Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Sunday, October 31, 2004


This is the view from Willesden on Halloween, taken in the last few minutes.


Saturday, October 30, 2004

"What planet is The Guardian on?" - Skynews

"It's hard to know sometimes what planet the Guardian is on" says Skynews, commenting on today's Guardian's front page. That's rich from Murdoch's sputnik.

Friday, October 29, 2004

15,000 or 100,000 or 1

Guardian Unlimited Special reports 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, says study: "The researchers criticise the failure of the coalition authorities to attempt to assess for themselves the scale of the civilian casualties."

Jack Straw is sceptical about the figure of 100,000. "Harumph, only 15,000 old boy." He splutters his chardonnay. Only 15,000. What does it matter if it's 15,000 or 100,000 when 1 would've been 1 too many?

Isn't it a pity a few governmental figures couldn't have been sacrificed instead. Thousands of ordinary people would still be with us, and we'd be free of the sharks that are feeding on us. Make these cosy shysters get out and do individual battle to settle their "issues of principal." Blair and Tariq Aziz in a mudwrestling ring. Bush and Saddam in a lancing joust.

To hell with them all, and the arms exporters too.


The little people

Flores man special


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Fatal logic

What the Israeli retaliation raids say is this, "The attacks on us were completely without justification, but after our disproportionate devastations and killing sprees, they have now been justified post facto." The impression is conveyed is that their revenge is a source of pleasure and smugness to them. In this way they are inviting escalation, and challenging the ingenuity of their enemies to come up with even more disproportionate attacks, and all the time they are thinking, "We have nuclear weapons." If they can't see where this leads them, they need to have their eyes tested, if they have any left. The actions of the IDF are not in keeping with the plausible sounding denials of their politicians. The febrile antics in the Knesset comprise a pantomime to obfuscate the land grabbing and ethnic cleansing that the state of Israel continues to perpetrate in reality. They are only fooling themselves. People can justify any actions to themselves, and they should know that, and that is what they are doing.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Say goodbye to Euro asshole

Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event: "Robert Kilroy-Silk has resigned from the UK Independence Party over his failed campaign to oust the leader."

"It was the Herald wot Willes-done it."

"When will the Black Watch roll? When is the election?"

It looks like Zozimus was right.

Extortion charge zone / Livingstone is a reptile

Congestion Charge website down

I am trying to pay for my wife who is about to drive through Livingstone's Extortion Charge zone, and their fucking website is down. Rotten bastards. How am I supposed to pay their extortion? I can't afford to fall foul of the protection racket they run, when they bump the charge up to £80 if it's not paid in advance. They double it after that. Fuckers. Absolute fuckers. Livingstone is a reptile.



I've just spent half an hour of my life slaving for the Bureaucracy in order to get through their hoops and pay £5 by credit card to their protection racket, so that my wife can travel on the public highway to where she needs to get to today.

When you add up all these half hours of yours they waste, and all the half days queuing for Vehicle Duty discs, and all the days filling in tons of self-punishment tax forms, across the population (the serfs) it adds up to many lifetimes per year. This is the equivalent of mass murder, and the whole establishment should be rounded up and exiled to Rockall or Hell, and let us get on with our lives.

Let us post playbills. Yay! Let us park wherever we like. Yay! Let bureaucrats work in productive employment. Yay! I am happy to contribute for the NHS, Education, Housing and benefits, but not for systems of persecution and exploitation of the public. Don't even start me on the "Community Charge" - the rates. The Liberal Democrats are right, there should be a local income tax, and it doesn't need any additional bureaucracy to operate it. A simple calculation programmed into one computer and run once per year will apportion the levy across the local councils. If they can't do it, they should resign and get real workers to install it for them. Bastards.

How can they sink billions of pounds into black holes in companies like Fujitsu, for computer systems that never work, are never fully delivered or completed, and then scrap projects and start over. I could program and organise those systems MYSELF, and I wouldn't need billions of pounds to do it. We are being robbed blind.

