here is the news. Being intellectual is a good thing. Pop music is art. Sometimes it's sex and design too. It's very rarely football. Much of it was originated by black people. Art is good. Experimentation is good. Britpop is dead. Beer and drugs may be good to swallow, but make dull conversation topics. Kitsch is the language of those who don't buy mainstream values. There are gay people and women in the world. Prog rock, vaudeville and electronic folk are hot memes worth watching. Many progressive people are born middle class. The solution to the problem of terminal irony may be found amongst second generation immigrants. Britain is currently very creative, but keep an eye on the French and Japanese. Warp is the label of the moment. A new century is coming. The internet is replacing print media. Gatekeepers are frustrated bullies. Middlemen should start seeking other employment, but intelligent journalists needn't worry: if they can adapt to the changes, their brains will always be needed. There is no curse on those who attack Blur. Stereolab, not Oasis, are the voice of the 90s. Their new album is a delight. The new Momus is also fresh and interesting. I'd like your nice Steven Wells to review it, but will not hold my breath. Toadying to corporate suits is still a good way to lose your soul. Add N To (X) are pretty and would look good on a magazine cover, but are probably too exciting for yours. The Mercury Prize this year went to Talvin Singh, who is unfortunately of Asian extraction and therefore cannot be covered by you. That's the end of the news, now here's the weather. Condolences on your passage from relevance. Hope you find the pulse again sometime soon.