Sunday, November 28, 2004

last night i dreamt that somebody set fire to my face

I went to see Kiska last night. Kiska are a Bristol band that have been around since 1998/99, have always been brilliant and have never recorded anything and have averaged two gigs a year. Setbacks aside (having all their equipment stolen, careers interfering), it's unclear why. They make soaring instrumental Kraut/space rock. They are distinguished from their peers by a remarkable ear for melody and melancholy, a dimension often lacking in instrumental music. Now our Dave Collingwood of Gravenhurst drums for them. Next time they play i'm going to record it off the desk whether they like it or not. It's possible they may make an album soon. It's possible.

I have been writing a silly and obscene comic. Once it's finished i'll distribute it.

Recently I have read:

Garth Ennis - Punisher 1,2,3,4, Born
Volume three is particularly noteworthy as Frank Castle runs over Wolverine in a steamroller. Good. Volume four sinks to new depths of depravity, featuring a sick freak who lives under a mile-high corpse-mountain of homeless people. Well done Mr. Ennis. 'Born' is serious and harder edged. Published in the adult Max imprint, it features the word 'cunt'. Ennis said in an interview that the harsh language in his Hitman series was not an attempt to shock; rather it was necessary for realism, being set in London. In the US, 'cunt' is a powerful word, whereas in England it's practically punctuation, he said.

Garth Ennis - John Constantine: Hell Blazer

John Wagner - Judge Dredd: The Complete America
This is very good. If you thought a Mega City One love story was incongruous, think again.

Alan Moore - Promethea
Headache-inducing high concept mythology. Funny too. Our heroine Sophie researches a mythological figure called Promothea for her term paper and then becomes her. Features a reinterpretation of the Tarot consistent with the Big Bang and evolution. Predicts that in 2017 humankind's understanding will hit saturation point and the world as we know it will end. The Apocalypse is interpreted as an epistemological and metaphysical step forward for human understanding. There's also a twelve-page tantric sex scene. Mr. Moore, you've done it again.

Alan Moore - Tom Strong

Alan Moore - The Courtyard and the Courtyard Companion
Violent, Lovecraftian Cthulhu mythos tale. Dope.

Alan Moore - Batman: A Killing Joke
Classic reinvention of the Joker's beginnings.

Matt Wagner - Batman: Faces

Frank Miller - Batman: Year One
Cool Gotham noir. I prefer David Mazucchelli's artwork to Miller's own in The Dark Knight Returns.

Warren Ellis - Transmetropolitan
Fantastic. Spider Jerusalem is a gonzo journalist in a demented future-shock metropolis.

I've just picked up a copy of Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game which i've been meaning to read for a long time.

Blogging often veers towards the overfamiliar. In a subconscious attempt to make the internet a smaller place, people refer to friends as though everyone knows them personally. Shall I tell you what I had on my toast this morning?

As of monday we'll be in Toybox Studios recording the next album.

Friday, November 19, 2004

sirloin stockade

Shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin spoke out against Labour's Antisocial Behaviour Order, claiming "Beating the fucking crap out of each other is one of the few pleasures the working classes can afford. How can we be so elitist as to deny them that?".

Finished the further adventures of Mr Shellac comic strip; i'll photocopy and distribute soon.

Finished the tour. I am tired. The band shows in London ad Bristol were by far the best we have ever played. Bristol was recorded so there is scope for a live release there.

Throughout December and January we will be recording the 3rd/4th album, working title: "Either people from the lower socio-economic categories have very few pleasures in life or Julie Burchill is a truculent whore".

It's going to be fucking HUGE.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Even though the Americans may run the world, it is the British who write about it

"Uptight but witty": What the rest of the world thinks of us:,2763,1352259,00.html

John Reid wriggles out of a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places:,11098,1352116,00.html

Shame on him. I occasionally smoke, but I fully support a ban. If some of us walked around in radiation emitting suits that slowly gave other people cancer, we would be told to take them off. The fact that we were addicted to them wouldn't be seen as an excuse.

On a more personal level, I sang much better in New York, San Francisco and LA, where there is a smoking ban. I regularly have problems with my voice in UK and European clubs.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Dead Man's Shoes is out now as a comic book.


I had to pull the Hull date as I got ill at the Glasgow show. I nearly lost my balance onstage a few times, feeling dizzy, nauseous and sweating. The next day I had to get off the train at Edinburgh after I half-fainted with searing gut pains. I felt like John Hurt in Alien. It was without doubt the most unpleasant experience of my life. I took a ten hour journey home to Bristol. Absolute misery. I feel better now though.

My apologies to all the people who were let down in Hull. I'll come back soon.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

my man in america says...

A minor correction on the state of Senate. The balance is 55-45, so the Democrats still hold five seats from giving Bush an absolute veto majority in Congress, which is vitally significant because it still gives the Dems the opportunity to fillabuster an extreme Supreme Court nominee. That said, the new senator from Oklahoma said that he believes doctors who perform abortions should be given the death penalty, and the new senator from South Carolina believes that unwed mothers are unfit for teaching.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Parsons and Burchill Vs. Peel

-Note use of default Burchill terms of argumentation: "middle class", "working class",
"public schoolboy", "well-connected", "hippy". It is also a matter of routine for the political propagandist to dig up some kind of flimsy rumour about sexual misconduct when lacking an argument. Burchill is a gutter-press hack who is only fit to distribute the Socialist Worker outside of youth clubs.


Shame they never stayed together, then we might have killed off two birds with one stone. Parsons and Burchill, a pair of tiresome, anachronistic, class-obsessed cultural parasites. Some people went to public schools. Some people aren't working class. They are no more and no less responsible for it than the colour of their skin. Get over it you unreconstructed-Marxist fools.

kill your sons

Meanwhile, back in the UK, not even the Tories are celebrating...

The Tory party will adopt only some of Mr Bush's techniques. One aide to Michael Howard, the Tory leader, said the social conservatism of the Republicans "is not for us".
One shadow cabinet member said: "I do not think there is a read across on Iraq or on Bush's moral conservatism. Middle America believes that the war in Iraq is about the "war on terror". Nobody really believes that here. George Bush's morality and neo-conservatism also does not exist over here, thank goodness.",13918,1344859,00.html

Never has the cultural rift between Europe and the USA been so great.


I hope all the Christian Fundamentalists who voted for Bush get to see this:

there are millions more just like me

The following is from:

"Heading out to dinner last night, in a mainly gay neighborhood, I was struck by how many people looked shell-shocked, frightened, grim. Here's an email I got minutes before I left that helps provide some context:

'I wonder if you noticed that yesterday all eleven states that considered the question of gay marriage voted to ban it. ALL ELEVEN. I think this sends a very clear message -- true Americans do not like your kind of homosexual deviants in our country, and we will not tolerate your radical pro-gay agenda trying to force our children to adopt your homosexual lifestyle. You should be EXTREMELY GRATEFUL that we even let you write a very public and influential blog, instead of suppressing your treasonous views (as I would prefer). But I'm sure someone like yourself would consider me just an "extremist" that you don't need to worry about. Well you are wrong -- I'm not just an extremist, I am a real American, and you should be worried because eleven states yesterday proved that there are millions more just like me who will not let you impose your radical agenda on our country.'

Then I got this:

'I'll tell you, being a 16 year-old gay kid in Michigan just got a hell of a lot worse. When I woke up this morning and saw the anti gay marriage proposal had passed, I was shocked. I realized the situation I'm faced with everyday in school - the American people have just shown my classmates that it's perfectly fine to discriminate. A direct quote from a 'friend' at school today: 'It's so cool that all these states just told all the faggots to eat shit and get the hell out...' Because of the above events, I am at a crossroads ... I'm the youngest card-carrying Republican in the county, and am constantly asked to get others involved for Bush/Cheney. Herein lies a problem, I can't bring myself to do that. Bush totally lost all my support (I know I can't vote - but I make a hell of a campaigner) when he supported the amendment to ban gay marriages, and I felt bad that in straying from Bush, I was abandoning Cheney, who I have an amazing amount of respect for. Many would say go Democrat... but I can't do that (that signals the absence of a spine up here), and in the next year, I'm considering dropping my membership to the party. Especially this year, despite how undercut and violated I feel as a gay person, I couldn't be happier that I am. I've got a stronger will because of it, and will lead my life just as strongly.'

How do you stay calm and upbeat after two emails like that?"


I found this link from Bob Mould's weblog at


And yet somehow:
Bush wins quarter of gay vote
"Meanwhile, the nationwide exit poll conducted for a consortium of news media outlets showed that four percent of the electorate identified itself as gay male, lesbian, or bisexual.
Of that total, Kerry won 77 percent of the gay vote compared to 23 percent for Bush, the exit poll showed. Independent presidential contender Ralph Nader received less than one percent, the poll showed."


