Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.

One of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite films, (covering one of my favourite songs) in the last 10 years. The original medley is a show tune from a production called Pal Joey, which I have never seen, but I think it’s about a gentleman called Joey. I may be wrong. The website youku, wouldn’t let me embed the song, for reasons unknown. Also, I should add, the reason I didn’t take the equivalent clip from youtube, is that the video looks like it has been filmed using a one eyed toaster. I have more pixelations on my pixelated penis then that entire clip in general. I’m just saying – I’m not making a reference to being endowed or anything and I’ve certainly not become more oriental in the last few days so to have me wondering on far east web pages. I have no idea what is going on over there.

This song, moves me like no other. Ella’s voice speaks for itself and resonates through my screen as if she were sat here singing to me in person. I have always loved Ella Fitzgerald but there are times when I love her more than others and this lazy late morning might just be one of those occasions. The recording is peppered with idiosyncrasies and intentional errors, which make it just that much more endearing. Perhaps also the only song in the history of popular music which references words like “dyspeptic” and “anti-septic,” and manages to sound genuine. A fantastic piece of recording history.

The History Boys for those of you who are unfamiliar, is one of the greatest, most unsung British films (based on an Alan Bennet play) of the last decade. As someone who is oddly obsessed with the 80’s, the tone of the film is beautifully set in working class Sheffield, following the dreams of eight boys on their quest to gain entry to the elite universities of Oxford and Cambridge, whilst grappling with their sexuality, each others, poetry, paedophillia, literature and of course history. The one thing that ruins this film for me somewhat is the addition of James Corden as the chubby Timms. As a sane and rational human bean, I cannot help but take a profound dislike to this man. A sincere, bilious and dedicated dislike to him. He is also a West Ham FC fan, so that does not entirely help matters. In any case, he does little to take away from the film in general. It is in general a droll and delightful affair and makes me want to go and listen to the Smiths at full blast whilst riding around on my Chopper before the dawning realisation that Morrissey is an unashamed hypocritical genius racist, thus bringing the episode to a close. There’s always one isn’t there. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the film.

Mrs Linott – “Actually I wouldn’t have said he was sad. I would’ve said he was cunt-struck.”
Hector – “Dorothy!”
Mrs Linott – “I’d have thought you’d like that. It’s a compound adjective. You like compound adjectives.”

“History, it’s just one fucking thing after another.”

“Durham was very good for history. It’s where I had my first pizza. Other things too, of course, but it’s the pizza that stands out.”

Dakin – “Lecher though one is – or aspires to be – it occurs to me that a lot of women cannot be easy, who must suffer such inexpert male fumblings, virtually on a daily basis. Are we scarred for life, do you think?”
Scripps – “We must hope so.”

Scripps – “You complacent fuck.”
Dakin – “Does the Archbishop of Canterbury know you speak like this?”

Mrs Lintott – “History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with a bucket.”


Arsenal Football Club and a Lifelong Love Affair

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of Arsenal football club. There have been times where my passion for the club I love has waned as I have ambled through life one day quietly merging into the next but the allegiance was carved into the stony cage of my ribs from the day of my birth. I grew up watching Ian Wright run the premiership ragged and I have a cannon on my chest.


I won’t bore you all with the details of why I love Arsenal so much, rest assured I do. When they win, I want to run down the streets of North London naked, but for a strategically placed hat (on my head) and hug and kiss the local constabulary, the contents of my groin gently rubbing on the long arm of the law. When they lose I want to cry (have you seen a grown man cry? It is freaking awkward, I mean where do you even look? Do you pat on the back? Do you hug? What exactly are you supposed to do? Nobody teaches you that man. Nobody teaches you shit.) and wail and tear of my clothes in shame. I want to run through the streets, naked but for a strategically placed baseball bat (in my hands) and beat the nearest squirrel to death with it, cursing the day both it and I were born, with a strange dilatation in my eye….. I find it odd to think that I mark Arsenal wins and losses in almost the entirely same manner. It is not something I’m proud off.


Regardless, we Arsenal fans are accustomed to criticism. We ride wave after wave of negativity spun by the press, pundits, opposing fans, single mothers, that bloke down the road and the ward clerk at work, but we fight on, because we are a bunch of proud bastards.

This video has come the closest to making me cry in the last 10-15 years of my life. The last time I encountered this cusp was when Goran, a midfielder on my then football team (Pitshanger FC) placed all his weight, via studded boot, carefully on the contents of my scrotal sac. I have never been more emotional at any event in life until this video. Apart for a foul, deceitful, myopic, underhand, unfaithful, unbecoming, egotistical, dissenting, insufferable, smug, self-gratifying and un-endurable Dutch skunk, this video makes me proud to be an Arsenal fan. It makes me happy and that I will take.

We are in dark days but there is always hope. I am a firm believer in Arsene Wenger. I am a firm believer in us. Class is permanent, North London is red and I will always be Arsenal until I die.



Every once in a while you hear a song that gouges it’s way deep into some hidden passage within your soul, so deep it flies through the networks of nerves coursing through your body, giving the imperative order to ominously seize in a corner, limbs flailing whilst beating the nearest person to death with a rotting aubergine. What? Just me?

Either way, regardless of your current vegetable status I am sure you can find some time to sit in awe of the simultaneous genius of both musician and director in this piece. It has been declaring itself periodically to me for several months now and it is worth a mention.

In the sea of night where my soul is real

Broken visions let the darkness heal

And the dream of life will surely reside

I can hear your heart, I can touch your skin

Feel the whole world breathing from within

I can live it here forever inside