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The Guardian G2 - May 8, 2018

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What lies
beneath
Inside the
basements
of the
super-rich
Tuesday 08/05/18
5/18
/
Suzanne Moore
ore
The problem
with self-care
page 3
Ben Helfgott
Holocaust survivor to
Olympic weightlifter
page 4
Oo-er, missus!
Is the double
entendre in danger??
•
Pass notes
№ 3,804
Shortcuts
One video, a thousand theories
Following his calls to “stay woke!” on his biggest hit
to date, Redbone, the musician, actor, writer, director
and comedian Childish Gambino – AKA Donald
Glover – has redoubled his efforts on his new track
This Is America. Its video amassed 10m views in only
24 hours and has been celebrated as one of 2018’s
best: a brilliantly choreographed bit of theatre in a
vast warehouse, as Glover dances around an
escalating riot, ending up with a complex dissection
of gun violence and American racism. Theories
about what it all means have started stacking up.
Ian
McEwan
Age: 69.
Appearance: Careworn lecturer.
He’s that novelist, isn’t he? That’s right.
The one who is both clever and popular?
That’s him. Although it turns out he might not
be as clever as all that.
Oh really? Don’t say he uses omniscient
narrators instead of the close third? Um … No,
I won’t say that. Mainly because I don’t know
what that means.
What is the problem then? He only got a C in
English A-level.
Oh, that’s no big deal. He has surely proved
himself since. Yes but …
I mean, I failed geography, but then along
came the satnav, so who’s slapdash and
inattentive now? You misunderstand. McEwan
only got a C in English A-level quite recently.
Seriously? Yes. In a way.
In what way? Well, a couple of years ago his
youngest son, Greg, was preparing an English
A-level essay.
Right. And the subject was the novel Enduring
Love, from 1997.
I vaguely remember that. Doesn’t it have a
famous opening scene with a hot-air balloon?
That’s right.
And clever fake documents attached to it and
things? Yup. You may remember who wrote it
too.
Not … Why yes. Ian Russell McEwan.
So this lad was studying his own father’s book
for A-level? He was.
But he could just ask the author himself for
help whenever he wanted? Yes. Although that
needn’t be an advantage. You are constantly
asking me about things, and you don’t get any
cleverer.
I’m not writing an essay about you. I’m glad
to hear it. Anyway, young Greg got help from
his dad, as you suggested. “I confess I did give
him a tutorial and told him what he should
consider,” McEwan told the Mail on Sunday.
Outrageous! Maybe so. “But,” McEwan went
on, “it turned out his teacher disagreed
fundamentally with what he said. I think he
ended up with a C+.”
Oh. You see?
But you said that “McEwan only got a C in
English A-level”. Yes, well, I suppose he
contributed to someone getting a C in an essay.
Still, you’re not quite being accurate there, are
you? Oh well. He writes fiction too.
Do say “Dad, how do you spell ‘exquisitely
juxtaposed’?”
Don’t say “Dad, how do you spell
‘middlebrow’?”
2
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
He’s playing Jim Crow
From the grotesque, exaggerated
poses, Twitter users suggest Glover
is invoking racial caricature Jim
Crow. Another suggested Glover
was accusing black performers –
even himself – of “coonery”, or
saying they are still made to feel
like minstrels. Other commenters
have asked whether Glover feels
he has to take on stereotypically
black performance roles to earn
money. His brutal gunning down of
a gospel choir suggests he’s tired of
the pressure to accumulate wealth,
to be performatively black, and stay
uplifted in an age of gun violence.
He’s duping us with dance
A little like that video where you’re
told to follow a basketball being
passed around, and you miss the
moonwalking bear, Glover and co’s
moves – doing YouTube dance crazes
such as the hopping, kicking “shoot”
– mask the riots happening behind
them. The video’s choreographer,
Sherrie Silver, retweeted a
comment from someone who
argued: “Childish Gambino’s dance
moves distracted all of us from the
craziness that was happening in the
background of the video & that’s the
point he’s trying to make.”
He’s taking on the police
The line “this a celly / that’s a tool”
has a powerful double meaning.
Fans have pointed out that it refers
to the case of Stephon Clark, shot
dead by Sacramento police, who
assumed he was armed, but only had
an iPhone on him. Glover distils the
distorting way black men are seen
by police with “tool”, meaning gun.
In the video, the camera pans up to
black men filming the chaos on their
phones. As others have pointed out,
Glover could also be saying phones
can be actual tools to document
police brutality.
Ben Beaumont-Thomas
Hot person in
a wheelchair:
bring it on
It may sound like a niche side-effect
of Britain’s sweltering weather, but
#hotpersoninawheelchair is actually
a campaign fighting disabilism on
Twitter.
YouTube star and wheelchair user
Annie Segarra started the hashtag
after seeing a four-year-old tweet
from author Ken Jennings that said:
“Nothing sadder than a hot person in
a wheelchair.”
Segarra responded with the
hashtag, adding: “Cry about it,
babe,” and including a photo of
herself in knee-high socks and red
lipstick. Other Twitter users with
disabilities promptly shared their
own photos.
Jennings’ remark embodies
a stubbornly negative cultural
attitude towards disability – one
that too often equates wheelchairs
with prisons and perceives disabled
people as ugly and sexless.
Expressing pity that a hot person
is using a wheelchair achieves two
insulting feats: it suggests that
being disabled somehow ruins an
otherwise attractive person, while
perpetuating the idea that people
with disabilities exist, not as fully
formed humans, but as objects to
please the non-disabled public.
The “nothing sadder” is even
more patronising, simultaneously
offering pity for the disabled
person while expressing a sense
the non-disabled person has
somehow been inconvenienced
in all this. The latest hashtag is
not the first to poke fun at the idea
disabled people aren’t attractive,
with #babewithamobilityaid and
#disabledandcute showcasing
positive humour and photography.
Perhaps the most telling thing is
how some young women using the
#hotpersoninawheelchair hashtag
admitted they almost couldn’t join
in: they had few photos to choose
from that showed their wheelchair
because they had for so long felt
self-conscious about using one.
Jennings’ tweet is an ill thought
out, offensive comment that should
swiftly be ignored. But the response
to it – largely young, disabled
women proudly showcasing their
bodies, style and lives for their
own enjoyment – is worth all our
attention.
Frances Ryan
Annie Segarra,
in the image she
posted to Twitter
•
Suzanne
Moore
Voicemails are
unacceptable:
send cakes
COVER: GEORGE WYLESOL AT HEART; PHOTOGRAPHS: RCA RECORDS; GETTY IMAGES; @ANNIEELAINEY/TWITTER; REUTERS
Say
y
what?
t?
Police in Angus
gus
are appealing
for the return
of 37 gnomes
that were stolen
from an elderly
woman’s front
garden. They
are described
as “small” and
“the usual
gardening
type”. A police
spokesman
added: “If
someone has
taken them
as a prank or
because they
think it is
funny, we can
assure them
that it is not.”
I’m a millennial and I hate
voicemails. They are up there with
my most millennial of phobias;
meeting a real-life Ross Geller; or
going to a restaurant that doesn’t
give you the option of adding
halloumi to a breakfast.
I hate the little tape cassette icon
that won’t go away, haunting you
even after you have listened to the
voicemail, as if Edgar Allan Poe
designed app notifications. I hate
the opacity of the message, with
no information about the content,
making it an ominous lucky dip of
opportunity or disaster.
Most of all, I hate how it feels
implicitly judgmental: someone
couldn’t get through to you so had to
leave a message, like they are from
the 1950s or something.
Matt Haig, an excellent voice on
millennial anxiety, tweeted that
we should ban voicemails. In fact,
for important communication, that
should go for phone, email, text,
Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook
messages as well – they are all too
inherently terrifying to deliver big
news. Twitter should only be used
to shout at Nick Timothy, Snapchat
to complain about the changes to
Snapchat and Facebook to turn your
grandmother to the “alt-right” for
the purposes of the Russian state.
There is only one form of
communication suitable for serious
news: muffin-basket. No one can
get stressed out by a muffin basket.
In the worst-case scenario, you
have still gained about 25 blueberry
muffins, even if you have also lost a
job. Legally, this should be the only
way to communicate stressful news
to someone. Need a new boiler?
EDF should send 30 bran muffins.
Your landlord is putting up the rent
by 25%? That’s 50 triple chocolate
muffins, at least.
Sure, there are times this muffin
method would be inconvenient
– your doctor telling you that you
have celiac disease, for instance –
but it would get rid of the existential
dread that we all feel when we have
to listen to our voicemails. If you
disagree with me, feel free to get
in contact – but be warned, I only
accept salted caramel and chocolate.
Jack Bernhardt
The self-care industry is
peddling dangerous drivel
Kids are being killed
on the streets – where
is the outrage?
Today, like every other day, before I had even had breakfast I had already
absorbed a lot of information about how to live for ever. So has everyone else.
On my way to the shops, several pavement pounders almost charged into me,
and they were, I note, all plugged in and checking their devices, apparently
monitoring their run.
Permanent monitoring is the new job of modern life and seems
exhausting. One must monitor one’s calories, steps and sleep pattern just for
starters. The goals are ever-shifting: first there was clean eating, then came
clean sleeping. Now we’re in the era of clean feelings.
These instructions are everywhere and predominantly aimed at women.
All the health advice in the world could be boiled down to: eat less, move
more, don’t smoke and hope for the best. But that’s not enough for a book,
still less a TV programme or an app. And so we’re constantly offered
variations on this stuff. One day, we’re told to exercise to prevent cancer; the
next, how to exercise when you have cancer. And on it goes, as exercise is
no longer only about the body, but is also
said to be good for cognitive function and
mental health. No one would dispute that
this discovery is life-changing for many.
But, really, give all the advice a rest.
The explosion of self-care advice
doesn’t operate in a void, with its
suggestion that we are all atomised and
individually caring for our own bodies
and psyches. It operates in a world where
we are in a crisis of actual care: caring for
others is low-paid and low-status work,
and mental health services are at breaking
point. Audre Lorde’s formulation of selfcare as an act of radical self-preservation
was echoed by fellow writer and activist
Angela Davis. They both understood
that many black women who organised
politically had to work and look after kids,
and therefore had no time, ever, for themselves.
Obesity and diabetes are related to poverty. Depression can be too and,
yes, of course a more holistic approach is needed, but self-care is pumped
out everywhere. Gratitude is more becoming than rage. We should strive to
be thankful and positive, and therefore in control. We should be using our
commute to find five beautiful things, we should hang out with people who
radiate energy instead of drain it.
This advice is a kind of keep-calm-and-carry-on gloss. It is an illusion that
perhaps works for young people in a stressful world. Strive to be healthy,
sure, but sometimes shit happens. Half of us will get cancer and it’s not
because we once ate a sausage sandwich. Many of us will have issues with
anxiety and depression, and it’s not because we didn’t love the trees enough
or perform endless mini-declutters.
We should look after ourselves better – we know this. It’s why we don’t
do it that is the complicated bit. Middle-class people telling working-class
people how to live better, preaching self-care, boasting of their own tedious
regimes doesn’t seem to me – how can I put this? – very caring.
The killing of children and young
people in London is disturbing
beyond words. The fact that some
people won’t accept that those
involved are children and respond
by saying they’re boys who stab
and shoot each other is part of this
problem. Are they really not children?
And are they not our children?
Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton,
17, was shot at the weekend. His
grieving mother, Pretana Morgan,
called for an end to violence, as
mothers always do: “Let my son
be the last and be an example to
everyone … Just let it stop.”
She took his baby teeth to
his shrine; he had only recently
returned from Jamaica, where she
had sent him after he was stabbed
in the chest in London. How do
mothers in her position protect their
kids? Who can they turn to when
they know their boys are in trouble?
