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BRITISH soul music is in a very, very good place at the moment and one of the leading lights of the scene is the wonderful Sam Smith, who has just announced a big ol’ UK tour for Spring 2015.
Smith just reached number one in the album charts and is currently being wooed by America, which will either make him or break him into a puddle of nervous breakdown.
Of course, Sam Smith isn’t the first soul singer Britain has produced, but his success is worth looking back at some of Blighty’s finest balladeers and belters.
Britain has a much richer seam of soul music (and blue-eyed soul) than you think. Of course, Adele conquered the entire world and Beverley Knight has stuck it out for years.
Let’s have a look at some of the best.
The current champion of Britsoul, Sam Smith, who has cut a fine furrow himself, along with making some great songs with Disclosure and Chic’s Nile Rodgers.
If there was a title for the greatest British soul singer of all time, Amy Winehouse would absolutely be in with a shout. Dead too young, but with a couple of killer albums released in her lifetime, making the rest of pop immediately up its game.
MNEK has gone from writing for others to making a go of it himself and, by God, we’ve needed him. Mixing ’90s R&B sensibilities with modern pop and dance music, he’s creating some of the best music in the world right now and if we don’t make a megastar out of him, we frankly don’t deserve the ears on our heads and the ass in our pants.
Cymande are an overlooked London funk outfit from the ’70s who ended up being sampled by De La Soul, thereby giving salivating record collectors and sample hunters a second stab at hearing their terrific music.
Few could argue that Britain has produced a better soul artist than Dusty Springfield. No-one channelled the feeling of a song quite like her and that remarkable, unique voice of hers is one that’ll never be copied.
You may remember Estelle’s ‘American Boy’, which featured a Kanye West verse, but there’s more to her than that one big smash. That said, if you’re going to go global with a record, ‘American Boy’ isn’t a bad one at all.
The critics favourite, Laura Mvula has melted the hearts of everyone with her modern-take on soul. She’s a magnificent artist and, as good as her work is, you get the impression she’s not yet released her best.
London’s R&B champion, Angel, has all the ingredients to be a superstar, so fans of his are enjoying him up close and personal before he ends up vanishing behind the velvet curtain of the VIP section.
Courtney Bennett is one of the most promising singers in Britain right now. She’s put out loads of great songs and was spotted by Ryan Leslie to sing on his ‘Black Mozart’ LP. One of the future, for sure.
Swedish-born, but British raised, Fatima has been making some very interesting and original soul music (‘Circle’ is well worth a listen). Another one who, if we’re not careful, could be huge!
Lianne La Havas
The fabulous Lianne La Havas as dazzled everyone who has seen her live and on record, she’s no slouch either. Mixing jazz, soul and electronics, she’s so good that Prince went ’round her house for a cup of tea.
Another one of Britain’s blue-eyed soulies from the ’60s, Chris Farlowe’s voice is a force of nature. The thing that bellows out of that awkward frame of his provided Immediate Records with some of their best hits. You’ll know him from his famous version of ‘Handbags & Gladrags’.
Lynden David Hall
Britain’s answer to Neo Soul, LDH sadly passed away in 2006, but not before cutting some great records and an amusing appearance in ‘Love Actually’.
Honorary mentions to:
Katy B, Craig David, Alice Russell, Jay Sean, Taio Cruz, Brand New Heavies, Misha Paris, Rebecca Ferguson.
THERE’S a lot of excitement about Aphex Twin at the minute, as he’s back to release a new LP – ‘Syro’ – and, for fans of awkward electronic music (which are, ostensibly, the new prog generation), any appearance of Richard D. James is worth your attention.
However, what with Aphex having a lot of stubborn male fans, if you’re new to it all, you will almost certainly run into some elitist bullshit at some point; even though Aphex Twin is not at all elitist himself, getting angry when people refer to his music as ‘IDM’, which stands for the achingly awful ‘Intelligent Dance Music’.
So, you want to know what the fuss about Aphex Twin is?
