The UK is in the grip of a heatwave. I am on unofficial time out for doing things as it is too hot to do anyhting because as a country we’re not built to take this heat, nor is our infrastructure there to deal with it either, plus most of the nice air-conditioned buildings (cinemas, etc) we have are still closed thanks to Covid restrictions.
So things are melty right now which involves eating ice lollies and watching films set in the snow…
Many, many moons ago I stepped into one of Leicester’s short lived nightclubs who’s name escapes me, to go downstairs where it was an Indie/Dance night. As I walked from the bar clutching my lukewarm bottle of Becks, the first bars of Step On by the Happy Mondays came on and my life literally was opened to new possibilities in those few minutes listening to something so fucking perfect it made me grin like a lunatic.
Back in those days Shaun Rider and the Mondays were aking to crimnals with the national media and much of the establishment. Rider at one point being banned by all major channels from appearing live.
Now Rider is almost a national treasure, a positon he worked hard to get by doing any old crap he was asked to do. Sometimes that crap is so jaw-dropping that all it needs is a title and you’re sold which is exactly the case here. Just watch and be generally amazed at one of the stalwarts of late night TV at a time when late night TV could still throw up oddities like this…
The comics marts are coming thick and fast now, with this time the sunlight land of Paisley welcoming us all to the town for a comic (and toys, etc)at the Paisley Centre. Lots and lots of wonderful comics will be getting sold, so get yourselves down and give me your money!
So says Boris Johnson in response to the racist abuse of England players only weeks after Boris Johnson said it was perfectly fine to boo players kneeling in protest of racism therefore playing to his base of Brexiteer lunatics. Johnson gave his permission for this racism and people went for it.
The man is a racist liar, and it falls on the shoulders of Gary Neville of all people to make it clear that the problem comes from the top.
The scenes last night of England fans rioting and shouting racist abuse were seen round the world, and we can point to the PM for helping make matters worse, the big racist twat.
England are in the final of a major tournament for the first time since, well, you all should know when as it’s regularly driven into our minds. This means Three Lions will be played every hour, on the hour, by every radio station in England, which is a pity because it is a fucking entitled dirge of a song.
The ‘Its coming home’ line was originally I understand meant to refer to the Euros in 1996 being held in England, but it quickly meant the trophy will come ‘home’ to England ‘cos we deserve it.
Which is bollocks and a shame because the song has potential. It is however not worthy to wear the shoes of New Order’s World in Motion which is simply perfect, and to which is also ripped off by Three Lions. World in Motion is a big cheerful look at a possible future, while Three Lions is far too wrapped up in mid 90s nostalgia of the 60s.
On the other hand Three Lions 98 tries to redeem itself and turn itself into a future-facing joyful thing without much of the entitlement but that now has been cast aside for the 96 version. But these are the final days of Britpop so that nostalgia is still there in spades.
Fact is barring New Order’s effort, football songs are shite. Three Lions happens to be the most successful one because it taps that vein of entitlement in England fans that the rest of the world should just jolly well let them win and now we’re on the verge on them possibly winning this song is about to imprinted upon us far beyond what it has been up to date.
And the only true winners are the people who wrote it as the royalty cheque this Christmas will be enough to buy a small island.
I know it’s hard to believe, but if you’re an artist known not just for their music but for spending large amounts of their career whacked out on drugs and you start worrying about what might be in your body or anything that helps us study Covid so we can get back to normal, then you’re a fucking cock.
The world of internet horror in at best, sketchy. There’s the stuff which is basically a variation of this..
Over and over and over again, or it’ll be needlessly gory, or horribly acted/written/directed or go on and on and on and on beyond the point of giving a fuck (yes, I am looking mainly at Marble Hornets) but every now and then a new horror series or ARG (Alternate Reality Game as it relies on viewer input to make the game work fullly) comes along and it blows bigger bidget works out the water. For me, the peak was Daisy Brown, the tale of an abused teenage girl and her monster, Alan who is clearl made out of papier-mâché. If it sounds awful it isn’t. It’s one of the best acted, most creative dramas I’ve seen online in all my years of checking this stuff out and I’d recommend you to start from the begining.
Things have been quiet on the ARG front recently thanks mainly to the pandemic meaning things were just hard to do, or do well at least. Along now comes Paranormal Paranoids and it is just wonderful in regards script, acting and execution in a way not seen since the sadly discontinued thanks to the pandemic Echo Rose.
Paranormal Paranoids is all about a Twitter account called Jess the Paranoid, who is searching for the cast of a mid 00’s YouTube show called Paranormal Paranoids which is so wonderfully created that the verisimilitude is dripping from these clips, including a title sequence which is so perfectly 2000s. The cast went mysteriously missing, and Jess has found some old shows on old CD’s shoe has, which has caused her to go online to ask for more and the story begins…
Right now it feels we’re still in the early days so it won’t take more than a couple of hours to catch up, so check out the YouTube channel. after the Twitter account which is the main driver for the story though it has now grown to other social media and has its own Reddit forum; a sign of accepting a good ARG.
