Jah Jah Dub

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I’m thinking of only buying clothing from here now. I particularly like this one:

Just enough time to pick it up before May Day.

I’m not really a crazed free-marketeer, not yet... But I don’t have too much of a problem with trading: just swapping stuff, innit? Without that pesky double coincidence of wants.

Today I sat an exam for the first time since summer of 2000 and The Sociology and Politics of Latin America. Sure can't remember much of that. So yeah, I am now a registered National Futures Commodity representative. It's out of control. Never have I "studied" anything so boring (and I did a paper in Economic History once). Apparently I now know stuff about spreads, margin calls, options (puts, calls, whatever) and that.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This is a bit out of date now, I wrote it the other day but blogger wasn't working.

Life is sweet. When I woke up, I could never have guessed that I'd see Lisa Maffia do some gymnastics to the Nuns on the Run theme tune.

I love The Games.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

So I've just watched Dodgeball. What the hell was I waiting for? Anchorman has a lot to live up to.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Of course I can do that! Bloody chancer, bluffing their way to success. Do you really think that Johann Hari is better than you? Of course not. He worked for it and he got it. Fair play to him. It's like doctors. Yeah, yeah, well done. If I'd done Chemistry A-level then I could have had your career. I chose not to. I picked history and french and social sciences. So it goes. Your path is not superior to mine, my friend MD.

But there are some who you must admit outflank you. They can do something that you cannot. One of those is Danny Baker. I could not do a radio show as fine as his. Some archives are here.

Clare - Gilbert O'Sullivan

A bit pervy?

A different time.

Here's our tartan:

I've seen worse.

Pity the Barclays:

Should I go with it and get a suit in that fabric? Working in Piccadilly, I'm spoilt for ridiculous fake-Caledonian-heritage-peddling charlatans. It's all made up, you know. Then again, everything is.


So I'm thinkin', I haven't shaved for a few days. Maybe I'll just run the razor over my chin. I always thought that if I was on Big Brother (parenthetically: if I was a contestant, of course I'd win - we're all friends here, let's be open with each other) I would persuade the other males to keep their upper lips furry. Every ejected man would greet Davina McCall with a bushy surprise. Unfortunately I'm cursed with the Johnston gene, my bristles permanently stalled in early adolescence. I'm sure we must have some Cherokee somewhere. The big family shame is that we were related to a sheep thief (son or grandson of thief was Woodrow Wilson. We don't make much of that.), I can only guess that he crossbred somewhere along the line.

UPDATE: by the way, that Selleck picture? It was on the wall in "the porn room" in my house in Leeds. You know how I feel about Leeds.


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Sorry, surely MOP's Ante Up remix (featuring Busta Rhymes) is the best tune ever? Not least for the cry of, "sssssstop it!"

You know what's a *tune*? "Jeans On" by David Dundas.

I finally know what poindexter means! I shall now use it at every opportunity.

What was I thinking? Even considering Doctor Who when Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway is on? Just turned over and it's Ant singing a comedy song with G4. G4!


I saw my first bumblebee of the year today. It was the size of a monkey’s fist and flew into the kitchen window with a thunk. The first attack of the outside on my fort. I’m alternating between a besieged cabin fever and a Tom-Cruise-dancing-in-his-pants-in-Risky-Business liberated elation at the moment.

Just so you know.

Self-indulgent introspection: I’d skip this if I were you.

I have a wooden cabinet in my bedroom. It was carved by my great-grandfather and came to me unrequested, a bargained token in the frantic last minute horse-trading as my parents’ divorce was settled. I’ve had to drag it behind me round the country ever since. It’s become a repository for anything I can’t be bothered finding a home for – papers, bills, photos, newspapers, miscellaneous. I’ve been meaning to take it on for a while, see what’s there, throw out what I don’t need. I probably should have chosen a different time than now, when I haven’t spoken to anyone face-to-face for a couple of days: I probably should have chosen a jauntier soundtrack.

