Wednesday, April 30, 2003

A plea to Linkin Park Please remix your current single. Specifically the start. Every time I hear the intro on the telly or radio I think "Ooh, this is going to be a good song!", and then I realise it's you. This is clearly a grave disappointment for me and indeed everyone in the world who doesn't like your lite-metal crap and steps should be taken straight away to remedy this.

Hehehe! Playing on MTV Dance, The Prodigy from 'Charley Sez' days. That's right, the part of his career Liam really hates. He's wearing a stupid hat and Keith's wearing really stupid clothes. And now it's The Shamen, 'Move Any Mountain'! Class! But who knew Rob Newman was part of the group? ;-) Oh look, Mr C is doing the 'Dance Like a Gibbon on Speed' dance. And one of them has a cloak!

Zane Lowe. Shave. Just because you're mostly on radio 1 or x-fm is no excuse for laziness.

I normally skip over Magic TV, but they've just shown Soul II Soul's 'Back to Life' and now Madness's 'Baggy Trousers'. Yes, I'm now ready to become middle-aged and complain about how the music isn't as good these days- No! Radiohead! Third Eye Foundation! Boredoms! Phew, that was close. If anyone wants me I'll be reading Careless Talk and sulking...

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The sort of thing that either has you sobbing or laughing in recognition, The Law of the Playground helps expose the lie of 'the best days of your life' and can help to remind you what a nasty piece of work you once were. Something that's wrong.

Am currently listening to the first disc of the Rough Trade Rock and Roll 1 collection. And other than a slightly soiled feeling and a strong desire to wear a leather coat and pour cola in my hair to make it stand up, it's pretty good. Certainly better than the Electronic one which was full of old Depeche Mode b-sides and Fischerspooner songs which weren't 'Emerge' and so therefore crap. Any collection that starts with Sir Iggy of Pop and ends with Duke Mascis has got to be doing something right.

More on the George Galloway thing, from The Independent.

On the subject of 'how would the Telegraph expect to get away with this if they're printing something which is almost certainly untrue?' there's this paragraph from the article;

The Daily Telegraph will have to support all its claims against Mr Galloway. If it can't, the paper will still be able to fall back on the defence of qualified privilege, providing it can show that there was a strong public interest in publishing a story that was based on what appeared to be genuine documents.

Who defines 'strong public interest'? Not... friends of Tony surely?

Monday, April 28, 2003

If you open any of the past few years copies of X-Men you'll always find one of any number of inept anti-drugs adverts. Which is a shame as the writer, Grant Morrison, has openly admitted to writing comics under the influence of mushrooms and E. then of course, look at the cosmic comics of the 70s and no way could they have been written by anyone who wasn't travelling at some velocity. And you're telling me that someone completely grounded and rational came up with the idea of a man that dresses as a human bat to fight crime?
I personally don't mind about my comics writers using drugs, just as everyone who likes music can't really complain about drugs unless they only like the works of John Denver and George Fornby. But isn't it a bit hypocritical for those comics to run adverts when, even indirectly, those same substances have helped many of the creators of these works to tell stories?

Mmmm, Jaaaaaaaaaam....

This George Galloway thing, does the Daily Telegraph not care how dodgy their story sounds?! "Yuh, we just happened to be walking through the remains of the Ministry buildings, just happened to stick our heads round the doorway of the room, just happened to see the only shoebox of undamaged items left in Iraq..." I'm willing to entertain the idea that George has been silly (as in naive) in his dealings with the former administration there, what seems more likely is that he will come under immense pressure to step down as an MP while he fights to clear his name (or that the news of this libel action will be used against him at the Labour NEC to get him deselected). Once he's out, the Torygraph's case will collapse, they'll admit they were wrong or were taken for a ride by some never-identified unscrupulous person and there will be one less troublemaker to annoy Saint Tony as he marches on to annex more parts of the free world for 'looking at us funny'...

