Fairweather Friends

I was never really into Friends BUT I wasn’t a Friends hater , it was what it was ..Well meaning, well crafted light entertainment. Anyway, the cast break up and go out into the show biz world…Some surviving better than others

The decades pass..Now suddenly along comes a “Reunion” show for HBO MAX. To many this is an exciting moment, Friends was hugely successful and birthed millions of hardcore fans.

However, as science states, every action causes a reaction..Thus, to counter the ocean of love for the show, comes an ice age of hate. The reason given, for not meeting todays moral, social standards and. of course, the examples they give are so daft..

“Chandler Kept being worried about being gay” – they say this shows he was anti gay . Fine, in 2021 that kinda storyline MAY border on using “gay” in a pejorative way.

But I say, so what .. .Do we all have to want to be gay now? Do we have to pretend some people who are gay would rather not be gay and do we have to pretend, Hetero males aren’t at times, comically terrified of becoming gay. These are facts of life, its better to laugh at them that to pretend you are more emotionally sophisticated than we are

It has been argued that pop culture has become SO gay , its completely shallow and lacking. . I don’t fully agree with that BUT there is room for agreement in aspects. More than that though and this is whats worrying me..

The show wasn’t being homophobic in the least,It was anti being anti gay, the joke WAS ON Chandlers character for being so up tight and worried about being gay..THAT WAS THE JOKE Even 8 year olds in the 90s, saw this was a joke .. The fact adults don’t is scary.

WE live in idiot Times

The View

For the last 6 months my days and nights have been divided philosophically and spiritually. Generally speaking, the day is flavored by European realism and the nights are infused with a kind of cozy American fantasy
In the day I mainly watch English, French and Italian “New Wave”, mainly the films of (and about)
Pier Paolo Pasolini. In fact, I’ve been re-reading quite a lot of Pasolini’s poems and other various writings.
After, living in in America for 5 years, the heart longs for something and someone searingly poetic .
There is an odd kind of brainwashing and slight of hand, that goes on in America, where the notions of “Freedom ” and “Personal Rights” are used to take away peoples freedoms and give less rights. Americans are the new puritans that live within a comfy lie, in someways.
When on the run from the American attitude, Pasolini is the perfect refuge .

At night, I join my wife for Little House On The Prairie…. Isn’t Albet such a cute kid, isn’t Laura Ingalls brilliant, Isn’t Nellie Olseson a horror….I quite like the pitiless camp of Harriet Olsen, played by Katherine MacGregor

It’s a dangerous show to watch.. As its one of those “Why isn’t life like this? ” shows..The constant nagging of crisis and human loneliness never gets a look in or if it does it’s dealt with in the handy time frame of 50 minutes..No matter what the crisis, blindness, heartbreak or death… By the 46th minute its all peachy…Michael Landon will cry and they will share some home baked cookies around the table.

The key to the eternal happiness is the fact life in Walnut Grove is, nearly always, fair, there is usually a “silver lining” to most mishaps and the unkind will, nearly always, get their karmic kick in the privates (of course, in 2021 most peoples “Privates” are far from Private, it seems the whole World snaps, jpegs and sends theirs in speedy zeal) In short, the folk at Walnut Grove are spared the bitterness of the unfairness of “real life’ I think Little House On The Prairie should be essential viewing in these pandemic times

“Woe to him who doesn’t know this Christian faith is bourgeois.”― Pier Paolo Pasolini, Poems

Pony Up .

Over the last 4 months or so, I’ve been boring anyone and everyone I speak to (no change there then ), advising, nay ordering  “You must check out Orville Peck” .
Orville is a country singer, (think country in the old sense of the word )  who this year released his first long player called “Pony”- everyone should own this LP, even the dead.

The album is grand simply due to the songwriting and Peck’s fantastic voice.  The subject matter he covers is heartbreak in the key of homo.
Now, the  loneliness of the gay way is hardly new subject matter in rock and pop, however in the ultra-straight world of country music its, almost, a revolution.
On Pony, Peck has managed to create a David Lynch soundtrack inside the Smiths Song ” How Soon Is Now?”. If that idea doesn’t get the blood rushing, then nothing will.

Last night, I got to see Orville in Santa Ana, in Orange County, it was the first time I’d seen him live and it was the first time I’d been to Santa Ana. Due to Orange County being extremely Republican, a number of Pecks audience  being dressed as cowboys and the yearning for escape in some of the songs ..I kept experiencing fleeting feelings as if  I was in one of those small-town American movies like The Accused, Boys Don’t Cry , Mystic River etc …Not a comfortable feeling but not uncomfortable enough to blemish the night.