What is causing this escalation of
violence? Amber Rudd – remember
her? – said in April that blaming cuts
to youth services is too simplistic.
She said the cuts in the number of
police officers on the street was
also not relevant. Instead, this rise
in violent crime is blamed entirely
on the drug trade. This may be a big
factor, but, let’s be honest, there can
be no one solution, as the drug trade
is not going to be closed down. The
grant from central government to
the Met police has fallen by £700m
since 2010/11. Are we seriously to
believe this has no effect?
Other causes for the increase in
murder are floated: “zombie knives”
are not meant to be sold any more,
for instance, but they are. Social
media should not host posts in
which gang members taunt each
other, but they do. None of these
things is new or unknown.
But this level of murder is new
and is now a national emergency. It
must be declared one.
Has politics ever been more deadly dull?
No one won the local elections, or everyone won. Either everything
good happened because of Corbers, or not much did because,
weak as May is, old people keep voting Tory. The main strategy of
Labour, and indeed the remain side of the Brexit argument, often
seems to be no more than waiting for a certain generation to die
off. After this, the glorious revolution will happen; meanwhile,
this political stasis is horribly fitting. If you talk to MPs, they are
frustrated and in a holding pattern. There are those preoccupied
with Brexit and those who would rather talk about anything else.
That gap is defining politics and, my God, it is deadly.
Pretana Morgan
(right) … called
for an end
to violence
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
3
•
Ben Helfgott’s parents were killed in the Holocaust and
he endured starvation and slave labour. Then, as a
refugee in Britain, he became an Olympic weightlifter
‘I had to get
on with living:
sport gave
me strength’
➺ Words Michael Freedland
H
is father, mother
and little sister
were shot by the
Nazis. From the
age of nine, he
went from ghetto
to ghetto, concentration camp to
concentration camp, transported in
cattle cars in which people collapsed
and died all around him. For a time,
he was to all intents and purposes
a slave labourer. In the camps, he
starved. And, 11 years after being
liberated and again four years after
that, he took part in the Olympic
Games – as a weightlifter, captain
of the team representing his new
home, Britain.
Such was the early life of Ben
Helfgott, who has devoted much of
his time since the Rome Games of
1960 to helping fellow Holocaust
survivors. Even now, at the age
of 88, he is a strong man. Every
morning, he lifts his weights, just
as he was taught to do 70 years ago,
before becoming British lightweight
champion. They aren’t as heavy
as the ones he worked with when
he was famous, but I tried and
I couldn’t shift them.
I spent a lot of time with Helfgott
while researching my new book, Ben
Helfgott: The Story of One of the
Boys. That word “Boys” – the capital
“B” is intentional – has particular
relevance. Helfgott arrived in Britain
as a 15-year-old in 1945, with 750
other children, flown in by the RAF
to be settled in hostels run by Jewish
organisations. The new Labour
government had agreed that 1,000
youngsters, nearly all concentration
camp survivors, could be granted
entry permits to this country. But,
tragically, in one of the almost
forgotten sidebars to the Holocaust,
they couldn’t find that many. Almost
immediately, those survivors called
themselves the Boys – even the girls
who were among them.
Six years before, the boys (lower
case “b”) were simply the ones
Helfgott played with in the park in
his Polish home town of Piotrków
Trybunalski. Piotrków had 55,000
inhabitants, 15,000 of them Jews
like the Helfgott family. Ben’s father,
Moishe, ran the local flour mill and
was treated with respect by Jew and
gentile alike. His mother, Sara, was
a housewife, and their children, Ben
and his sisters Mala and Lucia, were
happily at school.
He recalls being a glutton
for learning – when he wasn’t
bossing the other boys about as
a self-appointed captain in their
football games. “I was younger
than most. But when we raced in
the park, I always won.” Today,
he is convinced that sport did two
things for him. It boosted a sense
of fair play and it gave him an
inner strength. “I could never have
survived the Holocaust without that
strength,” he says. And he could
never have become a world-class
athlete. It all began in that park.
It was just a stone’s throw from
the town centre, where many of the
shops were owned by people such as
the baker Morris Malenicki and Mr
Zajączkowski. They were all Jewish.
Their families and their shops are all
long gone. The Nazis saw to that.
When the invasion began, on
1 September 1939, nine-year-old
Ben and his sisters were staying
with their grandparents in Sieradz,
some 50 miles (80km) away.
German planes had started to
drop a few bombs on Piotrków.
When the children left, it was to
go to Sulejów, a small town nine
miles from Piotrków. You would
never know there was a war on in
Sulejów,” Helfgott recalls. “It was all
very peaceful.”
That soon changed. By the time
their parents joined the children,
the incendiary bombs had fallen.
Fires swept through the town.
Humans and animals were being
4
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
roasted alive. “I saw stables filled
with horses burning,” Helfgott says.
“People were running like chickens
with their heads chopped off.”
The Helfgotts joined others who
took refuge – or so they thought
– in the nearby forest. It was not
a clever move. Trees burn easily.
“I remember walking among body
parts strewn over the ground.”
So they went back to Piotrków.
The Nazis were in full control and
had established a large ghetto there,
to which the family was ordered to
go. Hundreds of men were taken to
the local Jewish cemetery, which
they entered one by one; and one by
one, they were shot as they passed
through the gates. Two of Helfgott’s
uncles were among them.
His father, Moishe, was luckier.
He forged a pass to let him out of
the ghetto, which was easy enough:
none of the guards knew what a real
exit pass would look like. Ben, who,
like all the other Jewish kids, was
banned from going to school, often
got out, too. Truth is, there were
rarely any guards there. But nobody
dared escape for good – or bad.
Ben’s main worry was the
occasional visit to the town by a
senior Nazi official, who always had
a big dog with him. “I hated that
dog,” he says. “It was trained to go
for men’s and boys’ testicles. I once
managed to jump over a fence as
it started to chase me.” Its victims
never survived their ordeal.
Helfgott senior and junior
escaped the initial roundups of
Piotrków Jews. In December 1942,
500, including Ben’s mother and
Lucia, were taken to the local
synagogue, from where they were
moved to nearby woods and shot.
Mala was spared. Incredibly, Sara
had convinced police that her older
daughter was too ill to travel. Moishe
was on one of his trips and Ben had
a job – working without pay in a
glass factory, carrying heavy boxes.
Perhaps that was the first training he
had for becoming a weightlifter.
Another job without reward
– except, of course, being left
alive – followed. He, his father and
surviving sister worked in a factory,
making huts. He refuses to recognise
it as slave labour – after all, he was
treated no differently from the
Polish workers, and allowed to go
home at the end of his shift – but of
course it was just that.
In the summer of 1944 came
the journey to the camps. Mala
was taken to the Ravensbrück
women’s camp; Ben and Moishe
A Jewish refugee
camp near
Windermere
in 1946 …
Helfgott was
billeted in the
same area. Right,
Helfgott in 2010
Ben Helfgott …
1950s UK
lightweight
champion and
team captain
at the Rome
and Melbourne
Olympics
stayed together until they arrived
at Buchenwald. “It was a terrible
place. All we had to eat was soup
that smelled like urine and a crust
of bread.” Ben and others went on
to different camps; Moishe was not
allowed to leave until Buchenwald
was being abandoned, when he was
rounded up for one of the “death
marches” that moved prisoners
away from the advancing Allies. He
was shot trying to escape.
After the liberation of
Theresienstadt, the last in a long
chain of camps, one of Helfgott’s
fellow inmates said he was joining
a group going to England. “I knew
I wanted to go, too,” Helfgott says.
He was billeted in a hostel near
Windermere. From there, he went to
London, gained a place at grammar
school and passed his higher school
certificate, just a couple of years
after he had arrived in Britain, barely
knowing any English.
His big sporting break was
joining the Primrose Club for young
survivors, run by Paul “Yogi” Mayer,
a German athlete who had been
hoping for a place in the 1936 Berlin
Olympics until the Nazis banned
him because he was Jewish. Mayer
saw Helfgott’s potential. That was
not surprising: he came first in every
sport he took up.
Sport had become almost
an obsession – particularly
weightlifting. That started when he
saw a group of youngsters training.
He asked the boys’ coach if he could
join in and got a firm “no”. “So I went
to the weights myself and started
lifting them. The man said, ‘I am not
taking responsibility for you.’” He
didn’t need to.
By now a British citizen, Helfgott
won a series of competitions and
became national lightweight
champion in the early 50s. He
seemed a shoo-in for the British
Olympic team in Helsinki in 1952 but,
after an operation for appendicitis,
had to go as a spectator. Melbourne
in 1956 was a different story. There,
he was captain of the team, as he was
in Rome four years later. On both
occasions he came away emptyhanded. Three times, though, he
won golds at the “Jewish Olympics”,
the Maccabiah, in Israel.
He went on to the University of
‘Buchenwald was
a terrible place. All
we had to eat
was soup that
smelled like urine
and a crust of bread’
•
Reply all
Southampton in 1948, but left after
a year to go into business, making
cheap dresses. Certainly, he would
never have made a living from sport
in those days. He enjoyed the firm,
concentrating on taking orders and
working out prices. He retired in his
50s, so that he could spend more
time working for survivors.
Part of that work was the founding
of the ’45 Aid Society, which is still
functioning 55 years later, helping
former camp inmates who have
fallen on tough times – although the
years have severely depleted the
number of “Boys” involved. For his
work, Helfgott was awarded an MBE.
In 1966, he married Arza, with
whom he has three sons. All the
family have no doubts that he is
their linchpin. “He is a man who
would rather talk about the good
things that people did,” says his
middle son, Michael, a lawyer. “Not
about the suffering he endured. And
he loves to talk about sport. It is still
so important to him.”
Helfgott has also worked for
Jewish-Polish reconciliation. The
spectre of antisemitism lingers in
Poland (he himself was threatened
with death by two Polish policemen
who tried to stop him returning
to Piotrków soon after the war)
but, to the shock of many Jews,
Helfgott refuses to blame all Poles
(or Germans, for that matter) for
the crimes of the past. For his
efforts he has, several times, been
decorated by the Polish government.
Did his suffering leave him with
psychological problems? “Not at all,”
Helfgott says. “I just had to get on
with living.”
Michael Freedland’s book Ben
Helfgott: The Story of One of the Boys
is published by Vallentine Mitchell.
Notes & queries
The weekly series where readers answer other
readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial
flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts
Where do all the thousands of road
collisions with deer occur?
More than 42,000 deer are killed in
collisions on the UK’s roads every
year, according to the AA. But where?
I’ve never seen a deer near a road.
rootmeansquare
Driving from Faversham to Ashford
in Kent, I instinctively braked on
seeing unusual “lights” in the road.
Thinking it was possibly a drunk
cyclist or something of that ilk, I came
to a dead stop in front of a stationary
deer. Weirdly, it would not budge
and I ended up reversing and turning
around to take another route.
Jill Smith
You should visit the Hebrides
where they wander, camouflaged
to invisibility, especially at dawn or
in twilight, staring at motorists and
leaping fences and roads, smashing
into vehicles, destroying themselves
and writing off motors.
Edmund King, president, AA
If you understand a little about deer,
you may be able to change your driving
to avoid them, and will have a better
idea about what to do if you hit one.
• Accidents involving deer peak
in May, October and November.
• The worst times of day are around
sunrise and sunset to midnight.
Some areas have bigger problems
than others. Hotspots include: the
A134 in Thetford Forest; the A22
in Ashdown Forest; the B4506 in
Ashridge Forest; the A4136 in the
Forest of Dean; and the M27 between
Southampton and Portsmouth.