Well, we’re here to help and create a beginners/bluffers guide, so you can dip your toe in and find out whether he’s for you or not. He’s got a few pseudonyms too, so he can he quite hard to keep up with, but once you’re in, that’s part of the fun.
Pull up a chair, pop your ears, and let us commence.
Aphex Twin ‘Windowlicker’
Aphex released two of his most popular records back-to-back, with the watershed bothering ‘Come To Daddy’ frightening everyone half to death, and then, the infamous ‘Windowlicker’.
WILF Turnbull and Derk Philpott are two pensioners living in Bournemouth, Dorset. They “write to popstars about their song lyrics, and they often reply.”
Letter Number 1:
Re: Ready To Go
As you may be aware, the house opposite have just had a loft conversion done, which was sadly undertaken by a disreputable contractor, resulting in a profoundly fissured chimney breast, haphazard joists and a shoddily grouted dormer susceptible to complete de-glazing in the face of nothing more potent than an errant shuttlecock.
Once alerted, Bournemouth Borough Council inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the discreditable garret and, horrified by their findings, insisted upon the ignominious sky parlor being fully ameliorated prior to building approval being granted. Unfortunately, rather than addressing the defects properly, the owners opted for a much more economical ‘botch-job’, which incorporated half a tub of Polyfilla and an unmatching Dulux Tester Pot in an attempted concealment of the afore-mentioned flue crevice.
It was with some dismay, but no little surprise therefore, that my wife Jean and I were awakened this morning by both her PC tablet alarm clock (tuned, obviously, to Bournemouth’s peerless Wave 105.2 FM) and an almighty ruckus coming from across the road. Further investigation from a discreet gap in the curtains revealed that the officials had returned to the slapdash attic, and, thoroughly unimpressed by the frugal and deceptive improvements undertaken, were now teetering precariously astride the tiles and pointing at the stack, angrily and loudly protesting at its deceptive restoration.
It was at this very juncture in the confrontational governing body/extra storey owner proceedings that your “technopop punk classic” came on just after the travel, ”it’s a crack, I’m back yeah standing on the rooftops shouting out” uncannily acting as an eerie narrative to the scene that we were witnessing at that very instant. There, however, any similarity ended; far from being ”ready to go”, the furious officials seemed intent on maintaining their ‘lofty’ position until the matter could be resolved.
Notwithstanding this last incongruity, Jean and I remain extremely impressed by your local authority versus resident soundscaping abilities, although must take issue with your assertion that one week is another world; it is, inactuality not a different planet but a seven day unit ot time.
Finally, Jean has just suggested from the kitchen, where she is toasting a muffin, that in the current climate of so many establishments closing, you may be well advised to consider renaming your indie combo ‘ReWineBarLica’ or ‘ReBeersAtHomeLica’, in order to reflect current trends.
RUSSIAN dash-cam videos are a steady source of entertainement on the web. But this one is extra special.
As one readers on reddit notes, “He’ll never tell a soul what happened that day…”
(Hope it’s real.)
ASHYA King: the story of the child kidnapped by the State and hunted by the police is occupying hearts at the Mirror. The paper scalls it a “SCANDAL”. It says the treatment meted out ot Ashya and his parents Brett and Naghmeh King is “BARBARIC”.
The Mirror is right.
The paper says the parents have been “hauled” before Spanish courts. “Little” Ashya lies in a hospital kept apart from his loved ones.
But what did the Mirror think would happen when the British police issued an alert that Ashya and his parents must be tracked down lest Ashya die?
Now the Mirror says BBC football pundit Gary Lineker has called for the police to release the Kings. A petition calling for the same has attracted tens of thousands of signatures.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says it is “not appropriate” to jail the parents.
The paper’s Alison Phillips oozes:
Little Ashya King lies in a foreign hospital surrounded by staff he can’t understand, struck down by an illness he can’t understand and in the midst of a European drama he can’t understand.
