You Know What I Really Like? BOARDWALK EMPIRE

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This isn’t your typical no-brainer TV (actually, does it even count as “TV” when I’ve just finished watching, in its entirety, on DVD?). I like this series a lot. It’s brutal, smart, funny and often pretty ridiculous.

And yes, to all the more-established fan boys, I’m very aware it’s April, 2015, and the series began 5 years ago and ended last year, in October. I tend not to follow hype. The series was quite popular (I read up about the ratings/popularity post-watching), but I never knew it existed. How fucking sad.

I’ve been out of touch with TV for quite a while. With the amount of reality trash and not being able to afford a monthly subscription for SKY, the only time I really switch on the box is to watch DVDs. Besides, I’m fed up of people going on about Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones all the time (and I have Terminator and Alien boxsets on my shelves, which are much more fun).

I’m glad I randomly came across this, though, as fate would have it (ok, alright, I admit, it was actually the girlfriend and her mate that introduced me to it last year and said I “MUST WATCH IT AND STOP BEING SO BLOODY SCEPTICAL”). It took me a while for me to embrace it, but I’m glad I finally did.

Now I’ve just finished watching the 56 hour-long episodes over the course of five seasons. Took me about six months to get through it all (was told, I had to wait for the girlfriend). Now I have absolutely no guilt in saying this beats anything I’ve seen of late. By a long stretch.

Buscemi nails it. He’s nothing like the person he’s supposed to be based on (Enoch Johnson). He’s skinny, talks proper and wears tweed jackets. But he’s clever, hypocritical, ruthless when need be. He fucks with politicians, the police, his women and barely lifts a finger – mostly supping from his glass of illegal liquor.

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It owes to Sopranos and The Wire for its arty and dramatic take on serious themes such as Capitalism and all its ism’s; law, crime, corruption — all of which are nicely intertwined with real-life historical events, such as the prohibition. I don’t think Boardwalk’s in the same league as Sopranos or The Wire, but it’s up there.

There’s a lot of talent on display here. Aside from the beginning of series 5 (the show’s low-point), the writing and directing is consistently involving. Tension builds; and the acting goes way beyond most things seen on TV.

The guns, tits and gore sell it, of course, but the characters do it for me. I’m a character person, always have been. The characters have to be interesting, internally/externally conflicted for me to sustain interest. Michael Shannon’s transformation from God-obsessed Federal Agent to Al Capone’s henchman is cracking; there’s a rivalry between Chalky (Michael Kenneth Williams) and Dr Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) that heats up the more it goes along.

Stephen Graham is great as Al Capone; over-the-top, sure, but hilarious, nonetheless. He snorts coke and shoots people with big guns:

And this guy, Gyp, is fucking nuts.

Richard Harrow is the pick of all Boardwalk’s characters, for me, though; fellow war veteran Jimmy Darmody comes a close second. Both of the them are deeply conflicted – Richard, especially. At times, it’s like they can’t bear the living the life of a killer; they’re both intelligent, strong-willed and have the potential to succeed in other things, but have become poisoned by the system. The more they try to escape the world, the more it drives their lust for greed, power and violence.

The moment they meet for the first time at an army hospital towards the end of series 1 is one of the scenes that stays with me. They’re not “sociable” characters, really, but they find common ground in talking about their murderous methods.

Assisted by a post-prohibition drink, below is a short poem I decided to write in-between episodes about it. Does this count as writing for TV? ‘Cause it’s not, you know. I just really like BW.

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Sitting in with Richard and Jimmy

They’re going to tell them if they’re “normal”
(more efficient killers).

Come back from war
disfigured, sociopathic
– the Tin Man and veteran need more oil.

Not many questions from the man
in the mask; and Jimmy’s hair needs
to be kept well in place.

We barely notice their eyes, their reading in the hallway.

Who are these men other
than exaggerations of who we are?

And who’s to say this is anything like
we’re meant to believe?

Offer them a smoke;
show them the Boardwalk for the guns, glamour and greed.

They’ll be dead in a few hours
and no one will even care.

(www.andycarrington.co.uk/poetry)

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PEGIDA? – HA HA HA!

Originally posted on Anti-Fascist Network:

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The mobilisation against PEGIDA in London yesterday was a resounding success. Rather than the tens of thousands their German parent organisation has managed to bring out on to the streets, PEGIDA UK managed about 70, among whom were many very familiar faces from the extreme right, including some notorious neo-Nazis, destroying their claim not to be a far-right racist organisation.

There was a counter-demonstration by UAF which attracted over 300 people and an ‘all-London anti-fascist bloc’ co-ordinated by London Anti-Fascists,South London Anti-Fascists, North London Anti-Fascists and Dywizjon 161 comprised of 100+ people. PEGIDA ended up barricaded inside a pub, surrounded by anti-fascists and having to be rescued by the police.

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Currently Spinning: 2 Pac: Strictly 4 My Niggaz (1992)

Used to listen to this a lot at college, smoking weed with my mates. 2 Pac’s strongest album in my view. Everyone else reckoned All Eyez on Me was his best but I always thought this was grittier.

The beats are dirty, the poetry’s angry; and there’s a lot more of ‘Pac’s “sensitive” side than on his later albums.

‘Souljah’s Revenge’ is the current fav; and ‘Holler if ya Hear Me”s still got its edge.

Couldn’t afford the vinyl, so settled for the CD instead.

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Where Did all the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Go?

