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WHY is a part of the Victoria Line suspended? The line on the London Underground is not working well. Why not?
Well, the story goes that a team of engineers poured fast-setting concrete into the signalling equipment room. Yeah, the Tube has been closed due to industrial action.
MANY of you will remember the Hostess snack adverts that appeared in comic books throughout the 70s. They all had the same basic story: a villain is subverted from his diabolical plan by a well-known superhero… and the help of a sugary cream-filled cake.
This may be genius marketing (after all, comic books and junk food go well together), but it’s also a bit troubling because it calls a few things into question:
- Exactly how special are our superheroes (Batman, Spider-Man, etc.) when all it takes to vanquish an arch-enemy is a box of Twinkies? Subsequently, doesn’t this call into question the severity of the threats in the first place? I mean, if Lex Luthor can be stopped by a package of sugary sweets, what does this say about his evil villain status?
- What ingredients are in these treats? These superheroes and villains possess incredible powers, yet it’s the snack cake that wins every time.
Checking The Mail: Mail Online Talking About Toxicity Online Is Like Cigarette Companies Worrying About Smog
The Daily Mail worrying about self-harm sites that prey on young women with self-esteem issues is like tobacco companies wringing their hands about car exhausts. The Mail traffics daily in the minute inspection of women’s bodies and the idea that they can never be right. No matter how beautiful the star, no matter how lovely her skin is, how styled she is, how impeccably turned out she is, The Mail will find a flaw to obsess over, a moment when she went outside without makeup, a time on the beach where the camera angle was unflattering.
How dare The Daily Mail, of all places, run stories decrying the “toxic online world” when it is so toxic it practically glows with hatred and judgment. Its latest target is Tumblr. Its latest vehicle for its manufactured outrage is the death of a 15-year-old and the understandable grief, rage and incomprehension of the girl’s mother. Of course, it’s important that the Mail notes that the girl was “privately-educated” and lived in a house worth £1 million.
The Trolling Sun And Bullying Ulrika Johnson Call Stan Collymore A ‘Vile Hypocrite’ Over Twitter Abuse – Oh, The Irony
THE Sun’s columnist Ulrika Johnson was once punched in the face by her then lover Stan Collymore. The footballer-turned radio DJ has been complaining of being abused and threatened by his fellow tweeters. He invited all tweeters – and his half a million followers – to tell the police about any abuse by anyone with a Twitter “hate profile”.
Collymore wanted the State to clamp down on internet offensiveness.
“In the last 24 hours I’ve been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why? I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic /sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK.”
WHEN Manchester United lost a penalty shoot-out to Sunderland in last night’s League Cup semi-final, we remembered a 2010 article he wrote for the Times:
David Moyes: How to win a penalty shootout
THE OCCULTISM explosion which overtook North America and Europe in the 1970s ushered in a level of national fascination that is hard to understand if you weren’t there. But, as with anything that experiences a surge in popularity, it becomes sabotaged by the Johnny-come-lately offerings riding the gravy train. In the blink of an eye, the wild taboo becomes irredeemably cheesy. Such is the territory we shall cover today…
10. THE KNEE OF LISTENING/ SHAVE WHILE YOU HALLUCINATE
GARY Whybrow, 31, of west London, Sam Parsons, 24, of Amersham, and Peter Ditchman, 52, of Bishop’s Stortford, have been arrested and charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words at football matches. Well, not so much words as a word. That word is “yid”.
The BBC explains it’s meaning to those of you interested in language:
The word, meaning Jew, was allegedly used at Tottenham Hotspur matches against FC Sheriff and West Ham United.
SO smoggy is it in Beijing that local crowd around bit tellies to get a look at the sun they once knew. Well, so said the Daily Mail, whose James Nye reported:
The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.
