widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Devil Has Stamped On Your Blackberries

Current mood: Autumnal (again)

Hail the return of the large blue butterfly, the nights are drawing in, the ritual retuning of the clocks is close at hand. Columnists across the land are bemoaning the return of instant Smash mash to our bellies. The senile are stomping their way through the rain-filled potholes on the street, blaming the weather on those evil Polish immigrants who have come to weigh down our beloved country, tilting it to face the coming storms head on. Once domesticated beasts are running wild, foaming at the mouth, waiting to pounce. Our great leaders are huddled together for warmth, recriminations flying through the air, as they sit, stranded miles from home, around a small camping stove in the wilds of Manchester, weeping into their soiled manifestos.
A Merry Michaelmas to one and all.

Currently listening: Gang of Losers by The Dears

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mad Lizzie

Current mood: Regal

I went to Bournemouth to see the Queen, or at least 'The Queen', with my Mum last night. It was my first cinematic experience for quite some time, the first since Johnny & his pirate chums, in fact. Despite being a bit of a lefty (something the Labour Party can hardly claim anymore) I'm not a natural republican. I have a strange soft spot (somewhere behind my left knee) for the inbred, big-eared, becrowned poshos and their position in the wildly unfair, but uncomfortably comforting social structure of the country. Maybe it's a sense of history, or wistful nostalgia for a time I don't remember, or even just so there's someone to poke fun at when you're bored with ridiculing politicians on satirical, news-based panel shows, but it's nice to know the Royal Family are there, having affairs and watching Eastenders in their magical floating castles.
Anyway, back to the film. It really puts the uncontrolled mass hysteria that took over the entire country in the wake of Diana's death into perspective. It really does seems odd in the cold light of today, though as time goes on, we are still steadily becoming a more and more emotional race. Even I was caught up in it, though that was mainly the fault of my then girlfriend, bringing a bloody portable telly to a camping trip at Corfe Castle so we could blub along with the funeral. I never thought I'd have that much in common with the Queen (or the fictional representation of her), but I too miss the trusty British stiff upper lip and dignified reserve we used to exude to the world. Now we're derided as a nation of vapid celebrities and football hooligans, led by an impotent wannabe president, and deservedly so.
I've come to the conclusion that emotions are entirely overrated. Especially if they're spilling out all over the place, getting everyone's feet wet, so they slip over, causing even greater wailing and gnashing of teeth from the snivelling, neurotic source of the sentimental fallout.
Oh, and just so you know, the film was neato.

Currently listening: Point by Cornelius

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dance to the Music (Part Three)

Here is the next instalment of my life in music, or more correctly my life outside of music, looking in through the grubby windows at all the sparkly and resplendent people laughing and pointing at me from inside their cocoon of cool. But first a disclaimer for all of those horrified that I should refuse to name any Metallica, Kylie, Hip-Hop or -insert the object of your insane desires here- albums. Everyone is entitled to their own informed opinion, and I am more informed than you, so pop that in your bellybutton and spoon it!

1994Jeff Buckley - Grace
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Pulp - His n Hers
Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand
The Brand New Heavies - Brother Sister

Jeff Buckley - self explanatory, surely. Just give it a spin and the need for words buggers off for a bit. And for the joyless souls who can't stand the fact that the dead sell better/are praised more than the living, he was pretty good before he died too, ahhh (to be read as a knowing ahhh, not a sentimental ahhh).
The Manics - I remember the huge posters of severely overweight naked lovelies plastered all over the Brighton Virgin Megastore (sadly since relocated to the cavernously horrid Churchill Square complex, that bloody nodding dog's got a lot to answer for) to promote the album. I still think the staff should've been made to wear fat suits that week, but ah, such is the stuff of my dreams.
Pulp - This record prompted hours of nude mirror fascination, perfecting Jarvo-synchronised arm movements and hand gestures with micro-precision. But now I am Jarvis' friend on myspace (it still counts) it somehow feels wrong.
Guided by Voices - First heard of this lot via a Breeders cover of 'Shocker in Gloomtown' on their 'Head to Toe' green (jelly!) vinyl ep. Supposedly a bunch of 40 something school teachers, but I venture that was just a marketing strategy myth (not unlike the mini-pops fiasco of yesteryear). All their tracks were recorded using a comb & paper and a big old wind-up gramophone, with a toothpick instead of a needle, to get that authentic lo-fi sound.
The Brand New Heavies soundtracked an entire glorious week on the Isle of Wight, get down with your beastly self!

