The Brexit 50p coin sums up Brexit

Sajid Javid has unveiled the second Brexit 50p to ‘celebrate’ the UK leaving the EU which will enter circulation this Friday when the UK leaves the EU effectively being the first nation in history to impose sanctions upon itself.

brexit50p

All of this is bullshit, and all of this is designed to shove faces of Remainers in it because we now live in a time so polarised that ‘winners’ (and it remains to be seen what Brexiters have won barring racism and blue passports which are made in France) will have friendship with nations we’ve just told to fuck the fucking hell off?

And to make it worse, we’ve spent millions in melting down the ones which was supposed to celebrate leaving in October thus making it a perfect metaphor for Brexit itself.

Still, the funniest thing is that the 50p piece will be a constant reminder to those Brexiters trying to pretend in the coming years that they were never Brexiters, or this insane nonsense never happened.

RIP Terry Jones

Back in the 1970’s I was but a wee boy, and like many folk back then, a Monty Python fan. When hearing that Michael Palin and Terry Jones had made their own series, Ripping Yarns, like many youthful fanboys I was aside myself and to this day I adore every single one of them but Golden Gordon is by far my favourite.

Palin and Jones were their own team within Python, and out of all the groupings that came out of Python these two were the best and the funniest because Palin was just a brilliant performer, while Jones timed the comedy in those episodes to perfection. They were very British, very English bits of humour that now, sadly, will be lost to people because the reference for these stories (pulp magazines and British boys comics) are not part of your average Millenial’s cultural wardrobe.

Jones was never the standout in Python for me when I was younger. It was John Cleese but as I got older and older I’d notice what Jones was doing as well as his sheer comic bravery in getting a laugh with this being one of my favourite Python sketches ever.

Something then dawned on me watching this for the 1000th time, in that if I imagine Python to have a voice, then it sounds like Terry Jones. Not Eric Idle, Cleese or anyone else. Even now if you’re riffing off Python then it’s his voice you’ll be using.

And then I started growing up, latching onto the alternatic comedy boom of the 80s which washed all before it, except for Terry Jones who stamped his approval upon things wonderfully.

And that was it. Jones was my favoutite Python which made his descent into dementia so horrible to see his mind go but his friends stood by him all the way. There’s a point if the DVD of the O2 shows from 2014 where Jones is clearly distressed and confused backstage, but all of them form a shield to protect and to encourage him. It’s a small, tiny moment but it shows you what he meant to his friends, and now, it’s a sad moment because we know this is him slipping away but still able to cling on thanks to his mates.

I’ll miss Jones. He was always fun, always entertaining and always it seems, right. Like everyone it seems I’ll miss knowing he’s not around to make the world that wee bit of a better place a lot.

A quick word about the film version of Cats

Now here’s a thing. I’m no fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber. His musicals have been a blister on the arse of modern culture for decades, but the reaction to the film version of Cats is extraordinary and has been since the first bizarre trailer.

There’s something called the ‘uncanny valley‘ and this first trailer was full of it so people were naturally unnerved by something which looked weird at best, utterly terrifying at worst. So for the last six months, the general school of thought is this was a disaster in the making and that people should be ready to hate this film. Now the film is out, reviews are not kind to say the very very least.

But the thing was I didn’t feel involved with the pile-on. In fact I thought the trailer looked interesting in a way where the director Tom Hooper has went for a complete anthropomorphisation of the characters in a neon world. Basically Hooper has done something unexpected, but this uncanny valley problem wasn’t going away mainly as I think this as the first time a number of people encountered it.

Standing alone in the tsunami of hate is Mike McPadden’s glorious review at Daily Grindhouse. It is probably the best thing written about the film so far, and you can read it here. This bit I liked especially;

To wit: any time Groupthink issues a “WORST. MOVIE. EVER” edict, my instinct is to champion their target. I grew up circling any title rated “BOMB” in Leonard Maltin’s annual movie guidebooks and then scoured my local TV schedule each week to hunt them down. That was my film school, and it worked.  Consider, too, some specific masterworks reflexively bemoaned on arrival by Big Stupid Everybody: EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977), SHOWGIRLS (1995), and THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1996), to name just three favorites. Which do you think is more challenging, more exciting, more rewarding—those films, or whatever topped the box office and/or mainstream critics’ lists of their respective release years?

