The Jonas Brothers are now officially back together, after a long break from performing as a group. The trio rose to prominence in the mid-2000s, becoming certified Disney stars and ultimately, teen icons. They broke hearts in 2013 when they announced that they would be taking a break from their band in order to pursue individual solo projects.
Now that the brothers are back together — and better than ever — fans are thinking back to their days as solo artists. Read on to learn what the Jonas brothers did during their break and which one was the most successful with a solo career.
Kevin Jonas stayed mostly out of the spotlight
After the brothers disbanded in 2013, Kevin Jonas, the oldest member of the group, retired to enjoy family life. Kevin had married his longtime girlfriend, Danielle Deleasa, in 2009, and was ready to get some time in with his wife away from the glare of the spotlight.
During the hiatus, Kevin and Danielle Jonas welcomed two daughters: Alena Rose in 2014 and Valentina Angelina in 2016. He did appear briefly on Celebrity Apprentice in 2015 but didn’t last long on the show.
Aside from his life with his family, Kevin worked on several business ventures while the Jonas Brothers were on hiatus. He founded a real estate development company called JonasWerner and developed a food app called Yood. Still, most fans didn’t see or hear much from Kevin during the six years that the Jonas Brothers were taking a break.
Joe Jonas enjoyed moderate success
Joe Jonas was probably the most popular member of the group when they initially split in 2013. He dated a succession of famous women, including Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, and Gigi Hadid, ultimately finding happiness with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner.
Joe’s first big project post-breakup was becoming the frontman for a group called DNCE. The biggest hit Joe enjoyed during his solo career was with DNCE, a song that was released in 2015 and titled “Cake by the Ocean.” The song became a smash, and was a far cry from the saccharine songs that the Jonas Brothers released in their early days.
However, DNCE was not to achieve any great success after “Cake by the Ocean,” although they have had several moderately popular songs since, including “Toothbrush.” DNCE’s future is unclear since the group went into hiatus after Joe rejoined the Jonas Brothers.
Nick Jonas became a runaway star
By far, Nick Jonas has enjoyed the most success as a solo artist in his off-time from his family’s group. The youngest of the trio, though not the youngest in his family, Nick was always known as the little, cute one during the early years of the Jonas Brothers. Nick would work hard to change that image once the band split in 2013, forging ahead and creating his own identity as an impressive solo performer.
For a brief time after the split, Nick worked with another band called Nick Jonas & the Administration. That venture didn’t go so well, leading Jonas to start recording and releasing music under his own name.
Nick’s hit single “Jealous” charted as a top ten song, and all in all, he’s appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 eight separate times. Also during the hiatus, Nick met and started dating actress Priyanka Chopra — a courtship that captivated fans all over the world. They got married in an extravagant, multi-day ceremony in late 2018.
These days, all the Jonas Brothers are back together again and making music for their devoted fans.
Was the 2019 Melbourne International Arts Festival a disappointment? By the standards of Jonathan Holloway’s eight years at the helm of major Australian arts events (he also led the Perth Festival to popular and critical acclaim from 2012-2015), it certainly felt underpowered.
The ebullient Englishman typically achieves a balance between highbrow fare and popular pageantry – he has excellent taste in both – and missing from this year’s equation was a signature centrepiece.
To bookend his tenure at Perth Festival, for instance, Holloway memorably programmed Place des Anges, featuring death-defying acrobatics from skyscrapers, and Royal de Luxe’s The Giants, with gigantic puppets taking over the CBD.
And he continued the magic in Melbourne: last year’s spectacular Fire Gardens transformed the Royal Botanic Gardens into a wonderland of flame and ember that crowds rushed to see.
While Holloway didn't go out with a bang, the 2019 program was far from a whimper, though it did prove a decidedly mixed bag.
One strength was the festival’s role in commissioning significant new Australian work.
Melbourne Workers Theatre reunited after two decades for Anthem – an ambitious, polyphonic drama that took the national pulse from our city’s overcrowded trains. There were world premieres from Chunky Move, under new artistic director Antony Hamilton, and Geelong-based Back to Back Theatre.
Sci-fi electro-opera Diaspora by Chamber Made and Robin Fox.Credit:Pia Johnson
And hidden away at the Substation in Newport, the masterful and enigmatic Diaspora from Chamber Made and Robin Fox – a masterful sci-fi electro-opera with 3D projections and laser displays – mesmerised a select few.
