Saturday, 28 February 2004

i just voted for the Amnesty International UK elections to the board 2004-2007. it was really difficult to pick the first three (you mark down four). i put Dawson at 4 but choosing between the other 3 was hard and eventually 3 was Usher. Siddall and House both sound good but some of House’s professionalism ideas and that she’s been the Vietnam researcher for Human Rights Watch swung it.
Qasim and i are out later on, getting pissed. a load of his mates might turn up.
we're meeting at Toms chop house for a few scoops, Landlord ah! i love Landlord.
i think loaf and oliver and body parts (the end?) and G all are legend boss blogs.
you can say what you like about the Daily Express (and i’ll certainly be slagging it off later on) but look at this free CD with today’s paper, of 80’s pop, all sheer classy (to use footballmanagerspeak)

1. Bangles ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ (19 years after the fact this sounds really modern, Electrelane could have knocked this one out last week, they could crank it up a bit and take it to some sugary loafs with great big slabs of a chorus/3 Colours Red/terrace yob anthem vibe)
2. Cyndi Lauper ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ (not heard this properly for ages but what an unimpeachably perfect song, it’s so effervescent: hey perhaps i can write music reviews for a living: THIS IS A GOOD BAND WHO TAKE EARLY MOGWAI AND GODSPEED AS THEIR TEMPLATE AND ROCK OUT A LITTLE &c….)
3. Men At Work ‘Down Under’ (Brandenburg Concertos, a soaring Pie Jesu, ‘Piece of my Heart’, this, there’s nothing to add)
4. The Weather Girls ‘It’s Raining Men’ (how saucy, when you’re 7 the line about getting wet doesn’t have the same resonance)
5. Europe ‘The Final Countdown’ (still better than any Johnny Come Latelys for air-guitar of course)
6. K.C. & The Sunshine Band ‘Give It Up’ (i know ostensibly it doesn’t sound like either but this tune always reminds me of a Dinah Washington/Monguito Santamaria collision)
7. Paul Young ‘Love Of The Common People’ (if Pete Seeger were making hit parade songs in 1983 it might just sound like this)
8. Jennifer Rush ‘The Power Of Love’ (if you don’t like this you’re a meanie)

there we are then, all superb, anyone that says there’s a bad year any year for music isn’t listening.
coimbra a e fado
East St Louis BANGER (via Osaka) FURIOUS STYLES.
SOUNDCLASH! SOUNDCLASH! last night i dreamt some bloke in spectacles (actually it was Ekow Eshun) and myself had an argument about the relative merits of Sarah Vaughan and Tito Puente in a bar in Coimbra. Amalia Rodrigues was, of course, on the jukebox.
i think we should engineer a very naughty video of all of the Donnas frolicking with all of Mayhem (or Emperor, or someone like Brutal Truth: see how i mix up my hardcore punky things with your metals ooh). other SOUNDCLASHES that would be good would include Sir Bernard ‘I’ve Got A Fucking Nerve’ Ingham having a rub with Dame Shirley ‘I’m a Fucking Cheeky Bitch’ Porter. SOUNDCLASH STYLE.

Friday, 27 February 2004

Music is created by the people, we artists only arrange it

that post below doesn't really say anything does it?!
i see what Simon is saying completely in his 'slight touch of inverted snobbery at play' thinking aloud.
and it certainly seems you could read it that way, perhaps, with the right sort of magnifying spectacles.

but i don't think SR has any need to fear that worthier than thou fascistic SWP dullard tendency here (and i know he's not really, it was just a lickle aside before tackling 'standard' semantics).
ruinationalism was all that Mozza slightly worrying olde Englande crap praps sure (there again wasted elegies for elegant old tings can be all aestheticism etc innit see Robins World End & Undercurrent) but really on a practical level individual kinks are quality and the 'hard politics/hard arteries' line seems a little, well, harsh.
standardisation of production, hygiene etc. is all good, also standardisation of image can be very helpful, good for the consumer body politic yadda yadda.

howEVAH, i fear a bottom line is not our of course overegged and for a larf Pret is bad eggs vibe, more the difference between wonderful not to be downtrodden individuals taking on the wearyingly corporatist chain approach.
i realise Simon knows all that, and appreciates it (i know he likes this kinky little Vietnamese restaurant in NYC Chinatown) but because chain colonisation is really starting to kick in in the UK the last several to few years i spose it's what we're thinking about.

he's further ahead where he lives but also missing something.
also he's gone soft living in New York...;-)
i should point out, i spose, that there are many fine takeaways and such of many stripes and hues in Gorse Hill, i'm just saying around the Thomas Street area (a very largely residential road) Orianne's Deli House, Fran's Caff, and that unremembered the name of Chinese, are all delightful.
actually a lot of the best soul food in mcr is to be found in places like old trafford.

in gorse hill, near fran's caff (celebrated greasy spoon takeaway) there's a bang on jamaican caff that is quality. the triad of good takeaways near there is brought up at the rear with a bang on chinese.

Carey update (courtesy QPR John)

he has moved to Longsight and is in good spirits (had been living in the Moss for time).
he says hello.
my bruv is making the speech at our mate Miguel’s wedding on September 4th [stag do in Brussels, come on...]. FUCKING HELL, to quote ‘some wag’ {actually, my mate Qawa and me are being the chief ushers at my man Shackleton’s do in Aout}.

some points, then.

- rather feeling any half-decent version of ‘The Irish Rover’ (see also ‘Seven Drunken Nights’)
- Jasper ‘I’ve got a great big cricket box’ Carrott – genuinely brill – at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena. Big up ya chest Second City.
- rather feeling positron records p.50 mention in the latest kerrang magazine.
- the Neps say they’re wanting to stop so much of their trademark sound, tone down the keyboards, go in other directions. to this my mate (underground fan; overground concessions to Slick Rick and Ultramagnetics) shouted GOOD NEWS FOR ANYONE WITH EARS.
- (sincerely) rather feeling Katie Melua’s dress sense.
- Jamie Cullum (likes guitars, resembles – well – a bit like a consumptive Gareth Gates, has visited Gay Paree) and Norah Jones (she’s Ravi Shankar’s daughter doncthaknow! she’s got beautiful eyes! she’s a jazz singer! people who like Diamanda Galas and Diana Krall like her!) should perhaps work together. it would do, ahem, well, it would work.
- rather feeling postcards from Budapest or Cuernavaca.
- Keane are cute aren’t they. they’ll get their trews wet howevah.
- rather feeling Cathal McConnell, as one has been since about the age of, ooh, 17.
- there are some fine looking women in the video for ‘Hey Ya’.
- rather feeling Cormega.
- I know a few n***as sniff coke’ it cause seizures
- rather feeling Toss the Feathers, as one has been since about the age of, ooh, 15.
- my mother thinks Raghav is QUITE fine (“I like his coat, the main one in the middle, not the hip-hop guy going up and down”).
- rather feeling Grey Goose vodka.
- my father (as do i) mourns Wham!
- rather feeling the Ink Spots (shout to Indy).
- Busted were fabbydoo, i say. their covering the Undertones sounded a bit like Lagwagon covering the Undertones. Posh Totty vox sounding like NoFX’s Fat Mike (or whatever he’s called)! Busted over Franz Ferdinand or the Von Bondies or the Strokes or the Scissor Sisters or Four Tet or Yes (apart, possibly to be fair, from when pissed in an indie club) please! [not, Busted over Tangerine Dream back in the day, to clarify, to be reasonable]
- rather feeling The Lusiads
- outKast “Atlanta Georgia” callnresponse oh yes, looking grate THIS IS HOW IT FEELS, boss it, THIS IS THE ONE.
- rather feeling ‘verbal intercourse’.
- 0161.
'cool for cats' was playing on the wireless and i had to tell my mam who squeeze were. old folk today huh (she favours radio 2 like all the other hepcats/"uncut" readers and is not actually that old, having had me when she was about 27)!!

