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‘Article’ Archive

Go, West September 14, 2009 2 Comments

Oh dear, Mr. West. You made a big boo-boo last night, didn’t you? Arguably, before last night you were the ego-maniacal but kinda fun and spontaneous loud-mouth who said mad things and livened up award shows and red carpets with your ranting and ravings. But now you’re a bully that picks on teenage girls which has endeared you to absolutely nobody. Everyone watching, both at the venue and at home, wanted to envelope Lil Taylor Swift in a collective, protective hug. Besides the mere fact that you got onstage, the worst thing that you said was “…..I’m gonna let you finish….” Hmmm, “I’m gonna LET you finish”. ????? You’ll let the person who won the award actually finish? Wow, that’s big of you. How about not interrupting in the God-damn first place? It wasn’t even your category! You used to be SO relevant; now you’re ‘Crazy Uncle Kanye’ – the music industry equivalent of the insane relative you dread to see coming, who spouts conspiracy theories, tells racist/sexist jokes that are NOT funny at really inappropriate times and thinks the neighbour’s cat is spying on him.

Listen, Beyonce is one of the smartest, most respected, versatile, talented and beautiful performers in the world. Even people who don’t like her music like HER. There’s very few artists that get away with that but Beyonce is one of them. She’s also married to one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry. Basically, she doesn’t need you to stick up for her. You embarrassed her as well – I didn’t know who to cringe more for (Ms. Swift wins by a nose, since she was on a stage at the time.) But Beyonce, bless her, is a classy, savvy woman and pretty much saved the day. Fair play to Taylor Swift – I don’t know much about her but I think I would have either burst into angry, mortified tears or hit you over the head with that rather heavy looking Moonman thingie. Or both. But she remembered her training and kept her composure. Mind you, I would have LOVED if it had been Pink on the receiving end of this rude stage-crash. She would have kicked you in the balls. The thing is, I doubt you would have got up uninvited like that if it had been Pink. Taylor was easy pickings. It was cowardly. (Update – you know what it was like? It was like watching a live, MTV adaptation of ‘Carrie’ – admittedly, this sight was much less traumatic than the film. Here’s this very young, seemingly naive and sweet girl, who’s being crowned by her peers and just when she’s settling into the idea that the cool kids like her, here comes the bucket of pig’s blood to ruin her moment. But this time the pig’s blood was in the form of you, Mr. West. Thankfully, there was no telekinetic massacre afterwards.)

The category of ‘Best Female Pop Video’ is won by the artist with the most votes from the public. It’s a democracy, not a Kanye-ocracy, man. I quite liked you when you said things like, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during the Katrina crisis (Even though I would correct you by saying he just didn’t care about POOR people, regardless if they’re black or white) because sometimes it takes an off-the-cuff, shocking remark like that to jolt people into action. And that was actually IMPORTANT and SERIOUS enough to speak out about. But a video music award????? Really???? If you’d stormed up there to say something about how people are losing their jobs and houses in this crappy economy, I’d have SOME respect for you but…THAT was your message????? That Beyonce was robbed of an award?? (And she ended up winning the big one anyway, you lunatic)


I’m all for the freedom to say whatever you wish, however daft it may be, but you took it way too far. There was loads of press outside and you could have told them your opinion on who should’ve won what and they would have been happy to lap up your sermonizing on all things pop culture and how things should work in ‘Kanye-Land’. You didn’t have to turn that 19-year-old’s shining moment into a real-life version of that nasty dream where you’re standing in front of a huge amount of people and end up with egg on all over your face. I’m praying for you to win a big award really soon because I’ll bet a kajillion dollars that one of the guys from Green Day or John Mayer will boot it up there and pull down your low-riding pants or something. Next time you’re up for a gong, watch your back at the podium and wear clean knickers.

You’re a God-fearing man, right, Mr. West? I mean, you’re always thanking him. Then the words “do unto others” shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you. Take heed. Oh, and you owe Swift and Knowles a BIG donation to the charity of their choice to compensate for your behavior. And be quick about it. As quick as you were to hop, like a little self-absorbed bratty bunny, to grab that mic and spout nonsense at two young women’s expense. Next time something don’t go your way, just call a waaaaaambulance, mate.

