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What's Eating Martin O'Neill?
By Gerard Houllier
Public Enemy are back playing a one off gig in the indigo o2, O2 arena O2 zone - think that's the dome but I'm not sure. whatever happened to the nation of islam and the black muslims anyway? 911 seems to have scared all those once fearless rappers off. when the going gets tough, the rappers go missing? Even Gil Scott Heron seems to have resigned himself to a world where the first black president makes zero difference to the power structures that control the US and the world.
Maybe Chuck D can reignite that radical flame but somehow this looks like a tawdry piece of corporate sponsored commercialism. Fight The Power now sounds as hollow as any number of futile protest songs by former firebrands - the times they aren't a changing my friends, the times stay exactly the fucking same. For example 'Dame' Vivienne Westwood was recently photographed at Prince Charles's garden with other establishment stooges. 'God Save The Queen, the fascist regime?' As Edwyn put it 'too many protest singers, not enough protest songs' - unless you count Pixie Lott as a kind of 21st century post-modern Joni Mitchell or the 'Mercury Prize winning XX' as a progressive neo-retro John Peel 1980 session band in search of a game show. The Zz more like, boring cunts.
INto this political void steps former funnyman Alexei Sayle with his childhood memoire 'Stalin Ate My Homework' and I'm sure it's a fascinating read - no really, Sayle is a very funny writer and the absurdity of being a Communist Czech Pioneer instead of a boy scout is a neat metaphor for ye olde left's decline - but his insistence on calling himself an intellectual is becoming wearying.
'In France' says Sayle, 'they'd give me a medal' (for his intellectualism) and maybe they would but anyone who has to continually go around boasting about their intellect become as tedious as those who call themselves 'eccentrics' - that's for others to decide. For all his genuine gifts as a comic and writer, Sayle feels his true calling as a great mind has been looked over. He may wish that the public will in time recognise his genius as a thinker but for now and perhaps for ever he'll simply be the fellar who did 'Hello John gotta new motor!'
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