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The Guardian G2 May 2 2018

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Wednesday 02/05/18
Arwa Mahdawi
Why it’s natural to fancy
your doppelganger
page 3
Sheet-mask selfies
The Hannibal Lecter
of beauty trends
page 6
Should we
while we
The unusual
of a perfect
Pass notes
№ 3,801
Why do
love Omar?
Age: The name is brand new, but the behaviour
is old.
Appearance: Gone but not forgotten.
Great, something to do with traffic
management assessment. Finally, a topic
I understand. Sorry, but this is about dating.
Is it a sex thing? Because, now I come to think
of it, orbiting sounds gross. It’s worse, I’m
afraid. Orbiting is a break-up tactic.
OK, explain everything. Well, first, have you
ever been ghosted?
I don’t know. Let’s start there. Ghosting is
when someone breaks up with you by
disappearing off the face of the planet. They
don’t text, they don’t call, they don’t answer
their door when you drunkenly hammer it
at 3am.
My word, how cruel. Wait until you get a load
of orbiting. Orbiting is ghosting with
occasional impersonal check-ins.
Such as? Let’s say you’ve been ghosted. You’ve
been jilted and there’s no sign of them
anywhere. Then, all of a sudden, you see that
they’ve viewed one of your Instagram stories.
Right. And then they favourite one of your
tweets. They might even like a Facebook post
or two if they’re feeling especially bold.
So it’s back on! No! Because they still aren’t
replying to your texts. There’s no direct
communication. They’re casually reminding
you that they exist, but also that they don’t
care enough about you to get in touch.
Dear God in heaven! I’m a psychological mess!
Exactly. And this is why orbiting is such
a nefarious break-up strategy. The term was
coined by Man Repeller writer Anna Iovine,
who describes it as “close enough to see each
other; far enough to never talk”. Her
conclusion is that orbiting is either a power
move, a sign of regret or an act of
outright stupidity.
Which one is it? Who knows. Some are even
calling it a redundant categorisation. A recent
Vice piece, for example, said that orbiting was
still a form of ghosting, but in this instance the
ghosts just happen to be visible.
Right. So orbiters are basically ghosts you can
see, like Slimer from Ghostbusters. Well, no,
that’s not really what I was …
It shouldn’t really be called orbiting in that
case. It should be called Sliming. No. Sliming
is definitely a sex thing.
Now I feel disgusted as well as appalled by the
inherent cruelty of the human courtship
ritual. Promise me you’ll never join Tinder.
Do say: “If you want to break up with someone,
why not try orbiting them?”
Don’t say: “In my day, we just faked our
own deaths.”
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Inking big: is Becks ‘addicted’ to tats?
David Beckham is thought to have more than 40
tattoos. For his latest, he has chosen a solar system.
(That’s a solar system, not the.) The design covers
the left side of his scalp and is visible because he has
reverted to a version of the mohawk he inflicted
upon fashion-forward men in the early 00s.
As with so many things, Beckham
was an early adopter. You could say
his journey through ink tracks the
modern evolution of the tattoo as a
fashion accessory. It began after the
birth of his first son in 1999, when
he had “BROOKLYN” inscribed on
his lower back. He went on to get
a guardian angel, his wife’s name
(misspelt) in Hindi, some Roman
numerals, Jesus on his way to the
cross and Jesus being lifted up by
three cherubim, who were supposed
to represent his sons.
He is not the only celebrity to
enjoy a trip to the parlour. Britney
Spears has a cross, a fairy, some
lips, pink dice, a star and Chinese
symbols. Samantha Cameron has
a dolphin on her ankle.
But is it possible to become
addicted to getting tattoos? The
psychology professor Viren Swami, of
Anglia Ruskin University, has become
something of an expert on the issue.
He has some birds, a flower and an illadvised tribal design, done at 18, that
he would like to have removed.
Swami says there is no such thing
as tattoo addiction, but adds that
“addiction is a really broad term.
You can be addicted to the pain, or to
the pleasure of people commenting
on the tattoos, or to the pleasure of
the artwork.”
The number of people getting
tattoos – it has been reported
that 40% of adults in the US have
one – means that it is hard to
make any rules about ink fans
or those who, like Beckham,
have opted for multiple designs.
“Before the 80s, you might have
(From top)
Beckham’s solar
system, his
misspelt Sanskrit
and his first tat,
been able to personality-profile
a tattoo fan. There was some work
done suggesting they were more
aggressive, smoked more, had
higher rates of drug use and were
risk-loving characters. Now, though,
you would essentially be looking at
the average person.”
There is one factor that Swami
thinks may contribute to the fact
that, for many of us, loyalty cards
for our local parlours could come in
handy. “When someone first gets
a tattoo, their body image improves
temporarily and they feel they have
more uniqueness.” Surely an easy
feeling to get used to. Poor Beckham
could have saved himself all that
bloody needle-buzz, then, if he only
had a bod worth writing home about.
Gavin Haynes
Omar Little: the gay, shotgun-toting
antihero who stole from drug dealers
on The Wire may seem like an odd
reference point for a politician.
So when the MP David Lammy
triumphantly tweeted: “Walking
into parliament this morning,”
alongside a picture of Omar after
the resignation of Amber Rudd over
the Windrush scandal, the response
was split.
Those who had seen the
programme and got the reference
nodded in approval, while those who
hadn’t questioned why an MP was
comparing himself to a man wearing
a bulletproof vest, armed with
a shotgun. Omar operates by his own
code: he won’t harm anyone who
isn’t in “the game” and only targets
drug dealers and their crews. But
he is incredibly violent and kills five
people – with his signature shotgun –
over the course of five seasons. It’s
an approach that earned him the
nickname the “hood Robin Hood”,
and, reading between the lines,
Lammy’s tweet suggests he sees
himself as a figure who is holding the
morally bankrupt to account.
Lammy is far from the only
politician to mention The Wire.
Barack Obama said Omar was his
favourite character in the show –
although he was at pains to make
clear “that’s not an endorsement”.
“He’s a standard dude with morals
and a code,” Michael K Williams,
who played Omar, said in 2012. “That
was one of the things that Obama
loved about him.”
Back in the days of the Tories’
“broken Britain” narrative, Chris
Grayling took a different approach
and compared parts of Blighty to
Baltimore. “The Wire used to be just
a work of fiction for British viewers,”
he said in a speech in 2009, when the
Conservatives were in opposition.
“But under this government, in
many parts of British cities, The Wire
has become a part of real life in this
country, too.” Grayling’s speech was
dismissed by many as hyperbole,
but The Wire and Omar still remain
a potent, if potentially provocative,
reference to use.
Lanre Bakare
Has porridge
served its time
in prison?
A man in
Swindon has
been leaving
dolls in a vast
pothole to call
attention to the
issue. Neville
Daytona was
inspired by
similar protests
Now, Swindon
council says
the hole will be
fixed – adding
that residents
can more easily
report potholes
on its website.
Some sections of the press have
reacted with shock to the news that
porridge has been “banned” in a
Welsh prison – for being a security
risk. The traditional prison diet is
apparently off the menu at HMP Parc.
The “ban” came to national
attention when a prisoner,
Stephen Bruno, wrote in the
prisoners’ magazine Inside Time
that management objected to the
oats-based dish because “it could
be used to block up door locks”.
For many years, porridge was
the only breakfast choice in British
jails – the archives at Inverary jail
in Scotland record that, during the
1800s, male prisoners received
a strictly rationed five ounces of
oatmeal with 3/4 of a pint of milk
for breakfast each day.
The phrase “doing porridge”
entered general usage as slang for
spending time in prison in the 1950s.
The meaning had been included in
a 1950 work by Paul Tempest called
Lag’s Lexicon: A Comprehensive
Dictionary and Encyclopedia of the
English Prison of To-Day.
Porridge, though, has been out of
fashion in English and Welsh prisons
for some time. In 2006, the National
Audit Office found that most
prisoners in England and Wales got
their breakfast delivered to them the
evening before, in a pack containing
cereal, bread, jam, margarine,
teabags, instant coffee and UHT
milk. Inmates generally have kettles
in their rooms to make hot drinks.
The idea of a hot or cooked breakfast
had been phased out from most
prison catering services.
UK prisons spend about £2 a day on
food for each prisoner. The National
Offender Management Service –
appropriately abbreviated to Noms
– oversees food policy. Prisoners are
expected to receive three meals a
day, one of which should be hot.
For its part, G4S, which runs
HMP Parc, has confirmed that
porridge is not available and has
not been for years – although it
stressed that prisoners could buy
Ready Brek from the prison shop.
Perhaps a sitcom about time inside
called Breakfast Pack or Ready Brek
wouldn’t have the same ring to it.
Martin Belam
No one wants to look like
their partner – or do they?
Why reclaiming
hateful language is
important but difficult
Are you twins? No? You must be sisters! No? But you look identical! Are you
sure you are not sisters?
It has come to my attention, thanks to incessant, unsolicited comments
from strangers, that I am dating my doppelganger. Almost every time I am
out with my girlfriend, even if we are just at the supermarket, a random
person asks if we are sisters. Sometimes they don’t take “no” for an answer
and ask again, as though maybe we just forgot.
For the record, my girlfriend and I
(pictured) are not related. She is an Ashkenazi
Jew from Boston; I am a Palestinian from
Brixton. I am not sure if our relationship is
kosher or halal, but it is 100% incest-free.
I have to admit, though, that we do look
vaguely alike. And the more strangers point it
out, the more I am starting to get a complex.
After all, nobody wants to date themselves.
Or do they? After looking into the
matter, I have come to the conclusion that
a lot of people do seem to want to date
themselves. There are tons of studies that
show we are attracted to people who look
like us. Empirical evidence of lookalike
love abounds, too. There is a Tumblr page
called Boyfriend Twin, for example, that
documents eerily identical male couples.
I suggest you do not browse it at work, by the
way. Some of the documentation is very thorough.
It is easier to notice similar physical appearances in same-sex relationships,
of course, but there are plenty of straight couples who bear an uncanny
similarity to each other, such as married thespians Benedict Cumberbatch
and Sophie Hunter. They look like they are cut from the same, extremely
posh, Cumbercloth. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are another straight
celebrity couple who look like they are basically the same person.
Perhaps you are thinking smugly that you look nothing like your partner.
