Saturday, 26 December 2009

Off to DC...



Early tomorrow morning me and the beautiful Eva-Jane (who got me an outstanding new man bag for Christmas) are off to the States and Washington DC for a week and of course, New Year's Eve, soaking up history, politics and fine ales as well as dabbling in the history of hardcore US punk rock, of which DC is the capital.

See you in 2010!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Fucking Christmas!



A brief post before the pagan festival shoehorned to fit a made-up date for the birth of some dude that thought he was the son of God and established a personality cult in his name (luckily, he had a nice personality...not that some of his followers share that trait) gets under way.

I'll be spending it with beautiful Eva-Jane of course, opening prezzies, eating very good food, drinking Bailey's from a shoe and pretending to be John Lennon. We might even cram in some serious Monopoly playing, as I am the current holder of our household Monopoly Trophy!

I hope to slip in one more blog post before Eva-Jane and I go to Washington DC on the 27th for a week that spans New Year's Eve and whatnot. We can't wait, after Berlin, we really got into the vibe of going away for New Year's Eve and with things going so well for the pair of us, we can afford such glorious treats.

So Merry Christmas to one and all, even to the racist trolls and weird online stalkers, impersonators and other assembled no-life loners; no doubt spending the festive period glued to their PC's wishing evil to the world.


Monday, 21 December 2009

The Best Albums of 2009

So here we are again, that time of the year when the top LP's (in my humble opinion) are counted down in glorious fashion.

To be truthful, this year hasn't been as good as I thought it was, if that makes sense and I have no need of any notable mentions barging into the mosh pit of in this year's selection as I can pick ten albums that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Slim pickings indeed and it feels odd that this list was not a dog fight like every other.

So, without further ado, here we go...

10. "SPEECH THERAPY" SPEECH DEBELLE


Nearly didn't make it in but then I realised I was just being a tit and it deserves a place because it just speaks another language and her voice is so sweet (in a way) and the backing so jazzy but tight and still swinging. A deserved if obscure Mercury Music Prize winner even if it seems not to have helped her shift any units or reach a wider audience; a sad blow but a bright, black, British talent.

9. "GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, LAZERS DO" VARIOUS ARTISTS


It counts, as it is not a compilation of existing tracks but rather a purpose built dancehall- techno-grime-roots reggae-death bomb of awesome dance-till-end of time, tunes. TOP RANKIN!!!

8. "GENERALLY SPEAKING" NEWHAM GENERALS


I've said it before and I'll say it again, having some black lads shout at you is my idea of fun and these two gents are as intense as they come but backed with some awesome, Prodigy style beats (in a good way) that carry the grimy day and Newham Generals just might be the torch bearers for keeping it real in innovative UK grime.

7. "RELAPSE" EMINEM


A much needed return to form after an achingly large gap, this choice is heavily influenced by the beautiful Eva-Jane, who made me listen to it all the time in Saint Lucia and it just got stuck in my heart. A work of deft skill with all the boxes ticked for any one with even a slight interest in Jay-Z being given a run for his money in the King of Hip-Hop stakes.

6. "BLUE ROSES" BLUE ROSES


Another UK artist and a profoundly moving and beautiful record, which seems to have passed many people by in the rush to lionise other UK female singer songwriters. I like it that way, as my lovely little secret.

5. "FITS" WHITE DENIM


I love how much this record rocks, the arrangements managing to be both sparse and vast at the same time, clever as well as accessible, they make a fine racket and have so many tricks up their sleeves. Excellent alt-rock, the US could do with making more of this kind of kerfuffle.

4. "NO HATS NO HOODS" VARIOUS ARTISTS


Regular readers will remember me repping this awesome record back when it came out. I think my previous life as a wigga is still effecting me heavily, I love grime, I love how british it is, how dark it is, how good it is and this is a collection of the best grime tracks of 08/09 mixed together into one dense blast of serious rhymes; this is an essential guide to what is happening right now in the UK rap scene.

3. "THE MASTER ALCHEMIST" INVASION


This band came from nowhere and blew me away. I took a chance on them and it paid off, this is their debut and it sounds like Aretha Franklin being backed by Lightening Bolt and if that doesn't make you want to buy it, I don't know what will. RAWK!

