Everyday thoughts, although not every day

Listen, I don't want no trouble

There are 82 posts tagged: "culture"

The King and I
27 June 2022

In anticipation of Baz Luhrmann's biopic of Elvis Presley—creatively entitled Elvis—Kaleem Aftab muses on Presley's cultural appropriation of black music, on behalf of BBC Culture.

Buzz cut
20 June 2022

Disney's drive to mine its past creative heights, in place of anything truly original, continues unbounded. This time, it's the turn of Pixar's Toy Story franchise to give it up for the house of mouse. Lightyear is the origins story behind the toy voiced by Tim Allen. And it's the film that Andy watched, sometime in the early '90s, that made him covet his very own Buzz Lightyear.

Cotton candy correspondents
14 June 2022

It kinda irritates me when news is reported with holes in it, to avoid causing offence to some minority group or another.

A grave matter
5 May 2022

The National Trust, which manages Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, has commissioned a survey to decide whether a grave paying tribute to Dobby, the house elf who died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, should be moved from the beach where his death was filmed.

30 April 2022

Disney continues to strip mine its IP to generate content for, and interest in, its streaming channel, Disney+. Following on from its previous Star Wars offshoots, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, comes Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Batwahmxn: done fookin' scissorin'
30 April 2022

Batwoman, one of the plethora of series set within The CW's Arrowverse, has been cancelled after three seasons. I only ever caught clips of it, usually when it was being roasted for its sheer bloody awfulness.

10 April 2022

We're only a quarter of the way through 2022, but already Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker have compiled a list of the fourteen best books of the year, thus far, on behalf of BBC Culture. Not ten. Not fifteen. And, fortunately, not twenty. Fourteen.

Proof of Ed?
24 March 2022

Matt Kenyon is a journalist and comedy writer for BBC Radio 4. In The jokes that have made people laugh for thousands of years, he reveals that lowbrow humour, perhaps unsurprisingly, has been with humankind from time immemorial. So, Amy my vagina is my humour Schumer isn't quite the innovator that we might've thought her to be.

Old LA
21 March 2022

In his customary overly-critical analysis of pop music lyrics, Todd in the Shadows comments on a line in 1974's Beach Baby, written by John (Carter) and Gillian Shakespeare, and performed by The First Class.

The most obvious Star Trek story ever
17 March 2022

Any best of list or best ever selection is bound to be wreathed in subjectivity. Especially when considering such a long-running TV show as Star Trek and its spawn. I only watched the classic '60s series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but even then there's a lot to choose from. Except Star Trek: The Motion Picture, that is.

Gay, gay, gay
3 March 2022

From s08e10 (1997). Milquetoast Groening probably wouldn't dare nowadays, now that he takes the Disney dollar.

Of gods and dwarves
2 March 2022

So, there's a great deal of bitchin', back-and-forth on social media, over Amazon's reimagining of Lord of the Rings. It's kinda funny, watching grown men and women, but mainly *cough* men, get so animated about the arcane details in stories of elves and dwarves. Hey-ho, if it floats their boats, at least it's harmless.

Sheep to be fleeced
1 March 2022

Disney has launched a new Star Wars experience at Disney World, Florida: the Galactic Starcruiser, a Star Wars–themed luxury hotel. It is luxuriously expensive. But, from the early reviews, it appears that the actual experience is not similarly luxurious.

His Royal Popness
25 February 2022

The BBC has an insanely liberal definition of pop royalty if the answer's George Ezra. (pipe)

17 February 2022

After buying Wordle from its developer, the New York Times sought to reassure fans that the gameplay will remain unchanged.

The NYT denied any changes to gameplay, but it did admit that it was in the process of removing "offensive words" which included whore, slave and wench from both the list of acceptable guesses and the answers.

Half-arsed job
15 February 2022

As Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile is released to cinemas, David Jesudason addresses racism in her work. I cannot pretend that I read the whole article; I only got as far as the incongruity in Branagh's casting compared to setting.

