keresaspa: (Diggory)
The short version of this is that London was rather good apart from the going and the coming, which were hell on earth. On the off-chance that anybody is still reading this (and I note in my extended absence that I am now down to one person submitting regular updates on my friends list) I shall expand at some length about what took place.

The Austrian stork nurtures the kites )
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
It seems like only yesterday that the damp squib of the millennium was the whole fuss. Now in the blink of an eye we are faced with the end of another ten years with a name (rather than the end of a decade as I'm not a believer in the notion that there was ever a Year Zero in anywhere but Cambodia and so reckon decades to end when the year ends in 0). Obviously you can't blame the supposed decade for events that took place during it but when I sit down and think about we have lived through a grim ten years on many levels.

It is astounding to think that the UK has had a nominally left wing government for the entire decade and yet the lurch to the right has continued apace with more privatisation, poverty and inequality being heaped on us by a ruling class who now seem to treat corruption as a matter of course. Meanwhile the extreme right has prospered at levels not seen in decades as we have been force-fed a diet of blaming immigration for all society's ills. Perhaps most worryingly of all this decade has been one in which society has been overtaken by the pervasive sickness of militarism. There was a time when Britain prided itself on its sense of irony but where "our brave boys" are concerned this has now died a death. To criticise the army is now beyond the pale and instead people are happy to participate in mini-Nuremberg rallies where not only is the army paraded through city streets after coming back from their illegal wars but they are paraded on TV, at football matches and even in the frigging charts. Even during the Second World War people had a laugh at the army but now the notion that they are all unquestionably heroic and should be adored at all times is treated as fact rather than just an extremist position. This, after all, is the decade where we started hearing murmurs about an "Armed Forces Day" in a deliberately concerted attempt to further fuel the cult of the soldier as archetype. Chilling stuff and no mistake! Meanwhile for almost the entire decade the so called free world has put itself at a state of war with Islam and the UK has happily made itself the lapdog of a regime that tortures people held without charge in its concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. If the end of the Cold War in the 1990s was supposed to be a great new age this decade has certainly put paid to that daft notion by finding a new enemy and waging constant violence and degradation upon it.

Had there been one good thing to come out of the decade it would have been the collapse of the banking system. Finally an opportunity existed to tear down capitalism and start all over again. What did we get? A brief dose of corporatism intended only to weather the storm and ensure that capitalism could continue unfettered as ever. Meanwhile the vanguard of the revolution in the working classes were replaced with the new chav stereotype and led to believe that as long as they had their bread and circuses of alloy wheels, Big Brother, sovereign rings and pit bull terriers then there was no need to agitate for change or develop consciousness. Effectively the so-called Labour Party has oversaw the decimation of the working class and its replacement by a castrated, unmotivated and virtually shit-canned lumpenproletariat happy to roll over and have its belly scratched by Ant & Dec. OK, I'm seriously oversimplifying things there but the emergence of the chav and the effective death of the old working class has been a seriously depressing aspect of this decade and one that has helped to ensure the continuing survival of a system that has been clearly shown up as rancid. And how much must the masters be rubbing their hands with glee at the growth of gangs and knife crime and the young working classes taking out their frustrations on their own kind rather than the leaders who deserve their anger? Put it this way - twenty years ago the working classes would have had far too much dignity for tripe like The Jeremy Kyle Show but the chavs trip over themselves to appear on it and tell their leader what colour their last bowel movement was. Horrible!

Of course tied in with emergence of the chav as a means of keeping the proles down has been the explosion of reality TV. The promise of cheap fame has led deluded idiots to forsake true reality in favour of thinking that they will become a sensation based on their ability to sing Mariah Carey songs at karaoke or their ability to shout loudly whilst sitting on a settee. Gone are the days when you actually had to accomplish something in order to achieve notoriety as now all you have to do is be filmed on a pointless television show taking a crap and your fifteen minutes are guaranteed. Of course, the whole thing is self-perpetuating as once you have been on one you are now a "celebrity" and so you can appear on all the various celebrity spin-offs. Meanwhile all those who have taken on the chav mantle are kept further in their place by taking their minds away from important things like why bankers continue to get massive bonuses despite being crooks and instead focusing them on wholly unimportant trash like whether or not Jedward are better than the guy with the afro.