2. "IN THE COURT OF THE WRESTLING LET'S" LET'S WRESTLE


Looking at this list it's mostly all about British music and these chaps are as British as they come, clever lyrics about Princess Di's hair, old people and obscure ailments backed with indie punk rock guitar work and some great drumming...this album is a lovely bit of heaven.

1. "AFTER ROBOTS" BLK JKS


This LP towers over all others this year, like a musical God, it is literally in another league, another world, it is the Hamlet to the preceding collection of whimsical comedies and tragedies. After Robots is like a life-partner, a happening, a deeply personal experience. Buy it now if you haven't already.

Friday, 18 December 2009

The Ashford Resistance



You may remember that some time ago I was strangely fascinated by the Milton Keynes Communists and lo and behold, Phil BC at A Very Public Sociologist has once again stumbled upon a ridiculously titled blogging gem.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen may I introduce to you: The Ashford Resistance!

Now Trashford, as the locals call it (or Trashfordians), is very close to my heart as my parents are based not too far away from that neck of the woods and I've spent a wee bit of time in this horrendous mini-metropolis that is a very odd and soulless part of the county of Kent.

I always used to find it funny that, in the old days whilst people were waiting for the arrival of High-Speed Rail, that Ashford's train station was labelled with the incredibly portentous title of ASHFORD INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY STATION, when in reality it looks like a tin and glass shed and Ashford itself is not very international at all, or very nice for that matter. But I digress...

The idea that Ashford has a resistance, rather like the French Resistance, really tickles me and that these brave band of comrades are scuttling about the the urban nightmare landscape that is Ashford and carrying out acts of intense socialism/sabotage against targets of Trashford Fascism in all of it's concrete and glass horror.

UP THE ASHFORD RESISTANCE! 

Because Ashford most certainly needs them...

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Tory Muppet: Episode 2

In case you missed it, part 1 is right bloody here and part 2 is just below in all its wonderful YouTube glory, voiced by me and created and written by Internet legend and all round good egg, Tim Ireland.

Enjoy episode 2 and hopefully another will be on its way to you very soon...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Destroy the Trafigura Gag on the BBC: Blog This!



I hate Trafigura.

So to be given the chance to thwart their desperate efforts to silence the BBC, who ran an expose piece on the dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, gives me much pleasure. Sadly, the BBC bowed to the pressure and removed the piece but the blogging community can help put it straight with a wee bit of the Streisand effect.

Here are the two videos of the original, now pulled report...





And here is the PDF of the report itself. For more info on this, you could do far worse than paying a visit to Richard Wilson's blog right bloody here.

Here's what you can do to help and put an end to this kind of legal bullying: put the BBC videos up at your blog, as I have done, as well as a link to the PDF of the report.

I've leave the final word on the matter to the art of the excellent cartoonist Matthew Buck...


Monday, 14 December 2009

Polish Girls Massage

In what is becoming something of a running theme here at Blurred Clarity, I have found more homemade signs stuck to street furniture in my neighbourhood.

This time, not only do they advertise the chance of a Polish girl giving you a massage, they are also cleverly designed so that you can rip off and keep the number for when the moment strikes you that you need a Polish girl massaging you, rather than you having to write it down, or insert it into your phone filed under Polish girl massage or something more cryptic if you have a wife.



Upon closer inspection you may have noticed that it doesn't actually advertise massage but something else called 'masagge', which one can only assume is just like massage but done by Polish girls in very bad English and for the record, massage in Polish seems to be 'MASAŻ'. However, if you step further back from the advert in question, the full horror of the situation hits home...



That's right, a cheap advert for Polish sex workers is attached to the face of a child advertising good road crossing practice for Haringey Council.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Director Dan

Here is a collection of images I found of me directing, flowing on nicely from yesterday's post. The images are of a rehearsed reading I did a month or so ago, of a new play by Tomasz Aleksander Kocinski called 'Good Times' and I think they are a nice document of a time and place.







Friday, 11 December 2009

Exploring Hamlet...



Another very busy week, hence the lightness of blogging.

In the day I've been working with the legend that is Ian Rickson, along with some other actors, on Hamlet and in the evenings I have been overseeing a showcase at the Soho Theatre of actors I have been teaching for some time and that I directed/wrote some bits of it.