Hey Joe
5 February 2022

The remaining members of CSNY have joined Neil Young in removing their music from Spotify. This is since Spotify has instituted misinformation warnings, and Joe Rogan has undertaken to be more balanced in future.

The peasants are revolting!
2 February 2022

Less than one month after their labour union was ratified, the comrades at Image Comics have filed a claim against the company for unfair labor practices. Grab the pitchforks and man person identity-unassumed the barricades, we're going to war!

Et Cetera
1 February 2022

On the few occasions that Todd in the Shadows reviews the musical mitherings of Chicago, and Peter Cetera's voice in particular, he doesn't use glowing terms. I know how he feels.

Halo, is it me you're looking for?
1 February 2022

A live-action TV series of the Halo game franchise is coming to the Paramount+ streaming service. The trailers are…grandiose and bombastic.

Head in the Clouds
29 January 2022

Another ageing hippy, and musical has-been, is leaving Spotify over Chongvirus misinformation. This time, it's Joni Mitchell.

You'll believe a mong can fly
26 January 2022

In GAY IT FORWARD, Richard Meyer discusses the old boy network for comics' grifters. These are hacks who get into writing comics through identity and representation, rather than more mundane traits; such as any talent for character development and storytelling, for example.

Old man howls at moon
25 January 2022

Ageing rocker, Neil Young, has demanded that Spotify remove his music from its platform, in protest at podcaster Joe Rogan spreading Chongvax misinformation.

Short story
25 January 2022

Peter Dinklage is outraged over Disney's live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Not for the brown-washing of the main titular character, but for the portrayal of the other seven.

A question of ownership
25 January 2022

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are unique, encrypted digital tokens that can be used to certify ownership of an artwork, for example. There can be only one owner of an NFT, and this represents one way in which artists and collectors can move their interaction into the digital space.

Trailer trial
23 January 2022

Two fans of Ana de Armas are suing Universal Pictures. They contend that they were duped into renting the film Yesterday, believing that she would feature in it. But, although she appeared in the trailer, her role was removed from the film's final release.

17 January 2022

It's been a long time coming. But the winds of change are finally set to blow throughout the People's Republic of Shepherds Bush.

I'm sarcastic, therefore I'm brainy
12 January 2022

According to David Robson, writing for BBC Family Tree, a teenager's sarcasm reflects their intellect. Fortunately for me, my sarcastic teen, Emily, doesn't read the BBC online.

Altered images
11 January 2022

In an advertorial for Apple TV+'s The Tragedy of Macbeth, on behalf of BBC Culture, Hanna Flint explores the background behind Why Lady Macbeth is literature's most misunderstood villain. Meanwhile, for their part, the BBC's homepage editor has decided that they don't understand the question.

What's in a Wordl?
5 January 2022

I had never heard of the online game, Wordle, until I read today that it will never become attention grabbing or advert laden, which is reassuring.

Sally Ann Howes: no longer banging
22 December 2021

On the death of Sally Ann Howes, star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, her son, the artist Andrew Hart Adler announced her loss on his Instagram account:

The Matrix Resuscitated
22 December 2021

In his three-star review of The Matrix Resurrections, Nicholas Barber dams the trilogy's fourth instalment with the faintest praise.

'Tis the season to...recycle old fluff pieces
18 December 2021

How could anyone consider Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and not Klaus, in a current shortlist of Chrimbletide animations? (confused)

17 December 2021

I've just backed my second Indiegogo comic campaign. And it's from yet another bête noir of the mainstream comics pros. This time it's Richard Meyer.

16 December 2021

UK theatres are warning that cancellations to pantomime shows, in the wake of Chongvirus Omicron, threaten their finances. No shit, who'd've thunk it? (thinking)

15 December 2021

Disney is to remake Zorro. Again. This time as a TV series. Again. Verily, there's a torrent of creativity gushing forth from the House of Mouse. (rolleyes)

'X' for Latina
13 December 2021

For some inexplicable reason, there's a remake of West Side Story, for anyone who considers the 1961 classic to be somehow inadequate. I wasn't aware that this was something that the world had been clamouring for. Neither were cinema audiences, it seems, who stayed away in droves when it debuted last weekend: Steven Spielberg's effort hasn't performed sensationally at the box office.