Dig deep, you gay fish, you!

John Hughes: Patron Saint of Teen Flicks August 7, 2009 5 Comments

I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it.”Ferris

Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

As a teen, when most adults were the enemy and just didn’t get it, John Hughes was the grown-up we could trust. Maybe it’s because he listened to his young cast about soundtrack, wardrobe and even storyline (perhaps he even listened a little too much regarding that last one. I still think Andie should have ended up with Duckie in Pretty In Pink. And I thought Allison Reynolds (Alley Sheedy) looked better before she was made up all prissy) Or maybe because he could recall vividly all that it meant to be in this strange, weird stage of transition. Whatever the reason, John Hughes’ movies were a graduation from childhood and Disney-esque films to young adulthood and movies that featured problems we faced and understood; like fitting in (or not), how to break out of that box once you have fitted in (or not), weighing up the pros and cons of conformity, and love and sex. Especially love and sex. Instead of dismissing feelings that we dealt with at that time for anything apart from Puppy Love or hormone fueled indulgence - Hughes made the courtship machinations between his couples as complex, exciting, intense and, most importantly, legitimate as any so-called more sophisticated fare. John Hughes took us seriously and these were OUR movies. When The Godfather was still that bloke who’d give you a fiver when he came to visit, we knew what The Breakfast Club was alllllll about.

lockersHe also introduced the exotic idea of lockers to the less fortunate of my generation. As convent school inmates in Ireland, my friends and I weren’t all that interested in the fashions that we knew we could never wear to school. Or the ‘Prom’ – we had a ‘Debs’ and anyway, we were better off there as most people are of legal age to drink by the time the Debs rolls around. And our classes (or grades, depending on your location) were too small to have real cliques. No, it was the lockers. We claimed it was because we were fed up of dragging 40 pounds of books behind us but there was something deeper about the draw. It was your own space in a building where you had little to no control. You could put up pictures and other personal items and make it your own. An extremely attractive notion when you’ve got to wear a uniform.  And, we innately understood the underlying excitement and seething sexual-political potential that these simple devices held. There was utter fascination with this apparent Mating Ritual that occured around lockers in these cool American High Schools. What happened at your locker could make or break you and there never seemed to be any teachers around. During the tiny breaks from classes before the bell rang, these kids hooked up and broke up. Romance and heart-break had to fit in between English and History. Relationships were solidified and burned in these few moments, enemies became friends and friends turned into enemies, hopes and dreams came true or were crushed. These small instances became whole worlds usually climaxing in that most sacred portion of the school day - lunch. We wanted these experiences and adventures, so we wanted the lockers. Alas, we did not get. Bloody nuns. Why give us boys but no lockers? Maybe, like most things, it was better in the movies. So we lived vicariously through Molly Ringwald.

16 candles

When my 30th birthday passed certain close family members by (no names but you know who you are) I was right in Samantha ‘Sixteen Candles’ territory. It took me until I’d reached that ripe age to fully understand just exactly how Sam felt. Wow, does it hurt. It’s funny how much we DON’T change. Yes, people mature, they marry and have children, swap a principal for a boss and classmates for colleagues but is anything really all that much different? We still want to feel popular and special and when we are forgotten, it totally sucks and our feelings are put through the ringer. Sometimes I wish it was still acceptable to go to your room, slam the door and sulk. Not that I don’t still do that, it’s just not something that is normally acceptable for a 34 year old woman to do. But, like Samantha, things wound up OK, better than I could have hoped. And it’s still fun to piss off authority figures. Like, when the Grumpy Old Cow from across the way recently came to complain about the noise that a few friends and I were making, we asked her if it was a ‘ruckus’ and then we all demonstrated the ‘ruckus’. We could barely keep it together and when she left, very annoyed, we broke down, wetting ourselves laughing. Such joy! Partly because it was genuinely funny but more because it meant that we weren’t so far removed from our younger selves, because the Grumpy Old Cow didn’t get the reference. It was a short-hand that we all identified with, even though we all came from different backgrounds and cultures. Nobody had to even say the name of the film, we knew at once. After all – Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.