*phew*

It has been a most creative, rewarding and demanding week and today is the first day I have had to let the head stop spinning and to reflect upon it.

I suppose the easiest bit to process is the showcase as being a director, to me, is far less nerve wracking than being up there myself acting. Of course, I live vicariously through the actors and duck and weave every moment with them but I also give up a lot of the responsibility to them, my job was done a while back, they have to seal the deal, to finish it all off. And that they did, to a man/woman and I am very proud of every single one of them and my own personal adventures with Hamlet this week will feed into their learning for next year.

So onto Hamlet...

Far harder to summarise really, words like: inspirational, moving, confusing, challenging and angry as hell, only scratch the surface of how working on the play for some 8 hours a day has been like. But it has made a most profound impact upon me because not only am I going to be teaching it to my students but my appetite has been wetted for more journeys into Shakespeare's pantheon.

I am not a huge Shakespeare fan or expert, having only done it once as an actor and although I certainly respect many of the plays (with King Lear as one of my favourites of all time, indeed, my dream is to play King Lear when I am old enough), I have kept a wide berth of Hamlet, as I prefer the obscurer texts or the more difficult ones, like Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen.

It was however, amazing, partly I suppose in getting to work with Ian Rickson, who is a man I am determined to work with in the future, he is a pivotal figure in British Theatre and shared many of his working techniques with us as well as a healthy sceptical attitude towards the play itself.

Oddly, not being a scholar or a huge fan, I found myself as a defender of the text in its most original sense and trying to fight the corner of ideas like having a ghost rather than a more contemporary take on what the ghost could be, or too much interpretation and guess work on the text (the idea being it made more problems than solutions) and the idea that Hamlet is not mad at all. By no means new ideas but I didn't think I'll feel so strongly about it and be the cheerleader for those concepts.

I know it sounds thick but it really is a very, very exceptional play and I realise now I'd given it short shrift. I am always obsessed with father-son narratives and the ghost of a great father dead is so very present, that search for a father's love and approval, with all the complexities of the father-son journey so painfully and powerfully rendered.

I cannot wait to work on it with my students and see them connect with an essential and breathtaking narrative and world of grief. I also hope myself one day to be involved in a top quality production of Hamlet and put all the work of the last week into sharper focus and direct practice. How invigorating!

On that note, I found this today, I think it is brilliant and lovely and I dedicate it to my wondrous Eva-Jane, who was outstanding in the showcase and even though I had to turn away because I feared her performance would break my heart it was so human, you are also the new Jennifer Aniston according to one casting director. How cool is that?

Monday, 7 December 2009

"This Isn't the Right Thing to do, so Let's Go"




Life breaks a person slowly

Forming them into a mangled wreck

That passes for an adult

The breaking, the gradual damage, comes to define you:

A pilot flying a plane that is going to crash

Sunday, 6 December 2009

"Excuse Me, I Go Fuck"



Well that was a hell of a lot of fun, a few days in Milan making a new commercial for IKEA and it was ruddy, bloody grand.

It was such a good trip because the other actor I was working with, Danny Alder, was a real legend, such a nice guy and great to work with, especially as I've had some bad times with really unprofessional actors in the past. Danny was a real pro but also on the same wavelength, so we could make the shoot as much fun as possible...I tip my metaphorical hat to you sir and hope we stay in touch!

I can't give much away about the shoot so can't post pictures and whatnot yet but will do so when the advert is live over in Italy, needless to say it was great fun with the bonus of some fine Italian food on offer 24/7, which we indulged in quite heavily. I've never seen people use olive oil so excessively on just about every damn thing and so much bloody cake! Breakfast was like: cake, chocolates, fruit, some more cake and coffee. And the pizza...Jesus wept, it was some very good shit indeed, as you'd expect.

Danny and I also managed to cram in the Milan sights but missed out on the San Siro, which was a shame but hope to see a football game there one day before I die.

The funniest moments of the shoot came whenever Danny and I had to speak Italian, which they will of course dub but we needed to get the mouth shapes right for the Italian actor doing it. Needless to say we were shitting our pants, surrounded by an Italian crew (lovely people and really on it, no flannel at all) viewing our efforts with a mix of disgust and car-crash horror as we mangled their language right up. It was pretty embarrassing but the worse moment came when I had to deliver the following line:

"Scusa, ma devo scappare."

