EDitorial ± 26-Dec-2000

Thus Spake The Seraph

This, the last EDitorial for 2000, says it all:

Hand-drawn, you know
Without wishing to get too It's-A-Wonderful-Life about things, why not use the link on the right to look up someone that you've lost contact with, and drop them a note for 2001? Or not.

Be seeing you! And have a very HNY, d'ya hear?


EDitorial ± 18-Dec-2000

Things You May Have Missed

Apart from the Radio Times, another favourite thing of mine around December time is the sudden rash-like appearance of those end-of-year lists. Events went slightly over-the-top 12 months ago, what with the millennium (remember that?) and the glut of best albums/books/films ever recorded/written/made, but they're back to a reasonable level this year, IMHO.

One category that's always of interest to me is albums of the year. I've already bought Select and Q magazines for their choices. Q tends to sit on the fence a little by picking their 50 best albums but in no particular order, bar alphabetical. Among the chosen artists this time are Coldplay, Doves, Foo Fighters, Muse, Primal Scream and Radiohead. I can vouch for all of these, should my opinion count for anything.

And the first tree in the green wood
Later this week sees the Christmas edition of the NME. BTW, did you know that the New Musical Express and Melody Maker are merging as from next year? Heard that on the wireless the other day. Anyway, for the past few years I've gone out and bought the NME album of the year (since I don't usually have it). From memory, previous winners have included Sugar, Bjork, Spritualised, and Beck. So there. Can't say I've been disappointed by any of of these.

That's enough about sound. Time for some moving pictures:

Saturday night at the movies
Who cares what picture we see?
— The Drifters
Even if Ben E. King wasn't too discriminating, I am. So yet another list I watch out for is Empire magazine's "Top Ten Movies Of The Year". And here they are:
  1. Magnolia
  2. American Beauty
  3. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  4. Toy Story 2
  5. Being John Malkovich
  6. The Insider
  7. Erin Brockovich
  8. Billy Elliot
  9. Three Kings
  10. Gladiator

I wish I say something about these, but (cue violin) I don't get out as much as I used to. I'll keep this list close by me for my occasional trips to Blockbuster during 2001.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Total Film, Sight & Sound, Premiere:

  1. maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store,
  2. maybe it means a little bit more
  3. (with apologies to Dr Seuss)
Be seeing you! Oh, and have a top Christmas, won't you?


EDitorial ± 11-Dec-2000

Seasonal Listings

Warning! Vaguely unfashionable statement ahead: proceed with caution. If you believe yourself to be the king of cool, look away now:
Ain't Christmas a fab time of year?
There's so many ingredients in the mix:
  • gawking at the gaudy fairy lights in and on people's houses
  • queueing in overcrowded shops (let me through, I have a pram!)
  • avoiding the sweet sounds of the Now! Christmas LP
  • preparing for top telly!
Even before I possessed my own VCR (may that linear stereo Akai rest in peace), one of my personal festive highlights has been buying the special double edition of the Christmas Radio Times. I've been a listings freak for ages, so those annual 200+ pages are a treat. Given the chance, and I will find the time, I'll pore over the pages for hours. An initial flick, then a more detailed perusal, and finally the felt tip emerges to circle the chosen many.

Your day-by-day guide to two weeks of great programmes
Could be films, could be one-off dramas, could be seasonal episodes, but one sure thing is that they'll all require a slice of reasonable grade VHS tape. What to watch, what to record? Short play or long play? Is there enough space on the end to tape Sons Of The Desert? Of such gut-wrenching decisions is my Christmas made. As I said, marvellous.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
BBC1, BBC2, ITV, C4, C5:

  1. you can never be too rich, too thin or have too many blank tapes
  2. please write down what you've recorded
  3. don't forget the TV-with-no-pictures, aka the radio
Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 4-Dec-2000

Fresh Breath Confidence!

You probably already know that I'm a big fan of coffee. And in recent years, straight after a strong shot of caffeine, I seem to have developed a craving for a very particular taste. That something is mint. (What, you thought I was going to say nicotine?)

So typically, in my coat pocket, jostling for space with the loose change and lip balm, is a packet of extra strong mints, Trebor or XXX or even Sainsbury's own. There ain't nothing quite like that minty kick on the tongue to take away the last traces of cappuccino breath. Only that kick doesn't seem to have the oomph it once had.

On my way to work t'other morning, stopping off for a copy of Thursday's Guardian, I spotted a funny looking tin nestling among the confectionery. Despite the 99p price tag, or perhaps inspired by this, I had to have it. For these were Altoids.

Cute Tin
Posh sweets that these are, they have an inner lining, which proclaims:

ALTOIDS®, the Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Peppermints®, are specially formulated peppermint lozenges many times stronger than ordinary mints.
I'd love to tell you at this point that I popped one in my mouth and was blown away. That wasn't the case. They certainly put the humble Polo to shame with their classy chalky taste, but I wouldn't place them any higher than your average E.S.M. on the strengh-ometer. Still, I bet the tins are highly collectable.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Sugar, gelling agents, flavouring, glucose syrup:

  1. a dentist writes: if you've forgotten to brush your teeth, have a mint
  2. avoid fruit Polos at all costs
  3. those chewy mints look tempting, but one minute later they're gone
Be seeing you!