While you were asleep: G7 disagree on Syria, Kendrick drops album cover, patient granted last wish

Approx Reading Time-10Morning! What happened while you were asleep? We’re no closer to a Syria solution, Kendrick Lamar’s album art underwhelmed, and a terminal patient went out with a cigarette. And a wine!




G7 fail to agree on Syria plan, tangerine finger hovers over the button.

The G7 (a conglomerate of sovereign nations), not to be confused with a G6 (a plane that the rap industry covets), have come together in Italy to agree on absolutely nothing. So far. While the news, officially, is that there is no news, the feature dish on the menu looks to be Assad’s head on a plate, with a side of salad. For those playing at home, salad = green = dolla dolla bills.

Hopefully, these talks will ensure that the leaders in the VIP section of the democracy club don’t decide to make it rain…ordinance.


Kendrick Lamar’s new album cover drops, imagery as humble as the titular track.

70% of the Editorial Team here at The Big Smoke are just more than a little bit excited. So much so that it bumped Scott Morrison from this piece.

You’re welcome.

Alongside the lead track, Humble, we have the first look at the cover art for DAMN, which features luminaries such as U2 and Rhianna.

Predictably, the haters were quick to flock, as, yes, aesthetically, the cover work is a bit naff, but who really cares about the cover? Do people buy actual CDs anymore? Moreover, the spectacularly more naff cover to spectacularly more naff The Life of Pablo (Kanye West – 2016) looks like it was done by a 12-year-old driven by hormones and the early stages of hereditary glaucoma; and that went platinum, despite the album going on about him jousting his model wife in spite of his ex and making a movie about it, bleached nether regions and the saving grace (thank you) track Ultralight Beam. 

Certainly with Kendrick being Kendrick, it’s safe to expect his usual standard of brilliance. Speaking of which, perhaps it’s time for all of us at The Big Smoke to dive back into his jazz-flavoured poetry-infused previous offering, To Pimp a Butterfly, which has finally eclipsed Section 80 on our office playcount…


Danish hospital grants terminal patient last wish, a cigarette and a vino.

As the clock winds down, the most important thing to us is not staying in this life but how we leave it. Few are able to live out our idealised final moment, as too many of us are taken by chance or without full use of our faculties, so our final moments are awkward, and daresayit, unsatisfying, both for the departed, and those left behind. “Unsatisfying”, because we don’t get to choose; our utterings misunderstood, unheard or unformed (a fact that keeps us all in check, regardless of the life we lead – e.g., Albert Einstein’s last words went unheeded as the nurse tending to him didn’t speak German). Death, much like life, is imperfect. While no-one avoids the other side of that final heartbeat, we should regale in the few examples where the minority pull it off.

Enter (and exit) 75-year-old Danish man, Carsten Flemming Hansen, subject to an inoperable condition and having mere hours left as a result, for whom the staff of Aarhus Hospital bent the rigid regulations to allow his final wish: a cigarette and a glass of wine.

Photo: Facebook @aarhusuniversitetshospital

Surrounded by his loved ones, the atmosphere, according to nurse Rikke Kvist (great name), was “very cosy and relaxed”. Earnest respect all round, but it’s hard not to wonder what and how he felt in those moments; knowing that he was gazing upon his final sunset as the landscape darkened, his attention turning to the brightest light left, mortality, kept between his fingers, the flame turning the remaining tobacco to ash; knowing that he too would be soon scattered to wind.


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