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Newsnight Review

Newsnight Review - Friday, 22 September, 2006

  • Newsnight
  • 22 Sep 06, 06:02 PM

men5_203.jpgThe panel, chaired by Hardeep Singh-Kohli, discuss the film Children of Men; the book Kingdom Come from author JG Ballard; Piano/Forte at the Royal Court Theatre; and Rodin at the Royal Academy.

Comment on the latest edition of Newsnight Review and let us know if you agree with our panel Rosie Boycott, Ian McMillan, Paul Morley and Michael Portillo.

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A 2-dimensional scientist ,eh, 'character' comments on R. Boycott's opinion of 'Kingdom Come' - one great idea in fiction is worth a hundred 'well-rounded' characters. Coming up with a 100% genuine "**** me, I wish I'd thought of that" idea is the most difficult thing in any sphere of human activity, let alone fiction, & JGB has come up with more than just about anybody else in world literature. Oh, & he can write.

  • 2.
  • At 01:09 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Ray Renault wrote:

The PD James film sounded horribly derivative.Surely this is a steal from Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale of 1986.For a more interesting experimental treatment of the apocalyptic vision I would recommend Paul Auster's In the Country of Last Things.I find all of his highly original novels magically readable.

  • 3.
  • At 12:09 PM on 26 Sep 2006,
  • vikingar wrote:

Saw 'Children of Men' over the weekend.

Decent & solid film struggling to get out despite the near derailment by mixed messages.

From the subtly laced to blatant liberal left agendas (trying to fuse 2027 with 2006).

Action scenes very good. Refreshing to see so many 'faces & names' getting bumped off :)


  • 4.
  • At 01:11 AM on 27 Sep 2006,
  • Michael Paul Francis Shea wrote:

Hello folk . . . here comes *my* spleen:

Quibblers Inc.

(In defence of an unassuming, perfectionist Flaubert, and the other true great revolutionary artists---at least in their Craft---against arch-egotist Rushdie and his closet-reactionary cult: the mediocrites. . . .)

You hide behind a First from Oxbridge,
A complacency of brash.
You rub shoulder with petty royal,
Attend a crotch-groping bash.

You have friend in pop music and stage,
And scrawl in "Quality" press.
You move in fake Notting-Hill circle,
#All-Foured to corner the dress.

You cold 'n' hard Londoniumed strut,
Tutting at peasant and prole;
You character core it damn strengthless,
Affirming your mental hole.

You pampered and prosperous design,
A ditchwater-dull big snout.
You review with anti-aesthetics,
A barren-shab gruff & pout.

You have structored pontification,
Arts' brain and blood squashed on mat;
You cherish the safely prosaic,
A tear is "so old hat".

You chatter round the soiree table,
A self-receiving creed crew;
You discuss print-page, colour and sound
---A critique lie! Who are you?

You knock the supremes of "inside out",
And you sure not a crowd-pull.
You global cabal tie us in knot
---A time to be a seagull!

You posturize much on fartistic,
A navel-gazing poo-hook.
You jealously sneer at the Great,
And give us Pretentious book.

You circulate the whoring fib sheet,
A commentary of disgrace.
You only back bull over skilful,
A lot hate your stale face.

You boy and girl of the privilege town,
A-dulging you all do sow.
You of the New Sub-Establishment,
A nauseous; you make us low.

You and your dreadful gang preach decay,
And say it is blue-rinse fault;
You block out the real world of pain
---Apologist, how you vault!

You claim boat-rocking is "just not on,"
A sacred cow we can trust?
You ultra-filth columnist bore long:
A bourgeois "lyke, y'know" thrust.

You squirm in slime as the day go by,
A siege-mentality scheme.
You misrule from a third-rate altar
And distort-jam all our dream.

You have belched much trash, each decade wrong:
A sheep tank, a word of grey;
You with your "educated titter",
And excremental, "I say".

You scowl "us" merest encroachment;
A culture our hope has "marred";
You kill anything outside in pun
---A radical stuck in lard!

You do not watch the same screen as us,
And will not listen good chord;
You never read or write dissent line,
A preference for "Letter" horde.

You do not seek entertain or thought,
A tittle-tattle dead end.
You Isling scorn the self-educate,
And we fall in Struggler bend.

You drivel across the trendy rag,
A subscription of conceit;
You gush-rush on the Zeitgeistizm,
A pseud journey of deceit.

