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Sunday, July 31, 2005


we are all pleased to hear that the ira have called an end to it's armed struggle, preferring to use the ballot box rather than the bullet.
i remember back in the 70s/80s when their bombing campaign was going on, there were times when my mum (irish) was scared to go to work in case she was attacked for being irish. so i have sympathy for many asians who are likely to be target just because of the colour of their skin.

oddly the declaration of the ira does raises a whole heap of questions. tony blair has said that we cannot negotiate with terrorists - even though in the case of the ira we plainly have, and the result has been one we all want. peace, albeit an uneasy one. so can we sit down at a table with the current wave of radical fundamentalist terrorists?

personally i don't think we can. where the ira (and others like them) are fighting for a defined cause that can be resolved by talking, by compromise and negotiation. the radical fundamentalists are after wholesale change they do not want to compromise they want us to give up the freedoms we have (however much you may think that are not much they are more than we would have if the fundamentalists have their way...) and they want us to accept a way of life that does not exist, but is for them a utopia (a dystopia for the rest of us). for that reason alone we cannot negotiate a way out of this, at least not in the traditional sense.
perhaps the only way to do it is to isolate those who follow those beliefs, and hold those desires.

but in a cynical turn of mind, does anyone else think that the timing of the ira's announcement is one that is designed to distance themselves from the recent actions? have these radical fundamentalists done what no one else has done - given terrorism a bad name and so that the ira have had to give up the bullet for fear of losing any legitimacy?


even more self-puffery from me.
5000 plus hits. wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo as the nature boy would say.

ok most of them are me, but still that is 5000 hits.

not sure if my excitement at this is a good thing or a bad thing.
or is it just a sign that i really do need to get a life.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


was going to wax lyrical about this and that.
was going to pontificate on the mood of the world.
was going to debate the rights and wrongs.
was going to discuss the ins and outs.

but now that i am here i can't be arsed.
so i am going to go to a gig instead.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


picture it (well actually don’t). just cast your own minds back to when you were last in the toilet to do a big job.
there i was this morning – there has been the sound of a solid splash followed by the contented smile of a man who has had the weight of the world lifted from him.
from this nirvana like state i was quickly brought back to the terrible reality that is the western world. i had run out of bog paper. there was paper there last night, i distinctly remember it being there. the clock is ticking and i know i am going to be late for work. frantic looking around. i know there was paper last night, surely i didn’t sleep wipe?
what am i going to do.
then salvation – a copy of the evening standard. i can’t do crossword, can’t do sudoko and i disagree with it’s politics what better way to use it than to wipe my arse on it .
job down.
off to work. (of course there is always the worry that if i am knocked down not only may i have skidders, but now i may have a headline on my arse as well…..)

(and yes i have noticed a scatological element creeping into recent posts - it's growing up watching carry on films that is the cause of it all you. )

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


i was out and about last night.
first off to a free gig, and it was lucky it was free as it was pants. the joy of free gigs is twofold. firstly they are free, no money spent and you have a night out. secondly there is always the chance you are going to stumble on a good band who you are going to want to see again (and even pay to see). the nightmare of free gigs is that sometimes you just don’t know what you are going to get and last night it was one of those “oh why did i bother” events.
currently my favourite places to see free music are the spitz , on commercial street; the foundry on old street and the whatever night at underbelly in hoxton square.

oddly this post has nothing to do with free music or gigs. i had met up with joel for the gig and he had mentioned that traffic had been light on the roads when he was travelling to the spitz. i hadn’t noticed as i was annoyed that i had managed to miss two 25 buses so as far as i was concerned i was always behind on time.

it was only when we left the spitz to go and get some bagels on brick lane that we both noticed that the area was almost empty.
we had been down there on the friday night and the area was throbbing, the vibe bar pounding out its trendy sounds, people queuing to get into 93 feet east, the bars and food shops in truman’s brewery packed, cars, bikes and people milling and filling the lane.
monday night and the place was like a ghost town. even the bagel bar was devoid of it’s usual waiting throng of hungry people.

