Category: media



Amazing space, a raindrop for every tear, an epic queen’s lament (we dare not speak her name): ‘Fear the bandanaed man,’ she cries.

Dragona Hartley’s Rose of Sharon, like a swallow hovering over the city, sweetly but darkly and out of context.

My friend thinks she may be a bat.

She hesitates not, however, to pencil in, like the artist she is, a movement’s exploration through a savannah ruin: a farm, a Spandex hill, the high- lands to the right, the Union delicately defining the horizon…

I am a turtle with a violin, dying, a mouthless man with a trumpet, falling over, as everything falls into place, or space, or doesn’t.

I’m at the bottom of her steps, the restaurant screams and stinks above me, endless labyrinthine corridors around me leading here, there and where…

And a possible opening that declares, in obvious, un-white horror:

‘This Door Is Alarmed!’

I kiss her, softly at first, then, as I sense her soul yielding and her flesh heating, my tongue parts her teeth and devours her palate, with extreme prejudice, and, fearful still, she opens.

Get me?

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So, it’s been another slow year.

You know that feeling, when you’re the only one (I mean one, get it?) in a crowd to see a single magpie? Man, that’s a f**ker.

One for sorrow…

But why me. I mean, I’m in a crowd, you know? And it’s just me that gets the sorrow-vision?

It’s because I’m an atheist, isn’t it? It’s because I’m not quite black, isn’t it? Because I’m half a Jew?

I’m a f**king gypsy. That’s why. Don’t try to tell me I’m wrong.

I blame it on slow jazz and bottled water. If I believed in God or Rock and Roll I’d have no problem.

But I don’t, so it’s got to be that I listen to too much vacuum-cleaner-bass-jazz and drink too much Evian.

No-one told me it’s a sin.

Last week I go to London. I’m attending this party at the Porchester Rooms, thrown by a very good friend of mine who’s extremely talented, has had a lot of luck and has won this extremely prestigious award.

Anyway, we have a drink back-stage, I tell her I love her dearly and, though I’m dying of a tumour in my heart, she shouldn’t let that ruin her night.

It won’t.

So I leave her and visit the cloakroom, blow my nose. Then I take my place at a table reserved for me up front of the stage. The waiter brings a bottle of something French. I tell him to take it away.

‘Get me a bottle of Tequila and some olives,’ I tell him.

Suddenly I’m surrounded by these very serious, very legit looking guys with press badges. Seems they want to interview me.

‘So, what have you done since **** **** ****?’ asks one.

‘Nothing that would interest you,’ I tell him, thinking naively that now they’ll all go off and leave me alone. I’ve been out of the public eye too long.

‘Did you re-marry, after ****** died?’

The Tequila arrives. I do the salt and lime thing.

‘Yup!’

He pulls out a notebook and starts scribbling. Some of the others take Dictaphones and MP3s out of their breast pockets and place them in the middle of the table.

‘And what happened to that one?’ asks the scribbler.

‘Are you still trying to write comedy?’ asks a Dictaphone guy.

‘They say you’re not funny anymore,’ says a young MP3 guy with a cold-sore on his upper lip.

So, I have a long drink and think I’ll throw in a stock comic cliche line and they’ll know it’s a put-on:

‘My second marriage was broken up by my mother-in-law.’

‘Oh-oh! Mother-in-law jokes,’ says the waiter beneath his breath.

The scribbler scribbles, a couple of the Dictaphone guys adjust volumes, there’s a general surge of activity.

‘That’s funny… mother-in-law jokes. What happened?’ ask the hacks as one voice.

‘Well, let’s see. My mother-in-law broke up our marriage. One day wife number two comes home early from work and finds us in bed together.’

‘What? Your mother-in-law in bed with you?’

‘Yeah, that’s right.”

‘Well, that’s disgusting!’

‘Oh, well, she was horny and she came on to me…’

‘With your mother? Well, that’s psychotic!’

‘Why? It was her mother, not mine.’

Then the lights dim, the band starts up, my friend stumbles on stage and the audience applauds.

A guy closely resembling myself leaves by an alley exit.

Soon it will be summer.

