Key Posts Category
EVER been scared by an advert?
Have Her In Stitches (literally)
THIS advertisement comes from a 1982 Canadian newspaper. Notice anything particularly troubling about it?
THE Mail leads with the news that a Ukip member thinks all immigrants should “go home“. She says she was referring to “illegal immigrants”. What is unclear is whether or not the paper agrees with her. How long will it be before Victoria Ayling is being talked about in positive tones by the Mail’s columnists?
ON the Sunday morning of 21 September 1969, a slightly-built Chief Inspector convinced some hippies inside a squat at a large five storey mansion at 144 Piccadilly to lower an improvised wooden drawbridge so doctors could help a seriously ill person inside. The drawbridge came down and Chief Inspector Michael Rowling flung himself bravely across the barricaded opening to establish a bridgehead. Suddenly a police sergeant blew his whistle and shouted “Come on lads – let’s go in!” and a hundred policemen, seemingly from nowhere, charged over the bridge and through the front door.
HUGE swathes of the press are incredibly excited about the Nigella Lawson court case because they’re getting loads of juicy information on her private life without having to rummage around in bins, tap phones or interview a soul!
Perfect for the modern, lazy hack.
However, it seems that no-one on Fleet Street has actually realised what is being revealed – that Nigella is actually very normal and that the life of a celebrity is crushingly similar to most people’s.
TOM Daley is gay. You might have read the news that Olympic diver Tom Daley is gay on the front pages of the national Press, or heard it on the national news bulletins.
Daley made his announcement because the caring Sun was about to out him as being a hypocrite or in denial, or whatever a 19-year-old can be when he’s growing up.
WILLIAM Shatner, for his cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, is usually cited as the cardinal wrongdoer among the long list of actors and actresses taking a spin at a singing career. But I must confess, Shat’s spoken-word rendition has grown on me. His sincerity and hamminess are just freaking adorable. For that matter, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins by his Star Trek comrade, Leonard Nimoy, is equally endearing.
No, this list has nothing adorable in it. There’s nothing charming about a single chord on these celebrity records – nothing to latch onto and attach some redeeming quality. These are objectively awful from the first note to the last.
“Rape” by Peter Wyngard (1970)
In France of course, where fun is greedy
The women are a little more seedy
And rape is hardly ever necessary
IN Norway, the owners of a home found a secret room. It appears to have been occupied in World War 2, maybe by a member of the Milorg resistance. With the German invaders in Norway, and the country’s Government in exile in Britain, many thousands of valiant Norwegians refused to follow the Nazi-approved leader Vidkun Quisling and surrender.
SIR Bradley Wiggins has apologised after cracking an unfortunate joke at the Firecracker Ball in aid of Barnado’s.
Wiggo had donated a signed shirt and when his face appeared on the giant screen he turned to auctioneer Jon Hammond, and said: “You’ve got a posh voice, I like posh voices. Suck me off.”
BEFORE launching into the typical “Oh, aren’t those Seventies fashions so terrible” spiel, let’s get one thing out of the way: 70s’ fashions are an easy target because they took chances. Whenever you are bold you run the risk of becoming the butt of jokes. Today’s styles seem to abide by the “best not to make waves” approach – unlikely to cause much ridicule in future decades, but also fatally milquetoast. Not so the 1970s.
Attribute it to millions of emboldened Boomers coming of age or a staggering amount of recreational drug use. Either way the case is the same: 1970s fashions inspire equal parts awe and terror for denizens of the 21st century. Let’s take a look at the top five instances where this inspiring boldness went terribly, terribly wrong.
Are cult members stupid. Brainwashed? Or did they want to belong and made a conscious decision to join and remain?
Photo above: Actress Vanessa Redgrave at a press conference where she announced her intention to stand as a candidate for the Workers Revolutionary Party. Date: 12/02/1974
Aravindan Balakrishnan (Comrade Bala) and his wife, Chanda, 67, created the Workers Institute of Marxism- Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. They are the group’s leading lights. Indeed, given that three members have just left, they could be the group’s only remaining members. New members might want to rework that name.
The Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought declared in 1977. (Via)
When beloved Chairman Mao passed away on September 9, last year, our comrades worked tirelessly to transform our profound grief into great strength. Right in the heart of the revolutionary base area in Brixton we have opened from October 1, 1976, the MAO ZEDONG MEMORIAL CENTRE – a workers’ Centre, Library and Bookshop – the only one of its kind in the world. Thousands of working people have visited the Centre and hundreds of them have participated in the vigorous revolutionary programme (meetings, film shows, etc.) conducted by the Institute. A steady core of them are now attending regularly the Political Evening School and the theoretical study groups which popularise invincible Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought at the Centre.
