1401x788-19 Iggy Azalea Fancy

I’m so fancy


So says Iggy Azalea.
But when it comes down to it I’m just not afraid of her.
Twerking and smirking so fast she’s a hazy blur.
Grinning and swinging herself around like she owns the place.
But, I say with dismay, I can’t condone her childish tone or lack of grace.
And her selfish nature makes me want to hate her and smack her face.
But I’m not here to talk Iggy specifics.
Or get scientific, analysing her ass that defies the laws of physics.
Watching it veer and wobble is truly horrible, it’s like a poor chick flick.
Compelling like a car crash but oh so clearly horrific.
Although the workrate of those buns, those rear action lady guns, is quietly prolific.

No, I’m here to talk vanity.
The favourite sin of the Devil as played by Pacino.
Seducing Keanu with his eloquent mean flow.
And now words like selfie are official diction.
We’ve legitimised what most used to see as superficial fiction.
Now we’re all bloggers and photographers, critics and mystics.
We all crave fame yet speak in riddles, cryptic and twisted.
We all think society owes us something just for showing up.
Defiantly thinking we’re a commodity, like we’re hot property ‘cos we’re blowing up.

But who am I to talk?
I’m the one sat typing away on my digital blog.
Spouting views as gospel like a mystical God.
Who cares what I have to say?
Though when you’re this fancy, it’s best you let nothing stand in your way.
Feed that flow so you start to grow.
If you don’t you’ll rot and decay.
And you’d best believe you’ve got fans to please.
Don’t leave them hanging this way.
There they are confused, in disarray and consumed by dismay.
Play nice. Meet them halfway.
Remember, you can be both realistic and narcissistic.
It’s your job to guide them through the waste of culture dodging vultures with your simplistic linguistics.
Calmly face your foes as you go.
There’s no need to get sadistic or blow up ballistic.
You’re invested now so make sure you’re fully rested, prepared for when you’re next tested.
And keep it tight.
Stay on your game – don’t let yourself get bested.

So… that’s it.
My vanity has taken a square hit and I’ve put myself in my place.
I’ve gone through hell at pace in the humble race just to save face.
And now I’m set to brace for what comes next.
It’s a lot to absorb but I had to get it all off my chest.
So for my final thoughts I’ll just say this was all for my sanity.
A cathartic benchmark to pull apart my true levels of vanity.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy..L to R: Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014

The dancer


Lost among stars in the rarified galaxy.
A dancer learns to dance and it’s such a sight to see.
A dolphin playing with waves he glides among asteroids.
Dicing with death, as when they collide en masse they get destroyed.
Facing the void he knows no fear.
Devoid of limitation facing foes without a care.
These stars are his to command and manipulate.
Forces demand their compliance, these planets had better capitulate.
Moving into orbit they align and gravitate.
The dancer moves with conviction, no need to hesitate.
He baits their trajectory, sealing their fate as moons scream.
Trailblazing, going interstellar, this is lunar lunacy.

Then he pauses.

Searching for electron degenerate matter.
A white dwarf, a dying star from an old chapter.
Yet the faster he dances space just gets blacker.
Solar flares pepper the planet’s surface like a cracked dagger.
The dancer then becomes sadder, he’s lost his swagger.
Ice covers him as he stops.
He breaks it and watches it shatter, floating away.
Roaming and constant probing won’t keep his demons at bay.
His sense of foreboding makes him feel like choking.
To dance among stars, is this the price you pay?

Then he spins and twirls, pushing towards an event horizon.
Solar spots blind him but he keeps locked eyes on.
He waxes and wanes emitting cosmic rays as he searches for zion.
He’s now Orion.
No longer a dancer but a bounty hunter.
Ripping up space till it’s torn asunder.
‘Was this the right path?’ he asks.
He can’t help but ponder and wonder.


30 best films from the ’80s

Best Of lists

I heard somewhere once that our obsession with the 1980s has gone on longer than the decade itself. And with Back to the Future being in the news for reaching the ‘future’ date not too long ago (and, alarmingly, accurately predicting loads of inventions and tech we now take for granted), I thought it a good time to revisit 30 (don’t ask why I picked this number) of my favourite films from that decade.

