Sunday, June 27, 2004

and who'd have thought it?

With relatives one's not seen in years, and the small children you never knew they had, and closer relatives wondering when you're going to have small children, and feeling it is neither polite, nor the time, nor the place to express your extreme dislike of children. And then the long journey home, alone, to an empty flat, accompanied only by cheap railway red-wine. And the person who doesn't respond to you, and you wonder why not. And the general, maudlin, Sunday night feeling.
It's all shit, isn't it?

Friday, June 18, 2004

well, who'da thunk it?

Well, well, well. Apparently a Whitehouse-commisioned report has concluded, contrary to most presidential mouthing-off, that Saddam Hussein's Iraq didn't provide any assistance to al-Qaida, in their attack on the World Trade Centre, and other American targets.
Given the fundamental religious differences between Hussein's Iraqi regime, and the intolerant, bigoted nature of al-Qaida, one would have thought this was obvious, but it has taken until now to state.
Coming soon - more exciting Whitehouse reports: "The Pope - Catholic, Apparently" and "The Woods - Main Ursine Shitehouse".

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

...and the irony is killing me

Amusing headlines of our time, number 1. On the BBC website, this afternoon: "Blair condemns the violence".
And would this be the violence of tens of thousands of tons of bombs being dropped on innocent people in the middle east, in the name of oil profits...sorry, freedom (because the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan seem inundated with freedom at the moment)? No. It's a bunch of pissed-up blokes having a scrap on the Algarve. The sort of thing that one could see at kicking out time in any small English town on a Friday night. But because there's football involved (nominally) our glorious leader has to stick his oar in. Whilst missing the real issues.
Hmmmm. No change there, then.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

kings of speed?

I rarely get riled. Well, in fact, that's a lie. I get riled by most things (injustice, terrorism [both individual and state], global poverty, bad tv, the bad weather, the good weather... I think Jerry Sadowitz put it best when he said "There's only three things I hate - living things, objects, and miscellaneous, in case I've missed anything." But I digress...)
In any event, I rarely get riled enough to rattle off letters. But this morning, I did. I was listening to Radio 5. I like Radio 5. It soothes. It doesn't have the pretensions of Radio 4 in the mornings (and I can't stand the sanctimonious hypocrisy of 'Thought for the Day' - it's either some right-wing bigot like Anne Atkins with one of her misanthropic diatribes about how Christians love everyone but God hates fags, or its someone akin to the Rabbi Lionel Blue, trying to smother the world in a syrup of liberal niceness - a sort of 'Hello. I'm nice, and I'm going to talk in a nice, gentle voice about some moment of nice, gentle comedy'. But this isn't the point, either). No, I like Radio 5. It has football commentary on it. The delightful, Boltonian Victoria Derbyshire is a presenter on it (I've met her, you know. Bought her a pint in a pub before a match last year - must email her to see how she is...) and the late night discussion show is fantastic - the people on it are generally incredibly stupid and know very little about anything, but it provides a fantastic white-noise to fall asleep to. But the Breakfast Show is the best. Wake up to it - it's got news, sport and nothing too heavy. OK, it's also got Nicky Campbell, but you can't have everything - sometimes fortune's wheel just doesn't spin for you. However, today it was inundated with people moaning about speed cameras. They're not fair apparently. Some bloke lost his job because he was caught on one for a third time, and he was 'only doing 5mph over the limit'. Well boo-fucking-hoo. If I murdered someone, and then claimed I'd only murdered one person, would that make it OK? No - you were speeding, you broke the law. Don't speed at all - that way, you're less likely to kill someone, and aren't going to lose your job. Is that too easy for you? "Ah, but they make roads less safe, because you're concentrating on where they are, not on the road". Crap. Point one - the discussion arose because some report had been released saying that they made roads safer. Point two - don't speed - if you don't they won't stop you. Is that, again, too easy for you? If you're really worried, how about we make them difficult to spot, and maybe move them around, so that you're not going to be constantly changing speed and worrying about them when you approach, because you won't know where they are. I have no sympathy with people who speed in cars - they're lethal weapons, and need to be treated with respect. If you're late - tough, you should have left earlier. Deal with it, and stop whining - you do not have an ingrained right to travel at high speed.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I wish I'd written this...

But I didn't. It came from
Nonetheless, I feel fully justified in quoting it, since it's apposite, funny, and probably not read outside the USA. Thus:

"Gipperporn: Four Days In, Reagan Still Deceased #

So glad that the nets are going wall-to-wall with the Reagan stuff for the fourth consecutive day. Otherwise we might forget that he's dead. At this point, however, the strain of keeping the story alive is starting to show. Fox, for instance, has run out of famous Reagan fanatics; this morning they interviewed one of the soldiers guarding the president's casket.

Fox: Did you ever meet Reagan?
Marine (who appears to be approximately 18 years old): Uh, no, sir.
Fox: How much of an honor is it to be doing this duty?
Marine: It's a great honor.

Clearly, things are getting desperate; at some point, they may have to interview someone who didn't like the guy.

And in case you were wondering: Still dead."

Genius, I tell, you, Genius...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

the gipper's art of winning

It may be time to move our thoughts onto that departed former American president, Ronald Reagan. As the sycophants and hypocrites spew out their tributes, now is as good a time as any to assess his real life and worth.
Born in Tampico, Illinois, in 1911, he became a radio presenter after graduating from college. Initially a fervent supporter of Roosevelt's reforming Democrats, he turned against the party partly owing to its increasing support for the civil-rights movement.
In 1937 he became an actor, and in 1947 became president of the Screen Actors Guild for the first time - a position he used to spy on actors, and falsely accuse them of Communist sympathies to the F.B.I.
He supported the far-right crook Barry Goldwater's presidential bid in 1964, and in 1967 became Governor of California until 1975. It was 1980, at the age of 69, when he became president, and was noted for his efforts in attempting to block sanctions against Apartheid-era South Africa, supporting Saddam Hussein's Iraq and selling arms to Iran, using the profits to fund the neo-Nazi cocaine dealing Contra terrorists, who were trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. Oh, and the "cold-war" ended. It's always intriguing to consider what the cold war really was - an attempt by two bloated super-powers to carve the world up between them, suppressing independence and neutrality. However, when there was the chance of genuine reform in the Soviet Union, it was always feared by the US right - don't want to let the people have there say. Much safer to bankrupt the country, and let it be taken over by gangsters. That way the carve-up of the world can continue, unimpeded by what the charity Oxfam once described as "The threat of a good example" - a successful, independent country.
So that's it. Well, that, his idiotic fundamentalist Christianity (he genuinely believed that a "rapture" would take all Christians to heaven) and his wife's astrological opinions, which influenced him. Overall, he did nothing that can be counted as positive, and will not be missed by lovers of democracy and freedom.
He was married twice and is survived by his second wife, Nancy, their children, Patti and Ron, and by Michael, his adopted son from his first marriage.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

un chat Andalusian

Well, well, well. Back again.
And on Wednesday night, I was at the musical event of the decade. Possibly. Not a Hawkwind gig, either. But the Pixies, playing their first London show in something like 12 years. And they were phenomenal. Probably as good, musically, as they've ever been. And basically played a "pop hits" set of crowd-pleasers. No "we're going to do a new, wanky, free-form jazz jam, now" type stuff - just everybody's favourite songs from their career (apart from "Where is my mind?" - notable by its absence... Oh well, mustn't complain too much).
Puskas is growing up to be a mouse-chaser. Probably.