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The Amazon.co.uk Review Game


Stevo985
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Borrowed this from another site, but thought it may raise a few smiles.

The game is you think of something you can buy from Amazon (book, film, TV show, album etc etc) that is universally acclaimed.

Then you go to Amazon, search for it, find the 1 star reviews, and post your favourites up here for us to laugh at, granted probably in a "you're not clever enough to get it" way or a "look how stupid you are" way, but I'm ok with that

I'll start

The Shawshank Redemption (Movie)

A barely adequate movie which semaphores its mawkish tale of moral redemption at every corner -just before it rams it down your throat.

If you like Disney movies this is for you.

If you balk at movies which make formulaic plays at your emotions then this is definitely a film to avoid.

If you prefer complex stories with development of ideas in a dramatic setting avoid Shawshank like the plague.

...

Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman have starred in some excellent movies - this is not one of them.

I was very happy with this film until it attempted to defile my mind under the impression I didn't unerstand metaphor. I was made very uncomfertable by the tunnel scene, which presented the main character's salvation as a symbolic "male-to-male" interaction. I won't lower myself to vulgarity, but the scene is clearly an act of deviance projected as a journey through a sewer pipe filled with human waste. Really, how stupid o they think we are?
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Close. The. Thread.

Not one-star, but the best Amazon reviews EVER:

Mr. Small (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Small (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.38

Availability: In stock

85 of 85 people found the following review helpful:

4.0 out of 5 stars Bleasdale Was Beaten To It, 1 Mar 2010

This review is from: Mr. Small (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

Mr Small is Hargreaves' `Boys From The Blackstuff'. Here he adopts a more naturalistic style, putting aside explicit exposition of academic schools of thought along with his usual moral and philosophical preoccupations. In a manner that is almost kitchen sink, we follow the working class everyman - quite literally the small man - as he searches for a job in 70s Britain. Thematically Hargreaves shows his vision, as he presages the mass unemployment that was to come in the 1980s.

Mr Small tries a succession of jobs for which he is woefully mismatched - they are all manifestly too big for him. He lacks the basic knowledge and skills to hold down any of the occupations he attempts. Does Hargreaves here break from his usual social conservatism with a damning indictment of an education system that is not adequately preparing the workforce for increasingly skilled and mechanized labour? And in this does he further express his frustration at how his own fictional potentialities have been manacled and constrained by this state of affairs?

For indeed, Hargreaves himself seems to give up on Mr Small - in a wry narrative flourish of course. Beneath the surface positivity of the ending, we at best encounter stoicism, with a definite undercurrent of fatalistic dread at what the very near future holds. The shadow of the impending Thatcher years is already falling across the world of the Mr Men. If Hargreaves has deprived him of revolutionary socialism in Mr Uppity - or even the more modest protection of the centre-left - there is nothing Mr Small can do but passively accept his situation. Mr Robertson, a literary personification of statutory intervention, is ultimately powerless to help him. The collective sentiment of the workers - embodied by a friendly postman - offers nothing practical, just sympathy. The only job that Mr Small proves fit to do is recount his story to the author. (Contrast this with the earlier Mr Bump, who successfully finds a job compatible with his idiosyncrasies as a character.)

Hargreaves, with characteristic genius, holds up his hands and laments his own impotence. But if Mr Small cannot be saved, at least he has been given a voice.

Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2011 12:59 PM GMT

Mr. Uppity (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Uppity (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.30

Availability: In stock

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful:

4.0 out of 5 stars Hargreaves: Bolshevik, or Monarchist?, 28 Feb 2010

This review is from: Mr. Uppity (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

In the opening few pages of this, the 11th work in the Mr Man series, we are almost led to expect of Hargreaves a foray into dialectical materialism.

We meet Mr Uppity with his top hat and monocle - a clear and overt representation of the bourgeois industrialist. Other arriviste trappings such as his long limousine and imposing townhouse further give the game away.

In a thinly-veiled reference to the oppression of the workers by the ruling class, we are told that Mr Uppity is rude to everyone, and the detail that he has no friends in Bigtown explicitly informs us that the masses are on the brink of revolution. Are we about to bear witness to class war, Hargreaves-style? To see Mr Uppity brought to account by the revolutionary power of the proletariat? Vanquished and overthrown by the party of the workers?

Not so. Mr Uppity is no Marxian analysis, no Leninist prescription for class action. As always, Hargreaves' inherent and essential conservatism comes to bear. His critique of the bourgeoisie comes not from the proletariat but from the feudal aristocracy. It is the authority of a king that places limits upon Mr Uppity's excesses, as his usurpation and arbitrary exercise of power has violated 'the natural order of things'. Hence the protection the masses are dealt in response to this transgression is paternal, and they receive it as subjects not radical agents of change.

Being so staunch a traditionalist, Hargreaves of necessity is a reformer not a revolutionary. The King does not have Mr Uppity executed, imprisoned or even sent into exile. There is no state seizure and collectivization of his wealth, or in fact any redistribution at all. (Despite his pomp and grandeur, the King no longer has such powers - both the outward self-importance and ultimate weakness of his intervention appear little more than a face-saving exercise for his waning hereditary rule.)

Rather, in the end it is the mildest of all regulation that is imposed upon the capitalist class. The ownership of the means of production remains the same, with no fundamental change to the economic base - just some superstructural tinkering to rein-in any overly brutal treading on the small man. The ruling class can do pretty much as it did before, as long as it says 'please' and 'thank you'. The aristocracy is duly appeased.

Hence we arrive at the Britain Hargreaves lived in - a gently regulated capitalism coupled with sham aristocracy, maintained by our own collective nostalgia and a national lack of appetite for mass action.

Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 5, 2011 10:46 PM GMT

Mr. Messy (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Messy (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.10

Availability: In stock

229 of 230 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling Echoes of Josef K, 28 Feb 2010

This review is from: Mr. Messy (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

If '1984' or 'The Trial' had been a children's book, Mr Messy would be it. No literary character has ever been so fully and categorically obliterated by the forces of social control. Hargreaves may well pay homage to Kafka and Orwell in this work, but he also goes beyond them.

We meet Mr Messy - a man whose entire day-to-day existence is the undiluted expression of his individuality. His very untidiness is a metaphor for his blissful and unselfconscious disregard for the Social Order. Yes, there are times when he himself is a victim of this individuality - as when he trips over a brush he has left on his garden path - but he goes through life with a smile on his face.

That is, until a chance meeting with Mr Neat and Mr Tidy - the archetypal men in suits. They set about a merciless programme of social engineering and indoctrination that we are left in no doubt is in flagrant violation of his free will. 'But I like being messy' he protests as they anonymize both his home and his person with their relentless cleaning activity, a symbolism thinly veiled.

This process is so thorough that by the end of it he is unrecognizable - a homogenized pink blob, no longer truly himself (that vibrant Pollock-like scribble of before). He smiles the smile of a brainwashed automaton, blandly accepting what he has been given no agency to question or refuse. It is in this very smile that the sheer horror of what we have seen to occur is at its most acute.

Somewhere behind this blank expression though is a latent anger - a trace of self-knowledge as to what he once was - in the barbed observation he makes to Neat and Tidy that they have even deprived him of his name.

The book ends with a dry reminder from Hargreaves that just as with the secret police in some totalitarian regime, our own small expressions of uniqueness and volition may also result in a visit from these sinister suited agents.

Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2011 11:05 AM GMT

Mr. Tickle (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Tickle (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.38

Availability: In stock

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful:

4.0 out of 5 stars Freud Helps Hargreaves Loosen His Tie, 28 Feb 2010

This review is from: Mr. Tickle (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

Hargreaves' first work, and regarded by many as his masterpiece, Mr Tickle is something of a rarity amongst the Mr Men books. Elsewhere, we see much exposition on the pitfalls of excess - such as in Mr Greedy and Mr Messy, for instance - but a distinct lack of discourse on personalities that are over- rather than under-regulated. A case in point might be another work, Mr Fussy, which stands out as an opportunity glaringly missed. Despite a faintly ridiculing tone to the prose, this is essentially a lamentation on how others cannot live up to the high ideals and perfectionism of its titular central character. It is at best an ambiguous critique of repression, and Mr Fussy escapes the moral judgment so often dished out to others in the series.

So what a glorious anomaly we find in Mr Tickle - a breath of fresh air from the unrestrained id. The all-consuming sensual delight he offers relentlessly disrupts the social order. A postman drops all his letters in a puddle, the tickling of a policeman causes a traffic jam, and the unbearable reverie he inflicts upon a station master brings the local rail network to a temporary standstill. There is something almost Bakhtinian about the manner in which he tickles a dour schoolmaster until he loses control in front of his class.

But Mr Tickle is not Stirner's Egoist, nor does he proclaim `do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'. And if he is a terrorist, his weapons are laughter and ecstasy. Though his principal targets may well be those who wear uniforms - those who exercise, embody and therefore are most in the grip of Authority - we would be mistaken to think that Hargreaves' purpose is to challenge the external Social Order. Rather, it is to loosen the vice-like grip of an interior foe: the overdeveloped Superego.

We note that Mr Tickle himself is no slave to sensory delight - quite the opposite; he is a model of psychical equilibrium. At the end of his day's escapades he relaxes in an armchair, sated and quiescent. Our hero preaches a message of catharsis - a call to arms against becoming too bogged down by self-suppression and normative regulation. Via psychoanalysis, we arrive at an Aristotlean middle way, and are left with the gentle realisation of our need to give a measure of expression to desire and joy.

Because one thing we can be sure of is that the more we repress the pleasure principle, the more we guarantee that sooner or later we will fall victim to an overpowering and fervid release from the id.

And rest assured, it will be at just that hour we fail our Superego the most.

Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2011 10:21 AM GMT

Mr. Bounce (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Bounce (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.38

Availability: In stock

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Dasein: A Thrown Projection, 28 Feb 2010

This review is from: Mr. Bounce (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

An infant's primer in Existentialism, we find in this book a weighty treatise on the personal politics of agency and empowerment, taking ownership and authorship of one's own life.

Such is the force with which this Heideggerian hero is hurled into the world that he has not stopped bouncing since. This is Mr Bounce's facticity - the set of circumstances, both of himself and his environment, in which he finds himself as a subjectivity. That is, his ceaseless bouncing is the hand that life has dealt him, owing to his unique position in time, in history, as a conscious being in a sensory world.

The phrase above is the key to this tale - 'he finds himself as a subjectivity'. In the early stages of the story, his experience is more that of an object as he randomly bounces his way through his life, exerting next to no control. It is important to be aware, as ever with Hargreaves, that this is not merely a matter of the physical, the material. The most crucial passage of this masterwork is where Mr Bounce is beaten around like a tennis ball by two players who appear to lack any concept of his personhood. This is just as we are all to some extent shunted to and fro by the whims and vagaries of das Man, The They - the unthinking, amorphous collective abnegation of Will. Here we confront Bad Faith - inauthentic existence.

Unlike many though, perhaps due to his particularly vivid and immediate experience of this phenomenon, Mr Bounce is spurred into action. In a visit to a doctor (of philosophy?), Mr Bounce is presented with the perfect solution - a pair of heavy boots.

Acknowledging his facticity he also transcends it, through choice - the active exercise of free will. Newly grounded in the uniqueness of his being, his bouncing ceases - the emancipatory conclusion of this work is the achievement of agency, authentic being.

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2011 11:17 AM GMT

Mr. Happy (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Happy (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.10

Availability: In stock

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Young Person's Guide to Individuation, 28 Feb 2010

This review is from: Mr. Happy (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

In his third work, Mr Happy, Hargreaves takes us on a Jungian journey to the integrated self.

The story starts by introducing us to the supposedly perfect life that our eponymous hero appears to live - the tranquilized bliss and counterfeit euphoria of Happyland. Yet what is it that leads Mr Happy to wander away from an existence that, if truly flawless, should suffice to satisfy and sustain him? Why this need to venture deep into the mysterious unknown of the forest? To open a door in a tree-trunk and descend a staircase beneath the ground to the deepest recesses of the unconscious?

Here lays the crux of this exploration of analytical psychology - the defining happiness of our central character is revealed as nothing more than a persona. His name and outward appearance are a mask to the outside world and from himself. It is the very inauthenticity of this state of affairs that drives him on the voyage to seek out and confront the root of the dissonance that this generates within him.

For indeed, what does he come face-to-face with at the foot of these stairs but his own repressed sadness? This comes in the form of his miserable alter ego - physically identical, polar opposite in mood. It is only through this confrontation with the shadow that his unsustainable persona can find authentic resolution and true integration of the self be achieved. These archetypes are quite literally brought to light as Mr Happy coaxes Mr Miserable up to the surface and into view of the conscious mind in a climax of now genuine peace and bliss.

In a knowing nod to his source material, Hargreaves depicts Mr Happy as round - a shape he shares with the mandala.

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2011 10:01 PM GMT

Mr. Strong (Mr. Men Classic Library)

Mr. Strong (Mr. Men Classic Library)

by Roger Hargreaves

Edition: Paperback

Price: £2.10

Availability: In stock

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Meditation, 28 Feb 2010

This review is from: Mr. Strong (Mr. Men Classic Library) (Paperback)

What a triumph it is, this Nietzschean parable of the Superman. Mr Strong's very being brims with the Will To Power, for which his physical strength is not a delicate metaphor. He hammers a nail into walls with his finger, he ties a knot in an iron bar.

Furthermore, he manifests this sheer force and charisma often quite despite himself. He tears a door off its hinges totally by accident, and barely notices as a bus is written off in collision with him. The symbolism of both of these events is important. The incident with the door makes explicit that it is the world around Mr Strong that must change - not he - however violent this birth of the new. It is equally significant that Mr Strong's own inattentiveness to road safety causes the crash - he cannot help but exist above the social rules that govern the majority, beyond Good and Evil.

This is not to say that Mr Strong ever uses his innate superiority to do wrong - he is every bit as good an egg as those which form his principal diet. One feels he would be just as horrified as Nietzsche himself was by the anti-Semitism of Wagner.

Whatever the case, destiny calls the Superman. And with a fire in a field he yanks a barn from its foundations (a clever metaphor for the dramatic social change brought about by iconoclasts such as he). He fills it with water, empties it upon the chaotic inferno, dousing its flames with his might. Without so much as a second thought, he seizes his moment in history.

Thus sprach Zarathustra.

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This is fun.

On The Great Gatsby

on't get it the lavish praise for this book. I guess there was a reason I never read it in high school. Still....all the hoopla about it being the "classic" American novel and it being made into no less than FIVE films with another on the way in 2012...I thought there HAS to be something great about it.

WRONG.

I never though a 150-page book could take so long to read. This isn't so much a story as it feels like an outline for a story. The book is SLOW and Fitzgerald's writing style is SO over-wrought and flowery that it really, really gets in the way of moving the plot (wait, was there a plot?) along. None of the characters are likeable. There was NO ONE to root for, therefore there was no emotional investment in this story. In the end, it's a VERY thin love triangle between rich, superficial people. That's it.

It's also told through Nick's character, who is completely irrelevant to the story. He's only there to narrate it. Why do we need him? It's more effective to SHOW us what's going on rather than have Nick feed us all the details AFTER the fact. That device provides NO drama, suspense or anything else. In fact, you could remove Nick's whole character from the book and it would lose nothing. That's how inconsequential his character is. It only serves to separate us further from the characters and a story that are already pretty thin and distant.

Wow. This book is a D+ at best. I'm shocked this is what people think of as a classic.

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A couple about Skyrim (Xbox 360)

Great game in all. There is.a.great storyline and graphics are alright but there.is a lack of.a musket. There is also no tactical insertion, red dot. And I tried to.set a C4 on a dragon but it lagged me out of the game! Terrible not.worth.it!

It just isn't realistic to have so many people of color in a game like this. Though this game is a fantasy based game it still implies that it's set somewhere in the 1200's. During those times most race were completely segregated and not all "mixed in together" like this game shows.

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5 of 39 people found the following review helpful:

1.0 out of 5 stars overrated low budget Yawnfest 15 Nov 2011 By eniro77

This review is from: The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1-5 [DVD]

I felt compelled to write a review for this tv show, as so many people rave on about how good it is, some even say it's the best tv show ever, and if you've never seen the show, and you're looking at the reviews with a view to buying its my guess is that you'd want to read a neutral review, not just a rave on about how great the show is like most of the reviews on here.

well, each season follows the police undercover in Baltimore, Maryland USA , in the first season they are after a Drug dealer who gets let off. And each following season has a similar theme. I couldn't say exactly what happens in the next 4 seasons as I gave up after the 1st. As it bored me senseless.

If you're looking for something heavy, long and drawn out, little plot or action , set against a depressing backdrop (think 8 mile) and enough f words to give the censors scissor fingers RSI then this is the show for you , provided you can stay awake long enough . All this poor excuse of a show is really, is a (very) low budget movie script , extended to fill an entire season on tv hence the painfully slow episodes and the need for constant swearing to fill in the time and try to keep the viewer's attention and fool them into thinking something meaningful is happening, when it very rarely does.

My advice to anybody thinking of buying this would be to save your money, buy the sopranos instead, or for a full season of gripping drama and action try prison break, 24 or murder one.

I hope this review helps. Although I'm sure i'll receive plenty of no votes from the converts, I just thought I'd give an unbiased opinion to help potential buyers of this box set - buy it and you'll wish you hadnt.

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I was just about to do the Wire!

I have managed to sit through the first 3 episodes of series one and find myself bewildered as to why this is so highly rated. One of the reasons for watching films or reading books is to to meet interesting people. In this example we are presented with a collection of characters none of whom can construct a coherent sentence. In fact there seems to be a relentless pusuit, almost a celebration of illiteracy in the interests of authenticity. Contact with stunted, undeveloped, unambitious, unoriginal minds is not going to create interest but simply a sense of waste. Watching for example the drug addicts constantly passing pills between themselves, made me think this may be an inspired parody but I soon realised it took itself seriously. Everything is sacrificed to the god of authenticity - there can be no romance just sex, there can be nothing uplifting or generous just corruption. I am afraid I find this bleak view of life unconvincing and cheap.

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A couple about Skyrim (Xbox 360)

It just isn't realistic to have so many people of color in a game like this. Though this game is a fantasy based game it still implies that it's set somewhere in the 1200's. During those times most race were completely segregated and not all "mixed in together" like this game shows.

:lol: A lack of racial segregation ruins the believability of a game that contains flying dragons ffs.

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Mr Man reviews FTW

with nobody in particular in mind :-) I give you a review of Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys

Strewth! - what a bunch of hopelessly overrated, overanalysed, lauded piffle. When i got this cd i thought i was going to be bowled over in much the same way i was when i heard London Calling, Forever Changes, Five Leaves Left, Swordfishtrombones or L.A. Woman. But all i heard was incredibly embarrasing whiny teenager lyrics, and for the most part, duff tunes (Sloop JohnB and Wouldn't it be nice excepted). And why does 'genius' Brian Wilson sing so many songs - his voice just doesn't hold up well at all. People always talk about the engineering and production genius at work - I'm sorry but to the casual listener this just doesn't connect in anything approaching the superlatives given it - it just sounds like any other decently produced album. And what of the so-called masterstroke arrangements? - like where??? - absolutely no comparison to the knockout chemistry/playfulness/tunefulness/mystique/ideas and plain good songwriting defined by Sgt. Pepper. Make no mistake - all the hype is just a brainwashed delusion. This band were much better suited to the 2 minute surf style of music i.e. simple, direct and catchy. Some bands e.g. Ramones, Motorhead just don't suit 'progression' and this album proves that the Beach Boys didn't either.
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LOTR

Why doesn nobody in the entire World say anything bad about these films!!!?

It's awful! Sure, the CGI is good. But it's about some dwarfs running about with a ring. It's basically midget wrestling, which is far more entertaining anyway.

Why do people love it? Because it's an epic with great fight scenes and wonderful music and even better costumes.

The story is a rip of of Dracula, you don't care about any of the characters, because it's all abotu the scenery really.

Give me midget wrestling any day!

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I was just about to do the Wire!

I have managed to sit through the first 3 episodes of series one and find myself bewildered as to why this is so highly rated. One of the reasons for watching films or reading books is to to meet interesting people. In this example we are presented with a collection of characters none of whom can construct a coherent sentence. In fact there seems to be a relentless pusuit, almost a celebration of illiteracy in the interests of authenticity. Contact with stunted, undeveloped, unambitious, unoriginal minds is not going to create interest but simply a sense of waste. Watching for example the drug addicts constantly passing pills between themselves, made me think this may be an inspired parody but I soon realised it took itself seriously. Everything is sacrificed to the god of authenticity - there can be no romance just sex, there can be nothing uplifting or generous just corruption. I am afraid I find this bleak view of life unconvincing and cheap.

Love this.

The whole "review" is about how it isn't good because they make it so "authentic" and real.

And then he ends it by saying it's unconvincing.

Eh?

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Sort of tangentially related I wholeheartedly agree with this review

All You Need Is Hype: Why I Hate The Beatles | Music | Sabotage Times

I hate The B*atles. There. I’ve said it. If that’s a little vague, ambiguous or confusing, permit me to clarify and elaborate; I loathe the Fab Four with every fibre of my being. In fact, the strength of my feelings, regarding the world’s first boy band, probably borders on the pathological.

Already I can hear the howls of outrage and indignation from the legions of Beatles snobs and drones. With only the possible exceptions of Catholics, Daily Mail readers and BNP voters, these poor souls must surely be the most conned, gullible and brain-washed cross-section of humanity to have ever drawn breath?

In terms of articulating my feelings, it’s difficult to know where to start, given that the reasons for my detestation are passionate, long-held and many. I’ll do my best, though. Promise…

So, let’s set the ball rolling then, by looking firstly at their undoubted commercial success which, mystifyingly, many hold up as some kind of evidence of their musical omnipotence. This is easily disposed of.

To get things in some sort of perspective, consider, if you will, The Spice Girls; easily one of, if not the, biggest all-girl acts ever, with record sales that dwarf those of eight out of ten other manufactured pop puppets. While I accept that all art is largely a subjective matter, surely we can all agree that “I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really, really, really, wanna zigga zig ahh” is, frankly, bollocks by any commonly accepted criteria? Mind you, it holds up at least as well as “she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah, she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah”. The conclusion, by now, should be clear to even the most fundamentalist B*atles disciple; commercial success is not an infallible barometer of artistic merit or credibility.

The other fiercely held conviction among the faithful goes something like this: “Ah, but if it weren’t for The B*atles, you wouldn’t have had [insert name of some incredibly implausible band]”. Again, utter bollocks and infuriating, ill-informed drivel. Now, this may surprise you but they weren’t actually responsible for every great musical event that followed them, you know.

Cream, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, The Who, Deep Purple and the Stones owe zero, nada, zilch to those over-rated Scouse conmen and they were all a damn site more innovative, revolutionary and superior in every respect, anyway.

In fact, I reckon the most influential musician of the entire 20th century has surely got to be Robert Johnson. By a huge margin. Modern blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and then, ultimately metal, hard rock and even punk, with its penchant for the hackneyed Three Chord Trick, all stem, to one degree or another, from his legendary, seminal twenty nine songs.

The blues permeates the most vital contemporary music of the last century like a rich seam of platinum. It runs like blood through the beating heart of just about any music of note outside the classical world. Don’t even try and claim a similar legacy for those third-rate, mop-topped hacks. I’ll just laugh. Or poke you in the eye with my pen. As if a case could ever be made for, say, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath or even Simon and Garfunkel being, in any way, defined by some shallow, plastic, pop-tarts from the 60s! Go on; try . Yeah, thought so…

Oh, but hang on a moment, though; Lennon & McCartney were the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, weren’t they? Really? Better than, say, Bacharach and David? Irving Berlin, Ray Davies, Brian Wilson, Hank Williams, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Pete Townsend or even Paul Weller? Behave.

You wanna talk about their legacy? The Osmonds, Westlife, Boyzone and JL bloody S are their natural heirs!

In terms of song writing, Robert Johnson and the pioneering Bluesmen perfected the classic I-IV-V chord progression that everyone, including the bloody B*atles, has done to death. To come from a completely different angle, in terms of melodic understanding, harmonic construction and technically superior composition, even ABBA were working on a level our Merseyside charlatans could only dream about.

In a similar vein, a friend of mine, Deni Lloyd, observed, “when you think about the level of fame and adoration they enjoyed, then think about other bands of the sixties who were forever in their shadow it puts it into perspective. Their song writing was weak (unlike say, The Kinks), their voices were weaker (unlike say, Chris Farlowe or Del Shannon) and their instrumentation lacklustre (unlike say, The Byrds) all of which would be easier to forgive had they not wholeheartedly bought into their own mythology. They were a bunch of preening, jumped up little shits and the ones that remain are ridiculous, vain old men with a God complex. They’re shit. That’s it”.

So that takes care of their early oeuvre but we all know, don’t we, that the White Album, Revolver and Sergeant Pepper’s Dreary Club Band were the works that saw them mature into really great musical visionaries, though, yes? Well, if ill-disciplined, drug-induced, pretentious doodling is your thing, then maybe, yeah. Personally, “semolina dripping from a dead dog’s eye” “I am the walrus, I am the Egg-man” and “you’ve been a naughty girl, you’ve let your knickers down” are not quite the incisive capturing of the zeitgeist that springs to mind when I ponder the post-war artistic and cultural revolutions.

It’s probably the right time to surprise you and say that, unlike Deni, I don’t actually think The B*atles are crap, per se. No, really, I don’t. Yesterday is a fine tune, to give just one example (although even here we can thank George Martin’s inspired addition of a string quartet as the element that lifts the song to, possibly, genius-level) and, to be fair, I think they wrote perfectly acceptable three or four minute packages of shallow, pop-puff that reflected, quite well, the new, breezy, optimistic vibe of the Swinging Sixties. If only they’d left it there. But no; they had to go to India, consort with religious nutters, buy a sitar, get all mystical and start taking seriously the hysteria surrounding them. Horror of horrors, they actually started to believe they were, God help us, Serious Artistes!

As far as individual musical proficiency goes, it’ll take barely a paragraph to pull these fakers from their Ivory Tower and expose the Emperor’s New Clothes (excuse the mixed metaphors; that’s what they do to me, God damn ‘em!). Ringo, you’re first up, my man; as a drummer, Mr Starr, as Lennnon himself famously remarked, was not only not the best drummer in the world, he wasn’t “…even the best drummer in The B*atles”. Sadly, poor old Ringo lacked sufficient talent to even polish John Bonham’s cymbals. Or pour Keith Moon’s booze. Or even chop Ginger Baker’s lines with his sticks.

Lennon, as most are forced to reluctantly acknowledge, could barely play guitar at all and George Harrison’s most elevated B*atles moment arrived courtesy of Clapton’s sublime solo on When My Guitar Gently Weeps. As surely it must’ve done, with relief and gratitude, no doubt, when Eric picked it up; at last! A real musician, pluck me, baby!

Macca? Ironically, probably the most talented of the musically juvenile foursome, he still couldn’t disguise the fact that his mediocre talent was more suited to Broadway and the kitsch world of stage musicals than rock ‘n’ roll. Not that they were ever a rock ‘n’ roll band, of course. The very thought is laughable. No, they were always a pop band. Even your Granny likes ‘em.

The real irritant, though, is that they are easily the most overrated band to have ever entered a recording studio, bar none. Thanks to Epstein, they were marketed, packaged, hyped and sold to an impressionable public, desperately yearning for some escapism following the years of post-war austerity, with the myth enduring to this very day. In fact, it’s here, really, that they made their biggest impact on popular culture; a towering testament to the power of marketing, advertising and hype. The world’s first, and still, its most successful, boy band.

You wanna talk about their legacy? The Osmonds, Westlife, Boyzone and JL bloody S are their natural heirs! Oh all right, maybe a tad harsh; after all, they were directly responsible for the Gallagher brothers and Oasis, too. Yeah. Like, thanks lads…

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Moby Dick

The author seems to think it far more appropriate to let us all know what a well-educated fellow he is by the use of overblown pompous classical waffling, than to tell the story. Avoid this awful book.
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ONE STAR

I recently purchased this book, with the intent of teaching my dog physics. Although my dog is always enthusiastic and eager to learn new things, we felt this book did not help. Please be warned, if purchasing this item and you too assume this book will aid in your quest to teach your dog Quantum Physics, I feel you will also feel rather disappointed.

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4zTBR.jpg

ONE STAR

I recently purchased this book, with the intent of teaching my dog physics. Although my dog is always enthusiastic and eager to learn new things, we felt this book did not help. Please be warned, if purchasing this item and you too assume this book will aid in your quest to teach your dog Quantum Physics, I feel you will also feel rather disappointed.

:lol: Brilliant

(That should make the VIZ letters page)

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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful:

1.0 out of 5 stars Lack of Font options, 8 Dec 2010

By Knives - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black (Office Product)

While this pen is functional and easy to use, a downside is it only supports one default font (that appears to be user specific?). I have tried multiple times to access Helvetica, Times New Roman, Impact etc. to no avail... I don't even see any input buttons.

The default font is pretty shoddy looking, resembling Comic Sans.

:lol:

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