Sunday, 1 February 2015

Dors On Men

Sexy Di's millions of readers were not disappointed with her far ranging and often merciless comments on the not so fair sex. She pulls no punches, especially when it comes to Nicholas Parsons, who gets almost as scathing a write up as Charles Manson.

Here are some extracts:


This has got to be the most sinister looking man ever! It's hard to imagine him as a baby (certainly one only a mother could love I'm sure) and even harder to imagine him as a young man fooling around with females. Perhaps he never did...Indeed I cannot imagine him doing anything that is in any way human, and if I had to name a man who gave me nightmares, the Ayatollah with his grim black, long beard, and beady eyes, would take precedence over every other man in history.


This man should really go under D for Devil because if the devil ever appeared in human form it was in the form of Charles Manson.

Manson, through his cult following instigated the murder of actress Sharon Tate and is now serving nine life sentences for murder, but he has the audacity to apply for parole!


Honestly, straight up, I have never met a man or woman, who does not seem to find this man anything but a pompous, crashing bore.

Obviously from the smile on his school-masterly face, and probably from the size of his bank account (for he has been in show business THAT long) one way and another Nicholas is delighted with himself and considers he has oodles of talent.

I dare anyone to stare him right in the eyeball and tell him he hasn't.

T is for TYRANTS

I have never known of a tyrant yet who did not eventually wind up on his arse!

V is for VOYEURS

These sick men are almost as bad as 'gay' vicars, but at least the have the decency to keep their behaviour private, locked away in the closet or wherever they choose to hide the spy holes they use to watch others doing things they are incapable of themselves.  


Sheer Shire

Absolutely no mention of Saucy Nancy from Worzel Gummidge, though. Very poor. 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Underground, Overground

This modest book seems like an apt object with which to bid a personal farewell to the Mounds & Circles project, in that a suitably tatty old paperback captures the central theme we have examined during the life of this blog: sex, or rather smut. I found it in a second-hand bookshop in Lyme Regis last summer, a last lingering residue of 20th century British seaside vulgarity.

This book, dragged up to look like some pseudo-psycho-sociological study (look, it's introduced by a real doctor!) was originally published in hardback but propbably didn't sell well so good old Panther picked up the rights and re-issued it in paperback (easy to slip into one's dirty mac) with a suitably salacious cover, (only) partly revealing a dominatrix and slave.

The book looks at various aspects of pornography from respectable jazz mags such as Penthouse and King, through pulp and underground magazines for more 'minority' interest groups, before finishing in a slightly bizarre twist with an examination of the sexual psychology of comic books. It's all entertainingly superficial with plenty of 'spreads' to enlighten readers with limited literacy.

British culture has a long and complicated relationship with matters sexual. Rarely approached openly, we prefer to so sidle up coyly or snigger from a distance. We can't take it seriously, or when we do and judges, politicians and the church get involved, disapproval and censorship are usually the result.

Hard pornography (filth) remains socially unacceptable (quite apart from arguments of moral and economic exploitation) and yet the need for titilation and amusement, coupled with the prurient attitude of the media, forced the British sexual desire to take on a not so subtle guise: smut.

What's the difference between filth and smut? One definition might be filth leaves nothing the imagination; all is laid bare in livid gynacological detail. Smut is more evasive, suggestive rather than graphic; soft porn, saucy postcards, Page 3, Carry On innuendo, tits and arse but no flaps or stiffies.

Filth stays behind the twitching curtain, under the counter, deep in the hard drive. Smut filters into the culture, enriching and undermining society for better or worse. M&C doesn't take a view on these things but we don't want it brushed under the carpet either. The mores of smut interest and entertain us and we hope you've enjoyed it too.

I hope this post sort of sums up Mounds and Circles, some of the things we like, and the cultural marginalia where the dank undergrowth festers in the shadow of the mainstream. Grotty old paperbacks, Penthouse Pets, pseudoscience, Tom of Finland, cross-dressing, the permissive society, BDSM, lesbian perversions, 1960s, The Avengers, guns, rubber, The Bash Street Kids, Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. Something for everyone.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday Night Film: La Donna Scimmia

‘The Ape Woman’ is the poignant story of Maria, a woman born with an excess of body hair who ends up working in a convent, far away from the stares and jibes of the general population. A travelling salesman spies her and realises that there is money to be made in exploiting her unique characteristics and, after marrying her (at the nuns insistence) sets her up in a jungle themed side show where she makes out that she is a primitive monkey woman from darkest Africa.

Ferreri usually cameos in his own films. He's the one with the chin strap beard.



The happiest day of her life...

