What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

Jul. 31 2010 — 7:09 am | 81 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Exit, laughing

My real ‘goodbye’ starts and ends here.

It’s just after 1pm in Budapest, which I suppose means around 7am in New York city, and another 18 hours before… what? I’m not really sure. Does the site just disappear offline with a trace? It seems hard to believe.

Curmudgeonly old bastard that I am and so rusty in these forms of expression, I would still like to say thank you to Lewis, Coates, Andrea and Michael and of course to all the other contributors, for making this site a great temporary home for my twisted rantings and ravings.

They’re all such smart and capable people and it’s probably not that often such a disreputable, flotsam and jetsam bar-fly hack like me comes into their orbit. I’ve tried not to be too much of a pain in the arse. I suppose it is possible that my repeated demands to have my name at the top of the masthead in neon, and my weekly letters demanding a dramatic increase in salary, backdated to my first post may have got on their assembled nerves just occasionally.

Thank you for putting up with me guys, and for giving a voice in the wilderness a chance to gain an audience. Not quite sure I’ll be blogging anywhere near as regularly at this site, but I guess occasionally, and the archives will be there in all their obscure glory.

So that’s it, I may even add a few bits and pieces to the site, but this not that, is the last time I’ll say an actual goodbye. Bon voyage everyone.

And to leave you, hopefully, with a twisted smile on your face, I present an episode from my 26 episode series, Space Cadets. It’s one in a series of what were wordless French animations jazzed up with some comedic after-narration. All things being equal, they should be coming soon to a late night cable television station near you.

So one way or another, I hope we’ll meet again. If not, we’ll always have True/Slant.

Jul. 29 2010 — 5:35 pm | 128 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

Out of focus, fading to black?

In November 2008, this so-called Jet-Set Hobo was in Buenos Aires when he filed his first story for True/Slant. It was called ‘From Argentina with Love’, and was in some way concerned with what was the new James Bond movie, ‘A Portion of Condolence’.  If there was any actual film reviewing going on, I think it would have betrayed some disappointment. But greater disappointments were to come.

There could still be ‘A Scintilla of Comfort’. But you’ll have to read/scroll until the end of the piece for that.

For one thing, troubles at MGM indicate that after ‘A Quantum of Solace’ the James Bond series of movies has been suspended …indefinitely! As assiduous followers of this blog can tell you, one of my great, unfulfilled ambitions was to play a villain in a James Bond movie. Any villain. Naturally I would have preferred to be the doomed evil mastermind, but anyone of his windswept and interesting henchman would have sufficed.

continue »

Jul. 27 2010 — 6:35 am | 313 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Godspeed to Lady Zsa Zsa

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Prince Frederic ...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Not too sure about her consort, pictured here, from the forehead up. The headware was part of his laughable bid for Governorship of California. How laughable? Read on.

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — How well Zsa Zsa Gabor is recovering from hip replacement surgery a week ago depends on whom you ask: her husband or her daughter. Prince Frederic Von Anhalt said his wife of 24 years is in “critical” condition, but daughter Francesca Hilton said her condition is “guarded.” Gabor, 93, suffered a broken hip in a fall at her Bel Air, California, home nine days ago. “It’s up and down,” Von Anhalt said Monday afternoon. “It worries me very much.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor is from good, hearty Hungarian stock. She may well survive this trial and then the so-called Prince will have to wait a bit longer to inherit all those wedding rings from past marriages. After all, she herself said “I never hated a husband enough to give him his diamonds back.”

The so-called prince’s royal credentials certainly bear closer scrutiny. According to Wikipedia, he became the adopted son of Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt at the age of 37 in a business transaction put together by Hans Hermann Weyer, a former consul of Bolivia.

continue »

Jul. 21 2010 — 4:02 pm | 25 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Romanian Dictator back from the Grave

Grave of Nicolae Ceauşescu, Ghencea cemetery, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Ex-Romanian Dictator Ceauşescu Exhumed: Forensic scientists have exhumed what are believed to be the bodies of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena at the request of their children. Ceauşescu ruled Romania for 25 years with an iron first before being ousted and executed during the 1989 anti-communist revolt in which more than 1,000 people were killed. Some Romanians doubt that the Ceauşescus were really buried in the Ghencea military cemetery in west Bucharest.

via Ex-Romanian Dictator Ceausescu And Wife Elena Exhumed For DNA Tests To Determine Identities | World News | Sky News.

