Jah Jah Dub

Friday, July 30, 2004

Oh, for those who don't know already, I'm going to be on holiday for two weeks (London, Burnley...). Doubt there'll be much action here - take up your own annoying positions and argue with them yourself. I may write up some reviews of London stuff: I go to the aquarium so you don't have to! I may not.

By the way, I am aware of the irony of attacking the insufficient radicalism of many on the left in breaks from my job quietly oiling the wheels of capitalism.

Explaining my apostasy to the Lefties – Part 2

A large section* of the self-proclaimed left is hypocritical, selfish, intolerant and conservative - clinging onto a politics built on empty and mindless sloganeering. Claiming the “left” epithet they play at being caring, intellectual and even revolutionary, but this is a pose: a way of defining themselves as radical whilst pursuing an agenda promoting their own interests. A few crumbs may be thrown to the poor, but actually things are alright, thanks very much, no major changes if you don’t mind.

Dan defines the left as being against “privilege, inequality and oppression”. Who is for oppression? Who protests that people aren’t oppressed enough? We can all of us be against it, Dan, moral outrage does not belong to the Left wing (sorry, if it’s from “the right” then it’s “scare-mongering” or “reactionary”. I forgot). Privilege I’ve touched on before. What do we mean here? Neoclassical economics zealots would aim to destroy privilege as a distorter of the free market. Privilege is inefficient, and can be attacked from many angles. Next: “equality”. Easy to state a belief in this one. All men were created equal and so on… But what do you mean?! Equality of opportunity? Who seriously argues against that? It’s just the flipside of attacking privilege. Or are you talking about equality of outcome? The nation’s spoils shared equally amongst us all? I think this is morally consistent, actually. I’m not sure why one person *deserves* a better lifestyle than another just because they were born cleverer, had more encouragement, had some internal drive to "success". Haven’t got too far with that one when talking to soi-dissant socialists… Real equality terrifies many on the Left. It’s easy to airily mouth a few words about it, but push the average university-educated leftist and they do think they are more worthy than the “chavs”.

For all their apparent love of the people, (many on) the Left actually have contempt for them. There is a suspicion that the polis simply cannot be trusted to make their own decisions, but we know what’s best for them, don’t we? We can form a nice left-wing elite which will shepherd the flock with a benevolent hand. (And look at the language here – it tells a story. Thatcher was an “elected dictatorship”. Had she been of the left, her government would have been “progressive and inspired.”) There is a sinister willingness to impose a moral viewpoint on others rather than to persuade and engage with opposing arguments. A case in point is the anti-fox hunting movement. I don’t agree with fox hunting, I would rather people didn’t do it, but let’s be honest here, this movement is not about the poor little foxie. It is motivated by a loathing for those who live in the country, vote Tory and have ruddy, red faces. We *will* impose our (metropolitan, “liberal”) viewpoint on them, and if they don’t like it, we will arrest them. Think for a second about police cuffing and leading away red-jacketed, helmeted men. Is it really worth all that?

Cast a glance over the welfare state… The Middle Class is married to it. Why should this be? From where comes this previously absent altruism? I'll say it slowly for you: The… Middle… Classes… Are… The… Biggest… Beneficiaries… That's it. Education and healthcare are big deals to them. But but but, are you saying that working class people don't want to be educated and that they should be abandoned and work in the mills? Is that what you want? Oh, do be quiet. State education and healthcare are important to the bourgeoisie because they would pay privately if they were not available. The poor would not, to such an extent, as they have to spend more of their incomes on food, on shelter, on staying alive. And let's forget this idea of "free", by the way. Nothing is free. It is being paid for somewhere. Free healthcare is fine, sure, but what you're actually saying is we all buy a job lot wholesale and split it between us, thus reaping the benefits of no money wasted on advertising, monopsony employment of doctors etc. The NHS is an insurance policy where everyone’s premiums are lower. But if it is free on consumption then people will have as much as they can, until it's not worth them turning up to the hospital for anymore. At some point there has to be a rationing. Do you pay for glasses? Braces? Tampons? Dental floss? And education: free education for all, you say, on your placards as you march against tuition fees. Why exactly? What does that mean? Again, it's empty sloganeering. Education is not free, someone needs to pay for it, nor has the principle of no cost to the student ever been employed. If I were to take an evening class it wouldn't be free, I couldn't keep doing degree after degree - at some point you have to draw a line. Also, it's easy to support tuition fees from "the left": if everyone pays for it, but only some people go to university, then those who have not had the benefits (the poor) are paying for those who have (the rich). It should be available to all who want it, but let's stop pretending that students are doing society a favour by sacrificing themselves to learn Celtic for the good of us all.

