Saturday, 8 September 2012


The Proms've nearly been and gone, just one more evening of Yahooing and sanitised NationalFrontery and it'll be over for another year. Maybe they'll have a crowd of crippled, angry nutterbikers, limbless swimmers and sightless archers - or paralympian heroes as we now obediently call these freaks - all  competitivelyheadbutting each other to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory, dropkicking each other in the face with those evil looking blades they wear where their feet used to be.

 Douglas Bader,WW2 Spitfire pilot,  he had the right idea of cripplehood, discreet tin legs under his uniform trousers and a pair of nice brogues over his tin feet, and, Reaching for the Sky,  at least he did something useful, like sending filthybastard Nazi,  Herman the German, flaming to his death in the fields of Kent or the English Channel, I don't know what this lot are good for, other than having a very sinister impact on the approach we take, as a Coalition people, to the real facts of disability.

But it's all been bollocks, hasn't it, enough to make you writhe in embarrassment,  the Arena rules, the sponsors, the security,  the "volunteering" scam,  the indecent vanity and pumped-up pride of runners and jumpers and swimmers and fucking horsewimmen; winning the only thing that mattered, revolting Jingoism the endless commentary;  a shabby grandstanding by politicians of every stripe as the BBC, bread'n'circusing, ignored, elsewhere, the demolition of an even partially humane society.  And, pray,what place do millionaire professional  sportsmen like Federer and the mutant, Murray, have in these games? Where is the fairness, the Olympianism,  when individuals who can deploy the resources of their own global corporations pit themselves, snarling and sobbing, against amateurs.  This oaf, Murray, he has no shame at all, neither for his aberrant relationship with his loonymomma or for his psychopathic inversion of the idea of sportsmanship. Sickos, that Murray bunch.

 And now it falls to an increasingly grimy and atrocious - one broadcasting atrocity after another - Channel Four to cover these revolting freak show games.  I thought BlindBoy Blunkett had given Disability's Otherness an all-time irredeemably bad name, but it seems that there's hundreds like him, thousands of them, pushy and oikish;  like the current urge of some gay men to be straight - via laughably bogus and grossly impertinent matrimonials - these woundmaddened souls, bred, now,  on the celebretisation of the infinitesimal, demand  that we invert our own hard-won reality into some malignant absurdity; fuming inside withered and damaged bodies  they screech, Look at Me, I'm normal really, if you squint at me, like I was one of those vanity number plates  that just about make a word, as long as the viewer squints or looks sideways or has been told what the word is meant to be by the deranged vehicular cryptographer.  Look at me, I might not have any arms or legs, but it doesn't matter, no, really it doesn't;  I can swim or contort my limbless way through the swimming pool as well and better than  that other bloke with no limbs, that's how normal I am. And even if you festooned this person from head to crotch with gold medals, he's still gonna be the very last bloke in the nightclub to score;  sat there in his chin-operated wheelchair; a Yorkshire Terrier's got more chance of pulling a woman than this poor bastard, much more.  Maybe he'll strike lucky with one of those crazies, you know, the ones who have a fiancee on Death Row in the States  or doing forty years in HMP Wakefield.  Fuck 'em, anyway, they'll soon have to find some other excuse to get their angry gobs on the telly. But no matter, they have served the Coalition well, disabled people? will be the national refrain, look, they're better off than us, they should be giving us benefits.  Well done, fuck heads.

 I blame that arsehole, Simon Weston, incidental hero-faux of the Falklands - I still don't know what it was he did which was so heroic, apart from surviving, in which enterprise we are all genetically heroic. But despite being - what was it? - terribly burned and unable to stay off the telly thereafter, the gobby fuck didn't, after all, get to be one of CallHimDave's elected - in a manner of speaking - police czars.