Let the Twitter account guide you and then join in the online speculation but remember part of an ARG is pretending its real but knowing it’s a work of fiction so you get the full immersion in the story which is the point. I hope it doesn’t overstay its welcome or suffer a dip in quality but Paranormal Paranoids is so good that it could easily be one of the best ARG’s done so far.
So go and dive in now. You won’t regret it, and oh, the thing is actually scary not just through easy jump scares either. Starting at the beginning means joining in on this low build up of a creeping dread that something awful is going to happen to these people and we’ll be all part of it as we’re voyeuristically joining in so get stuck in now!
I was going to finish off a few bigish blogs today but it is incredibly sunny, nice and warm outside which is as rare as an honest Tory, but I have also had to work, while at the same time being stuck from a post-Glastonbury comedown that shouldn’t exist as there’s been no festival this year.
I’ve seen pictures of this before but never the actual footage, and it is an extraordinary bit of comics history seeing Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster in their pomp at a time when they were actually making good money from their creation. Also included in the footage is National Publications (now DC Comics) co-owner Jack Lebowitz who was one of those who ensured Siegel and Schuster were shafted by their publisher and never got any real credit for their creation til Neal Adams led the campaign to help them in the 1970s;
At this point though things look good and bright for them. The idea of the superhero is new and shiny at a tie when the U.S was escaping the carnage sweeping through Europe at the time. It’s a wonderful glimpse at a log lost time and we should be grateful for Comic Book Historians for posting this footage.
The BBC’s second documentary about Glastonbury this year was another one which was very good, and it makes me wish they’d let people loose on the archive to discuss more than the usual ‘Coldplay and mud’ narrative of say, a Jo Whiley film would do. This one though was narrated by Dizzee Rascal and again gave a different perspective to a festival which essentially gentrified from 2000 to 2010.
2000 was the year where every single part of the site was rammed by Friday afternoon. By Saturday afternoon parts of the site were uncomfortably overcrowded, especially main paths to and from the Pyramid to the Other Stage. By Sunday it was genuinely dangerous in areas as by now there must have been 300-500k people onsite as the fence in large sections were down, plus you had all the day visitors from the local area. not to mention David Bowie attracted huge interest. As I’ve said on many a blog about this time, getting in the festival in these days was easy so a perfect storm created this situation and there’s no way Eavis could continue. Which meant after a fallow year the festival returned with the Superfence.
There was no getting over this fence, at least not in the numbers of past years which meant in 2002 the site went the opposite way to 2000 and the place was quiet in places. You could walk round the site easily with no traffic jams. In fact it was a wee bit too empty. 2003 saw an increase in numbers as Eavis was finding his feet in this new era where the festival wasn’t quite gentrified but that was the path the festival was on. This was both good and bad in that crime decreased along with the crushes but part of the sould of the festival went with it. True, some of it has returned and is present in many of the areas but Babylon (the main stage area) is mainly for the folk now who pitch up for the weekend and never venture further than that.
Which isn’t to say there’s not great acts on the Pyramid Stage I’ve seen acts ranging from Leonard Cohen to Stevie Wonder to errr, Rolf Harris there.
By 2010 the festival had changed. A dry sunny year washed away the memories of a number of wet years, especially 2005 where Michael Eavis contemplated cancelling the festival due to the enormous amount of rain dropped on the site on the Friday morning.
Once we hit the 2010s the festival had settled down to a pattern which was one of slow expansion as Eavis would rent out neighbouring farms to expand the site, so what was once a gate in say, 2008, was part of a new camping area by 2013. Simply put the site now is huge compared to 2000 and it is entirely possible to never make an area during a festival as it is now (I think) way too big however if it wasn’t so large in size the chances of getting in decrease, so lets take the trade off.
Where the festival goes from here depends very much on Michael and Emily Eavis. When Michael’s wife Jean died in 1999 the general feeling was that 2000 would be the last one, It wasn’t of course, but as Michael is 85 the thought of what happens when there is no Michael is one many folk have been having for years. The general feeling is that Emily takes over full control though the vultures have been circling round the festival since the 90s when RIchard Branson was trying to buy into it. My feeling is it remains with Emily and the team which has grown up over the years as stopping it or selling it off would be the wrong thing to do as so many people have worked to make it what it is now which is a crucial part of the British cultural calender.
Hopefully next year the festival returns. Hopefully I grab a ticket in resales in the spring but the world would be a poorer place without Glastonbury, and frankly, I’m done with watching the festival on TV. So hopefully see you all in a field in Somerset next June, pandemics permitting…