• Be extra vigilant where you see
“deer” or “wild animal” road signs.
• A deer can appear almost instantly
– nature makes them hard to see and
they don’t follow the green cross code.
• Use your high-beam headlights
when it’s dark, but dip them if you see
a deer, or it may freeze in your path.
• Don’t swerve excessively. It’s safer
to continue on your normal track
rather than swerving or braking hard
to try to avoid a deer.
• Bear in mind that if you do swerve
and miss a deer, but hit something
else, it will be very hard to prove that
the deer ever existed.
• If you do hit a deer, report it to the
police. They will contact someone
who can help the injured animal.
Any
answers?
When I can’t
complete your
hard sudoku,
is the process
of trying still
beneficial for my
ageing brain?
Margaret
Cumming
How easy or hard
would it be for
a vet to become
a GP – or vice
versa? Are there
any examples
of this?
David Handley,
Gargrave,
North Yorkshire
Could a robot play snooker?
SnowyJohn
My initial reaction was to think that
if a computer can play chess, it can
play snooker, but of course that
leaves out the fact that chess is just
about assessing the possible moves –
of which there are an enormous but
finite number – whereas in snooker
there is so much more complexity
and many more factors, such as how
hard to hit the ball, assessing where
the cue ball will end up, etc. I am
sure it would be possible to create
a program that would assess and
choose shots, but actually being able
to execute them with accuracy could
be a real challenge.
Gargoyle_Waiting
I assume there are computer games
already that have shot-selection
algorithms, so to translate that into the
real world you need a way to identify
where all the balls are and a way to
hit the cue ball. The former must
exist; the latter is probably not far off.
SpoilheapSurfer
If you can build an AI that can learn to
play snooker, you had better give it a
well-padded room to practice in until
it works out how hard to hit the balls.
bradgate
Yes, of course. The question is, could
it play as well as Ronnie O’Sullivan,
left, or only as well as me?
Missing socks? Don’t blame the
washing machine
Is there a law of physics to explain
why I always end up with odd socks
after I have done the washing?
Bill Johnstone, Bridge of Allan
As a one-time atomic physicist,
I believe the answer is much more
prosaic than those suggested
(entropy, uncertainty principle,
Schrödinger’s sock, etc – N&Q, 1 May).
The problem originates when you
throw the socks at the wash basket
after a hectic day. This is where
statistical fluctuations intervene,
depending on the efficiency of the
sock-collecting person. The washing
machine plays no part in the process.
PHOTOGRAPHS: DAVID LEVENE FOR THE GUARDIAN; REX/SHUTTERSTOCK; KURT HUTTON/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY
sorbiegunner
People assume that only odd socks
go missing, but I suspect it happens
to pairs of socks as well – it’s just that
no one notices with a pair, because
there isn’t an odd sock left to alert
you to the missing one. The real
villain here is not the missing odd
sock, but the odd sock left behind,
which you wonder and worry about
for days, then finally decide to write
to a national newspaper about …
Brian Stokoe, York
I have bought red socks of
a particular brand for the last five
years, thereby banishing the very
concept of odd socks. Simples.
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
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5
•
Women
Schools and the
battle against
revenge porn
Weighty role
Claims it was ‘brave’ of Charlize Theron to
gain 50lb for her new film have troubling
implications, writes Zoe Williams
C
harlize Theron gained more than 22kg (3st
7lb) in weight to make the new film Tully.
A distinction must be made between this
and the time – for Monster, in 2003 – she
had to gain almost 14kg. That time, she
also had to look raddled, wrecked by life,
desperate and unlovable, whereas this time, she only
has to look pregnant.
Nevertheless, she has been in the eye of that queasymaking, quasi-feminist praise, where everyone calls her
“brave”, with the putative sisterliness leaving unspoken
the known fact that getting fat is the worst thing that
can happen to a woman, and doing it on purpose for
your art is more or less on a par – mad, bold, tragic –
with chopping off your ear.
Theron agrees with me – I knew she would, I’ve
thought of her as a kindred spirit ever since Monster
(by pure coincidence, and nothing at all to do with her
weight gain). “Me gaining weight for the movie,” she
told a Q&A audience, “it’s hard when somebody’s like:
‘Wow, that’s really brave!’ Moms do this all the time and
we don’t call them brave. We’re like: ‘Why are you still
carrying that baby weight?’”
Right, I think I can help, delving all the way back to
the Bridget Jones years, when Renée Zellweger was cast
as the regular British Jo-ette, who squeezed into control
pants and counted calories, while always forgetting
to figure-in the ones in white wine, yet Zellweger
herself was built like a gymnast who had once seen
a carbohydrate across a crowded bar, but never locked
lips. The most ridiculous feminist/pretend-feminist/
anti-feminist debate ensued. People pored over the fine
details of her weight gain strategy (Guinness and pizza)
in an almost lascivious way, luxuriating in all these
things that no decent woman should eat, which she ate
on purpose. A magazine editor “bravely” earmarked
her for the cover, then took her off again because she
didn’t look “comfortable”. Some argued that if you
were making a film about how a woman could be a
normal shape and still be a romantic heroine, why not
cast a woman who was already a normal shape? But
that was taken as an attack on the actor herself, which
wasn’t very feminist either.
Tully is different, practically speaking, since when
you are making a film about a woman who is heavily
pregnant, the last thing you tend to want is an actual
pregnant woman. Yet the debate has the same unspoken
curve: in lauding the bravery of a woman who allows her
body to disintegrate to the degree that she looks like a
regular human in the female life cycle, we are implicitly
saying that womanhood is, outside a very narrow and
unusual form, well, a bit disgusting. It’s such a dispiriting
conversation, it’s enough to make you wish that all
women in films were incredibly thin, just so we didn’t
have to discuss it. But, making a broad survey of the rest
of cinema, that doesn’t seem to help either.
6
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
Adolescent sexual experimentation is more fraught
these days, when naked images can easily be taken and
shared without consent. The educational establishment
must take heed, writes Sophia Ankel
S
arah Richards was
15 when naked pictures of her were
shared around her school. Months
earlier, her then-boyfriend had
suggested they have a Skype video
call. “I was super excited to be dating
this person,” she says. “He was
part of a group of boys that I really
wanted to be friends with because I
thought they were so cool. I had my
first sexual experience with him, so
I trusted him.”
Feeling confident and safe in the
comfort of her own bedroom, she
recalls how she got undressed for
him on camera, making sure not to
expose anything below her waist.
“I just thought this was fun and
innocent. It wasn’t pictures, so it
seemed less permanent.” It wasn’t
until months later, after breaking
up with him, that Richards found
out that screenshots had been taken
without her consent.
She was ridiculed on social
media, with Twitter posts, Facebook
mentions and even lengthy YouTube
videos dedicated to making fun of
her developing, adolescent body.
The campaign was accompanied
by a hashtag and a logo that were
based on an intimate body part.
The bullying went on for months.
Richards, who is now 21, felt
trapped: “A lot of the abuse was
online. And I still had to go to
school every day. I was super angry
and upset, but I was also racked
with guilt because I just thought:
I brought this on myself.”
A report last year by the National
Education Union (NEU) and the
pressure group UK Feminista
revealed that more than a third of
girls have experienced some form of
sexual harassment in UK mixed-sex
schools. An issue connected to this
– and a growing concern in schools
– is non-consensual sharing of nude
images, otherwise known as revenge
porn. According to a survey by the
charity Childnet International,
more than half of UK teenagers have
friends who have shared intimate
images of someone they know and
14% of girls say that they have been
pressured to share nude images in
the past year.
Technology, while central to
young people’s lives, is a key factor
in the emergence of these new
forms of sexual harassment. Victims
can’t hang up the phone to an
online assault; it continues without
them, lingering in cyberspace for
years. Adolescents exploring their
sexuality isn’t new, but the fact
that their sexual experimentation
takes place in an online world where
the footprints are easily stored
doesn’t make the process any easier.
The backlash can be fatal: 51% of
US revenge-porn victims have
contemplated suicide, according to
research carried out by the campaign
End Revenge Porn.
Schools are only now playing
catch-up – the sexual health
curriculum in the UK has long been
outdated. Presently, only students
attending local-authority-run
secondary schools – which make up
about a third of schools overall – are
guaranteed sex education. A survey
of 16- to 24-year-olds by the Terrence
Higgins Trust revealed that one in
seven students had not received
any education on the subject of
sex and relationships, while more
than half of pupils received sex
education no more than once a year
during their education.
The current statutory guidance
on sex education was published
in 2000. The curriculum includes
information on heterosexual
relationships, covering what
intercourse looks like, how to
prevent pregnancy and sexually
‘A lot of the abuse
was online. I still
had to go to school
every day. I was
upset and also
racked with guilt’
transmitted diseases. It doesn’t,
however, cover other sexual
orientations, sexting, online abuse,
revenge porn or what consent in the
digital realm looks like.
It is this lack of understanding
that has led organisations such as
the Schools Consent Project to take
charge in the past couple of years.
The charity, founded in 2014, leads
regular workshops in schools in
the UK, providing students with
the legal definitions of consent and
key sexual offences such as sexting
and revenge porn. Founder and
director Kate Parker says: “We want
young people to appreciate that
consent is the bedrock to any sexual
interaction; it distinguishes a sexual
act from a sexual crime.”
In March 2017, the Department
of Education finally confirmed
that updated relationships and sex
education will be made compulsory
•
Wide awoke
Chitra
Ramaswamy
‘We can hold
Junot Díaz to
account – and
empathise, too’
Illustration
Christine Rösch
for all schools in England as early as
September 2019. It’s a step forward,
but the process won’t be easy: there
is currently a huge gap in the data for
sexual harassment in schools, due to
a lack of reporting and because this
type of abuse is not recognised by
the curriculum. “When it comes to
policymakers, very often they want
to see stats and figures, but data on
gender-based violence in schools is
difficult to gather”, says Lilia Guigni,
CEO of GenPol, a thinktank that this
year published a key policy paper
that explicitly links sex education to
gender-based violence.
Not only do pupils need to be
taught these vital lessons, but
teachers and schools must also begin
to become familiar with how to deal
with cases of sexual harassment
on their premises. According to
the NEU report, only a third (38%)
of secondary school teachers in
‘We want young
people to
appreciate that
consent is the
bedrock to any
sexual interaction’
mixed-sex schools are aware of
students being sent or exposed to
pornography in schools and only
20% received this knowledge as part
of their initial teacher training.
Richards never reported what
happened to her to a teacher.
“I didn’t tell the school, or any
authority,” she says. “I didn’t
know that it was even possible to
take any action, to be honest. But
I do regret it because I suppressed
so much. It wasn’t until the last
few years that I realised that it is
the cause of a lot of bad emotions
and anxieties.”
In the digital age, UK schools
must begin to adapt and recognise
the damage caused to young
people by these new, online forms
of sexual harassment. This begins
with accepting that revenge porn
exists in schools. For Richards,
a formal process that addresses the
issue frankly rather than making
it a taboo, is what is needed before
anything else. “I would really love
to see more stories about others’
experiences because it would
normalise the situation for me and
give peace of mind to my 16-year-old
self. I still need closure.”
Less than a month after Junot
Díaz’s harrowing essay in The New
Yorker, in which the author revealed
the lifelong impact of being raped
as a child, women are accusing
the Pulitzer prize-winner of
misconduct. Writer Zinzi Clemmons
alleges he forcibly kissed her when
she was a 26-year-old student.
Others have given accounts of verbal
misogynistic abuse. Once again the
hurt, disappointment and wearying
dearth of surprise is palpable.
This is where #MeToo gets messy:
when a venerated man who has
publicly revealed he was abused is,
in turn, accused of being an abuser.