What I didn't know was that a slight tweak to how you pronounce the word 'scappare' can make the Italian word for escape become the Italian word for fuck...

Little surprise then after one take that as soon as the director shouted cut, the crew burst out into hysterical laugher, that's right folks, I had just said:

"Excuse me, I go fuck"

I love this job.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Off to Milan...



Early to bed tonight as up at crack of dawn to make my way to Milan to do some filming, can't say what for just yet as can't breach me contract and all that but should be a fun project and never been to Italy before and got three days there; makes it all that more fun when it is at someone else's expense and you get per diems! Bring on the Euros!

Got some script to learn in Italian, which will be fun, although from previous shoots abroad it is just to get the mouth shape right and then they overdub a native's voice over mine. Then got plans to make of the not-to-be-missed bits of Milan, in the short time I am there of course but definitely think I want to get a piece of this bad boy...



As well as plenty of Italian scran when I'm over there and in order to get warmed up for my trip, I'm having a Sloppy Giuseppe tonight for me tea...

You heard!

Monday, 30 November 2009

An Old Woman in Barclay's Bank in Uppermill



I was paying some money in and struggling with the paying-in slip...remember when you used to fill those out for fun as a child? Banking was very exciting to me as a kid...

Anyway,  I was struggling and an elderly lady came in clutching a lot of paperwork and she went up to the counter and handed the bulk of paperwork over to the cashier and said that she had been told to come into the branch by a nice man on the phone, as she needed to change the details of her account.

The lady behind the counter nodded and asked why she needed to change the details and the elderly lady said:

"My husband died last week so I need to close our joint account and get one in just my name. This is his death certificate."

I was the only other customer in the bank and her words hit me like a ton of bricks, the two staff members in the bank also fell silent, the elderly lady gave a weak smile and the cashier began the process of erasing her husband's name and details from the system with a seriousness befitting the situation.

I paid my money in and left, thinking how sad that was, what a horrible thing to have to do and I got angry that no family members were around to help her with the tidying up of the loose ends left by death.

Perhaps she didn't want a fuss.

And then to top it off, I read this piece today in the Guardian about how homosexuality in Uganda will soon be punished by death or life in prison.

Sometimes, we seem to be taking far too many steps backwards...

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Poles Apart: Done and Dusted, Perhaps Forever...



I'm back! Although not for too long, as I'm off to Milan this week to do some filming, so going to cram in a few blog posts and get this blog-show back on the road after the brief reprise of Poles Apart.

And where to start with Poles Apart?

Very much mixed emotions really, on one hand utterly wonderful to be back on stage, performing live rather than in recorded media, great to be getting laughs and making people think and theatre, for me, is where it is at. I just love connecting with a whole bunch of people in a room.

But I just feel that Poles Apart has run it's course, there is a threatened third and final reprise some time next year in fucking Shropshire of all places, which considering the voodoo that place has on me I doubt it'll be much fun. Plus, Mark and I's working relationship is not in the best of shape and there is a danger that it could bleed into our personal relationship, which would be frankly terrible and a cruel blow. I just feel that after working together since 1997 our time as a double-act has perhaps come to an end.

We did however discuss a new idea for a show where Mark and I run for parliament and I must confess, I am very keen on that but will it put too much strain on us and is that strain and unhappiness worth it, in order to make art? Maybe it is, maybe not...not too sure at the moment.

As for the show itself, we rehearsed briefly, the show coming back surprisingly quick and then developed the new material I had written about the BNP and bashed that into some kind of shape.

We then took it to the Lowry in Manchester and proceeded to sell out the venue and then have a cracking night with far too many highlights but the spontaneous applause Mark got for a some anti-racist thoughts and the Vietnamese couple on the front row getting some applause for being Vietnamese were real treats. It just felt so positive, so joyous, a room full of people coming together, what the show is all about really.

Then to London and the RichMix with a sense of dread, as London is notoriously hard to sell tickets in and the audiences can be tough and aloof. Well, the Friday night turned out to be even better than the Lowry, which we thought impossible, not only were the large audience up for it and engaged they were also willing to go wherever we took them, whether that be dark humour, silly visual gags or serious moments of reflection. It was a cracker! We also got given a category for our hard to categorise show: a comedy seminar. Brilliant!