1995Belly - King
Throwing Muses - University
Moloko - Do You Like My Tight Sweater?
Stereolab - Music for the Amorphous Body Study Centre
Unun - Super Shiny Dreams

An all female vocalised year this one, I was going to list Pavement's Wowee Zowee, but that would have messed it up.
The Stereolab record's only a mini (but perfectly formed) album, recorded to go with some arty bloke's sculpture exhibition in New York. I never got to see it since I was a poor student and it was in New bloody York, but I guess it was the same idea as that V&A Shhh... thing from a couple of years ago, and I very much enjoyed that. Anyway, you don't need the amorphous bodies in front of you to appreciate the music, which I can only describe as pink & spongey.
I saw Unun at the BiC supporting Björk and I had to check twice that the pink be-mohicaned girl on stage wasn't Björk in disguise. The sound is quite sugarcubesy, partly the fault of the aforementioned björk-alike and partly because the guitarist is both a former Sugarcube and the former husband of Björk. The album is so mmmm I couldn't understand why it didn't get a proper release in this country. Good old fashioned Icelandic fun.
Moloko's debut is possibly the first concept album about a chat up line (do you like my tight sweater, see how it fits my body), well maybe the whole album's not about that, but it should be. It included a song from the point of view of the giant from 'Jack & the Beanstalk (or at least one of the many mythical giants from my childhood) and a tune about playing dominoes with a gang of nutty geriatrics & a cheeky monkey. Some of these things may not be true, but listen and dance around your mind anyway.
I came to Throwing Muses through hearing Belly on the radio back at Brock College, this is the first Muses album I bought at the time of release and is still my favourite.
Though it was slated at the time I always thought this Belly disc had a better flow than the first. Maybe there weren't so many individual standout songs, but the album as a whole held together better and had a cohesive sound that I appreciated.
You may be detecting a small 4AD bias at this point, a result of the fact that I was more than a little bedevilled by that particular record company at the time. Ah, the music-noise, the eye-design, the smell of fresh Bovril, it was all there.

1996Lamb - Lamb
Cheikh Lo - Ne La Thias
REM - New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Scheer - Infliction
Alice in Chains - MTV Unplugged

Scheer - I saw these supporting Belly at the Astoria in 95, they made a bloody great racket, though they seemed to disappear into obscurity not long afterwards.
Much as I loathe the whole MTV unplugged phenomenon, Alice in Chains is one of the few bands where this approach makes sense. Coming across like a mellow (but still exciting) greatest hits, it's a shame (to put it mildly) that not long afterwards the singer succumbed, like so many others, to the naughty drugs.
Cheikh Lo is the first african artist I'm listing here, but not the first I'd become interested in. That would be Angelique Kidjo, who I simultaneously encountered on Jools Holland and late night pile of arse, Casey Kasem's America's Top Ten show, more from her later. Anyway Cheikh Lo is both Senegalese and good, if a little throaty.
REM - A strange choice, perhaps, considering all the knockout REM albums to chose from, but I've always preferred records that are a well rounded listening experience, rather than patchy ones with a few genius singles scattered around. Plus it features Patti Smith, the bearded lady who told Debbie Harry to get out of Rock n' Roll, for which I should despise her, but the moustache keeps calling me back.
Lamb was my favourite band in 1997 (I know I'm talking about '96, but I didn't get the album till the end of the year), engineering a collision of clattering beats and alternately sweet & abrasive vocals. Sometimes wrongly and bizarrely categorised as mondeo man's dinner party music by the chin strokers, it would be hard to concentrate on anything else with this playing in the background. I remember dancing like a loon to their set in the pissing rain at Greenbelt, ah the folly of youth, I ended up with a sprained knee and a bit of a cough, ahh (to be read a a sympathetic ahh, not a pathetic ahh).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Even More Delicious! (The Cold, Dead Eyes of a Pop Star)

Current mood: dandy

I've just heard on the Radio 1 (yes, I know, I know) news today that smug-eared boy band Five are getting back together, and not just to gaze at each other longingly, but to actually inflict what they misleadingly call music on our innocent ears. Though, apparently it's only four of them, I wonder how many focus groups it'll take to come up with a new name for the group, what a conundrum. What is going on? First Take that, then All Saints, now this. At least they're all gathered in one place and not littering the charts with their rubbish solo singles.