Where should our sympathies lie?
It need not be a question of belief.
It’s possible to believe that Díaz was
sexually abused as a child, that he
thinks about “the hurt I caused”,
as he writes, and that the women
who accuse him are telling the
truth. And it is possible for a man
to be both a victim and abuser. In
fact, empathising with Díaz for the
trauma he describes while holding
him to account for any destructive
and misogynistic behaviour might
be the best way to understand and,
hopefully, break the cycle of abuse.
Some have claimed Díaz’s
piece served a darker purpose.
Clemmons described it as “selfserving”. For Roxane Gay it was a
“pre-emptive move”. Yet the piece
is both confession and mea culpa.
As the title signals, it is about “the
legacy of childhood trauma”. Díaz’s
words don’t shy away from any
pain he has caused, though they
do contextualise it. Whether that’s
enough is another matter. How he
goes forward counts, too. So far, Díaz
has withdrawn from a festival and
released a statement claiming he
takes responsibility for his past. The
paradox of #MeToo playing out in
the public arena is that its inherently
private reality is what really counts:
how we behave in all those daily,
intimate and incremental ways.
What this is really about is the
pernicious power of silence, and
how disastrous the burial of trauma
is for everyone, especially women.
As Audre Lorde wrote: “Your silence
will not protect you.” Which is why
we must keep talking. And listening.
Some names have been changed.
Samaritans can be contacted on
116 123.
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
7
•
Why the
super-rich are
digging deep
In London’s richest boroughs, vast subterranean enclaves house
cars, saunas, pools and nightclubs: playgrounds for the ultra-wealthy.
Why have they moved underground – and how low will they go?
➺ Words David Batty
W
ith its eclectic
fusion of
Regency and
mythological
motifs, Havona
House stands
out amid the stucco-fronted
Victorian townhouses in Notting
Hill’s Pembridge Villas. The newly
built mansion’s mock neoclassical
columns and the limestone carvings
of Greek deities on the facade reflect
the roots of its owner, property
investor Costas Diamantopoulos.
Stepping inside the 8,600 sq ft
(800 sq m) property, which is on the
market for £25m, you are confronted
by an array of opulent features,
including a free-floating stone
staircase, hand-blown glass pendants
and marble en-suite bathrooms.
But the most extraordinary parts
of this substantial home, just a short
walk from bustling Portobello Road
market, lie below ground in a doublelevel basement, which cost £4m to
build. On its first floor is an
underground garage, in which up to
three cars can be parked via robotic
platforms. On the lower floor is a 70ft
swimming pool, which is filled by a
waterfall that cascades over mirrored
panels, with a cinema screen to the
left. Mango onyx marble panels line
the right-hand wall, with a Turkish
bath, sauna, shower and a gym
further on the other side. At the far
end is a £30,000 plaster sculpture of
four dancing figures, based on a
painting by Poussin. The artwork also
hints at the room’s special feature: at
the push of a button, hidden
hydraulic legs raise the ceramic-tiled
floor to transform the space into a
dancefloor. “In four to five minutes
you can go from having a pool to a
huge area of entertainment,” says
Diamantopoulos.
This is the second basement
development Diamantopoulos has
built in London in 10 years. He
oversaw a much smaller one in 2008
under his former home in Cheyne
Place, opposite the Chelsea Physic
Garden, although it, too, has a pool,
cinema screen, gym and sauna. This
property is also for sale, for a comparatively modest £12m, under the
terms of Diamantopoulos’s divorce
settlement. But he says his family
regularly congregated in the basement
when it was their main residence. He
would swim in the oval blue-tiled
pool, inspired by his childhood
memories of the Greek islands,
8
making use of the wave machine, or
relax in the sauna, while his older
daughter and her friends would use
the gym. “If someone has the space
and the ability, I would always
recommend a basement,” he says.
As decadent as they may seem,
the features of Diamantopoulos’s
basements are typical of many of
those built under central London’s
most exclusive neighbourhoods in
the past decade, according to a new
study by Newcastle University’s
global urban research unit. The
report, Mapping Subterranean
London: the Hidden Geography of
Residential Basement
Developments, found at least 4,650
basements were granted planning
permission in Kensington and
Chelsea, Westminster,
Hammersmith and Fulham,
Haringey, Camden, Islington and
Wandsworth between 2008 and
2017. According to their planning
applications, these schemes boast at
least 376 swimming pools, 456
cinemas, 996 gyms, 381 wine stores
and cellars, 340 games and
recreation rooms, 241 saunas or
steam rooms, 115 staff quarters,
including bedrooms for nannies and
au pairs, 65 garages, 40 libraries, two
gun stores, a car museum, a banquet
hall and an artificial beach.
Roger Burrows, professor of cities
at Newcastle University and one of
the basements study’s authors, says
its findings illustrate the impact of the
global super-rich on the UK housing
market. The number of UK-based
ultra-high-net-worth individuals
(UHNWIs) – those with investable
assets of at least £21m – has increased
by 28% over the past decade,
according to estate agents Knight
Frank, with the vast bulk – around
4,900 – based in London. After the
2008 financial crash, Burrows notes,
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
Above and
below: the
opulent
basement
conversion at
Havona House,
Notting Hill, one
of the largest
excavated
in London
‘We’ve had
incredible noise
and vibrations.
Our feeling is it’s
too extreme’
prime London property became a
popular investment for the international wealthy, as seen in the
growing number of luxury tower
blocks lining the Thames. At the same
time, he says, ultra-rich overseas
buyers seeking substantial properties
in central London have pushed out
“old money” and affluent professionals into lower-income areas,
leading to a widespread crisis in
housing affordability.
“In the last 10 years, we’ve had
this very visible change to London’s
property market, with all the high
rises going up,” Burrows says. “But
the replacement of the nearly and
merely wealthy by the uber-wealthy
isn’t as physically present because a
lot of it has been happening underground. These basements are an
architectural marker of the transnational elite moving in to London
either to live or as an investment.”
•
PHOTOGRAPHS: SARAH LEE/THE GUARDIAN; JAMES BAILY/BARNES PRIVATE OFFICE; HOGARTH ARCHITECTS
Architect Ian
Hogarth’s
luxury basement
conversion in
west London
featuring a
dancefloor,
cinema and
carp pond
The vast amount of extra space
built under prime London properties
contrasts starkly with the shrinking
size of newly built homes bought by
average families. For example, living
rooms are nearly a third smaller than
equivalent homes built in the 1970s,
falling from 268 sq ft in the 1970s to
184 sq ft in a house built since 2010,
according to another recent study.
Burrows says: “One cannot but be
struck by how the amount of living
space different households have
differs now. In our research we have
come across some basement
developments in central London
where just the pool, gym and cinema
combined are larger than the
newbuild rabbit-hutch homes that
many people have to put up with.”
Nowhere is this more evident
than in Kensington and Chelsea, the
capital’s richest borough, which has
about 4,900 UHNWIs and the
highest number of large and megabasements, often two or more
storeys deep and extended under
the garden. Beth Holroyd, co-author
of the study, says variations in the
scale and sumptuousness of basements reveal the wealth gap
between London’s merely rich, such
as corporate lawyers and accountants, and the global super-rich,
including bankers and oligarchs.
Holroyd says: “There is a clear
pattern of association between the
level of neighbourhood affluence
and both the size and extravagance
of the basements. The pool is a clear
marker of wealth.”
On Tregunter Road, in the Boltons
conservation area of Chelsea
renowned for its Italianate Victorian
housing, the researchers found 22
approved basements, with features
including 12 swimming pools and
five cinemas. Five of these
basements are standard-sized, 11 are
classified as large and six as mega.
One of the mega-basements, with a
pool, gym and car lift, is in an 8,000
sq ft townhouse on the market for
£26m. Four of the basements are
currently under construction.
Outside one, a huge red crane lowers
building materials into the rear
garden, under which, planning
documents suggest, a two-storey
basement with a pool, cinema, gym,
wine store, steam room, salon and
staff room is being created. Another
two-storey basement with almost
identical features is being excavated
under a house across the street.
“I can see that from my garden,”
says local resident Shirley, who lives
round the corner on the Boltons,
gesturing at the crane with her
walking stick. “We’ve had something
like that or worse going on for years.
We’ve had incredible noise and
vibrations. I’m sure there have been
momentary gaps. Our feeling is it’s
too extreme. Very wealthy people
buy them hoping to get the price rise
and do them up and sell them and
the next person does the same. Only
a few of them are here all the time.”
Alistair Langhorne and Claire
Bunten, directors of LAB Architects,
have been designing basements in the
Boltons conservation area since 2008.
On a tour of the area, Langhorne says
that even here most of their clients
want a basement to enhance their
‘Just the pool,
gym and cinema
are larger than
many newbuild
homes’
family life, rather than for property
speculation – although Bunten admits
that the budgets for some schemes
were “otherworldly”. “They’ve all
probably got homes elsewhere in
the world but this is their main
residence,” adds Langhorne.
Their first basements in the
neighbourhood included a 15-metre
deep one for a film director’s home,
with a swimming pool, sauna, gym
and car lift. “There’s a glass lift
through the middle of the staircase
that goes down to the basement
[and] arrives at the deep end of the
pool,” says Langhorne. The pair say
their early designs favoured slick,
minimal finishes, with stone and
glass, often contrasting with the
decor of the period homes above.
But Bunten says some of their
later designs became more attuned
to their clients’ international luxury
lifestyles. For example, one project
for a Turkish family on Tregunter
Road involved a complete house
renovation, including a basement
with a swimming pool, gym, sauna
and nanny’s room. “When [the
clients are] in that upper echelon,
they’re influenced a lot by new
hotels and by travel, so they have a
broader set of cultural references.”
The basement boom began in the
late 1990s in Hammersmith and
Fulham and Wandsworth, according
to architects and developers, with
middle-class families renovating their
Victorian coal cellars. Excavations
became more substantial as planning
constraints made building above
ground in central London extremely
difficult, while, from 2010 onwards,
stamp duty rises on property
purchases over £1m made the costs of
moving prohibitive, forcing owners
to expand downwards. Only 23 of
the basements the Newcastle
researchers identified in these
boroughs have pools – compared with
224 in Westminster and Kensington
A basement
conversion in
Fulham, southwest London
and Chelsea – and the vast majority
are standard-sized – one storey
under the footprint of the house.
A
rchitect Ian Hogarth,
whose own west
London basement was
featured in an episode
of Channel 4’s Grand
Designs, says most
of the basements he has designed
are in Hammersmith and Fulham.
“They’re working families, they’re
not oligarchs,” he says. “OK, they are
people who generally work in the City
or in corporate law – what I would call
the normal London wealthy. They’re
not people with outrageous luxury
lifestyles. I guess most of the country
would laugh if you say they’re
struggling, but they are trying to pay
for the nursery; in order to keep both
parents working they have to take
a nanny, and the nanny becomes
someone they have to house within
their home. [Basements are] not
necessities. They’re aspirations for
a family in a certain stratum.”
Yet, as the Newcastle University
study notes, super-rich investors
soon caught on to how significantly
a basement could increase the value
of a property. “At the other end of the
spectrum are the people who do it
purely for commercial gain,” says
architect Mike Wiseman, partner at
the Basement Design Studio, who
has worked on more than 2,000
basement applications since 1996.
“We’ve had properties where it’s
already a big detached mansion with
a garden and they want a basement
on two levels that is adding another
10,000 square feet. And when that
‘Clients are
influenced by
new hotels’: a
mews house
conversion
person calls you, they’re asking:
‘What do you think I should put in it?’