Well, give it a few years. In the 80s, Robert Zajonc, a psychologist at the
University of Michigan, compared photos of newlyweds to photos of those
couples 25 years later. He found that even the couples who did not look
much alike to begin with started to resemble each other over time. Probably,
he hypothesised, because they had started to mimic each other’s facial
expressions. And, no doubt, steal their favourite sweatshirts.
Some people embrace the idea of romancing their clones. In 2011, a New
Yorker called Christina Bloom launched a dating site, Findyourfacemate.
com, which used facial-recognition technology to match you with a similarlooking love interest. Bloom reportedly got the idea because people used to
tell her that she and her ex-husband looked like brother and sister. “I actually
became very fixated on the thing,” she told New York magazine. “Whenever
I talked about it, people said I didn’t know what I was talking about. And that
I was crazy.” A fair number of people seemed to share Bloom’s vision, though:
50,000 people joined the now-defunct site.
I have forgotten the moral to the story, because I was thinking about
myself. Ah, yes: the moral is that I am not a narcissist – we are all narcissists.
There is an “Asian bowl” restaurant
chain in California called Yellow
Fever – and it is making the internet
see red. It recently partnered with
Whole Foods, which last week
announced that Yellow Fever had
opened at one of its locations,
prompting outrage. This is not
a great surprise. After all, naming
a restaurant after a deadly disease
and a sexual fetish seems in bad
taste at best and racist at worst.
Here is the thing, though: the
owner of Yellow Fever is a KoreanAmerican called Kelly Kim, who
says she picked the name because
it was “tongue in cheek”. This does
not mean the name is automatically
unproblematic, of course. Just
because one member of a minority
group chooses to reclaim oppressive
language does not make that
slur OK. While re-appropriating
hateful language is empowering
and important, it is also difficult.
I am not sure a fast-food chain is
the best medium through which
to achieve this.
Nevertheless, it is odd to see
social media full of non-Asians
getting outraged over a KoreanAmerican who has deliberately
chosen to give her restaurant what
she considers a humorous name. If
she wants to reinterpret the term,
should we not hear her out?
While we are on the subject of
offensive yellow-themed names, can
we have a quick chat about Banana
Republic? It has always fascinated
me that a clothing store was
named after the violent corporate
colonisation of Central America.
Apparently, when Mel and Patricia
Ziegler founded the brand in 1978,
they were told by a friend: “Bad
choice. You’ll be picketed by people
from small, hot countries.’’ They
never were, though, having had the
good fortune to set up shop before
social media.
The Simpsons has lost touch with the zeitgeist
Don’t have a cow, but The Simpsons jumped the shark years ago.
While it used to be a cornerstone of pop culture, the show now
seems antiquated. As the controversy over Apu demonstrated,
the show is no longer in touch with the zeitgeist. But it keeps
going. Last Sunday marked its 636th episode, a milestone that
made it the longest-running primetime scripted series in US TV
history. When he was asked recently how many more episodes
we might expect, the show’s creator, Matt Groening, said he does
not “see any end in sight”. I think he needs to get a grip. If the
Odyssey came to an end, Homer can, too.
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
➺ Words Jenny Stevens and Phil Daoust
Fixing the meeting has become
the holy grail of office culture, as
firms experiment with
everything from ‘walking and
talking’ to attendees being made
to plank while they speak. But
which approach actually works?
The new rules
for meetings
ome human inventions
flash into being, get a
little polish and then are
pretty much left alone,
their users generally
satisfied, or at least not
so dissatisfied that they attempt to
come up with an alternative. No one
tries to build a better hankie, a more
comforting cuddle or a dinner plate
“that really works”. Yet the search
for the perfect business meeting
seems never-ending. The caravan
instead of the boardroom, the rubber
chicken that bestows the right to
speak: you name it, it has been tried
and generally found to suck. Now
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO
of Amazon, has had a go, creating
what he calls “the weirdest meeting
culture you will ever encounter”.
Weird? Maybe, though other
words that spring to mind include
“anal” and “stultifying”. As Bezos
told the audience at the George W
Bush Presidential Center in Dallas,
he has banned the PowerPoint
presentations that dominate most
commercial meetings. Instead,
some poor devil must spend a week
or more preparing “a six-page,
narratively structured memo” full
of “real sentences” rather than
bullet points. Everyone else must
then spend the first half-hour of
the meeting silently – and publicly
– pondering it, before moving on to
a debate. Bezos calls this “a kind of
study hall”.
“Not surprisingly, the quality of
these memos varies widely,” Bezos
admits. “Some have the clarity of
angels singing. They are brilliant
and thoughtful and set up the
meeting for high-quality discussion.
Sometimes they come in at the other
end of the spectrum …”
If this sounds like your idea of
hell, don’t panic. Some of the finest
minds in business are working on
Get in touch with
your feelings
“This is quite pervasive in
organisations now,” says Prof André
Spicer from Cass Business School at
City, University of London. “They
might ask people to reflect for a few
minutes in a meeting before making
a decision. Or they’ll ask people to
turn inwards, and think about what
their own feelings are telling them.”
Evidence suggests that injecting
more mindfulness can help alleviate
individual anxiety, and help people
focus better in meetings and lose the
irrelevant information.
“The danger of it, though,” says
Spicer, “is that it gets treated as
a way to cover up more systemic
issues. I’ve been working with
the Department of Health,
which introduced a mindfulness
programme to deal with health
and wellness issues in the
department. The truth was that the
problems there were with endemic
restructuring and extreme working
hours – the mindfulness just
extended meetings and the
working day.”
Take a long lunch
“The death of the long lunch is
a tragedy for businesses,” says
Spicer. “Many organisations had
lunch together in cafeterias where
everyone stopped and ate together
and talked. There is research by
Humanize, which studies social
networks and work, that shows
that people who go to lunch and
sit in fairly large groups tend to
do a lot better in the company,
simply because they are building
up networks and finding out what is
going on in the business. Bring back
Actually, says Emma Sinclair, the
co-founder of EnterpriseAlumni,
there is a lot to be said for the regular
company-wide catchup, even if it
comes in the form of a traditional
meeting. “People do need to feel
included. And a bit of consistency
is good.”
Bring in the vigilantes
“One PayPal executive, David
Sacks, used to burst into meeting
rooms like a prohibition-era cop
and ask what people were meeting
about,” says Bruce Daisley, the
European vice-president at Twitter
and the host of the Eat Sleep Work
Repeat podcast. “If it wasn’t any
good, he would stop the meeting
right then and there. I love this
idea of superhero-style vigilantes
closing meetings down. Imagine
if the burden of having a meeting
was that at any point you’d have
to explain what the meeting was
about. Brilliant! If all of us knew we
would be held to account for the
cost of a meeting and the amount of
people’s time we are taking up, our
perspective would be different. The
meeting is taking all the fun out of
our jobs because we are so scared of
not being busy. But sitting at your
desk and thinking is an important
part of the job.”
Remember time is money
Ever sat in a meeting and wondered
how much it was costing the
company in terms of salaries? Tools
such as Harvard Business Review’s
business meeting cost calculator
will put a figure on it. Spicer
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Reply all
recommends a meeting budget. “If
you want to invite a member of staff
to your meeting, it will get taken off
your budget. The cost of inviting
loads of people to come along and
listen to a PowerPoint presentation
actually becomes valued, and you
have to think: ‘Do we actually need
this person there?’”
Don’t fall for gimmicks
Everyone wants meetings to
be shorter, but stunts pulled in
some workplaces such as making
attendees hold the plank, do situps,
speak against a timer or put money
in a charity box if they overrun are
counterproductive and, frankly,
irritating. “I’m a bit suspicious of
any of that jiggery-pokery,” says
Stefan Stern, the co-author of Myths
of Management. “That doesn’t feel
like work to me. If you’re trying
to achieve something from your
meeting, you need to be focusing on
the meat of the matter.” Rather than
your aching muscles, for example.
“All this show-and-tell stuff turns
the meeting into a spectacle, rather
than something productive,” agrees
Spicer. However, he adds, standing
meetings are effective at cutting
meeting times. Walking and talking
(favoured by Mark Zuckerberg and
Barack Obama) has also been shown
to help people work better. “Marily
Oppezzo at Stanford University
has done a lot of research in this
area,” says Daisley. “She shows how
meetings can engage divergent
thought – so they help people
come up with ideas, although not
necessarily narrow them down.”
Lock up your iPhones
“It’s a great idea to get people to
check in their phones and laptops,”
says Spicer. “Unless they are actually
being used, not having them helps
people focus their attention on what
is actually going on in the room.”
That doesn’t mean it’s not awkward,
however. “I recently did some work
with senior managers at a bank
and they were forced to put their
phones in sealed envelopes. They
were constantly looking over to the
cupboard where their phones were.
As soon as the first break came, they
ripped them open like they were
crack addicts who had just seen
a bag of crack. But once they had
actually got focused on a task, they
got a lot more done. One of the basic
principles of productivity is that we
are terrible at multitasking, so we
need to remove as many distractions
from meetings as possible.”
Get a grip on numbers
Another Bezos rule: he won’t call
a meeting, or even attend one,
where two pizzas couldn’t feed
the entire group. . “Meetings now
are easier than ever to arrange,”
says Daisley. This means they can
often become “very low-quality
exchanges of ideas and powerplay”
if they are not considered properly
and numbers kept under control.
The solution is to “value the
introverts”. “Most of modern work
has been around celebrating the
extrovert – brainstorming meetings,
presentations, open-plan offices,” he
says. “Performance art has become
lk out if you
aren’t adding
value. It’s not rude
to leave – it’s rude
to make someone
waste their time’
part of our job. But when you look
into how a creative idea is formed,
it is normally by individual thinking
and one-to-one conversation.
As Susan Cain says in her book
Quiet, the truth about the best
collaborations is that they are in
smaller groups – it’s more Lennon
and McCartney than loads of people
in an open-plan room.”
Working it out
For several months I have been working for a new
boss who has nothing but good things to say about
me and who promised to put me forward for
promotion – but now says my relationship with a
colleague will prevent this. The relationship problem
stems from my honest and professional feedback the
boss requested about said colleague, who has
repeatedly claimed credit for ideas I passed them
(I had called them out on this, with email proof).
