The Null Device
A preschool teacher is taking on bad music, one kid at a time. "Rupert", of New York state, has been playing his charges everything from Belle & Sebastian to P-Funk, from outsider music to " The New Politicians (Pornographers to you and I)", thus innoculating them against the manufactured "tween" pop other kids list among their favourites. I wonder whether this will end up sowing the seeds of a backlash against the homogeneous swill that fills commercial-radio playlists and major-label rosters.
File alongside "Israeli guard pigs": Animal Liberation have found a novel way of sabotaging live sheep shipments to the Middle East: by surreptitiously feeding the sheep rendered pig meal, causing them to become inedible under Islamic law.
Mind you, eating sheep that have been fed pig meal may not be all that good for non-Muslims either, what with the possibility of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and all that. I wonder whether this could inspire PETA or someone to start tainting animal feed with BSE pathogens (or claiming to have done so) to encourage people to stop eating meat.
For today's dose of contrarianism, The Graun's Dave Simpson on why the Beatles weren't really all that good:
I never bought the myth - all that thumbs aloft, wacky Scousers, lovely boys, world peace stuff which we now know to be nonsense because they were in fact either taking heroin, fighting among themselves or dreaming up the Frog Chorus all that time. Even at my early age, something in McCartney's eye said: "Sshh, in 30 years I'll be asking my lawyers to get the credits reversed to McCartney-Lennon and presiding over a de-Spectorised version of Let It Be which will show how much we relied on top producers."
The Beatles are what they always were - the safe, money-spinning, housewives' choice. Their albums are easy listening (fine for 50-somethings, but the Beatles were cardigan-wearing duffers in their 20s). Sgt. Pepper, their much-trumpeted "psychedelic" album was as mindbending as an Asda mushroom pie. Give or take Helter Skelter, they never even rocked, really. Next to the Stones, the Who or the Troggs, the Beatles are the low alcohol lager of the 60s.