Saturday, 31 May 2008
Sunday, 25 May 2008
Before the music stuff a few thoughts. There has been a strand in my postings recently the erosion of freedom of expression from the sinister (attempts to smother the Olympic torch protests) through the sinister and absurd (the boy with the placard describing Scientology as a 'cult' and his threatened prosecution) to the just plain absurd (the thing in Sunderland - whatever that was about). In my novel twentytwelve I imagined a free fall into barbarism. Dystopian fiction is about warning rather than prediction and I don't think it will work that way. At least if I did, I would have better things to do than blogging. The criminalisation of everything and the controlling state will eventually mean that we wake up one morning to discover that everything is either prohibited or compulsory.
Those fortified by the election of Boris Johnson as London myor may care to note that his first act was - why am I not surprised - to ban something. The particular something was drinking alcohol on the London Underground. Now I have seen people drinking beer cans on the London Underground and I have seen annoying and occasionally intimidating drunks. So far as I can recall, none of the annoying or intimidating drunks had beercans in tow. There is a complete or almost complete disconnect between the problem and the 'solution'. But it is imagined that this plays well with the punters so a ban it is....
Now music - the theme is young peoples' stuff. As regards popular music, you should know - and act - your age. But some contemporary stuff has permeated my middle-aged consciousness. The first clip is White Stripes with Icky Thump. Actually, this is a bit of a cheat - the White Stripes transcend generational differences - because they are so damn good. Anyways, Jack and Meg are a good deal younger than me (no sniggering at the back) so they qualify. Icky Thump, by the way, is a corruption of the Northern English 'ecky thump', an expression of surprise now only used ironically.
Number two is Rihanna's Pon De Replay. I was in Toronto a couple of summers ago and the local hip hop station played this endlessly. It's a real earworm - to borrow a nice expression from Daisy's blog. Bores its way into your skull and stays there.
Finally Slipknot because they crack me up. I did think of posting their version of La Bamba, thus making it the first song to feature twice in this series but settled on another cover - American Idiot. The clip is from some US TV show. Isn't the presenter a muppet? I occasionally wonder how you get a presenter's job on US TV. I could do that....
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Thursday, 22 May 2008
"Retox under new management! Now Straight! Top totty dancers on match days!"
Now this is no doubt to many people a little tacky. The sensible response is a brief eyeball roll and moving on - literally and metaphorically. But no. Some complete arse has complained to the police.
Did the police tell the complete arse to go away? Nope. A police investigation has ensued. Into what is not clear save that the complainer was - guess what - offended. A community group has been involved in helping 'resolving' the matter.
This is another excursion around Planet Bonkers! Why is anyone complaining of being 'offended' - like apparently those loveable Scientologists yesterday - taken seriously? I'll say it one more time - not being offended is not a human right. It's not as if the banner was an incitement to hate crime or somesuch. It's just a Sid the Sexist and his mates being sad facility. Get over it!!!
Here are Sid and his mates - caution: very bad taste :-O - doublecaution: Americanpersons may need interpreter.
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
It read: "Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult."
When he refused, he was issued with a form of summons for an alleged breach of public order. Police plan to pass a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether charges can be brought.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Thursday, 15 May 2008
I discovered the blues as a teenager. It was all the fault of a guy called Mike Raven(left). Way back in the beginning of time, he had a soul and blues radio programme called – um – The Mike Raven Show. The first half was soul but the second half was blues. What the hell is this stuff? I asked my teenage self. Low down, ancient scrubbsy stuff from the Mississippi Delta mostly, plus some electric Chicago stuff was the answer. I was hooked. I started to besiege the local library for books on the blues. Who are these guys? These guys are good – to borrow a phrase.
Mike Raven himself was an interesting guy. He had been an army officer and later a pirate radio DJ, an actor in horror films, a sculptor of some note and a sheep farmer. He died in 1997. But the effect lingers on…
Three songs – the first is Cream’s version of Robert Johnson’s Crossroads – again from the beginning of time. I make no apology for this – after the Delta and Chicago, Britain is the third (adoptive) home of the blues.
The second is John Lee Hooker performing Boom Boom at the Montreux Jazz Festival (don’t expect me ever to blog on jazz – leaves me cold). If this were performed by some gangsta rapper as opposed to the elderly gent, then the complaints as to violent lyrics would come flooding in. But they don’t.
As a bonus, here is a third song. Again John Lee Hooker with Bad Like Jesse James. Violent lyrics again, but I defy you not to find at least one foot tapping.
Sunday, 11 May 2008
Saturday, 10 May 2008
'There was eight in all burnt in the Hand, six ordered for Transportation, three sentenced to be whipt, and one to the Pillory for a Cheat.
But for the particularities of Petty Larcetines and smaller Rogueries, it would be too tedious
Let us rather conclude with hearty wishes that all would take warning by these unhappy presidents to avoid the like evil Courses, seeing the miseries they thereby bring upon themselves. These crooked paths of impiety, though at first entrance they may seem strewed with Roses, and with delight, leading infallibly in the end to ruine and destruction'.
Sounds like our man got bored with the minor stuff and decided to pontificate instead.
The picture is of Judge Jeffries by the way. He was strutting his stuff at the time.
For some reason P.P. Arnold came into mind the other day. Here is her version of The First Cut is the Deepest. As some wag on YouTube commented, she makes Rod Stewart (who also recorded this song) sound like an oxygen thief by comparison. Just enjoy...
P.P Arnold started out as a backing singer with Ike and Tina Turner, and here are the ill-starred couple performing Nutbush City Limits. Evil looking so and so isn't he? Apparently there really is a place called Nutbush...
Crank up the volume (I did)!
Then I looked at The Corridor - a cricket blog (as in the sport Americanpersons - link again to left) site meter - 1,069,577 :-O
I wonder what blogs have the highest number of hits?
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Sunday, 4 May 2008
The Jury found them both guilty . Death '.
Thursday, 1 May 2008
Today, for overseas readers and the terminally inattentive, is the day of the London Mayoral elections and I am off to vote very shortly, albeit with little enthusiasm. The mayoral vote is on the alternative vote system so i have two votes, a first and a second preference. I will give my first preference to the Green candidate (I somewhat warm to her as she does un-Green things like jumping into taxis and smoking - not simultaneously) and my second preference to Ken Livingstone. Now Ken has less than covered himself in glory - he is plainly an egotist and nothing remotely resembling a team player. He is a living monument to the limits of 80s style municipal Labour politics. Identity politics plus (funded) special interest groups is a toxic mix and the whiff of the pork barrel is distinctly discernible. His support for the Metropolitan Police over the De Menenzes shooting was an appalling cop out (as it were). He has undoubtedly improved public transport - a big plus - but that's about it. Plus I had sworn to myself some years ago never to vote Labour again while Blair lives and breathes and the preppy little war criminal seems still in rude health - as well as robust bank balance. Apparently the last Prime Minister to die poor was Asquith, rather a long time ago, however Blair is the apex of an unprecedented financial feeding frenzy by retired politicians but I digress.
So why am I going to give Ken my second preference? Short answer: to stop Boris Johnson (the Conservative candidate). There are bloody limits and this Tory twerp exceeds them by a million miles. Upper class twits can be amusing - well perhaps only on the pages of P.G. Wodehouse and the cricket commentaries of Henry Blofeld (whom God preserve - I've promised myself to blog on him soon) - but Boris is considerably less amusing than he thinks. I don't buy the bumbling buffoon routine one bit. The guy is intelligent enough and some of his reported views and attitudes odious. So off to vote I go...
Hat Tip as always to the wonderful Beau Bo D'Or for Johnson as Thatcher as clown.