How can I solve this issue? I am being held back
due to the unprofessional actions of the colleague.
Your boss might be envious
Your boss may not be being entirely
honest with you. My experience over
the years has led me to believe that
if you are successful, with concrete,
provable achievements, this can
actually close promotion and other
doors to you. Your boss might be
envious and feeling threatened
by you, and fearful that by giving
you promotion you may ultimately
threaten his/her job. So your concerns
about your colleague may have just
furnished your boss with the excuse
he/she needed to block you. There’s
not much you can do except move
on to another organisation more
worthy of your talents. Good luck!
Liz Bell
Be rude if you have to
“Walk out of a meeting or drop
off a call as soon as it is obvious
you aren’t adding value,” the
billionaire CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk,
has said. “It is not rude to leave; it
is rude to make someone stay and
waste their time.” Of course, it is
probably easier to get away with
this when you are a fantastically
rich company boss rather than an
underpaid middle manager.
Just say no
“Is your meeting really necessary?”
asks Stern. “As the management
consultant Peter Drucker put it,
‘One either meets or one works.’”
Daisley says we should abolish half
of all meetings. “If you go into a
meeting and somebody asks: ‘Has
anyone got anything for today’s
agenda?’, that should tell you that
there is no point to it. We live in a
world where the quality of our work
is being appraised by others, by our
bosses, so we never want to appear
as if we’re not working hard. So
when a meeting comes up that we
are responsible for, we all want to
show that we have packed agendas.
We need to lose the fear of standing
people down for meetings and
cancel them.”
How do you do it? Maybe cite
some evidence. “We’re starting
to realise that interruptions and
distractions are the curse of getting
anything done,” says Daisley.
“We need to permit people to have
quiet spaces. In Cal Newport’s book
Deep Work, he argues that anything
of any value is created only by a
period of isolated concentration.”
Something to send back on your next
calendar invite.
Find an exit strategy
There are two possibilities here.
Either you have been an annoying
person who has managed to irk both
the boss and your colleagues or you
are genuinely put upon by your boss
and cheated by your colleagues.
Either way, I suggest you find an exit
strategy. Have a serious think about
yourself and the way you come
across to others, and think about
the kind of job best suited to you as
you are. Be diplomatic – you don’t
have to show your true feelings to
colleagues or to your boss. But set
things in train for you to get a new
beginning somewhere else.
Stop thinking about these people.
Remember, the best revenge is
moving beyond your small-minded
colleagues and former bosses!
Dan Fitzpatrick
You went nuclear
The fact that you trotted out email
proof and centred your feedback on
your stolen ideas (ie, all about you)
suggests you went nuclear. If you
create this level of fuss at work, then
you had better be sure of your facts
and it had better not be something
petty (getting credit for a team’s
idea is often seen as petty). When
asked for feedback about colleagues I
play a straight bat and would not say
anything I would not say to their face.
My advice is that you should build
stable credibility in the workplace; if
you are consistent and measured, you
build trust and progress eventually.
You were right to speak up
If a colleague is passing off your
ideas/achievements as their own
while doing little to contribute, then
of course you should say something.
Actively taking credit for other
people’s work is very different from
having a team getting a project
done together where everyone is
pretty much contributing equally
to its success. Start looking for
another job where your skills are
Diplomatic skills
There are ways to handle that situation
that do not involve forwarding emails:
“I especially admired the way Mike
took my original idea about how we
could create a popup art installation on
west campus and brought in his own
ideas about how we could colour-code
it. It’s great to have a member of the
team so supportive of my work.”
Want to
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Sit down with your boss
I’m not sure changing jobs is the
solution. More often than not, all
that happens is you realise the
grass is not greener on the other
side. If promotion matters to you,
sit down with your boss and work
out a plan to achieve the promotion
– targets to be met, behaviours
to be demonstrated etc. Then
keep a record of progress towards
this until it has been done. If the
company does not have a genuine
promotions policy though, moving
to somewhere that does may be the
only option.
Honesty at work is dangerous
Personally, I run a mile if I’m asked
to be open and honest at work.
What is usually meant is, “Here is a
small hole, would you like to keep
digging?” Damning with faint praise
is the closest any of us should ever
get to being open and honest.
My bosses discussed making me redundant
In a meeting in the CEO’s office I noticed an email on
his screen concerning my future in the business. The
gist was that I was wrong for the position but they were
not certain what the position should be. Several of the
options discussed were about making me redundant
with one month’s notice, but the decision made was to
set me clearer goals and have an honest conversation
with me. I’ve since been issued with share options and
no conversation has taken place. I’m concerned it may
have to do with recently disclosing that I was suffering
from depression. I’m planning to jump ship, but am
wondering how to handle it in the meantime.
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Far left, Bella
Hadid’s sheet
mask Instagram;
left, Selma
Blair’s Instagram
with under-eye
Gwyneth Paltrow
(right) wearing
eye patches
Face time
The rise of the
sheet mask
It is the latest must-have millennial beauty product –
and the sheet-mask selfie is the hottest thing on
Instagram. How did this strange new look stick?
➺ Words Jess Cartner-Morley
ot Dog Legs was
five years ago. Oh,
you remember.
The sun lounger
selfie, thighs held
at a flattering angle,
cocktail in one corner of the frame,
slice of swimming pool in the other.
Five years is ancient history, in social
media terms, and every summer
since has had its signature selfie. Last
year was a score-draw between the
faux-candid back-to-camera shot
and that thing where you pretend
to balance the setting sun on the
palm of your hand. But this year’s
look is the strangest yet. The hottest
thing on Instagram right now is a
selfie taken while sporting a piece of
serum-soaked cellulose stuck to your
face, with holes cut out for your eyes,
mouth and nostrils. The more you
resemble Hannibal Lecter in Silence
of the Lambs, the more likes you will
get. Sheet mask selfies are where it is
at, my friend. Go figure.
Bella Hadid signed off the most
recent month of fashion shows with
a snap taken lounging on the cream
leather seat of a private jet, wearing a
sheet mask teamed with a Dior beret.
Bella’s sister Gigi, describing her
beauty regime, recently said: “Today
I used a SK II Facial Treatment Mask
– I looked like a murderer. It was so
cute. I took a selfie and sent it to my
friend.” Chinese actor Fan Bingbing
has been known to wear a sheet
mask while signing autographs and
posing for photos with fans.
The sheet mask selfie has become
out-and-out aspirational. Lady Gaga
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
wears giant white sunglasses over
her mask; Selma Blair poses in an
artfully nude tangle of limbs in front
of the mirror, wearing nothing but
teardrop-shaped gold under-eye
mask patches; Diane Kruger teams
her Chanel-logo-stamped ones with
a super-fluffy white robe and a tallstemmed glass of wine.
Sheet masks, almost unheard of
outside South Korea until a few years
ago, are now big business. They are
as key an element of a night out’s
pre-game as hot rollers were a few
decades ago. In 2016, sales of Estée
Lauder’s Powerfoil mask rose 123%
at John Lewis. In the first half of
last year, sales of sheet masks were
up 34% across the UK, according to
research by the NPD group. The Mask
Bar in New York recently opened
a Soho branch in addition to its
original Koreatown location, and has
become a cult destination for those
wanting to up their skincare-andselfie game with a mask soaked in
snake venom or placenta.
After decades of baby boomers
being wooed with exquisitely
presented pots of “miracle cream”
promising to combat wrinkles,
the sheet mask cult represents the
rise of the millennial as the beauty
industry’s new target market. A
youthful mindset is targeted by the
language of instant gratification
– a “plumping” effect perfect for
looking good for your big night out –
rather than by claims of long-lasting
impact. Most sheet masks cost about
£4 each: expensive, but the sort of
one-hit, contactless payment that
hurts less than shelling out £70 for
a pot of cream, even if the cream
Models and
sheet masks
(above, left
and below)
at New York
fashion week
All about Yves – and Loulou
A new book explores how Yves Saint Laurent’s
most famous muse, Loulou de la Falaise,
helped the designer see the world through
rose-coloured glasses. By Lauren Cochrane
The mask is a
horror staple.
The rebranding
of the look as
restorative me-time
is a startling
works out cheaper per application.
Urban Outfitters sells an avocado
sheet mask for the avo-toast
generation, and one with pandaface markings on it, for wellness
with a Snapchat-filter baby-animal
aesthetic. New for this year are
glitter sheet masks, bringing the
disco-smeared Glastonbury look to a
bathroom near you.
Sheet masks supercharge your skin
with moisture, giving an instant glow
– even if, like Cinderella, your new
look will vanish around midnight.
Applying twice daily for two weeks
and peering hopefully in the mirror
is so 20th century. But the appeal is
as much how the masks look while
you are wearing them as how you
look afterwards. (If a white-wrapped
face isn’t striking enough for you, the
Face Inc Sparkle Like a Unicorn mask
features a pastel-striped horn and
painted-on eyelashes to up your selfie
game.) After the performative holiday,
we now have performative me-time.
A contributor to The Cut recently
wrote of her sheet-mask habit that
“actually feeling relaxed comes
second to knowing that I look
relaxed”. Of course, downtime as
dictated by fashion is nothing new.
Wearing a sheet mask and posting
a selfie is no more self-consciously
vogueish than it was to lie in a tub of
bubbles and eat a chocolate bar, in the
early 1990s era of those Flake adverts.
Or to put your cashmere-socked
feet up and light a hygge-approved
cinnamon-scented candle in 2016.
Yet there is something new and
unsettling in the aesthetic of the sheet
mask. The mask is a horror staple,
from 1974’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre
via Hannibal Lecter (pictured
above) to the Scream masks that
have become the go-to Halloween
n. The
uniform of the menacing teen.
adge of
rebranding of the look as a badge
restorative, wholesome me-time
ich, of
is a startling about-turn – which,
es on
course, is precisely why it flies
social media. But more insidiously,
a face strapped in white bandages
ywoodalludes to more than just Hollywoodpicentre
does-Halloween. Seoul, the epicentre
of the sheet mask industry, is also
the global capital of plastic surgery,
ro. In
having overtaken Rio de Janeiro.
some neighbourhoods, a
bandaged face has become a
commonplace sight.
Many of the new generation
of cult beauty brands nod to
the visuals of the doctor’s
surgery on their packaging.