The Saturday night, what could be the last Poles Apart ever, was a game of two halves really, not that the audience noticed I think (thankfully we sold well again) but we were a bit sloppy and lacking concentration in the first act and every time we clawed it back we let it slip again. We gave ourselves a kick up the arse in the interval and pushed hard in the second act to redeem ourselves and I think we did it, just wish we'd gave it our all in the first half and not been so cack-handed with the work; such moments in front of an audience are priceless, who knows when they'll next occur?

You'll be glad to know that no daft racists turned up, as I expected, because they are all deluded cowards, even though we made it onto a few far-right message boards and forums.

Lots of people turned up to support us, which I am very grateful for and would like to say thank you to everyone that helped promote the show and came to see us; we couldn't have done it without any of you.

Some bloggers have even written reviews, including Rog T with his thoughts, Ellie with hers and Rashbre with his and if anyone else chips in with some words do let me know so I can share it, whether it be good or bad.

And for now, that's it, until tomorrow that is...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Poles Apart: Rehearsals Commencing Soon



Well, here we are again, one more weekend at home before popping off to Manchester to rehearse Poles Apart.

I've spent most of this week either re-learning my lines (which has come surprisingly easily I am grateful to say), checking over the statistical details of the show (there is always a know-it-all in the audience), or writing new material.

Mark and I decided that it would be remiss of us to let the election of two British Nazi Party MEPs pass unmentioned in a show that is about immigration, especially as the BNP are so obsessed with immigration and race and fundamentally, upon close inspection, their policies and ideas are actually really quite amusing in a backward, oh my God did they really just say that, kind of way.

Although the downside of this was pouring over BNP policy and press releases to get a decent handle on their bizarre dogma (anyone for chain gangs to restore our coastal defences?) whilst trying to make jokes out of it, when it is already pretty ridiculous and poorly thought out in the first place.

Once written we then had to find a home for them in what is a pretty tight show but I think we've found good homes for the three BNP scenes, which are (not wanting to spoil anything for those coming to watch): a Nick Griffin musical medley, an insight into the night the BNP won two seats in the European Parliamentary Elections and finally, what happens when a Nazi tries to join the BNP.

Blogging will be light obviously over the coming week as I am deep into rehearsals but if you can, please do show your support for Poles Apart and come and see us in Manchester on the 26th November (which is nearly sold out I've been told) and London on the 27th and 28th November (which isn't, not yet anyway).

Do widzenia!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Internet Laws Part 3: DeMyer's Laws

Ken DeMyer is a terrible online hack and his uniquely awful writing style has influenced a whole raft of laws in his name, which are best observed by anyone who doesn't want to come across as a bit of a crank and Internet loon. DeMyer's Laws are as follows...

DeMyer's Zeroth Law of Internet Debating states:

“If you are Ken DeMyer...or another of Kenneth DeMyer's aliases, the debate will eventually reach a state where you violate one of the internet laws and you are going to lose.”



DeMyer's First Law of Internet Debating states:

“Anyone who brings Young Earth Creationism into an argument - that is not about creation, the origins of life or the age of Earth - requires no further serious consideration and is deemed to have lost the argument.”





DeMyer's Second Law of Internet Debating states:

“Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations, can be very safely ignored and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.” (On a personal level I have extensive experience of dealing with bloggers that use this terrible tactic, which runs hand in hand with the Argument From Authority fallacy)



DeMyer's Third Law of Internet Debating states:

“Anyone who posts a picture with a caption which does anything other than describe the picture is deemed to have already lost on the point they were trying to make and it can be ignored."


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Internet Laws Part 2: Cohen's Law



WARNING! THIS LAW IS INFINITELY RECURSES AND MAY END UP DESTROYING YOUR MIND!

Formulated by Brian Cohen in 2007, Cohen's Law states that:

“Whoever resorts to the argument that ‘whoever resorts to the argument that (insert idea here) has automatically lost the debate’ has automatically lost the debate.”

Has also been stated in the much longer version:

"Whoever resorts to the argument that 'whoever resorts to the argument that... 'whoever resorts to the argument that... 'whoever resorts to the argument that... 'whoever resorts to the argument that ... 'whoever resorts to the argument that... ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' ...has automatically lost the debate' has automatically lost the debate."

Monday, 16 November 2009

Poles Apart Redux



As some of you will already know, because I emailed you and you kindly publicised it on your blogs and websites, Poles Apart is being brought out of retirement after it's sell-out tour of the UK at the beginning of this year.

For an insight into the show from Blurred Clarity itself, check out this raft of posts that cover the last time we toured, the devising/rehearsal process and when the idea first popped up and our time in Poland.

And just in case you don't know, last year, sick and tired of the endless dirge of bigotry, lies and anti-Polish sentiment coming from the right-wing press, me and my mate Mark decided to go to Poland. We wanted to get a job; to put our money where our mouth is and garner a small taste of what it means to be an immigrant. We wanted to single-handedly reverse the Eastern European immigration trend.

So we got our CVs and covering letters translated (badly as it turned out) into Polish, put on our best interview clobber and made our way to Poland in a Vauxhall Astra.

We spent over two weeks as immigrants in Warsaw, ate a lot of lard and pigs feet and attempted to get any job we could, whether it be as a lift operator, a porn film star or a guttering and flues salesperson.

It was an amazing adventure that taught us much on the realities of life as an immigrant.

We eventually returned home and made a comedy show about our experiences that covers not only our time as economic migrants but documents the history of Poland, it’s 300 year relationship with the UK and the highly charged immigration debate in the UK.

The show contains Poland’s brightest new stand-up comedy star: Dariusz Drag, with jokes about Russians and Jews, a beginner’s guide to Polish culture, Political Correctness being wrestled to the floor and made to gag, the 1973 World Cup qualifier between England and Poland brought to life in front of your very eyes and Poland’s leading avant-garde theatre cooperative re-creating the invention of the Keroesne Lamp via interpative dance and extensive harmonica use.

Plus, Nick Griffin, avec eye patch, will be appearing to stroke his mandolin and sing his favourite ballad: “I’m Not Racist But…”

It’s on at The Lowry in Manchester on the 26th November at 7:45pm and the RichMix theatre in London on the 27th and 28th November at 7:30pm and if you've not had a chance to see me and Mark in action why not pop along and support us? It would be much appreciated and you do come, make sure you stick around after to make yourself known...if I don't know you already that is...

To wet your whistle, how about a few videos of our adventure and the show itself?


Poles Apart from Hard Graft Theatre on Vimeo.


Poles Apart Trailer from Andonis Anthony on Vimeo.

And if you're on that new fangled facebook thingy, get yourself in on the event group why don't ya?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Bible Study: Modernity Doesn't get it





I know it has been a rather sporadic series of posts but today marks the final Bible Study post, the others can be found, in order of tracking the history of the Bible, at these places: And in the Beginning..., NewTestament, Humans Are Too Stupid and A Very Confusing Book Indeed.

The current modern Biblical malaise stems from a desire for certainty, as if to combat scientific certainty (which in itself is not totally certain) and to a degree, this has bred the modern, defensive Christian, who feels under siege from science and indeed modernity and has entrenched themselves in the warm comfort of Biblical dogma and apocalyptic visions. No longer is the Bible an act of faith in itself but an act of intellectual submission to a set of beliefs ruled errorless and binding.

This desperation had led to a disgusting distortion of the scriptural tradition, as witnessed in the idea of the Rapture and whereas in the past, the less than humane parts of the Bible were passed over or treated with exegesis, modern faith has actively sought these portions out and has invoked them ahistorically and literally.

Quite simply, the Bible is not there to back up political policy, doctrines or beliefs; it is an activity unto itself and not one to be abused as a mere block quote, to justify some insane position or another. The fundamentalist emphasis on the literal, which is ever restricting and limiting, is a breach with the long tradition of the figurative and the innovative.

It has not all been one way traffic though, modernity, with all of its advancements, has brought about unprecedented violence and tools of destruction, these have coloured interpretations of the Bible, apocalypse became a reality and the violence of modernity has in turn made the Bible more violently interpreted.

Modernity's assumptions about the Bible are, for the most part, horribly incorrect. The slavish conformity and dogma that is much of its current incarnation have little to do with Biblical tradition, the Bible is anti-orthodoxy and was always supposed to be contradictory and conflicting but more importantly it was supposed to be interactive and ever changing.