The festival also cemented its place as a platform for bringing acclaimed Australian performance to a broader audience. Lucy Guerin’s Split, a passionate duet – one dancer nude, one clothed – and Stephanie Lake’s impressive mass-choreographed Colossus, both deserved to be widely seen.
And Gender Euphoria, an uplifting cabaret starring the largest cast of trans and gender-diverse artists ever seen in Melbourne, struck a chord. It channelled, on a smaller scale, the same progressive spirit that two years ago animated Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, generating a rare and exciting sense of synergy between art and positive cultural transformation.
Harmonious movements descend into power struggles in Lucy Guerin’s Split.Credit:Gregory Lorenzutti
But international acts could have been more inspiring, especially in theatre.
True, the cultural bunfight between Canadian actor Ravi Jain and his mother in A Brimful of Asha was performed with a charming comic intensity, and you couldn’t fail to admire the empathy and dynamic performance craft of Unicorn Theatre’s adaptation of The End of Eddy.
Such highlights were outnumbered, though, by obviously flawed work.
Audience patience was tested by rambling dramaturgy in What Girls Are Made Of, not to mention the Palestinian cast of Grey Rock, hamstrung by performing in English. The Nico Project was almost a parody of festival fare, lacing an intriguing live concert with unspeakably pretentious performance art; and in an exploration of dark fairytales, Roots, even the reliable quirk of UK company 1927 felt like decorative whimsy.
For a spark of enchantment to salve those disappointments you had to look elsewhere. To the art of magic itself, championed by Scottish mentalist Scott Silven, who offered the exclusive three-course dining experience At The Illusionist’s Table, as well as a mind-reading show for a larger audience. Or to free exhibitions like Reversible Rotation – ephemeral light sculptures from Japanese digital artists teamLab, which attracted large queues to Tolarno Galleries throughout the festival.
Clearly, Melbourne’s appetite for engaging visual spectacle remains undiminished. And if Holloway’s planned centrepiece for 2019 was frustrated by logistics or circumstance, it may still be in the pipeline for next year when the festival will shift to August and merge with White Night.
The effects of that change are hard to predict but it is likely to ensure that free pageantry, and festive public participation in it, will be baked into future programs.
Josh Thomas is unhappily single. "I got my first boyfriend when I was 19 and I was with him for two years, my next boyfriend for two-and-a-half years, and my next boyfriend for five years," the Queensland-born comedian says. "I'm 32, I've been single for a year and a half, I wanted to be single but now I realise that it sucks."
As we sit down on the weather beaten wooden deck of his quiet home in Los Angeles, I point out some people have, by their 32nd birthday, had many relationships, and others just few. Trying to offer some perspective, I suggest every experience is different.
Josh Thomas with his beloved cavoodle, John, who is now too old to travel. Credit:Peter Brew Bevan
"Yeah, it turns out that's what I want," he replies, matter-of-factly. "I keep doing it and thinking like, 'Oh, I've got to make this like a home, make a life.' I've been single now for a year and a bit. Just me and John [the dog] sitting up here on this mountain."
At the risk of turning our interview into a 2000-word dating advertisement, Thomas is gentle, likeable and lives in LA's Laurel Canyon, a vast rustic wilderness criss-crossed with quiet, tree-lined, narrow streets. It's a cool neighbourhood – the nearby Wonderland School is one of LA's highest-rated schools – sitting in a zig-zag of canyons which connect the Santa Monica Mountains to Hollywood.
"I didn't want to move to LA and this doesn't really feel like LA," Thomas says, explaining why he chose the house he has made a home for the last few years. "The concrete and the dirt, and the petty crime [of Los Angeles] … I just wanted to not be in it. You can tell my mood about moving here … this is not me embracing this city, is it? Hiding away from the city."
But it is home, he says, largely because the beloved John, who snoozes at our feet while we talk, is now too old to travel. "I can't fly him back home [so] I'm here until he dies," Thomas says.
A typical LA day for the creator and star of Please Like Me is hard to summarise. Today began in the recording booth laying down additional dialogue for his new TV series Everything's Gonna Be Okay, meetings with his lawyer, a studio head and a stylist and then his interview with The Sun-Herald. "That's extreme, isn't it?" he says, laughing.
