Saturday, July 26, 2008

Madame Arcati gets on her bike. Bye bye

This is my 1005th post and my last for now. I am sure there is a counselling service somewhere for those bereaved by the resting of a blog, but take heart: like a silent volcano, Madame Arcati is not necessarily dead but could be dormant. Just think Krakatoa or Vesuvius: you never know when either may erupt again. An innocent goatherd loitering about this site may yet find him/herself blown into the sky as Mt Arcati suddenly spews out her magma-poison in response to another hypocrite editor or dodgy showbiz dahling ...

Of course the site remains here, her cinder cone a monstrous phallic silhouette at dusk. Think of all those posts to read or re-read! Kevin Spacey, Duncan Fallowell, Molly Parkin, Stephanie Mastini, Jonathan King, Susan Hill, Ms Baroque, Rupert Murdoch, Fish and Nicky Haslam, Robert Tewdwr Moss, Allison Pearson, Rupert Everett, Precious Williams and Jon Snow, celebrity cocks ... so many more - frenemies and all - topics and contributors. And thousands of glorious comments from the likes of the mysterious Duralex and other masked smarties -fresh comments will go up indefinitely, and you can write to me privately if you wish or need to.

In the two-plus years of my existence, from July 4, 2006 to now, this site had 1,033,081 pageviews and 468,079 visits, with most callers from the US and then the UK, followed by Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland and Spain. People from 197 countries visited the site - though I assume the one visit from Vatican City was a papal accident. I think I can safely say that Madame Arcati has proven to be more popular than certain mainstream publications and their websites.

And on that happy note, bye bye. For now.

(And as if to sum up Madame Arcati's cock-cocking, cunt-cunting preoccupations, I am indebted to Stella Polari for bringing to my attention The Maccabees' delightful Toothpaste Kisses - a polysexual frolic)

And my thanks to the incomparable Margaret Rutherford whose Madame Arcati in Coward's Blithe Spirit (1945) changed my life. Why wasn't she made a dame? (Where's Christopher Lee's knighthood btw?) Rutherford was all the things I love - deeply gifted, ugly, always old and one of the avatars of the peculiar. Even as a teen I had a fetish for creped skin. If you don't know her, here's an intro ....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gordon and Andrew Brown plot UK's nuclear future

A few weeks ago I wrote that President Sarkozy's visit to the UK with his go-getting wife Carla Bruni was really about a plan to export France's nuclear reactor hardware here. The Sarkozys are the pretty face of our humming, tumoured future.

Now French company EDF (Electricité de France) is said to be close to buying British Energy in a partnership with Centrica for £12 billion. The British government is quietly in favour of the takeover - no doubt all those nods and winks of Gordon to Sarky have done nothing for his nervous tics.

And let us not forget, Gordon's brother Andrew is Head of Corporate Communications at EDF Energy. What a stink!

Rest assured, in this democracy we won't be asked whether we should rely on nuclear power. It'll just happen. EDF runs 58 reactors in France on 19 sites. It has already said it wants to build at least four reactors in the UK.

Meanwhile, 100 EDF workers have just been contaminated by a radioactive leak at a complex near Avignon. A "review" has been ordered.

The Screws, hubris and Max Mosley

On the day Max Mosley wins his "Nazi orgy" case against the News of the World and forces it to cough up £60k plus costs for invasion of his privacy, the paper publishes a most unfortunate ad in the Press Gazette. "Mosley's not the only one getting a spanking" the ad announces above the word "DOMINATION" stamped over the back of a tart in her dominatrix gear. The spanking is of the paper's pathetic tabloid rivals, not the one it received at the hands of Mosley: the ad would have gone to bed, as it were, before court judgement day. This must be one of the best examples of tabloid hubris I have ever come across - most delightful indeed. Of course editor Colin Myler will go shortly - blaming European laws for his spanking (a pathetic attempt to play up to his Euro-phobe boss Murdoch, 103) was most foolish as he effectively cast his paper as a LOSER against evolution.

I don't think that ad will be repeated somehow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh no! Another Nicholas Coleridge novel

I convoked my The Arcati Trees Society (TARTS) recently and proposed that we pray for all the lovely beeches, oaks and whatnot due to be felled for Nicholas Coleridge’s next novel, The Second Deadly Sin, which awaits an unwelcome birth on March 19, 2009.

This baggy paean to yet more wealth and snobbery - the démodé theme of his oeuvre - will be bulked to a colossal 544 pages: could it be that a sylvan idyll the size of Sherwood Forest maybe turned to desert to satisfy the literary ambitions of Condé Nast UK's managing director; who is also vice-president, Condé Nast International (and the World’s Worst Novelist)?

