Yes I Am Blind (Morrissey)

Once you’ve got over the fact that 90% of Morrissey songs are about how miserable it is being Morrissey, you can start to appreciate his talent as a lyricist, and the care with which his songs are constructed. They’ve got a beginning, a middle and an end, and a sense of movement – you’re not just listening to the repeating, repetitive stanzas of sweet nothings you get from so much modern music.

Having dismissed Steven Patrick as a spiteful sociopath and his solo career as twenty years of the same album, this track popped out of the randomising Bemolutionary music machine the other day and reminded us that there is some merit to post-Marr Moz. There are much better songs in his solo catalogue, but something about the embittered yet strangely rousing ‘Yes, I Am Blind’ caught our ear. Continue reading

Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley)

The greatest mainstream pop song of all time, if hierarchically listing things whose worth can only be judged on the subjective appreciation of the individual wasn’t a meaningless population-distracting waste of time? Quite possibly. If not, indisputably one of.

It was Elvis Presley’s first number one hit in America and the best-selling single of 1956. Certainly, it was the song that catapulted him into the national consciousness. Continue reading

Jameela Jamil – Porn, What’s The Harm

Jamil intellectually ambushing ex-porn star Gemma Massey

Jamil intellectually ambushing ex-porn star Gemma Massey

Last night, a Radio One DJ hosted an intriguing TV programme about porn. Thanks to the internet, it’s proving increasingly inescapable, she said, and young people are being exposed to it at earlier and earlier ages. Earnest Jameela Jamil clearly cared, and wanted to protect vulnerable kids from exploitation and abuse. But in parts, her show demonstrated just the kind of squeamishness that lies behind so many of our unhealthy attitudes towards sex.

The BBC and market research bods ICM have conducted a survey of young people, asking them about their experiences with porn. Over a thousand 16-21 year-olds were interviewed. Just under a quarter claimed they were 12 or under when they first watched online porn. An eyebrow-raising 7.3% claimed they were under ten. And for Aunty, the pollsters, and bookish private school product turned T4 presenter and Radio One It Girl Jameela Jamil, the results were shocking enough to make a telly programme out of them.

BBC Three’s ‘Porn: What’s the harm?’ began with likeable Jamil delivering a monologue about shagging. ‘I’m very liberated about sex and relationships’, she said. With the best will in the world to someone willing to risk ridicule by speaking out about something she genuinely cares about – decrying the over-sexualisation of modern culture presumably not being the savviest career move in the perennially cold shower-requiring world of shit RnB – a lot of what was to come over the next hour suggested she wasn’t. Continue reading

Billy Jenkins Again

Documentary trailer: http://vimeo.com/53179870

Documentary trailer: http://vimeo.com/53179870

Truly one of the least prestigious, least sought-after accolades in the history of the world, Billy Jenkins is probably the Bemolution’s favourite living musical artiste*. Please note, sadly, that that’s ‘living’ artiste, not ‘musically active’. Both spiritually worn-down and made financially unviable by the crushing commercialisation of everything, Billy Jenkins the musician has characteristically jacked it all in to officiate humanist funerals.

The Bemolution occasionally, certainly pathetically, writes to Billy to ascertain whether he’s any more likely to strap on his guitar again than he was during the last quarter, and he’s always gracious enough to reply:

“Me and music still not hearing ‘ear to ear’. The humanist funereal duties keeping the muse fully occupied – writing and conducting about sixty a year. That means an average of about 3,500 perfect emphatic words a week. Every week for the last five years…”

“The last CD I brought out – ‘Jazz Gives Me The Blues’ – took 26 funerals to pay for. ‘What you’re really saying is’, said Charlie Hart who recorded and produced, ‘that 26 folks had to actually die to make that record…’ Yup. And, with no-one buying anything, it ain’t worth the literal grief any more… The future is looking rather silent but faced with a smile.” Continue reading

Even For Bible Scholars, Homophobia Is A Choice

The late Reverend Phelps

The late Reverend Phelps

News comes wafting over the pond that the Reverend Fred Phelps, authoritarian patriarch of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (‘the most hated family in America’), has finally kicked the bucket aged 84.

Both Phelps and the Kansan-based cult he moulded over decades are best known for their fanatical hatred of homosexuality, although they also pour bile over Jews, Catholics, liberals, anyone to the left of Glenn Beck, and Barack Obama, who they’ve decided is the Antichrist.

While he could’ve made a lot more money as an anchor on Fox News, Reverend Phelps preferred to spend his time picketing the funerals of people he didn’t like. As evinced by his conduct during a long, hate-fuelled existence in the material realm, Fred Phelps disliked practically everyone – not just individuals who just happened to find members of the same rather than the opposite gender sexually attractive, but people who vocally supported gay rights, people who didn’t vocally condemn gay rights, homophobes who weren’t hard-core enough, and, in a particularly impressive feat of logical gymnastics, American soldiers, because they fought for a government that tolerated people being gay.

Thanks to the late reverend, thousands of grieving families across Midwest America had their loved one’s final journey crashed by placard-wielding zealots chanting ‘GOD HATES FAGS’ – scenes memorably captured on film by shuffling beanpole-cum-awkward documentary-maker Louis Theroux. Continue reading