"My year has been … 12 hours a day, six and a half days a week since January until just recently, just making the new show," Thomas says. "Before that I had nothing to do and I was drinking and kissing pretty boys that have a bad personality and resenting them."
Born in the rural Queensland town of Blackwater but raised in the Brisbane suburbs, Thomas first emerged on the comedy scene in 2005 when he won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's RAW Comedy Award. He was a finalist in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe talent search So You Think You're Funny and in 2007 took his solo show Please Like Me to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Hannah Gadsby and Josh Thomas in Please Like Me. Credit:ABC
That show was then adapted for television and became an instant hit. It had ambition and candour and a willingness to tackle the often uncomfortable themes of emotional survival and grief. It was also a rare success in the American television market, where foreign comedies are more often adapted than aired in their original form.
Please Like Me finished after three successful seasons and, with a hit to his name, Thomas says he woke up the next morning and went on holiday for two years. "I feel like there's a lot of people who get really panicked about their next gig, they are like, 'What am I going to do next?' And the bigger things get the more they want to move on and do something bigger," he says. "Please Like Me did well and I got to the end and I just felt very satisfied that I had done something. So I went to Paris."
In Paris, Thomas found "cute boys and baguettes" but wonders out loud whether he made a mistake. "Maybe I could've really hustled and made some money or something," he says. "But my stuff is so personal that if I just work all day, every day, I'm not going to be a human any more. You have live a bit.
"That's the thing with stand-up, too, I used to rely on it for my food and if I didn't have anything to talk about, I had to come up with something to talk about. Now I feel like I've had some time off and there's stuff to talk about. Trying to make content for the sake of making content, instead of doing it because you feel like you've got something good to do? It ruins the fun for everybody, the audience and me, so I just f—ed off."
Landing in America, Thomas had only his suitcase, his Dyson stick vacuum cleaner and his dog, John. "I just thought I had all these new skills that I had acquired that were going to make it better, and that's not really how it panned out," he says. "It was, for a long time, really bad, and then I got really dark when I moved here. Now, I just have the exact same life, but it's different people around. It's good. It's a good life, except I'm single now."
What few people know is that Thomas's absence from the stand-up circuit was not a by-product of being busy in television, but that he actually quit. He just didn't tell anyone. "I quit quietly," he says, laughing. "Hannah [Gadsby, who had starred in Please Like Me but has since found international fame via her Netflix special Nannatte] made a big deal out of it, it went well for her, and now I feel like maybe I made a mistake.
"Before I went on stage one day, I was like, 'Oh my God, this audience thinks I think I should be doing this and I really don't, so I quit. I just started getting embarrassed up there. I don't know why I was interested to try it again. I used to do stand-up as a child, that was my whole thing, I was like a baby and it was just funny that I said the word c— every so often. Now I'm getting more grown up and I want to try it again with a different point of view."
With his new US series wrapped, Thomas is returning to Australia for a stand-up tour. Titled Whoopsie Daisy, he says the show is about his move to the United States and having to, in his words, re-start his life.
"So it's about starting my life again at 30, but it jumps all over the place," he says. "That's the fun of stand-up. You're not restrained by anything."
The gift of stand-up comedy, Thomas says, is not having to ask permission. "I get to just do it, I don't have to explain to anyone," he says. "Making television, especially American television, there's 17 people on the phone [and you're] trying to get them all to understand why. That's 25 per cent of the job here. But in stand-up I can do what I want, and you can follow the winds, and you can follow my moods, and whatever that I'm excited about.
"There's just an immediacy. That's what got me excited about being in show business. I started when I was 17. It's what I wanted to do. It's what I always wanted to do, so just getting back to that, I think is exciting." He pauses. "I'm very earnest in this interview," he offers dryly, and to no one in particular.
The show will tour Australia's capital cities after an opening gig in Brunswick Heads on the NSW north coast. It's a curious choice, to book one small town and then five capital cities. Wondering if I have missed something, I ask Thomas whether Brunswick Heads is the off-Broadway of Australian comedy?
"Apparently they have a really nice theatre," he says. "I've never been there. Everyone tells me it's pretty and it was pitched to me as a nice weekend by the beach in a nice theatre." Besides, he adds, "I haven't done stand-up for six years [so] you want me to be doing a lot of off-Broadway shows before you buy a ticket to this thing. You want me to be practising."
