IN the 1960s cool cats in Japan were reading this how-to guide to sex. From how to hold hands to rubbing noses to chucking chins to grooming to removing excess polish from shoes to mating with an artist’s flexible wooden figure. With aded arrows. This book has the lot:
BEFORE the internet, there was a whole world of information to be found on Ceefax and Teletext. These blocky, but comfortingly amateurish graphics would adorn our pages with TV listings, horoscopes, music news and games. Bamboozle is surely one of the first interactive games a generation played? Channel 4 had Planet Sound, with John Earls heading up the editorial and providing a trusted, fanzine-style voice which music fans would devour with their Coco Pops on their TVs previously meant only for their Spectrums and Commodore 64s.
The BBC’s Ceefax was a little more safe than what could be found on other channels, but by no means loved any less.
Even though the whole thing looked hopelessly out of date in an age where video games are hyper-real and the internet is the place filled with every kind of graphic and photo you could hope for, there’s elements of Ceefax and Teletext that haven’t been bettered.
For example, the Now And Next (p120 or p606) television guide feature was a thing of wonder, minimising itself at the foot of the screen, allowing you to continue to watch television while weighing up which channel to hop to. And of course, subtitling was a glorious leap forward, with captioning on Freeview and Sky basically copying what Ceefax had done before.
For many, Teletext and Ceefax won’t mean a thing, but for that generation that truly embraced it, its passing should bring back a host of memories. Pressing ‘reveal’ on pages with no answer was always a thing people did, revealing stray code and such. Then there was the button which allowed you to enter a four number code, rather than the usual three. Stoners and the bored would endlessly tap in random digits in a bid to find secret pages. And this writer DID, and it appeared to be something to do with a premium rate phone game, regrettably.
It goes without saying that this old technology had to go, surpassed by the infinitely more useful internet. Smartphones and tablets effectively made Ceefax redundant. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t pay small tribute. After all, if it wasn’t for Nightscreen and the like, many of us would never have heard any jazz or muzak, ever.
PEOPLE on infomercials are always doing it wrong. “Whenever a TV product commercial plays I bust a gut during the parts where they show us what we’re doing wrong and why we need the product.” Here are some of the best:
DID you have a “lucky escape” from Jimmy Savile? David Walliams did. The Telegraph says David Walliams had a “lucky escape” because when he was 10 he wrote to Jimmy Savile, asking the then sainted charity worker to fix it for him to meet Brian Blessed. Yeah, Brian Blessed. Lucky escape or what!?
Walliams has kept the letter he wrote to the BBC’s Jim’ll Fix It show. He’s published it on the back of his autobiography, Camp David. The letter goes:
“Dear Jim’ll [sic], Please can you fix it for me to meet Brian Blessed, who plays the King Vultan in Flash Gordon? And please can you fix it for me to be a Hawkman for the day? Basically, I just really want to be on TV. Yours sincerely, David.”
THE self-serving police elite can try to use the idiotic Andrew Mitchell to look pure, righteous and trustworthy but after the lies of Hillsborough were exposed, we get news that South Yorkshire police may have lied during the miners’ strike in 1984.
Were young officers keen to get on and not sully their careers coerced into fabricating reports that led to the arrests of 95 miners in what became known as the Battle of Orgreave? All the miners were acquitted. But in nicking them, the police made it harder for the accused to protest. Hit them hard and tomorrow they won’t turn up to protest.
MARINA Chapman was, when a young child, adopted by family of capuchin monkeys in the Colombian jungle. She had been kidnapped at around five-years-old. The caper had went and she was abandoned in the jungle.
She now lives in Bradford.
In Colombia, Chapman learned from the monkeys. She could catch and kill small animals and birds with her bare hands. She lived that way for five years.
When human beings found her, they took her town and traded her for a parrot with a brothel keeper.
LEEDS United. They’ll chant! They’ll shout! They’ll knock your keeper out! It’s Leeds United!…
Some Leeds fans will doubtless revel in the antics of Aaron Cawley, who ran onto the pitch and slapped Sheffield Wednesday Chris Kirkland in the face. When Leeds United equalised, Crawley attacked a big professional athlete who was looking the other way.
Leeds United manager Neil Warnock said Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland “went down like a tonne of bricks”. But, come on, it looked like a foul…
THE news that England players took caffeine pills before their match against Poland – and then sleeping pills after the game was called off – have prompted predictable jokes about performance-reducing drugs. But this innocuous incident takes place at a time when questions are being asked about the prevalence of doping in sport. Football has usually been regarded as a “clean”, on the grounds that drugs can’t improve your game. But while it’s true that most failed tests involve recreational drugs which are anything but performance-enhancing, this has tended to overshadow the ways in which the medical advisors to top teams have pushed the boundaries in order to steal a march, or even a match.
