Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gay Ring About It

G1, Southwark's baddest utter barista elect, has alerted me to a pretty unsettling discrepancy in the North London borough of Haring-. Well that's it really. To quote directly from his frenzied email:

"The station which I passed through twice yesterday describes itself as Haringay. The schools inspectorate thinks an area called South Harringay exists (two rs) and the council insists it is spelt Haringey (see"

Actually it's very simple. Harringay is an vaguely defined area within the London Borough of Haringey. A bit like Battersea. And that business at the station - well it's more shocking evidence that this country's going to hell in a handcart.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Yeah so I've been away some while, roaming the land, writing and a musing but now I'm in a Blogmarch state of mind again so frenz..the experiment resumes.

And whilst I was having a late night shower (because I still don't understand those wait until morning to rid themselves of the day's sweat and grime) the Beatles' Hard Day's Night was going round in my head. And I was struck by the innocence of the lyrics , wonderfully reflected in the children's story Peepo!, which centres around a little non-verbal baby observing the micro world around him. It's all outdoor toilets, coal scuttles, tin baths and Dad donning army fatigues in the evening.

And it's a complete outrage because there I was thinking this was one of those timeless childrens' book passed down countless generations since those simplistic post-war years to find that it's written by a bearded hippy and his wife Janet and Allan Alhlberg in the early 90s. Well he looks like a hippy in the self-portrait and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that but it's not the author painstakingly drawing on his papyrus under the paraffin lamp that I'd nostalgically envisaged in my head.

But I digress severely. A Hard Day's Night, one of those lines you just accept until many years later when you wonder what it's actually referring to. If taken in isolation and written in longhand as "A Hard Day Is Night" I quite like that. I'm assuming it's a commentary on the comparative severity of the nightshift. It makes sense put in context of their gruelling Berlin clubhouse era performing 5 concerts a day or whatever it was.

But that's wrong because he says (John I think.Definitely NOT Ringo who has an album of greatest hits being hawked on the GMTV ad breaks right now. Who buys Ringo albums but the most obsessive Fab Four completist and sympathetic relatives ?) "It's been a hard day's night" so the apostrophe is intact.

So I was marvelling at the mysterious subtetly and multi-layered complexity of this single throwaway line in contrast to the sledgehammer directness of today's pop lyricists. And the best polar opposite I could immediately think of was the double breasted Fergie of Black Eyed Peas singing about "my humps. my humps. my lovely little lumps".

But you know the strangest thing is that there's something quite subversive about this lyric. Because Humps and Lumps don't exactly summon up images of great sexual promise but more speed control measures and cancerous tumours. And maybe that's what she was trying to say. They are just that. Shapes resembling other shapes with the propensity for malignant intent.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Dregs Beneath the Dregs

Continuing on my fatalistic hell in a handcart agenda comes the revelation that Jade Goody has an entourage of fans who follow her around to various mundane events. The story itself is interesting for its relative favourability for someone supposedly still doing penance for her Celebrity Big Brother turn.

It's from today's Sun. So Jade Goody has finally passed her driving test (although chances are she'll lose her licence for having driven so long on a provisional). The test took place in Ongar, Essex and the article describes how:

She gave the thumbs-up to waiting fans — including Josie Sheehan, 48, who gave her a bottle of champagne.

Jade pecked her on the cheek and said: “I can’t open it now or I’ll get done for drink-driving.”

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Better than Newsnight

MES on very good form and looking incredibly youthful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A life sentence

Already feeling pretty under the weather following a Moment of Madness which saw me gobbling down a Chicken Fillet Burger from my local Kensy Lick’n Chick’n, my mood has been significantly worsened by the sight of that tedious expondent of the “life’s like that” school of quirkiness known as Zoe Williams.

This writer, whose role on the Guardian is to bore people senseless with the inanities of her “sideways look at life” when they’ve got some column inches to fill on a quiet news day has only somehow got pregnant. Which means that for the next 18 fucking years we’re going to be exposed to her banal observations on pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.

Been thinking about it for a while, but this depressing development suggests that it's time to leave this country for good.

Monday, May 21, 2007

T9 bizarro world

Bizarro World is the alternative parallel universe referred to in Seinfeld where a set spookily similar but not quite counterparts to George, Kramer and Jerry briefly tempt Elaine to the bizarro world.

Anyway, it occured to me that the Nokia T9 English dictionary has similar bizarro properties, especially when you decide to leave the predictive dictionary's first guess as it is despite your original intentions. It's already spawned, according to Stephen Fry on Radio 4, a "yoot" slang for cool - book. I've yet to hear it on the upper decks of my bus commute to date.

Got my best T9 bizarro to date this morning as I mass texted all my closest 100 acolytes to canvass support for my campaign to mark the tragic destruction of the Cutty Sark with a 9 minute silence this Friday only to get "Butty Park" instead. I was so struck by the seemingly rude sexchat slang that I'd inadvertently stumbled upon that I abandoned my campaign and instead rushed to register the key domain name registrations for Butty Park before someone else beat me to it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Aye, there's the rub...ber band

The act of leaning over to pick up something from the street is a radical act.

The Situationists used to employ fancy dress and performance to juggle the social order. The Medieval traditions of carnival and misrule threw the governing order into momentary disorder (to the effect of their final strengthening, the Marxists would say).

The person stooping to pick up a discarded rubber band mimics the action of the chaotic living outsider. It can be a disturbing action to perform, gleaning bands while the straight citizen looks on.

In taking these bands (two today, New North Road, near the Regents Canal) I am both cleaning up litter and touching the untouchables. Both by running my fingers over the materials that the normal members of society consider out of reach (probably pissed on) and by opting to feel the looks of disgust usually given to those people who stoop for other's fag butts.

By refashioning the scattered, discarded rubber bands into single object(s) of interior design desire, I turn an irritation of the streets into a game. The universality of the rubber band as a token of urban experience means that, in constructing the rubber band balls, I communicate with urban Brits who have come to know these bits of rubber as discarded, scattered things. If I am right, and the rubber band ball is a thing of admiration, then it is the most brutally effective of reconfigurations.

My ball is still very bouncy. At this stage is growing very quickly. There may well be an equation to explain at what point its girth will take lots of bands to make even slightly bigger.