Wild

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Don't get it right, just get it written

review
Doctor Who - Let's Kill Hitler

L
ike the seemingly inevitable annual threat of a new pandemic, Doctor Who is back on TV again.

As usual, it was hyped as the only thing worth watching between the Royal nuptials and the 2012 Olympics. And like those two events, it promised lots of sentiment and drama. Like that wedding, it was all empty spectacle, and like the Olympics, we're all supposed to cheer and stare, agog, at its brilliance.

Oh, how I despise this modern incarnation of Doctor Who. To label it as smug, overwrought, incestuous fan wank would be too kind. Saying it has no balls is understating the case - this sci-fi soap by focus group wouldn't make a 6-year-old flinch. It's such a nauesating, self-referential shambles that no normal person could follow the green-screen trail of vomit that masquerades as plot. (Plot? Ha! Whatever happened to that?)

Some people will like it - the sort of people who foam at the mouth over the mystery of who Amy Pond's baby is (who cares?), and dress up as their favourite character at conventions. Good luck to them - this dog's dinner has enough regurgitated entrails to keep them hunched over internet fan forums until the crack of doom (Amy Pond's crack of doom, if head "writer" Moffat has anything to do with it).

They'll vibrate with joy at this sick slurry of garbled explanations and neverending merry-go-round of BIG! SECRETS!, fronted by a gormless public school boy who gabbles out Moffat's crap dialogue like an inbred Tory version of one of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (remember them?), some broad who used to be a model and has the acting ability of one, and all overseen by Steven "My-One-Trick-Is-The-Bloke-Falls-For-The-Dominant-Woman" Moffat.

I'm off to watch Celebrity Big Brother - it makes more sense, has better characters, and is certainly better written. And it doesn't have Matt Smith in.

Yet.

*Cathode Ray Tube have a detailed review of the episode.

Civilization is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbour

M A N N E Q U I N
M A N I A
special edition

Wild

"The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

I don't care what you think unless it is about me

R E A L
B O Y S

narcissists & camera whores

Wild

"The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Tired old queen at the movies

review
Giant

C
attle, cowboys and oil run rampant and fill the screen as Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean bring their considerable talents and beauty to George Stevens' huge production of Edna Ferber's Giant.

A family saga covering thirty years, Giant was filmed on location in Texas with a blazing supporting cast that includes Chill Wills, Jane Withers, Carroll Baker, Sal Mineo, Dennis Hopper and Oscar nominee Mercedes McCambridge. Veteran director George Stevens won his second Oscar for bringing Giant to the screen and Rock Hudson and James Dean both received nominations. Dean's nomination was posthumous, as he died in a car accident just two weeks after shooting his final scenes. But it is Liz Taylor, coming into her own as an actress of depth and subtly who grounds and ultimately steals the picture. As big as the subject it deals with, Giant is also a tender love story told against the backdrop of an old fashioned spectacle the likes of which Hollywood seldom attempts anymore, and when it does, never does half as well.

Steve Hayes

(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)

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Wild

"Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

You wanted freedom. I wanted you

out
of
time

I
t came as something of a surprise, last Sunday, to find a certain record sitting pretty at the top of my iTunes playlist.

Somehow, this wonderful pop tune has managed to outstrip (in terms of play counts) many worthier tunes: Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind, Annie Lennox's Why, Mercury Rev's Holes, Shirley Bassey's This Is My Life... Even my beloved, brilliant Nothing Like The Rain, by 2 Unlimited.

This song isn't even a "proper" song; it's a TV theme. Now that's sad. But what's really sad is the story of this record, When You Go Away, the theme to failed BBC soap Eldorado, by EastEnders legend Simon May, and performed by Johnny Griggs.

Oh, poor Eldorado. The BBC's white elephant, the big hit that never was. Telly history is littered with the corpses of failed, eye-wateringly expensive follies, TV that's hyped as the Next Big Thing, only to fall at the ratings hurdle.

Maybe you, dear reader, have a one-season-wonder show that provokes pangs of "What could have been..." Is it MetrosexualityThe Tripods, Savannah, Invasion, or maybe, the most recent, the BBC's Survivors.

