Marianne any more. But I do like her. She's paid her dues. This is slightly back to front as I did blog on the mature Marianne a while ago and this posting refers back to her early years. So for the sake of completeness - and anyway - here from Broken English and her comeback is The Ballad of Lucy Jordan

Oh okay then - somewhat tangential but just for fun here are the Velvets with Venus In Furs ...

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Afghanistan - Enough ...

Forgive the occasional excursion into seriousness but two recent stories from Afghanistan shock me into reflection - and comment. 

The first was the deaths of the six British soldiers (five of them 21 or under) by a very large Taliban roadside bomb. Their relatives have paid moving tributes to their bravery which rightly have been reported widely and sympathetically. It may seem that this is not the right moment to ask the question (I'm not sure there ever is a right one) but I regularly wonder the following.

'What will be said to the parents, spouse, relatives and friends of the last British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan as to what the purpose of their sacrifice was?'

It seems to me that there is no answer to this question, save for the unpalatable one - there was no purpose served at all.  The only legitimate objective of the original attack, namely to make it more difficult for Al-Qaeda was achieved pretty quickly. The rest is a hopeless - and doomed - exercise in nation building. Who seriously imagines the Karzai regime will last very long after the coalition forces are withdrawn? Or that it is of such merit - and has such a wide base of popular support that it seriously deserves to in basic democratic grounds?

It will last as long as the comparably corrupt South Vietnamese government did after the withdrawal of US troops. If that long.

The second story is the murder of 16 Afghan civilians including nine children by an - I assume mentally unstable - US soldier today just adds to the sorrow and the pity. It is not the case that some lives are more 'important' than others. All are precious and the loss of any diminishes us. No doubt conspiracy theories will abound and the revenge attacks begin. The mix is hopelessly - to use an overused word - toxic. This is more than enough. We must not 'cut and run' comes the inevitable cry. Let's cut and run - and bring the troops back for they can do no further good. And do it now.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

White Heat

The rabbit has been having a difficult time since last posting. I'm fine - it's not about me - and I will tell all (well perhaps not quite all) in good time. But not now - bear with me. It is worth noting, though, that the BBC seems to have trumps having just seen the first part of new drama 6 parter White Heat. 

It starts in the present with pivotal character Charlotte being shown round a house in Tufnell Park where she had lived as a student in 1965. The then young owner is an arrogant rich kid who auditions students as potential tenants. Charlotte is one of the chosen ones. The no longer young owner has died. We go to back to 1965. Claire Foy runs with the Charlotte character who is soon smoking, taking drugs and fornicating (the latter two activities taking place in rapid succession in accordance with the customs of the time). The story runs through the years to Greenham Common and the Falklands war and beyond to the present day. But tonight was episode one and much remains to become clear. The rabbit was rather taken by the surrealism of a party set to the backdrop of Winston Churchill's funeral and left wondering what the drug taken before the fornicating was. It could not have been LSD, the thought went, as that drug was rare in 1965 and pretty much impossible to combine with fornicating, at least in the early stages of its effects, but I digress.

It is written by Paula Milne who has fessed up to the obvious, namely that it is semi autobiographical. She is plainly a part of a generation with an interesting collection of back stories. Oh, and the soundtrack is quality. It starts with the inevitable ...

Not to mention this one - I'd quite forgotten it but researches reveal it was released in 1965. US readers, I fear you'll have to wait until White Heat shows up on a public service channel or whatever ...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Neil Young mostly ,,,,

To slightly adapt a well known saying, work is something that happens to you when you make plans to blog. A lot of tearing up and down the country, then recovering by flopping in a heap doesn't make for serious - or even sustained frivolous - writing. So some music is in order - mostly Neil Young today. Starting with our man at the top of his game with My My Hey Hey from the Farm Aid thing. 'It's better to burn out than to fade away'. Hmmm ... I'll get back to you on that.

Neil Young of course first came to note via Buffalo Springfield- as did Stephen Stills (random fact: Stephen Stills was considered as a possible Monkee but it was decided that his teeth didn't pass muster). They produced one wonderful album (For What It's Worth) and a sort of theme song for the Vietnam war - For What It's Worth, did a lot of drugs and kept having infinitely confusing line up changes.

Then there was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, commonly known as CSNY, it must be said that a lot of their stuff was trite and sentimental as anyone who has cringed through Our House and/or Teach Your Children Well can confirm. But they also did all time rabbit favourite Helpless (written by Young). Annoyingly, the YouTube link to the Deja Vu studio version of Helpless has 'embedding disabled by request'. No problemo - just follow the link ..

Postscript: Or even better - and this shows the ridiculousness of the whole thing - same song, same album, different link - no embedding ..

All together now ...

There is a town in north Ontario
With dream  comfort memory to spare
In my mind I need a place to go
All my changes were there ...

Followed by one of the lines of all time ...

Blue, blue windows behind the stars

Then they also did Ohio ...

And finally as a very loud raspberry to a very rude woman who thinks the rabbit needs a haircut, here are Crosby, Stills and Nash from 2009 with Almost Cut My Hair Today. If you got it, flaunt it!