now incorporating the Sudbury Hill Times

Friday, November 30, 2007

More government incompetence

The British government has not been tough enough with Sudan over the teacher incarcerated there on trumped-up charges. They should have exercised their full might to insist beyond all misinterpretation that the Sudanese goverment was sending that lady home forthwith, on pain of their lives. Instead they have adopted a watery milksop attitude and faffed around. Now Gillian Gibbons is in danger of being lynched by the benighted mob over there. Google this, David Miliband, you dozy timeserver. My old mother could drive a better bargain than the whole lot of shabby pen-pushers in the Labour party put together. She would never accept injustice without a fight.

Zoz

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who do you say I am?



"Thomas the Tank Engine, you shall be with me this day in Heaven."

Zoz

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I want to copyright my own DNA

DNA database: Will your DNA get lost, too? - Telegraph

"People want to know, 'Who has got their hands on my genes?',' she says."

A person owns himself or herself and all components thereof. My DNA is my own property, copyright © me, all rights reserved. No use of any kind without prior permission in writing from me or my estate. No barber shall take a hair I left on his floor and use it for cloning customers with thick, fast growing hair like me, for example. No employer shall extract my DNA from a lousy plastic coffee cup and clone little duplicates of late-working-without-pay versions of me. Etc.

Zoz

Monday, November 26, 2007

whiskey river

whiskey river

"...supposing you were given the power to dream any dream you wanted to dream every night." (Alan Watts)

And some night you might just decide to sleep without dreaming at all, and that would be the end of you.

Ossian

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Clods

Saudi Arabia defends sentence for rape victim - Telegraph

"Saudi Arabia has condemned Western interference in the case of a rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison."

I hate those seedy, hypocritical slobs who run that country and their numbskulled witch doctors. The day their country is run by the ordinary people instead of those money-grubbing lardarses, and their voodoo nonsense, the better. The same to the Bush regime, by the way.

Zoz

Impressive list*

That's the best thing we've read all year | Review | The Observer

"...writers and other cultural figures choose their favourite books of 2007"

Fascinating to get in concise form what each of these people found new and compelling this year. Then again some of the selections reflect what I find myself, that it's not always new books that are discovered in a year. I have bought a few books this year, the new edition of Shakespeare, a great doorstop/combines weight-training and reading, actually a marvellous book. Some others. A limitation of this sort of survey, like any Top N items list, is the tendency to say "My favourite books this year were the books I read this year."

Imagine being Literary Editor of the Observer and having this lot in your CC list:

David Hare, Nicola Barker, Margaret Drabble, Toby Litt, Alain de Botton, Michael Chabon, Jan Morris, Shere Hite, Salley Vickers, Brian Friel, MJ Hyland, Ian Hislop, Peter Carey, Charlotte Mendelson, John Banville, Anne Tyler, Michael Ondaatje, Joanna Briscoe, Andrew Marr, Hanif Kureishi, Angela Hartnett, Lisa Appignanesi, Irvine Welsh, JG Ballard, Simon Callow, Hari Kunzru, Iain Sinclair, Oliver Sacks, Beryl Bainbridge, Adam Phillips, Philip French, Peter Conrad, Alan Warner, Saffron Burrows, Geoff Dyer, Hilary Mantel, Charlie Higson, Edward Lucas, Kate Mosse, Jane Stevenson, Andrew Motion, David Kynaston, Romesh Gunesekera, Gerard Woodward, Colin Thubron, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Adam Mars-Jones, Nicci Gerrard, Diane Abbott, Michael Dobbs, Caroline Michel, Jonathan Sacks, Ali Smith, John Kampfner, John Mortimer, Ralph Steadman, Owen Sheers, Mohsin Hamid, Peter Ho Davies, James Lasdun, Rachel Seiffert, Maggie O'Farrell, John Burnside, Philip Hoare, Gautam Malkani, Phil LaMarche, Russell Hoban, Jackie Kay, Kele Okereke, Glen Baxter, Jeremy Paxman, Chris Huhne, Katie Melua, Benjamin Zephaniah

Just to quote the last one, which happens to be pithy:

Benjamin Zephaniah

Derek Walcott's Selected Poems (Faber)

"Walcott's Selected Poems is the only book I've read this year. I just haven't felt the need for another. The world is here, every emotion, thoughts you've had and thoughts you are yet to have. I have a copy in my house and a copy in my luggage. Nuff said."

Ossian

* Good thinking O. That'll bring the Googlers in, then they can buy merchandise. Ed

New TV show format: Little Brother

The high concept is "I'm an Earthling Get Me Out of Here" or "Fort Boyard" meets "Land of the Giants". Contestants have to survive in a set where everything is of such a huge size that they are only equivalent to the size of mice there. They have to find ways to live and get the food from the cupboards etc. They are not safe staying on the floor, because, periodically, monster-sized creatures—rats, insects, cats, giant sweeping brushes etc—appear and carry stragglers away and out of the show. It may lend itself particularly well to a children's show for older kids. A great advantage to this is that the set can become a theme park. Similar theme parks could be franchised around the world.

Format © Willesden Herald 2007. Send millions.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The pathos of things

An economy of means, a sense of stillness and transience (Guardian Unlimited Books)

Transcript of a talk by Seamus Heaney comparing poetry in the Japanese, English and Irish traditions, with examples. It also describes the influence of Ezra Pound and others and of translations from and into Japanese.

Ossian

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dry hump

Posting writing online and not getting any money for it is like simulated sex, worse than nothing at all. (Discuss.)

Zoz

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Goodbye Dolly

Dolly creator Prof Ian Wilmut shuns cloning - Telegraph

"Prof Wilmut, who works at Edinburgh University, believes a rival method pioneered in Japan has better potential for making human embryonic cells which can be used to grow a patient's own cells and tissues for a vast range of treatments, from treating strokes to heart attacks and Parkinson's, and will be less controversial than the Dolly method, known as 'nuclear transfer.'"

The new method sounds very promising, exciting. Will we live to get the benefits?

Zoz

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fencing Palestine

Homes in Israeli settlements for sale at London expo

"At the Israel Property Exhibition at Brent town hall, North London last Sunday, one company, Anglo-Saxon Real Estate, was offering for sale properties in Maale Adumim and Maccabim. Both West Bank settlements lie on the Palestinian side of the so-called green line, the pre-1967 boundary and often cited as the border between Israel and a future Palestinian state." (Guardian)

From West Bank to Swiss Bank

Zoz

Gift ideas



Only so many days left

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In the garden today*



Clockwise from top left: Mahonia, Callicarpa Bodinieri, Japanese lanterns, Echinops Bannaticus "Taplow Blue" (globe thistle). The latter was supposed to flower from July to August, yet here it is still flowering in mid-November! Is it the end of times, I wonder?

A. Mullane copyright © 2007

* Your pictures remind me of this, though it's perhaps not so mellow, rather more tempestuous this year. Ed

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

From Ode to Autumn by John Keats (1795-1821)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

RESPECT - The Dis-Unity Coalition

RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News: "George Galloway and his supporters have split from Respect."

He was in bed with Saddam. Now he's become a clown.

Zoz

Friday, November 02, 2007

Pulp fiction



Piano Smashing Blues, a short story by Stephen Moran, is featured in the November edition of Pulp.net.

Noël Knowall