Memories came screaming up: some painful; the others, the happy ones, made poignant by my melancholy. Old birthday cards. Can you throw them away? What if that person isn't here anymore? The terrible guilt when stocking filler presents are recognised; I never used them. I realise that this post is a bit much. Apologies. Here are some of the funnier finds:

- Badges: A promotional one for Wimpy Restaurants – Wimpy Man in the Caribbean; Red Dwarf; Landrover.

- French Vocab book from Year 12. Apparently I needed to know the words for “ant” (fourmi [f]) and “pillow” (oreiller [m]).

- Over fifty weekly timesheets and payslips from Select Recruitment Agency.

- An empty scrapbook. (What an obvious metaphor!)

- The first page of a university essay: “What are the implications of the Coase Theorem for the management of environmental externalities.” Fuck knows.

- Client's setlist and lyric sheets.

- Lists of songs for unmade compilations.

- Some terrible passport photos, taken on my way to the Civil Service Fast Stream recruitment process. No wonder they didn’t employ me.

Oh, Doctor Who is on tonight. I may watch it.

Blogger’s shabbiness and a terrible broadband connection are keeping my scatter-gun postings in check. I may post tomorrow about things I found when I cleared out my bedroom today (a Red Dwarf badge?!). While I’m here, the Friday Night Project had cameos from Eddie the Eagle Edwards, Fatima Whitbread, Zammo from Grange Hill and Bella Emberg.


Friday, March 25, 2005

I only pray I'm not too late...

This has just come to my notice; isn't life wonderful? Tonight, nine o'clock. My money and preference are as one: Spoony all the way.

I love MTV Cribs. Surprisingly, Pauly Shore comes across pretty well. Less surprisingly, Peter Andre does not.


How's that dude making his wheelchair leave the ground?


Thursday, March 24, 2005

I may be rediscovering my interest in "music".


Rufus Wainwright - Want Two
Can't Stand Me Now - The Libertines
Lulu - Shout
Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan (naturally)
Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
Addicted to Bass - Puretones
Highly Illogical - William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
Since You've Been Gone - Rainbow
Wherever, Whenever - Shakira (Of course Wherever, Whenever)
Dancing in the Moonlight - Toploader (I win)
Bomb Diggy - Another Level
Love City Groove - Love City Groove
Let's Do It - Victoria Wood
Pictures of Matchstick Men - Status Quo
Silver Machine - Hawkwind
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
Drop It Like It's Hot - Snoop Dogg (feat Pharrell)
Surrey With The Fringe On Top - Cast of Olklahoma
Theme From S'Express - S'Express
Love Is Strong - Rolling Stones
Oh Carolina - Shaggy
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Who Let the Dogs Out - The Baha Men
Hounds of Love - Kate Bush
Enjoy Yourself - A+
Coney Island Baby - A Barbershop Quartet
Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans - Noel Coward
On a Ragga Tip - SL2
See Emily Play - Pink Floyd
Nothing Lasts Forever - Echo and the Bunnymen

And this is just my first day of isolation.

Christ, I'm at work at 7.30am tomorrow. I can't sit here listening to Hounds of Love. Yet I am.

Andrew Marr: amazing? I'd have thought so.

Oh stop it. That's Entertainment is on tomorrow night on BBC4 (not That's Showbusiness, unfortunately). Know what I'll be doing: sitting here, rhapsodising over Gene Kelly.

I'm not gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Pete Doherty reminds me of Johann Hari.

Woman on the tube: page 23 of A Suitable Boy: Good luck.

Well, I've started talking to myself already.

I'm going to be on my own this weekend, with an empty house, as people go and spend time with their "parents" and "families". Can I justify buying this? Would sitting around in my pants watching cartoons be a decorous way of remembering our saviour?

I probably won't speak to anyone between Friday and Tuesday. I may catalogue my descent into lonesome mania here. In fact, I'd be surprised if I don't. Stay tuned!


Check this out, by so called, "Scott Murray".


Awww... Shame.

Trouble in Kreblekistan.

Dunston Checks Out.

Listless link-pointing

Love the Telegraph: Love the French.

I think this article is probably quite good. My sister, who's best than me, likes Jonathan Jones, so I'm inclined listen to him.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hey! Remember John Kerry?

This is still making me laugh out loud, several weeks since I first saw it.

