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Which of this month’s begging letters from my almae matres more rapidly and effectively earned its place in my bin?

Was it the one from Oxford University that began:

Dear Mr Counsell

Today the defining struggle in the world is between relentless growth and the potential for collaboration.

which, if it means anything at all, is cobblers?

Or was it the one from Imperial College that began:

Dear [DO NOT USE – Temp Salutation],

Insert your content here

?

It’s a question worthy of our finest minds.

UPDATE: Today (11Aug10), I received an email from Imperial that began:

Dear Mr Counsell,

If you spotted our email of Monday 9 August, we’re sure it didn’t escape your attention that it lacked the lucidity that we hope you would normally expect of us. We would like to apologise for the mistake and thank those of you who have responded asking us to “<insert content here>”.

“…the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights”

I am against bans on the wearing of the burqa or niqab in public1 therefore I am going to recommend that you read the best article I have read in favour of such bans:

The argument that the garment is not a religious obligation under Islam is well-founded but irrelevant; millions of Muslims the world around believe that it is, and the state is not qualified to be in the business of Koranic exegesis. The choice to cover one’s face is for many women a genuine expression of the most private kind of religious sentiment. To prevent them from doing so is discriminatory, persecutory, and incompatible with the Enlightenment traditions of the West. It is, moreover, cruel to demand of a woman that she reveal parts of her body that her sense of modesty compels her to cover; to such a woman, the demand is as tyrannical, humiliating, and arbitrary as the passage of a law dictating that women bare their breasts.

All true. And yet the burqa must be banned.

I quote Jefferson in the title of this post because he was one of the Founding Fathers and the author of the article is American; I don’t agree with him either.

  1. But I have no strong objections to consistent bans on all religious symbols on the premises of state-funded institutions []

What Hamas Gets Up To When No One (Here) Is Looking

Over at Ricochet, Judith Levy illustrates her commentary on the state of the “ceasefire” with a picture of the effects of another rocket attack from Gaza on a rehabilitation centre for special needs kids in Israel two days ago. For “prison camp” guards, the Israelis are surprisingly easygoing.

…the attack on Sderot took place twenty-four hours after an Iranian Grad missile, also fired from Gaza, landed in Ashkelon, a city even deeper inside sovereign Israel. It should be noted that in addition to containing 125,000 Israeli civilians, Ashkelon contains the power plants that provide 70% of Gaza’s electricity. Attacks like this might therefore seem counterproductive, but ratcheting up the misery level at home in Gaza via an attack on Israeli civilians is a win-win for Hamas. Images of Gazans without electricity or other basic needs play extremely well abroad; they feed a carefully constructed narrative that enables those so inclined to justify their distaste for Israelis and Jews. And the response of the IDF to the attack on Israelis — whatever that response may be — enables the shifting of blame for all Gazan misery to Israel while providing a justification to continue attacking Israelis inside Israel.

Self-Replacing Elites

The BBC’s Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield is broadly happy with his children’s French education, but he does have one complaint:

French schools have absolutely no extra-curricular activities.

There are no debating societies, no orchestras, no film clubs, no sports teams, no painting classes, no school newspapers, and no drama, at least none worthy of the name.

This, it seems to me, has enormous implications for society as a whole.

Youngsters who are not exposed to these activities at school are unlikely to spot their own potential. Perhaps as a result in adult life, the associated professions – politics, theatre, journalism – now seem filled by self-replacing elites, which is both undemocratic and uninteresting.

How lucky we are to live in England.

Moral Philosophers Of Our Time

Charles Alexander:

The former partner of killer gunman Raoul Moat was yesterday blamed for the death of an innocent man and the maiming of a police officer.

The deranged bodybuilder’s uncle Charles Alexander claims Samantha Stobbart also has the blood of her ex-lover on her hands.

The 72-year-old former soldier launched a astonishing tirade of abuse at 22-year-old Ms Stobbart in an open letter, blaming her for causing “untold suffering and anguish”.

He claims it was her lies that turned Moat into a monster – and goaded him into launching his deadly shooting spree.

In his letter – addressed to “the victims, their families and others” – Charles rages at blonde Samantha, who dumped Moat while he was in prison.

He says: “This lady has the blood of two deaths and a maimed PC on her hands, all caused by the lies and goading on the mobile (phone) prior to the incident.”

