Key Posts Category
IT’S Christmas! Time for a rip-off…
The historic album charts are full of magnificent Christmas Number Ones, including runs by the Beatles from 1963 to 1965 and 1967 to 1969. Ironically, however, the one year they didn’t manage the feat was 1966 – when their record label released a greatest hits collection specifically for the Christmas market.
The album was something of a rip-off, in that it consisted of pre-released hits, plus one song that had not been yet released in the UK. Thus fans wishing to hear the boys’ cover version of Larry Williams’s Bad Boy were forced to shell out for a full-price album.
ON March 4, 1966, John Lennon, 25, was talking to Maureen Cleave, reporting for the London Evening Standard. The article was entitled How Does A Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This. It was behind-the-scnes look at John. The article spoke of his status:
When John Lennon’s Rolls-Royce, with its black wheels and its black windows, goes past, people say: ‘It’s the Queen,’ or ‘It’s The Beatles.’ With her they share the security of a stable life at the top. They all tick over in the public esteem-she in Buckingham Palace, they in the Weybridge-Esher area. Only Paul remains in London.
DISCO music started with a fair amount of street cred; it wasn’t until it was marketed to oblivion that it fell out of favor. Like other counterculture movements (i.e. the hippie, psychedelic, punk, and grunge) it found its way to the mainstream whereby it was diluted and force fed to the masses. Disco, once an underground movement, flooded pop culture in the latter half of the 70s to such an extent that a backlash was inevitable.
AFTER a man, stood onstage at Nelson Mandela’s memorial waving his arms around wildly, making up sign language as he went along, leaving deaf South Africans wondering if they were watching someone being attacked by invisible wasps, it got us appreciating what those who do sign-language can do.
They appear on TV, at press conferences and as groups of children during emotional renditions of songs at opening ceremonies. They even have sign language at some festivals now.
And, with absolute and maximum respect for what they do, they can be very amusing sometimes. With that, let us look at the Top 5 signing moments.
No. The massive charlatan at Nelson Mandela’s gig doesn’t count this time round.
Sign Language Meets Donk
Donk took over small towns for a summer and, due to the nature of such a heavy beat, it could actually be perfect for deaf people. However, they shouldn’t be denied the hilarious lyrics of ‘Put A Donk On It’. One signer on TV impressively kept up with the rapid fire lyrics. A lesser human would’ve been doubled up with body cramps one verse in. This is probably the best video on the internet.
THE Times of Israel reports:
A Romanian public broadcaster aired a Christmas carol celebrating the Holocaust.
TVR3 Verde, a television channel for rural communities, presented the carol on December 5 during its maiden transmission.
Sung by the Dor Transilvan ensemble, it featured the lyrics: “The kikes, damn kikes, Holy God would not leave the kike alive, neither in heaven nor on earth, only in the chimney as smoke, this is what the kike is good for, to make kike smoke through the chimney on the street.”
In a statement, TVR3 (Romanian Public Television Channel 3) distanced itself from the broadcast, saying it did not select the carol but only broadcast songs that were chosen and compiled by the Center for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture, which belongs to the eastern county of Cluj.
TVR considers the selection “an uninspired choice and therefore notified the Cluj County Council of this,” the broadcaster’s statement read.
UP UNTIL the health craze of the 1980s, your average meal consisted of meat, more meat, an additional piece of meat, and one more piece of meat for good measure garnished with a tiny fleck of vegetable matter.
NICE’S Petite Syrah café is offering customers the chance to get a discount on their coffee. Asking for a “a coffee” will set you back €7. But “a coffee please” is €4.25. “Hello, a coffee please” is a bargain €1.40.
Of course, this being France, anyone speaking in an English accent will be ignored. But why does the Petite Syrah stop there? Why not extend the offers to all manner of manners?
LET’S face facts: Christmas in 1960s and 70s pop culture was presented as lily white as the wind-driven snow. Holiday specials consisted of lots of smiling Caucasians in festive sweaters singing their little hearts out. Most Christmas tunes on the radio were tailor made for the likes of Pat Boone and Andy Williams – two individuals who I believe legally patented the term “white bread”. I mean, I like Perry Como as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s nice to funk things up with a little afro-centric vibe (and, no, Johnny Mathis does not count).
