A spot of bad mood music

There’s just time to lock up all sharp implements, stock up on the Prozac and the jumbo rolls of tissue before Blue Monday dawns tomorrow, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. Like most events this is a PR wheeze invoking pseudoscience – is there any other kind? – emanating from a press release put out in 2005 by Sky Travel.

The calculation leading to the conclusion came from an unlikely equation involving factors such as weather conditions, debt level, the time since failing to implement New Year resolutions, and probably the length of your carpet pile for all I know.

It was a crude wheeze intended to encourage people to get away from it all by booking up holidays, but that hasn’t stopped other companies down the years copying it, from drinks firms (blotto it out) to lawyers (make that will before it’s too late). And now Mecca Bingo gets in on the act, with recommendations for the perfect music to play tomorrow. No, not Beethoven’s funeral march, but any stuff from the canon of “Sir Rod Steward CBE” who is, apparently, “a British rock singer and songwriter”.

Horror of horrors

When the world’s most famous writer and best-selling author gets involved, better get on the correct page.

Billion-seller Stephen King lives in Bangor, Maine, on the east coast of the States. When his local paper, the Portland Press Herald, decided to drop freelance reviews of books about Maine, set in Maine, or written by Maine authors, he went on the attack and tweeted his 5.1 million followers to join his campaign, arguing that for a lot of impoverished scribes these reviews were their bread and butter.

The paper responded that if he could rustle up 100 new subscribers then they would reinstate the reviews. Within hours it was mission accomplished by King.

He then told his followers: “Thanks to everybody who subscribed to the Press Herald. You saved the day. There are countries where the arts are considered vital. Too bad this isn’t one of them! The paper thanked you guys. Also thanked me. (And misspelled my name.)” They credited "Steven" King.

Serial murder on Sauchiehall Street

If you need cheering up before tomorrow and you’re in the vicinity, pop into the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts) at 6pm today and catch the film Starcache (it’s free!). It’s the directorial debut of Glasgow actor Douglas Sannachan whom you’ll have caught as Billy the window cleaner in Gregory’s Girl – “If I don’t see you through the week, I’ll see you through a window”.

It’s one of those big-budget (at least to Doug) spectaculars with a spend of about £5k, not counting the coffees. In the film a murdered inventor has left a million-pound cache hidden in the surrounds of Glasgow and, as the eager fortune hunters follow clues, they’re bumped off one by one.

As you probably gather, it’s a comedy, featuring a clutch of well-kent faces – including mighty west end legend Allan Tall – all of whom, I presume, did it for the bus fare. If Dougie passes the hat around at the showing tonight I imagine he’ll get enough for a follow up.

Romaine calm and lettuce carry on

Six years ago, almost to the day, a hysterical brouhaha broke out when it emerged there was horse meat in some supermarket beef burgers and lasagne – and perhaps in the spaghetti bologneighs too – which led to all manner of long faces, as well as public hysteria and parliamentary inquiries.

I’ve eaten witchetty grubs, sheep’s eyes, passed on testicles, all manner of disgusting things – even a Big Mac once – but never horse. Its meat has more protein and less fat than lean beef and is said to taste like a mix of beef and venison.

So why don’t we eat cuddies? Is it because of Black Beauty, or is it just because it gives us another thing to feel superior over the French?

The recent EAT-Lancet report – which promises to feed 10 billion people on beans and shoots and also save the planet, although it’s not clear what planet those whodelivered it are on – is bad news for carnivores, if not equestrians.

It’s not really surprising that the report comes down the way it does when the sponsor is, not just an actual tree-hugger, but former model and billionaire Gunhild Stordalen, the bankroller of the EAT Foundation which intends to reform the global food system. Stordalen has her own £20 million jet and regularly escapes to five-star sanctuaries while casting particulates on us poor plebs down below.

She was recently snapped on one of her jaunts to Costa Rica hugging that tree. And to launch the report she flew the 37 experts who contribute to report launches around the world to deliver the gloomy message that the rest of us weren’t even going to eat cake.

Norwegian Stordalen is usually accompanied to exotic locations by her husband Petter. He is a hotel magnate and also owner of Jetfly. When they married in 2010 it was reported to be the most expensive wedding, at £4m, in Scandinavian history. The 237 guests were served sushi and champagne and flown 3,500 miles from Norway, hang the fumes and fallout, for a three-day beano in Marrakesh. Bob Geldof was MC.

Stordalen’s bought-and-paid-for-report, widely slammed, is, however, good news for vegetarians and vegans, surely the most powerful lobbyists at work today, alongside Jacob Rees-Mogg and flat earthers. The vegan charity Peta claims giving up meat and dairy makes men more active and longer-lasting in bed, and their accompanying video features chaps dancing about with various large vegetables replacing their old chaps and its accoutrements.

A survey of vegan awareness records, through references to Google, that Edinburgh is the most vegan-conscious place in the UK – no surprise there – with Portland, Oregon, the top US city. Portland also has more nude bars per capita than any other city apparently, so it didn’t take one entrepreneur long to link the two and open the first vegan strip club, Casa Diablo. This unseemly vegan flesh-peddler, Johnny “Diablo” Zukle, boasts that he “puts meat on the pole, rather than the plate”, which sums up where he places women. The strippers also aren’t allowed to use props of leather, wool, fur or silk. Perhaps they peel off cabbage leaves or cucumber slices?

Not at all the kind of joint, oops, they’d permit in Edinburgh.