When I was a nipper, there was a lad who lived at the end of our road whose name was Robert, but who somehow had earned the name “Stump”. He was the youngest of three, but a couple of years older than my brother and I, and we would often play in the street, along with a few other kids who lived nearby.
My over-riding memory of Stump was the occasion that he picked up some dog shit from the road (not sure why I felt the need to clarify that – where else would it be?) and chased us up and down the street with it.
The band Stump, on the other hand, were a critically acclaimed indie act from the 1980s, who only ever released one album, 1988’s “A Fierce Pancake”. Unfortunately, the record-buying public seemed to confuse the two aforementioned Stumps, and considered the one from my childhood and his dog shit-proffering ways to be a pretty good analogy for the band Stump’s attempts to foist their music upon them.
Judge for yourself. Here is one of the singles from A Fierce Pancake which, despite having a rhythm track of croaking frogs and the quite brilliant rhyming couplet “Charlton Heston put his vest on”, only managed to reach the not-so-giddy heights of #72 in the UK Singles Charts.
In case any of you are unsure as to who Charlton Heston was, he was predominantly known as an actor, at his most famous in the 1950s and 60s, starring in 1956’s “The Ten Commandments” as Moses, in 1959’s “Ben-Hur” as…erm, well…Ben-Hur and in 1968’s “Planet of Apes” as lead non-monkey and stranded astronaut George Taylor.
In later life, he became synonymous with Republicanism in general, and with the National Rifle Association (NRA), of which he was the president from 1998 to 2003, in particular.
Some of you may recognise him from his appearance in political activist Michael Moore’s documentary “Bowling for Columbine”, which if you’ve never seen, you really should. Here’s the trailer for it:
At the time of writing, in June 2016, there have been 23,844 incidents involving shootings so far in the USA. 141 of those were mass shootings. There have been 6,114 deaths; of those 259 were children under the age of 11. 1,308 were aged between 12 and 17.*
Even if you have seen “Bowling for Columbine” before, maybe now is a good time to watch it again.
*Source: the Gun Violence Archive