Seabiscuit: there's a film I'll never see.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Jah Jah Dub's How to Blog - Part 1

(Introductory picture of big cat)

(News Story)

(Map showing proximity of Sydenham to my house)

(Mention of urban foxes in my garden)

(Lame joke about safaris)


Monday, March 21, 2005

Why not download every William Shatner song you can? Worked for me.

UPDATE: I'm a Canadian is particularly special.

Lembit Öpik MP

Harry Hutton, at the consistently excellent Chase Me Ladies..., reminds us of the consequences of snorting gak off the body of a Sylvia Young's Stage School graduate. Yes, I'm looking at you.

Anyone who prefers Tom and Jerry to Looney Tunes is a dullard.


Friday, March 18, 2005

I don't know what I'm going to do with this now. While I'm deciding, why not check out Jake's site here and Immoderation, the best blog I've ever seen.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's done.

What did I do before the poems?

A pint?

Jose Mourinho

Were I Jose Mourinho,
I would have a
Throne of gold
And sit in the dugout,
A crown atop my head.
“Don’t you know who I am?”
I would hiss at any
Impudent official.

And after any match
Like last night’s match
I would look at the press,
My crown just so,
Present my palms and
Smile and say,
“Who are you
Who dared to doubt me?”

Alex Ferguson

They provided kitchen door frame
Pencil marks to wonder at,
Those kids;
Won the league as I schooled my A-levels.
Now they are beginning to retire,
And the first stress fractures are
Cracking across my face.

I shlepped from the cannabis
Fug of three months of Krackawheat
To the Fine Line, Northcote Road.
Manchester United – 4
Real Madrid – 3
A heroic failure.
Just eleven months later,
I had a permanent job.

David Moyes

“Who do you support?”
Always one of the first four questions
Asked as I slide behind a new desk.
“Oh, no one really,” I say,
“I just keep an eye on the game.”
Not true; but easier than,
“I follow individuals -
Mourinho, Beckham, Poborsky –
And chase narratives like
Escaped balloons.”

That clutching of men,
It’s usually men,
To interact somehow.
Would be a good choice.
The Caledonian Raisin seems likeable,
And they are not powerful enough
For anyone to fear.
Beware though, the Liverpool fan,
Or twice a year you will be pilloried
By someone who pretends to actually care.
It’s a risk.

Chris Coleman

They live in Fulham
They work in Mayfair
They dance on the King’s Road.
They have nothing to recommend them;
Their ease makes me a chimney sweep.

Mark Hughes

When Blackburn play Man U,
Does Hughes spot a corner of the ground
And feel a memory exploding,
Filling his head like an airbag and
Pushing tears to his eyes?
Does he feel the plummeting
Nausea, the shock that each moment
Is irreclaimable?

Wayne and I sat in a Leeds pub
And worked out what each in our
Office should do karaoke.
“Slow Hand” by the Pointer Sisters was
Right for Joe, a born again Christian,
A tall, black Brummie.
I heard it last night and
It winded me: how obscene,
How incredible that I
Would never again be that person,
In The Square on the Lane.

Steve Bruce

Jasper Carrott,
And his supporting stool,
First defined for me
A beleaguered team.
I allow myself,
From time to time,
Some pleasure in their victories:
An occasional treat,
A Fry’s Peppermint Cream.

Shit on the Villa.

Alan Curbishley

First act: ragbag of no-hopers assembled.
Second act: Team begins to gel and begins an undreamt of run.
Third act: Hubris conquered; adversity triumphed; promotion secured.

But now you hang around the
Premiership like an unpopular
Friend of the family,
Your presence unnecessary:
Like the national final
In Drop Dead Gorgeous.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Rafael Benitez

If I could choose my path
And of course, I can,
I would live in Northern Spain
And support Valencia.
That Valencia is in the East
Does not matter.
My arcadia
Is as inaccurate
As it should be.

Iain Dowie

So this is who I am;
Orchid seeds were not smuggled
Among the daisies.
Dowie has become distinguished
In his ugliness.
He looks like himself.

We made us narrow,
To cheat the wind,
And sheltered by
The plonked herd of Anoplotheria:
More like my chewed-head
Than the warp skeletons
Of day trips to London.

We passed a jamboree stadium.
Not Selhurst Park,


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Velimir Zajec

“Play Up, Pompey,
Pompey, Play Up!”
Bugled Anthony Minghella on the local news.

Visiting Tall James
I realised what a proper
University was.

It’s tough,
That Southern Leeds:
Sailors waited outside the union,
Tripped the alarm
And seized a fleeing student.

Here he lurks,
This baffling Croat:
Not trivia.
Not yet.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Steve McClaren

The World Service: an election result and the FA cup final.
We sat outside, taking our first taste of hops in three months.
Did I drink this for pleasure?
May: the girls had bolted -
Egypt, Jordan and fun.
The sun shone for the first time in months.

T-shirts off,
Four beers between two:
We thought ourselves scandalous
With our training-wheel hooliganism.

Ravinelli, Emerson and Juninho are gone,
Replaced with an auburn stability.
Happy now, McClaren?

David O’Leary

With its rugby league and
Disregard for the definite article,
The tyke, Leeds, eluded me.
We never got on: I touched it through rubber gloves,
And it was unimpressed.

The giddy run to the European
Semi-finals (cheated by Raúl's hand: that’s football)
Went unnoticed while
We sheltered in the bivouac of our mania,
Chasing a sock-full of shrapnel down the slot of a
Headingley quiz machine.

O’Leary’s diffidence almost brought me in,
But belonging would not be forced. Now he’s at another
Unlovable team, immune to the glances of neutrals;
Just another wealthy, grey-haired man sat untidily around the edges.

Harry Redknapp

Perhaps there was a chance,
Once, that Harry would be more.
Something other than a little colour:
A hideous, charming rascal,
Goosing a strumpet in the background
Of an act of mercy.

His thin stripe of features -
Lying like a thong
Between a divorcée’s
Ageing, sagging buttocks –
Seemed ridiculous compared to the bashful grin
Of his boy.
We were looking for a prince,
In those nervy pre-Beckham days,
And chose prematurely.
A future England sweeper,
Half of a wind-farm power couple;
We sprayed glamour onto them,
Where it sat, indifferent,
Like globules of mercury.

Graeme Souness

Of his managerial career,
I steer clear.
Some cups won,
Some lost.
No fissures into which
I may force my chisel
And jimmy open some space
Unworked by a thousand others.

I make great claims for his punditry:
One of the very best,
I say.
A plausible nuance,
Verisimilitude assured.


Friday, March 11, 2005

Sam Allardyce

He likes a drink, I think,
Sam Allardyce.
Him and me both:
Comic Relief and a bottle of wine –
Pathetic really.

Guessing he’s a bitter man.
I could claim membership of that questionable
Elect, ever since Dad and
Dan Walters shamed me for drinking

Now I shyly shrug under the
“Old Man” jibes of colleagues.

James just called.
He’s in a bar with
"Tigre", a rubbish gay from
The Town and Gown.
“Ask him about Kirstie Alley,”
I said.

Martin Jol

There is something tedious about
The Dutch:
The adolescents of Europe
With their haughty tolerance, privileging of the aesthetic and
Disdain for the mucky business of
Jol may be exceptional.
My prejudices brutally exposed,
He seems like a hearty German:
Bone-cracking jaw,
Ursine torso and
Scrabble-soft accent.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Nigel Worthington

Under Worthington Norwich play
Attractive football
I hear, and so repeat.
Who, after all, will challenge me?
Dean Ashton arriving,
You say?
A good buy – he’s been setting the
Championship alight.

The groom at that first wedding was a fan.
He married my almost-friend in
King’s College Chapel: the two of them
Children playing dress-up
In that vast hangar.


The baked-concrete week of Mum’s
Open University summer school.
(Dad took us to Gremlins 2,
Insisting to the vigilant
Usher that Leila was twelve.)

That long jubilee weekend
We had a run on the Wetherspoon’s
Quiz machine and searched for
Somewhere to drink past eleven.

It is here that I place you,
One more murky tile
In that dusty mosaic which spells, “Norwich”,
If I squint hard enough.