Back in 1992 a new soap launched, called Eldorado, set Spain's Costa Del Sol. It didn't work out. It was over-hyped and up against impossible deadlines. There were problems with the actors, the storylines, and even the sound. Its executive producer - EastEnders' creator Julia Smith - had a nervous breakdown. Ratings were low, and the press merciless. And then, just when the endless problems seemed to finally have been ironed out, the grim reaper - in the form of a BBC suit - swung the axe. The epic standing set in "a pine forest on a hillside near Coin" was left to gather dust and the actors went home.

Not only was it a terrible waste (given time, Eldorado could have been a fantastic success), but its failure led to the eventual decimation of TV drama in the UK. The BBC wanted another crowd-pleasing soap, and when Eldorado failed, it looked to existing properties to fill the void. Casualty, hitherto a gritty nighttime drama, was converted into a feeble-minded, pseudo-soap peopled by ex-soap stars and models-turned-actors. ITV followed suit, trashing the formerly brilliant cop drama The Bill, turning it into a tabloid-baiting sleaze-fest. Great shows that were about real people, doing real jobs, played out by real actors, and written by real writers, turned to crap.

Today, British TV is a wasteland, populated by the remnants of those dramas-turned-psueodo-soap (to this day, the BBC churns out year-round episodes of Casualty/Holby City) and so-called reality hell. Let's not talk about the excrement smeared across the once noble Doctor Who. All that's left are the soaps: EastEnders and Coronation Street flourish, beautifully; supposedly mediocre mediums in which great things happen.

As for Eldorado, it bequeathed us this exquisite theme tune: a paean to unrequited love. "You wanted freedom, I wanted you," the lyrics go. Isn't that brilliant? I could listen to this gorgeous, guilty pleasure forever: and in my mind's eye, an empty, dusty mountain village waiting for lights, cameras and action that will never come.

Ah, the stories that could've been told. Not just in Eldorado, but there, everafter.

Download the full MP3 for free, here.

Wild

"When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time

M A N N E Q U I N
M A N I A
men, in pictures

Wild

"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

I need you

DISCOGRAPHIC
3T - I Need You (1996)
From the album Brotherhood

IT'S HARD NOT to think about 3T without also recalling their somewhat more famous uncle.

And equally hard not to wonder just what the Jackson family were thinking when they decided on the marketing strategy for 3T?

At a time when gangsta drag was the standard uniform issue for male singing groups - Jodeci were the boys you couldn't take home to Mama - 3T set their stall out as the go to guys for half naked, barely legal boy candy. No one embraced the brand more than lead singer TJ Jackson: he had the face of an angel and the body of a whore, coupled with a little boy lost Peter Pan routine (Uncle Michael must have been very impressed) that even put said uncle in the shade; barefoot in his pyjamas, with a see-through shirt hanging off his nubile frame, and apparently contemplating some deep loss (possibly his virginity - to whom, I couldn't possibly say...) But this performance is nothing compared to the lingering close-ups and exposed nipples we see in the video for
Why.

This isn't the best 3T video.
Why is luxurious, and quite beautiful; their debut Anything is a sweet, mid-90s joy. I'm told (by someone concerned with technique) that I Need You is badly sung. But it's got a choir, an orchestra and a beautiful fem boy. It's big and way over the top.

What more could you want?

Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only

M A N N E Q U I N
M A N I A
men, in pictures

Paris is burning


A
s anyone who has seen it will attest, Paris Is Burning is one of the most important gay films ever made.

It's glittering, beautiful, laugh out loud funny... and very, very haunting. As Kele Okereke said in Attitude last year, "I watched it again a few years ago... As soon as it finished I started crying. You go to Wikipedia and all bar one are dead. And they died in such sad circumstances. But you watch the film and they all have so much love."

I hope the two unidentified street kids who appear in the film (they're aged just 13 and 15) aren't among those gone. Does anyone know who they are or what happened to them?


Happily, one of my favourites, Freddie Pendavis (pictured left, with the twin towers of the World Trade Center behind him), is still going strong - or was in 2007 when he was interviewed in the video below...

Wild

"I can resist everything except temptation."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Tell me how long the train's been gone

M A N N E Q U I N
M A N I A
men, in pictures

Ten

don't
die
before
you've
lived

Just days after the murder of 17-year-old Kelvin Chibueze on Monday, another London teenager is dead.

