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No Canines Were Harmed During The Making Of This Motion Picture

When I make my next film, there’ll be a dog in it.
And yes, you can hold me to that.
There’s something about the way
they gaze directly down the barrel;
right into the heart of the lense
and straight through to the other side
- observing this farcical human puppet-show
in farsighted lateral shades of sepia.
Glassy-eyed like some shellshocked Tommy.
A two thousand yard stare which says;
I know God is dead, and what’s more, I knew
he was dead long before Freddie Nietzsche did.
A quiver of the snout. A lolling tongue. The faintest twitch of an ear.
What can I say? It gets me every time.
Writer/Director Kelly Reichardt certainly knows the score.
Her new film, ‘Wendy & Lucy’ stars Michelle Williams
as the eponymous Wendy, alongside Reichardt’s
very own pet dog, Lucy, as the eponymous Lucy.
Uncredited for her role in her owner's previous film, ‘Old Joy',
Lucy is a golden brown mixed-breed bitch.
What one used to call a mongrel. Or a mutt.
Her page at the International Movie Database lists her as Lucy (XXIX).
Lassie was played by a male Rough Collie.
Toto was played by a female Cairn Terrier.
The Littlest Hobo was actually played by 2 different
German Shepherds, both of whom were called London.
But let’s be honest about this, compared to Lucy,
they were all just show-offs. Sideshow acts. Circus freaks.
Lucy's from more of a Lee Strasberg kennel-of-thought.
Her recognition at this year’s Fido Awards stands testament to that.
Based on a short story by Jon Raymond, ‘Wendy & Lucy’
is set in a small town in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.
Much like the Union Pacific locomotives
that moan in the night like beached sealions,
our two heroines just happen to be passing through.
En route to Alaska in a second-hand 1987 Honda Accord.
The film cost just $300,000 to shoot and lasts for 90 minutes.
Which is about 630 minutes in dog-time.

'Wendy And Lucy' trailer

Lucy The Dog at IMDB

The Fido Awards (The Doggie Oscars)

Trailer for a short film in which I play a dog reincarnated as a man



And Thus Passes The Glory Of This World

I've an ability to stomach
happy-clappy finger-clicky
Nu-Folk-Pop better than most.
For that reason, ‘Peaceful The World Lays Me Down’,
the debut album from Noah & The Whale,
was the soundtrack to my summer just gone.
It's tweecore mix of fiddle, brass
and gently strummed gawkiness
instantly reminiscent of the back-roads
and boulangerie’s of French-kissed Provence.
Leading man Charlie Fink sings mostly love songs.
Sometimes he gets the girl. Othertimes not.
Such is the way of these things. Sic transit gloria.
If he wasn’t headlining a sold-out gig
at Camden’s Koko this evening,
Charlie Fink would probably be sat at home
wrapped in a patchwork blanket
watching an imported Hal Ashby film
whilst sipping Earl Grey from bone china.
In 5 years time, I wonder if he'll
remember just how meteoric has been his rise.
In 5 years time, I wonder if he’ll
still be producing Laura Marling’s records.
Still be getting nominated for Mercury prizes?
In The Year 2013, Charlie Fink will still only be 27.
The same age as Jimi Hendrix was
when he choked on his own vomit.
Then same age as Brian Jones, Jim Morrison
and Janis Joplin were when they met their maker.
The same age that Kurt Donald Cobain was
when he put the muzzle of that shotgun
in his mouth and
pressed reboot.

How to play '5 Years Time' on the ukulele

'Blue Skies': Live In Session (BBC)



The 11th Hour Of The 11th Day

Don’t blame Gavrilo Princip for bringing
the Golden Age of Pax Britannica to an end.
He was only 19. The kid didn’t know what he was doing.
And in that, he can hardly be said to have been alone.