Kevin Keegan

His Newcastle beat Manchester
United by five goals, endlessly
Replayed on Sky News as I
Set up breakfasts in the Stakis Hotel.
The eggs, bathing in their oil,
Bubbled indifferently
As a question nagged me:
How could these upstarts have
Humiliated this team I had secretly,
Fallen in love with?

How outrageous to think that
This was possible! Allowable!
His cheery enthusiasm and
Buoyant hair mocked me
In every interview.

Where had this hobgoblin come from?
He had fallen from a bike on
Aglow with the
Seventies nostalgia
We’re obliged to use to light our way.

Bryan Robson

He squats with a ball, his uniform too tight -
Like a gnome in the throes of a growing potion,
Towering over his toadstool.
“Best wishes, Bryan Robson.”
He beams.
Nominally a Liverpool fan,
I treasured this prize;
Not having a local team,
I took my heroes where I found them.
His soccer skills book has gone,
The autograph remains:
Stuck to my wardrobe above the
Radio Times cover –
Jonathan Ross and Ricky Gervais, smiling.
Is this any way for a twenty six year old man to live?
I don’t even like him.

Arsene Wenger

Every time I close my eyes I
See him:
Acoustic guitar hung high across his chest;
Tangerine boots, on wide-spread feet;
Singing “Starman”,
In the Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes
Episode playing in my head.

NB: I really wanted to get the not-even-a-joke, "Grampus Eigh Wenger" in there somewhere. And with this addendum, I manage it!


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bushism of the Day

Our strategy to keep the peace in the longer term is to help change the conditions that give rise to extremism and terror, especially in the broader Middle East. Parts of that region have been caught for generations in a cycle of tyranny and despair and radicalism. When a dictatorship controls the political life of a country, responsible opposition cannot develop, and dissent is driven underground and toward the extreme. And to draw attention away from their social and economic failures, dictators place blame on other countries and other races, and stir the hatred that leads to violence. This status quo of despotism and anger cannot be ignored or appeased, kept in a box or bought off, because we have witnessed how the violence in that region can reach easily across borders and oceans. The entire world has an urgent interest in the progress, and hope, and freedom in the broader Middle East.

Don't worry, I'm not taking this in an ill-judged poetic direction. Just joshing with you. See the match then? Eh? Eh? Cracker, wasn't it? Eh? Carvalho: all defending all goalkeeper-impeding colossus. Brilliant.

UPDATE: "Don't worry, I'm not taking this in an ill-judged poetic direction."

Or maybe I will! I could alienate any remaining readers and wave to them as they retire, cringing.

Were I Jose Mourinho,
I would have a
Throne of gold
And sit in the dugout,
A crown atop my head.
“Don’t you know who I am?”
I would hiss at any
Impudent official.

And after any match
Like last night’s match
I would look at the press,
My crown just so,
Present my palms and
Smile and say,
“Who are you
Who dared to doubt me?”


Friday, March 04, 2005

Better than the Franz Ferdinands:

A Meerkat
Bruces' Philosophers Song
Pimp My Ride
A nice cup of tea
Flicking coins into a bin on the other side of the room.

After all his good work with the buses, Ken Livingstone seems to be doing his utmost to lose my vote. Stop having a foreign policy, Ken!

I know that I should have got up when my alarm first went off this morning, but then I would have missed my dream - Kevin Spacey being interviewed on Radio 2 and doing a perfect impression of Terry Wogan. Woke up chuckling.

Oh for fuck's sake (Google that for previous references). An after work drink with James ends with karaoke once again. This time? Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline". I took a while to warm up, but I like to think that I finished with my usual magnificence. In fact, I think James filmed it on his Futurama-and-porn-filled-phone. Luckily, I squeaked in before another fake (Neil)Diamond. He did Love on the Rocks. I'd considered it, but decided against.

Nice to see that my two usual target audiences, ageing gay men and underage foreign students, lived up to billing:

"You were very sexy up there, on the stage. Do you have a boyfriend?"

"No. But I do have a girlfriend."

"You're bisexual then?"

"No. I'm straight. My friend is gay. I'm here with him."


and then, on the way to Victoria we were accosted by a gaggle of Spaniards.