John Munro: cool-vids

Some time ago I featured a great short film by John Munro called Oxford Circus. It’s so good I’m featuring it again.

I just love this. Check out the rest of John Munro’s catalogue here.

I stumbled upon these words of wisdom from the fingertips of my good friend Mike E over at the Open Container Speedway:

‘If you want to understand why the end of the world is about to happen you really must watch Fox News. Make note of who advertises. Never buy their product again. And remember: For roughly 25% to a third of Americans what you see there is Truth. A mere market share. By no means a majority. But a brutally sizable & well-connected ignoramus mob.’

Read the full thing here.

For news you won’t find on Fox and CNN click here.

She wakes up slowly. The fragments of the dream that she can recall with ease she tries to fit together, all the while knowing that the picture will never be complete.

The pain is in the small of her back and in the space around her liver.

One day, she thinks, it’s all going to come down in a shower of stiff rain, rock and roll and dreadful shimmer. She’ll walk out, be absorbed by the storm, screaming, and no-one will hear.

But in the meantime she just wraps his big coat around her and bends her back into the wind again.

Life and death: a sequence of repeats, a movie that she watches again and again.

How does it all begin?

I of fish? You of pork? They of lamb and we of beef? He of lungs and she of teeth? It of brains and heart and liver and spleen and blood and unrecognizable flesh?

“Offal,” he tells her, “that’s where it starts and ends.”

“Pillow Angel” or “Ghostly Flower”?

Like anyone with a modicum of compassion and humanity I am moved by the tragedy of the Ashley X story. I think of my own children and how I would cope.

And, whilst unsure about the ethics regarding such aggressive medical and surgical interventions as high-dose oestrogen therapy, hysterectomy and breast-bud removal, I cannot help but be respectful of her parents’ apparent pragmatism.

I have visited her father’s website, however, and I have to say that I find it extremely odd. The saccharine “Pillow Angel” sobriquet infantilises Ashley and suggests the sinister proposition that eternally small and cuddle-some disabled people are more acceptable (and perhaps less troublesome and easier on the eye) than ugly grown-up ones. 

Were I in this man’s position, I doubt that I could find enough faith in current medical opinion to accept entirely, as he seems to have done, the hopelessness of my child’s condition; I feel strongly that I would want to cling on to any (be it ever so slight) possibility that she might in some way develop beyond the “Pillow Angel” stage. Such a desire, I believe, arises out of my nature as a human being. 

“Our daughter Ashley had a normal birth, but her mental and motor faculties did not develop. Over the years, neurologists, geneticists and other specialists conducted every known traditional and experimental test, but still could not determine a diagnosis or a cause. Doctors call her condition ‘static encephalopathy of unknown etiology’…and one that will not improve.” (my italics)

Everything that has been done to Ashley is legitimised by the contention that the primary purpose is to increase her quality of life. The ethics committee that sanctioned the treatment reached its decision based on the medical opinion that she would not develop beyond the mental age of three months.

But the combined might of the medical establishment “could not determine a diagnosis or cause”.

If they can’t determine a cause how can they say with certainty that the condition will not, even marginally, improve? Such a prognosis is no more than a speculation. The assumption that because she has not changed so far she never will is not one I find 100% reliable. It’s a theory not a fact.

And who is to say that some medical advance in Ashley’s lifetime won’t make it possible for her to live a more “normal” adult life?

There are more questions of this nature but it’s pointless to ask them because it’s too late now, isn’t it?

http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/blog/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1983339,00.html.

Oxford Street

It’s a Saturday afternoon on Oxford Street in 1999… And this is an awesome mind-fuck of a piece of video art. It’s by John Munro and the music is “Teardrop” by Massive attack. I want this guy to direct my Weird Metropolitan screen-play. Don’t even try to figure out how it’s done; just enjoy the illusion (if an illusion it is?).

U.K. media: no such thing as white terrorism

Police raids on two houses in Burnley on 28 September uncovered a rocket launcher and the largest quantity of chemical explosives ever found in any police operation in the UK.

Yesterday, a man was charged, not under the Terrorism Act but under the Explosive Substances Act 1883. What did they think he was going to do with them? Make fireworks?