He went to school in Spain. Chances are Ashya speaks Spanish and does understand the doctors. But still Phillips’ article is not based on facts; this is all about how much she and her paper cares for the Kings:
Meanwhile the only people who could give the five-year-old reassurance, explanation, security and love – his parents – are banged up in a Spanish jail. And it is utterly barbaric.
Yeah. It is. And the people that aided the police in their hunt should be ashamed.
Do you know what the Mirror said before Ashya King and his parents became a cause celebre?
Missing Ashya King has been spotted with his parents at a Spanish holiday resort, an expat said, as police battled to find the terminally ill boy.
The good cops were “battling” to find the boy for the oddball parents who let their chidlren play in a swimming pool.
The five-year-old has a deadly brain tumour and experts have warned he needs specialised care immediately. British officers have issued European arrest warrants for “neglect” against Ashya’s Jehovah’s Witness parents Brett, 51, and Naghmeh, 45. They took him from his hospital ward and fled on Thursday.
Their religion is relevant to Mirror. The mood was very much for the police and against the weirdo parents.
The paper recorded the message sent out by Spanish police:
“On the Costa del Sol, family with seven children, one of them needing urgent medical treatment which his parents are denying him. If you see them, phone us.”
These heartless parents denying their poor son the treament he needs. They are, we hear, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Join the dots. Rescue the child from this heartless parents.
The Mirror had more:
Police say that if they do not find five-year-old Ashya King within 24 hours there are ‘serious concerns for his life’
So police say. And so the Mirror did not question.
The Mirror then relayed photos of the parents. They looked a lot like mug shots. We didn’t. We didn’t want to do the police’s nasty work and ask readers to become narks. All papers showed the photos of Brett and Naghemeh King. Why so keen to do the police’s work? Why so keen to make readers into narks?
The Mirror told its readers:
Anyone with information about Ashya’s whereabouts should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101, quoting Operation Aquilion.
The paper relayed the police’s calls for help without question.
* Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said this morning: “It is vital that we find Ashya today. His health will deteriorate rapidly.”
* Hampshire Constabulary said: “We are working with our counterparts in France to activate their emergency child rescue alert procedures to locate the family as soon as possible. If we do not locate Ashya today there are serious concerns for his life. He is receiving constant medical care within the UK due to recent surgery and ongoing medical issues. Without this specialist 24-hour care Ashya is at risk of additional health complications which place him at substantial risk.”
* Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson, from the Hampshire Major Investigation Team, said of Ashya: “He needs to be taken to a medical facility for his urgent health requirements as soon as he is located. We have also launched a social media appeal and would urge everyone to share this appeal, particularly if you have friends and relatives in France and bordering countries.”
* Police have said it is “vital” they find Ashya today. “His health will deteriorate rapidly.” They say his feeding tube is battery operated, and that battery “will run out today”.
* Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said Ashya had undergone “extensive surgery” and his last operation was seven days ago. He said: “The information we have received from his medical team at Southampton General Hospital is that he must continue to be fed via a tube by someone with the relevant medical training. If he doesn’t receive urgent medical care, or the wrong treatment is given, his condition will become life-threatening.”
* In a direct appeal to the family, Mr Shead said: “Our message to you is ‘please take Ashya to the nearest hospital immediately’. We understand this must be an awful time for you but the most important thing is to get the proper medical care for Ashya. Please work with us to provide Ashya that care.”
* Mr Shead added: “Ashya is in a wheelchair and is fed through a tube. The feeding system is battery operated and that battery will run out today. Time is running out for this little boy. We need to find him and we need to find him urgently.”
* Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said tonight: “Within the last hour, we have been told by medical experts that the battery life on the machine that administers his food is now likely to have expired. We don’t know whether the King family have any spares, the knowledge, or any way of recharging the battery. If they don’t, without properly administered food, Ashya’s condition will deteriorate very quickly.”
* Mr Shead added: “With each hour that passes our concern for him grows.”
And the biggest roll of the eyes is for this utter balls:
Hampshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead confirmed the force had obtained a European arrest warrant. He said it was based around “neglect” but added: “That does not necessarily mean they would be charged with that offence.
