Absurdity

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Sorry – yet again back to 2002 for ‘thanks’

Thanks this week go to …
The places, people, music and media that has given us joy and occasional pause for thought during the course of the last few days …

Been a bit of strange one this week – not had the opportunity to see much TV or film – save for bits and pieces passed to me on tape, which leads me to join the writer of last week’s column in saying thank god for Jools Holland. And, as a side note, if you get the opportunity to catch him and his band live then do so – great night out.

Two great records from two old stagers have not moved far from the virtual turntable this week. Neil Young’s, ‘Are you passionate?’ – Where we get Booker T doing their best Crazy Horse impression on a collection on songs that by stealth get under your skin, to the point where it may take you a while to spend too much time on almost anything else. Unless … the alternative was the new Elvis Costello record (‘When I was cruel’) – which is, by turns, infectious, dark, joyous, thoughtful and – occasionally – all of these.

For pretty much the same reasons as little or no TV this week there are not too many places to mention. However, we would like to take our collective hats off to Sunday lunch at The Fox pub on Boars Hill, Oxford – they don’t make pubs like this anymore. Cantaloupe – a little cliched we know but the original and best bar/restaurant in Shoreditch’s ever-expanding triangle. Also, had great night at Porterhouse in Covent Garden – great beer – maybe a bit of a poor relation to the original in Temple Bar but recommended for leaving bashes etc, particularly if someone else is paying. Oh, and Black Pepper on Lavender Hill – not necessarily the flashiest or trendiest but consistently does the simple things really well.

Have been spending fair bit of time following the investigation into Andersen Consulting and their possible ‘alleged’ hand in the Enron scandal. Heartily recommended on two fronts. Firstly, they clearly employed a great selection of outstanding comedians. Secondly, and on a more serious note, if these people (who are supposedly at the top of their profession which impliedly means that they are extremely well qualified and experienced) are seemingly so casually capable of such an outstanding display of muppetry – and are still permitted to supply advice to those who have the power to shape, manage and finance our world – then what does this mean for all of us?

We especially liked the revelation that the mass shredding of as many Enron-related documents as Andersen staff could get their grubby little mitts on was not a ‘coincidental spontaneous decision’ by those employees but may have ‘possibly’ been in contemplation of a possible enquiry. No, really?

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