Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Molly Parkin: Orgies, Nefertiti, Blahnik - all on BBC Wales

You have six days left to watch BBC Wales' Great Lives on Molly Parkin, directed sublimely by Robert Chilcott - click here, iPlayer. (Because of 'adult' themes you have to assure the web site you're over 16)

Molly recollects the orgies she choreographed at New York's Chelsea Hotel (I think) - most self-empowering. Great archive TV footage moments to savour - don't miss daughter Sophie ordering the groceries as a young thing or Moll sparring with some old TV goat who suggests her novels are porn. Steve Strange looks fiercely quaint in what looks like a gorgeously chintzy-tinkly hotel tea room in Wales; and I had no idea Manolo Blahnik owes his career to Moll. Where would the shoe be now without him and her?

I can be spotted as the astrologer at some point likening her to Nefertiti, but don't blink.

Watchers of exotics can wallow in her variously outlandish get-ups over the years, all the more striking set against the timeless male interviewer suits: visual code for TV's essential conservatism. Did you see Ant and Dec in their dark suits on Britain's Got Talent last night? They could be hosting Pebble Mill At One with Moll pissed back in the 70s - that's in the doc, too (minus Ant and Dec).

Great Lives is a wonderful snapshot reprise of an extraordinary life; and I look forward to a longer edit so I can see more of me and Moll (sorry, Moll and me).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Astrologer Henri Llewelyn Davies: Telegraph kids of the enlightenment dance on her grave

Henrietta Llewelyn Davies: 1954-2011
In March I reported the untimely death of the astrologer Henrietta Llewelyn Davies. I now see that earlier this month the Telegraph ran an obit of her - the writer thankfully has avoided the compulsory scepticism about astrology that's usually affected in the 'rational' British media.

Which is more than can be said of the preposterous, idiotic scum who have left abusive comments on the obit web page: a parade of numbskull prejudice all the more emboldened by anonymity. There's even a 'Didn't she see it coming' remark of her death at 56.

If you imagine the abandonment of any spiritual interest necessarily spawns greater, finer, more discriminating intelligence in the secular Arcadia then think again. Pig-ignorance thrives whatever the intellectual fashion, wherever there's a well to spit down.

I'm also astonished that hardly any of the notable writers who plagued Henri's life morning, noon and night for psychic guidance have responded publicly to her death. It's no exaggeration to say that Henri gave moral and psychic support to a great many highly educated, highly regarded individuals. More often than not her counsel was spot on.

Sceptics of her work can only dream up reductive dismissals as they sleepwalk their way to the reassuring antiseptic of the Dignitas death camp in Switzerland.

The Telegraph obit is of course remarkably thin on biographical detail and makes too much of the Daphne du Maurier connection. Aside from her consultancy work she also wrote star sign columns for Cosmo, Woman's Own and TV Times, and a celebrity-astrological series for The Times and Teletext ITV/C4. Still, it's not every day that a broadsheet marks the passing of an astrologer. We should be grateful for that I suppose.

(And Henri, if you're reading this, sorry about Madame Arcati. I'm not responsible for the internet)

To read the obit click here

Molly Parkin - Great Lives show scheduled on BBC One Wales

Followers of my permanent fiancee Molly Parkin should know that BBC One Wales broadcasts a bio of her next Monday, May 30.

Great Lives: Molly Parkin is presented by former Minister of Culture, Kim Howells, and includes contributions from many other living legends such as Steve Strange (running a B&B in Wales I believe), Andrew Logan, Madame Arcati (minus her normal costume) and others.

I'm hoping they run the show on iPlayer; and if you have Sky, look out for it there. More details here.

I believe a longer version of the show is being prepared. And I've advised the director of the above, Robert Chilcott, to put out a nine hour DVD of Moll's peregrinations, including our visit to Croatia in 2009.

Robert must have 100 miles of footage. Think The Only Way is Essex, Roberto!

PS - Robert has sent me the complete list of contributors to the show:

Victor Olliver
Irma Kurtz
Barbara Hulanicki
Ian Shaw
Darren Coffield
Malcolm Hart
Judy Strafford (art school friend)
Manolo Blahnik
Michael Horowitz
Steve Strange
Stuart Lyon (Mollys former agent)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Duncan Fallowell: How To Disappear memoir out end of June 2011

DF at home
To mark my birthday - May 23 - Ditto Press has released details of Duncan Fallowell's 'five part memoir' How To Disappear (see cover in right-hand menu: think void with words).

It 'follows Fallowell to some of the world’s strangest corners, as he pursues his cast of characters, some accidentally absent and others wilfully trying to be so,' Ditto reveals unrevealingly but tantalisingly. The title is advertised as due out at the end of June. More details here.

The full title of the book on Amazon is How To Disappear: A Memoir for Misfits, which is even catchier and gives the release date as June 15. Order here.

One assumes it is autobiographical and yet I remain unsure. It's as likely to be part-travel book as a bit novelish, a mongrel genre all of DF's making. The physical book itself is of course an artwork: we expect nothing less from Ditto.

Astrologically, June 15 is not the best date for publication: the lunar eclipse and Full Moon on that day in Sagittarius can be botoxy on life's facial expressiveness - think Katie Price and you'll know what I mean. Any later than June 15 and the Moon is in wane mode - ungood for new ventures. I would suggest a release date just before June 15 or early July when the Moon strengthens once again.

Just trying to be helpful, bitches.

A Madame Arcati birthday: Here it comes ....

Thank, you poppets, for your best wishes. The birthday of the person who imagines he (or she) runs this site is upon us (along with Joan Collins'). And an esteemed stage critic of one of our better newspapers sent this link by way of celebration of the nativity. It's to Leonard Cohen's Always.

The opening lines:

(Oh friends, ... don't matter if you're a man or a woman.
If you're in love with somebody,
these are the words that you got to learn to say.
Now listen carefully. Here it comes...)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prof Brian Cox and the 'dogmatic mindset alien to the spirit of free scientific inquiry'

Prof Brian Cox, preacher
Ever smiling pop particle physicist Prof Brian Cox writes a crisp piece in The Sun about baseless doomsday prophecies. He sweetly masks his guesswork with a certainty that the world won't end this weekend despite the claims of an idiotic American 'Christian' radio broadcaster. He then moves onto rubbish the silly Mayan doomsday 'prediction' that the world is to expire in December 2012. No such prophecy exists in the source material but it suits him to use this to pursue his atheistic agenda by dwelling on obvious absurdities.

He quotes an unnamed 'leading authority' that the 2012 myth is a 'complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.' Foxy Coxy then asks: 'I wonder where we've seen that before?'

He may very well ask. Some might argue that the $4.4bn Large Hadron Collider - $500m from the UK alone - has something of the ker-ching jamboree about it. This wildly expensive experiment is the largest part of a massive funding international extravaganza to prove the big bang theory and find the creation 'God particle' - though to Cox, big bang is already fact if his BBC shows are anything to go by.

This reminds me of the open letter, signed by 33 leading scientists and more than 450 since, that was published in the New Scientist in 2004. It questioned the big bang and the reliance on 'fudge factors' to build up a theory - '[It] can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation,' they wrote.

They point out that other credible creation theories are 'severely hampered by a complete lack of funding' as big bang zealots grab the research cash and ostracise those scientists who challenge the theory. The scientists write: 'In cosmology today, doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.'

They conclude: 'This reflects a growing dogmatic mindset that is alien to the spirit of free scientific inquiry.'

The jury's still out on big bang. But I see in Brian Cox something of the dogmatism complained of in the 2004 open letter. He routinely describes as 'rubbish' and 'drivel' whatever falls outside his knowledge (such as astrology), and betrays an unfortunate tendency to pass off his opinions and interpretations as fact. For all his scientific knowledge he is at heart a preacher of opinions.

Foxy Coxy is cashing in rather nicely on the cosmic theory du jour with his TV shows, books, Sun articles and science tours. He sets a splendid example in peer group conformism. And he has such a lovely smile.

Read the open letter

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jonathan King: Me Me Me - the movie non-review!

Dahlings, dahlings. Please, I don't do reviews any more. Shuuuu up!

What I do is this. I celebrate the arrival, the delivery, of a creative project. The miracle of doing. Who gives a toss whether a movie or novel is any good? You want a review of Jonathan King's latest musical flick, Me Me Me? Then ask the likes of that nice Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian to give Lars von Trier a rest and apply his testing template to the work. And he will tell us the distance between his idea of celluloid perfection and film-in-hand. That's all a review is really. A measurement of failure for gobbly fat arse atheist consumers by someone who never made a movie in his life. Fin.

Which brings me back to Me Me Me. It's here! And you can watch it for free (link below) or buy the DVD (a marvellous piece of work, two discs; one with just the soundtrack, and a booklet with the song lyrics for a g 'n' t karaoke over your keyboard) or buy whatever on iTunes; you know the drill. It's the 'best movie of the year by a thousands miles,' declares Ben T Voxpops. Ben's such a sexy name doncha think? All the Bens I know are sexy. So, take it from a Ben. Me Me Me is worth it.

The brothers Stansall: Henry (left) and Rupert
I've watched Me Me Me of course and I can say this. It's far better than Baz Luhrmann's Australia, far superior to Starship Troopers' first and second sequels; and in a realm of total bliss set against Shekhar Kapur's frightful Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Like Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange or Jarman's Jubilee, there's not much to liken Me Me Me to (at time of release), though JK has cleverly digested the great lesson of The Only Way Is Essex that acting soooooo gets in the way.

Who needs the sad artifices of cinéma vérité when you can cast anyone shaggable to emit a noise on camera?

What I love about JK is that he's a relentless hater, and Me Me Me picks up where his glorious first film Vile Pervert: The Musical left off, blasting tabloid culture and his old nemesis Max Clifford once again. Indeed, the movie's newspaper editor, one Marshall Artes (Daniel Jefferson) of The Moon shit daily, adopts the measured, soft and creepy tread of Waxy Maxy as he lures a pretty female intern to out a Banksy-style street artist with a talent for graffiti of sweet lickle innocent babies.

I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from the two spunk avatars of the piece, Henry and Rupert Stansall (who play the street artist Johnny Bambino and his brother Jay Fratello); and I'm more than happy to commend the Aladdin song Rub It Hard sung by a cop who raps as biggYbiggy. Perhaps Take That could sing it at Eurovision 2012 after Gary Barlow's sunk The X Factor.

Is Me Me Me any good? Oh do fuck off you Which?-crazed swine.

To read more about Me Me Me and watch the movie for free, click here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Controversy after Davros announces: There is no Doctor Who and I've got a book to flog

The Dalek creator Davros has declared that there is no Doctor Who and that heaven is about as likely as time travel.

'Neither as head of the Kaled Scientific Elite on my home world of Skaro nor as Emperor of the Imperial Dalek Faction did I ever see anything to contradict my view that Doctor Who is nothing more than a figment of a writer's over-active imagination,' he said in his characteristic staccatissimo style of speech.

'Even with the aid of my one and only 20-20 vision-plus cybernetic blue eye, mounted on my forehead, I saw nothing but Daleks, luvvies and dead Thal prosthetics. Believe me, my eye is the acme of cutting edge technology and misses nothing! As for heaven, when you're exterminated you're exterminated - as they say at Dignitas in Switzerland.'

Attempting a smile for his many fans on the Guardian, he added: 'Stephen Hawking is a valued friend.'

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eurovision: Fancy Jedward not winning. Disgraceful.

They referenced Gilbert & George: high concept pop or what, you Euro-cunts? The gayest duo currently warbling. I wonder if they are practising. Yet. Dare they? Long live Ireland!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nesta Wyn Ellis completes memoirs: Will she name all the names?

Nesta Wyn Ellis
I learn that Nesta Wyn Ellis, the exotic biographer of former PM John Major, has just completed her memoirs. The worlds of politics, pop music, journalism and even national security may shudder at the news.

And nude and semi-nude photos of the author are likely to be included for rest periods between revelations.

Paris-based Nesta has lived - and still lives - a life of fantastic variety. Her foray into Westminster life as a one-time Liberal Party candidate brought her into close cross-party contact with many a political luminary and she made one or two enemies along the way. Edwina Currie appears not to be a fan and I'm sure can look forward to the kind of warts 'n' all treatment she subjected her former lover Major to in her memoirs.

And speaking of Major, I believe Nesta will shed more light on his past marital difficulties. It was once rumoured, back in the early 90s, that the then PM and she became emotionally entangled while holed up together at Number 10 in long, exploratory interviews. And so I shall be most intrigued to discover the truth.

Nesta's last book, Lord of Love, the biography of Lord Bath, created quite a stir in 2010, not least among his fractious wifelets at Longleat. In earlier years, her infamous novel, The Banker's Daughter - retitled 'The Bonker's Daughter' by wits at Westminster -  seemed to borrow considerably from life.

I understand Nesta won't be naming all the names in her new book so I guess a national guessing game may commence.  Prepare for lots of blacked out silhouette photos in the tabloids.

The Major book, which revealed that wife Norma sometimes threw crockery at him, brought Nesta national fame. She appeared on Wogan, where she described Major as a 'flake', and was a fixture on newspaper front pages - usually in buxom poses. Her Mayfair home became a welcome posting for journalists seeking great value quotes.

In recent years Nesta has entertained Paris as a nightclub singer of chansons - indeed, for a flavour of her lilting voice go to her delightful website, click here.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Madeleine: Do your bit for the McCanns and buy this book for, er, £18 or £9

The Sun has extracted so much from Kate McCann's Madeleine for its massive serialisation it's a wonder there's anything left worth reading. However, I do applaud the paper's championing of the book - I guess they must have parted with more than £500k for the rights, perhaps more given the advertising campaign behind it.

The case of missing Maddie has, like many other crime mysteries, drawn out the conspiracy theory trolls and armchair Rumpoles who imagine a question amounts to evidence. They were at it on Twitter last night, repeating baseless claims against the McCanns. Fantasists of this sort are not interested in forensic investigation or even the truth: they have a variety of agendas, and clinical personal issues, none of them much to do with Madeleine.

As for the book, out May 12, it is a highly emotional chronicle which I don't think breaks any major new ground. It is amazing to read nonetheless that the incompetent Portuguese cops imputed guilt to Kate because she'd consulted a priest just after her daughter went missing. A sign of guilt, apparently. So what's a practising Catholic supposed to do? She seems to have attracted vitriol over her failure to run around screaming and wailing like some soap opera banshee, disappointing the thirsty, tit-hardened sadists who live to slurp up other people's tears.

The Sun is advertising the book at a 'special' price of £18 from its RRP of £20. Yet on Amazon you can get it for £9. The book's earnings will be poured into the McCanns' not-for-profit Fund - details here on their Find Madeleine site.

To buy a copy click here.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Molly Parkin on Desert Island Discs

Portrait by Darren Coffield
If you missed Molly Parkin on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs this morning, here's a chance to catch up. She's described as the 'grande dame of Bohemian living' and talks vividly of her life.

Click here.

PS Following the show, her memoir Welcome To Mollywood rocketed up the Amazon Biography sales chart. Even Madame experienced a surge with over 4000 extra visitors to the various posts on Moll (see labels).

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Hugo Vickers: Wallis' tragic tale, Higham and the 'Howling Cunt'

Hugo Vickers: Wally?
Most Esteemed Madame,

So happy to see your blog has returned.

I write to ask: have you perchance had an opportunity to peruse Mr Hugo Vickers' new work Behind Closed Doors: The Tragic Untold Story Of The Duchess Of Windsor? I'm half-way through and it is a most seriously curious work: more the tragic untold story of its author, who stalked his subject but was never fortunate enough to be granted an audience, and uses the book for a great deal of score-settling.

Author Michael Bloch gets it seriously in the neck, but I for one am left wondering why there is also no mention of Charles Higham whose Wallis bio contained equally racy allegations and was far more successful. Was it because that one was all true? Vickers doesn't say. It's the most puzzling book I've read in ages in terms of begging the question of what is going on in the mind of its author, so I wonder if you are able to shed any light on the matter.

I'm afraid, as per Mr Vickers' other works, it's crafted in an arid manner with reams of useless trivia crying out for an editor's blue pencil. (And for all that, there's still lots that remains unpublished about the Duke: eg that he used to go cruising for sailors in the company of the automobile heir Walter Chrysler Jnr., etc.). One also senses that the author may have come to loathe the late HM the Queen Mother, but is too polite to employ the term 'Howling Cunt'.


A Most Puzzled Reader.

P.S. Recently visited NZ. Going As Far was deliciously accurate, and could have Gone Further!

Dear Puzzled Reader

I'm afraid Madame Arcati has read her last book in her present incarnation and, alas, it wasn't a book by Hugo Vickers. I am therefore unable to offer an explanation for his workmanlike foibles or attachment to royal trivia. However, it should not surprise one that the febrile world of royal biography is a carbonated stew of bitterness and revenge: worthy of its own history I'm sure. This, too, shall be a book I avoid.


Madame Arcati x

Friday, May 06, 2011

Vogue listens to Madame Arcati and removes Asma al-Assad interview

US Vogue has removed its shameful interview with Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad from its website after my April 26 post drawing attention to its continued online presence. Since the indentured guttersnipes of the press had forgotten all about this I thought I should say something. Why the piece remained up as the Syrian government kills and tortures its restive people is a complete mystery.

Somebody's finger is not on the global pulse at Conde Nast. The magazine should now remind itself who thought it was good idea to run the fawning piece of tripe on the glamorous Eva Braun of Syria.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

First look at Duncan Fallowell's How To Disappear memoir cover. Excellent

Love the book look of Duncan Fallowell's memoir How To Disappear due out at the end of June from Ditto Press. Or whenever! Was there ever a greater marriage of title and design? Of course, one cannot imagine Duncan disappearing (unlike Madame Arcati) and that's the intriguing lure. What can he mean? He loves the cryptic does Duncan Fallowell. I shall be reviewing it, natch.

Madame Arcati is back (again). Don't know why

Some of you may have noticed that I was disappeared by Blogger for a few days. No explanation was given. No warning. Friends spoke of a 'purge' of sites with adult content warnings. I know a few out there think Madame Arcati is a porn site that threatens civilisation as we know it, but I always imagined - being an optimist - that others actually read me and understood that this blog actually has a satirical intent; and if satire requires a PhotoShopped celebrity cock, so be it. I had fully intended to accept fate's hand and not bother to blog anymore. But since I'm back, hello. Nice to see you. Come in to my...

While I knew oblivion and rather liked it, the person who thinks he runs the shop set up his own astrology site. If you fancy a horoscopic analysis, click here.