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It’s an aimless blog post, drifting like a boat without a skipper this sunday, as I’m in the midst of writing a lengthy piece about something for someone. All might be revealed. But still the lure of OCD lures me back to WordPress to publish at least something.

It’s been a weird weekend, with the Bespoke I made with the assistance of Mr. Wainwright and Magdi aka. Madgi in NYC’s Mercer Street space getting some E-coverage. Attention is a motherfucker. I was just amused to make an Air Force 1 somehow related to my fixation with Chopper City’s bad suit. It briefly, thanks to the homie Eugene at Hypebeast caused some stirrings. Any plaudits are like getting a high-five for executing a paint-by-numbers with a certain level of proficiency. Any criticisms that I wasted $820 are, ummm… interesting. Gloating is unbecoming so I’ll shut the fuck up. Colourways are fun, and Nike Bespoke is the shit, but we shouldn’t mix colour-ups with actual design skills. One feels like a game of symmetry and the other requires education and/or an innate skill. Still, I’m happy to have made the AF1 I always wanted. Which is kind of the point. Shouts to Nike.

Earlier in the year, Eugene fired some questions my way and I answered them on my BlackBerry (RIP). Eugene is definitely someone whose opinion I respect, and Hypebeast is a juggernaut. With Mr. Kan’s involvement, there’s a superior level of content creation at work. It’s a far cry from the days when I used to make digs at hype sites in news posts. Shit done changed. The interview is here, and if you can make it to page 11, I’ll give you a prize. I frequently bore myself. A good conversation nonetheless. I’m blaming Eugene for the length of it. He opted against a hefty edit and his questions were deeper than crap interrogations.

My opinion on iPads has changed a lot since then. My then-office partner-in-rhyme has defected to Vans Europe and my announcement that I wanted more corporate gigs pretty much came true. It’s pleasantly dated. Like an episode of ‘Tomorrow’s World’ from 1988. This entire industry moves in hamster-years and a lot has changed in mere months. 

As this ghost ship sails along, I feel obliged to recommend the new thriller, ‘Burning Bright’ if you get the option to rent it on the cheap. With Meatloaf as a seller of black market big cats, who ends up causing headaches for a beautiful girl and her severely autistic younger brother stuck in a boarded-up house overnight with a psychotic tiger while a hurricane rages outside, the lack of CGI and some solid set pieces, plus a title that references a William Blake poem, makes it a good use of 85 minutes. As is now-customary, there’s a tactically “vintaged” poster for the film too.

I like a bad situation flick on a budget. ‘Frozen’ and ‘Stuck’ came through. ‘Red Eye’ and ‘P2’ faltered, crumbling under the sheer vertical drop of their high concepts. Anyone else remember the 1981 flick ‘Savage Harvest’ with the lions putting a house under siege? Or the production headache double-act of Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed in 1981’s ‘Venom’ with the robbery and black mamba snake on the loose (kind of cloned in the crappier 1988 film ‘Fair Game’)? The bad situation thrills of the claustrophobic and downright nasty Mario Bava thieves-in-a-vehicle vehicle ‘Rabid Dogs’ is a masterclass in fucked-up, no-budget tension. On the creature-on-the-loose tip, hopefully ‘Piranha 3D’ will deliver the thrills as well as the leaked levels of salt water gore next week.

Some dickhead called Specter got “up” in the fruitiest way by covering a beautiful old hand-painted sign in east London. Sign painting is an art. Creating “happenings” like this isn’t. It’s just embarrassing.

I hate Specter’s art. I hate wheat poster pricks sullying my view with cut and paste horseshit, haplessly justified by flimsy A-level sociology explanations. If you support this shit you too are part of the problem. Fuck you Specter. Go and risk your life in a train tunnel and cause some real destruction without the art-twat “manifesto”. Or go get educated, then classical on some canvases. Then fuck off. This generation of post-Banksy scum is the art equivalent of a Superdry t-shirt.

Thank god for the good folk of wheatpaste and stencil street art hating superblog HurtYouBad and their crusade against this kind of fuckery. They kindly blessed me with one of their new t-shirt line by the mighty FINSTA, not to be mistaken with the semi-legendary Finsta of grimy rap underdogs Finsta & Bundy. This design reminds me of the lunacy you could get from a local spot via an ad in RAD, and appeals to my love of GHOST and Robert Williams’s handiwork. They’re launch their 5 designs with a fine photoshoot next week, so I’ll leave the full details to the HYB team.


Eric Roberts is great actor, and you should all give him a break like you did me.
Mickey Rourke, Independent Spirit Awards, 2009

That was before my time” is the dismissive mantra of the moron. Guess what? Most good stuff happened before you were born. With a predilection toward the macabre, Hollywood deaths have long been a personal predilection, and it’s on that subject that Mr. Eric Roberts made his name in 1983’s ‘Star 80’. He was good in ‘Raggedy Man’, three years earlier, but as the odious Paul Snider he set himself a precedent that he’s only reached again in ‘The Pope of Greenwich Village’ (crap film, brilliant performances) and ‘Runaway Train’. For that trio, his descent into straight-to-video is moot. Unleashed and fully motivated, he’s one of the greats. Good in both Nolan’s ‘Batman’ visions, apparently, his villain performance in the long-awaited ‘The Expendables’ is depressingly low key. Eric does madman better than the majority.

And he’s going on a reality TV show called ‘Celebrity Rehab’. Say it ain’t so, Eric.

If you’ve never seen Bob Fosse’s ‘Star 80’ about the doomed Playboy bunny Dorothy Stratten, you’re missing a classic. Spotted on TV as an pre-adolescent glumly anticipating a feelgood TV movie with added cleavage, the film’s a bleak masterpiece. Pressured into the business by Snider, her tinpot-svengali of a boyfriend, Stratten achieved some fame before her jealous partner raped her and shot her in the head before tying the body to a bondage bench, almost thirty years ago to the day, engaging in some necrophilia (the latter is based on real reports and thankfully, not depicted in the film) and blowing his own head off. Not a strong look. It’s a tour-de-force of a film that plays out like a car crash at the speed of Marcus Brambilla’s ‘Power’ promo.

Ernest’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway is extraordinary, but Roberts’s swearing, scowling, blubbering lunatic turn was robbed of an Oscar. His Snider is the lowlife’s-lowlife — mustachioed, unnecessarily tight suits and all, but his onscreen antics had a major impact on a young viewer. 1981’s ‘Death of a Centerfold’ told the same tale with Jamie-Lee Curtis as the victim, and Bruce Weitz in the Snider role. It wasn’t as good, lacking the edge, the language and the cinematic mastery Bob Fosse possessed. Like many dealing with the whole Stratten affair, the story seems to have affected Fosse deeply, going on the sensitivity of his portrayals, which even extends to the gradually uncoiling villain of the piece.

Oddly, Dorothy’s onetime lover, genius director Peter Bogdanovich, unimpressed by the film, bar Eric’s turn, decided to write a particularly personal true-crime book, ‘The Killing of the Unicorn’ about the case, published in 1985 that’s a little odd. He also married her much younger sister in 1988, and apparently encouraged her to get surgery. He was evidently quite a Dorothy fan. Mariel’s sister Margaux — excellent in ‘Lipstick’ — killed herself in 1996. The whole incident, down to the filmic reconstructions, has a certain heart of darkness that’s fired several imaginations. ‘Star 80’ is the best telling, regardless of sensationalism — from innocent beginnings, to wide-eyed mansion visits, faux-documentary scenes and bookended brutality. Eric’s still got the potential for a performance of equal caliber in him somewhere. Even if his current excesses seem to be occurring off-screen.


Refraining from alcohol is easy. Living in a town were binge-drinking is a way-of-life, the notion that you could go and get slaughtered offers a curious kind of comfort. The knowledge that in the UK, a good burger could be a 7 hour trip by air, bookended by bad attitude is a tougher pill to swallow. To be denied the simple glory of meat in a bun, fused by steam feels like it should break some kind of human rights legislation. Burgers in this country are, on the whole, atrocious.

Ciabatta buns, gourmet options and an excess level of foliage (burger, bun, ketchup, cheese, grilled onion — what’s so difficult about that?) as if London’s rip-off merchants feel remorse at charging the equivalent of $12 for a solitary sandwich and need to add watery bulk. The Byron Burgers chain offers strong burgers and excellent shakes, and the buzz on the nomadic oasis of grease that is Meatwagon is building, but honesty – and here’s the part where you take a sharp intake of breath — on these shores, the McDonald’s double cheeseburger seems to offer a more accurate slice of Americana than most other offerings. That’s nothing to celebrate — it’s downright depressing.

The burger is the ultimate accessory — a democratic foodstuff, and should be, bar a certain comforting level of queue, an easygoing experience. Unless you’re a vegetarian having to substitute for fungus in a bun, it’s hard to imagine why anyone couldn’t be seduced by two patties and bread. It beats music, it beats clothes…on a creation done properly, the first bite is otherworldly. It needs to be soggy — a greaseproof sleeve or foil seem to be alien to Britain too. Japan, ever the Yankophile stronghold does burgers well – from chains to perfectly replicated diners. All a Brit can do is dream.

Chains like Five Guys, Swenson’s and the justifiably feted In-N-Out burger are the dream facilitators. If you’ve wondered why In-N-Out hasn’t gone across the States, let alone global to terrorize lazy patty practitioners, read Stacy Perman’s ‘In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast Food Chain That Breaks all the Rules’ for the lowdown. An inspiring read and the meaty antidote to ‘Fast Food Nation’s scare stories the narrative is oddly gripping that adds some extra satisfaction to your next Double-Double purchase.

Lightning’s regular ‘The Hamburger Book’ showcases some madcap creations, all beautifully shot, with some excellent slogans and portraits of the often alarmingly thin and frequently beaming proprietors. A Japanese burger tour could be an experience-of-a-lifetime. Is ‘Keyperson of Hamburger’ the best name for a chapter ever? Quite possibly. Andrew F. Smith’s ‘Hamburger: A Global History’ comes highly recommended for the cultural context that’s often absent for amateur burger scholars, but the true half-pound don-dada is the work George Motz — a filmmaker, writer and burger Jedi who’s ‘Hamburger America’ is easily top-ten food tome material. 100 standalone restaurants, no-nonsense and superior write ups that extol each filling point-of-difference that justifies inclusion. Steamed burgers, the mysterious nut burger and the deadly looking butter burger get some shine here. It’s enough to make a certain kind of male want to leave work to embark on a pilgrimage — book in hand — culminating in a massive cardiac arrest. That’s a happy death to beat any Camus narrative.

‘Hamburger America’ even comes with a DVD of the 54 minute documentary of the same name. The omission of Swenson’s was a surprise, but check George’s blog to see it receive visitation and a nod of approval. Corner Bistro in Greenwich Village recommended by the brothers Schonberger appears to be a Motz haunt too. The fully revised edition of the book arrives in early 2011, but the original comes highly recommended.

The UK can never catch up. Local pride in fast food is non-existent. You can stick your slow food and patriotism. A perfect burger is good enough to renounce citizenship over. Next week, a work trip to California is causing enough excitement to lose sleep over. The cause? Potential In-N-Out gluttony and The Apple Pan — regarding the ‘Pan, Motz says, “If there were a definitive burger in America, this would be it.” Keep your collaborations, limited editions and Apple accessories. That’s something worth getting hyped about.


Apologies for the lack of blog updates. NYC is taking up too much of my time. Seeing as the industry blogsphere is 80% mechanically  reconstituted lookbooks, I could get in on that action, but I can’t bring myself to do it. So I’d rather wait until I’m not on a burger hunt. Burgers are more important than blogging. Blame the Lightning Magazine burger edition. Corner Bistro, Five Guys and Shake Shack take the crown at the moment. I’m willing to find even better eats, so all suggestions are welcome.

In the meantime, watch this documentary about Fang’s Sammytown post-prison. It’s the first time I heard him spoken about so lovingly. “He’s fucking cool man. He’s right as rain. But shit happens. Yeah, he’s a murderer. Yes he is…”


It would be remiss to claim that some of the fine ensemble cast amassed for ’44 Inch Chest’ have something to atone for, given the crimes inflicted upon the gangster genre on this side of the pond during the late ’90s and early ’00s – Ray Winstone in ‘Love, Honour & Obey’ for instance, John Hurt in the dreadful ‘You’re Dead’ or lord forbid, Steven Berkoff in ‘Rancid Aluminium’ – the Tarantino blowback birthed the carefully placed grit of the crime caper movie with all the good bits taken out. Yep, Guy Ritchie’s overrated ‘Lock, Stock…’ did more damage to the UK film industry than good, from opening the floodgates for straight-to-DVD Dyer and Tamar geezer-on-the-run flicks to making people think the MFI Michael Mann-isms of ‘Layer Cake’ were actually anything more than an Arena magazine mashup of every gangster cliché around.

The payback? Guy gets a new lease-of-life after nearly a decade of bombs for helming a Holmes film that’s harmless but no more revolutionary than Barry Levinson’s attempt at a franchise re-up in 1984. The bad guy walked away scott free. The ‘orrible cahnt.

Continue reading ’44 INCH CHEST’


The hunt for the perfect grey sweatshirt is as troubling as the quest to find that special white t-shirt. Other clothes can come and go, but the glorious neutrality of the marl grey sweat is the piece that comes out season after season, year after year. It swoops above subcultural pigeonholes too.

Curiously, while I’ve grown in stature, I’ve reduced my sizing since my days pausing MTV Raps to gauge branding – in 1993 I was submerged in an extra-extra large oatmeal-coloured mass of hooded Carhartt. A year or so later, infuriated by the sagging waistband, intended at portly welders rather than my pre-pubescent scrawn, I downsized to a volumnious extra large. It’s notable that the sweats I sported had more longevity in crewneck form. But now I’m inclined to feel (Japanese brands aside) like a Nurishment supping car thief when I go beyond a large.



I’m not the biggest Disney fan – never was. I always was more of a Tex Avery kid. I hold the Disney corporations precious approach to their films for this. I wasn’t going to buy ’em or squander a rental on a ‘U’ when I could be watching a ‘PG’ at the very least. Got ‘The Jungle Book’ as a book and tape and saw ‘Dumbo’ as an end-of-term school screening, but bar Donald flipping out after chipmunk troubles, the unexpectedly terrifying ‘Sleepy Hollow’ short and the glimpse of the black and white efforts on a Bank Holiday, I was never a Disney Club candidate. As I grew up as a tinpot socialist in my late teens, I treated Disney output with contempt.

I was a fool.

I’m no fan of Mr.Disney’s politics, but every time I see an atrocious ‘street artist’ use an appropriation (D*Face for example) of Disney logos or characters, my allegiance to the evil empire grows. The reason? Because these legal wall painting, fly postering, money-grabbing, A-level politicking, culture commodifying, watered-down wastes of Stolen Space don’t have a fraction of the talent that Mickey Mouse’s originator and animation legend Ube Iwerks or the cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson carried. In fact, anyone who painted a single cell for Disney’s key motion pictures of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s deserves a magazine cover over these clowns. And the Lichtenstein bites four decades too late? ‘Satirical’ reapproriations of Jack Kirby? Don’t get me fucking started. These frauds are Mickey Mouse in the most negative way.



There’s action movies and then there’s ‘The Hidden’. I’m not the first person to eulogise about this film, but with ‘District 9’ bringing back the uneasy do-gooding truce between man and extra-terrestrial in a film that switched from ‘V’ as envisioned by Ken Loach into an entertaining compromise between ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Children Of Men’ it feels more relevant than ever. It’s curious that in the late ’80s a subgenre sprang up wherein cops were twinned with aliens for some ’48 Hours’ grit with added laserbeams. Why? Who the hell cares? It’s got car chases and impossible weapons being implemented. That’s what matters.