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Not Pete Atkin >> Off-topic >> Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 16:37)

Title: Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 16:37
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Clive James at his home in Cambridge. Photograph: Alicia Canter for the Guardian


In the first of a new Guardian series on living with leukaemia, Clive James writes that he is surprised to find he’s still here (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/10/clive-james-reports-of-my-death-great-british-bakeoff)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 17.10.15 at 11:21
Today's column (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/17/clive-james-writers-magic-spells-books)


Quote:

..................

All writers are keen to cast spells, even when they fancy themselves as cool technicians. According to The Journals Of Arnold Bennett, on the night of 10 September 1924, Bennett met TS Eliot at the Reform Club. He asked him whether his notes at the end of The Waste Land were serious or “a lark”. Eliot said they were no more of a lark than some parts of the poem. Bennett said he understood that, but still couldn’t see the point of the poem. Eliot said it didn’t matter, because he wouldn’t be writing any more poems like that one: he intended to write plays, and would appreciate Bennett’s advice.

Eliot had come to the right man, because Bennett by that time was making even more money out of his plays than out of his .......



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/17/clive-james-writers-magic-spells-books)


Kevin Cryan





Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 24.10.15 at 10:20
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‘My Japanese maple tree is now in its first flames.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Clive James: ‘Glimpses are all you ever get. There is so little time’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/24/clive-james-spring-poetry-methinks)


Quote:
...........
Each glimpse of the tree reminds me of a beautiful Italian word my future wife taught me 50 years ago in Florence. The word was scorcio (say “score-cho”). It means a glimpse. From one of our coffee bars we could look down a narrow street and see the spire of the abbey-church of the Badia outlined against the sky. The spire was a revelation of elegance, as my tree is now. Looking back, you realise that glimpses are all you ever get. There is so little time.

I save time on the web by reading nobody’s opinion that contains the word “methinks”. Nor is anyone worth reading who leaves out the punctuation. Those who have no idea where.........



Full report (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/24/clive-james-spring-poetry-methinks)

Kevin Cryan



Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 31.10.15 at 09:52
Clive James: ‘People congratulate me for staying busy, as if that were a formula for extending life’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/31/clive-james-reports-of-my-death)

The film star George Sanders was a bright man but lazy. Towards the end he would complain that life was getting repetitive


Clive James

Saturday 31 October 2015 06.00 GMT  
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Photograph: Alamy



Quote:
.......

Nice people congratulate me for staying busy, as if that were a formula for extending life. It would be good to think so, but sentimental. Last year I was in correspondence with a young lady called Shikha Chhabra, who blogged under the name of Oblomov. She was hungry for life, could write brilliantly about anything, and she died of cancer at 24. Just before she died, she wrote to say that she envied me, because if I was soon to die then at least I’d been given a life in which to do what was in me. It was a reminder of my good luck, which I can’t think of without feeling guilty. But guilt can be an indulgence. George Sanders felt guilty for having had his teeth capped. He was only 66 when he downed five bottles of Nembutal and left a note saying he was bored.



Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 07.11.15 at 09:16
Clive James: ‘The verbal tics of Germaine Greer’s trolls affirm the blustering carelessness of the web’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/07/clive-james-the-verbal-tics-of-germaine-greers-trolls-affirm-the-blustering-carelessness-of-the-web)

[bgcolor=Purple]The writer on maintaining the dignity of words[/bgcolor]

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‘The supposed irony that Germaine Greer’s feminist writings helped to create her current persecutors is tosh. They created themselves, like blog-trolls.’ Photograph: Jane Bown


Quote:
My brain is not too fast on its feet lately, so I’ve been a fortnight figuring out what I think about how my eminent contemporary Germaine Greer got herself ambushed by ultra-feminist students because of her opinions about trans women. The only trans person I have ever known personally started life as the man who, when we were at Sydney University together long ago, taught me most about literature. His house was a library and he lent me books by the score. Decades later he started life again, as a woman. She wrote a book of her own, in which she said how miserable she had once been, and how happy she was now. On that evidence I would find Germaine’s opinion at least questionable when she says that trans women don’t stop being men. But there is no question at all about the activists who wanted to stop her saying so. They have no idea of what free speech is or what a university is supposed to be. As for the supposed irony that Germaine’s feminist writings helped to create her current persecutors, it’s tosh. They created themselves, like blog-trolls.

Indestructible microbial organisms, blog-trolls copulate with themselves constantly, producing offspring in the form of lethally insolent..........


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/07/clive-james-the-verbal-tics-of-germaine-greers-trolls-affirm-the-blustering-carelessness-of-the-web)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 14.11.15 at 09:37

Clive James: ‘I have been collaborating on another album. We pose no threat to Taylor Swift’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/14/clive-james-i-have-been-collaborating-on-another-album-we-pose-no-threat-to-taylor-swift)
[bgcolor=Purple]Clive James reflects on the music business
[/bgcolor]


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‘We’re quite pleased to be in the same business as Taylor Swift.’ Photograph: Imaginechina/REX Shutterstock



Quote:
Lately, I am seldom impressed by the kind of poetry that is just prose arranged vertically. I spent too much time learning how to arrange prose horizontally. But any poet who still writes in rhymes and stanzas is fighting to join a minority. The freedom just to bung it down has won, and few poets now waste any effort on their technique. They might be right.

If they were musicians, however, they would clearly be wrong. As my supply of energy runs low, I have still been glad to collaborate with Pete Atkin on another album of our songs, The Colours Of The Night (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Colours-Night-Songs-Clive/dp/B00W55S2UI). As always, I have been chastened by the discipline of the musicians. To match it, I have had to shape my phrases with care. Though the results won’t make anyone a fortune, I take my pay in pride.

Once again there is no publicity budget, but things have changed since the days when the record companies decided your fate. Nowadays, you can press your own discs. Pete and I discuss these matters in a video on the front page of his website (http://www.peteatkin.com/): two men of mature years, one in better shape than the other, we pose no threat to Taylor Swift (http://www.theguardian.com/music/taylor-swift)’s earning power, but sound quite pleased to be in the same business.

Young pop stars now are born knowing how the web drives the cashflow..........





read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/14/clive-james-i-have-been-collaborating-on-another-album-we-pose-no-threat-to-taylor-swift)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 21.11.15 at 09:50
Clive James: ‘Poets in the free countries don’t get famous. Poets in the unfree countries might wish to be less famous than they are’       (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/21/clive-james-poets-sitwell-auden-gerbils)

[bgcolor=Purple]All real poets start off by being fascinated by the sound of words. Do they all write something but mean something else? [/bgcolor]

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WH Auden once said that all real poets started off being fascinated by the sound of words.’ Photograph: Time Life Pictures/Getty Images



Quote:
.....
WH Auden (http://www.theguardian.com/books/whauden) once said that all real poets start off by being fascinated by the sound of words, but later on they have to grow out of that and start to care about the sense. In that respect,Edith Sitwell (http://www.theguardian.com/books/edith-sitwell) never grew up. Her would-be serious poetry was ruined by trivial sound effects. But her would-be trivial poetry could be marvellous, especially the sequence called Façade (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5AlUOJs2dI). Not long after I got to London, I saw a recital of it, complete with orchestra, at the Royal Festival Hall. One of the reciters was the poet herself, typically decked out in flowing robes plus a large soft hat like a golden television pouffe. She was getting on by then, but you could tell she still relished the syllables. Auden would have been obliged to admit that the old girl was a crowd-pleaser. Poetry has to get the audience’s attention in the first instance.

.
....



read on   (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/21/clive-james-poets-sitwell-auden-gerbils)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 28.11.15 at 09:36
Clive James: ‘I have brave thoughts of joining my friends to talk, read and write in Paris’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/28/clive-james-paris)

[bgcolor=Purple]The writer reflects on his time in the French capital[/bgcolor]


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Once, I had a favourite cafe in Paris. I would sit there for hours, reading my way through a pile of books.’ Photograph: John Lamb/Getty Images



Quote:

....
You know that terror is getting its way when you find yourself in a discussion with your daughter about whether your granddaughter should be discouraged from sitting in a Left Bank cafe on her first visit to Paris about seven years from now. At the moment, two of my writer friends are visiting Paris and I have just written to both saying how much I would like to join them and sit in a cafe while we talked, read and wrote: the things we do best. But I can afford that brave thought because I won’t be going there.

......
.


read on... (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/28/clive-james-paris)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.12.15 at 10:21
Clive James: ‘My friend is 101 and I’m hoping to catch some of her secret’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/05/clive-james-winter)
The writer reflects on a trip to Addenbrooke’s  

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‘I came home more determined than ever to enjoy the little things.’ Photograph: Alamy

Quote:
.....my morning antibiotics pick’n’mix must deal with winter’s threat to my tattered lungs, and a few days ago the threat was multiplied by the sudden failure of the heating system in my house.

I had to spend 24 hours wearing a complete set of thermal underwear under thick corduroy trousers and several sweaters: the layered look. The thermostat doodad was successfully replaced only just before I left for the oncology clinic at Addenbrooke’s. I was the only person in the waiting room who looked as if he had mistaken the clinic for a ski resort.


.......


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/05/clive-james-winter)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.12.15 at 15:45

on 12/05/15 at 10:21:25, Kevin Cryan wrote :
Clive James: ‘My friend is 101 and I’m hoping to catch some of her secret’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/05/clive-james-winter)
The writer reflects on a trip to Addenbrooke’s  

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‘I came home more determined than ever to enjoy the little things.’ Photograph: Alamy


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/05/clive-james-winter)

Kevin Cryan




Quote:
My maple tree has shed the last of its fiery leaves. This is now the actual winter, not a rehearsal. In compensation, my friend Ann Baer* has sent me an autumn maple leaf in its full crimson glory. I have propped it up in the bookcase near where I write. Ann Baer is 101 years old and I am hoping to catch some of her secret.

....


* Verse Letter (http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/06/verse-letter/)
The Spectator
Clive James
27 June 2015



Quote:
...

...Just look at how it keeps you young,
This love for words that time can’t take away
 
From anyone touched with it early on.
No wonder that you write a hand so fair.
I swear that you’ll be here when I am gone,
Just as my fiery tree will still be there —

Bathed in its poetry, the rain, the air.


read on (http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/06/verse-letter/)

Down the Common: A Year in the Life of a Medieval Woman (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Down-Common-Year-Medieval-Woman/dp/0871318180)by Ann Baer (Hardcover  – 31 Dec 1997)

Kevin Cryan




Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 12.12.15 at 08:26
Clive James: ‘It could be said that Adele is Mama Cass born again’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/12/is-adele-new-mama-cass-clive-james)

All the leaves are brown, and our writer’s thoughts turn to big ballads and summers in Sydney




Quote:
...............

It could be said that Adele (http://www.theguardian.com/music/adele) is Mama Cass born again, but she needs a song to match her voice. I have listened several times to her smash hit, Hello. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQHsXMglC9A) I was hoping that the shapely beauty of her opening phrase would hook me for what remains of my forever. But the opening phrase never really arrives. The whole number is one of those big ballads in which the singer whispers her way through a verse section that hasn’t got a melody and then goes soaring and bellowing into a chorus section that hasn’t got a melody either. The virtuosity leaves you yawning with admiration.


Whitney Houston (http://www.theguardian.com/music/whitney-houston) drove herself bonkers yelling stuff like that, and Celine Dion at full volume puts up such a barrage that she might be part of Canada’s anti-missile defence system. But Adele still has time for better things. The young almost always have time, as long as they don’t go surfing at night.

...........
 



Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 19.12.15 at 10:08
Clive James: I would like to go back and do things right (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/19/clive-james-fred-perry-proust-voltaire)
The writer reflects on big names and little books


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Fred Perry’s is a big name for a tiny troll to pinch.’ Photograph: Getty Images




Quote:
No amount of careful writing can overcome careless reading. This thought occurs to me as I try to decode yet another squeal of contempt from one of my regular blog-trolls, who as usual chooses to misinterpret what I say. It’s easy to put up with what he writes, because he scarcely knows how to write it. What bothers me is the name he has picked to hide behind: Fred Perry (http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009/may/10/fred-perry-tennis-wimbledon-biography). Britain’s first, and for a long time only, male Wimbledon singles champion, Fred Perry was a true hero: not only for his skill, but for his courage in facing down the snobbish twerps of the All England Club (http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/atoz/about_aeltc.html) who would have liked him to feel small because they thought him common.

Fred Perry’s is a big name for a tiny troll to pinch. He might as well keep it, however. If he tries to switch it for something more modest, he will probably call himself Albert Einstein (http://www.theguardian.com/science/alberteinstein). Judgment is not his thing. What he’s got is untreated umbrage. I’m told that the great political breakthrough of the blogosphere is to give a platform to people not inhibited by qualifications. I suppose I’m in favour of that. I feel increasingly convinced, as the light fades, that attainments aren’t enough to make us good.
.......


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/19/clive-james-fred-perry-proust-voltaire)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 26.12.15 at 09:46
Clive James: in Paris, the CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation hit the champagne (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/26/clive-james-climate-change-conference-cop21)

The writer reflects on the recent climate change conference

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‘Among our family there was not much Christmas conversation about climate change.’ Photograph: Li Genxing/Xinhua Press/Corbis



Quote:
....
With the fate of the world at stake, one is confident that the money will be spent wisely. Prudent delegates, aware that their frequent-flyer carbon footprint is already questionable, take care not to be thought of as living it up. But sometimes the excitement is too much. During her no doubt vital stay in Paris, Kelly O’Shanassy (http://sustainable.unimelb.edu.au/people/kelly-oshanassy), CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation (https://www.acfonline.org.au/), hit the champagne. As every new flute released its bubbles of CO2, she was so thrilled, she took a picture and sent it to her friends. These sparkling Facebook posts, alas, have since been deleted.

The credibility of her Foundation (“We work across society to influence urgent, transformative action to deliver lasting change”) trembled for a moment, but soon recovered. The climate change matter is too grave to be injured by mockery, as was proved in Paris when With the fate of the world at stake, one is confident that the money will be spent wisely. Prudent delegates, aware that their frequent-flyer carbon footprint is already questionable, take care not to be thought of as living it up. But sometimes the excitement is too much. During her no doubt vital stay in Paris, Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation, hit the champagne. As every new flute released its bubbles of CO2, she was so thrilled, she took a picture and sent it to her friends. These sparkling Facebook posts, alas, have since been deleted.

The credibility of her Foundation (“We work across society to influence urgent, transformative action to deliver lasting change”) trembled for a moment, but soon recovered. The climate change matter is too grave to be injured by mockery, as was proved in Paris when Robert Mugabe (http://www.theguardian.com/world/robert-mugabe) spoke of justice for all mankind. When something as bizarre as that happens, you have to believe a cause is good, or die laughing..........
....


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/26/clive-james-climate-change-conference-cop21)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 02.01.16 at 09:29
Clive James: ‘As my immune system underwent one of its regular replacements, I thought of Keats’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/02/clive-james-punctuation-john-keats-ts-eliot)

The odes Keats wrote in his last creative surge are so wonderful that it is impossible to believe the dreadful truth: he was just a boy, soon to be dead from a disease that can now be cured in a trice with antibiotics


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John Keats. Photograph: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image


Quote:
....

Half a dozen people I know, including me, got the magnificent new two-volume edition of TS Eliot’s poetry for a Christmas present. The editors have at last corrected printers’ errors that have bedevilled Eliot’s poems for decades. Reading the editorial notes is almost as enthralling as reading the old man’s besottedly erotic poems for his young second wife, Valerie. He was so unashamedly delighted to have got himself into the category of Old Goat.

Keats never made it, except, perhaps, with the owner of the ripening breast on which he pillows his head in his famous poem Bright Star (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173733). But when, in another poem, he writes about “the trophies of my lovers gone”, the poignancy rather depends on our knowledge that the lovers gone were women he would never meet. Yet the odes he wrote in his last creative surge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Keats%27s_1819_odes) are so wonderful that it is impossible to believe the dreadful truth: he was just a boy, soon to be dead from a disease that can now be cured in a trice with antibiotics
.....