Aliens (1986)
Written and directed by James Cameron (and building on the foundations laid by Ridley Scott in the first film) he took the franchise to chilling and thrilling new places.
Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton as Batman, Jack Nicholson as the Joker and Tim Burton directing. At the time, a bit of a risk. But one that paid off handsomely, critically and commercially.
Back to the Future (1985)
Famously, Robert Zemeckis, shot a lot of this film with Eric Stoltz as the lead. Only to feel he wasn’t right. So he recast Michael J. Fox and the rest is history. Or future.
Beetlejuice (1988)
Michael Keaton again. Wild, unhinged and brilliant, chasing Geena Davis and Alec Balwin around the place. Held together by the magic of Tim Burton.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Whilst Eddie Murphy made his screen debut a couple of years earlier, this is the film that made him and introduced his character of Axel Foley to the world.
Big (1988)
The whimsical nature and freedom of youth. In case you ever forget, Tom Hanks helps you to remember, dancing on a giant piano in this sweet-natured movie.
Die Hard (1988)
The great thing about the first film in this franchise is that John McClane, as a cop, was an average guy in the wrong place, not an action hero. That, and Alan Rickman.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
The original American PieFast Times introduced us to Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and also Phoebe Cates catching Judge Reinhold masturbating.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Stanley Kubrick set a benchmark when it came to Vietnam war movies with this entry, the story following Private ‘Joker’ as he witnesses a fellow recruit lose his mind.
Good morning, Vietnam (1987)
Blending comedy and poignant drama, Robin Williams made this film what it was, and rightly received critically acclaim for his affecting and committed performance.
Goonies (1985)
Sean Astin as Mikey (same as my name, a connection!), a story by Spielberg and a race to find treasure, this was the ultimate adventure film for kids. Endlessly watchable.
Gremlins (1984)
With a screenplay by Chris Columbus (now a talented director), an executive producer in Spielberg and Joe Dante at the helm, this was a monstrously delightful treat.
Ghostbusters (1984)
This film went on to be, commercially, the most successful comedy of the ’80s. And rightly so, it’s a classic. It also has Bill Murray at his odd and quirky best.
Highlander (1986)
With a Scot playing an Egyptian, a French actor playing a Scot and a soundtrack by Queen, there’s no way this should have worked. But it did. Instant cult classic.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Widely seen as the most violent Indy film in the trilogy and received mixed reviews on release; it’s since been seen in more positive light over the years. Good thing, too.
Labyrinth (1986)
You remind me of the babe.’ David Bowie in leather trousers singing his heart out. Honestly, do you need to know more? Odd, disturbing, yet kind of perfect.
Platoon (1986)
Oliver Stone at the top of his game directed this Vietnam film, winning an Academy Award for Best Picture in the process. A must-see for your Vietnam catalogue.
Raging Bull (1980)
Paul Schrader scripted this Martin Scorsese film with De Niro ‘going method‘ as boxer Jake LaMotta. De Niro won a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Nominated for nine Academy Awards at the time (it won five), Raiders is one of the highest grossing films of all time and just a thrilling adventure from start to finish.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Undisputed heavyweight champ of the coming-of-age teen movie in the ’80s, without a doubt, was director John Hughes. This remains one of his sweetest stories.
Scarface (1983)
Written by Oliver Stone with Brian de Palma at the helm, this film divided people at the time for its violent excesses, but has since been come to be regarded as a classic.
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Surprising to some perhaps, but this second instalment in the Star Wars saga wasn’t well received initially and has built over time. Now one of the best films of all time.
The Three Amigos (1986)
Loosely based, amazingly, on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film, Seven Samurai, this film didn’t make much commercially, or get great reviews. But I don’t care, it’s still great.
The Karate Kid (1984)
Following in the footsteps of Rocky, this film probably seemed light on the surface, but go watch it back again and again to see new things. It’s deeper than you think.
The Money Pit (1986)
In a remake of a 1948 Cary Grant film, Tom Hanks here proved his comedy chops in this silly, yet sweet flick which sees him crack up as his house slowly falls apart.
The Untouchables (1987)
Written by David Mamet with Brian de Palma directing and Ennio Morricone scoring, this film saw Sean Connery bag an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The Princess Bride (1987)
‘You seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you.’ Shun this film at your peril, it’s so sweet, ridiculously silly and wonderful. With one of the best sword fights you’ll see in cinema.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Quite simply, John Hughes’ best film. The most well-observed coming-of-age teen movie you’ll ever see, and one of the best of the decade. Don’t you forget about it.
The Terminator (1984)
The film that launched director James Cameron’s career and cemented Schwarzenegger’s as an acting force to be reckoned with. It hasn’t aged either.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Directed by ’80s legend John Landis, this unholy mess of a movie is kind of part of its charm. I mean, imagine a John Belushi under control, why would you want that?