One supposes there is a moon and stars show after dark:
THE LATE 1960s to mid-70s were a manic depressive time period in music, populated by exultant highs and soul crushing lows. The highs came in the form of disco and bubblegum pop via ABBA, The Bee Gees and their ilk. The lows came in the form of devastating testaments to inner sadness and existential rage. Perhaps it was Vietnam, recreational heroin use, and an economy that was in the crapper that caused such a swell in depressing anthems. Who knows? What is known is that this time period was fertile ground for misery put to melody, and whittling them down to a list of 15 was a daunting task indeed, but here goes….
15. “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen
I think of all the friends I’ve known
But when I dial the telephone
It’s not so much the lyrics as the morose delivery under a melody lifted from Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Carmen sounds so deeply depressed that you half expect to hear a gunshot at the end of the song.
ENFIELD Council has sent letters warning football clubs in the north London borough against players spitting. Winchmore Hill FC was once club to have received a letter warning of £500 fines for anyone caught spitting in public – “the bye-law does provide authorised officers with the powers to prosecute those witnessed spitting. Please cascade this information to your players and those of the opposition team to avoid the risk of prosecution.”
The on-the-spot fines business is a bugbear of ours here at Anorak. But we enjoy the use of the words “cascade”, although shower could have been more appropriate.
BEN Wilson is the chewing gum artist. We say ‘the’ because we can’t find anyone else who paint of splats of discarded, squashed gum. He is the self-styled ‘Chewing Gum Man’. Today, Ben was painting pictures you can take home on the sole of your shoe on the Millennium Bridge in London.
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious
Doctor, who the hell commissioned this version of the Musketeers?
MY first problem with The Musketeers is that it isn’t a live action remake of The Muskehounds. With any luck if the BBC decides to make a new version of Around The World In 80 Days it’ll have a lion as the lead and an acrobatic cat as Passepartout. If we have to have humans, The Musketeers was fun but scheduled at entirely the wrong time. There was too much sex for it to be a CBBC series – d’Artagnan and Milady are schtupping already – but not enough shagging or bloody violence to make it feel worthy of a 9pm slot. France’s modern day potato-face President Hollande is getting more action than the Musketeers.
THE Nicolas Anelka ‘quinelle’ controversy has taken a dramatic new twist, as West Bromwich Albion’s sponsors have threatened to end their shirt contract if the club continues to pick the French striker.
Zoopla are not the first people to find that association with high-profile individuals can be a double-sided sword…
MIKAEEL Kular is missing. He’s three. His mother, Rosdeep Kular, him last at 9pm on Wednesday, at his home in Ferry Gait Crescent, Edinburgh. That was when she put him to bed. He lives there with his four siblings. He noticed he was missing at 7:15am.
His coat gloves and shoes were also gone.
IT is a common misconception that the 1970s were this wildly liberal time where every tradition was fair game. Sure, there were a lot of ‘progressive’ philosophies that entered Main Street which had heretofore been relegated to liberal back alleys. However, with each New Idea came the predictable resistance. Nothing epitomizes this better than the Women’s Lib movement which gained traction in the late sixties and became a buzz word for the ensuing decade.
ON January 16th of 1980, Paul McCartney was busted for weed. Japanese customs officials at Narita International Airport found 7.7 ounces of cannabis in the former Beatle’s singer’s bags. For his pains – he’d been travelling with his four children and wife, Linda – Macca scored 10-days stay in a Tokyo prison. The Japan leg of the Wings tour was cancelled.
THERE HAS BEEN plenty of blatant sex on the television in decades past. Shows such as Benny Hill and Three’s Company weren’t afraid to show the playful side, while soap operas and gritty crime dramas took a more serious bent. But naughtiness belonged in those places; it didn’t need to be masked. In this article I’m talking about when they unexpectedly lay it between the lines in the most outrageous manner possible. The kind that leaves you asking, “Wait – what just happened?”
