Friday, March 31, 2006

An historic moment

Look at this. The Conservative Party actually have a Tory policy. The Conservatives will scrap ID Cards if they win the 2010 election, shadow home secretary David Davis promised last night.

"While I recommend that my party support the amendment, let there be no doubt that my first act when I take over as home secretary after the next election will be to do away with the Bill," declared shadow home secretary David Davis in the Commons last night, after telling Conservative MPs to vote in support of the compromise amendment.

"It is still an unwarranted intrusion on the privacy of the individual," he said. "It is still ineffective, costly and potentially dangerous. It is still a massive reversal of the relationship between the citizen and the state."

As I think that most of the mechanisms for running an ID system will be in place by the next General Election I hope this isn't like the pre-'97 Labour commitment to a Freedom of Information Act, that in the still unlikely event of the Tories getting in at the next election they don't turn around and say 'well, now the program is so advanced it's too expensive to scrap it, we've decided to keep it instead'. Not that I'd consider voting Tory because of this...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Stating the Bleeding Obvious

ID Cards compulsory if Labour win the next election.
Chales Clarke is a Slug. Slug. Slug. Slug. Slug. Slug. Slug.

A former chef who cooks chips and omelettes in his sleep has spoken of his desperation to find a cure before he sets his house on fire.

Surely the obvious solution is to move into a branch of McDonalds so it wouldn't matter if he did? Or, alternatively, not have any eggs or chips in the house, or is this too logical?

And, staying with Aunty, Newsnight are doing a weekly 30-minute audio podcasted highlights show. No wonder Jeremy Paxman never lets his interviewees answer a question. There just isn't enough time!

Not Long Now...

They've changed the website. They're running spoilers in the Radio Times. They were on the breakfast shows this morning... Not long to go.

(I just hope the TARDISodes are genuinely downloadable and there's no messing around with the BBC's pissy RealPlayer interface...)

Love me, love my job

Love Libraries.

The Lords Return to Form

It's been difficult recently as anyone that has any interest in the democratic process has had to entrust the future of this country to a bunch of unelected cronies of the Government of this country over the last few decades. Well, that time is over, as the Lords stop opposing the Government over ID Cards. And to think I was stupid enough to believe they were concerned with the common good. No, they've rolled over after the Government promised the ID Cards wouldn't be compulsory until after the next general election or 2010, whichever comes first. This basically means that the Government have shifted their position back to where they stood when Old Man Blunkett ran the abandoned theme park that is the Home Office. In fact, I seem to recall that it was compulsory by 2012 if the Government felt like it, so they're still ahead. And now they're pretty much locked in, so even if the Tories were to spend their time between now and the next General Election railing against the scheme, should they win at the next election they'd say it was too late to stop the ID Card process.

And on this whole 'cash for peerages' scandal. I'm confused. You have a situation where the Prime Minister of the country gives people the opportunity to sit in a branch of Government which has the power to veto laws he wishes to pass, and people are shocked he uses this to get money to run his party and to stuff the Lords with people who will vote for his legislation? Anyone would think Margaret Thatcher only sent to the Lords people from the public who deserved to be there.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Inside Man/ FCUK

Went to see Inside Man this lunchtime. It's okay, but when I saw that it ran to just over two hours I was sceptical as to whether it would sustain itself and, sure enough, as we got twenty minutes from the end I started to get restless. Cracking performances from Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster, two actors I've never particularly cared for, while Clive Owen has a ball as the man with a plan. Incidently, I must add that Jodie Foster should play amoral/borderline evil characters more often, she was a lot more interesting here, with her relatively short screen time, compared to Panic Room where she lead and I just couldn't bring myself to care what happened to her.

Inside Man is a bank robbery movie, with Clive Owen as the leader of a small band of robbers and Denzel Washington the police officer who has to deal with it. It's certainly clever, I don't think many people will be able to work out how it's done until the end, but the problem is that the thieves are inside the bank and the cops are outside. There's no real sense of a battle of wits between the two sides, the crims seem to have a solution for every contingency and the police don't have many options. Where the film reaches a high point is when Washington and Owen's characters meet. Unfortunately from that peak the only way is down. The film is never stupid, just lacklustre.

And before the film we had the French Connection Fashion Versus Style advert in which two women do Fight Club before going all Thelma and Louise at the end. It's no fun sitting through the ads at cinemas at the moment, in between the product hawking you've got adverts in which kids get hit by cars, people push other people through the windscreen because they weren't wearing seatbelts, people suddenly fly across pubs to signify the danger of drunk driving and gangs of women push someone into the hands of a rapist to warn you about unlicensed minicabs. Then there's this. At least in Fight Club we get an idea of the physical damage a fight will do to you, as this is just borrowing it's tropes in order to sell you shit there's no bruising, no bones breaking or blood staining that fashion or that style. It's like Xena, although that at least had wit. It's directed by David Bowie's son and it's claimed to be a rip-off/copy of a video for a band called Groovecutter. Then, at the end, the two girls kiss, before continuing the fight. I don't quite know why this irritates me, I can tune out most adverts and liked both Buffy and Xena, which always had it's heroines spotless for the next scene. I suppose it's the appropriation of those things for the dirty, dirty business of trying to sell me stuff. It's not like it's suggesting to guys to take their girls to FCUK in the hopes that they'll fight and shag another woman in front of them.

Possibly it's that it's using the things that tend to be used to attract men (Pretty women catfighting! Pretty women kissing!) in something that should be used to attract women to their line of clothes. It's similar to how all the Tampax ads used to be made by men. I'd be interested to know how many women were involved in the brainstorming and creative process for either the video or the advert.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Halfway Through the Remake of A For Andromeda...

Christ this is dull. Who knew hard sci-fi would be so boring?

A belated mention for the Iraqi Oscars from Baghdad Burning at the start of the month.

It's great to see that, no matter the country, local government officials are the same everywhere. Ignore someone else's email, bluster and threaten them, then show no gratitude when they solve your problem for you. A cheery story of ineptitude for your monday morning.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Alan Moore at Tate Britain yesterday was fun. TB were visibly caught off-guard by how many people turned up to see The Bearded Sage of Northampton, they had to move everything into the biggest space in the exhibition for his talk, which was only about thirty-five minutes long. They thought they were just getting a bloke in to talk. Moore was very entertaining, his talk was mainly about how the 'imaginary' world of our thoughts is real, just a different real to the world of this computer and this desk. He discussed Fuseli and Blake in passing, that Blake's poor physical world didn't matter to him too much because of his bright internal one, he talked about the shaman that called on Superman to help him out and how comic books weren't really following the Blakean tradition except perhaps in the single case of Jack Kirby's work.

So yes, that was fun. I didn't actually look round the exhibition as it was far too crowded and busy, I'll go back for that some time in the next few weeks.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Bailiffs Will be Running the UK

Labour struggle to find the cash to pay back 'loans'. If they don't find it we could have the delightful prospect of a bunch of 'debt reclaimation specialists' kicking in the doors at Millbank and taking over the running of Labour until they find a way to get the debt back. I'm not sure what the problem is for Labour though, they're planning to abolish Parliament anyway, or at least shrink it to a size that can comfortably fit inside Tony's living room, so why don't they just sell off the Commons to cover the rest of the debt?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Doctor Who's Christmas.

The Ninth Doctor to the Tenth: "I was intense me! You're just Jarvis Cocker in space!"

And, while we're at it, for Princess Siobhan: Sex is not the enemy!

'When we are at home... from when you are to be naked until 12:00 am, or for three hours, whichever is later, will be My Time.'

Ladies and gentlemen, the wonderful world of Travis Frey.

I have to warn you, this material is Not Safe For Humanity. Especially page three, where we get on to sex toys.

The Cartoon Museum, Little Russell Street

Exterior of the Cartoon Museum, Little Russell Street
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

Visited The Cartoon Museum yesterday (it says it's the Cartoon Museum, the website's title is The Cartoon Arts Trust, the web address is for the Artoon Centre, whoareyagonnatrust?) It's very nice, though so limited by size it can't really go into any depth on anything. The upstairs section is dedicated to comics, but if you're not going to exclude American comics, to waste space on newspaper strips like Jane (a character who always got kidnapped by Nazis or whatever in a state of undress) and not mention any Marvel comics (Jack Kirby gets a shout out for Mister Miracle) is rather strange but maybe they just couldn't get any artwork, it looks like everything is generously donated, 2000AD takes up its own corner. There's a DTWOF strip there too, the episode where Toni has to persuade Raffi that beating up his school bully isn't going to achieve anything. For an operation that seems to be run by amateurs and volunteers it's pretty good.

Upstairs at the Cartoon Museum, Little Russell Street
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A few months ago a friend of mine left London to return to Canada to do whatever Canadians do and cycle a lot. You can see his blog here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The Time Traveler's Wife - The Movie. I think we can agree that some good has come out of the tragedy of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston breaking up if it prevents them from making this film.

An article from Mark Simpson, who wrote It's a Queer World, on bi-visibility in the media.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Best Review Ever! Well, funniest anyway.

Current Affairs

Ermine not included.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

IfConservativeAmericaToldTheTruth ForOneDayIt'sWorldWouldFallApart

Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

Presumably 'Only on Fox' means 'Only on Fox Will We Still Try to Continue This Fallacy That All is Well Over There, Hell You Don't Even Know Where Iraq is do You Morons? And You Still Think We Found WMD There Wherever it is'.

Back from seeing some friends in Kentish Town. I found that admitting that I can't play games on PS2s only made one of them really keen to play me. I hope you feel like a big man now you brute.

But now we've got the sun, could we have some heat to go with that? Kthxbye!

The latest podcast I've got into is Podictionary. Quick and interesting.


Spring 2006
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

It's cold but sunny. I really should go out for a walk...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

ID Cards may have PIN numbers rather than biometrics. That'll ensure my Mum will never be able to prove she's who she says she is.

Friday, March 17, 2006

V For Vendetta


So I went to see V For Vendetta, adapted from the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The history of adaptations of Moore's work has not been illustrious and has been complicated by his struggle with DC over control of his work and his insistence on having his name taken off any products he doesn't own and film adaptations of them (which is why the posters say only that this film is based on the book drawn by Lloyd). Though he's done a fair bit of media recently in what seems like a deliberate attempt to spoke the wheels of the Wachowski machine it does seem in this case to no avail.

It's actually a pretty good adaptation. Other comics adaptations in the past have tended to junk any parts of the original work that they didn't like (in Judge Dredd it doesn't really matter that Dredd takes his mask off, but it's a sign that they're going to turn the ultimate fascist into a cuddly freedom fighter), but here the source material is treated with reverence. Lots of key scenes are kept in whereas a more careless writer would have junked them in favour of more V fighting (looking back now I realise how little fighting there actually is in the film, but it's strength is that you'll probably not realise that until after the film's finished). Occasionally the point is missed slightly, in the graphic novel the falling of dominos is counterpointed with the collapse of the state, in this film V sets up a big display of dominos which, when toppled, reveal the V image. As the film takes part over a year, there are presumably some days when V takes time off from overthrowing the state.

V for Vendetta is set a few decades into the 21st century. Britain is ruled by an Authoritarian, almost fascist, Government following a collapse of the old order caused by worldwide unrest due to the actions of George W. Bush and a chemical attack that scared the population into giving power to Adam Sutler (a suitably repellent John Hurt). Now no-one even dreams of a better way of life until a freedom fighter, dressed up as Guy Fawkes, suddenly appears to oppose the state and inspire the populous to rise up. But 'V' seems to have ulterior motives to all this chaos, and a private vendetta as well as a public mission.

Once we get past the 'explaining who Guy Fawkes was for the stupid people' (I suppose that's harsh, if British schoolkids don't know about Auschwitz I suppose it's too much to expect they or American kids will know who Guy Fawkes actually was), recasting him as a freedom fighter rather than any historical actuality, it's fairly good.

For some reason the Government in the film are less explicitly fascist than the people in the books, although we find out that religion, well, Islam, and homosexuality are banned and imprisoning offences, I wonder if this is to allow us to equate them more easily with our Authoritarian regimes. The extermination of non-Aryans that's key in the book in not explicit in the film. A character in the film has a hidden copy of the Koran which he likes to look at because it's beautiful, there's no time in the film for such ideas such as the repressive nature of most Muslim culture towards women. V is also different, in the film he's more of a freedom fighter, striving to bring down the Government. In the book he's an anarchist and that is what he's striving for, he would probably oppose any Government. In the book Moore is wily enough not to hold up V or his ideals as perfect, he's a damaged character that will damage others to achieve his ends, in the film that's somewhat softpedalled, he kills the bad guys and does what he does for the good of everyone else. The clip of him spouting the v-laden speech that was in the promo for the film is probably the lowest point of the movie. A dictionary is a dangerous thing.

I expected violence to be done to either London locations or the English accent and so was pleasantly surprised that Natalie Portman, parachuted in as Evey (much as Elijah Wood was as Frodo in Lord of the Rings), doesn't do too badly, though the mostly English cast around her probably helps. Hugo Weaving as 'V' is good while Stephen Rea as the police detective Finch provides his usual solid performance, he manages to elevate a rather thankless part who doesn't do much except follow V's trail and explain the plot to us. The script retains a number of key scenes from the book, Evey's capture, imprisonment and torture, her discovery of a letter from a former inmate of the cell, Valerie, who is killed by the regime simply for being a lesbian, V's destruction of London property to music, the climax of the film with the destruction of the Houses of Parliament, albeit reframed, which I'll come to in a minute. An addition to the script is a wonderful scene with Stephen Fry as Deitrich, a television producer and Evey's boss. He takes her in and shows her the secret museum in his wine cellar, full of things banned by the Government. He reveals he collects these things because he too is 'banned' by the Government and is unable to live freely. For me this is the real emotional heart of the film, the fight for freedom is the fight for the freedom to love. We also see him satirise the Government on his TV show, expecting a slap on the wrist, and then what for the viewer is the expected and bloody actuality.

There's another change at the climax of the film. In the book Evie takes V's place to announce the death knell of society, in the film V has distributed Guy Fawkes masks to every household in London and they march on Parliament. Some people have pointed out the absurdity of thousands of anarchists dressed identically, which is partly why I don't believe V is an anarchist in this film. It does have power, especially when they take off their masks. And as importantly, V never removes his mask and we are never explicitly told who he is, though it's not too difficult to guess, something which could have caused the immediate explosion of fanboys worldwide is averted.

The fight count is limited, much as in Matrix Reloaded, so there's more time for the battle of ideas, unlike Reloaded, where I constantly wished they'd stop talking and just hit something. The Matrix films also had an uncomfortable whiff of fascism around them, The One who was special, who people would sacrifice themselves for, who were morally obliged to shoot anyone plugged in to the Matrix because they could be an Agent. No wonder 'fans' in the West have found it's bastardised cod-Buddhism selfishness appealing and people have copied it's dress-sense and killed those they considered inferior. I doubt anyone will be able to write a Matrix Warrior for this film.

So, actually quite a good film at the end of the day.

I notice that the Scientologists have two shops open on Tottenham Court Road now, well, one shop and one alleyway. With success like that, you have to wonder exactly why Isaac Hayes is throwing stones in a glass house.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Random Thought on Random Media

I didn't make it to the end of the first season of Green Wing. I think I possibly found it's 'hey, we're Jaaaaaaaaam crossed with Smack the Pony, only every sketch goes on for just a tad too long' schtick irritating. But the ads for the new series do make me want to try it again.

I saw the trailer for Romance and Cigarettes at the cinema and when it was finished the woman in the seat behind me said "So that's why it took them so long to get round to do the new series of The Sopranos." I just hope Jimmy hasn't still got that 'tache.

Good Night and Good Luck was good, but based on what I saw on screen I'm interested in what brought Senator McCarthy down, as I don't believe it was this show. Was there a much more sustained effort from the show that we didn't see? Was it actually more the politicians that we didn't see? I think the film has valid points to make about and to the media of today and it was commendably tense but a bit too 'locked in' for me.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Government Minister Accepts the Evidence of his Own Eyes Shocker

UK foreign office minister Kim Howells has admitted the situation in Iraq is "a mess" but said Iraq's prospects were better than media reports suggested. "But it is a mess that can't launch an attack now on Iran; a mess that won't be able to march into Kuwait; it's a mess that can't develop nuclear weapons. So yes it's a mess but it's starting to look like the sort of mess that most of us live in." So yes, it was necessary to burn the village in order to save it. And we attacked it full of concern over it's attitude towards Iran? It couldn't beat them in the Eighties when Saddam Hussein was the US Government's bestest mate, what were the odds they'd try it after a decade of sanctions?

Meanwhile another butch omi quits Army in disgust at 'illegal' American tactics in Iraq.

A cute graffiti video set to a cover of Radiohead. [via Ektopia] Good for what ails ya.

I < heart > ...

Fake Gay News. Ang Lee to Direct "Ugly Lesbians and Effete Gay New Yorkers"... George Michael Arrested for Making Gays Look Bad... The Straight Alliance Against Defamation (SAAD) is criticizing [The L Word] for representing straight men and women as "angry, unfaithful, sneaky, and lacking in good judgment"... [via Apophenia]

'Disobedience' by Naomi Alderman

I've just finished reading Disobedience which I found to be an ultimately unsatisfying read. Set in the Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon it's the story of the return of one woman, Ronit, to the community for the funeral of her Rabbi father, and her meeting the woman she scandalised the community by having a relationship with, now the unhappy wife of the man tipped to be the new Rabbi.

Beyond Ronit and the other woman, Esti, there are no real characters in this book. Dovid, Esti's husband, suffers from migraines and for no explained reason doesn't seek treatment, while some space is dedicated to explaining the effect these have on his conscious state they tend to sideline him as a character. Other characters have very small parts and are never very believable.

We aren't told enough about the things that are needed to tell the story. I was going to include how the Orthodox community itself functions in that but I wonder whether I'd say the same about a similar story transposed to the setting of a Christian community. But I'd expect a sense of stifling claustrophobia penning the two women in, instead all we get are constant references to everyone knowing what happened.

And what happened? We aren't told. There are constant flashbacks through the first two-thirds of the book to Ronit's growing up, as well as how her early life mixed with that of Dovid and Esti. But we never find out exactly what Ronit and Esti got up to. There aren't even hints to allow us to make an informed guess. There's a fine line between telling an audience too much and telling them too little, this reads as though Naomi knows full well exactly what happened between Ronit and Esti, she just forgot to tell us. Ronit has escaped to New York and lived there for ten years when the book opens, she's having an affair with a married coworker. But that just seems tacked on, there's no indication made of where this has come from, why Ronit is having an affair rather than a relationship with someone who is available, in either gender, in the company.

It's an almost emotionless book. Ronit spends the time frustrated about the small-minded nature of the community which, as she can leave any time, seems pointlessly masochistic *, Dovid spends the time suffering seizures and being unconscious, Esti is miserable. But the text is depressed, that long, flat feeling of hopelessness, beached at an eternal high-tide. The moments when there might be some joy, when Ronit and Esti go to bed, the aftermath of Esti confronting the community's opinions at the 'wake' for Ronit's father, are skipped over, we follow Dovid into the bedroom when the act is over, we get told that nothing really changes after Esti speaks, it's just she's more confident in herself. Realistic possibility, but not satisfying.

*This is possibly why a device is put in that she has to leave the day before the funeral (because of her past notoriousness) but not a week beforehand, in case she tries to sneak back and cause a scene. This doesn't really work, especially as the novel then skips over that last week anyway.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I've been out of sorts for several days, hence the relative radio silence here. I don't quite know what's going on except I've been waking up from a full night's sleep still tired, which is aggravating and, over the last few days, all my coworkers and the members of the public seem to have come straight from intensive workshops on how to piss Loz off although, to be fair to them, in my current mood they achieve that merely by existing. When I'm at the larger library I can normally have some success finding an out-of-the-way corner to hide from people and get on with my work without disturbing anyone. At the smaller library that's just not possible.

Still, it does make me wonder...

There was a story earlier in the week about how in the young adult sector more time was spent online than watching telly. Considering a lot of the crap that's on the main channels these days that's hardly surprising. Rebus and The Greatest, Bestest Muppets Show Evah! made me watch ITV for the first time in years. But when almost all of the ITV output is based around nostalgia, Corrie, shows where the stars of Corrie sing easy listening classics from the 1950s, shows about the best moments from when Corrie stars sang easy listening classics from the 1950s, well it's an open goalmouth isn't it? Could we really have the possibility of a situation where ITV goes under?

At a training course in January we were reminded that libraries do a good job of catering to the elderly female market, and they're dying off now. So are public libraries the ITV of public services? Could we be little more than internet cafes in a decades time, people that can buy their books, people who can't watch 24 Murdochvision?

According to a friend, my blog is blocked on the public terminals in all Cornwall libraries, presumably for such verboten terms as 'gay' and 'tranny'. Of course, in Cornwall they only open the library if a black cat doesn't walk in front of the manager on his or her way to work.


Saturday, March 11, 2006


Friday, March 10, 2006

Zombie Alan Moore

Zombie Alan Moore
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

Perhaps generously described as "Alan Moore for people who have never heard of Alan Moore, comics or really big beards", Alan Moore on The Culture Show, available until next Thursday and about ten minutes long. It will reassure you that, unlike in this picture, Alan Moore has not yet died.

Bloggers of a certain age (Plums, Siobhan?), Do you remember the BBC Domesday Project in the 80s?

Muslim Takes on Allah

The father of a severely disabled baby at the centre of a landmark High Court right-to-life case says it is up to God to "give life and take it away".

However, on closer examination... The baby cannot breathe unaided and is on life support. The hospital want to take the baby off life-support and the parents are fighting this. So, one might think that by taking the baby off life-support the doctors want God to decide, and by wanting to keep the baby on life-support the father is defying his creator. One might say that, by allowing the baby to be born with this condition God had already made His decisionabout whether it should live or die. Unsurprisingly the father seems unable to recognise the irony in his position.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Can someone help me out here? Man standing for Democratic nomination for Senate in Ohio supports the death penalty for queers. [via Andrew Sullivan]. How the fuck does this guy get to stand for nomination? Is this level of things some sort of all-comers event? Could the Grand Wizard of the Ohio chapter stand as a Democrat nominee if he wanted to? I mean, I would be surprised if he won the nomination, but how has he got this far? Why didn't someone take him aside and suggest that he find another party to join and boot him out?

I suppose it's reasonable that iTunes don't have any data on their systems for audiobooks. What's annoying is that if I want to enter that information so that I can have the tracks make sense on my iPod it's so irritating and time consuming to do. I should be able to change the artist, album and genre once and it does all of them, not have to go through pasting the same thing in each field. Is there really no easier way to do this?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

There's a good interview here with Chris Morris about Peter Cook and Why Bother.

Old Jokes Home

A motorist, on his way home from work in Westminster, came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself, "Wow, this traffic seems worse than usual."

After a short while, he noticed a police officer walking towards him, between the lines of stopped cars. He rolled down his window and asked, "Officer, what's the hold up?"

The constable replied, "Tony Blair is depressed, so he stopped his car and is threatening to douse himself with petrol and set himself on fire.

He says no one believes his stories; about why we went to war in Iraq, or that there is no pensions crisis, or the worsening economy, or that constant adding of stealth taxes, or that his education reforms are going to do any good, or that the health service is safe in his hands, or that immigration is under control, or that he`s not George Bush`s lapdog , or that his Party's proposed tax cuts won't help anyone except his wealthy friends, or that his chairmanship of the European Community hasn`t just led to more power being surrendered to the French.... So we're taking up a collection for him."

Thoughtfully , the man asks, "How much have you got so far?"

The officer replies, "About forty gallons, but a lot of people are still siphoning........"

Monday, March 06, 2006

The West Wing Series 6

... Specifically the end. Why does the suggestion of Leo McGarry to run as the Deputy President not get met with baffled faces and enquiries as to whether the President has snorted his pain medication again? Why does anyone think it would be a good idea for a guy who had a heart attack less than a year ago to be on the ticket?

Blair Must Stay!

Can we start the campaign to persuade Blair not to step down in this Parliament so we can show him exactly what we think of him trying to rope in God to justify his decision to kill lots of Afghanis and Iraqis?

It is amusing that Tessa Jowell, David Mills and their friends had to spend yesterday insisting their seperation was not a political ploy. But of course Alistair Campbell is just a close personal friend. As it is, I don't think she's done a huge amount wrong, other than that whole business about not knowing what her husband has been doing with their money, but by lying on behalf of Silvio Berlusconi and trying to get business on his connection to God's close personal friend shows the level of cronyism that has built up around the PM.

Splash Back. [via Plasticbag]

Alan Moore will be on The Culture Show this Thursday.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I'm spending the weekend with my parents. It's my Mum's birthday, Dad doesn't understand how his new combined video/DVD player works, y'know, bonding stuff.

Yesterday everyone took my Mum to see We Will Rock You up in London. Not being a huge fan of Queen, musicals or anything touched by the withered claw of Ben Elton I skipped that and met them afterwards. People often ask me why I don't drive and there are several reasons, the main ones being that I can get everywhere I need to go by public transport and how bad they are for the environment. But I suspect my biggest worry is that if I got a car I'd do something really stupid, like load my family into it and drive into the centre of London, on a Saturday, and then drive out again that evening. Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Blair's God really hates Muslims. Tony, was it really a good idea to ask for the unbiased opinion of an imaginary being who hates the imaginary being who lords it over the people someone you really want to impress hates?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sir Menzies Campbell wins leadership of the SNP. Good for him. Now lets see what he does next.

Well that's it for her then.

Tony Blair has cleared Tessa Jowell of breaching ministers' code of conduct. So she'll be gone by next Wednesday. The Prime Minister's confidence is the kiss of death.

Naomi With Her Book

Naomi With Her Book
Originally uploaded by Barnet Libraries.

Can I just say how really really really really really REALLY nice Naomi Alderman is?

Puritan Update

After South Dakota, is Mississippi next?

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