The Mediheal Collagen
Impact mask sachet shows an
illustration of a bag suspended
from an IV drip stand. TonyMoly
mask packaging features a pipette.
It is a long way from the soft-focus,
powder-puff aesthetic of traditional
beauty. Snake venom, an ingredient
in some cult masks, is a peptide
that gives the appearance of “lift”
” facial
because, it is said, it “freezes”
muscles in a similar way to Botox.
In the interest of research, I tried the
Estée Lauder Advanced Nightt Repair
Powerfoil mask. It took me a while to
figure it out – the loops that fix around
e – and,
the ears baffled me for a while
rom the
being not-a-millennial, I hid from
postman. But even to my untrained
eye, it did something. My skin
looked … better. Practically cameraelfie.
ready. Next time, I’ll take a selfi
Loulou de la
Falaise pictured
for Vogue in
1970 and (above
right) in 1969;
and in 1983
oulou de la Falaise, a woman whose
Wikipedia entry starts by describing her
as “a fashion muse”, always gave the idea
short shrift. “To me, a muse comes to have
cookies and a chat and looks frightfully
smart,” she said. “I didn’t see it as someone
who worked as hard as I did.”
As detailed in Christopher Petkanas’s book, Loulou &
Yves, De la Falaise was by Yves Saint Laurent’s side for
30 years. They began to work together in 1972. “He was
very vague about [my job],” she remembered. “He didn’t
specify what I was going to do.” Her daily responsibilities
show she was a multitasker of the highest order. They
included everything from helping decide on the colour
of a collection (“Yves has a phenomenal sense of colour,
but he needs me to jerk it out of his system,” she said), to
the casting of models (she encouraged the house to use
Kate Moss), designing the jewellery and walking Saint
Laurent’s French bulldog, Moujik. Principally, however,
De la Falaise was there as a taste check, someone to try
ideas on – sometimes literally – and to brainstorm with.
“She is charm, poetry, excess, extravagance and elegance
all in one blow,” said the designer. “We make a stewing
pot. Things bubble and brew.”
De la Falaise’s style is now the stuff of legend – and
Pinterest boards. Headscarves and turbans became her
trademark – on her wedding day in 1977, she married
Thadée Klossowski in a white turban with coral-red
tassels – while her attitude to dressing could be summed
up as: “Why wear one skirt/sweater/necklace if you can
wear four?” As with all style icons – from Jane Birkin to
Kate Moss and Rihanna –
a frustratingly indefinable
flair was at the heart of
it. “I’ve always longed to
pull off wearing a couture
dress with a bit of old tat
from a flea market,” says
De la Falaise’s sometime
associate Nicky Samuel
in Petkanas’s book,
“but only a few women
succeed.” De la Falaise
was one of them.
If De la Falaise was
part-inspiration at Saint
Laurent, she was also there
to gee up the famously
troubled designer, with her
trademark light disposition.
Betty Catroux, who is also
described as a Saint Laurent
muse, says De la Falaise
“saw everything through
rose-coloured glasses. She
was our Prozac.”
As with many people
who present as sweetness
and light, De la Falaise had her own troubles. Born in the
UK to the French writer Alain de la Falaise and socialite
Maxime Birley, she and her brother Alexis were sent
to live with a couple in rural France as children. De la
Falaise’s first fashion-show experience was being taken
to Paris as a child by her aunt, Gloria Swanson, and she
was friends with Andy Warhol by the time she was 15.
She used drugs and alcohol, and developed hepatitis
in her 20s; she died three years after Saint Laurent,
in 2011, at the age of 63. While she had started her own
label after parting ways with Saint Laurent when he
retired from the house in 2002, it is for her associations
with the designer that she will be remembered – muse
or not. Her importance was summed up by Paris Match
after she died. The headline? “The second death of
Yves Saint Laurent.”
Loulou and Yves is published by St Martin’s Press, at £35.
Guardian Bookshop price, £29.75,
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Are women
drawn to sexual
violence on TV?
Germaine Greer has caused a stir with her claims that
female viewers enjoy depictions of sexual violence.
What do leading crime writers think?
➺ Words Zoe Williams
ou can say what you
like about Germaine
Greer, but she’s not
afraid of anything –
not controversy,
swimming against the
tide or sounding like the feminist
who doesn’t like women very much.
In a Radio Times article this week,
she lays the proliferation of sexual
violence in TV drama – almost all of it
against women, of course – squarely
at the feet of the female viewer.
Women consume 60% to 80% of
crime fiction (that is quite a large
tolerance band, but let’s not nitpick),
and are the main viewers of true crime
drama. Why? Because fear of being
raped occupies our consciousness,
posits Greer, and imaginary rapes
bedeck our fantasies. She cites a
study by the University of Texas,
which found that nearly a third of
women regularly fantasise about
being violated: “In my view, the
fantasy is commoner than these
figures suggest,” writes Greer.
What it means for a woman to
fantasise about violence is quite
an interesting fissure in feminist
thinking. It is surprising to see it
raised, by Greer, in relation to the
Scandi crime noir The Bridge – the
latest series opens with a woman
who has been buried up to her neck
and stoned to death (as fantasies go,
I doubt that is in anyone’s top 10).
But it does come up a lot in
discussions about feminist porn.
People assume that “ethical” porn
will just be more softly lit and with
better storylines, but that’s not the
case: some of it is, sure, but there
is an evolved BDSM (bondage,
domination, sadism, masochism)
strand that is, if you take it
literally, more violent to women
than gonzo porn, which is just sex,
only faster.
The existence of female rape
fantasies isn’t proof that, contrary to
#MeToo, we all (or a third of us) want
to b
be literally raped. Denise Mina,
author of the compelling Alex
Morrow series and, most recently,
the true crime story The Long Drop,
says that rape fantasies are “about
women wanting to be forgiven for
their compliance. It’s not about
women wanting to have their heads
stoved in with a brick and left at a
railway siding”. Nobody watches
a d
a drama such as The Fall – one of
The explicit
French film
Germaine Greer
Perhaps TV should
attempt to go a year
without any violence
against women
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
the subjects of Doon Mackichan’s
brilliant radio documentary about
screen violence against women – in
order to identify with the victims.
The locus of the drama is all either
in the killer or the detective; it’s all
in the puzzle. The sudden popularity
of Scandi noir was not because of
the jumpers or any revolution in
storytelling; the radical bit was
that the detectives, and therefore
the emotional wellspring of the
genre, weren’t (or weren’t all) greyhaired men.
“This is a complicated and
nuanced issue,” says bestselling
crime writer Val McDermid, “and
there are a lot of factors involved.
But I do think women are drawn to
watching crime dramas because we
have been conditioned into thinking
of ourselves as potential victims,
and we want to understand how
that prediction comes true. There’s
also a sense in which it feels almost
talismanic, like watching lightning
striking someone else’s house –
‘Thank God it’s not me.’” That would
locate a fascination with violence
against women firmly in the realm
of fear – the way you sometimes
visualise yourself jumping off a
footbridge, or new mothers get
hyper-real visions of stabbing their
baby with a nappy pin (that’s
actually an example from a 50s
psychiatry manual, if it sounds a
little dated). The mind neutralises,
or at least copes with, fear by
creating it as a mental hologram.
Joan Smith, crime author and
critic, has a different take: “I suspect
viewers are watching these series in
spite of the sexual violence and the
victimisation, not because of it.
It’s a cheap thrill, a way of grabbing
attention – the more subtle ways,
that depend on the creation of
tension, are much harder to do.
Presenting a really shocking image
is much quicker.” But you don’t
linger on it; you’re driven
immediately to the question of who
did this, and why, “and then what
viewers do is identify with the
detectives, these anguished figures”.
That doesn’t mean the violence is
purely incidental, but it is essential to
the character arc of DC Pointyhead,
whose humanity is established by
the fact that he cares for the
vulnerable dead girl – he can then
get right on with being smart. Yet
just because the viewers aren’t
watching for the blood doesn’t mean
this trope is without consequence.
“The victims become incidental,”
Smith says. “That does worry me
about the nastiness of some crime
narratives, that the victims get
completely overlooked, and we
become desensitised.”
“One of the problems with crime
fiction at the moment,” Mina points
out, “is people talking about it who
know nothing about crime fiction.
It’s like having a conversation about
television, in which you could be
Women do consume
more crime fiction
than men and watch
more crime drama
Into the
dark: Scandi
noir hit
The Bridge
talking about This Morning or The
Wire.” There is difference of opinion
here – Mackichan’s view is that TV
should attempt to go a year without
any violence against women,
because all of it has a brutalising
effect on the viewer, not to mention
the young actors who get their first
break spending 17 hours filming a
rape scene. Yet, as a viewer, I would
still parse the difference between
watching two hours of Hannibal
(the TV show, not the film) – elegant
lighting and loving cameras
lingering interminably on the
exquisite rotting flesh of an 18-yearold college student – and two
hours of The Bridge, in which the
torture seems less pornographic
(though, granted, I haven’t seen
the new series).
The Fall
a detective on
the trail of a
serial killer
examined - in
great detail – the
early years of
Hannibal Lecter
he idea raised by Greer
– that women are
aroused by the idea of
violent sex – is one that
defines the pro-sex
and anti-sex schools
of feminism, explored by thinkers
including the French feminist
philosopher and film-maker Virginie
Despentes, who made the film BaiseMoi (Rape Me) in 2000. In the 70s,
the feminist lawyer Catherine
MacKinnon made the case that all
sexual encounters occurred under
the patriarchy, therefore “hostility
and contempt, or arousal of master
to slave, together with awe and
vulnerability, or arousal of slave to
master” are its building blocks. In
those conditions, the true feminist
eschews sex. The pro-sex rebuttal was
that this view relied on women being
void of sexual desire themselves.
Twenty years later, Despentes
made a triangulated argument (how
90s!). As she defined it, fantasising
about rape and being raped were
completely discrete (she had
experienced both). It’s not like
dreaming of winning the lottery,
and then winning the lottery: the
dream is an idiosyncratic interplay
between social shame and sexual
desire, while the reality is being
disempowered and afraid, and those
are different things.
