Tag Archives: Mira Sorvino

January 12th

On this day in 1995 Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X was arrested for conspiring to kill Louis Farrakhan.

Qubilah with Malcolm

This is in fact a really shitty little story of a woman being hounded, nasty little FBI informants and, being left with a feeling that it all seemed to be about getting one over on Malcolm’s daughter rather than any real awful murder about to be committed.

Why do I think that? Qubilah had seen her father murdered when she was just four years old. From that moment onwards her mother, Betty Shabazz believed that Louis Farrakhan had been involved in the murder of Malcolm. Farrakhan has denied being actively involved, but at times has said that maybe the things he said led to it happening. Then again in a speech he gave in 1993 he said:

Was Malcolm your traitor or ours? And if we dealt with him like a nation deals with a traitor, what the hell business is it of yours? A nation has to be able to deal with traitors and cutthroats and turncoats.

To be honest, if a man who I had reason to dislike, fear and possibly

Qubilah escorted into court (May 1995) by her lawyer

hate, said that about my father’s murder, I’d be strongly inclined to believe that he had been part of the conspiracy to murder him. Qubilah did hate Farrakhan and worse, she was worried about her mother’s safety. Betty was vocal and without fear in her belief that Farrakhan had planned her husband’s murder. Her daughter feared, rightly or wrongly, that Farrakhan might also plan the murder of her mother.

Forward to 1994. An old school friend of hers, Michael Fitzpatrick, claimed that she called him and asked him to murder Farrakahn. She definitely did call him and there was talk of how dangerous Farrakhan was and that she wanted him dead. Unfortunately for Qubilah, what she didn’t know was that Fitzpatrick was an FBI informant. They spoke throughout May and June of that year. He asked her to marry him and actively encouraged her to talk about her hatred of Farrakhan and her desire to see him murdered.

However, luckily for Qubilah, Fitzpatrick also started recording his phone conversations with her, probably at the request of the FBI. After her arrest she was indicted on the charges of using telephones and crossing state lines in a plot to kill Farrakhan. A couple of surprises came up at this point. One was that the recordings made by Fitzpatrick to prove her guilt, made him look like he was entrapping her. She came across as unsure, nervous, tentative and an unwilling conspirator. The other was that Farrakhan himself spoke in her defence, saying he did not believe her capable of murder, that she was a good girl who had been led astray. Certainly, Qubilah was, by then, suffering from alcohol and drug problems. Her life had not been easy, she was almost certainly paranoid and Fitzpatrick and the FBI had used this to push her into breaking the law.

This is the bit I find so despicable. Hadn’t the woman suffered enough? I mean really, did the FBI think that she was some sort of national danger? Anyway! It was clear that it would be hugely difficult to find her guilty of the original charges (which could have seen her do up to 90 years in jail) and so a plea bargain saw her maintain her innocence, but she took responsibility for her actions. She was then required to undergo psychological counselling and drug and alcohol abuse treatment for two years in order to avoid prison.

As far as I know, the FBI weren’t told to sort themselves the fuck out and nothing happened to Fitzpatrick, even though a good kick up the arse was the very least he deserved for being such a nasty little shitehawk.

Unfortunately, there was more sadness in the Shabazz family in the years following this, but let’s end on something that at least approaches a happy ending. I am in no mood to bring myself and all of you down any further than I already have.

Today is the birthday of French actor and serial dater of hot women, Olivier Martinez.

His name won’t mean much to you if you never read the gossip pages, because while he is an actor, he’s not really that famous as an actor. He is however famous for being good looking and dating, cheating on, breaking up with and then dating, a number of hot famous women. It has been said of him that given the number of women he has probably had pre-marital ghastliness with, his wank bank is probably as big as Fort Knox.

His Milkshake brings all the girls to his yard

He first came to notice as the boyfriend of Mira Sorvino and has since been attached to a lot of famous women, including Kylie Minogue, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and is now, allegedly, engaged to Halle Berry. He’s definitely been her boyfriend for a while and he’d probably be mad to not want to marry her. Well, for all I know she could be as mad as a box of frogs, but she is stunningly beautiful.

Anyway,he’s 46 today, still hot, still making laydeez go weak at the knees and occasionally being in a film that no one ever gets to hear about. I’m not going to wish him a happy birthday. I’m not being churlish, but frankly the man has everything. He needs nada from me!

