Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Waterboarding is a No-Brainer

Dick Cheney is a fuck.

Simple as that.

Waterboarding is a particularly nasty form of torture, it simulates the sensation of drowning but without the pay off that you’ll actually drown; a perpetual drowning so to speak, one long gag reflex.

But that’s okay by the vice president of the United States, a as recent radio interview with Scott Hennen highlighted…

"HENNEN: I've had people call and say, please, let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

CHENEY: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation...

HENNEN: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

CHENEY: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the vice president ‘for torture’. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in."

Like I said, Dick Cheney is a fuck.

Monday, 30 October 2006

Cut and Run?

October 2006 has been one of the bloodiest months for US casualties since February 2005 with some 104 soldiers killed. The in-fighting between Shia militias and the continuing Sunni insurgency is reaching a peak of furious sectarian activity and the figures of total Iraqi civilian deaths present us with shocking reading, even if taken at their most conservative estimate.

In the United States the mid-term elections draw ever closer and the situation in Iraq is being used, rather disgustingly, as a stick by which to beat the Democrats can beat the GOP; who in turn are desperately distancing themselves from Bush and his policies. On face value, with only 19% of Americans thinking that America is winning in Iraq, this may seem a wise tactic but it’s not. All well and good to punish Bush and his party for their mistakes, that is the right of the electorate but it is not fair to punish the people of Iraq.

It was not that long ago ‘Cut and Run’ was used by Republicans as a pejorative term for the policy-paralyzed and distressingly ineffectual Democrats, who could not develop a coherent long term stance on what to do in and with Iraq if you paid them. But now it seems that ‘Cut and Run’ has gained an air of legitimacy on both sides and is being bandied around as if it is in any way a reasonable course of action. It is not.

Let me make this clear: the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake, a mistake built on the lie of WMD, on the lie of Saddam as a threat, on the lie of terrorist connections between Iraq and 9/11 and on the selfish desire to gain a oil-rich foothold in the Middle East in some pseudo-imperial desire to spread democracy through the region. But now we are there we have a responsibility to see out our mistake and do everything within our power, no matter what the cost, to put Iraq together; to exhaust every single possible avenue to make Iraq a stable nation once again.

Those that talk of withdrawal to save the lives of American and British soldiers are not only betraying those that have already given their lives to the cause but betraying the Iraqi people, in short, it would be a crime of the highest order. Instead, the troops have to stay, stronger action needs to be taken against the persistent insurgent groups and dialogue needs to be reached with the Iraqi people on how best to take things forward without the total dismantling of the Iraqi state.

We owe that to the Iraqi people and all those that have died in that country.

Friday, 27 October 2006

The Adventures of Yannis

Yesterday my good friend Kirky came to visit, after a brief and dispiriting trot around Harvey Nicks (do you know how hard it is to get jeans that fit my giant body?) and some ridiculous haircuts on the staff in the Paul Smith store, we adjoined to Dirty Dicks near Liverpool Street station for a few pints and some man chat.

From there the curried delights of Brick Lane was only a stumble away, so after a brief haggle (25% discount and two free drinks) we feasted ourselves on fine snap and chatted about whether or not Darren was right in his comments concerning art. I hit Kirky until he agreed with me that Darren was very wrong indeed and that art is a tool for change…

A few more beers later, we began the journey back to Loughton and this is where Yannis appeared, a Greek (possibly Turkish) gentlemen whose broken English; littered with expletives and dangerous imagery, hollered through the London air. Key snippets of his dialogue included the now legendary:


Unfortunately, on the tube on the way home, Yannis saw some posters for UK TV station Channel 5 and he responded quite badly:


Thankfully, Yannis was a figment of me and Kirky’s imagination and turned out to be us shouting in the street and on the train.

Oh the joy of booze.

Have a good weekend people; I know me and Yannis certainly will…

Thursday, 26 October 2006

A Blind Man Whistling

The London Underground has designated areas where buskers can ply their trade, licensed busking was originally launched as a trial in 2003, with 25 pitches throughout 12 key Tube stations but this has now expanded. It turns out that some 400 buskers, relying solely on donations from customers, provide over 3,000 hours of live music weekly. And these just aren’t any old buskers, they have to go through a rigorous audition process and are also vetted for police convictions.