Strange echoes of the legends surrounding Romania’s other famous tyrant Vlad Ţepeș AKA Dracula. It seems hard to believe there were any doubts about the Ceauşescus really being dead. They were hauled in front of TV cameras after being seized by an angry mob, and lined up against a wall to face a firing squad on Christmas day 1989.

continue »

Jul. 18 2010 — 6:15 am | 434 views | 1 recommendations | 1 comment

Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson

Cover of "Generation of Swine: Tales of S...

Cover via Amazon

“These are bad times for people who like to sit outside the library at dawn on a rainy morning and get ripped to the tits on crank and powerful music.”

Hunter S. Thompson, Songs of the Doomed

Today, July 18th, is Hunter S. Thompson’s 73rd birthday, or at least it would be if he hadn’t shot himself dead 5 years ago while his grandson played in another room of the rambling log cabin that was his home in Woody Creek, Colorado.

Based on those credentials, Hunter S. Thompson might present himself as an unlikely candidate for hero, literary or otherwise. Suffice to say that this lowly hack does have literary heroes, including figures as jumbled and miscellaneous as Lord Byron, Douglas Adams, Evelyn Waugh, William S. Burroughs and Oscar Wilde, and Hunter S. Thompson is one of them. That’s despite the fact I’m a cynical and jaded veteran of the journalistic trade and aware there are a lot of criticisms you can level at Thompson and his legacy. For one thing, he has become the poster boy for an awful lot of readers who cnta evne slpel tiher nwo nasem, let alone tell you for example the name of the current vice president of the United States. Well at least they’re reading something I guess.

Also, a parsing of any of Thompson’s numerous biographies and one quickly becomes aware of just how out-of-control the author of Hells Angels could get. At his worst, he must have been a fucking nightmare. A great screaming and shouting physical brute demanding expenses and room service and bottles of Chivas Regal sent up to his room so that he could finish his goddamn column. But it was even worse than that – it seems he beat his long-suffering first wife Sandy, and made a lot of other people suffer in the shadow of his savage temper. There was if we are honest, a little something of the ‘Mel Gibson in the night’ about the so-called good doctor.

And yet. However enthralling or appalling his antics were, the reason he had stood out in the first place was that at his best he wrote the same way a Cheetah can run. “A man of vast syntactical resources” as William F. Buckley put it. In the 2006 biopic ‘Hunter S. Thompson on Film’, Buckley also reads this piece by Thompson aloud.

continue »

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I have never worked as a secret agent, but I did play one on TV: KGB spy Sergei Kukushkin in mini series The Company. More recently I played a debauched aristocrat in a tasty short film called Last Night in Buenos Aires. I was also the voice of the monster Buffalord in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, believe it or not. In 'real life' I am a Travel Writer, Scriptwriter, After-Dinner Speaker, Entrepreneur and man-about-many-towns who has written and produced television for Fox Networks UK, the UK Sci-Fi Channel and New Zealand animation facility The Funny Farm. I have also edited or contributed to numerous guidebooks, to cities like Buenos Aires, Florence and London - as well as dear old Budapest of course. Between December and February I was Guest Editor at Time Out Beirut. I have also been fortunate enough to write about travel (and whatever else moves me) for True/Slant as 'The Jet-Set Hobo.' Well, it seemed a fun way to sum up what might laughingly be referred to as my lifestyle, and the label has stuck. There are worse appellations, don't you think?

    See my profile »
    Followers: 62
    Contributor Since: November 2008
    Location:The transit lounge

    What I'm Up To

    The Wildcats of Piran

    pirancatIt may seem an odd occupation for a globe-trotting, nightlife loving bachelor, but over the last few months, I’ve been writing a children’s book called The wild cats of Piran. It’s about a colony of feral cats who live in a small medieval town on the Adriatic sea. The book is intended to appeal to very bright 9 year olds and up. The sort of thing a bookish, cat loving adult could enjoy whipping through in a long afternoon sitting in a snug armchair by an open fire. A great believer in letting the work speak for itself, if you’re at all interested, I suggest you contact the author directly, here and I’ll send you the first few chapters as an attachment. Thank you for listening.