They don’t need it! They certainly
don’t want the space. Maybe the
[main] property’s worth £2,000 per
square foot, and the basement
maybe £1,500 or even £1,000 per
square foot. But because I can build
that for £500 per square foot, there’s
a simple commercial decision there.
I’m not a fan of those particularly.”
Steve Graham, author of Vertical,
which explores how high-rise and
subterranean living has become
increasingly luxurious, says it is
ironic that basements became
investment schemes for the super
rich. He says: “Throughout human
history basements have been dank
spaces associated with poverty and
disease, which the most desperate
people would be forced to inhabit.
Basement developments represent
a reversal of [this] because of this
super-concentration of wealth in
London, aspiring for the trappings of
a super-luxury lifestyle.”
There are signs, though, that this
trend may be in decline, partly owing
to the post-Brexit fall in property
prices in prime London, but mainly
because several central-London
boroughs have introduced more
stringent planning rules governing
basement developments. Kensington
and Chelsea’s revised policy of 2015
restricts basements to a single storey,
extending to no more than 50% of the
garden. Westminster council followed
suit in 2016. Bunten believes the
demand for basements will continue,
but she says owners are becoming
more discerning about how they fit
them out. “There’s less of ‘We need a
pool because that’s what next door
has got,’” she says. “It’s more about
‘what we need’. It’s less speculative.
Pre-recession, there was this uplift
in value from extra square footage
that meant you were just printing
money and that has changed.”
But Burrows believes that megabasements will continue. “There will
always be a few uber-wealthy types
who seem immune to the vicissitudes
of the economy, politics and local
planning policies,” he says. “They
always seem to find ways of getting
around restrictions to build their
luxury pools, galleries, cinemas or
virtual reality golf courses. There may
be fewer of those massive basements
now, but the trend is not finished yet.”
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
9
•
Arts
Get your hands
off my double
entendres!
It’s Britain’s favourite type of gag, from Carry On stars
to Bake Off hosts. But is the smutty pun just another
example of male sexual entitlement? By Ryan Gilbey
frequently banned, George Orwellapproved Donald McGill.
It is there when a corporal tells
Blackadder as he bravely faces the
firing squad: “I must say, Captain, I’ve
got to admire your balls.” “Perhaps
later,” comes the reply. And it has
penetrated music from Chuck Berry’s
ding-a-ling to Kelis’s milkshake.
Though if it’s parochial British
innuendo we’re talking about, there
is no beating East 17’s quaint spin on
Prince-style seduction: “Yeah, I’ll
butter the toast / If you lick the knife.”
The question now, though, is
whether this tradition can survive in
the necessarily sensitive climate of
#MeToo. An early indication that its
days could be numbered came in
Staffordshire recently, when a
butcher was reportedly ordered to
remove signs advertising “bigbreasted birds”, a “big fresh cock”
and the chance to “have your rump
tenderized before you leave”.
Arguably more offensive was his
flagrant use of the greengrocer’s
apostrophe (“ladie’s”, “chicken’s”),
though police appear unwilling to
take action over that.
There is also the problem that not
all his smut was intelligible. An offer
of a “horny sausage” fails to qualify
even as a single entendre. Can a penis
itself be horny, independent of its
owner? Logic would suggest not. And
who would buy a sausage that had
sprouted horns, anyway?
But the point stands. In a society
only now beginning
g tto
o acknowledge
Where is the
abuse of power?
… the butcher
who got in
trouble for his
signs; singer Kelis
a widespread culture of male sexual
entitlement, can smut really
ccontinue to be considered harmless?
“
“I wonder if we’re not becoming too
ssensitive about it,” says Stephen
B
Bailey, a gay Mancunian comic
w
whose own use of double entendres
iis restricted to the title of his current
sstandup show, Can’t Think Straight.
“It seems completely different to
#
#MeToo, which is about men in
p
positions of power sexually abusing
ttheir victims. Where is the abuse of
p
power in a butcher’s blackboard?
H
He’s using the correct terminology.
IIt’s only our filthy brains that have
m
made ‘cock’ a dirty word. And there’s
a big difference between him putting
A Staffordshire
butcher was told
to remove a sign
saying: ‘Have your
rump tenderized
before you leave’
10
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
out a sign about ‘big breasts’ and him
making lewd remarks at a woman or
rubbing his thighs.”
Bailey’s show contains explicit
sexual material but again it’s all
about context: the same jokes told by
Roy Chubby Brown or the late
Bernard Manning would sound
aggressive, whereas Bailey’s
ejaculations are far easier to swallow.
If the double entendre is
endangered, it is news to Simon
Thorp, who has been writing for Viz
magazine since 1985. Among his
best-known creations is the comic
strip Finbarr Saunders and His
Double Entendres, the everyday
story of a boy alert to the sexual
meaning in the most innocent
exchange, while remaining largely
oblivious to actual sex between his
mother and Mr Gimlet which is
occurring right under his nose.
“I can’t remember what inspired
me,” Thorp says. “I’d probably just
watched a Carry On or something.
I’ve always been endlessly impressed
by how they squeeze all those double
entendres in. When Finbarr started
out, it was usually things like, ‘Ooh,
I’ve got a big one.’ Single entendres,
Kenneth Williams
reveals his
shortcomings in
Carry On Loving
really. You can’t keep doing that for
ever, so I started making them ruder
and more convoluted. Now a
character will spend several frames
building the setup to one. I see how
long I can keep it up.”
A cursory glance at recent
examples bears this out. Four panels
in one strip alone are devoted to
setting up a payoff involving Fanny
Cradock, King Kong and a bowl of
Eton mess. In another, Mr Gimlet’s
visit to a pet shop inspires tales of
horse-riding (“On a recent holiday in
Morocco, I paid £10 for the privilege
of being tossed off by a frisky young
Arab”) and hedgehog care (“I had to
use an old sock to wipe the sticky
gunk out of my hog’s eye”). But the
strip stops just short of an Are You
Being Served? homage. Asked if his
wife has ever owned a particularly
hirsute cat, Mr Gimlet answers anti
climactically: “Not really, no.”
But then if a US presidential
candidate can talk shamelessly about
grabbing women’s genitals and still
end up in the White House, perhaps
there is no place any more for
PHOTOGRAPHS: ITV/REX; BECKY LOTON/STOKE SENTINEL; TIM RONEY/GETTY; BAMFORTH & CO;
PHOTOSHOT/HULTON ARCHIVE; MARK BOURDILLON/CHANNEL 4; TALVIN MUSIC
I
f you want a double
entendre, I’ll give you one.
They pop up all over the
place: on risque chat shows
hosted by Graham Norton
and Alan Carr, on the Radio
1 mainstay Innuendo Bingo and on
Mrs Brown’s Boys, the hit BBC sitcom
saturated in smut that attracts seven
million viewers.
You can’t watch an episode of The
Great British Bake Off without having
soggy bottoms, moist ladyfingers
and manhandled dough balls shoved
down your throat. Mel Giedroyc and
Sue Perkins may have gone, taking
with them such exclamations as
“Time to reveal your cracks!”, but
Noel Fielding has cheerfully filled
their hole. “If there’s an opportunity
for exposed bottoms, we should
embrace it,” he said during his debut
season. With 11 million viewers, he
certainly enjoyed a big opening.
The double entendre is a robust
cultural fixture, having endured
since at least the 10th century.
(The Exeter Book, circa AD990,
includes several phallic-oriented
riddles. What is “stiff and hard”
and “hangs by the thigh of a man”?
A key, of course.) It allows us, in
our squeamishness, to talk about
sex at one remove, to approach
the flame without singeing our
extremities. At its cleverest, it
provides opportunities for linguistic
inventiveness and dexterity. It is
there in several decades of Carry On
films, more than 100 years of musicy seaside
hall and thousands of saucy
secuted,
postcards by the much-prosecuted,
•
How we made
Talvin Singh’s OK
‘We were just sitting there with Björk when she got a call from
Bono. Next thing I knew we were supporting U2 at Wembley.
That was our second gig!’
‘It took nine
months of
travelling round
and recording’ …
Talvin Singh,
right, in 1998
On the hunt
for exposed
bottoms …
Noel Fielding in
Bake Off; above,
Blackadder and
a saucy postcard
Talvin Singh,
Composer/producer
Guy Sigsworth
Electronics
allusions to Mrs Slocombe’s pussy.
(Coincidentally, a panned revival of
Are You Being Served? appeared a
month after Trump was elected.) For
the double entendre to persist, there
needs to be a sense it is using code to
say the unsayable. Without social
etiquette and politeness in place, we
lose the comic thrill when they are
breached. As the category of the
taboo shrinks, the need for innuendo
has shrivelled up along with it.
At its most effective, it can be a tool
for the powerless. Mainstream
audiences in the mid-1960s chortled
at examples of Polari, the coded gay
language of Julian and Sandy (Hugh
Paddick and Kenneth Williams,
respectively) on the radio show
Round the Horne. When the couple
claimed to be lawyers, and to have
“a criminal practice that takes up
much of our time”, listeners knew
exactly which practice they were
referring to: homosexuality had yet to
be decriminalised.
For Bailey, innuendo was often the
only way to hear gay references in
comedy when he was growing up.
“The stuff that Lily Savage and Julian
Clary got away with! It wouldn’t be
allowed now. But double entendres
were always a good way of getting
your sexy material on TV without
upsetting anyone.” Clary remains a
master of the form. His New
Statesman columns from 10 years
ago were sticky linguistic labyrinths
where every turn brought the reader
slap-bang into another bodily fluid or
impressive engorgement.
I was raised in Leytonstone, in east London,
by Sikh parents. My uncles would have Indian
classical music soirees. There were always
tabla around, but I also grew up watching
Top of the Pops. To me, it was all just music,
but the Indian classical musicians back then
were very judgmental about everything from
how I played tabla to how I looked.
My parents had wanted me to become a
doctor or a lawyer, but I was coming home
at 3am with armfuls of drums. I dyed my
hair blue and went on tour with Siouxsie
and the Banshees, then arranged the strings
on Björk’s album Debut. At my club night,
I played Indian classical, tabla, jazz, hip-hop,
electro and drum’n’bass. OK brought all
of these sounds together.
Making the album took nine months of
travelling around and recording everyone
from London MCs to folk singers on
Okinawa Island, as well as the Madras
Philharmonic Orchestra in India.
Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto
sent his parts from New York over
the internet – which was a new
thing back then. Staring at the
computer waiting for the music
to appear felt very futuristic.
Island Records let me get on
with it and didn’t hear OK until
it was finished. I wanted it to
sound like a journey, like classical music has
movements. Island didn’t even freak out when
I told them the first single, Traveller, would be
more than 11 minutes long.
I’d heard that when second world war
pilots came back from missions alive, they
were listed as “OK”. The word felt universal.
The album was played on Asian stations,
urban stations and Radio 1. When it won
the 1999 Mercury prize, I was ecstatic. It felt
like the end of a struggle. My father was a
hardworking TV repairman, but had never
had a car. So I used the £20,000 prize money
to buy him a Mercedes.
One day, Talvin called me to say Björk needed
to put a live band together. The next thing
I knew, the three of us were all sat there trying
to figure out how to play her songs. Then, after
one gig, she got a call from Bono and we all
went off to support U2 at Wembley. That was
our second gig!
Talvin has this inherent charm. He makes
you want to drop what you’re working on to
be part of what he’s doing. He was a huge
fan of Sakamoto’s Beauty album and Bill
Laswell’s experiments with Indian music. So
he just rang them up and said: “Do you want
to be on my record?”
In the 90s, whole genres were mixing
and blurring. You’d get people like the
Shamen, a psychedelic rock band who
dropped ecstasy and turned into a dance act.