Russell Razaque:

The flimsy justification for the [second Iraq] war was apparent from day one and, as a result, young Muslims already vulnerable to radicalization found themselves easily swayed by an argument by extremist recruiters that painted it as part of a global crusade the West was waging against all of us – “the Muslim ummah”.

Not a word of Baroness Manningham-Buller’s testimony to the Chilcot enquiry is, therefore, news to me.

After 7/7, Tony Blair did not occasion to visit a single victim of the atrocity in hospital, as would have been customary for a political leader at such times of national tragedy. Instead he preferred to stay away. As a psychiatrist, I don’t have to think too hard about why this is. He may obfuscate and divert, deploying the considerable intellect and forensic debating skill, with which he is blessed, endlessly in the cause of his rationalization, but the guilt he is working so hard to suppress will never be far below the surface when the direct consequences of his actions face him in this way.

If the first duty of any government is to protect its citizens then I cannot imagine a greater crime a government could perpetrate on its own people.

Imelda Got A Boom Boom

I’ve no strong objections to the sub-genre, but I’m certainly not a rockabilly fan; this afternoon, though, Imelda May, having been flown in specially with her band by private jet to play, impressed me on Dermot O’Leary’s BBC Radio 2 show1. Check out this video of her performing Johnny Got A Boom Boom on Later… with Jools Holland to see why her record company is throwing money at her—in short: great vox, good songs, fine band, hot looks:

Although her “story” is the sort of cute thing that PRs lap up—“Irish rockabilly singer with residency in Birmingham burlesque club”—it’s a good indicator of her long-term potential that the live version of that song is better than the one recorded in the studio, which you can also find on YouTube.

  1. Readers who follow my Twitter feed will know why I made a special point of bigging up Radio 2. []

Tough Characters

In Web time, this is an ancient (1991) essay, so I don’t feel guilty that I can’t remember who drew my attention to it today: “Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard“.

Someone once said that learning Chinese is “a five-year lesson in humility”. I used to think this meant that at the end of five years you will have mastered Chinese and learned humility along the way. However, now having studied Chinese for over six years, I have concluded that actually the phrase means that after five years your Chinese will still be abysmal, but at least you will have thoroughly learned humility.

“Does anyone know the way, there’s got to be a way To Block Buster!”

This Slate piece about Blockbuster, the movie rental chain, is fascinating; well, it’s fascinating to someone like me who thinks formats and markets and channels and digital data and movies are interesting in themselves. Stir them all together and…

In 2005, Greg Meyer wrote a letter to the management of Blockbuster. He wanted to warn the movie rental company of a looming revolution: DVD vending machines that were showing up at supermarkets and fast-food joints all over the country. At the time, Meyer was the CEO of DVDXpress, which operated DVD kiosks in New York and the United Kingdom. He was offering Blockbuster a chance to get in on what looked to be the next great transformation of the home-video rental business.

If Blockbuster installed a DVD machine outside each of its stores, Meyer argued, it could offer movie rentals even when the store was closed. This would likely increase the revenue at each retail location and let the company reduce its operating hours; with the kiosks, Blockbuster could justify closing each store during the three slowest hours of the business day, saving $140 million a year in operating costs. Meyer gave the Blockbuster board his contact information and proposed a meeting to discuss his kiosks. He never heard back.

Five years later, Blockbuster looks foolish for ignoring the kiosk revolution. Redbox now operates machines at 22,000 locations, and it’s poised to expand to 30,000 by the end of the year. In 2009, Redbox’s parent company, Coinstar, doubled its revenue in the DVD business; Redbox now accounts for about 20 percent of the DVD rental market. Meanwhile, Blockbuster looks nearly sunk. In 2005, when Meyer sent his letter to the board, shares of the company—which had already been roughed up by competition from Netflix—stood at $9. Today, two Blockbuster shares wouldn’t buy you a $1 rental at your local Redbox. With $1 billion in debt, Blockbuster is flirting with bankruptcy.

Yet here’s the crazy thing: Greg Meyer is still trying to save Blockbuster. In 2007, Meyer sold his DVD company to Coinstar. After DVDXpress merged with Redbox, Meyer left the company and used part of his windfall to invest in Blockbuster; he now owns about 650,000 shares of the firm. Despite Blockbuster’s current troubles, Meyer believes the video chain can thrive once again.

