Archive for October 2012

Beautiful Natalie (Holly) Wood

October 25, 2012

“When you half-open the window blinds, you only see half the picture.”

Kurt Logan, sculptor.

Hoping not to let any one think I’m an old fogey ( I’m still young, well, youngish) I endeavour never to say “they don’t make them like that any more”. In one field of entertainment it can not be denied that the old ’uns were better. I’m talking Hollywood and the long lost art of filmmaking.

Today’s blockbuster’s are hi-tech and full of special effects. This might bedazzle audiences, to me, it is a smokescreen; when you’ve seen one firework, you’ve seen them all. I get the feeling that the producers of the here and now have forgotten about plot and characterisation that used to drive their vehicles. David Bowie famously turned down the part of being a James Bond baddie because he didn’t want to spend five months watching his stunt double fall off cliffs. Bowie, for all his talents, is a cracked actor not a celebrated one but he does make a good point.

I confess I still watch the latest movies as it is an easy way of passing the evening. At the end, though, there is no thrill, instead the chill of emptiness as most of the pictures are instantly forgettable. As a fan of superhero comics in my youth I teleport (BAMF!) to the picture house to catch the adventures of the costumed crusaders. The reworking of these classics on celluloid leave me as cold as Iceman. The adaptations are not as good as the original comic books. LOVEFILM, ah well, I used to.

In the good old days the tales of Hollywood were legend. Scandal was swept under the carpet as studio heads protected their stars. The paparazzi were threatened that they’d wake up with a camera’s lens at the bottom of their bed if they exposed a major player. Today’s batch of movie icons have to be more careful, though some welcome bad publicity as “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” (Kurt Logan Oscar Wilde).


One of the leading ladies that caught my eye when I didn’t have my nose buried in the Mighty World of Marvel was the beautiful Natalie Wood. If Natalie’s life story was fictional you wouldn’t believe it. A child actress that blossomed into a lovely flower, starring with the cream of male actors before retiring early in her career (later, Bjorn Borg did the same, I digress) and ultimately dying, a controversial death. She was unique in a world full of zany characters.

My favourite Natalie Wood film is This Property is Condemned which was based on a one-act play by Tennessee Williams. She has never looked lovelier. In one scene she had to act drunk and using the method actor’s craft, of which she wasn’t a member, she decided to get blind drunk for real. I have been amused by this piece a thousand and one times. Can you imagine it? The license to get drunk and be paid for it. They don’t make them like that any more.



The Cologne Wars

October 17, 2012

The fragrance industry has turned into a celebrity playground as the stars cram containers with their odours. Just about any top female star you can think of has a perfume named after her. Think Shakira (above), think Kylie, think Mariah Carey, think Kim Kardashian, think Beyonce, think Miss Piggy and her Moi brand (this is true, by the way).

I’ve always wondered what role, if any, the celebs play in the process of making the aroma. Do they ask for certain elements or a particular smell? Do they like the finished product or is it all a cash cow? Would they be smelt dead wearing their perfume?
Then there are the buyers. Would you buy a perfume just for the name? The smell must be the most important thing. You don’t buy the brand because of the packaging, why should the name make any difference. Buying Maria Sharapova’s signature scent (left) isn’t going to make you serve up an ace. And what happens when the star’s time in the spotlight has faded, you’ll be left with bottles of washed-up has-been whiffs. You can’t wear it anymore. Imagine being at a party and someone asks what that you’ve got on and you say, Susan Boyle.

None the less you know you’ve arrived when your smell is on the shelf. Male stars also have Aftershaves named after them. I’m patiently waiting on one of the big fragrance houses giving me a call to see what kind of smell I’d like in the JW10 Aftershave.

After much consideration I’d tell the perfumery company to include the following ingredients: chicken tikka, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, red onions, BBQ sauce. Now I know that sounds like a sandwich but it would also make a good aroma. Men would go to town splashing this nectar all over, as the saying goes. I considered adding cola to the mix though I might then get carried away and start drinking the stuff.


The left-leaning Tommy was right

October 12, 2012

Before he was imprisoned for perjury the socialist MP, Tommy Sheridan, appeared on BBC’s Question Time. Mr. Sheridan was full of sound bites and played to the gallery. One of the things he said was that marijuana should be legalised. 75% of the audience gave him an applause. If I were in the crowd I would have tried to get Dimbleby’s attention to remark that-

“This comment is further proof that Mr. Sheridan is a spent force in politics. He is pandering to the popular. Legalisation of pot isn’t going to happen, Tommy.”

A report in the  Washington Post  asserts that Washington state could become the first to sell the drug legally. Rock on, Tommy, you’re a present day Nostradamus.

Bedtime Story

October 11, 2012

You don’t buy a bed every week. Ó JW10.

One topic guaranteed to turn off readers is a writer narrating the details of a dream he’s had. Your personal dreams have no interest for any one else. You soon lose your audience when you venture into dreamland. Therefore, it was with trepidation that this week’s bulletin is about the bed specialists- Dreams.

The bed retailing giant dismissed rumours that it is in crisis. The management is holding talks with the bank about restructuring the company. Inevitably, store closures have been reported in the bed press.

My wife said it was time we had a new bed. We sat on the sofa together and browsed the Dreams catalogue. Flipping through the covers was relaxing. Page after page of soft, comforting images of serene beds was making me sleepy. With a slow, casual movement I placed my head onto my wife’s shoulder.

I was now in the land of beds. Floating over my head was bed after bed after bed. Each one more alluring than the last. The beds were mesmerising me in their passing. I was in a paradise of beds. Zedbeds gave me a wave as they flew past. What nice beds, I dreamed. I was deep in a sleep of ZZZZ’s.

But paradises never last and the next batch of beds were surly, uneven and bumpy. Their broken springs, madder than an adder, coiled and sprang at me with a hiss. I tossed and turned in the void. The zedbeds became Venus Flytraps and I squirmed for safety. In the cosmos, heading towards me was a bed of nails and I didn’t have my slippers on. I winced.

“We’ll get that one.” said my wife.

I screamed before I realised I’d woken from my dream and was listening to my wife’s favoured choice from the Dreams book.

“I’m so happy with your brilliant selection I wanted to scream.” I added quickly.

The bed will be delivered soon and going by the picture it looks alright. The thing is once it’s safely ensconced in the bedroom it will lose its glossy lustre. My wife is one of those women that drowns the bed with thousands of pillows and soft toys. The bed becomes one overloaded life raft. When she’s not in I scatter the soft toys and pillows all over the ship. Of course, I have to rearrange them before she comes back. She always notices that they have been moved. That’s when my nightmare really starts.