TARTS is praying every Tuesday at 18.00 BST (local times vary, natch) for five minutes in an international effort to save these doomed trees: such a mystical plea must surely have some effect. If you wish to join us as a honorary TARTS member, then simply get on your knees (you should be well practised at that), open your moist mouth and say these words repeatedly: “Trees, please, Sucellus” (pronounced Soo-kell-oas) – Sucellus is the Gaelic god of forests, among other things – after visualising the words "The Seven Deadly Sins" just the once. Make a mantra of this phrase, and you will not only experience universal joy, but be doing something useful about your carbon footprint.

If that's too much effort then at least acquaint yourselves with how Coleridge promotes his books - see labels. He's a right scamp is Nicky.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight: A film that's missing a fart

The Dark Knight lives up to the hype so far as Heath Ledger is concerned – a thrilling performance of a nihilistic zombie entirely detached from Batman’s comic origins.

But in other respects the film slowly drains you with its relentless explosions, navel-gazing, sadistic fetishes and thwacks and pows sound effects. When Two-Face emerges as a Joker sub-strand you’re faced with two raving psycho villains delivering rival climaxes: the result is too much of a muchness lasting about 30 minutes after the two hour point.

There’s no humour as such: if only someone had broken wind or something, just to debunk the tiresome arrogance. There's not enough farting in movies generally; but I'm pleased that The Joker doesn't brush his teeth: that fact alone has I think subliminally impressed the North Americans and lent credibility to the tone of anarchy. Perhaps the sight of The Joker in a nurse’s get up and wig is faintly amusing. But as Sir Michael Caine, 75, said at the Dorchester press conference yesterday, the cast on this movie were like a repertory company: definitive, memorable performances, dahling, were the order of the day.

And at times there’s a sense of island actors entire of themselves forgetting their part in what is supposed to be a continent. Hamming is an insufficient word in itself for what’s on display here. I shall coin a new word: Hacting. The Dark Knight is overloaded with hactors catching glimpses of themselves in mirror shards and shiny buttons. Yes, hacting – ham acting at its worst.

Ledger really does act – like a loony. Throw an Oscar in his coffin.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grace Jones. Corporate Cannibal

Madame Arcati's 1000th post
Intriguing track from Grace's new album Hurricane due out October 27 from Wall of Sound. This Corporate Cannibal video is a stand-out, very HR Giger-ish.

View also Stor Dubine's The Jones Aesthetic at his site below, based on his paintings inspired by the diva whom he describes as "a horribly beautiful woman".
Stor Dubine site
The World of Grace Jones

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lovely dope smells at Irvine Welsh boat party.

Great Party for Irvine Welsh and his new novel Crime last night despite an autumn July sky. We boarded the Golden Flame at Westminster Pier and cruised east to Canary Wharf. Oh, there's The Angel pub where Profumo used to booze with Keeler. The Express building, a dark blue-ribbed affair, is most enchanting - a pity Richard Desmond calls a few of his staff fat cunts. But I hear they now have a gorgeous staff restaurant on the top floor so he can't be all bad. The FT glass block looks cheap and nasty but must afford great river views if you're the paper's pompous editor. Sarah Waters - Tipping The Velvet - was with her luscious girlfriend, though they got to look bored by the Miami Vice theme and noisy disco. Writer Tim Lott didn't pause to disembark at the end either.

Welsh was attired in red shirt, black jacket, Prada black shoes, straw hat. Most of his friends were of the wideboy variety - "Makes a change from being glassed" was one comment I picked up. "Well, at least we've got a barrister in the family now" was another. The air was pungent with dope and passively I got quite spaced out. No speech, just posters for the book. Even the PRs failed to make themselves known. And no cunting literary eds so far as I could tell. A perfect party.

Did I see Irvine trying to dance to Talking Heads? I must have imagined it. Crime will be turned into a movie.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EF Benson and his entirely queer family

Further to the Mapp and Lucia posting just below this, Lee Randall, Assistant Editor (Magazines & Arts) of The Scotsman writes in:

I seem to recall reading in an intro to one of Benson's lesser (ie not M/L) books - which is at home or I'd have the reference to hand -- that NOT ONE of the Benson siblings ever had sexual congress with a member of the opposite sex. Can't recall the details, but think in addition to EF's being gay, he had a gay sister and possibly a celibate brother in the clergy.

Fascinating family!

Mapp and Lucia gets the 007 treatment!