The washed-up DJ


You’ve been left behind, you’re obsolete.
Downbeat and no longer discreet, you desperately scratch the needle in search of the beat.
You’ve let your skills slip. Now all you taste is defeat.
Hard truth is… you can’t compete.
Battling bottom tier DJs, the best you can manage is a dead heat.
Your career in a downward spiral, forever stuck on repeat.
So you switch from vinyl to CDJs, taking dead-end gigs just to make ends meet.

What the hell happened?
You were once top of your game, destined for greatness.
Now you’re aimless, contagious.
People keep their distance, not wanting to be infected by your lameness.
So you become shapeless and faceless, a ghost and a cipher.
Question is, will you bounce back?
Are you a fighter and a survivor?
Are you fierce like a tiger?
An assassin sniper… with rival DJs caught in your crosshairs.
Blinded by lights as paps snap you with their lens flare.

Or are you destined for weddings and kid’s discos?
Forced into fiscal limbo as you blast out the Thong Song by Sisqo.
Watching pensioners dance the calypso to your tired, old beats.
You do whatever it takes to bring in cash.
Whatever keeps you off those cold, dark streets.
But you yearn for your heyday where you had the crowd in your hand.
Then you’d adjourn to the melee of your villa to get rowdy with your fans.
Then fall asleep, kept warm by the heat of your groupies.
The comedown from your set hitting you harder than a bowl of roofies.

But those days are gone, you’ll never get them back.
The clubbing world has moved on.
You have to face that fact.
So either pack it all in or accept your path.
Playing tunes to pensioners ain’t that bad, it’s kind of a laugh.
So that’s where you’ll stay.
Maybe one day, with hope, you’ll get another chance.
Reliving the glory days as a DJ superstar.


SPECTRE: Mendes does Bond’s greatest hits


Poor old Sam Mendes. In some ways he’s a victim of his own success. Skyfall broke a billion at the box office so it was a tough act to follow. Particularly if that act was yourself.

But Dan and Sam formed a superb working relationship on Skyfall, so why wouldn’t they roll the dice again? And roll they did, upping the stakes by introducing the shadowy organisation SPECTRE, helmed by the Bond franchise’s favourite go-to bad guy, Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).

For SPECTRE we start in Mexico in an impressive Day of the Dead sequence which sees Bond bring his usual suave and swagger to proceedings. A solid opener.

So far so Live and Let Die.


From there – much like the whole of the Craig era so far – the story continues to explore the path of the previous films, particularly Skyfall, with Bond and the double O programme being seen as obsolete in a modern world where drones and data reign supreme. Leading the charge is the nefarious C (Andrew Scott); giving M (Ralph Fiennes) a foil of his own. Old school versus new school you might say.

And as the story unfolds echoes of Craig’s reign as Bond keep cropping up, almost like a final send-off. Is this his last film?

And as well as the Craig era references it seemed Mendes bowed to fan pressure and brought back a number of classic tropes. You could probably play a drinking game with the deluge of Bond references on show and end up hammered way before the second act.