Live Peck shines, he brings a whole new dimension to his “Goth Chris Isac vibe”.. Injecting punk energy into the songs.  His voice freer more daring.
The crowd act as if Peck is an artist they have known for years, rather than someone who has only released an LP this year. The air was heavy with passion and the passion was loaded with the joy of release.
The world is a lonely hearts club and Orville is the new house band.

Next stop The Troubadour…





Cancel House

“Cancel Culter ” is a culture born of the modern “Left”
Its a movement derived from self-appointed tastemakers deciding what fits in with their moral/ethical belief systems.
These systems, these days are packed and labelled as “Woke”. They are essentially based on well-meaning but abstract idea’s that used to only be found birthed, breathing and dead on the college campus.
“Woke”, used to be a student phase, like listening to Devo, watching Dogme 95 cinema, having bi-sexual threesomes, thinking wearing a shirt with the buttons done up the wrong way makes you eccentric, wearing an Ironic T-shirt means you are rebellious and thinking everyone in the world must know you are “Pansexual, actually”- even though you don’t know what it means and are really just “ambidextrous “
These idea’s never could stand toe to toe with the reality of the “real world” ..Thus, they were thrown away within the first day of leaving University (along with henna hair dye, army jackets with slogans written on them with marker pen, Manic Street Preacher’s and John Grant merchandise and the books of Martin Aimless…I mean Martin Amis.
That was the old world, at least …In the new world, over the last 10 years, the rules of the campus became the guiding hand of the media.
Twitter, FB, Reddit and 4chain created an audience for extremes. The “kettling” effect of modern algorithms pushed each tribe into a cyber reality that only reflected their own idea’s of reality. Isolation breeds distortion.
The right-wing became a more extreme version of itself, the left became a more extreme version of itself … So extreme in some ways, it’s now more fascist than the actual right

These days “woke” is the mainstream and if you don’t want to subscribe you are “Cancelled”. ’cause you see there is no sense in modern life.

Surely, a movement that seeks to “cancel” art, is fascist by very nature?

The worst thing is, often the cancelling isn’t even done for moral reasons, the outcry is usually just from some “journalist ” or blogger, trying to make their name by ruining another’s- an old trick, that the modern call “Trolling”
The hunter aims to kill it’s prey, with accusations of lack of virtue. Whether there is no lack is here nor there.
Its all click to the bait

Salford Pub, 2012

The gig had finished and after I went to a pub that is placed where Manchester dies and where Salford is born
The usual comments and songs were thrown at me and I sat down at the bar.
I ordered a pint and then went out for some air
While standing there three toughs gathered at pace and started throwing homophobic abuse my way.

I think it was about to get physical when the girlfriend of one of them came over and told them said “Get the fuck away from him, leave him alone you fucking divs”
I didn’t think much of her turn of phrase BUT I was thankful for her appearance .

The girlfriend and I then talked about books as we walked back in the pub (she liked beat writers)..

The landlord and two barmen then approached me to see if I wanted the prats kicked out , they had followed me back in ..
I said “No , Im not offended ..I don’t think I have the bedroom tastes they think I have ”
They laughed and said “Are you sure you don’t?”
Me “I think so ”
The landlord said ” WELL WE DO have the “Tastes” they think you have Duckie, and we aint fuckin having it ”

I thought to myself is it impossible for anyone to say a sentence in the North without a swearword being elbowed in? and said “Well you may as well take their money ..If they start causing trouble then kick them out”

They thought that was a good idea and said I didn’t have to pay for drinks all night ..

When the twits were leaving the girlfriend who stepped in earlier said “bye” and spoke to the guy drinking with me … Once she went he said “You know she thought I was your boyfriend”
(the landlord and barman over heard and laughed )

Me “BUT I told her I wasn’t ..you know..”

They all laughed and said at the same time “Nobody believes you ”

Me “What do you have to do around here walk around with spoken confessions of every bedroom partner you’ve ever had in your pocket to prove witch way you swing?”