In other words, you can accept
that living under the patriarchy has
informed your sexuality and not
just still enjoy sex but incorporate,
even own, that power dynamic. To
police or close off the alleyways of
your own arousal would simply be
submitting to the patriarchy in a
different, less diverting way. The
contemporary philosopher Amia
Srinivasan resolved whether or not
a rape fantasy was unfeminist, to my
satisfaction at least: “If a woman
says she enjoys … engaging in rape
fantasies – and even that she doesn’t
just enjoy these things but finds
them emancipatory, part of her
feminist praxis – then we are
required, as feminists, to trust her.
This is not merely an epistemic
claim … It is also, or perhaps
primarily, an ethical claim: a
feminism that trades too freely in
notions of self-deception is a
feminism that risks dominating the
subjects it wants to liberate.”
One thing is unarguable: women do
seem to consume more crime fiction
than men (though men are the main
consumers of true-crime books), and
women watch more crime drama. It is
also true that women read more than
men generally, and also watch more
telly. So the question of why women
are interested in this dark subject
matter does seem to be freighted with
the unspoken expectation that we
should prefer nice things. “It’s really
– why aren’t they at home stroking
kittens and making scones?” Mina
says, and describes to me the trial of
a serial killer in the 50s, at which
there were 60 seats in the public
gallery, all taken by women. “And at
that time, newspapers were saying:
‘It’s because women are attracted
to powerful men.’”
There is a constant here: grisly
crimes are compelling to women.
But the explanation of this interest
changes according to what society
thinks women are like at any given
time – or, more specifically, what’s
wrong with us.
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Caption here
please caption
here plese
‘How could I not
cause offence?’ …
Caroline Coon;
left, The English
Lake, 2013
‘Even at 13, I knew
I could never
be respectable’
hen Caroline
Coon heard that
she was about to
get her first solo
art exhibition,
at the grand old
age of 73, she burst into tears. Then
she heard the proposed name for it –
Caroline Coon: The Great Offender. “I
just gasped,” she says.
It didn’t take her long to realise
that, actually, the name was perfect.
Offending – and offending greatly –
has been a large part of what Coon
has spent her life doing, even if it
hasn’t always been intentional. In
the 1960s, she flew in the face of the
establishment by setting up the drugs
agency Release, which helped young
people who had been arrested for
drugs offences. Its clients included
John Lennon and George Harrison.
A decade later, she was offending
her own hippy generation by
documenting the punk scene for
Melody Maker, providing bands with
artwork for their record sleeves,
and even becoming the Clash’s
manager for a while. But it’s with her
oil paintings and collages that she’s
made some of her most provocative
statements, breaking down taboos
and challenging ideas of what a
female artist is expected to paint.
The evidence is currently displayed
over every inch of wallspace in her
home and studio in west London
where we meet (and when the walls
run out, her works stack up on the
floor). Brothel scenes sit next to
self-portraits replete with wrinkled
wrist flesh (“You rarely see portraits
of old women,” says Coon, “because
we go from being whores to being
witches”). Then there’s her depiction
of Valerie Solanas (who shot Andy
Warhol) complete with severed penis
on a plate, as well as her wonderful,
gender-blurring tangles of male and
female bodies. They seem particularly
prescient in our era of sexual fluidity,
yet at the time they gained Coon the
reductive nickname of The Woman
Who Paints Penises.
That must have been frustrating.
“Frustrating?” she laughs: “No, it
was a triumph! Why wouldn’t I be a
woman who paints penises? That
was the whole point! To be a lady
was to never admit that one liked
sexuality – you were meant to bear it.
Even the feminists of the 70s talked
about the penis as a hate object,
which I found very unhealthy.
Because in my heterosexual mode”
– she lets out another laugh at this
– “the penis is something I love to
draw into myself. Of course I need to
love this object!”
In person, the Great Offender
couldn’t be any less offensive: she’s
warm and funny and has even
bought fresh fruit in for the interview
because she’d heard I’d been unwell.
She talks about sex workers’ rights,
nuclear brinkmanship and the
tragedy of Grenfell tower – which
you can see starkly from her living
room window – in unapologetically
cut-glass tones that make you
wonder what the punks must have
made of her back in the day. At one
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
point, when a question about her art
delights her, she takes my hand and
kisses it with gratitude.
Yet offending people has always
been in Coon’s blood. As the child of
wealthy Kent landowners, she found
herself trapped in an oppressively
patriarchal system where, she says,
“the question was always, ‘How can
I grow up into a woman who does
not cause offence?’ I couldn’t be
assertive, or have an opinion, and I
was warned that I should hide one’s
intelligence because men didn’t
like intelligent women. You were
expected to grow into a respectable
woman, a wife and a bearer of
children. Even at the age of 13, I
knew I couldn’t be that.”
Aware of the pain her mother and
grandmother suffered after giving
up on their own artistic dreams,
Coon moved to London to enrol
at Central St Martins. Even that
could be stifling: “I went through
college without being told such a
thing as a woman artist existed,” she
says. However she did notice the
emergence of such artists as Pauline
Boty, who typified women who were
“working side by side with their
male colleagues but not included in
most of the big exhibitions”.
It was Boty’s husband Clive
Goodwin who gifted Coon the pop
Her work seems
presciently gender
fluid but it gained
her the nickname
The Woman Who
Paints Penises
In your face …
modelling a
designer jump
suit in 1971
artist’s oils following her death in
1966 at the age of 28. Coon used
them to paint her playful tribute to
Boty’s landmark work Bum, a full
frontal called simply Cunt.
Not all Coon’s work deals in
outrage: there are joyous street
scenes celebrating the diversity of
her neighbourhood and plenty of still
lifes depicting tulips and peonies.
Other paintings are approached
with subtlety. Her Brothel Series
inverts the way male artists have
depicted prostitutes by putting the
same scenes through a feminist
lens. Sometimes this can be a typical
street scene, but tucked away in the
background is a punter reading a card
in a shop window, or slipping down
some steps. In Ladbroke Grove,
Dawn: She Walks Home From Work,
the car driver’s eyes are trained
not on the road but at the woman
traipsing home after a night shift.
Coon knows she has a right to
paint these scenes because she’s
lived them. Her illustrated memoir
Laid Bare documented her brief
time as a sex worker in the early 80s.
It is full of bracing honesty about
the experience, as well as paintings
inspired by it. “I did that series
because I think it’s very unhealthy,
and very painful, for men to want
sex and then to despise the women
A hero of the counterculture since the 1960s, Caroline
Coon talks to Tim Jonze about brothels, managing the
Clash – and making paintings too explicit for the Tate
The Brothel Series …
World Hotel Room,
1998; and, below,
Cambridge Gardens
– On Anywhere Street
He Slips Unnoticed…
Marx and
Martin Rowson reveals why he
turned The Communist Manifesto
into a graphic novel full of
blood, iron, fury, private gags
and personal score-settling
‘There I was
arguing with
Joe Strummer.
Caroline, he’d
say, you failed,
you boring hippy’
they have sex with outside of their
marriage. It means men tend to
divide women against each other.
We are either virgins and wives, or
we are whores.”
Coon can reel off a long list of
male artists who’ve painted brothels,
from Toulouse-Lautrec to Picasso
– so many, in fact, that she says we
barely notice them doing it. So why
shouldn’t she? “After all, I kind of
know what I’m talking about.” She
smiles. “Those people were both the
artists and the whore-fuckers. Well, I
was the artist and also the whore.”
This gets to the core of Coon’s
art. She may be the great offender,
but often she’s simply flipping
perspectives on common narratives.
In Rush Hour: She Strips Them Naked
With Her Eyes, the men ogling naked
bodies in the tabloids on their way
to work are simply shown stripped
naked themselves. Any offence
caused by her work exposes our own
hypocrisy. That was certainly the
case when Tate Liverpool chose not
to show her painting Mr Olympia, a
pastiche of Manet’s reclining nude
Olympia, because its subject had a
semi-erect penis.
Coon is still campaigning for the
things she believes in – including
fighting the criminalisation of sex
work, which she believes does
untold harm to society. “Most of the
men and women I speak to are using
pornography – which comes from
sex work – so to me it’s anathema
that you will use the workers for
your orgasmic pleasure and then not
support them as workers like you
would teachers or nurses.”
She also remains committed to
the legalisation of drugs and an end
to the racist stop and search laws
that she says are creeping back, since
the recent rise in violent crime in
London. Her famous photograph of
the Clash that adorned their debut
single White Riot – the band with
their backs turned, their hands
up against a wall – was recently
repurposed by Release for a
campaign against a law that it says
makes black youth eight times more
likely to be searched.
It’s a coming together of all of
Coon’s interests – punk, politics,
painting – and a reminder that she’s
managed to be present at so many
countercultural moments. She says
her political commitment is what
led the punks to adopt her, but
you suspect that her inbuilt ability
to offend might have helped too.
“There I was, the offensive hippy,
arguing with Joe Strummer,” she
laughs. “But actually there was this
wonderful dialogue between the
generations taking place. ‘Caroline
you failed, you boring hippy.’ ‘No
Joe, this is how it really was.’ ‘Well
we’re going to do things differently.’”
How does she compare those
movements to today’s generation?
“I love this generation,” she says.
“They may have to fight a war again.
But as I see it, young people are very
active and it’s just the establishment
that refuses to recognise that. They
like to say they’re apathetic and
not getting engaged, but that’s
never true. The next 10 years will be
fascinating and it probably needs a
Putin and a Trump to make people
sit up and realise the fight isn’t over.”
She pauses and adds: “I just really
hope I’m still around to see it.”
Caroline Coon: The Great Offender is
at The Gallery Liverpool, 4–27 May.
arl Marx and I go back a long
way. Like a lot of children
growing up in the 1960s, I
was obsessed with the Soviet
Union and its unreachable
otherness. What’s more,
my father had actually been there to attend
scientific symposia. I have a clear memory,
aged about six, of standing in our back garden
and him saying to me: “What do you mean,
you don’t know who Karl Marx is?” I replied,
rather tearfully: “But I know who Lenin is.”
As I grew older, the obsession continued.
At about 15, I finally read The Communist
Manifesto and it made complete sense. I
instantly got the Dialectic, the inexorable,
tectonic grindings of All History Hitherto,
the Class Conflict and all the stuff about the
inevitable victory of the downtrodden over
their oppressors. In its compelling combination
of reason and romanticism, I was entranced not
only by the manifesto’s universal scope but also
its playfulness. Parts of it are very funny.