Lost Appeal

The BBC reports:

A relationship counsellor who refused to offer sex therapy to gay couples has lost his unfair dismissal appeal.

Gary MacFarlane, 47, from Bristol, was sacked by marriage guidance service Relate after he said he could not do anything to promote gay sex.

He alleged Relate had refused to accommodate his Christian beliefs.

The service’s chief executive Claire Tyler said: “The appeal judgement validates Relate’s commitment to equality of access to our services.”

Mr MacFarlane, a former church elder, was appealing on the grounds of religious discrimination at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bristol.

The two main quotations below are, to my amazement, from the text of of the relevant judgement by the England and Wales Court of Appeal. The arguments in these extracts seem to me to go beyond those I understand are normally supposed to be included in such documents. I also wonder how much foundation for some of the claims made can be found in English legal history—none is offered at those points the text, and I bet there are plenty of opposing precedents. Still, I agree with the following [apart from the feeble “slippery slope” bit about theocracy], so why should I care?:

[T]he conferment of any legal protection or preference upon a particular substantive moral position on the ground only that it is espoused by the adherents of a particular faith, however long its tradition, however rich its culture, is deeply unprincipled. It imposes compulsory law, not to advance the general good on objective grounds, but to give effect to the force of subjective opinion. This must be so, since in the eye of everyone save the believer religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence. It may of course be true; but the ascertainment of such a truth lies beyond the means by which laws are made in a reasonable society. Therefore it lies only in the heart of the believer, who is alone bound by it. No one else is or can be so bound, unless by his own free choice he accepts its claims.

The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified. It is irrational, as preferring the subjective over the objective. But it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary. We do not live in a society where all the people share uniform religious beliefs. The precepts of any one religion – any belief system – cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other. If they did, those out in the cold would be less than citizens; and our constitution would be on the way to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic. The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments. The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law; but the State, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.

Would you say there’s some creeping Americanization of English law going on there? Like there was in this [PDF 73KB]? I would. Hurrah for the colonies!

[Thanks, Andrew.]

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You

Sarah Palin is a phenomenon:

Sarah Palin is a singular national industry. She didn’t invent her new role out of whole cloth. Other politicians have cashed out, used the revolving door, doing well in business after doing good in public service. Entertainment figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and even Ronald Reagan have worked the opposite angle, leveraging their celebrity to make their way in politics. And family dramas have been a staple of politics from the Kennedys—or the Tudors—on down. But no one else has rolled politics and entertainment into the same scintillating, infuriating, spectacularly lucrative package the way Palin has or marketed herself over multiple platforms with the sophistication and sheer ambitiousness that Palin has shown, all while maintaining a viable presence as a prospective presidential candidate in 2012.

The numbers are staggering. Over the past year, Palin has amassed a $12 million fortune and shows no sign of slowing down. Her memoir has so far sold more than 2.2 million copies, and Palin is planning a second book with HarperCollins. This January, she signed a three-year contributor deal with Fox News worth $1 million a year, according to people familiar with the deal. In March, Palin and Burnett sold her cable show to TLC for a reported $1 million per episode, of which Palin is said to take in about $250,000 for each of the eight installments.

[Thanks, Pernille.]

Flocking Hell

Gordon Brown hears his own words on tape and covers his face

Beam me up, Mandy

Bigotgate” [Deliver us from the media’s standard scandal suffix!] has come to this: There’s a report on the BBC News Website that actually devotes a paragraph and two full-colour charts to a 30-minute dip in Twitter sentiment towards Gordon Brown in response to his tetchy grumbling to an aide in the back of his official car today. We are only a couple of years away from the media literally disappearing up their own arses, when they will bring us second-by-second reports on the ripples of microblogging stirred by Nick Robinson accidentally farting while interviewing a party leader.

An odd side-effect of today’s fuss has been a spike in visitors to another entry on this blog, one in which I quote Gordon Brown’s predecessor and long-time colleague Tony Blair expressing his own feelings about xenophobic voters:

A friend sent me an email on Saturday that reminded me of a story about Tony Blair during the ultimately victorious 1997 Labour General Election campaign. (Remember, this is when people were still referring to him as “Bambi”.) Perhaps in a bit of a panic about polling figures, the Tories had decided to play the race card as a last gasp measure. One of his aides asked Blair what he was going to do about it. He is supposed to have said,

“Nothing. If that’s the kind of government the voters want, then fuck ’em”.