On Sunday nights I’d hear Goldie playing
drum’n’bass at Metalheadz. Then Mondays
I’d go to Talvin’s Anokha night at Hoxton’s
Blue Note and hear anything
from Ravi Shankar to South
Asian punk rock.
The two songs I was most
involved in are the title track,
which is like an Okinawan
drinking song, and Vikram
the Vampire, another of the
quirkier numbers. I was racing
around in my Mini Cooper
trying to find the studio, and when I got
there I realised I’d forgotten my keyboard,
so I ended up playing everything from one
button on my old sampler. There was no time
to pretty anything up, but the panic helped.
It gave things a unique energy.
It’s an important record and I still love it.
I was abroad when I heard Talvin had won
the Mercury. I must have rung him up to
congratulate him. Musicians didn’t tweet
each other in those days.
“I have a Virginia creeper shooting
up my kitchen garden wall and I
have similar hopes for a frisky
young hod-carrier called Brett,”
he wrote in one column. Remarking
on the reactions of his friends to all
the fetching labourers working in
his garden, he continued: “There are
positive cat fights over who should
mince outside with a tray of tea
and ask, ‘Who could manage a
chocolate finger?’”
As a language to describe acts and
desires that polite society deems
inexpressible, innuendo can be a
vital way of keeping things visible.
“Sometimes I think we’ve regressed,”
says Bailey. “Lily Savage was a gay
man, a drag queen, doing sexual
material, talking about ‘gobbling’ –
and mainstream audiences loved it.
The presenters of Loose Women can
sit around discussing their sex lives
and yet when I’ve done TV, I’ve had
people behind the scenes say, ‘Can
you do your working-class material
rather than your gay material?’”
There may be discomfort today
about watching Carry On films, but
the lecherous males smacking their
lips and making “phwoaar” noises in
those comedies are hardly being held
up as idealised specimens of
masculinity. “Look at the men in
those films,” says Thorp. “Charles
Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams. Even
Sid James never gets any. That sums
up the attitude toward sex in the
Carry Ons and in British humour in
general. You might want it – but if it
turns up, you run away.”
Interviews by Dave Simpson. Talvin Singh will
perform at Norwich Cathedral on Saturday.
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
11
•
Live reviews
Tremendous sound …
Jack Steadman
of Mr Jukes
improvisations feature tricksy AfroLatin rhythms, superbly negotiated
by the remarkable 16-year-old
drummer Zoe Pascal. The room
also hosted the poetic modal jazz
of pianist/singer Joy Ellis (featuring
the excellent Rob Luft on guitar)
and singer/guitarist Oscar Jerome
(playing wonderfully odd R&B tunes
and putting his
guitar through
Their set
incorporated some strange,
goth-style FX).
dubstep
Accentuate the positive …
An outside
basslines,
the Slumber Sisters
stage seemed
breathing
to specialise in
solos and
what has become
a starring
a contemporary
role for a
London microgenre – the
traffic cone
jazz musician
duetting with a
knob-twiddling
DJ/producer.
South Londoners Joe Armon-Jones
and Maxwell Owin mix spacey
modal jazz piano solos with abstract
★★★☆☆
samples. North Londoners Blue
Lab Beats mix the Dilla-style loops
Corn Exchange, Haddington
of troll-haired DJ Namali Kwaten
with the smooth-jazz solos of
Touring until 3 June
pianist/guitarist/bassist David
Mrakpor. East London’s Soccer96
nationaltheatrescotland.com
ply a punkier kind of rave, featuring
drummer Max “Betamax” Hallett.
es, it is aimed at
All three acts benefit from outside
the over-eights,
intervention: when Soccer96 invited
but Eddie and the
a shouty poet/saxophonist on stage,
Slumber Sisters
it sounded gloriously like Ornette
would have appealed
Coleman joining Sleaford Mods.
to Sarah Kane. The
This spirit of adventure leaked
late playwright, who wrote about
on to the main Roundhouse stage
mental illness in 4.48 Psychosis,
with Brooklyn trio Moon Hooch,
would surely have recognised the
an unholy racket featuring tenor
anguish that haunts this immersive
and baritone saxes and drums.
production by Catherine Wheels and
Their set incorporated dubstep
the National Theatre of Scotland.
basslines, circular-breathing solos
Indeed, the play, conceived by
and a starring role for a three-foot
director Gill Robertson and writer
traffic cone (inserted into the bell
Anita Vettesse, could justifiably have
of Wenzl McGowen’s baritone sax).
been called 2.17 Psychosis.
A mix of high theatre and intense
That’s the time when nine-yearimprovisation operating without a
safety net, it was the most interesting old Eddie has the same nightmare.
Played winningly by Chiara Sparkes,
act on this varied but impressive bill.
the dreaming girl is forever on the
John Lewis
way to her grandmother’s house,
but just can’t get past the front door.
Shortly after seeing the play, I read
The nightmare is symbolic. Her
a New York Times leader about the
grandmother has died and, in the
secrecy surrounding America’s
outpouring of adult grief, Eddie has
involvement in the war in Yemen,
been excluded. Her bewilderment
which confirmed that nothing
has taken a psychological toll.
involving the current administration
The job of sorting things out falls
is improbable.
to the Slumber Sisters, a trio of closeIf I have any doubt about the
harmony singers in US wartime
play, it is that Schenkkan is hazy
uniform, whose mission is to turn
about the political implications of
every nightmare into a dream. The
the situation: we learn that Trump
missing link between Charlie’s
has been impeached, but nothing
Angels and the Andrews Sisters,
about the international impact of
they treat the words of Ac-CentAmerica’s covert brutality.
Tchu-Ate the Positive as a rallying
Jez Bond’s production, played
cry. If they can’t brighten a dream
inside a transparent glass cage, is,
with candyfloss, they’ll try balloons.
however, well acted. Trevor White
Except this trauma is too deep: only
plays Rick, not as a bulging-eyed
with direct intervention can they
fanatic but as a man bitterly angry
give Eddie a peaceful night’s sleep.
at being forced to carry the can for
All of this is entertaining, but
corporate and government policy.
takes a lot of explaining. Only once
Angela Griffin lends his interviewer
the rescue mission is in full flight
her own sense of suppressed
do things take off. By the end,
grievance. It’s a slow-burn play, but
however, it has built to an honest
a heartening sign that American
portrayal of grief, neither evasive
dramatists are responding to the
nor po-faced, but a touching – and
Trump era with something more
melodic – exploration of the need
than savage lampoons.
to say goodbye.
Michael Billington
Mark Fisher
Theatre
Eddie and
the Slumber
Sisters
Jazz
Love Supreme
at the
Roundhouse
lovesupremefestival.com
Theatre
Building
the Wall
H
★★★★☆
Roundhouse, London
PHOTOGRAPHS: TERI PENGILLEY/GUARDIAN; TRISTRAM KENTON/GUARDIAN
L
ove Supreme, Britain’s
big jazz and soul
festival, has been
running since 2013
in the lush gardens
of Glynde Place and
now attracts crowds of more than
40,000 each summer. To celebrate
its fifth anniversary, and to preview
next month’s festival, its organisers
assembled this budget-priced minifestival in Camden’s Roundhouse.
With so many jazz heavyweights
already booked for this weekend’s
Cheltenham jazz festival, this
bill’s headline acts erred towards
the poppier end. Keyboard player
Cory Henry is the most engaging
figure to emerge from the bafflingly
popular New York fusion outfit
Snarky Puppy, and he certainly has a
charisma that’s rare for a keyboardist
– a freewheeling, stage-hogging
extroversion that’s reminiscent of
Beastie Boys’ organist Money Mark.
What he lacks is material. Covers of
songs by Prince, James Brown and
the Bee Gees each feature some fine
pitchwheel-heavy solos from Henry
★★★☆☆
Park theatre, London
Until 2 June
Box office: 020-7870 6876
and fellow synth twiddler Nick
Semrad, but the band’s dense, airless
funk-rock doesn’t really give anyone
space to breathe.
Conversely, the main headliner,
Mr Jukes, AKA Jack Steadman from
Bombay Bicycle Club, had plenty
of fine tunes but he could do with a
fraction of Henry’s stage presence.
Many of us were shocked when
the first album by this Avalanches/
Gorillaz-style R&B project, God
First, turned out to be rather good,
and the standout tracks sounded
tremendous. Unfortunately, the
onstage optics – eight competent
session musicians centred around
the unengaging Steadman on bass –
let daylight in on the magic.
Some of the most interesting
music appeared on the minor
stages, tucked away in small spaces
around the Roundhouse complex.
The downstairs Seckler Stage only
holds around a hundred bodies
and became absolutely rammed at
times, not least for a rare appearance
by the revered British saxophonist
Steve Williamson. His intense modal
ow does an
Trumpian nightmare …
American writer
Angela Griffin and Trevor White
deal with a nation’s
growing sense
of crisis? The
solution of Robert
Schenkkan, who co-scripted the
movie Hacksaw Ridge, is to pursue
the idea of President Trump’s war
on illegal immigrants to its brutally
logical conclusion. Even if we are
halfway through the play’s 80
minutes before we discover the
enormity of the crime committed, the
result is a chilling dystopian drama.
Set in a Texan jail in 2019, the
play shows a prisoner, Rick, being
interviewed by an African American
college professor, Gloria. The nature
martial law, leading to the roundup
of Rick’s offence is left unspecified
of hundreds of thousands of
as we learn about his background:
supposedly illegal immigrants.
his thwarted ambition to study
The consequences of that may
architecture, a respect for order that
seem far-fetched, but Schenkkan
led him to take a job in the military
is simply doing what many other
police and, eventually, to oversee a
writers, such as George Orwell
vast new private prison outside El
and Margaret Atwood, have done:
Paso. But all this is a prelude to the
applying the scarifying ethos of the
revelation that, after a bomb attack
present to the immediate future.
in Times Square, Trump imposed
Y
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
13
•
TV and radio
Watch this
‘Why would
I put myself
through this
to look edgy
and cool?’
… Saffron
The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds
8pm, Channel 4
Genderquake
Channel 4
Phil Harrison
ect
The message is: listen to other people, respect
their autonomy, try to keep an open mind.
ed
Perhaps this gender stuff isn’t so complicated
★★★★☆
P
olygender. XXY. Genderqueer. Why is all
this stuff suddenly so complicated? Early
in this illuminating reality experiment
in which a group of millennials are
installed in a house in rural Sussex, a
diverse range of gender identities comes
face-to-face with a more implacably binary Britain. In
a country pub, Saffron is explaining gender dysphoria
to a couple of florid, scowling locals. One looks up from
his pint of Bombardier and offers his considered verdict
on this unfamiliar new world. “It’s all become quite
fashionable. It’s nothing more than that, really.”
I hope this man took the time to watch Genderquake.
If so, perhaps he found himself wondering whether his
brand of suspicious hostility might be running out of
road. Faced with the sheer diversity of lived experience
featured in Genderquake, you’d imagine it would be
hard to simply dismiss these differences out of hand.
Saffron, who identifies as non-binary, later voices a
question that might give the man in the pub pause for
thought: “Why would I put myself through this to look
edgy and cool?” Then there’s Cambell, a trans woman
who has been undergoing hormone treatment since the
age of 16. And Brooke, whose Klinefelter syndrome led
to her body “outing itself”, morphing from one gender
to another before her teenage eyes.
At the house, things are getting interesting. Every
experiment needs a control. Enter cisgendered Tom,
whose view is: “You’ve got a penis or a vagina. There’s
no in-between, is there?” Tom likes ladies and it’s easy to
imagine ladies liking him back.
And Tom, it turns out, is completely charming.