Soon I’d devoured Edmund Wilson’s To the
Finland Station, visited the Soviet Union and,
aged 19, wrote a thankfully unpublished novel
that hinges round a fictitious Marxist uprising.
As a student, I joined the Communist party,
although I only hung around for a week. After
I graduated I sold a cartoon series to New
Statesman titled Scenes from the Lives of the
Great Socialists, based on hideously contrived
puns on the defining dicta of Marxism. A typical
example shows Friedrich Engels peering into
a toilet tank and saying: “Hey Marx, there’s a
couple of those antique Stradivarius fiddles
in here!” To which Marx replies: “Clearly the
violins inherited the cistern!”
When these cartoons came out as a book in
1983, there were calls for it to be banned from
Collets, the old leftie bookshop in London.
This was one reason why I hadn’t bothered
making a fist of it in the CP: I’ve always
subscribed to Orwell’s line about every joke
being a tiny revolution, though a lot of people
believe that None of This Is a Laughing Matter.
Obviously, as a professional satirist, I
disagree. And I reckon Marx would have done
so, too. Not nearly enough people struggling
through Theories of Surplus Value give
themselves a break by reading, for instance,
Marx’s journalism from the 1850s for the New
‘When 43 individuals
possess as much
wealth as half
of humanity …
Marx still has
a lot to say’
York Tribune, which matches Simon Hoggart,
even Jonathan Swift, in its scathing hilarity.
Anyway, Marx stuck with me in the
following 30 years: I illustrated a couple of
books by the Australian Marxist Kevin Killane,
and Marx himself made cameo appearances in
my comic-book adaptations of TS Eliot’s The
Waste Land and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram
Shandy. It was after that last book was reissued
in 2010 by SelfMadeHero that the publisher
commissioned me to adapt Francis Wheen’s
wonderful 1999 biography of Marx.
I’m a hack at heart and, like Marx, I dice
with deadlines. Marx, aged 29, knocked off
The Communist Manifesto over a weekend in
Brussels at the end of January 1848 after he got
an ultimatum from the Communist League in
London, who had commissioned the work the
previous autumn and were still waiting. It had
also been my practice to make it up as I went
along. But confronted by the Wheen book, I
decided to pay my son to write the script. He
did an excellent job, but it left me with nothing
to do except draw to his direction. I got bored.
I felt like nothing more than a machine –
alienated from my labour in a textbook Marxist
way – and, in line with pure Marxist theory, I
rebelled. Having drawn only five pages in seven
months, I gave up and returned my advance.
So now I had unfinished business with Marx,
and occasionally images would flash into the
back of my mind, of great geological slabs of
History grinding against massive clumps of
the Dialectic. Then SelfMadeHero asked if I
fancied adapting The Communist Manifesto for
Marx’s 200th birthday. The whole thing came
instantly into my head – a rolling tsunami,
with equal parts of blood-and-iron steampunk,
apocalyptic John Martin and mounting fury
that builds to a climax at the end of Section One:
Bourgeois and Proletarians, before breaking
on the beach of History and turning into
straightforward standup comedy. It’s leavened
throughout with private gags, personal scoresettling and Rabelaisian filthiness.
The former Tory home secretary Kenneth
Baker, with whom I (and Steve Bell) sit on the
board of London’s Cartoon Museum, insists
on calling me a hardline Marxist-Leninist.
I’m not. If anything, I’m a kind of William
Morris anarchist, all for equality and down
with hierarchies so we can all have some fun.
Stripped of the doctrinaire dogma, that’s how
I read Marx, too. The most important part of
The Communist Manifesto remains its analysis
of how the amoral mechanics of capitalism
commodify human beings and reduce them
to meat machines existing solely to make the
already rich even richer. And 170 years after he
wrote The Communist Manifesto when, by the
latest count, 43 individuals possess as much
wealth as half of the rest of humanity, I reckon
Marx still has a lot to say. I hope I’ve helped
him say it yet again.
The Communist Manifesto: A Graphic Novel is
available from SelfMadeHero.
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Live reviews
Taste the Tennent’s
… Sunshine on Leith
on Leith
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Until 19 May
Box office: 0113-213 7700
Ronnie Scott’s, London
an on-stage boozer spills out into the
stalls of the Quarry theatre, creating a
sense of lager-scented community in
an auditorium that can so often feel
cavernous and impersonal.
Community is also central to the
show itself. Stephen Greenhorn’s plot
springs from some of the recurring
concerns of the Proclaimers’ back
catalogue: home, identity, love and
Scottishness. In many ways it’s a
tale of homecoming, opening as old
mates Davy (Steven Miller) and Ally
(Paul-James Corrigan) return from
war to their beloved Leith and the
relationships – familial and romantic
– of civilian life. The more politicised
strain of the Proclaimers’ songwriting
is briefly reflected in swipes at NHS
cuts and nods to gentrification.
There’s no escaping the
sentimentality at the exposed,
beating heart of this show. While
skilfully braiding in various
Proclaimers tracks, its narrative ticks
all the big emotional boxes: love, loss,
parenthood. In aiming squarely for
the universal, though, Greenhorn’s
script often lacks specificity. His
characters are foremost daughters or
sons, fathers or mothers, husbands or
wives – defined by their relationships
with one another rather than by any
quirks or idiosyncrasies.
The detail is instead supplied by
Brining’s production, which teems
with the stuff
of everyday
By the
life. In an early
riff of the
street scene,
as returning
hit I’m
squaddies Davy
Gonna Be
and Ally weave
(500 Miles),
past joggers,
buskers and
is futile
brilliantly evokes the bustle of city
pavements – real city pavements,
not the high-kicking sidewalks of
Broadway. Colin Richmond’s set,
meanwhile, is crammed with the
minutiae of the mundane, from
Asda signs to wellies atop bus
shelters. And while the onstage bar
inevitably recalls Once – the Musical,
it’s more working men’s club than
romanticised tavern. You can almost
taste the Tennent’s.
The real masterstroke is bringing
the band on to the stage and among
the actors. It’s not an original
thought, but it’s perfect for the spirit
of this piece. Guitar players pop up
from behind bars and reception
desks, as though the Proclaimers’
music has seeped irresistibly into
the city. When a drinking session
turns into a singsong (Over and Done
With) or a pub full of Hibs fans offer
marriage proposal advice (Let’s Get
Married), the tunes somehow burst
organically from the action rather
than feeling imposed on to it. And
while the biggest hits are used with
admirable restraint, by the opening
riff of I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),
resistance is futile.
Catherine Love
here was a wilder
edginess to Ambrose
Akinmusire’s opening
set at Ronnie Scott’s
than formerly on the
astonishing young
American musician’s UK live shows
– and not just from him, but from the
partners who have been at his side
since his widely hailed emergence
as one of jazz’s all-time trumpet
originals seven years ago. Akinmusire
has lately been composing more and
working with string quartets and
genre-bending singers such as Theo Fierce drama …
Bleckmann and Cold Specks. But
this gig with regulars Sam Harris
(piano), Harish Raghavan (bass)
initially exhaling a sensuous trumpet
and Justin Brown (drums) was the
melody of long, swerving tones
kind of scalding real-time fusion of
and ringing high sounds against
haunting themes and collective jazz
Harris’s slow piano vamp. The
improv only possible for players who
reverie ended without warning
can read each other like books, and
in a percussive acceleration to a
anticipate the coming pages, too.
fast, blustery postbop melody
Alternations of low-volume
hounded by Harris’s now slamming
lyrical delicacy and fierce drama
chordwork, and a long Akinmusire
characterised the show, with the
improvisation of tumbling uptempo
undemonstrative Akinmusire
descents and plaintive, early-Miles
cries that seemed to hang in a parallel
dimension to the onrushing rhythm.
The trumpeter’s unaccompanied,
glowing pure high notes and languid
purrs were gradually floated on to
a two-chord hook and a rustling
cymbals groove. The band explored
bowed-bass harmonies and piano
arpeggios while the leader retired to
the shadows; and a brightly perky
melodic dance for Akinmusire and
Harris showed how attuned to each
other’s thinking they remain.
Akinmusire’s ducking, diving
Trumpet Sketch closed the set,
its cryptic morse-code melody
steadily loosening under pressure
from an exhilaratingly unshackled
Justin Brown until the band’s sound
blurred into an ecstatically ferocious
drone. “I’m just having fun with
my best friends,” Akinmusire had
earlier declared in one of his few
announcements. That much was
unmistakable, and a thrillingly highend level of fun it undoubtedly was.
John Fordham
hisper it, but
West Yorkshire
might just be
making a case
for the much
maligned jukebox musical. Knotting
together 18 Proclaimers songs,
Sunshine on Leith is refreshingly
uncynical, resisting the easy wins
and clunky contrivances that
characterise most shows banking
on a recognisable soundtrack. Even
remounted after its success on the big
screen in 2013, it feels like a thing of
real joy, not a ploy to cash in.
James Brining directed the original
2007 production and this new staging
is a return and an ending. It’s an
opportunity to revisit the greatest
hit of his time as artistic director of
Dundee Rep, while concluding one
chapter of the Playhouse’s story
before it closes for refurbishment. In
coming back to the show, he marries
the strengths of the piece with the
strengths of the space. In this version,
Intimate …
Baaba Maal
World music
Baaba Maal
Union Chapel, London
aaba Maal first
became an African
hero in the late 80s,
when Djam Leeli, his
exquisite acoustic
collaboration with
Mansour Seck, brought him to an
international audience. Since then,
however, he has tended to perform
with his amplified band, Daande
Lenol. Tonight, perched on a stool,
dressed in a magnificent robe,
backing himself on acoustic guitar,
marked a brave and intriguing
return to basics, but with a
contemporary twist.
The concert was billed as his first
ever solo show, and Maal told the
audience that it felt like “playing in
my living room” in Senegal. But he
was not entirely alone, being joined
by the multi-instrumentalist Cheikh
Ndoye, whose first task was to
provide a wash of electronica for his
new version of Yela.
