the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

Creating images is Hollywood’s business, so perhaps we should be a little less taken aback by the allegations raining down upon Harvey Weinstein like Oscars used to do.

But then, the pictures they like best tend to be formed from bold colour palettes, semiotics, tropes and conventions to push us towards a resolution that while not necessarily satisfactory, is at least coherent. If the stories they told were as convoluted, confusing and messy as those we experience in real life, no one would watch them.

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Allegations that a very rich,very powerful Hollywood mogul behaved inappropriately with a number of women he worked with and paid some of them to keep quiet about it would have been revelatory ten years ago. Maybe even five.

Unless you’re a woman born before 1995. If that’s the case, the only revelation is that two female reporters were allowed to conduct an investigation into the matter which the New York Times broke yesterday.

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The crowded train carriage is rocking rhythmically. It might be accidental and you don’t want to come off like a screaming hysteric, but still. That leg, arm or pelvis pressed against you is uncomfortable and you’d rather it wasn’t there. Like when Mark from Peep Show put his hand on the bus seat and then Soph sat on it. He probably doesn’t even know and will be mortified if you were to call him out publicly. He looks alright. Not weird or anything.

Phew. You shifted and the contact is broken. That could have been really awkward.

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The English Football Association is representative of the people.

It’s a bold statement, but one I’m prepared to stand beside having witnessed their handling of the Eni Aluko allegations generally and spent time on football message boards yesterday after the story of Mark Sampson’s sacking broke.

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While true crime is enjoying something of a spike in popularity, let’s not treat it like a recently discovered, previously untapped mine of compulsive entertainment.  People have been getting their kicks from vivid descriptions of gory violence and proximity to psychopathy since the true crime section sprang up in WH Smiths.

I know. I was there.

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They were specks in the distance. He wouldn’t have spotted them but for the lone tern that drifted into his binocular sights, dipping with the air currents that clashed across the bay. Usually he wouldn’t bother focussing on a bird he routinely documented but this one’s insouciance caught his eye and he followed its progress until he saw them. Continue reading

Marc Albrighton has just scored Leicester City’s second goal of the night and, assuming they don’t go all Arsenal on us, will proceed directly to the quarter finals of the Champions League. Their performance has been everything part 2 of the Ranieri era was not; purposeful, competitive, pressing, intense. They’re irresistible.

How ironic then, that they should be the club representing football’s summiting of Peak Entertainment and beginning the long miserable march downward into unknown (if inevitably uncomfortable) territory.

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A view of the main entrance to Auschwitz camp pictured on the day of the 72nd anniversary of liberation German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. On Friday, January 27, 2017, in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto)

The pizza at Auschwitz is great.

I thought about the propriety of that sentence the moment it popped into my head, while sitting on a rubber block in the car park eating the aforementioned snack, which was a thin and crispy vegetarian slice cooked to perfection in a small booth to the right of the museum entrance. I tested it on my mother when I returned home and she curled her lip. I was admonished for saying it, as I expected.

It’s not what you go there for, is it?

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When was the last time you watched a film without having a clue what it was about before you started?

Time is so pressing these days and there are so many forms of entertainment competing for our attention that it’s almost essential to watch a trailer before committing two hours of your ever decreasing lifespan to something that turns out to be utter rubbish.

For example, if I hadn’t seen the trailer for XXX: The Return of Xander Cage which includes a scene in which Vin Diesel drives a motorbike through the sea, I might have accidentally gone to watch it.

Then I’d be dead and you wouldn’t be reading this.

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