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/02/clive-james-punctuation-john-keats-ts-eliot)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by S J Birkill on 02.01.16 at 18:23
In his latest column, Clive speaks of Keats writing in "another poem" about "the trophies of my lovers gone". Looking back to MV448 (http://www.peteatkin.com/mvdig013.htm#mv448) posted by Clive in 1997, he also states (para. 5) that his title phrase comes from Keats.

But the problem is, where? I can't find it. Keats writes of "cloudy trophies" in his Ode on Melancholy, but the phrase "the trophies of my lovers gone" appears, as far as I can see, only in Shakespeare's Sonnet 31:

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I by lacking have supposed dead;
And there reigns Love, and all Love's loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things remov'd that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give,
That due of many now is thine alone:
Their images I lov'd, I view in thee,
And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.

Can anyone help?

SJB

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 02.01.16 at 19:43
It may be Clive has read Helen Vendler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Vendler) on both poets. If he has, then it would help to explain how the confusion arises.

Vendler, in both of her books, The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Art-Shakespeares-Sonnets-Belknap/dp/0674637127) and The Odes of John Keats (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Odes-John-Keats-Belknap-Press/dp/0674630769), suggests that Keats may have been recalling Thou art the grave where buried love doth live/Hung with trophies of my lovers gone when writing:

His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
 
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

(Ode to Melancholy (http://www.bartleby.com/101/628.html))



Kevin Cryan





Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 18.01.16 at 20:20
Clive James: ‘Steven Seagal restores himself through aikido training. I have tried it and it works’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/09/clive-james-wordplay-life-film)  

The writer considers whether wordplay can ever be considered witty, even when one’s life might depend on it, in real life as much as in film

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Harrison Ford in The Fugitive: ‘The bit I liked best was when he stitches himself up.’ Photograph: Channel 5





Quote:
I fell ill, I have been interested in watching actors repair themselves on screen. The other night I was accidentally watching Harrison Ford in The Fugitive (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/may/13/the-fugitive-new-sequel-coming) for about the 10th time, and once again the bit I liked best was when he stitches himself up, so that he is ready once again to run away from the relentlessly barking Tommy Lee Jones. Mark Wahlberg needs the help of Kate Mara when extracting a bullet from himself in Shooter (http://www.theguardian.com/film/movie/117802/shooter). I thus award him fewer points, because the essential thing is to get well on your own.

I even give points to actors who don’t do self-surgery, but merely return themselves to a high state of training. Sylvester Stallone has to operate on himself in Rambo First Blood (http://www.theguardian.com/film/movie/138133/first-blood), but he rescues himself from slob status in the first Rocky (http://www.theguardian.com/film/movie/116745/rocky.balboa) movie just by running around Philadelphia every day, until....






read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/09/clive-james-wordplay-life-film)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 18.01.16 at 20:30
Clive James: ‘Having scarcely left home since winter began, I hobbled to the barber ’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/16/clive-james-non-judgmental-about-poetry)


En route, our writer stumbles across four wandering Moldavian jazz musicians


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'Long ago, I went mad for Django Reinhardt And The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France.’ Photograph: William Gottlieb/Redferns



Quote:


..........


Having scarcely left my house since winter began, I was in need of a haircut. What hair I have left on my head is sparse, but it was getting long, and one of the last things I want to do before my death is look like Howard Hughes before his. So I hobbled the few hundred yards to the barber’s shop, and afterwards continued hobbling into town, to check out the bookshops.

Temporarily stationed in front of Boots were four wandering Moldavian jazz musicians who filled the air with the kind of contrapuntal intricacy that Jaap Blonk can only dream of. Long ago, I went mad for Django Reinhardt And The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it_JlVlR8JQ). This bunch could have called themselves The Quartet Of The Hot Club Of The Carpathians. The short, stout clarinettist was a wonder: he had that rare knack of sticking to the melody even as he sailed off into the unknown. It’s my favourite quality in any work of art: the framework participates in the skein of grace.




read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/16/clive-james-non-judgmental-about-poetry)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 23.01.16 at 10:58
Clive James: ‘If I were a pop star, I’d sing like Johnny Cash’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/23/clive-james-my-life-as-a-pop-star)
There was a song Cash sang near the end of his life that I now listen to often, near the end of mine


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Johnny Cash. Photograph: Redferns


Quote:
David Bowie (http://www.theguardian.com/music/davidbowie)’s singing voice was so sweetly beautiful that he sounded interesting whatever he sang. Roy Orbison (http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/dec/04/roy-orbison-rocks-backpages) was in the same category, with the additional appeal, to my mind at least, that he wasn’t concerning himself with intergalactic sexual ambiguity. But in my own career as a pop star, which has always taken place exclusively inside my head, I am blessed with the voice of Johnny Cash (http://www.theguardian.com/music/johnnycash): not sweet, not beautiful, but with the tone of command, so listeners are held captive even when they are already held captive, in Folsom prison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folsom_State_Prison).

There was a song Cash sang near the end of his life that I now listen to often, near the end of mine. It’s called Hurt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc). The words are bleak, but his phrasing lends them majesty. When he sings about “My empire of dirt”, he seems to be saying that his life has come to nothing, but we know that he can’t be right, or he wouldn’t sound like that. It’s an untrained voice, but regret has brought depth to it

.......



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/23/clive-james-my-life-as-a-pop-star)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 30.01.16 at 09:46
Clive James: ‘Jeremy Corbyn is a student at heart’   (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/30/clive-james-corbyn-trident-war-and-peace-students)

Students seem to be convinced that if they talk long enough, they can save the world for justice. I was one of them once, and perhaps I was nicer then

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Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Getty Images


Quote:
For his plan to retain Trident submarines but subtract the nuclear warheads from them, Jeremy Corbyn has been mocked (http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/jan/18/national-newspapers-blast-jeremy-corbyns-third-way-over-trident),but perhaps should be praised. His scheme would fit a pattern in which Britain has aircraft carriers but no aircraft to go on them; and it would be another step towards keeping guns but banning bullets, thus to rule out war as a national policy. I admire the way his principles are uninhibited by reason. I also like his beard, which reminds me of one of the beards I grew at various times in my life when I wished to prove I was still a student, even though the years had passed. Corbyn is a student at heart. I was part of the press corps that followed Michael Foot’s kamikaze 1983 general election campaign, and I recognise the look. Foot didn’t have the beard, but he had the same eyes, glittering with goodness.

No doubt the students who want to discuss the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jan/15/oxford-students-cecil-rhodes-statue-removed) have that same sparkling gaze. They are good people, and he, they have correctly decided, was a thug. But should a cull of statues according to criteria of political acceptability be encouraged?

.......



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/30/clive-james-corbyn-trident-war-and-peace-students)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Revelator on 01.02.16 at 19:41
The Corbyn article has so far racked up nearly 3,000 comments--many of the foaming-at-the-mouth type...

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.02.16 at 09:42
Clive James: ‘Am I convincing in the role of Bob Geldof?’
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/06/lord-weidenfeld-robert-carter-climate-change-age-death)

At a charity event, instead of just saying, ‘Give us your money’, I recited from my Dante translation


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Bob Geldof and Midge Ure pictured in London during the recording of the Band Aid single Do They Know It’s Christmas? Photograph: Larry Ellis/Getty Images



Quote:

People that I hoped would be there for ever have begun to vanish. Lord Weidenfeld (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/20/publishing-giant-george-weidenfeld-dies-aged-96) was never my publisher, but he took a flattering interest in my work, almost as if he had read it. He hadn’t, of course, he was far too busy: but in every conversation I had with him, he lavished on me a verbal catalogue of authors he thought I should chase up. He had the most magic bookshelves I ever saw, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that his collected Shakespeare was a signed copy. His gusto and gift for making people feel important turned even the most fleeting social encounter into an artistic event. The obituary in Der Spiegel (http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/lord-george-weidenfeld-der-oberlord-des-westens-nachruf-a-1073070.html) got him exactly right: it said that he could make a small occasion into a great experience. “This is the way I was always meant to live,” he once told me, “sitting in a Vienna cafe surrounded by poets and intellectuals.” We were in an open-air bar in Italy, and there was nobody there but the two of us.

But at least Weidenfeld had a long life.The Australian scientist Bob Carter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Carter) died far too young. The climate change orthodoxy can be a tough proposition to be sceptical about if you mind being accused of betraying ..........





read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/06/lord-weidenfeld-robert-carter-climate-change-age-death)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 13.02.16 at 08:43
Clive James: ‘My granddaughter’s school was connected by video to the International Space Station' (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/13/clive-james-tim-peake-international-space-station)

Now when she and I ask each other questions, both of us pause before answering. It’s a space conversation


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Tim Peake takes a selfie in space. Photograph: Tim Peake/PA



Quote:
Too suddenly gone, Sir Terry Wogan (http://www.theguardian.com/media/terry-wogan) was the most charming after-dinner speaker I ever heard, partly because his outrageous jokes were delivered in such a civilised voice. I suppose Russell Brand (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/russell-brand) would like to sound like that too, but you have to be born to it, which probably means being born in Ireland. Guiltily, I have been wondering if Wogan would have preferred to hang around a bit, rather than being taken so quickly. With his well-stocked mind, he could have used the extra time well.

But there’s something to be said for a snappy exit. For one thing, it saves you from the blog trolls. Recently, I had the temerity to question whether Jeremy Corbyn’s idea for a Trident submarine fleet without nuclear warheads was quite wise (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/30/clive-james-corbyn-trident-war-and-peace-students), and suddenly his fans were writing in by the thousand. Only one of them instructed me to drop dead immediately, but there were several who asked a question that can be summed up as: “If David Bowie can go quietly, why can’t you?”

I understand their impatience, because I sometimes share it, especially in a week that features three separate trips to the hospital, one of them for the lung function clinic in which I have to half-swallow the mouthguard of a plastic tube and breathe out with full force. The force is never sufficient ..........





read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/13/clive-james-tim-peake-international-space-station)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 20.02.16 at 09:29
Clive James: ‘Leslie Nielsen made a gun of his fingers and shot me. I shot back’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/20/clive-james-shakespeare-tempest-leslie-nielsen-film)

In my career as a television interviewer, Nielsen was up there with William Shatner as the funniest man I ever met

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Nielsen’s first starring role was in Forbidden Planet. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features




Quote:
I’ve been reading The Tempest again. I suppose that if Shakespeare were writing it now, he would have to call it The Extreme Weather Event, but in those days the language was in better shape. No poetry has ever been more beautiful than Prospero’s “Our revels now are ended” speech, which is likely to ring bells for any old man getting set to quit the world. Caliban, however, sounds so like an internet troll that he could easily be updated into a modern version.
It’s not necessarily a doomed task. Back in 1956, Forbidden Planet, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y4crGU7dkg) one of the first big-budget sci-fi movies, drew on the characters of The Tempest to thicken the plot. I saw it several times in a row, and not just because Anne Francis as Altaira looked so fetching in the short tunic that was probably standard wear for post-pubescent females millions of miles from Earth. Only just post-pubescent myself, I didn’t realise that Altaira was based on Miranda and that her father, Dr Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), was based on Prospero.
The ideas of the movie were too fascinating to need the help of a literary context. The planet’s invisible beast – it made hideous footprints in the dust as it came thumping on inexorably to attack our boys – was a brilliant notion. None of them suspected that it was their own id, multiplied in its power by the machinery of the vanished Krell! I didn’t need to know that the beast was an updated Caliban ..........



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/20/clive-james-shakespeare-tempest-leslie-nielsen-film)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 27.02.16 at 09:22
Cive James: ‘None of us realised that the bushfires and floods were climate change’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/27/clive-james-bushfire-flood-climate-change-australia)


At our weatherboard infants’ school in the bush, the memorably severe Miss Cashman had to get us to safety when the bushfire came


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Photograph: Keith Pakenham/AFP/Getty Images



Quote:
Our poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, writes poems that must be blessings for schoolteachers, because almost every line has a splinter of brilliance in it, and even the most resistant pupil would notice a fragment of language jumping into life. Her poem called Mrs Midas evokes the difficulties for a wife whose husband turns things to gold when he touches them. They can’t sleep together, so she puts him in the spare room, which he turns into “the tomb of Tutankhamun”. What young mind would not be captured by an idea as dazzling as that? I know, the young mind of the boy at the back of the class who has just set fire to his desk. He’s a kind of Midas himself, but whatever he touches turns to chaos. It’s always rude to be optimistic on behalf of other people, and the teacher is facing difficulties every day that leave Mrs Midas looking genuinely well off, instead of just weighed down by useless wealth.
At our weatherboard one-room infants’ school in the bush, the memorably severe Miss Cashman had to get us to safety when the bushfire came, as it did every year, invariably threatening to burn down the building. She had a gift for discipline but no gift for tact. She gave me a note for my mother, saying that I didn’t have to come to school the next day because it had been largely destroyed by fire. My mother, once she had been assured that I had not been in danger, recovered in a matter of hours.
..........


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/27/clive-james-bushfire-flood-climate-change-australia)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.03.16 at 08:38
Clive James: in the matter of how women are treated, Australia is the reverse of a stupid country (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/05/clive-james-on-australian-journalism)

Australia’s journalists are still trying to marshal the communications skills to cope with the continuing story about the teenage Melbourne jihadist

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‘How could anyone have emerged from the Australian school system believing a kangaroo could be induced to bounce in the right direction?’ Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images



Quote:

Out in Australia, which can be safely regarded as the premier laboratory for developments in the English language, there has been a newspaper report about a class in communications. The class took place on a bus, and the journalist who conducted it was quoted as saying the following: “Our friend Danielle narrated the experience of losing her virginity to us all on the bus.” Did she really say it that way, or did a subeditor help?


Either way, I fear that when the current generation of journalists in Australia have got through with teaching the next generation how to communicate, any journalists left over who still know how to say what they mean will be labelled rightwing. Among my own regular trolls, it is the Australians who are most likely, whenever I stress the indispensability of punctuation and grammar, to call me a mouthpiece of the war-criminal Tory establishment.
.



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/05/clive-james-on-australian-journalism)


Kevin Cryan



Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 12.03.16 at 11:10
Clive James: Chris Rock proved satirical comedy is at its strongest when anger is expressed through reason
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/12/clive-james-oscars-climate-change-racism)

For all I know, in order to act like Leonardo DiCaprio you have to believe you are ‘fighting climate change’ when you fly by private jet


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Chris Rock hosted the Oscars with ‘vaulting eloquence’. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP


Quote:

Two weeks ago I wrote half a line hinting at my belief – no doubt senile and irrational – that the allegedly forthcoming global climate change disaster might still be up for discussion (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/27/clive-james-bushfire-flood-climate-change-australia). Hundreds of objectors immediately surfaced through the web, many of them trolls. If I were out to count the percentage of violently angry people among the internet population, it would be easier than fishing with grenades.

Several of these choleric experts correctly accused me of not being a scientist. My only field of expertise is the use and abuse of language; but a trained ear for empty rhetoric is what tells me that most of them aren’t scientists, either. People who call carbon dioxide “carbon” know even less about science than I do. Their anger, I suspect, is driven by belief rather than knowledge.

