Sunday, 31 July 2011

David Norris: Virtually Ruined?

Senator David Norris's bid for the Irish presidency looks in serious trouble after an internet smear campaign begun by a self-styled Zionist blogger opposed to his "criticism of Israel".
The story has been picked up by the Irish press this weekend:

"The presidential candidate contacted the Sunday Independent as an increasingly virulent internet campaign about his relationship with Ezra Yizhak Nawi [a prominent pro-Palestinian Israeli human rights activist - Fagburn] gathered force, to address the issues surrounding the conviction of his former partner for having sex with an underage Palestinian youth in 1992.
"Mr Norris had, at that stage, been separated from his former partner for more than seven years.
"However, in a revelation that is almost certain to seriously damage his campaign, the senator told the Sunday Independent that when the case broke in 1997 he provided a character reference to the court in the first trial and a second reference to Nawi's lawyers in the subsequent appeal..."

Well, yes and no...
You can read a copy of the leaked letter here.
NB Norris states his belief that Nawi was "lured into a carefully prepared trap", and he finds the circumstances of his arrest "curious and troubling" (Page 6).
Nawi was the victim of false accusations by the Israeli authorities in 2009; he was charged with assaulting a border guard when Nawi was trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes - this led to an international outcry.
The recent scandal was manufactured by a right-wing Irish blogger, Thesystemworks.
The blogger is quite open about his real motives;
"My main problem with Norris in recent times has been his outspoken criticism of Israel."
On a personal page on the site the blogger - real name John Connolly - states; "I have two major loves: free markets and Zionism."
His website contains an entire section on/against Ezra Nawi, a hate figure for the Zionist far right.
Norris is standing as an independent and has recently been the front-runner.
He told the Sunday Independent he still intends to stand.

Update: 'Israeli embassy denies Norris intervention.' Never believe anything until it's officially denied...

Update 2: Tuesday PM Norris quits presidential race.

Brighton Pride: Out Of Their Minds

Just two weeks to go until Brighton Pride weekend.
When Fagburn sees things like this quite dreadful amateurish poster for the "official" gay-for-pay event, I start thinking that there must be some "Springtime For Hitler" thinking behind it all.
Are the organisers deliberately trying to put on a Pride event so awful that no-one will go?
Seems to be working - I understand tickets are still sticking to the shelves.
In an act of what looks like desperation they've now just announced a new headline act, Alexandra Burke from off X Factor.
She's now headlining over the previous headliner, Joe McElderry from off X Factor.
Well woopy-fucking-doo!
Are the organisers unaware that a few years ago Brighton Pride decided to ditch the live stage after a survey showed no-one gave a flying fuck about it and its cavalcade of hopeless hasbeens and never-will-bes?
See you at the alternative Brighton Community Pride party on the beach - we'll make our own entertainment, thank you.

Update: 'Loud music and barbecue ban for beach party follows controvesy surrounding police and council's heavy handed tactics to attempt to stop Beach Picnic during Pride' Gscene.

Update 2: 'Thousands attend beach party...' GScene.

Mail On Sunday: Soup News

Return of a kitchen icon: Campbell’s condensed soup is back on supermarket shelves

Bit of a slow news day all round today - apologies.

Sunday Express: Dick Jokes

"This childish desire to shock has more in common with an adolescent attempting to be rebellious than serious broadcasting and it surfaces time and time again..."
Express Comment.*


*The Today programme featured an item where a doctor said he'd been abused by being called a "bastard". Oh, and you probably don't need reminding but Express publisher Richard Desmond is a pornographer - and his other title The Daily Star is a real filth-free zone, too...

Tom Daley: Daley Grind

Absolutely fascinating interview in The Sunday Times Magazine today with Tom Daley; "the poster boy of our 2012 squad."
It's titled The Daley Show.
"There’s a lot more to Tom Daley than a ready smile and an enviable pair of pecs," writes a breathless Robert Crampton. "Although, obviously, it’s hard not to be impressed by Daley’s physique..."
Steady on, man.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ivan Massow: Why Is This Right-Wing Goon Writing For The New Statesman?

