Friday, February 28, 2003

Even though I havent lived in my home town for about 18 years I have always been proud of it, even when, to be honest, it was a shithole. It is now very far being a shithole and is getting better all the time. Still, fools who have never been there malign the place: let them, it leaves more room for us that are aware of it's charms. I don't know of one person who has ever spent time in the place who doesn't come away with a completely different impression to the one they started with.
Stuart Jeffries, a self confessed yammer, sings the cities praises in todays Guardian, although his tongue would appear to be firmly embedded in his cheek.

Classic ruins of Detroit.

Are you a Ninja?

Old Etonian George Orwell would have been 100 this year. It would be interesting and enlightening, I feel, to know what he would have made of recent events. I have trouble with Orwell, I don't know why, it must be a class thing, though I am very glad I have read much of his stuff, and his account of his time in the Spanish Civil War is required reading. Plenty of Orwell to keep you amused (! ?) here.

I can't say I have ever been a great admirer of Moloko, but their website is worth a visit for some very fetching pictures of the singer. A pop up also appears inviting you to listen to the new album.

Explore The Wasteland. It all looks a bit complicated to me eyes, but then nothing worthwile is ever simple I suppose, apart from my Mrs. I know at least one visitor to this blog who will enjoy the link anyway.

It appears that thousands and thousands of leaflets are being dropped on Iraq, they look just like this.

Found on Mefi; The First Church of Jesus Christ, Elvis.

Let your inner child loose.

The Friday Five:
1. What is your favorite type of literature to read (magazine, newspaper, novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)?
Although I read newspapers every day, and would be bereft without them, novels are the shit, as it were. It doesn't matter how late it is I always have to read something before nodding off. Browsing around bookshops is part of the joy, I rarely leave with just one book, it's usually armfuls, I am then like a little kid at Christmas reading dustjackets and flicking through before deciding which to read first.

2. What is your favorite novel?
This is an impossible question. After a lifetime of devouring novels it cannot be distilled like that, you are not comparing like with like for a start. Then how do you distinguish between books that brought great pleasure, like Captain Corellis Mandolin, and heartbreaking works like , well, anything by Primo Levi I suppose, or the dozens and dozens of American detective novels I have read.
I used to have a penchant for the English campus novel, how would that compare with The World According to Garp, or another peculiarly American writer, Richard Ford, or Richard Russo? Can't be done.
Having said all that, Monsignor Quixote is a little masterpiece. Funny, gentle, wise, full of humour and compassion. I love that book.

3. Do you have a favorite poem? (Share it!)
He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

4. What is one thing you've always wanted to read, or wish you had more time to read?
Dunno, can't think. I don't go in for all that longing to read the classics. Das Kapital maybe, but life really is too short. I have a copy of Underworld upstairs, but the size of it puts me off, I will get round to it one day.

5. What are you currently reading?
Tishomingo Blues

Good interview with Daniel Day Lewis.

The incomparable Miguel Cardoso started a thread on mefi inviting people to post images of their home town, its magnificent.
American Photo Journalist.

Everyone who is able should get their altruistic heads on, as Glenn Hoddle would say, and sign up for mefiswap. I am looking at you Bluetitch, Squealy and Ragamuffin.

Fantastic and humbling images, courtesy of junkbox, via mefi.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Curb Your Enthusiasm was brilliant, so much so that I am going to watch it again later. It actually made me laugh out loud, in fact I ended up spurting hot tea all over the chuffing place.

The two year old fell down the stairs necessitating a trip to casualty and a minor panic as it happened at school leaving time and the eldest needed picking up. Like a cartoon cat the little bugger bounced right up and is right as rain. I swear between them they will see me into an early grave.

One of the triumverate at work I mentioned last week, the unholy trinity, has stuck her notice in. For all the use she is she may as well have been the Holy Chuffin Ghost. It has caused some rejoicing, but not here. She was relatively harmless and we had pretty well tamed her. Her poor relationship with the FFC means she leaves us alone, by and large.
Now some other berk will turn up eager to make a mark and we will have to start the breaking in process all over again. Meanwhile he or she will will leave their scent up every tree, pissing over everything they see, leaving a horrible stench. Pity its not the FFC going, now that would be a cause for celebration.

Got snapped by a speed camera the other week, letter arrived yesterday. The worst of it is I will have to phone the DVLA. About a year ago I needed a hire car from work, but my license was in Swansea. I had requested a new one ages before but they sent some stuff back saying it was now photo cards so I must send a photo back and some money, which I couldn't be arsed with. Anyway the hire car dude needed me to give the DVLA permission to divulge my details. The mad cow in Swansea gave me an almighty bollocking and made me promise to sort it all out the following day. Of course I didn't bother.
Now I have to phone them as I don't have my license number to give to the police. I bet I get the same lunatic and get bollocked all over again.

Tired and stressed. Off to bed witha cup of cocoa and Elmore Leonard. Will go link crazy tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Its been another motherfucker of a day at the pig circus and I am too tired to blog. Off to watch curb your enthusiasm.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Once again, found on Mefi...take a leak

Apparently, those songs that get stuck in your head all day long are called earworms, and affect, mostly, neurotic women.

Swearing: it is big and is clever.

You would expect the US to be interfering in Venezuela, now that a champion of the poor has power, and you would expect the oligarchs to wage a campaign of dirty tricks, but I have to say I am surprised at the amount of interference coming from Spain. Surely they and the US must regularly be breaking international law?

US troops already in Iraq, how soon before they start blowing themselves up?

The Anglo-American rationale for attacking Iraq is quantitatively impressive, but qualitatively suspect

Christopher Hitchens gives up snarking at those of his ex comrades who do not share his lust for blood to write a brilliant piece on the perils of partition.

I would say Life in The Freezer is a brilliant blog about tagging seals in the Arctic, but it hasn't been updated since last November. What there is is well worth a detour though.

People taking their clothes off. Not safe for work, obviously.

Will Hutton states very eloquently why Europeans resent the current US regime, rather than the US itself.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Oh my darling, Clemence time Beautiful
Nico Glum Scouser
Oh Joy!

Birmingham 2 Liverpool 1, as predicted. An outstanding display which not only gives us a bit of a buffer but will inspire great confidence in the upcoming, eminently winnable games. Great to see Blues fans leaving the ground almost skipping, and jabbering away into mobiles with big grins on their faces, laughing and joking. A good day, only slightly soured by ballsing up the bread of Bluetitch.
"Birmingham had the better chances."
"Rugged, energetic and wonderfully defiant in the face of belated pressure, Birmingham can take heart as well as points from this display."
"It was a memorable way for Steve Bruce, the Birmingham manager, to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary. If his players reproduce such valiant efforts when they travel to Villa Park next Monday, and when Albion, West Ham United and Sunderland come to St Andrew’s, then they will surely stay up"
"Salif Diao had earlier escaped without a card after cutting down Savage; one wondered whether the decision would have been the same had the Welshman done the fouling. Undaunted, Savage simply got up and gave Liverpool's midfield lessons in desire and distribution."
Sunday Times interview with Mathew Upson

The Red Hot Jazz Archive. I found this via 2blowhards, which I in turn found on Plep.

Interview with Jesse Malin.

People remember Tony Blair's pronouncement that the world "will not walk away from Afghanistan, as it has done so many times before". But Afghans have also listened with astonishment as Americans portray their country's experience since the overthrow of the Taliban as a "success".

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone who is for this bloody war. Now it seems like our own forces of security oppose it.

Beautiful photographs by Marc Dornblaster, found on Mefi.

I hesitate before posting this but what the hell. Nobscan. As the name impies it contains many images of scanned nobs, and bloody Nora I didn't realise the things could be so bloody ugly. Most definitely not safe for work, but not erotic or pornographic in any way shape or form.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

It is about time Blues started picking up some points and tomorrow would be a good time to start. I don't subscribe to the theory that Liverpool have become a poor team. Bad trots are relative and we would gladly swap places with them, in fact we would all have altitude sickness. Still, it's a tough league and we have to beat good teams if we are to survive. I believe we will survive, mainly because the teams below us are woeful, but I also believe we will win tomorrow, and Christophe Dugarry will score. Piddle of piss.

Phoenix Rangers under 14's managed by a Blues fan, have themselves a new sponsor: Edwin Starr. (Times Link)
Another Times link, to a big long interview with the odious Alex Ferguson.

Shane Warne, the worlds best leggie, probably ever, has been banned for 12 months for taking a performance enhancing drug. This bewilders me. All he has to do, is walk, not run, to the wicket and twirl his magical arm 6 times. Then he stands about for a bit. How the hell can you enhance that? Warwickshire should get him in for the duration of the ban to coach the nippers.

Mike Tysons car crash of a career and life continue their downward spiral. The cynic in me suspects that all the ballyhoo about him having flu and going on the lash and missing training are attempts to drum up publicity. Whatever, getting whacked on a fresh tattoo has got to come sharp!
Tonya Harding fights on the undercard, is it a boxing promotion or a freak show?

England went to the home of Welsh rugby, which is proud to call itself a cauldron, and won 26 - 9, scoring their first try whilst a man short. They would have scored earlier but for some blatant Welsh cynicism, which the ref remarked upon. Yet all I have heard since is how crap England are and how well the Welsh played and how they were unlucky. Bloody Nora. It will be good to be back in blighty for a few hours tomorrow.

Interview with Chris Morris
Bush speeches on Smokehammer.....superb.

Just finished reading Then You Die by Michael Dibdin... brilliant, I can barely believe it had poor reviews. I now have a pile of about a dozen recently purchased and as yet unread books to choose from and I am having a spot of bother deciding. Will probably give Tishomingo Blues a go.
Talking of books if you are ever in my neck of the woods you will find well meaning , but misguided people telling you how the "second hand book capital of the world", Hay on Wye must be visited. Don't go, it is a shithole. A ghetto for middle class hippies and the prices are outrageous. All the shops smell and the books are usually in a terrible condition. There is a dude in Abergavenny market who sells much better quality books at about half the price, which means I spend a fortune there, so it is no saving at all really. Don't say you havent been told.

The Friday Five:
1. What is your most prized material possession?
Very difficult to choose between my breadmaker and CD re writer. Mind you I don't know how I would manage without my various magimixes either. As I am still like a nipper in a sweetshop with the re writer, It will have to be that I suppose.

2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?
God knows, some piece of vinyl, hidden in a box in the garage and completely worthless and unplayable probably.

3. Are you a packrat?
I beg your pardon?

4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?
I like a bit of clutter, which is a bit of bugger as Mrs Buddha likes no clutter at all.

5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?
Paraphenalia of nipper is this years black, I believe.

The Himalayan art project

A replying to spam generator type thingy

Robert Fisk. com. I don't think this is an official site, but one that someone keeps for .. er dunno really. It's pretty good though.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, sort of. We have a new link in the chain of the command, one rung up from the Fuck Faced Cowbag. (beautifully mixed metaphors there I thought). This level, although quite lowly in the grand scheme of things usually see themselves as being far too grand to mix with the like of us, and if there is crisis on (usually the result of one of their decisions) they lock themselves in their rooms until it is safe to come out (Vince, Simon I mean you, you pair of tossers).
This guy is very different though. For a start he looks and sounds like Wee Jimmy Krankie, I kid ye not. Then he gets involved in helping out on the ground, actually helping rather than offering stupid and pointless advice. Plus, the FFC clearly can't stand him.
Best of all though, he appears to suffer from a version of Tourettes which compels him to do completely stupid things then carry on talking as if nothing has happened..
Yesterday, very late, he appeared in the office. "Everything OK?" he enquired; mutter mutter was the collective reply (we are , rightly, wary of Greeks bearing gifts). He then feigned a right cross to a colleagues chin, before inviting everyone to give me their work as I clearly had nothing to do. After a minute or two idle chit chat he commenced a sort of highland jig around the room, arms aloft, leg kicking the lot. He then carried on as if nothing had happened, before stating someone I was in the procees of negotiating an extremely unusual and expensive contract with, on his advice, was fairly honest for a Greek. I suppose you had to be there but it was fucking hilarious.
Not that it has improved things, all along the line there are ego trips, power struggles and wars of position going on, with us poor bloody infantry, lions led by donkeys, left to clean up the camel shit. At least now it looks like we will have genuine, if unwitting light relief.

What Bush wants

Personally, I couldn't give a stuff about traffic congestion in London, although it has inspired this game based on avoiding the congestion charge.It is bloody hard.

I have absolutely no idea whether this guitar tutor site is any good or not, it appears to be the sort of selfless and philanthropic enterprise which gives the web a good name though.

Apologies if I have linked to this headless film quiz before.

Two young Blues fans, Colin Bumstead and Flavio (this is the blog that is unafraid to name the guilty men) think this dame is beautiful. I think they are off their rockers, I reckon she is plastic and soulless. The youth of today...I am disappointed.

Sorry to go on about Ed Harcourt again. I cannot remember when I last had a song spinning around my very being like Bittersweetheart is. Just thought I would mention it.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

I have been very busy this week becoming Ed Harcourts newest and greatest fan. I had always ignored him as I have an innate dislike of handsome young dudes. He had been far too blessed to be able to offer us anything we might want to hear, I thought. Wrong. Both albums are fantastic, simple as that, absolutely classic pop.
I saw an interview with him in Uncut where he says he wants to make timeless music which would have been as relevant 20 years in the past or twenty years in the future as it is today. He has succeeded.

One of the more irritating phrases parrotted by those filled with a bloodlust is "What would you do". Well, personally, I would nothing, I cannot understand why all of a sudden it has become imperative that Saddam be removed because he is nasty. He has always been nasty and there is plenty of nastiness about elsewhere. I want a list of tyrants who we are going to remove from power after Saddam if removing nastiness has become the chief aim of international relations. Anyway, alongside that goes the accusation that you are "pro Saddam". There is a short but good thread on this issue with some very good links on mefi. I reccommend it. I cannot wait for my opportunity to accuse some warmonger of being pro Osama.
If not war..what?

Childishly, I have taken to replying "fuck off" or "get fucked" or "do I look like a pilchard" to the Nigerian scammers. This chap was a bit more resourceful, and seems to have wound one of them up beautifully.

Fax your M.P

The Prince Edward Island potato museum. King Edward Island would have been better.

The Cowbell Project

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Steve Bell

When young George and the other right wing nutters, sorry, compassionate Christians, pray together, I hope they pray hard for the nippers of Iraq.

U.S cable news networks evidently reside on another planet to the rest of us.
Edward Said is, rightly, outraged.

Richard Williams is correct in his thinking on Beckham and Ferguson, I reckon.

More on the US media and fair and objective reporting.

More compassionate Christianity

Just signed up for my first Mefiswap

Tantric Teddies, via Ufez Jones at Mefi.

Homepage of the Dalai Lama via Plep

It's odd how bands/artists can become fashionable overnight. Until about a week ago I had never heard of Cat Power and I have to say her stupid name would tend to put me off anyway. Now she is getting (mixed) reviews in just about every paper and magazine I pick up. Still, anyone who streams their music for free is ok by me. It is very good too, which is also O.K in my book.

Monday, February 17, 2003

25 photos
Picallilli Dilli
This was a day which confounded dozens of assumptions about our age
Blair's 'moral' case for war in Iraq is shot full of holes
Flood of emotion and anger that rose to wash away years of dismay
It was the largest political gathering of any kind in British history and an emphatic popular retort to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. This was a million people voting against him with their feet.
It wasn't a march, it was an invasion – central London taken over by a million or more peace-lovers.
"There's just been another inspection", a man wearing a trilby told his friend. We all pricked up our ears. But he was talking about racing at Ascot, rather than weapons in Baghdad.

"Do you want a life with thrills, years of exhilaration? Come to New York.
Where yesterday they said they did not want war."

Have you seen the weather in New York? (Lifted from mefi.)
Times Square cam

Welcome to the land of the free, where the media tells the truth.

Pass the pigs dice game

Sunday, February 16, 2003

East of Houston, West of Baton Rouge

Robert Fisk, as cogent in his analysis as ever.
Time to start telling the truth
Seems like the world has spoken.
Even the Telegraph recognise the enormity of it.
They just kept coming
British marchers have spurned isolation for solidarity, and fear for fury

Yet again, Blogger appears to be kaput, not that I should complain given that I pay not a zloty for it. I wonder if things will change now that Blogger has been sold to Google.

Review of a Jesse Malin gig.

Nepal, where the heir to thrown killed ten of his family and assorted servants a couple of years ago is a beautiful place filled with fear and violence, most of it perpetrated by the state. Wonder if George and Tony have any plans to liberate the oppressed population.

A while back I posted a link to a story about a murder case being solved 15 years after the murderers death. Long may this trend continue.


I have been engaged in some gentle banter over at Sportsfilter on the efficacy of friendlies in general and last Wednesdays England v Australia friendly in particular. The Sunday papers tend to be best for sports analysis and so it proves here:
The Telegraph
The Independent
The Observer

Thanks to Spionkop for sending me this poem.

I have to admit the likes of Rage Aagianst The Machine and Audioslave have bypassed my conscioussness, I like the cut of Tom Morellos jib though, so may have to seek one or the other of them out. Here is an interview with him in Rolling Stone.
Here he is on Joe Strummer.

Friday, February 14, 2003

I have to thank Ragamuffin for being good enough to point out I had left a fucked up link on here for many hours. That's what comes from blogging at work and not paying attention.

There is an alternative to war.

Beginners guide to demo's.

Collateral damage
The Guardian has published some unseen photos of the first Iraqi carnage, I would urge anyone to get hold of a copy of it although the images are distressing in the extreme. Meanwhile, have some text. Don't forget to click on a few of the links down the left hand side of it.

Valentines Day in New Delhi
The Dumbing Down Of Love!
Cute valentines thingy, found on mefi.

A rose is a rose is a rose
A romantic tale of two hearts.
Urban myths

First the idiot Jowell tried to ban the march from Hyde Park because the grass wouldn't approve. Now marchers in New York are denied access to the U.N for safety reasons. Thank the lord we are the good guys and the democrats.
Bush and Blair make me feel nauseous. They make my skin crawl and my armpits prickle. I have developed a serious dislike of the pair of them. I wouldn't trust either of the cunts as far as I could spit them.

The Powell presentation, analysed and exposed
Powell and Bin Laden unite against Saddam. Next thing we know we will be arming the lanky psycopath to flush the dictator out.
Still, old Iraq will always have the US to support it once the bad guys have been driven out. It may even end up as safe, peaceful and prosperous as that newly joyous state, Afghanistan.

If you are looking for Ralph Coates on the combovers site I am afraid you will be disappointed.

The Friday Five:
1. Explain why you started to journal/blog.
A couple of reasons really. Firstly, living in a town which is a shit hole by any definition, having family commitments, although that's a pleasure rather than a commitment, and being in fucking poverty, I have little social life. Arsing about on p.c is probably preferable to watching rubbish on the box. Secondly, when I find good stuff I just have an irresistable need to share it, I can't help myself . Plus I am overly fond of my own voice.
2. Do people you interact with day to day or family members know about your journal/blog? Why or why not?
Some do some don't. I don't go around telling all and sundry about it although I have recently discovered that more know about than I previously suspected. I just hope the Fuck Faced Cowbag never happens upon it.
3. Do you have a theme for your journal/blog?
4. What direction would you like to have your journal/blog go in over the next year?
Without wishing to seem disrespectful, that is a stupid question.
5. Pimp five of your favorite journals/blogs
Bifurcated Rivets

Mind Reader

Reasons to be cheerful, part one.

Daily Zen

Poetry Daily

Starfucker, the fucker, posted this on sportsfilter.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences
by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003

There is a brutal and genocidal conflict going on in the Ivory Coast of which we hear little. This is one intervention I approve of.

It's a curious thing, Blogpatrol tells me that most of my visitors arrive here after searching on google for the Saddameter. I make no apologies for posting it again. It looks grim. It also looks incorrect, it is chuffing inevitable and it is coming sooner rather than later.

Have a moan.

How Valentines day works

44% of Americans don't know their arse from their elbow Apologies if I am stealing the thunder of Rags.

100th Window has had very mixed reviews but it sounds ok to me. Maybe not as groundbreaking as the others but as good as anything else that has appeared in the 4 years since the last one. Sometimes I think people expect too much.
While I am at it I shall recommend Calexico's Feast Of Wire which I reckon is the best thing they have ever done and the latest masterpiece from Bonnie Prince Billy, Master and Everyone

Neal Pollack translates the Bin Laden tape. Very funny.

Anyone who visits regularly will know most of the stuff I put on here is nicked from B3TA. In an effort to further confuse Americans they believe a new cockney rhyming slang is needed and that it should be photoshopped. I love the cat skin mittens.

I dunno if this makes me a sad git or not but I have the first 4 albums on this list, and actually have about half of it overall. Any excuse to post a list, however outdated.

A profile of one of the good guys, Vaclav Havel, a politician unafraid to have a hinterland. We won't be seeing many more like him I don't think.

The Onion asks dozens of celebrities(?) who they could take in a fight.

An excerpt from Drop City, the new novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle.

Garlic Soup

The eldest nipper went to a valentines disco earlier. He's 8.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Spooky shit. Spionkop bombards me with much more than I put on here, including demands to listen to Phil Ochs accompanied by song lyrics. So, I decided to download some stuff yesterday, then perusing Metafilter I came across a link to Phil Ochs. Everywhere I turn, all of a sudden, I am getting slapped around the chops by chuffing Phil Ochs!
He sounds like a bit of an old folker to me.

Steve Bell

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Who said cricket is boring? There has been an almighty squabble going on about whether England should play in Zimbabwe for weeks, with everyone from government ministers down displaying a fly halfs dexterity at moving a slippery ball on. Finally, today, against the wishes of the international board, the English board said no way Jose, we aint playing. They didn't leave it there though, they have requested that the game be moved. The Zimbabwe board have said in turn that they aint playing anywhere but in Zimbabwe, meanwhile South Africa (What has it to do with them?) have indicated that if England withdraw they will not turn up for the scheduled tour of England in the summer. The fat lady aint sung yet.
The English board have been very slippery and hypocritical in all this. The players don't exactly come out smelling of roses either, they have changed their tune a million times. The international board have been as craven as you would expect. I cannot think of anyone of them I would want in the front line with me. Lions led by donkeys.
Through it all, the players of Zimbabwe remained silent. Then yesterday 2 of them Andy Flower and Henry Olonga turned up for their first game wearing black arm bands, in memory of the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. They also issued a statement detailing the travails of that benighted land. This was a brave and foolhardy thing to do, political dissidents in Zimbabwe have an unnerving tendency to meet an early and violent death. Olonge has been suspended by his club already, which goes some way to demonstrating his point. A small demonstration at the ground was broken up by riot police, who should go by the name Mugabes Thugs Inc
As an aside, the worlds best spinner, in fact the best spinner the world has ever seen, bar none, is sitting at home after failing a drugs test. His old team mate, Ian Healy, claims Warne is paying the price for being a bit dopey.
Meanwhile on the field...who cares??!!

Brilliant Observer piece on how cricket has deveoped in black communities in South Africa since the fall of apartheid. This is about so much more than cricket and is well worth a read.
From the same source, another article on how sport has the power to transform lives, this time in Greenland.

I hestitate to recommend television without pity, hours can be lost there.

A bit late but what the hell, all you need to know about Chinese New Year.

New York picture collection

Mark Steel, while generally cracking wise about the anti war march on Saturday, makes the very valid point that if no one had bothered to protest about apartheid it would probably still be with us. Mind you it would have avoided all the controversy at the cricket world cup.
Get the bus to the demo, bleeding 'ell there is even one going from Cwmbran, even Mrs chuffin Buddha is going.
Share a lift.

Robert Fisk: The Keys of Palestine. Superb.

Songs inspired by literature, has a list of such songs. I was happy to alert them to Killing An Arab, the only Cure song I have ever gotten along with.
"Killing An Arab"

Standing on the beach
With a gun in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring down the barrel
At the arab on the ground
I can see his open mouth
But I hear no sound

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

I can turn
And walk away
Or I can fire the gun
Staring at the sky
Staring at the sun
Whichever I chose
It amounts to the same
Absolutely nothing

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

I feel the steel butt jump
Smooth in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring at myself
Reflected in the eyes
Of the dead man on the beach
The dead man on the beach
I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

Spionkop continues to e mail me bucket loads, this is one of his latest:
Extract from TRIBUNE of 7 February - 'during the 1930s. Michael Foot led a glorious campaign of direct action from his then eyrie at the London Evening Standard to pull down the railings of Hyde Park. The stuffy parks police were becoming increasingly concerned by the "frottage" taking place within the park boundaries and had erected the imposing railings so familiar today. When Michael ran into stiff opposition for his libertarian stand , he responded: "It's alright for you. You have all the hotels in the West End in which to do your fucking"'.
As is this:
20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
20:6 And shewing unmercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy BUSH in vain; for the LORD BLAIR will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy except when you want to drop bombs..
20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates but not if you work for TESCO:
20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
20:13 Thou shalt kill.
20:14 Thou shalt commit adultery.
20:15 Thou shalt steal.
20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour unless it's name be IRAQ..
20:17 Thou shalt covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt covet thy neighbour's wife, and his manservant, and his maidservant, and his ox, and his ass, and any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Anthem for Doomed Youth
by Wilfred Owen
First Published in 1921
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,--
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds

Just last week I started my first Murakami novel; Sputnik Sweetheart, and was mightily impressed. So impressed I told Mrs Buddha, which was a mistake as she has since collared it. If you look in the bookshops of Cardiff you will find nothing, so I assumed little had been published in the UK, Cardiff is supposed to be a capital city after all. Had a look in Waterstones in Birmingham and there were at least 8 to choose from, economics means they will have to wait for another day.
Never mind, the Mrs will soon finish Sputnik Sweetheart and there is always this short story in The New Yorker.

Where is Raed?, a blog from Baghdad, supposedly.

Barney the Minesweeper

FMagazine is excellent, I recommend the Sicilian art and the article and songs on the jukebox by Z star.

This is a magazine

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Following my little rant on news values the other day I found this article by Libby Purves interesting

Richard Williams in his usual self aggrandising form recalling how Phil Spector produced the most 2nd mawkish and irritating song ever.


Headspinning shoot em up type thing involving the whole keyboard.

The term "punk" has been very loosely interpreted by the compiler of this list of 100 best punk singles.