Anyway , I left drunk as a Friday night pub wally and got lost trying to find my B&B in Salford … I spotted people in a car and went to ask directions .. They weren’t very happy as they were undercover fuzz watching a house ( I saw one of their badges )…It turns out they were of no use anyway as hadn’t heard of the street …

It was freezing and on I walked… Passed drunks laying in the road, passed couples making out in cars , passed what looked like a person breaking into a church and passed a woman beating up a man …
I saw a group of 20 somethings that were quite obviously junkies and thought I better risk it and see if they can help.. Otherwise I maybe found next to the garden wall of a council owned terraced house, frozen to death like Jack Nicholson in The Shinning ..
They were quite helpful even offering “A freebie” ( I declined)..Thanks to them I found my B&B within 10 minutes

I’ve never been to Salford since … However I liked it there .

“A restless city, alive and dying in the same breath..It’s the only place I can claim to know. A peculiar thing about Salford is it’s like a terrible drug..you might want to get away from it, but you can’t. So you stay.”

Shelagh Delaney

Operation Snide

It seems Dave ‘I got a post card from Morrissey ‘ Haslam is advertising a free anti Morrissey gig to coincide with the singers concert in Manchesterford in July .
Haslam took to social media and said

“How can we respond to Morrissey’s hatful of hate, and his support for the far-right? With a free LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM party on the Sunday he’s in Manchester, July 8”

Div Haslam says he’s putting on the show to protest against the singers ‘Hateful hate’ Now if you feel people are spreading hatred and racism then having any form of protest is fair enough.. However I have to ask myself what hate?In another social media post he elucidates on his reasoning for the protest party – anyone would think he has a new book to sell….Oh yeh, he does .

A free party to coincide with Morrissey’s forthcoming visit to Manchester, featuring more than a dozen of the city’s top DJs – in response to Morrissey’s divisive views, and his support for the far-right.

In recent years, the ex-Smiths singer’s views on race have become particularly strident. Morrissey has described the Chinese people “a sub-species”, heavily criticised Angela Merkel for opening German borders to refugees, and has gone on record supporting far-right figures like Anne Marie Waters and EDL founder Tommy Robinson. He does, however, claim to have “Muslim friends”.

Morrissey hasn’t lived in the city for thirty years – he lives abroad in tax exile – and has now joined the ranks of various right-wing politicians, tax exiles, tabloids, and media hate-slingers seeking to divide our community.

Manchester is our home, it’s a city built on immigration, a city with an amazing legacy of great bands and wonderful clubs.

How do we counter the hate? Let the music do the talking; by throwing a free party, a celebratory all-dayer of beautifully diverse soul-filled, hope-filled music… ”

Now it’s true Morrissey, over the last 8 years, has shown elements of being misguided, being a bit of a twit or maybe even displaying the worsening of a malady but I wouldn’t go as far as suggesting he is trying to spread “hateful hate” as such. It’s true the party For Britain that he has shown support for does spread hate BUT Morrissey hasn’t himself .

This isn’t the only element of truth bending in Haslams glory seeking comments, the “Chinese are a sub-species” comment were actually a “Stitch up job” by The Guardian and Poet and fan with an Oedipus complex Simon Armitage- Simon is a talented enough poet, that unfortunately has a face designed to be nothing other than the first point of contact at a Ramsgate unemployment office.

The Guardian were swift to run a teaser campaign for the interview between Morrissey and Armitage, that went along the lines of “Tune in and see what the singer said this time” trying to gain maximum interest for their hurried hatchet job.

In a breezy interview, in regards to a news report on the Chinese Cat and Dog trade , which included very graphic footage of dogs and cats being maimed , murdered and even skinned alive, all Morrissey actually said was “Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”

Now in the context of what the singer was talking about, is his comment racist or merely a human reaction to inhuman acts? I personally would consider it the latter. It’s no different from any conversation that goes on up and down Britain (if not the world) on seeing humans inflict such cruelty on defenceless creatures, especially dogs and cats that are seen as family members by millions of pet owners .

This is Simon Armitage’s response when being quizzed about the singers comments , after the interview had come out “I thought at the time it was a dangerous thing to say into a tape recorder. He must have known it would make waves, he’s not daft… But he’s provocative and theatrical, and it was one of dozens of dramatic pronouncements. I’m not an apologist for that kind of remark, and couldn’t ignore it. But clearly, when it comes to animal rights and animal welfare, he’s absolutely unshakable in his beliefs. In his view, if you treat an animal badly, you are less than human. I think that was his point.”

A couple of points that may be worth nothing but are worth noting the newspaper that were asking for Armitage’s thoughts on were part of the same organization that ran and hyped the original interview.