In fact, Thomas is already at work fine-tuning the show. Ahead of the tour he will return to Melbourne and do a series of shows, unannounced, in front of small audiences, to test material. "Clarity is really hard, actually, for all storytelling," he says. "That's why there's all these insane notes processes on TV shows. It's mostly about clarity. You never really know until you do it. Then you find out why you're doing it. You find out the point of it when you get up there, like, oh, that's why I did this."
Finding and navigating "the fine line", he concedes, is a challenge. "Comedy is about fashion a lot," he says. "You've got to know what everyone's talking about, so you're not talking about the same things. You got to see what audiences want and you've got to see what's in the zeitgeist and you've got to try and do that, but not that, in a new way, which is like designing a new clothing line.
"You look at the trends and the things and you try and add something to what everyone's talking about. At the moment, everything is super socially conscious, but I don't think anybody really wants me to come out and talk about why feminism is important anymore. I think we're across it, right?"
The prevailing culture of easy offence is also challenging. "It's a scary time, if you say the wrong thing you're going to get in trouble," he says. "This thing of everyone on Twitter piling on one person for making a mistake, I don't think people like that anymore. That's just bullying. What people have done to Lena Dunham in the last few years is bullying. Hannah [Gadsby] … it's bullying.
"I just don't have the energy to listen to somebody be offensive or be hateful and I also don't have the energy to listen to someone be offended. Both of those conversations I'm just not interested in. They're exhausting, they're not entertaining and I just don't get anything out of them.
"I don't like it when white people talk about what black people do, I don't like it when non-white people talk about what white people do, because I'm always just like, 'That's not what I do', or 'That's not what that person does', and it loses truth for me," he adds. "I try to mitigate that by just talking about my own personal experiences. If I was trying to make a wider point about something, I would try and keep it personal."
Meanwhile, in America, the trailer for his new series has been released and has been well received. In some ways the new show not too far removed from his last: both are stories of grief and survival. In Everything's Gonna Be Okay Thomas plays a neurotic 25-year-old still living at home with his single dad and two teenage half-sisters, one of which has autism.
Funerals are usually cute, and healing, nice experiences, even though they're in devastating circumstances.
"It's about people trying to have a good, nice time when shit things happen, which is life, right?" he says. "That was Please Like Me when I made that. When I pitched Please Like Me, I was straight and they didn't really make comedy/dramas. But I was like, life is hard sometimes, and sometimes it's fun, and [I was] trying to mix those things together. Everything's Gonna Be Okay opens on a death, and Please Like Me closed on a death [so] I guess there's some similarities."
There are strong tonal notes of melancholy and grief in much of Thomas's work, which jags slightly to the man as you meet him. In person, he's childlike, bright and gentle, very funny and at the same time very quick to self-deprecate.
Those dark notes, he says, come from the difference between how life is so often perceived on television and how it is actually lived. "I get so sick of watching television where sad things happen and everyone falls to the ground and cries about it, and then they have these like really intense arguments," he says.
"It's just not my experience and it's not the experience that I've seen other people live. Mostly, when people die, they sit around, they have wine, and they tell stories, and it's heartwarming. Funerals are usually cute, and healing, nice experiences, even though they're in devastating circumstances."
But he's happy. His new series launches next year on the Disney-owned cable network Freeform and "I like the show and if they don't like it, I don't care," he says. "Because you really can go through that process and get to the other side, and it's a pile of shit, even though you tried your best. I like it here, I like my dog. I'm excited to go back home and see my friends and do some shows." And after a beat, he adds: "Boring answer."
And more importantly, he wants to fall in love again. "Every time I like go through a break-up, I always think like, I'm never going to fall in love again, and then I do," he says. "It'd be so fun to fall in love again. The boys in this city and me … we just don't connect really. Americans … I don't know. I like them for a dinner, but I don't want them in there in the morning, so far. I've not woken up next to an American boy yet and thought, 'Please don't go.'"
Josh Thomas: Whoopsie Daisy is at Brunswick Heads from October 25-27; Brisbane from October 30-November 2; Sydney on November 3 and 15; Canberra on November 8; Melbourne on November 9; Cairns on November 12 and Perth on November 22.
Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 3. What’s real and not real for Carol is a question that not only the characters but the audience have during the Oct. 20 episode of The Walking Dead. Turns out, Carol isn’t hallucinating the Whisperers on The Walking Dead. But because she hasn’t been sleeping and taking pills to stay awake, Michonne and Daryl aren’t buying it. But when Alpha discovers that Carol shot and killed one of her Whisperers, the gang is going to learn the hard way that she was telling the truth.
A lot has changed for Carol since that peaceful motorcycle ride with Daryl in the Season 10 premiere. Being off the water and back in Alexandria has her hallucinating Henry and all of the other children in her life who have passed (including her biological daughter Sophia). Unlike Michonne and Daryl, Carol has no intention of heeding Alpha’s warning of borders. So when Alpha taunts Carol while meeting at the place where Henry died, Carol attempts to kill the Whisperer leader. It’s an act that even Carol’s closest allies of Daryl and Michonne can’t condone. Later, when Carol then claims to have seen three Whisperers running in the forest after Alpha announces new borderlines, they begin to worry about her mental health.
Fans should be concerned too, especially after those hallucinations and dreams about interactions with Daryl. After that, everything Carol sees in "Ghosts" should be called into question. While on watch in the school they are hiding out in, Carol gets trapped and attacked by a zombie horde. It seems impossible it could be real since Daryl had just been awake and didn’t seem to hear her. Yet, the end scene proves that Carol was attacked in the gym — and, more significant for the community’s future with Alpha — that she did see three Whisperers in the forest and she killed one.
Although Michonne trespassed into Alpha’s territory a few times herself, she has been playing nice with the Whisperer leader to avoid another massacre. When she heard Carol’s report that there were Whisperers in the forest, Michonne ordered, "Capture, do not kill." But by that point, Carol had already murdered one of Alpha’s followers. That, combined with the fact that Carol had already shot directly at her, may be the end of Alpha’s "merciful" behavior toward the survivors.
Carol and Alpha are poised for a major face-off as showrunner Angela Kang teased to the Series Regular podcast from The Hollywood Reporter. "We’re playing a lot in her perspective as this grieving mother, who just wants to settle the score between her and Alpha, and the lengths that she’ll go to to do that," Kang said of Carol in Season 10. "Revenge is a dark emotion, and it leads her down some different paths."
Unfortunately, Carol’s behavior has seemed to already isolate her from her friends. Kang told THR that Daryl "wants to be there" for Carol. But she was suspicious of Daryl when he claimed to believe her about the Whisperers. With her best friend questioning her sanity and Carol’s tendency to pull away, she might not have much backup when Alpha comes knocking at Alexandria’s gate. So by the end of Season 10, after defeating so many zombies, revenge could be what causes the end for Carol.
Damon Lindelof‘s hyper-anticipated sequel/remix series Watchmen premieres on HBO this weekend, and it’s already been getting terrific reviews – including our own rave, which says it’s “destined to be one of the year’s most compelling shows.” To celebrate the forthcoming premiere, original Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons broke out his tools and drew his version of one of the new show’s characters: Sister Night, the vigilante played by Regina King.
Dave Gibbons Watchmen Drawing
When acclaimed comics cross over into the pop culture zeitgeist, it’s often only the writer whose name is referenced in general conversation as the creator of that comic, sort of in the same way only a director is typically credited when chatting about a movie. But in all of the conversations I’ve ever had about Watchmen, Dave Gibbons’s name has always been mentioned right alongside Alan Moore’s as a key creative force in that amazing piece of work. I realize that’s an anecdotal example, and that, sadly, most artists’ names tend to fall by the wayside in conversations like these. But I’d like to take this opportunity to praise Gibbons’s work and encourage you to dust off your copy of the comic, open it to any random page, and marvel at his use of shadows and the way he evokes motion in an image – it’s spectacular stuff. (Also, shout-out to original Watchmen colorist John Higgins, whose name is unfortunately mentioned even more rarely in articles like these.)
To see that style translated into live-action, check out Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie adaptation, which perfectly captures the look of the comic on film. And of course, HBO’s mega-anticipated Watchmen sequel/remix series premieres this Sunday night, October 20, 2019.
