Archive for the Americans Category

When a McMuffin top will no longer do…

Posted in Americans, Food & Drink, New Stuff on September 6, 2010 by Johnnie

It’s “grow your winter layer” time of year and no one seems more keen to give you a better weather-resistant, wind-cheating midriff than old Burger King.   We’ve covered  American contempt for the concept of  pizza here before, but this vile object really should have anyone with tastebuds and a modicum of self-respect reaching for their sick bags. 

It’s allegedly a “homage” to New York.  A 9.5-inch bun, a slab of meat, “mozzarella”, pepperoni and a no-doubt “authentic” pesto and marinara sauce.  Would you keep those ingredients in the same fridge, never mind lump it all together?   Just look at it – all 2,500 calories of it.  I’m not sure Elvis himself would have got off his throne to fetch one.  Even for Scots, the idea of such calorific intake in one gluttonous sitting is worth serious consideration.  And training.   In any case, it’s a prohibitive $13 – £8.40 in real money. Continue reading

“Sure, we understand irony…”

Posted in Americans, Music on June 15, 2009 by Johnnie

Static X

“..it’s like rain on your wedding day, right?  Or a free ride when you’ve already paid. ”

Continue reading

Good Old American Indie-Dependence

Posted in Americans, Grave News, Music on June 11, 2009 by Johnnie

Clap Your National Grizzly Cold War Wolf Fleet Horses Parade, Yeah Mk517There’s a huge underground hype-machine winging its way to Whelan’s later this year, if whispers whizzing around hip musical circles are to be believed.  A new North American 5 or 6 piece are pencilled in to be the new ‘thing’ for the entire month of November.  From Baltimore or Brooklyn, or maybe it’s Canada, they’re said to be from that peripheral country-folk branch of American indie, with a good dollop of Talking Heads thrown into the mix to make them extra unique.   The four people who’ve actually seen them in rehearsal are already comparing them to Clap Your National Grizzly Cold War Wolf Fleet Horses Parade, Yeah.  And Talking Heads.

Don’t worry if you think you might forget about them by the time the tickets go on sale, you won’t be able to avoid the hype, particularly as their stunning, never-been-done image will be all over the press by then: checked shirts (worn outside saggy jeans), beards, receding hairlines and at least one member, most likely the bassist, or possibly the drummer, will be wearing a baseball cap.  Continue reading

So Far, S*ph*m*re

Posted in Americans, Music, Words on April 26, 2009 by Johnnie

sophomore-polaroid-2

I know, Dear Reader, that I’m a persistent curmudgeon, but even reading online music reviews, as I do on a daily basis, gets me riled beyond accidental Emmerdale viewing.  Today (well, like every other day since I started using the Internerd) there are two Titanic funnels’ worth of steam emerging from my ears over the dogged, moronic insistence of non-American music reviewers to use the word ‘sophomore’.  In case you don’t know, this hugely unattractive word refers to a second-year student in a U.S. college. Due to American review outlets like Pitchfork, its use (before the word ‘album’) has now come to refer to an artist’s second long-player. Which is quite all right over there; I’m absolutely sure normal, everyday Americans pop the word into normal, everyday conversations.  Quite patently, however, we do not. Continue reading

Please “Give It Up”, For God’s Sake

Posted in Americans, Grave News, Words on April 1, 2009 by Johnnie

hilaritysquared2I dreamt about Fame Academy the other night.  There are reasons for this that I won’t get into but it’s fair to say I woke up terrorised, breathing like a hyper-ventilating Phil Mitchell.   Mercifully, Patrick Kielty isn’t on the telly so much these days – but it’s not nice that he came crawling into my head during the night.   Anyway, the dream reminded me of something Kielty always said on the show and I’m going to rant about it now:  “Give it up for… (Daniel Bedingfield/ James Blunt /Jamie Cullum, etc)” Continue reading

American… Wonder Pests

Posted in Americans, TV on February 8, 2009 by Johnnie

Wonderpest“The phone/ The phone is ring-ing.” What the hell has happened to Wonder Pets?  Or, more specifically, the UK version?  Any parent who spends their mornings, afternoons and evenings being blasted by the unremitting fire cannon of kaleidoscopic, hyperactive, cacophonous, epileptic programming on Nick Jr knows what an oasis of calm and cuteness Wonder Pets was.  The everyday tale of a hamster (Linny), a turtle (Tuck) and a duckling (Ming-Ming) who reside in a school classroom by day and become heroic, bungling, inquisitive, resourceful and impossibly adorable rescuers by mid-afternoon, the series is, as you’d expect, an American import, which is revoiced for the UK audience by a team of beautifully well-spoken youngsters.  Until recently, anyway.  The most recent series have, either by terrible accident or less-than-intelligent design, done away with much of its adopted Englishness and allowed hideous psuedo-Americanism to creep into its dialogue.  Same accents, just a woeful slackening of standards, diction and jaws.

The Wonder Pets‘ signature tune previously featured the refrain, “What’s going to work? Teamwork!”  This has been replaced, without notice or parental advisory warning, by the awful, “What’s gunna work?”  In what way will this advance children?  Why introduce the fundamentals of text-speak to toddlers unless there’s a new Nick Jr Uk charter to wilfully dumb-down their audience?  Frankly, I was Outraged of Chiswick and shook my rolled-up copy of The Daily Express at the telly.  It was my absolute parental duty to risk life, limb and eardrum to switch this monstrosity off and change over to the relative safety of CBeebies – which would be my natural choice, anyway.  Mind you, I had an agenda.  What, you mean you haven’t seen Space Pirates?  You’re crumbling before me…

Americans… Have Talent?

Posted in Americans, Grave News, TV on September 10, 2008 by Johnnie

America’s Got Talent, apparently – but it takes Michael Knight and two vastly unqualified British goons to separate the weird from the chavs.  And what have they uncovered so far?  4-year-old Kaitlyn Maher, an impossibly cute little girl whose suitably adorable version of ‘Somewhere Out There’ (tragically, not the Nina Hynes one) melted the hearts of the audience and the supposedly ruthless panel.  What a gruesome display of sentimentality masquerading as talent.  What chance does genuine talent have next to to a 21st century Shirley Temple?  You wouldn’t expect David Hasselhoff to express discernment under these circumstances but even Piers Morgan couldn’t mallet the wailing wee one back into the arms of her opportunistically wholesome parents; she was, after all, the only 4-year-old on the show and infinitely cuter than the tap-dancing octegenarian who brought back terrible nightmares of Les Dawson’s beloved, rotund dance troupe, The Roly Polys.  For Morgan and Sharon Osbourne, little Kaitlyn must have stoked latent nostalgia for 1970s’ Opportunity Knocks, when Paula Yates’ father, Hughie Green unearthed such precocious young talents as Lena Zavarone and Bonnie Langford.  I hope they find the new Jim Davidson while they’re at it.  The only word (after “awww”) I could utter after this brazen exploitation of childhood was “yuk”.  Morgan and Osbourne’s fawning gullibility makes me more than a little embarrassed to be British but it helps to explain how they got the gig in the first place; in America, violin-screeching sentimentality matters much more than substance, as Disney proves time and again.  If they don’t decide to rename this TV travesty America’s Got Schmaltz, they should at least replace Morgan with Russell Brand at the first opportunity.