Monday, November 28, 2011

Jonathan King shock horror! A 'fair' press interview

The new Independent editor Chris Blackhurst can't be all bad. He has actually run a fair interview with social media pariah (du jour) Jonathan King when the press convention is to label him a paedo, run doctored pics of him ogling kids in parks (as Andy Coulson did at the News of the World) or pretend he never existed (as at the BBC, until the DG Mark Thompson reversed that foolishness in a written apology).

The Indie relates how its interview with JK came about: he wrote to Blackhurst pointing out that his memoirs had recently topped an Amazon book sales chart and that thousands had viewed his movies on YouTube and elsewhere.

Such maverick responsiveness in a sitting editor must be almost without precedent in modern times. To read the piece click here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Duncan Fallowell's Turin letter: Magical mysteries... and a dark porn cinema

Dear Madame Arcati

I have just returned from an intoxicating period in Turin and, since you have an Italian name and also an interest in mystery, I thought you might like the series 'Tredici Misteri di Torino' [Thirteen Mysteries of Turin] which I have to-day posted on YouTube.

Here is a taste, click here.

The city is fortresslike and of massive blocks on a stone grid with secret baroque courtyards and rococo interiors. For its size it has a greater number of bookshops than any city in the world. And its caffés are even grander than Vienna's with better food and more gymnastic waiters. You will also be interested to know that it is one of the three cities of the white magic triangle (the other two being Prague and Lyon) and doubtless even more excited to learn that it is one of the three cities of the black magic triangle too! (the other two being London and San Francisco - how on earth did Frisco get in there?).

It certainly has the darkest porn cinema I've ever visited, a cosy retreat when the weather is inclement. Not that it was inclement. Glacial blue skies, starry at night, and the Alps snowcapped as backdrop. Anyway the city is weatherproof with nearly 20 miles of glorious arcades in the historic centre and something of interest round every other pillar. You probably want to know more about my erotic adventures there - but I'm still in a secretive romantic glow so allow me to fondle my memories privately a little longer.

With best wishes, Duncan Fallowell

My Dear Duncan

Thank you so much - it's been years since I stayed in Torino. As to your intriguing film, I find that an iconic water feature in a place of worship is never so much sullied as by stigmata of its electrical power source. Don't you find? Still, your average Roman Catholic is a pragmatist. Which is just as well.

I think Turin has found its re-creator.

Love & Light (to quote the hideous New Age lingo)

MA x

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Modern manners: the graceless stupidity of ignoring emails

When a Jehovah's Witness rings my bell, I make certain he or she sees me through a window before I go about my business and decline to come to the door. JWs are easy to spot: they usually travel in pairs (may I just say that the Watchtower is quite well written), are clad in a chic I term shabby neat and always stand impassively and patiently at the door, as if embarked on a picnic-fuelled siege. Sales people tend to fidget.

My purpose in manifesting my person at the window is of course a calculated offence: I want them to understand that they have been observed and that I have elected to ignore them. It's a kind cruelty of a sort: it does at least invite the option not to call again, thereby saving them much in hurt dignity, if any.

A very modern variation on this rudeness is the ignored email. You, the sender, have gone to the bother of directing energy at a certain target (an editor, say). Perhaps you have suggested an idea, or pointed something out: in other words, you have bothered. The effect? Nothing.

You know the email has arrived because emails don't go missing: that's a modern myth. There is no such thing as a lost email, unless it has been wilfully deleted by some lazy cunt (ie the sendee). You may be on good terms with the sendee who reads your email - and then decides not to respond. You may be well known to the sendee, you may even have enjoyed carnal knowledge (perhaps not), yet silence is the answer.

Suddenly I am the Jehovah's Witness treated as an unwelcome visitor.

In the case of the office-bound editor or journalist who ignores emails, this is a behavioural exhibition of arrogance or sheer ignorance arising from tenure. The individual has started to imagine, thanks to the plastic security of status, that they are being inundated - that somehow everyone 'out there' is trying to sell them something. Thanks to their elevated position, the normal rules of etiquette are suspended because no equality is perceived. Silence is a type of response (in that it falls short of an expectation): its purpose is to advertise the importance of the sendee.

Silence is the flamboyant twirl of Big I Am.

The Silent are in transit, see - they hallucinate that their lives are moving at greater speed than those who are 'out there' - and the absence of response is a living demonstration. In any case, an ego trip based on not doing something is one of the delights of tenured journalism. It adds to the quilting of contract life, to the relish of professional hibernation on a Caffè Nero drip feed.

What I love most though is that The Silent usually come calling later, pretending not to have received the email or attempting to gloss over their graceless stupidity. That's when the real fun starts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jonathan King: The Sun, The Moon, Paul Merton and HIGNFY

The Moon in Me Me Me
The witty topical TV quiz Have I Got News For You? this week had Andy Hamilton suggest that, if The Sun closes down, the new tabloid should be called The Moon.

"What a brilliant name!" exclaimed Paul Merton.

Yes - so brilliant that six months ago Jonathan King's second movie, satirical Me Me Me - premiered in London and screened at the Cannes Film Festival - featured a national British daily paper called… The Moon.

In fact, the film's already had 12,000 full length downloads and views to the free website - you can watch the movie for nothing here. It was the No1 film on YouTube last week for 13-30 year-olds.