For me, Gordon Brown’s mistake here wasn’t that he was rude about Ms Duffy, who, let’s remember, said the following to him, without irony:

“You can’t say anything about the immigrants because you’re saying that you’re … but all these eastern European what are coming in, where are they flocking from?”

—which, bigoted or not, is undeniably stupid; it was that he was then grovellingly apologetic about his should-have-been-private verdict on her. His (or his team’s) subsequent backtracking seemed to me less motivated by politeness than by the same fear that prompts representatives of self-described anti-racist parties to respond to local election victories by racist parties by saying things like:

“We cannot dismiss all those who voted for the British National Party today as ‘racist’. Many of them have legitimate concerns that they feel are not being addressed by ourselves in the mainstream parties. We need to go away and think about these issues.”

No. Voting for racist policies is racist. The case for free, but controlled, immigration is sound—just as the case for free, but regulated, trade is sound. If mainstream politicians fail to make it, then mainstream voters will not be persuaded, and the likes of Ms Duffy will continue to spout tribalist nonsense. Despite her claim that her freedom of speech is constrained, the Thought Police haven’t arrested her yet. And I haven’t read a single media commentator suggest that she might have said something worthy of an apology.

I’ll finish with a comment that I didn’t post to the end of a thread on the Facebook page of a Tory friend who registered his approval of the “Gillian Duffy -A BIGOTED WOMAN” page on that site:

Throughout history, talentless and lazy bigots of both the Left and Right have used trade barriers, border controls, closed shops, and plain racial discrimination (both “positive” and “negative”) to protect what they believe to be the most important freedom of all, namely the freedom not to have to compete with talented and hardworking people. History shows us that their cosy dream is wrong and doomed.

UPDATE: This, from a flocking Eastern European is worth reading.

Oops, Odone Again

Most literate adults in the UK know that The Daily Telegraph wants the Conservative Party to win the upcoming General Election. Those who have been following the recent public unravelling of that newspaper’s opinionist Christina Odone—she is to the Telegraph what Madeleine Bunting is The Guardian—know that she particularly wants the LibDems to do badly in the same race. (Odone is a Catholic; prominent LibDem MP Evan Harris kills babies with laboratory rats and gasses old people, or something. Plus: Nick Clegg, the party’s leader, is an uncloseted atheist.)

screen cap from Britney Spears' Hit Me Baby One More Time video

a free school

Given that the Daily Telegraph always does its best to keep its circulation up (along with the circulations of retired red-faced colonels) with its notorious titillating inside-front-page provincial sex scandal stories (“toast droppers”) and its traditional method of reporting on GCSE exam results—what Sadie describes as: “Look at all those lovely young blondes who have got A*******************s in Jumping Up And Jiggling Their Ripe Young Bazoombas Studies”—is Ms Odone wise to try to scare Telegraph readers out of voting LibDem with the prospect of a LibDem government making it legal for 16-year-olds to star in porn movies?

[Thanks, Andrew.]

“There is an appropriate use for paper”

The Paperless Office, like The Flying Car, is one of those technological icons of the future whose ascendancy, no matter how much time passes, seems stuck in the future; but I reckon offices without paper are going to become more common more quickly than cars that fly. Indeed, we do seem to be printing fewer digital documents, to the extent that at least one unhappy paper manufacturer is trying to persuade people to print more [via Slashdot]. This trend is, I suspect, more a result of better display technology than a response to concerns about waste—and hard-copy printing will, I expect, decline further as cheap, full-colour e-Ink readers increase in number and fall in price.

Mr Williams makes his money from selling paper, so his interest in this is obvious, but many more of us benefit, for other reasons, from businesses continuing to waste paper. For the rest of us, the rise of digital paper isn’t without a downside:

Printer and copier paper retain the nice, long fibers that make the best recycled toilet paper. But a resurgent Chinese economy and domestic waste reduction efforts are cutting the available supply of the good stuff, said Jeff Phillips, executive vice president of operations at Seventh Generation, a major recycled toilet paper manufacturer.

“The cost of office waste paper has skyrocketed (more than doubled) in the last six months primarily as a result of China reentering the market,” Phillips wrote in an e-mail to Wired.com. “There has [also] been a reduction in availability due to more offices trying to reduce paper consumption and through the use of electronic media.”