the only times i have seen brick lane that empty have been on a christmas night or when i have been coming back from a club and everyone with a bit of sense were enjoying that last hour or so before they had to wake up.

admittedly it was a work night so that might explain the lack of people. the college art shows have ended so those students have all gone. but you can’t help wondering if people are just not venturing out at the moment, worried at what might happen to them.

it was an eerie seeing brick lane that empty, it felt wrong and it was somewhat depressing.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


back in the day i wanted to be a policeman. i wanted to do it for the right reasons: to care for and protect my fellow citizens (this was a time when i was not only a sociable person, but i was also a witty person - it's amazing what a failed relationship will do to you...) i had grown up on a diet of dixon of dock green and z cars, and to me being a policeman was all i wanted to do. so why am i not a policeman. i am colour blind - it sort of makes for a bad policeman as i couldn't be sure i would have caught the guy in the red car (or was it green?) (a number of side points here - when i went for my first interview with the police on my way home i stopped at one of my favourite porn shops to have a look at the magazines - it was always a big thing when i would go into porn shops as i was underage, it was my rite of passage - on exiting the store a pigeon managed to land a load of droppings on my shoulder. the colour-blindness was used a "joke" when i was introducing myself in one of my classes at poly, that along with the peter sutcliffe joke bombed and i was forever seen as an odd one by the rest of my class....)

i have never really lost my respect of the police and i still wish i could have been a policeman. yes i know that there are bad policeman, but i know that there are bad teachers, bad doctors, bad accountants. there are bad people everywhere - and some are badder than others.

so i am a little ambivalent about the recent shooting incident at stockwell station.
this is from a mate of mine. i have to say i don't know nevs all that well, we have shared some good conversations about comics, porn and wrestling. i have found him to be funny, intelligent and passionate.

"So, as we all should know, An innocent man was killed at Stockwell situation for essentially wearing a rucksuck, being dark skinned and having the good sense to run when armed policemen come running towards him. Having cornered Jean Charles de Meneze. The police pinned the terrified man and shot him in the head, Later admitting that they had made a 'mistake' Perhaps the defintion of the word 'mistake' ought to be a bit more clear. I read Judge Dredd as a kid. I had no idea it would be a prophecy. I was ready to riot as I stayed up watching the BBC News 24 service on Friday. By 7 in the morning, I was getting in contact with everyone I could think, asking tdid anyone want to provide a non violent stand against a police force that is now apparently allowed to murder people on the street given the correct pretext. I was honestly shocked to find I was alone on this. I really thought that killing a man in broad daylight might shake people up from the apathy that allows this kind of behaviour to run unchecked. I've been wrong before, I suppose. That was that. This morning, I was asked to a staff meeting along with my workmates to discuss general points of duty. Our meeting ran over by perhaps five minutes. A fellow member began setting up the shop. Five past Eleven on a Sunday Morning. We turned to see an angry mob gathered at the door, demanding to know why we hadn't opened yet. In all honesty, I really, truly thought it was a joke. We carried on setting up and they actually rang up the shop, angrily demanding to know why a video shop was opening five minutes late on a sunday morning. Being a reasonsbly pratical person, If iI walk up to a shop and see it isn't open, I'd go do something else and come back later. But then I'm crazy, right? When we opened, they were genuinely angry. As if we had insulted their mother or something. People will carry on regardless while innocent people are murdered in front of their eyes, but will quickly form a mob because they have to wait for ten minutes to pay for the priviledge of renting out Miss Congeality 2. This isn't funny anymore. "

i have to say i wish it was as simple as the above.

i am not in agreement with him. what happened was tragic, and we can only hope it never happens again. in the act that took place in stockwell tube the terrorists have succeeded in part of their aim - they have changed the way we live, they have changed the way we think and act.