Originally posted on The Truth Speaker:

By Graham Phillips

Remember the neo-Nazis of Ukraine, they were everywhere. Sky warned – Euro 2012: Neo-Nazi Threat To England Fans –

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The Mail made it sound like England fans were walking into an actual ambush – Nazi mob lies in wait for England fans

Fullscreen capture 28032015 175757.bmpEven broadsheets got in on the neo-Nazi action, the Telegraph noting – ‘Monday night’s BBC documentary showed widespread monkey chanting at games, routine Fullscreen capture 28032015 190100.bmpNazi saluting, violent attacks on Asian spectators at a match in Ukraine‘ – that referencing the BBC documentary so shocking it had former England footballer Sol Campbell fearing that England fans who made the trip to Euro 2012 could end up ‘coming home in a coffin‘.

3 years later, there’s an actual war being waged in the former part of Ukraine, Donbass, with many of Ukraine’s forces unashamedly drawn from the very neo-Nazi groups of Ukraine’s west so pilloried by the…

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Evening. Here’s a Pic of a Fat Stupid White Power Nazi Cunt on His Arse

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Jay Thomson, National Front, Manchester, 28/3/15.

Credit to the anti-fascist comrades for their handy work.

GNWP.

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(White) Pride comes before a fall…

Originally posted on Anti-Fascist Network:

One Nazi takes a tumble after meeting anti-fascists

The dregs of Britain’s neo-Nazi scene imposed themselves on Manchester today for their annual ‘Worldwide White Pride’ day. For the last two years the march has been held in Swansea and previously saw neo-Nazi Darren Clifft jailed after he hung an effigy of a golliwog whilst dressed as a KKK member.

So no worries here about accusing people of being Nazis when they might only be extremely right wing racists. No – these were proper Nazis. Any many of them were only too proud of it.

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I Ended Up Watching Wrestlemania 31 Last Night

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80s/early 90s wrestling holds a special place in my heart. I grew up on it. Even when it became obvious that the outcomes were pre-determined, I still enjoyed it. It was escapism; it was a laugh.

I don’t watch much of the modern day stuff; and I haven’t seen a Wrestlemania/PPV in 9-10 years. A couple of my mates came over for the weekend and one of them handed over their login details for the WWE network. So, why not, we thought, and sat through 4 hours of big blokes play-fighting with one another till the early hours of the morning.

It was a pretty decent event. WWE has changed a lot since the WWF (and WCW) days; and while nothing will compare to the height of the Attitude era, Wrestlemania 31 delivered in terms of entertainment. I quite enjoyed it.

Now I am no wrestling critic, but below are a few observations/thoughts that came to mind. Don’t read on if you don’t want to hear some of the spoilers.

– The opening ladder match: not a bad start to the night. The “head-butt off” at the top of the ladder was the best bit.

– Legends Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat, Piper and Ron Simmons made cameos. They came on for a segment after Daniel Bryan won the Intercontinental title. Pretty funny.

– Diva matches bore the hell out of me. Of course, WWE has to push the big-tits-small-costume angle to get more views. I ended up skipping this one.

– Sting Vs. Triple H came earlier than I expected and seemed to end pre-maturely. I wanted Sting to win, but he didn’t. Of course he didn’t (the WWE is in the position to emphasize its superiority over WCW duing the “Monday Night Wars” era on any given day). The NWO/Degeneration X interruptions shook things up a bit, but I don’t understand why the NWO would help Sting out, considering the history. The hand-shake at the end was pretty shallow; the Terminator-sponsored HHH was entertaining, if ridiculous. Technically, this was far from anything great; all in all, though, there was enough stuff going on to keep things interesting.

– The music was shit (as is mostly the case with Wrestling PPVs). Skylar Grey and Kid Ink? Come on.

– Technically, Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton was the best match. Lots of RKOs.

– The Rock showed up for a promo with Ronda Rousey. It wasn’t very good; and far too long.

– The title match between Reigns and Lesnar was about as good as it could have been. Both the wrestlers took a fair few whacks and gave it as good as they got. I quite like Lesnar after seeing this.

– There was a lot of Mountain Dew knocking about.

– The atmosphere sounded a lot better than it has done in some Wrestlemanias.

– John Cena is still a cunt.

I might watch Wrestlemania next year, who knows.

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Public Enemy to release Record Store Day exclusive picture disk.

Originally posted on Locash Magazine:

To celebrate Record Store Day this year, Public Enemy will be putting out a limited edition “Harder Than You Think” picture disc. Only 500 copies of the vinyl will be available so collectors should be first in line at their local record store on April 18th.

Chuck D has been a long time ambassador of Record Store Day and was even named the official Record Store Day Ambassador of 2014’s celebration. He told Billboard Magazine this about the annual event.

“The record store made musicians listen beyond themselves, it both complemented and supplemented the radio, in fact the best radio stations in the past followed the vibe of the record stores of their regions, thus growing and nurturing each other. The fans and listener had everything to gain, and if they wanted to get into making music, the Record Store turned into their first school and sonic passport out.”

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Days Spent in the Company of Vinyl: #6: Jedi Mind Tricks: The Lost Children of Babylon: The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness (2013 Reissue)

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Jedi Mind Tricks’ first LP (longest title ever) before Stoupe lost his edge for making beats and Vinnie Paz put too much emphasis on “gangsterism” in his rhymes.

This album had a limited release in 1997 on a different record label, I believe, and recently got this re-issue vinyl release on Babygrande Records. The remastering is cock-on; and the whole album has a dark, contemplative/paranoid feel to it.

Vinnie Paz was best with his vulnerable rhyming style. After JMT’s sophomore effort, this is probably their best.

This vinyl edition comes in clear-red. There’s also an extra record made up of six bonus tracks, where the production switches to a more classic ’90s, boom-bap sound.

Perfect with a joint and cup of Rooibos tea.

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