"Where can we go to drink here?"

"Nowhere. You could try Leicester Square or Covent Garden..."

"Spanish spanish spanish."

"Hablo muy poco espanol."

"Spanish spanish spanish."

"... OK... Try The Stag. The red lights down there. Rioja?

"Si. Rioja." (Girl grabs my arm.) "You come with us, yes?"

"... No..."

A fun time was had by all. Hope you're enjoying your night, chicas.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Oh, and...

Bob Dylan is rubbish. You try and like him, you really try...

A generation needed a poet, and he was happy to play along. Perhaps he even believed it. Being generous to him, he did, maybe, half a dozen good songs - foremost among them: Subterranean Homesick Blues. Shorn of film of sixties protest, his art looks meagre indeed. Blowing in the Wind is awful; The Times They Are A’Changing an embarrassment; Like a Rolling Stone too long, too boring, too much of everything but editing.

Leave him there, on the HMV Sale rack: he’s not for you.

The Hegemony of the Baby Boomers - (2)

Is there anything more tired than rock music? Originally innovative and free, the model – some combination of (male) vocal, guitars, bass and drums – is now entrenched and dominant. This is not to say that it is worthless, but our response to it is different to that of our parents (or their parents). Any guitar band now is part of a tradition, and we can only see it through all the others that have gone before. Archetypes have been created - the last gang in town, the wasted drug casualty, the androgynous front man – and we recognise them as such. We read their behaviour, and listen to their lyrics and chord changes, with reference to the tradition which spawned them. Acceptance today depends on faithfulness to this framework. You can enjoy this formula for a while - it does not really matter which bands you first became interested in, any will do - but it becomes stale. You’ve seen one…

The demographic power of the post-war generation has created the myth that the ‘60s (and now the ‘70s) was The Golden Age, 5th Century Athens to our measly Roman imitators. The harmonious ideals were formed, and gave us something to aspire to. Disposable, throwaway pop has become “classic”. For All Time. But the greatest feature of these records was their newness, that they did not sound like anything that had come before. We can’t feel this. Their limited artistic merit has been forever propped up by grainy footage of swaying acid-heads and screaming teens; we are nostalgic for crappy PAs, poor security and “real” music – the youth culture of another generation. We try and put ourselves in their place, strive to make the sound as “other” as it had been to those kids; but stripped of their novelty, very few records of the period have anything more to offer than simple enjoyment, what, after all, they were created for.

Our popular culture is supremely self conscious. It starts with a model and then plays with it – or, in the case of Paul Weller, is a slave to it. *This* is what *proper* music sounds like. But pop music did not start in 1956 (or 1963, or 1977 or 1988). There are other traditions to draw on and new directions to pursue. Too often bands set out to make an “Indie” record, or an “R&B” record, or an “Electronic” record, rather than working out what they want to say, and how they’re going to say it.

There was once hope with Hip Hop and Dance music, perhaps there still is. But they too have had cordons thrown around them, and have an established way of doing things. Downloads, with the emphasis on songs rather than albums may liberate us from genre. Let’s hope so. We can transcend them, and if we want anything more than variations on a theme, pastiches and post-modern play, then we must.

The Hegemony of the Baby Boomers - (1)

This is just as I see it. I can write from no other perspective than my own.

The Baby Boomers created a new paradigm within which we still live. The influence of this most self-obsessed of generations is all prevailing. Their youth culture, created as disposable, has outstayed its welcome. Listen, old man, just because you liked it when you were young doesn’t make it any good. The relatively simple concerns of teenagers may not have universal significance, no matter how many times you repackage those “classic” albums.

Our world is recognisably that of our parents. Some things have changed, of course, greater female participation in the “public” spheres, greater recognition of ethnic minorities, gay rights… but culturally we are all children of the ‘60s. Perhaps the churning of the twentieth century has quietened and we are returning to a society of strong traditions with a focus on continuity rather than change. Perhaps there will be a shift somewhere along the line, when I’m too old to be anything other than a confused observer. But we are still little kids trying to impress our older brothers and sisters. We still see things through their eyes. The symbols of cool from four decades ago – Dylan (who is rubbish, by the way, I’ll prove it), Kerouac, Burroughs, the Rolling Stones, The Doors, for fuck’s sake – are still accepted as such. Extraordinary. Like our parents digging on Glen Miller. These were either prized for their novelty, or the ‘60s and ‘70s were a pinnacle, a golden age where forms were perfected. More on this in Part (2).

