Categories
Books Review

The Magic Goes Away

It’s been tough to be a reader during lockdown. The struggle is real. I downloaded four Inspector Montalbano books, but then really didn’t enjoy with the first one I tackled – A Nest of Vipers – not in the mood for Andrea Camilleri’s style (or that of his translator). The other three remain unread. I […]

Categories
bastards cycling

Four wheels good – two wheels better?

While I’m not quite at the stage where I change my mind about Johnson and the Tories, I am slightly heartened to read about the proposed investment in healthy travel and “Ofsted for cycling infrastructure”. If I don’t think about the proposals too much I could almost believe something might really… happen… this… time. I […]

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bastards

Who is that masked man?

I was in B&Q a few weeks ago, in Milton Keynes, and I think it was the first time I consciously wore a mask face covering to a shop. In my case, it was one of those Buff tubular bandanas. Mine’s made of recycled plastic bottles. In Covid-time, a few weeks ago feels like another […]

Categories
entertainment insomnia Podcasts

The great podcast cull of 2020

I’ve been scrolling through Overcast (my podcatcher of choice) over the past few weeks and ruthlessly Kondoing all the podcasts that fail to spark joy in my heart. This morning I deleted one as I was halfway through listening to its latest episode. I can hardly name names because some of them were so forgettable […]

Categories
entertainment Television

From Peak TV to Weak TV, an essay

My subscriptions are constantly under review (I hope yours are too). I recently unsubscribed to NowTV and my on-again off-again relationship with Netflix is currently off-again. This saves me £18 per month. The TV+ service is either free at the moment or free because my kid bought an iPad, but in any event, isn’t worth […]

Categories
Books entertainment music Podcasts

New Light on the Beatles Equation

Rolling Stone magazine has a list of the Top Ten Beatles Books. You may not be surprised to learn that there isn’t a single book written by a woman in the list. Still, boys love lists, don’t they? And the alphabetising, train-spotting tendency is dominant in rock criticism. Mark Lewisohn has taken it to such […]

Categories
bastards

Catalina: regrets, I’ve had a few

Last week was WWDC, the Apple developer festival at which it’s traditional for the next version of macOS to be announced. This year it was Big Sur, the first version of macOS that will run not just on Intel processors but on “Apple Silicon”, in yet-to-be-announced Macs. Apple have designed their own chips for years, […]

Categories
entertainment music Review

A New Bob Dylan Album You Say?

I’m reminded today of an hilarious moment in Tim Moore’s rather excellent book French Revolutions, about his attempt, as a fairly rickety and unfit man, to complete the route of the Tour de France on a fairly rickety bicycle. When you’re cycling, you’re moving at the kind of speed that means you notice all the […]

Categories
bastards entertainment Television

Brainwashed by TV Cop Shows

“He was a serial killer. You did your job.” Cardinal So it goes. I’ve been wrestling over the past few days with the obvious cognitive dissonance between fictional cops and the real, paramilitary thing stalking the streets of American Cities in armoured vehicles and body armour, beating up protestors and – over and over and […]

Categories
bastards

A Mad Scientist Speaks

If I were designing a science fiction virus in a laboratory I’d want it to be a little bit like chickenpox, something that can lie dormant in a host body before re-emerging at some point in the future. Chickenpox can emerge in adulthood as shingles, which can be a lot more unpleasant than the childhood […]