Black Is The New POTUS

They’re glued to CNN at Honolulu’s Punahou College.
And on the shores of Kenya’s Lake Victoria.
And in the city of Montgomery, Alabama too.
Glued to Wolf Blitzer’s Electoral Map Calculator
and to the “live-by-hologram”
interview between Anderson Cooper and
the vocalist from the Black Eyed Peas.
Knawing their fingernails to the bone.
Counting to 270 beneath their collective breaths.
When the Commonwealth of Virginia
turns blue, the fat lady starts singing.
The cake has been baked.
The hoops have been shot.
The bellwethers have been rung.
Defeat for the elephant. To the donkey, the spoils.
Sound a fanfare of automobile-horns for the common man.
HOPE springs ever eternal. Happy days are here again.
But please, this I beg of you good people
of America The Brave;
no more grassy knolls
Magic-Bullet Theories or
Texas School Book Depositories.
No more Ambassador Hotel kitchens or Lorraine Motel balconies.
No more Leon Czolgoszs and no more Charles J. Guiteaus.
This I beg of you good people of the Land Of The Free;
please, by the grace of Almighty God
in your Heaven above, no more
of those oft-quoted sockdologizing
old man-traps.

CNN: world's first hologram interview

will.i.am's 'Yes We Can' music video

'Don't Vote' public service announcement

'More Party Animals' merchandise


The Land Without Shadows

Stepping off the F-train at Stillwell Avenue,
I’m officially 241 days early for next year’s
Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Plenty of time to get my oesophagus up to speed.
Plenty of time to line my stomach with milk.
Once overrun with rabbits, Coney Island
was immortalised by the penmanship of
Hubert Selby Junior and Joseph Heller.
This is the place Woodrow Guthrie called home.
This is what The Warriors fought all night to get back to.
I last walked the Coney boardwalk nigh on 10 years ago.
It was the morning of my 30th birthday. A watershed occasion.
I ate a blueberry ice-cream. I played some skee-ball. I dipped my feet in the water.
The abandoned Thunderbolt rollercoaster was still standing that day.
The Brooklyn Cyclones were still known as The St. Catharines Blue Jays.
And The Twin Towers still dominated
the Lower Manhattan skyline, and weren’t
all broken up into pieces and buried
along the banks of the Fresh Kills estuary
out there on the furthest horizon.

List of the gangs in 'The Warriors'

Nathan's Famous hot-dog eating contest



Marathon Changed Its Name To Snickers In 1990

Whichever way you look at it,
you’ve got to feel a little sorry
for Pheidippides of Ancient Greece.
In 490BC, he gave his life for the
cause of long-distance foot racing
and didn’t even get a 10K named in his honour.
Of course, things were very different in those days.
Back then, there were no tracking chips
fitted to participant’s sneakers
and no volunteer “Bandit-Catchers”
employed to stop unregistered runners
from crossing the finish-line in Central Park.
No live bands lined the route back in 490BC.
And no enthusiastic spectators gathered on bleacher seating.
Poor old Pheidippides. All that way;
across fennel fields and rocky terrain,
to deliver a message of victory to his people.
26 miles and 385 yards
without so much as a PowerBar gel blast.

'Run For Your Life': The true story of
Fred Lebow and the New York Marathon



Pass Me The Melatonin Please

It was early when I first awoke that morning.
A cold north wind was whistling around the high-rise.
Whispers of the Munsee Indians
who once laid claim to these lands.
We’d flown in Air India just the night before.
Lost 5 perfectly good hours in the process.
I remember she had her back to me;
wearing Sony walkman headphones
a sports bra and nothing else.
Running on-the-spot. Silhouetted against the glass.
Her bare feet pounding the parquet flooring.
Her Circadian Cycle all shot to hell.
It was early when I awoke, alone on the inflatable mattress.
Way too early. Far too early. Beaucoup much too early.
Outside, the snow was piled-up on the sidewalk hip-deep in places.
I sat there in shallow silence a while, propped up
by a pillow, eyes still wet with milky morning dew,
hypnotized by the veduta di fantasia illuminated behind her.
Dawn light burnishing the brownstones and skyscrapers with gold leaf.
Eldorado rebuilt on bedrock. Atlantis risen anew from the ocean floor.
A tangled mess of inlets and islands
on the very edge
of The New World;
conquered and colonized
and bent to the will of mankind.
This city of cities. This metropolis that Mammon built.
Kublai Khan’s stately pleasure dome made steel and concrete.
Putting a pot of cinnamon coffee on to boil,
I managed to persuade her to rejoin
me back beneath the crumpled sheets.
We made love like ancient Minoans;
cracking open our outer shells
and letting loose our astral forms
to roam amongst the space dust
- whilst 20 floors below, the background
vacuum-cleaner hum of Manna-hata
built gently towards its Gershwin crescendo.

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