Let’s be fair and say that people can harbour an irrational belief and still be rational in other respects. That’s what I would like my critics to think about me, so I strive to think the same about them; and anyway, it takes that kind of generosity to fit the historic facts. Sir Isaac Newton (https://www.theguardian.com/science/isaac-newton)was rational about celestial mechanics, but quite nutty about numerology


..........




read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/12/clive-james-oscars-climate-change-racism)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 19.03.16 at 10:52
Clive James: I got used to Hollywood, but never got used to the teeth (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/19/clive-james-dentist-teeth-white-american-ideal)


Americans want their teeth to prove that eternal youth is a social obligation

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Photograph: Holger Scheibe/Corbis




Quote:
This winter I’ve hardly stirred out of doors. I can’t walk far and it takes me two minutes to get out of a taxi. But this week I had a dental appointment. I went to it, wondering why: for someone in my condition, keeping a date with the dentist is a testimony to one’s faith in doctors. You have to bet that the stuff the doctors do will give you enough extra time to show off the stuff that the dentist does. What do you want for the 10 minutes you’ve got left, a smile like George Clooney (https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/4/29/1398767011832/George-Clooney-at-the-Gra-011.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=88e69f262c28471f40fd34a6a5e1bedb)’s? Trigger warning: there will be teethist remarks in this essay.

I’m lucky with my dentist. He plays good jazz records in the background and his hygienist, when she’s got my mouth jacked open, asks only simple questions. “Did you see Skyfall (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/oct/25/skyfall-review) on TV last night?” she asks. “Ngh,” I reply. Her assistant asks harder questions (“What did you think of Javier Bardem’s teeth?”), but is starting to realise that a strangled cry might mean that I am croaking. Basically, nowadays, I don’t mind a visit to the dentist, whereas when I was young I minded like hell. But even now I can’t see the point of the big white set of American teeth.

The Americans can’t see the point of anything else. They want their mouths to prove that eternal youth is a social obligation.



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/19/clive-james-dentist-teeth-white-american-ideal)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 26.03.16 at 10:36
Clive James: Lady Gaga’s Star-Spangled Banner had oomph – then she added a woo-hoo-hoo
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/26/nicolae-ceausescu-elena-palace-open-vulgarity-lady-gaga-superbowl-carpenters)



To have the authentic gift of vulgarity, you need to have a talent for spoiling your own effects


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Lady Gaga at Super Bowl 50. Photograph: Christopher Polk/Getty Images



Quote:
In Bucharest, the vast palace once occupied by Nicolae Ceausescu (http://www.theguardian.com/world/nicolae-ceausescu) and his deadly wife Elena has been opened to the public (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-35783214), so that the common people of Romania may now tour the strained opulence of its rooms and contemplate how their erstwhile leaders robbed them. I watched the news footage, but was less disgusted than I had hoped. Confidently expecting bad taste at the level of Saddam Hussein’s golden toilets, I had to admit that the general effect was merely boring, like being led from one antique dealer’s warehouse to another without the benefit of lunch.
It was all her, of course, but it could have been worse. Only the indoor swimming pool attained a memorable wrongness, adding a chlorinated echo to the laboriously grouted display of polychromatic tiles. Everything else hovered blandly in the gap between plush and tat. Elena was a snake, but she didn’t have the authentic gift of vulgarity.


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/26/nicolae-ceausescu-elena-palace-open-vulgarity-lady-gaga-superbowl-carpenters)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 02.04.16 at 09:44
Clive James: ‘In my condition, you have to go on throwing a double six just to stay in the game’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/02/clive-james-another-spring-i-never-expected-to-see)


I’ve been making plans for yet another in the string of springs that I never expected to see

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‘Daffodils were being joined by searching bursts of crocuses.’ Photograph: Geoffrey Swaine/Rex/Shutterstock


Quote:

In the oncology clinic at Addenbrooke’s (http://www.cuh.org.uk/addenbrookes-hospital), my latest blood test went pretty well, but I got a bit down in the mouth anyway, because for someone in my condition, even a good result is a reminder that you have to go on throwing a double six to stay in the game. In the cab home, however, gloom was soon dispelled by the sight of the flowers in the lawns of the college “backs”, so called to help foreign visitors grasp the Cambridge concept of a back yard that looks better than anybody else’s front yard.

Some of the daffodils had been on display for weeks, but now they had tripled their numbers and were being joined by searching bursts of crocuses, erupting like Byzantine tracer through the grass. Or perhaps Botticelli’s Primavera girl had just gone dancing through, or Matilda from Dante’s Earthly Paradise. Or perhaps they were just crocuses. Good of them, though, to arrive just in time for me to notice.

Back at home, I began to make my plans for yet another in the string of springs that I never expected to see.


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/02/clive-james-another-spring-i-never-expected-to-see)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 09.04.16 at 08:56
Clive James: ‘Finally we knew that Hugh Laurie was evil’
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/09/cuteness-clive-james-pride-and-prejudice)

......and not just a friend of Stephen Fry

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Hugh Laurie in The Night Manager. Photograph: Des Willie/BBC/The Ink Factory



Quote:

My granddaughter has departed for a holiday in the country, and I am left in charge of her two gerbils. They live in a gerbilarium, a two-storey box full of the gear they need to eat, sleep and run. They run, one at a time, in a wheel that rattles. Gerbil Gables, as I call their dwelling, sits in a corner of my kitchen, near the doors to my garden. As I write this, I can hear the rattling wheel.

Gerbils rate high for cuteness. I am reminded of the ultra-little Philippine tarsier, except that the tarsier spends most of the time sleeping instead of running. Generally, I have always been suspicious of cuteness. In the Hermitage in Leningrad in 1976, I saw a tiny silver Fabergé train that had been presented to one of the children of the tsar. It looked too precious to play with. Delicacy can be overdone. If gerbils slept like tarsiers, I would like them less. As things are, these two might as well be on nandralone: they pound that wheel until it threatens to disintegrate. One minds cuteness less if it hangs tough.

But tough cuteness must be credible. In the movies, it hardly ever is. Watching the lovely Elizabeth Debicki in The Night Manager (http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/feb/22/the-night-manager-review-bbc-le-carre), I just knew that she would end up getting tortured. It had to happen so that we would finally believe that Hugh Laurie was evil, and not just a friend of Stephen Fry. But the torture inflicted nothing except a tiny mark just below her cheek. One recalls how, in Salt (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/aug/19/salt-review), Angelina Jolie emerged from ages of North Korean torture with a slightly split upper lip.



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/09/cuteness-clive-james-pride-and-prejudice)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 16.04.16 at 10:24
Clive James: ‘Bob Geldof dropped the F-bomb in his show about Yeats’

(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/16/clive-james-118-twins-gone-by-now)

He was the perfect sonic fit

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‘Geldof speaks with such precise intelligence that he brings out the strength of the great poet’s verbal music.’ Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA



Quote:
Trigger warning: this essay contains heteronormative material. As a sick man whose internal clock is so out of whack that it ticks in no other direction except towards silence, I am often up late in search of junk TV shows and bad movies that will lull me to sleep. In that condition I am grateful even for Steven Seagal (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/steven-seagal) movies, some of which could lull a charging herd of wildebeest. But there is a danger, when clicking among the scrapyard channels, that I will be suddenly confronted with those ephebic 118 twins (https://static-secure.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Money/Pix/pictures/2008/10/22/118460.jpg) who run around, pause, pose and run around again.
Full of benevolence in my declining hours, I want to see nobody done out of a job, but I have to say that I had been expecting these two to be gone by now. Instead, they are still there. Only last night, while Steven Seagal was preparing to beat up an army of yakuza, the 118 twins were there again, running, pausing and posing. In one of these pausing poses they both pointed their bottoms at me. Imagine something totally uninteresting and then double it.
........



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/16/clive-james-118-twins-gone-by-now)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 23.04.16 at 09:44
Clive James: ‘A misprint in my new book made me feel I was contemplating the ruins of 60 years’ work’   (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/23/clive-james-misprint-poem)

Getting things out of proportion is an occupational hazard for anyone whose occupation is over
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‘Tomorrow might be another day to shave my bear.’ Photograph: Mike Korostelev/Rex/Shutterstock




Quote:
It was either in the teleprompter script or in the crawler along the bottom of the screen – probably the latter – that NBC News conveyed the following information: “Isis fighters are shaving bears and hiding in civilian homes to avoid airstrikes.” (https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/698522536057925632/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)The reason I can’t be absolutely certain is that I read the line quoted somewhere in the blogosphere, where mistakes made by the traditional media are a constant source of glee. A satirical website with a staff of two young male deadbeats and a woman in a hat can thus rejoice in ridiculing a television outlet with a budget of millions.

And so the shaved bears pass on into history. The day might come when some unusually clueless scientific group is inspired to publish a landmark paper about the shaved bears (“Climate change makes more bears lose hair, says new study”) but it’s more likely that the misprint will continue to be seen as a mistake. It’s the best that any writer can hope for: that the misprint will be flagrant enough to look like one, instead of subtly changing his meaning.
........



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/23/clive-james-misprint-poem)

Kevin Cryan

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51i9vHhW3PL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Collected Poems: 1958 - 2015 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Collected-Poems-1958-Clive-James/dp/1509812407) by Clive James (Amazon)

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 30.04.16 at 10:51
Clive James: ‘Ben Affleck has overcome the handicap of his absurd good looks’
 
(http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/apr/30/clive-james-on-ben-affleck-robert-redford-alan-arkin)
‘Redford got so bored by his own beauty that he would go off and direct something. Affleck probably has the same motivation, but he has a lot more directorial flair’
http://www.peteatkin.com/images/affleck850.jpg
Ben Affleck in Argo. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar



Quote:

My copy of the 2012 Ben Affleck (http://www.theguardian.com/film/benaffleck) movie Argo (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/nov/08/argo-review) lay around unwatched for a long time. A few nights ago, I fought my way in through the shrink-wrap and took a look. It revealed Affleck to be a terrific director as well as a fine actor.

That latter quality was probably the reason I had left the shrink-wrap intact for so long. In Pearl Harbor (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2001/jun/01/1), Affleck had overcome the handicap of his absurd good looks and done a creditable job of bringing to life his role as a brave young pilot, instead of doing what the script deserved and setting fire to it before placing himself under citizen’s arrest for having signed the contract in the first place.

The movie was such a dog’s dinner that I couldn’t stop blaming Affleck for being in it. Though he had acted superbly as a has-been B-movie superhero in Hollywoodland (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2006/nov/24/benaffleck.drama), I still had to be persuaded at gunpoint to watch Gone Baby Gone (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2008/jun/06/drama.thriller), which proved that he had immense talent as a director. But, for me, Affleck was still the too-handsome actor who had been in that awful movie where a thousand Japanese aircraft tried to destroy Kate Beckinsale (http://www.theguardian.com/film/Player/Player_Page/0,4159,45359,00.html)’s career. The only reason I finally took a look at Argo was that I was planning to write an article about  Alan Arkin (http://www.theguardian.com/film/alan-arkin).

Take a look at Arkin in Argo (so my article might start), and ........



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/apr/30/clive-james-on-ben-affleck-robert-redford-alan-arkin)

Kevin Cryan

« Edited for oversize image -- SJB »

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 07.05.16 at 09:50
Clive James: ‘If Victoria Wood had caught us moping over her death, she might have been quite strict’
  (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/07/clive-james-on-victoria-wood-death)
Wood’s central power was an infallible ear for the nuances of the national language

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‘Victoria Wood was a genius who wanted to turn everyone else in the studio into a genius, too.’ Photograph: Mike Marsland/WireImage




Quote:

In taking so long to say something about Victoria Wood’s early death (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/apr/20/victoria-wood-dies-aged-62-comedian), I fear that I’m making an entrance at the wrong time, like Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTznu59InY). Not that Mrs Overall was ever afraid of getting her timing wrong. That was the whole point of her. No amount of evidence that she was always arriving at the wrong moment with a tray of tea that nobody wanted could ever stop her doing it again.

Binge-watching the whole delirious archive of Acorn Antiques from the first bungled moment to the last, I’ve just noticed that Mrs Overall is almost always on screen somewhere. If not advancing with the tea tray, she’s hovering somewhere near the back of the set, poking her head out from behind an antique. She’s a mobile fixture.

Victoria, on the other hand, is not often in the shop, except in spirit. She was like that. I knew her when she was just starting off, and it was clear even then that she was a whole new kind of star, with so much creative imagination ..........





read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/07/clive-james-on-victoria-wood-death)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 14.05.16 at 10:21
Clive James: ‘I can’t mock Donatella Versace, because I am no stranger to the plastic surgeon myself’

  (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/14/clive-james-met-gala-plastic-surgery-misprint-poem)
There is the disturbing consideration that, with proper planning, I could have been turning myself into someone better looking
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‘I finally realise who Donatella Versace has been trying to turn herself into…’ Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP





Quote:

At the recent Met Gala in New York, all the stellar people were dressed to kill (http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/gallery/2016/may/02/met-ball-2016-red-carpet-photos-celebrity-fashion), and as I scan the gallery of red carpet photographs, I finally realise who Donatella Versace (http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/versace) has been trying to turn herself into with her successive bouts of facial alteration. Now, the piecemeal transformation completed, she makes you wonder how Mike Tyson can look so good in a ballgown.

I can’t mock her, because in recent times I am no stranger to the plastic surgeon myself. Every time a carcinoma is removed from somewhere on my head, the hole gets plugged with a graft from somewhere else on my body. Apart from the prospect of ending up upside down, there is also the disturbing consideration that, with proper planning, I could have been turning myself into someone better looking. Bradley Cooper (http://www.theguardian.com/film/bradley-cooper) was at the gala, too, and looking great.

There was a time when I thought Tom Berenger (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000297/) was the ideal of male beauty, with a perfect shy smile. In that strangely lovely thriller Someone To Watch Over Me (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094008/), when he and Mimi Rogers kissed each other, it was like the meeting of true mouths. But for later roles he thought his mouth needed surgical enhancement,




read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/14/clive-james-met-gala-plastic-surgery-misprint-poem)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 21.05.16 at 09:56
Clive James: ‘It is not yet against the law to be frivolous…’   (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/21/clive-james-climate-blindness-loretta-lynch-attorney-general-fossil-fuels)

…In the US, it’s a reason to hand names to the FBI
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The US attorney general, Loretta Lynch. Photograph: Patsy Lynch/Rex/Shutterstock




Quote:

Last week there were several sunny days in succession, arousing hopes that a teasingly hesitant spring might finally be arriving. A few birds showed up. One neat little bird that perched for a full minute in my maple tree was identified by a bird-wise friend as a coal tit. Provocatively, I suggested that, in view of the current hostility to anyone still evincing tolerance of fossil fuels, it might be better to call it a renewables tit. The bird flew off and my expert friend went home, leaving me trembling at the daring of my own heresy.

One of my most easily angered critics (https://mobile.twitter.com/GDRNorminton) has been posting tweets, railing against my “climate blindness”. Already hard to please by my work in general, he says that the occasional remarks in which I flaunt my “science denial” have tested his patience “to the limit”. I am left to guess what he might do if his patience is tested beyond the limit. If he shows up at my door in a tank, I could try engaging him in a discussion of the renewables tit I just saw in my garden. Or I could try calling the police.

The latter option might still be possible in Britain, where it is not yet against the law to be frivolous about the oncoming disaster




read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/21/clive-james-climate-blindness-loretta-lynch-attorney-general-fossil-fuels)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 28.05.16 at 09:27
Clive James: ‘Fixing my maple tree will cost a few bob. I’d write a poem, but it won’t make any money’
(https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/28/clive-james-australian-poetry-les-murray-grants-awards)

Even the best poets would be in career trouble without the occasional grant or award
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Clive James photographed next to his maple tree last year. Photograph: Alicia Canter for the Guardian



Quote:

My maple tree, about which I wrote a poem saying it would outlive me (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/16/clive-james-new-poem-japanese-maple-terminally-ill-author), is suddenly half dead and soon might be fully so. Yesterday, looking like a demoralised triffid, it was taken away in a van to a clinic for sick maple trees. Its chances are not great. Meanwhile, squadrons of trolls are preparing their epigrams about my presumptuous misreading of the future. Embarrassing? Totally.

