Monday, December 31, 2007

Last tune played on my iTunes of 2007: 'How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?' by The Pet Shop Boys.

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So you think you might be straight?

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

'Yellow Since 1877', Wapping Wall


'Yellow Since 1877', Wapping Wall
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Cable Street Mural, East London


Cable Street Mural, East London
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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It Ain't Easy Bein' God...

Mr Deity. A gently satirical series of short videos about the life of God and some of his personal friends as they go about creating and maintaining the universe. Episode two where He has to persuade Jesus to do him a really REALLY big favour is my favourite so far.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hyperbreasts

Are large breasts in women changing from being a biological sign of their presumed ability to suckle young to an economic sign of their wealth? Together with NSFW pictures. [via Sex and Blogs]

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We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to include Stephen Fry, actor, comedian, writer, director, all round good egg, in the Queen's Honours List.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fox News, These Are Your Children...

I have now received three student papers that discuss Iraq's attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11...

Meanwhile, the tragic and brutal assassination of Benazir Bhutto does mean that her supporters don't need to worry about her apparent cosying up with Pervez Musharraf (trying to ingratiate herself with someone she saw as remaining the main power in Pakistani politics, or ingratiating herself in order to persuade him to step aside?) and forget about all the corruption that happened last time she was in power.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007



Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Friday Night in Brighton Toon

video

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Just about to head out for my secular, non-religious, Christ-hatingz, X-Massss, pausing only to point in a disbelieving manner at this enormous festering bubo of an article in which some fuckwit of a unicycling doctor states (or, in my best Bad Science manner, is reported to believe ) that humour comes from testosterone, because women encouraged him in his unicyclery and men told him he was an arsehole.

"The difference between the men and women was absolutely remarkable and consistent," said Professor Shuster. "At 11-13 years, the boys began to get really aggressive. Into puberty, the aggression became more marked, then it changed into a form of joke. The men were snide." The initial aggressive intent seems to become channelled into a more subtle and sophisticated joke, so the aggression is hidden by wit, explained Professor Shuster.

It's nothing to do with men being correct in thinking you're an arsehole?

Aaah Christmas, I see that the well of real news has been blocked. If I don't see you first, have a great time. I'm off out to try and persuade the Sun to come back.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brain-damaged pugilistic failure Ricky Hatton claims losing some piddling boxing fight has caused a spontaneous sex-change.

The 29-year-old – knocked out by Floyd Mayweather earlier this month – said: "I feel like a woman at the minute. I can’t stop crying. All that is missing is a pair of t*ts. I feel like my world has come to an end. It is going to take a while for me to get my head round it. Ultimately the biggest fight of my life was the biggest disappointment of my life."

Calm down dear, it's only a pointless and barbaric sport! Just marry a footballer and go on 'Celebrity Big Brother' to be racist at someone, that'll make you feel better.

Several papers are showing 'concern' over Chastity Bono's weight. They express this by printing pictures as she makes the cardinal mistake of appearing in public being larger than Posh Spice.

Meanwhile, no-one mentions the police tasering a black man in the head.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

23rd February to 13th April: Derek Jarman curated by Isaac Julien at the Serpentine Gallery. Here's Isaac Julien on Wikipedia. Never really cared for anything the Serpentine Gallery have done before but there's always a first time.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BBC Radio One are not going to be playing 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues this Christmas time because of it's use of the word 'faggot', not because it's a really annoying song. Maybe if the line was changed to call him 'gay' instead that would be okay.

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25

Looking for payday loans?


[via Linkbunnies]

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Polishing the Shiny Monkey in the Audio Cockpit

Can I interest Sir/Madam/Both/Neither/Ostrich in some audio fiction? What would take SiMaBoNO's fancy?

How about something in the 'is evil an inherent or learned behaviour' vein? I have an Me and My Shadow by Mike Resnick. It's all the rage, down our way. Or perhaps something a little more traditional SiMaBoNO? Don't turn your nose up please, when you've tried our Stu by Bruce McAllister you won't go to anyone else again.

Or perhaps SiMaBoNO wants something a little bit stronger? I have a Connecting Door by Richard E. Dansky tapping into that situation we've all faced at sometime in our life, with too-thin walls separating us late at night from some inconsiderate person and, in true horror style, suggesting that asking them to keep the noise down might be a bad idea. Or maybe SiMaBoNO would rather try Memories of the Knacker's Yard by Ian Creasey, in which a world weary cop has to visit ghost-town to find the victim of a serial killer in the hopes they can tell him who killed them. A fine vintage, as I'm sure SiMaBoNO would agree.

Pardon? You want what ? I think SiMaBoNO has us mistaken for another establishment, We don't do any of that here, the vitamin C from the Kiwi Fruit can cause a burning sensation for hours afterwards. I think SiMaBoNO will find SiMaBoNO's needs more adequately served at an establishment like Air Out My Shorts, down on the left, just past the Hooting Yard. If you pop into the pub and check down the back of the Starship Sofa I've heard they are podcasting Michael Moorcock fiction. And if SiMaBoNO can't find something out of all that to satisfy SiMaBoNO then there's just no helping some people.

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We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop seeking to further extend pre-charge detention.

Anyone suspected of having committed an extremely serious offence, such as murder, can be held without charge for a maximum of 4 days. Police can already detain people under anti-terrorism legislation for seven times as long (28 days). Prolonged detention without charge or trial undermines fair trial rights, including the right to be promptly informed of any charges, the right to be free from arbitrary detention and the presumption of innocence.

Everybody arrested is entitled to be charged promptly and tried within a reasonable time, in proceedings that fully comply with fair trial standards, or to be released. The UK already has by far the longest period of pre-charge detention of any Common Law country. Any further extension of pre-charge detention risks being counterproductive, damaging community relations and undermining the UK’s moral authority around the world.


We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Close Charring [sic] Cross Gender Indentity [sic] Clinic.

Charring [sic] Cross G.I.C. should be closed down due to it's failiure to comply to the standards as laid out by Harry Benjiman [sic]. They bring thier [sic] own personal wiews [sic] into work with them and only select those who fit thier [sic] idea of what a woman / female is and should be each person is different, no two people are the same, we should therefore not be treated as stereotypes in one catagory [sic].

(Aside: As all the petitions are supposedly personally vetted by someone before they are posted for people to vote on you'd think they'd run them through a spell-check first)

Notice the first person to sign this petition seems less interested in Miss Sommer's thrust and is just against the surgery for anyone.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Hold a referendum on ID cards and the National Identity Register.

There are any number of ID Card petitions up on the site there, yet supposedly one of the criteria for turning down a new petition is if it covers the same ground as other petitions. I got one turned down a few months back which asked Gordon Brown specifically to give up the scheme.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to to not allow the import of biofuel from countries which are destroying rain forest to grow the crops..

We need to cut down on the current forms of travel, rather than transfer to using up a different natural resource.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Hold a public referendum on Trident and the defence of our country.

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Does anyone else get the feeling he's been waiting eleven years to do this?

John Major accuses Labour of 'sleaze'.

Sir John said Tony Blair should apologise for what he had said about the Conservatives in the 1990s, and that he had behaved in an "unscrupulous" way.

Hmmm, the 1990s you say? What, you mean when Tories were the sleaze merchants?

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Another white guy with a bomb who isn't called a terrorist and who the media weren't that interested in reporting.

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Tad Safran: I'm never getting laid in the UK again.

With lots of 'I'm sorry... sorry you suck!' language.

What started out as a light-hearted, anecdotal account of my impressions of dating women on both sides of the Atlantic has exploded into a national furore.

Which is a slight exaggeration. Northern Rock collapsing was a national furore. The Government losing people's personal data was a national furore. You just pissed off a bunch of people with access to the Internets.

I was utterly unprepared for the avalanche [of responses], but I stick to my guns: when British women reach the age where looking good is no longer effortless, they seem unwilling or unable to rise to the challenge. And judging by the vitriol of the response, I realise I’ve not only touched a nerve, I’ve reached into the underbelly of a deep, dark insecurity. Nobody gets that defensive about something they don’t care about...

...And God forbid any woman should be motivated by trying to attract a man. Apparently British women have overcome a billion years of biology.


Tad, meet Nirpal. Congratulations on deciding that a)lesbians don't exist (although I suppose we should be thankful you restrained your charming wit from making a 'joke' about them being the fat ladies), b) generalising from your own experience that men only want size 0 girls.

And I can’t help feeling I’ve let British women off lightly. It’s not just the Americans you don’t compare to: British women don’t have the curves of the Italians, the simmering sexuality of the Spanish, the sophistication of the French or the openness of the Scandinavians.

So what do British women have? Top spot in the European obesity table. Top spot in the European teen pregnancy table. And the only spots (besides Denmark) in the chart showing rising alcohol consumption among women in western Europe.

Well done, Britain. If what women are striving for is the ability to get hammered and fall over in the street, Britain is a feminist paradise from coast to coast.


