Monday, July 07, 2003

A brilliant interview with Jake La Motta. If you can get hold of the Observer Sports Monthly, from which it comes, it has some brilliant photos, including one of La Motta knocking Sugar Ray Robinson clean out of the ring.

Bush or Chimp

I find Michael Palin alright in small doses, his website is something to shout about though, jam packed with good stuff it is.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Le Tour

Margaret Hodge reckons that having screwed up so badly in failing to protect the children of Islington she is uniquely qualified for the job of minister for children. Her logic defeats me.
I do not as a rule call for resignations or sackings when people cock up, everyone makes mistakes and the blame culture we live in appalls me.
This is different, she is putting her career first. She is a self seeking cow. If she had any sense she would have seen this coming and declined this job, but no, her eyes and her ego were too big.
It is question I seem to be asking on a daily basis, what happened to the notion of "the buck stops here"?
Children deserve much better

Jeffrey John, the gay vicar who was made a bishop has decided not to take the job. Now, I think he has made the wrong decision, nevertheless here is a chap, who has seen the bigger picture and made what he evidently thinks is the right decision; not for him, but for those he serves.
As bad as the fact that he has had to turn the job downs on grounds of sexuality is that he has to ask the Queens permission to turn it down. Sometimes this country just embarrasses me.

Democratic Underground.

Mr Stabby.

Thanks to Brian, Blues fan, Grand Fromage at Singing The Blues and citizen of Acocks Green, for directing me, in a roundabout sort of way, to the FBI file on Lenny Bruce.

Worldwide Wales TV has little films on all sorts of Welsh towns, including Cwmbran. Leaving aside the fact it is a completely untrue representation of the shithole, it is chuffin hilarious!

Cows With Guns, a brilliant animation and song.

Posts on both my blogs might be thin on the ground for the next week or so. I have managed to get msyelf accepted as a tester for Typepad, a new service which will be up and running, once they have finished testing I suppose. At first glance it looks bloody brilliant, but will be a subscription service, so it depends on the cost as to whether I actually take it up. In the meantime I shall have some fun with it.
So, if things look quiet around here it is probably because I am messing about there. Feel free to look, though it will probably be a bit messy, as I don't really know what I am going to do with it!

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Quiz for the bookish among us. I got ten out of thirteen.

This is all a bit pointless, but fun nevertheless, in an annoying sort of a way. Say the colour, not the word.


I love American noir novels from the thirties and forties, the best of them are much underrated. Bookforum has a brilliant piece on James M Cain.

Church of Me is a blog by a very wordy music fan, too wordy, some might say, but I like it.
Spin is a little more prosaic, but worth a look.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Anyone who has read my other blog will know that I am not very enamoured of my job at the moment. What makes it worse is that at the end of every month, long before the end of every month, I am left without a pot to piss in. I got paid 4 measly days ago and already we have no clue how will get through the month.
So. I have been economising. People keep telling me how good Aldi's wine is, so on the basis that it has to be better than no wine at all, I paid my first visit to an Aldi. I went for one of their more expensive wines, an organic Cabernet from California, at £3.99. It is, in fact........crap. It will do though.
I also got a Chiliean Sauvignon Blanc for 2.99. I am a bit scared of it.

Steve Bell

For such a powerful piece of prose the Declaration of Independence, is a flimsy little thing, well worth reading and it won't detain you long. I wish we had such a thing in Britain. Mind you, I dont think it counts for much in the U.S at the moment.
Magna Carta

I am probably the last eejit in the world to come across this, but here goes. Go to google and type in "weapons of mass destruction" then hit I'm feeling lucky. That's it.
It doesn't work with the toolbar, go to the google homepage to do it.
I downloaded version 2 of the toolbar yesterday, it has a very impressive pop up stopper.

Duct tape ball is bloody annoying.

Misanthrope has updated.

Inspired by Singing The Blues, I shall have a go at the Friday Five.

1. What were your favorite childhood stories?

I used to love Aesops Fables and also when I was a righ nipper in school we all used to sit in the hall and listen to listen with mother. I never knew my mother before she pegged it, and I used to find that programme incredibly reassuring. Probably subconsciously wishing the comforting middle class voice was my mother in heaven, reading to me.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?

Tom Sawyer

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?
Not really. With anything by Twain I suppose you are surprised at how good he is. With anything else that I read to my nippers, I am afraid I am even more starkly aware at how middle class and trite it all is.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?

I think I may have been able to recognise some words before I went to school, I certainly learned to read very quickly once I started formal education. It's been a pleasure and a curse ever since.

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you?

I don't remember what it was, probably some porn from the new english library. I jest.
I don't know what it is like now, but when I was a nipper, the branch library in Acocks Green was open till 8 p.m, every night, and I loved that place, I would stay in there till they kicked me out.
They had a biggish junior section, then the adults section stated with a row of shelves which were suitable for teens. I used to sneak around and have a look, not thinking I could read those books as I was only ten, even though my brother was feeding me stuff like Kes and Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner at home.
I think the first adult book I read must have been Kes, or Walkabout.
There is a book I read when I was about 11 or 12 that haunts me to this day. It was about a nipper on his way to a family thing who witness some dastardly business on a train in fenland. He hops it and then and has to trek across county in the snow, pursued by the neerdowells. It was brilliant; I have no idea what it was called or who wrote it.

An interesting (or not) addendum to the libraries thing is that the library in this town close at 5 every night, except Wenesdays and Saturdays when it closes at 12. In Brum, libraries were open till 8 even in the early sixties. And they smelled wonderful too. It is an unfairly maligned city. Don't belive the hype if you read of the love of literature and education in the South Wales valleys.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

All you didn't need to know about the number 23.

Now that young Bush has so selflessly liberated the people of Iraq from a murderous regime, do you suppose he will be turning his attention The Congo and Liberia?

What have refugees ever done for us?

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey website is as good as it gets. Where else could you read the details of the court case of several rioters, which took place on this day in 1749, and much else besides.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

I have been looking for a decent recipe for apple muffins for ages, but can't find one. I used to have one, but I lost it. TheWilliams Sonoma websites primary purpose is to sell you things, but it has an ace collection of recipes, including one that looks pretty good for hazlenut muffins and this cool looking drink based on horchata. Mrs Buddha loves horchata, I will be earning myself some kudos with this. All I need to do now is find out what the hell a stick of butter is.

Back on Tack is one of those sites that provides dozens of photos illustrating the eccentricity of roadside America. Well worth a look.

The beauty of the web is that I can sit here at 9pm on a Wednesday listening to Monday nights Late Junction. As beautiful, soothing and , well, sexy as Fiona Talkingtons timbre is, I wish she would not pronounce Gillian Welch with a hard G, it's very irritating, even if it is, in fact, correct.

Hemingway's youngest son, Gregory, died in 2001 as a transsexual named Gloria, of causes that put a lot of strain on the term "natural."
The excellent Today In Literature on the suicide of Hemingway on this day in 1961. It seems to run in the family.
Me and Hemingway share a birthdate, and funny enough, I'm feeling suicidal.
Hemingway resource centre. Copious.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

A lot of the more obscure political stuff I have linked to over the months was found on Floating Wreckage: Jettisoned Cargo which was a fantastic resource. I can barely believe it was run by one guy. I can believe, depressingly, that it has ceased to be, although some archives remain. The little corner of the radical world that is my kitchen is bereft.
If you have never seen it, have a look, just to see what you have missed.

Here in Cwmbran we have a Jim Crow Square and I have wondered, from time to time, who the bugger is. Plep comes to the rescue, with this link to a museum of Jim Crow.
A quick google provided links to loads of other sites, including this one and this one.
So the town I live in has a square in it named after a mythical character synonymous with the worst of Americas racist history. Nice.
Cwmbrans most famous son, apart from Helen of Big Brother fame, is John Fielding, who won a V.C at Rorke's Drift. Undoubtedly, he was incredibly brave, but he is famous for killing Zulus, admittedly who were trying to kill him. Still, I gotta get out of this town.

I am not often persuaded to agree wityh the Bloody Tories ( I grew up thinking they were actually called The Bloody Tories), but I am with them on the scandal of Margaret Hodge. I think I expressed some outrage following the inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie, that the poor bloody infantry lost their jobs and careers while their superiors, to a man , up to and including the chief executive found themselves in better paid positions. Sickening.
Now we have Hodge, who completely failed abused children in a major London borough, being made minister for children.
Do these fuckers have no shame?

I had lost The War Prayer, but have found it again. Mark Twain is definitely my number one hero, amongst many. Mrs Buddha forbids me to try and infleunce the nippers in their likes and dislikes, I cannot shove the Blues down their throats, for instance, or instruct them to challenge the Christian ethos prevalent in the school nipper number one attends, and I can see the sense in it. However I did force Tom Sawyer upon nipper number one, disastrously. I shan't be doing that againg in a hurry. I hope I haven't put him off for life.

The origin of Chilli Con Carne.

Norman Mailer asks the question: "why did we go to war?", brilliantly.

If anyone has any bright career changing ideas, the Misanthrope would like to know about them.

This word game should keep Bluetitch occupied, it's bloody hard. I got 5 out of ten on my first attempt, which I thought was good, but was, in fact, crap.