i wonder how many times, say, a month, Prince has a wank?
and does he beat his meat more or less times in that period than Anthony Kiedis?

oh and YET MORE greatness from Maff, that is certainly useful i'd say. i will say i do like daddy kool a lot but then us provincials are easy to tricksy with those big city lights. i was appalled when i went in sister ray, full of old skinny puppy compilations on dodgy Slovene labels and people in front 242 t-shirts.
lovely street map tho. where does he source all this??

i would actually go to london on the train for the day purely to go in the new and improved soul jazz store, how sad!
not too sure about Marcello feeling Amoeba over the Smoke, i liked Amoeba a lot the one (very nice and quite lenghty) arvo i spent there, but have been more impressed by certain London places.
outkast are on top of the pops now, i like tim kash actually, a lively sense of fun and a nice smile i'm sure, he looks like he enjoys a pint. i bet he wanks before the show to help nerves. if he does.
i had beans on toast (two rounds) for my tea. later i may eat a couple of pieces of fruit.
wow [via k-punk]
new blog from silverdollarcircle's mate.

looking good.
Simon is right, standardisation is fair enough, a tinge or lament for the old country?


(& background, of sorts, from the village voice)

one album that needs more props is black moon's enta da stage.

one emcee that needs more props is royce da 5 9
i'll say one thing for Clare Short, and that is that she's as embittered as any former minister (see, e.g., Glenda Jackson).
Oliver was gentlemanly enough not to mention that the vigilante and paramilitary forerunners of today's AUC were only outlawed in 1989, the likes of Pablo Escobar's Muerte a Secuestradores getting training and munitions from the miltary throughout the 1980s.

Thursday, 26 February 2004

I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions._Lillian Hellman.
France has called for outside intervention in Haiti
RIP Boris Trajkovski.
ok, so am not atheist myself (am an agnostic, which i suppose you could decry as practically the same), but this made me practically (and perhaps strangely, or perhaps not...) 'proud to be British' and i don't know because 'liberals' like me don't often enough engage with religion on a respected one2one level (tho' one respects all different faiths & yadda yadda yadda etcetcetc.)
actually Luke's not far wrong.

the other day was 'Should dogs be allowed on beaches?' following some - admittedly infuriating to victims of crime but i mean c'mon... - story about a dog that got into difficulties on a beach that had lots of attention from the authorities whilst some people wait hours for plod to turn up.

will waffle about the express here (and the stuff i said i would do last night but didn't) when have time.
i wuv Robin Carmody

Wednesday, 25 February 2004

here and here are two sets of (big) photos of barcelona, on a livejournal style (which the lovely companion is a bit into, so she showed me the URLs). some nice little indie girl from mcr has taken them actually, including some great ones of her meals.
they are good and illustrate a few things about why everyone loves (or should if they don't) barca.
now there goes a good defence.
Before going to sleep, Andreas thinks of the prosthesis the head doctor has promised him. It will be a perfect prosthesis, as good as Captain Hainigl's. With him, you wouldn't even know he'd lost a leg. The Captain walks through the room quite unaided, it just looks as though he has one leg longer than the other. Artificial limbs are an enlightened invention, an example of the trouble the government will go to. There's no denying that.

_Rebellion, Joseph Roth.
shame on you Mr Bush
to be fair to Luke he emailed me again pointing out facts were facts, it's what you do with them that counts he says (which i agree with and i realise i'm about to make a breathtakingly terrible analogy but the case of, say, revisionists such as David Irving demonstrates sometimes the facts have to be known before we can 'do' something with them).

in starting to make a point about mortality rates in the D.R.C. but not finishing what i had intended to write one did look half-arsed. but i was not trying to offer an analogous opinion by proxy on the invasion of Iraq (as i replied in email to him) and if it perhaps looked like i was trying to analogise without offering an opinion (or only doing so stealthily and under the cover of weasel words), then that's bad and cowardly. i assume that's what he thought i was doing.
Luke says he'd be interested to view my perspectives on things (and i know i don't know what i'm on about - Luke generously seems to think otherwise - and so if anyone is reading this thinking 'what a load of whining shite' don't worry i'll post about Art Blakey or someone soon) but specifically just re. conflict in the D.R.C., there's really not much to say is there? i'm not an international relations expert and we all only want what everyone wants, an end to the vileness. intervention different to and other than the current MONUC would be a start.
biases should be borne in mind but if someone is making statements on "Africa's world war" i'll assume they're not Leopold come again and want what everyone wants.
in the meantime, Joe recommended this and, it is.
there was recently a letter in the paper from a Zoe Stow of RoadPeace, NW10. it read
The case of Kamel Kadri has attracted a great deal of media attention but for all the wrong reasons.
Yes, Mr Kadri was an illegal immigrant and he was not insured but the light sentence for a fatal collision had nothing to do with immigration status. Any driver who is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision or of failing to report it will face a similar or, much more likely, lesser sentence.
The fault lies entirely with the law, which treats this conduct, ‘hit and run’, as a trivial matter to be determined by lay magistrates – with a maximum sentence of only six months. There is no other charge available.
In a case last year, a driver who left the scene of a fatal collision to avoid being breathalysed was charged with perverting the course of justice but the Court of Appeal decided that this much more serious charge could not be made. Both the law itself and the way it is interpreted trivialise death and injury on the roads, even when the driver acts in a way that most people would find abhorrent.
There is a growing number of people prepared to drive while uninsured, disqualified or unqualified, particularly in our cities, and they pose a terrible risk to the public. If they are involved in a crash, they are likely to drive on to avoid being identified and their victims’ injuries may be much worse or even fatal as a result of the delay in obtaining treatment. Their victims will also have a much harder struggle to avoid compensation.
As members of the national charity for road traffic victims, we are only too aware of this situation and its terrible effect on those who suffer as a result, and their families. A change in the law, better enforcement and a greater visible police presence on the roads are all needed as a matter of urgency, as well as public support for a tougher line on hit and runs.

a sensible letter then. the Daily Express’ recent excellent campaign to highlight the dangers of uninsured drivers on British roads is one thing. our moral compasses are surely sophisticated enough and ourselves adept at navigating complexity to not need the Express’ occasional insinuating headlines about uninsured asylum seekers.
that is quite another thing.
it is inevitable that – yes, perhaps many – of the uninsured drivers on British roads, there will be some with migrant status (also criminals &c.).
but our political orienteering does not need villainous soap opera to help make our minds up when the end result of what we are discussing is tragedy, broken families, and grief. a change in policy does not have to flow from such vaudeville villainy, ‘just’ a report of the facts.

Tuesday, 24 February 2004

Aborigines, n. Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.

__'The Devil's Dictionary', Ambrose Bierce.~
Luke emailed me to tell me his friend - who is Craner's critic in that debate Craner is having on his blog - wrote it off the top of his head and so (my words not Luke's) i should not be so churlish and nitpicking about details (war deaths in the D.R. Congo).

that is absolutely right really.

i don't know what i was thinking of in being so bloody heartlessly statistical.
it's a bit of an affront. it's a bit like that doctor in South Africa who speaks out about statistics being compiled on AIDS death tolls by saying the international community/international science/&c. are overrepresenting the number of AIDS deaths [of course just because he is saying something politically unpalatable and perhaps even offensive to a lot of people does not justify character smears etc. but that's another issue] as a whole in sub-Saharan Africa.

of course it'd be more justified (justified in fact, to an extent, but you have to earn your stripes in cases of argumentative flourish) in my case if this blog had a lot of personal opinions and stuff (as opposed to my angsty whey-faced whining).

i emailed Luke back to explain that the IRC is really the only main source of information on mortality sources for the lengthy (five year long) 'chief' D.R. Congo war, although you can find medical or humanitarian or human rights agency, organisations. etc, figures that discuss mortality rates [just re. a situation that has significantly escalated since last summer] concerning the corner of hell that is Ituri.

anyway i was trying to make a point, in a stupid roundabout way, but it will have to wait until tomorrow night.
perhaps not as surprising as you'd first think.
here the Refugee Law Project discusses some problems with the return of refugees (to Rwanda)
After they had cut off the sexual organs, they walked away with them. They took the victims' blood in flasks
incidentally, re. a couple of things from Oliver's correspondent (see link below), they write What about the Congo? 3million people are estimated to have died in the conflict there last year. 3 million, 3 million, 3 million in one year (Saddam's death toll is no where near).

presuming they wrote that to Craner this year (an eminently reasonable assumption i think you'd agree), they are therefore referring to 2003 when they say last year.

an IRC mortality survey conducted in 2002 found approximately 3.3 million war deaths between August 1998 and August 2002.
why would one need to exaggerate? is the above not horrible enough?
'the highest war-death toll documented anywhere in the world during the past half-century'
there's plenty more i shouldn't be so mean in singling out ones i guess when i get some links knowledge maybe i'll get a sidebar
wonderful individuals careering off into their own universe, neurons firing, pregnant with possibility, unfettered, people with their own interests like everyone else, circles of friends you care for and socialise with, oh it's all marvellous
some blogs i've been getting into lately

- incertain plume
- :::nostress:::
- Notes from the Dovecote
- ikastikos
much as i ended up basically agreeing (why ever not?) with that clap clap comment furore that me and abot 2 others cared about, and although i did like the film pop life pointed out this interesting take on 'lost in translation'
is the net really closing around bin Laden?
Oliver w' some good points
a fine CV post.
the enjoying the controversy Mike Clap and his chum Harm (quality blog, especially on the money about Gorgeous George)
who do a nice line in throwing toys out of pram in comments boxes...

might be intrigued by this Auntie programme about 'American soft power'.

much as i like a fair bit of Wheatcroft criticism, incidentally, here is he being wrong again.
Or, if they do, they apply no more than with innumerable other tyrannies, some far worse and Our own ex-communist warriors ought to recognise that, on all of their own arguments is what he boils it down to and the former especially is one that in a perfect world would probably be a valid stopper. alas.
well fine if everyone who was a liberal hawk was an ex-communist yadda yadda but clearly not mr wheatcroft (who was a strong supporter of attacking Afghanistan to be honest)
I may at least question whether any war that is unnecessary can be deemed to be just that is a endlessly reasonable and disturbing question to check ya though but of course he's quoting John Bright
cheers to Joe for the mention.
but now I think that absurdist approach might just be making me feel ever more nauseous is what he thinks and i maybe agree.
bigging up Juvenal aside (as one often sez) the craft of a well-turned eloquent essay (be that eloquently angry, or whaterver, or etc.) seems more gripping and powerful these days, endless lampooning does make one feel a bit queasy.

that said, as somedisco has said about nine time in the past,
Geoffrey Wheatcroft was wrong to criticise 'life is beautiful' (whatever your views on its aesthetics) for hard-headed reasons.
cor blimey!

only weeks after we saw Maff sneaking into the library with some Demosthenes under his arm, he's now quoting Africanus!!

that chap etc.

incidentally here is a blog where the URL is demosthenes.blogspot.

Monday, 23 February 2004

note to tabloid editors:
the 'Guantanamo Five' - during over two years in captivity - were not ACTUALLY CHARGED WITH ANYTHING.

you may wish to rethink your 'no smoke without fire' policy, at least for a bit of time, as if i wanted half-arsed half-baked comment i'll go down the pub.

Jon is currently helming the Adelaide Fringe Festival. it all sounds incredibly inspirational, but especially performances from the likes of the magical Annette Krebs and Andrea Neumann.

we like when everything changes and the 'vortex' \"re-imagines" you etc.

currently listening to horace parlan's 'going home', some random Scando jazz samplers (but not enough Polish stuff round here it's true) and that first new orleans funk comp soul jazz put out, not the second one entitled 'saturday night fish fry' on it but the other one like. definitely need to find out more on Chuck Carbo (as opposed to just googling him or getting some piecemeal info' off AMG, which is what one usually does...)

the other day i saw two robins on some rhodedendrons and was spellbound.
Luke has been seeing some wrens apparently. i told him about ring ouzels (sorry Luka!).
i like jays.
i've not sen a buzzard for time.
Other Music presents:

KEITH ROWE (guitar)
Rare solo UK appearance by one of the founders of the European free improv
movement, originator of many techniques for preparing and playing the guitar.


MARTIN ARCHER & PAT THOMAS (keyboards and electronics)
Other Music regulars promise a "duo set of lo- and hi-fi rhythm n'skronk" ...

At The Grapes, Trippet Lane, Sheffield
Bus: West St/Rockingham St or City Hall
Tram: West St or City Hall

8:30 p.m. Wednesday 3rd March
£5/£3, all tickets on door.

More information about all these musicians can be found at the European Free
Improvisation web site:

another thing kanye west ain't very good on the mic at all. why can't people just keep to what they're good at.
not feelin the rappin so much.
Dan with an early contender for quote of the week
he makes Vanilla Ice look like Nas
not feelin Chingy
that's Manchester Dan btw, not the lovely (but not very rappy) Stockport Dan
although did you see their thread on Suge quotes recently? i can't find it but the chap comes out with some undeniably classic stuff.
best thread ever
actually kanye west is from chicago isn't he.
re. that guardian article below there are certainly some problematics in there.
Hackney, in east London, is supposedly gentrifying, but greasy spoons speckle its streets like enduring blemishes on a much-pitted face might be a nice bit of poetism but it certainly sets the tone in that negative way.
specials crudely penned onto coloured cardboard taped to the glass
well excuse us!!
An updated variation on this view, suitably laced with irony, is exemplified by an excellent website, Classic Cafes, which is devoted to documenting British greasy spoons and mourning those wiped away by history
who says it's laced with irony? maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but this reminded me of Angus once having to point out his love of 'buffy the vampire slayer' (though not saint-marie) was not ironic.

however, the biggest load of old rope is That is largely the extent of the menu, as it is, for that matter, of British cooking
traditional indigenous cuisine or whatever etc., i.e., white folk stodge (and who says it has to be, you may not approve of a lot of the modishness of the ubiquity of 'Modern British' but there's some good stuff there),
are soups and stews really that awful?
yeah yadda yadda tell us something we don't know but instead of being a trendy cynic recognise that, e.g., London is the most culturally and ethnically diverse city in Europe and one of the most ethnically diverse cities on earth. and that - in a healthy freaky trigger way, a new inclusive localism and all that, being it's not where you're from it's where you're at - restaurants such as Edgware Road's excellent Mandalay (run by a couple of friendly Arsenal fans) can be considered the nu-British maybe.

a lot of sniffy critics - out of the 'great cuisines' - still take French (and maybe Italian) as a model, over and above even Indian or Chinese, let alone say Sudanese fare.
this invariably colours views, the French way of eating a meal together en famille w' bottles of plonk bleh bleh, it sounds to me that that guardian writer has taken a few doses of this narrative.
oh, and writing as someone who is sometimes narked by the arselicking that goes on surrounding the Michelin, this was an interesting story (though of course he may have an axe to grind).
astonishingly snobbish article from the guardian on greasy spoons here.
the writer tries to qualify what looks like snobbishness to me by the 'think of the proletariat' line near the end, but i'm not having that. i really don't want to be lumped in the same boat as Julie Burchill, but this reads like a character assassination, extraordinarly mean-spirited with a sprite-ish invective.