But having guessed wrong about my immediate death, I must be careful about forecasting the same fate for the tree. Perhaps it can be fixed. The treatment, however, will cost a few bob. I have considered writing another poem on the subject, but poems don’t make much money. This fact is well known in my native Australia, where the Council for the Arts (http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/) is a haven for progressive intellectuals self-tasked with the mission to redistribute the money of taxpayers, who might waste it, among creative “communities”, which are sure to. Careful provision is made for the community of poets.

Since the market for poetry is so small, even the best poets would be in career trouble without the odd grant or award. I have never had much official help myself, but I got the beginnings of a free education, so have nothing to complain about. And anyway, most council grants go to institutions, not individual artists.



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/28/clive-james-australian-poetry-les-murray-grants-awards)

Kevin Cryan



Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 04.06.16 at 11:27
Clive James: ‘This carcinoma was starting to look like the alien that erupts from John Hurt’s chest’
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/04/clive-james-skin-cancer-treatment-age)
When we were kids in quest of a tan, we would lie around forever being cooked by ultra-violet rays, and the results show up around now in the form of skin cancers

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Alien, 1979. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar/20th Century



Quote:

At 4.30 in the morning, I woke with a tongue bigger than my mouth. I couldn’t swallow anything, not even water. But I could breathe, and the last time something like this happened, it went away by itself. So, although I felt as if I were swallowing a pillow, I decided not to bother anybody until a decent hour.

By 7.30, it felt as if I were swallowing two pillows and a duvet, so I phoned my daughter, who lives next door. “Dough neeb do banigh,” I explained, “bud I migh neeb do go do hothbidal.” She helped me pack a shoulder-bag in case I needed to stay in.

At the Addenbrooke’s (http://www.cuh.org.uk/addenbrookes-hospital)A&E unit, I was glad to have her with me as a translator when I told the doctors on duty that one of the drugs in my bag was vital and that I hadn’t been able to take my morning dose yet. Try saying that with two pillows and a duvet in your mouth, plus a soft sofa. But eventually the intravenous drugs worked my tongue loose, and after about nine hours we were going back the other way. The whole family, including my granddaughter’s dog, was waiting at home to tell me in turn that if it happened again, I should yell for help straight off.

The next day I spent resting up for, guess what, a trip to Addenbrooke’s, where I was due to be examined by the dermatologists prior to.............




read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/04/clive-james-skin-cancer-treatment-age)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 11.06.16 at 09:50
Clive James: ‘Is it time to retrain as an actor?’
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/11/clive-james-recovery-after-medical-emergency-change-profession)
Should I change profession to something useful? Does the same thought ever occur to, say, Bruce Willis
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Does Bruce Willis ever wonder whether it is too late to train as a doctor? Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox




Quote:

Slow to recover after my recent medical emergency, I have spent several days on my back pondering what life is for. Is it for doing more of what I have already done, or should I change profession to something useful? Does the same thought ever occur to, say, Bruce Willis (https://www.theguardian.com/film/brucewillis)? As he changes his vest for the next scene in A Good Day to Die Hard Again or Die Hard With Pursed Lips, is he wondering whether it is too late to train as a doctor? At which point I, having been trained as a journalist, check up to make sure that he was not trained as a doctor. If he was, I would need to change the previous sentence to have him wondering about whether it was too late to train as a fireman.
Restlessly I remember The Towering Inferno, in which Steve McQueen played a fireman: presumably from choice, possibly out of the exhausted artist’s deep longing to do something useful....



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/11/clive-james-recovery-after-medical-emergency-change-profession)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 18.06.16 at 09:37
Clive James: ‘The English language is under siege from tone-deaf activists’
(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/18/clive-james-guard-english-language-grammar-blogs-web)
Anybody who says ‘IMHO’ is no more humble than Saddam Hussein and Imelda Marcos dancing the tango
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‘The standard dead white male language of Jane Austen is now being assailed by piddling abbreviations.’ Photograph: Hulton Getty




Quote:

In Australia there is some outfit going by the name of the Productivity Commissio (http://www.pc.gov.au/)n that calls books “cultural externalities”. Speaking as someone who, when well, writes cultural externalities for a living, I think it might be more efficient, from the productivity angle, if we could go on calling them books. But I admit that this is merely my opinion, not settled science. If I were advancing this opinion in the form of a tweet or comment, I could insert the acronym IMO, so proving that the standard dead white male language of Jane Austen is now being assailed not only by expansive phrases from institutions that wish to sound more important, but also by piddling abbreviations from individuals who wish to sound pressed for time.

Admittedly, some of those individuals wish to sound humble, too, and might even be so; but saying IMO is a counterproductive way of conveying that impression, because we already assume that your opinion is only your opinion......



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/18/clive-james-guard-english-language-grammar-blogs-web)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 25.06.16 at 10:47
Clive James: ‘In many ways, when I was young, I was as dumb as Omar Mateen’ (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/25/clive-james-orlando-terror-attack-australia-chauvinist)


His repellent selfies reminded me of when I tried to convince my bathroom mirror that I was Elvis Presley

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A memorial close to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images



Quote:

The sun is up, and still I struggle with the column that I usually complete before midnight. Feeling I should say at least something about the disaster in Orlando (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/orlando-terror-attack), I can’t get started. “A writer,” Thomas Mann (https://www.theguardian.com/books/thomasmann) once said, “is someone for whom writing is harder than it is for other people.” Yes, but surely it’s not meant to be this hard.

My first thought on the subject is so tricky to write down that the words refuse to connect, but here goes. It might be a waste of time hoping to make the next Omar Mateen tolerant of gay people, or less confused about possibly being gay himself, when he has not yet grasped the much more elementary principle that a fit of pique is not a sufficient excuse for mowing down a hundred strangers.

The west, I fear, will never find out how Mateen didn’t learn this until it starts asking itself how Clive James (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/clive-james) did learn it. In many respects, when I was young, I was fully as dumb as Mateen. Several of his acutely repellent selfies remind me of when I tried to convince my bathroom mirror that I was Elvis Presley. At the local Presbyterian church, I was in distant love with at least two of the girls in the choir and, like most Australian males at the time, I grew up as a chauvinist. Eventually, after moving to Britain, I caught up with.....


read on (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/25/clive-james-orlando-terror-attack-australia-chauvinist)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 02.07.16 at 09:53
Clive James: ‘After the death of Jo Cox, I found myself wondering if I hadn't lived too long' (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/02/jo-cox-violence-against-women-art-no-refuge-clive-james)


When I was six, I was the only man in the house – so how could I defend my mother if the bad men showed up? Little did I know I had a long life ahead in which I would hear about the bad men almost every day

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Poster boards of Jo Cox at a memorial event in London. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images



Quote:

After the death of Jo Cox at the hands of Thomas Mair, I found myself comparing two photographs and wondering if I hadn’t lived too long. One was of Jo Cox: radiant, intelligent, with no limit to the good she might have done. The other was of Thomas Mair. Here was a face with nothing in it except an unspoken question: do you really want to go on living in a world where a twerp like me can take the life of a woman like her?

After a few hours’ thought, I decided not to quit. But it was no easy decision. Early in my life, I discovered that the mere thought of a woman being at the mercy of male violence put me in a panic. Possibly this had something to do with the fact that I was the only male in the house and just six years old, so how could I defend my mother if the bad men showed up? After I got a Ned Kelly cap pistol for Christmas I felt a bit better, but not a lot.

Little did I know that I had a long life stretching ahead in which I would hear about the bad men almost every day, and always with the same despair. The arts were my refuge. Big mistake. Just recently, writing an article about the great European works of art (http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/waking-up-in-europa/), I put in a sentence about Bernini’s sculpture of his lovely young mistress Costanza Bonarelli, and I’m still wondering ....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/02/jo-cox-violence-against-women-art-no-refuge-clive-james)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 09.07.16 at 09:58
Clive James: 'These boots say: I am not Taylor Swift'
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/09/clive-james-glastonbury-taylor-swift-chvrches-lauren-mayberry)


At Glastonbury, Lauren Mayberry hopped and floated in a skein of her delicious melodies, a tangle of white muslin being agitated in an invisible washing machine


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Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches at Glastonbury. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock



Quote:

Of the world’s two top gruesome events ever to have taken place in a sea of mud, the Battle of Passchendaele (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/jul/01/military.davidsmith)is outranked by the Glastonbury festival (https://www.theguardian.com/music/glastonbury) only because the latter has happened more than once. But Glastonbury has the compensatory charm of the rite of passage. Young people learn things there. Queueing for the loos, they get a glimpse of what life is going to be like one day when they run out of energy. Glastonbury is serious.

Hence Lauren Mayberry (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/nov/30/on-my-radar-lauren-mayberry-cultural-highlights-chvrches)’s work boots. Appearing once again as the up-front voice of Chvrches (https://www.theguardian.com/music/chvrches) (don’t try to pronounce it that way unless you’re Hungarian), young Lauren was as madly ethereal as Kate Bush in her Wuthering Heights outfit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW3gKKiTvjs), back when she was first giving insanity a lyrical dimension. All around the vast stage Lauren hopped and floated in a skein of her delicious melodies, a tangle of white muslin being agitated in an invisible washing machine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-gFzVldAtk). Could any angel be more wildly delicate? To put it another way, could any angel be more wildly delicate while wearing work boots?

The boots were a puzzle until you dug up your old semiotic vocabulary and realised what they were saying on her behalf......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/09/clive-james-glastonbury-taylor-swift-chvrches-lauren-mayberry)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 16.07.16 at 10:26
Clive James: ‘My daydream of being Roger Federer’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/16/clive-james-wimbledon-roger-federer-sue-barker-nostalgia)

It’s more what he can do, and not how gorgeous he looks while doing it, that I so envy. Honest’
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He moves so gracefully and I do not.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images  



Quote:

Deprived by time and circumstances of almost all my strength, I find that my daydreams of being a Wimbledon (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/wimbledon-2016) singles champion divide into two kinds: real and unreal. My daydream of being Roger Federer (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/roger-federer) is unreal, because he moves so gracefully and I do not, and never have. It goes without saying that I could never play like him, either. Of course I couldn’t: the whole point of a daydream is that it lets you do the enviable thing. For the daydream to be real, however, it has to be plausible that it’s you doing it.

My daydream of being Rod Laver (http://www.tennis.com.au/player-profiles/rod-laver) is real, because he, like me, was never an adonis. Pigeon-toed and jug-eared, his image on screen made few women sigh. But that’s exactly what makes my daydream of being Laver so poignantly real. Whenever he hit his famous cross-court running forehand, he could have been me; and the shot seemed all the more uncanny because he himself was an ordinary-looking Aussie bloke. Then, as now, I did all the sighing necessary.

When Federer floats up on to his toes so he can get the racket high enough....




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/16/clive-james-wimbledon-roger-federer-sue-barker-nostalgia)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 23.07.16 at 09:14
Clive James: I've been reliving my years as a TV critic, though this time with adverts

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/23/clive-james-television-adverts-john-cleese-harvey-keitel-sylvester-stallone)

I forget what product this advert sells, and I have seen it about 100 times. Did you hear that, creatives? I have seen your dumb creation over and over, and I still don’t remember what product you’re selling


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Harvey Keitel in one of a series of ads based on scenes from Pulp Fiction. Photograph: cityam



Quote:

In my granddaughter’s Phoenix comic, there is a story with a recurring feature called The Well Of Infinite Gravy. The invisible well is a time tunnel that does double service as a brain scrambler. You fall into it now and come out again some time ago, with your brains on backwards. Or at any rate I do.

This week, I had a bad Infinite Gravy experience when I not only forgot a hospital appointment – something I take pride in not doing – but I spent several evenings compulsively reliving my years as a TV critic. The infinite gravy twist was that I found myself making notes about commercials that get their plots and characters from old movies or TV shows.
Sometimes the actor in the ad was in the original thing, too. John Cleese is in an advert where he attacks his car with the branch of a tree (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9tSN0178Us), just as he so brilliantly did in Fawlty Towers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78b67l_yxUc). But the ad version is not brilliant: Cleese is supposed to be attacking his own car deliberately, not another car by mistake; and.....



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/23/clive-james-television-adverts-john-cleese-harvey-keitel-sylvester-stallone)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 30.07.16 at 13:16
Clive James: ‘It's Boris Johnson's personality that makes him look as if he's been rolled on by a horse’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/30/clive-james-on-boris-johnson)  
The new foreign secretary gave an immediate impression of total dishevelment. But this is as well-groomed as he is ever going to get


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Boris Johnson at the UN security conference in New York. Photograph: Trevor Collens/AFP/Getty Images




Quote:
With four enchanting arms, four enchanting legs and two of the most enchanting faces since Gable met Lombard, the merest glimpse of the hybrid creature known as Hiddleswift (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jun/19/tom-hiddlestone-taylor-swift-match-made-in-heaven-pr-stunt) can be an inspiration if you happen to be immobile, which I more or less am. With my systems of locomotion packing up one after the other, I can just about move if it isn’t hot, but lately it has been hot. Hiddleswift, by contrast, can sometimes walk almost 100 yards before being brought to a halt by the spectacle of a couple of dozen photographers hanging upside down from trees.

This column threatens to be a bit fragmentary this week, because so am I. Not long ago, I missed my usual appointment at Addenbrooke’s to have my immunoglobulin enhanced. The very word sounds as if it is enhanced already, but the important thing the patient has to do is actually get there. A few days ago I did. I got linked into the system, opened my little Oxford Classics collection of George Herbert’s poems and, despite all vows to apply myself, conked out instantly. When I woke up, the TV hanging from the ceiling was saying, but not showing, that John Kerry, arriving at No 10 Downing Street, mistimed his relationship with the front door and got hit in the head (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/jul/19/john-kerry-bumps-his-head-on-door-of-10-downing-street-video).

Eventually,Kerry and Boris were up there on screen with a lectern each (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/jul/19/john-kerry-ive-met-everybody-in-the-world-like-boris-johnson-video), and the contrast was as startling as ever. Kerry, despite the fact that he had just been....



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/30/clive-james-on-boris-johnson)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.08.16 at 11:45
Clive James: 'I won't get to Barry Humphries' new show, but I can tell he’s in total command' (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/06/clive-james-barry-humphries-show)


He is far and away the most learned man I ever met, but can make immediate contact with anyone except the dull
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‘Humphries is a swooping, soaring and demonically chortling reminder that a career can last for ever.’ Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock


Quote:

The career of a genius is all high points, like an angry porcupine. Since I can no longer get any further from my Cambridge house than Addenbrooke’s hospital, I won’t be getting to London to see Barry Humphries (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/barry-humphries) starring in his show about the Weimar era. But I can tell already that he’s in command of every detail. Without doubt he has chosen his venue, the Cadogan theatre, with Oscar Wilde in mind. Wilde had a lot of physical energy and no limit to his social range: he could bring the house down giving a lecture in an American mining camp. Humphries is like that. Far and away he is the most learned man I ever met, but he can make immediate contact with anyone except the dull. I’d love to see the show but I would be too often reminded that the man up there zooming around the stage is 10 years older than I am. So I think I’ll just lie here quietly.

Though Humphries is a swooping, soaring and demonically chortling reminder that a career can last for ever, it’s usually wiser for an ordinary artist to remember that there are limits, and to pick someone out of the near future to carry your flag. ...


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/06/clive-james-barry-humphries-show)

Kevin Cryan



Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 13.08.16 at 09:37
Clive James: ‘my granddaughter has left me to look after Charlie, her pet gerbil’ (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/13/clive-james-granddaughter-look-after-charlie-gerbil)


He goes nowhere except in his rattling wheel, while the whole family are chugging along somewhere in their Range Rover


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 ‘Charlie is making another bid for my attention.’ Photograph: Rex Features



Quote:

Ruthlessly my granddaughter has parked Charlie, her sole surviving gerbil, in my kitchen for a week while she is in France with her parents. Except for Charlie, who goes nowhere except in his rattling wheel, the whole bunch of them, as I write this, are chugging along somewhere in their Range Rover.