By self-identifying as in opposition to powerful forces and vested interest, many on the Left absolve themselves of thinking issues through and of recognizing the logical conclusions to their rhetoric. It is too often a pose, a positioning of oneself on the side of the angels, a “hip” hat which enables other unthinking, cowardly reactionaries to recognise you and accept you in their limited, self-satisfied debates.

* Not “all”. OK?

Moved yesterday from my priest hole to what can only be described as "a proper office". There's a party here tonight. I'll have to make chit-chat with various insufferable brokers. Looking forward to that. The eternal battle between my angels and demons will rage as I consider having a couple more quick drinks to make easier conversation with strangers.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Explaining my apostasy to the Lefties – Part 1.

Greetings Comrades.

I used to think of myself as a “lefty”. Most of my fundamental beliefs have remained the same but I now I would fight against being labeled in this way. “Left” and “Right”* may make some sort of intuitive sense, but they are so nebulous that framing debates around this dichotomy is counterproductive.

I feel that they are functionally meaningless and should be avoided. We have “leftwing” economic policy, more or less: state ownership of the means of production. We have “right wing” economics too – laissez faire. A semi-planned economy lies somewhere in the middle. Lovely. Since 1989 belief that the former is workable has declined. So here in Europe we’re all to the right of the Soviet Union and the left of the United States. Great, as far as it goes… Now, the problem is: among many (especially the young) “left” has come to mean nice. Hip. Intelligent. Altruistic. “Good”. In contrast, “right” is selfish. Nationalistic. Materialistic. Concerned only with wealth creation and the preservation of privilege. “Evil”. You can make up your own examples, it really is very easy, but where does the legalization of drugs fit here? Or the introduction of gay marriage? Is a liberal position on trade and personal affairs on the left or on the right? Left on social, right on economic? Balderdash. Someone holding these (intellectually consistent) views would be what? Half left? Half right? Or the worst approximation: Centrist? On which side is a belief in fundamental human rights? The Left! No! What about protesting to ensure the protection of the individual from the tyrannies of the state? If it’s a tyranny you like (income tax, for instance) then complaining is right-wing selfishness, if you don’t like it (e.g. stop and search) then it’s an honourable leftist position. It needs to be understood that many "right-wing" policies come out of ideology and a genuine desire to do the "right thing", not just to shower pig-faced men in top hats with bundles and bundles of bank notes. These philosophies need to be engaged with - who knows, some of them might actually (whisper it) make some sense...

To reiterate and get the hell out of here: the majority of my most deeply held convictions have remained the same since I first became interested in politics. What has changed is that I no longer think of them in terms of left and right (although many would put me squarely in the former) but try and frame internal debates from positions which actually mean something – rights of the individual etc. These convictions will be explained in much more detail in following posts.

* When I use the terms "Left" and "Right" I am not referring to New Labour or the Conservatives. ("That's because they're identical. Ahhhh." "No. No, they are not.")


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

No more from me for a while. I'm about to pack up my computer. Might be home earlier than usual though, so feel free to tear me off a strip. Whatever that means.

"Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
And vice sometimes by action dignified."

This is old news now, of course, but I’m trying to clarify my thoughts. You can argue about how the Iraq war was waged, but I can only see the following objections to it on principle:

1) The Saddam Hussein regime is “good”.
2) It’s none of our business. It’s an Iraqi problem.
3) Iraq is better off under Hussein than some American puppet regime.
4) Would really love to help, but do need the UN etc…
5) A dangerous precedent in interference in other states by the powerful is set.
6) It will make the world a more dangerous place.

OK, responses.

1) This can be dismissed out of hand.

2) This is morally reprehensible. First, it was not a legitimate regime under any useful definition. I don’t care about international recognition; there was no governing by the will of the Iraqi people. Secondly, this argument implies a belief that not one British life should be spent combating oppression of “other peoples”. However, if you believe that, you know, we’re all people, then the argument falls down. It also begs the question, “What do we still have an army for?” If not to protect the downtrodden around the world, if not to combat ruthless murdering bastards, then why do we need armed forces at all? Personally, I lose no sleep over the Danish menace. And everyone volunteered for service, these aren’t conscripts. You could, of course, say, “Yes. We should completely disarm.” I’m alright, Jack etc. Fine. Nice one.

