Monthly Archives: June 2011

London’s Coolest Film Club

It’s weird, it’s free and it’s been going for five years, so how come you haven’t heard about it? Because Alex and Evrim, the mental cases who run it, have kept the Duke Mitchell Film Club below the radar, but now the secret is out. I went along last night and had a blast. You […]

Bring On The Third Encounters!

A leading Russian astrophysicist has pronounced that as 10% of the known planets circling suns in the galaxy resemble Earth, we’ll have alien contact within 20 years. He thinks that although they may look human they may not be friendly. He doesn’t just mean they’ll be like people from Blackpool or something, he thinks they […]

Why Do Women Make Such Good Hardline Right Wingers?

From Eva Peron to Imelda Marcos, from Sarah Palin to Michele Bachmann, what is it in the female psyche that encourages destructive hardline conservatism to surface? There’s more than a touch of Margaret Thatcher in Michele Bachmann, although Thatcher generally got her facts right; a talent that clearly eludes Bachmann, who just mistook John Wayne […]

The Bryant & May Case: Competition Results

Well, that was fun! And what a lot of possible cases for Arthur Bryant and John May to mention in the adventure that will follow ‘The Memory Of Blood’, to be entitled ‘The Invisible Code’. I looked for a case that sounded as if there were possibilities within it to be explored, so that it […]

The Anti-Olympic Logo Manifesto

With only one job available for every 83 graduates, it had to happen. Somebody had to put all that wasted creative energy to good use and come up with an alternative Olympics symbol. Inevitably, it was a bunch of avowedly ‘naughty’ artists headed by Billy Childish (ex-date of Tracey Emin, which says it all) who […]

Just Don’t Call It A Shed

This year’s Serpentine Pavilion teaches a valuable lesson; don’t judge by appearances. Every year the pavilion is built from scratch and has a radically different design. This one is Swiss-designed, and offers a respite from the din of the city, as it acts like a walled garden, deadening outside sounds and offering monastic calm. The […]

Daily Greats: Rip Kirby

I always assumed he was English, but the name should have been a giveaway. Rip was the perfect post-war sophisticate, a sort of two-fisted Clark Kent usually found with a pipe clenched between his teeth, sometimes sporting a cravat. He’s associated with Alex Raymond, but there were other authors. To quote the excellent Toonopedia, ‘Remington […]

Did Mail On Sunday Cause MP’s death?

Christopher Shale, Chairman of West Oxford’s Conservative Association and a Cameron lynchpin may have taken his own life at Glastonbury after learning that the Mail On Sunday was leaking his critique of his own party, calling the Tories ‘graceless, voracious, crass, always on the take’. At least, that would have been a classic Mail On […]

London’s Forgotten Faces

After the post (and interesting reader comment) about Camden junking its past, I was thinking further on the subject. You can care about the past and not be a nostalgist, just interested. But it’s getting harder. Walking down Berwick Street in Soho, through the market that has been there for a hundred years, I was […]

Re-View: ‘Girlfriends’

Ye Old Rose & Crown Theatre Pub is in unlovely Walthamstow, a working class area of London few visitors make it to, but which has an appealing frankness. (One shop boasts a 4 metre-long red plastic sign reading ‘Cheap Booze’). Here above the rambling, shabby Victorian pub is an archetypal fringe venue; small stage, nice […]