"Gay Britain: What is it like to be a gay man today? The answer may surprise you."

It'll probably surprise you - unless you know this daft online "poll" of posh, rich boring right-wing Tory gay twats on Ivan Massow's website for posh, rich boring right-wing Tory gay twats, Jake, isn't in any conceivable way representative of "Gay Britain".

John Bercow: Thought For The Day

"Somebody once said politicians complaining about the media is like sailors complaining about the sea – it's about as fruitful. I did refer to one paper [the Daily Mail] as being sexist, racist, bigoted – somehow I missed out the adjective homophobic. I was asked if have any regrets about saying that. I do because, and this is an abiding failing of mine," he pauses, like a comedian, timing the punchline, "I was guilty of understatement.
"I've got two categories of opponent – snobs and bigots. I think bigotry can be cured because I once held those views myself. As I'm aware, there's no known cure for snobbery. I feel rather sorry that those people, usually of no very great distinction, who think that because of the school they went to, the house they live in, or the person they married, or the money they've got, that they're better than you...
"I had voted once if not twice for statutory discrimination. In discussion with [former Tory backbencher] Tim Boswell, I came to the view that this is wrong, there's no reason to have this statutory discrimination. That caused me to think about other issues on that spectrum – Section 28, civil partnerships, gay adoption. I became completely convinced of the case for LGBT equality, and I thought my party wasn't frankly very sympathetic."

John Bercow, The Speaker of the House, Conservative (but possibly and technically not anymore), The Guardian.

Morrissey: Keeps On Digging

"The recent killings in Norway were horrific. As usual in such cases, the media give the killer exactly what he wants: worldwide fame. We aren't told the names of the people who were killed - almost as if they are not considered to be important enough, yet the media frenzy to turn the killer into a Jack The Ripper star is .... repulsive. He should be un-named, not photographed, and quietly led away.
"The comment I made onstage at Warsaw could be further explained this way: Millions of beings are routinely murdered every single day in order to fund profits for McDonalds and KFCruelty, but because these murders are protected by laws, we are asked to feel indifferent about the killings, and to not even dare question them.
"If you quite rightly feel horrified at the Norway killings, then it surely naturally follows that you feel horror at the murder of ANY innocent being. You cannot ignore animal suffering simply because animals "are not us."

Official statement.
She's turned into some mad old lady with 300 cats.
Sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy!

Quentin Letts: Old Fruit?

Always hard to figure out if the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts is a sniggering public school homophobe or a closeted old fruit.

Will Young: Jealousy

Here's my neighbour Willybum Young looking increasingly like the bastard love child of Morrissey and Stewart Who?
Record's a bit meh, really, innit?
His new album, Echoes, is produced by the mighty Richard X, so let's hope it's a bit more storming than this.
The Sun's headline?
Bendy Will tries acrobatics
Ho ho ho!

Friday, 29 July 2011

The Daily Mail: Dog Leaping News

Thank fuckery the silly season hasn't started yet - so here's a story about a dog jumping.

Press Complaints Commission: Pointless Person Accepts She Is Quite Pointless

"The Press Complaints Commission has confirmed that its chair, Baroness Buscombe, is to step down following mounting criticism of the press watchdog's handling of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal."

Guardian Online.

The Pink Paper: Pressing Questions Of The Day!!!

Discrimination against gay women in Hong Kong is rising, study says.
How very interesting.
Well done Peter Lloyd - the most hopeless gay journalist in the world.
(Am I alone in thinking this building is slightly phallic?)

Jerusalem Pride: "Almost No Incidents Of Violence"

Jerusalem Post.
Well done to the holy state of Israel - a land without homophobia (or so I keep reading in the gay press).
"Thursday’s pride march will also mark the second anniversary of the shooting attack at Bar-Noar – the community center for gay and lesbian teens in Tel Aviv in 2009 – that left two dead and 15 wounded."