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What girl didn’t try to apply lipstick from her bra? What boy didn’t try John Bender’s spit-release-and-catch? Myself, I was somewhere between Allison Reynolds and Ferris Bueller (with a little Bender thrown in) but Hughes’ movies helped me realize that I was, all at once –  a brain, an athlete, a basket-case, a princess and a criminal.  As well as a ring-leader, a willing follower, a trouble-maker, a peace-keeper, a cynic and a romantic. Danke schoen, John.

CORRECTION Obit John Hughes

So, in ending this piece, I’d like to say: Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we’d like to play a little tune for you. It’s one of my personal favorites and I’d like to dedicate it to a young man who (probably) doesn’t think he’s seen anything good today – John Hughes, this one’s for you.

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Jon Minus Kate = ???????? May 20, 2009 5 Comments

My womb could house some refugees, if anyone's interested...

"My womb could house some refugees, if anyone's interested..."

(That’s eight question marks for those that don’t wanna think about it)

What’s with these reality shows about people who have a million kids? Are viewers interested in the spectacle of watching a large family cope? Or is it that we, as a society, are so sadistic that we enjoy seeing people lose their damn minds because they have too many kids? Most likely, it’s because we collectively miss something from our pop-culture past that isn’t around anymore – The Freak Show.

Since it’s not the done thing these days to point and laugh and stare in public at bearded ladies or enormously fat people or midgets for our amusement, shows like Jon and Kate Plus 8, Table For Twelve and the all-dancing, all-chaotic, all-Octomom ‘Nadya Suleman Review’ that goes on in the media have taken the place of the Olde Tyme Freak Show. It’s so that we can sit back and laugh and judge in the privacy of our very own home. And nobody will judge us for judging.


The Companion Piece or Why I Don’t Like the Kissing Doctor Trend April 12, 2009 5 Comments

Since writing the article about the impending Tennant/Smith change over, I’ve gotten some emails from people about this subject. Thanks, by the way. I always enjoy constructive comments, even if you happen to be utterly wrong and disagree with me. (I jest. For the record, I’ll approve all comments that aren’t hateful and miserable.) It’s not because I don’t like change, that I’m a ‘Who’ traditionalist or a prude. It’s down to a couple very simple facts. Well, they’re facts in my world, to others they may only be opinions.

A myriad of mostly female Companions.

A myriad of mostly female Companions.

When I was a little girl, there wasn’t a lot of female characters on shows that weren’t there primarily for eye-candy purposes and to be the hero’s make-out partner. Naturally, I didn’t consciously know this at the time but there’s a reason I loved Sarah-Jane Smith so dearly growing up. She was spunky, brave, compassionate, funny, clever, resourceful and….much further down the line in importance….attractive. I always felt that The Doctor picked his Companions based on the junk your parents insisted mattered most – your inner self, not what you look like. He did this because he’s better than us, more evolved and much much smarter. Like, if The Doctor had a choice between Kate Moss and Dawn French; there’d be no contest – he’d pick Dawn. Not to say that Ms. Moss is devoid of smarts or that Ms. French isn’t pretty but I imagine that Dawn would be handier in a crisis on Planet Scary and then she’d make a funny joke which would crack him up after said crisis was averted. I liked Rose and Martha, both of them were mostly positive characters but the ‘I wanna get in The Doctor’s pants and have his intergalactic time-babies’ shtick that permeated through their story-lines got, well, kind of boring. It introduced a ’silly, fawning girlie’ side to them that was pointless. Then, Donnas’ too-often insistence that she and he were not a couple; no way, no how, was too much in the opposite direction. Why make sex a big issue at all in this programme? One of the major factors of the show which I’ve enjoyed all my TV loving life was that it wasn’t like every other show on TV, it was engaging and imaginative enough to forgo that easy route. Don’t give in now, Writer-People! (more…)

Why David Tennant Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ Kind Of Sucks April 9, 2009 9 Comments

Billy, Paddy, Johnny, Tommy, Petey, C-Dog, Sly, Paulie, Chrisy and Davey.