Hello, Madame Arcati

You will probably recall that EF Benson (“Fred” to his friends), the creator of the immortal “Mapp and Lucia” series, is now being hailed as a major gay writer. He managed to pull of the seemingly impossible; at a time when homosexuality was a serious criminal offence he lived openly with two different men and yet still entertained members of the royal family to lunch! This conflict is reflected in his books, which feature among other things a lesbian couple, a gay toy-boy chauffeur, a Duchess with a fetish for beards and (only Benson could think of this) a non-practising bi-sexual.

Just as Sebastian Faulks has done for James Bond, I have done for Mapp and Lucia. With the blessing of Benson’s estate I have written a brand new Mapp and Lucia book. Entitled Major Benjy it is published by Troubador in the UK, the US and Canada on 1 September. I do hope that this is the sort of item you would be prepared to cover (no pun intended). Without giving away the plot, you can rest assured that the book fully reflects all the sexual quirks of the originals.

Best wishes,

Guy Fraser-Sampson

My new website is now online at
Get the latest on Major Benjy at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sarah Ferguson releases Worm from captivity

I see the Duchess of York’s debut novel has been delayed until next year. What was called Hartmoor now bears the title Wingfield and was due out on September 4 this year – Amazon may want to update itself on the title at least.

As I related some time back her “co-writer” of this historical tome is the wonderfully named Laura Van Wormer whose oeuvre includes books on Dallas - a perfect qualification for working with the Ferg as she once lived in a house dubbed Southyork. On her website Laura quotes the Fergiana on their novel – “Think Jane Austen meets 24”. Mmm. Perhaps Frankenstein Revisited would be more appropriate.

Laura takes the opportunity to explain to her public that her other books are out of print because she’s been consumed by Wingfield – for four years! And yet I swear I have seen the Ferg all over the place in this time – berating the Mail’s Allison Pearson on TV, dating the Findus fish fingers proprietor who has just bought her a £130K car, etc etc. When did she find time to write as assiduously as the Worm?

“I am only this very day re-emerging in the world and must see if my family and friends even remember what I was like when I was around!” writes Laura. Anyone would think she’d just been released from captivity after abduction by the FARC. (FERG?)

I’m sure there must be a movie in it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

WALL-E and Johnny 5: Not entirely dissimilar

Johnny 5 and WALL-E

I saw the new Pixar robot movie WALL-E the other day and can't speak too highly of it (it's out next Thursday in the UK). It is by far the most imaginative animation movie I have seen in a long time. One thing however intrigues me. Director-writer Andrew Stanton is making a big deal of how a pair of binoculars inspired the look of his droid, as if the look is a total original. He clearly could not have seen the Short Circuit movies starring Johnny 5. There are differences: WALL-E is squat while Johnny's leaner in the torso, etc etc. But I should say the binoculars head is a straight, er, homage.

PS - I love Peter Gabriel's Down to Earth soundtrack to WALL-E. Have a listen.

The Madeleine Foundation: A public nuisance

The Madeleine Foundation bows to McCanns and Carter-Ruck - click here (Nov 18 2009)

Last September I posted an item about Tony Bennett - not to be confused with the crooner - who'd attached himself to Terry Lubbock's campaign over the death of his son Stuart Lubbock against the entertainer Michael Barrymore, before he was detached. Bennett was suspected of a homophobic mindset given his odd interest in deaths which may have arisen from homosexual activity.

Now I see that back in January Bennett, described as a retired solicitor, turned his interest to Madeleine McCann and set up something called The Madeleine Foundation. It is campaigning for the prosecution of the McCanns "for abandoning their children six nights in a row [in Portugal]" and aiming to "encourage" the McCanns and their friends "to tell the truth" about Madeleine's disappearance. Last year, Bennett tried unsuccessfully to launch a private prosecution against the McCanns, only to be told by magistrates in Leicester that they had no jurisdiction over the case, because Madeleine disappeared in Portugal.

The "Foundation" (or Bennett, more to the point) adds: "The case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has many parallels with other cases where families have cried 'abduction' when their infant child has gone missing - only for us all to find out later that the child has died at the hands of the parents, whether accidentally, negligently or intentionally." It/he concludes: "There is precious little evidence of an abduction."

If that is not a highly defamatory statement I don't know what is. His reason for saying this is not based on any incriminating evidence against the McCanns. He simply has developed a prejudice: if a child goes missing then the parents must be to blame.

This "Foundation" asks members to pay £10 a year and is described by Bennett as an "unincorporated association". It certainly is not a "fund" - as the Telegraph thinks - since it would have to be registered as a company (and it is not). Nor is it a charity.