i go in greasy spoons quite often and the quality of food is always excellent, hygiene standards always uniformly as you'd (hope to) expect from an eatery, i.e., faultless.
the relentless rise of the chains is at least as big a 'problem' (in the language of the journo concerned) as anything else.
there has been a suicide bombing this morning in Kirkuk.
information about clashes in Casanare province and other Colombian locations over the weekend here,
Richard May, the judge in the Milosevic case, is to resign
when Dave Stelfox waded into the caff fray, namechecking k-punk~,
& undercurrent~
hopes were high.
and indeed he doesn't disappoint.
i think Simon will find much to agree with in Dave's analysis, as he's all about the issues of class thingummy (a bit anyhow) but While, as Simon contends, it is possible to see the fetishizing of this particular aesthetic as stemming from a Morrissey-like, nationalistic yearning for a disappearing England, the very fact that they have been in business a long time would also appear to point to the fact that they do have something to offer, both as culinary experiences and hubs of the community was the crucial point of contention.
it's so true about maccyDz that They're rubbish and they know they are. Pret and Starbucks are an entirely different proposition, though, and one I find resolutely offensive. If mass-market burger restaurants correlate with the sanitised global pop of Justin and Britney, these places are the equivalent of The Beautiful South... tolerable, with a veneer of respectability, but bland as you like.
don't the starbucks people all out admit this in interviews? i'm sure i read a lengthy one on it once, can't find the URL but it's out there i fink.
there's nowt wrong with all this of course it's business and all but in a puerile manner it sometimes does almost irritate me yah.
but there we are.
the ribbon trend had not been accompanied by a tangible increase in charity donations
following yesterday's suicide bombing aboard a Jerusalem bus, a televised news report showed an eye-witness speaking.

the man described the horrible scenes he had just seen, saying that he'd watched as "people" flew out of the bus windows, glass whizzing everywhere.
he then checked himself, as it were, and corrected himself by saying that the people were "bodies".

Sunday, 22 February 2004

RIP John Charles.

Friday, 20 February 2004


bravo Dave!
it's all very 'homepagey' here today innit.
the spreadsheet is saying query, 0 DBSELECT DISTINCT a.apar_id,a.agreeref as agreeno, a.type, a.regno as product,a.tot_amt as amount, a.lastupdate,a.filename_ref FROM [table] a where apar_id = [custid] AND a.agreeref = '[agreeref]' and a.type like 'M' and a.tot_amt != 0 order b.

apparently it isn't au fait with the command STEP THE FUCK BACK TO DODGE, SHAWTIE
i expect he owns a dishwasher.
it's hard to go wrong with one of those beauties.

choices can be made that mean mistakes inevitably result but - what it is - you've got to be on less than top of your game for it foul up.
if we all had one, well, just think.
actually, i wonder if he does the dishes after every main evening meal, or leaves them to rack up?
i wonder where David Hare lives?
as Joe has it, hurrah!
Taylor Parkes has returned.

the mind boys are on form too, a poignant bittersweet memoriam for youth lost AKA they went to see NERD and the crowd had lost the mad luv of old, i suppose the usual suspects (e.g., the JT effect over-saturation in a crowded market etc.) will be blamed.
obviously when i'm dictator everyone will wear NHS spectacles and beige or scarlet twill-linen Nehru suits.
hair styles will be modelled on either the Monks or Bob Marley during his old grey whistle test days.
all this formica influence is good and all; i wonder how much of a generation growing up in the 1970s/80s in the UK found them really nourishing, both spiritually as it were, and materially?

i can just picture the likes of jarvis cocker leaning his gawky elbows on a lightly-addled-w'-baconfat-surface, reading his Marshall McLuhan or Pushkin or whatever.

kids today ("kids today" hah!) can pop along to starbucks for their peppermint mochas or whatever it is, which is all well and good.

maybe the conservative old England impulses of the Britpop generation (the ones making the music, not the younger ones consuming it), forged as they were in a strangely beguilingly quiet and dull landscape of ostensibly shit, grim caffs - hang on it's all getting a bit Britain before punk round here - produced such mainly rugged individual iconoclasts (though the music itself left a lot to be desired which is where the dull bit comes in i guess although you'd a thought their music would be better given it was about escaping all that).

whilst today's ubersleek&shiny chains (they're all the same) could - with their bland unleavened non-concessions to quirky difference - help explain the popularity of such superficially enticing, ultimately homogeneous cultural phenomena as Louis Vuitton bags (real or fake), carrying bottles of mineral water as you're photographed leaving the gym, Burberry scarves and caps (real and fake), the Black Eyed Peas and young girls who wear baseball caps when they've not washed their hair because their hair is minging. not that i'm complaining.
even in shit interbred northern towns there should be no excuse for the above.
speaking of Orwell, didn't he definitively maintain Britons should say 'caff' and not 'cafe'?
greasy spoons/propah caffs are the bees knees .
there's one in Warrington where 2 quid buys you two sausage, a black pudding, an egg, two huge slabs of toast, beans, two bacon and some 'shrooms. oh and a brew.

my favourite evah greasy spoon is either this one on Wakefield High Street, this one in Altrincham bus station, innumerable ones in inner Manchester, this one near the train station in Bournemouth (bit of a moody part of town but great), Birmingham's legendary Mr Egg or this one in Brockley, SE4 (the Jack is a great boozah) that does one of the three best bubble and squeaks ive ever had. truss me, that's saying a LOT.
world of real coffee - intriguing.
purely as a mark of respect, here is a link to k-punk on "ruinationalism".

out of all the chains, starbucks does just about the worst on most indicators. don't get me wrong i go in because i don't have any interest in naomi klein and the way the cream is poured on the (piping) hot chocolate is a good strategy. but i've tried most caffeinated options in the chains and can honestly say (heck it's only opinion and i'm hardly this chap) that coffee republic, lavazza, o'briens, even costa coffee and probably caffe nero is the best (i don't think benji's has escaped london yet and if there's any other big chains that i'm missing then i am remiss); well, their coffees are generally just not as good.
i rate.

this is interesting about Java, the local Mancunian mini-chain (there's also a national chain called Java isn't there?), which is an award-winning 'best cafe', according to the Cafe Society anyway.
feed the five thousand and history are some other good local manc indie but i must sound like a turncoat and register that i fink the best local caffs in mcr city centre are not the host of (excellent, admittedly) 'classic' greasy spoons but poncier affairs like love saves the day, oklahoma's And caff and Cafe Pop.

this sounds interesting.
there are now fears bird flu can easily jump between different species
you go 007
mouth-watering, especially the MacMillan.
the gallery website seems a little, well, lacking in updates, but the Philips Contemporary will be showing - among others, and as part of their just opened new show - James Naughton's grand takes on the land and the sky.
can't wait
the Goldberg Ensemble are playing the RNCM tonight and Sunday. among other pieces, tonight they will do Geoffrey Poole's 'Crossing Ohashi Bridge', on Sunday they will be performing Anthony Gilbert's 'Palace Of The Winds'.
sounds like that could be all quite brilliant.
i think Sean Acid has been excellent since the start. similar in kinship to tufluv it seems (many congratulations on the new job fella).
tufluv was superb about Matthew Parris in Newcastle's Scotswood the other week (sorry, can't do permalinks for some reason!).
anyway, i also just wanted to tell him that re. encountered some wanker skinhead zulus in the pub (white birmingham semi-hooligan boneheads) singing england football songs at a black friend, the 'leader' of the Zulus is a black bloke called Cuddles from Small Heath.
nothing should of course be inferred about my views on football hooliganism &c. here, i'm just saying, is all...
incidentally, i found this quite (retrospectively) interesting.
just a thought~
what was david blunkett doing on 'celebrity mastermind' last night?
i'd always just assumed appeasing tabloid editors was a 24/7 kinda job.

this is the blunkett policy generator. critics might carp it's not the true home office website (which is here) but it's arguably mired in about as much reality.
this is how denuded of grace the 'big debate' is - at least according to the moral majority at certain tabs etc. - at the moment, that reading over my post below i end up feeling like an infantile foo' for stating what should be the obvious.

George Orwell to thread &c.
i honestly can't think of any other widely held narrative infolded in british political/social life - that should be, and indeed is, easy to dismiss - as the insidious (sometimes "invidious" feels more accurate) currently flavour-of-the-month trope that is the 'asylum-seeker/racist problem'.
that is, the line that roughly has it you (white Britons, etc.) can't make any critical noises about regrettable (or far worse) behaviour from them [asylum seekers &c.; e.g., to use a vile example, harassment and worse, of a local girl by a gang of young Afghan men] for fear of being labelled 'a racist'.
this narrative isn't being challenged - at least, not in the mainstream - for not entirely honourable reasons.
or so it seems from here, anyway.
from the ILM post below, dave q on the sadly unmistakeable tang of recognition tip w' btw I do find the editorial depressing. In a 'fuck, not another one' kind of way. Lately people I know who never ventured an opinion before on anything are coming up with 'swamped' type of shit, it's worrying.

any British readers: do you have acquaintances like that?
fucken TOO RITE alas~
FWIW, here is the best ILM thread so far this year.
He is drawing flak for stating what the vast majority of reasonable people know instinctively, that the unregulated flow of migrants through a discredited and sclerotic asylum system is fuelling racial tensions
from the telegraph (see earlier link; though the 'instinctively' there is problematic, seems to me).

yes, true, but the British media is - with a few honourable exceptions - not asking the sufficiently complex questions, engaging in the self-probing and so on, that should be required of itself (and i don't think we need to hang "ideally" on to that; i write this as the most pragmatic sort of political realist in my personal beliefs after all) : to realise that their role is not entirely helpful (the sunday telegraph seems less bombastic than its sister paper, at least judging from a recent editorial) would be a start; to acknowledge it publicly and renounce some aspects of their coverage would be welcomed.

oh here's that editorial from last sunday's paper, of course there's a few things in there disagreeable but the tone at least is certainly more even-handed than the daily telegraph (on yesterday's evidence) and far more than certain tabloids. etc.

The looming immigration crisis sparked by the imminent accession of 10 new EU members in May has caused, quite suddenly, near-panic inside the Government. Britain is a haven for economic migrants, with the English language, a flexible labour market, a plentiful supply of jobs and no identity cards to prevent illegal immigrants from taking them. The Prime Minister is now having waking nightmares about the potential influx of 74 million such people and is living in fear of headlines portraying an "invasion" of gypsies, itinerant workers and benefit claimants. The Chancellor is staring in horror at the potential impact on the benefits bill. And the Home Secretary is worrying that the subtleties of his intended immigration policy - tough on bogus asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, but liberal on legal immigration - will be shattered by panic-mongering tabloids.

As if that panic was not enough, the death of 19 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay has given the whole question of economic migration terrible poignancy.

None of this is in the least bit surprising. For all the complications, the political rows and the newspaper headlines last week, the fundamentals of the immigration issue are straightforward. Milton Friedman, as is his habit, summed the whole problem up years ago, in just 10 words: "You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state".

The notion of free movement, enshrined as the very foundation of the EU, is what makes the problem posed by the new members' accession so explosive. As we know from our own population, offer those without work the chance to live on social security and many will do just that. The same logic applies to migration: if the opportunity exists to move from an area paying negligible benefits to one paying relatively lavish benefits, then it will be taken. The issue is made more complicated by the technicalities of the transition arrangements. Although we have not joined the other 13 EU members in imposing travel restrictions on the citizens of the new member countries, freedom of movement does not, for the new members, mean full freedom to work - not, that is, until 2011, when they gain full employment rights. Hence the dispute as to whether EU law, which obliges members to offer full benefits to any resident who is eligible to work, applies.

But sensible debate on immigration has become impossible because we confuse those who want to work - who move in order to better themselves - with those who merely want to take advantage of better benefits, and we damn both groups equally.

Economics and rationality tend to fly out of the window when confronted with immigration. This is not a new phenomenon. Back in the early 1990s, the Government refused to grant visas to the Hong Kong Chinese because of the political calculation that the public would not stomach another mass influx of immigrants. Yet that was, on any calculation, an economic blunder. Vancouver, which welcomed 230,000 people from Hong Kong between 1991 and 1996, has reaped the rewards ever since. It is the British economy which lost out, not the migrants.

In this context, the Danish election of 2001 is fascinating. The political climate there is much like ours, in that there is a deep and growing fear of immigration. The centre-Right Liberal Party focused on immigration as the main election issue. But it turned on its head the main concern of electors - that immigrants are somehow a leech on the state - and in doing so won an unexpected victory. Denmark, it said, should welcome immigrants. But for their first seven years they should receive no state benefits of any kind, other than schooling for their children and emergency health care. And that, more or less, was that.

Such an approach squared the immigration circle. It permitted the gains which the right type of immigrants can bring to a country; it dealt with the problem of benefit leeches (as the party leader, and now Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, put it during the Danish election campaign: "Denmark must not be the social security office for the rest of the world"); and it neutralised the far-Right. Since immigrants could only prosper by their own efforts, and the economy would prosper with them, there would be no rational reason not to welcome them.

The problem with current discussions of the subject is that the word immigration serves no useful purpose on its own, since wrapped up in it are two wholly different concepts: the productive and the unproductive immigrant, to which our approach should be very different. If immigrants really are committed to a new life and want to better themselves, wonderful: we will all benefit from their industry. But if they want simply to take advantage of a better reward for doing nothing, there is no reason - moral, practical or legal - why we need to give them anything, least of all a welcome.

what a wonderful blog
unpicking the bluster behind Michael Howard's speech~

also the independent with a good story, including The Tory leader's arrival also elicited the first Combat 18 graffiti in months on local Asians' homes, she said.

maybe we're cynical round here but i can't see why we should be cheerleading a mainstream leader saying what should be obvious things, e.g., fuck the BNP basically. of course it is to be applauded, and maybe one should put up (we have to be grateful, as the Guardian leader above eloquently asserts), it's just that the words of local Labour man Shahid Malik [though the telegraph seems almost disingenuous there, perhaps; clearly we're not disputing the basic common-sense he outlined, for that Thank you Mr. Howard...but their criticisms are practically offensive to people that article is mildly critical of, such as Mark Oaten, this inference that everyone bar the Tories is not bothered or somesuch guff about basic liberal truths]
We've got 90,000 people living here and 57 asylum seekers. But ask people why they voted BNP and many will say because we're swamped with asylum seekers.
keep echoing in my head.
you don't know how beautiful you are

and fierce stripes

some cheeky monkeys

and kitties

i don't care what anyone says, chips are British
quite, quite startling
dare we

Thursday, 19 February 2004

we were far from home and very tired
speaking of editors of the wire (or former thereof) as a big fan of Rob Young's lovely euphoric liner notes for rough trade electronic 01 (though his attack on Nick Hornby in a recent editorial was a tad churlish to say the least) the following is disappointing, perhaps even a tad adolescent [from this month's wire, discussing clouddead (of course i love their self titled effort)]:

Like the breakbeat brats a few years ago (Squarepusher, u-Ziq, Autechre et al), the laughing stock of 'true' Junglists, it takes mavericks and those from outside the tradition to point up how hidebound the tradition really is...

bloody hell, you can tell that the free CD with the latest wire [celebrating the domino festival] is a wire affiliated thing eh?
Lali Puna, Einsturzende Neubauten, Man's Best Friend, Lars Horntveth, Polmo Polpo ha-hah!

{no disrespec'}

mind you, they've had some good covermounts in the past. recent gems have included that raster noton one and the rune grammofon bit was okay (that one was compiled by Anne Hilde Neset).
possibly one of the finest freebies in recent times was (bearing in mind i've only been reading it for about the last four years) the Elektrotehnika Slavenika comp.
in fact the first issue i bought was August 2000 (Merzbow cover); one month before Simon's fine dub'n'roots essay (Ryl Tx cover).
new ed Chris Bohn seems a bit rockist judging from his message eh who'd a thunk.
The Telegraph are calling the Donald Judd show at Tate Modern one of their "most beautiful shows ever".

You have to look and understand, both. In looking you understand. You look and think, and look and think, until it makes sense, becomes interesting.
_Donald Judd.

Wednesday, 18 February 2004


the thermals, he writes.

the way he marshals his words to always always make me piss my pants is nothing short of tremendous.

i love his lackadaisacals. boy got some lift on his Air Force Ones, and a nice little downtime package down the seat of his Corvette. the chap is a diamond and i adore the way he rhymes stuff. it's all faberge.
Luke's right there, great film.
what is sad is that John Kerry hardly has the most progressive views on gay union etc. innit
also there's the national aquarium for the USA in Baltimore.
they have a wonderful site, with a cool URL, here
Laura Bush says gay marriages are "a very, very shocking issue" for some people, a subject that should be debated by Americans rather than settled by a Massachusetts court or the mayor of San Francisco.
pull the other one love, interracial couples are a shocking issue for some people.
gay marriage in San Francisco, Chitown mayor approving of this, conservative opponents in Cali mobilising against this, somewhere i read today (sorry, forget where!) that in 30 years time it could be that opponents will look like segregationists today.

that is to be hoped, make their views ridiculous not just repellant.
if i ever had any cred i'm sure it's getting run down, Madge NOT electro etc.

music like loud farts it's marvellous.
Greg Maddux is going back to the Cubs apparently which is nice. he pitched for them late 80s/early 90s apparently.

i mean this isn't what i know, i'm being fed this info ygetme.
on the subject of follicles etc. Eno carries off the slaphead look well, few people do.

Richard O'Brien most definitely but i'm struggling other than.

Vin Diesel i suppose but the only half-decent thing he's surely ever been in is 'pitch black'
incidentally solo Eno albums can have some ineffably lovely end trks, i cite the title track on here come the warm jets and 'mountain of needles' on my life... as compelling evidence.

the final (fourth) part of ...airports is quite special too.
one of the things i particularly like about my life in the bush of ghosts is track 2, 'mea culpa', there's risings and fallings there that can be traced down to boards of canada. it's nice to hear it all.
the frenzied preacher types reminds one of nothing so much as various old field recordings from Baluchistan that you can get on the cleaned up british library these days their topic label (not the folk label, the global label) and i know there's little linkage between them, i just find the tones of the voices of said frenzied gentlemen to resemble the gluey rutting of an archaic string instrument, some primal violin.
some of the sources on 'moonlight in glory' are like a glorious cross-pollination of zora neale hurston-style oral histories of poor broken-backed, broken-down brownstone districts of Baltimore, the women on their scrubs, scrubbing the doorslabs down.
big zesty container boats of yellow soap and volcanic lather, proud calloused hands, fag ash lil if they were in britain.
it's a cliche about Baltimore and clam chowder (also john waters and barry levinson and Poe) but it's one of my favourite American cities. i admit it started off all because of the detective show 'homicide: life on the street' which is - granted - a fairly half-arsed way of getting interested in a town, i suppose.
but still.
but also on 'glory in moonlight' it sounds like - and i realise i'm hearing this one wrong most likely - old Irish oral histories, strugglers and planters, fighters and drinkers of old day old milk, tinkers and cussers, people that went over from Limerick and settled in Nebraska, some small town in the way, or went down along to the Labrador fisheries. i don't know (clearly!) but this is what it seems like.

the one time i got really angry with the times in my sixteenth year (think it was then anyway) was reading their telly reviews and they'd reviewed homicide and the bloke had written (paraphrase, but this is very roughly it) "students of political correctness might like to note that the top three people in the Baltimore P.D. are a black, a woman, and a black" (they definitely wrote 'black' like that, in that manner).
well Baltimore is a majority black city you ignorant twat so it doesn't surprise me.
perhaps if you used any brain cells you might have you wouldn't look like a fucking tool now would you. cock.
[that was a rough precis of my views, internally]
Copenhagen targets imams
putting aside all ethno-national, religious, political differences etc. to one side for a moment seriously,

the one thing we can all agree on is that Benzino and Eminem should have stopped chatting shit about each other a long time ago.
what the people say
oh Jamie the trouble happens when you open your mouth

Ja Rule said Fiddy should stop talking about his wounds all the time, he does seem to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing them to be fair.
not as crazy as that (also BBC)

- the largest school in Gabon has been closed down is what that story is all about.
bars serving booze, prostitution and roaming gangs?!
if someone held a gun to your temple and FORCED you to choose between 'deliverance' and 'southern comfort' - both fairly similar after all in a lazy characterising way of me i'm not wanting any intellectual movie fan critiques etc. just a general pub monologue style level here OK - what would you do?
there's not much in it so i'd have to go for ostensibly minor reasons such as 'southern comfort' because i like the drink of that name, or 'deliverance' because i'm a big fan of 'homicide: life on the street' and (ned beatty's in both of course) that.
crazy when you think about it.
that barrel-chested mofo' (c. Maff) saw Larry Clark's 'Bully' the other night.

i never thought that much of 'Kids', Caspar the friendly ghost and those little tokers, fairly true to life, casual homophobia, sex, violence, a gang of bored kids, and the listlessness is the point etc. bleh bleh but i just don't think too much of it. Chloe Sevigny is good of course.
of course k-punk's fine Brits summary is best, but am i the only one who likes the darkness, and just that? i don't think they're being ironic or taking the piss or are funny or whatever, i just like a couple of their songs. i don't have these visceral reactions (i know by the royal 'we' that isn't the best thing to use i just mean generally small geeky corner of this bit of blogging that have heard of ILM and Marcello Carlin basically; that is my rubric [if that's the word] for it; so no, not the overall record buying public).

i got love for Busted of course too.
sounding like a right teenybopper!
if there was a watchdog for this blog (bear with me on this pompous exercise any patient reader) they would have to conclude it's a failing enterprise. too many links in place of actual content, too much false modesty (arguably), too much cheesy and wearying flagellation, too much generally pretentious verbiage and shite.
so this blog's resolution is to actually be more like a blog and start to write more about stuff i think etc. and be more like blogs i read and admire like, say, Jim.
thanks for reading (if you did)_
startling (Red Cross criticises the Israeli fence)
this is a lovely site, first told about it by my wonderful mate Jess, that girl should post on her blog more though!
and you all know about that right?
pray/whatever Iranian train explosion
god, what a pompous graceless self-absorbed cunt i am! who do i think i am, a foreign correspondent?!

just some bloke in a call centre
you see, much as i wanna respec' this perspective, Lapid deserves bigging up merely for wanting to delink the Orthodox and overbearing political power.
the Israeli government and all its ministers - bar, incidentally Lapid - believe Israel should boycott the current hearings in the Hague about the legality of the security fence. the Bush administration is not the only government to be concerned about the court's legitimacy to judge what is perhaps a political, not legal, issue; as
this shows.
also, lets all 'bravo' 4 Tommy Lapid
that film is certainly some way better than 'lost in translation'/'the dreamers'/'elephant'/blah blah etc.
well done Marcello we say.
you appreciate Mr Sharon has to support his people, but one's moving towards feeling the 'left-wing critics' position on the cash for settlements story (item here)
the premier Irish gallery is defending itself.
reason? is your Caravaggio authentic?
a girl quite round my way recently went missing. there have been allegations it might have been her parents that 'disappeared' her. now a local news item suggests her body might have been found
'breaking news'

