The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
Warning - if you haven't seen the Thor, Captain America and Iron Man films you just might need a crammer to bring you up to date with the full Avengers ensemble.
Shield director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) rounds that particular trio up along with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in this dazzler.
It's The Dirty Dozen meets Transformers time as the avengers unite to save the world from aliens led by the deluded demi-god Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Yet again it seems it's de rigeuer that a British actor plays the baddy.
As for our heroes, it apparently seems that they need a one-eyed African-American barking orders because he believes US special soldiers know better than the World Security Council.
After all the introductions, director Joss Whedon gets down to the task in caricaturing the American Dream.
Robert Downey Jr steals the plaudits with his Tony Stark persona refusing to be a team player.
Captain America (Chris Evans), a cipher for lost US innocence, suggests the stars and stripes are in need of a little "old-fashioned respect," not a view that'll go down well in occupied countries.
And we're reminded that the US won the second world war, underlined when an old Jewish guy refuses to bend the knee to Loki following a fuhrer-like rant.
The real surprise is Ruffalo playing the sensitive scientist Bruce Banner who has an interest in the gamma rays which are attracting the aliens.
But when he transforms it's business as usual - "We're not a team, we're a time bomb"- as he tears up mechanical cockroaches.
There are other diversions throughout, not least Black Widow seducing Loki with her voice and Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow) doing the same to Stark with her stilettos.
After all bitching and bonding the movie takes off with the CGI-talents of Industrial Light And Magic providing a finale where Manhattan gets trashed.
Obviously a reference to "11/9" it's merely a prelude to a future story which reveals the architect of the attack - who's revealed after the credits.
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