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THIS really is a turn up for the books. A union funded and financed think tank has decided to reveal to the world that the cure for all that ails us is that unions should have more industrial and political power. Just allow the shades of the recently departed Bob Crow to have their way and everything would be peachy.
No, really, I’m not joking either:
This paper argues that we must now recreate a movement with the political and social influence that enabled the former labour movement to achieve the major reductions in inequality during the middle decades of the 20th Century. A fairer and more sustainable future is possible.
ISIS is spending some of its time trolling the UK and the USA.
The Mirror leads with news that British-born Nasser Muthana has tweeted: “UK is afraid I come back with skills I’ve gained.”
Skills are allegedly building bombs, poor sentence structures and the more serious crime of making threats online.
Nasser describes himself as a “soldier of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham”. It’s the fantasy state that sounds like an existential questison: ‘Is Is?”
Nasser and his 17-year-old brother Aseel are fighting for jihadis in Syria.
THIS is the most lovely story about a prank that was played upon the Nazis back in the 1930s. They had a countrywide competition to find which baby was the most perfect example of the Aryan race, you know, those with the right blood that were going to inherit the continent. All a bit creepy of course but then that’s the sort of thing that they used to do.
So, they have this competition and Goebbels himself picked out the final winner. Who was, in fact, a Jew, although no one told anyone that at the time. Fortunately she survived the war and the Holocaust and has now been able to reveal all to the world:
When Hessy Taft was six months old, she was a poster child for the Nazis. Her photograph was chosen as the image of the ideal Aryan baby, and distributed in party propaganda. But what the Nazis didn’t know was that their perfect baby was really Jewish.
“I can laugh about it now,” the 80-year-old Professor Taft told Germany’s Bild newspaper in an interview. “But if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn’t be alive.”
Prof Taft recently presented the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel with a Nazi magazine featuring her baby photograph on the front cover, and told the story of how she became an unlikely poster child for the Third Reich.
MADELEINE McCann: It’s the seventh summer of the missing child in the news media. This is today’s news:
Two newspapers leads with ‘Our Maddie’.
The Sun tslk of the “1st ARRESTS”.
MET detectives flew into Portugal last night as cops there are to make the first new arrests over Madeleine McCann’s abduction. They are expected to sit in on the interrogation of at least ‘three prime suspects’ in the next few days.
Officers are also planning to sit in on the quizzing of another five “people of interest” and what one source described as a “vital informant”.
No-one has been arrested. They are helping police with their enquiries.
Police investigating the mystery disappearance of Madeleine McCann have began questioning “formal suspects”. Scotland Yard detectives flew into the Algarve and were allowed to sit in on the interviews. Two “persons of interest” – or arguidos in Portuguese law – had been quizzed by local detectives.
The Metropolitan police officers were not allowed to ask questions, although sources close to the investigation say UK officers have over 250 questions for one of the men.
Two more people remained at Faro police station waiting to be interviewed by the Policia Judiciaria.
One of them is said to be suffering from severe schizophrenia and his interview may be postponed as he has not yet been assigned a lawyer.
It is not clear when the fourth individual will be interviewed.
ROLF Harris is the sexual predator who hid in plain view. Everything the Australian artist/singer did is now shrouded in his crimes. You can read about his depravity here.
Rolf spent a lot of time with other people’s children.
He was educating them. Uncle Rolf, you see, just loved to help.
We’ve pulled together a gallery of 22 ways in which Rolf Harris presented himself as lovable man you could trust. But if you look now, it’s wonder he got away with for so long. He really is remarkably creepy:
HOW do you cut a very tall tree in a very tight space. Scott Augur explains:
“I walked around this thing with a plumb bob. I got back at various angles and looked at it. There was no limb weight to one side or the other. It was just, if you were going to try to shoot a tree between two buildings with five inches of clearance on both sides, this would be the tree to use,” he said.
Measure twice, cut once.
THE Toff, or to give him his proper name, the Honourable Richard Rollison, was the creation of the novelist John Creasey and first appeared in the tuppenny weekly crime magazine in 1933. The first novel ‘Introducing the Toff’ appeared in 1938. There were eventually fifty-seven books in the series the last of which, ‘The Toff and the Dead Man’s Finger’ wasn’t published until five years after the author died in 1973.
Fifty-seven novels is a lot of writing (Creasey occasionally published six Toffs in just one year) but actually it was just a fraction of Creasey’s output who, according to his publisher, is the 6th or 7th most prolific writer of all time.
TERRY-Thomas had arrived. It wasn’t exactly overnight but most people thought so. It was 1946 and he was compèring a revue called Piccadilly Hayride at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The revue, its star Sid Fields and the gap-toothed compère were a tremendous success – critically and with the paying public. Within three or four weeks of the run the newspapers were already reporting that Terry Thomas (the hypen was to arrive the following year) was to appear in that year’s Royal Variety Performance.