 We are spared, thus, an ever more public continuance of the saga of plucky Simon's wondrous bravery, although I suspect that he is too far gone in self-delusion, unable or unwilling, like so many of them, to live a life unrefracted through a TeeVee screen and that his bleating, vainglorious Welsh whine will haunt us all his days. Why doesn't he go and harangue Whisky Maggie, the true author of his malformed celebrity, let him pollute her fractious doteage, the skeins of her wickedness unravelling, before she is marched off by Sergeant Death, handbagging her way to Hell. Weston is her creature, not, try as he may, ours. The burns hospital units, Simon, are filled with people horribly burned in the line of ordinary duty and   they don't all claim celebrity heroism, it's not as though they were burned leading a charge against the enemy.  But then nor were you. How did we manage to conflate heroism with just being somewhere that shit happened?  This man debases heroism, someone should tell him he's not, actually, going to get a state funeral.

It can't just be me, who looks at wheelchairbound tennis players and thinks, Oh, do fuck off. Still, if these people are determined to be Cruelty TeeVee's latest freakshow that's their affair. And when these surreal games are over there's always the Jeremy Kyle Show, he humiliates people wholesale.

But we're here for the Art, innit. The Proms opened with Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, plodding its way through Mr Beethoven's symphonies, as though, in the Ninth, at any rate, the players were all dipped in glue, reeling and stumbling, each at a different tempo, in a different key,  the whole finally  falling apart, albeit to tumultuous applause from undiscriminating promsters, too pissed or too up their own arses to realise that this was actually playgroup music, children having a go;  not too bad for promising amateurs on work experience, but shit, really. And if you don't believe me just YouTube it. And there was a welter of non-Prom documentary, too, Danny and his wunderkind bringing Beethoven to the dog-eating, burglar-executing, human organ trafficking, monstrous cruel Chinks and Koreans - as though they give a fuck about anyone else - and interviews, of course, with the smirking, gilded young musos, themselves.

The ensemble, led by Barenboim junior, bless - these showbiz parents, whaddatheylike? - and Maestroed by Daddy, exists - listen to this, - to, Through music, bring peace and understanding to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, a kind of a SingalongwithLudwig approach to Uncle Sam's foreign policy in the Middle East. Maybe Obama the HeyDude President  sitting there in the Oval Office, listening to Danny's kid orchestra and saying to hisself, My fellow motherfuckers, maybe we shouldn't be giving Hymie trillions of dollars to nuke his neighbours, maybe he should learn to get along a bit better, after all, wasnt the Ayrabs roasted all them old European Jews, now, was it?  And gosh. doesn't this kiddytripe music just make you wanna ree-verse everything y'all ever was told to believe in?   Vote for Me, I'll set ya free, me an' my drones.

And look, saysDanny, artistically,  these things take time, Rome wasn't built in a day, and if the children of Ramallah get run over by Hebie bulldozers or roasted by Jehovah's mighty phosphorous bombs, isn't it better that they die to the strains of some of the finest music ever written, as performed under my direction. Danny lisps, in the way of people too clever to be bothered to speak English properly that, like Shakespeare, Beethoven belongs to the world and not just to the Hermans, nobody owns Beethoven. Unless of course, it is Danny himself.

 It is the sort of lofty purpose to which wealthy entertainers often address themselves, poor ones just wanna get drunk and fucked; the rich, though, like the preposterous Mr Sting and Mr O'Bono, need to flaunt their personal blueprints for Nirvana on Earth. Let me be a YewEnn Ambassador for something worthy, simpers some TinselTown harpy; I'll do it for nothing, well, just expenses. Let me Entertain you, I am, in truth, a rockanroll, Hollywood, Albert Hall kinda Messiah.

 It was dopey, lazy, Beatley George Harrison who started all this shit with his Concert, with Ravi Shankar - father of the unfairly talented, Ms Norah Jones - for the starving people of Bangla Desh, way back in 1971.



 All the famous junkies in the world were there, on stage at Madison Square Garden and in the audience. Then, as now, the filthy rich showed no inclination to reconcile the columns of Contemptible Excess and Avoidable Starvation, just one of those little imbalances in Life's profit and loss account. But Hey, everybody was really cool and got beautifully stoned listening to the music and thinking, now and again, about George and the Fabsters and would they ever reunite and about Eric and his heroin addiction and about Bob, would he make another record and even thinking a little bit about the starving children. Only not too much, man, didnwanna let it get in the way of the music, man. It was far out. Me, I bought the triple album when it came out and got stoned at home, next best thing. 