As the sole climate sceptic in my entire family structure I have been known to harbour satirical thoughts about global warmists who ride in large FWD vehicles, but as a doting grandfather I make an exception in this case because my granddaughter, though unusually fleet of foot, has a top speed of far less than 154mph. She would thus be ill-equipped to step out of the way if she were walking at the edge of an open road and encountered the young man who was recently clocked at that speed in Suffolk. (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/02/motorist-banned-for-driving-at-staggering-154mph) And if, by good luck, she was in a car when he hit her, I would prefer it to be as big and strong as a Range Rover at least. A Chieftain tank would be even better.

After the young man’s appearance in court, even the spokesman for a road safety charity seemed to have as much trouble as the judge at getting the point....




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/13/clive-james-granddaughter-look-after-charlie-gerbil)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 20.08.16 at 10:03
Clive James: ‘I watched everything at Rio, far into the night, cycle races and gymnastics’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/20/clive-james-watched-everything-rio-gymnasts)
Nothing could beat the women’s gymnastics. The men’s gymnastics almost did, but it was short of women, or one woman: Simone Biles



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Simone Biles performs her beam routine at the Rio Olympics. Photograph: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP




Quote:
I don’t get around much any more, but thanks to the invention of television I have been able to spend another couple of weeks in Rio. Thirty years ago I was filming there and I realised from the first moment that the place had been built to make every human male fantasy either come true or go haywire. On his first day in town, our brilliant young director explained to us all that the secret of dealing with muggers on the beach was to look them in the eye. On his way to the beach he was mugged in the lobby of our hotel.

The hotel was the Copacabana, where Orson Welles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles)had once shacked up with Rita Hayworth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_Hayworth). He too, had been a brilliant young director, but after a few hours in Rio he never quite got his life back together again. Life outstrips the mind: especially when the life is female and takes its clothes off. Rio reminds you of that.




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/20/clive-james-watched-everything-rio-gymnasts)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 27.08.16 at 09:28
Clive James: ‘The best way out of doing sport is watching it’ (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/27/clive-james-rio-olympics-2016-swimming-andy-murray)


My long-term conclusion has been that top-level sport was worth doing as long as it wasn’t me that had to do it


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My favourite brilliantly sane Brit of the Rio Games turned out to be Andy Murray.’ Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA




Quote:

By the time you read this, the Rio Olympics (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/rio-2016)will be over, but I linger on the subject because they will probably be the last Olympics I ever see, and I think they might have had a better press. Back in Australia, the press was bitching because too many of the Aussie female swimmers faded. Let the journalists suggest a better schedule for the runup to the games, then; and perhaps they could suggest that the swimmers might be pestered a bit less before the race.

The Aussie female swimmers are high in my admiration because, when I was young, I had to get used to studying their times and realising that the least of them could go twice as fast as I could. Though reluctant to admit this fact, I was lost in awe, but couldn’t help noticing that the largely male press found it less congenial to admire the dedication of the women. I can remember the startling achievements of Dawn Fraser (https://www.olympic.org/dawn-fraser) being belittled in print on the grounds that she was a natural athlete.

Decades went by, and I was asked home to help raise funds for the swimmers....




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/27/clive-james-rio-olympics-2016-swimming-andy-murray)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.09.16 at 09:36
Clive James: ‘I  never made a smarter move than when I changed my name’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/03/clive-james-changed-name-james-garner)

If James Bumgarner hadn’t changed his name to Garner he might have been slower to succeed

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James Garner in The Rockford Files. Photograph: Rex



Quote:
Long before he became famous, James Bumgarner changed his name to Garner (http://gb.imdb.com/name/nm0001258/). If he hadn’t, he might have been slower to succeed. Smart, literate and incurably honest, Garner was a byword in his profession for authenticity, but he permitted himself that one small bogus moment. With the conspicuous and jaw-breaking exception of Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzesinski (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Brzezinski), Americans of foreign background have always been sensible about changing their names to something easier for the locals to say. Australian immigrants, however, now tend to hang on to their original family moniker, even when it’s an impossible mouthful for anyone without training in phonetics. The politician Tim Soutphommasane (https://www.theguardian.com/profile/timsoutphommasane) is a conspicuous recent example.

For a man whose surname no journalist can spell without medical assistance, Soutphommasane – let’s call him Tim – is often in the news. Lately, he has become famous all over again for complaining that too many people in the Australian political world don’t even try to pronounce his name....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/03/clive-james-changed-name-james-garner)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 10.09.16 at 09:19
Clive James: ‘People have come to talk about my book. Sadly, not all of them have read it’
(https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/sep/10/clive-james-new-book-box-sets)

I long ago learned what to do – you give a precis of your book’s best bits


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Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones, one of the box set dramas Clive James writes about in his new book. Photograph: HBO



Quote:

If predictions are correct about verse being a dying art, those of us who persist in writing it would probably be wise to forget altogether about getting published, and just send our latest poem to each other as an email. Each of us would have a list of names, not all of them fools. It would be a low-profile solution, however, and not many poets would get as famous as Seamus Heaney (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/seamus-heaney), who, in Bellaghy, is about to have a whole memorial building opened (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36307870) in his honour, with a coffee bar. Richly deserved, too. And on a suitable scale: he was a giant.

After a tough week, I have been contemplating my own departure for the beyond. Not that I have been much more unwell than usual, but my professional circumstances have been exhausting. My new little book Play All (https://bookshop.theguardian.com/play-all.html) is about television box sets, not poetry, so there has been no shortage of television people arriving on my doorstep to talk to me about it. Unfortunately, not all of them have read it.

But I long ago learned what to do in those circumstances. You give a precis of your book’s best bits while thanking your dazed interlocutor for finding time to fit this visit into his hurtling schedule of probing the secrets of world leaders. Alas, there are interviewers a notch below the ones who haven’t read your opinions on box sets. There are interviewers who have never seen a box set.
......



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/sep/10/clive-james-new-book-box-sets)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 17.09.16 at 09:42
Clive James: ‘Mickey Rooney hammed it up rotten as Puck’ (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/sep/17/clive-james-mickey-rooney-puck-midsummer-nights-dream-acting)


Young male actors should still take note of how Rooney observed the pentameter in A Midsummer Night’s Dream


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Mickey Rooney in 1939. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar


Quote:
Once again, I have finished reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It gets more marvellous every time. I will read it again if I can. What I certainly won’t be doing is going out to see it, although it is sometimes hard to follow in the text. The two main girls, Hermia and Helena, are often hard to pick apart, a task that gets trickier when, magicked by the forest, they swap their affections for those two rather dreary blokes. Although one of the girls is specified as being as tall as the other is small, in the text that doesn’t show up.

But one of the privileges of being increasingly vague, surely, is to skip the detail and spend more time admiring the essential. Shakespeare makes it clear that the higher spirits who rule the forest, and the aristos who come to call, would add up to a dull bunch if the rude mechanicals were not present, and busy with putting on their clumsy but not hopeless play. As a rude mechanical myself, a cobbler of words for a living, I still admire, this late in the day, the way my trade comes out of the text so well. The lounging aristo spectators might patronise the clumsy dramatic endeavours of Bottom and his gang, but without them, they would have nothing to drawl about.
…......



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/sep/17/clive-james-mickey-rooney-puck-midsummer-nights-dream-acting)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 24.09.16 at 08:28
Clive James: ‘The Australian sun reaches around the world to roast me on my balcony’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/24/clive-james-australian-sun-reaches-around-the-world)
Why did I ever leave? It must have had something with a desire to see the real world – even if it couldn’t be as good as this

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Avalon Beach: ‘When I was first a student, Avalon was the weekend gathering place for the Bellevue Hill Mob.’ Photograph: Ian Waldie/Getty Images



Quote:
Sydney’s northern beaches. When I was first a student, Avalon was the weekend gathering place for the Bellevue Hill Mob, a bunch of law students I knew at Sydney University. The Mob had more money than I did, but the Australian social system, such as it was, depended on the same sun shining copiously on everybody. I hear it still does, with enough light left over to reach right around the world and roast me here on my balcony, making work impossible, except for my writing increasingly nostalgic poems about Avalon. I have plans to put a couple of them in my new slim volume of poetry, due out early next year.

I must be crazy to be planning a new book, or any new anything. In my condition, the best strategy is to lie down and expire. But while breath lasts, it seems a pity to waste any of life’s remaining blessings, and one of those is, for a little while at least, clear sight.
....



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/24/clive-james-australian-sun-reaches-around-the-world)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 01.10.16 at 08:40
Clive James: ‘Brad might have got sick of being the less interesting one’ (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/01/clive-james-on-brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-split)


Angelina has handled her career path so smartly that you feel it would be good if she could take over Donald Trump’s role in whatever movie he thinks he is in


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Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise, 1991. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer




Quote:
I’m a bit late giving an opinion of the Brangelina bust-up (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/20/angelina-jolie-files-for-divorce-brad-pitt), but I thought that the royal couple might make it together all the way to old age, especially because they went on having and adopting children together at such a rate that it would always take two of them to drive the bus. And they were both very talented, which can look like intelligence in the hot lights.

Now they will go on being talented, but not together. It has always taken confidence on the spectator’s part to find Brad Pitt (https://www.theguardian.com/film/bradpitt) gifted. He looks like a standard-issue Hollywood pool attendant with his head on upside down. But quite early in his career he proved that he could act. His dumb swagger is the thing you remember from Thelma & Louise (https://www.theguardian.com/film/News_Story/Critic_Review/Guardian_review/0,,558025,00.html), along with the car going over the cliff with two lovely women inside it in a gesture even less credible than the sculpted look of Brad’s lower stomach.

............



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/01/clive-james-on-brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-split)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 08.10.16 at 09:20
Clive James: ‘I once did a sketch with Michael Palin and Terry Jones. I was scared I'd screw up'
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/08/clive-james-once-did-sketch-michael-palin-terry-jones)

The new era of British humour will doubtless be more feminist and I’m sorry I’m going to miss it


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Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam on Monty Python, 1975. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar





Quote:
Michael Palin was very touching when he spread the news that his friend and fellow Python Terry Jones is losing the power of speech (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/sep/24/impact-of-dementia-on-terry-jones-is-painful-to-watch-says-michael-palin). I was once on stage in a sketch with both of them, for a charity event, and during rehearsals was impressed with their meticulous dedication to the comic nuts and bolts, with Jones proving to be at least as sharp verbally as Palin.

It made me very scared about screwing up, which luckily didn’t happen, so when I emerged from the evening, my shoulders glittered with borrowed stardust. Now years have gone by and it turns out that Graham Chapman wasn’t the only Python who was mortal all along (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/jul/01/graham-chapman-monty-python-star-and-me). On screen, they always looked as if they had a combined age of about 30, but it was an illusion born of exuberance.

Before the Pythons, there were Spike Milligan’s Q programmes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KyE8UMSxI8). Some scholars hold that Spike was the true ancestor of Pythonism. The argument has a lot to it, because apart from Terry Gilliam (https://www.theguardian.com/film/terry-gilliam)’s dementedly extravagant artwork, it is quite hard to think of anything the Pythons invented that Spike hadn’t already at least hinted at.......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/08/clive-james-once-did-sketch-michael-palin-terry-jones)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 15.10.16 at 10:06
Clive James: ‘I vowed that I would stay as cool as Yul Brynner when the god Chronos came for me’


(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/15/clive-james-on-westworld-television-yul-brynner-steven-seagal)The final fade-out approaches, and the chances are that nobody now will make a movie of my book Unreliable Memoirs, the story of my growth to manhood

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Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner in The King And I, 1956. Photograph: 20th Century Fox/Getty Images



Quote:

The new TV drama Westworld (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/westworld) is predicted to astonish this generation of viewers even more than the movie it is based on (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcL3eP0Hfy4) astonished the global cinema audience back in 1973, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Actually, I saw the movie at the time and wasn’t astonished much. We were asked to be amazed that Yul Brynner, underneath his cowboy costume, was really a robot. It was like being asked to be amazed that when he played the lead in The King And I (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/apr/15/reel-history-king-and-i), he was powered by a generator. He was that kind of actor: precise, but you could hear the valves fizzing.

It wasn’t Yul’s fault, and if he hadn’t been so successful, I wouldn’t dream of belittling him now. Elbows slightly extended to indicate the bulk of his lateral muscles, he carried himself with dignity right to the end. On location in Britain for The File Of The Golden Goose (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064328/), he had to arrive dramatically in Liverpool. They ran out of dough and pretended that London’s Liverpool Street station was Liverpool, a pretence accomplished by covering up one end of a station name-plate with canvas. Yul, instead of downing tools, played the scene in full grimness mode, elbows dramatically flexed. Watching in awe somewhere in the cinematic dark – I was one of three paying spectators – I vowed that I would try to stay as cool as that when the god Chronos came for me.

Showbusiness is tough, and anybody who breaks through.....



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/15/clive-james-on-westworld-television-yul-brynner-steven-seagal)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 22.10.16 at 15:14
Clive James: ‘I am continually reminded of what a misery guts I have been’ (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/oct/22/clive-james-continually-reminded-what-a-misery-guts)

When I was young, I rarely demonstrated any subtlety at all


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Sally Phillips: ‘one of the all-star cast of Smack The Pony, a show I watched in awe.’ Photograph: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock



Quote:
Nothing makes me feel decrepit and obsolete quite as much as when friends of my children make television programmes. That used to be my business, but now it’s theirs. Simon Finch, a friend of our family since for ever, has just done a documentary called The Good Terrorist (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-good-terrorist/episode-guide/), which is one of the best summaries I have seen about what took so long to happen in South Africa. It deals with the trial and execution of the only white man who managed to convince himself that planting a bomb in a Johannesburg station would be a dramatic blow against the oppressive white government. Finch argues the rights and wrongs with great subtlety for someone I first met when he had only recently graduated. At the same age, I myself had rarely demonstrated any subtlety at all.

On a similar time scale, my elder daughter was at university with the brilliant Sally Phillips (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/sally-phillips), who later became one of the all-star cast of Smack The Pony (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/jan/12/how-we-made-smack-the-pony-sally-phillips-doon-mackichan), a show I watched in awe of its precocious maturity and accomplishment. Just lately, she wrote and narrated a documentary about the possibility that we are on the verge of eliminating Down’s syndrome (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/oct/06/world-without-downs-syndrome-review-straight-from-heart-problem). One of her children has that condition, and radiates so much happiness and sanity that I was continually reminded of what a misery guts I have been at various times of my life.....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/oct/22/clive-james-continually-reminded-what-a-misery-guts)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.10.16 at 09:16
Clive James: ‘Hillary should have told Trump at least once to go screw himself’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/29/clive-james-us-election-hillary-clinton-should-have-told-trump)
If Trump loses, we will still not be free of his extravagantly coiffed shadow, because the analysis will begin as to why he lost


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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the third and final US presidential debate. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images



Quote:
Donald Trump (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/donaldtrump)has not yet been elected president, so my plans to leave the planet are still on hold. I might have to leave soon anyway, but I would rather not have to book my seat on the rocket just because some baroque narcissist in the Oval Office had declared atomic war on North Korea, or South Dakota, or whatever target took his fancy when the hottest patootie in the West Wing typing pool swerved away from the outstretched plea of his tiny hands.

If Trump loses, we will still not be free of his extravagantly coiffed shadow, because the analysis will begin as to why he lost. Nobody sane will ascribe Hillary’s victory to her own command of language. If either of them commands the language, Trump does, by sticking a short finger in its ribs and walking forwards until it walks backwards.