“Aimless Hostility”

A few days ago, John Gray reviewed A C Grayling’s latest book Ideas that Matter: The Concepts that Shape the 21st Century. To my surprise, someone I know linked to the review approvingly. I was surprised because the review is tosh: hysterical, pompous, and so self-fiskingly stupid that it’s not even necessary to read the volume in question to know that its reviewer has it wrong—at one point Gray makes the mistake of quoting a passage from Grayling’s book, rewrites its meaning, and then attacks his own misrepresentation.

Reading Gray’s review was like watching someone dress up in academic robes, walk into the middle of a college quad, and slap himself in the face repeatedly. In contrast, A. C. Grayling’s crisp response is worth a recommendation.

Identity Crisis

This week, a friend of mine who still reads The Guardian [online—does anyone not looking for a public sector job still pay for the print edition?] drew my attention to a piece there about how success by the Liberal Democrats at the upcoming General Election could “push out black and Asian MPs”. That is, because the LibDems have fewer minority candidates standing, the apparent sharp improvement in that party’s position in the polls recently could be bad for Good Racism.

Good Racism is discriminating between people on the basis of unfounded pseudo-biological prejudice. It’s practised by middle-class people in the pursuit of “diversity”, a state in which a workforce of rich, expensively-educated, well-connected white people is leavened by the forced addition of rich, expensively-educated, well-connected non-white people. (Bad Racism is the strain of pseudo-biological prejudice that infects working-class people.)

The Guardian article is illustrated with a photograph of Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Chuka Umunna. Umunna was first introduced to me by someone who invited me to laugh at Umunna’s starting a speech by pleading with his audience not to compare him with Barack Obama. Presumably Umunna said this because both he and Obama are privately-educated lawyers whose fathers were politicians.

Two excellent blog posts

The first is at Freemania:

The really important thing about Iraq: us

Today Gordon Brown gives evidence to the Chilcot inquiry. This weekend, amid violent attacks on polling stations, Iraq holds an election. I wonder which will get the most coverage?

The rest of the world exists primarily as a mirror for us.

The second is at Skuds’ place:

A week is a long time in politics

If a week is a long time in politics then several weeks is long enough for an almighty u-turn. Or is it called a flip-flop these days?

David Cameron on Feb 8th:

For years all parties have taken the same view that someone’s tax status is a matter between them and the Inland Revenue. That needs to change.

David Cameron this week:

You have to respect people’s privacy and you have to respect the view that someone’s tax status is a matter between them and the Revenue.

I wonder what happened inbetween those dates?

Sounds of silence

Via Slashdot, here’s an abstract of a study of graffiti found on the walls of the Joseph Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago, performed by a member of its IT staff. You can also browse the full dataset, including photographs of the inscriptions made available under a Creative Commons licence.

The take-home messages (as obtained with Mickey Mouse statistics)?:

  • Smiley faces outnumber sad faces.
  • References to male primary and secondary sexual characteristics outnumber those to female.
  • “Love” and “despair” appear to rise and fall in sync over the course of the academic year.

Waking Up by OneRepublic

Ryan Tedder wrote Bleeding Love for Leona Lewis and his band OneRepublic consists of friends from his church in Denver making music for people who think Coldplay are a bit too experimental. They are about as uncool as it’s possible to be without actually being David Hasselhoff.

I love their new album, Waking Up. It’s track after track of big, beautiful pop. (I use the word “pop” in its original sense of “music that is popular”, rather than in the music journalist sense of “landfill indie that’s slighty less rubbish than usual”.) Tedder has an ear for melody you can only acquire through years as a hack songsmith, lashed to a piano by The Man and made to compose for legions of dead-eyed melisma-crazed popstresses. And he himself has an extraordinary vocal range of the sort that is probably being lied about in a press release right now as extending “over five octaves”.