The film was revealed exclusively by Madame Arcati last May. Perhaps the scriptwriters should borrow Madame's crystal balls or invite JK back on - I'm sure he's more than capable of giving them a run for their six-figure fees.

To read Madame's 'non-review' of the flick, click here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Duncan Fallowell: Krautrock, acid wildness and.... The Spectator magazine

Duncan Fallowell back in the 1970s
Lovers of krautrock awake! Spoon Records and Mute are bringing out a 40th anniversary edition of the classic, 'genre-defying' Can album Tago Mago this week.

As it happens, leading Arcatiste Duncan Fallowell provided the original liner notes which were taken from an article he published in Melody Maker in October 1971, reprinted for the reissue. He didn't really want them to, but the record companies said: 'Oh yes, that's the whole point, it's historical. And would you like to write some new ones too?' So, he has done so.

Duncan was the first person in the UK to visit band Can in Germany and write about them - he 'broke' them here as it were - and did it - guess where? - in the once old codgery Spectator. 'Can you imagine it now?' Duncan tells Madame. 'It was really marvellous of the Speccie to go with my wildness in those days which was down to the arts editor really, Kenneth Hurren, but George Gale and the wonderful Harry Creighton were amused by it too. I was 21, 22. It was young fresh acid wildness, not the Jeffrey Barnard sozzled old mackintosh wildness of subsequent Spectator years.'

When Duncan went on the hippy trail for a year at the end of 1974, Kenneth Hurren gave him a letter of introduction on Spectator writing-paper. 'By that time Kenneth had become Associate Editor because George Gale had been sacked - but Harry would never allow Kenneth to call himself 'editor' as such, which caused unhappiness,' says Duncan. 

'Harry liked to consider himself editor but of course he wasn't. Patrick Cosgrave, I believe, was also annoyed at not being called editor. Anyway this gave rise to the story which I include in How To Disappear (p 78) about the British Embassy in Bangkok which I used for a few weeks as a forwarding address. They were so astonished that I should be a sort of roving correspondent for such a magazine that they rang the Spectator office in Gower Street. Gill Pyrah, who was editorial secretary at the time, picked up the phone and asked them, "Have you seen him wearing tight, bright-yellow flared trousers?" "Yes, we have as a matter of fact." "Then that's Duncan".

'By the time I got back from India at the end of 1975 the magazine had been sold to Henry Keswick and soon moved to Doughty Street where Alexander Chancellor retained me as a columnist for quite a long time - but eventually my anarchies got the better of both of us and I went off to do the punk glossies Deluxe and Boulevard.'

Of Can, he adds: 'They fed my Dionysiac side and still do - but they are intellectuals as well, so this re-release of Tago Mago is a terrific feast for the mind and body.'

For more info or to order a copy, click here.

A flavour of the Can festival: click arrow once to play....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Londoner's Diary mwah for Madame Arcati over Guardian's naughtiness

Britain's most wonderful gosser, the Evening Standard's Londoner's Diary, sweetly mentions the Madame Arcati blog (what a common word 'blog' is, on second thoughts) - do have a read here. I'm far too busy with my horoscopes to précis the matter, but tribute is paid to my fine manners (well, I am The Lady's weekly astrologer - and its first, fans rush to tell me).

I shall only say, in the wake of the Diary's item, that the Guardian must resist the temptation to emulate the BBC in its formulaic claims to have 'learned' of a news story when really they should give credit where it is due and admit that they're cutting and pasting lifting.

That's the problem with atheism. It leads to immorality and pogroms.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

London life: Molly Parkin and the man with a big one

My permanent fiancee Molly Parkin shared this story with me the other day and I felt it only right to give it the wider dissemination it deserves..... She writes:




Thursday, November 03, 2011

Kirk Douglas on bisexuality - and why Tatler is now soooo gorgeous

Kirk Douglas by Darrell Robinson
aka Wooden Horse
There's no point moaning about my non-attendance or imagining that I'm dying of a communicable disease. I have the Christmas and New Year horoscopes to work on. I am sozzled on future doings. However, the unprofitable present still has the capacity to stir my torpid interest.

First, I am delighted that the immensely improved Tatler has placed Duncan Fallowell's How To Disappear travel memoir [reviewed here] among its sexiest reads of the year. Ever since the 'spinning vagina expert' took over as editor, and Tiny Tears fucked off to the Mail, the magazine has gone from strength to strength in its championing of aristocratic and models-look eugenics: I can only aspire to the perfected physical and mental entitlements as showcased and celebrated in its glossy pages - but silly me!

This fabulous exhibition of good taste in Tatler draws me inexorably to the second thing to stir me - a YouTube video conversation about bisexuality, threesomes and cock-cocking prison sex. Once again we have Duncan F to thank for anchoring me in the present. It is in his interview with the legendary Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas that our attention is drawn to sexual practices that may be foreign to our nation's prim, comme il faut tabloid journalists.

Kirk wisely declines to say whether he has ever done anything that might outrage the Tinseltown homophobes, but he does reminisce about a big butch cock-cunter who went to jail for 10 years and there discovered that a pretty stubbled face in twilight is a perfectly acceptable substitute for organic relief. Having served his sentence and rejoined the public, our hero reverted to his normal sexual service without apparent need of psychotherapy, priest or agony aunt.

Suddenly, the present has its attractions - but the future beckons once again.

To watch the Kirk Douglas video, click here. Darrell Robinson's gallery can be viewed here.