Now open Willesden, Neasden and Prague

This travesty of womanhood and dance dominates the road up to Neasden from Willesden. Would it be a bigger crime to rip it down, or to leave it there?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

When will the Black Watch roll? When is the election?*

Cannon to the right of them

Cannon to the left of them


Into the triangle of death

Rode the six hundred eight hundred and fifty

*The election is in "weeks rather than months" (less than 2 weeks.) Of the same calendar order as the length of the mission. The other election is in "months rather than weeks"; it's nothing to do with that one.


This is where all Bush's praying has led

soliloquist: War Crimes

(Salon 15 July 2004) - Hersh: Children sodomized at Abu Ghraib, on tape: "Debating about it, ummm ... Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

If only a fraction of this were true, Bush and his cronies should not just be defeated in the upcoming election, they should be facing life sentences in prison for crimes against humanity.


Glimmer of Hope : Go Johnny Go!

Sky News

John Kerry has moved ahead of George Bush in opinion polls, just a week before the US election.

The latest tracking poll from Rasmussen Reports gives Mr Kerry 48.4% of the vote, compared to 46.4% for Mr Bush.

Meanwhile, the authoritative ABC News poll gives Mr Kerry 49% to Mr Bush's 48%.

He's not perfect, but he's far better than the alternative.


Public rejects Blair's casino plans

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports: "The finding follows Tony Blair's uncompromising defence yesterday of the government's proposed gambling bill, insisting that it is '90% about better regulation, better protection for children' and the removal of existing slot machines from 6,000 high street premises where youngsters now play them."

10% is not about better regulation or better protection for children then. That's Blair's 10%, I presume.


Monday, October 25, 2004

World press photograph of the year

soliloquist: The War on Terror?: "Iraqi man comforts his son at a holding centre for prisoners of war, Al Najaf, Iraq. Jean-Marc Bouju."


Bush's gift to Al Qaeda

VIENNA (Reuters)

"Nearly 380 tons of explosives are missing from a site near Baghdad that was part of Saddam Hussein's dismantled atom bomb programme but was never secured by the U.S. military, the United Nations says.

"The head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, will immediately report the matter to the U.N. Security Council, a spokeswoman for the agency said on Monday."


It's not possible to impose our will on Iraq

I hate the people who massacred the 50 Iraqi recruits, and they will probably get what they deserve in return. But none of this leaves us any further forward.

I wish we could do something to make Iraq a liberal democracy (for what it's worth) but I don't think it's possible and I don't believe wars of invasion are winnable in a country of any significant size. My own native country, Ireland, is a country of about 5 million people and I doubt any invader could conquer it, for all practical purposes. Iraq's population is over 20 million and it's a much bigger country, with more resources and a proud history.

Patience, diplomacy and some of the billions wasted on the war could have been used to support dissidents to get rid of Saddam, and could have saved the lives of thousands, as well as the infrastructure of Iraq. All we can do now is eject the lousy leaders we have from office and encourage the incoming ones to turn away from war. There's no point in despairing, but unless we get rid of Bush and Blair we're in for more of the same - and worse.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Your Fears / Four Years

The New York Times: Bush Keeps Focus on Preparedness for Terrorism; Kerry Shifts to a Theme of Hope

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Support your local bookshops

If you're in northwest London, don't waste your money on Amazon delivery charges. Just pop in to the Willesden Bookshop, Kilburn Books or Queens Park Books and get yourself a copy of The London Silence while there are still a few in stock. Alternatively, I'm sure your local bookshop would be happy to order it for you.


A penny for Saddam*

Children outside Willesden Green station this evening, with an effigy of Saddam Hussein instead of Guy Fawkes.

*The sign says "Penny 4 the Guy / Execution 5th November" (bonfire night.)

Who would you vote for, dull or stupid?

Bush cries wolf

"As the campaign approaches its last full week, Mr Kerry is focusing his efforts on south-western states today, and will make a speech tomorrow on faith in an attempt to attract undecided religious voters.

"The president, meanwhile, has surprised some of his supporters by deciding to take a rest, withdrawing to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for the weekend."

