The Saturday Miscellany: Sex and the City vs Girls; Andy Murray; Wychwood Festival; Man Ray
Culture clash: All female sitcoms
By Holly Williams
Sex and the City vs Girls
As Sex and the City moved from newspaper column to US TV series in 1998, it not only captured an era of consumption and confidence – The shoes! The vibrators! The cocktails! – but was also hailed as game-changing, thanks to its focus on the friendship of four New York-dwelling women. But after six series, those disastrous films, and the financial crash… well, it now feels a bit tacky.
Lena Dunham's Girls is also about four archetypal female pals in New York – but living in the current economic doldrums, and acerbically bitter about it. This is what happens when girls grow up watching SATC, only to find it was peddling a myth.
Girls is funnier, and more wincingly truthful than SATC – for all its frank talk about shagging – ever was.
The winner: Girls
The deleted emails of... Andy Murray (as read by John Walsh)
To: 9 May
Subject: Mah bad back
Hello. No need to explain who I am (here's some hints: pumping fist, screwed-up face, Centre Court blubbing, Olympic gold) but I need your help.
I have terrible back pain in sacral region. Bin giving me grief for three years. Serving on grass feels as though yr spine's being wrung out like a flannel. Playing on clay's like having a claymore shoved up your jacksie.
I've tried everything –massage, acupuncture, having Craig and Charlie come over to sing (I Will Walk) 500 Miles – and you're mah last hope.
I heard from a mate you offer a special healing treatment involving me lying naked on the floor while a lassie dressed as Susan Boyle walks up and doon mah vertebrae. Can I have a go? I need to be in shape for French Open on the 26th. I hope this isnae a joke, because I have a limited sense of humour.
By Ellen E Jones
Q. A work colleague has an absurdly loud sneeze. Can I bring it up with her?
A. Sneezing is a spasmodic involuntary action, so that's pointless. But maybe she's trying to advertise impressive vocal chords? Invite her to work karaoke, already, and put the poor woman out of her misery.
By Charlie Cooper
Do: Family-friendly Wychwood Festival returns to Cheltenham Racecourse with Bill Bailey and the Human League among the attractions. 31 May-2 June, wychwoodfestival.com
See: War Games, a new exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood, tells the story of the curious link between war and child's play. 25 May to March 2014, museumofchildhood.org.uk
Buy: You've seen his pictures at the National Portrait Gallery, now play on the beechwood art deco chess set Man Ray designed in the 1920s. £495, liberty.co.uk
By Charlie Cooper
* 4,224 multi-millionaires (those with assets worth more £19m) live in London, the highest concentration in the world
* Which means that roughly one in every 2,000 Londoner is a multi-millionaire
* £2,000: the price of a sales brochure for one London property, on the market for £100m
* The top 1% of British earners take 10p in every pound of pre-tax income paid in Britain
* And the bottom 50% of earners take 18p in every pound of pre- tax income
* Britain’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov has a fortune of £13.3bn
* Usamov is president of The International Fencing Federation, whose budget doubled to 24.5m Swiss francs the year he took over
* There are 1,426 billionaires around the world today
* The collective wealth of all the world’s billionaires is $5.4 trillion
* The gross domestic product of the UK (pop. 63m) is $2.4 trillion
Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandalbooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scientists create transparent mouse complete with see-through organs
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Amazonian Indian tribe filmed making contact with Brazil village in rare video footage
Game of Thrones actress Aimee Richardson begs for 'other princess work' after Myrcella Baratheon part is recast
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in August 2014
Cultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
The Walking Dead season 5 will see deaths of 'favourite characters', suggests Andrew Lincoln
Edinburgh Festival 2014: Israeli show The City pulled after pro-Palestinian protests
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
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