Saturday, October 29, 2005

Imbeciles strike at the general public

Bombs in Delhi (Skynews)

'We have seen badly-burned bodies littering the market. Most of them are children who had set up food stalls.'

Bombers like these are beyond stupid, their brains are dead. Have they not had enough with earthquakes and tsunamis that they have to massacre people in marketplaces? There's never been any justification for any violent attacks on the general public, but in the middle of a crisis with thousands of people injured, freezing and starving, here they are with their pathetic, small-minded attacks. They will live and die in shame and contempt, the rotten swine.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Great new series - Pictures that didn't really work

Starting Today!



No 1. Les Miserables*



No 2. Swimmer in the sea at Eastbourne*



No 3. A lady squirrel not doing anything cute*



No 4. More noble than bombers*

*Is that you? Claim your prize**

**3 weeks plenary indulgences, courtesy of Mrs Haverty Enterprises.

License to ill

US Govt. adverts alongside hate lyrics

Nick Grimes

US government Small Step health campaign advert spotted alongside this song lyric inciting people to shoot and burn gays:

Artist: Sean Paul
Song: Chi Chi Man

'This is another single from T.O.K. This song is called "Chi Chi Man." Thier names are Craigy-T, Bassie-C, Alex, and Flex. Hope you like this. Big up Jamaica.'
[sic]

Intro
Bassie:
My crew (my crew)
My dogs (my dogs)
Set rules (set rules)
Set laws (set laws)
We represent for the lords of yards
A gyal alone a feel up my balls

Chorus:
From them a par inna chi chi man car
Blaze the fire make me bun them (Bun them!!!!)
From them a drink inna chi chi man bar
Blaze the fire make we dun them (Dun them!!!!)


It continues in the same vein. A later visit to the same page revealed a Red Cross advertisement instead of the Small Step one. Presumably the Red Cross needs to raise money to tend Sean Paul's victims. There are Google Ads on the same page, but they need to improve their algorithm, because they didn't offer any gun or flamethrower links*.

*And Google Ads turned down the Willesden Herald as unsuitable! What's their motto again, "Don't be evil"? Ed

Forget global warming, forget bird flu

Theory blames lava fields for mass extinctions

'"It has deep ramifications for life on Earth. There's no reason it couldn't happen again," said Dr Elkins-Tanton.'

You won't be running a high temperature, you'll be roasted alive. It will be bye-bye homo sapiens, and canus fidelis and all. Remember, you read about it first in your super soaraway 'Sden.

Sloe Wine authors reviewed

Magazine - loaded with arts

The website of Magazine (New Zealand) includes interesting new reviews of books by two of Sloe Wine's contributing editors. (-What?) Here and there.

Ossian

Friday, October 21, 2005

Emophilia

Emo Philips

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way. So just I stole one and asked for him to forgive me."

Emo's CD: listen to "12.73% of it". (Very funny.)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Complex Messiah

nothing will save you by dean strom*

reviewed by Feargal Mooney

Arab singers start a song with a mawal, a prolonged melodic wail without words, and this book also eases into its song with a preliminary mawal lasting many pages, before settling into an almost conventional narrative. I say almost conventional, because there is very little that is conventional about "nothing will save you" and just when you think you are on solid ground, back comes the mawal and you are floating away again. I am reminded also of the ethereal chants that highlight some songs by The Beatles, namely Lovely Rita and A Day In The Life.

"nothing will save you" is a novella and collection of poems, prose poems and short stories. The eponymous novella, which occupies most of the book, is a road movie, love story, breakdown story, redemption and more, but with every element undermined at all times by its author. The story is full of surprises and jazzy variations on unexpected themes and events. We're never allowed to get too comfortable with characters, some of whom materialise and dissolve and might or might not be emanations of the narrator himself, from the screaming torture chamber of a mind in crisis.

There are evocative and unique scenes from strange sub-cultures, of native American knife-throwing while full of firewater, followed by a native American game of beating the stranger unconscious, robbing and leaving for dead, to some extreme sport that entails running over mountains and frequent injury, rickshaw drivers in New Orleans, police brutality there, gay cruising haunts in Hawaii, and what I suppose we now have to call "the queer eye for the straight guy."