Sunday, April 27, 2003

So, I've just been to the British Museum with friends, for the exhibition I mentioned last week. After that we went to the pub and thanks to my cold, what I've drunk has turned instantly in to a hangover, so I have to ask...
Have you ever been walking home, following someone, you both turn into the street you live in and you become insanely afraid that they're going to go into your flat/house? Or is it just me?

And in just breaking 'Joy!' news, E Randy Dupre has informed me there's a new Third Eye Foundation album, The Mess We Made out now. Truly, we're living in a golden age!

Have I made it clear how much I love Plums for getting me back in to The Shamen? Well, let me do so now. Mwah! All together now... "Anyone got any Vera's? Wicked!"

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Not only has the US administration said "Fuck the law" by redefining things so they can do whatever they want to POWs from Afghanistan but now it's come out that they're holding under-16 children there.

And Donald Rumsfeld believes there's nothing wrong with this. Although that's probably because He does 'Suck Young Blood'. Oh all right, that song's about Hollywood. Aren't I allowed to have any fun with evil people?

Double Joy! And 'The Straw Men' by Michael Marshall too.

Joy! Have just realised that the paperback of China Mieville's latest book The Scar was out at the start of the month. I have a pile of about a dozen books to read, some of which have been waiting patiently for a year or more. Am I going to buy it as soon as possible? You betcha!

Please, someone tell Christina Aguilera she's not allowed to try and play the 'beautiful yet damaged' card. As Bill Hicks said, "go back to the mall."

Ooh pretty! Just think, if you wanted this sorta monorail-thingy in the past you had to set up a criminal organisation in a hollowed-out volcano or beneath an anonymous New Mexico ghost-town... Now you just go to Cardiff.

Meanwhile, from the place that you go if you don't actually have a soul, Melanie Phillips tells us we're all wrong about Iraq, everything is super and we should all shut up, and you get the idea that if we were all to die in a pool of our own vomit she wouldn't mind it that much.

Insomnia Watch.

I actually slept pretty well last night. And I was able to remember a little of what I dreamed for my dream journal. In the past what I've tended to remember of my dreams have centred around where I work, travelling on London Underground (which has sometimes become fantastic adventures on monorails and weird weird architectural stuff), or being back at school. The dreams of the last one were always a leetle strange, because I went to a single-sex school when I was growing up, then worked for two and a half years at another single-sex school (this time the opposite sex) in Wallington, Surrey. You'll understand how weird it is knowing you're late for lesson and not being sure if it's one you're teaching or taking. Thank god I'm not actually a teacher.

Oy! Who said 'new DVD out soon'?

The Goodies were on x-fm yesterday. Set the video but unfortunately it didn't get it. I'll just sit in the corner and think about how I'm only old enough to remember when the show was being repeated, not the original showing.

Friday, April 25, 2003

As for the stereotype of old ladies sleeping on a mattress stuffed full of money they prefer to keep in the house 'just in case' rather than take to a bank... My Dad has told me that as they begin the task of sorting through the stuff in my Nan's house they've so far found about £1500 in mainly £5 and £10s, and suspect they'll find more before they're done.

Oh God, I hope this article is a joke, because if he really thinks this then my respect for Larry Miller has taken a serious knock...

A fun thing that's started happening to me in the last year or so is when I get a cold I tend to get insomnia on the night it's coming in, normally leaving me unable to sleep until four or five in the morning, so I only get a couple of hours. I've had a cold since the Thursday before last and after getting back to work today for the first time since Easter I've found other people have gone down with it/are going down with it. But the insomnia seems to be my own mix on it and has been around since Sunday night. I've been on a pattern of sleeping okay every alternate night, Monday and Wednesday okay, Sunday Tuesday and last night only a few hours.

A friend told me to try these 'rescue remedy' things from Boots, supposedly to help chill me out before I go to sleep. I may be wrong, but if they are having any effect it's increasing my wakefulness and stopping me sleeping. If true, I'd better start taking it with my breakfast, although knowing my luck it'll then start working properly and I'll be nodding off at my desk.

Oh insomnia, up yours!