When he’s not bouncing around like Tigger – building
barbecues and offering muscled shoulders to cry on
– he’s having his mind boggled by an impromptu crashcourse in gender studies. “I’ve learned more in the last
six hours than I’ve learned in my whole life,” he gasps.
Much of Genderquake is funny. There are lairy parties.
Cartoonish visits to Brighton sex shops. And yet there’s
an underpinning of emotional brittleness; a sense that
these young people still don’t feel the world has allowed
them to find their own place in it. Saffron, describing
what sounds like an agonising struggle with self-loathing
14
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
and alienation, weeps and slumps into the arms of Tom
(who else?). There’s discussion of “passing” – and why
trans people might want to defer awkward conversations
until trust has been established. Subsequent events
prove that trust is extremely important.
One of the group, Romario, has been coy about his
history. However, when he takes a dip on Brighton
beach, other members of the group put two and two
together and begin to gossip. This leads to a standoff
in which the group’s desire to be open with each other
collides with Romario’s right to
decide how much he shares. “I’m
not proud to be trans,” he says. “At
what point can I just be ‘that guy’?”
There’s a valuable lesson here: not
all trans people are comfortable with
their gender reality being policed or
politicised, and no one has the right
‘I’ve learned
to impose a position on them.
more in the
Genderquake isn’t perfect. With
last six hours
rawness like this on display, it’s hard
than in my
not to wonder about the element
whole life,’
of engineered confrontation that’s
inherent to this kind of format. On
Tom gasps
the first night, for example, cisgender
Filomena blunders into the arena
with a series of remarks about female
identity that feel almost gratuitously
provocative, given the company. As she states “I have
a womb. Women can bring life into the world,” and the
dinner table winces and splutters, it’s hard not to wonder
whether her tactlessness has been poked into being by a
producer with a sharp stick.
Still, Genderquake mostly hits the right notes. There’s
nothing about the group that more traditionally minded
people should find threatening. Indeed, they might
be surprised that at least one of the trans participants
seems intent on having a conventional nuclear family. A
programme debating the issues raised follows tonight’s
second episode. But watching the show itself renders
the debate pretty superfluous. Basically: listen to other
people, respect their autonomy, try to keep an open
mind. Perhaps this stuff isn’t so complicated after all?
Jack Seale
Back to the Land
7pm, BBC Two
And
another
thing
A preview of
Channel 4’s
Myanmar’s
Killing Fields
(Monday 14
May) showcases
astonishing
citizen
journalism.
Might it have a
similar impact
to the channel’s
Sri Lankan civil
war exposé?
Horrifying.
Kate Humble visits rural
locations to hear from
thirtysomethings about
their developing
businesses. Tonight it’s
Cornwall, where Tim
and Caro are harvesting
seaweed for cooking.
Tanya and Roger,
meanwhile, are
rearing cute ducks, also
for the table. There is
beer, too, courtesy of
Stuart Woodman,
a foraging brewer.
John Robinson
The Split
9pm, BBC One
The third episode of this
gripping family legal
drama is full of twists and
turns, and big secrets
sneaking their way
towards the light. This
week, Hannah’s history
with fellow lawyer Christie
Carmichael is getting to
her while she gets stuck
into a case involving
legal ownership of
frozen embryos.
Candice Carty-Williams
To Catch a Cat Killer
9pm, Viceland
A deeply unsettling and
increasingly peculiar
half-hour documentary,
following Boudicca Rising
and Tony Jenkins who, as
South Norwood Animal
Rescue and Liberty (Snarl),
have been investigating
the so-called Croydon Cat
Killer, who has been
mutilating hundreds of
cats since 2014.
Ben Arnold
Later Live … With
Jools Holland
10pm, BBC Two
Jools Holland’s eternal
music showcase is back
and so is the anthemic
bluster of Snow Patrol.
Gary Lightbody’s lads
take centre stage, but
there are more visceral
thrills courtesy of postpunky scallywags Shame,
Detroit soul belter
Bettye Lavette and
Northumberland singersongwriter Jade Bird.
Phil Harrison
Inside Out Homes
10.05pm, More4
From “garden cinemas”
to sliding roofs, it seems
the latest architectural
fad is for blurring the
boundaries between
outside and inside. In
this new design series,
architect Zac Monro,
engineer Monty
Ravenscroft and
plantswoman Rosie Bines
aim to help homeowners
live “inside out”.
Ali Catterall
PHOTOGRAPHS: RICHARD ANSTELL/CHANNEL 4
Review
Another round of cute psychological
experiments, sometimes with a mildly
uncomfortable judgmental undertone. The
theme of this new two-parter is right and
wrong and, for a long time, one little girl has her
half-formed understanding of the concept put
starkly on display. But she comes good, as do the
group as a collective when they are presented
with a microcosm of economic inequality. Also
offering chinks of hope for the future is the
children’s assessment of Donald Trump: they
all know who he is, and what he is.
•
BBC One
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.0
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Rip Off
Britain: Food (T) (R) 10.0
Homes Under the Ham-mer
(T) 11.0 A1: Britain’s Longest
Road (T) 11.45 The Housing
Enforcers (T) 12.15 Bargain
Hunt (T) (R) 1.0 News and
Weather (T) 1.30 Regional
News and Weather (T) 1.45
Doctors (T) 2.15 800 Words
(T) 3.0 Escape to the Country
(T) 3.45 Flipping Profit (T)
4.30 Flog It! (T) (R) 5.15
Pointless (T) 6.0 News and
Weather (T) 6.30 Regional
News and Weather (T)
7.0 The One Show (T)
7.30 EastEnders (T)
6.0
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R)
6.30 A1: Britain’s Longest
Road (R) 7.15 Flipping Profit
(R) 8.0 Top of the Shop (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire 11.0
Newsroom Live 11.30 The
Week in Parliament (T) 12.0
Daily Politics (T) 1.0 The
Super League Show (T) 1.45
Home Away from Home (T)
(R) 2.30 Going Back, Giving
Back (T) (R) 3.15 Digging for
Britain (T) (R) 4.15 Tudor
Monastery Farm (T) (R) 5.15
Money for Nothing (T) (R) 6.0
Eggheads (T) (R) 6.30 Great
British Railway Journeys (T)
(R) 7.0 Back to the Land (T)
6.0
Good Morning Britain
(T) 8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T)
10.30 This Morning (T) 12.30
Loose Women (T) 1.30 News
(T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Tenable
(T) 3.59 Local News and
Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) 5.0 The Chase
(T) 6.0 Local News (T) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) Charity tries to move on
and Laurel does her best to
stay strong. 7.30 Devon and
Cornwall Cops (T) Prince
William visits one of the
region’s ports.
6.0
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45
3rd Rock from the Sun (T)
(R) 7.35 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 8.30 Frasier
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R)
10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R)
11.0 Undercover Boss USA
(T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Coast v Country (T) (R) 1.05
Posh Pawnbrokers (T) (R)
2.10 Countdown (T) 3.0 A
Place in the Sun: Summer
Sun (T) (R) 4.0 The £100k
Drop (T) 5.0 Four in a Bed (T)
(R) 5.30 Buy It Now (T) 6.0
The Simpsons (T) (R) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) (R) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
Holby City (T) Gaskell takes
a huge risk to save his trial,
and a discovery threatens
Dom’s career.
The Split (T) Hannah finds
herself caught in the
middle when Nathan and
Christie clash on a divorce
case involving fertility
law and the ownership
of frozen embryos.
8.0
Top of the Shop With Tom
Kerridge (T) Producers
making baked goods fight
it out for a place in the final.
Secret Agent Selection:
WW2 (T) Eight of the
original 14 students have
fallen by the wayside,
leaving just six survivors to
undertake the SOE’s Final
Scheme. Last in the series.
8.0
This Time Next Year (T)
Davina McCall meets an
11-year-old meningitis
survivor hoping to have
the use of hands at last,
and a young couple with
fertility complications who
dream of starting a family.
Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire? (T) (4/7)
Jeremy Clarkson hosts.
8.0
The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds
(T) (1/2) How children learn
the difference between right
and wrong.
Genderquake (T) (2/2) As
the exploration of genderfluidity continues, a feud
simmers between Markus
and gender traditionalist
Romario after a boozed
up night that went too far.
8.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather
(T) Includes lottery update.
10.45 Back to School With Mum
and Dad (T) Documentary
following excluded children
given a second chance.
11.40 Prince Harry & Meghan
Markle: The Engagement
Interview (T) (R)
12.0 Weather (T) 12.05 News (T)
9.0
10.0 Later Live… With Jools
Holland (T) New series of the
long-running music show.
10.30 Newsnight (T)
11.15 Love In the Countryside (T)
(R) Rural singles seek love.
12.15 Sign Zone Stephen: The
Murder That Changed a
Nation (T) (R) 1.15 Secret
Agent Selection: WW2 (T)
(R) 2.15 This Is BBC Two (T)
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T) Weather
10.45 Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest
Airport (T) (R) Demi deals
with disgruntled passengers.
11.15 Prince Harry’s Story: Four
Royal Weddings (T) (R)
12.10 The Durrells (T) (R) 1.0
Jackpot247 3.0 Loose
Women (R) 3.45 Nightscreen
5.05 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
9.0
10.0 Genderquake: The Debate
A panel discuss what
gender means in 2018.
11.0 Flight HS13 Liv is angry
with Haje.
12.0 First Dates (T) (R) 1.0 One
Born Every Minute (T) (R)
1.55 Our Wildest Dreams
(T) (R) 2.50 The Channel:
World’s Busiest… (T) (R) 3.45
Fill Your House for Free (T) (R)
Other channels
Dave
6.0am Home Shopping
7.05 James May’s Cars
of the People 8.10
American Pickers 9.010.0 Storage Hunters
10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0 QI XL 2.0
Top Gear 3.0 World’s
Most Dangerous Roads
4.0 Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge 5.0
Top Gear 6.0 Taskmaster
7.0 QI XL 8.0-9.0 Scrappers: Back in the Yard
9.0-11.0 Mock the Week
11.0 Taskmaster 12.0
QI 12.40-2.0 Mock the
Week 2.0 QI 2.40-3.25
The Last Man on Earth
3.25 Mock the Week
4.0 Home Shopping
E4
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 Black-ish
8.0-9.0 The Big Bang
Theory 9.0 Gotham
10.0 Supernatural
11.0-12.0 The Big Bang
Theory 12.0 Tattoo
Fixers 1.0 Gotham 2.0
Supernatural 2.45 First
Dates 3.40 First Dates
Abroad 4.05 2 Broke
Girls 4.25 How I Met Your
Mother 4.50 Couples
Come Dine With Me
Film4
11.0am The Black
Knight (1954) 12.45
We’re No Angels
(1955) 2.55 Three
Faces West (1940) 4.30
The War Wagon
(1967) 6.35 Iron Man 2 (2010) 9.0
Captain America:
The First Avenger (2011)
11.25 Killing
Them Softly (2012) 1.15
Nostalgia (1983)
ITV2
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
Coronation Street 8.55
Coronation Street 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.20 The Bachelorette 12.15 Emmerdale
12.45 Coronation Street
1.15 Coronation Street
1.45 The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 2.35-6.0 The
Jeremy Kyle Show 6.0
Take Me Out 7.30 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold 8.0
Two and a Half Men 8.30
9.0
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff (T) 11.15 Can’t Pay?
We’ll Take It Away! (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 The Yorkshire Vet
Casebook (T) (R) 3.15 Snatched At Birth (Michael
Feifer, 2017) (T) 5.0 News
(T) (R) 5.30 Neighbours
(T) (R) 6.0 Home and Away
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
MotoGP Highlights: The
Spanish Grand Prix. Action
from the fourth round, at the
Circuito de Jerez, Andalucía.