Generally though, in terms of a Bond story, this does feel tonally like it’s closer to the original books, perhaps more so than Casino Royale (still the best Craig Bond). But the problem this film finds itself in, more than anything, is despite attempting to have a natural evolution from the past few stories, it feels cobbled together. Our hero races from one set piece and country to the next and it all feels forced.¬†With loose threads and characters dropped at various points to keep the story moving along it seemed the writers had leapt on a runaway train and had no idea how to stop it.

Simple stories are often the hardest to tell and, in this case, it feels as if the filmmakers have overcomplicated things. And somehow, bafflingly, they’ve put themselves in a place where, despite trying to continue the story from past outings, they still have to world build and introduce new characters. And that always takes time.


So for me, SPECTRE the organisation and SPECTRE the film promised so much but delivered relatively little. Again, this is probably partially down to Sam Mendes impressing us all with his first go round, but for the most part this latest franchise entry just underwhelmed me.

Trying to pin down the reasons behind my feeling (or lack of it) I think was partly due to the story feeling clunky and numerous characters being short-changed. And when they did show up they barely made an impact (Monica Bellucci and Dave Bautista, the top suspects). Those that did get more scenes also didn’t really leap off the screen (Andrew Scott for example, just seemed unhappy to be there).


And some just didn’t seem to fit the film properly at all; specifically Lea Seydoux as Bond’s love interest. Now she’s French, so I wonder whether they were trying to replicate the Eva Green effect with Craig? That fizzled at the time. Here though, Seydoux does perfectly well, but just seems too young and cute to be the right fit. Whether it’s actually an age thing I don’t know (Craig is 47, Seydoux is 30), but I’m not entirely buying that. Chemistry is chemistry, and here it didn’t work.

Or maybe Mendes just had other fish to fry? In particular Christoph Waltz as Blofeld. Waltz, if you give him good lines, will make them sing and dance for you. Yet here, as the powerful and troubled head of SPECTRE, he didn’t seem that frightening. He also didn’t have many scenes which really came alive. He’s undoubtedly a terrific actor, but it seemed like he was either coasting or didn’t have much to work with.


Now many critics (and fans) have raved about this film already. Strong opening weekend, Mendes, Craig and the gang back together again and all that… so maybe I’m being harsh but I’ll stick to my guns. Bond is the longest running franchise in cinematic history (excluding the Carry On films, wahey!) and its standards are high, so we expect more. And I’m not even a rabid fan.

I am, however, a huge fan of Casino Royale and Skyfall and some past Bonds (I grew up in the Pierce Brosnan era), but each new instalment should surpass the last, and this one just trod water. Which simply isn’t acceptable. Judi Dench’s M would never have stood for it.


It came from beneath the sea


Fully-formed with mandibles.
(Or maybe that’s tentacles or tendrils?)
With barnacles protruding from its follicles.
It came from beneath the sea.
It bared its teeth as it left the ocean, jagged and green.
No longer would it have to fight off Sting Ray.
But come what may, land beckoned.
And it reckoned it was high time to leave the salty brine of its old life behind.

Looking back… the creature had been happy in its secluded lagoon.
Marooned in a bay festooned with food.
Then after many moons, humans moved in and swept the seas dry.
They breached the natural order of things and life began to wither and die.
At first the creature tried to save its habitat.
Fiercely protecting its cabbage patch.
Watching humans take a hatchet to the purity of the planet.
The creature snapped. It just couldn’t handle it.

So it decided it was time to bust out the ocean like a fighter of crime.
Bad ass, like Sharkey and George.
Like a rock god playing dastardly chords.
So ahead the creature forged gathering his deep sea gang.
Huddled in the fathoms they concocted a beastly plan.
But not every fish-man supported him.
So he faced them down with a contorted grin and battle rebuttals.
Winning them round they strategically formed a tactical huddle.
No longer safe inside their magical bubble, they had to act.
Consistently, they had to win battles back to back.

And they were outnumbered, they had to face that fact.
Not to mention the cold truth that many wouldn’t make it back.
But they had to risk it to preserve their way of life.
They had to make sure these invaders die and pay the price.