“It purely gives us the power to arrest and speak to them.”
He went on: “We don’t want the family to be put off by the fact that there is an arrest warrant. We would sooner they speak to us and get Ashya the care he desperately needs.”
Only the police could help Ashya. Only the police could save Ashya The parents just need to see sense.
And, of course, the Kings were arrested. Because that’s what police do.
And now the Mirror calls it “BARBAIC”.
The Mirror was not alone in working for the police. It’s just the most shamless in how it’s changed sides.
You do the police’s bidding without question and you get a police state.
Transfer Balls Awards: Arsenal Sign Cavani And Khedira, Manchester United Get Vidal, Kroos And Hummels – Falcao To Liverpool
TRANSFER Balls: Over the summer Anorak has been highliting the utter balls newspapers and football websites have presnted as fact. Time to review some of the choices cuts. As ever the biggest balls features Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Cheslea.
The Daily Mail told Manchester United fans that Miranda was on his way to the club from Atlético Madrid. He was looking at local schools for his children. He never left home.
The straw-clutching CaughtOffisde wesbite told its readers that Arsenal had signed Sami Khedira. The player remains at Real Madrid.
MUSIC legend, Lou Adler, is an inductee of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and responsible for a frightening amount of hits and given the world so much music that he should be beatified.
Adler founded and co-owned Dunhill Records (Jimmy Buffett, Solomon Burke, Thelma Houston, Steppenwolf, Joe Walsh, Van Der Graaf Generator, Dusty Springfield and more) and was the producer on the label.
After selling Dunhill, he founded Ode Records (Spirit, Carole King, Merry Clayton, Cheech & Chong, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and others) and helped to produce the Woodstock precursor, the Monterey International Pop Festival (where Hendrix famously set fire to his guitar during his version of ‘Wild Thing’).
He also managed surfer boys Jan & Dean, produced Sam Cooke and bagged two Grammy Awards in ’72 for his production skills on ‘It’s Too Late’ by Carole King and the ‘Tapestry’ LP. He’s the owner of the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. He is best remembered for discovering The Mamas & Papas.
It is little wonder he got himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and can often be seen courtside with Jack Nicholson at LA Lakers games.
TODAY is the birthday of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most legendary men… although, many won’t have ever heard of him. In 1939, in North London, the legendary Clem Cattini was born.
Cattini did shifts in his dad’s Italian restaurant before pursuing a career in music, starting things off with gigs at The 2i’s Coffee Bar, where he backed whoever turned up. He soon joined his own band called the Beat Boys, and from there, he started to get noticed.
And while a lot of people have never heard of Clem, he’s played on over 40 number one hit records and was one of the most prolific drummers in UK pop history. He’s worked with Joe Meek, Lou Reed, Cliff Richard, Hot Chocolate, Bay City Rollers, Benny Hill and loads more.
Cattini was so hot on the drumstool that he’d get called in to play the parts of bands who already had a drummer.
So with that, let us look at some of Clem’s most famous appearances. If anything, this list will show you just how versatile the great man is.
Happy birthday Clem!
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates ‘Shakin’ All Over’
Thunderclap Newman ‘Something In The Air’
The Tornados ‘Telstar’
Clive Dunn ‘Grandad’
Donovan ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’
The Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’
The Walker Brothers ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’
Dusty Springfield ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’
The Love Affair ‘Everlasting Love’
Renée and Renato ‘Save Your Love’
T-Rex ‘Get It On’
ALL papers lead with news that 1,400 girls were sexually abused in Rotherham, Yorkshire. The news is full of chilling testimonies delivered by grown women. They talk of being gang raped when below the age of consent (some as youing as 11), kept compliant by drugs, gifts, drink and threats of murder against them and their families and being ferried about the country to sex parties. Some children picked up from schools.
The rapists were mostly gangs of Asian men. The victims were mostly white girls.
The police treated the victims with contempt. The council ignored the allegations.