The case against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and some more on the same, it all seems a bit dubious.

The Washington Monthly on the space shuttle, written in 1980!

What is Mugabe trying to hide?

Monday, February 03, 2003

The space shuttle disintegrating was an appalling thing, no one needs me to tell them that. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have been a family member, awaiting the return of loved ones then realising the sickening truth. I can fully understand why America has gone into mourning, or appears to have, but I have found the coverage on the BBC, particularly yesterday, offensive.
There was complete saturation on 5 live all through the day, with constant references to American heroism, with no attempt to offer any wider analysis. It was a tragedy for us all, and nothing could have been done to prevent it appears to be the party line. Hmm, maybe, maybe not, I don't know, I would have thought some hard and penetrative questions need to be asked though.
The thing that grated was the constant harping on about heroes. Essentially, what we have here is 7 individuals engaged in a highly dangerous occupation who tragically died in pursuit of it. Such events happen every day all over the world, and do not get mentioned. Tragedies of far greater import happen all over the world without a mention. 1500 people died before Christmas when a ferry sunk in Senegal, ask people about it, they will look at you blankly.
I may be wrong but it all smacked of propaganda, which devalues the lives of those who died, surely they are worth more than that.

Paul Gascoigne could have been the greatest player of his generation, but he pissed it all up the wall. Now he is reduced to touting his skills around the farthest outposts of the football empire, and tragically seems to be in complete denial as he continues his downward spiral into the gutter. Ian Ridley writes sympathetically on the complexities of the guy.

Paul Simon on the art, craft and graft of songwriting.

spionkop sent me this, which purports to be a confidential U.N document outlining the likely humanitarian cost of waging war on Iraq.

This is as cute as it gets, the kitten cam has gone but there is still a baby mice cam and a squirrel cam to gawp at.

This Times article on a package holiday to Tenerife made me giggle at least twice.

Motel confessions

Graffiti, lots of it.

It's a bit late but who cares, it's a good list of the best of last years music

Saturday, February 01, 2003

A brilliant interview with Kurt Vonnegut

Heartbreaking photographs by Sebastio Salgado

Chuck some snowballs at a building and get sworn at.

Lou Reed hobnobs with ex Arsenal goalie.

Talking of goalies: interview with the daughter of Camus.
We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves

I ordered a couple of books from The Bookplace the other day, the first time I had used them. The one book I was warned, would take a couple of weeks to obtain and I opted to have the complete order sent at that time to save on postage. Well bugger me if they didn't find the hard to obtain book somewhere else and the whole package arrived this morning less than 24 hours after ordering at about half the cost I would have paid at Amazon. Not only that I had cause to e mail them and I got a very speedy, courteous and personal reply as opposed to some corporate bollocks. Very impressive all round and I will definitely use them again.

Having tired of hearing how "Don't Stand Me Down" by Dexys Midnight Runners is a lost masterpiece I went and got hold of it. It is a found masterpiece. I know I have a tendency to get carried away with these things, especially after a bottle or so of wine, but reminisce is just about the best song I have ever heard.
Despite my new found fondness for Dexys I always thought Rowlands was a berk. I used to see him in a caff in the early hours of the morning on Broad Street, just up from the Rum Runner. People would stop off on their way to Barbarellas or the Opposite Lock or somewhere the chuff else just to take the piss out of him as he held court. He would get very irritated very quickly. This interview is good though. He goes on about an Arts Centre which was actually a decent place despite being once called an arts lab. He resents that his type never even knew such places existed, which reminds me of the the other arts lab on the other side of the city, in Cannon Hill park. When I was about 16 my next door neighbour started going out with very well scrubbed guys. Where do these jokers come from I asked a mate, I have never seen anyone who looks like them. The arts lab he replied.
We paid a visit one Sunday night, I have never felt so unwelcome. So big up to Rowlands on this one.

Terry Jones is running out of patience.