One of the side effects of the whole reality TV boom has been the effective death of the music charts as a thing of any significance. Of course it is undeniable that the charts as a whole always tended to represent the middle of the road a tad but in the past it also consistently threw up some good or at least different stuff. Even if you compare this decade to the previous one it was perfectly possible for acts like Iron Maiden and Blondie to go to number one and for groups like Oasis, Blur and the Manic Street Preachers to gradually build huge followings for themselves from humble beginnings. Whatever your personal opinions of them they were at least real bands who made it the hard way. Goodbye to that this decade! It has either been the onslaught hype of reality TV fame that convinces people that they can't live without some middle-aged Scottish bint warbling dreadful show tunes or the contrived "overnight sensations" that are actually being driven by massive marketing budgets like the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen and Sandi Thom. As entries passim have indicated I would not suggest that this decade has had no good music but, for the first time since popular music became the biggest selling style, little if any of it has featured in the hit parade.

But of course, reality TV didn't stop there in its bid for world domination. There can be little doubt that the whole thing started with a certain Diana Spencer in the 1990s but the ridiculous hyperbole surrounding the deaths of very ordinary people has been another rotten aspect of this decade. The culmination of this public grief fest of course came when Jade Goody, a woman whom the new cathedral had shown to be unequivocally a bully and to my mind a racist, died of cancer. For the people who knew her I'm sure it was a tragedy but for everybody else it was completely meaningless. She was someone known for precisely nothing and for people to go into wantonly Pharisaic displays of mourning was more than a little disturbing. It's not like you can even say that there will never be another - take your pick from Kerry Katona and Nikki Grahame for a ready made replacement. Even Michael Jackson, who at least was known for something other than existing, was treated as a saint when he died despite all the extremely shady aspects of his life that had been played out in public. Yes somebody died whose music you enjoyed but it has little real bearing on your day to day life as you did not know him on a human level. Mourn your own by all means but so called celebrities are not your own. This decade we seem to have entered a phase where death equates to redemption and where one's sins are immediately forgotten and one's non-existent achievements are lauded as soon as the Grim Reaper takes a shine to you. Would I be flogging a dead horse if I suggested that we were looking at another easy way to keep the lumpen in their place? Sorry, Desert Orchid but another whipping is coming!

As if all that was not enough we have been hit with the growth of such rubbish as text messaging, Twitter and Facebook. This really has been the decade where every tiny event that takes place in somebody's life, no matter how insignificant, has had to be shared with as many people as possible. To an extent I am walking a tightrope here as I am sometimes guilty of it myself but it really has gone too far. There was a time when we were promised super technology that could cure all diseases and make life so much better but instead all we have got is the ability to tell people that we are doing a piss whilst taking that self same piss. It's surreal that we now communicate so much yet in a real sense we are more alienated from each other than ever. Community is virtually dead and has been replaced by nasty atavism and indeed much of the communication that goes on now is less about staying in touch and more about feeling self-important. I won't deny that technology has made getting in contact easier but equally it has made it impersonal and cheap and somehow less real.

So that's the decade then. Corruption ignored because a retired news reader is eating a wombat's nadgers on the telly and even the footy has been ruined by the bloody big four. Not only that, but the whole decade has been so cruddy that it doesn't even have a proper name. The "noughties", I ask you! Good sodding riddance I say and let’s hope that whatever this next ten years is to be called (the tens, the teens?) it is a darn sight better than the ten we have just live through.

And relax....
keresaspa: (Ben Turpin)
It's an absolute pisser of a day in weather terms today and it's the middle of October. So how is that in the space of two minutes two separate wasps decided that they liked the cut of my jib and fancied flying into my face? Were it not for the fact that I had a feg on at the time I suspect I would now have two big plukes from where the little buggers planted their arse-needles. In all, I think that I have had more than enough of little buzzy things after the swarm of bees that blighted the summer by moving in with me but wasps in October?! What next, elephants in Royal Avenue?

Still, weather be buggered as a series of recent e-bay purchases are finally starting to roll in now that my bank has finally got its arse in gear and paid the e-cheques (or whatever it is that makes my payments take so long). Yesterday, a fine German lad came up trumps with some rare slices of shouty Japanese ladies with big guitars that are so much ambrosia to my ears. Included in the melee was an outfit called the Kokeshi Dolls and, rather oddly, today I took delivery of an example of the thing that actually bears that name:



Yes, that goes well with my hairy-backed image but it really is delightful. Feel free to throw things at me for that!