Bennett is approaching his latest obsession in much the same way as he did Barrymore. No new evidence is adduced - he just demands an inquest, based on dreamt-up questions, and imputes baseless criminal activity to his targets in his media interviews and pronouncements. Why Bennett feels impelled to persecute individuals who have already suffered a tragedy is quite beyond my understanding.

Just as baffling are the morons, bigots and loafers who are signing up to Bennett's bullying members' club.

Finding Madeleine

Friday, July 11, 2008

Honfest, John Waters and a woman called Lois

John Waters and and a Lois blogstar

I recently visited Baltimore and among its delights was Honfest, an annual street celebration of all things Hairspray: I've never seen so many women determined to look like transexuals in their Edna specs, blonde beehives and pink apparel. Naturally I joined in and one day I may publish the pics.

This of course is the land of John Waters, director of the seminal 1988 Hairspray movie, starring Divine and Ricki Lake, though I prefer Waters' Pink Flamingos and Hag in a Black Leather Jacket.

Now a delightful woman in Baltimore called Lois has written to me - her blog offers a vibrant glimpse of this cultural phenomenon, Honfest; and it turns out Waters and Lois are acquainted. Here's her letter and links ...

Hi, Madame Arcati!

Sounds like you've just got a taste of what there is to know about Baltimore! If you'd like the full meal, come visit my blog: "Lois' Life as a Sitcom: The Baltimore Blogshow!"

I've got a GREAT picture of some "Hons" from this last Honfest, come see! And if you've not heard of Trixie Little & the Evil Hate Monkey, you really don't know nothin' 'bout Baltimore yet!

They're in my blog too, Episode 4: And some great pics up of some of my blogstars, including Trixie and Monkey (John Waters too); on my MySpace, come friend me!

Cheers! Lois.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mark Ronson and the readies

I hear the fabulous Mark Ronson picked up £50K for his Zoo8 Fest gig - paid all in cash. Other stars await payment.

Rupert Everett - the penis (part 2)

Duncan Fallowell has furnished Arcati with this brooding image of Rupert Everett: experts in the field will have to advise on any similarity between the cock on display here and in the previous posting.

Do please continue to contribute to the death penalty debate.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rupert Everett - is this his penis?

Darling Duncan Fallowell - whom I suspect to be thanatophobic - does not like Arcati's demand for the restoration of the death penalty for crazed, blood-soaked, machete-wielding homicidal maniacs (Ronald Reagan had the right idea, the poppet) and demands that I find a cock shot of Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal instead.

This is beyond my wit, even beyond my PhotoShop wit (ie bovvered!) so in the nick of time a darling Arcati fan sends me a shot of Rupert Everett's funny looking dick, supposedly from a movie called Cemetery Man (or Dellamorte Dellamore). This hideous pink-hued sight leads me to wonder whether the "my-tooth-was-chipped-on-Rupe's-cock-ring" story told recently on this site is entirely true. Perhaps the teller of this tale will get in touch and explain him- or herself to my vast army of movie crotch-gawpers.

If Rupert's reading this and wishes us to know that this cock is not, nor has ever been, his then of course I shall take it down and store it in my database for posterity.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The death penalty: I have run out of excuses

Novelist and publisher Susan Hill has responded to this posting in comments.

After life-long opposition to the death penalty I am now drawn to the idea that it is possible to forfeit your right to life at the hands of the state. Even when my close friend, the writer Robert Tewdwr Moss was murdered back in '96 I did not think his two killers should be executed: the state should never be given such power, and I thought of the spiritual repercussions - which either you believe in or you don't. Every day it is possible to read of yet another criminal outrage here and abroad. But the recent pornographic murder of the two French students in London persuades me that in very, very rare circumstances convicted killers ought to die at our hands.

It would be for the prosecution to bring a special application for the death penalty after conviction - the onus would be on it to adduce peculiarly cruel and obscene factors in the case: it must be for lawyers to define what amounts to peculiar cruelty and obscenity since the premeditated taking of life in the first place is the ultimate cruelty. Such factors would tend to reflect on the nature of the killer - on whether, for example, he or she demonstrated an especial malignancy, an enduring hostility beyond psychiatric treatment. The argument that we should not countenance execution for fear of a miscarriage of justice does not work for me anymore: no system is infallible; justice never was. We do not cease to fly because of the very rare plane disaster.