the police are in a no win situation here - if they had not acted and a bomb had gone off we would have wanted them to explain themselves for the multiple deaths that there would have been. they can't afford to wound a suicide bomber - who by their very nature is not interested in surviving - they have to shoot to kill.

as my sainted mum was fond of saying "if ifs and ands were pots and pans there would be no need for tinkers" so we can all play the game of - if they had waited a little longer, if only the bloke had not run, if if if ....
but we are now in different times and perhaps we no longer have the luxury of such hand wringing.

the solution to current situation is not going to be a simple one, and maybe a long time in coming it is not going to happen at the end of a gun or by the explosion of the bombs. it is a solution that will have to be political and long lasting.

do we have the leaders who can find that solution?
lets hope so.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


every now and then you are confronted with the terrible image of the floater, normally it is in the morning, you are bleary eyed still a little fogged with sleep, you are staggering into the toilet for the morning ablutions and there it is sitting in the bowl of the toilet smiling up at you: the turd from hell. due to mutant power the turd that exited your body the night before has now become so big it will not go down the u-bend, instead it floats serenely in the toilet. it mocks you, reminding you that your flush was inadequate. still dream addled you do the morning business, wash, douse the loo in bleach, flush and escape to work.
all is forgotten – the day might have been stressful (normally is), it might have been filled with people conversing in english but not making any sense (you can recognise the words – but you have never heard them used in quite that way), there may have been a laugh or two a long the way (occasionally happens).
when you get back home there is that trip to the smallest room in the house only to be confronted by the floater.
the morning flush has left it unharmed. the bleach has done nothing. the turd continues to mock you.
another flush as you leave the toilet.
listen to some music, drink some coffee, the night ends, time for bed and that one last trip to empty the bladder before sleeping.
it’s still there big, brown and ugly: the turd silently laughs at you. this time you flush in anger. the swirl of water obscures your view for a brief moment, but no no no no no it’s still there. the turd will not flush, it will not go gently into the dark night. the cistern fills up and when you flush this time there is a sense of certainty in your heart. but no the joy is short lived it’s still there. wait, hold on, is that a chink of light at the end of the tunnel, can my eyes be deceiving me or is it smaller…. yes yes yes it’s smaller than before.
more bleach. one last defiant flush and then to sleep.
in the morning you just know there will be victory.

a sense of dread fills you in the morning – will it still be there? gingerly you enter the toilet, there in the pan it is still there. the turd is defiant, but you can see the bleach has done it’s job, the last flush was fatal and the water has done it’s job. this turd is on it’s last legs.
one more flush.
the water churns.
the water clears.
the turd is gone.
a whoop of joy and the journey to work is done with a twinkle in the eye and a lightness of heart.

deep down though, you know that the floater will reappear in the future for battle to commence once more. for now just enjoy this victory.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I have had a fascination with cows (no not in a welsh way...) ever since the movie twister. There is a scene in the movie where jan de bont (the director, who also worked on die hard – perhaps the greatest action movie ever) demonstrated that he was a fan of the “far side” cartoons (and lets be serious here – who isn’t a fan of the work of mr. larson?). anyway the scene is a twister er... twisting across the countryside and in it wake it has managed to pick up a cow and as the cow goes up the spout of the twister there is a plaintive mooooo (ok I might be adding the moo in) but the cow has this look on it’s face as if to say “what has my agent gotten me into this time!” Not to mention the great neal adams portrayal of cows in avengers during the skrull kree war. (learn more about the skrulls & kree here and this is neal's cover

So this and far side means I always see cows in a funny light.

And now the rail companies have a new excuse as to why their trains run late “
They also said that the rural location made the task of repairs that much more difficult. Now as they also stated this happened just outside of oxford you have to figure that it wasn’t too far from civilisation that they couldn’t 1] send coaches to pick up the passengers 2] reverse a train along the track to pick them up.