3) No. The American forces may not create a Mesopotamian Amsterdam, but they would be hard pressed to install a more repressive regime.

4) Well, the international coalition *is* broad. Also, if the UN could not fully get behind intervention due to the enormous contracts the French and Russians had with the Baathists, then the moral legitimacy of the UN is lost. I’ll take what I can get outside of it. (NB: The sanctions killing all those kids was UN-supported. The no fly zones weren't.)

5) Since when have powerful states not interfered in weaker nations? Even over the last thirty-odd years we have the US overthrowing Allende in Chile, meddling in Nicaragua, going into Panama… Please, this is no precedent. However, neither is it a simple continuation of US foreign policy. In Chile a democratically elected government was overthrown and a military dictatorship installed. This… is… the… opposite…

6) Who knows? Do we (democracies, those not subscribing to Sharia law) have to run all our policy past Al-Queda? Giving in to terrorists is everywhere and rightly condemned. And they hate us anyway, they don’t need any more reasons. See also: bombs in Turkey and Morocco. And Syria is shitting themselves, the dictator's bluff has been called. And the Saudis' oil monopoly is/will be broken. There are positive knock on effects too.

The “well, Saddam was the West’s friend once. Ahhhh…” argument is ridiculous. So nothing should ever have been done against him? A touching case for loyalty to old pals. In fact, a salutary lesson that “the West” shouldn’t prop up maniacal despots in the interests of “stability”.

Heavy hints yesterday that I should go to the barber's. Knew The Man would catch up with me.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

For those of you who were "too busy", apparently, here's me on my birthday. Wow! You missed a lot!

I am not of The Left. There, I've said it. My name is AlistairJohnston and I am not of the Left! Thank you, thank you, that feels so much better! OK. Here's why (and it's not because I'm of “the Right”. Slow down.) 

1)  There is no coherent position. What does "the Left" mean? (again, substitute "Right" if you like...) 

2) I can’t defend much of what defines the positions of the self-styled “Left”, nor would I want to. Why? Because a lot of it is cowardly, reactionary, mindless and concerned only with mild tinkering with the status quo

3) Identifying with either side blinds you with ideology, makes up your mind for you and stops you thinking. I object to this self-blinkering.

I will be dealing with these in turn as no one ever reads really long posts and we’re moving offices over the next two days and I’m not sure how much time I’m going to have. I’ll probably glue it all together and put it up on the Correct Opinion at some point.


Monday, July 26, 2004

I watched Major League last night. Bet you're jealous.

Saved text in my Outbox:

Dancing on my wyo to you're no good to me.

I have no recollection of sending this, or who I might have sent it to.


Saturday, July 24, 2004

OK, so now I've seen Farenheit 9/11. Al's Review: it's a piece of shit. And that's more than enough debate on it. 

I think a post will be appearing this weekend entitled, "Left a bit... Right a bit... Left a bit... Oooh! Yeah! That's it. Right there."

I am well aware that this is dreadful.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Just watched two Christopher Hitchens lectures by archived webcast. Friday night... rock and roll! (Here if you're interested.... You should be!)

At work:

"Who are Garibaldi biscuits and the Babylon 5 character, Garibaldi named after?"

"An Italian soldier: a romantic and headstrong man who forced Italian unification in 1861,  along with the Piedmontese Cavour. They were inspired by writers like Alessandro Manzoni  and it was the culmination of the resurgimento."*

"Oh. Thanks."

Wish I'd just said, "a bald man called Gary." It would have been less accurate, but funnier.

* I am well aware that I have probably misremembered my A-level history, but no one had anything better.

"National Express" by the Divine Comedy was being played in Benjy's this lunchtime, which was unexpected, but still as sneering as I remembered it.

Ranking the names of amusingly-monikered bit-part actors, we have:

1) Red Buttons
2) Scatman Crothers
3) Slim Pickens
4) Wilred Pickles 
5) Rip Torn

The chances of me not drinking whisky and listening to Frank Sinatra this evening are slim indeed.

NB: I'm not depressed or anything, worry not your pretty heads. But, I'll be on my own, I have some whisky, I have some Frank Sinatra. Join the dots on that one.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yesterday also witnessed an exchange of birthday presents. For Dad, I bought a bottle of whisky and a book. From Dad, I received a bottle of whisky and a book. The whisky was the same, the books were not. 

This equivalence in gift-exchange left both parties satisfied.

I don't normally do this kind of thing from a fear of appearing overly solipsistc (me!) but I thought I'd share this little sliver of family life:

So my Dad's getting remarried then.

"I have something to tell you both. On February 18th I'm getting married..."

"Wow. Congratulations."

"I'm so glad you're being like this. I didn't know how you would take it..."

"To be honest, it doesn't make any difference to me. Couldn't give a shit really," I didn't reply.

And there it is. The two children who share Dad's house and who I've sometimes jokingly referred to as "my pseudo step-brother and sister", will become the real deal. I don't know them, of course, and have exchanged few words with either - I've only been to their home once (actually twice, but then their parents were still together, Dad was with someone else and, well, that's a whole other story). Christ, I'll have a stepmother... That's strange. Also, those much older step-siblings that a few of my friends have... will be me! This is also a little odd. 


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I've probably linked to this before, but it's amusing me again: Gordon Ramsay's Desert Island Disc picks. Let the record show that I am not criticising his choices - they are to his taste, and no argument can be had with *that*. I am impressed that they are clearly genuine and that he hasn't chosen a semi-obscure piece of classical or Cuban music to prove how cultured he is, or some Louis Armstrong amongst the seriousness to show his lighter, fun-loving side. Bravo, Gordon! 


Monday, July 19, 2004

The below revelations should have been expressed through a cartoon.

Remembered this morning: 1998-ish, Fez club, Cambridge. Making the ill-judged promise that if Bugaboo by Destiny's Child was played I would remove my top. It was. I did.
Triggered another memory - dancing on a table in GAY, again sans top, summer 1998 I would have thought. 


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Someone from work said the other day that I looked like I sold the Big Issue. This is bohemian chic, my friend, you can keep your filthy Burberry.

Someone from my work has just gone for a tour of some palace (Highgrove?) and then will have dinner with Prince Charles.


In the bookshop at lunchtime (payday purchases: Being John McEnroe; William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience and finally, and possibly explaining the first two, Letters to a Young Contrarian by... well, you know or can guess who wrote that) I saw a Rabbi reading "Why the Jews?" Bit late for that kind of research, I thought.

To write more about The War or not... Has the dust settled? Are the debaters resting, licking their wounds in preparation for another spat? Or has the matter been resolved and put to bed, as much as it ever could be?

Oh, who am I kidding... I'm going to be unable to let these issues lie, unmolested.

OK, now think about this for a second... Don't judge it straight away, prevent the knee from jerking... The truth was revealed to me last night, the heavens opened and a shaft of the pure light of knowledge fell upon me.

I should be Doctor Who.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Wish I'd read this before I went on the "Peace March" last year. (Although he wrote it afterwards, so I couldn't have done... You know what I mean.)

NB Not much in the way of updates recently due to holiday-covering extra work and an attempt to read every fucking thing that Christopher Hitchens has written which is available online.


Monday, July 12, 2004

One well-judged hint ("So, when's my cake arriving then?") and a flurry of clandestine activity later, a cake is brought in, resplendent with three flickering candles. Luckily my emphysemic performance of Saturday evening - three attempts to extinguish that chronological conflagration - was not repeated.

No mention by anyone at work about my birthday. I can only assume that there's going to be a big, "surprise!" moment sometime in the next couple of hours. Yes. That's the only explanation.

Happy birthday, me.


Friday, July 09, 2004

"...Because I think it's easy to say that you distrust the government, that you distrust the state. Again, that's something almost no one will take you up on. But if you say that you are very often pretty sure that it's the majority who is wrong and the way the public opinion is constructed that's wrong, the way that popular mandates are construed that's wrong, then you can be accused of being an elitist or a snob and so on, and then you know you're on to something..."

I might just get that tattooed across my back.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Been taken out for lunch again. Just got back. Bowfinger was referenced once more. Extraordinary.

For anyone getting excited about this proposed London Grand Prix thing, I have two arguments to nip this monstrous idea in the bud right now.

1) It's Fucking Formula One.

If you really need the second one it is this:

2) Why is London trying to be like the Isle of Man? (Yes, this is the model, not Monte Carlo.) They closed the roads off there all the time for fucking races and it's for shit. I had to have my A-level exams in the infant school, sat at a tiny desk on a tiny chair with my chin between my knees, because it would have been too noisy in the sports hall. AND it took about an hour to get there because the route was impossibly convoluted thanks to road closures. All because some "petrol heads"* like watching some motorbikes.

* NB The only thing worse than a "petrol head" is the phrase, "petrol head".