Here’s another weird thing about the case: one would have thought that the seizure of “the largest quantity of chemical explosives ever” would have merited mega publicity. It has not. I have been unable to find any significant main-stream, national media coverage of these events. How can this be? I’ll tell you.

The simple fact of the matter is that the two men arrested and charged are not Muslim “terrorists” but supporters of the Nazi British National Party (BNP); indeed, one of them, 49 year old Robert Cottage, stood as a BNP candidate in the last local elections.

Is the Home Office planning triumphant press conferences as I write? Will Home Secretary John Reid vociferously condemn these “Anglofascist fanatics” any time soon? Will white people become the targets of stop and search and additional security checks at subway stations and airports?

Yeah, right.

Source 

“In all-too-real worlds beyond our reach, everything tends toward permanency. Whatever the discussion may be, whatever issues may seem to be gripping Washington or the nation, whatever you’re watching on TV or reading in the papers, elsewhere the continual constructing, enlarging, expanding, entrenching of a new global system of imprisonment, which bears no relation to any system of imprisonment Americans have previously imagined, continues non-stop, unchecked and unbalanced by Congress or the courts, unaffected by the Republic, but very distinctly under the flag ‘for which it stands.'”

In August the Imperialist Bush neo-con administration and its associated “big 5” media corporations proudly proclaimed that Abu Ghraib prison had been emptied of detainees and was to be turned over to the “Iraqi government”.

Well, it’s one thing to close a prison but quite another to release its inmates. So, what happened to them?

Have you heard of Camp Bucca? What about Camp Cropper?

Perhaps you have heard of the latter: it started off as a “temporary facility”, a “bunch of tents” appended to the US base adjoining Baghdad International Airport (which, incidentally is now one of the many “enduring camps” that have, since 2004, become fair-sized American towns, complete with Pizza Huts, Burger Kings and mini-golf courses) and is now a 60 million dollar state of the art prison.

The emptying of Abu Ghraib may have made big news; the filling of Camp Cropper, however, didn’t get a mention.

So, what about the other one, Camp Bucca? You can’t read about that anywhere, says Tom Engelhardt and, what is more:

“While arguments spin endlessly here at home about the nature of withdrawal ‘timetables,’ and who’s cutting and running from what, and how many troops we will or won’t have in-country in 2007, 2008, or 2009, on the ground a process continues that makes a mockery of the debate in Washington and in the country. While the ‘reconstruction’ of Iraq has come to look ever more like the deconstruction of Iraq, the construction of an ever more permanent-looking American landscape in that country has proceeded apace and with reasonable efficiency.”

Currently the Bush administration, in the name of the American people and financed by their tax dollars — and, due to the complicity of our “leaders”, in the name of the people and courtesy of the tax Sterling of the UK — is holding 14000 prisoners in Iraq; possibly more that 500 in Afghanistan; and nearly 500 in Guantanamo. Most of these individuals are beyond the jurisdiction of any system of justice.

And if all of the camps that we know about are shut down none of those prisoners is going anywhere closer to justice soon, because a globally outsourced penal system has been created to absorb them.

If you don’t take the time to read Tom Engelhardt’s article you deserve what may be coming.

In response to that statement some may say that knowing the facts doesn’t eradicate the problem. I reply in this fashion:

To win a war you must first know your enemies.

Click here to take that essential first step on the road to victory.

“A very rude remark”

The Bush War Party apparently picked up a few tips from watching Mafia movies: it seems that Pakistan was strong-armed into co-operating with America’s war on Afghanistan, according to today’s Telegraph.

“President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan said that after the September 11 attacks the US threatened to bomb his country if it did not co-operate with America’s war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

“Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age”, was the gist of the ultimatum, allegedly delivered to Pakistan’s President Perves Musharraf by deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

It proved to be an offer Musharraf couldn’t refuse; shortly afterwards US fighter jets were using Pakistani airspace in their offensive against the Afghan militia, who were allegedly protecting Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Perhaps tomorrow the Telegraph will tell us something we didn’t know.

Yeah, right.

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