THE INSIDER Who’s getting up to what

I Premiere magaZine's muck- raking Arnold Schwarzenegger article has generated extraordinary responses. The Current issues letters page has James Cameron. Sharon Stone and Jamie Lee Curtis among others defending Arnie against writer John Connolly’s accusations that Mr Muscles is a sexist pig. It's unusual for the fawning Hollywood gosap glossy to go out on a limb. particularly in an age when the majority of entertainment journalism is merely PR in sheep's clothing. Of course. it may be the muck-raking is engineered to boost Premieres sales. But hey. that‘s the flipside of showbiz. Look out next issue for our expose of Hollywood's new pet shop boy, Tom . . .

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I So what if The Sopranos was snubbed at the last Emmy Awards? Everyone loves Tony and the bad boys from New Jersey (so fok you. Miss foking Emmy). Even Fidel Castro loves domestic shenanigans mob-style. Castro's such a fan he smuggles pirate episodes of the show into Cuba, where American TV is censored. Insider wonders what Dubya's got to say about that?


I Scottish democraCy is being put to the test by artist Chris Helson. Helson has petitioned the Scottish Parliament for a plot of land on the Holyrood site to be defined by law as: ‘a place where any one person has the right to lay down“. It'll be interesting to see whether Parliament regards Helson. who has been working within the community surrounding the construction site as part of Scotland‘s Year of the Artist reSIdency programme. as either al an irritating political activist. bi pretentious (according to the press release. ‘Helson's work explores the construction of public spaces as model realities. in an attempt to uncover processes that generate and maintain simulated and hyper-real spaces'). or c) a serious artist (Will the Holyrood site. asks Helson. ‘yield a gentrified urban/rural experience or a truly public space?‘). Insider waits with breath baited. For more info visit:

I lT MUST be catching. Fellow Year of the Artist resident Ross Birrell had his proposal for a night class in Utopia to be held in Parliament's debating chamber knocked back. Not to be put off Birrell‘s de-centralising his project. taking the debate on utopia. citizenship and democracy to fifteen sites across Scotland. from Barlinnie Prison. Glasgow to Brent Spar Oil Rig. off the Aberdeen coast. For more info mail:

I Robert Lepage blacklists jOurnalists scandal! Agreeing to take centre stage at a press conference to promote The Far Side Of The Moon (recently seen at Glasgow's Tramway) at Montreal‘s Festival de theatre des Ameriques. Lepage requested that three journalists be excluded. ‘Nothing to do with negative reviews.’ he said. ‘but rather for personal reasons.‘ The outraged ‘Lepage three' threatened to attend anyway. at which point the press

Couch potato

Sexist pig?

conference was cancelled altogether. Luc Boulanger. on the liste noir. likened Lepage to Duplessis. Quebec's fascistic former premier. The row over free press vs artistic responSibility continues.

I Organ crisis! No. not at the Western General Hospital, but the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. which is unable to announce its concert season for 2001/2002. The PSNO has just been informed by Edinburgh City COuncil that the reinstallation of the refurbished Usher Hall organ won't be completed until April 2002. placing ‘severe restrictions on any choral or large-scale orchestral performances'. Smacks of. ahem. Council dis- Organ-isation.

I Read Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius? Thought the title was quite accurate? Then you'll want to check out Timothy McSweeney's Quarter/y Concern (aka Gengenshein. but best known simply as McSweeney's). the journal edited by America's greatest living young writer of non-fiction who has published only one book. Three issues have thus far been published. so why not first stop at the website ( There y0u'll get a taste of the japes in print: articles such as ‘People For The Ethical Treatment Of [New York] Times Columnists' and stories like ‘J.H.C'. about Jesus Christ running a circus. The site's disclaimer sums it up: ‘All offers are real, unless they are obviously not real.‘

I Han Solo and Luke Skywalker dolls my arse. You want to get yourself a Jim Roy/e talking doll. Squeeze Talking Jim Doll and the couch potato shouts. ‘Any chance of a brew here?‘ The nose-picking Scouse dad has also been rendered as a Mobile Talk Pal that announces a call with. ‘Get that will you Barb.‘ One for the laydees for sure. Jim's available now through Vivid Imaginations. Phone 01702 200660 for stockists.


‘I think excessive behaviour is taking illegal substances and aggression. He should stop that.’ Britnei Spears offers am. we to '7:” best rnate Eminern

‘Paul McCartney has never made a good record while I’ve been alive. He’s beyond irrelevance. He’s post- irrelevance.’

Mogii/ai's Stuart Bra/thit'alte sets fire to another sacred cow

‘I don’t like people talking about my family. I don’t give a fuck who you are.’

Janet Jackson doc/ares war on Madonna.

‘She’s a humourless British pitbull in granny glasses.’ One of the kinder US critics on Anne Robinson as The iii/eakest (ink makes waves in the States.

‘I look like a lesbian.’ Hugh Grant comments on his spiky new hairdo.

‘I’m a gay man almost trapped in a girl’s body.’

An equal/y confused Gen Ha/lrwe/l

‘I hope they show mercy.’ Ronnie Biggs seeks for kindness in the heart of the legal system as he bids to Spend his final years 1/] Britain.

‘l was always the tragic one at the back of the class who got to play a tree or the wind.’

Davina McCall on her

prevrous acting

experience as she

prepares to appear in a

new S/[CO/Ti.

Geri Halliwell O