Chris Jefferies: Breaking/Brilliant News!

"Chris Jefferies, the landlord of murdered Joanna Yeates, has won substantial libel damages and a public apology over newspaper reports connecting him with her death."

Sky News.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Apparently it's eight newspapers - some pictured above.
I think this is more shaming than hackgate.
I hope you took the fuckers to the cleaners, Chris.


Why I Love Woman's Hour

The burqa ban in Belgium, Fabergé eggs decline after the Russian Revolution... and coming up next how to make the perfect scone.

Emmerdale: Lesbians

"EMMERDALE bosses are adding to their only gay character - by bringing in a lesbian couple.
"Shameless star Kelli Hollis and Bad Girls actress Alicya Eyo will play on-screen lovers.
"The ITV soap currently has just one gay character, Aaron Livesy, while Coronation Street has five."

The Daily Mirror.
I've just been talking to Brian Sewell - he is frankly appalled by this cultural vulgarity.
On the long-running much-loved rustic soap opera Emmerdale?!
Hebden Bridge more like!
Won't someone please think of the children???

Thursday, 28 July 2011

William Blum: The Anti-Empire Report

Please, please subscribe to this.
One of my heroes - it's like Noam Chomsky with jokes.

Pink News: Racist Friends

Have a look at the comments here.
Are you surprised that Pink News is popular with reactionary right-wing racists?
I'm not - why aren't these comments moderated?
I fucking despair.

Hackgate: Named Shamed

"Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in July 2000, has been told by Scotland Yard that they have found evidence to suggest she was targeted by the News of the World's investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who specialised in hacking voicemail...."

Guardian Online.
So predictable but so awful.
What fucking cunts.

Terry Smith: 1941-2010

My Dad died last year.
It's only hit home how sad I feel - he was a bit of a bastard, but I love him.
I was going up to see him on the day he died.
I'm so sorry Daddy.

Ann Widdecombe: My Favourite Columnist

"How ironic then that when the Beckhams set an example of stable and loving family life some busybody criticises them for polluting the planet with too much breeding."

The Daily Express.
What the fuck are you talking about, you mad old rabbit?

The Guardian: Britain Cuts Last Ties With Gaddafi!

Good to hear it.

Barbie: Newsflash!

So Ken was gay!

Morrissey: Officially Brain Dead

"We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Oslo have shown, but worse things happen in the likes of McDonalds and KFC."

Morrissey, live onstage in Warsaw.
Unbelievable - or not if you've been following this reactionary hypocritically leather-loving morally bankrupt closeted fucktard.

The Daily Mail: Publicity-Seeking Nutters Get Publicity

'No porn or prostitution': Islamic extremists set up Sharia law controlled zones in British cities

Always good to see the Daily Mail speaking out against killjoy Puritans...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Johann Hari Watch

Statement on Council of the Orwell Prize meeting about Johann Hari.


Torchwood: Unpleasant Bumming

“I’m not gay but I’ll let you feel me up if you go and get me a vodka…” Captain Jack purred to an air steward, ­delivering a line that was neither flirtatious nor dangerous but actually unpleasant.

Jim Shelley, one-time chum of Morrissey, The Daily Mirror.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Lemmy: The Movie

What was your most memorable day job?

"When I was a housepainter for this gay guy. Me and my mate were doing this house up for an old-ish gay guy. You can’t believe what his name was: Mr. Brownsword. Can you fuckin’ believe that? That was incredible. Talk about life is art."

Almost certainly the greatest rock bio film ever made.
On BBC iPlayer now!

Fagburn: Back In Black

Hello. I'm back.
Sorry, there was a fuck up THAT WAS ALL ELVINA'S FAULT!
And so sorry to Mum.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Tom Daley Watch

She's in her knickers in The Observer today.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Amy Winehouse: 1983-2011

I would hereby like to declare today the most depressing day ever.
Godstar, baby - Godstar.
Looks like the fuckers won.
Fuck 'em.


No one will bomb us to silence.
No one will shoot us to silence.
No one will ever scare us away from being Norway.
You will not destroy us.
You will not destroy our democracy or our ideals for a better world.


Friday, 22 July 2011

Johann Hari: Epic Fail

The August issue of Attitude has just come out.
Its star columnist, Johann Hari - who's normally bigged-up on the cover - is noticable by his absence.
Editor Matthew Todd had been - quite nobley, I think - defending Hari on Twitter.
But it's come out that Todd is one of the many journalists that Hari has nicked quotes from, so I'm not sure where they stand now (I have asked).
Others have turned on Hari.
Posters like the one above have supposedly been put up in the newsroom of The Independent - the paper has now suspended him for two months.
Some of the most serious allegations have come from former colleagues at the New Statesman, where he worked prior to joining The Indy.
Further, there are rumours that the reason why Hari was dropped both as a GQ contributor and as editor of Cambridge University's Varsity magazine was his journalistic flights of fancy.
Self-styled right-wing libertarian blogger Guido Fawkes has really been fanning the flames on this story - and some have argued that this is at heart a right-wing smear campaign.
This is clearly nonsense* - not least of which because Hari is hardly "left-wing".
Not only have most of the most damaging revelations come from New Statesman contributors, but arguably the most sustained and long-running critique of Hari's journalism has come from the - excellent - left-wing website, Media Lens.
Here is Noam Chomsky on Hari's "lies", "total ignorance" and "subservience... to power".
Presciently, writing to Media Lens in 2003, Chomsky concludes by recommending that Johann Hari should "try the experiment of literacy instead of repeating gossip he's heard somewhere."
Many have remarked how ironic/fitting it is that this scandal has been unravelling in the shadow of Hackgate.
Like the phone hacking story, when it began it seemed to centre on quite minor transgressions - the odd borrowed quote or bit of "creative writing" aren't great crimes in the general scheme of things.
But as with Hackgate, every week seems to bring more damning evidence of serious and serial ethical failure.
About which we knew.
For one example;
Johann Hari invented Iraqis who were supposedly asking for the US/UK to invade [All links to Johann Hari's website/archive have now been deleted - which says much].
Fuck this lying cheerleader of death.
The latest issue of Private Eye contains one of the most serious by far; a 2007 report from the Central African Republic so mendacious it "appalled" the charity that took him out there so much they complained to The Independent's editor.
And yet nothing was done.
Whatever next?

* It is worth noting though how many comments after Guido Fawkes posts show the most repugnant homophobia.

BBC News: Have You Got The Time On Yer, Cock?

From the BBC News Website - sadly this has since been "corrected".

Brighton Alternative Pride: Fuck Tha Police

"A former Brighton Council employee who used Facebook to invite friends to join him on Brighton Beach for a picnic on Saturday, August 13 after the Pride Parade had finished, has been served with a 'Notice to abate a statutory nuisance environmental protection act order' at his home which could result in a fine of £20,000 if not observed.
"Waiyne Jones set up a page on Facebook inviting friends to join him on the beach for a picnic rather than pay an entrance fee for Preston Park where he considered the conditions of entry to the park an infringement of his civil liberties..."

From GScene.
Fagburn on the privatisation of Brighton Pride - and Sussex Police's role in it.
It was the police who pushed for Brighton Pride to be made a ticketed event.
Makes it easier to police, and they charge to attend paid-for events, unlike free ones/protests.
On the free alternative beach party etc; Brighton & Hove Community Pride.
Remember: It's your beach - you don't need permission for anything.

Hackgate: Was It This Gaydar Pic What Started It?

'Bryant's enemies are unlikely to let up, however, though the Murdoch red-tops might be well advised to lay off him for now. Now, more than ever, Bryant is loathed by the right. Only yesterday Richard Littlejohn used his Daily Mail column to write about "the self-appointed moral conscience of the nation, Chris Bryant – last seen posing on the internet in his underpants, soliciting for casual gay sex".
'That refers to Bryant's entirely unforced error of appearing on the gay dating website Gaydar posing only in his underpants, and apparently unflattering ones too. He could be allowed some pride in his physique, being the parliamentary swimming champ, and obviously fit. How he thought he might remain anonymous in such circumstances remains a mystery almost as deep as how News International thought its industrial-scale hacking could remain a secret.
'"I honestly don't know how they got hold of the story – it was the Mail on Sunday that ran it," he told me yesterday. "I remember a woman turning up at the constituency office [in Rhondda] and I thought, 'That's a very posh coat she's wearing' and they doorstepped me. It was horrid and I didn't sleep very well."
'He went on to describe how his phone was hacked. "On 3 December 2003, four attempts were made to blag my PIN number from my mobile phone. I don't know if that was News International. But I was a Mulcaire target for the News of the World." It was after that that Bryant began pursuing the police over the scandal and pressing for a judicial review and inquiry, which he has now achieved...'

From a profile of Chris Bryant in The Independent last Friday (When Fagburn was away - try and keep up).
The Mail On Sunday story appears to have been removed from their website - here's The Sun's charmless take on it - it was Bryant who had a few months before the Gaydar story surfaced who asked Rebecca Brooks the killer question at committee if she'd ever ever paid police.
Chris Bryant has behaved quite heroically over this story.

Torchwood: Uncut?

There's been much kerfuffle this week over this story;
"JOHN Barrowman has clashed with the BBC by defending Torchwood's axed explicit gay sex scene - saying it was NOT gratuitous."
A word of warning though - THIS IS IN THE SUN!!!
They love to sensationalise and - quite literally - sex stories up.
You'd hope just two months after that "Pre-watershed gay TV kiss ban" (that never existed and was never proposed), people might be a bit more sceptical.
It was The Sun what broke it last weekend;
Barrowman bonk with a barman is banned by Beeb
"It has already been shown on US cable channel Starz, which co-funded the drama. But shocked Beeb bosses have cut it from the BBC1 version, fearing an avalanche of complaints from viewers..."
The Sun can only quote "an insider" - which means they may have made it up.
Or hacked someone's mobile phone.
Who can say.
Mr Ian Sider told them;
"It wasn't that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact it was such an explicit sex scene, full stop.
"You can get away with scenes like that on American cable channels, but you can't on primetime BBC1."
A BBC spokesperson has said;
“The UK and US versions of Torchwood are slightly different. However these differences do not change the story in any way and the strong storylines are first and foremost to the series.”
Torchwood is shown after the watershed - the episode in question will be shown on BBC 1 next week.

Update: A certain Russell T Davies has emailed GT:
"Now be calm.
“There is a cut in Ep.3 to simultaneous gay AND straight sex scenes. As if I’d let them cut gay sex alone! Dear God. Have faith! They’re cut because the BBC thinks that, unusually, a young audience watches post-watershed Torchwood, because of Captain Jack. And it’s not as if Editorial Policy thinks sex is shocking in that context; they just think sex scenes cause embarrassment between kids and the adults watching, which encourages people to turn over. They want viewers to stay!
“And Ep.7 goes centre-stage with a proper, dark, beautiful, honest love story between two men, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever had my name on. So there’s been no degaying here! Seriously: as IF I would! Come on!
“Be calm!”
Quoted on Gay Times Online.

Radio Times: Delicious

There are some really good dessert recipes by Rick Stein and an interview with Dolly Parton in the new Radio Times.
^ I've reprinted the cover above to help you find it in your local newsagent.
It costs £1.20 (Other TV listings magazines are available).

Thursday, 21 July 2011

American TV: We Know Where You Live

Where's Springfield?

Via Joe.My.God.

Lucian Freud: 1922-2011

"I'm drawn to women by nature and queers because of their courage."

That's Gay: It's Gone

Fagburn is sorry to hear one of his most favourite tellybox programmes has come to an end - Bryan Safi's That's Gay.
Nothing personal, apparently.
Current has cancelled its host show, Infomania.
Let's hope Bryan finds a new home real soon.
If not - then let it be a history lesson in how to do "gay TV".

Jake Or Dinos Chapman: Bumming Nazis

Anyone been to the new Jake Or Dinos Chapman exhibition at White Cube?
Anything stand out?
Thank you.

Hackgate: The Question Nobody Dares Ask!

What if this whole thing continues to spiral out of control.
Fresh scandal follows fresh scandal after fresh - now fetid - scandal.
All the press, police and politicians are exposed as a tightly-knit criminal cabal, corrupt from top to bottom.
Say this all leads to what now seems inevitable, and Rupert Murdoch's evil empire comes crashing down.
What I want to know is this.
What on earth will happen to Glee?

EastEnders: I Don't Believe I'm 'Earing This!

Ben Mitchell's Gay Storyline Shocks Hardman Dad Phil

"TROUBLED EastEnders teenager Ben Mitchell will become the soap's third gay character — devastating his macho dad Phil.
The lad, played by Joshua Pascoe, will come out and shock his hardnut family months after kissing pal Duncan.
"Dad Phil, played by Steve McFadden, will be distraught at the news later this year.
"He has always been disappointed with Ben — who used to be played by Charlie Jones — for his lack of masculinity after he developed a love of music and dancing.
"Ben will be Albert Square's third gay character after Syed Masood (Marc Elliot) and Christian Clarke (John Partridge).
"Ironically, his romance will develop after Phil encourages him to toughen up by going boxing with Duncan.
"But the lads end up being more than just sparring partners when they share a kiss..."

The Sun.
So it must be true, innit.

I hope they've cleared this FILTH with Brian Sewell.

Update: Guardian Media quote Bryan Kirkwood, EastEnders' executive producer; "For EastEnders viewers, it was never a question of if, but more like when Ben Mitchell was going to come out as gay. The Mitchells represent the spirit of EastEnders – tough, loyal and uncompromising.
"To see a man like Phil learn to deal with, [SPOILER ALERT!!!] and ultimately accept, his gay son, is a valid story for a drama like EastEnders to embark on."

National Blood Week: If You Want Blood...

"One month on from the first ever National Blood Week (13-19 June), NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) today released new figures* showing that between 13-26 June almost 100,000 people across England and North Wales pledged to give blood, including more than 20,000 first time donors.
"During National Blood Week, NHSBT issued a call for 10,000 people to donate blood after new data showed there had been a 20% drop in young regular donors over the last decade raising concerns for the stability of blood stocks in the future..."

NHS Blood And Transplant news release.
I wonder if any of our readers can think of another way that the NHS could dramatically increase the number of people who donate blood?

The Daily Telegraph: Nutcracker

"Throughout western Europe, despite much official counter-effort, there is a strong and persistent association of ballet with homosexuality. Like many such notions, this one is unexamined and misleading: my proposition is that, although the audience of connoisseurs may contain a high proportion of gay men, the roll-call of male dancers presents another story. Insiders explain it to me like this.
"Being in constant intimate contact with beautifully honed and tensile bodies, stimulated by music and choreography of sensual intensity, and excited by the adrenalin rush of performance, ballet dancers are not surprisingly creatures who spend much of their professional lives on high sexual heat. However great the artistic spirituality involved, what we are talking about here is an animal process of courtship and arousal.
"The result is obvious: to put it bluntly, dancers, male and female, are in such a state of readiness that they will grab at anything in a skirt or trousers, leotard or legwarmers, to relieve their itch. Labelling the male-on-male contacts as homosexual or bisexual is missing the point.
"This has not penetrated the consciousness of the man on the Clapham omnibus, where the popular prejudice in relation to male ballet dancers remains a staple of stand-up comedy and schoolboy sniggers.
"Not so in Russia, where ballet is considered a noble profession and the male dancer is honoured and respected...
"Under the communist regime, homosexuality carried the risk of prison or the gulags and was, therefore, simply not discussed, publicly or privately. Strict censorship also meant that any vulgar jokes about bulging pink tights and mincing gaits never had channels through which to circulate..."

Rupert Christiansen, Why Nobody Is Sniggering At Russia's Men In Tights, The Daily Telegraph.
This is a textbook example of how journalist's so often get away with writing absolute nonsense.
Every single sentence can be followed by the comment; "Bollocks!"
Mr Christensen seems to be suggesting that ballet dancers are practically rutting onstage.
While this may be true - and I'll have to take his word for it - it doesn't explain why so many male dancers from Nijinsky to Nureyev are gay offstage, when they're not "on high sexual heat."
And the assertion that there were no anti-gay jokes under the Soviet regime is, well, laughable.

Ketamine: Horse Shit

Ketamine appers to be the media's drug du jour again.
The Daily Mail notes;
'Fears over 50% rise in use of deadly horse tranquiliser drug'
And if you've ever had to tranquilise a deadly horse you'll know how powerful this stuff must be.
There was a daft apropos of sod-all "report" on K on BBC News all yesterday.
An "undercover" reporter tried to buy some for import in India.
We met an ex-user who's had to have his bladder removed - cause that happens so often, doesn't it?
You can see the short film and read follow-up reports on the BBC News website and here.
This is even more fucking scary.
"There have also been a small but growing number of deaths linked to ketamine..."
Did you find any you could actually blame on K?
They only mention two, Louise Cattell, who died earlier this year, and Caleb Twomey, who died last year.
But Louise Cattell drowned in the bath, and Caleb Twomey committed suicide - blaming either of these deaths on ketamine is, at best, tenuous.
You wonder who these silly scare stories are aimed at.
Anyone who knows anything about drugs will most likely just laugh at the exaggerations and absurdities.
Anyone who doesn't know anything about drugs will have their blissful ignorance reinforced.
Though I guess some of them might ask why anyone would want to take something that instantly eats your own bladder before making you want to drown yourself in the bath and then go tranquilise a deadly horse.

Coronation Street: "Gay Fish And Chips"

ITV continues to milk mark Coronation Street's golden jubilee with The Corrie Years.
Here's the official spiel;
"New three part series, The Corrie Years, focuses on 50 years of storylines which have been national talking points throughout its history. It touches on the plots and characters that have made headlines and courted controversy, broken new ground in television drama, challenged taboos and reflected the seismic changes in society which have occurred since the very beginning of the soap in 1960."
Got that?
How ironic then that this is being broadcast in the eye of a media-invented shitstorm about whether "Corrie is now far too gay".
But does anyone actually care?
Tabloids have been dredging up old Street stars presumably hoping they'd be outraged.
Johnny Briggs/Mike Baldwin was quoted as saying;
“I haven’t watched it recently so I don’t know about the new gay characters, but my philosophy is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."
The Sun managed to dig up Ken Morley/Reg Holdsworth who they quote as saying;
"The Street has gone too far with gay problems, gay shoes, gay fish and chips. They need to get back to square one and deal with people's everyday problems in a humorous way."
Though as this quote is in The Sun it may well be completely made up.
Ken's recipe for saving the Street?
Go on and guess.
"They need characters like Reg again. A Holdsworth in the Rovers Return would get people tuning in.
"There is nothing he couldn't do - a character like that could save Corrie single-handedly by ranting about real issues in the Rovers."
Way back in May Jean Alexander/Hilda Ogden said:
"Every community has people who are gay and they are very nice people.
"I'm not running the Street down - and let's not forget its creator Tony Warren is gay - but three couples seems excessive."
But again, this was a quote in a now defunct newspaper called the News Of The World, so I doubt she actually "said" it.
Fagburn has been away for the last week - which means I also missed;
'Coronation Street uproar among cast and fans as ratings slump' - Daily Mirror.
Though apparently viewers are leaving "in droves", not because the plotlines are too racy, but because they're just too dreary.
Even so, producer Phil Collinson still had to defend the gay stuff.
Appearing on ITV's This Morning he matter-of-factly said; “There is no gay agenda. We’re just telling stories about love. Audiences want that.”
The Mirror asked its readers and gave us 'Your verdict on why things are wrong on the street'.
In fine; the stories are boring/unbelievable and it's on so many nights a week now quality has clearly been sacrificed for quantity.
But what about all Teh Gays?!!
George Horncastle wrote; "I am gay, but there are too many gay characters in such a small street, and I believe it comes across more as a crusade."
How fascinating!
Collinson vowed to cut crime storylines - and admitted doing 250 shows a year may be stetching things, just a tad.
In a shameless piece of mountain out of molehill-making, the Mail - who began this fantasy that "Corrie is too gay" - managed to spin this out into;
"Collinson, who is openly gay, also defended himself following accusations that there has been an influx of homosexual activity on the show.
"In April, it was reported that current and ex-members of the cast were concerned by the number of gay plotlines introduced.
"And earlier this month, poor ratings were blamed on the increase of same-sex couples.
"But Collinson, 40, told OK!: 'I haven't introduced any gay characters.'"

Stonewall: University Fees

Stonewall published their Gay By Degree: University Guide to much fanfare this week.
They've come up with a handy checklist whereby Stonewall can assess a university's "gay-friendliness".
And they've even announced the four most "gay-friendly" universities in the UK; Imperial College, University College London, Wolverhampton and Portsmouth.
Well done.
The Guardian notes;
"The guide assesses 160 universities according to whether they have a policy that protects LGBT students from bullying, whether they have compulsory staff training on LGBT issues and a student LGBT society, whether they offer information on LGBT issues, specialised events, explicit welfare provision, consultation and career advice for LGBT students, whether they have an LGBT staff network, and whether they are members of Stonewall's diversity champion's programme, a network of organisations that work together, and with Stonewall, to ensure a working environment where everyone can be themselves."
The Guardian forgets to mention the main criterion for joining Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme - giving Stonewall £2,000 a year.
Or to put this as a figure students may more readily understand; all the above universities have given Stonewall a bung that's roughly the equivalent of one term's tuition fees.
All else is irrelevant.
Which is how - quite inexplicably - the LGBT-deporting homo-hating Home Office could be named Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index Employer Of The Year 2011.

Film Studies: Semiology For Beginners

Fagburn doesn't go to the cinema - they tend to be full of people eating and talking and breathing.
So I guess I won't see Beginners til I can nick it off the internet watch it on DVD.
It does look kind of interesting - and it's "based on a true story" of director Mike Mills' 70something dad coming out.
If gay men having babies has become the most tedious trope of 2011, a straight man having a gay parent at least strives for originality.
But I digress.
I think the film poster is fascinating enough to be getting on with.
That's Christopher Plummer as the gay dad on the right.
Is the little dog meant to be a gay giveaway?
Any dog that can fit into a basket is pretty screaming in my book.
Or is it Mr Plummer's comfortable shoes?
Isn't that a Sapphic signifier?
I know! It's the 'kerchief jauntily arranged around his neck at a just-so angle.
And it's a red hanky.
I wonder what that signifies...

Update: Mike Mills interviewed on The Film Programme, BBC Radio 4, Friday 22nd - says the first thing he did to try and get Plummer into character was send him to Bloomingdales and buy a scarf... What do I win???

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Rupert Murdoch Hearing: Over-Used Wizard Of Oz Metaphor Ahoy!

Christ, this is like sitting through Double Geography or something!
Thank fuck for the pieman.
Fagburn is still officially "away", by the way - back Thursday...