AMERICAN (INSERT MOVIE SURNAME HERE)

Naming a particular something is a flawed business. Take my dog. She’s called Juno. For the first year of her life, she just heard ‘NO!’ After chasing her across rivers and roads, up hills and down cliffs, she finally stopped running away and started coming back. We stole her name from the greatest ever film made about unplanned pregnancy, but got her spayed just in time, as we didn’t fancy reliving the plot.

Super-sketchily related, we caught a movie on Saturday. Andrea Arnold’s freewheeling road flick American Honey, 3 hrs of my life that has moved my death-date 3 years forwards. Thanks Andrea.

As we left the Newlyn Filmhouse, a tiny cult cinema in a Cornish fishing village, we laughed at the number of movies lazily named American (something). In honour of that throwaway film-talk, here are 100 films on first name-sharing terms in an order that may only make sense to a shrink.

1. AMERICAN MADNESS (1932)
2. AMERCIAN EMPIRE (1942 & 2012)
3. AMERICAN MADE (2017)
4. AMERICAN ANTHEM (1986)
5. AMERICAN HISTORY X (1998)
6. AMERICAN BLACKOUT (2006)
7. AMERICAN JUSTICE (2015)
8. AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999)
9. AMERICAN DESCENT (2014)
10. AMERICAN ADDICT (2012)

11. AMERICAN BURGER (2014)
12. AMERICAN MILKSHAKE (2013)
13. AMERICAN RASPBERRY (1977)
14. AMERICAN PIE 1 & 2 (1999 & 2001)
15. AMERICAN HONEY (2016)
16. AMERICAN BEER (1996 & 2004)

17. AMERICAN MANNERS (1924)
18. AMERICAN BRED (2016)

19. AMERICAN ME (1992)

20. AMERICAN BOY (1978)
21. AMERICAN SON (2008)
22. AMERICAN DAD (2013)
23. AMERCIAN GIRL (2002)
24. AMERCIAN GIRLS (2013)
25. AMERCIAN COUSINS (2003)
26. AMERICAN FRIENDS (1991)
27. AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS (2001)
28. AMERICAN BOYFRIENDS (1989)
29. AMERICAN VIRGIN (2009)
30. AMERICAN REUNION (2012)
31. AMERICAN ROMANCE (2016)
32. AMERICAN WEDDING (2003)
33. AMERICAN GIGOLO (1980)
34. AMERICAN SWING (2008)
35. AMERICAN CRUDE (2008)
36. AMERICAN PIMP (1999)
37. AMERICAN MUSCLE (2014)
38. AMERICAN HARDCORE (2006)

39. AMERICAN HERO (2015)
40. AMERICAN LOSER (2007)
41. AMERICAN IDIOTS (2013)

42. AMERICAN NIGHTMARE (1983)
43. AMERICAN DREAM (2002)
44. AMERICAN DREAMZ (2006)
45. AMERICAN DREAMER (1984)
46. AMERICAN PROMISE (2013)

47. AMERICAN PASTORAL (2016)
48. AMERICAN WINTER (2013)
49. AMERICAN INTERIOR (2014)
50. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
51. AMERICAN BLEND (2006)
52. AMERICAN STYLE (2008)
53. AMERICAN SPLENDOUR (2003)
54. AMERICAN MOVIE (1999)
55. AMERICAN DRIVE-IN (1985)
56. AMERICAN DRIVER (2016)
57. AMERICAN JOYRIDE (2011)
58. AMERICAN HUSTLE (2013)
59. AMERICAN NUDIST (2011)
60. AMERICAN TABOO (1984)
61. AMERICAN ROULETTE (1988)

62. AMERICAN SOLDIERS (2005)
63. AMERICAN SNIPER (2014)
64. AMERICAN ULTRA (2015)
65. AMERICAN HOSTAGE (2015)
66. AMERICAN HEIST (2014)
67. AMERICAN WEAPON (2014)
68. AMERICAN GUN (2002, 2005 & 2011)
69. AMERICAN VIOLENCE (2015)
70. AMERICAN ANARCHIST (2016)
71. AMERICAN ASSASSIN (2007)
72. AMERICAN OUTLAWS (2001)
73. AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007)
74. AMERICAN BRAWLER (2013 & 2016)
75. AMERICAN MOBSTER (2010)

76. AMERICAN STRAYS (1996)
77. AMERICAN MANIACS (2012)
78. AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)
79. AMERICAN CANNIBAL (2006)
80. AMERICAN SATAN (2016)
81. AMERICAN ZOMBIE (2007)
82. AMERICAN POLTERGEIST (2015)

83. AMERICAN NINJA 1-5 (1985-93)
84. AMERICAN SAMURAI (1992)
85. AMERICAN SHAOLIN (1991)
86. AMERICAN KICKBOXER 1 & 2 (1991 & 93)
87. AMERICAN STREETFIGHTER (1992)
88. AMERICAN JUDOKA (2009)
89. AMERICAN YAKUZA (1993)
90. AMERICAN CYBORG (1993)

91. AMERICAN ANIMAL (2011)
92. AMERICAN BUFFALO (1996)
93. AMERICAN TIGERS (1996)
94. AMERICAN EAGLE (1989)

95. AMERICAN VISA (2005)
96. AMERICAN SHARIA (2015)
97. AMERICAN DESI (2001)
98. AMERICAN TEACHER (2011)
99. AMERICAN INTELLECTUALS (1999)

100. AMERICAN TRANSLATION (2011)

THE STAND-UP TREE

They came in their thousands, the leaves, the twigs, the stones. They were here to see the tree, the standup tree, a force of gag-cracking nature impersonating the sensible chimp known as man. A tree so smart and so funny, it made its fellow flora laugh out loud.