And Barenboim maintains that having young JewsanAyrabs jointly fucking-up Beethoven's symphonies will, you know, chill everybody out, make Hymie beat his Apache  helicopter gunships into ploughshares.  Good to see, then, that in the past few days an Israeli judge has ruled that if harmless young female peace activists get in the way of  Jehovah's bulldozers bulldozing wog houses then they shouldn't complain if the Israeli Defence Forces just kinda roll over them and grind their shiska asses to pulp, this is, after all, the Promised land, a land of ethnic cleansing and accidental summary execution.  Maybe if Danny's orchestra just played the Pastoral symphony a bit louder - or even in time - everybody'd love everybody else.


 And there wouldn't have been any need for that young Palestinian, above, second-fiddling to Maestro Barenboim, to have burnt himself to death in protest at his oppression.


  Still, fuck all those Palestinian kids, eh, for, as Colonel von Fawkes maintains,


 over at the PizzaHouseOfBlood, they're all turrists anyway and deserve shooting,before they come storming over here, taking our jobs, not that we have any, just volunteering opportunities.


Mr Alan Yentob is one of those scruffbeardy  parasites of my generation.  The BBC, that is to say us, we pay him huge amounts of our money to play groupie to showbiz folks. A hideous,  balding lovechild of Sir Michael Parkinson and  Lord Belbin Bagg, - Good bording, dis is Belbin Bagg on Start de Week, wid lots ob famous beebul - Yentob travels the world, first class, making films - films, mind, not programmes - about his favourite pop singers



Paul Simon recently issued a twenty-five year commemoration marketing opportunity of his GracelandsGracelands, Memphis Tennesse tunes - Boy in the Bubble, You Can Call Me Al, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, Taa-na, na-na-na, Taa-na, na-na, naa- ah, that stuff;  absurdist NewYorkCity doggerel framed within a chiming, jangly Townships beat. Along with  a re-mixed, re-mastered, re-released CD  there was packaged one of those rockumentary films, made by Simon's own company, featuring Simon, some of the many braindead glitterati who adore him, because his canon is the meaningful soundtrack to their own meaningful shithead lives, or some such arseholery;  people, anyway like Oprah Winfrey, who declared that Gracelands is simply the best music of, well, ever - and whose daughter, coincidentally, was a member of the production team, one of those favours that the stars do for each other;  Paul McCartney, who has an estate in New England neighbouring Simon's, popped-up a coupla times, fabbing it up in that dire, toothachey way of his - I'm just a jobbing musician, me, fronting me own tribute band,  No, really, I'm a big Beatles fan, they were a great little group. Why doesn't he just fucking shut up and play I Wanna Hold Your Hand, that's what people want.  But no, sincere Paulyisms on every subject under the Sun, like he was God, which, I suppose, to many poor fucked-up baby boomers, he is.

Nearly all of the musicians from the original Gravelands, I mean Gracelands sessions were in this film - they had only actually contributed backing tracks and original melodies, Simon writing the songs proper back in New York, much later, with decent white folk at the desk. And there was, before a tiny, live audience, probably Sony South African employees,  a desultory run through some of the songs.  There was much of Simon hugging his former bandmates and of everybody insisting that they were all brothers under the skin, brothers in music. No business like showbusiness.

But the main thread of the film was a sporadic sofa-bound dialogue between Tiny Paul and  a hulking great  Dali Tambo,  son of ANC President Oliver.  


One of those Oxbridge Africans, Dali was at the time of the preparatory Gracelands  recordings in Africa, angry, very angry,  at Simon for breaching   a UN Cultural Sanction against outsiders performing in de Clerk's South Africa. Along with his Artistes Against Apartheid mates,  Dali was pissed that the wee fella had just gone into Africa and started his jam sessions without first clearing it with his Dad's ANC goons. I suppose being a son of black African elite, is much the same as being a most honourable  son of a duke in this country, you can dabble in causes without having to worry about making a living.  Dali Tambo would be a cunt whatever his colour. And when the  GracelandsGracelands album was a global success and Simon toured it with Ladysmith Black Mambaso and the Townships jammers, well, Dali was hurt,  put him right off his mealie beer, it did, down there at the kraal, watching the wimmenfolk do  all the work.