We have a long way to go to get back to that kind of subtle interpretation...

Friday, 13 November 2009

Page 3 Propaganda (Video Does Contain Boobs)



This is a great piece of work by Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads, a short film that exposes the long history of using the Page 3 girls as mouthpieces for political propaganda; brainwashing their readers with boobage, as Tim calls it.

You may laugh but this insidious tactic sums up the back hand way The Scum works to spread myths and whoever's political agenda it is currently backing, as Tim says:
"Since 2003, the Page 3 feature in The Sun has carried an item called 'News in Briefs' instead of the usual pun-filled caption of days of yore. Even the title itself is a lie; this 'news' item rarely carries news, and instead carries an editorial/opinion (an important distinction to make, especially when dealing with media owner Rupert Murdoch, the father of FOX News).
We are not saying that a young woman with her tits out is not allowed to have an opinion; far from it. We are instead asking, if Page 3 is as 'empowering' as some people claim, then why aren't these women allowed to choose which issue(s) they discuss and/or express their own opinion about that when appearing on Page 3?
At present, they are clearly often (if not always) compelled to echo/repeat the opinions of Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Wade, Dominic Mohan, Graham Dudman, or whoever else is calling the shots that day. This is not empowerment; rather, it is exploitation.
We challenge The Sun to allow Page 3 girls to use their paid appearance(s) in that tabloid as a personal/political platform, just as they do for columnists such as Jeremy Clarkson, Jon Gaunt, Lorraine Kelly and Jane Moore.
If there is to be editorial content on Page 3, then it should be clearly labelled as opinion (not news) and it should always be the heartfelt, unprompted opinion of the woman whose name, face and tits are being used to sell the idea. End of.
Any standard less than this exploits these women and cheats the readers."

Page 3 :: Girls + Words from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Internet Laws Part 1: The Law of Exclamation



"The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters."




This law is related to author Terry Pratchett's field test for insanity, in which an increasing number of exclamation marks from one to five indicates increased separation from reality, with five exclamation marks being an infallible indicator of the speaker or writer being "someone who wears their underwear on the outside".

Other examples of The Law of Exclamation include phrases such as: "this is true, it ACTUALLY HAPPENED to me!!!!" or "This is SPOOKY!!! I thought it was just an urban legend, but it isn't!!!!".

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Ideal Present For Family & Friends: Blood Pressure Monitor



I think this sign, situated in my local pharmacy, speaks volumes about either my neighbourhood or the owner of the chemist.

I mean, who seriously thinks that a blood pressure monitor, a precursor to death, is an ideal present for family and friends? If I bought that for anyone I cared for, they'd punch me in the tit.

And how shockingly overpriced was the product in the first place?

But if any of my readers do want to pick up a cheap blood pressure monitor then make sure to drop me a line and I'll let you know where the shop is...

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Best Albums of My Life: 1976-09



My final music based list for a bit, until I unleash my top albums of 2009 upon your asses, is a simple top ten pick of the best albums released in my life time, with some notable mentions thrown in for good measure. I am aware that the title of this post makes it look like I'm dead but I'm not, not yet anyway.

10. PEARL JAM – TEN (1991)


9. THE STREETS – A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE (2004)



8. THE MARS VOLTA - DE-LOUSED AT THE COMATORIUM (2003)



7. RADIOHEAD – OK COMPUTER (1997)



6. THE SMITHS – QUEEN IS DEAD (1986)



5. BLACK FLAG – MY WAR (1984)



4. NIRVANA – IN UTERO (1993)



3. THE SMITHS – HATFUL OF HOLLOW (1984)


2. NIRVANA – NEVERMIND (1991)



1. BLACK FLAG – DAMAGED (1981)


And as always, what follows are the notable mentions, the close but no cigar albums of the last 33 years...

THE LEMONHEADS – HATE YOUR FRIENDS (1987)

IGGY POP – LUST FOR LIFE (1977)

OASIS – DEFINITELY MAYBE (1994)

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE (1992)

STRAIGHT OUTTA' COMPTON - NWA (1988)

THE MISFITS – WALK AMONG US (1982)