All work and no play makes John a dull boy. All play and no work makes George a stupid boy.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Release Margaret Hassan

Sky News: "Kidnapped care worker Margaret Hassan has made an emotional plea for British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq in a new video aired by an Arabic TV station."

If those rotten sewer rats don't release Margaret safe and sound, I swear I'll sign-up to blast the fuck out of them myself.


Chequers mate

The Prime Minister has claimed £43,000 of public money on a constituency home bought for just £30,000 according to the Daily Mail.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Iraq: January election - "weeks rather than months"?

More hoons: "An armored battlegroup of 850 soldiers from the First Battalion Black Watch complete with medics, signalers and engineers will be redeployed for a 'limited and specific period of time, lasting weeks rather than months' to relieve U.S. troops, Hoon said."

It's October. Before the Iraqi elections in January, we will have to traverse the months of November and December. Months, not weeks.

However the US Presidential election is in weeks not months.

You don't have to be Professor Kronk to work this one out. They have refused previous requests for troops, but in the run-up to the US Presidential election, they have accepted this request. What a pack of hooners.

Fear and Loathing in 2004 "Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all. The tide turned early, in Coral Gables, when Bush went belly up less than halfway through his first bout with Kerry, who hammered poor George into jelly. It was pitiful. . . . I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him 'Mister President,' and then I felt ashamed." (Hunter S. Thompson)


Science for the Confused - an occasional series

No.1: Space and Time

Did you know that space and time are really the same thing? To have space is to have time, and to have time is to have space. You can't have one without the other. Without space there is nowhere to have time, and without time there is no time to have space. We can't see timespace fully because we are functions of it. It is behind us, in a way that we can't turn around to see. We are part of a marbled edifice growing, not moving. We do not move from place to place, but grow from one place to another, but we can only see the surface, the growing tip, and not the marbled trails. We are not bodies but body-shaped tendrils trailing through the years.

It is not time travel that we need, in order to see the past, it's an additional sense. Whether it is possible to generate such an additional sense using only the ones we have to start with is a difficult question. A superior being would carry on its existence not only at the "flat" three-dimensional tip (think of two-dimensional analogy) where we exist, but simultaneously in more than one spacetime location. Therefore such a being would not need to travel in time, it would be in or span many places in time at once. Evolution doesn't look like it will ever get us there, and devices travelling at any speed couldn't get us there, because they are only trying to move from one location to another. What we need is a device that will enable us to be in more than one location simultaneously.*

Some experiments with photons and particles, e.g. sending them different ways through polarising filters and detecting where they end up, produce results indicating that a particle has gone both ways simultaneously. Also one half of a particle spins one way, the other the opposite way, no matter how far apart you separate them, when you change the spin on one of the particles the other changes too. This defies the theory of relativity, because it shows action / influence travelling faster than the speed of light, yet nothing can travel faster than the speed of light according to Relativity. But can something be in two places at once?

Next >>

Professor Kronk

*The Herald would like to offer a million pound prize for the first person to build such a device. Richard Branson would you please contact us to arrange sponsorship. I think I will call this the Padre Pio project. Ed

Postscript to "More non-US casualties needed"

What if a number of British soldiers are killed in the week before the US Presidential election, which is only two weeks away? It is possible that on the day before the election a Land Rover might be hit by an RPG somewhere in the American zone, for example (God forbid). Picture George Dubya Bush's cheesy salesmanship of this appalling event. Then imagine that the Democratic candidate loses the election, and the neo-Con wins. The Prime Minister's position would be untenable. It is already.

Constructive genocide

All the disingenuous chaos of the Knesset is just so much sleight-of-hand to distract the world's eye from systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Sharon: "Oh I'm so under pressure, I have to do these things. (Psst - shout louder!) Oh no, against my better judgement they're forcing me to build walls, raze olive groves and demolish houses. (Louder! Louder!) Listen to what I have to deal with... What's this, a rocket has been fired. Oh no, I have to demolish another 1,000 houses and kill 100 Palestinians, all against my will. This is terrible. (Don't forget to demolish their police stations, playgrounds and zoo too.) I bet they'll fire another rocket soon. (Have they fired one yet?)"


