The Master Mind chair

Starts and ends // Bad beginnings. And even worse endings.

I’ve started, so I’ll finish

That famous sentence uttered by the late, great Magnus Magnusson during every episode of Mastermind, and every single human being who’s painted a room, ever.

The Master Mind chair

I’ve been thinking a lot about starts and endings lately, as I’ve found myself at the end of a long-term relationship. The good thing about this, (yes there is something good about it), is that it’s not bitter or strained and I’m so grateful for that, because when someone has been a part of your life for so long it’s upsetting enough letting them go.

I intend to remain friends with him and think that if everyone was lucky enough to have this outcome, the world would be a nicer joint. With no place for Adele.

Beginnings and endings then. This is like the bridge between the bit you just read, and the bit to come which will be my opinion on terrible starts and finishes, be they musical, cinematic, or human existence. That sounds a lot more intelligent than the next part will.

I sat and thought about things that started badly. There are the obvious ones like Hitler and Justin Bieber’s respective births; Mel Gibson reaching legal drinking age; all wars, you know – things like that.

Wordsworth daffodils

Then I took the dog for a walk and mulled it over further, like Wordsworth mulled over his bloody daffodils. I tried to think of things I’d heard or seen that made me do a ‘why?’ face. There were only two that immediately sprang to mind, and here they be.
That’s ‘here they are’ if you don’t speak 15th century.

The worst song beginning in history

Duran Duran Rio

Rio by Duran Duran

What were they thinking? The terrifying escalating sweep noise that makes you check over your shoulder in case it’s a scythe swinging Dementor, then a brief hideous cacophony that’s reminiscent of a coach filled to capacity with dying cats crashing into an out-of-tune harpsichord factory. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

Don’t worry though, it quickly turns into one of pop music’s greatest triumphs, containing such poetry as ‘cherry ice cream smile, I suppose it’s very nice.’
Suppose? Way to sell it to us Simon, enthusiastic bastard.

I adore Rio, the middle bit that goes all tropical with birds twittering and a lady laughing at something (Nick Rhodes acting the fool as per usual I imagine, oh that guy!), and then the pornographic saxophone that always makes me lower the volume if it’s on in the car, gorgeous.

Just that beginning. It’s like it was tacked on, an upsetting filler, a quick and alarming peek into Duran Duran’s fevered New Romantic minds.

“Think we just sail around all day singing on boats in our jackets and espadrilles?” it says. “Think again. Life isn’t all cherry ice cream smiles and prayer saving. It can also be a real mean cock, so watch yourself and be prepared.”
Message received Duran Duran, Sir. Loud and clear.

The worst film ending in history

The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid

I LOVE the Karate Kid, and anyone who says otherwise will get a punch in the eardrum.
I have no complaint or beef with this shining beacon of karate based entertainment, it’s cinematic perfection.

From the opening credits, to Daniel’s first meeting with Mr. (hey kid who’s 60 years my junior, wanna  ‘sand my decking’?) Miyagi, how good Cruel Summer sounds during the ‘that god damn new kid is just a sexy loose cannon playing by his own rules!’ P.E. scene, the fact that Daniel looks like Ali’s anorexic son when he hugs her at Golf n’ Stuff, Mr. Miyagi’s ‘magical hands clap cure’ excuse to tou- er, I mean cure kids of their ailments – perfection.

It’s just…. right, Johnny is an absolute SHIT to Daniel throughout the entire film. He hates him because his ex-girlfriend Ali (played by the ever-fragrant Elisabeth Shue) is clearly interested in the stick thin mysterious Italian-American boy.

Johnny goes out of his way to make Daniel feel unwelcome, even going as far as making a complete fool of him at the country club. I still find that scene hard to watch. *sniff* I’m ok.

Anyway, you know the storyline of the film! Then they fight in the karate tournament final, Johnny ‘sweeps the leg’ like Yes/No Sensei tells him to, then at the LAST second, after Daniel kicks him in the nose and drops him using the patented ‘wow mate, you TOTALLY look like a crane’ kick, Johnny runs back with the trophy, thrusts it into Daniel’s victorious mitts, and sobs “YOU’RE ALRIGHT LARUSSO!” like a moist-eyed girl.

Hmmm – all it took was one kick to the head for Johnny to change his entire belief system and bully-boy leanings? It just doesn’t happen. So, do you want to know what I think?
Daniel’s crane kick caused catastrophic, irreversible brain damage.

Oh yes.  Johnny’s tears were symbolic of the hardships to come. I bet actual money the poor boy was eating his suppertime tacos via a tube that very night, his family weeping softly by his side. Miyagi had it in for Johnny ever since the fight by the gate. “I’ll have you, pretty little blondie” he probably thought. That’s why he trained young minion Daniel to do his dirty work, knowing full well that the crane kick, a move so dangerous it was previously only used by trained NINJAS, would cause Johnny to fall into a slow decline as his fresh young brain swelled within its skull confine.


That’s what you’ll never see… the ugly and shocking side of the All Valley Karate Tournament.
What do you mean I need to get a grip because it wasn’t real?

Claudia Winkleman

That’s really taken it out of me. I don’t know how the likes of Mark Commode and Claudia Winkler do film reviews all the time.

Beginnings… endings… we all began and we will all end. How badly we started is not always our fault, and how we end is not always up to us, but we can choose to make the middle bit as fabulous as we possibly can. Here endeth the lesson.

Sunrise, sunset. Wow, that was the shortest day ever!

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