Armitage is clearly saying Morrissey wasn’t being racist just stating he considers anyone who mistreats animals to be inhuman .
Thus, if Armitage thought he wasn’t being racist, one would think he would have spoken to the editor of the paper that is running the piece, thus they would know he wasn’t being racist ..So why write the article and advertise the article as if he was ?
The answer is obvious , the lying press were lying again ..Anything to make up the numbers . They don’t care if they ruin careers as long as they sell copy

Haslam states Morrissey “heavily criticised Angela Merkel for opening German borders to refugees”.
This is true and its false. The interview Haslam is referring to was with Der Spiegel. Again the interview (you can listen here)was a laid back affair , Morrissey remained, as usual , softly spoken and playful ..Though admittedly this interview wasn’t his brightest hour and he came out of it sounding very ill informed.
Morrissey, was critical of Merkel (is that now a crime?) but not because of the opening of boarders to refugees per se , more about the amount of unchecked immigration in Germany, and Europe in general – which is a concern for people , to use last centuries terms, on the “left ” as well as the “right”.
I suspect Merkel represents to Morrissey a bland version of Europe where all nations mingle and merge and lose their identity..Which is something he’s always seemed to be against. Now thinking like this may make him a reactionary but it doesn’t, in of itself, make him a racist .

Lastly Div Haslam states that Morrissey ” has gone on record supporting far-right figures like Anne Marie Waters and EDL founder Tommy Robinson. ”

Again this is true and it’s false , Morrissey has , unfortunately, given strong, support to For Britain and fired off praise for the parties leader Anne Marie Walters.
Anne Marie Walters is a handsome man that just happens to be a woman. Think a young Bryon Ferry, albeit a young Bryon Ferry with rickets.

Now it’s true that Annie Marie Walters seems askew and fulled by muslim hate but she isn’t a “far right figure” as such , in fact she was only in the labour party a few years ago and came to For Britain via UKIP , which in the UK in 2018 is virtually centrist right.

As for Tommy Robinson, Morrissey hasn’t given any public support to him (yet). All he said, in a soft bowl interview was he thought the treatment of Tommy was “shocking”.
Saying you think someone has been mistreated doesn’t mean you support the person .

Morrissey’s views on Tommy being mistreated aren’t even extreme, lots of people think that . Lots of us in the UK don’t agree with Tommy’s views and don’t like him as a person , however it’s obvious he has been misrepresented in the media and treated badly by the law….
13 months prison time for contempt of court, reporting on FaceBook about a court case, is a harsh, to say the least . I know of people who have tried to kill people who have done less time than that .
13 months hard labour for filming yourself , on your mobile phone, outside a court is “shocking” and this is very much the common view in the UK

If you have been a visitor on Haslams social Media pages over the years you would be witness to his limitless anti Jeremy Corbyn posts and endless name calling and putting down of people who voted for Brexit .Aren’t his own comments a form of hate?
Of course, the only reason Div has ago at Brexit and Corbyn is because almost everyone else who works in the British media does and Dave is too much of a coward to think and act for himself .

I’m all for protests against racism, hatred, bullying and the bedroom furnishing of mismatching eiderdown and pillowcase sets . The trouble is it’s a bit rich when Div Haslam (who remarkably has a head that looks more like a King Edward potato than a King Edward Potato does and has a face even an acid attack victim would consider “unfortunate”) , whom for years, has been dropping the singers name when it suits him posting his ‘Morrissey postcard’ on, seemingly any and all social media outlets. Boring the world with his gushing, groupie like encounters with the singer.
Even this year after the singer had made ‘iffy’ remarks he took part in a Mozarmy event (a get together for the singers fans) in Manchester. Not to mention using his meetings with the singer to sell his awful new book- which is basically a book that says ‘ooh guess which pop stars I met’.
I would suggest if you don’t like the singer, if you see nothing but hate and malice in him then stop trying to make money from him and using him for publicity . Essentially Div Haslam sticks me as incredibly disingenuous and incredibly snide
The type who will never take a real stand, only ever doing what is considered popular, the type who can only make their name on the backs of others but then he is a DJ and what are DJ’s but people whom make their name and status playing other peoples records . Hip by Proxy merchants.

What the media and people like Div Haslam leave out with their clumsy , ripped screaming from context, collection of remarks and incidents that are meant to prove the singer is an ultra right little Englander and a hate filled racist is that Morrissey is and for years has been a vegetarian, pro women’s rights, pro gay rights, anti war and anti royalist. As well as being anti England’s rule of Northern Ireland and The Falklands. He also wrote a song called See You In Far Off Places, which is anti USA’s Middle East operations.These are hardly the opinions of someone on the politic hard right.

