Thursday, December 31, 2009

Soon we'll be hearing less of that cretin's coinage, "the noughties" (sound of teeth grinding). What was the matter with "the twenty hundreds", in the manner of the eighteen and nineteen hundreds? The next decade, one assumes, will be the twenty tens - or will it be "the teenies"?
We will continue to chop up time, to separate history into little parcels, which always have loose bits hanging out. Time is a continuum, it flows like Joyce's

riverrun past Eve and Adam's ...

which flowed from

A way a lone a last along the

A new year, if I'm honest with myself is just a new day followed by other day's; day/night - men didn't invent that duality, they just invented timepieces and calendars, the chopping tools.
We can hope that the cretinisation our language comes to a halt, and that the linguistic barrel-scrapers who saddle us with words like the "noughties" find themselves seeking gainful employment. Call that a new year's wish.

Amen. Sermon over.
And I swear I haven't touched a drop (yet).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nice video -
I wonder who all this would belong to after we'd paid for it.

(Click on link)
... and talking of big Orson (as I was, sort of) -

I've been trying to find some written record of a story I heard recently. It was told by an English actor, I forget who.
This actor was a friend of the obnoxious restaurateur and piss-artist, Peter Langan. One evening he was sitting at the bar in Langan's place chatting to the owner, when Orson Welles came in and sat at a table. The ensuing conversation went as follows:-
Langan: "Is that Orson Welles?"
Actor: "Yes."
Langan: Do you know him?"
Actor: "Yes."
Langan: "Will you introduce me?"

The actor agreeing, they went over to Welles's table and the actor did the honours.

Langan (to Welles): "You're a big, fat, ugly bastard."

Then he walked off.

Langan later killed himself accidentally while trying to murder his girl friend by setting fire to her. She survived the attempt and "The dog it was that died."
I dare say that there would have been some who mourned the passing of a lovable character.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A jaundiced view of Christmas -

Merry Christmas
I hope you have a white one, but for me it's blue

Blue Christmas, that's the way you see it when you're feeling blue
Blue Xmas, when you're blue at Christmastime
you see right through,
All the waste, all the sham, all the haste
and plain old bad taste

Sidewalk Santy Clauses are much, much, much too thin
They're wearing fancy rented costumes, false beards and big fat phony grins
And nearly everybody's standing round holding out their empty hand or tin cup
Gimme gimme gimme gimme, gimme gimme gimme
Fill my stocking up
All the way up
It's a time when the greedy give a dime to the needy
Blue Christmas, all the paper, tinsel and the fal-de-ral
Blue Xmas, people trading gifts that matter not at all
What I call
Bitter gall.......Fal-de-ral

Written by a gent named Bob Dorough, who recorded the song with the Miles Davis Quintet; he could be the only vocalist to feature on a Miles Davis recording. Dorough's singing is something of an acquired taste and I haven't acquired it yet. Still, you can't knock a musician who worked with Allan Ginsberg, Lenny Bruce, Sugar Ray Robinson, Blossom Dearie, as well as miserable, miserly Miles. I would have thought that these lyrics would have appealed to the old ratbag, but, whatever his opinion of them, he is said to have dismissed Bob D. as "a silly singer". But then how many white Americans did Davis have a good word for?
I have to register an opinion that this potlatch cultural version of Christmas that's taken hold is not to my taste - the feast of the Happy Shopper. Almost makes you long for a little of that old time religion - almost.
I suppose a person would have to be at least 55 years old to remember a different kind of Christmas. Better? I don't know, but more to my taste.
Right, as soon as the soaps are out of the way it's back to the booze and the crappy telly. Well, one programme about big Orson Welles that's a must, even though I saw it years ago.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I don't know much about art, but I know I like this christmas card from a junior member of my clan.

Season's greetings to all who pass this way.
Peace on earth and goodwill to most men (no war but the class war). Come on you Christians, you know your Prince of Peace was talking sense.
UCATT website on the death of Ray Jessop;

and wikipedia on corporate manslaughter.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

« Être Français, c’est rester révolutionnaire. S’il faut y aller, je suis là. »
Eric Cantona,
but I can't find an English translation on l'Humanité.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"This week, the winner of Cowell's X Factor, Joe McElderry, was the star guest at The Sun's Military Awards. According to the paper's report, Joe said "his debut was made even more 'special' because he was singing for the nation's very bravest". Among those who obediently trotted along to the bash were David Cameron, who then told radio listeners that he was backing Joe for Christmas No 1 and that politics has much to learn from Cowell, whom he evidently regards as having been added to the list of people too powerful not to fawn over."
(Marina Hyde, the Dean Swift of our times)
The Biter Bit

I don't know much about art but I know what I like.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I don't think I've got the hang of it yet, but this is what I think it says -
Tony Blair (you know, the war criminal) is a partner in a business that is also a registered charity. He has two other partners; they are Tony Blair, and Tony Blair. The declared income from this business is less than the expenditure on legal and accountancy fees. How long before the poor fellow is declared bankrupt?

