Sunday, 24 July 2011

The End of Days: Murdoch, Norway, death and the maiden

This past week. Oy! I don't know whether to go blubbering for my Mama or phone an astrologer; reach for a priest or imbibe serious narcotics. WTF is happening in this collective hellhouse? I remember when the news was snooze and we'd laugh at the boring parochial nature of the world around us, (she said parochially). The Hollywood screenwriter still languishes in his coma where we're all trapped (if we but knew it), but the REM (not the band!) has taken a violent turn for the worser, even, already.

I wondered what it was that could possibly knock Murdoch off the front pages, and now we know — in spades. Only I'm starting to wish I didn't.

It seems like the public kebabbing of Rupert Murdoch has unleashed the forces of darkness this week. Just as we're waking up to the fact that our press, politicians and police are corrupt and we're being ruled by the cast of The Sopranos, the Dark Lord howls up a maelstrom that threatens to end civilisation as we know it in a shit-storm of tragedy and farce.

While we are of a biblical bent, a few numbers for your contemplation: twenty-six meetings, two spray cans, one woman makes her name with the help of a billionaire, two prominent women die, three women politicians rise while two fall. And Norway: ninety-three (likely to change). [Police have confirmed 76 dead in total.]

Cameron had 26 meetings in 15 months since the election with News International executives and there were more between George Osborne and Hunt and NI prior to Hunt getting the BSkyB bid gig. Also pally with the Murdoch tribe: Lord Leveson, the judge overseeing the phone-hacking inquiry.

Two spray cans smuggled into our top establishments. One (foam) used by Johnnie Marbles to custard pie an octogenarian, and the other (red paint) used to vandalise Poussin's The Adoration of the Golden Calf, (sadly, no longer James Murdoch). Marbles (a founder of UK Uncut) inadvertently propelled Wendi Deng — Mrs Murdoch — into public view, when she swung in to action to give him a good slap and pie him back. All credit to the beautiful Wendi for providing a positive image of Chinese women a world away from the passive lotus blossom but, Jeez, did you have to go over to the dark side, hun? I mean, look who you're married to!

On Saturday, the stupendously talented Amy Winehouse finally joined the 27 club (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Richey Edwards, Jean-Michel Basqiat). On the same day, the stupendously talented Fran Landesman died from a heart attack aged 83. The smartest of lyricists, Fran's songs were covered by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand and Miles Davis, who recorded an instrumental version of Nothing Like You (music by Bob Dorough). It was only on hearing of their deaths on the same day that I realised the world needed to hear Amy singing Fran's Scars. I was lucky to see Fran performing at the Farrago Poetry events over the past couple of years, but I never saw Amy in concert.

On the up: Home Secretary Theresa May, Sue Akers (deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police) investigating hackgate), Cressida Dick (new Metropolitan police commissioner replacing Sir Paul Stephenson, having made her bones with Jean Charles de Menezes). Tories and cops.

Going down, Tory MP Louise Mensch who, after sterling work at the Commons select committee questioning the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks, over-reached under Parliamentary privilege and accused Piers Morgan of overseeing hacking on his watch as editor on News Of The World. Morgan and Alan Sugar are now bashing her up on Twitter and in the media.

Some 40 people have died in a collision between two bullet trains in China. The Space Age ended in the West as the shuttle completed its last journey. America may default on its debt because rich folks refuse to pay more tax and the Tea Party Republicans are tearing down the walls of the Temple. The latest bail-out for Greece may effectively be an Elastoplast on a gaping wound as the economic equivalent of necrotising fasciitis spreads. The rot means all sorts of nastiness is crawling out from under the stones.

And Norway. All that pain. Breivik quotes an entire article of Melanie Phillips from the Daily Mail in his 1,500-page screed. From the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous with added nuts — Jeremy Clarkson is quoted also. (Someone wake me up, please.) The killer is influenced by British race politics. Nick Cohen explains why playing with racism kills.

Stunned to see that Charles Moore, Telegraph editor, is saying the free market is looking like a set-up and Left were correct. Or, rather, the Left were Right, just as up is down and black is white. The sun rises in the West and I can resist chocolate.

Now all we need is for the earth to open up. Oh, we had that already with BP's little accident in the Gulf of Mexico and the Japan earthquakes. Um, the Western economy goes into meltdown. Okay then, a bloody great big asteroid to strike earth and reduce us to a skinny rump of humanity trying to survive post-apocalypse. On the other hand, better not give the coma victim any more ideas. We're in his dream. He gets to hear everything.

The whole planet's got scars. Now for some Fran. We'll be joining you soon. Open a bottle of wine, will ya?

UPDATE: Not forgetting Lucien Freud, RIP.

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