so i spent most of the afternoon trying to make an interactive flash calendar to earn my crust and then discover google have gone dunnit for me. those flash bastards.
Archive for June, 2006
As George Monbiot points out in his excellent editorial in today’s grauniad, the children of this country are richer, fatter and sicker than ever before. The BMA come up with the devastating conclusion that
Rises in mental health problems seem to be associated with improvements in economic conditions
This ain’t the Morning Star medical column. This is the British Medical Association official report. Monbiot put’s forward as one explanation for this frightening corrolation as the increasing chasm between expectation and reality. Between the 30 million to one chance of being a rich and successful Big Brother contestant and spending 24 hours a day watching idiots on TV. Between making the cover of a teen mag under the headline “Get this Bikini bod with no effort” or being one of 11% of girls who have self-harmed. Between the 80% of people surveyed by the New York Times who believed that poor people could be come wealthy ‘just by working hard’, and the 10% of adult men who move from the bottom to the top quartile of the income scale. Between deal and no deal or no fucking deal.
Just looking at his come-hither tan makes me want to lose my lunch for the next week. But railing against his £500,000 book deal for cosmic ordering (the man spent five years or so repeating to himself ‘please can i be back on tv’, and like magic it happened) and his shameless ditching of comedy brother blobby would be to miss the point. The point is that millions of people every day watch a 45 minute show in which absolutely nothing happens, and they CARE. Sure, seinfield was famously a show about nothing. But that really meant it was a show about everything, at least everything that can happen to a fictional comedian which a prime-time TV audience could concievably enjoy. Deal or no deal is about millions of idiots thinking they know better than twenty idiots thinking they no better than one idiot whose sole task is to decide whether or not they want some money. And as the answer is invariably yes, the entire program is devoted to nauseatingly irrelevant faux-tactics, dealing with some fictional ‘Bank Manager’ whom Noel is on the phone to so frequently he has ‘repetitive strain injury’.
At least with the lottery there is no illusion that the prizes are doled out irrespective of merit. While the concept of a tax on the mathematically challenged (read poor) mascarading as a fundraising escapade whilst paving the way for super-casinos is repellent, surely, to anyone with a memory of ten years or so, at least it was obvious. It’s contestants did not pretend to discuss strategy. There was no perceived ’skill’ to winning the jackpot. But even before the lottery and big brother could finish peeling away the last veneer of meritocracy from the public perception of success, it was being painted on again in even cheaper colours.
Deal or no deal is reality television in it’s true 21st century form. A goal is set, which is, as usual, a glittering pot of money. The path to the goal is, as always, a narrow and highly specialised skill of no use outside the context of the show. In this case the skill is choosing when to open a box. It could be anything, from eating an insect in a jungle to outbitching your fellow inmates on channel 4’s open prison. And there is the inevitable irrelevant showboating of people who play the game the way they think people want to see it played. Of such drama dreams are born. Like everything else wrapped in cellophane, their shelf-life is mysteriously decreasing.
i got myself in a right tizzy, as they say nowhere. discount papayas! gone slightly mushy! must be a bargain! so i hoped that lucy’s blender was working, and i chucked in:
juice of 1 lemon
two fat spoonfuls of hunny
good slug of orange juice
3 ice poles - raspberry, lemon and tutti frutti flavours (you could use ice, i suppose)
i call it papaya mush delight.
I haven’t really been following the news, what with all the football to watch. It’s good to know that the friday project are keeping tabs on things.
Poor Rolf Harris.
A life-time spent painting the Queen, tying kangaroos down and breaking new ground with songs about little boys, and what does he get to show for it? A CBE and the thanks of a grateful nation, that’s what.
How gutted, then, must he be feeling to hear that the Met’s Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman received the same award, and all he had to do was go out and shoot somebody in Forest Gate? If
we were in his koala-skin boots we’d be so angry we’d be hardly be able to wobble our wobble-board.
i am reading a massive book by tolstoy. ladbrookes are taking bets on the length of my beard by the time i finish.*
*medical experts predict i may be able to start growing a beard sometime before the oil supplies run out.
Chuck D. of Public Enemy on record sales:
When people say “You didn’t make the charts”, we first of all have to weigh up those charts. What do they represent? Sales? Well, I’m sure dogfood outsells all the records in the charts.
