Monday, March 22, 2004

The Guardian

Have spent a happy week reading The Guardian. Mostly the features section, but occasionally the actual, real news for grown ups. Although, just as reading the Telegraph news section makes you shudder with contempt for bigotry, the caring agenda of the Guardian does get a little wearing after a week. The whole attitude was neatly summed up by a charity insert which fell out onto the floor. It just said in block caps:

The main joys I’ve learned are as follows.

The letters page has had a healthy, and, at times, worryingly well-informed correspondence over whether or not Sedna should really be called Mondas.

Apparently, George Bush’s 2004 re-election website had lovely posters that you could generate your own slogan for. According to the website, popular DIY “VOTE BUSH” posters included: “Prepare to die”, “Look out Syria”, “But not if you’re gay”, “Baby Jesus cries if you don’t vote Bush-Cheney 2004”, “Vote Ironically”. Then, apparently, the server got overloaded, and started sending people pages they hadn’t asked for. So, one woman who’d created an obscene slogan received “Sportsmen for Bush”, and is left wondering who ended up with her filthy version.

A wonderful review of Busted in concert by Alexis Petridis (nagging feeling he used to write for the Oxford Student when I was there. It’s a very familiar name, coming complete with that little stab of “he’s a success, you’re a failure” recognition). “They have attracted fans so young they make your average Westlife screamer look grizzled,” Petridis writes. “Next to me, two tiny girls start pinching and punching each other.”

“Singer Charlie Simpson signifies angst by clutching his head and narrowing his eyes. According to the gossips, Simpsons’ suffering is real. He also fronts a serious band, Flightstar, namechecks the Smashing Pumpkins in the tour programme (they apparently have “an amazing muff which helps them make very interesting sounds) and is allegedly tired of being a kindergarten pin-up.

“His behaviour on stage certainly sends out subtle messages regarding his future. He sings a solo number. He plays a guitar solo. He appears behind a drum kit and plays a solo on that too. You wonder which instrument he will favour next. The tuba? The church organ? Perhaps they’ll bring on an amazing big muff and he can make some very interesting sounds.”

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