Monday, December 14, 2009

When has a BBC journalist so much as raised an eyebrow while channelling US-UK propaganda about the "peace enforcement operation" in Afghanistan or Iraq? It is unimaginable that a Newsnight presenter would declare such claims "the kind of Newspeak that would make George Orwell proud".
Our book devotes two whole chapters to the BBC: the first, exposing the magnificent fiction of BBC "balance", and the second presenting a handy A-Z compendium of BBC propaganda.
"There are no representatives from the trade unions, green pressure groups, development charities, child poverty groups or other grass-root organisations. We are to believe there is no reason to doubt that these Trust members are independent from the government that appointed them, and from the elite corporate and other interests that employ them. We are to believe, instead, that these privileged individuals will uphold fair and balanced reporting which displays not a hint of bias towards state ideology or economic orthodoxy in a world of rampant corporate power." (Newspeak, p.27)

More on 'Medialens.
How could a man with a history of mental illness get so close to Berlusconi? By blending in with the nut jobs who form the Berlusconi fan club. It's said that support for the Prime Minister/Prime Suspect has fallen to fifty percent of the electorate. FIFTY PERCENT? What does this slime ball have to do to become unpopular, sodomise the Pope?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"These bankers should be shown for what they really are to the public: vulgar robbers, thieves in ties, pickpockets and obstinate kleptomaniacs."
Gordon Brown? Alastair Darling? Lord Mynors? No, Hugo Chávez.
(via Angry Arab's Comments Section)
My native city - Kingston upon Hull - is making a bid to be European city of culture in 2013. I was surprised when I heard that and decided to look up the word 'culture' in my dictionary. I find that it means pretty much anything that people do, so we could qualify. Hull, the city where people do things. We could win that competition, but I discern a couple of obstacles:
i) so could any other European city
ii)Hull never wins anything.
Nothing daunted our representatives, elected and unelected, will take on this task with fervour. Millions will be spent on hiring 'consultants' to prepare our case; and people with southern accents will be all over the media bigging up their home town (i.e., the one that pays their large salaries). This is the equivalent of Premier League footballers kissing their club badges.
Eventually the winner will be declared and we, the much abused citizenry of Hull, will get on with our lives, while our councillors accuse one another of profligacy and lack of foresight.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ray Jessop died in a work accident on Sunday. Ray was a fellow wob (IWW member) and a mate. When I call him mate that doesn't make me part of an exclusive club. It seems that Ray was a mate of everyone he knew. If it is possible credibly to trot out the old cliché "he hadn't an enemy in the world" then Ray was one person of whom it could be said sincerely.
No doubt more will be written about Ray. He will surely have more eloquent obituarists than this poor soul. In the meantime here's a piece in the local paper.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

"Israeli barcode starts with 729"

so I'm informed.

Friday, December 04, 2009


"Silvio Berlusconi linked to mafia in court evidence"

Headline in today's Guardian.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

How do you define ethical? Is there an ethical method of starving people to death? The Ethical Tea Partnership seems to think so.

"On November 19, local government officials began distributing to workers and their families on the Nowera Nuddy tea estate in West Bengal coupons for emergency rations which are normally reserved only for those officially designated as below the poverty line or victims of natural disasters." (from the IUF website)

"The global union federation for food workers (IUF) has launched a new online campaign to tell the company -- the world famous Tetley Teas -- to end the lockout and to pay workers what they are owed.
"Incredibly, Tetley is a proud member of the Ethical Tea Partnership which, according to its website, 'aims to improve the lives of tea workers'.
"Starving workers into submission isn't ethical!" (Message from Eric Lee of LabourStart)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I just puchased Rachid Taha's latest offering and listened to it. Money down the drain. What was the man thinking of turning out inferior stuff like that? I have been a fan for some time, but if he carries on in this vein he's off my list.
If I want to listen to that electronic stuff I'll give the Spam Allstars a spin. If I want to listen to the same couple of lines repeated over I'll listen to football chants (example of lyrics above). 'Barbes', 'Abdelkader', 'Tékitoi', 'Bent Sahra'; that's Rachid Taha. The only song on this album that that approaches that level is 'Sélu'.
In addition the cover photograph of the man depicts him as a Tony Ferrino wannabe.
It has been suggested that this album is an attempt to crack the US market. Well if it doesn't succeed he'd better recover form quickly before he loses his existing fan base.