I'm all for a bit of mindless cheese-noise, but surely the only people that can squeeze any drops of joy from this are the grey-suited marketing men, the nostalgic pant-wetters and the idle "singers" wanting to make a bit of quick cash from their vaguely blemish-free faces and what meagre talents they can scrape together from the dregs of their vomit.

I'm holding out for a Kids Incorporated reunion with the legendary Martika and Fergie "I Ain't No London Bridge Girl" Black-Eyed-Pea. La la la.

Currently listening: A Place Where I Know by Paula Frazer

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fear & Loathing in Las Ringwood (The Aftermath & Escape)

Current mood: twitchy

After a long weekend filled with stress and unbridled mania it was off to oily London again for a final bout of TWTTIN before mass psychological meltdown occurred. On arrival a wave of nervous exhaustion released itself, and was then suppressed by the effortless act of stepping off the coach into a world of free newspapers, glistening queues, magical Oyster cards, sparklingly grubby pavements and marvellous Marks & Sparks Simply Foods. Dazzled by the wonders of the sticky capital, aimless wandering ensued until we happened upon Mr Hockey and his shin bandanas, revealing a provocative flash of lower leg. Beer was found, no stalking opportunities presented themselves, noises were made and fun was had by all, dropouts notwithstanding.
On the way home, a close encounter with the strobing lights of the Heathrow tunnel prompted bizarre hallucinations, not helped by the dizzily entrancing spinning radar dish thingy. A crying baby broke the spell and exhaustion returned, readying me to face the evils of the 'wood once again.

Currently listening: Paus by Paus

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ode to Milk

Current mood: a little newsy

I stayed over at my parents yesterday and, though I enjoyed a deliciously free meal, I spent the night in a house filled with two dogs and my mum's 'sorry you are leaving the NHS' flowers, all of which I am allergic to. So through my sore eyes and swollen fingers I will attempt to bring you my sneezy thoughts on the events of the moment.

Yesterday was not a good day for political leaders it seems. Thailand's Prime Minister was deposed by a military coup while he popped out of the country for a bit, Ming Campbell got his facts wrong as good old drunky Charley K got at least two standing ovations, and ...

Hungary For the Truth, Ho!

"...we lied morning, noon and night."
"...we have screwed up. Not a little, but a lot."
"It was perfectly clear that what we were saying was not true ..."

A bit of refreshing honesty from the Hungarian Prime Minister there, but do the people appreciate it? Judging by the rioting that followed, apparently no, they do not. What kind of message does that send to smiley Tony Blair, his grovelling underlings and the rest of the snivelling British politicians? Well, one of two things, I guess:
1. Keep lying, but never admit it, even when Jeremy Paxman's shoving red hot needles under your fingernails;
2. Don't tell naughty fibs in the first place, oops, might be a bit late for that one.

Though, I think the main reason for the Hungarians' anger wasn't that the government admitted their untruths, more that those falsehoods were used to trick them into voting their smug liar of a Prime Minister back into power earlier this year. Hang on, that sounds familiar ...
Hmmm, George W Bush & Tony Blair: Smug? Check. Liars? Check. Back in power? Check.

Let the riots begin.

Currently listening: Ballad of the Broken Seas by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Customer is Always Wrong

Currnet mood: aggitated

"Come into my life!" says the old woman in the corner, with a flouncey wave of the hand, as a blur of catweasel and underage hairdressers accelerate past the window. A hunched Mr. Smirny (the legendary arsonist) pads through the door, a cacophony of chiming bells and stifled screams trailing in his wake. Many meaningless questions are asked, no conclusions are drawn. A whiff of spices and the King is here, waiting to be waited on, hands and feet are no object. Lies are suppressed, truths are not believed. The tiny ones emerge blinking from the darkness, slowly exchanging plastic and reams of paper for sticky treats. Time passes, dreams die, there is no happy ending.
There is no ending.

--------------------yes, I can be deranged too--------------------

And now for a rant on the state of customer service in this great country of ours. My first and most important point is this: You've only got yourselves to blame. It would be a hell of a lot easier not to treat most of our booze-constituency with contempt if they didn't all bloody deserve it.

There are three main schools of customers, the first and most annoying are the one's that treat our liquor-emporium like it's their own personal olde worlde corner shoppe, barging past a line of law abiding shoppers to demand you go and get something from the other side of the store that they have just walked straight past. When you explain you are busy tending to the whims of the nice queue-friendly people they proceed to rip your head off and eat your innards with the tip of a fish slice.
The next group of our patrons will happily go and get things off the shelf, but will then start loading it up on the counter, getting in everybody's way, as they shuffle round and round the floor for the next hour and a half.
The rest of our clientele are shabby looking individuals with the alco-shakes, paying for their one lonely can of tramp-juice with nothing but grubby coppers.
We have other people entering the shop from time to time, these are designated 'the browsers', aimlessly wandering, chatting on their mobile phones, but never passing close enough to the counter or a member of staff to be ensnared into buying anything. Maybe they feel that actually shopping in a shop is beneath them.

Perhaps it's a peculiarity of the off-licence, but people think they can get away with behaviour they would dream of perpetrating in a supermarket. Smoking, dogs, shouty swearing, kicking doors when we're closed, chronic thieving, being alcoholic, existing.

currently listening: Tales From Turnpike House by Saint Etienne

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dance to the Music (Part Two)

Continuing my obsessive quest to rank & categorise my musical taste into tiny little boxes that I can file away into my increasingly shrivelled mind. Ooh I feel as unnecessary as Kate Thornton.

1991My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Sebadoh - Sebadoh III
Cathy Dennis - Move to This
Pearl Jam - Ten

A slightly cooler year this, with the exception of Miss Dennis, perhaps as it was the year I left school and progressed from the small town arse of Ringwood Comp to the even smaller village cow-pats of Brokenhurst College. Red Hot Chili's - Get up and dance! My Bloody Valentine - Sit down and brood. Sebadoh - Get stoned and sway. Pearl Jam - Get pissed and croon. Cathy Dennis - Get ready to vomit!

1992Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
Primal Scream - Screamadelica
Shonen Knife - Let's Knife
Shakespear's Sister - Hormonally Yours
Annie Lennox - Diva

Little Earthquakes is a fan-sodding-tastic album, I remember listening to it over and over while I was going to & from university open days. It reminds me of the smell of a slow creeping fog over the deserted Severn Bridge, plus it has a mention of the groovy comic 'The Sandman', thus it also reminds me of Death. The Annie Lennox one has a slightly dated sound, but it is there for the time in my childhood when I used to point questioningly at the ginger bloke-woman on the telly and my Dad would helpfully provide her name as Henry Lennox, ho. Shonen Knife is the first poking through of the huge shitting iceberg that is my brother's love of all things Japanese rubbing off on me (I keep telling him to stop rubbing off on me, but her never listens). Primal Scream & Shakespear's Sister, two sides of the same coin? No, only one of them has an ex-member of Banarama and carn't spell Shakespeare.

1993Pizzicato Five - Bossa Nova 2001
The Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are
Blur - Modern Life is Rubbish
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith & Devotion
Suede - Suede

This was the year I headed off to Brighton for my ill-fated university attempt. I was left with a momentous decision during my first week there. Using my limited budget, do I buy tickets to the soulless & futile Freshers Ball at a cavernous shite-club, or plump for Blur on the 'Modern Life is Rubbish' tour at Mandella Hall? Of course the fear set in and I chose the Ball, ending up rejected and alone, and the rest is history. Ah, what can I say about Pizzicato Five that hasn't already been said before, well quite a lot, at least in english. The greatest Japanese band in existence, to my head-mounted aurally sensitive appendages. This is their most enduring record, a classic from the first track, the least rock n' roll track in the world, perversely encalled 'Rock n' Roll', to the last, a dreamy 'Eclipse' complete with many 'doo doo doo's. Just checked, and it's not actually the last track, but it's good anyway. I was never that keen on Depeche Mode till this LP, maybe it was something to do with all the unfeasibly thin whiners in their 'Violator' t-shirts at college. The Juliana Hatfield album contains the best song written in 5 on the subject matter of the sordid american game of spin the bottle. Suede, a very studenty album for a very studenty year.

