I Hate the ’80s

Last week, I promised readers of the Apoplexy Tiny Letter a break from the political stuff, after the recent Democracy trilogy (1, 2, 3). And after last week’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood-mendous post, why not stay in the comforting nostalgic embrace of the ’80s?

Where's the pic of Michael Foot's donkey jacket?!
Dude. Those are clearly C21st Kayne shades.

I mean, seriously? Kayne, John Mayer, and The Police’s version of Message In a Bottle at 2007’s Live Earth concert to combat climate change made me want the Earth’s surface to be heated to 100,000,000°C. But we spoke about that sort of thing last week. And haemorrhagic stroke survivors are meant to keep their blood pressure down. So. Pleasant thoughts… Continue reading I Hate the ’80s

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Relax

Over the last two weeks, Stroke Bloke has reported from Berlin and London on modern iterations of democracy. Today, a report from closer to home…

Last week’s post, Monarchy had a hint of the oracle about it. I asked

Can Angela [Eagle] fit 172 Labour Party MPs in her tiny battle bus before its square wheels fall off?

And that very night, the Labour Party’s National executive committee voted to allow Jeremy Corbyn, as the incumbent leader of the party,  to enter the party’s leadership election without having to collect the nominations of 50 of his MPs and MEPs.

But let’s leave that aside for now – who can predict British politics at the moment?

The other question that was left hanging at the end of last week’s post was

What happened when I had a chance to visit the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood…?

Need more whimsy and obscure ’90s indie references to getting through the working week? Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter. Continue reading Relax

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Monarchy

At the end of last week’s post on Democracy, I asked

And 1,000 years of glorious autocratic rule at apoplectic.me
Where “this” = puns, whimsy, and dated British indie music, obviously

I was quite pleased with the turnout, although I wouldn’t call it overwhelming. Nevertheless, we have a decision and I intend to carry out the wishes of the apoplectic public. Although I suppose that after my triumph, I should resign from the blog and let another blogger pick up the pieces. Someone with high level experience, and a knowledge of dated British indie music and puns. And a mum, preferably. A mum of kids. A mum of kids who can maintain the high moral tone of the blog. But who fits the bill??? Continue reading Monarchy

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Democracy

Sometimes, it feels like the blog is being hounded by an abstract concept.

Gravity: not just a good idea – it’s the law!

The land, maybe. Or mythical creatures. Or The Onion‘s conception of Joe Biden. Right now, though, it’s something else. Maybe you can guess what?

[Get more whimsy and free gin* at the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.]

Continue reading Democracy

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London

A day after the result of the #EUref came in, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I hopped on a train to London. Like the narrator of this wee ditty:

“Smoke lingers ’round your fingers / Train, heave on to Euston…”

(Smiths sceptics might find the above performance surprisingly muscular)

It was, y’see, an opportunity to check out an exclave of the soon-to-be nation of #Scotlond. By this time, Scotland’s First Minister had already reached out to the Mayor of London to discuss how their remain-voting areas could ameliorate the impact of Brexit. Continue reading London

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This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours

Urgh. What a horrible week or so it’s been. I survived a massive haemorrhagic stroke for this?!

At around 2am on the morning of Sunday 12 June, a man walked into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. By the time two hours had passed, 49 people who had been in the club had been killed, and 43 injured. To highlight the disproportionate risk of violence people in the LGBT community face, it’s worth mentioning that Pulse is one of Orlando’s most popular gay clubs.

When even a Mail on Sunday commentator is saying this, it’s hard to imagine that America’s incredible rates of gun violence will ease any time soon:

1,600 kids aged 0-17 killed in gun violence so far this year

Continue reading This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours

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Stroke Bloke at Euro 2016

Some years ago, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I noticed that – not much like J. Alfred Prufrock – our relationship could be measured out in international soccer tournaments.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, maaaan.”

Back in the summer of 2010, I was introducing my new American girlfriend to a Scottish pal in a Brooklyn bar as we watched (was it?) the USA v England in South Africa.

And as well as being beautiful and funny, she already understands the offside rule!

But as Scotland fail, yet again, to qualify for a major tournament at France 2016, how do I find a team to give me a rooting interest? Read on…

[Join the conversation at the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here.]

Continue reading Stroke Bloke at Euro 2016

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Vote Man Returns!

I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’s too early for an #EURef post. But even now, still two-and-a-half weeks out, the media coverage is suffocating. It’s hard to focus on anything else. Europe touches so much that goes on in the blog.

Last week, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I had just returned from our trip to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. One thing that really caught our eyes – other than the crazy number of Deloreans on the ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast – was the ease of crossing the border.

“Are you sure this is the Cairnryan ferry, Stroke Bloke?” Pic by Mat Moura at DeviantArt

[Enjoy apoplectic.me? Get close and personal with the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here.]

Continue reading Vote Man Returns!

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Portrait

After My Name is Joe, Pts. 1 & 2, I realised that the conclusions to which I was coming about memory – and more importantly, group memory – were so grindingly prosaic that only prose fiction could do them justice.

But that, as they say, is another story about a young woman’s travels on the continent for another time.

A young woman contemplates her forthcoming travels

Fortunately, last week we headed off to Ireland where I could think about both that and other stuff.

While Mrs Stroke Bloke was sitting an accountancy conversion exam in Belfast, I headed off to the Ulster Museum to see an exhibition of winners and short-listed entries for the 2015 BP Portrait Awards. Continue reading Portrait

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My Name is Joe 2 – Partial Recall

Last week’s post on the nature of memory ended with a scene from Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – the (loose) inspiration for Blade Runner.

‘Does she know?’ Sometimes they didn’t; false memories had been tried various times, generally in the mistaken idea that through them reactions to testing would be altered.

Eldon Rosen said, ‘No. We programmed her completely. But I think towards the end she suspected.’

But that’s science fiction, of course.

Continue reading My Name is Joe 2 – Partial Recall

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