Michael Bay is a name in cinema circles synonymous with the death of narrative cinema and our slow slide into corporate-sponsored multiplex mediocrity. His early work; police comedy Bad Boys and fun Die Hard rip-off the Rock showed a middle-of-the-road action director, but his preachy tedious rubbish from then on, Armageddon, Pearl Harbour and the Island indicated that anything with his name on it was to be avoided. The less said about the ongoing Transformers debacle and Bay’s ill-fated Platinum Dunes production company whose stated goal seems to be to ruin great eighties horror films. His new film divided opinion before it came out, and has split the critics and the public upon release (yes, I know America, you got it at the start of the summer, we’ve had to wait).
I continue to live in hope that one day, and may it be very soon, one of those “spunk trumpets” from One Direction will do something so shameless and outrageous that they will totally fall from public favor. (Not that I have any personal vendetta against the band members per se, they’re just a symbol of manufactured, fake marketing schemes that pass for bands these days, and being irresponsible young adults with hoards of adulating female admirers and the world at their feet, it seems that if any of Cowell’s army is going to screw up and ruin their public image, it’d be them) Hopefully it would free a lot of teenage girls from the biggest hysteria they’ve been through since Justin Bieber’s false paternity allegations, but I don’t care about that as much as that it would prove a point that we all should know but too many of us ignore: people are scumbags. Everyone has a dark side, people will always let you down, and no matter how much they try to hide it, or you try to ignore it, it’s in there somewhere. It might be hidden very well, the good in people’s lives may very well outdo the bad, but people do have a dark side and it will out, sooner or later. Another point is that celebrities, while perhaps being admirable in their profession, might not be admirable as a person. (Wish I’d written this three years ago so I could make a Tiger Woods joke) Again, something we should and probably do know, but often forget. Anyway, this preamble obviously had a point to it, so I’ll get to it. Kanye West is a scumbag, in my opinion. From accusing GWB of being a racist on live television to interrupting Taylor Swift collecting an award to impregnating Kim Kardashian, I feel the guy is somewhat lacking in the class department. He’s still a public savior, however, thanks to the undeniable quality of his music, with his last solo album sweeping Album of the Year awards, and Niggas in Paris getting constant airplay rotation. I think with this latest offering, mind you, Kanye is actually making a point to make his music as unlikeable as his persona.
It would seem these days that Jesus freaks, paranoid Nixonians, goons and whores and vampires and sycophants and politicians have railroaded this world with their malaise, contempt, despair and mislaid good intentions into a pretty nervous and wrong place. There are sad and deprived people in the world so utterly poor and poverty stricken that all they have is money. It seems the middle east is in terminal decline, we’ll just stand overhead and keep feeding guns and ammunition to both sides in a possible effort to exterminate all the brutes. Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, we’re civilising Yemen and Pakistan with our own blinding light of American sunshine, dropped from impersonal drones onto children, parents, schools, towns and occasionally people who deserve it. It’s times like this that we need Pussy Riot.
Altered States of the Union: Rituals at In Search of Space towers, shit, at the whole Whine, Women and a Shag or Two bunker have ground to a complete and utter spiritual halt. Firstly myself and my chief co-conspirator were engaged in holidaying proceedings. I embarked on my annual pilgrimage to the only things in the known world bigger, heavier and more momentous than the riffs I seek; the mountains of the far northwest highlands. There I ate hearty, drank (not-so) hearty and enjoyed good company in superb weather. Ask Adam about his trip to visit our spiritually bereft but nevertheless beautiful American cousins, both coasts no less. After that I was engaged in a partial spate of employment, I wrote about the heaviest thing ever, and I started a column for Muso’s Guide where I basically do this every month; accompanied by a riffless gulf of ennui from which I am only just returning with the help of that totally free OM live thing which you all ought to get yersels. Because meditation is the practice of death.