This is the tree with no name…a mongrel of a trunk 70ft high with rubbery limbs that made mimicking us all the more expressive. The postures, the gestures, the intonation, you’d swear you were watching a post-historic Jackie Mason giant, abusing the gentiles. Yet, this was a time beyond The Road, the last human gone without as much as a tear expressed by the rest of the animal world.

So much for the largest brain of all.

CLIMATE DATING

Dear Bone Dry Country,

Hope you’re airy, but not sweaty. Sweaty is fine if you earn it, but not something you want to feel by standing still.

Wish we could say the same here but we couldn’t be wetter. Every molecule carries a rucksack of rain. We’ve got trench-foot in our ears. Commuters are caught up in river rage, as they capsize kayaks and canoes on their way to work assuming of course that work is not a basement office.

You go to sleep each night praying for rain to douse the friction of ad hoc fire breaking out. When we hit the hay we hope that a nocturnal sponge the size of Asia will mop up all the land lakes that squat in our streets and homes.

So here we both are in opposite worlds, lonely climates in need of sharing the elements that sustain us. We could airmail you some heavy cloud but pen weather feels like we’re skirting around the issue.

Hells bells, let’s date.

We have so much of what you want so bad.

And you hog what we’d love a nibble at.

If we could coexist, jump into bed together and get it on, our joint genes might just create a hybrid temperate climate that we could sell to planet earth and the idiot species that’s screwing it up. Yes fellow humans, we’re all guilty of meteorological abuse on a colossal (but not irreversible) scale.

So how do we procreate new weather fronts that we can control and nurture? Rain we can turn on and off. Sun we can thermostatically adjust. Wind we can direct upwards when it gets too big for its boots. Snow that falls where it’s meant to fall when it’s meant to fall.

If you’re up for making a mongrel with the weather, we are. As far as we can see, there are 3 ways to make it happen:

  1. Meet halfway, swap numbers and atmosphere then retreat to our dens.
  2. Do a home exchange for a season.
  3. Call Cilla from beyond the grave and go somewhere neutral for a dirty weekend.

IF NASA ATE PIZZA

If aliens landed tonight, how would we show them a good time?

If we could persuade them that our planet wasn’t quite such a mess it appears to be when examined from afar, we’d take them out for a bite to eat. And no matter what corner of earth we lived on, we’d all head for an unknown little pizza joint in North London with the same name as a god, and a rocket.

Apollo does what F Scott Fitzgerald said is the sign of a first rate intelligence: to hold opposing views simultaneously and still function.  Yes, Apollo appears to be both 373 years old and deliciously temporary, a one-night only sour-dough-supper like nonna used to bake. Yes yeast, you really know how to make a human happy. Never has a tomato and garlic base ever thumped so many buds so hard for so long with so much love.

The music behaved like a wayward father coming home stoned and slinging on his vinyl from the days before he settled down and made mum pregnant. Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen may be cheesy on the radio, but here, now, with a needle gathering fluff, it makes you want to holler in between mouthfuls of oohmmyeah.

So starve yourself, head for 160 Stokey High Street, N16 7JL and take the alien with you.

http://www.pizzeriaapollo.com/

DISMALAND 786-0 DECLARED, DISNEYLAND 3 ALL OUT

Have you been yet?

If not, go.

If you can’t get a ticket, break in.

If you can’t break in, drop a tab and gatecrash any seaside Britain in Bloom finalist.

Welcome to Dismaland.

With all that’s wrong with the world right now, this is a meteorite in the aorta. It’s meant to be sad, bleak, dystopic but it’s funny, fun and fluffy. It even cheered the weather up. At a push, I’d say it could conquer peace in the most troubled corners of earth and re-wire man’s relationship with the planet if it stayed up another month or two.

Coolsters will slag it off. Gallerists will go back to their white boxes and start accountancy exams. School-kids will skive tomorrow and that act of truancy will make them more interesting adults. The people in it will occupy the beaten up lido when it ends and start an off-shore principality that Osborne will be invited to open in Spring 2016.

It’s everything Danny Boyle wanted to do in the Olympic ceremony but couldn’t. It’s its bastard twin, the one that love forgot. Yet within this hard heart pumps a blood that is so much more alive than anything you’ve sucked before.

One more tip: if you need glasses, don’t wear them. The fussy edges will only make it more fucking beautiful.

Whatever you think of Banksy, you have to take doff your spray can and say he’s played a blinder here.

