Posts Tagged ‘amy winehouse’

Heat

October 2, 2008

How does one sum up the contemporary female as viewed by the gutter press?

Well look no further folks, it’s here.

Being perpetually presented with media stereotypes of women, the new Heat advert is the perfect representation of all that is wrong with how we view the role of the young woman in today’s society. What is more disturbing is how this celeb crap is something women aspire too.

My favourite whipping boy (and she’s got a face like a bloke) is Jordan, the tit-waggling tart who, by a combination of self exploitation and sheer greed, has managed to make a fucking fortune by using the media to reinvent herself at the expense of her own family. As a role-model, the damage has already been done. Every other aspiring ‘celeb’ is only too happy to be seen, cosmetically adjusted for the purpose of the universal proletariat bloke, swaggering about wearing nothing but tooth floss in order to gain the attentions of the paparazzi.

But there is more. After the mutual exploitation has established a ‘celeb’, said celeb will often bite the hand that fed it. This results in violence – think Allen/Winehouse who regularly find themselves having to punch their way out of their own homes or clubs when the monster they’ve created turns to suck the very marrow out of their bones.

It has to be said that the violence is usually dished out by those that, to some degree, have earned their fame via talent (the likes of Jordan and Marsh couldn’t afford to spurn the attentions of the press) but obviously such behaviour keeps the artist in the public eye, which will ultimately result in record sales. young women are left with the notion that it’s acceptable for women to use their fists as well as their tits.

Now the Heat advert. Incidentally, Heat is nothing more than a paparazzi-landfill with a desire to do no more than poke its nose into the lives of those that jangle their enhanced privates / damaged emotions at cameras before dishing out gushing praise or more commonly, screaming vitriol, to nosy gossips and fishwives.

So, after being presented with a typical cover of Heat, an expose on some gits Lumpy Thighs’ for fucks sake, two women start to punch the crap out of one another.

We’re presented with the idea that Heat is of such value that two perfectly normal women are prepared to kick seven bells out of each other in order to read the last available copy. But even within the advert there is more bird-baiting, while these two fairly ordinary wankers roll about on the floor a model serenely plucks the magazine from the shelf looking down at the ‘ordinary’ pugilists with a certain degree of disgust.

Sort of says it all about the magazine, it’s content and it’s readers.

Actually, I could go on and on about this… but I won’t.

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Glastonbury on the BBC

July 1, 2008

Aha! Festival time! The season when all publications pull out their stock book of cliches and plagiarise themselves in a transparent effort to seem at one with the zeitgeist! Huzzah! Boomshanka!

As if you weren’t sick of it already from the endless coverage in every publication other than music magazines (that shithouse NME aside), as if you hadn’t puked real tears from your colon upwards upon seeing ‘style thermometers’ in the broadsheets recommending which designer wellies to shove on your pointless feet, as if you hadn’t already ticked off which hopeless, mediocre, electro-punk-fuzz rock/pop fusion supergroups you were going to lap up in lacklustre fashion like an artificial indie drone when you finally got to the hell of the desecrated countryside, they then go and put Glastonbury ON THE FUCKING TV as well.

For the purposes of this blog and in the vain hope of seeing a half decent performance (in comfort rather than from the back of an enormous marquee while trying to avoid a flag some South African twat keeps waving), I tuned in. I V plussed the whole lot and forwarded a hell of a lot of the crap.

That’s a lot of forwarding. A hell of a lot. My forward finger’s gone all bent.

Before I start, I should point out that I don’t for one moment think that watching all of the BBC’s output gives any insight into the festival itself. I’m clear that this is a BBC production and that many of those who went to Glastonbury won’t have seen any of the crap outlined below and will have had a jolly wheeze. This is really a criticism of the rubbish on BBCs 3, 4 and 2 more than Eavis’s garden fete. So if you went, don’t get all defensive.

Trying to keep a chronological list of what I viewed would’ve been logistically difficult, so I’ll highlight and lowlight what I absorbed.

Full-on, MOR bilge

Mark Ronson, step right up. Hours were dedicated to this little shyster playing his coffee-table cover versions. Except he wasn’t really playing – he was whacking a cowbell while a team of session musicians joylessly flapped about behind him. To distract the audience from this fact, special guest after special guest was invited out to ruin perfectly good songs. The best example of this was Lily Allen shitting on the already shitty Oh My God by the Kaiser Chiefs.

Flat, atonal, vocally weak, if this wasn’t an abject lesson in why famous peoples’ kids shouldn’t be indulged on the strength of their name, I don’t know what is.

In addition to this, we suffered KT Turnstile, James fucking fuck’s sake Blunt, Will Young (?!), Goldfrapp, Crowded Fucking House and yes, Vampire Weekend. Despite claims to the contrary, this band are as middle of the bloody road as a centrally plonked white line in a central motorway along the equator. So, so dull. Sting. The Police. Get lost.

Rubbish, weak, noughties indie

Pigeon Detectives. Kate Nash, Get Cape, Wear Cape, Get Lost. The Enemy. Editors. All of these were showcased on the BBC while interesting bands (interesting because I quite like them) such as Los Campesinos, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Young Knives were all overlooked in favour of the flavour of the month, which inevitably left a bitter taste on the buds.

A handful of highlights

A song each on the main coverage from Spiritualized, Band of Horses, The Verve, MGMT, The National. Despite the fact that the latter were rather sullied when Edith Bowman made out she’d invented them. A few full sets on the red button (including some of the above groups) were alright as well, but were also non-recordable – which was handy.