Sue-TS, you sir!
11 December 2021

Just to show that you can't keep a good copyright troll down, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler appealed against an earlier ruling that Taylor Swift had not plagiarised their work in the lyrics to Shake It Off, and that ruling has been overturned. The same judge who earlier dismissed the case, on the basis that the contentious phrases were too banal to be copyrightable, now states that there are significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure.

I'm a nonentity...get me some publicity!
25 November 2021

British TV host and journalist, Richard Madeley, fell ill on the set of reality TV programme, I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! It certainly did get him out of there, his hospitalisation meant that he'd broken the set's COVID bubble, and it was therefore a one-way trip.

All of you
24 November 2021

Writing for BBC Worklife, Bryan Lufkin informs us as to Why more people are saying 'y'all'. For those of you who didn't know that they were, apparently they are. So there's something new that you've learned, and we've barely started!

It must be Thanksgiving
22 November 2021

To celebrate Thanksgiving, BBC Food asks me How much do you know about American food? And presents a handy-dandy little quiz, to check whether I'm lying or not.

Butt, officers...
10 November 2021

After Darrell Meekcom mooned a speed camera in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, he was surprised to be arrested, and wrestled to the ground, by no less than six police officers. Meekom suffers from a plethora of disabling diseases, and uses a wheelchair. Most people would think that a single officer, or two since they like to go about in pairs, could've done the job well enough.

Imagine all the staffers
Dictating what you do*
1 November 2021

It's kinda touching, the naïvety in the create-space.

The write man for the job?
16 October 2021

It seems that, besides the purple prose, Tom King is also a douchebag.

5 October 2021

Asked by DC for his take on his new upcoming comic, The Human Target, author Tom King responded:

24 September 2021

Since backing Trent Kaniuga's CreeD RE:Imaginary, I found Billy Tucci and Maria Sanopo's Miss Fury: Joy Division. What are the odds? It's only $30. So, I thought, why not?

Comic timing
13 September 2021

I haven't bought or read a Marvel or DC comic since I was a kid, back in the '70s. I've neither had, nor shown, any real interest in comics for decades. So I don't understand why YouTube's algorithm should keep throwing up channels on the subject. And I don't understand why I click on the thumnails. Hey ho.

Comics for dummies
24 August 2021

Richard Meyer is an independent comic book writer, or artist, or both. Something like that. He has a YouTube channel in which he talks about comics. I don't know why YouTube throws this shit up at me, but it does.

3 August 2021

Sarah Brand's Red Dress is…a song. Of sorts. The accompanying video is…a thing.

24 July 2021

My eldest asked me why I don't eat McDonalds'. I told her that, other than it being shit, it's because I cannot abide Ronald McDonald. Which is true.

Nick Kamen, 'im done laundering
5 May 2021

Nick Kamen, model and singer, has died aged 59. He rose to fame in a 1985 commercial for Levi's 501s, in which he stripped to his underwear in a launderette to Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine. Although the advert was for Levi's jeans, I think it did as much for sales of boxer shorts as anything.

Product displacement
19 April 2021

Product placement is a reality of advertising in today's entertainment industry. It's become so everyday, that much of it passes us by, at least consciously. Occasionally, something comes along that's so unsubtle as to be almost aggressive; but, by and large, product placement goes unnoticed. That's probably when it's most effective, when it's subliminal; but I'm no marketing psychologist.

Able was I
6 April 2021

Sara Nović, writing on behalf of BBC Equality Matters, admonishes you on The harmful ableist language you unknowingly use. You heartless bastard!

