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Diarist’s dozen…

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Yes it’s day twelve, the penultimate trip down the tangent trail towards today’s tenuous target.
We start off by sampling a slice of psychedelic space rock, then our journey continues via some gloriously jangly pop and an inside look at one of the year’s nastiest new TV characters, to finish off with a wealth of audio amusement.

On our last outing we ended by paying tribute to the great scientific minds that helped us to find and identify that pesky little particle, the Higgs boson. So I thought I’d start this first leg of the home straight with an album by one of my all-time favourite bands;

Hawkwind named their 1977 album after some more subatomic particles and you can get your very own dose of cosmic radiation by listening to the whole thing right now – Quark, Strangeness and Charm
And where to go from there but to This Charming Man by The Smiths, fronted by Morrissey.
English actor David Morrissey has had great success in the States this year, playing new character The Governor in zombie thriller series The Walking Dead
…which stars another Englishman abroad, Andrew Lincoln, who had his first walk-on part in up-to-the-minute satirical newsroom sit-com Drop the Dead Donkey..
…which was co-written by Andy Hamilton, creator of Hell-based radio comedy series Old Harry’s Game and presenter of an irreverent documentary on the history and myths surrounding his lead character, The Search for Satan.
Hamilton is also a regular guest on BBC Radio 4’s “antidote to panel games”, the fabulous I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue, now presented by Jack Dee.
But here’s the classic line up, with late, great jazz trumpeter and national treasure Humphrey “Humph” Lyttelton in the chair, recording the show in front of a live audience.

And I’m keeping to the radio comedy theme for my second-to-last choice of 2013 best bits, mainly because I love it and partly because not enough people listen to comedy on the radio nowadays, despite the fact that many of our most popular TV sketch and panel shows started off on the airwaves before making the move to the small screen.

This show is presided over by a man who is no stranger to TV himself, David Mitchell, who has graced this list once already.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Unbelievable Truth.

Enjoy, and I’ll return with the final episode of Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of Love tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Humour, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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The Sunshine Award. (7 degrees of separation)…

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I’m delighted to say that I’ve just received another blogger award.
This time it’s the Sunshine Award, presented to me by Lanthie at Life Cherries and as usual it comes with some pass-on-the-award-to-other-people-and-give-some-facts-about-yourself type rules.
But if you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that I try and do something a little more interesting with my nominations, so with that in mind jet me introduce you to my new award.

All seven people nominated are of course automatically recipients of the Sunshine Award, but in addition they will receive my brand new accolade. (along with bespoke Ho artwork)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Tenuous Lynx Award.

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Here’s the idea. We all know we can connect ourselves with each other via six degrees of separation but I thought I’d go one better and connect the seven blogs I’m nominating for my newly minted award by seven degrees, all via stuff I like, thereby giving you that all-important insight.

Just because, alright?

(It would please me greatly if you attempt something similar when you pass it on to whomever you choose, but feel free to just bestow the Sunshine upon them if you so wish)

Let us begin…

☆★☆★☆★☆
Life Cherries gave me the award.
Cherries have stones.
The Rolling Stones recorded a song called Mother’s Little Helper, about housewives getting pills from their doctor.

The Doctor is soon to be played by John Hurt in the 50th anniversary episode of Dr Who and he was also in classic sci-fi horror masterpiece, Alien
4º …the second sequel of which stars a host of British actors, including Charles Dance.
5º Charles now stars in the TV adaptation of George R.R.Martin‘s brilliant Game of Thrones.
6º Game of Thrones has a plotline involving dragons..
…bringing me to my first nominee, windhound’s colorful and experimental Dragon Shades blog, featuring beautiful abstract digital art and photography.

☆★☆★☆★☆
Dragon Shades brings colour to life.
Living Colour were a heavy rock band from the late ’80s who I once saw at Reading Festival.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol is a poem by Oscar Wilde.
Wilde was played by Stephen Fry in the film of his life.

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Stephen Fry – Wilde man.

Fry used to be in a double act with Hugh Laurie.
Laurie has found fame in America both through his music and as the unconventional doctor in the title role of House.
House Music is often accompanied by elaborate computer graphics and digital video effects.
Which are just the sort of things that are on display on the blog of my second nominee, Waking Spirals.

☆★☆★☆★☆
Waking Spirals combines cutting edge art with literary quotes and philosophical musings…
…as does Waking Life, the extraordinary film by Richard Linklater who also made A Scanner Darkly.
Scanners is a film by David Cronenberg who also made disturbing dystopian hi-tech nightmare Videodrome, starring Debbie Harry
..who was in Blondie.

Blondie began their career at CBGB, along with other punk legends The Ramones and Talking Heads.
Talking Heads made my favourite concert film of all time, Stop Making Sense..
…during which David Byrne wears a giant white suit…
..and what do you have in the back of a suit?
A Vent, that’s what. Which is what Ron calls his blog, and he’s nominee number 3.
Check out his take on life in the big city, it’s faaabuuloso.

☆★☆★☆★☆
A vent is something you would use to release air.
Air are a French electronica band whose first single was the sublime Sexy Boy

…from the album Moon Safari and when the Apollo 11 mission went to the moon they planted a flag.
Flagg is a character in many Stephen King novels including The Stand, many of which contain monsters..
…and Stand is a song by R.E.M.
..who recorded an album called Monster.
6º  They also had a massive hit with Everybody hurts.
And what do you have if everybody hurts?
A World Of Pain, that’s what. Adam’s blog is funny, clever, thought provoking and occasionally mischievous. Go and take a look, you won’t regret it.

☆★☆★☆★☆
A World Of Pain’s Golden Face Palms are raising a lot of dough for cancer charities.
Dough is what bread is made of and Pain is the French for bread.
Pizza is also a dough and Pizzaman is one of the many aliases of Fat Boy Slim.

