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Showing posts from August, 2009

Where Money Infiltrates Spirit Gets ****** In The Jacksey

The British newspapers have discovered evidence directly linking the release of the Lockerbie bomber to Oil deals, denied so self-righteously by everybody involved in the deal to let the guy out (I can't be bothered to go and look up his name, and to be frank, why should he get a name when his whole philosophy hinges around the devaluation and debasement of human life?). Jack Straw himself makes the link between considerations about the murdering swine's release and the need to keep the Libyan "Government" (that is, Mob) happy so they'll let us have their oil in letters written a hound's age ago and printed in today's papers.

Mr Straw has released a statement taking umbrage at the publicity he's getting, as you'd expect. As if printing the letters were an act of troublemaking perversity by the paper that got them, like taking pictures of Joanna Lumley on the beach without her bra on through a telephoto lens (I don't know which paper it was, I h…

New Directions Home

I'm enjoying all the pronouncements coming out from the camp of Bob Dylan at the moment. Last week he told the BBC he was negotiating with two companies to be the voice of a new SatNav kit. Now he claims that he's releasing an album of Christmas songs for charity.

Oh really Bob? Both could be true, of course. Apparently there are SatNavs available with the voices of other famous people on them. And it's conceivable that he could do the Christmas record. Willie Nelson would after all, and Bob's in the same category as Willie pretty much, these days, as an artist and an icon. Although Willie is a fabulous singer and Bob sounds somewhat like a strangulated parakeet when he opens his mouth.

The great thing with Dylan is that with him you are never quite sure he's serious. He's done four or five excellent albums recently and written a wonderful memoir. Creatively he's buzzing. Is the rejuvenated Dylan mind having cruel fun at the expense of a gullible media with t…

Pissing On The Bodies Of The Dead

There was another phone-in on the radio last night about whether we are doing enough to honour the sacrifices "our boys" are making in Afghanistan to keep the world safe from terrorism.

Is that what they're doing? Or are they actually making the world a more dangerous place by fanning the flames of extremism? Were the training camps that gave the world the 7/7 bombers even in Afghanistan? Most people seem to think not.

Now, I don't blame the soldiers themselves for the politics behind their presence there. They just do what they're told, like mailmen and care workers and the fellows behind the deli counter at Sainsburys. But I do object to the fact that the politics can't be questioned, or discussed, without one being accused of pissing on the bodies of dead infantrymen.

I say that not to question the politics of the war is to piss on the dead, and a desecration of the democratic principles we are now supposed to be over there fighting for (interesting how the w…

Why People Don't Read Books Anymore

I may get into it at some juncture, but right now the return of the football season bores me to tears. It only seems two seconds since the last one finished, for Heaven's sake. And what is football, when all's said and done? Twenty-two people trying to prevent each other from kicking a round thing between two posts. Blimey, no wonder nobody reads books anymore when they've got that to occupy their minds and spirits.

Which is snobbish and simplistic, of course. Who said that football has anything to do with the nation's reading habits? (It doesn't.) But equally who said a person proves his legitimacy as a human being by conspiring to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator? I get fed up of people asking me why I use long words when I could use short ones. Why do you buy an expensive flat screen television that can do crossword puzzles and make your breakfast for you when you could have one that just sits in the corner and plays a poor reproduction of "…

The Bard Memoir Is Up And Running People

I've been hiding out in the Bard Gaffe this weekend, that is, when I wasn't being fed into tunnels at the local hospital and having radiation thrown at me. I'm writing a kind of memoir about life in the Eighties and this weekend seemed like a good time to get serious with it. Which I've done. I've produced about thirty more pages of the bugger since I left work on Thursday and I hope to do a few more tonight--that is, again (my life is full of that ises), if I don't fall down in the street when I leave the internet cafe and have to go to the hospital again.

You think I'm being melodramatic? Well, you're wrong. What I'm actually being is neurotic, because I take no grand dame (if that's the way it's spelled) operatic joy in the idea of being poorly. I'm actually incredibly bored by it. But you try falling down outside Waterstone's, of all places, and see how much you take for granted after that. Not that I ever have taken anything for …

Reading Headache

I have a swine of a reading headache at the moment. You see,I found a copy of Bob Dylan's "Chronicles" in the charity shop the other day. I've read it before but I couldn't really remember it in too much detail; and I'm working through a great collection of Russell Brand's Guardian essays called "Articles of Faith" as well. While trying to write a book about my life in the 1980s. So the whole day yesterday was spent looking at the printed word (which I'm also doing now). And my eyes aren't up to the challenge. They need to look upwards into blue skies and across rivers at brown horses in distant fields. Still, at least I've got my interest in writing back, even though most of my old cohorts in the game have disappeared because I was too busy doing other things to tell them how wonderful they were. This had begun to get a little galling because very few of them ever had the courtesy to show any interest in what I was doing, even thoug…

The Bard Of Semilong Gets His Head Examined (II)

I was at the Northampton Hospital half an hour ago for an MRI. The results of the EEG I had and wrote about on these pages were "normal", which was something of a surprise, but they wanted me to have an MRI too because the latter is more thorough, apparently; the EEG can miss things. (If that is the case, I find myself wondering, why don't they stop doing the EEGs and spend the money they waste there on more MRI machines?)(But what do I know, eh?)

I was dreading the MRI ever since the appointment came through. I've been convinced, in the less logical interiors of my strung-out paranoid mind, that I was dying of cancer for a long time, even before I hit the floor in the Lookout for the first time and woke up wondering what the hell had just happened. But having the MRI, so my reasoning went, would prove it conclusively. There would be no kidding myself out of these overwhelming death fears and back to some semblance of normality.

And it still might prove that; I don'…

John Hughes: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Film director John Hughes has died. The guy responsible for Eighties "classics" like The Breakfast Club and Home Alone. I think he did Pretty in Pink as well, though my memory is fading faster than my vitality (well, just about) and I'm not sure about the last one.

It's a shame when anybody dies. And I'm sure John Hughes was a lovely bloke who supported numerous charities and put movie producers on hold to stroke kittens and throw tennis balls with orphans. But those were dreadful films. Maybe not as bad as some of the bilge that Hollywood pumped out in those days, but still a damn sight worse than the average either before or since.

Eighties nostalgia, so widespread now even among those who remember that most benighted of decades, is just one more thing that mystifies me thoroughly and makes me wonder if I am really a member of the human race. Not that I necessarily want to be.

Anybody who wants to watch a John Hughes movie this weekend to remember his "great&…

Train Robbers and Cranks

The radio this morning was full of the usual right-wing cranks phoning up and texting about the release of Ronald Biggs. How frustrating the day must be for these people if they can find nothing to vent their spleen on. Though of course, when you're a right-wing crank, everything is grist to your mill of hate. He should not come out, they say, despite the fact that he is dying of pneumonia. Make him stay in jail until he breathes his last! Then he will have paid his debt to society.

I can't claim even to have an opinion on Biggs himself. Perhaps it is just the mood I'm in this morning, but I couldn't care less what happens to him, though I do warm slightly to the spectacle of a judicial system exercising compassion to the dying. Biggs and his cohorts showed no compassion to the men on the train who were brutalised, they say; but does the State demonstrate the wickedness of their conduct by mirroring it? I'm not a right-wing crank, of course, so perhaps there's s…