You do not pen the truthful issue,
As the pauperized mass bleed.
You do not suppress your vanity,
Anointing the Hampstead greed.

You buzzword brother, soundbite sister,
An atmosphere of carping.
You flicker on television stand,
And publish your mold craping.

You mollusc of mediocrity,
At Autocue feel sate;
You dance when the old-rope cheque arrive,
As wine bar thrown into state.

You instituted Sanctimoneite,
A current phenomenon:
You coexist love of good and guff
---An exquisite confusion!

You do not possess a saving trait,
And much bitter fill your void;
You our shallow foe of numbskull spite,
A forever will avoid.

You selfishly stash commercial gold,
A reflective fact you mask.
You should look at your pocked writing wall:
As you swept out, we will bask.

You shall fall on Nepotismo knife,
All the humble will cheer;
You and your weak-brow failure it die,
And talentocrat clear.

# Note: "all-foured": 1. a cosy relationship; 2. a chosen cushy career with undeservingly high income; 3. cuddly children; 4. a smug, narcissistic contempt for those without the first two-but the other sexualities are also represented in this type: the "all-threed": those without "kids".

(c) Michael Paul Shea 2006

PS. it is no coincidence that genuinely gifted artists, such as Paula Rego, Peter Ackroyd, Pat Barker, Harold Pinter and sadly few others, never appear on bourgeois chattery drivel like Newsnight Review: they would also be too busy honing their art, than emitting the verbal vomit engaged in by 95% of the panellists---one can glory in imagining Byron, Blake, Dr Johnson and Tolstoy ridiculing such a pathetic attempt at serious art criticism!

And where is the great art criticism of Baudelaire and Robert Hughes, Ken Tynan for theatre, Ackers himself for literary stuff, and Leo too just to shake up the ignorant Bardolatory of Bill Shak's lovers, who, great though he was, is beyond any critique by the rent-a-gob cliques!!

Enjoy the rise of us latter-day, independently-minded Marxist romantics, those unafraid to critique (and engage in political activism against) the corrupt arts' establishment, besides this corrupter and rotting pseudo-democracy of a government that betrays the fine, principled memory of Keir Hardie, Militant and others; that arms despots with weapons and torture equipment; that uncollects billions of corporation tax; that condones disloyal footballers (e.g. Rooney; but Steve Bull: a great player and rare exception) to wallow in mountains of loyal supporters' cash---many advertise boots and trainers made by child-labour for the relevant multi-nationals who are supported by New Labour!---and also a highly undemocratic BBC, which throws millions of us hard-working licence payers' money at so-called celebrity star presenters and journalists---and they dare to call themselves (even) liberals!!!

Thank you for reading

Lest . . . ah, the dishes. . . .


  • 5.
  • At 12:16 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Em Lin' wrote:

I really enjoyed this review. Found the choice of works significant - and topical. It was fun and rewarding to pick out shapes of thoughts in the glancing lights different contributors shone on different aspects of the works, from varied angles. Didn't feel, (mercifully!), like anything was being 'rammed down my gullet ' & appreciate the space left for me to go and explore, in depth, on my own. Many thanks!

P.S. Mr Shea, errr.... Mike (?), you've impaled some fine specimins! - & catalogued them with passion. Yup. Baudelaire, Pinter have been life-long companions and the unique Paula Rego, more latterly. Still...t'was Baudelaire who 'taught' me to hold a paradox in my head and to understand the value of "Correspondences"....I expect I share some of your 'spleen' about the-state-we're-in and agree, it would be thrilliing to have a weekly, dedicted, serious, Arts programme on the BBC again. Just somehow don't think that Newsnight Review would be the place for it. Also, not sure television is capable of carrying the depth you seem to be after - tv does have limitations as a medium!

  • 6.
  • At 11:19 PM on 30 Sep 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Wicked is amazing and is one of the best musicals ever, if any of you insulted it your are clearly blind and deaf, or just need shooting!!! Idina Menzel is an amazing actress and musician so don't you dare insult her!!! Don't you ever insult Wicked or Rent or you will end up like comments like this!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 7.
  • At 04:16 PM on 01 Oct 2006,
  • Michael Paul Francis Shea wrote:

Hello again!

David Lee is also an excellent "bullshit-detecting" (thanks for that one, Ernie Hem) art critic.


Mike (Shea)

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