Thursday, 28 October 2004

David Blunkett saying Asian families should speak English at home. I wonder if he says that to the Brits who buy second homes in Spain. Do they have to speak Spanish? How about his Labour friends in Tuscany? Do they speak Italian? The man has no sense of history and proportion.
Ken Loach.
David Aaronovitch on the subject of Adam Curtis and that BBC documentary series
it was, in fact

drag KINGS


thee best

went to Hull for a day over the weekend which was quite good (friend was 23, old git!).

had the most astoundingly tasty balti bhuna (before getting to Hull, and watching the Everton match in a Manchester pub had one only okay pint of Landlord and one superb pint of London Pride and a great meal of mixed leaf salad, curly fries, and a delicious delicious lovely goats cheese/roasted peppers/pesto fancy bready thing) and drank in some okay bars, including that one associated with the only i suppose half-way cool in a sack-assed metropolitan sense contemporary music thing/label [contemporary on the music front because of course there is the small matter of the Housemartins] to come from the Humber area, which is downtempo type Pork Recordings (their in-house bar in central Hull is called the Lamp and is okay).
was confused by a flyer i saw there with the fine Larkin face advertising some bar-night they were doing in London soon, did 93 Feet East used to be at 93 Shoreditch (or whatever 'famed' street it is; you'll excuse my provincial cloth-eared-ness) cause this bar the flyers advertised was 91-95 on that same street whatever it is i forget but it was some place i'd never heard of [shouting the odds on one's ignorance]

chatted to a fabulously sozzled Finnish fisherman, stuck between screens showing football (Liverpool-Charlton; there are a lot of non-native {i mean Hullites, non-native to Liverpool, but i'm assuming glory years etc} Liverpool fans in Hull you notice) and rugby league (it is Hull).

went to surely one of the better/biggest clubs in Hull, Pozition, many rooms and floors, quite nice actually, when we did dance it was on the r'n'b floor, which was actually quite good.

unfortunately my friend got battered outside and has had to have reconstructive surgery on his face/forehead but is joking about it now and getting called Scarface so eh.

i love these small towns like Hull, i think there is something magical about Hull in particular, looking out east, the end of the world for its inhabitants once, Russians in the docks, John Prescott's constituency in east Hull, officially containing the most deprived ward in all Yorkshire [as long as you don't regard the Tees area as being N Yorks which of course it really was, but there we go, let's not count] (about the 50th most deprived ward in all England, out of over 8,000: of course the most deprived wards in England are unhealthily concentrated in Manchester, Merseyside and Middlesbrough).

across to the dykes, fabled folk tales and container ports of the Dutch lands, down the German industrial arteries, thinking of all the blind sailors and rheumy miners in coal-faces, looking over to Copenhagen cafe society, sweeping out over the endless steppes and once a host of yurts with Russian/Siberian resolve and that history and
always always the Polish forests with their brooding secrets and bloody past.

then into Ukraine and stop there, square the circle, official men, guns, it's all going dark,
everything's going dark.

yes it's never dull in Hull.
as fatal shots are fired in Yala and deadly bombs are detonated in Narathiwat, PULO has vowed They will pay for what they have done, their cities will burn
David Fullbrook w' a little analysis here
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
big up yr chests

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

'having sex. er...VISITING MY MOTHER'


and true-

Drag queens are my new favourite people

so, so right...
in the wake of the latest monstrous tragedy to smite southern Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra has tried conciliation but has also appeared in somewhat - frankly - blase mood
whilst, even after assurances on general human rights issues across Thailand, Amnesty International remains concerned.


whatever the machinations of Glazer with ref. to Man United (and while i respect Robin enormously and believe there might be something in his observations, the coalition was too broad, the brushstrokes too diverse, even the Mancunia battlers themselves too bubbling with differences, for any stinging points about the usual suspects to truly hit home for me; saying that, of course, as one astute commentator pointed out, if Glazer had refinanced any theoretical loan with index-linking and ticket prices had stayed the same for the ordinary fan, only rising for the prawn sandwich brigade, then some would have surely been converted: irrelevancies about the burning of American flags, petty vandalism and other such regrettable criminality aside, the strident tone of some of the Glazer opposition was perhaps too much for many moderates to stomach?) we can surely be glad Mr Thaksin's interest in Liverpool was stopped (a bid possibly with public money!; now that's cheap).

i'm no economist, but can you imagine the uproar if Gordon Brown made an impromptu announcement one day
We're raiding Treasury coffers to get Tony an executive box at the Seahawks

the press would have a field day, Andy Marr would probably do a glowing piece but we'd have Michael Howard pointing out, of course, he's a Bengals fan.

you can picture the scene
Nick Robinson: Chancellor, why Seattle?