Another Fury, another cat
30 March 2021

Writing for BBC Culture, Nicholas Barber marks the imminent 80th anniversary of the introduction of the world's first great superheroine. No, not Wonder Woman, she arrived six months later; Miss Fury made her comic strip debut in April 1941. Not only was Miss Fury the first superheroine in print, but she was also the creation of, fittingly enough, a woman, June Tarpé Mills. In Mills's hands, Marla Drake, a New York socialite by day, becomes a Catwoman wannabe;* donning a magic leopardskin jumpsuit and bounding into action, as you do.

Justice is served!
17 March 2021

Zac Snyder's version of Justice League is finally upon us, with most critics agreeing that it's an improvement on the 2017 original, at least according to those reviews cited by the BBC. The original was infamously fucked up, sorry, reimagined by Joss Whedon, when he took over the production after Snyder's departure following a family tragedy. I have watched that version, described by one anonymous Warner Bros executive as a piece of shit. It was…okay, but let down by a muddled plot and an anticlimactic antagonist.

Changing lanes
11 March 2021

Only one day after accepting the role of translating Amanda Gorman's poem The Hill We Climb into Dutch, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has stepped down over an outcry that they're not black. This is despite the fact that Gorman chose Rijneveld herself.

Rock star
8 March 2021

According to Leox Gyasi's entry in the Star Wars Databank: romantic and sexual encounters are not imperative to him, as he identifies as asexual. Nice and non-threatening then; so, not that IC1 male after all. I wonder whether he has any knackers, or if they were removed when he stepped through LucasFilm's hallowed portal?

Rock bottom
8 March 2021

I thought that the first of April had come early this year, as Star Wars: The High Republic introduced its main characters in an amateur-hour animation. Leox Gyasi, who looks suspiciously IC1 male to be completely on message at LucasFilm, is the eccentric pilot of a vessel, known simply as the Vessel…navigated by Geode, who appears to be a rock. The rising you gotta be shittin' me! tone sounded like the narrator didn't quite believe what she was saying. I'll give her kudos for not laughing though.

8 March 2021

Apparently, the future of content creation lies in deepfake, the use of artificial intelligence to generate lifelike talking heads that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be distinguished from the real thing. In the case of at least one software system, the process is as simple as typing in the words for a selected avatar to speak. The whole concept is an ethical and cultural minefield, if not just plain creepy; and, as Donald Trump supposedly said of Jeffrey Epstein, I'm not a fan.

Who cares?
3 December 2020

Many years ago, when I was a mere lad, I used to watch a children's TV scifi show, starring Jon Pertwee and then, later, Tom Baker. Unfortunately, it started going downhill after Baker's departure; or perhaps I'd just outgrown it. The last time that I saw Doctor Who, albeit in passing, Sylvester McCoy was butchering the titular character. It was so bad that I couldn't watch it, and the show was put out of its misery shortly thereafter.

Time To Die
26 November 2020

There's some dismay on social media over the retirement of James Bond, in favour of a black woman, in the upcoming No Time To Die. And it's not just old white men that are offended by the retconning of a decades-old, beloved franchise character for the sake of progressivism and virtue signalling.

Picture imperfect
21 October 2020

If you desire a special commemoration of a beloved pet, acclaimed artist Hercule Van Wolfwinkle is your go-to portraitist. Just supply a photograph of the subject to be immortalised, and he'll supply the magic—availability notwithstanding, he's insanely popular and has a long wait-list. But it's not difficult to see why:

Creative reimagining
28 September 2020

OMG! It's almost as if Karolina Żebrowska was in the same room during Sandy Powell's creative reimagining sessions.

Bond, Jane Bond
21 September 2020

A little brouhaha over a woke 007 rumbled on the 'net a while ago, as Daniel Craig is expected to pass the baton to a black woman.

Disney Minus
6 September 2020

Reviews of Disney's live action remake of Mulan have been generally mixed to favourable. I like the story, and I was looking forward to this release. But…hnnng, I can't.