“TWISTED”, “Depraved”, “Warped” – these are words often found on the covers of sleazy lesbian paperbacks of the 1950s and 60s. Anything other than “normal” heterosexuality was seen as shameful and deviant. Yet, the populace gobbled up these lesbian tales by the truckload… it was sinful to practice, but evidently okay to read and fantasize about.
Here, for your vulgar amusement, are 33 covers of sinful tales of women who love women (the horror!). I’ve divided them up into 3 categories. Just because it’s filth, doesn’t mean we can’t keep it organized.
1. ABNORMAL TALES
Lesbianism is an abnormality, a sickness. Somebody call a doctor!
YOU’VE seen them – those needle-craft booklets that were so popular in decades past. When it was fairly common to construct your own clothes (a skill that fell off a cliff in the 1980s), these little pamphlets were freaking everywhere – from your mom’s sewing basket to the grocery store checkout aisle.
IF the Seventies proved a fertile time for imaginative horror filmmakers, the 1980s very much represented a new age of plenty, a span wherein every idea that had worked in a movie once before was hauled out a second, third and sometimes fourth time.
And because of the home video revolution and VHS technology, new filmmakers had the opportunity to get their movies seen by more eyes than ever before.
In terms of the decade’s horror then, there was more of everything to enjoy: more slasher films, more Jaws films, and more holiday-themed horrors too.
MOST people who don’t like gays are religious, or at least, religious sympathetic. They think homosexuality goes against nature or some kind of cosmic order.
Some are violent or abusive toward gay people, because presumably, they feel the need to serve up justice because they don’t believe their god is up to the job, cometh the hour. The inherent weakness of deities must be a constant concern for the praying sorts.
Or, maybe it is something to do with deities being into homosexuality?
Elton John reckons that Jesus Christ would approve of gay marriage. In an interview with Sky News, Sir Elton added that he’s meeting up with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to try and improve Russia’s gay rights record.
IT’S not nice to fool with Mother Nature.
In the seventies, science fiction and horror filmmakers were certain that mankind was going to soon face his comeuppance for polluting and over-populating Mother Earth. And more so, that this comeuppance was going to be delivered at the paws, claws, talons, webbed fingers, and teeth of our former friends: the animals.
Call it the Circle of Death.
Between 1970 and 1979, more than a dozen genre films involved Mother Nature striking back against man for his mis-use of pesticides, his damage of the ozone layer, and for polluting previously unspoiled terrain.
THAT’S the message from a bunch of wowsing “public health” advocates. That we must immediately make sure that tobacco companies don’t continue moving into the e-cigarette market. Because, you know, umm, it’s bad. No one really manages to say why people getting their nicotine in a manner that doesn’t kill them is bad but it is bad. Trust them.
All of which is very odd indeed really. For e-cigarettes are the one thing that really works in people trying to give up smoking.
IN 1990, Sir Jimmy Savile talked to Q Magazine of his sexual interst in fresh corpses.
To the HuffPost this is:
Jimmy Savile Interview From 1990 Reveals Disgraced Star’s Apparent Fetish For The Dead
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.”
- Oscar Wilde
Dr. Wertham’s 1954 book, Seduction of the Innocent, was an American bestseller – it tapped into the fears of parents from sea to shining sea and led to the a frenzy of censorship in the comic book world. The irony, however, is that the book was so poorly researched, that much of its content was simply made up. Of course, the public didn’t give a baker’s f**k about facts, and Seduction of the Innocent became a sensation.
1. The Carpenters
Everyone remembers that scene in Tommy Boy where Farley and Spade declare their distaste for The Carpenters. After all, The Carpenters are “lame”. Only the biggest loser would actually like The Carpenters.
Fast forward a bit, and they’re singing their little hearts out to “Superstar”….
The fact is, The Carpenters are awesome. I’ll admit it. I’ll also admit to 4 others… but don’t let me stand alone. Join me in pronouncing once-and-for-all that it’s “okay” to love these artists. Don’t carry these secrets with you any longer. Shout it from the rooftops. Your soul shall be cleansed.
2. Barry Manilow
In similar fashion to Tommy Boy, there’s a scene of sweet release in Family Guy. After a news report on Barry Manilow airs, the gang at the bar vigorously denounces the singer, but can’t contain their shameful secret for long. Within moments, all four giddily come out of the Manilow closet…
They end up drifting into Manilow’s “Ready to Take a Chance Again”, as well they should. Manilow rules.
3. John Denver
I remember when the Silver Fox (Charlie Rich) protested John Denver’s award at the CMA’s by literally lighting the ballot on fire on live television.
The incident made Rich look like a drunken douchebag, but the damage had been done; Denver had been publicly denounced. He wasn’t accepted in the country genre, and he definitely had no friends in the rock world. Denver’s cool points equaled zero.
Yet, all this derision was unfounded. Denver wrote about the Earth and an appreciation for the natural world better than anyone. While most bands of the Seventies were singing about f***ing, Denver was singing about the inner peace one only can find deep in the woods.
Sure, he didn’t look as cool as Ritchie Blackmoore twirling his guitar or Robert Plant thrusting his junk every which way… but must we always have the twirling and the thrusting? Sometimes it’s okay to just take the rock theatrics down a peg, and just stand there and sing your songs.