Yesterday the leader of the council, Roger Stone, resigned his post because of what he called “historic failings”.
IN the summer of 2012, stuff belonging to the late Sir Jimmy Savile was auctioned in Leeds. Monies riased went to Savile’s own charitable trust. £130,000 of which went on Jimmy’s silver Rolls Royce Corniche convertible. Among the 549 put up for sale, Yes It’s Number One created the big top ten, judged on oddness and over-estimate price:
A ‘JIM FIXED IT FOR ME’ aluminium badge – £2,000
The magic chair from the first two series of Jim’ll Fix It – £8,500 (under the 10K estimate)
The voodoo doll-style posts are £4,500.00 a totem; but the poo trays are just £3.00.
Look on as your sweeti pie-foo-foo rips out Putin’s eyes and craps on Kim Jong Un, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
From the very heart of the Internet we raise our banner with #ThePussycatRiot: a new protest movement to unite the cats of the world and their owners in opposition to cyber censorship. We aim to raise awareness of the oppressive regime Preventing people from freely enjoying the boundless wealth of mankind’s innovation and creativity … And cat videos. […]
[The Putin- and Kim Jong Un Cat Scratching Posts are] one-of-a-kind product protest and the ultimate feline satirical statement. An incredibly lifelike cat scratching post Modelled on Kim Jong-un and Putin for your censorship-hating cat to scratch.
Spotter: The Pussycat Riot website, DM
HAVE you noticed the rise and rise of anti-Semitism? It has become acceptable to be anti-Semitic in public. That nod and the wink around the dinner party table has now gone mainstream. The kind of anti-Semitic stuff that you can read throughout the Middle East has awakened Jew hating and Jew baiting in the UK. Sainsbury’s, The Tricycle Theatre and The Edinburgh Fringe have all censored Jews.
THERE is a reason why the police are warned about posting on social media in the UK. It’s to prevent them from looking biased and commenting on cases. But people will be people. As the BBC reports:
Hundreds of police officers have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines, research has revealed.Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association found officers made racist comments online and asked crime victims to become Facebook friends.
Of 828 cases in England and Wales from 2009 to February this year, 9% ended in resignation, dismissal or retirement.
ON this very day in 1965, something brilliant, eccentric and hip was born – Immediate Records.
In what has to be one of the finest record label names ever – c’mon, it’s everything a teenager wants from pop music – and purposefully moddish, Immediate was the baby of Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham and his partner Tony Calder.
The launched the label with a hipster party, attended by some of pop’s great and good – Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Nico (not yet in the Velvet Underground) were all there, being thin and beautiful.
The label was the home of some very famous bands, such as The Small Faces, Rod Stewart and some ’60s favourites in The Nice, Amen Corner and Chris Farlowe. In their stable, they had a young guitar player and producer by the name of Jimmy Page too. Could a label be any more hip?
Obviously, being a bit tinpot, Immediate ran into financial problems and folded in 1970.
So with that, to celebrate one of the world’s most fabulous and frivolous enterprises, let us listen to some of the famous, and shouldabeenfamous, records that were found on Immediate.
Fleur De Lys ‘Circles’
Killer mod-pop from FDL, with a track that The Who wrote and intended as a single called ‘Instant Party’. While Townsend & Co. dithered, the Fleur De Lys stuck the record out. It contains one of the most mental lead guitar lines in the history of pop.
ON this very day in 1968, the last episode of The Monkees TV show aired in the States. Almost every US TV station re-ran the show, with the ’69-’71 being more popular than the debut bow.
The show was shipped out across the world and The Monkees found a load of British fans when it was repeated in the summer holidays in the ’80s and ’90s. While the band themselves have mixed feelings about the show, it simply won’t go away, unless of course, you’re the kind of sneering prick who doesn’t like The Monkees because you could see the business behind them.
