In 2009, I wrote a post called Jade Goody The Musical, about speculative plans to turn the life story of Jade Goody, meta-celebrity, into a musical.

With Britain’s Got Talent legend Susan Boyle hotly tipped to play Goody’s mum, and Richard Gere confirming he had been lined up to play Max Clifford, ‘Goody Goody Yum Yum!: Jade the musical’, is only in need of a talent willing to strip off on stage then simulate fatal cervical cancer before it gets the green light.

(I note with some hindsighted pleasure that my article was published the day before a similar post on The Graun’s website. Mine was also better.)

Anyway, in an unwelcome slight return, I learn that Jade Goody The Musical is now, actually, set to be performed, only instead of a musical it is an opera, and instead of “Jade Goody The Opera” it is to be called “And the Crowd (wept)”.

This pensive title might be an effort to set the brow a little higher, but they would have a long way to go to beat the arching mine is doing.

The wider the spread of this story, reported using remarkably similar phrasing and poorly-punctuated translation by the BBC, New York Times, Guardian and others, about the Iranian cleric who suggested that immorality could provoke a judgment from god, no shock or horror, through Facebook groups and so on…

…and the more I read the same tiny quotes from what was probably a lengthy sermon which seems, on the basis of the sections I have been able to find, to have used ‘earthquakes’ at least a couple of times as a trope, again, not particularly shocking or horrifying in the context of a religious sermon in a region given to earthquakes (physical and social), or particularly worthy of comment given the sheer eye-swivelling wrong-headedness of the suggestion that actually, physically, promiscuity in women, whatever that means, might cause tectonic plates on the earth to shift (… in fact what the headline should have said was ‘cleric says promiscuity makes god cause earthquakes’ which is a not at all shocking statement for a cleric to make, as noted by “Sabretooth” at LucasForums)…

…the more I grow uneasy that there is some kind of black propaganda at work, perhaps intended to make everyone in Iran seem atavistic, not quite the full shilling, clearly unworthy of being allowed anywhere near fissile material, nay READY to be invaded, perhaps destroyed in order to be saved.

Almost like the misquoted speech from Ahmedinejad about “wiping Israel off the map” was.

I am not in favour of repressive regimes or religious fundamentalism, but neither do I favour one-sided conversations. In fact, my unease is supported by a colleague just then reading the story aloud and suggesting that Ahmedinejad and Sedighi’s quotes were both from Ahmedinejad. Because those mad mullahs all look the same from here, presumably. People get as far as the leading headline and then go off on one.

Full transcript please, and stop trying to wind people up with half a quote.

As noted in an earlier post ‘Fat Duck and Little Chef’, gastroboffin (and direct descendant of Dr Bunsen Honeydew) Heston Blumenthal was roped in to boost the ailing fortunes of the Little Chef chain of eateries. Now The Good Food Guide has acknowledged his effort by including the Popham branch in the 2010 edition.

Awarded a magnificent two out of 10 (for Good Food, which is a relief given the context), the apparently popular Popham site gained plaudits from punters according to this BBC article.

Having just returned from a smashing holiday weekend on the Kent coast, and having broken our fast at one of the 180 Little Chef emporia spotted about the UK on the way back, I am pleased to relate that, as in my previous report, most of the rest of the UK can still enjoy white bread toast and fried produce prepared au plaque en fonte, and precious little else for your free lolly.

We also had the novelty of the chef (approximately 15 years old) bring the food which the waitress/manageress (maybe thrice her lackey’s age) had had to go and help to prepare… The lady in charge was actually really sweet and funny, muttering something (half to herself) after I had paid and collected the three free lollies, about ‘going to see what the kids were doing’ as she stalked off towards the kitchen.

Meanwhile, ‘The Sound of the Lay-by’ drifts inexorably towards York and Kettering West, where it is noted that a minimum of 35 local jobs may be created. Imagine that as a business plan, employing people in your restaurants so there was more than one person to do everything. Astounding.

If Little Chef keep this dizzying recruitment process up, we may just be able to do something about this dangfarn unemployment rise after all!

(That link is a pdf, btw… go here if you want it explained in Grauniad speak why we’ll all be marathon dancing by Christmas).