I could add hundreds of films which bombed critically and at the box office which are now genuine classics, which isn’t to say Cats is a classic, but it will be a cult film within the decade. In the meantime people will move onto another film to pile onto leaving me wondering what sort of fucked up society we’ve become where I defend something Andrew Lloyd Webber has touched…

About the Crisis on Infinite Earths trailer

If there’s a single title in comics that encapsulates the massive cross-company event it is DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths published back in 1985. Sure there’d been crossovers before but nothing of this scale which rewrote what DC Comics was about. Now we have The CW attempting to do something similar with their DC television series, so a five-part crossover starts this weekend with Supergirl, then Batwoman and across all their series. They’ve been building this up for a year, and in tribute to the crossovers for the comic, there’s been something similar with the TV series.

coieposter

In short, they’re doing something that makes Marvel’s Infinity Saga seem like a church panto on the catering budget of the last Avengers film. Yet it looks fun as it ties in all the other DC adaptations over the decades while telling a story which is enough like Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s comic saga.

And this bring me to the trailer.  Soak it the various different Flash’s, Supermen and Batman, and wonder how this is going to be done in five hours of television.

 

We’ll find out in just a few days…

Chris Morris remains a genius

Chris Morris is to me, the single greatest satirist the UK has produced in the last 30 years. There is nobody today pushing the limits as Morris did, or challenging not just how comedy is made, but poking a stick at culture, and the way the media works. There was never the sense that Morris was using comedy as a way to becoming a TV presenter or ‘celebrity’ as so many ‘comedians’ have done over the last few decades.

So a new project by Morris is a genuine event, and his new film,  The Day Shall Come, is just that.

It looks very like Morris has found a topic nobody really knew about and is using that to shine a light upon it in a way that reflects some of what’s going on today. Here’s Morris going into more detail on Channel 4 News.

I do wish we’d see more Morris, not to mention more outright satire, but if he produces two or three great works a decade it’s a fuckload better than selling out doing a Netflix special with the same dried-up material you’ve been pushing for years like some comics out there.

So appreciate him wile we’ve got him because there’s no replacement out there.

Michael Gove hates Scots

A Stab in the Dark is a satirical show broadcast on Channel 4 in 1992. Basically a vehicle for David Baddiel but also featured Michael Gove in a ‘comedic’ role which strains the term ‘comedic’. For years it’s been a bit of an obscure joke in comedy fandom circles for featuring Gove, and an episode which featured Jimmy Savile which will never be repeated.

Gove, frankly, drains any life the show has from the air which is remarkable as there’s no life in the programme as it really is awful straddling the ‘serious’ Channel 4 and the radical Channel 4 of the early 90’s. There’s a handy YouTube compilation of Gove’s stuff and I warn you, it is appalling.

One clip came to light this week where he tears into Scots. Yes, Michael Gove is Scottish but he’s that strain of Scot who looks at his fellow countrypeople with contempt because they aren’t all like him, or ‘professional’ as he puts it.

Now 1992 was a tough year for a lot of people in Scotland. On my frequent trips to London you’d hear more and more Scottish accents as tent cities grew and grew on London’s Embankment. Things were bad but instead of seeing people in distress looking for help as they hit bottom, Gove’s instinctive reaction is to sneer and mock.

And this isn’t the only thing that comes out of this programme. There’s an extraordinary clip where he discusses talks with the IRA in a way that had we listened to Gove, we’d never had peace in Ireland.but Gove has made it clear the Good Friday Agreement should never have happened. See Gove is a hardline Unionist who would drag us into hell with nothing but contempt for people who don’t fit his standards and this man could well be Prime Minister by the end of July.