Posts from February 2005
In February 2005, Blog 7 was all about L.O.V.E. love.
Uses of Political Correctness Gone Mad
Dominic Fifield, in The Guardian, writing about the aftermath of the Carling Cup Final:
Jose Mourinho had offered his opposing captain a warm handshake in the tunnel before kick-off, though Gerrard was less eager to accept the Portuguese’s identical gesture in the aftermath. Suddenly it seemed politically incorrect.
So that’s PC meaning ‘ill-advised’, or ‘foolish’ or perhaps ‘not what he wanted to do at that precise moment’.
Later on, Mick McCarthy offered his view on claims that his team’s first goal was tarnished by the fact that they played on despite an opposition player being lying on the ground with a head injury:
“If one of my players had kicked the ball out I would kick him in the bollocks,” he retorted. “Too much political correctness has crept into the game about this sort of thing.”
So that’s PC meaning ‘sportmanship’, or ‘decency’.
I think too much talk political correctness has crept into the game about any old thing.
Lamest football meme ever?
The competition is obviously a fierce one (not just handbags at ten paces), but my least favourite came up again tonight, watching Norwich vs Manchester City. Dean Ashton scored a really delightful goal, a high ball coming in while he was moving across to the left and away from the goal, and he kind of hooked it back with his right foot as a glorious lob volley into the far corner. The commentators quite rightly raved about it for a while, and once they had calmed down, they came up with the meme I am talking about: the traditional phrasing is “If that had been a Brazilian player, we’d be raving about it!” What makes this so totally lame is that it has of course never ever* been uttered other than when they have been raving about it for some time.
* yes, I have checked every football commentary ever
Consolation Prize: Liverpool lose Carling, win Guinness by setting world record for “loudest stadium roar”. Atrociously posed picture raises ‘fix’ suspicions.
My favourite pop song this year is called “Made Of Glass”, and it’s by Kylie Minogue. I hoped slightly that it would end up being by someone else – it was being touted around Rachel Stevens among others – because icon or not I’m no fan of Kylie’s voice. But Minogue it is. Luckily it’s not a tune that requires a good deal of range but even so Kylie still sounds a bit like a chipmunk on it.
So hold on, why is it my favourite, then? Because there’s something utterly enticing about it, and (even rarer, this) a sense of mystery too. Kylie breathes it like she’s telling us soemthing that she felt in a dream. The song – it’s short, under three minutes – turns on a whispered half-rap, “bohemian boys and Brazilian girls….”, flashing past like an overheard secret. If? When? Why? What?
The music too has that slightly cryptic quality you get with the best motorik, like you could listen to it all day and still not…quite… – not surprising as it sounds like a New Order track (it’s mostly the lovely bassline) and New Order have always been good at teasing and intriguing. Three New Order singles are on their way to the shops right now, and the one with “New Order” on the disc is easily the worst. “Made Of Glass” is New Order if they, well, if they were called Xenomania and wrote songs for Kylie. Sorry, not all comparisons are helpful. I love this record.
Day 25: Dark Side Of The Moon
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES
Picture this, a lady of leisure in a spacesuit, weightless, sucking neat gin through a straw. Perhaps it is not what I had planned when I embarked on this epic quest around the world, but after four or five sucks the situation did just fine. Crispian let me be, sensing much of my annoyance through some newly grown bumps in his head. Anyway he was too busy arguing with the likes on NASA on the radio.
Apparently what we were doing was very illegal.
But luckily there were no police in space. Well except The Police, Walking On The Moon, but knowing Sting they would have forgotten their helmets. Apparently that is one of the downsides of four hour tantric sex.
Anyway I awoke the next morning with a terrific hangover and a slightly concerned looking Crispian hovering (literally) over me.
“Never fear Crispian my boy. I’ll be right as rain if you fix me a nice Bloody Mary.”
“That is not what I am worried about. You drank more gin than I expected.”
“We only have enough fuel to make an emergency landing on the moon. Then we will be stranded.”
“Are you telling me you did not budget for some wastage of fuel.”
“I did not budget for your appetite in gin.”
