Life in America’s prisons is famously tough, but at least it allows one inmate, Jonathan Lee Riches, plenty of time to spend filing lawsuits. In his latest legal complaint, Riches — who happens to be a resident of Williamsburg federal correctional institution in West Virginia — has turned his sights on legendary San Francisco-based venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and is attempting to sue him for $43 million.
Gerald Kaufman on the late, great dancer and film star ‘who could stop a man by just sticking up her leg’, and the accidents that led her to a role that became a movie sensationWhen I discussed Singin’ in the Rain with Cyd Charisse, who died last week, she was of course aware that this was the film that propelled her to instant stardom. She knew less, however, about the series of accidents that brought about this opportunity.
Danny Kruger, who was David Cameron’s speechwriter, defends his most notorious piece of work for the Tory leader and says that love is a neglected crime-fighting deviceIt happened to be the day that Boris Johnson took office as Mayor of London with a mandate to tackle youth crime. My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a flat to rent. Standing on the steps with us, the owner of the flat suddenly saw the retreating rear of his moped, two boys aboard and half a dozen of their friends pelting along behind.
For over a decade and a half Ann Widdecombe has been a cartoonist’s dream come true. On top of the way she looks, she’s an avowed virgin endlessly pontificating about sexual morality, a woman politician self-consciously eschewing image self-consciousness and with a voice that could crack a font at 50 paces. For all those reasons and many more, she seemed to be the perfect choice as the first subject for this series of ‘Cartoon Interviews’, in which I’m hoping to pull off a kind of ‘double whammy’ by interviewing the victims of satire while drawing them at the same time.
Rod Liddle looks back at the case of the British Council employee who dared to speak the truth about Islamic ideology — and notes that what was heretical in 2004 is now almost orthodoxA madman has been bombarding Fleet Street journalists with extremely long emails, asking for redress, for a hearing. He feels traduced. Nothing new there, then. Lunatics write to me every day, long handwritten scrawls of bitter psychosis — and it really is true that the maddest are written in green ink, or a similarly unnatural hue.
But it’s a boy thing, admits Mark Mason. Women are just too sensible to watch Spinal Tap 35 times — but they don’t know what connects Ringo Starr and Shane WarneFor years I thought it was just me and my friends. Merrily we dotted our conversations with random facts — Carlsberg Special Brew was invented for Winston Churchill, the M2 is the only British motorway that connects with no other motorway, a Rubik’s Cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century.
At 9 p.m. on the night before Tony Blair became Prime Minister, he was lying alone on his bed staring at the ceiling. He didn’t want to join his family, watching television, but was eventually dragged down for the News at Ten. ‘No,’ he said, when he heard its exit poll. ‘I accept that we’re going to win, but a landslide? It’s ridiculous.’ This anecdote, recounted in his wife’s autobiography, dramatises what those around David Cameron consider Blair’s worst mistake: a failure to prepare (in Labour’s case, for the sheer scale of victory).
Venetia Thompson says that the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment does work that nobody else can and constructs homes that buck current property market trendsRobin Hood famously robbed from the rich to give to the poor, but I am certain that he never suggested that the poor should then be crammed into tower blocks like battery chickens in the name of Modernist architecture until they were finally stabbed to death in a deserted stairwell.