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

"The boys will be home before Christmas"

"...the Black Watch will be home before Christmas" - Tony Blair, Prime Minister's Questions today.

Hurray! The Herald's campaign is taking effect. Everything is going to be fine. Hurray! Boys and girls of Willesden will return home safe and sound. None of them will be shot for Bush's re-election.

(But wait, Christmas is after that... Hmm, should we still worry? Oh well, at least some of them will be home before Christmas, one way or another. )

This is the good old spirit that millions gave their young lives for in the abattoir of the Somme. It's still with us. At the going down of the thingummy, and the coming up of the whatsit, we will tumpty tumpty thingamajig.

The gombee's in the crombies

Dublin may trade roots of its history for a modern view: "an avenue of ancient trees lining Dublin's central boulevard, whose bullet holes and shell scars are a source of national pride, are facing the axe in what some call an act of official philistinism."

What need you, being come to sense
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the ha'pence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer until
You've chilled the marrow from the bone
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Forget the Laughing Policeman

"Has Been"

"Common People" by William Shatner (featuring Joe Jackson) has to be the funniest record of all time, a brilliant, brilliant and strangely touching production. It has everything. I swear it's Shatner's masterpiece. If this isn't number 1 next week, eat your hats.*

*I've got it on iTunes. Ed

It's time for a Pointless Gesture

"There are a lot of crossed fingers in Westminster" (Andrew Marr, BBC News at One)

What does that mean? People are to be sent to their deaths, and the government are "crossing their fingers"?

"Okay, 100 of you, you're sons are going to be shot. It's time for a Pointless Gesture. Got to be done. Sorry old chaps. Duty to allies. Ours not to reason why and all that rot."


Base Details

IF I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
    I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
    You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
    Reading the Roll of Honour. ‘Poor young chap,
’I’d say—‘I used to know his father well;
    Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.’
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die—in bed.

Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967)
Counter-Attack and Other Poems. 1918.

More non-US casualties needed?

MPs must have a vote (Guardian)

90% bad, 80% good.

Bush's answer to Kerry's criticisms: increase British casualties. Bush wants reports of British soldiers being killed in the run-up to polling day, so he can turn around and accuse Kerry of "demeaning the allies" and exaggerating the isolation of the US position.

We've had more hoons today about weighing up the advice. It's all crap - they've decided already. The man whose name is synonymous with lies, Geoff Hoon, was stupid enough to give the game away in an answer in parliament, when he said it was Britain's duty as an ally to agree to the US request for secondment of troops to their command.

He's been caught out telling hoons again. Either he is so stupid he doesn't know that most people can see through him, or he is reckless, inconsiderate and bloody-minded, happy to survive on the gullibility of a constituency of idiots. Or is he just completely and numbly incompetent? When answering difficult questions, he has the look of a cow watching a train go by.

How the hell do these people in government sleep at night?

Hoon, Blair - they love playing war with the soldiers

They are not proper men, they're like half-popped corn - boymen, but the nightmare is that we have given them control over us. These half-men are conspiring with zombie hordes of their ilk in parliament and the media to play war with real soldiers. Peter Snow will be stomping around in his computer generated battlefield with his toy tanks. The fierce, bald, short of breath ex-major generals will be wheeled on to add colour to the fantasy. But when all these unpeople shout their playground orders, real men, women and children are blown to bits. This would never happen under Charles Kennedy, would it? It wouldn't, it just wouldn't. That's why I'm voting Liberal Democrat. I've always been a liberal at heart.


Monday, October 18, 2004

More hoons from the quislings

Refusal of US troop request would be a failure

"There will be no penalty, but we will have failed in our duty as an ally and as a country"

This is the latest hoon from the government, which is trying for a Guinness Book of World Records entry for "Most Tangled Web Woven after First Practicing to Deceive". When will they stop telling hoons, and admit that they are blairholes?