One Republic / All The Right Places

Unfortunate headlines of the day

The BBC News Website has changed its original headline:

SARAH PALIN LASHES OBAMA AT FIRST TEA PARTY CONVENTION

Palin lashes Obama

Palin lashes Obama

—bring your houseboy, and let’s party like it’s 1779!—to this one:

SARAH PALIN CONDEMNS OBAMA AT FIRST TEA PARTY CONVENTION

but, Liz Jones’s latest wibble—search for it if you like; I’m not going to link to it—retains its banner:

HONOUR KILLINGS? WHAT WE’VE DONE TO YOUNG EMMA [WATSON] IS JUST AS SHAMEFUL

Yes, she’s is referring to the highest earning actress in the World this year. According to Jones’s article, Hollywood’s paying Ms Watson fortunes to portray a “virginal schoolgirl” is in some way comparable to the Taleban throwing acid at girls who want to attend school in Afghanistan.

Where does Britain’s nuttiest columnist have left to go after this?

Bloggertarians, Tin Foil Hat Wearers, Loons

Foes of President Barack Obama and his policies can vent their frustrations by engaging in fictional warfare, thanks to a new online strategy game with a heavy political component.

The satirical game 2011: Obama’s Coup Fails, launched last month by a group of Ron Paul supporters that call themselves The Founders, throws players into combat against the crumbling Marxist forces of Obama’s loyalist Black Tigers, the Islamic fundamentalist Nation of Malsi and The Cong — a group of deposed Democratic congressional leaders.

Playable on the United States of Earth website, the game mixes strategy, trivia questions and community elements but has no particular ax to grind with Obama, according to Mike Lodispoto, one of the game’s Libertarian founders. In fact, the next United States of Earth game will target President George W. Bush.

Modern Masters

Further to my rant about clueless DJs replacing proper producers, here are a couple of funny little animations about the horrors of being a mastering engineer to today’s “talent”: Mastering: The Movie Part One and Part Two.

And, from an interview this month’s Sound on Sound magazine, here’s Bruce Swedien, studio engineer for Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and Thriller albums, on Quincy Jones, producer of the same:

“…Quincy and I first worked together with Michael Jackson on the movie The Wiz. We were living together at a hotel in Manhattan, and we would go to Studio A at A&R Studios. We had a big session at noon on Monday to record some of the music with a big 70- or 80-piece orchestra, and we had to leave for the studio at 10am. The night before, Quincy and I had guests at our hotel for dinner, and Quincy still hadn’t even started on the orchestration for the opening titles. I was getting a little nervous, but he said not to worry about it. At about four that morning, I woke up and noticed under my door that all the lights in the apartment were blazing. There’s Quincy at the dining-room table with a billion sheets of manuscript paper, and he was writing orchestrations. I said ‘Quincy, we’ve got to leave soon!’, but he just said ‘Don’t worry about it’ so I went back to bed.

“At about nine o’clock I got up again, and Quincy said to me ‘I’m all set’. There wasn’t even a piano or a guitar in the apartment; just Quincy and his manuscript paper! Off we go to the studio, and Quincy hands over his score to the copyists. He didn’t even want to conduct — he’d hired a conductor because he wanted to be in the control room with me. The conductor gave the down beat, the orchestra played the entire overture, and there was not a single note out of place. It still gives me the chills to think about it!”

[Thanks to Tom Nuttall for the video links.]

v v good fun

This [HD YouTube video] is a bonkers slab of wonderfully British-sounding soul-pop from V VBrown. Shame about the over-compressed production/mixing/mastering that turns every peak into white noise.

This [HD YouTube video—censored version] is an equally bonkers slab of ironic hair metal from the self-proclaimed “modern Spinal Tap“, Steel Panther. I know it’s meant to be a joke, but this one video is more entertaining than the entire recorded output of The Wedding Present, and, right from the touching opening couplets, the writer(s) of the song Community Property show(s) a better grasp of scansion than Kelly Clarkson:

I would give you the stars in the sky
But they’re too far away
If you were a hooker, you’d know
I’d be happy to pay
If suddenly you were a guy
I’d be suddenly gay

Furthermore, the guitar solo in the middle is, by the genre’s standards, a model of taste and concision. Here’s Steel Panther being interviewed on the BBC News site.

Meanwhile, there are more Frankie Goes To Hollywood re-releases/remixes going on. Having heard the first of them to be released, I can believe Pop Justice when it says that the remixes of their singles/12-inches somehow sound more dated than the original tracks. It’s ten times easier today to do the stuff that Trevor Horn did with them originally back in the 80s, but most remixers and dance “producers” are hack DJs who wouldn’t know musical if it walked into their flats dressed like Lady Gaga and then strutted out with its conical bra cups stuffed with all their iPods and cocaine.

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