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What’s Going On?: The Meanderings of a Comic Mind in Confusion By Mark Steel,

  • Title: What’s Going On?: The Meanderings of a Comic Mind in Confusion
  • Author: Mark Steel
  • ISBN: 9781847372819
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Paperback
  • Comedian Mark Steel has spent most of his life a committed, signed up member of the Socialist Workers Party The Labour Party coming to power in 1997 could have been the start of a new political dawn for Mark and for Britain But instead, big business and war mongering thrived under New Labour, and in many ways the working class seemed to become marginalised Petty biComedian Mark Steel has spent most of his life a committed, signed up member of the Socialist Workers Party The Labour Party coming to power in 1997 could have been the start of a new political dawn for Mark and for Britain But instead, big business and war mongering thrived under New Labour, and in many ways the working class seemed to become marginalised Petty bickering and in fighting racked the SWP, numbers dwindled horribly, socialism became a dirty word and Mark Steel began to think the unthinkable do I really want to belong to this rabble any At the same time, entering his forties, Mark s personal life began to disintegrate Spending many sleepless nights on the sofa, watching inane cable TV into the early hours of the morning, Mark asked himself the question, What is Going On In a book that goes right to the heart of Britain and the problems it suffers today, Mark wonders why over a million people marching in London couldn t stop the war in Iraq, why supermarkets are killing the small town centres of Britain and why George Galloway went on Celebrity Big Brother destroying any political credibility he may have had in the blink of a cat s eye Bitingly funny, poignant, sharply observed and very much of the moment, this is Mark Steel at his brilliantly intelligent best.
    What s Going On The Meanderings of a Comic Mind in Confusion Comedian Mark Steel has spent most of his life a committed signed up member of the Socialist Workers Party The Labour Party coming to power in could have been the start of a new political dawn f

    One thought on “What’s Going On?: The Meanderings of a Comic Mind in Confusion”

    1. I devote a large percentage of my viewing activities to political satire, probably than is culturally healthy, and do so now almost on autopilot whenever I have mealtimes to kill or crave laughter This comedian and activist I relish in particular, partly through his brilliant lecture series on philosophers, poets and troublemakers, The Mark Steel Lectures, 96% of which are available on the old YouTube device The design of this book irritates me Why can t any book by a comedian especially one co [...]

    2. This is the political book I have most enjoyed so far It s one of the few to have offered any kind of suggested ways forwards It is the first political book I ve read that hasn t depressed the hell out of me It also helps that the author has a sense of humour and an eye for the ridiculous The analogies are pant wettingly funny, and disturbingly accurate at times We ve got so complacent about the many things that are wrong Pointing and laughing can be a good antidote to that.This, is the best han [...]

    3. Mark Steel s 2008 book tries to do several things at once, but as the meandering and confusion mentioned on the cover indicate, the book really never comes together as a coherent whole Which is a pity, because Steel is generally a funny and clever man A disappointing effort.Full review here bibliomaneblog.wordpress

    4. Telling the parallel stories of two breakups with his partner and his party Mark Steel, as one would expect, manages to infuse both with his trademark humour, using hyperbolic analogy to comic affect Often wistful but never sentimental, he turns an unwavering eye on the reasons for the breakdown of both relationships and is honest about each His analysis of class in the UK is pertinent than ever and I admire that he still has hope that something can be done to halt the rapacious advance of the [...]

    5. The book is an autobiography telling 2 main stories that are intertwine throughout the book with smaller anecdotes justifying Mark Steel s views.The first story is the breakdown of his marriage, Steel writes it very well, I was taken in by the story, most of the relating anecdotes are very funny and although bits of the story that make you depressed, the next page has one throwaway line that has you laughing aloud.The Second general story in the book is about another crisis in Steel s life his d [...]

    6. HIGH TENSION STEEL It s possible that even the hardest of hard right wingers will feel some sympathy for comedian Mark Steels plight as he stumbles through his 40 s His relationship has gone belly up, the political party that he has been a member of since his teens has falling apart, one of his close political comrades has died, and if that s not bad enough, well he s became a good friend of Bob Monkhouse.Mark Steel weaves the belly laughs in with the melancholy moments and creates a splendid [...]

    7. In the genre of autobiographical books by comedians which also have a message , this was pretty strong Despite Steel s views on socialism and globalisation not being ones I agree wholeheartedly with, he did have a lot of intelligent things to say about politics and current affairs since the coming of New Labour, and it had a balance which worked pretty well with regards serious points, personal stuff, and funny witty satire and surrealism The balance tipped a bit in the final quarter, and some o [...]

    8. A very entertaining read which should make you cackle out loud if you ve caught yourself swearing at advertisments on a fairly regular basis Steel is a wildly entertaining left wing comedian who writes regularly for the Guardian UK, perhaps now column has moved to The Independent His history of an obviously daunting mid life crisis breaking up with mother of his children on top of leaving 20 year connection to socialist grouping is admirably free of maudlin self pity, and he always finds things [...]