Chi Chi, the narrator of this tale (who shares his name with a Waikiki beach cocktail) stays, on arrival in Honolulu, on a boat with his friend Dean (who shares his name with the author). Chi Chi through the eyes of the cruising gays is a beautiful boy - nobody believes he's straight. In some ways it's like Death in Venice from Tadzio's point of view, but it's Tadzio who's dying. The love story that started on the road, with Jenny, is strung through a sequence of exciting and bizarre events leading to Chi Chi's Honolulu sojourn, heartbreak, series of encounters around the beaches and bars, some sleazy and demoralising, some transcendant.

In the climax of the story, fuelled by alcohol, dope and firearms, the mawal of Chi Chi's inner torment returns as disintegrating prose, increasing entropy of typography, to the point of jumbled letters, and conflicting voices, wanting to speak without saying, through intwining, self-consuming thoughts turning on the impossibility of the genuine, or possibility, whether the art of speaking and writing is in the words, in the fingertips, in the initial, lost thought, until we reach a real and very frightening event.

Chi Chi subsequently wakes to a world of satire, in which redemption takes the form of publication and money, and back on the road, or rather in the air to the promised land, the shining city, and for a page or two you think, he's letting us off, we are heading for resolution, satisfaction, comfort. As if.

*nothing will save you by dean strom
Published by Pretend Genius Press. ISBN: 0974726117


Ossian

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Found by clicking Next Blog*

Is this the world we created???

"By the cold and religious we were taken in hand - shown how to feel good; and told to feel bad."

*Maybe we should turn that on here. Ed

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Raymond Williams Prize for Community Publishing 2005

"The Raymond Williams Prize is an award dedicated to commending two published works of outstanding creative and imaginative quality that reflect the life and experiences of the people of particular communities. Open to non-profit-making publishers, and awarded annually, the prize is becoming increasingly popular. It was set up by the Arts Council England in 1989, and is now in its sixteenth year."

The first prize of £3,000: "The Monkey's Typewriter was written to celebrate ten years of Willesden Green Writers' Workshops. It contains eighteen stories and poems that are in turn funny, disturbing, captivating and downright strange."

The runners-up prize of £2,000 was awarded to Equal Arts for The Kitchen Suitcase. "This book is a result of an Equal Arts project which involved women from Zayis Raanon, a Jewish organisation in Gateshead. The women met weekly to make a tapestry on the theme of Journeys to Gateshead with the artist Fiona Rutherford and tell their stories to the poet Gillian Allnutt. Seven very different women give us a glimpse of their lives and community that binds them together."

The judges this year were Debjani Chatterjee, an award-winning South Asian author with over 40 books to her name, Tim Diggles, director of the Federation for Worker Writers and Community Presses, and Courttia Newland, author of three acclaimed novels and co-editor of IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain.

The standard of entries was high, both in content and production, with books of all shapes and sizes, many amply illustrated, representing a wide variety of community groups from all over Britain.


Ossian

Local primates whoop it up

The Raymond Williams prize for community publishing, 2005, has been awarded to Willesden Green Writers Workshop for their anthology The Monkey's Typewriter, as featured in your super soaraway Willy.

*The Monkey's Typewriter is available from local bookshops and libraries. ISBN 0953019551

Raymond Williams prize 2005

This year's Raymond Williams prize for community publishing has gone to Willesden Green Writers Workshop for their anthology The Monkey's Typewriter, which includes one of my own abominations.

Ossian

Raymond Williams award 2005

Announced within the last hour, this year's £3,000 Raymond Williams Prize for Community Publishing has gone to Willesden Green Writers Workshop for the The Monkey's Typewriter (isbn 0-9530195-5-1) an anthology of short stories and poetry edited by Anne Mullane, Andrew Mayne and Dale Arndell. The closing story in the book is Gerry Boysey's Human Circus by yours truly. If the judges had read that far we probably wouldn't have won.

Ossian

Now you don't see it, now you do

10m to study how to regrow damaged limbs

"Gus McGrouther, a plastic surgeon at Manchester University, said that while the research was in its early stages, the goal of regrowing limbs was not beyond human grasp. 'It's an achievable future, it will eventually happen.'"