Subjected to such treatment, Hillary was rightly praised for her poise, but she should have told him at least once to go screw himself. As things turned out, the figure who really had Trump’s number was Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/video/2016/oct/09/alec-baldwin-takes-on-trump-on-saturday-night-live-video). Baldwin has the wrong mouth to be Trump – Baldwin’s mouth looks like a mouth – but in all other respects, he was a terrifying simulacrum.....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/29/clive-james-us-election-hillary-clinton-should-have-told-trump)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.11.16 at 10:25
Clive James: ‘Picture swaths of Britain where thousands of edible dormice reign supreme’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/05/clive-james-swathes-britain-edible-dormice-reign-supreme)
An edible dormouse doesn’t look like that kind of creature. It is very cute


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There are now zillions of edible dormice, threatening to eat the entire country.’ Photograph: Alamy




Quote:

I had thought that the BBC’s Autumnwatch (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0079t1p) might not recover from the loss of Kate Humble, but I now realise that there has been a gain in strength.

One of the recent shows featured the strangely named edible dormouse (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Edible_dormouse), which is not as cute as it looks. If you haven’t been following, the best way to conjure up the truly daunting edible dormouse situation is that there used to be a few of them but now there are zillions, threatening to eat the entire country.

The problem partly arises from the fact that an edible dormouse doesn’t look like that kind of creature. It is very cute, even after it has tripled in weight, which it can do at the drop of a hat.

With the cane toad (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_toads_in_Australia), the Australians at least had the excuse that they knew it was uglier than sin. They just thought it might do some good. But the British have no such let-out from responsibility...........




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/05/clive-james-swathes-britain-edible-dormice-reign-supreme)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 12.11.16 at 09:31
Clive James: ‘It occurred to me that I might be suffering from a sudden mental disturbance’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/12/clive-james-on-halloween)
When one is genuinely shocked, there is a tendency to mumble polite banalities and shuffle away, dazed


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I was genuinely alarmed: which isn’t, of course, the idea at all.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images




Quote:

I was a bit late writing this column because my usual medical problems were compounded by shock on the night of Halloween (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/halloween). My elder daughter had supplied me with a candle-powered pumpkin and a basket of very classy treats, including little chocolates, properly wrapped up. Unfortunately, I had not been supplied with some very necessary information, and had to figure it out for myself during the course of a hectic evening.

For the first three or four times the doorbell rang, I almost died of shock each time I opened the door, because I was confronted with a spectacle that convinced me I had been hauled into space and was looking down on bunches of very small people in black, pointed hats and luminous outfits. Numbly, I held out my basket, mumbling something about being too scared to ask for a trick from them, so they’d have to settle for a treat from me. It only slowly occurred to me that I might be suffering from a sudden mental disturbance.
On about the fifth occasion, I began to figure 

On about the fifth occasion, I began to figure out what had happened. For several years previously, I had spent Halloween distributing sweets among a particular group of local children, but this year they all seemed shrunken, as if by a magic wand. What had happened was time....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/12/clive-james-on-halloween)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 19.11.16 at 09:21
Clive James: ‘I was seconded to the SAS only briefly, during the hunt for Saddam Hussein’  
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/19/clive-james-my-time-in-the-sas)
I tracked him over a thousand square miles of desert, following the tang of his excellent Cuban cigars. Most of the Arab men in that area smoke fake Crème Caramels, so the mission was a cinch’

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Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian


Quote:
I am sad to be told that there is once again an ex-SAS guy on the loose who might be enhancing the story when he tells of his adventures. SAS personnel are meant to keep their mouths shut when they return to civilian life, but those of us who have defied the odds often find it hard to clam up in the pub and television studio, two closely related structures in their capacity to unleash the power of reminiscence.
I was seconded to the SAS only briefly, during the hunt for Saddam Hussein. But since I was the man who found him hiding down his hole, there was a lot of pressure on me to talk, and I was forced to reveal how I had tracked him over a thousand square miles of desert, following the tang of his excellent Cuban cigars. Most of the Arab men in that area smoke fake Crème Caramels, so the mission was a cinch. But I was reluctant to talk about it until Angelina said that, unless I came clean about my past, our relationship was off. I kept my mouth shut and she went with Brad....



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/19/clive-james-my-time-in-the-sas)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 26.11.16 at 09:16
Clive James: ‘My idea of a speed thrill is turning up the gas on a mower'
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/26/clive-james-speed-thrill-damon-hill)
Damon Hill installed me like a piece of frightened luggage in the front passenger seat of a fast saloon and headed towards the airport

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'I have no doubt that, when very young, Damon Hill drove a fast pram.’ Photograph: David Davies/PA




Quote:
Christmas looms, and as always I shall be giving books, hoping to receive books in return. Sometimes the books given and the books received threaten to be the same ones, but the situation is headed off by a constant exchange of information about what is brewing. Watch a big family getting ready for Christmas (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/christmas), and you get a lot of tips about how to fight a war.

Intelligence is the key factor. The key to a relevant intelligence operation is to make sure everybody else gets to learn your secret desires. The embarrassment of being given something you’ve already got can be headed off by discreetly spilling that you’ve already got it.

Nobody need give me Damon Hill’s brilliant autobiography, Watching The Wheels (http://bookshop.theguardian.com/watching-the-wheels.html), because I’ve already been given it....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/26/clive-james-speed-thrill-damon-hill)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.12.16 at 09:37
Clive James: Does David Attenborough say, 'Thank Christ it's the snow leopards again'?
(https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/dec/03/clive-james-on-planet-earth-two)

If I switch on the TV at the right time, I will see a small female ape with a green bottom doing a lap dance for David Attenborough

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Photograph: David Willis/BBC



Quote:

Health-wise, I’ve had the kind of bad week when it’s an effort just to turn on the TV set and go looking for David Attenborough (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/nov/06/planet-earth-ii-review-david-attenboroughs-rollercoaster-tour-of-the-worlds-wildlife-returns). Finally I found him. He was at his best, miles up a Himalaya and giving us a blow-by-blow of the snow leopards screwing each other.

I wonder if he has the same priorities as I. Does he look at the schedule and say, “Thank Christ it’s the snow leopards again next week. If I had to provide another running commentary on those death-pale bivalve slow worms having it off in the mud of the Amazon, I’d flip my lid”?

But, apart from his unflagging curiosity, Attenborough differs from me mainly in being the kind of perpetual energy source who can get a week’s work done no matter what. Parachute him into the High Andes, and he lands all set to track the emerald-bottomed lemur or whatever. (The male emerald-bottomed lemur is the one who clears a whole acre of jungle so the female will be able to see nothing except his oscillating rear end when he goes into his display, which...


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/dec/03/clive-james-on-planet-earth-two)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 10.12.16 at 09:26
Clive James: ‘At 16, my dress sense was in the first full flower of its baroque glory’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/10/clive-james-16-my-dress-sense-baroque-glory)
It took me 50 years to learn that I should dress as plainly as possible

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Not 16, but nearly: Clive James on University Challenge in 1968. Photograph: Granada




Quote:
The paper has asked me for a photograph of myself at 16. I can’t find one: it is as if my chaotic archives had been cleaned out to eliminate all records of myself at an age when my adult dress sense was in the first full flower of its baroque glory.

In particular, shopping for myself, I had obtained a pair of oxblood shoes with quilt tops and foam rubber soles. Before I left the shoe shop I had already discovered that these rubber soles made a squelching noise. But I bought the shoes anyway, liking the look of them.

As I completed the walk to church the following Sunday, I noticed that everybody around the building was facing in my direction. It was because they had heard my shoes from half a mile off. That was the day when I finally abandoned my ambitions to attract the attention of Shirley Atwood, a petite ….....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/10/clive-james-16-my-dress-sense-baroque-glory)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 17.12.16 at 09:04
Clive James: ‘My behaviour at the Christmas table is based on hard-won learning’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/17/clive-james-behaviour-christmas-table-david-attenborough)For years, I took it to be mandatory that I should be as entertaining as possible, so as to ensure being given first crack at the goose’s legs

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Photograph: Zoran Milich/Getty Images



Quote:
Not enough research has been done on the close relationship of our gathering for Christmas dinner to the classic waterholes of the world’s great deserts. Even the omniscient David Attenborough has been slow to examine the connection. In his current multi-part survey of the planet (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/nov/07/planet-earth-ii-bbc1-most-watched-natural-history-show-for-15-years), there is a constant theme hammering: the deadly dangers facing animals that gather anywhere in order to drink. They might eat each other. Indeed, if they are on camera, they almost certainly will, thereby triggering Attenborough’s most plangently recurring threnody: “Yet this can be a dangerous place in which to linger.”

I speak as one in no need of education about the level of violence in the natural world. At Uluru once, I had a close-up of a plague of centipedes. A close-up was unavoidable, because they got into even your hotel room, probably through the airconditioning system. Most of the year, they aren’t visible.......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/17/clive-james-behaviour-christmas-table-david-attenborough)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 24.12.16 at 09:35
Clive James: ‘Trump’s boasts spring from an aching wish’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/24/clive-james-on-donald-trump-meeting-theresa-may)Any man who drivels about women when he is alone with a man has no clue what to say when alone with a woman

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Theresa May: going for goose. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/PA



Quote:
Since my family will be having a vast Christmas dinner with a raft of Australian fly-in guests spreading through several rooms, I have made it known, in my position as patriarch, that I favour a simple solution to the question of which big bird to feature, goose or turkey. Magisterially, I suggested that there should be both.

Thus I dodged the question that stumped Theresa May, who was airborne when some pain in the arse of a reporter tried to frame her as a plutocat for favouring goose (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/05/pms-christmas-poirot-goose-and-church-before-presents). Either the same pain in the arse of a reporter or a different one also tried to frame her for spending too much money on a pair of leather trousers (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/06/theresa-may-sidesteps-question-about-995-pound-leather-trousers). She dodged that question by implying, surely correctly, that her trousers were good for the leather industry, for British couture, and indeed for almost every living entity in Britain, except perhaps the animals from which the leather was peeled.

Anything to stave off the dumb reporters until the day arrives when Fleet Street finally twigs that Theresa is the biggest fashion asset to Britain since the first years of the Queen’s reign. When the penny drops....
.


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/24/clive-james-on-donald-trump-meeting-theresa-may)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 31.12.16 at 08:55
Clive James: ‘Even the most trite Netflix drama is too slickly done to be switched off’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/31/clive-james-netflix-drama-too-slickly-done-switched-off)There was once some hope of turning off the set and reading a book


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Kiefer Sutherland, you would think, has already done too much time in 24 to be an interesting draftee president’ Photograph: Ben Mark Holzberg/AP




Quote:
A generous friend has given me a Netflix (https://www.theguardian.com/media/netflix)subscription and hence, probably, destroyed the rest of my life. When my fallback viewing consisted mainly of seeing whether Die Hard With A Fixed Pout was on again for the 10th time, there was some hope of turning off the set and reading a book. But now I have to cope with the adhesive properties of The Crown (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/nov/04/the-crown-review-netflix-100m-gamble-on-the-queen-pays-off-royally), and then cope again with the horrible information that they haven’t even finished making it.

Also on Netflix, the series Shooter (https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80109194), with Ryan Phillippe (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000202/), is mainly a remake of the already ageing movie of that title (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2007/apr/15/actionandadventure.philipfrench). I find Phillippe a more engaging male star than Mark Wahlberg (https://www.theguardian.com/film/mark-wahlberg) in the same role, but the movie had Kate Mara (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/14/kate-mara-if-we-were-up-for-the-same-job-our-agents-wouldnt-tell-us) and the series hasn’t, so I can almost leave it alone.

But only almost. Even the most trite Netflix.....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/31/clive-james-netflix-drama-too-slickly-done-switched-off)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 07.01.17 at 10:39
Clive James: ‘I hanker for a time when everybody was given a job description by everybody else’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/07/clive-james-hanker-time-job-description)It would be handy if we all spoke a language sufficiently stuffed with honorific tags and phrases that we all knew where we stood


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Netflix series The Crown. Photograph: Alex Bailey/AP



Quote:
Watching the excellent Netflix series The Crown, (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/the-crown) I have heard so many actors call each other “Your excellency” that I have begun to hanker for an earlier time when, in conversation, almost everybody was given a job description by everybody else. I can imagine being called “Your medium importance” by a restaurant doorman, and calling someone else “Your vanishing significance”. They all knew where they were.

Instead of having to interpret someone’s social significance from a pewter lapel button, you found out straight away that he was the holder of the Queen’s dancing master’s velvet gloves or tea-maker in ordinary to the mayor of Pitlochry. Everyone would bow at the correct angle to everybody else. The fact that no one would be doing anything but bowing would be a minor issue.

Japan used to be like that. For centuries after a special language for the royal family ceased to be convenient, the emperor and his relatives spoke a tongue that no one else could easily interpret. When Japan surrendered in 1945....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/07/clive-james-hanker-time-job-description)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 14.01.17 at 09:27
Clive James: ‘Carrie Fisher sharpened her comedy with tragedy’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/14/clive-james-carrie-fisher-debbie-reynolds)Debbie Reynolds was too sunny to add much darkness to her onscreen persona, but Carrie Fisher could give her inborn merriment a tragic aspect


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'Compounding the glooms of Carrie Fisher’s demise was that her mother, Debbie Reynolds, went, too.’ Photograph: Vince Bucci/Invision/AP




Quote:
At a Hollywood roast for the Star Wars mogul George Lucas, Carrie Fisher gave a speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ97s396kb0) in which she remembered how, in the years of her incarnation as the intergalactic Princess Leia, space was haunted by “a small merry band of stalkers”. I met her only a couple of times, but heard enough to know that she could talk like that for ever.

Compounding the gloom of her demise (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/dec/27/carrie-fisher-obituary-star-wars-actor-writer)was that her mother, Debbie Reynolds, went, too (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/28/debbie-reynolds-hospital-carrie-fisher-mother). So, along with all the footage of Carrie fighting the Imperial stormtroopers and frowning with glacial heat at Han Solo, the screen was suddenly playing host to a zillion clips of Debbie dancing with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCSUsF_YEe0). One of the reasons I could never go fully ape for the daughter, despite her brilliance, was that I had long ago gone fully ape for her mother.

Back in the day of its first glorious release, I had seen Singin’ In The Rain three times on the trot, thrilled by every number in it, but by no number more than Good Mornin’, Good Mornin’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu6--WBPBHo), in which the barely post-teen Debbie keeps up with every step of those two dazzling male dancers. At the time, there was......



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/14/clive-james-carrie-fisher-debbie-reynolds)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 21.01.17 at 09:55
Clive James: ‘I am allowed to drink only elderflower cordial plus water, the diet of a playboy sparrow’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/21/clive-james-elderflower-cordial-leukaemia-michael-chamberlain)If all this restraint is worth it, you will see my name in this space next week

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Photograph: Alamy



Quote:
As I write this week’s column, I must suppress the hilarious knowledge that I am booked in for an operation tomorrow that will feature the insertion of various items of machinery into my rectum. My blood counts reveal a progressive anaemia whose source needs to be traced and, if necessary, cauterised. In my imagination, the machines they want to insert into me vertically are the size of combine harvesters, but that, of course, will not be so. As civilisation progresses, everything gets more nano. If they can put a radio in your ear, they can put some machine with the power of a locomotive up your bottom.

Yet there is no “of course” about the way one’s apprehensions work. I can already hear the thrumming howl of approaching farm machinery as I sit here for a long day of not eating anything. There.....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/21/clive-james-elderflower-cordial-leukaemia-michael-chamberlain)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 28.01.17 at 10:32
Clive James: ‘We are told, over and over, that President Trump will destroy the world. How do people know this?’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/28/how-do-people-know-trump-will-destroy-the-world-clive-james)‘I can remember a time when people of good will were equally certain that the newly elected President Ford would destroy the world by accidentally falling against the nuclear button’



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‘It turned out President Ford was quite safe doing the rounds of the White House.’ Photograph: Rex Features





Quote:
In the continuing edge-of the-bed serial about my health crisis, we left me last week on the point of having an internal scan to see if anything needed patching (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/21/clive-james-elderflower-cordial-leukaemia-michael-chamberlain). It turned out, however, that the operation would have to be postponed. There had been a communications failure, and the surgeon found out days too late that I had not ceased to take a certain pill whose effects would make it difficult for him to make any internal interventions against badly behaved blood vessels.