Bush's hotline to God is faulty

Rhetorical Device Fact Checking: "Bush claimed in the debate last night that 'God loves freedom,' but this turns out not to be the case. We have examined God's record on freedom, wherein we have found the following disturbing statements..." (via Brokentype)


What goes around, comes around

Police raze war veterans' farms as fresh land evictions rock Zimbabwe: "No official explanation was given for the evictions, but the suspicion was that senior figures in the ruling Zanu-PF party wanted to claim the farms, which had names such as Little England, for themselves."


"When we came back they had destroyed all the houses"

Guardian Unlimited Special reports: "The Israeli general who commanded the destruction of the only Jewish settlement in the Sinai before it was returned to Egypt recently offered Ariel Sharon advice on how to carry out his pledge to remove settlers from the Gaza strip. 'Evicting someone from the home they've lived in for 20 years isn't a simple matter,' wrote Brigadier General Obed Tira. 'To remove a family from its home is embarrassing and difficult, and that is why the removal needs to be done with a lot of love and a lot of wisdom.'"

A lot of love and wisdom goes into demolishing people's houses. Did you know that? Takes your breath away, the kindness. I'm all choked-up.


US Republicans are rabidly anti-English

Guardian Unlimited US elections 2004 Reaction from the US to the Guardian's Clark County project: "If you want to have a meaningful election in your crappy little island full of shitty food and yellow teeth, then maybe you should try not to sell your sovereignty out to Brussels and Berlin, dipshit. Oh, yeah - and brush your goddamned teeth, you filthy animals. "

Why should Willesden boys and girls give their lives to support people who hate them? The New Labour government, with the support of the Conservatives, has turned Britain into America's whore, abused and treated with contempt.*

*I wouldn't treat a working girl like that, no matter if her name was Britannia, Hibernia, Caledonia, Mesopotamia or Lily French. Ed

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Golf / mathematics of putting / topology of greens

Golfers fondly imagine that every putt can be holed if they apply the correct force and direction to the golf ball, but is this really the case? Given greens with more than one slope, even with perfect smoothness, would it always be possible to make a successful putt? This is an interesting problem for applied mathematics, which could have commercial applications; if golfers knew that a certain putt was impossible to hole, they would adjust their tactics accordingly.

In practice, long putts are often treated as highly unlikely to go into the hole. Golfers realise that the force needed to hole the putt would result in the ball going too far past the hole if it missed. In effect they are worrying about their ability to "hit the target" from a long way off. Tiny variations in direction and proclivity of slopes on the way combine to make the targetting very difficult. But do they make it impossible?

I couldn't find an answer on Google, so this could be a good thesis for somebody. There, it's no longer a googlewhacker.

Updated 22/6/2017:
I'm thinking about a device that could scan a green from the position of the ball and calculate the best shot. I think I've mentioned this before. It could go in the shaft of a putter; might be disallowed, but okay for training. It's a kind of "Dragons' Den" idea, really. [Ed.]

Conspiring with a foreign power (again)

Reuters LONDON: "Prime Minister Tony Blair has secretly agreed to allow Washington to station U.S. missiles on British soil as part of President George W. Bush's missile defence programme, [according to] the Independent on Sunday "


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Bush blows the gaff

Reuters: "'After standing on the stage, after the debates, I made it very plain: We will not have an all-volunteer army,' Bush told a rally in Daytona Beach. "

He only opens his mouth to change feet. He retracted soon after and went back to the pre-prepared lie. Oops, I mean the pre-prepared line.


"Give us your troops"

Up to 650 troops could be involved in the move to cover for U.S. units battling insurgents in the rebel-held city of Falluja and elsewhere, according to various newspaper reports. (Reuters)

Isn't it transparently obvious with the US Presidential election just a month away, and a possible bloodbath in Fallujah even worse than the present bombardment, that the Americans just want to "blood" the Brits in this part of Iraq. They want to pretend they don't need US reinforcements, and at the same time use the Brits as a shock absorbers for whatever new ignominy they have planned.

