Friday, June 30, 2006

Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring

It’s that time of the year again, it is time for the Henotbusybeingbornisbusydying merit badge to be awarded to a man of exceptional virtue and someone who really deserves a pat on the back. After the tube workers who received it last time, is going to billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett. He’s busy organising how he and Bill Gates can solve the problems of the third world. He’s given the Bill Gates Foundation over $37 billion. So well done Mr Buffett. However, not all are happy, including a certain, Mr J Grant Swank. This is why the internet is wrong it gives people who are crazier than a loon a ‘voice’.

In other news this week and somewhat on a completely different tangent. Aaron Speilling, the world’s most prolific television producer has died. He, somewhat perversely for the millions who digested his programmes, did television that predominately dealt with the lives of the beautiful, rich and famous. He did stuff like TJ Hooker, Starsky & Hutch, Beverley Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Charlies Angles and Love Boat. All a pile of crap (except TJ Hooker on a few rare occasions) but the people loved it. He also worked closely with Heather Locklear on numerous occassions, so can be considered a jammy bastard for that as well.

Before he passed away he should have done a soap based on Warren Buffett’s life who is rich and famous (but not really beautiful), it maybe would have led to more people being generous with their accumulated wealth as of when they leave this world. Who knows.

Henotbusybeingbornisbusydying Merit Badge holders:

(It is just like a Blue Peter badge, except it is a theoretical pat on the back and you don't get a discount in museums and stuff.)

Love Minus Zero/No Limit

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Myself, for what I did, I cannot be excused

The World Cup is great. Loads of footie every night, teams and players that you know little about and stars in the making and stars on the decline. It truly is the best thing in World sport. No question.

At this World Cup, a certain Thierry Henry has once again been mouthing off at the injustice of his team's poor performances. After the first match (a 0-0 draw against Switzerland) he blamed his team mate Frank Ribery for the team's failure. After the second match (a 1-1 draw against the mighty giants of South Korea), he blamed the ref. This isn't a new phenomenon for Henry. After the Champions League final against Barcelona he proceeded to claim that the ref spoiled the match (Arsenal had a player rightly sent off) and then claimed that Barcelona were rubbish ("Where was Eto?" he asked. The commentator should have pointed out that he was there - he scored a goal). He was a bad looser and disrespectful to both the opposition and the competition. This has added to my hatred of the French football team.

Those who know me on a personal level will point out that I am French. This is true, but after having spent my secondary school years in a school in France, you tend to hate the French sporting excuses. All you would hear were excuses fed by the French media and the French players. Never did anyone stand up and take responsibility. All I would hear were excuses as to why the French team in question lost to an English one (Until recently, a French team had never beaten an English one over two legs in a European competition). So when I see Henry in the press and on the pitch making excuses for himself, blaming everyone but himself, I go into a rage and I see those French kids who were being spoon-fed their excuses by the French media and the French players repeating their ludicrous claims.

Thierry Henry's attitude represents all that is wrong with French football. I hope that they don't qualify. Can't wait to hear what excuses they come up with then.

Ballad in Plain D

Monday, June 12, 2006

The weather was hot, a-nearly 90 degrees

Ahhhhrrggh. I've deleted my post..Bloody thing. Its far too hot for me to even blog properly and it's fuckin' easy to blog. So this is a second draft from my head...and it doesn't feel as good as the first one.

Weather is far too hot to do any work. In fact it has made me reassess the real value of the England team performance at the weekend. The first half of my day I was all proactive and stuff, producing real "management solutions" (TM, official business speak). Now I have spent all afternoon in a pool of sweat wondering about nothing. No wonder the England team melted away in the 2nd half, it is exactly what is happening to my brain. Still no excuses for the shambolic management decisions taken by Sven in the 2nd half though. Unless he caught the sun while he was sunbathing...naked. You know he does it, he is Swedish after all. Now try and get the mental image out of your can't can you. Now ask yourself this, why did Ulrika choose to see this image for real?

My article on the Zutons' new album, Tired of Hanging Around has been syndicated to In turn it was syndicated to a group of regional US websites which means that hicks in the middle of America (ie: the Red States) are now reading my review. This is most amusing. See an example from Cleveland here (you'll need to scroll down).

Day of the Locusts

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

King of the streets, child of clay.

Why the sopranos is the best television ever.

I, and many others, are of the firm belief that the Sopranos is the greatest thing to have ever graced the small screen. You want to know why we think that? Its for the following reasons:

1) The acting. Some superb performances. The acting from Gandolfini is, as would be expected, great. Some nice acting from the psychatrist (who played the wife in Goodfellas) and Steve Van Zandt (who is also a member of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street band and a rock and roll entrepreneur).

2) But as much as the acting is great, the casting is better, inspired almost.

3) The cameos are good but not too over the top. Frank Sinatra junior plays a card game, Steve Buscemi becomes instantly brilliant as Tony's cousin in series five.

4) The dialogue is where it really excels. The humour, the violence, the mannerisms are all there and all perfectly measured.

5) The plot. It builds over time, they are not obsessed with having a cliché ridden crescendo at the end of every episode (see 24 and lost).

6) It is almost Shakesperian in complexity. The Sopranos can be watched over and over again and there are still elements which reveal themselves, themes which have been in place and built upon for more than five series now.

7) The Soundtrack is absolutely fine. The songs are always great and well chosen for the particular moments. The two soundtracks are well worth a listen.
8) The violence is real. Not Die Hard fake OTT fighting but reality, cold, brutal and shocking. It is all the better for this.

I am a firm believer that the Sopranos will be watched again in hundreds of years as the classic turn of the century drama. More than a drama it will be viewed as art. And I do measure my words there. ART. There quite simply is no other mainstream or not recent television drama which comes close to the complexity and beauty of this series.

Read some more of my stuff. You can find out what happended at Primal Scream's new record launch party here on Sunday night. You can read about Bruce Springsteen's Seeger obsession here and you can read all about English World Cup songs here. Plus you can watch some cool videos here.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune

Recently, I’ve been completely obsessed by the blog/website Who Ate All the Bratwurst. This website has a comedy take on the world cup and England’s chances. It also has some mean videos including Peter Crouch dancing like a robot at David Beckham’s party and even rapping like an MC. This is truly worth a look. You will not be dissapointed.

In other related news, my good friend from Italy, Paolo (aka Roving Gambler) has started a proper blog about music and stuff. He’s a journalist but an Italian one, just ignore the occasional grammatical errors (hey, we all do it, I’m sure some of these posts are non-sensical).

Have a good weekend, practice your Peter Crouch moves before you unleash them on the dancefloor this Saturday. If Peter Crouch scores at the World Cup and does the dance he will become the cult-hero of the tournament. I have this vision of a small boy in a poor country at the otherside of the world seeing the lanky Peter Crouch score against Sweden and then do his dance and say, "Daddy when I grow up I want to be Peter Crouch both on and off the field". Wow! What a legend!


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