The film was, therefore, clips of a pretend reunion concert - you would have thought something so right would've merited at least a football stadium and not the tiny cinema it was held in;  interviews with Paul Simon fans,  and a constant return to the historical dialogue, in which wee Paul and big Dali were the elegant antagonists, sitting elegantly on their elegant sofa.  

The whole thing being a Simon production the inevitable result was a big hug on that sofa, Dali, speaking for modern South Africa,  avowed that they never really meant Simon any harm, he was just caught up in all that political shit, as they all were,and now that Simon had made billions and Dali's dad had been made Mr President,  he Daliwas happy to call him, Simon, brother, everything was so much better now. For the rich, at any rate.  Simon hugged Tambo junior right back and whispered in his ear,  thanks for giving me backdated validation, we'll edit this up, showing me in a truly modest, bening light,  that's what the whole film has been about,   and your cheque'll be in the post.

The only trouble with all this is, well, it's two things.  The first thing is that in the week that the BBC broadcast this piece of puff a couple of hundred striking South African miners were charged with the murder  of thirty-seven of their comrades who were - just a detail - shot by the police;  just like in the good, old pre- GracelandsGracelands days.

I don't know what the world's greatest party animal would have made of all this,  there hasn't been a word from him.


I guess if you took any old thirty-year jailbird, whose young wife had spent his sentence gangbanging with childkillers  they'd all want to party their lives away with filth like Naomi Campbell and the Clintons and Mr O Bono and whichever trash are in this snap.  And so the exploitation and shooting of a few more kaffirs, and the attempt made, by the ANC, to frame them up, well, children, this is the price we pay for democracy.  And I must say, I am disappointed not to have heard from President Obama, I could have given him an election party he would have enjoyed, me and all my showbiz brothers and sisters. Silly old cunt.

And so, despite all the liberation hyperbole, the ANC, righteous and indignant of yore, is now either in the hands of GlobaCorp mining or sitting on its board. And Artistes Against Apartheid be damned. Meet the new boss.  I don't suppose black shit in your face tastes any different to white shit. So who was stooging whom in the Tambo-Simon love-in dialogue? Bit of both, maybe, each got what they wanted, although the mineworkers, beaten, bruised and killed by the ANC might argue that they don't want no part of this crazy love.

But the second irritation prompted by  this broadcast is that if, like me, you, months ago,  bought the GFRACELANDSGRACELANDS CDplusDVD down at Tesco's, you know upfront that this is a piece of SimonCorp propaganda.  Yentob, however, fronted this piece of tripe as an independent reappraisal of the UN Cultural  boycott embroglio.  He introduced "this film by So-and-so" not as something which came free with Paul Simon's latest record but as an objective reassessment;  I can't be too sure but I think he - and I swear I smelt the garlic through the screen -  also described post-apartheid South Africa as a land flowing with milk and honey, although not as cool as Islington, obviously, where he hangs.  Be interesting to know how much, if anything, the BBC paid Paul Simon for this tripe - tripe that you can buy down Tesco.  Rationally one would think that the biggest cost of this exercise was Yentob's limo to the studio. And a pint or two of garlic-flavoured olive oil. But if they'll pay Jonafun Arse eighteen million for his teenage smut, who knows what they'll do. Not as if it was their money.

In the space of  just a few weeks, therefore, the arty-farties at the BBC have heaped spurious validation on Daniel Barenboim's facetious vanity project, the East-meets-West - although I thought Palestine and Israel occupied exactly the same longtitude - Peace Orchestra, even as Israeli jurisprudence and political figures excuse murder and gear up for another illegal war and they have, in pretending to a significant audience that Simon's paean to himself was objective reportage, proven, if proof was needed, that despite some stunning broadcasts in science and nature and arts - although not in politics - when it comes to deploying scepticism at the claims of the great and good the BBC editors and schedulers are either hopelessly naieve or hopelesly corrupt. Maybe they're both;  like govament, they are mainly Oxbridge, after all.


TDG said...

Olympic sentimentality has a worse manifestation: the Special Olympics, where participation is restricted to those with an IQ below 75.

Nehemiah Scrunt said...

Wait, aren't you confusing that with the Parliamentary Olympics?

a young anglo-irish catholic said...

yes, yes, yes