Desperate to prove that our youth is as valid as that of the post-war (or punk) generation, we seek out faded facsimiles of '60s’ phenomena. But we don’t need “our Beatles”. If kids in the 1956 were looking for “their Sinatra” they didn’t get him. They got Elvis and they took it from there. But we need easy comparisons. We need our Vietnam. We need to protest outside the American embassy and place flowers in gun barrels. Don’t we have the right to our fun too? Hoses, riot police, soundtrack by Martha and the Vandellas and Jimi Hendrix… We want to be part of that footage. How about Iraq? Superficially they seem similar. It’ll do.

I’m marching, Momma, I'm marching! Can you see me?!


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I missed my opportunity to see Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World in the cinema: sold out the first day, by the time I could have bought a ticket I couldn’t care less about going.

Once I wanted an iPod. I fancied myself as living in a world of music. Every hour was an hour I could be listening to a new album, weighing it against what else I’d heard, widening my knowledge of music. Absurdly, I thought that this actually meant something. That it would somehow make me a more interesting, better person. There was a compulsion there, a need to catch up with those who had a broader taste than my own - and pull away from those who did not. Somehow, knowing Nick Drake and Can album tracks (compared to their popular singles) would confer status upon me. It was how I ranked myself against others.

I would always have my walkman with me (later it was replaced with a Minidisc player); it would soundtrack my life on trips to the shops or work. The iPod seemed like the logical, and wonderful, next step. I could have a free choice without filling my pockets with tapes! Everything I owned, from (legitimate classical choice) to the (slightly obscure ‘60s pop group), (underground ‘70s black musician) to (jazz soloist), would accompany me, snug in my pocket. But whilst I was working out how I was going to afford it, my enthusiasm faded. Trouble was I didn’t actually want it at all, I thought that someone like me should want it. I had convinced myself that this new technology was desirable, that it would improve my existence, but the relentless cacophony of city life had made me crave silence. There was so much noise already; I didn’t want to introduce a competing bellow.

I now value my commute as time to read and think in. I’m not claiming any superiority here, just that it works for me. I don’t need the option of hearing Since You’ve Been Gone whenever I want to, and I never thought I’d write *that*.

There’s a slightly po-faced article by Andrew Sullivan here, arguing that iPods are separating us from each other. I wouldn’t know about that, but it’s quite interesting and reminded me of my own non-story.

Reading the latest post here made the skin crawl right off my fucking body.

Thanks to Marty for the tip. My favourite bit might be, "Do more dancing. It’s organic, fair trade, emission free and it makes you happy." Cheers, "Jo". Dancing for me is forever ruined.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My picture nails were not strong enough to put the dartboard up in the hall. It’ll have to stay in Marty’s room for now. We could have been playing now, I could have given my famous “natural ability”* an airing; instead I’m half-watching Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday. And all for the want of a masonry nail.

* In Venezuela I played darts with a Canadian man who had set up a bar there. When he heard I was English he couldn’t believe that I had never played before. He proclaimed me “a natural”. For a while I toyed with the idea of training and turning pro. I could have become the David Beckham of darts, transcend its usual audience and bring in a new crowd. The dream’s still there, somewhere, beneath that something sufficiently toad-like that squats in me, its hunkers heavy as hard luck, and cold as snow. If I’m not careful my charming Bob Cratchett could become a loathsome Ebenezer Scrooge. Eternal vigilance is essential. And has anyone read Dickens’s The Chimes? It’s rubbish.

Trying to make my food shopping more interesting by each visit buying something I wouldn’t normally get. Yesterday was the turn of cocktail sausages and Caerphilly.

Oddly Enough

A fun story here about genital mutilation. How funny! Why not send it around your friends. He probably had it coming, eh? Bloody men!

Japanese Spaniel (Chin)

Cesky Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Coton De Tulear




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