BTS fans are still reeling from the magical “Make It Right” collaboration with Lauv. But, it seems ARMY won’t get a chance to rest anytime soon. On Friday, Oct. 18, the seven members — including RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — gushed over their current favorite artists during their radio interview circuit. To everyone’s delight, BTS mentioned the legendary Lizzo and even hinted they would be up to collaborate. So naturally, fans went online to express just how much they’re dying to make the BTS x Lizzo collab happen.
BTS says they would be down to collaborate with Lizzo
When speaking with Syke & MJ In The Morning on Oct. 18, BTS delved into their favorite music artists. And the K-pop group expressed their love for a variety of artists, such as Summer Walker, Chance the Rapper, Billie Marten, and Lizzo.
Following the mentions, the Long Island radio host admitted they are pushing for a BTS x Lizzo collaboration in 2020. “Do you think that maybe we can pull that off?” the host asked.
And it seems like there is a possibility in the future. “Of course, c’mon,” RM replied.
RM gushes over the ‘Cuz I Love You’ album
Now, BTS’ statements about Lizzo didn’t stop there. RM also gushed about his admiration for Lizzo’s music when speaking with iHeartRadio.
“I’m into Lizzo so much and her album is so amazing,” RM said.
Meanwhile, during an interview with Radio.com, the host asked the band about their favorite Lizzo song. And to no one’s surprise, RM jumped right in.
“Of course, ‘Truth Hurts,’” the BTS leader said.
RM also revealed Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” album gives the group “power and energy” when they work out. And quite frankly, we don’t think we’ve related to the BTS members more than this moment.
“We listen to her whole album while [exercizing],” RM revealed. “It’s one of the best albums for fitness. We get power and energy. Please try it while you’re on the treadmill — listen to the album ‘Cuz I Love You,’ and you could do it for an hour.” Love it.
Lizzo also wants to collab with BTS
Back in August, the “Juice” singer had the best reaction to “Boy With Luv” during an interview with CBC Music, where she called the song “beyond a jam.” Lizzo also revealed she would like to collaborate with the K-pop group.
“If I could collaborate with BTS, I mean, that sounds fun. I don’t know if I could make it through the studio session without having sex with all of them,” she joked. But, she quickly added, “I’m just kidding. That was a terrible thing to say, I’m sorry mom.”
Then on Oct. 7, Lizzo confirmed her eagerness to work with BTS. When a fan asked if she would collab with the band, Lizzo simply replied, “Yes please.”
Now, after all the radio interviews flooded the internet, the “Tempo” songstress also thanked the seven members for their mentions. “OMG [BTS] WORKS OUT TO MY ALBUM,” she wrote on Twitter. “ILY #BTS S/O #BTSARMY FOR YALL SUPPORT.”
Both artists will perform in Los Angeles for the 2019 Jingle Ball and fans are demanding a collab
In case you don’t remember, the stars aligned for both BTS and Lizzo to perform at the 2019 Jingle Ball in Los Angeles on Dec. 6. And now, with both artists confirming their wishes to work together, it seems fans are dying to see a collaboration in the near future.
“Hear me out,” a fan wrote to Lizzo on Twitter. “Do a track with them, or a remix with rm, and link up at jingle ball. Sounds good?”
Meanwhile, other fans speculated the concept for the potential collaboration, given both artists are known for being outspoken about self-love.
“BTS and LIZZO need to know that they are this generation’s representative artists. And what a representation,” a fan shared. “Can’t wait to witness how y’all will change the world!”
In all honesty, Lizzo’s persona is the epitome of BTS’ Love Yourself concept. So of course, fans are itching to see a potential collaboration between the two artists. Who knows? They could potentially get the ball rolling once Jingle Ball rolls around in December. So stay tuned.
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Today we must end this Brexit purgatory
As they look in the mirror today, MPs must ask themselves this question.
Will I fight to free Britain from the constitutional quagmire it has been stuck in for three long years?
Or will I put animosity and misplaced party loyalties first, and condemn my constituents to endless Brexit torture?
That is the choice for this first Saturday sitting in 37 years. Will it be progress – or further paralysis?
There’s no question what the public wants. Exhausted by years of deadlock, our poll shows they’ve had enough.
Stagnation has become the norm. Worse still, the opposition parties constantly whine that Mr Johnson (pictured) is not fit for office, yet don’t have the guts to call an election
Half of respondents believe MPs should approve the Brexit deal today, against just 38 per cent who don’t.