14-year-old Leroy James (left), from Edmonton, east London, was found stabbed to death in a park in Enfield.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative government is closing projects designed to prevent young people joining gangs, The Guardian reports.

Note: Don't Die Before You've Lived is a series of ongoing entries recording the murders of teenagers in London. Although not necessarily GBLT-related, the desperately premature loss of these young boys deserves our full attention. Please remember the names and faces you see here, and spare a thought for kids who really did die before they lived.

ka-os|theory is a London-based blog.

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity

M A N N E Q U I N
M A N I A
special edition

Nine

don't
die
before
you've
lived

Another death. 17-year-old Kelvin Chibueze was stabbed to death in Ilford, east London, in the early hours of Monday.

Chibueze is the ninth London teenager to die violently this year. It is alleged he was a member of the Dagenham Boys gang, and friends with 17-year-old Olukorede Fajinmi, who was stabbed in the heart last year.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative government is closing projects designed to prevent young people joining gangs, The Guardian reports.

Note: Don't Die Before You've Lived is a series of ongoing entries recording the murders of teenagers in London. Although not necessarily GBLT-related, the desperately premature loss of these young boys deserves our full attention. Please remember the names and faces you see here, and spare a thought for kids who really did die before they lived.

ka-os|theory is a London-based blog.

Wild

"Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Tired old queen at the movies

review
Caged

E
motions run riot as Eleanor Parker and a superb cast of actresses fight for their rights and freedom in John Cromwell's tale of women behind bars, Caged (1950).

Parker, earning the first of three Oscar nominations, plays Mary, a pregnant girl of nineteen, tried, convicted and "sent up the river" for one to five years on a first offense. Despite the kindness and guidance of Agnes Moorehead as the kindly warden, Parker learns how to survive in a cage filled with ruthless women who'll stop at nothing and have nothing to lose. She's joined by talented array of some of the best character actresses in the business, including; Jan Sterling, Betty Garde, Ellen Corby, Lee Patrick, and fellow Oscar nominee Hope Emerson as Harper, the unforgettably evil and gargantuan prison matron. It's a riveting drama, filled with superb performances, raw emotions and heartbreaking moments that will stay with you long after "lights out."

Steve Hayes

(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)

MORE reviews

I don't care what you think unless it is about me

R E A L
B O Y S

narcissists & camera whores

Wild


"One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Wild


"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Machines r us

M A N N E Q U I N
M A N I A
men, in pictures

Wild


"I have nothing to declare except my genuis."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

London's burning


Riots, looting as "disturbances" continue to spread across London, and throughout the UK, for a third night:

||| Anarchy spreads to other major UK cities: Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

||| A police station in Birmingham is set alight.

||| Injured police officers are attacked at hospitals; similarly, medical personnel going to their aid are assaulted.

||| Journalists covering the anarchy are beaten up and their cameras destroyed.

||| In Ealing - near to where ka-os|theory is based - restaurants have their windows smashed with diners inside. Cars are torched.

||| A Guardian journalist has his bike taken by a gang of youths. "Just as one of the thieves grabbed my bike from under me a red van raced screeched around the corner and smashed into a parked car."

||| LIVE coverage at The Guardian.

London's burning


Riots, looting as "disturbances" continue to spread across London, and throughout the UK, for a third night:

||| Riots in Camden, Notting Hill and Colliers Wood.

||| In Clapham Junction department store Debenhams is looted.

||| Transport for London reports a growing list of Tube, DLR, Overground stations closed at police request, including Bethnal Green, Brixton, Chalk Farm, Ealing Broadway, Ladbroke Grove, Queensway, Tottenham Court Road, and West Croydon.

||| In Dalston, a bus is set alight.

||| Lewisham and Peckham burn; buses are abandoned in the road and major retailers looted.

||| Local gangs set aside differences and ransack electronics stores in Clapham Junction.

||| LIVE coverage at The Guardian.

London's burning

Q: What happens when you have a government of millionaire public schoolboys, a degenerate media, thieving politicians, and corrupt police?

A: LONDON.

Wild


"What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.

Wild


"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet, 1854-1900.
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