WHY did the BBC’s Newsnight show cancel its investigation into Jimmy Savile? Newsnight, the BBC’s in-depth late-night news show, at first ignored the story that every other news organisation was leading with. On Newsnight for days there was no word on the Peado King who had attacked underage girls in his BBC Top of The Pops studio and beyond, as is alleged. When Newsnight fianlly featured the story, BBC Radio 4 DJ Eddie Mair was drafted in to host a chat. We were told that Newsnight did not run the item for “editorial reasons“. What reasons? Dunno. The show that likes to unleash Jeremy Paxman on politicians, to skewer them with hard questioning, sardony and heckling, left it that that. Newnight then produced the greatest line uttered on TV this year:
“The BBC declined to appear in his live discussion.”
MICHAEL Black, 64, and his partner John Morgan, 59, are £3,600 better off (£1,800 each). When Christian Susanne Wilkinson refused to let them stay in a double bed at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire, she was breaking the law.
She said she was sticking up for her religious beliefs.
The couple had a reservation and paid a deposit. That was March 2010.
TO Mexico, where head of the Zetas drugs cartel Heriberto Lazcano is dead. Maybe. The Mexican Nazy says it killed Lazcano outside a baseball stadium. But when asked to show the body, they said it has been lost, stolen by unknown armed men from a funeral home.
The State wants to exhume Lazcano’s mother and father, take DNA and prove that they really did kill Lazcano. The Navy took fingerprints of their quarry. So. If the DNA matches, what more proof does anyone need that Lazcano is dead and the State is winning the war on drugs?
ISABEL Sarli is an undersecretary in Argentina’s Ministry of Culture. You might know her as Miss Argentina 1955. You might also know her as “the cleanest star of cinema“, a nickname earned by her many appearances swimming naked in varying amounts of water. On the silver screen, Sarli played adulterers, prostitutes, nymphomaniacs – the full range of characters likely to get naked. On the film Fiebre (1971), Sarli was seduced by a racehorse. In Carne, she was raped in a butcher’s shop – her ordeal interrupted by a union boss praising her choice of bra. All cultrually relevant, of course, and done in the best possible taste…
IN “MY 32 YEARS WITH SAVILE”, the Daily Mirror looks to have a scoop. Did Sir James Savile have a lover? Did he fancy older women and underage girls and boys? Dunno. All we get is Janet Cope, 70, Jimmy Savile’s former PA. Jimmy Savile gave her away at her wedding. She’d asked him to. She said of the big day:
“It was a super day, absolutely lovely. Jim always had to be the centre of attention, but I was happy to let him enjoy it. I thought it was funny.”
Janet Cope spoke with theDaily Mailin 2011. The paper says Cope and Savile worked together for 28 years, a relationship began in 1971. Highlights are:
Janet Cope: “I’m a better person because of Jimmy. He taught me so much about how to fight for what you believe in, because that’s what he always did. He helped so many people in his life, and I’m proud to have been part of that.”
AMANDA Todd has died. The 15-year-old is thought to have killed herself. You might have seen the Candian’s video. In it, she holds up handwritten notes to tell her story of bullying. She says a stranger seduced her to show her breasts on camera online. The stranger took a picture and posted it online. The stranger created a Facebook page and added Todd’s friends to it. That happened when Amanda Todd was 12.
The Sun: News that as many as 60 girls may have a case against Savile.
Such a shame, isn’t it, that the Sun never had access to Savile’s mobile phone. We might then have found out who aided and abetted Savile. All we have now are the victims and news about who failed to protect them. But we want names, don’t we. We wants to know who knew; who helped; who joined in.
THE media is great, isn’t it. The very people that say how dare the tabloids not go after a breathing Jimmy Savile are the ones who say the tabloids should not publish half truths and be subject to strict guidelines and even stricter libel laws. Jimmy Savile must never happen again, they say. Journalists should be licensed, they say.
The big problem with journalism is when the writers are fans. Take Jimmy Page, the Led Zepellin guitarist who “dated” a 14-year old child when he was an adult. And look at Michael Hann’s piece in the Guardian on Celebration Day, a film about the band:
Led Zeppelin: ‘There was a swagger – we knew we were good’ – The film Celebration Day captures Led Zeppelin onstage in all their glory in 2007. The band discuss their musical legacy, reputation for excess – and why they will never reunite again.
