Monday, June 30, 2003

Ali C out of news for one day as another minister put's foot in it. Oh this gets more and more funny. Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter that has sent Alistair Campbell over the edge with regards to the 'dodgy dossier' story is now threatening to sue a Labour Minister who foolishly said that Gilligan was lying outside of the Houses of Parliament (if he'd said it inside, he'd have Parliamentary immunity). Maybe they'll get together and have Gilligan's threat to labour cancel out Campbell's threat to the BBC and everyone can live happily ever after.

This article is about the fuss over the memorial that will be built to remember the victims of the 11th September attack on the WTC. With the greatest of respect to the relatives of the victims, I think the most positive thing to be no memorial, that everyone involved instead concetrates on the future. Any monument will be forever linked to the death of many many more foreigners as part of the crusade these events started. Already we have had the mere memory of these people co-opted by Bush and Blair to justify invading Afghanistan and Iraq, a monument at Ground Zero will allow Bush or those who follow him a cheap emotional shorthand to justify whatever barbarism they want to engage in. A new carpark may be inelegant but will deprive them of a cheap trick.

Watched Donnie Darko today. Every time I see it it affects me more and more and I find the ending sadder and sadder. The most underated film of last year, if you haven't seen it yet then do so now!

I'm feeling pleased with myself that, despite the bad weather keeping me indoors so I couldn't do a walk if I'd wanted to, I did manage to get some writing done. It was real blood from a stone work today, trying to drag the words from brain to screen (if I wrote a novel that read like a blog I might have a bit more success, though I suspect from reading some other peoples work that I'm not the first person this thought has occured to). Part of the reason for my epic slowness is my brain's refusal at times where I get stuck to let me move on and come back to it, or to slap some rubbish down to tide me over. It insists on making me write as though this is the final and perfect draft, even though I know I'll be coming back later and changing the entire thing.

So, now the people that, a few months ago, were suggesting that I look into working with the Goddess Oschun are telling me not to try to contact her directly but go through an intermediary figure and wait for her to give me the nod. Gee, thanks guys. Sort of like the magical equivelent of waiting until the firework goes off in someone's face before saying to them "oh yeah, stand well back." But I suppose this gives a possible magical reason for why when I asked her for help with the whole hayfever thing it had zero effect and I had epic sneezing sessions.

New rights for gay couples. And I never thought I'd be saying these words but I find myself agreeing with Peter Tatchell. I've never been that supportive of gay marriage but only because I find marriage an outdated institution in which many people involved are going to church for the first time in years. However, the fact is that we have the ridiculous situation where a byke who is in a relation with someone of the opposite sex would get more advantages if they had that ratified than if they were in a relationship with someone of the same sex. If we have to keep marriage it should be with the religion taken out, or as an optional add-on to what has for many years practically been a legal institution. And as a legal institution it should cover everyone equally, not only queers and straights, but also those who don't want to marry.

Wait, I think I see the flaw here...

Went shopping yesterday, bought a new Illig skirt from the wonderful people at Kate Lehav at Camden Lock. Mmmmm.

Then went to The Crown in New Oxford Street where I ill-advisedly proceeded to get absolutely rat-arsed. This was due to turning up about an hour early and started drinking to dull the pain of the barpeople having Avril Lavigne on their CD player. But from what I still remember, a great time was had, Flyboy has produced a little printed version of the Jenny Everywhere strips he's done with the absurdly talented Nelson Evergreen. Stop him and buy one!

Sunday, June 29, 2003

And annoyingly the weather report says it's going to rain for most of the first week of my fortnight off work. It's not fair!

Finished watching the Bjork Volumen II videography. It's interesting that the videos for her fourth and, to my mind, dullest album Vespertine are pretty dull in themselves. 'Hidden Place' has a camera tracking around her face while computer graphics make her cry a strange fluid which she then swallows, it wouldn't be so bad if this dramatically changed each time, or builds to something, but it doesn't. 'Pagan Poetry' spends half the video as an interesting abstract graphic montage based on what looks like a topographical rendering of Bjork's body, which is must more interesting than the other half, which is her getting her body pierced. And 'Cocoon' has her as some kind of mannequin that sprouts red ribbons from her nipples which them proceeds to wrap her up. Whop-de-doo.

But the 'All is Full of Love' is probably my favourite video ever, Bjork as two sex droids, one being built as the song starts, the other arriving at the chorus to give her her final examination. It's just a bit of a shame that the director, Chris Cunningham, doesn't have enough ideas to stretch out what is a short video and has to drag in a rather bizarre ejaculation metaphor.

Hmmm, did I say 'ejaculation'? That's going to get me some weird Google referrals I think...

'Tis the season... Berlin Pride. I have to make sure I find the dates for the London one, if it hasn't happened already, so I can make sure I avoid it completely.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Lesbian couple having baby with donated sperm. No, I don't see why this is a story either.

It was an intensely depressing experience watching Blaming the Jews on Channel 4, presented by David Aaronovitch. Pretty much the article I linked to a week or so back over 45 minutes, looking at the state of Arab Anti-Semitism. The first ten minutes pretty much set the scene for the show as he met the wife of an Islamic cleric who's been sent to prison in this country for inciting racial hatred against the Jews. Hopefully his opinions and arguments are better than hers as she believes that Jews control the media because Rupert Murdoch is Jewish. When Aaronovitch points out that he isn't, it turns out that she thought he was because she thought he was Robert Maxwell's son. Aaronovitch then twists the knife by pointing out that Murdoch is a fine Scottish name.

But when he then travels to Palestine it does get depressing. The Palestinian Education Minister claims that the Jewish people 'exaggerated' the suffering they underwent during the Holocaust, indeed Holocaust denial is a part of Arabic Anti-Semitism (along with a belief that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is true). A school teacher says that the Jews themselves were responsible for the rise of Hitler and one of his students cheerfully says that there can never be peace between Israel and Palestine.

However, although he makes some passing remarks to the state of Palestine under constant siege by the Israeli Army, Aaronovitch comes perilously close to suggesting that this is all the Palestinian's fault. He finds moderate Muslim voices in Egypt or Britain, but not in Palestine. And while there are plenty of shots of Palestinian pop videos inciting Muslim youth to rise up against the Israeli invaders no mention is made of what is said and done in Israel. Opinions of those in the Palestinian government are singled out, Sharon is not mentioned once.

At no point does Aaronovitch really go for 'why is this happening', because that would possibly indict the Israeli government too. Racism and Anti-Semitism have always historically thrived where people are poorly educated with a low quality of life.

And they really should have banned the use of allegory when writing religious books. If Fred Phelps can read 'love thy neighbour' as meaning 'hate all fags' and Muslim scholars can read seemingly innocent paragraphs as really meaning a Jihad against Jews then we're going to have conflicts that can't be solved until we decide to turn our back on God for the good of mankind.

Hmmm, exactly two and a quarter hours until I'm on holiday...

When I was at school I was always rather blase about holidays, especially the six week one we got every summer (and which I found out years after I left school was a hangover from the days when parents would have pulled their children out of school to help with getting the harvest in if they hadn't had the time off anyway). By the end of the holiday (signified by my birthday at the end of August) I'd be getting bored and restless, almost looking forward to returning to school.

Holidays are wasted on those not in full-time employment < G >!

You Have the Power to Turn Things to Stone!

What's Your Magic Power?
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It's been done many times before, and often by people with some talent for animation but The Empire Strikes Back Versus The Village People may raise a titter or two. (Pilfered shamelessly from B3ta)

You've got to love The Rockall Times... Very fabric of society threatened by appointment of gay Satanist dope-smoking Bishop.

Court Won't Hear Antiabortion Activists' Appeal. What's worrying is that several appeal judges were trying to insist on the anti-abortion activists right to freedom of speech when several doctors who'd appeared on their posters had been killed. If the judges were concerned about upholding the protesters freedom of speech perhaps they could do something to uphold the doctor's right not to get shot for doing their job?

OK, the only way to totally bugger up the anti-abortionists who see nothing morally wrong about killing an adult is to pass a law that states that all doctors who are qualified to perform abortions are legally unborn children. Anti-abortionists who then try to kill these doctors are then killing unborn children, which means that the other inbred morons in their group would then have to kill them, for having killed unborn children. Indeed, as anti-abortionists are legally unborn children and so therefore by dint of loony doctrine pure and perfect they are not 'performing' an abortion as such. as studies have shown that sometimes one unborn foetus destroys the other (by absorbtion but what the hey). I haven't yet heard of Christian activists blockading day care centres because while a foetus Little Timmy denied the right to life of what would have become his twin brother.

Supposedly US proposes world peacekeeping force although I thought we already had at least two organisations available already NATO for Europe and the UN for the entire world. So should the headline perhaps read 'US proposes world peacekeeping force which the US would control'?

You'd have thought that when a country was actually asking for US intervention they'd be steaming in there all eager... Liberians demand US intervention. Which I'd initially misread as 'Librarians demand US intervention'...

After several months where it's taken almost an entire week for DVDs I order to turn up from the two I ordered on Wednesday night turned up this morning, right before I have to go to work. So I have a copy of Bjork's Volumen and also Donnie Darko which I can't watch until this evening. I mean, that's only ten hours away, I can wait that long surely...

Friday, June 27, 2003

Damn Flux for linking to an MP3 of Prince's 'Electric Chair' from the Batman soundtrack album. Because now I want a CD of that album so badly, and not in an arch and knowing ironic way. But then I also managed to watch an entire episode of 'Will and Grace' today without starting to feel myself turning heterosexual out of sheer disgust*, so I'm obviously very, very ill.

*All right, it has many good lines in it, but even so there's just something disturbing about it, you know?

Finally, Galloway issues writ against the Telegraph but will not be drawn on why he's waited so long.

BBC to Alistair Campbell; "Hey pal, can yer mother sew?"

And this evening hundreds of Scotsmen are looking into their pints and going "Ye' can never trust a Campbell..."

The BBC's response to TakingtheMichael Ali.

What's worrying is that this could all spiral off down Tangent Street into a big discussion over journalistic ethics and we'll all forget about that pootling little matter of whether the Government lied it's arse off.

[The Ageless Project is] ...sending the message that the personal, creative side of the web is diverse and ageless. If you have a personal, non-commercial website (that's original) and don't mind sharing your date of birth, you might help us prove the point.

Well, I seem to be struck out from entering my blog on the grounds of the ads Blogger bungs at the top of the page and the staggering lack of originality in what I write, but otherwise it's a nice idea. When they say that they are 'trying to prove the point' I do wonder, who to?

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban.

"The court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda," [Justice Antonin] Scalia wrote for the three. He took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the bench.
"The court has taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said, adding that he has "nothing against homosexuals."

In complaining that the court had taken sides doesn't that suggest that Scalia believes that a court's job is to be partisan and prejudiced against certain sections of the community, in this case the queer community? Isn't it supposed to be equal justice for all?

OK, so on this computer I've only got an ugly big window in which I can write this, but I can't see my recent posts without opening a seperate window. I hope this isn't going to be the new look Blogger because it looks like the playschool version, for big clumsy people or pre-schoolers to use. Of course, it could all be a ploy by management to stop me blogging at work...

Always on the lookout for librarians who blog, here's Gyrfalcon who is American and studying librarianship at university in San Francisco, to which I'm tempted to scream "get out, get out while you still caaaaaaaaaaan!"


It only started today so there isn't much by way of content yet, but this blog on a 'foreigner's perspective of living in Vietnam' could turn out to be very interesting.

OK, with the Order of the Phoenix- Who Dies Spoiler Calender set at four days I've possibly been spoilt by some brat while innocently googling. Of course, I may not have, and the only way to verify this for sure is to actually look and see the context. Gah!

Hmmm, there's a Hogwarts-style RPG/Blog here. Not sure it's particularly in character though, as the person playing Draco doesn't seem to have said anything himself for ages, and another character has just swore. And it doesn't appear to be slashy...

Strange how it suddenly becomes extremely important to the Government to get an apology from the BBC over claims that Alistair Campbell 'sexed up' the dodgy dossier only when Alistair Campbell has to appear before a Commons committee to talk about it? BBC scorns Campbell deadline for apology over Iraq allegations. I'm not aware from what reports I've read that TakingtheMichael Ali said anything particularly interesting at the enquiry so I'm wondering what he feels he has to bury underneath this big show of outraged innocence.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Oh those scamps at the Daily Mail and their pretending to be sickened and outraged at Princess Diana coming back from the dead for X-Statix. Perhaps you'd also like to read one of their related articles, such as 'should this comic be banned' or 'I gave Wills a kiss'.

If you're thinking of voting on banning the comic, it's currently at 75% supporting the 'it's all harmless fun' POV. And I assume the discussion on this article has been colonised by people hearing about it at other comic-related sites, as it's either supporting the comic or at the least freedom of speech against the idea of banning it.

Did another rune reading today. Same deal as last time. This is what I got:

What do I need for my life right now?

1. Overview: Mannaz-The Self, reversed
Begin by being clear with oneself. Rather than relying on others look inside for the enemy of progress. You will recognise the outer enemy as a reflection of what is within.

2. Challenge: Ansuz-Signals
The Divine is at hand. Explore the depths, the foundations of life. But first you must nourish yourself before you can nourish others.

3. Course of Action: Eihwaz-Defence, reversed
If there is an obstacle in your path, consider that a delay may prove beneficial, do not be eager to press forward, for this is not the time. Patience. Wait. Prepare.

The three cards suggest that I should consolidate and wait, which is pretty much what I've been doing for the last twenty seven years. Is this telling me what I should do, or what I want it to tell me to do? Mannaz would suggest I'm at the start of something and due to sloth I suppose I'm still very much at the start of the personal transformation I envisioned in Winter, and the other cards would suggest that I shouldn't look at making much more progress yet, but look at consolidating what has changed so far. And what have I changed so far? All I've really done is, I think, merely opened myself back up to stuff I've accepted over the years but tended to forget about. I suppose it's a mental kick to keep me doing the NLP, which I was reading with some irritation today.

If I do the magical thing and take doing that competition as a sign, plus the two ones above (ie; do whatever I feel like as long as I can come up with some half-assed excuse) I could also claim Gebo Partnership which has no reverse option anyway and suggests that a partnership of some type is at hand, either physical, mental or spiritual. Blum suggests that at it's highest level it's a realisation of the posibility of union with the Divine. Not that I particularly accept that God's got anything to do with my life. But Gebo signifies the gift of freedom from which flows all other gifts, which is atheistic enough for me.

"Aisha! I'm confused!"
"Aisha! I'm vibrating!"

So, after a morning where it rained, if briefly, to an afternoon of blistering heat. I spent a lot of it on the back step, exposing as much skin as I could without risking someone phoning the police to complain of indecency or the RSPCA to inform them a whale had somehow made it this far inland and trying anything to get rid of the corpse-white pallor of everywhere except my sunburnt arms.


I am the number
I am friendly


what number are you?

this quiz by orsa

But who is number one?

Still, you've got to laugh haven't you? (You'd think I'd be snide about this news didn't you? What kind of monster do you think I am? But if I might suggest that we temporarily honour the old Indian custom of the widow throwing herself on the husband's funeral pyre then I'd be extremely grateful)

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Grrr! It's a hot and sticky afternoon and I have to work. I also want to scoff ice-cream and sweets though they don't do me any good at all and just make me fat with decayed teeth. So, I turn to Weebl and Bob to cheer me up (from The Everyday Happenings of Weebl) and it works. Hurrah! Now I won't need to kill anyone.

Finally, the proof the world has been waiting for that Saddam was doing naughty things and needed to be stopped.

Princess Diana died on the morning of my 21st birthday. Which, as presents go, was pretty impressive. And at the time, what with the unphotogenic and distant Prince of Wales wanting to marry an even less photogenic horse, the Royal Family was seen as distant and worse still, possibly an anachronism. What a difference a few years, two old women dying and a jubilee make. Now Russian bloke touches woman is considered newsworthy. Meanwhile all the news services are more than happy to continue giving free publicity to a tedious Edinburgh fringe performer who, if his performance on telly the other night is anything to go by, fancies himself as a 'cultural terrorist' a la Chris Morris but doesn't bother with being funny at any point.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Important and useful travelware for American tourists, the American Apology T-Shirt.

How's your web-fu? In this thread on Barbelith we're trying to find slash fiction based on the 'Left Behind' series. That's the 'Left Behind' series which tells the story of what happens when the world finds itself lighter to the tune of several million cretins when 'The Rapture' disappears all the 'true Christians' on the planet. Now, the characters are nicely two dimensional already, so it can't be too much of a stretch. Now, on a net which gives us Roy Orbison being wrapped in cling-film and political slash surely someone has written something, somewhere out there? Please email me if you find it.

This article from Counterpunch would have us believe that Librarians in the US are all too happy to play along with the FBI when it comes to restricting American citizens freedoms under the guise of homeland security. But I got that while googling to find out what librarians have been up to to try and thwart the investigations. Certainly nothing may be going on at the official level of the American Library Association but at the ground level of individual library services people are standing up for citizen's rights. And someone has got to.

I think I've found the perfect website to balance the organised-librarian side of my soul with the vaguely disorganised-freedom loving side of my soul. It's the Anarchist Librarians Web!

SPIRIT is your chinese symbol!

What Chinese Symbol Are You?
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As you can see from this I have the perfect qualifications to be a 13-year-old girl. All I need in the glittery eyeshadow and I'm there...

He's one of the greatest cartoonists ever! Alright, it's a tiny exageration but I did grow up reading Marvel UK comics, so what do you expect? Check out the links to Combat Colin on Lew Stringer's Strips and Scripts page.

Have your latest drunken conversations about sci-fi telly been missing that vital pizazz? Have you exhausted all the possible mindless bitchery inherent in arguing about the sexual orientation of characters ("Yeah, Han and Leia may get married, but Chewbacca's still going to be the guy he flies off with next morning!")? Can you no longer raise a titter by quoting famous lines of dialogue but including the phrase 'with no clothes on' afterwards ("ET phone home... with no clothes on." "Luke, I am your father... with no clothes on.")? Then why not argue about when shows Jump the Shark.

Monday, June 23, 2003

And, to counter linking to a Philip Pullman interview earlier, here's the Real Live Preacher's blog. Includes this interesting entry.

From today's Guardian: The United States Government: Taking the 'Non' out of Non-Governmental Organisations.

Flyboy links to this brilliant interview with Philip Pullman, author of the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy, which are damn fine books.

And while we're on the subject. Due to not being a enormous fan of her work and the fact that I've got about a dozen books to read, as I mentioned a few days back, I'm not buying the latest Harry Potter book straight away. Maybe in a month or two, maybe I'll wait for it to magically appear on my birthday (31st August if you want to take note). So, perhaps we can make a game of this. I'm not going to intentionally look out for spoilers. Do you think I'll make it to my birthday or the day I break down and buy it, which ever comes first, without having someone thoughtfully spoil for me as to who the 'beloved character' is that dies?

And I love how next to each other on the BBC NEws website we have Rowling's 'guilt' at Potter wealth and Harry Potter author JK Rowling has filed a $100m (£60m) lawsuit against the New York Daily News after the tabloid published details about the plot of her latest book. Yeah, I know, it was probably her agent, not her, but $100 million for revealing something when the book was coming out the very next day? And I think the figures prove her sales weren't affected by this leak.

The library copies started moving in the system today and are on the way to the first people who reserved them (in most of these cases as far back as Christmas). We've ordered 62 copies of the childrens version and 40 of the adult. So far there are 99 reservations for the children's version and 32 for the adult. Some staff who got their own copies on Saturday have either read or nearly finished it. It's like the Matrix Reloaded, all over again...

I would be willing to pay money for someone to kill the Manic Street Preachers.

No, really, I would.

Purely because they've refused to do the decent thing themselves and die, and are working on a new album that's going to be 'short, direct and really melodic', so back to the Radio 2 MOR fodder of This is My Pretense of Being a Working Class Lad from the Hills When In Fact I'm Actually Living in Cardiff With a Flat I Vacuum Everyday, Tell Me Yours then? But what really irritates me is that their b-sides album is going to be called Lipstick Traces, which is a brilliant book on Punk, Dada and Situationalism (here) and doesn't deserve to be sullied by the implied association.

Anyone in desperate need of a good novel should look up Breeder's Box by Timothy Murphy. I found it second-hand down in Camden in January then left it languishing in my 'to read' pile for ages, wondering exactly why I'd bought it. Then, when I could put it off no longer I started reading it a few weeks ago. And it was amazing!

It's the story of three siblings in their twenties, the eldest the artist Jess, an adopted Puerto Rican child, the middle the mercurial and fierce girl Flip, and the youngest the gay pianist and narrator 'Tigg'. Although the story centres around the six months that Flip started and ran a club called 'The Breeders Box', the story takes in their lives, as they grow up, go to school, and move in with one another in a Manhatten loft. With an unusual closeness that occasionally succeeds only in dragging them apart sometimes worrying their friends they always gravitate back together again as they approach the sixth month anniversary of the club.

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed both Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex and From Caucasia With Love by Danzy Senna when I realised it was another 'growing up in America' story I was eager to read it, and it didn't disappoint. We see the slow maturing of the characters and Murphy surrounds them with a colourful cast of exotic aunts, slimy schoolfriends, clublanders and and patient partners. We do have the de regeur drag queen with AIDS character and, unless I forgot a paragraph earlier in the book one of the lesbians suddenly turns out to have a drinking problem but otherwise this is an exciting book that carries you along. If I have a quibble it's that the last chapter seems a bit uncertain, as the story is told in flashback to nearly a decade before and things have changed a lot in the mean time Tigg now seems completely different to the person he describes at the end of his reminiscing. But that's a minor point. And a knowledge of clubbing is not needed to enjoy the book either. I mean, I enjoyed it.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

David Aaronvitch lost me for a while with his support for the attack on Iraq, but now he's written a worrying article about how a militant Islamic group are using the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' as 'proof' of Jewish wickedness, here.
This is especially scary after watching the Correspondent program on BBC2 this evening about the post-invasion Iraq. Scared of the effect bodybags coming home might have on the American psyche (especially as the media over there seem to have been telling everyone that now Saddam is gone all the Iraqis love the invading Americans) it seems orders have come down to stop the Americans doing little more than drive around in their tanks. So, several months after bombing stopped the infrastructure of the country is still completely fucked. And the Shia majority, who want an Islamic state, seem to be the only organised political groupout there. Of course, the Western world may count itself fortunate if an Islamic Shia government take over, as there are more right-wing Muslim groups operating.

It's television shows like this that make me doubt whenever governments talk about invading Iraq for the good of the people. Neither the US nor the UK seem to have done anything to prepare to be ready to organise medical relief and food and water shipments to the country when they knew that to get rid of Saddam those would be the very things they'd have to destroy. They have no excuse of not knowing about the state of the country, this was one of the imperatives for going. There's no running water in Baghdad apparently, and though violence is up, hospitals lack the means to treat them.

I wonder how long it took the World War II allies to ensure the surviving Germans in Berlin had basic food and water needs seen to after the war? I will have to investigate tomorrow...

Well, that ecosystem thing is good for something as it's pushed me in the direction of Jill Matrix's blog which I've had a chuckle reading for the last twenty minutes.

Here's something to cheer Patrick up. Before the Jewish World Review folds due to lack of money, why not read one of it's columnists, who puts forward the novel treatise that America is perfect because some other countries aren't.

"Umm, what is up dood? We are down with the kiddies and this happening 'blogging' malarky, oh yus! Why, I ought to pop a cap up yo' ass, yes indeedy!"
The BBC is hosting a 'Blogging in Brazil' page. All fine and dandy. They've sent a reporter to Brazil to travel along the São Francisco river, following the trail of Sir Richard Burton. Ver' good. But if the page in question is anything to go by, it's not going to look any different to any other BBC webpage. Plus there's the little matter that the first entry posted today has a dateline of, um, tomorrow. Maybe it will look better when there is more than one entry, but at the moment it looks little more than a typical BBC report, with the 'blog' keyword dropped in to sound like they're up-to-date on current trends. What about a group-blog for the foreign correspondents around the world, so they can talk about their day-to-day lives and local stories that normally get hidden away at the end of 'From Our Own Correspondent' type shows? That's something I'd like to see.

The BBC are rescreening Edge of Darkness on BBC4, starting tonight.

Checking out the fragrant and lovely Patrick Prescott's blog for last Monday, it seems he's a bit pissed off by the BBC 'America on Trial' program. Bless...

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Dark Water
You come from Dark Water. You are solitary and
find peace in yourself, or maybe you're
turmoiled but pull off peace.

Where Did Your Soul Originate?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yeah, I 'pull off peace' all the time. Tony does consider himself to be a man of peace after all...

Found a cheap copy of Horses in Tower Records today. Yay me!

So, explain to me again what the mistake was? TV graphic labels Bush a fascist.

Anyway, I was down at Westminster today. Yeah, I have been sleeping with Tony Blair for several months now. It's just sex, no love, but of course for some six months now his doctors have realised his entire body is just locked into East Coast time and won't be shifted. And since the time in 1985 where we were saved from Ronald Raygun launching thermonuclear death against the USSR only by some quick thinking and sucking from George Bush Senior it has been policy in the Western World for all political leaders to have some means of sexual relief when they need it. George W. Bush has Lassie, after she retired from making the films, though due to quarantine laws would have to make do with David Blunkett's guide dog should he ever come over here.

So, I tend to arrive at around 11:00 am. Typically the Premier of our country is walking around in his star-spangled jock-strap rather quickly. I either dress up as George the Big Butch Cowboy or Margaret the Stern Headmistress, depending how agitated he is. He's the bottom if I'm George, if I'm Margaret we have a S/M session first (I tie him up, agree a 'safe' word then after the nipple clamps go on tell him I think 'safe' words are for little girls) and then he's still the bottom afterwards. I don't mind all this but sometimes he's unable to come unless he has a Diana impersonator in the room or an Iraqi orphan telling him how grateful she is that he's ridden her country of the evil barbarous regime of Saddam.

When he's spent I leave quietly through the garden exit. I don't get paid but when my time is up I'll get a knighthood, a third-rate university library named after me and a wish. And so in the Queens Speech next Autumn you will hear that a Bill will be passed to make it legal to libel Lord Archer of Milton Keynes in anyway you want, the stupid knobheaded lying fucker.

{sigh} It didn't improve. The defense and their witnesses pretty much tried to defend Blair by trying to change things so they were the prosecution for a program called Saddam Hussein on Trial. Sadly towards the end the actual prosecution started going that way as well.

I'm not particularly impressed by these ... On Trial programs. Each witness only gets a couple of minutes for each side and is allowed to get away with the most fallacious arguments that, if this were a real court of law, they would get severely admonished for (and both sides were guilty of this to a certain extent). I would prefer a longer program, where evidence isn't curtailed to make way for car ads, and where some effort is made to make sure the witnesses treat the exercise as a real trial.

The red mist descends...

I'm watching Tony Blair on Trial on Channel 4 and the two people 'defending' Blair from charges that he lied to the British people have been staggeringly rude to the first two prosecution witnesses, preferring to attack their credibility or intelligence rather than what they've done. And yes, they have tried to imply that the two witnesses wanted Saddam Hussein to stay in power and so therefore enjoy torturing children when they're not on TV.

I just hope Clare Fucking Short doesn't turn up...

Friday, June 20, 2003

To veil or Not to Veil. An interesting article comparing the experiences of women in Turkey and Iran and the veil's place in politics.

I was going to say 'well that answers that' with regards to the Galloway story, but that would be untrue. this article on the Guardian website confirms that the Telegraph do stand by their story, but they also say they have not yet received a writ from Galloway over their article. And in the article Galloway talks about how he's going to persist with the CSM writ because they've damaged his good name but does not say anything about the Daily Telegraph. So why hasn't he sued them?

On June 18th everyone's favourite Auntie mentions Julie Birchill and how it's great that she pisses off 'right on men'. On June the 19th, Flyboy writes a blistering attack on Burchill and pretty much every opinion she's ever held. It's brilliant. Go read.

(And if they could both fix their archives so I could link to the articles direct? Ta.)

Virgin Mary 'seen in US hospital'. Why do we never get the headline 'Generic Religious Character seen in Church'?

Christian Science Monitor apologises for libelling Galloway. It's not clear from the article whether these are the same documents that the Daily Telegraph used for a similar attack on Galloway, it remains to be seen whether they will withdraw from the pending action or bluff it out.

In a surprising development Democrats rediscover backbone as their leading contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination launches an attack on George W. Bush saying he misled everyone. Is anyone over there listening though? Amongst those that don't believe that there necesarily are WMD it doesn't seem to matter because Saddam was a nasty piece of work. Still, maybe Bush should squeeze in just one more invasion to make sure he doesn't get caught short like his pappy?

Home Office bows to the somewhat inevitable, accepts most public responses were anti-ID cards. Well that's getting somewhere. From the tone of the article it merely looks as though the Home Office is now merely regrouping and trying to work out how to bring in ID cards when it's own research shows the public are against it.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

On My 'To Read' Shelf (or, A Blatant Attempt to Make Me Seem More Interesting)
Michael Marshall, 'Straw Men', China Mieville 'The Scar', Jeffrey Eugenides 'Middlesex', Alan Moore, 'Promethea Book 3' and 'From Hell'. These are all rereads as I tend to try and reread stuff at least once before it goes on my bookshelves.
Various 'Alan Moore- Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentlemen' Got it today in Gosh! and was browsing through on the train home. There's a hell of a lot of stuff in there, including the Sim/Moore discussions on 'From Hell' and Moore's beliefs. Thank god I can clear that off my hard-disk.
Steve Wilson 'Chaos Ritual'. Can't remember how I got this and to be honest, I tried reading it once and wasn't that interested, I think it's for someone who's into chaos magick a lot more than I am (ie; hardly at all). So next time I donate books to Oxfam or the local jumble sale, someone is going to be in for a shock.
Carol Bowen 'Vegetarian Microwave Cooking For One and Two'. Despite my unashamed membership of the meat-eating classes, it looked like it fulfilled my two main criteria for a cookbook, 1)Simple and 2)Quick. One of these days I really must get round to using it.
Margaret Crosland 'Simone de Beauvoir'. Liberated it from the book sale at work. I have no idea if it's any good or not, just taking a chance as one of my many, many projects is to increase, well, to gain some knowledge of the history and development of feminism.

Friend #1: "David Beckham has just signed to Real Madrid."
Friend #2: "Real Madrid? Is that the paramilitary wing of Provisional Madrid?"

Had a great time today, met up with Mononoke outside the British Museum, while I was waiting just slowly frying in the sun and watching tourists pass by, some American couple wanted to take a picture of the husb/boyf standing next to me for some reason. Must have been my Illig skirt I was wearing. Anyhow, we spent a couple of pretty pleasant hours in the British Museum, we had a look at the English/Celtic/Germanic stuff from thousands of years BC, Mononoke really wanted to see the Egyptian stuff but by then we were both tired and hungry so did little more than zip through (some of it was inaccessible anyway, they were testing their fire suppressent system or something). But I will definitely be returning at some point in the summer to check out all the things I missed out on today.

Never ones to be afraid of taking an idea that wasn't really amusing in the first place and then hammering it into the ground until even Richard Dawkins says "Look, I'll give up this whole meme business, recant and become a good Catholic, just for logic's sake SHUT UP!" NewsMax now gives us The Deck of Hillary Clinton. I mean, has she announced she intends to run for President yet? I may have missed that item on the news, all I heard was that she wasn't going to run in 2004. So, until she does announce she intends to run, she's not actually lying about wanting to run is she guys?

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Now I have an excuse for wanting an early night...

'Roe' (of Roe vs. Wade) calls for abortion to be banned.

This seems to be a rarity, a report that doesn't mention 'abortion' and 'fundamentalist violence' in close proximity. Is it actually possible to have a rational public debate on abortion any more? It seems to be one of those topics that automatically shifts people who get involved in to one of two fundamentalist camps and I don't think either side has particularly acquited itself with any honour, although I don't recall the pro-choice group going round shooting priests.But at least the anto-abortionists have found a woman willing to stand up against abortion, makes a change from men talking about what men or women shouldn't do. We really need to work on prosthetic wombs and in utero transplants so the men can have the dilemma for themselves: "You want the thing to live? Then you give birth to it and raise it!"

I wonder if those papers that were a few weeks ago were talking about how shameful it was that John Leslie had been atrred with the epithet of 'rapist' when there was no proof will reverse their direction again with news that Leslie is being charged with two counts of indecent assault.

Woman raped in Brighton pub toilet, attack videod on mobile phone. What the report doesn't make clear is whether the person with the phone was one of the rapists or an onlooker that didn't do anything.

And because often it's only tourists that can invigorate me to explore my city, tomorrow I'm going to the British Museum with Mononoke from Barbelith, to see all the bits I didn't see last time.

It's come as something of a knock to my self-image to realise that in the last two days I have been doing really dull repetative tasks and doing them pretty well. There's been the usual stock weeding, but also the sending out of letters to the public. Each time some IT person boasts of how you can automate simply everything these days a task comes along that can't be automated. Such as these letters. They need to be sent to a specific sub-set of library users and we can't set the system to generate them automatically, so I had to spend yesterday creating the list of people and today writing their name and addresses on letters to them. At least then I get to pass them on to someone else who then has to copy their name and address on to envelopes in which they will be sent out.

The worrying thing is that it has been a nice task in some ways, requiring as it does pretty much zero brainpower on my part. But to find I'm almost enjoying this, rather than the satisfaction of some hugely complicated enquiry on behalf of a user shows somewhat where my talents really lie.

Someone called 'Sautter' emailed me to let me know that ze 'come[s] if you put it in my p00per?'. Sadly Hotmail prevented me from learning how ze achieves this, or what it is. Maybe the 'it' is what Ginger really is? However, if I finance this person, perhaps with the money I'll be getting from helping that nice Deputy President of Nigeria embezzle money out of his own national bank, we could be on to a winner here!

The What The World Thinks of America program was interesting last night. The America the program concentrates on is Corporate and Govermental America. Although the samples asked in each country were rather small to be considered truly representative, and the fact that nowhere near any country was included (which they acknowledged themselves as a weakness) there were still some interesting results. Even though there were countries that generally thought that the US was a good place very few polled people felt that it's recent actions had increased world safety and that it was one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Typically Israeli pollees voted in everything supporting the US and Jordani pollees voted in everything against the US. What I found interesting is that the American's polled tended to agree that they were arrogant. I wonder if, whereas in most countries arrogance is seen as a negative thing whether in America it is seen as either a positive or justified emotion.

Check the BBC webpage for the program.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Just finished reading White Apples by Jonathan Carroll. I don't know if when a book is released in paperback that's the literary equivelent of straight-to-video but if it is that's grossly unfair to the writer and probably is more of an reflection on the UK publishers putting this out nearly a year after it was available everywhere else.

To be filed under 'magical realism', divorced businessman Vincent Ettrich finds out one day that he died several weeks previously, but has been brought back to life. Reunited with his ex-girlfriend who is pregnant with their child he must be ready to teach it the lessons he learned while dead, lessons that, like the time he spent dead, he no longer remembers. And when you're faced by events and beings outside the realm of human experience, who do you trust?

This book zips along at a fair speed, never getting too wrapped up in events. Carroll has largely dropped the need to pepper each page with witty aphorisms and instead concentrates on the characters. It's less dark than most of his previous novels, not much that's going to chill you but some delightful moments, such as when he travels in time and sees his parents together on the night he was conceived. And the ending, traditionally a difficulty in past Carroll novels is handled well here, though it did seem to me as though he wasn't sure himself how to end it so enginered a device scant pages beforehand, but it doesn't stick out that badly. If you want something light to read between two heavy books give this a go, very enjoyable.

Steve Bell on yesterday's Press Complaints Commission story.

How dangerous is a 'realistic possibility'? Is it more dangerous than an 'unrealistic probability' or a 'concrete fantasy'? Dirty bomb only a matter of time, says MI5.

Jack Straw has stuck his head above the parapet to distance the UK from the US with regards to the handling of Iran saying the British position is 'one of constructive and conditional engagement with the government of Iran'. He doesn't say anything to rule out military action but things like this suggests he doesn't want another conflict.

Of course, if Dubya, and therefore Tony, decide that all they want for Christmas is two Gulf States remade in the US's image, will Jack Straw resign a la Cook, will he swallow his conscience or will he decide that actually war is a jolly spiffing thing that we don't have enough of these days?

Looks like hearings are starting on both sides of the Atlantic over their Goverment's conduct in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. A senior US senator says he has evidence that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial information from the UN arms inspectors deployed to Iraq while Ex-ministers attack weapons claims at the inquiry that Tony and Alistair aren't going to be giving evidence at.

Meanwhile, Poll suggests world hostile to US. All in preparation for this program tonight.

Aah, rain sweet rain...

Well, the stench, whatever it was, has gone from work. Which has improved now that we're more or less free of the GCSE and A Level students and now just have the uni lot for another week or so.

And I'm wondering whether my writers 'not-so-much-block-as-complete-disinterest' was due to a mix of work stress and hayfever, now that both seem to be lifting I'm starting to see both the road ahead and have some inclination to follow it.

It was the last episode of season two of Enterprise last night on telly. Not really a story, more of a set-up for the next season. I've quite enjoyed Enterprise thus far, not the best sci-fi but there have been some good stories dotted about here and there and though it of course looks better than the original series it hasn't yet really violated it's spirit by having baddies that are a lot more advanced than anything seen in DS9 or Voyager.

Monday, June 16, 2003

I've been proof-reading a fellow Barbeloid's work-in-progress over the weekend, it's annoyingly good. American Gods forcibly cross-bred with series 2 of The Invisibles somewhat. Makes me feel guilty that I haven't done any work on my masterpiece for around a month, and then before that only at the rate of about a thousand words a month for several. It's not that I've been too busy to do it as such, but I've just completely lacked any desire to write and have had enough other things to distract me. With the crop of Sky spring-scifi shows coming to the end of their seasons in the next week or few I should be able to free up some evening time to force myself to do some writing, or failing that editing of stuff wot is already rote at.

Of course, what I could probably do with is a nice sleek shiny laptop so I can go and sit in the park and write whilst watching the sun go down and smiling benevolently at the children playing football and the teenagers setting fire to dogs. On my days off I could go and sit there all day, and see my laptop melt in the heat and fuse with my legs...

Some parts dumb, some parts funny, The Incredible True Facts of Space.

MP's considering new guidelines for acceptable behaviour by the press. This will probably have less than a snowball's chance in hell of going through as it is, due to the fact it would hamper the companies that work for Tony's friend, Rupert. But it would be nice to dream. But it's a bit dodgy as it suggests that people read newspapers to be informed about current events. Does anyone read The Sun or The Daily Mail because they want to know what goes on in the world around them?

Gah. It's now officially 'ludicrously hot' and the entire library smells of rotting fish. I thought it was me at first, until someone reassured me that it was the entire place. It's probably the drains that got blocked and we're getting some sort of blowback. Lovely.

Anyway, found to my surprise that I have one of these as I thought only special people who could be bothered to spend ages programming them got them. I'm especially interested in the 'recommended reading' link, I have been reading Oblomovka already (it's verr gut) and will now have to check out the rest to see how exactly unlike me they probably are.

The Times would have us believe that police will run internet after terrorist attack. Of course, all the Times journalists still write with quill pens and then hand them on to people who type them up neatly and put them on the Interweb, Times journalists are all back in the 19th century somewhere and wondering why no-one is coming up from downstairs when they pull the bell cords. Alternatively, if this is true then when the UK is attacked then the British police are going to take over The Onion and The Rapture Index. The British Empire will rise again! Woot!

Sunday, June 15, 2003

It's deja vu all over again.

At some point in the past I've linked to reports about the return of Taliban-like Islamic behaviour in Afghanistan and how there is a danger of women's rights being curtailed again. Of course, no-one cares about Afghanistan any more. This report suggests it's starting to happen in Iraq too.

War may have killed 10,000 civilians, researchers say. Believe what you will. I just wanted to draw attention to this paragraph:

Lieutenant Colonel James Cassella, a US defence department spokesman, said the Pentagon had not counted civilian deaths because its efforts had been focused on defeating enemy forces rather than aiming at civilians.

Great! So civilian deaths don't matter. So presumerably, if (and I think this needs stressing as even now we don't have proof, IF) Osama Bin Laden was behind the September 11th WTC bombing he should have put out one of his home videos saying "I don't understand why everyone is so worked up. By our reckoning we didn't kill anyone that day because our target was Hank Jones and it turned up afterwards that he'd slept in because his alarm clock didn't go off. Grrr!" Then he could have shaken his fist at the screen and gone back to his day job of trying to kill Penelope Pitstop.

Ahh, the traditional Sunday morning Blogger collapse. Is it just me that this happens to, or does everyone find they can't post here on a Sunday morning? You would have thought someone at Blogger HQ would have noticed this happens weekly and I don't know, do something about it? Anyway, had my parents come over for Father's Day. I managed to find a FD card that neither assumed that I was a four-year-old boy that idolised his father for taking him to football or a pre-teenage girl who wears skimpy t-shirts that have the Maltesers logo changed to say 'Cockteaser' without any understanding of what it means. Instead it told a short and humorous story about how when I was watching Dad I was always taking notes, mainly fivers and tenners. Buh-doom boom. Actually, I never had to take money from my Dad like that when I lived at home, I found beating up pensioners got me much more money.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Just finished watching the BBC2 documentary on George Orwell. Lacking the kind of archive material that normally pads these things out the producers took the step of making some, then ageing it in much the same way that Portishead put crackle on the ancient samples they recorded only the day before. Orwell was played by Chris Langham, who is one of those people who is seen in a fair number of things but you can never remember his name. And I think it's a remarkable piece of film because with regard to his most famous works, 'Animal Farm' and '1984', it explicitly states how the former was initially supressed because it was not wished to insult our Soviet allies, until it was politically safe to do so. But the film ends with Orwell making clear the latters message about how totalitarianism can exist anywhere and how to prevent the future of mankind being that 'boot stamping on a human face - forever' means for humanity to rise up.
It's a message the Western world needs to remember now. The love the people feel for Big Brother is for the most part genuine, because he has saved them. Is it such a great leap to imagine he has saved them from terrorists flying planes in to their buildings, or from foreigners with chemical weapons and nuclear weapons which are somehow worse than their own chemical weapons and nuclear weapons? Orwell saw the British give up their freedoms to fight Germany, now we see Americans loose their freedoms to fight a more amorphous and ill-defined threat. Orwell's message is a warning from history.

'To some, Taarna is a one-dimensional, overly endowed sex object dressed in a dominatrix outfit... To me, however, she far surpassed this shallow image, and I perceived in her certain qualities which, in my opinion, cause her tale to eclipse all of the others. Hence, I have constructed this encomium to Taarna, and have set out the elements which influenced my views... Although she is not real, because of what she stands for--justice, courage, and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity--Taarna holds a very special place in my heart.

Some times you learn more than you want to know. "No, it's not because the artists gave her big tits, honest!"

Ha ha ha, the fuck I am...
You are Neo
You are Neo, from "The Matrix." You
display a perfect fusion of heroism and

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

And I have much better taste in clothes than his silly long coat/robe ensemble. Why, only today I'm wearing a short-sleeved shirt over my combat-webbing covered skirt and DMs. I look like middle-management on a day out at Torture Garden.

I'm thinking about my hair. My Mum always said that I had lovely long thick hair that many women would kill for but I was never really happy with it, going through my 'long down the back' days and my 'short bleach-blond' period. At the moment I do nothing, just attack it with the elctric razor each month to stop it from getting that long, aiming for a grade 2 or 3. I'm wondering about going bald for a while, or maybe bald with a thick stripe of hair down the middle of my head (I'm currently thinking Courtney DandyWarhols Taylor-Taylor's hairstyle in the 'We Used to be Friends' video is either the best or worst haircut in rock since Tiger were a going concern). I guess I'll have to consult my Brighton fashion-expert before any decision is made.

My 'eat sensibly and don't just scoff sugar and lard' diet is already under strain from the outbreak of summer making it medically necessary for me to consume Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream all the time. But if Tim-Tams really are widely available in this country and not just the Australian Shop in Covent Garden I might just have to say 'bugger it' and look forward to spending the rest of my life spherical, rather like Violet in 'Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory'.


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

Hah! Just shows how you can't diagnose at a distance.

I neither care about nor particularly understand football, especially when it comes to the intricacies of managing it, so when Mark Lawson starts pontificating in the Guardian about Beckham possibly leaving and trying to cast it as some reverse Oedipus/homophobia thing Fergie sees Beckham as a threat to his birthright, ego and sexuality I can't help but laugh. What about all that post-match 'all boys in the shower' stuff then? Perhaps we can persuade one of the young footballers to wear a t-shirt that says All Football is Homosexual and cut the legend 4- Nill into his arm?

Otherwise, the headline Father Ted: 'Fergie hasn't spoken to David in months' did make me laugh and wonder a) whether they were employing a psychic at Guardian HQ, and b) what an Irish priest would know about English football.

Now on the Blogger front-page... buy lots of crap from the Google shop. I mean, 'I Feel Lucky' pants, this would be your wacky earth humour yes?

Friday, June 13, 2003

You'll need a half-decent connection, but let's get Nekkid!

Harry Potter/Luke Skywalker, that connection in full. I'm just waiting for the new one to see if Voldemort turns out to be Harry's father or chops his hand off. (thank you Need to Know.)

As a follow up to this entry it seems the FBI Agents that questioned the student at the centre of all this weren't FBI Agents at all.

The FezLord links to The Abridged Script to The Matrix Reloaded and mighty funny it is too.

Everyone's a Critic. It's just that a lot of people aren't good ones. I quite like The Blog Collective, going for that whole 'we're subliminally trying to make you think of Seven of Nine, so you think we're all as sexy as her' thing, but I think they gypped 'three' out of the whole CPU. Check the 4th June entry for a devastating critique of Harry Potter. It's crap because, well, more or less because... Three doesn't like it. Harry Potter sucks because... it's not as good as Lord of the Rings.

But at least ze recognises the coolness of Robbie Coltrane, who was also the best thing in From Hell.

Designer Drug Snuffs Cocaine High. An American company reckons it's found an enzyme that can break down cocaine in the body. Probably not much use for helping addicts, but I'm wondering if it might be good news for people who work at companies where they make you do drug tests? Perhaps an end to having to keep bottles of your piss in the fridge ("No, it's behind the cous-cous and the milk bottle full of urine!")? Certainly if they could develop something to break down alcohol for after a night on the town I'd be up for that.

Should have mentioned, this story and the Taste Tribes one, courtesy of Boing Boing.

I'm Taarna? Who the blinking flip is Taarna?!
You may be animated, but you're still a total babe.
You may be animated, but you're still a total babe.

Which Drive-in Damsel Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Taste Tribes. Banding together by what we like. It's certainly true that with most of my friends there was a common point that started the friendship, an author or actor, a particular comic in many cases. I don't think I've got any friends with whom I share no common interests at all and as that point of interest fades for me, so too do the friendships based on that one point.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Hmmm, last episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', good by the standards of this season, so therefore just scraping average by the standards of the series as a whole.

Right-wing newspaper wastes huge amount of money. The Daily Mail has put ballot boxes into 6500 locations in Britain allowing people to 'vote' on whether they think the Government should have a referendum on the European Union Consititution. I'm all for this, as hopefully they'll waste loads of money and completely fail to reach anybody but their usual market of right-wing bigots and waste a lot of Mail workers time. Hopefully they won't be sending 'society columnist' Nigel Dempster out to help collect the boxes.

Suicide-Bomb Chicken in New Zealand.

It's the last episode of Buffy on Sky One tonight. I've almost managed to avoid being spoiled on what happens which, seeing as I frequent a Buffy newsgroup and Sky have pretty much bookended every break with an ad for the episode is pretty good going on my part. I'm not holding out much hope for it being any good though. It's managed to hit a fairly consistent run of below average episodes and as the last adversary has been Caleb, the scenery-chewing redneck misogynist priest, who Buffy has to fight because this show is all about girl power let's not forget I'm watching because I haven't got anything better to do and having seen all the rest I might as well see it out.

And empowering? Let's see... Walk out on your family, betray your friends, sleep around even with people you know are wrong for you and never say sorry because you know you're always right.

Finished 'The Story of Art' by E.H. Gombrich this morning. Very good and I recommend it to anyone who, like me, needs not to brush up on their art history but to actually get some knowledge of it to start with. The last chapter is a bit of a mess though, partly written at the time of the book, then as part of a new edition some years later, then again some years after that. If an even newer edition is published in the future perhaps that last chapter can be edited into a more cohesive single essay as at the moment it's a rather disjointed essay about sixties art, how difficult it is to spot future trends and trying to sum up the book.

Something that took me a lot less time to read (a couple of hours) was 'A Book of Pages' by David Whiteland. It's a simple, and at times almost simplistic, story of a young monk, called Jiriki, who is sent by his abbot on a quest to the technology-obsessed city refered to only as the Metropolis to retrieve a book that he has no idea about anything to do with it's content or location. Each page is half-text, half an illustration. If from my description of the story you suspect that it's all about how technology is a bad thing that has made our lives more disconnected and frantic than solved our problems and that the moral of the story is that we should all live pure and simplistic lives such as those who live in a monastery and are called monks, then you'd be about right. But while the overall story is predictable and shallow some of the individual pages and the monologues therein are nice, and the illustrations executed with some technical skill.

You are all reading Promethea by Alan Moore aren't you? Either in monthly comic form or in one of the so far three collected editions? Probably one of the best things out at the moment and possibly one of the best comics ever.

I'll try and keep the politics-related posts down today as I know you only read me to compare my non-existent sex-life to your own, but do read All hail to the pods from Tuesday's Guardian and there'll be shiny half-farthing in it for you.

And after I hoped yesterday that it was a good thing that Israel didn't say anything straight away after the last suicide bombing it seems they were just pausing for the time it took to refuel those helicopters we and the US supplied them with.

I've bowed to the somewhat inevitable and have started taking my hayfever tablets. So I've got another couple of days and then hopefully they'll kick in by the weekend. So in this case it's science rather than theology that I'm relying on now. I suspect some people who work more regularly with gods would probably witter something about how I was asking for help with the wrong thing, or that I should use science where appropriate and a Goddess where that's appropriate, they can sod off, those sorts of answers always strike me as ingenious thinking to explain why random events work when they do and don't when they don't. If my technique is lacking though, that would be different. Back to the mystical drawing board and maybe try to flatter her with some more honey...

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I've just got a CD of Bill Hicks MP3s from a friend. I swear I'm happier than a hog in heaven. And of course, all the topical jokes about Bush still apply ten years later...

Maybe the real reason they haven't found Osama and Saddam is because they were actually two bored Californian kids using this to baffle and confuse the CIA...

Feeling a bit wan at the moment, it is of course difficult to be a polysexual sex godling (that's 'godling' not 'Codling') when your lungs decide they want to leave your body via your nose and meet new people. But even one of the Asian ladies at work was trying to fix me up with one of the younger members of staff. What was really disturbing was we'd just been discussing this news report about increase in numbers of women with sexually transmitted diseases. I mean what is this, "I'll swap you a dose of the clap for chlamydia"? Those sex lottery ads they play at night on XFM make me want to stay celibate until some considerable time after I've died, maybe longer. But it was in danger of getting a bit 'Medical Love Song' there for a bit.

P. B. Shelley
You are Percy Bysshe Shelley! Famous for your
dreamy abstraction and your quirky verse,
you're the model "sensitive poet." A
vegetarian socialist with great personal charm
and a definite way with the love poem, you
remain an idol for female readers. There are
dozens of cute anecdotes about you, and I love

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
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I must stop doing these bloody quizzes...

Another suicide bomb in Jerusalem. What's interesting is the relative level of restraint the Israelis have shown recently ('relative' taking into account how they aren't shy of firing missiles at Palestinian civilians whilst persuing terrorists). Is this just Sharon taking his time to work out exactly what act of revenge he is going to extract for this or is the US finally using it's influence to try and keep the Israelis at the peace table?

As all Manic Street preachers fans know...
"We say, there aint enough black in the Union Jack..."

Rebranding puts black marks against UK flag.

Personally, I quite like it, though I do find the reasoning behind it slightly odd, as we then have a flag made up of the flags of the countries of England, Wales, Scotland and... Blackistan? But then if the artist had suggested that we, I don't know, attempt something radical like getting rid of the Union Jack and create a new flag to properly show the racial diversity of the British Isles Sir Norman Tebbit and Rebeckah Wade would be hanging him from Westminster Bridge as I write.

Also, check out reFLAG, the website behind this proposal.

I've been wondering about starting to go and give blood again. I used to at the place I lived before as it was normally done in a church hall about halfway between where I worked and where I lived, so I could pop in on my way home. Then I moved to north London and there was nowhere that was that near to me and also I wasn't doing it because thought I wasn't part of any of the groups the National Blood Service said they didn't want blood from, thank-you-very-much I was pissed off at their targetting of all homosexuals as one of these categories, regardless of whether they practise safe sex or not. But I've realised where somewhere that I could go to if I wanted to is and apparently my common as muck blood is desperately needed (though I think they say that to everyone, "Dear Mr Keith Richards, we are desperately short of blood that is 90% proof so please donate some blood today!") so am wondering whether the principle of the thing is really that important. And of course, they may have changed their ridiculous rules and I'm behind the times in my boycott.

Another blog found from randomly tralling the London Bloggers map, Absurdistan.

Since the nineteenth century many an artist has claimed that he fought the good fight against stuffy conventionalism by baiting the bourgeois. Alas the bourgeois has meanwhile found out that it is quite fun to be baited... [I]s it not an added asset if we can advertise our lack of prejudice by refusing to be shocked or bemused? The Story of Art E.H. Gombrich.

Which is part of my problem with a lot of modern art, especially most of the 'Sensation' stuff, empty controversialism, designed to bait the opinion columns of the Daily Mail or the Telegraph, not to make you think in any way about the world around you or yourself. But what do I know?

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Belated Friday Five action.

1. How many times have you truly been in love?
Can't remember to be honest, when the attraction fades it often tidies up after itself when it leaves, somewhere around a half-dozen. For 'truly'.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most?
Their sponteneity. Their ability to bluff that they had sussed the secret of the universe and so could relax and enjoy the thing. It was the thing I envied most about them too.

3. What qualities should a significant other have?
Patience. Humour. More patience. Intelligence. Vast reserves of patience. Warm hands. And when the patience has run out a big stick to knock some sense in.

4. Have you ever broken someone's heart?
Hah! I'm glad to say that amongst my many crimes I'm not guilty of that one.

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be?
Page 65, Figure 37(b). I'm the last one to go offering advice.

You thought I'd forgotten all about the NLP thing didn't you? Oy! Wake up at the back there! NLP! Yeah. Anyway, Day 5 is a consolidation of day 4's stuff on Matching and Rapport, basically the next logical step on how matching with people allows you to lead them in the direction you want to take. I've been reading and rereading these last two chapters, trying to commit them to memory for when I might have a chance to put them into practice, which may well turn out to be tomorrow. Time to try and get the NLP back on track I think.

I tell you, hayfever chic is going to be the next big thing. Oh yeah, you may scoff but soon you'll be copying my pink eye look and trying to duplicate my Gabriel's trumpet-like sneeze.

Silly things that make me happy #23: Hanging a towel out to dry in high wind and watching it dance around trying to pull free from the clothes line. Dance towel dance!

Thanks Bill.

I amHastur!

The Unspeakable One is the master of those who seek to unveil the mysteries of death. It is through meditation upon the Yellow Sign that the devotee of Hastur seeks transcendence to the city-realm of dim Carcosa. Through a complex series of visualizations that expand the aspirants void-consciousness, the final age will arise. Ruled by the ominous King in Yellow, a new stage of reality will come to fruition. Of the Olde Ones, Hastur is considered to be one of the most difficult to work with, his teachings being reserved exclusively for the Cthonian Adepts and Lords.

Which Great Old One are you?

Following up on the 'please don't show this drama' report of yesterday, the aftermath. BBC Drama 'Spooks' Get's Record Number of Complaints.

The other point of view on ID Cards from letters to the Times. Really it's only the second letter from the Dane who's moved to Britain that makes a valid point about an ID Card cutting down on bureaucracy (from the public's point of view anyway) which is one of the main points the government are using to sell it to the public.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Spin baby spin. Beverley Hughes on BBC Online last November on ID cards.

More on David Blunkett wanting to bring in ID Cards.

"Originally I wanted to call them entitlement cards. I think we will probably in the end, if the Cabinet agree to go forward, call them ID cards because people will just understand what we are talking about," said Mr Blunkett.

No, you will call them entitlement cards you fucka, because 'entitlement card' sounds so sexy and New Labour and will make people think their opting in to something great, whereas 'ID Card' would remind people they've just signed some more of their freedoms away.

"I have got to have a discussion between now and the end of the summer in Cabinet about the consultation we have undertaken, where 80% of the population are in favour..." < Loz explodes with indignation >

Well, at first I wondered what the point of The Mirror Project was, but then I realised that if there had to be a point to them most of the pages on the Internet would disappear, this blog included. So, yay for the Mirror Project! To be fair, the Oprah Magazine article they've archived (Oprah has her own magazine? Jesus chutney Christ...) does answer the 'why? no really, why?' question.

The album I've been listening to too much recently has been Spiritualized's Let It All Come Down. Having got into them with Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space I'd initially found Let...Down something of a disappointment (ooh, I had to struggle to avoid that one, but I felt that going for the obvious would have been a let down of- damn) but it's a grower, turning down the number of 'quiet bits' in favour of full band 'freak outs', but turning up references to thwarted love, God, Jesus, drugs, love being tough up to eleven. Second single 'Do It All Over Again' is a bit of a disappointment but the rest of the album is blinding, especially 'The Twelve Steps' which mixes up all the familiar Spiritualized themes while the band go mad in the background. The gospel element comes out strongest in the final two tracks 'Won't Get to Heaven (The State I'm In)' and 'Lord Can Your Hear Me' where Jason is joined by a gospel choir, 'Won't get to Heaven' being a song that may well be in my top ten of songs ever, and the one that's brought me closest to tears since hearing 'All Apologies' for the first time after Cobain died.

At a time when most bands seem to think that being adventurous and daring is to sample obscure Kung-fu films a band that is able to build up and maintain such a rich number of sounds is something to be thankful for. And at such an intensity without falling into bathos.

Goddess, is The Guardian in some sort of undisclosed competition to win the 'most annoying pop-up' award? Go to this article on blogging and a huge ad for Nokia phone pops up to waste your time until you can find the close tab, carefully hidden beyond the screen limits. Sod off you little bastard! I'm trying to read the article!

Gah! It's sunny! And I'm at work! It's not fair. There really is no God. Still, at the moment my sneezing is light to moderate so I only want to kill people a little bit.

Note to self: Blood and Milk.

Militants order joint gun attack. Just when you think the peace process is going forward it takes a couple of steps back. It is positive that the Israeli government is for now not trying to perpetuate the stupid idea that the Palestinian Authority is authorising these attacks but as they've achieved their aim of starting to get Arafat sidelined they can afford to be generous. However, quite what could be done to stop these fanatics that hasn't been done already is anyone's guess. Ireland would seem to show that one possible solution is to try and get some sort of procedures happening sooner rather than later, if the ordinary people see tangible benefits to peace then a lot of the support to the groups falls away.

Meanwhile in this country things like this are less than helpful. With incidents such as a dead Muslim woman's body being wrapped in pork happening, perhaps going for the easy stereotypes of Muslims as fanatical bombers isn't the most responsible thing to do?

All the unrest in Iraq? Relax, it's not the civilians, it's followers of Saddam Hussein following his secret plan. All the true Iraqis love the allies and want them to stay there forever. Just ask any of them! Go on! Find an Iraqi, make sure he's on the 'safe list' of people it's okay to talk to on TV and ask him. He'll tell you all the real Iraqis want occupation by a foreign force, be told what government they are allowed to have and have their oil taken.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I'm unable to find any online source to verify the claim in detail but The Times website lists as breaking news Blunkett saying he believes the public will back ID cards. Well yes, if you fiddle with the facts you can prove anything...

US defends Iraq arms claims. Colin Powell goes on the offensive over the American administrations POV on the WMD issue. He says:
"I can show you reports from United Nations inspectors all through the 1990s that demonstrated that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction," So why is it so difficult to find these weapons that you knew were going in there?
Mr Powell said it was the media, not the people, who were criticising pre-war Western intelligence on Iraq. I don't know any media types, but among my friends and family the question on this issue is; where are the WMD Tony?
"How can it be bogus when I can show you pictures of people that were gassed by Saddam Hussein?" Well, to be flippant one might say that once used on people that means the WMD has gone, past actions and ownership do not prove current (or current up to the regime change) ownership. After all, George W. Bush gave up his addictions to alcohol and cocaine (IIRC). Yet, based on Powell's logic we have a current substance abuser in the White House.

MP doesn't believe we can hold more than one thing in mind at any one time. Well, that's the only reason for Ann Clwyd, Bliar's envoy to Iraq saying we should forget the whole WMD nonsense and concentrate on helping the people of Iraq get back on their feet. I'm confident I can do both at the same time, after all I am capable of walking and talking at the same time, so believing Bliar lied his buttocks off and belieiving he should help rebuild what he broke shouldn't be too difficult. Let's give it a go! Yes! I am thinking of two things simultaneously and don't feel ill at all!

Ill-advised tights action. I wouldn't mind it so much, might even find it amusing, if I hadn't gone to the political premise section. And we have the same kind of crap we heard when we had the blockading of the petrol stations a year or two back. That in a world full of murder, death, corporate scandals and illegal invasions of foreign countries the real scandal is anything that prevents arseholes from driving their cars. Implicit in these screeds is the idea that it's somehow unfair to expect cars to drive at sensible and slow speeds in urban areas where people walk, that petrol should be free at the point of sale, and they should be able to park where they like, when they like. Visiting the hospital? Park right by the door, why not? Yeah, I'm exaggerating, but then this guy says things like:

The Mafia, Triads, and Yakusa are all banned from demanding payment through coercion, but if you have a shiny peaked cap and a council uniform, then it seems to be allowed.

I support the premise of the congestion charge in London which, annoyingly for the car-lovers, does seem to have made the centre of London easier to move around, though I'm waiting to see whether the money or not is coming in. The only thing I agree with is the idea that public transport is in a state, but we can either wait for that to magically improve, or we can start taking steps to force down car use in the city and put that money into public transport. It's a no-brainer really.And this is extremely disturbing.


(Not work friendly. Not brain friendly either really. Don't blame me, blame Scary Duck.)

Why on earth would you be searching for anything on the Net by using 'don't' as a search term?

The weather's been really unsubtle today. When it's been sunny it's been sunny and hot. When the rain came the sky was black, there was thunder and lightning and even a brief hail storm. I wish it would make it's mind up.

Am I really the only person who blogs every day? Wait... that means- I have no life! Damn you, damn you all!

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Just finished watching American Psycho on telly. And I'm wondering, has Jared Leto ever been in a film all the way through? AP, he's in for about a quarter of the film, Fight Club, he's in it for the third quarter, Panic Room he's in for the first two thirds and it was a crap film anyway.

I mean, I never thought I'd be saying this except at gunpoint or as an example of being on really good drugs but I see where Julie Burchill is coming from in this old article that Plums found about moving down to Brighton. I've felt that too and if I don't actually end up moving down there myself in an ideal world I'd have a flat for weekend popping-downage. But at the moment Lady London has more of a pull on me, I walk her veins and she makes me feel at piece with everything.

Then I come home and start sneezing and sniffing like a coke fiend...

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