Come on everybody, clap your hands
Ar ya lookin’ good?
I’m gonna sing my song
And it won’t take long
We’re gonna do the sweep, and it goes like this:
Come on, let’s sweep again, like we did last summer
Yeah, let’s sweep again, like we did last year
Do you remember when, things were really hummin’?
Yeah, let’s sweep again, sweepin’ time is here!
Of course, you don’t need Chubby Checker to point out when there’s a whitewash about do you? The Press Complaints Commission has just released its report into alleged phone hacking at the News of the World. No surprises then, that the self-regulating commission states there was “no new evidence” of widespread phone hacking at everyone’s favourite Sunday newspaper.
The Guardian reports today that the ‘PCC also said it was not “materially misled” by executives at Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid and that it did not believe senior managers at the paper knew reporters had illegally intercepted phone message left on mobile phones’.
When I was young I used to collect Copper Cards from the local bobbies. Based on the baseball card craze, it was one of those community relation drives to instil understanding and respect of the work of the police force in the young. You were given a wall chart with several topics and spaces for the cards – I think we obtained ours from a constable who visited our primary school – and then spent months collecting them fom police stations or PCs on the beat.
It was a pretty cool idea and as me and my mates were already big fans of Panini’s football sticker albums we all went crazy for Copper Cards. We’d seek out coppers on the beat and shout “Oi, copper! Got any copper cards?!” before trading them back in the school yard, slowly and frustratingly building our wall chart masterpiece. Of course, there was was always cards you’d never get hold of and the price of these almost mythical items rocketed. Swapping a ‘doubler’ wasn’t good enough, you’d need to add a bag of Flying Saucers and a copy of Whizzer and Chips just to begin negotiations. I’m unsure how many completed charts are out there but I remember well how I managed to finish mine – knocking on the door of the WPC’s house down the road and hounding her for weeks, my ligging skills proving successful even at an early age.
Of course this is before it became a risky business to stroll home from work if your job is a newspaper seller and your path takes you near a mob of gurning police constables that look more like stormtroopers on Red Bull than bobbies with a smile. But it seems that the Copper Card is back – with a twist.
Kenneth Tynan is infamous for being the first person to say ‘fuck’ on the BBC – for that he’s no doubt a hero to most. The often controversial, stubborn but always challenging theatre critic has a whole list of genius cutting quotes from his life and work, many on the self-perpetuating fame of the critic – my all-time favourite being “A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded”.
Kenneth Tynan by SAO!
Kenneth Tynan is infamous for being the first person to say ‘fuck’ on the BBC – for that he’s no doubt a hero to most. The often controversial, exceptional but always challenging critic – he battled censorship for much of his career, which made him an enemy of the moral right – has a whole list of genius, cutting quotes from his life and work, many on the self-perpetuating fame of the critic – my all-time favourite being “A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded”.
Toby Young references Tynan in his exploration of the impact on newspaper criticism from blogging critics in this week’s Culture Show, drawing on the Salt Lake City Journal’s tally of discarded critics. Speaking to film critics Peter Bradshaw from the Guardian and the Sunday Times’ Cosmo Landesman, writer Celia Brayfield and film blogger Charlie Lyne Young explores the danger of losing quality of independent thought in the unconscious battle between professional and blogging criticism.
Of course, while it’s clear the Internet has created a channel-surfing culture where consumers can search for information in digestible bitesize chunks (see the explosion of Twitter), the critics that always flourish are the ones who deliver quality, provoking and entertaining copy – regardless of the media platform. Peter Bradshaw argues that professionals can keep their jobs safe by offering themselves as a “prose performer , someone who will entertain them and offer stimulus” – but this is just as relevant and possibly even more true for the blogging sphere where hits are just as crucial, statistics are instant and the competition is just a click and a bookmark away.
Watch the Culture Show on iPlayer – Toby Young’s piece is 37 minutes in.
Listening to Girls feels like slow-dancing at dusk on a wind-swept beach, arms-outstretched and care-free; the cool breeze in your hair, the salty air on your tongue and the taste of the day slipping into memory.
The songs on Album, their debut record, are simple and delicious – hazy guitars, oozing melodies and Christopher Owens’ glorious, almost distant vocals delivering stories of heartbreak, love, loneliness and partying. The Guardian labelled it potential “modern classic”, giving Album a full 5 stars. I heartedly agree.
The Girls play Y Fuwch Goch on 23 October