Gordon Brown: Oh you know, it's the right time, we think

NR: Yes, but here we are, you are, you are, er, essentially taking from the public purse to get the Prime Minister an executive box at a grid-iron stadium. I mean, why?

GB: Well, Tony's always been a big fan of Jimi Hendrix, of course.
And he enjoys Frasier.

Blunkett to set up a review of the laws on murder, proclaims the BBC news website ticker (alas, no details yet as i type).

perhaps the new proposals centre on just charging the nearest asylum seeker with the offence, as long as they're within, say, ooh, a 50 mile radius.

could cut down on paperwork and might win some votes.

yeah that'll probably be it.

Tuesday, 26 October 2004

Jelly Roll's style:


great to see and hear the godlike Andy Kershaw [Radio 3 mini-site] discussing his friend on the television news tonight

i suppose my favourite ever John Peel moment came during one of his shows about, ooh, six or seven years ago now maybe (?) when he played some outfit and he said 'they were awful' or 'that was awful' when he actually said 'they were Awful' or...&c
then he pointed out in that lovelylovely avuncular tone of his that the band weren't awful and that wasn't him "editorialising", they were in fact "called" Awful.


Saturday, 23 October 2004

“The Grizzly Bear, Bunny Hug, Texas Tommy, and Turkey Trot are stages in an evolution toward the fast dances of the 1920’s.”

Friday, 22 October 2004

Dave Godin adored music and someone else who adores music is Simon silverdollarcircle.

Stacey Pullen in Fabric at 6am could have the potential to be awesome (every household should boast a copy of The Theory of Silent Phase) so whilst it's a shame he disappointed, i've been reading and re-reading Si's totally compelling and rather good review of the night for days now.

Wednesday, 20 October 2004

RIP Dave Godin

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

that's one word for it

Monday, 18 October 2004

good piece by Tim Judah recently (‘Uganda: The Secret War’, The New York Review of Books, Vol. L1, No. 14, pp.62-4) about the LRA, and its bloodthirsty leader, Joseph Kony, a vicious fanatic notorious for claiming he is guided by spirits.

what i didn’t know, however, was the identity of some of the spirits. one, apparently, is called Who You Are, another Juma Oris, a third a woman called Selindi and another, supposedly an American spirit called Ali Salango.
as Judah grimly notes “all agreed that a man possessed by spirits is bound to be unpredictable and may be impossible to deal with”.

Judah makes a convincing case, incidentally, with his figures and whatnot that In recent months the world press has concentrated on the Darfur region of Sudan, calling it the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” In fact this claim is incorrect, although the situation in Darfur is indeed horrifying. He notes how “the Ugandan conflict has been going on a lot longer, fewer people may have died in Darfur than in northern Uganda, and almost twice as many Ugandans have been forced to flee their villages as have non-Arab Sudanese in Darfur”.
It might seem crass discussing almost a hierarchy of suffering but Judah’s point is nimbly made.
That point is observing the links between the two tragedies – via a third of civil war – given Kampala’s sponsorship of the SPLA, and seedy Khartoum’s sponsorship of the wicked LRA.
only read an open letter from Irene Khan to South Korean politicians - here - this morning; concerning the National Security Law, it is sobering
i've long felt the Telegraph's Con Coughlin to be, frankly, something of an overly hawkish buffoon.

but, of course, this has always just been my prejudiced reading of his sometimes fantastical approach to journalism, so it's not something you mention very often.

so it's good to read LENIN'S TOMB wading into Mr Coughlin, and showing his working
to one of those country pubs yesterday, in the middle of nowhere, then a walk round various piles and astonishing rural views.