Fat Boy Slim’s real name is Quentin and Christopher Walken appeared in one of his videos.
Walken also appears in another Quentin‘s film, Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino’s films frequently contain prolonged shoot-outs, much like those favoured by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Spaced.
Someone else who was severely spaced was Arthur Dent in Douglas Adams’ fantastic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which he and his friend stick out their thumbs and travel round the universe..
…as opposed to Quillan and Angela at Toemail, the fourth of my award recipients, who travel round the world and send back stories with photos attached, all of which contain a toe or two. Go dip a toe in their blog.

☆★☆★☆★☆
Toemail posts all feature feet.
A giant foot ends the Monty Python title sequence
…which is animated by Terry Gilliam who also made the dark and Orwellian Brazil
The original Orwellian nightmare, Nineteen Eighty Four revolves around the character Winston Smith.
The Smiths recorded a live album called Rank.

The Rank Organisation movies of the ’50s and ’60s opened with a man striking a giant gong.
The psychedelic band Gong recorded an album about a “Radio Gnome Invisible” who travelled in a Flying Teapot
…which would be an ideal accompaniment to my penultimate nominee, The Flying Fruitbowl, where you will find Aaron curating all manner of fabulous digital and fantasy art by new and exciting young artists.

☆★☆★☆★☆
A fruit bowl is an item favoured by artists painting still life pictures.
Still Life is an album by prog rock pioneers Van de Graff Generator.
The scientific apparatus, the Van de Graff Generator is used for making electricity.
Electricity was the debut single from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

…who also recorded Maid of Orleans, a song about Joan of Arc.
In Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Joan of Arc is played by Jane Wiedlin from The Go-Gos who had a hit with Rush Hour.

Canadian rock band Rush released an album called Moving Pictures..
..like the ones you’ll find on Sandro’s blog Life in Pictures, an eclectic selection of beautiful photography with something to interest and enchant everyone.

Which is my seventh and final Tenuous Link to an award nominee in this daisy chain of tangential twaddle. I hope you found something to entertain you amidst the forest of links and clips and if you are a lucky recipient, why not have a go yourself and pass along the Tenuous Lynx.

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{Ooh, and please link back to Diary of an Internet Nobody in your post. Thanks)

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Arts, Awards, Blogging, Charity, Films, Ho., Humour, Music, Music festivals, TV

 

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The Beatnik Alternative Quill Jig…

Have you ever had a joke or a line in your head that you just have to use somehow, no matter how contrived you need to be in order to crowbar it into conversation?
No?
Oh, ok, just me then.

Anyway…

Having met, chatted to, and got to know many more Americans online in the last couple of years than I’ve met in the whole of the previous forty five, I’ve begun to get more of an idea of what makes us so similar in some ways, and yet so different in others.

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One thing our US cousins are certainly big on is patriotism, and never more so than on 4th of July,when they wish each other Happy Independence Day.
Just by the posts on Facebook from my American friends you’d know what day it was even if you’d just woken up from a coma.

Which is nice, don’t get me wrong, but we don’t get to have a massive party to celebrate our independence from anyone in the UK (although Scotland may be able to celebrate their own soon enough, you never know) because who would we celebrate our independence from?
The Vikings?
The Romans?
The Saxons?

Besides, the 4th of July in America now appears to be more of a chance to celebrate general American-ness, as opposed to actually gloating at the memory of slinging out the English in 1776.

So I think we should have an equivalent holiday, when we revel in British cultural achievements.
Not sure about a name, but It’ll come to me later.

Music is a great tool for crossing national boundaries, even if some of the terminology varies from time to time.
For instance, the term Beatnik – derived from American writer Jack Kerouac‘s “Beat Generation” – describes a member of the subculture better known in the UK as Hippy, and although the Alternative rock scene arguably began in the US, with pioneers like The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Jefferson Airplane…

..and continues today with other bands such as Killers, Kings of Leon, and unpredictable masters of tripped out psyche-rock, The Flaming Lips,

..the UK can lay claim to spawning the Indie movement, bringing the world groups like the hugely influential Smiths…

…art school geezers, Blur,

…and even bipolar Goth barbershop-dodgers, The Cure

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Of course, this all started with a quill and a piece of paper, and we all know that the “Pen is mightier than the sword” in achieving accord between disparate peoples, a term coined by accomplished 19th century English poet, playwright, and novelist, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in his 1839 play about Cardinal Richeleu.
So maybe something that celebrates our rich literary history should be included in the festivities.

And it’s not like our friends over the pond really disapprove of us anymore is it?
Well, maybe they’re not always so keen on the English and our limey liberal ways, but don’t they just love the Irish?
At last count, over 11% of Americans – that’s 34.5 million people – claimed Irish heritage to some degree or another, and presidents from Roosevelt and Kennedy, right up to Reagan and Clinton have made a point making their celtic roots widely known.
If some Hollywood movies are to be believed, the entire NYPD is staffed by shillelagh-toting, Guinness-swilling Sons of the Emerald Isle, only ever one copy of the Irish Rover away from doing a Jig.

If there is one musical genre that’s always proven popular across the Atlantic, its the second English Invasion, that of Dance and House, (now rechristened EDM – or Electronic Dance Music – presumably because promoters gave up finding names for new sub-genres) with DJs like Fat Boy Slim and Paul Okenfold playing vast stadium venues to massive crowds.

I’m not entirely clear what any of this proves, and I’m still struggling to come up with an appropriate name for the holiday on which we could celebrate all this British cultural richness.

So for now I’ll just call it Hippy Indie Pen Dance Day.

Hmm, needs some work, but I think I might have something there…

(Right, got that out of my system, we’ll say no more about it)

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Blogging, Music

 

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