The fact that the rail service seems to be able to increase prices almost at will and still not provide a decent service (but hey if you increase prices to a captive market – profits grow, shareholders and the stock market are happy, who cares about the ideal of competition?) is almost irrelevant. But the wrong cow on the track leaves a sour taste in the mouth on a day when those responsible for the hatfield disaster are set to

Saturday, July 16, 2005


want, need, desire are all strong words and all strong states of being. at some point or another we have all been struck by desire - it might have been for a thing or for a person, but we have all suffered under the yoke of desire.
that heartwrenching mind numbing feeling that you just must have that "thing", it goes beyond a mere wanting, it becomes an all important, all invasive necessity. without it you just know your life will not be complete, that there is something missing from your life, you have an empty void that is just waiting to be filled with the "thing" you desire.
it doesn't matter if the "thing" is big or small, if it is material, practical or is emphemeral the strength of the desire will be the same.
for a short time the desire will burn with the ferocity of the sun, the must have item will consume your thoughts, you will look at the item in books, magazines, websites, tv shows etc - all in the name of research (but lets be honest it is just porn by a different name. this is something that the collectors amongst us will truly understand eh jim, kenny, paul and richard.... oh yeah and me).
fortunately desire is not a permanent thing and for most of us it dies out and we soon realise that without the lottery win we are unlikely to be able to have that particular object of desire and it may forever remain out of reach.
oh what happens to the void you spoke of pat? (curses you are a clever bunch!)
well as we all know nature abhors a vacuum and desire detests a void so it is soon filled with a new object of desire.
(marxists might see this as being commodity fetishism while the capitalists might see this as the working of supply and demand. me i think is a part of human nature and it is there to keep life interesting.)

although i have admitted to myself i will never have a complete collection of marvel comics, and have settled for owning every essential trade paperback that marvel publishes. i still look longingly at bagged and boarded back issues that i don't own. while i know that i can't afford that plasma screen tv it doesn't mean i won't look at them when i am in an electrical goods shop, or the penthouse overlooking the tate modern (which is all well and good for the tourists as i know that if i could afford one of them i would just walk around my loft apartment naked, it is not a pretty sight i can tell you and i am sure that the tourists would be mentally scarred for seeing it - but then it is there own fault for looking in).
why do i even think about these things? well i have to know what i am going to do with the lottery win when it comes in!)

so my current desires are
1] nikon digital slr. the d100 is in my reach but while i am dreaming about it the d2x looks pretty sweet.
2] apple laptop the 14-inch ibook but i wouldn't say no to the 17-inch powerbook.
3] complete set of bootlegs from the bands led zeppelin, pink floyd, rush, frank zappa and king crimson.
4] a young lady who will.... (lets not go there shall we).

the sad thing is i know that even as i write this that not all of the above are attainable, and that even once i have gotten one of them it will be replaced with something else.

perhaps it is time to stop chasing the desires and learn to live the simple life?


Thursday, July 14, 2005


Q: What's brown and hides in the attic?
A: The diarrhoea of Anne Frank.

brought a smile to my face while suffering in the sweltering heat.

Monday, July 11, 2005


in a remarkable piece of self-puffery i have just discovered that i have gone over the 200 posts mark.
i am so pleased. though i think it means i should get out more.


continuing on from the other day.

now there is the seeming ubiquity of sirens, they have always been there but now their sound takes on a whole new meaning. you start to think are you safe, is there danger ahead? the old joke of “won’t sell many ice creams at that speed” stays unspoken. you find yourself listening out for them.

politicians praising all the blue top (as they seem to have become) workers. lets hope they remember this when they are planning their next round of cuts of such services or are being tight fisted with the pay rises.

walking passed an empty fire station near bethanl green, somehow the fact that the place was empty brought home how bad the situation was.

being on a bus (205) that went near tavistock square and you can see the cordon to prevent the crime scene being disturbed or ogled. at the same time a hushed tone came over the people on the 205.

seeing the missing fliers up and around the place – this time not asking “have you seen tiddles?” but putting faces to the missing.