IS the aim to ban Jews from the UK. George Galloway wants an Isreal-free Bradford. Sainsbury’s removed Jewish food from its shelves lest it offend anti-Israel protestors and, presumably, anti-Semites. Also in London, the Tricycle cinema would only allow Israeli Film Festival to go ahead if the organisors denounced Israel and refused to accept money from the Israeli embassy.
The Tricycle’s sister theatre accepts £720,000 from the UK Arts Council, operated by the British Government, which has launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
PART Kermit, part hipster, Michael Cera is loved by many (and he probably irritates a fair few too, but that’s normal) and has starred in a bunch of films that make people in Converse Chuck Taylor’s go weak at the knees.
So it isn’t very surprising that Michael Cera has released folk album called ‘True That’.
The actor released the material on August 8th via his Bandcamp page. Not many people noticed it, but then, Superbad co-star Jonah Hill posted a link to it and now everyone is cooing and clucking about it.
Of course, he’s not the first actor to have a go at singing and making music. In fact, the movies are filled with actors who have decided to have a go at making sweet melodies. The results, obviously, have been mixed and sometimes, downright baffling.
Mostly though, they’ve been a bit bland. Remember Minnie Driver’s album? Of course you don’t. Was it bad? Sadly, it was competent so no-one could get mad.
Some actors have been pretty good, but they’re no fun – we’re interested in the weird ones. Dudley Moore’s fine jazz and J-Lo’s ace pop aren’t for us.
We’re here for the lousy and oddball.
Cinema legend Robert Mitchum was swept away by the infectious music of the Caribbean and thought he’d make a calypso album. His deadpan delivery is funny, but is it a bit racist doing what is tantamount to a comedy black voice? Judge for yourself.
Robin Williams: Mail, Express, Metro, Mirror And Sun Turn Killer Depression Into A Sensational Suicide
SO. How have the British Press reacted to the news that Robin Williams died? At first they lamented the passing of a favourite entertianer. Then Peter Samson told Sun readers that Williams had taken his own life. He stated this with the coroners court was stil investigating.
Mind, the mental health charity providing “advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem – We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding” – issued a media guide:
Robin Williams: Media briefing for journalists
As this story unfolds and more details are revealed about the circumstances surrounding Robin Williams’ death, we are issuing a brief reminder about guidance on media reporting around suicide and in particular a reminder that reporting specific details about the method a person uses can be very triggering for others experiencing suicidal thoughts. We urge you to avoid excessive detail about method of suicide and to report responsibly and sensitively. Evidence shows that copycat suicides can occur as a result of extensive media coverage – please avoid explicit details and sensationalist reporting.
The Samartians has more advice:
Avoid giving too much detail. Care should be taken when giving any detail of a suicide method. While saying someone hanged themselves or took an overdose is acceptable, detail about the type of ligature or type and quantity of tablets used is not…
Avoid any mention of the method in headlines as this inadvertently promotes and perpetuates common methods of suicide…
Vulnerable individuals may identify with a person who has died, or with the circumstances in which a person took their own life. For example, combining references to life circumstances, say a debt problem or job loss, and descriptions of an easy-to-copy suicide method in the same report, could put at greater risk people who are vulnerable as a result of financial stress.
Never say a method is quick, easy, painless or certain to result in death. Try to avoid portraying anything that is immediate or easy to imitate – especially where the ingredients or tools involved are readily available.
Avoid over-simplification. Approximately 90 per cent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health problem at the time of death. Over-simplification of the causes or perceived ‘triggers’ for a suicide can be misleading and is unlikely to reflect accurately the complexity of suicide. For example, avoid the suggestion that a single incident, such as loss of a job, relationship breakdown or bereavement, was the cause.
Some suicides attract intense media scrutiny. However, where possible, refrain from positioning a story too prominently, for example on a front page or as a lead bulletin, as this may unduly influence vulnerable people…
Take extra care with the selection and placement of imagery linked to a report about suicide. For example, question if a large or prominently placed picture of the person who has died is necessary.
And the Press respsonded thus:
Depression is an illness. It can be a killer. What other illness would get this revolting treatment?