Flavor Flav of Public Enemy on his career:
I just want to stay on TV, man
time once again to rail against the fatbacks. i am thinking about music journalism. not writing it, hell no. writing on the internet is not journalism and here is for why. it’s the money, stoopid.
my target audience is me, and anyone who wants to click over here. when this intent is not oppressed by my desire for fame, adulation, and world domination, it shows in the way i write. i am trying to clearly express my thoughts as some kind of record for some kind of future. i think if i was writing to earn the rent, this intent would show too.
it certainly shows when i pick up nme, and collapse in fits of laughter. the publication whose opinion i once sought to guide the spending of my pocket-money is probably no more leeringly desperate and patronisingly simple than it ever was, but suddenly it’s all so clear. their page 2 article dedicated to bigging up some stones-roses-revivalist-bollocks band was entirely based on the fact that some hair-brained member of said shaggy-haired band had come up with the hilarious new catchphrase “empire”. this so impressed the journalist that he devoted a double page to shamelessly popularising it. by shameless, i mean he used it in every other goddam sentence. i’m sure the journalist knew how pathetic this was, but he probably only found it more hilarious that he was making his living writing nonsense for idiots. of course it doesn’t matter if the fool knows better, he is still a fool. i believe chris morris recently (in geological terms) made a television series devoted to pointing this out. fucking empire.*
the priorities of the author were abundantly clear when i read miranda sawyer’s “sounding off” column in today’s observer music monthly. writing a typical ‘artistic integrity vs. pimpin’ yo ass to adverts’ piece, she surprised me by drawing the same distinction that i do: there’s music to shake your butt to, and there’s music to listen to. not that the two never overlap, just that there is a clear and important distinction to be drawn. now there’s not many things less interesting to me than which advert the blonde strumpet whose name is on the cd cover is currently posing in. she can suck karl rove’s cock on live tv for all i care, she is not the point, the beat is the point. sure, she is in the public eye, and in an ideal world those in the public eye would act as responsible role models for the young minds that are taught to slavishly copy them, but come on. if you can’t work out that it’s probably not in your best interest to act like cheryl tweedy, then you may well be past helping.
it’s the ones you’re meant to listen to who have the capacity to ’sell out’, or ‘compromise their artistic integrity’, or other such pretentious phrases. the principle, however, is extraordinarily simple. if someone is paid to say something, why should you believe anything they say? see bill hicks for an extensive, lucid, and frequently profane** elaboration.
i was getting to the point. the problem is that while miranda clearly saw this distinction, she did not deign to point her doubtlessly razor-sharp powers of analysis at Jack White, the subject of her article whose decision to write a Coke jingle because of the “opportunity to write a song in ways which interest me as a songwriter” was the reason for here “sounding off” in the first place. perhaps she intended to reach a satisfying conclusion, but pressures of space or even time put it out of her reach. or perhaps the omm didn’t get to be the hip and cutting-edge publication that it is by dissing the world’s favourite bass-free garage-blues band. i don’t really want her reasons, i just want to read writing that starts what it finishes. but then again, this month’s wire has been on the shelf since i read the sonic youth cover article.
*the lack of exclamation mark like, totally changes the meaning, dude.
**needless to say, this is not a derogatory term. i fully support profanities when discussing shit.
i only just this second noticed that scout niblett is not only an extremely talented recording artiste, drummer extroardinaire, and the namesake of my girlfriend’s hamster, but she is also possesing the ability to make funny muso jokes! how else to explain that on kidnapped by neptune, on the album of the same name, whilst deftly propelling the repeated refrain
where have you been? where where where have you been?
with yet another of the swaggering drum riffs that pepper the record, she answers her own question. on guitar. by slyly plucking the melody from rocket from the crypt’s on a rope. you know. you must know the one. it’s all:
on a rope, on a rope, i bin hangin’ on a rope
normally i would post a pic of her, perhaps in one of those skeleton-suits that everyone would wear if it was socially accepatable to do so. but i was even more endeared to her graf than i was to her pretty face.
there is no point denying it, except perhaps to avoid being a social outcast. i even asked for it in the newsagents, the reply being something like “yeah, we do got it, wired is on the top shelf next to mac user’s exposed.” i looked elsewhere for my experimental noise journalism.
i don’t subscribe, in fact this is the first time this year i have even looked at the thing. i don’t deny that i would probably have finished the cover article on sonic youth already if it wasn’t padded with an extensive discography and analysis of every catgut and oscillator that thurston and friends had ever coaxed sound from. and i admit i haven’t heard of a single artist on the free cd which is still taped to the front. but no-one is going to take this into account when they see it decorating the floor of my toilet, and i almost relish the sneer that will hit most faces when they see it. and there’s a exquisite full-page photo of kim gordon looking as foxy as ever.
guilt hits, however, when i notice that i spent £3.80 on the thing when i balked at £7 to see little things last night. if i had known i was going to find a tenner on the way in to work today i would have gone, and would have found that damn 80p if i had to sell my baby to nestlé.