Tag Archives: England

And the Mekons Shall Inherit the Earth

Sally Timms sings "The Letter." In real life, she appears in-focus.

I’d never heard of the Mekons until Jon Langford — the long-lived art-punk collective’s nominal frontman — appeared on this 2002 This American Life episode. I quickly procured a trio of the albums the group made during the 1980s – Fear and Whiskey, Edge of the World, and Rock and Roll — and I was sunk.

Their sit-down acoustic set at IOTA last night was mostly devoted to Ancient and Modern, a new album I hadn’t heard prior to the show. Didn’t matter. Read all about it.

All Bite: Scena’s Sink the Belgrano! reviewed

Nothing shores up a foundering head of state’s popularity among the electorate like a quick war, decisively won. The British response to Argentina’s 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands looks from three decades on something like what the Bush Administration promised the seven-plus-year-old war in Iraq would be: The Falklands War lasted only 74 days, and the U.K.’s victory helped propel the Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to big electoral gains the following year.

Sink the Belgrano!, a 1986 play by British actor and director Steven Berkoff, is not a cool-headed history of the conflict or anything close. It’s an astringent piece of agitprop condemning what Berkoff sees as a violent overreaction by Thatcher — called “Maggot Scratcher” here, in the plainest example of his appropriation of sing-songy, infantile language — whom the playwright argues rebuffed all attempts at diplomacy, knowing her political aims would be better served by bloodshed. The title refers to an episode a month after the Argentine invasion, wherein the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror fired upon and destroyed the vessel ARA General Belgrano, killing 323 crewmen.
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Lewwwww-seeeeee, I’m ho-ooooooooome! And I made a movie.

So I’ve been blogging for the last month or so for the Washington City Paper, primarily at Fringe & Purge, their Capital Fringe Festival blog, which I had the duty and the privilege of editing this year. I’ve written lots of stuff for them in the past month, some of which I don’t detest at all, that I’ve not linked to from here just because — well, because making one blog worth reading is voraciously time-consuming. Two? Forget it.
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