    9. Really enjoyable read As an ex SWP member from the eighties when everything seemed possible and politics felt connected i share Marks analysis of what s happeed since then and why we are where we are in terms of socialism Ironically, I m writing this as Greek workers and students are telling the bosses and their backers in the corrupt world financial system they don t believe their view of the world and they don t want to take their medicine it is optional despite the bankers protestations So ma [...]

    10. Very funny, and addresses a variety of issues that anyone familiar with left wing politics should know quite well From the sectarianism to strange left wing political culture, Mark Steel takes a very entertaining but critical look at his and my own tradition He weaves a lively tale of corporate domination his anecdote on IKEA had me laughing endlessly of every aspect of our lives, and the often valiant but misguided attempts to change it The primary theme or moral I found in this book, however, [...]

    11. This can be seen as a companion to his earlier volume.This is interesting you feel Steels pain as some of the things he cherishes seem to be falling apart Steel is able to apply his own world weary view to events, explain why he feels the way he does and show annoyance over the things that dont in his mind work.He is a very strong writer , you hear his voice and feel that it is authentic and real If you wwant to read a social history of the 80 s to the present and especially one that deals with [...]

    12. A good read for people roughly in the same age bracket and with the same political sympathies as it trots you through recent political times and how faith with New Labour was lost and the SWP STILL couldn t get any new members He writes well and it s amusing rather than laugh out loud funny but I found the humour becomes a bit predictable after a while ie take an example and then exaggerate it outrageously I enjoyed his take on the morals of reality TV and the downfall of the Respect party and n [...]

    13. One part social commentary and one part memoir of a troubled time this book was quickly read I laughed a great deal but I understand what another reviewer said about his gags usually coming from a place of exaggeration It could get repetitive for some but I found myself entertained through out His observations on the current state of politics and his views on the hallowed place profit must have in order for anything to be considered feasible or attractive rang through to me but I m just a woolly [...]

    14. I ve always had a soft spot for Mark Steel, since watching his lecture series some years ago The intelligence, warmth and humanity of the man shine through every word of this book, which as a bonus is utterly, utterly, hilarious If only the Left was like him and Tony Benn, I d follow it anywhere A theme of the book is the split from his wife which is handled brilliantly if he continues to put out material like this, I ll marry him myself.

    15. I picked this up on a whim, and it wasn t exactly what I expected it to be.Mark Steel had always seemed very assured and committed in his viewpoint to me This book shows how he hit his 40s and then life began to unravel, and he begins to question his beliefs and approach to life.It s obviously quite raw and painful in places, and the humour is very self deprecating.It s an interesting read, to see someone apparently so committed begin to lose that verve and passion.

    16. One of the problems about autobiographies is that they appear to be censored that there are things that aren t talked about for whatever reason Mark Steel s book isn t like that at all Perhaps I might have wanted a bit about his comedy, but I initially bought it because of my own lament at the demise and cannibalism of non mainstream left of centre political parties This is a thoughtful and thought provoking book, well written and whose premise or catalyst was What s Going On.

    17. Some good jokes in here and some great insights However, somethings just do not go together Basically, it is a hodgepodge bits of standup routine bits of current affairs and the the demise of the two great loves of his life in far too much detail When a comic gets too self deprecating and just plain sad, somehow the jokes do not work In Marksteelese It s like a BP cut and paste job , with all the walruses left in.

    18. Very good Easy to read And for me it has so many references that I understand that it has a cosy comforting effect even when describing all the woes of both the world some very astutely indeed and his personal life, the familiarity makes it easy to read.So if you re a british, left wing, forty something you ll probably like it too And of not then you might like it anyway.

    19. Very funny description of the confusion felt by a 40 something lefty coming to terms with today s realities Corporations in control of everything, the left becoming irrelevant, wars proceeding despite massive opposition and failure of his marriage Throughout all this he finds ways to laugh and find reasons to keep fighting.

    20. At first it seems to be a rambling account of early 2000 s politics interspersed with vague references to his marriage breakup, but I only realised quite late on that the author is paralleling his disillusionment with the Socialist Workers Party to his marriage breakdown Neither part is very successful although I did learn a bit about the politics of a period when I wasn t paying attention.

    21. A fantastic book, he describes wonderfully how your perspective changes as you age with the realisation that you can measure your life in the number of bananas you will eat Going to be very picky about my bananas now.

    22. I finished this a while ago and I can t remember anything about it I would guess it was very good but I honestly can t remember, which makes me think it wasn t as unusual as I would imagine it should be.I think I ll have to re read it sometime

    23. Fantastic book Society does need a way out of the mess it has found itself in and Mr Steel is right that there needs to be a unified Left in the UK.

    24. Mark Steel gives a refreshingly alternative view of the world without stooping to tribalism and bigotry His writing is also very witty and observant.

    25. A self affirming volume for those who feel there s no one left either sense of the word to vote for, and are still mystified at the disappearence of serious or significant socialist slants.

    26. Entertaining autobiography commentary on current affairs post 1997 The prose is easy to read and full of Steel s wit.

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