Tuesday, 17 February 2004

once again, Craner is right.
now that is interesting.
man, this girl got bare chops.
Eppy far more clinically dissects Momus' 'Lutheran Letter' [subject: the film Lost in Translation] than my earlier vague flapping of some approval and some distancing for Momus' views.
expect i'll be haunting his comments box for some time to come on this one...;-)
industrial festival good eggs~

oh, we wuz hipped to that fine and instructive Very Mild Peril blog b4 by Freaky Trigger's Do You See?.

ta Tom Ewing!
as liberal hawks reconsider their views on the Iraq war (myself included), it seems that the fellows at slate just come across as, well, plain less dumb than David Aaronovitch's hand-wringing...
here's an Amnesty newsrelease.
sounds like interesting reflection
navigating your way around an actually important news story (what to think):

original story, where the Observer and BBC accuse Pyongyang

- the FT has its doubts
-Jersualem Post
-Radio Free Asia
-Anne Applebaum unpicks the bluster
So he, like, fuck it, what can he say, right?
let's be fair to mr kerry
sobering reading
&also statement of Bishop Gregory
of course whatever we say about Mr Bush in this instance, it's nowhere near as bad as Mr Blair's continuing 'pals act' with Mr Putin
President Bush has made some speeches in the past that contain soothing words and nice flourishes about the status of women in Middle-East societies, etc., about democratisation in the region, etc. and that is to be applauded.

of course, we all know the gap between rhetoric and reality can sometimes be large.

so i suppose we can hope that Mr Bush will say something, but we'll not hold our breath
Paul Keating's promise
The Age
maybe someone later down the thread said 'hold on, those are all from LA. sunny!'
i don't know, i don't read ILM very much.
maybe i am missing something and i don't want to secondguess anyone and i realise it's not my place but really here, i mean is Memphis a code-word for New Orleans?

i can tell myself - and i know nothing about southern rap - that most of them are from Nola, and the others, well you can find out a lot are from N'awlins. i apologise is this is not my place and maybe the guy meant to write New Orleans and besides it's a tad churlish, puerile even of me to complain cause those are some good tunes.
some are obviously so, like Lil Wayne, Big Tymers, Soulja Slim (who died last year), etc.
and even less famed ones such as fifth ward weebie (fifth ward is a neighbourhood in N'awlins right, just like Magnolia).
anyone, i shouldn't be making an issue of it, it's just the tunes.
just struck me as a bit odd, is all.

if there is a finer post to a blog than this here, i would quite like to know about it.

although in the furious freestyle archives there is a good bit about his mate hijacking the P.A. to inform people of his Wu Tang instructions.
here are some lyrics, transcribed.

Hey, hip-hop is the new indie, except it's actually popular and worth hearing~

and yet underneath the humour, truth is there too.

Monday, 16 February 2004

there are only shades of grey
i must just go and shave this voluminous beard that has sprouted, all the better to soothe my troublesome itchy chin.
millwall to progress against cup team tranmere and a scraped-through against the cottagers hammers to beat united, then the two to draw in the semis that would be a headache for the Metropolitan Police. eh.
i would like Hammer Luke to comment come on Luke get rid of your 'flowers of evil' dog-eared copy, rub down your copy of the latest 'over land and sea'!
quite aside from Robbie Fowler's duds pissing his life away at Old Trafford my Saturday was made even more rotten by this {sorry but to paraphrase Jess this IS a blog and all}

and let us be fair,
Gareth Southgate has been having a good season
also good - my brother's girlfriend is his cousin, dontcha know.
good eggs
also good
oh, the reason i know about Sarah Cracknell (and apparently she's "still fit too"), is down to QPR John. explanation?
his Saturday was hideously drunk by the beginning of the afternoon and involved "scary looking Bees fans" and violence.
alas, the violence round our way was sickening, i'm afraid to say.
football rivalries, bored young men, alcohol, the manchester derby, people that have been inside for murder anyway, drug dealers, closeted busy pubs, stabbings and assaults on police officers, it ain't good.
Big Ron in speaking sense shockah!
been one of my favourite young Englishmen for some time now.
existentially informed, spiritually nourishing, that's what we like

and HAIL TO THE (one of the) CHIEF[s]
aka Yazoo
i didn't know there was a Slim Smith that wasn't a reggae man!
although she's actually from Chelmsford
apparently Sarah Cracknell is a Brentford fan!
via the rambler, that is thoughtful and good (the rambler's also OTM about the miserable, miserly words of Paul Morley).
two sets of awful awful pictures:

- Sydney riots

- Moscow tragedy

musically speaking, i suppose Jon is the best blog.
(well, him and spizzazzz and skykicking)
he's right about Sydney of course.
the best Australian cities (in descending order) are
- Sydney
- Melbourne
- Adelaide
- Perth
- Darwin
- Brisbane
- Hobart
- Newcastle (go Silverchair woo!)
- Gold Coast

note i've never been to Oz in my life

actually when scarlett gets on the subway and sees a young chap reading manga porn (manga porn! so can we please have a high profile Japanese indie flick of urban anomie that plays in the US, showing our Japanese heroine getting on the new york subway and the first thing that happens is she sees an incredibly obese man reading a "THICK NEO-CON PAROCHIAL FUCKWIT PRIMER TO THE REST OF THE WORLD aka INFIDELS 101" pamphlet please??), i was expecting another sweaty Japanese geek to try a spot of rubbing up against her, perhaps try and snip off a lock of her hair.
yeah, i think that's (the sort of thing) the vocal critics of 'lost in translation' mean...
on another note, there's this
bafta winners
i'm glad that bill murray won his best actor gong, and although anne reid was the best actress in those categories right? (her performance seemed far more _out_ than johansson's, even though 'the mother' was really not as good), it's hardly upsetting that scarlett johansson won best actress. but i was reading on another blog (i can't remember where it was, sorry!) that they thought ribisi was better than either of the two leads in 'lost in translation'. this seems entirely supportable (much as i want to marry the entirely lovable and weary murray in 'groundhog day', and scallops to andie mcdowall's character).

bill nighy a better supporting actor than either tim robbins or paul bettany [or the daddy of albert finney who deserves an award each year for playing it how he did in 'miller's crossing] is a misjudgment surely (but 'love actually' had to win something of course...).

re. 'lost in translation' whilst it seems that momus is of course being a bit too overstating his case an' all you can sorta see what he's getting at, but there again this wonderfully eloquent homage to the film didn't quite convince me with its Also, it’s not entirely about being lost in Japan, but of being swept up in the chaos of cities in general. You go somewhere you don’t know the rules and norms, it’s hard to function without getting stressed. Try being a tourist in London in the rush hour – don’t even think about looking at the tube map on a station platform.
it seems there is a little something there that the dismissals of the film - couched in the cliched terms of reference you'll be familiar with - articulate.
BUT one'd also argue there's a little something of an undercurrent in the film that is, well, a tad dodgy.
i've only read 2 or 3 interviews where the director expounds upon a discussion of the, er, 'Japan issue' but she's not been persuasive for her cause at all, in any 'defence'.

that some folks are trying to do this {via Pop Life} is fair enough but i think regrettable, but that's only because i'm a supposed aestheticist, although i can see there's enough cause for concern to do that. anyway, i'm not a concerned asian-american so i should bacdafucup.
that said, the opening scene where murray sees himself on a billboard and some of the karaoke scenes were incredibly affecting (but that opening scene i found the most powerful and transformative in the entire film; never mind pseuds discussing what he whispered in her ear at the end! ooh, we are in a bitchy mood this morning...); some of the scenes where she 'engages' with trad arr Japanese culture especially worked quite well.
anyway, it's a superior effort to 'the virgin suicides' and even if it does flatter to deceive ultimately, it's got tongues wagging about it, so Coppola deserves some recognition for that.
on another note, it's nice to see two good British films winning something at the baftas. 'touching the void', ignoring sniffy critical comments about technical talk and all that, was pretty bloody strong stuff.
and very pleasing that 'in this world' (further proof of the catholic curate's egg of a director that is michael winterbottom: don't forget he was the man finally responsible for the mangling of the reality-wringer that was '24 hour party people') gained some acknowledgment. the best film to win anything on the night, for my money: indeed, the best film to be nominated full-stop perhaps. startling.

