(Peter, they’ll tell you that 40 is a “good age for a man” but they’re lying: It is pretty much a mathematical certainty that it’s all downhill from here and you get to carry that thought around with you from here on out. Aging. I don’t recommend it.—Richard, 46)
Below, the “Germs” episode of Look Around You, one of the smartest TV comedies ever produced.
Tonight’s the night. Not only are the Stone Roses back, but they are back in their home town, their old stomping ground of Manchester, for shows at the enormous Heaton Park.
Am I going? Nah. I saw them last time round, mate, on their first round of comeback gigs for the Second Coming album, released five years after their debut. It was, in fact, the Roses’ first show in the British Isles since 1990, and it was… ok. As enthusiastic kids we were buoyed along by the thrill of seeing our idols, live and in person, and before anyone else. This was at the Irish festival Féile ‘95 in Cork city, which was a really great festival (despite someone dying), but looking back on the footage of the Roses now, well, that’s another story.
To my mind the Stone Roses are second only in influence on British indie after The Smiths. Well, third place, I guess, now that Joy Division have been elevated to being the pinnacle of everything guitar music could and should be. And what’s the connecting factor between all these bands? They’re all from Manchester. Yeah, the city I live in has defined indie-rock music for the last 30 years. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
Yes, there is a buzz here about the Heaton Park gigs, of course there is. But as with everything Manc, there’s also a sly element of piss-takery. Maybe it’s because some people don’t like the band, or maybe it’s fatigue at having to relive the “Spike Island” mythology all over again (Spike Island was a huge Roses stadium show that happened in 1990, and has gone on to become the stuff of urban legend, despite many people who were there decrying its status as the most important cultural event of a generation.) Or maybe it’s just a Manc thing. That’s what I’m going with.
So, speaking of piss-takery, here’s a very funny spoof clip of The Stone Roses talking about their reformation. You might need to be in on the joke for this to work fully, but there’s a lot of universal humour in here too. I mean, who doesn’t find the Manchester accent even just a little bit funny? This clip was written and created by Nico Tartarowicz, and also features the comedian Peter Serafinowicz impersonating Morrissey (and we’re big fans of Serafinowicz at DM.) So there’s that, too. Oh, and kudos for also laying into the ultimate talking-head-TV classic-rock-bore, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie:
One Hundred & Forty Characters is a project by the brilliantly talented and award-winning photographer Chris Floyd, in which he takes pictures of people he follows on Twitter, including comedy genius Graham Linehan, the ever wonderful Miranda Sawyer, Caitlin Moran and Peter Serafinowicz:
In July 2010 I decided to begin photographing people that I follow on Twitter. The idea for this came at a moment when I realised I had not seen or spoken to any of my best half a dozen real and actual friends for over a month. Some of those people on Twitter I communicate with several times a week, in bursts of 140 characters or less, and yet I had never met any of them. As we are now well and truly living in a digital age I am aware that this state of being is only going to deepen and the traditional forms of friendship, although they will not go away anytime soon, are going to have to make more room for the new way of doing things. Where Facebook might be considered as the place in which you tell lies to all the people you went to school with, I had begun to think of Twitter as the place where you tell the truth to all those that you wish you’d gone to school with. The project rolled on indefinitely for almost a year but when, one day, I counted up the number of subjects to date and came to a number in the mid one hundred and thirties, I immediately knew where this had to end. So here they are. My new friends. 140 characters. No more and no less.
“I like this picture because it represents my whole family. Although there’s only me and my son in it, he’s wearing a T-shirt that says Smiley on it, which is my husband’s name; and I’m five months pregnant with our daughter. So there’s four people in there, not just two.
“I look quite mad in it, which I like too. That crazy, rictus grin: I was hot, and fat, and tired and my son was playing up. The only solution was to turn him upside down and make him laugh. I notice that in another one of the 140 Characters pictures, another small boy is being held in the same way. It’s a default solution for boys, it makes them normal again, like rebooting a computer, or reprogramming Buzz Lightyear to his factory settings.”
“The beauty of Twitter is that it is only as useful as the person who is using it wants it to be. It is such a simple and flexible service that everyone who uses it does so in a different way. Not only that, but it’s a meritocracy. Not only that, but Karma seems to have something to do with it. If you use it for good, you will be rewarded, if you use it for evil, you will be blocked. As a result, it’s leading to some remarkably civil conversations between ideological enemies. If the inventors of Twitter never win a Nobel Prize, they wuz robbed. Because as far as I’m concerned, they have enabled us all to take a major evolutionary step at a crucial moment. At a time when the human race faces not one but several extinction threats, we suddenly get the ability to talk to one another.”
4 more from ‘One Hundred & Forty Characters’, after the jump…