MADIBA Watch: a look at non-South African journalists and politicians calling Nelson Mandela ‘Madiba’. Sure they have a deep link to the traditional Xhosa culture, but non-South Africans addressing Mandela as Madiba can look a bit trying-too-hard. They can sound like a bit of a wally:
Jaclyn Schiff, a South African, explains who can call Mandela ‘Madiba’:
1. You are one of his children
2. You’ve been married to him at some point
3. You’ve played on South Africa’s national rugby team, the Springboks
4. You hold a current, official, real South African passport
5. You are married to someone who fits at least one of the items on this list
6. Your name is Bill Clinton and you’re a former U.S. president
7. You hold an MFA in modern dance with a specialization in the Madiba Shuffle
8. You’re former Rolling Stone reporter and recent Time managing editor Rick Stengel and you collaborated on Mandela’s autobiography
9. You played Mandela in a Hollywood movie
10. Your collection of Batik Mandela shirts numbers at least 1,000
11. You spent the night of May 5, 2013, camped outside Mandela’s home in Houghton
12. You were in Cape Town on February 11, 1990 to cheer Mandela’s release from prison
13. You know Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika by heart
14. You sing Shosholoza to encourage your favorite sports team
15. You know how to pronounce Mandela’s given name, Rolihlahla
All good. But I’d just stick at number 4.
A woman takes a picture with her phones of a statuette of former South African President Nelson Mandela with a sign in front of it reading in Italian “Ciao Madiba” (Goodbye Madiba), referring to Mandela’s clan name, displayed amongst other statuettes of famous personalities, including Pope Francis, left, in the shop of an artisan of nativity scenes, in Naples’ San Gregorio Armeno street, Italy, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Mandela died Thursday at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95.
TO the Nelson Mandela jamboree, where David Cameron, Barack Obama and “Danish PM”are the stars of what the Sun is calling “Selfie-gate”.
All eyes, however, should be on Michelle Obama, who could well be thinking: “The blondes. Always the blondes.”
ON May 10 1998, four men made a dramatic appearance on the platform at a special Sinn Fein conference in Dublin. There was ‘stamping of feet, wild applause and triumphant cheering’ during a 10 minute ovation while the men known as the Balcombe Street gang stood grinning with clenched fists in the air. At the same conference, and to great applause, Gerry Adams described the four men as ‘our Nelson Mandelas!’
WHEN Nelson Mandela died, the tribute industry went into overdrive. Words were said. Acres of newsprint filled. Hours of television focused on one man. He is praised rightly for his strength of character in facing down a brutal, humiliating and dehumanising system underpinned by the fraud of white supremacy. And then John Simpson, the BBC reporter, said that Mandela’s death at 95 left him feeling orphaned. The white BBC man was orphaned by the death of the 95-year-old black South African? They had shared blood, as father to son?
We looked around. Was anyone else rolling their eyes? Yes.
28 UP is the greatest TV franchise ever created. It’s not the one that has made the most money or the most famous but it is the greatest, a true document of human experience that has stretched across decades and charted its beautiful, broken, bruised and buoyant quality. The children of the original Up series are now adults, some have stuck with the show throughout, others have come and gone from the frame. Their lives have opened up to us every 7 years and for many those ‘characters’ have been anchor points in their own lives.
28 Up South Africa accidentally arrived this week at a striking time. Nelson Mandela’s death fresh in my mind I watched the reality of modern South Africa for the children of apartheid, the generation that has been stalked by and brutalised by the dread hand of HIV and AIDS. Mandela changed South Africa forever but he was not and could not be a saint or a superhero. In his final moments, he will have been justified in smiling at what he helped usher in with sheer force of will and determination but also carrying a heaviness in his heart that inequality and pain still dog his people, both black and white, so relentlessly.
WHAT did the Royal Family look like 100 years ago? 1913 was the year before the war to end wars. Were those halcyon days? No.
Women wanted a better deal. In June 1913 Emily Wilding Davison dashed in front of the king’s horse at the Epsom Derby in the name of women’s suffrage. Four days later she died. One month later, 50,000 women massed in Hyde Park, London organised by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. They would shot Herbert Asquith, the Liberal Prime Minister, how many women wanted the right to vote.
Sparks were flying in Europe.Lenin and Trotsky were talking of revolution as they toured Europe. At once point, Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in one corner of Vienna.
Empires were on the wane. Nations were the future. Australia and India wanted to move away from Britain. There was turmoil in Ireland. Workers united to push back the drowning tide of grinding poverty in a strike that would become the Dublin Lockout.
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: