For all fans of 1960s Cult TV shows Danger Man and The Prisoner, read this piece on Patrick McGoohan...
Just taken delivery of tickets to see John Mayall – the Godfather of British Blues – in Norwich in October. Of course he's ancient now (no disgrace, so am I) however at this distance in time we tend to forget just what a huge impact Mayall had on the UK pop, blues and Mod scenes in the first part of the 1960s.
I still have a copy of his 1964-vintage 45 single with Crawling up a Hill on the A-side and Mr. James (about the Chicago slide guitarist Elmore James) on the flip. Growing up as a teenage schoolboy in Scarborough, I was already aware I was living in a small town and needed to get out. The Mayall song Crawling up a Hill, with its lyrics about heading to London town, for a better scene, and the kind of music that won't bring you down, resonated very strongly in me – even if it actually took me another eight years to get there!
By way of a compare and contrast, here's the original Mayall version and a much later (2003/04) version by Katie Melua (which goes for a more laid-back jazzier approach) from 40 years later.
What fresh Hell is this? As Dorothy Parker once commented... a Sylvia Plath finger puppet, that also doubles as a fridge magnet!!! You can also have Virginia Woolf, Frida Kahlo, Emily Dickinson and, of course, Dorothy Parker.
The manufacturers (the Unemployed Philosophers Guild) offer a range of about 150 other puppets, so you can also put your finger up (metaphorically speaking) Jane Austen, Jesus, Gandhi, Oscar Wilde, Moby Dick, Edgar Allan Poe (and his Raven), and Schrodinger's Cat.
According to a recent Reuters report, ports in China now have enough iron ore stockpiled on their wharves to build 13,000 Eiffel Towers. For readers in England, the total height of 13,000 Eiffel Towers is the equivalent of 81,625 Nelson's Columns. (Our picture is a view from the top of the Trafalgar Square column.)
ThrowBack Thursday: Dystopian Edition - how the 1987 movie The Running Man predicted life would be like in 2017
Here's a short (10 minutes) Russian Soviet-era animated film Polygon from 1977 – yes, 40 years ago – warning of the dangers of military AI and robotics. By Anatoliy Petrov. Советский мультфильм. Автор: Анатолий Петров. Has English subtitles.
This means he is now a 66 year-old pensioner but still at school and wearing short trousers. Clearly a graphic illustration of the failures of the education system and the political establishment in this country!
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