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Showing posts from April, 2009

That's The Fourteenth Time I've Never Heard That Before

short hair, skinny,
he smokes a rollie
by a white van
on the corner

looks at me, passing,
calls me jesus,
and everyone
around him laughs

his eyes are glassy
like the surface
of a lake
before it snows.

envoi
my hair is long
my beard is thick
your waxy cropped
head makes me sick.

OBAMA DRAWS A LINE UNDER TORTURE

Liberal commentators are expressing disappointment today about Barack Obama's announcement that he won't prosecute CIA operatives for torturing terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and in other dens of American (and probably British) justice around the world. It is as if, for them, he's compromised himself fatally, becoming--as we all expected--a more articulate version of the Beast that came before him.

Well, that may or may not be so, just as Bush and Co. may or may not have been the Beast we assume them to have been. But as quick as I am to leap on Obama for failing to match deeds to the fine words (and how fine they were) that got him elected, I struggle to see how he could prosecute CIA operatives without prosecuting the lawyers and high-ranking government officials who approved the torture methods being used. That delightful man Dick Cheyney is on record as saying that water boarding is an acceptable method of interrogation in the extraordinary circumstances America face…

splake and "The Winter Diary"

I received with today's bundle of bills and fliers from the local pizza houses my copy of t.kilgore splake's "The Winter Diary", which might best be described as his poetical autobiography. I've read it in draft but now here's the finished product, out in book form. It looks good. I wish the print could have been a little bigger but I guess that would have meant more pages and increased the cost of print and sale. And not everyone has the eyesight of a half-blind hamster like me (lol, as texters say).

I will do a proper review of the book when I've read it through again, but congratulations to splake for directing his considerable energies to the completion of the book; I know it's been a long time coming.

2009 Is Really Nothing Like The 80s

People keep pointing out the similarities between what's happening now, and the recession of the 80s.

They're right in one sense. It does look the same: all those abandoned shops, people crowded outside of Job Centres.

But in any substantial way it's completely different. Back then people were politicised, if they didn't have their snouts in Thatcher's trough.Every second person in the dole queue knew who had put them there and was intellectually engaged in how to change things. I know. I was in the dole queues with them. And the lucky ones who had jobs but weren't seduced by Thatcher's call to the baser side of their nature looked on with repugnance.

And the bands supported the people in the dole queues and in all the other places that the Hand of Greed was smashing culture and tradition. They showed leadership. They talked politics to NME hacks. Some even toured political shows to galvanise the anti-Thatcher vote.

There were vegetarian whole food shops run by…