Sunday, 15 February 2004

An ICM poll last month in Britain found that one in five Britons would oppose a Jewish prime minister, while one in seven believed that the Holocaust was exaggerated.

__Rajeev Syal in today's Telegraph.

we're clearly not just talking about disingenuous (or breathtakingly cynical, for that matter) witterings, or riffs on the 'numbers game' (sic; yeah, we were too) here, but something far more insidious...

Friday, 13 February 2004

the new statesman has been made to look silly -
to make up for the godawful self-absorbed whining of below, i'll hopefully recoup some goodwill (NO-ONE CARES YOU SOLIPSISTIC MERCHANT BANKER hoho) there is a fascinating page about Papiamentu here. basic, but one didn't know half this stuff.
still what do i know, i work in an RAC call-centre.

go the aa instead...
that Des Moines article (see below) is of course something which everyone is surely sympathetic to but the problem with an endless critique like that to me is a bit's like what i'll term the Jeremy Hardy Syndrome.
Jeremy, top bloke, top comedian, heart in the right place, but even the fairly outontheleft friend i saw him with once tired part-way into the routine with Jeremy's insistence that his criticisms of government policy, the status quo, etc., didn't have to come with qualifications. the 'what's the alternative' gag you'll have heard if you've ever seen Jeremy Hardy do stand-up, i'd say (this is the only independent item i could find about it online so will have to suffice).

so even though that somewhat bolshy sounding chap below could of course be critiqued (and probably wildly, if one was going to set about him) himself in response to his criticisms of the DesMoines Register column, the pragmatist in the general reader would presumably let it slide.
on reflection, the 'at least the trains run on time' dig from the self-professed hardcore libertarian perhaps isn't so harsh...
how to write a restaurant review

dunno bout you, but found this completely gripping
god! don't i flagellate! typical fucking straight white liberal fence-sitting male.

help help
there's also
Will U.S. actions turn back clock on Iraqi women?

DID read all of it, -alas-
Whatever else can be said about Saddam Hussein's rule in Iraq - and plenty of terrible things can
lets it down, i'm afraid.
OK, so this guy is probably not my school of politics in general, but i'm gonna sit with him as a bedfellow on this critique.

no doubt, it's a cheap (and nasty) shot to headline Yes, But the Trains Ran on Time..., as this bloke does however.
the comment could have been inferred as doubting the honesty of Mr McGuinness.
i linked to this story before and made a 'actually, i probably did intend that as sarcastic aiighht' comment that could have been interpreted as either straight-faced (that would have been my get-out clause) or sarcastic.
i deleted it which is the first time (as far as i can recall) i've ever deleted anything at somedisco. so now i thought i better post it in the interests of honesty.
there is this in mitigation, however.
Eppy, Dominic in Eppy's comments box, our boy esp.; we luv you all, you're all rite.
clap clap on chris rock
i like chris rock cause of his quotes on the front cover of that nelson george book, if nowt else. to borrow from the jam tribute album, FIRE & SKILL.
yes am an evil capitalist i know.
i want u i want u i want u
sounds reasonable
god, do like staropramen me. a fave easy-to-get-hold-of continental. a lot better than bigname Belgians you get clueless foos' in black roll-necks going for in arthouse cafes cause they feel it's so superior to wifebeater (or whatever; gosh, i'm not reading my own bigoted values into things today am i?!). Leffe, the ordinary one for instance, is no great shakes in the slightest.
here is a website. The Triple is lovely though.
incidentally, without sounding like a fucking arrogant cock (though undoubtedly i do) i know a little bit about Belgian brews, if not least because this place is one of my locals.

here's Michael Jackson (the beer hunter, not the telly personality or the, er, personality)
great pub lunch
great banter
great scot

well its hyperlinks city today eh man.
this chap is staying in Prague, drinking the local produce.
he is the winner, i feel.

if yes, it might be worth looking here.

Scholes to open the scoring in a 3-2 home win is good odds at 80-1.
sorry i'm such a grumpy no-mark today, obviously i know Bertolucci and the actors in the dreamers are nine times the people i will ever be yadda yadda blehblah so never fear i was similarly mystified after all about the fuss over 'apocalypse now redux' thus invalidating my cinematic views for ever i don't doubt!
Pete Baran sticks it to 'The Dreamers' well.
quite frankly i am getting a tad narked with the adverts for it in the papers, praising its 'jouissance and fluidity' (Neasden Examiner), 'sense of sexual daring' (Miles Kington in the Independent), 'filthy wickedness that may bring down the Royals' (Mail on Sunday), and 'masterpiece' (Telegraph, i hope it wasn't my beloved Sukhdev Sandhu that wrote that).

i mean like i said, wanking for Graun readers innit.
how have i not seen Pop Life before now?
oh yeah Mcr does indeed have the strongest visual arts scene in the UK outside of Edinburgh or London but it's really only the Smoke you need. that said, in the interests of wossnames, here are some links to the better galleries etc (i.e., not too poncy esoteric types) or just the odd ones i particularly like (i.e., there's actually only about 30 or so galleries in town, a few more in the inner city&Salford& = AFAIK = and loadsa them are little poncy wallpaper/frieze reader type places, oh i'm kidding i love ya really). anyway
The Lowry
The Whitworth
Richard Goodall
Castlefield Gallery

oh and special mentions for
that at Urbis
and the Spencer at IWMN CURRENT.
this is from mt. disappointment's other half.
it's fascinating and wonderful and my favourite post of the year thus far, quite possibly. i dunno why. it's kewl.
now Jon might have the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, and Cathy might have The AGNSW and The MCA to go to, but all dem wondeful Melbourne headz have National Gallery of Victoria; i.e., the finest city art gallery in Australia.

oh, this is a great site.
here's the daddy, of course.
the reason for all this is a favour i gotta ask Angus later (i don't think Tim or certainly Keith read this page; sorry, i don't know if there's any other Melbourne bloggers that i read given that i don't know where you're from but anyway i'll stop waffling etc.)
so yeah Gordon! OI i'll get back to yous.
when i work out how to do links bar bare bloggin gettin hipped to ya getme
this peep is also premier league.
Talent in a Previous Life

yet another new top draw blog, i especially enjoyed this
praise be to our resident cybernetic Forest fan for drawing our attention
alas i am a fellow ginga-minga Nicola, never fear.
surely most people fancy Nadine? perhaps Cheryl at a pinch.
i think that from Luka is probably the best manifesto i've ever read.
day in day out, they are premier league.
sorry i'm a spread the love vybez peace n bizness ting today.
top bloggin
Craner is, of course, correct.

Thursday, 12 February 2004

the greatest magazine cover in the world
shouldn't speak {oh i am! what a tosser...} but this news might not be the best.
the family have - rightly - in the past argued that scapegoating this single solider is not good enough. here's something explaining their fears about a culture of impunity within the particular part of the IDF they're concerned with (what a wordy sentence!).
this is an interesting wrap-up.
also from the guardian: this (not normally one for critiquing personal politicking etc, but the stories about President Bush's military service in his youth are too juicy to ignore...)
on the other hand, this chap could probably do with a few inappropriate smileys right now (has there been a more unsuitable segue before?)
it's possibly quite demeaning an emoticon had to be dropped in the previous post but, well, yunno, whatever, nevermind.
also via Dave Stelfox, his mate's new blog here, which looks quite tasty. pray continue with your lists, o master of the Cali retinue!
Superpitcher adores Carlton and the Shoes

things seem better after this.

but what about the

bollocks scallops and fishes