You don’t want to know? I know exactly how you feel, so I can promise that there will be no more said from me on this topic until the operation finally gets done. At the moment, I am getting set to prepare myself for it all over again. If a certain sameness creeps into my prose, you will understand. To hear about the iffiness of a forthcoming medical event is like being told, over and over, about how President Trump, once installed and inaugurated, will destroy the world. How do people know this?

I can remember a time....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/28/how-do-people-know-trump-will-destroy-the-world-clive-james)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 04.02.17 at 10:03
Clive James: ‘Gérard Depardieu is not light on his feet. But I've always wanted to be him’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/04/clive-james-gerard-depardieu-marseille-television-netflix)His nose once looked like a pair of lorries parked side by side, but now the lorries are the size of trains

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Gérard Depardieu as the mayor in Marseille. Photograph: Netflix/Everett/Rex/Shutterstock




Quote:
The Netflix series Marseille (https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80037278) stars Gérard Depardieu (https://www.theguardian.com/film/gerard-depardieu) as the mayor. He fills the screen. Where once he filled the big screen, he now fills the small screen, so looks more screen-filling than ever. Every figure in local politics is corrupt, but not him. Apart from the occasional fudged cab receipt, he is a pillar of integrity, wanting only the best for his city.

He is a pillar of integrity shaped like a dirigible hangar. Throughout his career, Depardieu has been wearing bigger and bigger outfits. In Cyrano (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab6eaj4fdMA), he wore lace and velvet on an epic scale, looking like a house on its way to a wedding. As Marseille’s mayor, he has doubled in size so that the shoulders of his suit leave the screen on their way to the next banlieue. His nose, as always, looks like two lorries parked side by side, but now the lorries are the size of trains.

You might wonder how such a pile of building materials can....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/04/clive-james-gerard-depardieu-marseille-television-netflix)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 11.02.17 at 09:47
Clive James: ‘When I am a break down to Nadal in the fifth, I contemplate giving up. Not Federer’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/11/clive-james-break-down-to-nadal-roger-federer)
More and more I need to be told things are happening. Only then can I turn my majestic attention to them, like a rusty old weather vane miles behind the action


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I was still groggy in the last set but Roger Federer wasn’t.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock




Quote:
As the last traces of anaesthetic haze leave my system following my recent operation, I am getting better at telling reality from fantasy. For example, it is not a fantasy that the new Potus with that weirdo thing on his head has gone into business as a sort of berserk travel agent; it is reality. Nor is it a fantasy that Roger Federer, after a valedictory period of being written off as a faded hero by the international media, has re-emerged as the world’s greatest tennis player (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/30/roger-federer-wimbledon-grass-australian-open-triumph-world-rankings). It is reality.

In a magic final in Melbourne (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/29/roger-federer-rafael-nadal-australian-open-final-report), both Federer and Nadal wore pink shoes, but Federer’s pink shoes had wings. Shod like Mercury, he came back from oblivion. Only a couple of days after the actual event, I tuned in and saw it happen. I was still a bit groggy in the last set, but Federer wasn’t. He was frowning in the way he has always done when commanding a favour from the gods. In my own mind, when I am a break down to Nadal in the fifth, I at....




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/11/clive-james-break-down-to-nadal-roger-federer)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 18.02.17 at 09:38
Clive James: ‘I’ve done a mental survey of TV arts presenters and can’t find any I hate’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/18/clive-james-tv-arts-presenters-lucy-worsley)

It was a miracle on the scale of Lucy Worsley not dressing up as Queen Elizabeth I

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Andrew Graham-Dixon, presenter of The Art Of France. Photograph: BBC/Jake Robinson




Quote:
Were I a would-be TV presenter in search of a role model, Andrew Graham-Dixon (http://www.andrewgrahamdixon.com/index.html) would fit the frame. As well as wielding copious explanatory powers about art, he comes over as quite butch, with such non-effete features as a vigorously sane hairstyle and powers of elocution not even half as crazy as some other arty presenters we could name. In the opening chapter of his BBC mega-series, The Art Of France (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08cgq7f), he was not afraid of the bold statement: “Like every great country, France has always been a mongrel nation.”

This was especially bold because it suggested that Japan, for example, had never existed. Even today, it is almost impossible for a foreign artist, or indeed a foreign anything, to take up residence in Japan, whose intellectuals will tell you unblushingly that the true secret of their cultural coherence is that the nation is “homogeneous”, meaning they don’t let the buggers in.
But Graham-Dixon was on about France, not Japan, so the sweeping statement fitted. He lounged unobtrusively....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/18/clive-james-tv-arts-presenters-lucy-worsley)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 25.02.17 at 10:03
Clive James: 'The Eagles were exposed as a line-up of relentless bores'

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/25/clive-james-the-eagles-tim-rice)When they sang, they were magic, but when they talk now, they are nerve gas

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‘The quickest way back to mental health is to dial up the full seven minutes of the Eagles’ most amazing song, Hotel California.’ Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters




Quote:
The Canadian political analyst and popular music expert Mark Steyn (http://www.steynonline.com/) has spent about a year transforming his blog into a TV station, so that he can now interview someone he admires right there in vision. Apart from his habit of punctuating any long sentence with the word “ah” (imagine Sue Barker as a baritone), Steyn is, ah, an ideal broadcaster; provided, that is, that, ah, you have an extra half-hour in your day to follow him through the occasional flat spots in his, ah, doomed search for perfect fluency.

How Steyn finds the time to do what he does is one of the mysteries in this new era of personalised broadcasting. He can write, speak and sing, and, being a Canuck, he can probably also skate. His problem now is going to be finding a weekly guest as bright as he is. One of the first shows to be globally transmitted through his new enhanced medium was an interview with Sir Tim Rice (http://www.steynonline.com/7691/a-winter-tale). I watched it with fascination, awed all over again by how scruplously Rice attends to the language in which he expresses himself. I don’t think he said “ah” once, and unless he were quoting the lyrics of Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life verbatim, I think he would never do so.

......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/25/clive-james-the-eagles-tim-rice)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 04.03.17 at 08:48
Clive James: ‘I’ve been going deaf for years, so wouldn’t have been able to hear SS-GB anyway’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/04/clive-james-going-deaf-years-hear-ss-gb-television)
After the first episode, I was wiping the blood from my ears with Kleenex

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SS-GB: ‘Len Deighton’s novel still holds up well.’ Photograph: Laurie Sparham/BBC/Sid Gentle Films Ltd





Quote:
As if to prove that television’s appeal depends mainly on what it gives you to see, the BBC’s new headline serial SS-GB (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/feb/20/ss-gb-review-britain-under-nazi-rule-i-cant-help-laughing-oppression)spends many millions giving you something you can’t hear (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/shortcuts/2017/feb/20/flatscreen-tvs-actors-or-realism-whats-to-blame-for-ss-gbs-mumbling-problem). Some expert analysts say the show is quite audible, but other even more expert analysts point out that this is true only if you have a Woofendorf M-23 multiple takedown receptor within 10ft of your set and another within 10ft of your feet. It goes without saying that this elementary boosting equipment needs to be further enhanced with a Paxman P-36 growl-filter in your loft, to translate the German of anyone above the rank of feldwebel into double Dutch.

After the first episode, I was wiping the blood from my ears with Kleenex, but here’s the gag: I wouldn’t have heard it anyway, because I’ve been going deaf for years and would not hear German invaders if they landed one at a time in......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/04/clive-james-going-deaf-years-hear-ss-gb-television)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 11.03.17 at 09:42
Clive James: ‘I couldn't believe how non-weird Sam Neill was’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/11/clive-james-on-sam-neill-acting-actors-film)
Performers do best to do their best every time. It is easier to maintain this attitude if you are not being treated as a deity

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‘Sam Neill has put together a richly sane career without ever having departed from the human scale.’ Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian




Quote:
Whoever said, “Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds” got a cheap laugh, but the concept sometimes comes in handy with regard to other fields of creativity. A few years back, an expensive movie called Equilibrium (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2003/mar/14/artsfeatures8) was based on the idea of our world having turned into a dystopia where you could be consigned to the disintegration chamber if you were caught reading a book. Sean Bean got caught reading the collected poems of Yeats and was duly eliminated, barely before you had time to remember that this was yet another variation on Ray Bradbury’s postwar novella Fahrenheit 451, named for the temperature at which paper catches fire on its own.

The zillions of people who never saw Equilibrium were right: it’s a dreadful mess. But in the brief scene that shows Bean, with his Irish coffee voice, reading aloud from Yeats, he was at the height of his career. Somewhere in that paradox there is a work ethic signalling for attention. Performers do best to do their best every time. By no paradox, it is easier to maintain this attitude if you are not being treated as a deity.

Sam Neill (https://www.theguardian.com/film/sam-neill), for example, has put together a richly sane career without ever having departed from the human scale, except for the odd stint as an intergalactic grand vizier or something. I met him once in Sydney and couldn’t ......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/11/clive-james-on-sam-neill-acting-actors-film)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 18.03.17 at 11:26
Clive James: ‘Idris Elba is the most kingly British star since Richard Burton’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/18/clive-james-idris-elba-richard-burton)

To collect an actor’s performances is still one of the best reasons for continuing the long search into infinity

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'I try to see everything Idris Elba has done since he knocked me out in The Wire.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian




Quote:

As a Denzel Washington (https://www.theguardian.com/film/denzelwashington) fan, I try to see every movie he has made. When I was still flying, I would watch a Denzel movie two or three times on the trot, just to study the way he timed a sardonic smile – even today, I time a sardonic smile at my granddaughter’s dog. But those of us who would once haunt the DVD racks to pick up a Denzel movie must reconcile ourselves to never seeing, on any flight entertainment system, one of the greatest performances of his late period. Starring as an airline pilot in Flight (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jan/31/flight-review), he is not only meant to be high on alcohol, but the airliner is also meant to be on the verge of falling apart.

Long before it crashes, you realise that, if they recut the movie to be shown in flight, it would have to be about five minutes long. There is one scene, just before the airliner disintegrates, where passengers flying loose.......


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/18/clive-james-idris-elba-richard-burton)

Kevin Cryan



Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 25.03.17 at 10:52
Clive James: ‘Coogan and Brydon are the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/25/clive-james-coogan-brydon-funniest-couple-since-laurel-and-hardy)
The extras do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes can’t keep it up

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Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Photograph: Trip Films Ltd



Quote:
Anyone who relishes what happens when Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon sit opposite each other in a restaurant (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/mar/01/steve-coogan-rob-brydon-the-trip-to-spain-is-last-of-the-summer-wine-for-guardian-readers) will know that the real focus of the entertainment is on the actors at the other tables who are pretending not to laugh. While Coogan and Brydon do uncanny impersonations of 007, the extras have to do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes they can’t keep it up. They crack a rib. And they are, of course, quite right. Coogan and Brydon are the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy.
And it’s all done just by evoking stuff we’ve seen already. But there’s no “just” about it. Such accurate mimicry demands deep concentration. The basic shtick of their echolalic duel to the death depends on Coogan being even more fanatical about getting it right than Brydon is. Indeed, Coogan might not entirely....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/25/clive-james-coogan-brydon-funniest-couple-since-laurel-and-hardy)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 01.04.17 at 10:05
Clive James: ‘Helen Hunt! Holy smoke, what an artist!’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/01/clive-james-on-poetry-helen-hunt-jack-nicholson)
I long for the days when Jack Nicholson could deliver a speech without flashing his ivory like a leopard set to charge

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Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. Photograph: Tristar/Grac/REX/Shutterstock




Quote:
Some tenured academic blockhead in America has written a book proving that poetry is over. One glance at his prose is enough to prove that, for him, poetry never started. But poetry can only gain from not being treated as a matter of vital cultural importance. It’s much more important than that. It happens that I regard my own forthcoming poetry book, to be published in May under the title of Injury Time (https://bookshop.theguardian.com/rest-is-silence-489823.html), as being nifty in all respects, but I wouldn’t want to stake my life on the critics agreeing with me. One of them might be that dork in America.

I’ve only just now got back from a clinic where the chief medico iced the back of my skull preparatory to cutting out a seborrhoeic keratosis, a name that reminds me of a central European ice-hockey player with a collection of Thelonious Monk records. From such musings, I derived the only entertainment I needed during the whole 20 minutes, a period of time experienced in the benumbed interior of my head as a California redwood being chopped down nearby with a blunt axe. But if the ghost of TS Eliot had arrived to recite The Waste Land (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/dec/12/100-best-nonfiction-books-no-46-ts-eliot-the-waste-land-robert-mccrum), I would have been no better off. There is a time and place for intense art, but you have to be ready.

Last night, I was ready for Helen Hunt (https://www.theguardian.com/film/helen-hunt)'s wonderful performance.....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/01/clive-james-on-poetry-helen-hunt-jack-nicholson)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 08.04.17 at 08:58
Clive James: ‘Let me tell you about my other career as a spy’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/08/clive-james-other-career-as-a-spy)
Mine were the intelligence reports on Britain that every Australian prime minister read first
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Theresa May: ‘Don’t be fooled by the condescending smile.’ Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA



Quote:
Apart from the occasional homicidal maniac, the people who write in to make comments about what I have written in this column couldn’t be nicer. But if I answered even a small fraction of them, I would soon be dead from the effort, so I am obliged to work on the principle that, whatever the comment, the next few columns are my answer. Some people write in to ask me, “Why so much about television?” Well, if the next few columns are about something else, that’s my answer.

If I were to give a specific answer, it would have to be something about how I once earned my living as a couch potato and that the habit of watching dies hard. There wouldn’t be room to say much about my other career as a spy. Disguised as a literary critic (irascible expression, leather patches on elbows of sports jacket), I was parachuted into Britain by Asio, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, with orders to keep track of Britain’s moves to join the common market. Now, half a century later, my reports …...


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/08/clive-james-other-career-as-a-spy)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 15.04.17 at 11:03
Clive James: ‘I am planning for a future in which I appear only as a shimmering outline’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/15/clive-james-planning-future-shimmering-outline)I am likely to proclaim that Margaret Thatcher once looked at me in silent awe

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/a6f072837046fbb9535af537e1b3bebce3972068/0_0_1981_1189/master/1981.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=c4f784a8142096aeb0128e196d59dece
‘Margaret Thatcher asked me whether I had enjoyed the shamisen prodigy in Shanghai.’ Photograph: PA



Quote:
As movies multiply in the Universal Soldier (http://universalsoldier.wikia.com/wiki/Universal_Soldier_Wiki) franchise, you might have noticed that Jean-Claude Van Damme (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/sep/02/we-want-van-damme-will-all-tv-shows-in-the-future-be-picked-by-the-public) is still in them, but looks ghostly. That is because he is present only as a hologram. Feeling a bit that way myself lately, I am making plans for a media future in which I appear only as a shimmering outline. There is a place you can go where you can have it done.

The results tend to look spooky, but there is no reason you should not emerge from the operating theatre talking as clearly as Ken Livingstone. You might have noticed from recent TV appearances that Ken is looking a bit crumbly around the edges (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/05/ken-livingstone-pressure-mounts-on-labour-to-review-decision), but his opinions sound as crisp as ever. The drawback of the technology, however, is that the opinions tend to be propagated automatically at exactly the wrong time.
The Ken hologram is currently on air night after ......



