Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Reasons to be cheerful, bats out of hell and other unconnected items

Right then, reasons to be cheerful? There's always something.

How about (1) this great interview with poet John Cooper Clarke (from this Sunday's 'Independent'). We were talking about him recently, remember (back here)? I loved all the bits in this new and fascinating interview about people mistaking JCC for a Rolling Stone (the hair..), also the excellent quotes from poets Adrian Mitchell and Simon Armitage (SA calls JCC “a cross between Sid Vicious, Ken Dodd and Allen Ginsberg”) and there's a funny story about 'shards' too. Most of all I loved the respect (from interviewer Robert Chalmers) for JCC's “depth and range”. Respect where it's due, as they say.

And how about (2) this episode of the BBC comedy series 'In the Thick of It'? If you've never seen it it's kind of 'The West Wing' meets 'Fawlty Towers' and I would probably not have watched this show on my own but Mark started watching it and was laughing so much that I had to join in. There is a lot of swearing in it so if you don't like swearing keep well away. Personally I think swearing used in humour can be just perfect (the key word there being 'can'). There's some particularly good twitter content in this episode (and I have yet to twit and so can laugh freely...).

And (3) how about this marvellous book – 'Nude' by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

I'm not going to write a review of 'Nude' because I just wrote a book review a few posts ago and they drain the life out of me. I will say, however, that it is fabulous, and that you should most definitely read it and buy it as a Xmas present for all the people you love (buy it here). It contains probably the best short stories I've read since I last read some Alice Munro (and indeed they are probably as good as hers...yes, I really do think she's that good... dazzlingly good).

And then (4) there has to be a song, doesn't there? I posted the Ian Dury mentioned in the title back here so I can't post that one again. So what can I suggest (she says rattling around in the cds)...what have I been listening to this week? Well, for a start we've been 'educating' our Girl with some classic rock of late (and we've been having a lot of fun at the same time). We're not quite sure what she makes of this yet...my guess is you'll either love it or hate it already.

I know it's a bit Lloyd Webber in a leather jacket sometimes...but there's some great stuff in it too - some very amusing lines and some fantastic lung action. And listening to it again after all these years it does make me wonder what Meat Loaf would be like on the monstrosity that is 'The X Factor'? He'd probably eat the competition (though I'd prefer it if he ate the 'judges' to be honest...the women would be more snacks than meals admittedly).

Can't end on Meat though so (5) let's have some dessert after that main course (in the form of an Aimee Mann song). I first heard it whilst watching the movie 'Magnolia' (great soundtrack, fairly average movie).

Well, I feel better. How about you?


Group 8 said...

Oh my. Well I'm certainly feeling cheerful after that! Alice Munro! Yay!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for calling in, Nuala. I'm sure that book is going to be a huge success for you. How could it not be?

Totalfeckineejit said...

Reasons to be cheerful?
1)JCC, the bard of Salford :)

2) BBC i player only available in UK :(

3)Nude by Nuala Ní Chonchúir :)

4)Kitsch comic trash novel rock opera meister Meatloaf :)

5)Aimee Mann,(much as I've tried )

But as Meat says 'two out of three ain't bad' so three outa five is pretty good too!
Must read that JCC interview, tankxzs ye!

PS word vero is curiously 'discedec'

Niamh B said...

Thanks Rachel, I'll be returning to this page next time I need reasons to be cheerful.

Rachel Fox said...

Sorry if you can't get the i-player, TFE. Maybe someone will put it on youtube - it's series 3, episode 3 and really, really funny. Interesting guest actor too (took me a while to recognise him - think kids TV...also BBC).

There is a quick preview of series 3 here but that's all I could find just now.

The JCC article is brilliant. Possibly one of the best pieces I've read about a poet/poetry for a long time.


Rachel Fox said...

There's a bit of it here (but wrongly labelled as series 2). And the swearing in this bit is VERY full-on.

Rachel Fox said...

Although that's not the funniest bit really. The best bit is when it all goes a bit '24' down on the promenade.

Hugh McMillan said...

In the thick of it is totally briliiant. Strangely enough I've been looking at clips in Youtube over the last few days. Certainly cheers me up.

So does Outnumbered.

Rachel Fox said...

The only danger with watching ITTOI I think is that I could easily go a bit Malcolm Tucker (a suburban English housewife version but a Tucker all the same). Picture me outside school shouting 'you're all just feckin arseholes'. It wouldn't take much.

I used to be a people person, you know.

The Weaver of Grass said...

You feel better? You sound on top form to me!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Weaver. Big thanks.

Gwil W said...

Just rambled over from Dominic's place after reading your comment. The man's a genius. Did you see his wok-oscope?
Unfortunately I can't see all your pics as I don't have the right software.

Rachel Fox said...

I've seen you at Weaver's too, Poet. Hello.