And significantly, if it fails, only 21 per cent believe it would be solely Boris Johnson’s fault – with twice that number blaming Parliament.
This augurs well for the Prime Minister in a future election – as does the five-point spike in the party’s overall poll lead.
But the wider truth is that Britain needs its democratic institutions to start working again. While the Commons has been bickering over Brexit, the things people really care about – the NHS, schools, law and order – are being neglected.
Stagnation has become the norm. Worse still, the opposition parties constantly whine that Mr Johnson is not fit for office, yet don’t have the guts to call an election.
So will our zombie Parliament redeem itself by passing this deal?
Sadly, the DUP won’t support it because of issues over the new customs arrangements and consent. (This, despite the fact that Lord Trimble, that giant of Ulster Unionism, is fully behind it).
Without them, the Prime Minister must win over three other groups to prevail – his own ERG hardliners, the 21 MPs he expelled from the party last month for voting against him and around 20 Labour MPs who represent Leave-voting constituencies.
There’s no doubt this latter group has a dilemma.
On one hand are their constituents, who want Brexit done. On the other is their party leadership who apparently don’t.
We say apparently, because they change their mind so often that it’s hard to tell.
They say this deal is a ruse; that Mr Johnson is a Right-wing extremist, bent on using it to dilute workers’ rights.
It’s utter rot, of course. Boris is the very model of a liberal One-Nation Tory, as his time as London mayor proved.
But today’s Labour is not interested in the truth – only in trashing any proposal the Government suggests.
An amendment from Sir Oliver Letwin (pictured) and supported by Labour would withhold Commons approval of the deal until all legislation required to enact it was completed
Defying the party whip is never easy. But we hope the Labour dissenters will refuse to be bullied, act on their conscience and back this deal.
They – and the Tory 21 – must also disregard the siren voices of those who, even at this late stage, want to inflict yet more delay on the long-suffering public.
An amendment from Sir Oliver Letwin and supported by Labour would withhold Commons approval of the deal until all legislation required to enact it was completed.
While not a killer blow, under the Benn Act, this would almost certainly force the Prime Minister to request a further extension of Article 50. Really, haven’t we had enough extensions already?
Meanwhile, there’s also talk of a Liberal Democrat plot for a second referendum – a divisive exercise which would solve nothing. It would just create more delay. Delay, delay, delay.
It’s no exaggeration to say MPs hold this country’s future prosperity and wellbeing in their hands today.
We appeal to them to stop dithering and get the deal done. For all our sakes, end this agonising limbo and let the country finally move forward.
Halloween was originally the Celtic festival of Samhain, but Hailey Bieber says that it's hers now. The model du jour explained that she's reclaiming the holiday, which involved dressing up to scare off evil spirits way, way back when Pagans used the festival of Samhain to mark the end of the harvest season. According to BuzzFeed News, the subject came up during fan Q&A on Instagram when a fan asked her, "Halloween yes or no." Instead of a simple yes or no, Bieber launched into a lengthy description of how she's taken incorporated the holiday into her own beliefs.
"I'm a Christian. Do you have any idea what that means historically?" she wrote. "It means I redefine everything in culture. Pagan Feast of Winter Solstice? Oh that’s now JESUS BIRTHDAY. Pagan Feast of Spring Planting? Oh that's now EASTER WEEKEND. Pagan Celtic Festival involving dressing up and warding off evil spirits? Oh now it's ALL SAINTS DAY and we celebrate the VICTORIOUS CHURCH THAT HAS BEEN OVERCOME BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB!!! CANDY PLEASE!!!"
She continued: "I'm not afraid of the world. I'm not afraid of any devil or demon or incantation. They are terrified of me. Halloween is now MY HOLIDAY and I am claiming all candy for the glory of God and the celebration of the Saints. What now? I'll dress up however I like! My favorite characters, pop culture stuff, whatever. It’s my party and you're invited. I'm alive today and a Saint tomorrow. Give me candy."
"Give me candy." Fair enough.