However, we must to be careful, or else we’re seeing phallic references around every corner…
Did Somebody Drop His Mouse? Harry Nilsson And The Pensioners Sing ‘I’d Rather Be Dead Than Wet My Bed’
THE FAB FOUR had barely left Ed Sullivan’s stage before their songs were being covered like mad across the entire planet. You’d be hard pressed to find a single artist from the mid-sixties to mid-seventies who didn’t have at least one cover in their repertoire. Then royalty rates went up, and it naturally became harder to include a Lennon/McCartney track on an album…. and finally, in July 1978, The Bee Gees famously ruined the idea altogether.
Herein are fifteen from the Golden Age of Beatles Covers – when everyone from Deep Purple to Peter Sellers had a Beatles song to make their own. Enjoy.
IN Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has put his signature to the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Among a range of anti-gay laws, homosexuals can be jailed for ten-years for displaying affection in public. Helping homosexuals avoid detection is also a crime.
It’s getting to be like Eastern Europe and some people’s visions of a better USA in sub-Saharan Africa. The links between the bigotry in Africa and what’s happening in parts of Europe and the UK has links to US missionaries.
WITH so many “important things” going on the world, why spend time looking at forty year old sweaters? Simply put, the brain needs a break from the barrage of jarring images of a world on the brink. A tour of 70s men’s sweaters is exactly what the doctor ordered.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy a cornucopia of magnificent vintage sweaters. And you’re welcome.
Left: I’m not a fashion connoisseur, but I do have a general rule of thumb: Avoid sweater vests with built in belts.
Center: Add a cape and it’s almost superhero-like. Don’t for a minute think that superheroes are somehow above sweaters when they have no problem prancing around in Spandex unitards.
Right: Looks like he just stole Janis Joplin’s belongings. Poor sap. Her sweaty clothes are probably so saturated with drugs, he’ll be dead soon.
RECORD collector, artist and New York-based Beatles fan Rutherford Chang has collected 918 first-pressings of 1968’s The White Album, the band’s least butchered album in which George Harrison came into his own.
MEREDITH Hunter. He was the 18-year-old stabbed to death by a Hell’s Angel at the Rolling Stones’ Altamont Free Concert on December 6 1969.
The show took place just four months after Woodstock. This time peace and love did not win out. But it might have done.
Michael Azerrad sets the pre-show scene:
…a scene at a helipad on a pier on San Francisco Bay. The Grateful Dead are there, cavorting in zonked-out hippie fashion, waiting for an overdue helicopter. Jagger comes sweeping in, surveys the unruly scene. and says with amused disbelief to no one in particular, “What is going on?” He gets the lay of the land from a chuckling and ultra-mellow Jerry Garcia, attired in an outtasite lavender wool poncho, and chats warmly with Ian Stewart. The vibe is sweet and playful.
The chopper won’t arrive until 2:00. “Right, film people, let’s do something!” Jagger proclaims. “We’ve got ten minutes.” He pulls some hippie chick aside and imperiously directs the cameraman (probably Albert Maysles) to go “Tighter tighter tighter tighter tighter tighter” on her face, adorned with a groovy beaded headband and massive square shades. He plants a kiss on her forehead and steps away. Then he orders Charlie, poor, long-suffering Charlie, “Do the same thing as I did. Kiss the young lady, please.”
Watts demurs. “Love is much more of a deeper thing than that,” he replies, with mock hauteur, although he clearly kind of means it too. “It’s not flippant, to be thrown away on celluloid. No.”
Jagger laughs at his disobedient drummer. “OK,” he says sheepishly, straight to camera, “we cut.”
And then they headed off to Altamont.
THERE have been thousands of boxed games (board games and their ilk) published over the years. For your convenience, we’ve pulled together twenty of the most peculiar (in no particular order). Don’t say you weren’t warned.
1. GAY MONOPOLY (1983)
Alas, “The Parker Sisters” company was sued by Parker Brothers, and is subsequently with us no more. Thankfully, copies of their games still remain, including this gay themed Monopoly game featuring such real estate options as Castro Street and bath houses. In the place of the familiar boot and iron is a stiletto heel and blow-dryer. Naturally, there are $3.00 bills.