Is it possible that they are deliberately stirring up more war in the region to pass as a poison chalice to Kerry if he should win next month? They are capable of anything.

It's essential that the conservatives are defeated in the Presidential election, and the liberal Democratic candidate is installed. Why isn't Blair helping Kerry's campaign? He could do something, a nod and a wink. Because he's a Tory, simple as that. If not, let him say something in favour of Kerry.

Here is a challenge to Blair. If he is not a Tory let him say something to help Kerry. It would be easy and the media would pick it up with alacrity. If he wants to save his own skin, and start to try and make amends for outrageous misjudgements and wrong-headedness, now is his chance.


Friday, October 15, 2004

"Draft the Brits"

The U.S. government has asked for British troops to "stand-in" for American troops south of Baghdad, so that more troops can be sent to Fallujah. Translation: "Cannon fodder needed to promote re-election of George Bush and Co." Is Blair capable of saying "No" to his puppet-master? Hardly. But why should Brits pay the price for U.S. violence, avarice and incompetence? Where do they get off? I'm not a Brit, but I would be very surprised if the British people stood for this.

The Brits are in the South, around Basra, and regardless of how they got there, it's clear they have been better at occupation than their big brothers in "the coalition." Had the Americans been in the south instead, they would've been bombing Basra on account of the presence of 200 or so militia men, and by now would have turned the entire population against them.The US has made its own bed in the north of Iraq and let them now lie on it.

It's clear President Bush doesn't want to send reinforcements before next month's election, and so he thinks he can throw some Brits into the fray. I hope the move by eleven MP's led by Plaid Cymru's Adam Price to impeach the Prime Minister, for conspiring with a foreign power against the national interest, succeeds. For Blair to agree to the latest order from Bush / Cheney would be a repeat and compounding of his original crime.


Stupid barrister

Angry letter costs son inheritance


I'd like to box the apes who keep these orang-utans

The world is full of cruel and stupid fuckers.


So, I went to see this man about a donkey ...

Terry Eagleton goes arse over tit in Sligo. Now see this is the kind of story that revives journalism. Why doesn't the Willesden Herald have this sort of thing? Because they're a pack of eejits, that's why.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What can you do

...Things were just so easy teaching & studying & being a Lone Parent & totally penniless that I even got to write poetry... (Heaven)


A Portrait of the Artist as a Conman

"He hid under the bible. His minister said:

--O, Tony will apologize.

Charlie said:

--O, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his eyes.--

Pull out his eyes,
Pull out his eyes.
Pull out his eyes,
Pull out his eyes,
Apologize. "

(After James Joyce)

From Rouse Magazine

On Finding a Muse a review of Josh Davis's The Muse and the Mechanism


BBC ghost channels busted

Poor value for money (Reuters)

This reminds us of Malachy Dunhill's definitions in his recent Herald article:


BBC3 - Things that should be on ITV, mostly about how much money pop stars earn

BBC4 - Things that should be on BBC2

CBBC - Things that should be on BBC1 in the afternoon, instead of whining Australian soaps

CBeebies - Things that should be on BBC1 in the morning, instead of whining British soaps

BBC News24 - Half an hour of news, repeated forty-eight times

BBC Parliament - Closed Circuit TV from an institute for the clinically pompous


Five Live - Things that should be on Radio 2

Sports Xtra - Things that shouldn't be on at all

6 Music - Things that should be on BBC Radio 1

BBC 7 - Old things that should never have been on in the first place

Asian Network - Auntie talking very slowly and distinctly about things that should be on the BBC World Service

GLR / Local Radio - The broadcasting equivalent of make-work

(And next time you hear this, 'Please switch to BBC1 / 2 / Radio 5 Live, where the tennis / snooker / rugby continues' ask yourself this: Where is the BBC Sports channel?)

Monday, October 11, 2004

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld

Recent works by the Secretary of Defense

Unknown knowns.