Postscript: I am having some niggling regrets after listing 'Wilson Phillips' as one of my top albums in the previous instalment. In a drink-fuelled frenzy I searched them out on Youtube and was both entertained and horrified by what I saw (chiefly by their drag queen counterparts that I was forced to contend with). I remember really liking the album at the time, but listening to it now it's actually quite, quite awful (and not in a good way). Just a warning then, in case any of you are fool hardy enough to base your purchasing decisions on my otherwise flawless expert knowledge.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Revenge of the Blini

Current mood: desperately hungover

The carnival has ended, but the despair continues. I awoke this afternoon with what felt like a troupe of morbidly obese gnomes tap-dancing on my forehead, partly because I didn't get home till the bastard birds had already started singing their tunes of misery, but mainly due to ingesting large quantities of the chef's patented hot chocolatey cointreau fluid. This concoction was described by some as 'sex in a mug', a slightly unwanted insight into their sex lives, I felt. I would have thought that having sex in a mug is quite a claustrophobic experience, and not one I would be that keen to embark on, or taste in a liquid form, no matter how adventurous my mind erroneously tells me that I am.

It ended up being quite an eventful evening. Lots of musical cheese, oodles of mum-made tasty treats, ongoing reports of stabbings and beatings and such like, long in-depth chats (much as I like to revel in my own shallowness), many idiot customers, many idiot would-be customers, much booze and jollity. In fact an excess of pretty much everything except common sense and free money (bloody coin-teasers).

Even after all that I was still evilly tempted down the pub after work tonight ... alcoholism beckons.

Currently listening: Golden Ocean by 50 Foot Wave

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I fear the carnival of crime is beginning on our border*

Manhã de Carnaval
Yes, it's that time of year again, the annual inbreedathon that is The Ringwood Carnival of indifference & mediocrity is upon us. With a parade of floats as flamboyant as a wet fish-slap (Why call them floats? If they did actually float that might be something worth standing out in the yeasty rain to see) and an endless stream of am-dram & war re-enactment society rejects shaking tins of cash in your face without giving you the opportunity to help yourself to a bit of money, that's just coin-teasing! The only reasons I can think that people still turn up and watch this pram-wank** year after year is either some kind of selective dementia or blind hope that it can't get any worse ... it always does.

El Día de los Muertos
The inevitable disappointment waxes and wanes at equal frequency to the unimaginative and frankly depressing parade of barely disguised milk floats. I have never watched the telly series 'Carnivale' despite my good intentions, but I can only guess that the Ringwood Carnival contains more freaks, but is, contrary to what you may think that would entail, a lot more wrist-slittingly dull. Working in a booze shop on the night of an event that has no beer tent, as it was shut down several years ago due to a full-on riot, is not my idea of a fun night out. But then it's work and it's not supposed to be, even with a bit of half-hearted fancy dress and some nibbles.

* quote: Edward Blake, Canadian Politician (1833-1912)
** (presumably unbroadcastable) expletive courtesy of TWTTIN

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dance to the Music (Part One)

Here is the first in an occasional series in which I will regale you with tales of death, destruction, music & jam, but mostly the music. Since I am regularly being ridiculed for my HMV-style room, stand up & salute the maggot-ridden corpse of 'Top of the Pops' as I present:

Jon's (very nearly) Definitive Top Five(ish) Albums of All the Years, Ever (as long as they fall between 1988 and now). As the Scissor Sisters would say, "Ta-Dah!"

So we begin with 1988, the year in which I properly started buying music instead of taping it off the radio or playing my Dad's brass band records, I was 12 (aaaaahhhh). This is mostly the stuff I was listening to then, hence the large initial cheese factor & the glaring omissions, with a few later discoveries thrown in.
So, ranked in no particular order:

1988Martika - Martika
The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Morrissey - Viva Hate

Martika is unquestionably the greatest record to come out of the 1980s. Songs about Tarzan AND Heroin, aw-ee-aw-ee-uhh! The Sugarcubes were mad, mad I tell you! The big single 'Birthday' seemed to be about paedophilia and crows, when that was acceptable subject matter for a pop song. The first two are actually the only ones I got that year. I didn't get into the Pixies till a late-night-late viewing of the Breeders a couple of years later. Sonic Youth was an even later discovery, and Morrissey later still, though I always had a soft spot for The Smiths.

1989Madonna - Like a Prayer
The B-52s - Cosmic Thing
Debbie Harry - Def, Dumb & Blonde
The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
The Sundays - Reading Writing & Arithmetic

Strangely my favourite album of the year, and possibly of all time is The Sundays' one, as that was the only one in the list that I didn't get that year. I was introduced to it by a mate in Brighton about 5 years later, when all I knew about them was the Newman & Baddiel Theme. There was a song with the Sally Army in it, which I got very excited about as I was in it (The Sally Army, not the song) at the time, ooh. I was quite a Madonna loving freak in the 80s, which waned slightly as she got a bit poo in the 90s, but has returned with a vengance recently during cheese-based splishy-splashy sessions (Dear Jessie, come on)! Debbie Harry's mainly there for sentimental reasons as my first proper record was 'The Best of Blondie' when I was 5, yes I am that cool!

1990Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
The Breeders - Pod
Beats International - Let Them Eat Bingo
Happy Mondays - Pills n Thrills & Bellyaches
Wilson Phillips - Wilson Phillips

And as we leap into the 90s we have another strong contender for best album ever from the Cocteau Twins, though most of my friends would disagree, but they are wrong. We have the Breeders (complete with Tanya D, yay), Beats International (though I preferred the single version of Burundi Blues to the album, so there), Happy Mondays (ah, who remembers the 'Step On' video lingering around on the Chart Show for what seemed like months? Whatever happened to Rowetta and her kettles?) and, of course, Wilson Phillips (what was I thinking? But their parents were cool, where did it all go wrong?).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Milking Hedgehogs for their Heroin

Current mood: Cultured

I have been trying to catch up on my book reading and DVD watching in an effort to make myself seem more cultured (and also in order to be able return the various items of culture that I have borrowed and have been in my possession for the best part of a year) and inspired by the crab system of reviewing I will unload my thoughts on some of that stuff here.

Jerry Springer the Opera by Richard Thomas & Stewart Lee
I bought this for my brother for his birthday, but have decided to steal it and watch it before he is able. When I first heard of this a few years ago I was mildly intrigued, but thought it was probably a cashing-in exercise that was as morally & culturally bankrupt as it's inspiration (see, that's three 'culture's already, I must be it, cultured, that is, ooh look there's another one). Had I realised who was behind it from the start, or even actually watched it, I'm sure my thoughts would have been different. But as it is I refused to see it even as it was being broadcast on telly last(?) Christmas, although all those Daily Mail death threats should have been another pointer to its greatness. The creators have managed to turn a hideous yet entertaining car crash of a show that reveals our society's worst excesses (bar what we find on the evil Jeremy Kyle's freak show) into a very funny, thought provoking and bizarrely existential piece of contemporary musical theatre. Not that I am the best judge, having very little (or, indeed, no) experience in that area (ooh, bugger, I have revealed my unculturedness), but I enjoyed it very much.

The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinburg
This book was brought to my attention by comedian Rob Newman, after seeing him live last year with Mark Thomas, and was bought for my birthday by a mate. It's a very enlightening, but ultimately scary read, that is if you believe everything written in this book, which I pretty much do. The evidence seems robust and I think it's pretty much impossible to overestimate the industrialised nations and multinational corporations' ability to focus on short-term profits and ignore long-term planning and the consequences of their actions.
The Gist:
1. The Earth's energy-rich resources (most specifically oil) are running out. Or at least reaching a peak of extraction whilst our energy consumption is still increasing.
2. We've left it a bit late to explore the alternatives (like wind, solar, hydrogen, etc.) without some huge lifestyle changes.
3. Oh shit.
The silver lining is that eventually we'll probably live in a happier, more fulfilling, less consumer-based society, BUT it's going to get worse before it gets better. Suddenly I feel vindicated that I've never bothered to learn to drive. If I didn't already not want to bring children into this world (because I despise them & they serve no useful purpose, except for objects of ridicule) this book would make me think again. Well, at least it means that there'll be less energy to run computers, we'll have to go back to good old pen & paper and you'll be spared from having to read this word-baloney on a regular basis.

Phew, to bring my system back to it's content & unthinking equilibrium I may need to embark on a week-long Hollyoaks & Abba binge.

Currently listening: Rather Ripped by Sonic Youth

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Flighty & Fickle Finger of Fate

Current mood: Stalky-stalky, pomegranate, yeah

So I found myself having to explain who Skeletor was to two whole people yesterday, which was quite disconcerting. Although it may just have been the context in which I used him in conversation that needed explaining, but I took great delight in shouting "He-Man" over and over again in their puffed-up, unknowing faces anyway.

A huge & momentous event occurred but 3 hours later, after a very sweaty recording of TWTTIN (Radio 2, Saturday Afternoons, sandwiched between Jonathan Ross & Roland Rivron, oh lordy-lordy) at Bush "like a bird's bush" Hall in leafy Shepherds Bush (like a bird's bush). After a string of strange and curious events (left secret, so you may ignorantly ponder just how strange and curious those events may have been) we were invited upstairs by TV's Emma Kennedy (to the bar, not her room, though she did study our etchings). TV's Emma Kennedy (not her real name at all, as it turns out, well the Emma bit is, we've been lied to) was a very gracious host, outwardly suffering our foolishness gladly (but seething inside with contemptuous rage, I like to think). We chatted a little, trying not to seem too much like stalky-freaks, but not entirely succeeding, leading to sporadic spasms of embarrassment all the way home. Earlier in the evening, whilst we were queuing to get in, we were spied on by a wrinkly (possibly naked and imaginary) granny through her net curtains above the launderette. I began to have a sense of how Miss Kennedy might have felt later on during our stalking activities, though it was in the future and hadn't happened yet (spooky).

The warm glow of awkward reverie was broken by our lovely, bald coach driver, let's call him Adolf. It appears one of us had clicked on the wrong bit while booking their ticket, this meant a journey leaving at the same time, costing the same price, using the same route, but involving an hour stop off at Heathrow. Despite the fact that there was plenty of room on our coach Adolf wouldn't relent, and forced her to get on the other coach in a bit of a justified huff.

This reminds me of a previous coach journey I made, trying to get an earlier bus I was confronted by the phrase "You're playing a dangerous game!" from the driver's lips. I failed to see how this could be true, as I was unaware I was involved in a game, let alone a dangerous one, unless it was one of those mysterious Sean Penn/Michael Douglas style 'The Game' games, and if I was thwarted in my attempt to board this bus I could surely just wait an hour and get on the right one. Rather than let me get to the end of my response to his statement he just waved me on, I win.

Anyway, everything turned out fine, as both coaches got to Heathrow about the same time. Ours developed a fault with it's lights and as that was being sorted out (or not, as the driver's later announcement made clear) Adolf found a tiny glimmer of pity buried deep in his blackened soul and let our hapless friend rejoin us for the journey home, we win!

Currently listening: Bossa Nova 2001 by Pizzicato Five

Monday, September 04, 2006

Return of the Wheeze and Other Animals

The cold has returned for a second round boxing metaphor with a lovely high pitched chest wheeze trailing in it's wake. After being knocked to the ground and revived by my strepsils-mouth-guard and ibuprofen-style coach spraying refreshing phlegm into my face, my disease-opponent is now on the wane at long last, along with the haemorrhoids and the ageing breast model carrying the round 2 boxing metaphor sign.

I suffered a Slight disappointment, and near-relapse at the weekend when I discovered that my Blondie DVD had been borrowed/stolen/sold into slavery, so I had to comfort myself with Martika and some olbas oil (the essence of Sally Taylor). My nasal passages have never been
clearer, except, possibly, for when I experimented with a scouring powder based hayfever remedy with a painful aftertaste.

More disappointment today! Peacocks (my second favourite shop with the word 'cocks' in its name) has sold out of the mainstay of my wardrobe: the orange snazz-pants of my dreams.
Excuse me while I reach for my comforting essence of Sally Taylor...