Saturday, 28 August 2010


Today's entry is a packet of chocolate biscuits - but they're not just any average teatime snack. Break through that Viennese exterior and you'll find a cave of chocolate goo awaits. Loaded full of chemicals. In a word: more. Price: 59p,no seriously.

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Friday, 27 August 2010

Monday, 23 August 2010

TSS #02

It's time to acronym this second in the series of new supermarket discovery.

This time it's tasty whole corn snacks that not even Jaws himself can resist. Must find the biscuits Robert Shaw nibbles too - are they sweet or savoury? We will never know for he is dead.

Price self evident.

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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Turkish supermarket special #01

A bit like Appletise - but without the sticky, sweet aftertaste. Around 59p

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Friday, 13 August 2010


America: One bad film and six great ones

This is quite a neat little film from WNYC and features a naughty scene too!

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This Levi's spot, directed by John Hillcoat (The Road) is just crammed with all sorts of things you'd expect in an ad from the jeans that built America: pickup trucks, wide streets, moody workers looking moody in their wife beaters. But there's a point to all this: as the Santa Fe boxcars roll across a dust brown landscape, the people of Braddock Pennsylvania wake to work. Except, there is no work because 'a long time ago things got broken here and people got sad and left' (sad face). But Levi's are helping the town rediscover the idea of an honest day's graft (happy face!), by repurposing and reinventing Braddock's UnSmoke Artspace so 'urban pioneers can remake the local identity through art'. Jesus, what drivel. Surely if Levi's really want to help America get back to work, they could, y'know, build a factory in Braddock? Instead of using the bleeding fingers of China.

Anyway, the whole thing pissed me off, but then I have been listening to a lot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, so I only have myself to blame. Here are some better examples of films loosely grouped under the title of America.

If you really want to see a great doc about working America, then check out Harlan County USA.

Here's a tidy little short. And it's a Western too!

I've posted some of Sean's work before. This is his new one:


And another...

Finally, a new Fatal Farm film




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Thursday, 12 August 2010

How I Escaped My Certain Fate by Stewart Lee

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A reoccurring theme in Stewart Lee’s dissection of his own craft and recent UK comedy is the idea of the comic as a shaman outsider figure. One who observes society and then deftly criticises its failings. He writes about the Hopi clown rituals that happen in the Pueblo villages of South West America, where for one day, those chosen, dress as frightening clowns and mock the members of their community they believe need taking down a peg or two. He describes a similar ceremony that happens in the Languedoc area of France and one he drew inspiration from to write the unsettling  90s Comedian set. Lee sees himself as an outsider figure.

But then, Lee, who took up stand-up comedy after seeing the obtuse Ted Chippington, relishes being difficult. And reading parts of this book you realize he’s probably quite difficult if you met him in person. ‘I come across as arrogant, because I am’*

But there’s something quite admirable about all this. Unlike almost every other comedian you see on television – he doesn’t want you to follow him on Twitter, or watch him talk about toys on some Channel 4 show. He doesn’t do comedy about well-worn subjects, or swear and shout.   

His shows are considered and well thought out. Even if you’re indifferent about comedy seeing Stewart Lee live is an experience. And yet he does wind people up.  A lot of his jokes are built around repetition and the playful exploitation of funny rhythms and sounds. It’s not to everyone’s tastes and Lee is quite happy with that; he’s remarked he doesn’t like it if the whole audience is with him at a show. He likes tension.

Weird he’s written a big book explaining his comedy then. Surely that should be someone else’s job?

But if you’re into the craft of stand up you’ll love this book. It’s full of great references to music, other comedians and it’s also pretty funny too.  I bought my copy from the most dangerous book shop in London.

Check out his site too!


*I might have made this up or remembered it wrong.

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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Solar Bears - Inner Sunshine

<br /><span style="font-size: 10px;font-family:Georgia;font-style:italic;color:#000;">Read full review of Inner Sunshine - Solar Bears on &copy;</span>

Hmmm lovely.

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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Ping pong sci Fu

I'm a big fan of these free ping pong tables that have appeared in London for the month. 'oh, but', say the naysayers, 'they'll just get smashed up - like the bikes.' But I think the bikes are a great idea, and so far they seem to be holding up well.

This is is my kind of civic fun and it'll also be considerably cheaper than the Olympics. It's something I think of whenever I swim in any of the lidos. They're all over a hundred years old and built to last.

I'm just not convinced by the Olympics. Plus a cheap bike or free ping pong table will never need a rapey CCTV mascot to sell it as a good idea.

Other stuff is the Dan Dare artwork in the Science Museum - well worth a look.

It's part of a whole exhibition about the white-hot heat of optimism that gripped Great Britain after the war and propelled the country's industry to invent such greats as the hovercraft. Oh and give plucky schoolboys, such as my Dad, the Eagle comic. We will walk on the moon and it'll be a Brit and he'll fly (steady on chap, she won't be a woman), there in a Hawker Siddley Space Kestrel. Or something.

There's a great doc made by Jonathan Meades on the subject. Search Meadeshrine at YouTube. I think it's called, 'Whatever Happened to the Future?'

All those hopes and dreams were smashed by the radical overhaul of culture in the sixties and then the shortages in the seventies. But don't feel sorry for 'em. Nobody made them listen to Cream and smoke jazz cigarettes. I've seen my Dad's record collection so they sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

It's no wonder when Thatcher turned up copping Reagan's idea of going back to the good 'ol days, and promising to put the Great back before Britain, we said 'yes please'.

At least we got a good comic out of it - 2000AD. Judge Dredd was just the sort of thing to prep a young man to reject formal authority figures and welcome in a leader who wants to be our friend. Things can only get better. Oh.

Anyway, this brings us rather neatly, or not, back to whacking a ping ball around with my son at the Barbican - that modernist, cultural experiment you could argue is a success, if you don't have a pushchair. A free ping pong table and a cheap bike and I'm prepared to believe Boris could be a good mayor. I'm so cheap.

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Cb folk fest 3

They play the Archers Omnibus through the Tannoy on Sunday morning.

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