Hip hop at Glastonbury

I’m a fan of a fair bit of hip hop music but as I’m middle class and from the midlands I try not to talk about it in public for fear of sounding anything like Tim Westwood. Jay Z’s set was alright, considering live hip hop usually sounds abominable. What was hard to digest was the constant adulation the BBC presenters gave businessman and occasional rapper Jigga.

He’s made a few great to excellent tunes, fair enough, and he’s sold a lot of records, but he does put out a fair bit of shite. Anything he’s done with that berk Pharrell is unlistenable. The constant ‘bringing hip hop to Glastonbury’ celebration the presenters brayed about was ludicrous – hip hop has been at the festival for years. Why don’t the likes of Roots Manuva get the honour of bringing the genre to a festival it’s already at? Nonsense.

The bloody presenters

Mark Radcliffe dithered but was amiable. Lauren Laverne was her usual geeky self – likable but irritating simultaneously. Phil Jupitus was wheeled out for nostalgic reasons. That Rufus chap with the comedy moustache had the unenviable task of showing the odd stuff that goes on away from the music at Glastonbury to entertain people on drugs and pierced bozos. All of these I could bear. Even that Grimshaw fellow was alright. The rest of them were horrible.

Jo Whiley, a woman who seems to be permanently wincing, kept trying to tell her audience that they were missing out by not being there where all other presenters were trying to convince them that they were better off at home watching footage. I’ve followed Whiley’s career from the off. I remember her first ever transmission where she kept talking over a live Teenage Fanclub set on Radio One and she’s not improved. Not one jot.

Annie Mac looked extremely vacant. She earns bonus points for having passively dissed Mark Ronson, but aside from that she was nothing more than a curly blur. Grimshaw (is that his name or have I made that up?) kept her afloat. She was clearly on hyper-intertia-drugs.

The booby prizes undoubtedly go to Edith Bowman and Zane Lowe.

It’s baffling to me why these two are in gainful employment. Edith talks so earnestly and joylessly about stuff that’s completely pointless that it makes the viewer roll their eyes frequently enough for it to resemble epilepsy.

Zane Lowe, on the other hand, sits like a twatty teenager thinking he’s above everything. His wisecracks are second-rate, his wannabe laidback style conceals panic inside and his attempts at cool come off as horribly desperate. Putting these two together was a low shot from the BBC, designed to annoy the sit-at-home festival goer so much that they got to the point of watching the stuff on the red button, just to prove that people use that neglected function.

Apart from that – nothing to report. Amy Winehouse was a coked up, furry, stick-insect arsehole again – but what’s new? I wish that fan had punched back.

CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!

 

*BANG*

 

*thud*

banksy

March 6, 2008

 Banksy

I notice another Bansky has materialised in London.

Whilst I find his images a tad pithy and partially wry, the status of his work has been blown out of all possible proportion.

I’m now going to explain why with my words.

Firstly, the graphics themselves, again, they’re okay, they sort of remind me of a mixture of 50’s comic books and Goya’s etchings -well, at least in terms of the treatment of the figures and their subsequent lighting- which doesn’t exactly do much for Banksy’s ‘contemporary’ vibe. Painting on walls has been around since the Neanderthals shat on their fingers.

The compositions themselves are quite strong, the lack of background adds a certain starkness to his renderings but I can’t help feeling that this is born of a compromise. He’s desperate to protect his anonymity and subsequently the works need to be executed hastily. It feels to me his pieces have an ‘it’ll do’ aspect as opposed to a ‘I want to achieve this’ atmosphere.

And lets not beat about the bush here, the main reason he’s a success is precisely because of his status as some sort of anonymous guerrilla artist working on the fringes of the law. He’s such a renegade that Banksy.

The other reason he’s become successful, of course, is his subject matter. In my opinion this is his main strength but his message usually dithers too much to instil any sense of satire. Take his latest work as an example; he’s ironically done a great piece of PR for fucking Tesco…

So, why has this person’s work gone from being worthless graffiti to highly collectable art? It’s not good enough to say that he’s captured the zeitgeist of the modern age by offering to the public a bit of controversy via the juicy stamp of his exceptional talent. It’s because he’s the perfect media darling.

We can’t see this fellow, we know nothing about him, for all we know he’s stumbling out the Funky Buddha every night hanging out the back of Amy Winehouse coked to the Parietal Lobe before scrawling ‘cunt’ in his own vomit. All we know about Banksy are these timely acts of self PR. The person with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies to all intents and purposes doesn’t actually exist.

From the Daily Telegraph to the Daily Mail, this enigma has gone from common or garden vandal to being nonchalantly feted and quietly adored AND he can enjoy his celebrity status unhindered. In my opinion that’s his greatest achievement. In this respect, he’s unique. To have the press at your beck and call, yet you barely exist.

There are other brownie points too, his works (these days) can do wonders for a local economy, especially in deprived areas and, I suppose, a part of me sees him bringing art to the masses, turning the street into a gallery so on and so forth…

In fact, Banksy doesn’t really seem to have any critics at all. Everyone seems quite pleased when one appears. This is problematic – it emasculates his work, the satire that existed in the first place is gentrified. It becomes harmless and that’s not what art is about.

And this, dear reader, is why Banksy doesn’t really work.