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/15/clive-james-planning-future-shimmering-outline)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 22.04.17 at 09:41
Clive James: ‘I regret not calling my book Nail-Biting Slug-Fest On The Last Green’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/22/clive-james-book-injury-time-nail-biting-slug-fest)
I’m chortling to have got my book done before I roll over and gasp my last
https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/b7d868ec9eef2fab23f29853eed5b0f93ea5a6f2/643_0_3391_2035/master/3391.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=fd6701229af3fdf55f97624fc6cea1cd
Justin Rose and Sergio García after the 2017 Masters play-off. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock



Quote:
I’m still recovering from having watched the shootout between Justin Rose and Sergio García (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/09/sergio-garcia-wins-the-masters-justin-rose) in the Masters. Through no fault of either man, Rose looks like the unusually staid manager of an English bank and García looks like the slightly bonkers getaway driver for a South American gang attempting to rob it.

That the attempt was successful is surely a side issue. What mattered was that the two men were so near being equal in their powers that the whole battle was fought out in the mind. Finally, after hours of screaming tension, the match went to a sudden death play-off which was all over in a few quiet minutes. García took the first extra hole with such ease that for a moment I regretted having called my poetry collection Injury Time instead of Nail-Biting Slug-Fest On The Last Green.

But that’s twice in a fortnight I’ve managed to....


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/22/clive-james-book-injury-time-nail-biting-slug-fest)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.04.17 at 09:50
Clive James: ‘A reader has complained about my still being alive’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/29/clive-james-reader-complained-about-my-still-being-alive)
He has guessed the unsettling effect of going nuts in your face, like Peter Capaldi in The Thick Of It

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/e87d7aa7044d21cd23a986241833c4f60a785af4/536_0_1379_827/master/1379.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=27dafa81d7340b873070172094996f1c
Peter Capaldi displayed a supernatural talent for keeping a stream of abuse flowing in The Thick Of It Photograph: BBC




Quote:
Somebody on the point of bursting into flames from ungoverned anger has written in with a list of my perfidies, which include my still being alive when he has specifically indicated that he wants me dead. He holds me responsible for unforgivable frivolity in the face of climate change (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/27/clive-james-bushfire-flood-climate-change-australia), and for my apparent indifference to the forthcoming nuclear war (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/15/clive-james-planning-future-shimmering-outline). And for having lived too long.

From internal examination of his violently aggressive prose, I judge him to be an Australian, so he will understand when I encourage him to insert his head in a dead bear’s bottom. This useful instruction, in a less polite form, I first heard 50 years ago from my friend Bruce Beresford (http://www.bruceberesford.org/), the Australian film director. Neither of us thought the expression any the less eloquent for the fact that Australia has no bears except koalas. The smaller the bear, indeed, the more........



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/29/clive-james-reader-complained-about-my-still-being-alive)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.05.17 at 10:02
Clive James: ‘I have put aside Shakespeare, to remind myself that others can write, too’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/06/clive-james-put-shakespeare-aside)
The best artists are a bit like children and the best critics are a bit like artists

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/a8a25c47d56aae47b550ca5499ed3639f5b1b594/0_168_3762_2257/master/3762.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=86381f45ee431020a0ec0db861d3b86b
William Shakespeare: ‘Tolstoy was convinced he wasn’t much good.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo



Quote:
Matthew Arnold (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/matthew-arnold) once called them “the barren, optimistic sophistries”: the bright new beliefs that were going to improve the world. You can tell from his bleak tone that he didn’t think they would.

Quite a lot of them did, however, and Arnold himself benefited from the belief, then new, that travel by rail would broaden the mind even of someone with a classical education. For all we know, some of the most resonant phrases in his wonderful poem Dover Beach (https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2008/oct/20/dover-beach-matthew-arnold) came into his mind at Crewe Junction. Sophocles makes an appearance, but has nothing particularly classical to say. Possibly a station master’s announcement drowned him out.

It’s a mercy, because when Arnold was making a point of sounding classical, he could come up with a line like, “Who prop, thou ask’st, on these bad days, my mind?” Try saying it,.........


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/06/clive-james-put-shakespeare-aside)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 13.05.17 at 09:47
Clive James: ‘Back in the 50s, I saw Abbott and Costello die a death. Two deaths’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/13/clive-james-on-abbott-and-costello)
As the sketch dragged on, the silence of the audience escalated to the monumental

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/cfdb810c786e308e1fa8230a01ee4bc509d4e3d3/0_4_4950_2971/master/4950.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=176cf26a77b78604fa137df8fd33907d
The fear Abbott & Costello projected is with me yet, but they were pros, so they didn’t run. It would have been better if they had.’ Photograph: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images




Quote:
This morning I woke to vivid memories of the imported American artists who appeared at Sydney Stadium back in the 1950s. The range of attractions was remarkable, and Sammy Davis Jr (http://www.sammydavis-jr.com/)’s solo appearance was the first really stunning theatrical event I ever saw.

On the other hand, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello died a death. Two deaths. Their principal mistake, beyond their never having appeared in a movie that any Australian cared about, was to build their whole act around a single sketch,Who’s On First? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTcRRaXV-fg), which had helped make them famous in America. Unfortunately, it was about baseball, a sport that was almost totally unknown in Australia.

I was there for the first of their dozen or so scheduled performances, and when they launched into Who’s On First?, it was like watching two men dive into a trench full of potato peelings mixed .........



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/13/clive-james-on-abbott-and-costello)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 20.05.17 at 10:11
Clive James: ‘The Death Star is threatening me with a lethal dose of boredom’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/20/clive-james-death-star-lethal-dose-of-boredom)
All the special effects are bigger now, but you can’t bring on another Han Solo just by pressing a button

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/292211f18210bb390a3e6699f7c48e413b6e0ce3/0_326_5760_3456/master/5760.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=8d9d41af440e419a4fda36474d3e2a7c
‘I was persuaded to watch Rogue One. I kind of liked Felicity Jones.’ Photograph: Jonathan Olley/AP





Quote:
You know you’re getting on when you lose track of the Star Wars (https://www.theguardian.com/film/starwars) sequels. My elder daughter’s family keeps track of them, so even my granddaughter’s wonder dog can tell a post-prequel starring Natalie Portman (https://www.theguardian.com/film/natalie-portman) from one of the later, newer, pre-early, post-imperial mega-sagas. The dog can recognise these later developments by the absence of Princess Amidala’s rococo get-ups.

Her outfits used to scare the dog to pieces, but along with his new friend, the small female cat from across the street, he is now watching the new brand of extra Star Wars (https://www.theguardian.com/film/starwars) saga, in which the established favourites of the foundation narrative are replaced by a younger generation.

Though doddering on my sore feet, I was persuaded to......



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/20/clive-james-death-star-lethal-dose-of-boredom)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 27.05.17 at 09:59
Clive James: ‘My new wheelchair is a thing of beauty and precision’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/27/clive-james-new-wheelchair)
The same people who conspired to buy it are now competing to get first push

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/19a090bdd674bfa3f398ddc11fba66cdc84bbdd4/0_0_2617_3608/master/2617.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=0b67117ed83d8d73ebb454f5429b00ca
My wheelchair looked like a Ferrari from the heyday of the Mille Miglia.’ Photograph: Getty Images





Quote:
Some secret meeting of the women in my family must have concluded that the old man would not be doing much walking any more, because early this week a wheelchair turned up at my house. It arrived in a big cardboard box. A mass of brown paper had to be removed. This once done, however, the contraption, even in disassembled form, was revealed as a thing of beauty and precision.
Once put together, it looked even better than that. It looked like a Ferrari from the heyday of the Mille Miglia. The deep crimson enamel of the tubular bodywork competed with the glittering silver of the spokes to dazzle the eye. It was a gorgeous beast. You could practically hear it growl and throb. Actually, it won’t be doing any of that, because it hasn’t got an engine.........


read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/27/clive-james-new-wheelchair)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.06.17 at 09:39
Clive James: ‘In a crisis such as Manchester, words aren’t easily handled’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/03/clive-james-manchester-arena-attack-words)Proper writers should take responsibility for the pictures their words suggest

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/8699a9dba3b7961ec7483f153f2be8c33de021c3/0_170_5100_3060/master/5100.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=9743dd5137144dadcca03e7f867b1e08
Balloons and flowers in St Ann’s Square in Manchester. Photograph: Jon Super/AFP/Getty Images




Quote:
This column appears a couple of weeks behind events in the real world, so you have to imagine me sitting at the keyboard and still unable to cope with the reports following the suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s completion of his self-assigned mission in Manchester (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/manchester-arena-explosion). Soon I’ll be getting close to the moment when I have to press send and transmit what I have to say.

One of the reasons for my slowness of composition is that, in a crisis of this kind, the words get too sticky with significance to be easily handled. To fashion the merest paragraph takes twice as long as it ought. For example, I wanted to use the word “deadline” in the previous sentence, but it looked all wrong. Proper writers should take responsibility for the pictures their words suggest.

When I have this much trouble writing, I tend to lapse into a proven set of procrastination measures that become more desperate ........



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/03/clive-james-manchester-arena-attack-words)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 10.06.17 at 09:36
Clive James: ‘Australia’s grammar is a vestige, a mere gesture’
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/10/clive-james-australia-grammar-meat)
Is it because Australians eat so much meat?


https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/32596f51c53de333925dba27dd449bc77348fa8e/0_320_4177_2506/master/4177.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=4d69d9a991563b99e948e7ef05cfc546
‘I suspect language collapses quickest in those nations where they eat the most meat.’ Photograph: Paul Webster/Getty Images




Quote:
I can’t prove it, but I suspect that in all the nations where the English language is collapsing, it collapses quickest in those nations where they eat the most meat. During the second world war, the US forces in the Pacific area issued their troops with a booklet indicating how much their allies ate. The booklet said that the Australians ate even more meat per week than the Americans.

Since then, the Americans have presumably caught up. One year when my wife and I were skiing in Aspen, Colorado, we were startled by the size of the steaks in a restaurant. Admittedly the restaurant specialised in steaks, but it was still daunting to be served with something of greater area than the plate. The steak was called something like a T-bone strip ribeye bazooma grande and.......



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/10/clive-james-australia-grammar-meat)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Murray McGlew on 13.06.17 at 04:08
Guilty as charged, I'm afraid. My sixth year of primary school at Dalwallinu, WA, was the last time we were formally taught any grammar, and I think that was pretty much standard across the state.
It has recently become more of a problem. I have a long-held, and mildly eccentric, desire to learn some Latin and rather late in life I have made a start. I'm sure you have already guessed my difficulty. Any Latin courses I have seen in books or online assume that I have the faintest clue what nominative, accusative, dative and so on actually mean.
The jury is probably still out on Clive's meat theory, but I have noticed that the online versions of newspapers seem to have more glaring errors than the paper versions. Then again I rarely read a paper one these days so I could be out of date there.
Incidentally, if I've never mentioned it before, many thanks Kevin for linking the Clive articles each week. I enjoy reading them, but would probably not get around to looking them up myself.

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 17.06.17 at 09:42
Clive James: ‘My wife is visiting the warmer bits of Europe before the whole shebang disintegrates’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/17/clive-james-terror-attacks-trump-poem-all-is-not-lost)
I am jealous of her mobility, but determined to profit from being left alone with my books

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Kalymnos, Greece. Photograph: Alamy




Quote:
As I sit down to write, enormous events are happening outside my hideaway here in Cambridge. In Manchester and London, one terrorist attack (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/london-bridge-attack) follows another (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/manchester-arena-explosion), as if each group of madmen were jealous of the attention gained by the previous one. At the time of writing, the general election (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/general-election-2017) has not yet occurred. No doubt, by the time you read this, everybody will be able to look back and see that the result was inevitable.

But, right now, anything could happen. Not even the furiously tweeting Donald Trump (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/donaldtrump) can be sure of what comes next. As his fingers blur frantically on the keyboard of his device, I must face the fact that there is a maelstrom out there, while I am in here with nothing to contemplate except my own solitude.

I am thinking of arranging a visit from my granddaughter’s dog,...



read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/17/clive-james-terror-attacks-trump-poem-all-is-not-lost)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 24.06.17 at 09:29
Clive James: ‘The trick of coping with a flop is to go on pretending it is a disguised success’

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/24/clive-james-coping-novel-flop-disguised-success)
Hardly anybody read my novel. There is an annual meeting of its readers, but it looks like those pictures of polar bears on an ice floe


https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/50bb1e05f3baef99650ef5e62f2485d41c019d39/0_0_2379_1427/master/2379.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=d32d7e5da0412c2195cc49cbee92a6d9
Steve McQueen, second left, in The Magnificent Seven. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features





Quote:

My friend the film pundit Antonia Quirke (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/1cw6V0C9W2B06pmkKflLRgK/antonia-quirke) was here recently to do a radio interview with me about Steve McQueen (https://www.theguardian.com/film/steve-mcqueen). There is another Steve McQueen (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/steve-mcqueen) nowadays, but we were scheduled to talk about the one who drives a Ford Mustang flat out down (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31JgMAHVeg0) the bumpy hills of San Francisco in Bullitt (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062765/). Antonia knows a lot about him. She knows, for example, that the sub-frame of the Mustang had to be especially reinforced, or else McQueen, or whichever stunt driver was doubling for him, would have been converted by the repeated impacts into a half-cooked enchilada.

Indeed, she knows everything about Steve McQueen, but I was able to supply one fantastic fan-fact that she didn’t know..........




read on (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/24/clive-james-coping-novel-flop-disguised-success)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Murray McGlew on 25.06.17 at 03:44
Unfair. I love The Remake. I've read it many. many times. Not quite as many times as I've read Brilliant Creatures.

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 01.07.17 at 10:30
Diary: Howard Jacobson (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/01/howard-jacobson-book-pussy-nuns-front-row)



Clive James is away.

Kevin Cryan





Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.07.17 at 15:37
The Guardian

Weekend
29.07.17
Starters
Your
View

Letters, emails, comments



Quote:
Possibly the saddest line I've ever read: "Clive James will no longer be writing a weekly column" (Your View, 22 July). Thanks for the many years of laughter, Clive.

Patrick Harty
By email



Kevin Cryan



Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by S J Birkill on 30.07.17 at 20:08
Kevin quoted:


Quote:
Possibly the saddest line I've ever read: "Clive James will no longer be writing a weekly column" (Your View, 22 July). Thanks for the many years of laughter, Clive.
Patrick Harty

- This appears to be a reader's reaction to what might have been an editorial response to a query in 'Your View' of 21st (or 22nd?) July, about Clive's absence. Elsewhere (brief letters, 24th July) another reader wrote:


Quote:
A few lines on the Your View page (Weekend, 21 July) do not do justice to the hours of pleasure Clive James has given us over the years. Let’s have a big thank you to him now, with a few of his memorable writings included.
Elizabeth Dunnett

- but those "few lines" themselves seem to be missing from The Guardian's paywall-free website. You must have searched in vain for them too, Kevin, before quoting Patrick Harty's letter. If anyone can find them, or still has the relevant print edition, I think we'd all like to see whether the paper had any more to say about Clive's departure from its pages.

Title: Re:  Living with leukaemia -The Guardian
Post by Kevin Cryan on 01.08.17 at 17:22

on 07/30/17 at 20:08:26, S J Birkill wrote :
Kevin quoted:
...
- but those "few lines" themselves seem to be missing from The Guardian's paywall-free website. You must have searched in vain for them too, Kevin,....


I did search, and I concluded that the "few lines" never really existed in any published edition of The Guardian.




Kevin Cryan

Title: Those 'few lines' found [Re: The Guardian]
Post by S J Birkill on 09.08.17 at 19:15
Member Seán Kelly writes:


Quote:


About Clive and the Guardian. This is a snap from our printed copy. Dated 22nd July:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/guardiancjnotesmall.png (http://www.peteatkin.com/images/guardiancjnote.jpg)

A rather short and casual goodbye to him I thought!

Seán


Perfunctory. Parsimonious. Unbefitting this august journal. Thank you Timothy Treffry and Elizabeth Dunnett (not MV members), and Kevin for keeping us posted during Clive's tenure. And well spotted, Seán!



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