The singer routinely travels the globe has stated his love yes for England but also Ireland, Scandinavia, Mexico, America and Israel as well as singing about the wonders of Turkish city Istanbul. This doesn’t strike me as the actions of a St George tattooed little Englander

Morrissey has been a long time fan of black author James Baldwin, he dedicated his last LP Homo In Highschool Low In High School ( which was rather good thank-you-very-much ) to black comedian/social observer Dick Gregory,. At gigs he’s been supported, among others, by David Mcalmont ( black singer), Sonya Madan (an Indian singer, born in Delhi), Murray Lightburn (black singer), Buffy Sainte-Marie (indigenous people’s of Canada singer ) and of course Kristeen Young (a singer who may not even be from this Galaxy, let alone Earth). Morrissey also dedicated his autobiography to a lady called Tina who happens to be from Iranian Muslim stock. This may not be a faultless defence against being a racist but it’s also not the role call and choices of you’re average BNP, EDL or even UKIP member….Even a member only on the part time Saturday cleaning rota.

Being a pilok doesn’t make one Heinrich Himmler

I here finish , as I’m Finished

Love music, Lamp Haslam


Ezra Furman 16/05/2018

Last night I went to see one of the very few newish acts I like ..The venue was on W and 7th ,in Los Angeles, (which around certain corners is rather like NY in 1992)
On entering the venue I saw the crowd was full of what lifes dividers call “millennials”, not wanting to be mistaken for anyones over protective father I found somewhere out the way I could lean and stayed there …
Happily the place started filling up with “older ” folk after the support fled , it didn’t really make much difference but it was nice not being the eldest person in the gaff…Its a minor concern but I didn’t want anyone to think I had strayed in expecting to see Bonnie Tyler

It just so happened Ezra Furman, the pop turn in question, had been standing alone watching the support and on his way to the apply his stage lippy before show time he passed by said “hello” and then waved and went in the stage door ..Alas I thought he was communicating with someone behind me, it took me 10 mins to realise the only thing behind me was a wall.

He was surprisingly thin in the way lots of us at his age were, too busy getting by to eat anything more complicated than toast or if feeling more daring , Weetabix.

Come show lights , Ezra come on in a black dinner dress and white plastic beads , looking like a feral child that was escaping life as a mannequin in a thrift shop window.
He reminded me of the character Georgette in Last Exit To Brooklyn or at least Alexis Arquette when he played Georgette in the movie version of Last Exit To Brooklyn ..
In short its queerdom in a very NY way .
Ezra is still in his artist stage , mostly untroubled by commerce ..Catch him while you can’t .

Jobriath A.D….It’s Finally Arrived, The Documentary For Those Yet To Know…

So, whats to be said about Jobriath? First he was underrated NOW he is overrated.
Yes, he was the first “Out” gay pop star..BUT he wouldn’t have come out if it wasn’t for Bowie having first played the bi card (not to mention Little Richard, Lou Reed and a host of others bending the genders).
Lets not pretend his coming out was for anything other than publicity, it wasn’t about any cause BUT did it have to be?..And lets not pretend just because he was gay his music is important, to do that is to avoid one trap, only to fall “Clara bowes and open toes” into another
However, claiming Jobriath was merely a Bowie tribute act is to miss the point entirely.
His PR was a pure Bowie rip off ( David returned the favour years later by appropriating Jobriath’s debut LP cover for Dimond Dogs, as well as using some of Jobriaths stage set for a future tour) but the songs were a Pop/Rock musical theatre as sang by Mick Jagger. Where as David was a liquid nitrogen cool observer with a fierce intellect, Jobriath was a dream state, off off broadway wonderful wow, existing in another zone
Much too “Beyond” for boring old Rolling Stone Magazine, always lagging  years behind..Even now in 2015, they are still scared to their very core of the feminine, especially if the feminine is male.
The UK  didn’t care either, they couldn’t see the talent beyond the second hand persona..They were either forever in 1964 or primed and pinned by Bolan and Bowie..There was no lust and wonder left for anyone else . Thus, Jobriath didn’t stand a chance…

Ultimately , he had some great songs, which at the end of the, well worn, day is what it’s all about and thats enough.


Published 2015 ©