And a last minute invoking of the 'feminist=ugly' myth. That should generate enough heat to keep several old folks homes warm for the winter.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Plaque on High Street by Grove Hill


Plaque on High Street by Grove Hill
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Harrow-on-the-Hill War Memorial


Harrow-on-the-Hill War Memorial
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Rob Liddle: God’s role in politics is not to underwrite bad ideas.
Hell, you think to yourself, even Jesus Christ admitted to the occasional mistake. But not [Tony Blair].

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John Clute- Fantastika In The World Storm. Up until about 1700 we did not categorize works of art according to their use of (or failure to use) material that might be deemed unreal. After that point, in English literature a fault line was drawn between mimetic work, which accorded with the rational Enlightenment values then beginning to dominate, and the great cauldron of irrational myth and story, which we now claimed to have outgrown, and which was now primarily suitable for children.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Philip Pullman would write for Doctor Who if he was asked, but it appears he hasn't been. So would Anthony Horowitz. Didn't he write for Robin Dur Dum Dum Dum! The Hooded Man back in the day, or am I getting my children's authors mixed up?

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What would have been just another dull day at work was considerably enlivened by the two people I sometimes have to share an office with calling in sick, allowing me to stretch out, get on with work, and listen to music as I did it. And I'd like to thank them, because if they'd come in, not only would they have shared their germs with me in that crucial pre-Christmas period, but it would have meant I wouldn't have found this remix of a track from M.I.A's soo-perb Kala, up at Republic, Um, and that would have been a bad thing indeed.

And now the Christmas cards are sent, the presents are ordered and we can kick back and relax. Weebl's Stuff is very good for that.

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Oh good grief.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crapsticks

Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers.

I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

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Police to vote on whether they want to lobby for the right to strike. If the police can't strike, what are they going to do to get the Government to give them the right to strike? Surely work to rule, refusing to do overtime and so on will be an inconvenience to the Government but less so than striking policemen? And if the police were to strike does that mean an automatic state of emergency and army with guns on the street?

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The British Government has proved consistently reluctant to do anything to help the Iraqis that have put their lives on the line to help the British troops invading their country. According to The Times, the Government is using every excuse it can think of to turn their asylum applications down.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hmmm, in the evening the Daily Mail reports on what we were all talking about this morning. I do like the way they are trying to write this in a way that doesn't look like they just bought a copy of The Times and cribbed from that.

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Painfully single American screenwriter says all British women are fat, frumpy, ugly, not obsessed enough about their appearance, unfriendly and dress like hookers. This being in The Times, most of the comments posted afterwards make Tad Safran appear to be moderate in his opinions.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Via someone elses blog, I've discovered the GMap Pedometer, which I would have said was a good thing until I tried tracing a route across London that I walked a few weeks back. I was so tired at the end of it I'd assumed I'd walked a good four or five miles. Barely two-and-a-half said GMap, which means I'm more out of shape than I thought.

Anyway, tomorrow I have to go to a school and give some children certificates and medals as rewards for doing the Big Wild Read in the summer. If this doesn't mark them out to their peers for mockery and Chinese burns and put them off reading for life I don't know what will. I would have thought that a reward for a schoolchild these days would count as a better gun or something, considering all the newspaper headlines about gang violence in London these days.

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Link: sevenload.com

My copy of issue two of Art World has arrived! Happy happy joy joy joy!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

British Journalism, Best in the World

You have either Nick Cohen trying to suggest that the Turner Prize judges supported Saddam Hussein's gassing of the Kurds, or Brendan O'Neill, trying to suggest that Brighton & Hove Council banning the music of homophobic reggae stars is worse than anti-LGB lyrics and violence in Jamaica. O'Neill also tries to create the phrase homophobia-phobia, which is apparently an 'irrational' fear that people who want to beat you up will beat you up.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Tate have started The Great Tate Mod Blog to run alongside the 'building a huge out-of-place tower' project next to the existing building. They want suggestions for stuff that can go in and the mood visitors feel it should have.

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Harsh but fair, The Guardian Digested Read on John Humphrys' In God We Doubt: Confessions of a Failed Atheist .

I did find this book rather disappointing when I put it down. I suppose I was hoping for the Agnostic The God Delusion but instead I got one-third 'If there's a God then why do bad things happen?', one-third 'If there isn't a God then how did the universe start then huh?' and one-third 'We've got a letter from a Mrs Thoughtful of Middle-Englandshire'. Perhaps all that this book demonstrates is that rational sensible argument is unlikely to change the phase-state of a person's belief, that can only occur when they think for themselves. Humphrys largely skirts religion to concentrate on belief, which allows him to put his impartial boot into the Dawkins and Hitchens of the world but the problem is there's no sense of a journey, after a vaguely religious upbringing he lost his faith as a young man and is now an old man and it hasn't come back. In the end he makes Agnosticism seem like the Liberal Democrats of theology, able to stand on the sidelines and take pot shots at the other two positions but not doing much to convert others to the cause.

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Thank Frank for xkcd.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Update on the Christian Voice in court story from last month, the charmless bigots have lost their case, The Times reports judges at the High Court ruled that the Theatres Act 1968 prevents any prosecution for blasphemy over public performances of plays, and the Broadcasting Act 1990 prevents any prosecution in relation to broadcasts while Beeb DG Mark Thompson writes in the Telegraph, the first comment on which is from someone called David who says Let's be honest - the BBC is and has been since about the 1930s a socialist/communist front organisation. Unless one is from the ghastly Guardian degenerates then do not apply for a job. It is thus hardly surprising that the disgusting BBC puts out filth and blasphemous programmes. However it is worrying that the legal profession is also tainted with the same sort of hatred of all that is decent in what is left of England. I'm surprised he didn't manage to fit a slam on gays in there too. Anyway, Stephen Green has already said on the Bigot's website that he will be appealing this decision.

I have heard the line that Jerry Springer the Opera was a satire on intrusive and exploitative TV before. The BBC are repeating it in a somewhat self-serving press release this morning.

Are you there pot? It's me, kettle.

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Greenpeace Name-A-Whale competition enters final 24 hour period.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

For an agnostic/atheist I seem to have had God on the mind a lot recently. Certainly I have a moment of religious weakness each year around this time, or a little later. If I happen to stumble across a Christmas carol concert on TV or radio (and, if I go to stay with my parents for the period then that probability becomes a near-certainty as my Dad, similarly irreligious, seems to enjoy them) then I tend to have the briefest, five-second flutter, in my stomach as the CofE gene that all English boys have tucked away in their genetic code tries to fire and persuade me that that is His voice. Fortunately, as you can prove the monster in the corner of the room is just a pile of clothes by turning the light on, the holy terror never lasts. There are no atheists in foxholes though, and seventy-two hours without sleep makes a desperate man say foolish things, as I found earlier this year.

Anyways, I've just finished Towing Jehovah by James Morrow. God's dead body has been found in the Atlantic, a disgraced former oil-tanker skipper has to command a crew and see the huge corpse safely transported to it's Arctic tomb before radical atheists, the Catholic Church or just the development of a post-Deus morality can destroy it. It's both a funny and thought-provoking book, though I'm a bit annoyed that, yet again, there is the suggestion that belief in a higher power is necessary for good behaviour, and this comes from a humanist author. When are we going to have the good guy who is explicitly a non-believer?

Towards the end of the book, there is a discussion about God's motives for suicide. One character suggests that, looking down on His creation, God sees Himself as a block on humanity's progress, the Stern Father stopping his children from becoming adults, His death acting to confirm that He existed then forcing humanity to stand up for itself. It's a point of view that I have some sympathy for, I've felt that all the nonsense I was taught as a child about how God would love to come down to Earth on a cloud and tell us to stop being beastly to one another but gave us free will so feels obliged to stay away and let us make our own mistakes is a big pile of guff, and that He qualifies as the biggest Deadbeat Dad in all of creation, unworthy of our praise. By chance I had an idea for a story last week, before I started reading this book, which is the opposite of that philosophical point, and ends with, effectively, God rerunning creation and staying alongside humanity, not in any metaphorical way, or the way that some Christians insist "God is always with me, inside " but in a real and direct way, corporeal and present. The difficulty I have is that I've no idea how to direct the story to this conclusion and, as I'm much more in favour of the parent standing aside rather than towering over his children watching what they do, it's beyond my meagre storytelling powers to think of how to argue the point convincingly.

Anyway, I'm off to read In God we Doubt: Confessions of a Failed Atheist by grumpy morning microphone botherer John Humphrys.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings Ever! Liefeld is a comic book artist that has managed to maintain a career in the industry for over a decade despite being apparently untroubled by any sort of talent. Even if you have no interest in comics you should check this out for the sheer ugliness and stupidity on display, impossible geometry, ridiculous hatching, bad storytelling and a series of awful artistic tics. And this doesn't even mention the time he gave Captain America breasts.
[via LinkMachineGo]

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Music Blah Flowers

Haven't done one of these for a while...


Boredoms- 77 BOA DRUM Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

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