Friday, January 06, 2006

Stalin, ill, and stuff

Last night on BBC4 there was a documentary about Stalin; a very learned chap called Jonathan Meades travelled around the USSR looking at his legacy, in terms of things like architecture and art. Two things I was not aware of; how stunning Moscow underground is - it's like an opera house down there - and that the Soviets under Stalin actually developed a crude form of weather control in the form of cloud seeding, that Uncle Joe used to prevent rain on parade days. I wonder if anyone is still working on this. What price the opposite effect in sub-Saharan Africa?

Also, Downfall was on again. Everyone needs to see this powerful, disturbing, amazing film. This is how history should be taught.

In other news, I am ill. Well, 'man-ill' anyway. Any women reading will know what this means...a concept a female friend of mine introduced me to. As in, you bumble around clutching a hanky and declaring that you are dying, but you refuse to go to a doctor or take a day off, thereby allowing further martyrdom.

The only thing that got me to work today was the Revolting Cock's brilliantly sleazy version of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, which is joining the Moai's List of Cover Versions That Are Better Than The Original. Other members of this select group include Nothing Compares To You, All Along The Watchtower, Megadeth's version of Anarchy In The UK, The Clash's I Fought The Law, Bobby Womack's California Dreaming, and Gary Jules' sublime Mad World. Other nominations appreciated.

UPDATE: courtesy of the Devil's Kitchen, I hereby add Soft Cell's Tainted Love. Which I didn't even know was a cover. I bow down to DK's superior musical nerdiness.

We have established a Good Cover can exist. The question is now, are there any good film remakes? To use a Yankism to describe a Yank atrocity, the new Matt Damon-fronted Italian Job sucked. Same for Stallone's Get Carter.

On Charlie K - yes, he lied previously. But personally, I think it is bloody brave to air your alcohol problem in public and throw down the leadership gauntlet. I feel for the guy. It is such a taboo, when it is so common. George Best wasn't vilified, in fact he was virtually beatified on deat, so why should Charles be? He remains, in electoral terms, the most successful third party leader since the war.

Alcoholism is an utter blight. A very perceptive mate of mine once noted that it must the hardest addiction to live with as alcohol is everywhere - you can't walk down a street without passing a pub or an offy, and no-one is going to arrest you for having a bottle of whisky on you.

UPDATE: Wyndham, I must take issue with your criticism of digital TV. It's great. You can watch 24 hour a day Friends & Hollyoaks on E4, Little Britain repeats on BBC3, endless police chase shows on Men & Motors ('Australia's WILDEST Police Chases - Xmas Special!!!!'), and indulge yourself with hedge trimmers and costume jewellery on QVC. It's great.


Blogger Wyndham said...

Looking forward to watching Downfall - turned on More4 about 9-15 last night and saw it was on again but I hate missing the first 15 minutes! damn digital tv!

3:21 AM  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

Yes, I really want to see it too.

Oh, good cover versions: Soft Cell's Tainted Love and The Waterboy's Sweey Thing...


4:00 AM  
Blogger Wyndham said...

I clearly bow to your opinion on digital tv. I am put in your place. However, I must take issue with both of you. Soft Cell's cover is absolutely NOT as good as Gloria Jones's original. Not in a month of Sundays.

2:51 AM  

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