Against this, some will point out that Barry George is currently appealing his conviction for the murder of Jill Dando. Would he not now be hanged if I had my way? Under my proposal he would not face execution: it would not be enough to show that he acted in cold blood or that the victim was a much-loved TV personality. But my view might be different if Dando's killer was a serial professional one, as I suspect. (Incidentally, have you noticed how the press made a big deal of the appeal case against him - front-page headlines about what was found at his home - a loner - the usual crap - but now relegate his side of things to a few paragraphs? That's the press for you, hanging judges all, always prejudiced)

Robert's killers will be out in 2011, probably. He was beaten up for no good reason, tied up and gagged, and left to die slowly by choking. No doubt the psychos' loving families are counting the days.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Oh, and Madame Arcati is 2 today

I was born on the 4th of July.

Mamma Mia! Aren't the stars a bit old?

A rather breathless week, not that I propose to turn this blog into a personal confessional in the hope of picking up a diary book deal, dearies. If you're a publisher you can stick your contract up your virgin asshole. No one's telling me what life to live for demographic purposes.

I attended my first movie press conference in yonks, Mamma Mia!'s, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, formerly the Hyde Park Hotel, opposite Harvey Nicks. To get to the hotel it's best to have suicidal tendencies as the access road is dug up and barriered off and no one has thought to impose any safety regime whatsoever for pedestrian crossers: at the nearby junction you're faced with traffic in all directions, more barriers and the horrible sights of buttock cleavage of bejeaned labourers loafing about. Ever played chicken? If not, avoid.

Meryl Streep is 59 and looks 45 in the flesh, and 54 in the movie. Pierce Brosnan is 55 and looks, well, a handsome 55: he has a mature aura and is rather fractious when not selling movies. Colin Firth is 47 and with that half-hearted beard of his (not all men can grow a credible beard) he looks 49. He's funny and droll, though, and given to comic-pompous locution. Meryl wore her blonde locks in a simple ponytail, wore crystal ear studs and opted for a safe black ensemble. God, she's such a nice genius: she certainly appeals to my inner lesbian.

Arcati readers will know that I have an interest in agesim. And so while the stars' auto-anecdotes about shooting the fantastic Mamma Mia! movie were of little interest to me - I had forgotten that Meryl has a substantial musical theatre background - I was struck by one simple fact. While most of the attending journalists were about 25 - there was even a boy hack there no more than aged 14 - the major stars (aside from the teen draws like Dominic Cooper) were in their 40s and 50s (Meryl's 60 next June 22). In the film in their Greek idyll they dance, do stunts, sing their hearts out: you don't think about their age.

But consider the lilies of journalism and how old they grow quickly - say by the age of 30. The true arts of talent accommodate different ages. Journalism is run by old bastards who stick with the inexperienced and the generally untried. The contrast between thespian aristocracy and juvenile hackery was most striking to me.

Do see the film, it's out next week and is sure to please the Greek Ministry of Tourism.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A response on behalf of the BBC ...

A few recent horror stories on Arcati about the BBC's failure to keep their talent in the loop has elicited this explanation, presumably from a BBC PAYE-person ...

"Can I just say that, as far as I understand it, most of these programmes are made by independent production companies, and then broadcast by the BBC. The Corporation has no direct contact with the participants. It is therefore up to the independent producer to inform participants when a programme is being broadcast."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fag hag Carole Malone delights in soap porn!

To the London Literature Festival queer party at The Green Carnation club in Greek Street - where Molly Parkin DJs Tuesdays - and the fabby writer Rupert Smith is holding court, educating us on new literary genres of porn. One specialises in placing favourite TV soap characters in filthily pleasurable scenarios - can you imagine Coronation Street's Emily Bishop being DP'd by Ken Barlow and Norris? What a hot pot. And I must bone up on porn featuring disabled people in wheelchairs - this sounds most novel for jaded palates.

Witty Rupert is the cause of much laughter, and laughing loudest is ... The News of the World's Glenda, Carole Malone! There she sits, having waltzed in with the sexually elusive Cleo Roccos, a flame who does not burn. And dancing attendance on the pair are the Telegraph's Andrew Pierce and some other man whom I recognise but cannot name. What a delightful sight Carole is ... her picture byline doesn't do her credit at all.

For more on the festival, which starts July 5 and features Rupert Smith gigs, click here

British Bastard Corporation (3): Susan Hill writes ...

"This is been the way for a long time. About 10 years ago someone said how much they had enjoyed my play on Radio 3 the previous evening.I had waited 20 years for it to be repeated so I could tape it but assumed it never would be. Of course no one let me know."

Susan Hill's new crime novel The Vows of Silence is out now, click here to buy.