Meanwhile, away from my little world well done to Jeremy Paxman for saying what needed to be said. The BBC's coverage of all things royal is by and large sickening with the hushed tones and the five year old descriptions of what we can plainly see on screen. "Her Majesty the Queen walks slowly past the adoring public. A child places flowers into her regal hand". The funeral of the Queen Mother was indeed a joke as well as David Dimbleby was practically foaming at the mouth in his unsuccessful attempts to land himself a knighthood for services to brown-nosing. It said it all for me when he praised Ian Paisley for giving the best speech on how great Bowes-Lyon - politicised bum-sucking of the first water! The sooner the beeb realises that the royal family are just a bunch of parasites who sometimes do things of interest but whose every bowel movement is not news the better.

Anyway I must go off and read something terribly important now as Gordon Strachan's wee lad has a blog on the BBC site. I swear they really are just giving them to anybody now. Until next time, livejournalland.
keresaspa: (Dare to Believe)
It's all gravy, as they say somewhere or other. The final changes I had to make to the conclusion were hanging over me like the sword of Damocles but a quick meeting with the honcho today revealed that they were nothing of importance and are the sort of thing that I could put to bed in an hour or two. The other thing he hit me with was the need for a covering letter listing all the changes I have made as per the examiners' reports. This cause a few hot sweats but thankfully when I got into the thing it proved to be fairly simple and hopefully I can cross that off the to do list as well, having said I would let the honcho look at it before I call it finished. All in all tomorrow should be me done the real work parts of the corrections, leaving only minor things to do like updating the table of contents and abstracts before sending the thing away from my sight. Sweet! Apologies to all of you if you get the feeling that I have been ignoring you to an extent recently but I have been woeking flat out and so have had to sacrifice to LJ. Still, hopefully I can get back into the groove a bit more now that almost everything is done, if not quite dusted yet.

Anyway, I must go home now and eat my dinner before the banks collapse and food is declared illegal as a result. I would foresee this as the beginnings of the revolution if my inner pessimist didn't kick in and assume that the reaction to financial collapse will probably just be more people shoplifting Heat and buying dodgy cable chips. Oh well.

Oh and a first win of the season - Champion! Keep up the good work, Spurs, and we might yet survive.
keresaspa: (Captain Mainwaring)
I don't have a lot to say about the capture of Radovan Karadzic. The fact that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is controlled by the UN Security Council and not the General Assembly raises questions about its legitimacy as does the fact that it did nothing about Franjo Tudjman who was himself a fan of ethnic cleansing but Karadzic is a bad man who needs to be brought to book. My question is more about how a man can go from this:



to this



I have to say that when I first saw it I was unconvinced that it was the same man and thought that it was either some nationalist nutjob setting himself up as a patsy to take the heat off Karadzic or the Serbian government grabbing a random fool to appease the EU. One thing is for sure Karadzic offers conclusive proof that facial hair does not always improve a man's appearance. Clean-shaven and with his big hair he looked every inch the stylish genocidal maniac-about-town but with his new look he looks every inch the nudist or oddball who gets on the bus and has you praying under your breath "please don't sit next to me". Interesting to note also that on the website of Dragan Dabic (how long before that disappears?) he lists his ten favourite Chinese proverbs which include the legend "he who cannot agree with his enemies is controlled by them". If ever a saying was any less applicable to how Radster lived his life I've yet to hear it.