Nobel prize for Literature, 2004

Elfriede Jelinek: "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clich├ęs and their subjugating power" (via Metamorphosism)


Get all the latest before it even happens

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To add the Herald to your list of sites, simply click on New Feed and paste the link listed under Tickertape in the left column. It will tell you when there are new messages and show you the headlines. Then you can click to read the complete article here.

Simon Moribund

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger leaves Google

evhead: Next?: "It's been almost six years now since I started working on what became the company I sold to the company we started talking to two years ago because of the product we launched five years ago."

Simon Moribund

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Have you seen this country? - picture*

"Wales has completely disappeared off the face of the earth, according to an official EU map." (Skynews)

*Does this mean I will have to cancel my car ferry trip from Holyhead to Dublin? It appears that the Irish Sea now comes in as far as England, and all of Wales has joined Atlantis under the waves. What about the people? Dear God! Urgent: Feargal, can you check that booking with Irish Ferries for me, please. Ed

Sowing the wind*

Guardian Unlimited Special reports 50,000 trapped by Israeli assault on Gaza: "Over the past three years the army has levelled 60% of Beit Hanoun's agricultural land, destroying its wealth and the main source of citrus fruit and olives in the Gaza Strip."

*This is not very funny. Delete it Feargal. Ed

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Great Escape - amazing dog exploits

Secret cameras set up to find out who was raiding the supply room nightly, caught Red the lurcher letting himself out of his kennel and then unbolting the cages of other dogs to join him for a midnight beanfeast, in the Battersea Dogs and Cats home: Pictures. (Skynews)

Skynews update: Hundreds of offers of homes. Red pictured, back in pokey.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

King Blear

A Long Goodbye (Independent): "However 'liberated' Mr Blair may feel by Thursday's cathartic announcement, he could quickly become a prisoner of political circumstance."

Blear: "We have divided
In three our kingdom, while we
Unburdened crawl toward death
Or a pension fit for a tyrant, say."

Beckett: "Tis the infirmity of his age, yet he hath
Ever but slenderly known himself."

Blear: "Dost thou call me fool, boy?"

Brown: "All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with.
Bambi, Stalin, Mummy's boy..."

Blear: "I am a man more sinned against than sinning.
And I do have the scars upon my back for proof."

Harman: "Alack, 'tis he. Why, he was met even now
As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud
Scaramouche, Scaramouche will you do the fandango!"

Blear: "You unnatural hags,
I will have such revenges on you both
Excoriate in memoirs your misdeeds"

Paxman: "Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air
Hang fated o'er men's faults light on thy successors
While from the bloody field you would abscond"

Blear: "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have an ungrateful media."

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit
of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star!

(King Lear quotes)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Election fever

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | The anger and hurt of Brown: "Tory warnings that No 10 may now try to stage a snap election in November found some echo among Labour MPs anxious that the Lib Dems will use the available time to nibble away at targeted marginal seats. Most MPs still expect a May or June election."

You heard it first in the Herald, several times, including in this article from February of this year.

The Widening Web of Digital Lit

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > Essay: The Widening Web of Digital Lit: "...the Web is home to hundreds of sites that talk about, pick on, poke at and generally mull over books, writers and writing. It would be impossible to list, much less describe, all of these destinations, but the following guide should provide you with an introduction to literary life on the Web..."

Pity they never heard about us.


Brief encounters

"Anton Chekhov reinvented the short story: a century on, the form is enjoying another renaissance. William Boyd explores its attraction for writers - and proposes a new system of classification." (Guardian Online)


Friday, October 01, 2004

Before the Fall

The river Brent at Wembley today.

Oni Mbeke

The Dressmaker's Child

The New Yorker: Fiction

A humdinger of a new story from William Trevor. It combines a number of elements to produce a tense account of the how an instantaneous lapse can develop in ways that affect whole lives.


How's a person supposed to get any golf in? - Jimmy Breslin: "George Bush reiterated time and again last night that it was hard work to run this government. It was hard work to lead a country out of tyranny and into democracy. It was hard work to read casualty reports. The war was hard work. And he made it plain that talking with somebody about his record as president was the grueling, hardest work you could want."