This new development in Britain, has taken the British fascist state by storm. In its vain attempt to escape the verdict of history it has spared no efforts to intimidate and harass the comrades of the Institute. Arrests, expulsions from jobs, evictions, psychological warfare in various forms, etc. have not in any way restrained our comrades, workers and intellectuals, men and women, young, middle-aged and old, of different nationalities of the world, from being the devoted soldiers of beloved Chairman Mao in the imperialist heartlands. Our comrades have steeled themselves in acute and violent class struggles in the past two years. Fearing neither hardship nor death in upholding the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao and following closely our great, glorious and correct Party, the Party of World Revolution, we are preparing ourselves to greet the greatest event in the history of mankind – the victory of world people’s revolution and the establishment of the International Dictatorship of the Proletariat!
March 31, 1977
He had a great slogan:
Photo: View of the grave of Marxist philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) in Highgate Cemetery East in Highgate, north London.
If it can all be dismissed as a cult, have all Marxists lost their minds?
Photo: Mick Hume, Claire Fox & Helene Guldberg (R) of LM Magazine. On 28/2/00 LM will be defending a libel writ, brought by ITN, for LM’s Publication of an article by Thomas Deichmann which looked at ITN’s coverage of the Trnpolje camp in August 1992. * At the High Court in London. Bosnian-Serb camp. Date: 12/01/2000
Rod Liddle has investigated. He speaks with Anorak’s pal and former cult members Brendan O’Neill and Big Issue founder John Bird, who pretty much nails it:
The Gaffer Tapes
THIS week Sports Minister Helen Grant became the latest politician to execute the self-destructive manoeuvre we shall refer to as ‘live quiz fail’ – the embarrassing failure to correctly answer questions pertaining to one’s own specialist field. Ms Grant, who claims that sport is in her DNA, was asked a series of simple quotations such as ‘Who is the current female Wimbledon champion?’ and ‘Which team won the FA Cup this year?’ A seemingly harder question concerning Maidstone United FC was put to her because the club resides in her parliamentary constituency – although ‘Manchester United because it’s my favourite club’ as she declared in the interview.
ON 21 November 1970, in his usual smooth and professional manner and while “the girls were changing into their extremely expensive evening gowns”, Michael Aspel introduced the judges of that year’s Miss World. In the late Sixties and early Seventies Miss World was a huge television event and the show regularly got over 20 million viewers in the UK alone. Considering the huge worldwide audience Eric Morley, the man in charge of the contest, chose some very odd people to judge the competition.
The first judge on Aspel’s cue card that night was “His excellency — the High Commissioner of Malawi”. He remained nameless but was warmly applauded by the Royal Albert Hall audience that would not have had the slightest idea who he was, let alone the whereabouts of the country he represented. The south-eastern African country Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, had been colonised by the British in 1891. The administrators at the time were given £10,000 per year which was enough to employ ten European civilians, two military officers, seventy Punjab Sikhs and Eight-five Zanzibar porters to administer and police about 1.5 million people.
DAN Liebelson has written an article about what they teach you about abstinence. She focuses on Denver-based Shelly Donahue. She is a tutor of “WAIT Training”. WIT is supported by the State of Colorado. She quotes the Bible right off:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;” – Isaiah 61:1-2
ON November 10, 2013, Louis Eccles had news of the Rogarains, that marauding tribe of ne’er-do-wells heading from Bulgaria and Romania to enslave your kids and nick your granny’s mattress:
“In January, the only thing left will be the goat’: Romanian father-of-seven’s boast as mayor says half the population of his villages are on their way to Britain for the higher salaries and generous benefits”
Why the other half are staying, we weren’t not told but it’s most likely because they fancy the goat, whom they most likely worship with black magick.
Remus Neda, 37, is heading for the UK to take advantage of state handouts
He makes most of his money by begging on the streets of Paris
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: Dr Who.
YOU spotted a plot hole did you? And you think Stephen Moffatt can’t write women? Yeah. Alright. Take it to your Twitter account. Maybe write a blaaaaag post about how it annoyed you and how the (virtually) free entertainment has offended you. Throw in some of that half-arsed cultural theory you learned at university in there too, that’ll really make it sing.
IT’S obvious that the God of Situational Irony hates America’s Transportation Security Administration almost as much as I do: in late October, only a few days before a TSAgent was gunned down at Los Angeles airport (then died a couple minutes later, after typically heroic cops from the LAPD refused to let medical personnel treat him), an engineer and anti-TSA blogger named Jonathan Corbett received some improperly redacted TSA documents proving that the TSA knows the truth of what its critics have said all along: the agency’s molesty groping policies and porny body-scan photos are completely useless where airline security is concerned, and TSA knows that airplane cockpit doors (strengthened in response to 9/11, since the hijackers were able to force their way in) mean any future hijacking attempts would likely fail anyway.