Oh yes and yesterday's drama interlude. Wouldn't you know it - the new statement arrived in the post today just before I left the house, meaning that all the wailing and beating myself up that I indulged in was for nought. Stupid boy! And a tip of the hat and a "thank you" for all the good sensible advice to [livejournal.com profile] ishkhara yesterday. it now seems I was, as usual, fretting over nothing. I repeat, stupid boy!
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
My blooming bank is acting the arse now. As part of this British Library trip I need a bank statement that is no more than three months old to prove my address (quite why my address matters when I'm not borrowing anything I don't know). So I had intended to order one at the start of last week but of course being a Fenian I am confined to barracks whilst the idiots walk on the roads so it was last Wednesday before I could put the request in. Still, I thought, it should only take a couple of days to fire this out. Some hope! I'm still waiting and I have this horrible suspicion that the thing won't arrive until after I'm gone. If that happens the only option I'll be left with will be to bring my last statement from April. In theory I suppose it is on the three month limit but the date will make it three months and a couple of weeks old and so probably unsatisfactory, leaving me with either a wasted trip or forced to bung whoever's arranging my pass a bribe. Can nothing in this modern world happen without a whole bunch of pointless drama surrounding it? Bloody banks and libraries!
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
One from the "it's a funny old world" file here. Not so long ago on here I revealed, much to the chagrin of [livejournal.com profile] caddyman as I recall, my fondness for Shonen Knife. Now those of you who also follow them (which I believe is none of you) will be aware that they stuck a new album by the name of Fun! Fun! Fun! out this year. To the best of my knowledge this has not been released in Blighty so after a load of trailing I finally tracked down a Japanese individual on e-bay who was prepared to export to the Province. Now, having been denied a switch card and having no desire to own a credit card I am forced to do that PayPal jazz by bank transfer. If I buy from a chap in Newcastle-under-Lyme or a lass in Dudley I invariably have to wait a week or so until said transfer actually happens which is a little annoying but generally tolerable. That being the case I am left to wonder why a bank transfer to Japan cleared a few seconds after I made it. I had no idea that the Bank of Ireland had opened a Japanese branch, much less that it was their most efficient branch in the world. Well, you live and learn.

One from the "it's a stupid old world" file here. I must admit I quite enjoy these lj tags as they give an idea of what something is about, meaning you can skip what doesn't appeal, and also allow you to find entries a lot quicker. What I don't much like is this new innovation that automatically adds spaces between them. Talk about dumbing down - we are capable of knowing where to add spaces, Frank the goat. I suppose this is aimed at those youngsters on here who are prone to streams of consciousness that say something like "OMGIMGONNAKILMSELFNOIMNOTLOL" but for the rest of us it is a little bit of an impertinence. So, any of you clever computer types know a way to make it stop happening?

One from the "it's a sleazy old world" file here. I notice my old friend Silvio is at it again, this time launching another new party of the "centre right" You've done that before, Silvio. It worked for a while when you brought in 'post fascists' and separatist loonies then stopped working and now you are on the scrapheap. Plus building the mass party is a communist aim and not something the right should be concerning itself with, unless your name happens to be Codreanu or Hitler. God but I would love to sit down with the editor of the BBC's politics output and argue the toss with him or her with regards to how they make out that a right wing populist who enters coalitions with self described fascists is centre right.

Well, that's the files exhausted for one day so you can now return to your normal lives - assuming anybody has bothered to read this far.
keresaspa: (Mister Harman (Arthur English))
Crap telly plus pair of scissors incorporating too much time on my hands leads to changes. Or to put it another way, the goatee has once again been politely requested to do one meaning a return to the Jim Post look (albeit without the waterfall and hairless man breasts). In a way the beard had only made a comeback for my differentiation as I have always been hairy of chin when I did such things and felt it would be bad luck to be otherwise. Given that similar things are on the back burner until May or September (not sure which one) I felt it was time to give Hulk Hogan another outing. But no, I won't be digging out the blonde dye and surrounding it with black stubble. Even I'm not that bad!

Meanwhile, I may have to stick my head in to an Ulster Bank in the next few weeks and see can I lay my hands on one of those George Best fivers in order to screw (in the financial sense) some Man United fan with too much money and not enough sense. Well, their club likes to put one over on them all the time, so why not me?!

Plop!

Oct. 29th, 2003 03:33 pm
keresaspa: (Sea Captain)
Tried to finally enter the modern world by getting myself a switch card yesterday but those morons at the bank told me that a student grant didn't qualify me for one. Tossers! My dreams of computer based impulse buying are shattered once again.

Off to Dublin again tomorrow with [livejournal.com profile] vulcanlolita for the day. Should be an excuse to spread booze-fueled mayhem in the capital for a change. Didn't bother changing my money so I'll just draw it out down there. Mind you my bank will probably have banned that by tomorrow just to further piss me off. Bunch of rats' nadgers that they are.

Whilst sifting through my usual glut of daily porn spam in the e-mail inbox I came across one offering me car insurance. Totally useless as the only thing I drive is other people crazy but the sender was Nigel Benn. Now I knew he had to be desperate to be on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here but to be reduced to hawking dodgy insurance by computer. The mind boggles.

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