Showing posts from October, 2009

Che Guevara And The Street Gangs

(from the author's private journal)

Apparently that music the youngsters like to play in their shiney cars is called "grime". It's a word lifted from a Rolling Stone interview with Karen Carpenter. (Okay, it isn't.)

I discovered this fascinating fact during a news item on the radio about a movie (I didn't catch the name of it) depicting gang life in the Midlands. The movie has apparently been banned by some cinema chains because it glamorises guns, violence and drug abuse.

Well, congratulations idiots, now you've increased the cachet of the movie tenfold among the people you fear will be most influenced by it. Illegal downloads will be flying everywhere.It was interesting to consider the film, whatever it is called, and the lifestyle it depicts, after watching "Che Part One" last night.

One of the stars of the gang film was on the radio spouting all of the usual drivel we hear from apologists for these thugs: "It's a fact...It's the way…

Another Day, Another Hate Crime. Gotta Love This Country

I was extremely disturbed to hear about the homophobic attack in Liverpool the other night, the one perpetrated by a large gang of teenagers on a gay man which has left him gravely ill in hospital. The list of the poor bastard's injuries is stomach churning.

You do have to wonder what sort of society we have allowed to develop when children (that is what they are at 14, regardless of what they might want you to think), are prepared to kick and beat somebody to the brink of death because his sexuality is different from theirs. (If they are even having sex, beyond the occasional desperate, unsatisfying wank.)

The ultimate responsibility is theirs, of course, since nobody forced them to set upon the victim, but what the hell were their parents doing letting them stay out at that time of the night at that age? And who are they hearing the kind of bilious, hate-filled rubbish from that shapes their malleable minds in such an unfortunate way?

Some of their music, yes. A lot of it is pack…

So One In Five Support The BNP? So Few?

I don't think the so-called "chattering classes"--of which I suppose I'm an honorary, if rather down-at-heel, member--should be too surprised at the poll which said 1 in 5 British voters would consider voting for the BNP, unless the surprise is caused by how minimal the poll suggests their support still is.They do reflect a strong vein of opinion in white British (and to them there is no other) life when it comes to immigration.

A great many white British people think there are too many "foreigners" in the country; and their scorn is not just reserved for those with darker skins than theirs--they curse the supposed preponderence of Polish people walking our streets and renting our mouldy over-priced terraced houses as well. "The Government's just letting anyone in," they'll tell you (I've heard it); though if you ask any of them for statistics relative to other European countries or immigration levels twenty years ago, they won't be…

Nick Griffin On The BBC

Should BNP leader Nick Griffin be allowed to appear on Question Time this week alongside representatives of the political mainstream in Britain?

It leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth to think that this racist, Holocaust-denying thug should be given the legitimacy of an appearance on the BBCs premier political debate show.

But we do not want to play to the sense of martyrdom and victimhood he and his supporters already have. "The only person no one listens to in this country is the poor white man" etc. etc. etc.

Let him talk and with any luck he will be exposed for the crypto-fascist he is. With any luck.

The other, less likely, scenario, which is that he will put on a fine rabble-rousing performance and pick up thousands more supporters to his cause, is too disturbing even to contemplate for long.

Religion And The Devil

I heard a Christian woman advising someone yesterday not to do yoga because it was part of the work of false idols (or something). That's the Devil working through those elegant contortions.

The Christianity I grew up around was so much sweeter and more relaxed than that. You could, as Gary Snyder says, "almost love (it) again."

I think the Devil, if he exists, does a big part of his work inside the anger and judgement of people who want to eliminate diversity and have us all worship the same God in the same way.

Fundamentalism is the same on every side, because it's a distortion of the human temperament which finds a place to settle in religion, or in politics.

So I don't blame God or Allah for some of the lunatics who follow them. Religion itself may be the only functioning tool we have to keep society from sliding into chaos.

But there is a powerful resemblance between people like that Christian woman yesterday and the Muslims she thinks so primitive and vile. No d…

Uh-Oh, Trouble Is Coming To Town

That Dutch fellow is coming Friday, the MP who plans to show his film intercutting footage of 9/11 with quotes from the Koran in the House of Lords. The leader of that well-known bunch of political moderates UKIP invited him. The Government then banned him from coming on the grounds that the public airing of his views would sow seeds of racial and religious discord, but their decision was overturned in court as some sort of unfair restriction on freedom of speech.