The article doesn't mention that we can regrow the tips of our fingers. I (P Kronk, from the village W in the territory of L) have a guitarist friend who had the tip of one of his index fingers severed below the nail, and it has now grown back.*

Kronk

*Unfortunately, it has forgotten how to play its parts in my friend's guitar music.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

South Asia Earthquake Children's Appeal

UNICEF

Who needs wars between people when nature is against us all? Dig some moola out of the ruins of your bank account, and put it to work. Willesden is entangled in this wreckage.

Pumping Ieuan

Swansea Is Britain's Healthiest City

"Swansea is not the only city in Wales well-known for its quality of life. Cardiff was recently branded the best place to live for its perfect balance of work, rest and play by Men's Health magazine - and nearly 90% of male residents said they were happy with their sex lives." (Sky News)

John Banville

Interview

"'Once,' says Banville, 'in the 1930s, the Inland Revenue did an investigation into Yeats's tax returns because they could not believe someone so famous could have such small sales. One should never allow oneself to be discouraged by small sales. As Pinter says, I stuck to my guns.'"

Banville is a masterly prose stylist. The Guardian has several good articles about him winning the Booker, including this colourful piece by the chairman of the judges. Considering the public dispute he, John Sutherland, had with Banville (see interview above) it was as Banville says "large" of Sutherland to cast the chairman's deciding vote in his favour.

See this Guardian report for a short "extract" from John Banville's prize winning book The Sea.

Ossian

The Big Uneasy

New Orleans police beat up black man* (Telegraph)

For further examples of New Orleans police beating up people for no reason, read Nothing Will Save You by Dean Strom.

*Isn't this the classic non-news headline, equivalent to Dog Bites Man? Ed

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bendy buses are stupid garbage

Letters

Who decided to order these monstrosities, totally unsuited to London streets? Idiots. They don't fit around corners without blocking whole junctions, some of them have burst into flames, they are very ugly, and just what is the point of them? On the Harrow Road watch how they're used. Most of the passengers get in and out of the middle doors without paying. It's a complete farce because the driver is so far away there's nothing he or she can do. A double-decker takes half the space, is ten times as efficient, and a hundred times better looking.

Cyril "Blakey" Blake

Monday, October 10, 2005

Serfs ye are, and serfs ye shall remain

Key Chinese democrat beaten unconscious (Guardian)

"One of China's leading democracy activists has been beaten, possibly to death, in front of a Guardian journalist. Lu Banglie was last seen lying unconscious on the side of the road on Saturday night after an assault by a mob which had joined forces with police to stop a car containing him, the Guardian's Shanghai correspondent, Benjamin Joffe-Walt, and two other people."

Update

"Lu Banglie, the Chinese democracy activist who was savagely beaten at the weekend, has been found injured but alive."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hello, good evening and salam aleichem

David Frost joins al-Jazeera TV (BBC)

"Veteran UK broadcaster Sir David Frost is to join Arabic-language TV station al-Jazeera, the network has confirmed." (via Morph)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Timing

MI5 unmasks covert arms programmes

"The disclosure of the list comes as the Nobel peace prize was yesterday awarded to Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN watchdog responsible for combating proliferation." (Guardian)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Recommended

Tania, In Another Lifetime



"... where the pavement turned to gravel, where there were fields rolling away into the distance, and where there was a muddy creek and there were railroad tracks and trains (which sounded, you said, like iron waterfalls) ..."



A wonderful short story.

Ossian

Council Tax rising hugely, Pensions static

The government allows a situation in the country where Council Tax rises by huge percentages every year, but Pensions are kept almost static or in line with inflation. It's the same as taking money out of the Pension. Where is the justice in that?

Do the bureaucrats not understand that a 25% rise in Council Tax is not fair to pensioners? Are they too "institutionally stupid" to bestir themselves and change the basis of Council Tax calculation? Pensioners are now becoming martyrs, going to prison, dying of hypothermia. If we have a big freeze this winter, maybe it will be the death of this government too.

Councils must be barred from applying tax rises above the rate of inflation, now. No excuses, do it. Gordon 'Miser' Brown, are you listening? Open your sporran and get the money out for the poor, or you're nothing but a lame timeserver, riding for a fall.

Can't pay, won't pay! Remember the Poll Tax.

Feargal Mooney

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Spot the double standard

Guardian Online

'"There is no justification for Iran or any other country interfering in Iraq,'' Blair said at a news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.'