THEY say no publicity is bad. So. Give it up for TV presenter and comic Justin Lee Collins. The Times has a photo of Collins laughing minutes after a judge sentenced him to 140 hours of “humbling” community work. He must also pay the prosecution costs of £3,500. (The photo on the left is of him leaving court after the verdict.)
His crime? Well, his ex-lover, one Anna Larke, told St Albans Crown Court that Collins made her sleep facing him, spat at her, made her list every sexual encounter she had ever had. Collins said Ms Larke was a liar. Collins said he hit Larke to stop her from self-harming.
How did they meet? Collins had been having an extra-martial affair with Larke. They broke up. But after his marriage failed, Collins and Larke hooked up again. Their relationship went badly.
“You fucked up at the pub. When you’re fucking with me, you look at the fucking ground, you look at a tree, you look at a bench, you look at any fucking inanimate object, you do not look at any other fucking human being, you slag, do you understand?”
YESTERDAY, the Duke and Duchess or Cambridge opened the National Football Centre in Burton upon Trent. There, they met Ashley Cole, the player we should all find it a lot easier to like following his input in the John Terry racism story.
Still, the Times‘ Valentine Low writes:
It could easily have gone so badly. Ashley Cole is arguably the most reviled figure in English football…
He isn’t. Cole has tried to be loathed. But he’s never truly nailed it. In early 2005, Robbie Savage named himself “the most hated player in the Premiership”. It’s a title he wanted. But Savage never really came close. To be really disliked, the player needs to be a consistent prat throughout the season. Cole is all fits and starts. He annoys Arsenal fans, having engineered a sly, rule-breaking move to Chelsea, but do Everton fans care about him? To be Number 1, you need to be reviled by most supporters, including some of your own club’s fans.
HAVE you heard of Cassie Slane? She’s going viral after she fainted during a segment on QVC (not the first time she’s had ‘health issues’ on-screen). She slurred her words while selling a tablet for children (the electronic kind, not some medicine) and keeled over while her co-host gamely continued to ignore her and try in a bid to carry on pitching at viewers.
Slane has written on Facebook: “Thanks to everyone for your kind words. I am feeling alot better today!”
NOW that the dam has burst, and Sir Jimmy Savile stands exposed, the revelations about him and his fellow DJs confirm what many have known for years: that the pop music business of the fifties, sixties and seventies was a world in which middle-aged men surrounded themselves with young girls and boys and indulged themselves with impunity.
And the musical clues weren’t always subtle either. So as our contribution to the great debate, ladies and gentlemen/guys and gals, we present the top ten dubious songs of the Savile era…
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl – Sonny Boy Williamson (1937)
First recorded before the war, covered later by the legendary electric bluesmen, then later still by the bands of the mid-sixties British “blues boom” of the mid-sixties. This would be the template for all that followed.
Little Child – The Beatles (1963)
“Baby” and “child” were part of the rock’n’roll lexicon from the get-go, but this title nevertheless remains uniquely peculiar.
Young Girl – Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (1968)
This chart-topping Top of the Pops favourite is highly unusual, in that it actually questions the idea of “going too far”, and concludes that it might not be such a great idea after all…
Stray Cat Blues – The Rolling Stones (1968)
The 15-year-old subject of this sordid tail would later be adjusted to 16 for live performances
Vagabond Virgin – Traffic (1968)
“You were barely thirteen, so fresh on the scene…”
Born Late ’58 – Mott the Hoople (1974)
“Detonator, jail-baiter,” proclaims Overend Watts. Take the title and the release date and “do the math”.
Sick Again – Led Zeppelin (1975)
Jimmy Page’s 14-year-old girlfriend was referenced in “New Style” by the Beastie Boys (If I played guitar I’d be Jimmy page/the girls I like are underage) but Zep’s paean to juvenile groupies said it all years earlier…
Jailbait – Ted Nugent (1981)
“Jailbait’ was a popular phrase of the time, and several artists released tracks with that title, including Wishbone Ash, Nils Lofgren and Motorhead. This is Ted Nugent’s typically unsubtle take on the subject. (Well I don’t care if you’re just thirteen/You look too good to be true/ I just know that you’re probably clean There’s one lil’ thing I got do to you.)
Lemon Incest – Serge & Charlotte Gainsbourg (1985)
The most inappropriate father-and-daughter duet since Frank and Nancy’s “Something Stupid”. Charlotte later described the single, recorded when she was 12, as a “provocation”. It is the 630th best-selling single of all time in France…
Playground Bang-a-round – Rye Spangle (2001)
OK, this is actually a Chris Morris spoof, but a gold disc would surely have awaited this glam classic back in 1973…