Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Upstairs, downstairs

Anybody else find all this period drama stuff makes them want to wage violent & bloody class war?

Upstairs bloody downstairs - if there is anything that sums up the times, it's the phrase upstairs downstairs. This is the way it's going - the gulf between the haves and the have-nots growing vast.

But to add insult to injury, not only do we have to live with Victorian values (the rhetoric of the undeserving vs the deserving poor being recycled unashamedly by the politicians) but we are meant to coo over their posh houses on the telly too. And pay for it with the license fee. And accept the utter bias of their news reportage. Bah. It makes me sick.

Down with the BBC.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Even now, I'm still getting referrals on my old blog (last posted on 2 years ago) from this magnificent, funny, unique, but also long-defunct blog. Mainly referrers from Turkey and Macedonia for some reason.

Guys! (and you just know it is guys.) Guys, the INTERNET IS CHOCKABLOCK WITH PORN! You can't throw a stick around here without hitting some porn. Go and find some. There's no porn here. No porn, you hear me? Go home.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Ole, tarantula

Went to see 9 lessons and carols for godless people, and boy, it was worth it, even for the long-running late late set on a freezing cold midweek night.

It was all a bit of a blur, to be honest - a skeptics paradise featuring stellar names like Stewart Lee, Josie Long and Adam Goldacre,Simon Singh doing a 5 minute Q&A about the universe and electrocuting a gherkin, Matt Parker geniusly showing how easy it is to mislead given enough data, Adam Rutherford tearing the Alpha Course to shreds rather elegantly through powerpoint slides ["a homophobic death cult"] and Mitch Benn nailing the problem most atheists have with religion by rewriting Genesis (I paraphrase - Abraham: God, I know you were messing when you asked me to kill my son, because then your followers might believe you want people who don't stand up for what they believe is right, but who suck up to you so much, even if it involves murdering innocent people. God: Yes, only kidding. Imagine what a fucked up world that would be!) And Al Murray pub landlord celebrating the indomitable British bulldog spirit by making everyone sing Incy Wincy Spider (with hand movements).

In the middle of all this, Robyn Hitchcock (hippy/punk Softboys veteran) came on, with lots of girl backing singers with beautiful voices and the house band, Martin White's Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra and did Ole! Tarantula, which I hadn't heard before, and it was truly magical. The audience was spell-bound.

I googled it at home, his usual eccentric lyrics, but I implore you to read them. Here is what I found:

CK: ..The quote in the press kit says the title song, "Ole! Tarantula," is "about where babies come from" RH: Yeah... it's all to do with how people feel about what brings them into existence - how some people kind of recoil from it and some people are delighted by it, and some people are just shocked that they exist at all. I think I'm in the last group. A lot of my songs are about the shock of existence, so I suppose this is another take on it, if you like.

I get it now, I understand why they included this song, and it was perfect for this evening. Atheism can sometimes seem an "anti" stance, with nothing positive going for it, but this night was all about celebration. This song gives you the image of tarantulas being born, as a metaphor for life and birth - some people could find this a repellent image, but he is saying how beautiful, what a shock and what a miracle life is."If he don't please you, Well you just can't be pleased..." To me, religion and the myths of religion are a scrim or a screen to shield people from the harshness of life. And atheism can be a positive thing, not just a reaction against. But this song put the point across more gently, with more wit & humour than I could ever hope to express.

Someone was filming it - I hope, hope, hope it will end up on Youtube, I will link it here for your enjoyment.

Update: I asked Robin Ince on Twitter if it was filmed but he said it wasn't. Never mind, it existed for a brief beautiful ephemeral moment, which is fitting.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

One day

Usually I like to celebrate books here, but this one was so poor, so very very poor, so life-drainingly tedious, long-drawn-out, thin and cliched, I feel like I should you warn you.

He takes 435 pages to draw these two annoying, 2D characters, have them flirt for 20 years (it felt like it too) finally get them together and then (total cheap trick this) bump her off for a 'moving' ending. David Nicholls, that's 2 hours of my life I won't get back.

What really burns is that I bought it based on the recommendation on the cover of a Mr Jonathan Coe - Jonathan Coe, a fine writer! He wrote What A Carve Up! one of the best satires ever written. Jonathan, how much was David Nicholls paying you? Did he beat you at pool or something?

Bah. I'm going straight back to the charity shop where it was purchased to the dear little old lady who said I'd love it, and punch her in the face.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Today, I'm mostly here. Come by and say hi!

PS Time for Christmas break. Laters x

Thursday, 2 December 2010


I don't really get Christmas presents, except from my sister. Which is as it should be really, being a Jewish atheist and all. The folks just give me money, which is always very welcome and much appreciated. But still think about a wishlist for Santa, sometimes. (Some of these are more metaphysical wishes, really.) And you?

List for Santa 2010

I wish for a milk foamer, or a fancy coffee maker. One of these would be nice.

I wish further for a coffee mill - I like this one. I bought beans by accident.

I wish for this perfume, from the best perfumiers in London, I have run out.

I wish I could either shag him or stop wanting to shag him, either would do.

I wish I could find another job I liked.

I wish I could get proper reception on my TV. Stupid TV.

I wish I could sell my flat & cane the proceeds by bumming off around the world
for a few years.

I wish I could go to art college instead of doing something practical but mundane.

I wish I could meet someone without having to undergo the torture
of internet dating.

Cheers, Santa.

Snow day

6.30 am text: School closed today. Check website for updates.

Nothing is better than waking up in the cold and the dark, being told you don't have to go to work, you can stay in bed. Nothing.