Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Happy New Year to you all

Thank you for all your comments during the year, for all your good and bad wishes. Madame Arcati's visitor audience grew by nearly 15% in 2008 compared with 2007, and pageviews increased by just under 20%, to nearly 737,000. Absolutely Unique Visitors was up to nearly 253,000, up over 30% on 2007. Frankly, I have no idea how this was achieved but if you're reading this, chances are you had a hand in it.

Of Arcati's world audience, 318,217 people visited the site from 206 countries/territories, with the US at the No 1 spot, up over 14% on '07. The UK was at No 2, just over 3% up. Italy suddenly became a fan, up over 219% year-on-year. Liechtenstein excelled itself with one visitor in the whole of 2008, down 50% on '07. I hope it wasn't something I said.

Such figures suggest an internationally thin but robust interest in a blog that has no especial theme and is at the mercy of the whim and passing fancy of a funny fanny. God knows what keeps it going. But at least it's not part of a newspaper blogging herd with subjects initiated by some under-age cunt editor and nannied with legal notices telling you not to use bad language, or to deviate from the ordained topic, as in some sort of Miss Jean Brodie class.

So happy New Year. And remember: the UK Tories support bullying in the workplace. You know what I'm talking about if you're an Arcatiste.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Molly Parkin's New Year Resolutions for 2009

I asked the legendary Molly Parkin, 76 - who is my wife-to-be as well as painter, writer, style icon, soho club hostess - what she resolves to do in the next year. Her response:

1. Marry Arcati and have a cat together.
2. Ask my female doctor's advice on safe dosage of VIAGRA (for me).
3. Paint a canvas, write a page, read a book, every day of the year (without fail)
4. Continue to:
by Johnny Mercer, singer, lyricist,and composer, 1909 - 1976
from his 40s swing-hit...


Portrait by Tommy Candler [click here for more info on Tommy's work]

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bridget Rowe, Libertas UK and a plan to rule Europe?

The monstrous Bridget Rowe - former bullying editor of Labour-supporting organs the Sunday Mirror and The People (and various mags before these) - appears to be the "leader" of new political party Libertas UK, registered on December 19th. The party's address is given as 400 Main Road, Westerham Hill, in Kent, believed to be Rowe's home. Someone on the British Democracy Forum describes the home as "a pleasant looking bungalow currently for sale at £550,000."

I don't know what Libertas is precisely but EU Reporter claims that Rowe is a close pal of Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing and Eurosceptic party UKIP. Whether there's a connection between UKIP and Libertas UK is unknown. Is this new party anything to do with Declan Ganley's Euro-critical Libertas EU? Surely Rowe has not defected from UKIP and joined Libertas EU to embrace a more democratic Europe? What could the truth be? I'm sure Bridget will tell us.

"Bridget Rowe, whose Fleet Street reputation does not match her own claim on her page at the Jacque Evans Management Ltd web site, has been a speaker at UKIP rallies. She is known in Brussels as a key UKIP player who is close to Nigel Farage. UKIP officials close to the leadership have described her as ''the replacement national press officer'," claims the EU Reporter.

Doubtless her yesteryear leftish editorials on the two Mirror Group tabloids - when David "Rommel" Montgomery ran the place - will provide an interesting contrast to her current political views if Libertas UK turns out to be a bedfellow of UKIP and not Libertas EU.

And I for one shall be most interested to know of her position on bullying in the workplace, whether she's pro- or anti-EU.

More info click here
Libertas UK registration

Sunday, December 28, 2008

'I may sell "Rupert" on eBay', says Everett's ex-lover

Rupert Everett's former lover Veritas, who sadly lost a crown on Rupie's cock-ring, writes of Arcati's 2008 awards ...

How wonderful! Is Madame Arcati back then? I thought we had lost you for a while. I had hoped there may be a "molar of the year" category and therefore my crown christened "Rupert" would have won (you know..the one chipped during an early close encounter with Mr Everett). It's been replaced by a insert but I have saved "Rupert" in a little box. Perhaps I'll sell it on eBay.
Cheers, Veritas.

Dear Veritas
I only went away for a day or two before a flood of complaints shooed me back onto the blogosphere. How much do you think your Rupert will get you on eBay? And how will you tag it? "Tooth crown lost to Rupert Everett's cock-ring"? Bit of a mouthful, er, isn't it?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lady Diana Mosley and Bridesheadophilia

My attention was drawn today to Duncan Fallowell's Telegraph review of The Pursuit of Laughter, a collection of bits and pieces of journalism and diary by the late unrepentant fascist Lady Diana Mosley, one of the idiotic Mitford girls. In life, the silly bitch was feted by newspapers and magazines despite her admiration for Hitler - who was guest of honour at her Berlin marriage to Oswald Mosley, the wartime British fascist leader. She didn't deny Hitler's personal responsibility for the Holocaust, which she regarded as most unfortunate, but the fuhrer had such lovely blue eyes, and he was so good at mimicry. Oh, the laughs.

Duncan asks: "How do you solve a problem like Diana?" The problem: though her views were repellent to most visiting writers and journalists, and others besides, she tended to charm their socks off. But of course. She was an aristocrat, a witty one too, and beautiful: she was a history-bauble celebrity, up there by association with some of the big names of the 20th century: no sin can quite dull the radiance of fame, particularly one rooted in the British upper class: its warm light, even if a little off-colour, enraptures the supplicant (and status-preoccupied) gazer who suffers from country piles and an over-reverence for hereditary foolishness. Call it Bridesheadophilia.

You solve a problem like Diana by choosing to ignore her, by making a decision not to read her because of the shit-stink in her aura. That simple.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Katy Evans-Bush and the dead: But no Baroquey horror show

London-based poet Katy Evans-Bush is better known in Blogworld as Ms Baroque, online chatelaine of the Baroque in Hackney site (click here), a learned lyrical New Yorker (by birth) who intrigues both literary big-hitters and writerly dabblers such as the escorts-friendly Madame Arcati.

Earlier this year, Katy's poetry collection Me And The Dead was published to much acclaim and she is now on an innovative virtual book tour she calls A Conversation About Dreams ... Katy has produced a body of work that marks a fresh voice in the discriminating, secular church of international poetry. She doesn't strike me as overly precious.

Katy agreed to a short interview with Madame Arcati - it may be a good idea to read her poem below first ...

If you were in heaven before a bureaucratic pen-pusher who demanded to know what your collection is about in 50 words (absolute max), how would you put it?

Dear Mme A, I'm delighted to be here. The situation you describe is very believable to me; it is the basis of many of my favourite jokes, which begin, "It's a slow day, and St Peter's sitting at the gates of Heaven..." I never know how to answer this question! If one were dead, and consequently all-seeing, it might be easier - but here's a stab at it:

Death. Love. The failure of love. A dialogue with other poets. And artists. Dinosaurs, geese, children playing music, silly situations, things that happened and things that didn't. The past. Dreams. Ghosts.

Would it be fair to say that you are a metropolitan lyrical sponge who when squeezed produces strangely distorted fragments of sights and sounds soaked up in cafes and parks?

Alas, this is true.

How many times do you revise a poem? Do lines come to you as you experience?

Some I revise never and others for months. Yes, I think the best lines come as a sort of flash; but then, a flash can come in revision too! You never know when something will suddenly get good.

Do you read your poems to your lover(s) in bed?

Can you imagine! Anyway, as I just said, the poems are about dinosaurs and children and geese, and bad previous relationships. I - [deleted on the grounds of taste]

Is there one review of the book that pleases you most. If so why?

Well, my fellow poet Rob Mackenzie wrote on his blog: "What the poem says is clear, but not simplistic; the words and syntax are ordinary but not prosaic. It's like an invitation to any casual reader, and says, 'Read this. Read it again.' That's what I'd recommend of the whole book." I was also happy when Ben Locker wrote that I "make him want to read poetry for fun."

As you are a synaesthesiac (I think) what do you see or taste with the following:

Well, my synaesthesia takes the form of letters having colours. Words also have colours, which can be a composite of the letters, or something else. B is blue or black - in this case black; l is clear, a and c are very red, and k is usually red but sort of yellow here. But the word black sort of is black. With a reddish tinge.

Z is black, not in a print way but in a sort of zero way, if that makes any sense...

PM is blue and goes all over the place. But that could be just Blair getting in the way.

Ogle: well. O is black, g is red, l is clear and e is yellow. Ogle is a great-looking word.

Madame Arcati is red red red, by the way! It's fabulous. You'd never know you had your moon in Pisces.

And finally, tell us about your virtual tour. Where have you been and where will you end up?

The tour's turning out to be tons of fun - everyone is treating it so differently! I had a laugh up in Norfolk in Jonny B's village, where you don't get many brownie points for being a poet. Then Dick Madeley asked me about a hundred questions, even quoting his own doggerel at length, until in the end I had to boot him on a bus back to the blogosphere, half covered with mocha and double flake. Norm asked probing questions about poetry, and you have merely probed! I mean, with your crystal ball of course.

After your illustrious boudoir I'll be at the Poetry Hut in the American South, and at E-Verse Radio - a boisterous multi-media blog in Philadelphia - and then on to Wales, where I'll be stretched out at the Rack Press; and I hope to finish up with Linda Grant at the Thoughtful Dresser. There may be a couple more stops, as two of my favourite bloggers had to pull out for family reasons. If they can think of a reason to have me after all that I'd love to drop in on them too.

As to where it will all turn out, there's something I'd like to ask you, Mme A: in your view, how do you think 2009's looking for me?

My dear. All I can say is that I see much more recognition for your poetry (you were always going to be a later developer according to your horoscope), a new significant job associated with writing or research; and in your personal affairs, a possible formal union. But who knows? Now, where's that Christmas poem?

I had hoped to write something fresh for this visit, but I'm going to give you something out of the book. I hope you don't mind. This is from last year's famous Fog, when the world suddenly disappeared into a mist for about three days. Was it last year? Maybe the year before. Anyway:

Abney Park Cemetery

Past, behind the fog,
aabeneath, beyond : an old world
aaaawaits, marked out for us.

Its dull heavy stones
aasit, as they have always sat.
aaaaThey're in no hurry:

the dead will always be
aadead. They hide their angel heads.
aaaaThis is their element.

They lift up to us
aatangles of living holly
aaaaon, between, despite

their stones. Does it drag
aaat them, or do they drag at it
aaaawith their hidden bones ?

The pavement's crowded
aawith shoppers' odd, livid notes —
aaaaa child's orange coat —

Each of us a ghost
aain the fog ; our hidden hands
aaaacarry deadweight bags.

Merry: to them all.
aaMerry Christmas, they mouth back
aaaain the still grey-black.

Katy, thank you so much for your time and I wish you and your family a fulfilling 2009.

More about Katy's collection Me And The Dead, click here.
To buy a copy, click here

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Madame Arcati's Christmas: Spend it with me!

I know many of you wonder what Madame Arcati does on Christmas Day, hoping to model your lives on my biorhythmic highs and lows as well as cultural habits. Naturally I must be allowed my space and privacy, but in the spirit of festive giving, here's a suggested timeline to get you through the 25th, part-inspired by the Pope's encouragement to gender blur (by condemning it) and to hug trunks (of trees and other hard oblong objects). Try to keep to the times dearies, as you parallel me, and do have a wonderful time. A single click on each video image should do it ....

10.48am You get up, gaze in the mirror and you think ... I'm So Beautiful ...

11.01am Ablutions-time: refresh those nooks and crannies - but can you trust your relatives not to wander in?

11.30am You're showered and fresh, time for a breakfast gobble as your folks natter over a used Hollywood magazine ...

Midday Mmm, that was sooooo nutritious. Oh fuck, the chicken ... please do not do what's done to the chicken here: would you prefer a roasted pink flamingo?

3pm The Queen weeps for the poor. Here's HM rehearsing ...

5.20pm Yum yum, it's Christmas din-sins: but such times can be a time of familial discord ...

7.30pm Time to burn off those Nigella-inspired calories - and don't forget the urine injection ...

8pm Time to reflect on a high point of 2008 ...

8.15pm Now for the evening movie - naturally a family movie featuring a Christian woman married to an X-rated movie theatre owner ....

Midnight Time to retire and rest the weary head so that one's soul may fly elsewhere ... but take off the make-up first ...

1am Oh, I forgot to open my prezzies. Ah - just what I always wanted, an inflatable slide ...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pope: 'Gender blurring dwells beneath your rockery'

In his end-of-year review to Vatican staff, Pope Benedict XVI named the greatest threat to distinctions between male and female.

The garden earthworm.

"To the innocent observer, the average garden seems a place like Eden, with its flowery stamens standing erect ready to drop their masculine loads from hairy pollen sacs through the agency of passing trade, er, I mean bees," said the Pontiff. "Yet in reality corruption burrows away out of sight, undermining the laws of ecology. The earthworm, Mr David Attenborough tells us, is both male and female, neither fish nor fowl, neither Martha nor Arthur, one of nature's hermaphroditic abominations, making a nonsense of gender definition.

"One gazes at an earthworm and one thinks: 'What are you? You slimy long thing, you, with your nasty, flaccid, thin shaft and liquidy stuff - ewww!' The earthworm subverts our understanding of girls and boys, of skirt and shirt: it is a Satanic thing designed to make a nonsense of what we know to be manly and womanly." He added: "Snails and slugs, too, are bisexual Friends of Dorothy. Do not be beguiled by these seemingly humble creatures, for, each possessing both male and female reproductive parts, they brazenly and publicly fornicate in an orgy of mutual insemination behind your blushing peonies and pansies."

The Pope called upon his followers to bear their forks and hoes down on the sinners - "Seek out Gomorrah in a sod and let it bake in the sun," he screamed before asking the TV camera crew, "Is it a wrap?"

The sign of Satan: the vermitranny

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh dear. Guido Fawkes approves of bullying!

I asked Guido Fawkes the other day whether he had any comment to make on Andy Coulson, the Tory's spin doctor, who last week was found by an employment tribunal to have bullied a sports hack as editor of the News of the World. Fawkes' response to me? ...

"Happy Xmas. I hate employment laws. Takes all the fun out of the office."

Jokes aside, that sums up the problem of bullying in the work place.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Madame Arcati's Best of 2008 Awards

Madame Arcati is pleased to share some of her favourite things of 2008.

Arcati's Movie of the year
It was a toss up between Mamma Mia!, Changeling and Jonathan King's Vile Pervert: The Musical with Eva Mendes-starrer Live! nudging in there - an excellent satire on reality TV. In the end the winner is (40 second pause as practised on talent shows) ...

Vile Pervert: The Musical by Jonathan King
An excellent and provocative assault on tabloids, slippery celeb PRs, sob story opportunists, with Jonathan King playing more parts than Alec Guinness did in Kind Hearts and Coronets. His portrayal of minging tabloid editor Flame Mitchell was a tour de force. His paean to buggering boys was a total disgrace.

To watch the movie click here
To read Arcati's review click here

Arcati's Book of the year
Shena Mackay's The Atmospheric Railway was a reminder of why she is one of our best lyrical prose writers. The award in this category however goes to (pause - have a cuppa tea) ...

Going As Far As I Can: The Ultimate Travel Book by Duncan Fallowell
In an age when the gap year has all but ruined the mystery of the world for many people, Fallowell has a genius for finding places you would not even think about and then sprinkling glamour dust on them with his glittering prose. It would be fair to say that New Zealand was given the equivalent of a vampiric neck bite and turned into something fascinatingly undead by this book, after years of conformist vivacious dullness, even though many of its residents did not see it that way. Suddenly NZ is up there, wherever there is.

To buy a copy click here

Arcati's Nightclub Event of the year
So many to choose from. In the end there could only be one winner. (Pause for a quick wank) ...

Molly Parkin's The Parkin Lot at The Green Carnation, London
Molly is the nightclub hostess du jour. Only she could devise an evening that pleases both horny young boys looking for other boys and elderly women who sit with their legs apart on account of their sciatica. A brilliant piece of weekly theatre to a catholic soundtrack of dancy toons with Molly assisted by her glamorous daughter Sophie and her (Sophie's) delicious Spanish ex-fiance - at least I think he is. I may marry Molly next year and have a cat with her.

To attend click here.

Arcati's Opportunist of the year
Many contenders. But one stuck out like a bad case of priapism. Pause (while you whiten the teeth) ...

Simon Cowell
The way he ditched his protege Egg Nog in The X Factor final to back Alexandra Burke was truly breathtaking, a living example of how life is lived in the world of pop. Egg Nog must feel truly shafted. Still, he's only 16; and revenge is a dish best served .. eventually.

Arcati's Cock and Cunt of the year
This was a toughy. But at the last minute, as 2008 draws in forever, Madame Arcati attended a preview screening of The Reader and was blown away. So this award goes to (pause for a brief crotch gawp) ...

David Kross and Kate Winslet
The Reader may be about reconciliation after the horrors of the Holocaust, but the sex scenes between young German actor Kross and Titanic star Winslet are truly erotic. Kross' full-frontal reveals a pendulous meaty wanger below a cumulus congestus cloud of black pubes while Winslet showcases a fine example of clipped topiary such as would not disgrace a privet bush in West Sussex. That he plays a 15 year-old boy to her 36 year-old will hopefully not attract the adverse attentions of Mrs Flame Mitchell, ambitious toady of Rupert Murdoch, and guardian of the public morals when it suits her.

Arcati's Most Impressive Personal Performance of the year
I was tempted to give this to Christopher Hitchens for his notice-me antics in pretending to be tortured for a Vanity Fair promo on water-boarding - as the high priest of the religion of Atheism, he risked accidental martyrdom by personal PR - but in the end this prize had to go to (pause while you improve smile) ...

Gordon Brown, PM of UK
After suffering a public profile equalled only by that of Gary Glitter, the PM raged back on a tidal wave of economic disaster as his true calling revealed itself: to personify the gloom and create a neat match of exterior decor for aesthetic unity, thereby making it all seem so fated and fixable. It's in his horoscope, natch. There will be no 2009 election and I think he'll win in 2010.

Arcati's Most Useful Website of the year
After many deplorable attempts at bribery by other sites, Madame Arcati has no hesitation in awarding this prize to (pause to hum Hallelujah) ...

Access Interviews
Rob McGibbon's media interviews aggregator site is the best place to catch celeb encounters you may have missed in newspapers, magazines and other places. Rob has now taken to mischievous commentary. A great many interviews are of course total crap, especially if written by that PR-slave Baz Bamigboye. But there are occasional gems. A most innovative development in journalism.

To see the site click here

Arcati's Best TV Interviewer(s) of the year
The weakest field it must be said. Jonathan Ross doesn't count, although GMTV's Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield show promise, especially after their Kerry Katona assassination. So it gives me great pleasure to give this to (pause to fix the lippy) ...

Katie Price and Peter Andre
A belated award as their ITV2 chatshow disappeared in 2007. Pity. But only they could get the very best out of the celebs, such as Rupert Everett. Peter verbally strokes the victim, causing them to open up, before Katie throws a verbal spear into the gaping ego hole, a la Moby Dick's Capt Ahab: some may think she's aspergery but really she's just psychic about people and knows bullshit when she hears it. To read Arcati's shrewd assessment of the couple click here.

Arcati's British Newspaper Editor of the year
No award given this year. Must do better. But Veronica Wadley deserves some kind of recognition for making the London Evening Standard interesting again.

Arcati's Dance Track & Video of the year
No contest.

Eric Prydz's Pjanoo
Yum yum.

If you have other awards to give, don't hold back, dearies. MA x

Friday, December 19, 2008

Andy Coulson: Does David Cameron now condone bullying?

The dickhead who is now the Conservative party director of communications is a bully - and that's official.

The former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson presided over a culture of bullying, an employment tribunal found yesterday. Former sports writer Matt Driscoll won his case for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination at the Stratford Employment Tribunal.

"We find the behaviour to have been a consistent pattern of bullying behaviour... with the intention to remove him (Driscoll) from their employment, whether through negotiating a settlement package or through a staged process of warnings leading to dismissal," the tribunal's judgment stated.

"The original source of the hostility towards the claimant [Driscoll] was Mr Coulson, the then editor of the News of the World; although other senior managers either took their lead from Mr Coulson and continued with his motivation after Mr Coulson's departure; or shared his views themselves. Mr Coulson did not attend the tribunal to explain why he wanted the claimant dismissed."

Why is Coulson still working for the Tories? Why hasn't he been fired? Would Tory leader David Cameron have tolerated it if Coulson had been convicted of criminal offences? What's the difference in essence? Does Cameron condone bullying in the work place? Don't imagine that silence will be accepted as an answer. Disgusting people like Coulson should be forced into psychiatric analysis for his and others' good. He is now working for a Conservative victory at the next election.

For more, click here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas email cards: But where's the soulful saliva?

The next cunt to send me a Christmas email card is so going on my Curse List - quite long this year.

What precisely can you do with a cunting email Christmas card? - print it out, spray starch on it and stick it on the mantelpiece? I don't think so. The Scrooges who resort to this cheapo, soulless, miserly gesture are not thinking straight.

The whole idea of cards is to put them someplace for all to see so that others can say: "My, how many friends you've got! Bitch!" Hard copy cards are heralds of tangible good wishes, cheery sentinels of desk and home surfaces, as opposed to impersonal email cards which simply stuff your inbox with unwelcome megabytes and probably can't be played in any case because you need Adobe cunting Flash or whatever the latest piece of crap from Silicon Hell is called.

There is something sensuous about the thought of saliva on the hard copy card envelope: someone has gone to the trouble of licking your prezzie. Isn't that faintly erotic and personal? There's no saliva to be found on an email Christmas card, just the thought of norovirus-enriched fingerprints on a keyboard. Not the same is it?

If Dickens were alive today he would not have written A Christmas Carol. He would have penned A Christmas Cunting Email Card, featuring an office misery who works out how much money he or she can save by sending out the company festive card. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future would be the souls of all those forgotten, locked up or deleted email cards wailing for attention. They'd tell of what might-have-been had they been incarnated as Clinton hard copy cards, of friendships strengthened, of marriages saved and of kids returning, if only a hard copy Christmas card had been posted (you know, with a paid-for stamp, licked).

Don't you feel the loss?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Warhol's idea to make media books pages profitable

The Guardian's splendidly dyspeptic media commentator Peter Wilby yesterday bemoaned the recent culling of books editors and feared a trend - apparently the Telegraph and Time Out are among the print media to have made an excuse of the global economic downturn and retired the nation's literary desk tenants. In the next breath Peter indicated that all or a few of those dumped had been replaced so I was left uncertain as to his point. But one came to me anyway.

Last night, as I sat upon my often bleached lav, I was leafing through Bob Colacello's riveting Holy Terror - his bio on his editorship of Andy Warhol's Interview. Andy was surprisingly astute about making money as we know, and he thought nothing of turning his magazine into one long ad - rather like Vogue is and most other glossies. He didn't see much point in interviews with writers, what was their commercial use? Writers didn't draw ads.

Then Warhol had a brain wave. Get every writer subject to mention which scent they wore - this would appeal to the perfume houses. I don't know if Bob bought the idea but I think it's an excellent one. Perhaps Roger Alton of the Indy and other editors might like to think about it - I have often wondered whether VS Naipaul wears a cologne and would love to know whether Doris Lessing likes a squirt of Caron's Poivre - a lively blend of red and black pepper, cloves and other spices. The bottle comes in a limited-edition Baccarat crystal.

Incidentally, Peter quotes novelist Susan Hill's disparagement of book critics and calls her a blogger. I think she is no longer. Susan disappeared from the blogosphere in the summer, probably because she thinks blogging's a waste of time. Susan is an Aquarian and I have learnt from experience that people born under the water bearer are given to capricious mind storms. They can go this way and that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still: Green ad offends critics. Diddums

The powerful ecological theme of Fox's The Day The Earth Stood Still remake has upset those film critics who like to think that climate change has nothing to do with us, guv.

Here's Christopher Tookey in the Daily Mail: "Even more annoying are the film's smugly dictatorial assumptions. Once again, we are told that there is no alternative to some undefined 'Green' policy. If we don't obey their collective leadership unquestioningly and each buy ourselves a Toyota Prius - and I do mean right now - we're all going to die." "If you want to see all the cool special effects in this remake, watch the trailer. If you want the extreme environmentalist agenda that goes with them, buy a ticket."

Tim Robey in the Daily Telegraph: "The cocktail of lazy CGI and po-faced, sub-Al-Gore environment lecture leaves you light-headed with tedium."

Channel 4 Film: "The combination of greenwash and pansy-waisted Ivy League liberalism reaches retching point about midway through the film ... "

Pass the sickbag, Malice. These and other critics would have ridiculed Robert Wise's original film back in 1951 for its atomic warfare concerns: quite why so many journalists tend to blinkered stupidity I'm not sure: perhaps someone out there, an Earthling Klaatu perhaps, could explain it.

It should be remembered that Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch who has belatedly become sympathetic to the Green movement, pushing his global empire to become carbon neutral in the foreseeable future. I'm sure he welcomed this updating of the movie. Klaatu's message to the world, that Earth doesn't need mankind but mankind needs Earth, is a lift of part of James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis which views the planet as a single organism.

The Day The Earth Stood Still could turn out to be the most expensive ad for the Greens ever. Most excellent.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Purple ties: You too can dress like The Joker(s)

The Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues have taken to wearing purple ties, and they're not alone. The Tiewarehouse informs me that I can buy apparel similar to that worn by Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight - including a purple tie.

If you want to emulate any of these very important icons of fashion, here's where to buy. Click here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Craig Brown and AN Wilson lose to Jasper Gerard

I'm sorry to hear that Craig Brown and AN Wilson have been dropped by the Daily Telegraph. And just before Christmas. Well, I say sorry but really I only read the paper for Mandrake goss: Brown's parodies remain very funny in the Eye; Wilson I sometimes used to read when he had an eccentric column in the Evening Standard; otherwise his books and sensibility mean as much to me as Paul Gascoigne's ear wax.

The good news however is that Jasper Gerard continues to flog his prose tropes at the Telegraph. I understand he writes a sports column; not something I would read. His last restaurant review, of The Pass Restaurant in Horsham, West Sussex, cost the paper £96.93 for a four courser. I assume he paid at least a 10% tip on top: one can only suppose that an outlay of this sort, to patronise an honest business with a lot of homespun burble, must have been borne by the likes of Brown and Wilson.

I notice that Gerard "slurps" his soup, that he calls people "folk" and potatoes "spuds". The common touch, he's got it. I wonder how his terrorist comedy novel is coming along.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Amanda Holden and Chris Hughes: The Wedding

Northern & Shell PLC have sent out warnings to the global media (and beyond) not to infringe their rights in the "exclusive worldwide ... coverage of the wedding of Amanda Holden and Chris Hughes." Their "coverage of the Wedding will be published in the United Kingdom in issue (655) of OK!, which is on sale on Tuesday 30 December 2008." I am cancelling my order now just in case I'm tempted to cut out a pic, scan it and put it up here. Sometimes I can't trust myself, but I'm duly warned.

The notice adds that N&S will view the reproduction of any copyright material, "including the front cover of the relevant OK! magazine" as an infringement of their rights. They have also said that "they will take action to protect their rights in this material and to prevent publication or distribution of any unauthorised coverage (including photographs) of the Wedding. " I wonder if they'll sue me for reproducing words from their legal notice.

I must say I hadn't realised that Mr Hughes and Ms Holden were sooooooooo important. I thought she was just a minor TV star who has a nice smile as a judge on one of Simon Cowell's talent shows. As for Chris Hughes, he could be one of the Smurfs for all I know. I really must try to keep up.

Klaatu Barada Nikto

The line is not in the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still - and just as well, it would have disrupted the integrity of this very good remake.

Jonathan King: 'BBC wanted to dump Eurovision'

Jonathan King (belated birthday wishes) writes again with interesting Eurovision memories ...

Glad you enjoyed my card Madame; as it happens, on the day you carried my comments on Eurovision, I celebrated my 64th birthday. A request to a Mr McCartney to pop over and sing me his song did not provoke a personal appearance, possibly as I added "feel free to ignore this if you've ever been asked before".

When I took over the UK selection for Eurovision, then channel controller Botney (Yentob) was furious - he wanted to scrap the show and the huge ratings I provided scuppered his plans. I felt at the time it wasn't just Alan but the entire BBC which wanted Eurovision dumped (I also begged to take over Top of the Pops as that was looking in trouble... and the rest is history).

Why oh why is popularity so often regarded as bad? My idols, Dickens and Shakespeare, were popular from Day One and remain so in 2008.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Jonathan King: 'Let me take over Eurovision again'

The former Eurovision maestro Jonathan King has responded to my post about the removal of Sir Terry Blarney and his replacement Graham Blarney as BBC host of the annual song contest ...

I'm sad to say I agree with you totally Madame; Norton and Andrew will simply make it into another branch of reality TV.

I really wish the BBC would have the balls to let me take it back over, after all, I did bring the UK a win last time around. But the BBC's balls were amputated shortly before their backbone was removed and they grovelled to Mr Dacre and his righteous indignation over Ross and Brand.

Dear Jonathan

I sooooooooooooo agree with you, you would be great; and certainly it would perk up interest again in Eurovision after years of BBC indifference and arrogance - I would end the licence fee tax tomorrow if I had the power. And btw, thank you so much for your delightful Christmas card. You look most becoming in red satin knickers, stilettos and fishnet stockings below a policeman's uniform as you flash your person outside a courthouse.
MA x

Friday, December 05, 2008

Julie Burchill and her 'foot amputation'

Holy Moly writes: "Best rumour sweeping medialand this week was that Julie Burchill had had her foot amputated because of gout! A mole spoke to Julie and thankfully it wasn’t true. Who starts rumours like this?!" Indeed.

It was Madame Arcati who (I think) first reported that Julie had a foot encased in an air-pressure plaster cast (not because of gout) and she had a 5% chance of amputation if the condition didn't improve in a number of months (see original story on labels). I saw it myself down in Brighton. I'm sure she'll be OK.

Quite how that got turned into an amputation story I don't know but I suspect some semi-educated employee of the dead tree media is responsible.

Eurovision: Wogan? Norton? What's the difference?

My campaign to rid the Eurovision Song Contest of BBC host Terry Wogan has been a great success: the pompous blarnier has been carted off at last. But only to be replaced by Graham Norton. This is a huge error. Wogan's contemptuous levity was part of the UK's defeatism and amateurishness in the face of triumphant north and east Europeans. Norton is just another Wogan. And with Andrew Lloyd Webber as composer of our 2009 entry, I think we can safely look forward to another "Royaume-Uni: nil points". The BBC is the problem, its whole approach is wrong-headed and arrogant - the inevitable consequence of leeching smugly on the public purse. The BBC doesn't get Eurovision. I shall start a new campaign to bury Norton. Watch this space.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Transporter 3: Great soundtrack, shame about the film

Transporter 3 is insane, but the track at the end is just, so, so oooh, gooorgeous.

Save The Colony Room - let's dance

The Carpé Noctum Ball to raise funds for the Save the Colony Room Club campaign - some tickets still available at £100 - - NOT to be missed. There will be a few tickets on the door but these will be £150, so hurry and buy now.

Baz Luhrmann's Australia ....

All about prettiness really, as you'd expect of the Moulin Rouge director. Australia and Australia are exceedingly pretty as are Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (esp without the beard). The little "half-caste" boy - he's so pretty I thought he was a girl for 20 minutes. Kangaroos look great in profile, velvet ears flopping about. The landscapes - painterly, dear, painterly. The only really ugly person is the old rum drunk who does Nicole's accounts: you know his end will be sticky but honourable. "King George", the ancient Aboriginal mystic, posing about as Australia's old mythic soul, is prettily old, with a lovely small arse and sharp skin wraps. And I don't think I've ever seen better looking battle ships going up in smoke: such handsome arabesques on the theme of grey from writhing steel aflame. Luhrmann forever seeks the pretty and his topics are incidental to this, including Australia. I don't think Australia will make its producers rich(er).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fiona Russell Powell: Rupert, Clive and a non-orgasm

Can't be bothered to think today so I happen on Fiona Russell Powell's site which is a sort of museum of her sleb interviews. I once accused her of asking Andy Warhol whether he was gay and she denied it. So I re-read The Face interview with the Holy Terror ....

FRP: And you've been working on a set of prints called Queens .
AW: Yes, I've been doing that.
FRP: Are you one of them?
AW: Er, er, oh well, everybody knows that I'm a queen . . . but the prints are of royal ones and stuff. There are just four queens; I did an African queen and she's great.

Did she ask him playfully or did he misunderstand playfully? Like I said, I can't think.

Then I read her long vicious piece on her ex-lover Clive James. She writes of the period before they started cock-cunting:

"While we sat and pattered, Rupert Everett kept ringing from location in Yugoslavia threatening never to speak to me again "if you let him get in your knickers!" Clive smiled indulgently while I apologised for the interruptions." Later, when things had turned sour and he had failed to give her an orgasm, she recalls: "He had grown possessive, refusing to believe that my friendship with Rupert Everett was purely platonic ... "

I think I may have to interview Fiona, once described by Boy George as a "good-time ghoul". Here's her site. Some great Q&As and a horrible bitch piece on my darling Julie Burchill.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tim Walker: Nat not on your yacht: Ephraim in frame: Tim sings hymn: And a Dickie Nickie

Did the Telegraph's gorgeous Mandrake gosser Tim Walker really scoop the nationals by revealing that George Osborne and Lord Mandy Hello Sailored with Nat Rothschild on rich bastard Deripaska's yacht off Corfu? Tim told Madame Arcati that he did (but he didn't say Nat was on board), the Sunday Times' Martin Ivens seemed to claim that he did, or did he? A noted observer writes in ...

No, no: Ivens claimed the scoop about the fact that Mandy had been "dripping poison". Ephraim Hardcastle in the Mail placed Mandy and Osborne at lunch together in Corfu; then Ivens got briefed about "poison" (this to be fair is what he claims, though he did do it rather painfully, agreed); then Tim Walker did the yacht minus Nat; then Nat put himself there (in the Times).

God, this is now getting dull but we do need it to be right if we are going to start boasting, don't we Tim?

Dear Noted Observer,
Thank you for your clarification. Or is it?

Oh, and now Tim has written in. May as well bung it here ...

From The Office of Tim Walker, The Telegraph

Dear Madame,
It all gets a bit confusing, but the fact is we said in Mandrake that Mandelson and Osborne had been on Deripaska’s yacht. One week later the Sunday Times reported that Mandelson and Osborne had been on Deripaska’s yacht. We have had a lot of other exclusives on Mandrake though and certainly a lot more than any of our so-called rivals: Mark Thatcher’s secret wedding, Dame Maggie Smith's fight with breast cancer, Joanna Trollope quitting her publisher Bloomsbury and Hello!'s £500,000 deal with Peter Phillips for coverage of his wedding… I could go on but I am a) too modest and b) have to write up more big scoops for tomorrow’s column. Best of luck with your entertaining website.
Best, Tim

Dear Tim,
Darling, it appears you have conceded that Nat appeared on the yacht a bit after your first entirely authentic scoop. Now that we've got that out of the way, we can celebrate your many and several story devirginalisations. Nesta sends her love.

Oh, and did you see gosser Richard Kay's story today in the Mail about Britt Ekland's Christmas plans? Lifted word for word from Teletext's Showbiz Spy, a source whispers to me. Nice to see tabloid environmentalism in action.
MA x