21 NEW LUCKY OMENS (AS CERTIFIED BY UNESCO)

On behalf of the human race, we would like to thank UNECSO for idenitifying, authenticating and blessing the following omens of good fortune.

  1. Pebble with a hole in it
  2. Butterfly on a cowpat
  3. Bird cracking open a snail
  4. Slug stuck to your wing mirror at 30mph+
  5. Hat at a stile
  6. 3 or more crickets in song (note: 2 is a curse, so train those ears)
  7. Signs with spelling mistakes
  8. Coke can squashed flat to the diameter of its lid
  9. 5 grey cars on the trot
  10. Raindrops dancing on a spider’s web
  11. Cockeyed thistle blossom (ie: min 35 degrees off vertical)
  12. An oscillating leaf
  13. Flight of steps that amount to a double digit prime number
  14. Bench dedicated to a dog
  15. Pentagonal manhole cover
  16. One stray shoe
  17. One stray sock (40% less lucky than a shoe)
  18. A cuttlefish inland
  19. Any animal flossing
  20. Rainblurb – a rainbow that can’t quite come into full focus
  21. Rabbit on a gravestone

A.M. HOSTS BANNED AUDIO ART EVENING

Lennart and Adam, thank you for hosting.

Tim, thank you for performing.

Sonja, thank you for directing and recording your performing.

Will, thank you for commenting.

Jonny, Kyoko, Paul & Davy, thank you for coming.

Hedda, thank you for babbling.

Jamie, thank you for mixing.

Neighbours, thank you for complaining and muting Hedda.

And Kim, thank you most of all for curating – my love goes out to you.

BREAKDOWN OF A BREAKDOWN

Cars hate us. They resent our misuse of them, our abuse of them, our fuel-injected swearing when our journey snarls up. Like today.

Stuck. Stationary. Stranded. These things we call automobiles are increasingly auto and decreasingly mobile. I await a mechanic who once knew how to mend every nut, bolt & fuse of his patients, but now, in a computerised world, his monkey wrench is as helpful as an anvil.

He’s here early, even though this is no emergency. His pleasant nature will offset his ability to fix my car and get me going. But it will be beyond him. So, I weigh up how long to leave it before I say ‘it’s fucked isn’t it’. I hold back and imagine my morning’s journey by pony and trap, but the dream sours when the wheel rolls off, tap-tackling the pony who ends up lame and has to be put down. Must stop this dark-day-dreaming.

If the future of travel is our legs, then the future of destination is omnipresence.

Science says it will. Commuting and journeys will dissolve as we inhabit space, place and experience without actually ever being there. This is where we’re heading. Exactly where we’re standing.

Eight billion Dr Who-a-likes giving each other just enough elbow room. Welcome to the outdoor Tardis.

THE CITY THAT ATE ITSELF ALIVE

Dear London,

Stop, please stop. You’re shrinking by the day, can’t you see? That’s your own tail you’re gagging on, yet you ram it further down your throat, despite its indigestibility. You’re lower a Rat Snake. At least it has the dignity to swallow two thirds of its body first before it dies. You carry on like a moneyed Mr Creasote.

We’d like to laugh but we can’t. It’s so sad, we can’t bear this delusional self harm. With every month that passes another ordinary London family is ousted from the square mile they grew up in. The rate of appreciation is as crass as KLF burning £1m in a derelict Scottish castle.

So, London, what happens next? Do you want a population made up of middle aged, middle-classes, punctuated by Russian & Chinese oligarchs? Spare a thought for the schools who’ll have no children to teach. Then again, old red brick schools make many a million quid loft apartments.

What’s that? A whimper for help, disguised as a retch?

Ok, there is hope. Self-cannabilization is like any other eating disorder. One you come to terms with it there is a way to stop.

The abolition of estate agents.

Yes, not one or two but the whole fucking industry feeding off the bricks and mortar greed within the capital. It’s a self-regulated sham, ranking lower than arms, drugs and prostitution on the trust scale. Ok, so 550,000 out of work isn’t exactly a shot in the arm for the economy, but when that arm is mainlining the sterling equivalent of uncut crystal meth, it’s time to amputate.

Pass the chainsaw Nurse Ratchett.

VALSE – A NAUTICAL BALLET


For 12 boats


When you do dance, I wish you

A wave o’ the sea, that you might ever do

Nothing but that


Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, 1.140


Boats are numbered 1-12


Boats line up in couples facing counter-clockwise


All boats circle twice

All ease round until couples face centre in single circle

All sail to centre then sail back to edge


Boats split into 2 circles, odd numbers form outer circle, even numbers form inner circle

1, 4, 5, 8, 9 + 12 are standing

2, 3, 6, 7, 10, are kneeling


Standing sail in front of the kneelers

All turn starboard

All sail in small circles – 2 follows 1, 3 follows 4, etc

All sail to centre


All sail in small circles of three – 2 + 3 follow 1, 5 + 6 follow 4, etc

All turn port

Repeat sailing in circles

Turn on stern resolving into 2 straight lines – 12 aligns with 1, 11 with 2, etc


All sailors bow, all sails curtsey

Bouquets fill the ocean


End

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