Be Excellent to Each Other: Things We Learned from Stumbling into the Sea Last Christmas

Spurred on by the early morning chill, we walked steadily over the sands towards the pier as a whirl of chatter buzzed around us in English, Polish and Arabic. With one of our number waylaid with a stiff limp, we let the crowds of Santas, elves and penguins shuffle passed in a snaking procession that stretched all the way from Bournemouth to Boscombe.  This was our first Christmas Day in Dorset, and we were feeling decidedly under-dressed. Sleepy looking teens swigged from what must have been extremely cold cans of lager, whilst the slightly more dignified older set sipped from hip flasks and steaming cups of cocoa sold by an opportunistic – but charity minded – road-side-vendor. Families in various states of undress, spilled out of the beach huts lining the route, playfully jostling for a few more minutes’ shelter as they waited for the off. … [Read more...]

Morrissey, ‘List of the Lost’: That Joke Isn’t Funny?

Penguin Books have so much to answer for… We are absolutely horrified by Morrissey’s new novel, ‘List of the Lost’. All the reviews are true – read this excellent rinse by Michael Hann in the Guardian – he is spot on. The book may only be 118 pages, but reading it feels like a horrible, long, draining penance. So, why on earth did he write it? Really, there are only two options. One; this is just another way to trot out his standard Morrissey themes – this means, on some level at least, he must see the text as non-abysmal. Two; it is just a great big joke – an ‘art piece’ – Dismaland the novel. So, what is the likelihood Morrissey is laughing? … [Read more...]

Historical News: Cooking with Fascists

After seeing Nick Griffin branching out into Fanny Craddock territory… we couldn’t help be struck by what a great job he did. All the bases were covered for his demographic: homely practical advice, good old fashioned platitudes and casual racism. All budgets were accounted for… although his kitchen may have been a tad opulent (Perhaps there will be a Bedsit Baking or Squat Soufflé coming soon though?). However, we were intrigued, and we did wonder if anything similar had been done in the past. Our subsequent searches returned some pretty interesting findings: … [Read more...]

Art: From New York to Moscow – Theft, Forgery & Death

Tom Goode, Managing Director of global art empire, Vitruvius, sits comfortably in the upstairs room of private members club, High Road House. His latest exhibition, 'Silence: An Exploration in Noise', produced by the unknown artists who make up the Vitruvius brand has just opened at the Tate Modern. The show is already sold out, following press attention which has bordered on the vitriolic. "I'm going to let you in on one of the worst kept secrets in the art world," says Tom, leaning forward conspiratorially. "Last year a forger died in Moscow. Young fellow, liked the drink a bit too much, didn't do anything of note with his life. Who cares right?" Without waiting for a reply, he continues, "Well his mum cares and right now she's in advanced talks for the rights to his diary. If she gets her way, soon a lot more people are going to care..." … [Read more...]

Bees: Partners, Pirates & Rebels in the 21st Century

Channel No 5, fried eggs, ashtrays, Febreze... the smell of unwashed bodies was quite overpowering as the stomping throng of 500 travellers jostled for space in the overheated waiting area. But high overhead, nestled in the white industrial beams of the lofty ceiling, the newly formed 63B Squadron hovered expectantly, absorbing the stench with relish.  At 9.00am, exactly as the security gates opened, the crowd began to move towards the screening areas and a lone pilot started her spiralling descent. … [Read more...]

Cheese: Meet The Queso Banditos of Rose Park, Utah

As you enter the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City, Utah, a majestic stone sign invites you into streets lined with mature conifers, oaks, aspen and maple trees. The houses that skirt these walkways are mostly one-story, made of brick and built in the 1940s and 50s. Each has a snaking path up to the front door and its own piece of land at the back. Yet behind its peaceful exterior, Rose Park is awash with contradictions. The high crime rates bandied about by the wider press are belied by low crime figures driven by community organised mobile neighbourhood watch patrols and response teams. Residents' talk of “friendly neighbours” sit slightly at odds with unemployment figures of almost double the National Average. Yet the chief of these contradictions appears to centre on the last thing anyone would expect: cheese. … [Read more...]