Hmmm, very odd. Blogger seems happy for me to post things like this, but not a pre-written article I'd written on suicide newsgroups. I don't think my HTML is all pranged, I wonder what's up, is it me, is it Blogger?

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

So, I've been listening to Pulp's 'This is Hardcore' a lot recently. Initially I wasn't that keen on it (if my epinions account hasn't been deleted due to me not being bothered to post any reviews for ages on the grounds that they never had anything I wanted to review you should be able to find my feelings on it at the time) but sometime in the last six months I found myself re-evaluating it, to the degree that I think it's possibly their best album.

And, although I know that I don't know what I'm talking about, it seems to be some sort of magic spell to conjure and banish all the things about himself that Jarvis Cocker dislikes (Note: I know nothing about Jarvis or his life, so I could be completely wrong, I'm guessing about his circumstances).

The Fear introducing his paranoia. Dishes bringing up a desire to escape from dealing with important things by concentrating on things like cleaning. Party Hard the dark side of Disco 2000 and clubbing life. Help the Aged, of the Britpoppers Jarv was one of the oldest and was writing this album in his post mid-life crisis period. This is Hardcore and Seductive Barry, porn. The opposite of other songs where Jarvis insisted that hearing other people having sex was a wonderful sound, this is the dark side of the 'Jarvis as dirty old man' character that some music press tried to present him as. TV Movie, unable to move on after a relationship has end. A Little Soul Jarvis's misogyny and his feelings about his Dad, who apparently tried to get in contact with him after he started getting successful. I'm a Man, masculinity.

Then you have Sylvia, which is at least about someone else's problems, and has one of those false endings, the music fades away only to sweep back with majestic, euphoric chords. As though Jarvis has gathered together everything he hates and cast it away. The album ends with the uplifting Glory Days and The Day After the Revolution, positive but never stupidly positive.

You can tell I'm off sick from work can't you?

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Lillian Pycock.
Goodbye Nan.

The Day After the Revolution

The dust has settled, replaced the bulbs in all the lights. I guess I'll get no sleep tonight. A revolution happened. Oh, sorry you haven't heard? We are the children of the new world. If you're quiet you can watch if you like. They say the future's beginning tonight. Whole empires will crumble. Civilisations will fall. Lie on the bed, hear the sound of it all. No anger, no guilt & no sorrow: it sounds unlikely, I know, but tomorrow you will wake up to find that your whole life has changed. Although nothing looks different a revolution took place. I love the way you do it, I love the way you put them on. You know the answers but you get it wrong. (Just to confuse things). Why did it seem so difficult to realise a simple truth? The revolution begins & ends with you. Now all the breakdowns & nightmares look small. Now we decided not to die after all. Because the meek shall inherit absolutely nothing at all. If you stopped being so feeble you could have so much more. The answer was here all the time, you see. Just how I missed it is a mystery to me. I have waited & waited for this day to arrive. The revolution was televised. Now it's over, bye bye. It's over, bye bye.

Yeah, we made it. Just by the skin of our teeth
Perfection is over
(The Rave is over)
Sheffield is over.
The Fear is over.
Guilt is over
(Please leave the building quietly)
Bergerac is over.
The hangover is over
Men are over
Women are over.
Cholesterol is over.
Tapers are over.
Irony is over.
Bye Bye
Bye Bye

Pulp Online

Friday, April 18, 2003

If you live in the UK, please read this article and then this one and then go to Fax Your MP and take advantage of their excellent service to advise your MP that you think it would be a splendid idea if instead of supporting their government when they try to kill someone of a different religion they deal with it in a mature, evolved and twenty-first century way by supporting the Syrian proposition.

You know it makes sense because I know it makes sense.
People are always asking me if I know Our Lady of the Flowers...


But if I could get them to breed with the people that do the 'spike bags' (there would be a link but their site seems to be dead right now) to produce a super-spike skirt I could die happy.

In about seventy years of course.

At the mo the only place you can get Illig stuff is at the lovely Kate Lahav at the Camden Lock markets, details about halfway down this page, you can tell them Loz told you about them but I have to face the fact they don't know me.

I've spent a lovely day reading and doing housework. I think I need to fight some policemen before I become thoroughly domesticated...

Thursday, April 17, 2003

And while on the tube I saw an advert for this exhibition.

I'm sold. Even if it is sponsored by BP, I'm going!

Also have found this letter from the group Greater London Action on Disability to then Transport Minister Stephen 'Liar' Byers in which they tackle him over Accessibility being dropped from the deeply unloved Public-Private Partnership scheme. Presumerably the Government's thinking at the time was that actually expecting the companies that would take over running of the Tube to do anything for the public was an unreasonable expectation.

On this lovely April's Summer's day my parents came to visit and we went down into London for a walk about, mainly from Black Friars to Tower Bridge. Had a nice time and I may talk about it more later. BUT... my mother has health problems which mean she can't walk far and has to use a wheelchair for anything more than about a quarter of a mile. Part of the reason I chose this route was because I didn't think there would be too many stairs. Both me and my father got her around okay but it was tough.

So, after the event, I searched around and found this map that LU did last year with the charity Scope, showing the accessibility of the Tube to the physically disabled. If you ignore the Docklands Light Railway, which is new so you would hope it was designed better, it makes depressing reading. The accompanying puff-piece in execrable published-by-the-Daily-Mail-people-freebie Metro makes it out as though LU have unlocked the gates to the capital's disabled. Look at the map and you realise that far too many places are completely inaccessible to those who have difficulty walking and climbing stairs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Noooooooo! Apparently 'they' are making a NEW version of 'The Magic Roundabout', using computer graphics, with Kylie Minogue as the voice of Florence and Robbie Williams as the voice of Dougal. Can nobody save us?

OK, the song I can't get out of my head today is 'Being Nobody' by Liberty X versus Some Scruffy Guy (I do know, it's just temporarily slipped my mind). For purely underdog reasons I'm glad they've outlasted Hear'Say, although I wasn't that interested in the whole PopStars thing.

With the tATu girls, I must admit that I'm disappointed that we seem not to have had the promised 'girls masterbating in a playarea' video that their sugar daddy promised, but at least in the video we do have they run over a man in a truck. This is probably a strike against the patriarchy.

For your reading pleasure, check out the Jenny Everwhere comics along with many other goodies at Nelson Evergreen's fine site.

There you go Auntie, I've figured out how to put links in now. Happy?

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Good Will Self article in, of all places, The Evening Standard.
Baghdad falls - and now the smug rule.

God, I never thought I'd be badly parodying Eminem in this blog, I feel so dirty.

Note to self: Next time you feel the universe is suggesting you investigate a goddess with the possibility of working with Her, could you suggest it gives you one that's easier to find out about?

On the other hand, whilst trying to find information on the Slavic/Russian Goddess Lada, I've become aware of exactly how much unacknowledged cribbing and copying of information is going on out there.

Meet Davie, some indeterminate years old.
Fed up with women and the way things are going,
he decides to write a long diatribe in Cerebus.
("I can't take this no more, I can't take it no more homes")
But on his way home, he has a sudden change of heart.
And suddenly, his conscience comes into play...

Oh, if only. Dave Sim, normal guy, crazy ideas. He has been writing and self-publishing Cerebus for close on forever, and is finally reaching the end. Whatever your feelings on comics, such an achievement is incredible and no-one else has come near to duplicating it, in a market place when even comics by the regular publishers like Marvel and DC don't survive.

Unfortunately, or perhaps because, Mr. Sim is not a well man. He has several bugbears, the most prominent of which is 'feminism'. To summarise, he mourns that men are not real men, women are behind the modern ills of the world and evolution gave them big buttocks so that real men could spank sense in to them. He set this out in the Tangents essays helpfully reprinted by The Comics Journal. In a follow up interview at Cerebus Fangirl he claims victory because no-ones contacted him to argue that he's wrong, shortly after admitting that he's cut off most of his media links. If you search google for '"Dave Sim" + feminism' you get this, which is a funny and intelligent rebuttal of Sim's position.

I post this in the spirit of 'look at the crazy misogynist dance!' Sim's 'theorys' and 'arguments' are so bad that at no point do they really become offensive, his main technique is to repeat an untruth enough times hoping it will become true. But it's a interesting experience, and just proves that Frederick Wertham might have been right after all...

Monday, April 14, 2003

So the whole 'I'm using the term 'gay' to refer to something bad, if you don't like that you're oppressing my freedom of speech!' argument has come up again in Barbelith. I was going to post some form of what follows on there but then thought it was neither thought through enough or indeed relevent enough to the discussion so decided to give it a miss.

I have real problems with the word 'gay'. When I was coming out I was being shown around various collective terms by semiotic estate agents and disliked 'gay' for it's cosy, camp, Stonewall, luvvie associations. I much prefered, and still do, the in-your-face big-boots no-knickers confrontationalism of 'queer', everything your parents didn't like about your sexuality in a nice big package. Gay became everything I didn't like about homosexuals of any sex.

And then 'gay' became a term of abuse. Not being down with 'der kids' I don't know exactly when. I have vague rememberences that it may have been around as long ago as when I was at school, though if I'm correct that was only primary school so about twenty years. However, it wasn't really a popular term at that time and seems to have had a more recent renaissance.

It seems to have become completely detached from it's meaning of homosexual, quite fitting in a way as of course it was stolen from it's meaning of jolly or carefree. When it started turning up on Barbelith and it's use was challenged the poster denied any realisation that 'gay' was a term that was used mainly to describe the sexuality of homosexuals.

I've always been keen on reclaiming, believing in the power of language as I do I can't see many better weapons than denying our enemies the ability to engage intellectually with us in a hurtful manner. But I find I have real difficulties with that when it comes to 'gay'. Because I really don't like the word! Because it feels like 'they' have reclaimed one of our words just as we're reclaiming theirs. 'They' have metaphorically taken the word, then gone to kids and said "hey, are you looking for a cool new way to express your disgust with something?" then handed them the term with it's cultural baggage. The person may not be aware of it's history but when they say it it's sending up flares to everyone who is aware, saying homosexuality is bad. They've been given a gun but are playing with it thinking it's a toy and not realising it's real and shooting bullets at people.

But I really can't be enthusiastic about reclaiming this one...

Never really cared for The White Stripes much before, 'Been in Love...' and 'Dead Leaves...' were pretty good but the rest of that album left me cold. If the rest of 'Elephant' is going to be good as single 'Seven Nation Army' I'm going to have to seriously re-evaluate them.

On the other hand, exactly how does one go about putting a contract out on Girls Aloud?

I love the smell of summer in the morning... well, at any time really.

Yesterday evening, while getting the washing in off the line, I'm sure I smelt a barbecue somewhere close by. Coming home from work this evening, I passed by the communal lawn of a block of flats and got one of my top ten favourite smells, freshly-cut grass. I love the smells of outdoors in the summer. In the winter it's boring out there, the only thing I tend to smell are the cars in the road, but a hint of warmth and we're in to a whole new nasal arena.

The cut grass thing is a bit bittersweet as that tends to mean hayfever is around the corner. I've had it for around twenty years of my life now, probably of medium severity as I tend to do huge room-clearing sneezes and have very watery eyes. I'm sure that I have a weaker sense of smell than most other people and am convinced that my sneezing is to blame, though I suspect this can be filed under 'load of complete rubbish'. Each year for the last few years I hold on before starting the tablets I have for it, hoping I will have kicked the habit because I'm sure that my hayfever is now mostly psychosomatic rather than actually biological, if I'm busy then my hayfever stops, I relax for a moment, it's back.

Still, I'm trying to organise working with two flower Goddesses in the next few months, maybe they can give me a hand with it.

Wow, Deja vu.

"We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria," [Bush] told journalists on the White House lawn.

Fool me once...

Sunday, April 13, 2003

And finally for this evening of over-excited maiden postings...
Our Lady of the Flowers.

(From the slightly pretentious Tim Dry)

Believe it!

(From the lovely people at Unshelved whose collection I intend to buy if it ever makes it over this side of the Atlantic (pay horrendous shipping charges for pond-skipping? Forget it!). That goes for Jane's World too.)

Note to the various pro-war types who I've seen crowing and patting themselves on the back in the newspapers and media outlets over the last few days; Winning the war does not mean you won the argument. Might doesn't make right. It's a shame that we have to go back to primary school lessons for people i thought were adults, but maybe there's some truth to the claims that qualification standards have been slipping for a long time...

I knew mobile phones were evil... Apparently in Japan, kids know how to use their mobiles to connect to the Net but, in the words of Homer Simpson "The Internet's on computers now?"

So, My Wrongs #8245-8249 & 117 and tATu's '200 KM/h in the Wrong Lane'...
The first has a quite nice Radiohead style cover and is, depending on your opinion of Chris Morris and the place it comes from, very funny. But it's twelve minutes, and looks exactly like a piece that was cut from Jam for time reasons. So there is the question of why did he bother? Paddy Considne, playing 'him' is very good, as is Morris as the dog, and there's that slightly off-kilter monged feeling we got from Jam, but really the last laugh is on idiots like me buying this because they want to have as much of Chris's stuff without breaking into his house and cutting his elbows off.

tATu. Nice to see my low expectations for this were reached (I work in a library, so it's not like I have to pay to take this stuff out). Lots of perv/teen-dyke pleasing photo's of the girls and the songs follow the general policy of the two singles by shouting very shrilly whenever possible. And, unless I'm missing something, 'Malchik Gay' is two straight girls pretending to be two lesbians pretending to be two straight girls singing a love song to a gay bloke about how they wish he was straight so they could get jiggy wit' him. Which is frankly fantastic and the best thing by miles on the album, though I also liked their version of 'How Soon is Now' purely because it seems to irritate a lot of Smiths fans. Haha! The rest is pretty run-of-the-mill pap. The original Russian versions of a few of the songs sound better than the originals Maybe they could get Peaches to do one of her terrifying remixes of 'All The Things She Said'?

Blimes! Has it actually worked this time? Seems like I picked the worst possible weekend to decide to start blogging...

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Jesus! Yes, the 21st century, cybernetically-enhanced ego in my head (where does the ego reside anyway?) has forced me to sign up for a blog, so I can say nothing in a more publicly embarrassing way than I have previously been capable of. This is mainly to keep me out of mischief, sitting here complaining about the latest series of Buffy or Angel allows me to distract myself from the fact that life is passing me by, although I did book my ticket for Bicon earlier, so that's my 'stop being a social shut-in' act for this year completed.

I make no effort to keep up with what someone assured me was the 'wonderful world of blogging' just before he was shot by an renegade CIA hit man that looked like Matt Damon, so I'm not even sure if anyone but the unhip still call it blogging, or indeed whether you still do it or whether you've all given it up and this years big craze is trout fishing.

Who's more evil, Tony Blair or Tony Robinson? Tony Blair has deliberately killed more people it's true, but Tony Robinson justifies this shit.

Oh yes, I will probably be referring to George W. Bush, the chimp who stole the election in America as a 'fucking moronic born-again shit that I wouldn't trust further than I could comfortably throw a Haggunenon in the form of a sofa' at some point. On the off chance that anyone reading this finds that offensive, I suggest they, to quote the late, great Bill Hicks, "look at the world around us and shut their fucking mouth." I mean, at least when Tony Blair appoints a crony to a job someone makes a bit of a fuss, everyone Bush is connected to is a mate from way back and no one seemed to give a shit.

Oh, and in closing I should probably wave at Plums, Auntie Skater, Sashinka and Luke. Meanwhile at Barbelith, more self-loathing and despair than at the office of the scriptwriters for Friends.

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