London Slaves: Statement To Comrade Bala By The Central Committee of the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist) – August 1st, 1974
I’M sure you were as shocked as I was at that story of three women being held as slaves in London for 30 years. But the story is now moving from tragedy into proper giggle worthy territory. The suspected slave master has now been named as Aravindan Balakrishnan. Who was also known as Comrade Bala.
Yup, this is about a small Maoist commune that managed to stagger along from the 70s all the way to today. And not only did social services know all about it they were even providing them with the housing they were using.
LONDON Slaves: A look at the three women found living as “slaves” in London. The married couple suspected of holding three women as slaves for more than 30 years are former Maoist activists Aravindan Balakrishnan and his wife Chanda, reports the BBC.
According to Marxist archives they were leading figures at the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre based in Acre Lane, Brixton, south London, in the 1970s.
JOHNNY Cash made a list of “Things To Do Today”.
Do to-do lists work?
Benjamin Franklin made a list. He tried too hard, say John Tierney and psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. (Via.)
Franklin tried a divide-and-conquer approach. He drew up a list of virtues and wrote a brief goal for each one, like this one for Order: ‘Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.’
When, as a young journeyman printer, he tried to practice Order by drawing up a rigid daily work schedule, he kept getting interrupted by unexpected demands from his clients — and Industry required him to ignore the schedule and meet with them. If he practiced Frugality (‘Waste nothing’) by always mending his own clothes and preparing all his own meals, there’d be less time available for Industry at his job — or for side projects like flying a kite in a thunderstorm or editing the Declaration of Independence. If he promised to spend an evening with his friends but then fell behind his schedule for work, he’d have to make a choice that would violate his virtue of Resolution: ‘Perform without fail what you resolve.’
Franklin wrote his list in 1726, at the age of 20. It’s more of a set of rules than a list. (Source: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Image: Benjamin Franklin, via.)
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Woody Guthrie made lists:
“Wake Up And Fight”
Jonathan Swift made this list in 1699:
Not to marry a young Woman.
Not to keep young Company unless they reely desire it.
Not to be peevish or morose, or suspicious.
Not to scorn present Ways, or Wits, or Fashions, or Men, or War, &c.
Not to be fond of Children, or let them come near me hardly.
Not to tell the same story over and over to the same People.
Not to be covetous.
Not to neglect decency, or cleenlyness, for fear of falling into Nastyness.
Not to be over severe with young People, but give Allowances for their youthfull follyes and weaknesses.
Not to be influenced by, or give ear to knavish tatling servants, or others.
Not to be too free of advise, nor trouble any but those that desire it.
To desire some good Friends to inform me wch of these Resolutions I break, or neglect, and wherein; and reform accordingly.
Not to talk much, nor of my self.
Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, &c.
Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman, et eos qui hereditatem captant, odisse ac vitare.
Not to be positive or opiniative.
Not to sett up for observing all these Rules; for fear I should observe none.
The Zeigarnik Effect is the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008, pg. 122). The automatic system signals the conscious mind, which may be focused on new goals, that a previous activity was left incomplete. It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and, if it is not finished, we experience dissonance.
A study done by Greist-Bousquet and Schiffman (1992) provided evidence for the Zeigarnik Effect. In this paper, the authors stated that there is a tendency or “need” to complete a task once it has been initiated and the lack of closure that stems from an unfinished task promotes some continued task related cognitive effort. The cognitive effort that comes with these intrusive thoughts of the unfinished task is terminated only once the person returns to complete the task.
Tierney and Baumeister address that anew:
[It] turns out that the Zeigarnik effect is not, as was assumed for decades, a reminder that continues unabated until the task gets done. The persistence of distracting thoughts is not an indication that the unconscious is working to finish the task. Nor is it the unconscious nagging the conscious mind to finish the task right away. Instead, the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan. The unconscious mind apparently can’t do this on its own, so it nags the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders.”
FLASHBACK to Delia Derbyshire (5 May 1937 – 3 July 2001).
Delia Derbyshire is the mathematics and music scholar most famous for creating the whirling intro to Dr Who. She was working at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop in 1963 when she was given Ron Grainer’s score.
* She used concrete sources and sine- and square-wave oscillators, tuning the results, filtering and treating, cutting so that the joins were seamless, combining sound on individual tape recorders, re-recording the results, and repeating the process, over and over again.
THIS is what David Cameron has to say on his crusade to rid the internet of porn:
“I’ve said what I’ve said about Page 3 and the Sun and I haven’t changed my views. But should we do more to try and help parents to protect their children from legal pornography on the internet? Yes I think we should, and again last week we made some big progress on that.
“You can control your children’s access to newspapers and books and magazines. The problem with the internet is that our children are all online and they’re using YouTube and they’re searching for videos and the rest of it and there’s a danger that they can stumble across really quite, sometimes hardcore legal pornography…
How hard is it for the kids to see a newspaper with racy images in it? Not very: