The Cut Season 2 Episode 18

Welcome to the fiftieth episode of The Cut! Begun as an exercise in sanity-preservation in the height of lockdown, we’re pleased to have kept the momentum going, sending our patent-pending brew of links and commentary without pause to our literally dozens of readers for all this time. Of course this means there’s an even bigger milestone looming up on the horizon in a couple of weeks…

This week, we ask important tongue-related questions, introduce you to The Witch of King’s Cross and sing a song for the man who took the loneliest flight of all.

Time check! Now! Location check! Here! This is The Cut!

The human body is a remarkable thing. No mere bag of meat and fluid, it’s an insanely complicated organic machine capable of extraordinary feats. Consider, for example, the tongue. Filled with receptors, able to detect and discern an incredible range of tastes and textures. Then, of course, there’s its role in the broadcast and dissemination of language. Try talking without it. We bet you’re waggling it around in your mouth right now. In fact, it takes up more of the brain’s processing power than you think. Which explains one of the more peculiar quirks of human behaviour…

During lockdown, people have come to know Robert Fripp as the quiet bloke with the loud guitar backing up Toyah Willcox as she cavorts and sings in a series of tight tops every Sunday lunchtime. The hoary old heads at the Music Desk know him better as the genius behind prog giants King Crimson. He has explored the far reaches of the sonic capabilities of his instrument, creating soundscapes both for his own projects and as a gun for hire. The wailing swooping feedback all over David Bowie’s Heroes? That was Fripp. Today we’d like to check a lesser known but equally resonant musical journey Robert undertook with another prog legend, Peter Gabriel. Here Comes The Flood…

A couple of Marvel links. We’ve really enjoyed the Disney+ shows thus far, each of which have brought something different to the table. Surreal exploration of grief in WandaVision, and a fresh take on the buddy movie in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. But as Sam Wilson picks up the shield and takes on the mantle of Captain America, it’s time for us to face an uncomfortable truth. The dude simply can’t fight…

It’s About Time We Acknowledged That Sam Wilson Can’t Fight

Meanwhile, over at the Cinematic Universe, the announcement of one actor’s arrival at the franchise brought wild excitement from many and bemusement from some. As Marvel launch their take on the classic Chinese Kung Fu action movie, the big question is—who is Tony Leung?

Yesterday was Walpurgis Night. We’re now officially halfway to Halloween, folks! On the day when all the witches cavort freely, we thought it might be fun to look at a woman who fully embraced the lifestyle at a time and in a place where to do so as openly as she did courted danger. Let us introduce you to Rosaleen Norton, the Witch Of Kings Cross…

Keeping it creepy for one more link, we have a travel recommendation for you. If you’re ever in Nevada and need somewhere to stay for the night, there’s a place just on the edge of Tonopah which may fit the bill. Coulrophobes may want to just keep on driving…

Where do jokes come from? Comedians fret and worry over their material and are understandably sensitive if they think another performer is nabbing their gags. But sometimes the best jokes have a life and a history that’s less easy to track. John Hoare tries to lock down the origins of a classic, and finds it goes back further than one might think…

This is a bit of a visual treat. Artist Nache Ramos has a real feel for retro comic styling. He’s taken and applied it to classic horror movies, to stunning effect. This ticks a lot of our boxes and is a gallery we couldn’t resist sharing with you.

The strangest story of the week has to be this one, as a Russian singer on a Chinese boy-band talent show finally gets the result he has been begging for. This ties in pretty closely to the way audiences on shows like I’m A Celebrity will glom onto a particular contestant and force them to do all the most horrible tasks. Crowds can be cruel…

A local link to finish off. We were delighted to see one of our favourite Reading writers, the gleeful misanthrope known as STiR, relaunch his pub review site. Even better, he’s started back up with a visit to Loddon Brewery’s tapyard, a place close to both our hearts and the office. STiR is an extremely good writer and his reviews are funny, irreverent and insightful. He’s a genuinely useful reviewer and you always get a good feel as to whether a particular pub is for you or not. We were pleased see he likes Loddon. We can strongly recommend if you’re ever in Dunsden Green…

And finally. It was a sadness for us to learn of the passing of Michael Collins, the pilot of Apollo 11 and, for a while, the loneliest human alive. He never got to set foot on the moon, but that never mattered to him. His job was to get his crew there and back again, a task he accomplished with quiet dignity. A bit of an introvert hero, in our minds.

He is the inspiration for our Exit Music, as we offer up a little bit of prog from Jethro Tull. We had no idea until writer Danny Kelly pointed it out that their song ‘For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and me’ was about the astronaut. It’s a lovely tune, and a fitting tribute to the man.

See you next Saturday, star children.

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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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