BuzzFeed notes that Bieber's statements come from the Nathan Finochio, a teaching pastor at the Hillsong church in New York City, where she and her husband attend services. He posted the same statements on his Instagram Story. Hailey was raised as an Evangelical Christian and has come under fire recently for commenting on Halloween, saying that her future children would celebrate the holiday and asking her followers for costume ideas. A follower accused her of being a "FAKE CHRISTIAN" after she mentioned her plans for Halloween. Her latest post echoes her past feelings toward the holiday. She'll celebrate it, thank you very much, and anyone questioning her faith can continue to question it. She's firm in her beliefs.
"I'm here to represent Jesus through me for other people — for His will to be done,” she said in a documentary for Hillsong called Now With Natalie. "I think that the second that we feel like we're too high and mighty, we're always reminded that it's not about us. Nothing is about me, or you, or really anybody. It's about us being a vessel for Jesus to be seen.”
Watch out The Addams Family! There’s only one true animated film about a severed hand, and it’s the Netflix film I Lost My Body. Jeremy Clapin’s impressive first feature, this French animated movie is an artsy, macabre, mostly very emotional story told from the point of view of a severed hand with a case of reverse missing limb, who is on an epic quest to reunite with its owner.
Taking a minimalist, nearly lyrical approach to storytelling, Clapin opens his movie with a black-and-white flashback (one of many throughout the film) of a young Moroccan boy, Naoufel (Hakim Faris) whose father is teaching him how to capture a fly with his bare hands. Then we cut forward to a fridge in a small room, out of which comes a severed hand. After freeing itself from a plastic packaging and jumping out a window, it begins an arduous and frenetic journey through Paris. It’s a series of misadventures as the film flashes back and forth between the hand’s travels and Naoufel’s youth and moments leading to him being separated from his hand.
Naoufel’s story is one of deep longing for happiness. Based on a script by Amélie writer Guillaume Laurant, adapted from his own 2006 novel Happy Hand, I Lost My Body follows his childhood as he has to move to Paris following a tragedy that takes his family from him, and he takes up a job at a pizza delivery boy. He hates the job and is not very good at it, but one day he happens to meet Gabrielle (Victoire Du Bois), a hip librarian with whom he quickly becomes obsessed, following her to her uncle’s carpentry studio where he asks for an apprentice job.
With a pitch-perfect pace and a brisk 80-minute runtime, I Lost My Body is a painfully realistic and often macabre slice-of-life exploration of loss and a pursuit of feeling whole, as well as the idea of fate and tragedy and whether the sorrows in our lives are predetermined or if we can do something about them. Clapin takes a very visual approach to telling the story, setting up small visual cues early in the film that will pay off later – like the aforementioned fly-catching lesion which becomes a true test of strength for the disembodied hand.
While Naoufel’s story is a melancholic drama, I Lost My Body manages to blend genres and tell a fantastic adventure tale starring a disembodied hand that dabbles in action, body horror and even road-movie. Through a series of vignettes, the hand catches a ride via a pigeon before breaking the bird’s neck after its done. Despite not having eyes, or any way to express emotions, we are fully able to sense the sheer terror in the hand as it faces an escalator that leads down to a subway. The scariest scene then comes when the hand has to face a swarm of feral rats in the dark subway, with the music disappearing and the sound of the rats’ scream sounding like monsters out of a creature feature.
Stylistically, I Lost My Body’s art style gives the film a look that’s somewhere between Japanese anime and a graphic novel, mixing CG animation with – appropriate – hand drawn animation to perfectly sell the genre-bending story that goes from painfully realistic to full-blown horror. This is accompanied with an electronic, impressionistic score by Dan Levy. His electronic harmonies infusing the film with sci-fi tones and tragic orchestration that somehow perfectly encapsulates all of life’s experiences.
While it may seem dark and overly serious, I Lost My Body also sprinkles its story with some seriously dark comedy, recognizing the value in appreciating the small pleasures in life. Ultimately, the movie ends on a note that may not be as conclusive as some audience members may want, but which pays off the recurring visual cues and themes of the movie until that point, opening the doors to a future that is as uncertain as it is full of possibility. In the end, I Lost My Body is about that possibility – about the pain, the suffering, but also about love and happiness. Though it stars a disembodied hand, it’s one of the most profound films in recent years.
I Lost My Body is a touching, macabre, and profoundly emotional animated film with a unique visual style and one of the most original stories that prove the value and the potential of animation as a medium, at the same time as it signals the arrival of a new promising new voice in the medium.