Cultural Zeitgeist

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

A truly marvellous book, here is a link to the Guardian review.



Cultural Zeitgeist

Leicester Square Theatre for Mind Fundraiser

MC Tim Clark, who frankly I could take or leave.

First half:

Arthur Smith – like John Cooper-Clarke he is now his own tribute act

A young black comedian, cant remember his name but he was good

Nish Kumar – really good, best act of the night

Second half:

John Maloney – Very funny, really enjoyed him

Brendon Burns – Hmm… some funny, some not, generally OK though

Felicity Ward – Delivery and persona reminded me of someone from the Open-mic scene. Not really my sort of thing but funny.

Overrated “Classics”

The first in an occasional series

The Road – Cormac McCarthy – Bad science fiction masquerading as literature

Fawlty Towers – just not funny – Dave had a best of Fawlty Towers recently, not a “funniest” because they couldn’t find any funny bits

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Love Like Blood – Mark Billingham

Latest Tom Thorne novel, investigating “Honour” killings.

Very good, well worth reading

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The King’s Justice and The Augur’s Gambit by Stephen Donaldson

One novella and one short novel. Both fantasy, very different, both good.

Even for fantasy The Augur’s Gambit has some of the silliest names I have seen in a story.

For example Queen Inimica Phlegathon deVry IV !

BBC – Fake News

Why do we let the BBC get away with this rubbish.

Tonight there is a programme on called “Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight for Good”, in the trailer he stands there and bold as brass tells us that it is no coincidence that the first 3 letters of ‘diet’ are ‘die’.

Well that is just wrong it is entirely a coincidence!

Die – mid-12c., possibly from Old Danish døja or Old Norse deyja “to die, pass away,” both from Proto-Germanic *dawjan (source also of Old Frisian deja “to kill,” Old Saxon doian, Old High German touwen, Gothic diwans “mortal”), from PIE root *dheu- (3) “to pass away, die, become senseless” (source also of Old Irish dith “end, death,” Old Church Slavonic daviti, Russian davit’ “to choke, suffer”).

Diet – late 14c., “to regulate one’s diet for the sake of health,” from Old French dieter, from diete ; meaning “to regulate oneself as to food” (especially against fatness) is from 1650s.

See absolutely a coincidence, why are the BBC letting him spread this nonsense



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Netherspace – Andrew Lane & Nigel Foster

Science Fiction, first of (at least) 2 parts. Genuinely alien, aliens. part thriller, part philosophy, par who done it, part why. Very good

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Peter Hook and the Light at the Roundhouse

Supported themselves with New Order’s Movement. Then we got Closer and Unknown Pleasures and as encores all the bits of Joy Division that aren’t on the albums, finishing with a mass sing-along of Love Will Tear us Apart

Much, much better than it had any right to be really. As Woty pointed out though The Light are blistering band and that certainly helps.

Peter Hook looked like he enjoyed it, I know I did.

Political Compass – December 2017


Economic Left/Right: -8.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.69

Cultural Zeitgeist

The Unthanks with Chamber Orchestra Army of Generals at the Festival Hall.

First things I never thought I would write – I’m not entirely sure that the Orchestra worked with the clog dancing.

The only other folk group I have ever seen live, The Young’uns, have a self-penned song abut Syrian refugees, as it now transpires have the Unthanks. I suppose this is all part of the folk tradition of telling stories from the world around you, but they still need to be good songs and they are ok but….

So what about the rest, several simply stunning moments. Two particular favourites – they closed with a cover of Starless by King Crimson, because well why not.

Best of all Mount the Air which builds to a crescendo (including the previously mentioned clog dancing) which may just be the most musically thrilling thing to be seen on a stage anywhere. A bit pseuds corner, but it is too folk music and music in general what Michel Barnier is to David Davis, so many levels better as to be laughable.