None of this could’ve prepared me for the sights and sounds that greeted me at Piccadilly, as I came down the escalator from street level. At first all I could hear was a whistle, echoing towards me, the tune was unregonisable but had a haunting, piercing quality that made me pay attention. As I descended further down I saw a blind man in a luminous yellow visor, stood on the special busking patch, swaying from side to side as he pursed his lips and emitted this shrill but strangely compelling sound.

He seemed lost in some kind of trance as his bulk shifted from foot to foot, like a massive pendulum, making his mouth music as floods of commuters and tourists gawped, pointed and went past. I don’t know what it was but I couldn’t help but think it was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen and then I thought about the fact that he would’ve auditioned and I tried to imagine what it must have been like to stand in front of a bunch of people and whistle and sway and be judged good enough.

Maybe those people felt as moved and as I did.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

I’ll Forever Be Your Research Bitch

It has just occurred to me that I spend a great deal of my time reading vast reams of articles and magazines and books on whatever subject has currently got my white, heterosexual, middle-class goat so I can some how evidence my arguments to a high standard and therefore withstand the withering gaze of ignorant asshats.

Why frankly, do I bother? There is something alarmingly pompous in my quest for truth and evidence to pump up my inflated arguments on a wide variety of issues (well, maybe not so wide), when I can hear the gallery scream: “WE PREFERRED IT WHEN YOU WERE FUNNY!”

This addiction to research has started to bleed over in every area of my life, assisted mainly by the joy of the Internet, for example it was with some regret that I turned down the opportunity today to spend a good few hours locating a collection of pre-Modern p0rn. A casual mention by a friend of a desire to study in New York meant I embarked on a long, thorough and utterly unnecessary quest for the finest educational options. I can no longer buy a book or CD without fully exploring all the purchasing options and equating the best deal.

Any causal mention in the news, let’s say of Kenny Rogers (no, not that one) and his stained hand (is it pine tar or is it dirty spit?), leads to a massive Wikipedia research adventure, that stops off at Kenny himself, pine tar (and its uses) and dirty spit.

Yesterday, I plumbed new depths of my Wikipedia addiction to facts, or Wikiphilia as I have coined it, by spending 3 hours looking at the Panama Canal, the world’s biggest ship and rogue waves.

I think I need some penis soup

Monday, 23 October 2006

Tet Offensive Redux

I think the scales are tipping in our favour but at what cost to life in Iraq and Afghanistan?

By tipping in our favour, I mean the slide from power of the neo-con movement in the United States, as its policies fail not only in the imperialist expansion into Iraq and Afghanistan but also the doctrine of total war and pre-emptive defence that has not held up to the old fashioned brinkmanship (of the JFK school) utilised by North Korea and to a degree by al-Qaeda.

Bush has started making parallels with Vietnam and how the current shocking violence in Iraq (some 73 US troops dead since the 1st of this month) could be the equivalent of the Tet Offensive upon civilian moral back home. The Pentagon is accepting defeat in its military thinking as 12,000 additonal troops poured into Baghadad has led to a 22% rise in violence.

I'd like to leave you with an image of a young American soldier staring out of a window during the Tet Offensive, their is something in his eyes that seems to reflect the current situation: the possibility that no more troops lives will be lost but that what will be left behind will further damage a generation of people in both the US and Iraq.

Friday, 20 October 2006

Three Uses of The Knife

"The avant-garde is to the left what jingoism is to the right. Both are a refuge in nonsense."

Three Uses of the Knife is an excellent book by writer and general theatre legend, David Mamet.

The book concerns itself with what makes good drama, why good drama matters in the modern age and why making drama is an essential component of human existence. It also turns out that the book is a very powerful piece of contemporary philosophy.

Mamet makes comparison with ancient Rome and the modern day, stating that: "when all avenues of success have been travelled and all prizes won, the final prize is the delusion of godhead" and so via the act of deification that viewer-voter-fan commits to its preferred choice of individual, we are building the replacement to religion.

He also speaks powerfully about the true purpose of drama: "to remind us that we live in an extraordinarily debauched, interesting, savage world, where things really don't come out even...the purpose of theatre, like magic, like religion (those three harness mates) is to inspire cleansing awe."

As always with Mamet I end up disagreeing with him on some fundamentals, for instance he lays out his argument for theatre never being used an instrument for social change, something I hold as a firm belief. His argument is that it relies on the writer assuming an air of moral/knowledge supremacy that is not only offensive but flawed.

I don't think I could be an actor if I didn't believe that drama and theatre were tools for change, change for the better, no matter how small the victory may be.

Oh and the three uses of the knife are: to cut the bread to give you strength to work, to shave your face to look nice for your lover and on discovering her with another, to cut out her lying heart.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

A Story About a Small Mexican

A funny thing happened to me today, I was on the phone at work and as I was chatting away to what I imagined to be a beautiful young lady with a nice tummy, big eyes and a fantastic arse, I heard a little voice squeak from the receiver:

“Okay! You wanna’ touch my jalapeno meester? I stick it in your eye you beetch!”

I looked down and saw a mini-Mexican (about 3 inches long) protruding from the blower, he was waving his tiny fists at me and doing a little dance to get my attention, he looked like an angry cocktail sausage.

“Okay! I Aztec your sorry ass meester, I jalapeno you in your eye you Spainish peeg dog who invade my lands. TOUCH MY LITTLE PENIS!”

As I removed him from the receiver he bit me with his little stained teeth and did a wee in his Mexican pants with the excitement of it all.

“Okay! Take that and party you beetch, you taste like nasty salsa as I rub my little penis on your arm.”

I made my excuses to the beautiful young lady and arranged to bump into her by mistake at a bookstore, as I was doing so I noticed that the wee man had hauled out his leaky brown willy and was dapping it on my arm.

“Okay! I own you now you beetch, I taco belled you with my man sword, my moustache fills up with spit as I laugh at you meester.”

I could tolerate no more of this behaviour from the miniscule Zapatista and even though I wanted to put him on the tele and make me a fortune from his vexed, tiny body, I scooped him up and popped the bastard in my gob and crunched on his fajita form until he was dead.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Don't Mention the President

For Republicans looking for election in this years mid-terms there is one subject that is totally taboo and it's not Iraq, the economy or Anal Foley.

It's the President. The GOP is ashamed of him.

What's being tipped as the "Bush factor" is putting off voters from voting Republican, so in a lovely twist of fate, Rethugs are trying to distance themselves from the loon whilst at the same time accepting some $180 million dollars of funds he's raised for them.

And Republican politicians are going to great lengths to avoid the "Bush factor": removing him from all promotional material, avoiding being seen with him when he visits their district, turning up for fundraisers but only when the President has left and removing all mention of the party they represent in television advertisements.

One Republican would be Senator, Michael Steele of Maryland, tried to pre-empt Democratic attacks on his proximity to Mr Bush by instead appearing with a puppy in his arms. The tactic didn't work. The Democrats snapped back immediately with a television ad showing Mr Steele and Mr Bush, locked together within a heart-shaped frame. "Michael Steele. He likes puppies, but he loves George Bush," the voiceover said.

Monday, 16 October 2006

"There’s a Level of Violence That They Tolerate"

According to a new study (which, of course, has had its validity challenged by the Bush regime) the casualty figure for Iraqi civilians in this fake war is around 600,000.

Fuck me.

Now, the US did their best at first to ignore civilian death (remember: "We don't do body counts.") and refused to make any effort to compute the loss of life, as dead civilians make the war on terror a hard sell but they eventually settling on a ballpark figure of around 117 dead people a day. Naturally, the Pentagon has been trying to suppress a report that goes some way to acknowledge the massive loss of life in Iraq since the invasion but even they only have it at around 150,000.

Bush himself has used a figure of 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed in his war and when challenged with this new data, he replied thus (video here):

"I don’t consider it a credible report, neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do know that a lot of innocent people have died and it troubles me and grieves me. And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they’re willing to, you know, that there’s a level of violence that they tolerate."


Yeah, they want to be so free that they just love the the dead bodies piling up around them.

The report is here, go read and make your own mind up.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

I see what you're doing here
I see what you're trying to do
You're breaking me down
One nerve at a time
One nerve at a time

Thursday, 12 October 2006

In the Palm of Your Hand

I make her look me in the eye and lift the palm of my right hand up so it forms a horizontal line. I take my left index finger and place in the middle of my upturned palm, forcing down, making a dent in my skin:

"That's where you've got me, right there, right in the palm of your hand."

She doesn't believe me, I don't blame her but I'm telling the truth. I'm there, right there, vulnerable, naked, exposed, at her mercy.

Do with me what you will.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

A Brief Moment in Time

We talk about how being lost
In a place
Just me and you
A place where no one can find us
Is a bad thing
How it's a denial of the wider world
An impossible dream
That's not worth having
So why do I dream of you?
I feel like a dream
That's not worth having
A bad joke
Where nobody's laughing
Washed up on the shore
With the emotion of you

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Beyond Good and Evil

“What is done out of love always take place beyond good and evil.”

As mentioned previously, I am reading my way through the complete works of Friedrich Nietzsche, who is one of the greatest influences upon my life and thinking. I first starting reading his work at the tender age of 18 and am currently mopping up the remainder of his work, when time allows me to consume his dense and brilliant work.

Unbelievably, ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ only sold 114 copies when it was first published in 1886, it is perhaps one of Nietzsche’s finest efforts, where he pinpoints Christianity’s promotion of slave morality and thus its fostering of herdlike quiescence and the distrust of true, individual greatness. He also attacks the Christian retreat from life by their postponing of happiness and redemption to the afterlife. This abnegation of the self in the service of an abstract ideal suppresses the healthiest and most primal human instinct, the will to power: that lonely quest to master life’s difficulties, that indefatigable struggle that disdains the deadening narcotics of traditional morality and mass conformism that is Christianity. This is the inspiring doctrine of the Ubermensch!

The book itself (what Nietzsche called his old, beloved, evil thoughts) is another fine example of the dizzying range of his writing, its eloquence, its density, its devastating irony, its flashing wit, its kaleidoscopic range delivered like a series of short polemical jabs.

In this fine book, Nietzsche describes the French Revolution as a terrible farce, dismisses as feeble and uncertain anyone who fears an influx of immigrants, mocks the philosopher for his impoverished sorties for “his beloved truths” and defends the most evil of human characteristics as a method for mankind to elevate itself to a higher state. His paragraph on what makes a philosopher, is a moving and virtually perfect description of a thinker: “a man who constantly experiences, see, hears, suspects, hopes and dreams extraordinary things, who is struck by his own thoughts as if they came from the outside.”

“The human soul and its limits…” begins a most withering critique on the slave morality of Christianity, the faith in which he deems “a continuous suicide of reason” as you sacrifice all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence; it is at the same time subjection, self-derision and self-mutilation.

As always Nietzsche gifts us with a raft of dart like aphorisms that cut to the quick:

“He who is a thorough teacher takes things seriously, and even himself, only in relation to his pupils.”

“Under peaceful conditions the militant man attacks himself.”

“The same emotions are in man and woman but in different tempo; on that account man and woman never cease to misunderstand each other.”

“The great epochs in our life are at the points when we gain courage to rebaptise our badness as the best in us.”

In our current climate of a war on a noun and infringement upon our civil liberties and human rights, one comment of Nietzsche’s rings particularly true:

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

Monday, 9 October 2006

Why is That so Funny?

“There should be no subjects about which you cannot make jokes. The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended” Rowan Atkinson.

"To theatre practitioners the word mime is about as acceptable as paedophilia."

'Why is That so Funny' is a brilliant book by an excellent theatre practitioner called John Wright, I can't recommend it enough to anyone with a passion for physical comedy and the exploration of genuine clowning and its uses in contemporary theatre.

John Wright is one of the first writers to de-mystify the skill of comedy and dispel much of the hocum around the art, that many think cannot be taught. His idiot proof approach and incredibly accessible exercises enable the user to approach areas such as comedy timing and develop techniques to quite simply, become funnier.

The section on clowning is worth the cost of the book alone and has inspired me to purchase 10 red noses in a bid to transform myself into a very tall clown with big hair.

I'll let you know how that goes...

Saturday, 7 October 2006

A List of Republican Perverts

While FOX News are trying to pass Anal Foley off as a Democrat, the brilliant Cheeks gave me the heads up on a wonderful list of Republicans who are sex offenders.

To save you clicking the link, I thought I'd share it with you, read whilst looking through your fingers and holding back the puke...

Republican Congressman Donald “Buz” Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly had sex with a 16 year old girl when he was 28.

Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gaybar.

Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. “Republican Marty”),was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was charged with sexual misconduct involving a 15-year old girl.

Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.

Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded nocontest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession ofchild pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sexfrom boys and girls over the internet.

Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a“good military man” and “church goer,” was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

Republican director of the “Young Republican Federation” Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A.Dasen Sr. was charged with rape for allegedly paying a 15-year old girl for sex.

Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.

Republican Mayor John Gosek, 58, of 275 West 7th Street, Oswego,was arrested for the federal offense of “using a facility in inter-state commerce (a telephone) to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce an individual under the age of 18 years to engage in sexual activity for which he could be charged with criminal offenses, that is, rape in the third degree and criminal sexual act in the third degree” in violation of the New York State Penal Code.

Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.

Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

You and Me, We'll all go Down in History, with a Sad Statue of Liberty and a Generation That Didn't Agree

As I mentioned in my last post, the passing of the Terror Suspects Bill by the US Senate is perhaps one of the greatest backward steps that American legislators have ever taken and in the post-Foley shakedown this terrible bit of law making has seemingly passed unnoticed. Dirty talk sells, the torture and mistreatment of prisoners is perhaps not so sexy...
In a nutshell then, torture is now legal in the United States, Habeas Corpus (a quaint 12th century tradition) now lays in tatters, the tactics in the war on a noun that the US administration has resorted to (secret detention, enforced disappearance, prolonged incommunicado detention, indefinite detention without charge, arbitrary detention, and torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment) are now legal.
The President now has discretion in deciding what interrogation methods are legitimate and in providing immunity for CIA interrogators from prosecution for war crimes (this should avoid them having to take out torturers insurance); defendants' rights are of course well short of those guaranteed by civilian and military courts.
The United States is a genuine threat to democracy.
Speaking of the Anal Foley sideshow, the damage is leaking further and further into the GOP, hopefully bringing down a sack load of hypocritical, shameful bastards. It seems that Republican/conservative repression and self-righteousness always seems to manifest itself in supreme hypocrisy. Please see Foley with his Internet predator legislation, Rush Limbaugh with his drug abuse demonization and the compulsive gambling of Bill Bennett who wrote a book on virtues and morality.
Shame on you.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Anal Foley

Sorry, I couldn't resist that cheap jibe at the expense of ex-Congressman Mark Foley, it was too good to miss.

For those of you not in the know, Mark Foley is an American politician and a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 until 2006, where he was a co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. This is ironic considering he has just resigned for sending emails (here and here) and sexually explicit instant messages to boys under the age of 18 who had served as Congressional pages.

Serious error of judgement there but it gets worse...

I am concerned that even a scandal such as this, exposing the hypocrisy of those that speak one thing but do another, the turning a blind eye by senior Republicans which means they too are involved and the attempted abuses of power with minors by Mark Foley, will not put people off voting Republican in the mid-terms; after all if a fake reason for war, fiscal incompetence and wholescale corruption don't scare people off, what's a little underage gay sex between friends?

I am also concerned about the homosexual angle that many US news outlets are running with, Foley could not have done more damage to the the American general public perception of gay men. Not only by being so firmly in the closet (re-affirming denial of sexuality, gay as a sin) but through his actions, falsely perpetuating the disgusting myth that those that pray on children have a leaning towards homosexuality; once again drawing the paedophile-homosexual axis back together.

Finally, I am concerned that the biggest infringement upon human rights, passed by the Bush regime, has gone unnoticed, smoke screened behind this smutty story...but more on that bit of mental legislation tomorrow.

For now I'll leave you with the video of the hypocrite Foley in action (click here) and some of his fine words...

"I have no problem with adult pornography. People are entitled to read it, watch it, see it in their homes or in public accommodations. Where I have to draw the line is using children for the excitement of those more mature people who should know the difference and know better."

Monday, 2 October 2006

My New Headshot

No, not that kind of headshot but an actor's kind of headshot, which along with your CV is your calling card. My new one is directly below, I think that's the one I'm going for anyway, can't quite make up my mind.

Any thoughts?

(Apart from fuck off you ugly, fat twat)