Was thinking yesterday that my rule of what makes a good sport (..."It should be possible to explain the fundamentals of any decent sport in one sentence (boxing – two men hit each other with their hands until one of them falls over), or even better, with sign language...") would let in Fucking Formula One (there was an official name change a couple of years back). This leads me to my second rule:

For a sport to be even half-way enjoyable, you need to be able to see the faces of the participants.

Without seeing someone's face it is difficult to empathise with them and get emotionally involved with the contest. Ice Hockey is a bit better than American Football because you can kinda see their faces a bit. *This* is why it is better, not because of the rules of the game or anything like that. Oh no.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Anyone hear Mel and Sue on BBC London this morning? They were quite good.

Revolver? It’s ok, but it’s no Taj Mahal.

Five stars for Exile on Main Street, well, we can all agree about *that* (can we?)… But what is it being measured against? Five stars meaning that it is four stars better than a one star album. Five different leagues, everything falling in one or the other. But what does this actually mean? Does this measure of quality transcend the narrow confines of music journalism? A five star album is apparently (near) perfection, but this is a perfection judged within the strictures of popular music. What if the best records are, well, not actually that good…

It’s time someone said this. Pop music is of extremely limited worth. It seems to me that it is deemed “good” by default, praised for not falling into common traps: so if it’s not hackneyed, the lyrics aren’t clichéd, the melody is not completely pedestrian then it’s valuable.

A lot of pop music is just dross, of course, and can be dismissed as such. But turn to the supposed classics. Just how good are they? Take a step back and take a long hard look at Revolver, a sacred text. Four blokes make some songs in the studio over a period of a few months. (Yes, and Picasso just “painted”, ok…) And that’s it. But, but, but, they used the studio as another instrument, weaving textures that couldn’t be recreated live… And? So what? The praise thrown at lyrics which are, at best, proficient, is hilarious. Take Eleanor Rigby, “wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door,” is held up as a great piece of poetry. If written in a GCSE essay it may warrant a tick (“in a jar. Good!”) but compare:

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?


A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

Or even,

My sister Laura's bigger than me
And lifts me up quite easily.
I can't lift her, I've tried and tried;
She must have something heavy inside.

And you start to think that the accolades afforded McCartney for his doggerel are embarrassing for all concerned.

Comparing across art forms may annoy but it is completely necessary to get a sense of scale. If we stay within pop then what – the Rolling Stones are better than the Strokes… Ok… but how good are the Rolling Stones? Being the best at flicking coins into a bin is all very well, but is that as worthwhile as being the best at painting? If we take a wider view across human achievement then the difference between the great and the mediocre in pop is a hair’s breadth. There is the poor, of course, but everything else falls somewhere between 6 and 6.2 with a couple of exceptions – Astral Weeks, perhaps, being an example. Furthermore, I would say that leaving aside the impossibility of scoring pieces of music (“What?! That’s a large area to leave aside! Isn’t that exactly what you’re doing?” “Yes, I know. I am using the scoring as a metaphor, calm down.” “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to, but ok, I’ll just misunderstand you later instead.” “I expected nothing less.”) then there is also a measuring error based on from where we are looking at the music. I’m arbitrarily saying that this uncertainty is +/- 10%. Just as the angle of the eye will affect the reading of a thermometer, so the cultural climate will influence the ear. Which bands are hip young things with cool haircuts currently referencing? What has become over-familiar? The mongrel horde of accepted taste will continually have different leaders as they nose in front of each other depending on our angle as listeners/viewers.

If albums are put up against other human accomplishments, with very few (no?) exceptions, they score low.

Is Ziggy Stardust as powerful and mysterious as Moby Dick? It is not.

Is A Hard Rain’s Going to Fall as shocking and haunting an anti-war statement as Guernica? It is not.

Is Trans-Europe Express or Planet Rock as “modern” and innovative as the Seagram Building in New York? They are not.

I can't really get behind recommendations either - you *should* listen to “black music” etc… Why, exactly? If it’s all much of a muchness then you may well enjoy it, but will it really change anything? Another suit is added to the same slim, endlessly reshuffled pack, the cards dealt will change but the value remains about the same. I listen to hip hop and that, sure, but it’s just a little stroll down ghetto lane before I return to my nice, white middle class life. There may be some kind of empathy going on, but it does not appreciably increase cross-cultural understanding. Being a fan of hip hop’s Bash Street Kids, the Wu Tang Clan (or their first album, at least), gives me no more clues as to what it’s like to be black than Oasis would provide to understand my existence – I just enjoy bouncing along to it. You could listen to Tupac Shakur, or you could read The Invisible Man, Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack or If He Hollers Let Him Go. The choice… is yours!

