A Northern Soul

Tonight, the Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe will be over for another year. Once again, the shows I went to see for The Edinburgh Reporter were never less than interesting, and the second half of the month was no less thought-provoking.

In addition to the stuff I mentioned last week, Daniel Kitson at the Traverse was great, and AL Kennedy at the Book Festival was a masterclass on how to take an audience with you when reading off the page.

Put on a proper suit, do up your tie, and sing the Star-Spangled Banner
This year’s recommendation for the NYC apoplectic massive

Blog hero Paul Morley on Bowie didn’t translate well to the inherently conservative milieu of Charlotte Square, but perhaps the most gripping night of August was… Continue reading A Northern Soul

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Powder Puff

We’re well into the second half of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. When apoplectic.me isn’t counting its existence in major international soccer tournaments, it’s counting it in Festivals (2013, 2014, 2015).

"Get the gimp"
2016: Mrs Stroke Bloke loves owls. In a very particular way.

The beginning of the Fringe is always a bit of a whirl. I’m doing reviews and interviews during preview week and the first week proper. For the second half of the month, it’s more a case of hanging on and getting through to the end.

[If you hang on and get to the end of this post, there’s the Apoplexy Tiny Letter, too.] Continue reading Powder Puff

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The Elephant’s Nelly – Pt 2

Before being distracted by something shiny last week, I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on with this Donald Trump thing. Why, over the past week, have presidential general election polls continued to see Trump bouncing along at 40%, when he’s indicated that a Trump presidency would look like this?

Hurrah for the Stuffed Shirt!
To be fair, The Daily Mail would take a more celebratory approach

That’s an actual [inside] page from this The Globe back in April, described as the front page we hope we never have to print. The accompanying editorial called Trump’s White House run “flippant and reckless” and “profoundly un-American”. But while this would all seem obvious from within The Globe‘s newsroom, or my Twitter feed, Trump easily won the Massachusetts Republican primary, collecting 22 delegates and nearly 50% of the vote. Meanwhile, over 50% of the voters in the recent EU referendum in these islands voted for an Out campaign fronted by Trump-like trolls.

So rather than dismissing this tendency out of hand, I’ve been trying to think a little about how we came to this pass. Continue reading The Elephant’s Nelly – Pt 2

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The Elephant’s Nelly

Last week’s post was described by The Prof as a perfect distillation of an apoplectic.me post – presumably in the hope that I would JUST STOP ALREADY!!! Well, I won’t. Because I distilled it even further, and it was presented on Broadcasting Giant Eddie Mair‘s Radio 4 PM show on 5th August.

Apparently super-strong cannabis was more important. Which is fair enough.
I come in at around 46m 09s

[Can’t stop, won’t stop? Get more apoplexy straight to your inbox here.] Continue reading The Elephant’s Nelly

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Cairnpapple Hill

Tiny Letter readers will know that Mrs Stroke Bloke and I visited Cairnpapple Hill in central Scotland last weekend. It was an enlightening trip, in light of last week’s post on ’80s movies. Like Withnail and Marwood, we came across a bull in a field. And turning to an obvious omission pointed out by Atletico Marcelo in the comments, Cairnpapple was the site of a little henge.

Beneath the haunted moon/For fear that daybreak might come too soon
Where the little children danced, no doubt.

Continue reading Cairnpapple Hill

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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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