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

Monday, January 31, 2005

Israelis use barrier and 55-year-old law to quietly seize Palestinians' land

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports

"The Israeli government has quietly seized thousands of acres of Palestinian-owned land in and around east Jerusalem after a secret cabinet decision to use a 55-year-old law against Arabs separated from farms and orchards by the vast 'security barrier'."


Friday, January 28, 2005

BBC / Dom Joly / pain in the arse

I agree with what John Harris said on Newsnight Review a couple of weeks ago, to the effect that there is a culture of ill-will in Britain, that it's the fashion to be hateful to everyone and everything. He said it on the BBC. But the BBC is also responsible for the cringeworthy and depressing Dom Joly on "World Shut Your Mouth." I couldn't believe my eyes and ears last week when the "funny" intro before the titles to his program was this:

Egypt, wide view of road with massive pyramids in the middle distance. An old local is standing by a parapet minding his own business when character in Arab dress* approaches and says, 'So that's the great pyramid of Cheops, is it?'

'Yes,' says the man.

'That's shit,' says the character and walks away. Cut to titles.

I ask you, is that your idea of fun?

*Not sure if staged, or just a false voiceover on an unrelated video. No less dire, either way.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Sunday, January 23, 2005

writeThis latest edition


"we want interviews people. interview somebody and submit it to us. somebody like abe vigoda."

More gooder than whenever.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ron "Pretty Boy" Atkinson on beauty

Sky News : Big Ron Atkinson In New Race Row

"... after telling the audience: 'The Chinese people have the best contraception in the world - but I can't understand why there's so many of them because their women are so ugly.'"

Look at the picture.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Vote for the best stories of 2004

storySouth / best online fiction award

This is a valiant effort to raise the "profile" / status of online fiction. If you enjoyed something you read online in 2004, why not follow the link and nominate it for the award.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

New Labour: robbing the poor to give to the rich

As you tie another millstone of credit card debt around your neck to pay your self-employed tax return this January, just remember it's going to the cause of keeping up the lifestyles of limo-driving, golfcourse shmoozing, coupon-clipping, golden welcomed / parachuted / handshaked parasitic wheeler-dealers who never produced one useful object, or one honest day's work, and to perpetuating the bloated, somnolent, gluttonous, bone-idle, bloody-minded, incompetent, ignorant and self-satisfied bureaucracy that comprises the state. Is there a life before death? Not for you. Welcome to the Private Finance Initiative, welcome to Bushworld, welcome to modern wage-slavery.


Children are not citizens?

Citizenship ceremonies at 18

"The details of the ceremony for 18-year-olds, to be held on a trial basis initially, will be drawn up over the next nine months. It may be modelled on Affirmation Ceremonies in Australia, where existing citizens can take a pledge of allegiance."

The dream team is going into REM state; Charles Clarke has just mumbled this new delirium. John Prescott is making little shadow boxing movements; Tony Blair is panting in a miniature version of breathlessness, and whimpering 'Work them hard.'

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Teenage short story prize

The perfect lie

"In this new short story, DBC Pierre, the Booker prize-winner, introduces our fifth Guardian/Piccadilly Press competition to find the best teenage writing talent in the UK and Ireland. The winning entries will appear in a book to be published next year."


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Welcome to the madhouse

Farcical advice of Labour's £50m travel website

"...the government's £50 million journey planner, delivered two years behind schedule, looks like it will just increase the frustration of those determined to stick with public transport. Four years after Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott promised it would revolutionise travel, experts have called the scheme a fiasco.

"Far from guiding travellers along the fastest route from A to B anywhere in Britain, the planner leaves them camping overnight at remote train stations or stranded for hours at bus stops. Routes that should take two hours can end up taking seven times as long."

If you re-elect enough idiots for long enough they will eventually produce the complete works of John Prescott.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Next generation poets

click to enlarge

I don't fit the bill but you can find me impostering anyway in Willesden Library Centre at 8 pm on Thursday 20th inst. with other members of the local Writers Workshop. We're supporting readings by poets Catherine Smith and Nick Drake to "celebrate the launch of the Next Generation Poets collection of books."


Sunday, January 09, 2005

No comment

The old Squawkbox comments system doesn't work anymore. It was supposed to be a free system, but they started charging for it. It doesn't make sense to use the old system now that Blogger has a built-in comments system for free. I have a backup of the old comments and I will ensure that Simon Moribund uploads and links them when he comes back from his beach holiday in Thailand. (Ed.)

Government in waiting

R. U. Serious is the Official Monster Raving Loony Party "shadow minister for manifestos and cronky caravans." He came sixth out of eleven in the Leicester South by-election last July (with 225 votes, just behind Socialist Labour on 263). He is pictured here campaigning in Brent East for his leader Howlin Laud Hope in 2003.*

* Note the the outline of yet another shooting victim on the pavement. Willesden is the wild west. Ed

Friday, January 07, 2005

Lighting and cursing

I took this picture at a New Year's Eve party. It's just the candle that was on the table in front of me.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Julia Darling's workshop

Click here for full details (Guardian Online)

"[...] Write the instructions for doing something you have no idea about, for example:

How To Fly

How To Disappear (as in Amanda Dalton's lovely poem of that name)

"Or even more specifically:

How To Speak To Lions

How To Start A Revolution

How To Make A Wedding Dress

How To Build a Space Ship

"The only rule is that you don't know how to do the thing, so if you work in rocket science, you can't do the last one. But you could choose something emotional like How To Speak To The Dead, or even How To Fall In Love, because none of us really know the answers to these things. [...]"


Science for the Confused - an occasional series

No.2: DNA and Fingerprints

It pains me even to mention how I gouged the top of my thumb on a protruding part of a door latch recently, but I have since observed that the ripped patch has grown back with the same pattern of fingerprints matching exactly the adjoining whorls and ridges. Even identical twins have different fingerprints, though they share the same DNA [Insert plausible looking reference here. Ed]. If DNA determined fingerprints, identical twins would have identical fingerprints. But if not DNA then what is it that determines the pattern of fingerprints and causes them to be recreated exactly the same when damaged? ["From scratch"? Ed.] Perhaps the DNA of identical twins is not identical after all. To determine which of a pair of identical twins committed a crime [Insert reference to "Dark Mirror" here. Ed] it would be necessary to adduce not only DNA but fingerprints. [Mention Iris Patterns here. Ed] [I am not familiar with her. Or did you mean "Irish patterns"? Kronk]

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Professor Kronk

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Falconer backs war advice secrecy

Guardian Unlimited Politics Special Reports

"He also said a ministerial veto on the release of sensitive information would be allowed only with full cabinet support. He said he anticipated the veto would rarely be used."

So if they veto publication of legal advice taken before the invasion then you'll know that every single member of the cabinet is complicit. If the advice had been clear on the legality of invading Iraq, you can bet they'd have published it already.

Knock them all out at the election, or so many that they are forced to deal with Charles Kennedy. They deserve a severe humiliation, and I hope they get it. I imagine Blair thinks that Gordon Brown will take over in time only to lose the election after next. Blair's insufferably smug already and the prospect of him smarming about winning again is too nauseating to bear.

Greg Dyke should put on a white suit and run as an independent against Blair. The other parties should give him a clear run.