GEORGE Owen Smith is the first victim positively identified from one of the 55 unmarked graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.
Smith was 14 when he was sent to the school in October 1940, and was never seen alive by his family again.
Smith had been sent to the home as punishment for being with a friend in a stolen car.
The Art of Anti-Semitism: The Tricycle Theatre Only Admits Anti-Israel Jews While The National Prefers The Rich Ones
MANY words have been written about demands by London’s Tricycle Theatre that Jewish Film Festival sever all ties with the city’s Israeli embassy.
Indhu Rubasingham, the theatre’s artistic director, said the festival should not accept funding from “any party to the current conflict” between Israel and Hamas. She added the Tricycle had offered to fund the festival itself, in order to replace sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy in London.
The event has been hosted at the Tricycle for some years. But this year the boss wanted Israel excluded. Ms Rubasingham wanted the Jews who run the film week – which features film and debate from all sides – to refuse Israel’s money, some £1,400. She wanted them to hand back Israeli cash and join her in her moral stance against the country. Comply with her demands and these Jews would be allowed in. And the story of how the Jews of Jewish Film Week handed back Israel’s cash would fly.
Top Twenty Unhelpful Celebrity Fans
With the Premier League season fast approaching, what better time to look at the twenty clubs and consider, not their new signings or their likely achievements, but their famous fans?
Rather than reel off the names that make them puff out their chests with pride, let’s look at the ones that do not command universal respect and affection. The ones who, frankly, do not help their cause at all…
The Gunners’ biggest celebrity Arse has few serious competitors. Step forward, Piers Morgan, seen here cosying up to Arsenal’s… er… Wayne Rooney
ARE you an anti-Semite? If so, join the band of the righteous. These are good times. Israel is at war with Hamas in Gaza. Hamas are keen to take the war to Israel, firing rockets into the country. But they lack the ground troops and air cover to launch an invasion. Israel has the guns and the personnel to fight the war on Hamas’ turf.
It’s a foreign war between two unequally armed sides. The best outcome would be for the Islamists and Messianics to be forced to the extremes and for the people to unite as one State. But that’s unlikely.
So. We look at the now. And we see that this war has Jews with the better weaponry. And that upsets some onlookers in the West. Why? Brendan O’Neill wonders:
Such are the double standards over Israel, so casually entrenched is the idea that Israeli militarism is more bloody and insane than any other kind of militarism, that many Western liberals now call on their own rulers to condemn or even impose sanctions against Israel. That is, they want the invaders and destroyers of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere to rap Israel’s knuckles for bombing Gaza. It’s like asking a great white shark to tell off a seal for eating a fish. America must ‘rein in Israel’, we are told. ‘The international community should intervene to restrain Israel’s army’, says a columnist for the Guardian, and by ‘international community’ he means ‘a meeting of the UN Security Council’ – the Security Council whose permanent members are the US, UK and France, who have done so much to destabilise and devastate vast swathes of the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade; Russia, whose recent military interventions in Georgia and Chechnya suggest it is hardly a devotee of world peace; and China, which might not invade other countries but is pretty adept at brutally suppressing internal dissent. On what planet could nations whose warmongering makes the current assault on Gaza look like a tea party in comparison seriously be asked to ‘rein in’ Israel? On a planet on which Israel is seen as different, as worse than all others, as more criminal and rogue-like than any other state.
The Daily Arsenal: a case study in obsessional fandom
Why Adrian Durham’s devotion to the North London club sets the benchmark for true Gunners everywhere.
Listeners to talkSPORT – the national radio station that pumps out sing-along ads for builders’ merchants 24/7 from a ketchup-stained studio on south London – will know that surly Drivetime anchor Adrian Durham has redefined the terms ‘troll’ and ‘shock jock’ to the point where neither really does him justice any more.
A troll tends to pick on one victim and stalk them in cyberspace. Durham’s prey is an entire football club and its employees and supporters, whom he has been winding up on a regular basis for several years.