“Well it had been fifteen days since I last supped the juniper juice. I am only human.”
At which Crispian muttered to himself about Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 and I found the straw to the Tanq Tank had been cruelly removed. Instead I had to endure hours of endlessly slow space maneuvers as Crispian hummed Also Sprach Zarathustra , at least until I cuffed him around the helmet again. I dozed until we had finally bumped down.
“It all looks a bit crappy out there,” Crispian said, disappointed.
“You surprise me. Someone disappointed with The Dark Side Of The Moon. Who would credit it.”
EASY STAR ALL STARS: Dub Side Of The Moon
When Roger Waters and the rest of the post Syd Barrett and loving it Floyd sat down and made Dark Side Of The Moon they probably thought they were making the dullest album in the world ever. And indeed for much of the history of pop music, this would have been true. In the rampant ego pot that was the Floyd, the only loser was the bored shitless listener, who instead tried to pep up the experience by playing the wizard of Oz backwards over it or smoking banana skins.
I can only imagine that it was ingesting some highly rotted smoked banana skins that put the idea of Dub Side Of The Moon into the Easy Star All Stars head.
“I know, what is the dullest album ever?”
“Dark Side Of The Money.”
“What is the dullest music ever?”
“Lovers rock reggae.”
And thus this sleeping draught in aural form was concocted. Sounding exactly like Pink Floyd except:
a) Jamaican accents
b) Reggae beats
c) It inventing a new hybrid form of music “prog reggae” which neither skanked nor was progressive.
And the goal of this wonderful hybrid of tedious and interminable? Why to make money of course. Its track five.
The thing here is, those professions which score best are those professions that are all about making other people feel directly and immediately happier. Unless you’re an army hairdresser shaving conscripts, I suppose.
MB Games to film update:
March brings us Guess Who? the movie. An everday tale of identity seaking using yes/no questions, and flipping tiles.
Or is it a remake of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner with the twist that the family are black.
Yes, its the remake. Still, how hard could it be to write a Connect 4 movie. Really.
THE COMING DROUGHT?
ok i watched c4’s 100 best cartoons last night mainly to punish david stubbs for a particularly thin editorial in this month’s wire (he sets out his stall by apologising for watching some previous c4 top 100, b4 wheelin out the cliche abt the format’s conservative laziness typifying how pop used to be all excitin in the 80s but is now entirely co-opted and compromised unlike avant-indie etc) (at which point i stopped readin…)
ANYWAY: as to the 100 itself, not much to say: i think the unpoliced golden-age saturday morning spasm of kidditoons has come and gone, and (unsurprsingly i spose) some of the best things have just dropped through the cracks) (no COW AND CHICKEN, no DEXTER’S LABORATORY: plus PPG far below not-all-that squarebob and the useless rugrats blah blah)
but i think what wz still naggin me WAS stubbs’s bad-stand-up shtick, bcz the thing i really started to notice was the HIGH NUMBER of UNFUNNY and UNKNOWN “COMEDIANS” scraped in to comment. Some of the reasons and implications of this are bein ilxplored here and here): i guess what i mainly want to say on FT is that where once opening the doors of light entertainment to alt stand-up wz as exciting as opening the tardis doors into raw space, now it’s just a plateau of feedback-cycle mirrors – since stand-up know what it’s “supposed to do” by watchin TV, and does it so as to get ON tv… eg it is no longer REMOTELY a source of new ideas an styles, but a recycling WAY more pitiless than the “100 top” concept (which at least in principle allows culture workers to get perspective on the dialectics of past and present, and confidently and informedly work at ESCAPING this circularity).
Whether it’s the slight haughtiness in her voice or the sediment of my teenage Morrissey crush I’m not sure, but I’m casting around for reasons to like Sandie Shaw and this awkwardly jolly little song isn’t offering many. The arrangers do their best to pep things up, crossing modish “It’s Not Unusual” hornwork with the mildest of calypso feel, but neither ingredient seems to make Sandie any more comfortable – in fact the calypso just adds to her stiffness. Only her expressive “mmmm-hmm” placeholders do anything to dispel the sense of a duty being reluctantly done.