Clockwise from top left: Billy, Paddy, Jonny, Tommy, Petey, C-Dog, Sly, Paulie, Chrisy and Davey.

(And why Matt Smith deserves a decent chance)

As Easter approaches, so does the beginning of the end for one of the most beloved actors to play The Doctor – David Tennant. The girls love him and the blokes feel that he could be their mate. He dresses like a dandy yet exudes a shambolic ‘Gen-X’ vibe. He’s an incredibly gifted actor and his comedic and dramatic work on Doctor Who, film, other TV and the stage, is pretty damn exceptional.  He gives lots of time to charities and seems to have his head firmly on his shoulders. He attracts most demographics. He’s been an amazing Doctor. He’s probably a dead-on person, the sort that would buy you a pint if you were short on cash. But those aren’t the reasons why it kind of sucks that David Tennant is abdicating from ‘Who’. It’s a good time for the torch to be passed to another; that’s the enduring, fascinating element of the character. It’s a tough old life, being Gallifrey’s Prodigal Rebel Child, and the nature of the beast is all about change. You can’t fight nature.

(The mantle must be passed but it doesn’t mean that Blast-From-The-Past-Doctors can’t return. NOTE – I made a donation to the CIN charity for using this clip. Cos I’m a nice, moral girl (stop snickering, People That Know Me) and it’s a good cause. Karma, baby.)

Why it kind of sucks is because Tennant was really the first actor that made public what every ‘Who’ fan already suspected but couldn’t get confirmation on- that being The Doctor is a bloody brilliant gig. If you can’t be an actual Timelord, then playing him is the next best thing. He treated the role like a treasured heirloom that had been passed down to him and declared happily, “it’s the best job in the world”, “a dream come true” and “I have my own TARDIS!”  He spoke about running amok in a long, multi-colour scarf and standing in line for Tom Baker’s autograph as a boy. Tennant was one of us, a true ‘Whovian’, and he flew his geek-flag proudly. Not for him was the exasperated head-shake, eye-roll and subtle (or not, in some cases) put-downs that some of the other actors partook in when asked about their time as The Doctor. Funnily, his example has led some of those very same actors to do a complete 180 and now wax lyrical about how enjoyable their turn was; Tennant made it okay to be proud of it. Either that or they have mortgage payments coming up and need some ‘cameo-cash’. He described obsessive fans as ‘exuberant’ instead of ’sad’, ‘annoying’ or ‘pathetic’- personally, I love the show, obviously but I don’t always like the more ‘exuberant’ fans. For some, ’scary’ and ‘needs to get a life’ doesn’t begin to do them justice. Apparently, he’s a good sport for posing for pictures with people that ask politely at appropriate times and he routinely and profusely thanks his many admirers for being so generous towards him. Eccleston revived the part and saved it from the barrel marked ‘Jokey Pop Culture References’ with his Proper Actor status and gave it gravitas. Tennant then took that a step further and made being a fan-boy (or girl!) enjoyable. Basically, it was cute to hear him talk about writing essays in school about how he wanted to be The Doctor and all that lark. He’s had to tell stories like that so much that I kind of cringe for Tennant when an interviewer asks him to tell these anecdotes yet again. Fair play though, he always reacts like it’s the first time. Like I said; he’s a good actor.

Is it any wonder he is the only Doctor, since the hey-day of the 70’s, to topple Sir Tom of Baker in the ‘Favourite Doctor’ polls? (more…)

A Tribute To Andy Hallett April 6, 2009 5 Comments

Andy Hallett (1975-2009)

Andy Hallett (1975-2009)

Most people don’t know who Andy Hallett is and even if you did know, you probably wouldn’t have recognized him in person. He played the demon “Lorne” on Angel. To some of us here at 21Pimlico he was a colleague and acquaintance, to some he was a friend, to millions of Angel fans like me he was an integral part of the show. The point is, at 33, he was way too vital to die. But he went and died on us anyway.   This is bad news.

It’s bad news because this was a person who was so utterly charming, talented and lovely that a role was dreamed up for him on a major network show by its creator. To have that kind of personality in a town that’s already brimming with personalities is really saying something. That is special. And so was Andy.