Friday, November 25, 2005

Don't talk to me

...if you haven't picked up The Guardian today, specifically Film&Music page 13. Or at least prepare to get struck off my Christmas/Diwali/Hannukah Card list. ;-)

They chose a fucking hideous photo, and I barely recognise the article from its original form, but whatevs man, whatevs. Gotta make those p's!

Online versh here.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

All you Lib Dem-voting suckas...

...who went for The Bleh Party at the last election, in some misguided attempt to 'send a message to Blair' (specifically, "I'm not gutsy enough to protest properly by voting for the Greens or RESPECT, but I am reckless enough to turf out the party who introduced the minimum wage and the working families' tax credit, and potentially let the Tories in through the back door"), well all you Lib Dem-voting suckas who said things like "they're the real socialists now" to me in the run-up to May 5, check this shit:

Lib Dems Abandon High Tax Policy

Ignore the line in the report about the 50% rate for earners of more than £100,000p.a. not necessarily being scrapped. Vince Cable was just on The Politics Show and that policy - the one that bought off so many of you disaffected lefties like some pseudo-socialist bribe - is as dead as Chuck Kennedy's chances of becoming PM.

Don't make the same mistake again.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

More of that published article shiznit

Friday, November 11, 2005

"History confronts itself again"

Dreaming spires of dullness

"it wasn't the situation that radicalised me so much as the people. they were just so... boring."

-Red Pepper editor Hilary Wainwright describing how she had her political epiphany at Oxford, on some UKTV History docu about middle class radicals.

I wasn't radicalised by/at Oxford (I think it happened when we were doing 'animal rights' in year 7 at school and my mother launched into a rant along the lines of 'sod the animals, what about the rights of humans?!') but I entirely empathise with Wainwright's comment. People sometimes ask me about Oxford 'were the people really posh and snobbish?'. The answer to this question is: 'I don't really know, I fell asleep while they were talking'.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ou est la France?

I don't know where to begin or end. I will say that the two Parisian residents (one past, one current) that I've spoken to have both emphasised that they've seen clear and unashamed manifestations of racial prejudice by gendarmes in the city: strip searching Arabic men publicly in a train station, and the kind of aggressive 'routine check' of guys of African descent that still probably happens in the UK, but maybe not in quite such a brazenly public way.

An interesting development today is that bloggers have been accused of inciting some of the violence.

Weirdly, I bought La Haine on DVD about a week before the riots started. When it hit the cinemas in the mid 90s it made such a stir that the French PM convened his cabinet for a special screening of the film, an action that implied (i) that they had no idea what life was like in the suburban slums of their big cities, and (ii) that they were subsequently going to do something about it.

(ii) obviously hasn't happened. You just have to hope that it will now. If this is France's Brixton '81 (as in the pic above), and greater racial integration, regeneration projects, and crucially a massive attempt at reform within the police force is to follow, then there's some reason for hope. It is just hope though, nothing more.