He was on the radio this morning making ridiculous generalised statements about Muslims and equating Islam with fascism.The fact that the Bible is pretty extremist in its attitude to diversity and equality too, and there are those who interpret those writings seriously, seems to have slipped his mind conveniently. America had one as president for the last 8 years, and all through the 1980s. Do we imagine that someone is not a racist just because he says he's not a racist? Or a religious extremist because he insists he isn…

The Letter

I found a letter tucked inside a book on my shelf.
One I hadn't seen before.Someone else had put it there when I lived in another house and I'd taken the book with me, not knowing.
The letter was from my landlord. To someone crazy I was caring for.
The crazy person and me were in a lot of trouble. The landlord wanted his house back, and he had brought in solicitors; he was serving notice.
He'd offered us purchase of the property. I didn't know this.
The letter said I'd blown it by walking away from the deal.
"Bruce's attitude makes that impossible," he said. My attitude. Unknowing, ignorant of all.
It was the house where I'd looked after my mother. The house where my mother had died one terrible summer morning.
The landlord said the crazy person's last letter was "unpleasant".
The landlord said we would be financially liable for damages to the house.
The landlord was a good guy. We'd exploited his kindness for a long time, though it didn&#…

I Wish

I could undo all the damage I've done by neglecting, exploiting, abusing my loved ones.

I wish I could glibly say I will make redress by doing the same things no more.

But I didn't realise that I was doing them then; I thought they were being done to me.

I lived in a world of parallel logic where I was a combination of choirboy and prophet.

I fear I still do.

And all the rationalisations I can offer don't make it better.


Pound's silence at the end of his life is the only wisdom.

Where Rebellion Really Lies

My dislike of television is well-known by people who are close to me. But I haven't turned the radio on a great deal either since I started writing again with anything like the seriousness it demands.

Why? It's because the babbling voices on the radio are the voices of consensus in its various forms. They have to be to acquire enough listeners to keep their stations afloat. Who wants to listen to radio that isn't about them?

But consensus is the enemy of creativity. You have to think your own thoughts, live in your own centre, to write well, not adopt the same mind as everybody else.

Think I'm being arrogant? Listen to the cliches of everyday speech they use, which are exactly the same as the cliches you hear at the bus stop.Listen to the assumptions of a shared position in the opinions they offer. Think about the topics they cover on the stations that pretend to some kind of objectivity.

It's all pitched towards a great mass of people who are assumed to be out there, …

TV & The Art Of Conversation

I walked into a room yesterday to find five perfectly intelligent people all watching tv with their mouths hanging just slightly slack and not a word passing between them. They were watching, if that's what they were doing with their heads turned towards the glowing box in the corner, a quiz show.

I waited for a few minutes. Nothing. I'm not sure anybody even blinked (though I could be wrong in that).

"What tv has done to the art of conversation, eh?" I said, tartly, to no one in particular.

"Hhhhnnnmmmm," said the more attentive of the group.

I could feel my brain shrinking to the size of a dried pea.

It's Up To You, Whatever The Sun Says

At the moment, the British media is full of ruminations about the decision of that august publication The Sun to endorse David Cameron and the Tories at the General Election next year. Shows you what I know. I thought they supported them already, and had done for some time.

It doesn't surprise me they're endorsing Cameron, however, any more than it surprised me when they endorsed Blair and Labour in 1997. Blair, then, was offering a refined, apparently (though it was largely spin) socially conscious version of Thatcherism. He'd also spent a bit of time sucking up to Rupert Murdoch, who owns The Sun, and according to ex-employees dictates its agenda.

Murdoch endorses political parties who will help him further his immoral, rapacious business agenda, and Brown's slight, but nonetheless detectable, move left this past year, not to mention his famous Presbyterianmoralism, makes him less of a potential ally to Murdoch than Blair was in 1997. And Cameron is a Tory, plain and s…