The problem the creature faced was he didn’t adhere to violence.
He feared what he would become.
It’s a mindset he kept at bay lest he become cold and numb.
But as he stood on the beach about to throw down he knew what needed to be done.
No fear. No mercy.
His warriors wanted blood, it was clear they were thirsty.
These humans would regret the day they invaded this cursed sea.
Then all of a sudden the oceans parted and there stood Poseidon.
The creature’s face dropped.
This happened on his watch and his boss was fearsome with that trident.
He’d gone against orders and defied him.
Always taught not to resort to violence he now faced the God of the Sea.
He’d failed at his job and knew for this he would surely bleed.

Yet with one look, Poseidon understood.
The creature’s loyalties had divided when humans invaded his hood.
So he invoked ancient powers and let the creature go.
Setting him free to walk the earth, to educate high and low.
‘Only take from the ocean what you can give back’, the creature preached.
‘This I swear, it’s simply fact.’

Converted as a disciple of Poseidon, the creature evolved.
Truth be told, he now walks the land brave and bold.
Spreading the word that water is life.
He now fights fiercely to defend the ocean’s rights.
So next time the sun sets and you’re near the sea, glance to the horizon.
You might get a sight of an aquatic freedom fighter.
One who burns with the power of Poseidon.


The angel with the dirty face


Through the grime and mist of the club you spy her.
Make-up smudged and sweaty but still a beautiful siren.
She arches a brow as she spots your stare.
Then catches your frown as the club lights glare.
Smooth. What a way to start.
Mixed signals. Hardly a route to this girl’s heart.
But despite the noise, sweat and people this ain’t a race.
You’re prepared to put in the work for this angel with the dirty face.
She’s something else.
Possibly a succubus sent straight from hell.
But you’ll take your chances.
The crowds part as she prepares for your advances.
Your chemistry intense, loaded with pheromones.
She overloads your sense with light kisses like feather blows.
Your face flushed, all sorts of shades and redder tones.
She touches you.
Then your nethers explode as your wanton desire grows.
Who is the girl?
Where did she come from?
Chances are she’ll rock your world but come dawn she’ll be long gone.

Bleary-eyed a sliver of sunlight you spy through the curtains.
It’s morning and that girl was pure imagination.
Of that you’re certain.
Then she moves and the sheets undulate.
Christ, she’s real. At this rate you might suffocate.
But you keep it together. Be cool.
Remember to enunciate.
She laughes when she sees your brain whirring.
You falter, your embarrassment like a train stirring.
She’s seen you for what you are, utter vermin.
A burden, made all the more desperate by your yearning.

But something doesn’t ring true.
If that was the case this dirty angel would have spread her wings and flew.
But she remains.
‘Be not afraid’, she says.
And any games that you thought she might have played, in your head are instantly erased, tossed in the pit of your mind to be burnt in flames.
Then you both embrace.
And you’re hers, and she’s yours.
Whereever she came from you feel calmed in her presence, protected by a benevolent force.
God, this girl.
She’s both decadent and delicate, and elegant and desolate.
She’s petulant and elemental, a true force of nature.
Beautiful and cruel yet also gentle and brutal.
You can’t help but love her, and hate her.
That said, when she entered your life everything changed.
And by her grace, you were forever bound to this angel with the dirty face.




She flips when she hears your secrets.
Demoted to the FBI, you now spend your day peddling lies.
Calculating, she looks at you as she plots your demise.
Sizing you up for termination.
She’s wise to your cries for special consideration.

But it didn’t start here.
This is the end of the tale.
It began with a trap so allow me to regale.
Looking back, the mission started on a park bench.
Most begin this way, it wasn’t that far-fetched.
At the time you were CIA.
Rival spies often clocked you a mile away.
Let’s just say… subtlety was not your specialty.
So you decided to up your game.
One last mission to show your superiors what they’d been missing.
Cos you had big plans and wanted to show them your vision.
But let’s face it, you weren’t spy material.
Rivals had you for breakfast. Espionage cereal.
So you cooked up a coup, all whispy and ethereal.
Least that’s what you thought, ’til it became hyper-real.