The Yorkshire Vet (T)
Julian Norton is called
out to a much-loved
trekking llama who has
an excruciatingly painful
problem. Includes
news update.
British Airways: 100 Years
in the Sky (T) (2/2) Charting
the airline from its birth in
1974 to the end of Concorde.
10.0 Our Secret World: Circus
Kids (T) (R) (1/3) The lives
of children in circuses.
11.05 Our Secret World: Gypsy
Kids (T) (R) (1/7) Tensions
run high for Margaret and
her cousins in Birmingham.
12.05 Celeb Trolls: We’re Coming
to Get You (T) (R) 1.0 SuperCasino 3.10 GPs: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R)
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T)
7.30 Danceworks: Street
to Stage (T) A profile of
the street dancer Dickson
Mbi as he choreographs
and performs his first
contemporary dance solo.
8.0
Eurovision Song Contest
(T) Rylan Clark-Neal and
Scott Mills host the first
semi-final from Lisbon,
as 19 acts take to the
stage, performing for a
place in Saturday’s final.
Viewers can vote for their
favourite, and UK’s entrant
SuRie will be there to talk
about all things Eurovision.
10.0 Extinct: A Horizon Guide
to Dinosaurs (T) The
development of ideas about
dinosaurs since the 1970s.
11.0 Timeshift: Penny Blacks &
Twopenny Blues…
12.0 Crash Test Dummies: A
Smashing History (T)
1.0 TOTP: 1983 (T) 2.05
Danceworks… (T) 2.35
Extinct: A Horizon Guide…
Radio
Superstore 9.0 Hot Fuzz (2007) (FYI
at 10.05) 11.25 Family
Guy 11.55 Family Guy
12.25 American Dad!
12.55 American Dad!
1.20 Celebrity Juice
2.0 Two and a Half Men
2.30 Teleshopping
More4
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 10.30 A
Place in the Sun: Winter
Sun 11.35 Four in a Bed
12.05 Four in a Bed
12.35 Four in a Bed 1.05
Four in a Bed 1.40 Four
in a Bed 2.10 Come Dine
With Me 2.40 Come Dine
With Me 3.15 Come Dine
With Me 3.50 Come Dine
With Me 4.20 Come Dine
With Me 4.50 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
5.55 A New Life in the
Sun 6.55 The Secret Life
of the Zoo 7.55 Grand
Designs 9.0 My Floating
Home 10.05 Inside Out
Homes 11.05 24 Hours
in A&E 12.10 Kitchen
Nightmares USA 1.05
My Floating Home 2.10
24 Hours in A&E 3.15
8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut
Sky1
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 Flash
9.0 The Blacklist 10.0
The Late Late Show: Best
of the Week 11.0 The
Force: Manchester 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 Highway Patrol
4.30 Highway Patrol
5.0 It’s Me or the Dog
Sky Arts
6.0am Anne-Sophie
Mutter: The Club Concert
7.35 Sir Simon Rattle:
Beethoven Symphonies
9.0 Watercolour
Challenge 9.30 The Art
Show 10.30 Tales of the
Unexpected 11.0 Classic
Albums 12.0 The Eighties
1.0 Discovering: Bing
Crosby 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: Vivien
Leigh 7.0 The Nineties
8.0 Portrait Artist of
the Year 2017 9.0 Tate
Britain’s Great Art Walks
10.0 Discovering: Jack
Palance 11.0 Urban
Myths: Alice Cooper and
Salvador Dalí 11.30
Passions 12.30 Tate
Britain’s Great Art Walks
1.30 The Shadows: The
Final Tour 4.30 Tales
of the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Hotel Secrets
7.0 The British 8.0-11.0
David Attenborough’s
Conquest of the Skies
11.0-1.0 House 1.0
Without a Trace 2.0 Blue
Bloods 3.0-5.0 The West
Wing 5.0-7.0 House 7.0
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 8.0 Blue Bloods
9.0 The Wizard of
Lies (2017) 11.30 The
Circus: Inside the Wildest
Political Show on Earth
12.05 Westworld 1.15
West:Word 1.45 The
Sopranos 3.0 High Maintenance 3.35 Happyish
4.10-6.0 The West Wing
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast 9.0
Essential Classics. Ian
Skelly’s guest is Christian
Jessen. 12.0 Composer
of the Week: Boulanger
(2/5) 1.0 News 1.02
Lunchtime Concert: 2017
Hay Festival – Mozart Plus
(R) (1/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert: Celebrating
Swiss Music Festivals.
Music by Bruckner,
Catalani, Tartini and
Chausson. 5.0 In Tune
7.0 In Tune Mixtape 7.30
In Concert. Recorded
at the Brangwyn Hall,
Swansea. Tasmin Little
(violin), BBC NOW,
Joseph Swensen. Bruch:
Violin Concerto No 1 in
G minor. Interval. 8.25
Bruckner: Symphony
No 7 in E, WAB107. 10.0
Free Thinking: Out of
Control? With Dr Mike
Martin. 10.45 The Essay:
The Migrants – Adventure
(2/5) 11.0 Late Junction:
Children’s Music 12.30
Through the Night
Radio 4
Captain
America: The
First Avenger,
Film4
6.0 Today 9.0 The Life
Scientific: Carlo Rovelli
on Why Time is Not What
it Seems 9.30 One to
One: Soumaya Keynes
Meets Stephen Machin
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: The Language of
Kindness, by Christie
Watson. (2/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. 10.45
Drama: The Wings of
the Dove, by Henry
James. (7/10) 11.0 Is
Eating Plants Wrong?
With botanist James
Wong. 11.30 Instrument
Makers: Thinking Inside
the Box. Accordion maker
Emmanuel Pariselle
welcomes Andy Cutting
and Katie Howson to
his workshop in France.
(2/4) 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Four Thought:
How to Remember (R)
12.15 Call You and Yours
1.0 The World at One
1.45 The Assassination:
Family Matters. Owen
Bennett-Jones on the
murder of Benazir
Bhutto. (2/10) 2.0 The
Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
Rumpole and the Official
Secret (2/3) 3.0 The
Kitchen Cabinet: Cromer
Pier (R) 3.30 Costing
the Earth: Outback
Outrage. Peter Hadfield
on wild camels in the
Outback. 4.0 Word of
Mouth 4.30 Great Lives:
Simon Callow on Orson
Welles 5.0 PM 5.54
(LW) Shipping Forecast
6.0 News 6.30 Thanks
a Lot, Milton Jones! The
Genealogist (2/6) 7.0
The Archers 7.15 Front
Row 7.45 The Wings of
the Dove (R) (7/10) 8.0
The Art of Money 8.40 In
Touch 9.0 All in the Mind
9.30 The Life Scientific
(R) 10.0 The World
Tonight 10.45 Book at
Bedtime The Valley at
the Centre of the World,
by Malachy Tallack.
(7/10) 11.0 Talking to
Strangers (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament 12.0
News 12.30 Book of the
Week (R) 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 High Table, Lower
Orders (2/6) 6.30 Rosa
and Leos 7.0 Stockport,
So Good They Named It
Once (3/6) 7.30 Thanks
a Lot, Milton Jones!
(1/6) 8.0 As Time Goes
By (2/6) 8.30 The Men
from the Ministry 9.0
The News Quiz Extra
(4/8) 9.45 Helen Keen’s
It Is Rocket Science (4/4)
10.0 Two on a Tower
(1/2) 11.0 Short Works:
A Season of Murder,
Mystery and Suspense
(2/5) 11.15 Galbraith and
the King of Diamonds
(6/6) 12.0 As Time Goes
By (2/6) 12.30 The Men
from the Ministry 1.0
High Table… (2/6) 1.30
Rosa and Leos 2.0 The
Secret History (7/15)
2.15 Shakespeare’s
Restless World (17/20)
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
2.30 Gillespie and I
(2/10) 2.45 Michael Palin
Diaries… (2/5) 3.0 Two
on a Tower (1/2) 4.0 It’s
Not What You Know (5/6)
4.30 The Wordsmiths
at Gorsemere (3/6) 5.0
Stockport, So Good They
Named It Once (3/6)
5.30 Thanks a Lot, Milton
Jones! (1/6) 6.0 Night
Watch (2/5) 6.30 The
Palace of Laughter (2/6)
7.0 As Time Goes By (2/6)
7.30 The Men from the
Ministry 8.0 High Table…
(2/6) 8.30 Rosa and
Leos 9.0 Short Works: A
Season of Murder… (2/5)
9.15 Galbraith and the
King of Diamonds (6/6)
10.0 Thanks a Lot, Milton
Jones! (1/6) 10.30 Tom
Wrigglesworth’s HangUps (2/4) 11.0 Lewis
Macleod Is Not Himself
(1/4) 11.30 52 First
Impressions With David
Quantick (1/4) 12.0
Night Watch (2/5) 12.30
The Palace of Laughter
(2/6) 1.0 High Table…
(2/6) 1.30 Rosa and Leos
2.0 The Secret History
(7/15) 2.15 Shakespeare’s
Restless World (17/20)
2.30 Gillespie and I
(2/10) 2.45 Michael Palin
Diaries… (2/5) 3.0 Two
on a Tower (1/2) 4.0 It’s
Not What You Know (5/6)
4.30 The Wordsmiths
at Gorsemere (3/6) 5.0
Stockport, So… (3/6)
5.30 Thanks a Lot… (1/6)
15
•
no 14,976
Yesterday’s
solutions
Quick crossword
Wordsearch
Across
1 Hero of The Jungle Book (6)
4 One who avoids work (6)
8 Sleeper’s vision (5)
9 Promised (7)
10 Relative by marriage (7)
11 French pancake (5)
12 Water-based paint (9)
17 Italian city noted for ham (5)
19 Synopsis — silhouette (7)
21 Give for safekeeping (7)
22 Momentary flash of light (5)
23 Feeling of despair in the face of
obstacles (6)
24 Source (6)
1
Solution no 14,975
Down
1 One of three sisters with snakes
for hair (6)
2 Saturday and Sunday (7)
3 Buddhist monks (5)
5 Patella (7)
6 Hazy (5)
7 Ship’s steering device (6)
9 Whit Sunday (9)
13 Broad-bladed kitchen implement
(7)
14 Barrier — complaining bitterly (7)
15 Sustained (6)
16 Defeated (6)
18 Religious observances (5)
20 Striped quadruped (5)
P
U
I
I
O
E
H
A
S
T
A
L
A
V
I
S
T
A
MO U T HWA S H
O P
A B
I
R T
B I L T ON G
O E
F
V H
B R E A K WE L L
I
T U A
Y
I N G A N K L E S
G
S
S
L
T
A
F O R E B E A R
S U E
L
U
L I N G MA S ON
N H
L
E G
WO R T H Y
3
8
4
5
6
7
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
17
B
A
C
O
N
A
N
D
E
G
G
S
2
16
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
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 guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846.
Sudoku no 4,053
Sudoku
no 4,054
Medium. Fill the grid so that each row, column and
3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at
theguardian.com/sudoku
Word wheel
WINDSTORM
Word wheel
Suguru
Wordsearch
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-51.
Good-45. Average-34.
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
diagonally.
Can you find 11 words associated with
spring in the grid? Words can run
forwards, backwards, vertically or
diagonally, but always in a straight,
unbroken line.
Suguru
Steve Bell
If…
Pet
corner
Which monarch
kept lions in the
Tower of London?
a. Henry V
b. Henry VIII
c. Elizabeth I
d. James I
Answer top right
16
The Guardian
Tuesday 8 May 2018
TODAY’S PET CORNER ANSWER JAMES I
Puzzles
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