Sunday, 29 June 2008

"Ten-year-old kids in charge"

Patricia Routledge sounds off at the BBC drama department.

Saturday, 21 June 2008


The Ashington Group were a bunch of Northumberland miners who in 1934 invited a lecturer to teach them about art. Wisely, he didn't just tell them about it but encouraged them to make it themselves. The result, over several decades, was a remarkable collection of paintings recording their way of life.

Here's a slideshow of some of their pictures; the group's own website is here; and this is Steve Platt's admirable personal response to the story.

Monday, 16 June 2008

When people don't remember the Sixties…

…this is what they're trying to forget: the inexplicable Tiny Tim does whatever it is that he does on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (2½ minutes):

It isn't over

Brace yourselves: there are another 160 Barbara Cartland novels to come…

Assessed to death

Professor Jonathan Bate on the over-regulation of academic life.

Underwhelmed by his fame

Franz Künstler, who has died at 107, was the last surviving member of the Austro-Hungarian forces in World War One.

Peculiar volumes

A slideshow of eleven unusual books.

Hat tip: Froog

Sunday, 15 June 2008

"Numa Numa" without the fat guy

More infectious enjoyment from Syncsta (4 minutes):

Poe's last mourner

Every year since 1949, a mysterious black-clad figure has drunk a toast at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.

She, she herself, and only she

This way for the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, "the only art museum in the world dedicated to the work of a woman artist of international stature."

First day of class

Lecturers need to stave off boredom too.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Cheeky Monkey

In the first five minutes of his Oscar-winning performance, Joel Gray lures you into Cabaret:

Strange Leith

Can PhotoShop render Leith any weirder than it is already?

Shami for Chancellor

Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty is the new big cheese at Oxford Brookes University.

Let him be accursed

Like Savonarola of old, Willie Lupin has come to us to castigate and anathematise the world, the flesh and the devil - or "Piers Morgan" as they're now collectively known.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Plus ça change

D W Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) furnishes a video for Public Enemy's "Burn, Hollywood, Burn!" (3 minutes):

Against Age Banding

L to R: Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anne Fine, Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett, the five Children's Laureates and 1,500 other authors, illustrators, teachers and librarians all say no to British publishing's latest well-meaning folly. More here.

Thoughts on the Present Discontents

Boys and girls come out to play, watched by Penny Red.

"Carousing became a habit"

Bernard Crick's candid obituary of Angus Calder, historian, poet, essayist, first convenor of the Scottish Poetry Library and man-about-the-Old-Town.

Tormented by the voices

Creative resistance to telemarketers.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Are you Sir Nicholas Serota?

If so, don't visit Stuckism International. (This has been a public safety announcement.)

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Bob Hoskins rapping

…or, more precisely, lipsynching to Jamie T's 'Sheila', with its nods to Betjeman and My Fair Lady (4 minutes):

Oldest and best

No one before has brought such star quality to the role of Britain's oldest man: the mighty Henry Allingham hits 112. Some nice extra details here.

No escape

Shaver's Weekly, the self-styled "shoddy drinking fanzine" and long the brightest jewel in Edinburgh's crown, is online too (after a fashion).


The suicide of Christopher Morgan, sometime religious affairs correspondent of the Sunday Times, was followed by the most heartfelt Times obit I've ever seen - and a storm over Andrew Brown's critique of him in the Church Times.

The perfect library

You know you're getting old (or whatever) when your fantasies overlap with those of Paul Johnson.