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March 27th

On this day in 1881 Basingstoke erupted in rioting. The cause? The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army had turned up in Basingstoke the previous year and immediately begun temperance campaigns. So far, so ever so slightly annoying, but their campaigns became rather noisy. Every Sunday they’d march around the town blowing their trumpets, banging their drums and calling out anti-drinking slogans that were as imaginative as  “Ban all drink!”. One can only imagine that

The riot probably looked a bit like this, but better drawn

religious self-righteousness had taken up the part of their brains where the imagination lived and killed it. The good people of Basingstoke were rather irritated by these marches. Some, who would no more think  of going into a public house than they would show off their hairy gardens on the high street, because they did not want the peace of the Sabbath being broken by the noise and the clamour. Others, who liked a pint or eleventeen, were outraged that these dull fuckers were ruining their drinking time and trying to close down their favourite haunts. Something had to give and give it did.

 

Before the big riot, there had been smaller incidents and there were also a group, who called themselves Massagainians, who followed the Sally Army around the town. They would play home-made instruments, sometimes nothing more than a tin can filled with stones, and sing bawdy songs very loudly, in an attempt to drown out the holy Joes and Josephines. There was something of an incident on 20th March, when 1,000 people gathered in Market Place armed with sticks and cudgels and had a bit of a go at the Sally Army. There were few injuries as supporters of the musical prohibitionists protected them and got them away. Not deterred, the following week saw full-on action from the folk of Basingstoke.

2,000 people turned up, armed as before. There were also 100 special constables there to ensure that things didn’t get out of hand. They didn’t quite manage to do that. It kicked off big time, sticks were flying, blows were being rained upon the Sally Army and high dudgeon was a place being occupied by all those who’d had enough of being told they shouldn’t have a pint or several to enliven their otherwise dull lives (this was Basingstoke after all, it was a bit of a deadly place to live if you wanted excitement). The Mayor (himself a member of a local brewery) had to call in the Horse Artillery, who were stationed in the town, to break up the riot before someone got killed. He then mounted the steps of the Town Hall and read them the riot act. Yes, that’s right! Back in Victorian Britain if you got a bit rioty, you were physically read the riot act. I love the idea of some poor bugger having to read out reams of legalese in an attempt to subdue an angry mob.

Luckily, no one was killed, but there were plenty of injuries and many sore heads that couldn’t be blamed on too much ale. The attempts to rid themselves of the God Squad went on until 1883, but there were no more riots. By 1883, the townsfolk realised that Salvation Army were going nowhere so they might as well get used to having them around. It took a little longer for the Sallies to realise that drinking wasn’t going to be stopped by hymns, pipe and drum. Stalemate, is not a victory, but it is an end of sorts.

And there we have it, dear readers. Even somewhere as boring as Basingstoke has had its moments and its lovely to know that while people might be backwards about coming forward over issues as varied as workers’ rights, social deprivation and the pointlessness of war, can be relied upon to break heads when it comes to the matter of depriving them of a drop of the hard stuff. Basingstoke we would salute you, but then you might think we were all Sally Army and get out your sticks again. So we won’t.

 

Today is the birthday of a man with a face like a Halloween mask. He is a writer, director and sometime very bad actor whose name is Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino is one of those men who you know you’d slap stupid if you had to spend more than ten minutes with him, but he has made a couple of good films. Personally I mostly hate Reservoir Dogs because it’s a rip off and because there’s that whole bit about Like a Virgin which is totally fucking sexist. I love Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, however, so kudos and all that. I’m not keen on Natural Born Killers, which he scripted, but I love From Dusk Till Dawn, especially the bits where we get to see Salma Hayak’s lovely eyes and when he is killed.

I have yet to figure out if Tarantino is an idiot savant or just an idiot, but given that occasionally he gets it spot on he’s probably at the

Quentin styling out those smouldering looks of his

very least an idiot semi-savant.  He used to go out with the wonderful Mira Sorvino and I do feel a bit sorry for her because I imagine that sometimes she must have woken up and seen that face looming over her and thought that a burglar in a bad mask had crept into the house and was going to kill her.  I think he’s single at the moment, so no jostling in that queue laydeez!

 

Whatever his faults, and I don’t blame  him for his face because he didn’t ask to be born like that, he does love film with a passion and this makes me like him more than I’m otherwise minded to. He’s also not a big fan of the whole digitization thing, the 3-d thing and other related jiggery-pokery, so this makes him sort of okay (but not quite) in my book.

And so, there remains nothing to say but that elusive genuine happy birthday thing. Happy birthday then, Quentin. If you happen to read this after I’ve submitted a screenplay and you think of ruining my chances in Hollywood because of my scant praise for you, do not. If you do I will cut you.

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