In fact, she is a sensitive, kind woman who is capable of enormous love and tenderness and, hairy or not, she’s very sexy. Her husband Antonio, however, is only interested in her commercial prospects and treats her appallingly, at one point trying to sell her virginity to a rich man with an interest in bestiality. When the increasingly disgruntled Maria goes on strike, Antonio is forced to be kinder to her and, at her insistence, they start a relationship that goes beyond a business partnership and marriage of convenience. Unfortunately, against Doctor’s orders, Maria becomes pregnant and she and her baby die in childbirth. Antonio is heartbroken and, when he finds out that her mummified remains are on display in a museum, he fights to get her body back – so he can exhibit it himself in a travelling sideshow.

Based on a real life story from the 19th century, ‘The Ape Woman’ is both funny and terribly sad, and the relationship between Maria and Antonio (Ugo Tognazzi) is beautifully and realistically drawn. Although there is no doubt that, eventually, Antonio comes to love Maria (and who can blame him, she’s gorgeous) he never diverts from his primary instinct – to make money out of her unique appearance – and, because Maria loves him more than she loves herself, she is prepared to do more or less anything to make him happy, including stripping and making chimp noises while dressed as a lady Tarzan.

Subtly directed, wonderfully acted, gorgeously black and white, ‘The Ape Woman’ is an unusual film with an unusual subject – perfect Friday night viewing

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Twisting With Old Ned

You know how it is. Mounds & Circles would like to think that our theme music would be some cool, modal jazz - something hip and slightly impenetrable. The reality, of course, is something quite different: it would have to be 'Steptoe & Son' played as a twist number...

Spence of Humour

Culture Centre for Bahrain, 1976

Barbapapa's House, 1974
Design for City of Gold and Lead, 1947

Hutchesontown, Glasgow

Sea & Ships Pavilion, Festival of Britain, 1951
Basil's Space Age Bachelor Pad, Beaulieu
Crown of Thorns sculpture, Coventry Cathedral, 1961

Possible source of Basil's inspiration?


Barbara Windsor never had particularly large knockers but, because she did have some and because, every now and again, she was prepared to nearly show them to you she became one of the most famous breast owners in Britain. That's 'Mounds & Circles' in a c-cup, really. Smut and suggestion, all done with a giggle. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sweet Dreams

Mrs Cathy Gale enjoys a sherbet fountain.

Stupid Future

Imagine if you will the 1960s.

A revolution in the arts. The future looked bright.

We as a nation could do anything. Anything we wanted. Hippies would rule the world. We’d have sweets for breakfast and sweet for tea. It would be bonkers conkers. We’d fly around on jetpacks and everyone would dress like Peter Gabriel when he was in Genesis.

Dogs and cats would be able to talk.

There would be one tongue. We would all speak the language of love. The sky would always have rainbows. Everyone would be an artist. There would be music in the air. Your nan would look like Barbarella (but sexier). 

Yes, we had all those things to look forward too. 

So with all this in mind, Peter Cook (no, not that one), Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Green created Archigram.

Archigram! Yes! It’s a good name isn’t it? Archigram! 

Avant-garde architects! Pop buildings! Groovy futurist boxes!

If someone walked up to you right now and said ‘I’ve got a great idea! Let’s build a whole city that walks around on legs!’. You’d laugh wouldn’t you? ‘HAHAHAHHAHAHA!’ That’s what you’d do. You might even say ‘Don’t be a daft twat, that’s a right stupid idea that. Get away from me. Don’t look at me, you looney’.

Cities could walk according to Ron Herron. Yes, they could! On massive retractable legs with balls on the end! It would look like a fat beetle and plug itself in wherever it wandered and suck up electricity though a massive straw. There would be pods that we would live in, which could be taken out and exchanged for pods from another walking city. If there was a nuclear war. Pah! We’d just move out of the way on our stumpy little legs, flicking Vs at the mushroom cloud.

How about if you lived in an area that was a bit boring - like say, Doncaster or Abingdon? Pretty dull right? Yeah. Well, fear not! Because Archigram could save you from your humdrum lives! It would bring an instant city right to you! No shit! I’m not making this up. They would fly the brand new super city  (including instant performance spaces for your local rock and roll pop group to put on a gig) right over your grey crap one on balloons (I know, I know - the idea is so mindbogglingly stupid that it goes way beyond mad into: Hummmmm, that might. Just. Work.). On balloons! 

Sadly Archigram’s plans never got past the planning stage and remained largely hypothetical. But just for a moment, a brief moment, lets imagine that they didn’t. That we are, in fact living in their strange idea of the future. That would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Don't tell Miss Cathcart!

Just payed £75 for this 8mm "home movie". It was made by actress Sue Pollard in the summer of 1981, shortly after the first season of 'Hi-Di Hi' had aired. At the time Sue had no idea how successful the series was to become, and decided to move into the film business to keep her hand in.

Mounds & Circles may be neutralized before I get time to transfer this onto a digital medium, but rest assured, I'll be paying regular worship to this erotic treasure for many years to come.