people quick to blame blair and bush for this atrocity, stopping short of saying it is deserved. while seemingly choking on the fact that they have to condemn the bombers (and i am thinking of you george galloway).

tony blair and charles clarke appearing to be moderate and calm in a time of high crisis.

realising that although our worst fears have happened that there is a good chance that it will happen again.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


one day there is joyous celebrations, the next stunned condemnation. from rejoicing to mourning.

although i live close to where one of the bombs went off the worst that happened to me was it meant getting to and from work was a little harder than normal. though to hear one of my work colleagues talk he was lucky not to get caught in the the blasts as he drove into work that morning (the fact that his route into work is no where near where any of the bombs went off, nor does he use one of the lines that were affected didn't seem to enter into it - hell why let the truth spoil a great story...)

so some thoughts about the last few days.

brick lane (near one of the bombs) has been very subdued on the two occasions i have been into it.

the words surreal and reality have been very overused by broadcasters the last few days, they have become the equivalent of "innit", losing all meaning they have and just being put into sentances to fill up gaps.

for at least 24 hours radio 5 could talk about nothing else even though it had long since said all it could say about the event. (i am sure this is true of all the broadcasters - just that i tuned to r5).

although there was almost universal condemnation of the bombings (though it's not like anyone was going to broadcast people who were going to praise the bombers) there were awkward moments where people tied themselves up in knots over the question of muslims some would use the word in conjunction with al-qaida and then have to back pedal and say of course not all muslims are like this, while others would try to ignore the fact that al-qaida is muslim.

politicians telling us that the best way to defeat the terrorists was to continue to live our lives normally. like most of us have any other option. i still have to use public transport to get to and from work. i have to go to work each day. it's not like i can have an armed guard to protect me like tony b or queen e have. (though the queen must be very happy at the moment as it means that no more father's for justice skulking about her palaces and no fake bombs from the sun to worry about as it will be a shoot to kill policy for the next few months... on second thoughts lets get the sun to try out the fake bombs again and see if they can get shot).

experts talking about how much planning and organising has had to go into this attack.
i can tell you how much has gone into it - not a great deal. the hardest part would have been getting the bombs sorted out. after that it was just a case of finding the people to do it and deciding the times when to do it.
there would have been no need to do rehearsals, there would have been no need to have scoped out security cameras or anything like that.
just use the tube or the buses and you will see there are loads of people carrying packages, big and small. no one checks them, no one stops them. it is an open system.
if they really wanted to cause maximum damage, maximum outrage and stop the g8 they would have bombed live 8 - but that would have involved a lot of planning and it might have got them caught. (it may have also saved pete docherty's career).
the bombs coming the day after the olympic victory for london smacks of oppurtunism of the highest order, rather than cunning planning.
at least with the thought of them planning it there is a chance that the security services can stop the next one, the opportunism bomber not so easy...
(and no identity cards would not have stopped all from happening either).

hotels making extra money off of all of this.

financial advisers talking about the resiliance of the market, as if it had a soul and a conscience. it doesn't and we all know it.

more on this later - being kicked out of the coffee shop and home internet connection is down.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


just in case it is not too late to register my vote for the london olympics.
no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no nein no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no non no no no no no no no no nein no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no non no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no nein no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no
and thrice no.

and for all of you who say but it will mean regeneration for the east end, it will mean better transport and it will mean there are sporting facilities in the east end that can be used by all - the so called legacy factor.
to all of you i say:
if the east end needs regenerating (and it does) then do it - don't worry about having an olympics there.
if london needs to sort out it's transport facilities (and it does) then do it - don't hang about hoping for the olympics to kick start it.
if the east end needs sporting facilities (it does) then build them - why wait for there to be an olympics.

if the bid fails (fingers crossed) does it mean that all of the above will be forgotten?
or is it that politicians such as ken and tony just want to get their names attached to the hosting of the olympics?

here's hoping that chirac and his boys get the nod (not often that i will say that about the french!)