Old Speckled Hen, Greenall's Mild, Scrumpy Jack on tap (an intriguing sounding Bulgarian red, whose name escapes me, also got my attention), the Speckled Hen eventually on form.
food robust and hearty, with a surprisingly delicate sweet trolley, and an A to Z of ice cream flavours.

olde worlde maps of 'Chesshyre' on the walls, plenty of brass, engravings of workers hunkering down on flagstone floors, flagons nearby, images of threshing, stuffed pheasants, rifles above fireplaces, not to be exchanged for "a thousand Wetherspoons" as one mate put it.

i'd still rather have had the Saturday night the lovely companion did...
Lukashenko in vote rigging row - no, get away
believe it or not, but this guardian article on Western Sahara [James Baker's summer resignation, the security council poised for action] is the first i can remember seeing in a mainstream newspaper on the conflict for ages

Friday, 15 October 2004


Thursday, 14 October 2004

there's a smashing recipe here for poblano rellenos with mole verde
+Quintana Roo crabs+
one for Marcello perhaps
~tarantula nebula~
impeccable opening two sentences from Timothy Garton Ash

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

In the UK they are active in urban centres - mostly London, Manchester, Glasgow and Hull.
The three main groups are the 14K, which is strongest in Birmingham and the north of England, Shui Fong (also known as Wo On Lok), which is dominant in London, Glasgow and the south coast, and Wo Shing Wo, which has its powerbase in Manchester.

oh, this is a really nice Robert Johnson page

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Paris will host first ever Koons retrospective - fur&feathers to no doubt fly!

Saturday, 9 October 2004


- The Hard Parties, various Michigan locations, 1993
Hard, Harder and Hardest. Reacting to the fluffiness of the nascent scene these were ultra-intense affairs.

> Spastik, Detroit, 1994
The first to cover everything in black plastic. Dancing in a pitch-black void you are truly consumed by, and lost in, the music.

> Jak 1 & Jak 2, Detroit, 1995
No advance word whatsoever and the Hawtin debut of The System (one moment when Hawtin couldn’t focus on his records because his eyeballs were wobbling and people were throwing up off the wall of bass inspired the Plastikman track ‘Sickness’).

- Jak O’Lantern, Windsor, Ont., 1995
More black plastic, orange snow fencing on the ceiling and a generator that needed cooling with water all night.

- Consumed, Pontiac, MI, 1998
Venue: old Masonic temple. Themed rooms and mikes that recorded conversations upon entering, playing back your own talk as one climbed the stairs.

Friday, 8 October 2004

1. Ali Farka Toure, Ali Farka Toure, Mango/World Circuit, 1988.

1. Timbarma (traditional)
2. Singya
3. Nawiye (traditional)
4. Bakoytereye
5. Tchigi Fo
6. Amandrai
7. Kadi Kadi
8. Yulli
9. Bakoye (adapted from Arabic praise song)
10. Amandrai [live]

Ten tracks of elongated vocals and unfussy instrumentation that pack an emotional punch; sounds this good should perhaps be criminalised.

i adore how he holds it on ‘Singya’.

Thursday, 7 October 2004

an official study has said there have been over 50,000 killings in communal violence in Plateau state in under three years.

Wednesday, 6 October 2004

an Amnesty International UK press release detailing their ("extremely rare") decision to make a written submission to the House of Lords, concerning detention without charge.

the full text of the submission is here.
Human Rights Watch, and others: Thailand's war on drugs sinks to new low
yesterday evening, at about 7.30 british time, channel 4 news broadcast previously embargoed footage shot from inside the cockpit of a USAF fighter jet flying over Iraq.

the pentagon had confirmed to channel 4 news the footage was genuine and belonged to them - and had, indeed, sent an email overnight the previous night to channel 4 news assuring them it was not 'recent' footage, rather footage dating from April 2004 - and the audience doubtless watched with interest as the cameras rolled.

the fighter pilot asked colleagues if he was to proceed with the target and was told to proceed (a man from Jane's was later worrying over what he called the short length of time it took to make such a crucial decision; Jane's not a publication known for its firebrand pacifists).

as the bomb or missile or crateload of anvils or whatever it was, was released, the viewer shortly after saw a very large explosion on the city streets.

immediately after blowing to bits about thirty other human beings the pilot was clearly heard to remark oh dude.

a local medic and representative of Doctors for Iraq told channel 4 news the dead were civilians, "women and children", trying to take cover, running down a street from the strafing of American snipers.

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

the only bright spot in this dismal story is the detail that Italian officials quoted by AFP news agency said they were allowing arrivals from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia access to the asylum process.
also on the BBC Online site, an archived piece about the 'little Senegal' on the outskirts of Brescia.
LENIN'S TOMB on 'Trying the genocidaires'
"US 'hyping' Darfur genocide fears"

Monday, 4 October 2004