Escalating to the point of civil war.
And to top it off, fucking up wasn’t even a chore.
There you were, flouting international law like a zen master.
A God among men, yet a total chancer.
A show pony, a reindeer, Prancer and Dancer.
And then it came crashing down.
You missed your ultimate goal.
Ending up most wanted of Interpol.
So you turned double agent and became a mole.
A snitch, a grass, call it what you will.
You folded on friends and colleagues alike, it took real skill.

Frantic, you made deals left and right to save your hide.
Your antics? A classic panic to avoid doing time inside.
Then in she walked, right into your life.
A femme fatale that had your senses screaming.
Your defences down, what could she be scheming?
In an instant, you fell in love.
Betraying your country you were hand in glove.
With her by your side you were a man that was tough.
Somehow though, you knew it wouldn’t last.
And sure enough she betrayed you.
Leaving you trapped like an animal in a caged zoo.

Then down came the pain.
What career was this?
You were left in tatters as you got dismissed.
An old spy, most wanted with no alibi.
Part of you wanted to lay down and die, but you had spirit.
Stating your case it was a miracle when others chose to hear it.
Then, like a phoenix, you blazed back.
Solving old cases watching bad men fall and take the rap.
Even so, there’s a long way to go.
You’re still raw and torn up.
But that’s the price you pay to play, Mr Informer.


Zombie nation


As a nation we stagger about and swagger around.
Content to be part of the crowd.
Our work defines us, you can see by the sweat on our brow.
The bulk of us, we’re computer monkeys.
A cult plugged to our PCs, caffeine junkies.
Then, when released for a brief two days a week we find our feet.
Shuffling slowly at first, our movements broad.
Head to the shops on Saturday to witness first-hand this zombie horde.

Eyes glazed in a daze, dazzled by brightness like rats in a maze.
Neon lights and sales we crave.
Gambling, slot machines, drink, drugs and entertainment.
Once we’re out though there’s no chance at containment.
This zombie nation’s breaking loose.
Causing chaos ain’t no homework excuse.
And as one the horde moves slow.
To look at us we’re an aberration but with nowhere to go.
Seeking deviation from the norm the path we tread well worn.
But it’s fair to say we feel low.

You want to save us?
A noble gesture, but one bereft of good intention.
And as a critical mass you lack invention.
Forming a plan is beyond your comprehension.
So there you stand agape, frozen in a state of suspension.
Like Kryptonians trapped in another dimension.
Unable to steer our fate for fear of reprehension.

But you’ve got to try.
These days, vitality and invention is in short supply.
And whilst you may stand around and ask yourselves why, deep down you know.
It’s a steep mountain ahead but by God you should give it a go.
So wish us luck, this zombie horde.
Least now you understand us.
Finally, we have an accord.


Push it real good


Salt n pepa said that, back in 1988.
At that time music wasn’t faked.
Yet from stealing and sampling there was still no escape.
But the words, poppy as they were, still hold resonance.
Growing up in the ’80s and the ’90s decadence,
I used their melody to calm me and give my soul relevance.
Paying penance in the presence of my peers,
I faced my fears with benevolence despite my hesitance.

And their cries of ‘push it real good’ gave me drive.
I’d rave about how their lyrics kept my dreams alive.
Their catchy hooks gave me motivation at times
when I became complacent. But I stayed patient.
Facing enemies I built the hatred and became brazen.
My soul like a winged raven heading straight for satan.
Righteous indignation emblazoned on my chest for all to see.
‘S’ and ‘P’ shaven onto me, my ID for when you call the police.

For if you think my approach is orthodox, prepare to be outfoxed.
I’ll leave you feeling accosted and lost, broken down beyond cost.
You, like a defeated nation seeking reparation for your failures.
Me? Continuing to push it trying to influence your behaviour.
Cutting round you like a Savile row suit and I’m the tailor.
But in this instance I’m just applying the laws of nature.
Setting on you with a harpoon, you’re Moby Dick and I’m the whaler.
Captain Ahab, dooming my crew to the bottom of the ocean floor.
A ferocious and atrocious end… unless I learn to push it some more.