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The Frankie and Benny's chain has a 1950s New York theme.

We ate our meal under the gaze of a gallery of entertainment and sports stars. I thought, "This'll be fun; bet I can identify them all..."

I couldn't. I got Sinatra, Durante, DiMaggio and Jackie Mason. Ailz added Rudy Vallee and Mario Lanza. And that was it.

Who were the big palooka with the broken nose and the tiny dame with the corkscrew curls? Looks like they were in love. Beauty and the Beast.

They'll both be dead by now.

I thought I was an expert on mid century pop culture. Seems not.

All those wiseguys with their shiny hair and shiny eyes and shiny teeth. Repellent.

And that got me thinking about Doris Day.

The way you do.

How that unmoving blonde helmet- later made infamous by Mrs T- has to be nastiest hairstyle ever.

Cute little actor, accomplished comedienne, utterly unsexy.

Though I love Que Sera, Sera.

This is the decade I was born into. It couldn't be more alien.
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I see there is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in fandom.

The movie Serenity (which I haven't seen) has divided the followers of the Firefly cult (I haven't see Firefly either.)

Oh come on guys, it's a story. It's fiction. It didn't really happen. That guy that got killed (and you're all getting so worked up about) didn't really get killed because he was never really alive. That was an actor. He got paid at the end of the day and is sitting comfortably beside his pool in the Hollywood hills waiting for his agent to ring.

It's the religion thing, isn't it? We stop believing in God, but it leaves such a huge, gaping, black hole and it hurts so much that we panic and rage and go round looking for things- any old things- to stuff into the emptiness. And so we start believing in Joss Whedon or that guy who made the LOTR films (whose name temporarily escapes me) or (heaven help us) George Lucas.

And just as true believers make themselves blind to the inconsistencies, impossibilities and stylistic infelicities in the New Testament, so fans convince themselves that their favourite TV shows and films aren't in fact a load of crap.

Look, I liked Buffy. I was sort of in love with Willow. But series #7 was garbage, you know it was.

And Lord of The Rings. I love Tolkien (not uncritically) but the movies kinda highlighted all his faults and failed to translate his real merits into filmic terms. Wake up, guys, those films are dull. As dull as the Pentateuch. And I for one never want to see another CGI battle ever again.

As for Lucas- everyone agrees that the prequels are horrible- so why do you keep going to see them again and again? Are you mad?

Wake up, think for yourselves, think critically. Stop being such sheep!
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Piers Morgan, former editor of the Daily Mirror, was banging on about "useless celebrities" last night. Channel 4 gave him a whole hour to eviscerate people who are famous for having slept with footballers or come second on Big Brother.

Piers is brash and coarse and bullying and I wound up on the other side. Most of the "useless" celebs he interviewed were actually quite charming. He was rude to them and they responded with guffaws and giggles. I especially warmed to Jade Goody (who is famous for giving a fellow contestant a blow-job under the sheets in the Big Brother house.) She's big and bosomy and jolie-laide and full to over-flowing with the life-force.

I mean what harm do these people do? They amuse us, they entertain us. Does it matter that they have no very obvious talent? It's not as if anyone takes the seriously.

At one point Piers prety much gave the game away. Talking to acerbic, old Anne Robinson, he admitted that he resents Goody and co's easy fame because he himself had to graft for his. So, yeah, it's actually all about the Protestant Work Ethic.


Meanwhile he'd commissioned a poll to discover the 10 celebs that the Great British public considers most useless. We counted down through the programme until we came to David and Victoria Beckham at numbers 2 and 1. Now Posh and Becks may be among the most irritating people around, but "useless" they're not. Posh was a member of one of the most successful and influential pop groups of recent years and David is a world-class footballer. At this point Piers's ugly argument wobbled and went out of focus.

He tried to pull things back with a piece of closing rhetoric. If we don't change our ways, he intoned, it'll be too late and.... well, what exactly? All the people of real talent will emigrate? evaporate? Sorry, Piers, but that's just silly.


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