6 September 2020

A BBC report, on an outrageously pretentious 639 year-long performance of John Cage's composition, As Slow As Possible, which began in 2001 and will end in 2640, led me to an older article about a scam legal row between Cage and fellow composer Mike Batt. Batt had allegedly included a snippet of Cage's meisterwerk 4′33″ in his own, less obscurely entitled, A One Minute Silence.

Today I learned...
13 August 2020

…not to trust anything you see on the silver screen. Again.

A dog with no name
16 July 2020

RAF Scampton—the home of 617 Squadron, The Dambusters—has replaced the gravestone of the squadron's mascot, a black Labrador named Nigger, who died on the night of the famous raid on the Ruhr dams in 1943. Squadron Leader Guy Gibson, whose dog he was, named him because, at the time, nigger was not a derogatory reference, rather simply the name for a shade of black.

I'll make my own mind up, as long as it's alright with you
8 July 2020

As a supporter of the freedom of speech, the cancel culture phenomenon repulses me. So I was heartened to read of a letter published in Harper's Magazine, signed by around 150 writers, academics, and activists, condemning cancel culture and the stifling of debate.

Fringe syndrome
19 August 2019

The results are in, and Tim Vine hasn't won the Dave award for best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe. In fact, he didn't make the top ten shortlist. Was he even there?

Keeping mum
8 March 2019

The hand-wringing over whitewashing in Hollywood has taken a slightly more surreal turn when Will Smith is accused of not being black enough to play Richard Williams in a biopic.

28 February 2019

I can't recall how I got here, but Paddy McAloon, who is currently all of Prefab Sprout, was talking to BBC Newsnight for some reason or another. I was never a fan; other than Cars and Girls, which is a great song.

Reimagining history
24 February 2019

The BBC asked two experts to comment on whether The Favourite, a dramatisation of the later life of Queen Anne, is fact or fiction. On the subject of Sandy Powell's costume design, Matthew Storey observed that:

President Pooh
4 February 2019

Winnie the Pooh is one of my youngest daughter's favourite characters, so I don't know she would take it knowing that his name is censored on Chinese search engines and social media. Apparently, naughty people have been likening Christopher Robin's silly old bear to Chinese dictator President Xi Jinping, which is quite ridiculous since they look nothing like each other.

A funny thing really did happen on the way to the Fringe
20 August 2018

…At last! Dave announced the award for the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe, and it's not one of Tim Vine's groan-worthy attempts.

Who ya gonna call? Cardi, Cardi
She sounds like a 'tardi, 'tardi
23 April 2018

Rap and hip-hop music, you either love it or hate it. Or you're indifferent to it. I guess that covers all the bases.

Mary, Mary, on the contrary
13 March 2018

According to a new film, Mary Magdalene was not a fallen women redeemed by Christ; that was all made up by Pope Gregory I in 591. Instead, she has now been given a completely new, and likely just as fictitious, back story.

Playrz play'n, h8rz h8'n
15 February 2018

Taylor Swift has won her judgement in a copyright case over the lyrics to Shake It Off. Sean Hall and Nathan Butler argued that players gonna play and haters gonna hate borrowed from their own Playas Gon' Play. But Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald deemed the phrases too banal to be copyrightable.

Worst song ever?
12 May 2017

Rob Tannenbaum, writing for GQ, has declared Starship's We Built This City to be the worst song of all time. I'm not sure what objective criteria he used to arrive at this conclusion, but hey ho.

Art is in the eye of the beholder
24 August 2012

Cecilia Gimenez was so upset at the damage to a fresco in Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, Spain, that she decided to restore it herself.

Death of an artfag
16 August 2011

The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, has confirmed the death of Robert Breer. The American artist and pioneering film-maker was only 85. He had so much more to give.

Happy birthday Hans Cristian Andersen
2 April 2005

If he were alive, Hans Christian Andersen would be 200 today. Happy birthday to the man who saw through the Emperor's new clothes.