The intimate set provided
a reminder that Maal is still a
remarkable singer, with a sometimes
harsh-edged voice that can switch
from delicate, soulful or stately
songs to high, soaring passages
and bursts of sudden power. His
guitar work was equally impressive,
matching rock-steady rhythm
against flurries that at times echoed
desert blues, as he switched from
recent songs such as the easy-going
Kalaajo, to a tribute to Habib Faye,
Youssou N’Dour’s former bass
player, who died last week. Then,
of course, there was Baayo, Maal’s
exquisite, pained lament for the loss
of his mother.
Towards the end, Ndoye took
a more prominent role, playing
first the n’goni on a song that
the young Maal had learned on
his travels with Seck, and then
switching to electric bass. For the
encore, Maal stood for the furious
percussion work-out he recorded for
the soundtrack of the Marvel film
Black Panther. By now the audience
were on their feet, too.
Robin Denselow
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
TV and radio
Watch this
Richard, Hayley,
Lewis and
Love in the Countryside
9pm, BBC Two
My F-ing Tourette’s Family
Farming life can seem idyllic, all rolling hillsides
and mucking out the livestock, but it can be
a lonely business. This dating show aims to
match eight countrysiders with a mate solicited
via love letters sent through the BBC website.
But will the culture shock be too great for
their Uber-calling, latte-carrying prospective
partners? “Can they put up with mud?” asks
Mark, a blacksmith from Norfolk with no central
heating. After a mixer dinner, host Sara Cox
presents the rurals with their letters and the
dating fun begins.
Channel 4
Lucy Mangan
This was a nice tale about a lovely
family. It must be said, though, that
the boys’ tics are quite something
ell, as we know, is other people. And
never more so than if you are doing
something they don’t understand. “I’ve
been told I’m a horrendous mother …
that my sons are sinners,” says Hayley
Davies-Monk of the strangers who have
taken it upon themselves to comment on her family
when they go out in public. Her two sons, 13-year-old
Spencer and nine-year-old Lewis, both have Tourette
syndrome. More than that, they are two of the 10% of
people with the neurological condition whose tics
include swearing out loud.
My F-ing Tourette’s Family followed the DaviesMonks as they embarked on a six-month effort to
break out of the seclusion gradually forced on them
by other people’s reactions (and, I suppose, their own
reactions to those reactions, though this was an aspect
the film didn’t explore) and to go out, to theme parks,
to restaurants, on trains and on holiday, to build their
collective and individual confidences and have a public
family life again.
It must be said that the children’s tics are … quite
something. The physical ones are debilitating enough
for them; Spencer’s legs can become paralysed, making
him collapse to the floor, unable to move until the attack
has passed. Hands fly out and catch other people on
the face. Spencer has to be driven to school in case he
collapses or inadvertently starts a fight. But it is the
verbal tics that have isolated the family – and they are
more painful to watch than the blows. Spencer and
Lewis are clearly such lovely boys – funny, polite, mildmannered, articulate – who are, bafflingly, unfairly,
periodically controlled by completely antithetical urges.
“She’s worried,” explains Spencer gently, as his mother
prepares for a group outing. “Because that’s what mums
do.” And then – a different pitch, a different speed –
“Overprotective cunt!” “Fuck my life, it smells like rice!”
adds Lewis. You would have to have a heart of stone not
to know whether to laugh or cry.
When they go out, Hayley is constantly scanning the
periphery for dangers. People who look as if they will
be unpleasant. People who have something about them
that will set her boys ticcing particularly badly. “My tics
can be race-based or sexuality-based,” says Spencer.
“I don’t want anyone to feel like” – the intruder takes
hold for a moment – “SHIIIITE! To have,” he corrects the
interloper, “their feelings hurt.”
As a documentary, it of course stands in the shadow
of the magisterial 1989 film by Valerie Kaye, John’s Not
Mad, and the follow-ups since about John Davidson and
the severe manifestations of Tourette syndrome with
which he lives. It had none of those films’ craft, subtlety
or tenderness. It was a very basic delivery of a very basic
story. The family’s isolation at the
beginning was never firmly enough
established to make their “journey”
as meaningful to us as it should
have been.
(None of which, to be clear, is to
imply that this is what the parents
should have been doing – just that, in
Spencer has
televisual terms, there are sometimes
to be driven
things that need to be addressed so
to school
that the audience can concentrate
in case he
where it should. If there are any
“shoulds”, it’s that people give
strangers the benefit of the doubt and
starts a fight
err on the side of kindness, wherever
possible. But this is obvious, so let us
not dwell.)
Let us turn briefly instead to
the History Channel’s new offering, Kingpin, which
is a faintly (when not fully) sickening account in
docudrama form of the rise of various murderous
heads of various murderous organisations. Last night
it was the turn of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the
Mexican drug lord. It’s at first a lurid, overdramatic,
self-indulgent glorification of murder that lingers on
descriptions of torture and reconstructs shootings with
such loving detail that you suspect it was made by and
for those who long to have dicks as big as those glorious
Mexican gangsters’, before deepening into a more
impressive, if still wearyingly macho, elucidation of
his rise and fall against a wider political background.
When man will stop handing on quite such misery to
man remains unanswered.
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
John Robinson
Heathrow: Britain’s
Busiest Airport
8pm, ITV
The US already
has season
two of The
Tale. We
still await
a broadcast
date. I consider
that this
almost makes
up for them
having Trump
The documentary series
returns, just as the
Windrush crisis gives
its encounters with
immigration policy
new weight. Tonight,
Border Force Bob decides
whether a Brazilian
student can visit his
brother. Elsewhere,
returning regulars include
Demi, an expert in calming
livid travellers. Jack Seale
Britain’s Fat Fight
9pm, BBC One
Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall continues
his battle to save chubby
Brits from themselves.
This week, he is back in
Newcastle upon Tyne,
checking up on the city’s
collective flab fight.
He is turning his fire on
the makers of smoothies,
juices and fast food,
who seem determined
to fill their products with
huge amounts of sugar.
Phil Harrison
9pm, ITV
Sombreros and sun
loungers at the ready:
Benidorm checks out as
the latest series of gentle
larks in the sun comes to
an end. There is an airport
strike threatening the
Dawsons’ anniversary
plans, Sam’s ex is in
town and Monty and
Joyce make up. Amiable
chaos, as ever, ensues.
Hannah Verdier
Kim Jong-Un:
The Unauthorised
9pm, National
According to this profile
of North Korea’s leader,
Kim Jong-un “looks
like the winner of the
best job in the world
contest”. While the
images coming out of
that country are both
amusing and terrifying,
this documentary asks
the experts what he is
really like. Ali Catterall
9pm, Dave
The daft panel show
returns for a sixth series,
with Greg Davies and
Alex Horne doling out
challenges both inane
and insane. Alice Levine,
Liza Tarbuck, Russell
Howard, Tim Vine and
Asim “Chabuddy G”
Chaudhry are their
victims, taking on
lemons, wheelbarrows
and orienteering in
this opening episode.
Hannah J Davies
Channel 4
Channel 5
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4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes from 8am
to 7pm are double bills
6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks
7.0 Couples Come Dine
With Me 8.0 How I Met
Your Mother 9.0 New
Girl 10.0 2 Broke Girls
11.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
12.0 The Goldbergs 1.0
The Big Bang Theory
2.0 How I Met Your
Mother 3.0 New Girl
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 Extreme
Cake Makers 8.0 The
Goldbergs 8.30 The
Big Bang Theory 9.0
Timeless 10.0 Naked
Attraction 11.05-12.0
The Big Bang Theory
12.0 Celebrity First Dates
1.05 Tattoo Fixers 2.10
Naked Attraction 3.05
Timeless 3.55-4.40 The
Goldbergs 4.40 Couples
Come Dine With Me
11.0am Terror
in a Texas Town (1958)
12.40 Spoilers
(1955) 2.20 Gun Fury (1953) 3.55
Three Faces West
(1940) 5.30 Hondo (1953) 7.10
Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
(2007) 9.0 The
Dressmaker (2015) 11.20
Regression (2015)
1.30 Drowning
by Numbers (1988)
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 6.45
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 7.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
7.55 Emmerdale 8.25
The Cube 9.25 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show 10.20
The Bachelorette 12.15
Emmerdale 12.45 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold Top
100 Sport Stars 1.45
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 2.35 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 3.40 The
Jeremy Kyle Show 4.50
The Jeremy Kyle Show
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 Paddington
Station 24/7 (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 GPs: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) 1.15 Home and
Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours (T)
2.15 NCIS (T) (R) A Desperate
Man 3.15 A Daughter’s
Nightmare (Vic Sarin, 2013)
(T) A woman embarks on a
search for the truth after
her mother falls ill. Drama
with Emily Osment. 5.0
News (T) 5.30 Neighbours
(T) (R) 6.0 Home and Away
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Police Interceptors (T) (R)
GPs: Behind Closed
Doors (T) A man in his 60s
is encouraged to cut back
on the 60-hour weeks he
regularly works.
Rich House, Poor House:
The Big Surprise (T) New
series. Colin and Lizzy
Whiting swap a fivebedroom house for a
two-bed property.
10.0 Billionaire Babies: 24 Carat
Kids (T) (R)
11.05 Named and Shamed:
Greatest Celebrity
Scandals (T) (R)
12.05 Celeb Trolls: We’re
Coming to Get You (T) (R)
1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
GPs: Behind Closed Doors
(T) (R) 4.0 Never Teach
Your Wife to Drive (T) (R)
Beyond 100 Days (T)
7.30 The Culture Show:
Lego – The Building Blocks
of Architecture (T) Tom
Dyckhoff explores the
plastic bricks’ relationship
with architecture.
The Great Rift: Africa’s
Wild Heart (T) The grasslands of east Africa, and a
line of volcanos stretching
from Ethiopia to Tanzania.
Last in the series.
Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents
(T) The Earl of Essex tries to
take over Robert Cecil’s spy
network to gain control over
the ageing Elizabeth I.
10.0 The Celts: Blood, Iron
and Sacrifice With Alice
Roberts and Neil Oliver
(T) (2/3) La Tène culture.