4. Bee Gees
I think we may have reached a point in our society where it’s okay to admit to liking the Bee Gees. However, for a couple decades after the fall of disco, you didn’t dare. In fact, Barry Gibb had to literally go undercover to write his music. You didn’t know Kenny Rogers (“Islands in the Stream”) or Dionne Warwick (“Heartbreaker”) were singing Gibb tunes, but they were. The Bee Gees were, frankly, too reviled to dare release these songs.
But, damn, Barry effing OWNED the late Seventies…
Starting in 1976, when Gibb discovered his flair for the falsetto on “Nights on Broadway” it was off to the motherf***ing races. He gave a few gems to his brother Andy (“I Just Want to Be Your Everything”) then the trio released “Jive Talking” and a string of hits that would continue unabated until 1980. The Gibb’s made the Billboard charts their bitch for about 4 straight years.
Barry was a hitmaker for everyone: With Streisand (“Guilty”), Samantha Sang (“Emotion”), Yvonne Elliman (“If I Can’t Have You”), Frankie Valli (The theme song for Grease) and Andy (“(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away”, “Shadow Dancing”, and “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water”).
Add in the hits he recorded with the Bee Gees, and it’s truly astounding. In 1978, the Bee Gees owned 5 of the US Top 10 (a chart dominance not seen since The Beatles in ’64), and Barry became the only person to ever record 4 consecutive US number one hits.
Then came the disco backlash and the Brothers Gibb were the prime casualties. True, their massive Sgt. Pepper fail didn’t do them any favors, but the venom they received was undeserved. They were the poster boys of disco, and disco was considered an embarrassment for many years to come.
Well, I say “no longer”.
5. Neil Diamond
Poor Neil has never been cool. But like Manilow, he had a following in the 70s almost exclusively consisting of white thirtysomething females, which certainly didn’t add to his street cred. Wear a Neil Diamond concert shirt to school, and expect to be punched repeatedly in the nuts. Schoolmates didn’t take kindly to public expressions of Diamond fandom.
Diamond’s early hits were respectable enough “I’m a Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” became hits for the Monkees, and Diamond followed them up with count’em 10 number one hits in the US. “Cracklin’ Rosie”, “Cherry, Cherry”, “Sweet Caroline”, “Song Sung Blue”, “Red Red Wine” and “Solitary Man” are all stellar.
The problem is, Diamond jumped the shark. Somewhere along the way, he started dressing like Liberace and attracting hordes of housewives to his concerts. A cheesy duet with Streisand (“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”) followed up by the cheesiest song ever recorded, “America” just made matters worse. Then the nail in the coffin: the song inspired by the movie, E.T. There was simply no going back….
Good God, that is awful. But just as Vegas Elvis shouldn’t cloud our memory of early Elvis, I won’t let Sequined Jacket Wearing Diamond cloud his early work. I will wear my Neil Diamond concert tee with pride. Viva la Diamond!
BILL Gates once had a window with bars on it:
Microsoft boss Bill Gates was photographed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico police in 1977 after a traffic violation (details of which have been lost over time).
THE Country is in fear of “Monster Rats As Big As Cows”.
Cows are pretty big.
FROM the Sonny & Cher show, here’s mom and Chastity (now Chaz) before the female-to-male gender transition. Is it wrong that I still find Cher sexy in a Tweety Bird outfit? Don’t answer that.
But do enjoy a handful of great publicity photographs from the 1960s – 1980s. Some are odd, some awesome – all are interesting.
AS impossible as it is for me to believe, Glen Larson’s version of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979 – 1981) turns thirty-five years old this year.
Today, this cult-TV series is often remembered for its spandex fashions, its gorgeous female stars and guest stars, its penis-headed robot Twiki (Felix Silla/Mel Blanc), and its oppressive re-use of familiar or “stock” visual effects in the space dogfights.
Though Buck Rogers in the 25th Century had its weak installments, for certain (like the dreadful “Space Rockers”) it was also a light science fiction series — a romp, essentially — and the series is recalled fondly by fans on those terms too.
THE obvious way to sell men’s clothing is to proclaim that the garments will somehow turn the average guy into an irresistible Studasaurous. From the late Sixties to early Eighties, when Baby Boomers were in their sexual prime, this marketing tactic went into hyperdrive. Boomers were ready to mate, and menswear adverts proclaimed that their apparel was the gateway to sweet, sweet lovemaking. Here are a few examples.
EPIC Intros presents Michael Parks in Then Came Bronson:
“Hang in there”
FLASHBAK to August 4 1967:
Actor Eli Wallach takes advantage of the studio lights on the set of “MacKenna’s Gold,” Aug. 4, 1967, to make some stills of tone of his co-stars in the film, Edward G. Robinson. Robinson plays the role of an almost blind prospector. Wallach adjusts the lights on his subject and takes pictures with his own Nikon F camera. (AP Photo/David F. Smith)