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Showing posts from July, 2009

Another Jack Sparrow? Johnny, Johnny, Johnny

I read the other day that Orlando Bloom has decided he won't sign up for the fourth (count 'em) Pirates of the Carribean (I don't know how to spell that), but that Johnny Depp has. So we will be regaled with still more adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow in 2010 or 2011, if any of us are still around.

Hmm. I can't say I'm terrifically excited by that prospect. I loved the first movie; but I was bored to death by the second one. And needless to say when the third one came I stayed at home and probably watched Dead Man again.

All of these big budget Hollywood movies look the same to me anyway. But Johnny Depp had impressed me consistently prior to the first film by choosing movie role after movie role that no mainstream hero would have touched. He'd acted with Brando; he'd associated himself with Jack Kerouac; I think he'd played John Wilmot by that time as well, unless I'm getting my chronology confused. He seemed to be one of us, in other words, a memb…

Gordon's Bye-Bye By-Election: Here We Go Again

Yesterday saw the profoundly depressing spectacle of a huge swing to the Conservatives in the Norwich by-election. (Should that be "bye-bye election" since it signals how crushing Labour's defeat next year is likely to be?) The victorious candidate, Chloe Smith, was compared to Margaret Thatcher by a reporter interviewing her and she didn't even bother with the liberal doublespeak David Cameron has been using since he took over the Party to distance himself from that odious oligarch. She just smiled and looked rather flattered.

Blimey. If anybody compared me to Margaret Thatcher I'd probably punch them in the face. But times have changed, and the memory of the average citizen is short. I spoke to a thirty-year-old a few days ago who had no idea who Marlon Brando was. People vote anyway, thanks to capitalism's overwhelming victory over Christianity and socialism, for their own benefit and with little regard for the general well-being of the nation or the world.…

Sway: Some Notes on Rock & Roll In Babylon

Listening to different cds to take to Emily's hippie-themed party tonight. Nothing in white music has surpassed what the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground did in the late 60s/ early 70s. It has that edge which intelligent music gets when it has gone beyond commercialism, gone beyond the housing estates of your childhood, and the frowns of mayor's wives dunking biscuits at civic functions in little English towns...I haven't heard any gone-beyond white music for a long time now, though there have been some fantastic bands.

At the time of "Sticky Fingers" the Rolling Stones were more radical, more subversive, more musically interesting, than any band other than the Beatles (and you don't count them).Writing and singing about sex and drugs when Nixon and his Silent Majority--with their ironed white underpants--were sending boys to die in a meaningless foreign war was a radical and important thing to do. They were helping blow …

Donovan: Jeez, Thanks For All The Work, Man

I just finished reading "The Hurdy Gurdy Man", Donovan's autobiography, which they've been selling cheap in HMV just lately--presumably because of all the typos some publishing dimwit left in the finished copy.

I'm not sure too many people remember Donovan. But boy would that run counter to the proposition he seems to be advancing in the book, which is basically that he was responsible for damn near everything that happened in the Sixties. He invented Flower Power, he led the Beatles away from formulaic songwriting, he went electric at Newport before Dylan...he even opened the Doors of Perception for a whole generation to walk through.

Shame all we got after he did this sterling work to raise human consciousness was general illteracy, rape and murder in the streets and "Britain's Got Talent", but there you are.