11.0 Putin: The New Tsar (T)
12.0 Bombay Railway (T) 1.02.0 Top of the Pops: 1983
(T) Double bill. 2.0 The
Great Rift: Africa’s Wild
Heart (T) 3.0 Elizabeth I’s
Secret Agents (T)
5.50 Take Me Out 7.0
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 7.30 You’ve Been
Framed! Gold 8.0 Two
and a Half Men 8.30
Superstore 9.0 Hot
Fuzz (2007) (FYI Daily
is at 10.05) 11.25 Family Guy 11.55 Family
Guy 12.25 Family Guy
12.55 American Dad!
1.25 American Dad!
1.50 Two and a Half
Men 2.15 Teleshopping
5.45 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30-11.35 A Place in
the Sun: Winter Sun
11.35-2.10 Four in a
Bed 2.10-4.50 Come
Dine With Me 4.50 A
Place in the Sun: Winter
Sun 5.55 Ugly House to
Lovely House 6.55 The
Secret Life of the Zoo
7.55 Grand Designs 9.0
Building the Dream 10.0
24 Hours in A&E 11.10
8 Out of 10 Cats Does
Countdown 12.10 Kitchen
Nightmares USA 1.05
24 Hours in A&E 2.10
Building the Dream 3.15
8 Out of 10 Cats: Best Bits
6.0am Animal 999 6.30
Animal 999 7.0 Meerkat
Manor 7.30 Meerkat
Manor 8.0 Monkey
Life 8.30 Monkey Life
9.0 Motorway Patrol
9.30 Motorway Patrol
10.0 Road Wars 11.0
Warehouse 13 12.0 NCIS:
LA 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
Hawaii Five-0 3.0 NCIS:
LA 4.0 Stargate SG-1
5.0 The Simpsons 5.30
Futurama 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0
The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0 A
League of Their Own
10.0 Premier League’s
Greatest Moments 12.0
Brit Cops: Rapid Response
1.0 Ross Kemp: Extreme
World 2.0 Most Shocking
3.0 Duck Quacks Don’t
Echo 4.0 The Real A&E
4.30 The Real A&E 5.0
It’s Me or the Dog
Sky Arts
6.0am Dvořák: The
Complete Symphonies
6.50 Manon 9.0
Watercolour Challenge
9.30 The Art Show
10.30 Tales of the
Unexpected 11.0
Trailblazers: Dance
12.0 The Eighties
1.0 Discovering:
Burt Lancaster 2.0
Watercolour Challenge
2.30 The Art Show 3.30
Tales of the Unexpected
4.0 Classic Albums
5.0 The Eighties 6.0
Discovering: Henry Fonda
7.0 Tate Britain’s Great
Art Walks 8.0 Mystery
of the Lost Paintings
9.0 Discovering: Jack
Palance 10.0 The Mona
Lisa Myth 11.50 At-Issue
12.0 Mystery of the Lost
Paintings 1.0 Depeche
Mode: Live in Berlin 2.30
Black Sabbath: The End
of the End 4.30 Tales
of the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0
Storm City 8.0 Fish Town
9.0 The West Wing 10.0
The West Wing 11.0
House 12.0 House 1.0
Without a Trace 2.0 Blue
Bloods 3.0 The West
Wing 4.0 The West Wing
5.0 House 6.0 House
7.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 8.0 Blue
Bloods 9.0 Occupied
10.0 High Maintenance
10.35 Silicon Valley
11.10 Barry 11.50 Billions
1.0 The Sopranos 2.15
Togetherness 2.50 House
of Lies 3.25 Happyish
4.0-6.0 The West Wing
Kate Winslet in
The Dressmaker,
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast 9.0
Essential Classics 12.0
Composer of the Week:
Copland (3/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Lunchtime Concert:
Verbier. The baritone
Andrei Bondarenko
and the pianist Gary
Matthewman perform
songs by Rachmaninov,
Tchaikovsky and Mozart.
(2/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert. A BBC Singers
concert from St Paul’s in
Knightsbridge, featuring
works by Britten, Ola
Gjeilo, Howells, Tavener,
Vaughan Williams and
Judith Weir. 3.30 Choral
Evensong: St John’s
College, Cambridge 4.30
BBC Young Musician 2018
5.0 In Tune 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert.
From the Bridgewater
Hall, Manchester. Leonard
Elschenbroich (cello),
BBC Philharmonic,
Clemens Schuldt. Strauss:
Tod und Verklärung.
Mark Simpson: Cello
Concerto. Music Interval.
Shostakovich: Symphony
No 1. 10.0 Free Thinking: Marxism 10.45
The Essay: My Life in
Music – Craigie Hill.
With Karine Polwart.
(3/5) 11.0 Late Junction
12.30 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today 8.30 (LW)
Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 Soul Music: True
Colours (5/5) 9.30 The
History of Secrecy: A
Time of No Secrets (R)
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: The Life and
Rhymes of Benjamin
Zephaniah (3/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Includes
at 10.41 Drama: The
Wings of the Dove. 11.0
Single Black Female.
The hurdles facing
black women looking
for love. (R) 11.30
Ability: Matt Attempts
to Get a Girlfriend. New
sitcom by Lee Ridley,
AKA Lost Voice Guy, and
Katherine Jakeways.
(1/4) 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Four Thought (R)
12.15 You and Yours 1.0
The World at One 1.45
Chinese Characters:
Mao Zedong – The Man
Who Made Modern
China (18/20) 2.0 The
Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
Fury, by Tom Kelly. 3.0
Money Box Live 3.30
All in the Mind (R) 4.0
Thinking Allowed 4.30
The Media Show 5.0
PM 5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News 6.30
Daliso Chaponda: Citizen
of Nowhere – How it all
Began. The Malawian
comedian looks at the
history of the relationship
between the UK and
Africa. (1/4) 7.0 The
Archers. Lily demands
answers. 7.15 Front Row
7.45 The Wings of the
Dove (R) (3/10) 8.0
FutureProofing: Faith
(1/4) 8.45 Four Thought
9.0 Costing the Earth
(R) 9.30 Soul Music:
True Colours (R) 10.0
The World Tonight 10.45
Book at Bedtime: The
Valley at the Centre of
the World, by Malachy
Tallack. (3/10) 11.0 Six
Degrees of John Sessions
(3/4) 11.15 The John
Moloney Show (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament
12.0 News 12.30 Book
of the Week (3/5) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0
As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30
News 5.43 Prayer for the
Day 5.45 Farming Today
5.58 Tweet of the Day (R)
Radio 4 Extra
6.0 John Mortimer
Presents The Trials of
Marshall Hall (3/5) 6.30
Night Visions 7.0 Ring
Around the Bath (6/6)
7.30 Sketchtopia (4/4)
8.0 The Navy Lark 8.30
Round the Horne (2/13)
9.0 The Write Stuff (5/6)
9.30 Life, Death and Sex
With Mike and Sue (6/6)
10.0 The Earthquake
Girl 11.0 After Milk Wood
(3/3) 11.15 Galbraith and
the King of Diamonds
(3/6) 12.0 The Navy Lark
12.30 Round the Horne
(2/13) 1.0 John Mortimer
Presents… (3/5) 1.30
Night Visions 2.0 The
Secret History (3/15)
2.15 Shakespeare’s
Restless World (13/20)
2.30 The Enchanted April
(3/5) 2.45 Sissinghurst:
An Unfinished History
(3/5) 3.0 The Earthquake
Girl 4.0 The Write Stuff
(5/6) 4.30 Life, Death
and Sex… (6/6) 5.0 Ring
Around the Bath (6/6)
5.30 Sketchtopia (4/4)
6.0 The Man Who Was
Thursday (13/13) 6.30
The Tingle Factor 7.0 The
Navy Lark 7.30 Round
the Horne (2/13) 8.0
John Mortimer Presents…
(3/5) 8.30 Night Visions
9.0 After Milk Wood
(3/3) 9.15 Galbraith
and… (3/6) 10.0
Sketchtopia (4/4) 10.30
2525 (3/6) 11.0 Clayton
Grange (1/4) 11.30
The Consultants (6/6)
12.0 The Man Who Was
Thursday (13/13) 12.30
The Tingle Factor 1.0
John Mortimer Presents…
(3/5) 1.30 Night Visions
2.0 The Secret History
(3/15) 2.15 Shakespeare’s
Restless World (13/20)
2.30 The Enchanted April
(3/5) 2.45 Sissinghurst…
(3/5) 3.0 The Earthquake
Girl 4.0 The Write Stuff
(5/6) 4.30 Life, Death
and Sex… (6/6) 5.0 Ring
Around the Bath (6/6)
5.30 Sketchtopia (4/4)
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
no 14,971
Quick crossword
1 Hurry up! (3,1,4,2)
7 Long narrow flags (8)
8 Unbridgeable disparity (4)
9 Near (4)
10 Sweet sauce made with milk and
eggs (7)
12 Device for dispersing a crowd
14 Native of Flanders (7)
16 Part of the eye (4)
19 Owl’s cry (4)
20 Made better (8)
21 Author of Dracula (4,6)
1 Putting area (5)
2 This evening (7)
3 Trappist, for example (4)
4 Relating to blood vessels (8)
5 Should (5)
6 Old two-shilling coin (6)
11 Favouritism shown to friends
and associates (8)
12 Tree providing wood for cricket
bats (6)
13 English county (7)
15 Mother (Latin) (5)
17 Guide — bullock (5)
18 Blob (4)
Solution no 14,970
Stuck? For help call 0906 200 83 83. Calls cost £1.10 per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
Service supplied by ATS. Call 0330 333 6946 for customer service (charged at standard rate).
To buy puzzle books, visit or call 0330 333 6846.
Sudoku no 4,048
no 4,049
Medium. Fill the grid so that each row, column and
3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at
Word wheel
Word wheel
Find as many words as
possible using the letters
in the wheel. Each must
use the central letter and
at least two others. Letters
may be used only once. You
may not use plurals, foreign
words or proper nouns.
There is at least one nineletter word to be found.
TARGET: Excellent-42.
Good-38. Average-30.
Fill the grid so that each square
in an outlined block contains a
digit. A block of 2 squares contains
the digits 1 and 2, a block of three
squares contains the digits 1, 2 and
3, and so on. No same digit appears
in neighbouring squares, not even
Can you find 11 words associated with
onions in the grid? Words can run
forwards, backwards, vertically or
diagonally, but always in a straight,
unbroken line.
Steve Bell
Which Battle of
Jutland warship
had Blücher the
rabbit on board?
a. SMS Lützow
b. HMS Lion
c. SMS München
d. HMS Caroline
top right
The Guardian
Wednesday 2 May 2018
Журналы и газеты
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