The undeniable snobbery surrounding music (and I’m taking aim at myself now, kids) frequently leads to an emphasis on owning over appreciating. It’s seen as a mark of a serious person not to own Best Ofs, but instead to have the actual albums, which, of course, should be listened to as God/The Artist intended – from beginning to end. Well, fuck it. So much of so many records is filler and stamped with “Will this do?” and *should* be rejected. How many times can I repeat it (count ‘em *) it’s… just… pop… music…

So if pop music is largely mediocre or at best, quite good, how do we explain its continued draw? All the cool kids like music, don’t you know that? When you’re growing up bands are a symbol of maturity, the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, leather and sunglasses seem exotic and exciting. Bands from the past can be even more resonant – they have stood the test of time, after all, and can be appreciated away from the shallow dictates of fashion. “No, I don’t like Coldplay like you. I like Love. Therefore my taste is more refined. I had to mine that nugget myself, it wasn’t spoon fed me by VH1 and Q magazine…” Then where was it from? Did you take a chance on a record you’ve never heard of because you liked the sleeve? In which case how is this accident evidence of a more developed taste? Did you read about the band in another, more credible publication? Spoon-fed again then, my friend, just a different spoon. Unless a discovery is completely random, and in which case, no credit accrues to the listener, then it must come from somewhere.

“This record changed my life.”
“How, exactly?”
“Umm… I bought some more records.”

Now I love pop music. No, that’s not true, I’m falling into the same traps and not actually thinking. I *like* it. It pleases me, me gusto pop, but none of my favourite records are worth so much as a hair on the head of a person I love. I enjoy it, it’s fun or interesting or sad – it’s an amusement. It soundtracks my life and brings back memories of summers past, but I don’t *love* it. It’s a pastime. I’ve enjoyed finding out about the genealogy of genres, but let’s not pretend that it actually means anything. It’s just a hobby, like collecting china statuettes or being really into throw rugs. There’s stuff to know, some history, an accepted taste, forgotten “classics”, but the idea of arguing about which is better, or that you-really-should-get-into-Dutch-1930s-you-know… is absurd.

* Just once then.


Monday, July 05, 2004

More text clearing:

...hey im completely pissed but i love u man!


Here's a haiku:
Try-hard on the bus / Are the fairy wings you wear / Just to annoy me?

Thanks to both.

What time should I be at work? 8.00
What time did I wake up? 9.05



Friday, July 02, 2004

Hey kids, keep Saturday the 10th free if you like, like. It's my birthday on the Monday, see? Not having been in Britain for the last few of them*, it'll be weird to be around "friends" and maybe get "cards"... Perhaps because of this (and a glance at my terrifying bank balance) I'm extremely unenthusiastic about it at the moment. But you know, it could be alright.

* NB Any plans to whisk me away for a surprise trip abroad, "and you won't be in Britain for this one either! Ha!" are, alas, doomed to failure as my passport has recently expired. But fear not, you mysterious benefactors, you should have a chance to bundle me off these shores later on in the year or whenever I get round to filling the forms in.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Watching the concert video of "Sign O' The Times" I think I may have been wrong in my Correct Opinion on Prince - I was insufficiently hyperbolic. (Un?)Interstingly enough, it seems much more dated than the Stones in the Park which also arrived today. The latter obviously takes place in the past, of course, but somehow jars less with the now - maybe because it's so obviously a(n) historical document. Perhaps the eighties will achieve this with distance. Presumably they will, every other decade has.

And how about this for an opening line to a song,

"I guess I should have known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn't last."

There's no touching this (Peter) Pan of popular culture - more talent than the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bowie put together. Of course this is his problem as well as his gift. Ahh, I shall stop now before I write another Correct Opinion about him. Like him! That is all.

Seemingly eternal youth, songs about God, hits across the decades... Prince is the American Cliff Richards.

Best text on my phone that's fit to print:

1 song for the rest of your life. Boom by fresh prince, boom boom by john lee hooker or boom boom boom boom by vengaboys. Which is is?

For the record I went with the Fresh Prince. Much to my surprise it seems that I like him a lot more than I thought I did. Summertime, Getting Jiggy with it, Boom Shake the Room, Miami ("No surprise to see Sly... Stallone, Miami, my second home...")...

"I'd like to make an announcement to the man who abused me as we pulled onto the platform, calling me a prat... I was actually at work yesterday, so there's only one prat on this train..."

Sounds like an underestimate to me.


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