"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome to the New Old Enemy Within

EXTRACT: "Self-evidently, as Diane Abbott’s failed leadership bid graphically reminded us, the Labour left is a truly sorry sight, an incredibly reduced body compared to the past - and we are hardly talking about the ancient past here. Right up until the 1980s there was a relatively sizeable and militant Labour left, a force - to one degree or another - to be reckoned with by the Labour leadership. But now, surely beyond doubt, the Labour left is at its lowest ebb historically. Frankly, it is not impossible for any self-respecting socialist to regard individuals such as Peter Hain, Jon Cruddas, etc, as any part of the left - however generously you want to define the term. The reality is that, in purely Labour Party terms, they are centrists - with leftwing pretensions. All you can seriously talk about in terms of a Parliamentary Labour Party left is the Socialist Campaign Group - which, if truth be told, is more dead than alive both politically and organisationally. Its website has not been updated since October 2008 and you need a very good memory indeed to remember when the last edition of its ‘monthly’ paper, Socialist Campaign Group News, came out."

Homophobic Nut-Job

But not any old homophobic nut-job. He is Andrew Shirvell, the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

“Fact of the matter is, there is no hip world, there is no straight world. there’s a world, you see, which has people in it who believe in a variety of different things. Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, use that something to support their own existence.”
(Frank Zappa)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Election Lows and UN Forces

EXTRACT: "So why are British troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan? Not to bring democracy and women’s rights (obviously); nor to secure an oil pipe line or gain access to precious metals and minerals. No, rather, the truth is that imperialism intervened in Afghanistan for nakedly political reasons - which is, to punish a wayward regime for harbouring Osama Bin-Linden and Al-Qaeda. Which in turn was the product of the imperial arrogance and hubris of the Bush administration, which genuinely believed - stupidly, if not slightly madly - that the US political-military machine could just waltz into any country, re-organise it from top to bottom to their liking, and then gracefully withdraw at the moment of their choice. Effortlessly. A “cake walk”, as notoriously promised by Donald Rumsfeld. Which of course it was - militarily, but in no other way. More like an escalating nightmare over which they could exercise less and less control. Events, quite predictably to those outside the magical neo-con circles, took on a life and a remorseless logic of their own."

The Steamblades

In a leather-clad Japan, a young author named Danny O'Dare stumbles across a dream-inducing drug which spurs him into conflict with supernatural monsters, with the help of a tomboyish female mechanic and her wacky pet, culminating in a cliffhanger for the sake of prompting a series.

Friday, September 17, 2010

No to Crude Anti-Catholicism

EXTRACT: "Communists in the UK are acutely aware, or at least should be, that for many centuries the ruling ideology of this country was deeply anti-Catholic. Indeed, Great Britain was forged as a nation - and defined itself - against Catholicism and the European Catholic powers, especially France. In turn, Catholics within Britain became the enemy within and were discriminated against accordingly. So, far from British identity being an essentially benign product resulting from a lengthy process involving the integration and homogenisation of the various disparate peoples comprising the UK - the ‘official’ version of events traditionally promoted in schools and near countless BBC documentaries - it was rather superimposed in through rivalry with ‘the other’ (ie, Catholic France, etc).
That is to say, a unifying British-Protestant entity only emerged through extended military and political conflict with France between 1689 and 1815 - with the constituent ethnic and national groups of English, Scots and Welsh forged into a nation as a result. Naturally, artists, satirists, writers, poets, etc were all drafted into this nation-building enterprise, playing their role in the imagining and then creation of what we now know as Great Britain. In particular, the Scots seized the opportunities of empire not afforded to them at home and this made a substantial contribution to a more patriotic Britain - a more ‘British’ empire, if you like. Yes, at this time, to be British meant to be Protestant and anti-Catholic."

End of the World Mobile

What's Left?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Blair's Neo-Liberalism and the Toxic Gordon Brown

EXTRACT: "Blair and Brown had two different projects. So, yes, both were impeccably rightwing Labour politicians - even though Brown had started out political life on the left. Yes, both were the architects of New Labour - complicit with the Murdoch empire and committed to carrying on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher with regards to the anti-trade union laws and the naked turn to finance capital. All very true, of course. But, no matter how on-message and New Labour he may have been, Brown always identified with and remained loyal to Labourism and never shared Blair’s big project or dream of reuniting the Labour Party with ‘progressive’ Liberalism. Of deLabourising the Labour Party, in every sense of the term, and turning it into the party of ‘middle class aspiration’. In total contrast to Gordon Brown, Blair looks back at history and sees the formation of the Labour Party as an unfortunate historic accident. Tony Blair’s explicitly stated intention was to reconfigure ‘centre-left’ politics and heal the divisions between the anti-Tory parties."