Jonathon Freedland on Faith, Flag and Family aka God, Guns and Gays:,14259,1344897,00.html

Friday, November 05, 2004


The theory that Bush's next four years will help the Democrats in the long run is an interesting line of thought and perhaps makes me feel a bit better. My worry is what exactly happens in the next four years. They have the house and the senate. They proudly trumpeted that now is both the time to (1) unite the country and (2) push on with a radical conservative agenda, two manifestly inconsistent lines of development, meaning that (1) is clearly a lie. The US is now two countries. Do you like guns, go to church, hate gays and hate abortion? - If yes, you are a Republican. If no, you probably live on the coast and are a Democrat.

The despicable thing is the way the right has conned the working classes into thinking the Republicans are the party for the poor whilst transparently providing tax cuts for the rich. They do this by manipulating their feeble minds on the basis of kneejerk morality and religious prejudice. They don't understand the economy, but they know they hate queers.

Three things could feasibly happen now:
1) Gay marriage will become illegal
2) Abortion will become illegal
3) the USA will invade another middle-eastern country, possibly Iran or Syria

Ho-hum. Another day nearer armageddon. And four years on..? Typically voter behaviours become more extreme when economies decline, so it's not clear whether the fuckwits who voted for Bush won't just blame the welfare state for all their woes and abolish it completely... what there is of it. Historically economic slumps have polarised parties to the left and right extremes - Fascism and Communism. But the USA has no history -possibly no clear concept of- socialism, so quite where the fuck it will go isn't clear. What I do know is that if I have to see Cheney's fucking fat, smug, shaved lab-rat face one more time i'm going to puke.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

goodbye liberal democracy

A freind from Florida emailed me this eloquent and passionate response to the election result.

"John Kerry has lost, and my worst fears are realized. As an American, it is quite simply beyond my comprehension that 53 million fellow citizans saw fit to re-elect George Bush. It was difficult enough to understand how he was elected the first time, but I can conceive of the convenience of voting along party lines, however arbitrary the selection of your chosen party may be, or perhaps genuine hope or sheer ignorance of an untested candidate. But after four years of the most blatant disregard of domestic freedoms and liberties, the most glaring atrocities committed abroad and a conscious and utterly sincere contempt for anyone who holds a belief different from your own, I simply can not fathom that so many tens of millions of people agree with those decisions. How can so many millions not be outraged? Are they even paying attention?
But with Bush's re-election, it is not simply a victory of an ideology. The Republican party has gained seats in both the House and the Senate, and are only 3 senators away from having an uncontestable majority, where they would possess a 3/5 majority and can pass ANY legislation they desire, rendering oppossition hopelessly impotent. One of our Supreme Court justices is on his deathbed, and two others are in their mid-eighties. At present the Court is divided 5-4 on most issues, but with the almost certain turnover of 3 justices, all 3 branches of power will have become evangelically conservative.
What may be even more chilling was the passage of a referendum to actually rewrite the constitution in 11 states explicity declaring that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and the outright prohibition of civil unions and any benefits that go along with it. That means that a homosexual couple cannot share life insurance, possess no visitation rights to see a partner in a hospital, cannot even have joint custody of an adopted child. And the votes weren't even close. In Georgia, like in most states, the referendem passed with almost an 80% majority. In Oklahoma, it was 90 %. Nine out of ten people in clear conscience steadfastly deny such a basic and humane right. I truly did not believe that my country was this deeply bigoted and cruel.
And that, to me, is what lies at the core- plain meanness and cruely. They speak of family values. I don't even know what the fuck that means. Tell me , just what the fuck are you talking about. You say you value family? Whose fucking family? The homosexual family whose rights you have just taken away. The families in Iraq and Palastine and all across the globe whom you have just bombed the fuck out of, or the families of the working poor who have no access to welfare or to healthcare.
And perhaps what is most ominous is that this time, after all that has passed, Bush and the Republican party has actually strengthened. More people, not less, believe that this is the way things should be. This is when the realization starts to set in. I say that I can't comprehend that so many millions, the majority, in fact, decided that Bush should be re-elected. But ultiamtely,the undenieable truth is that they agree with him. It is not that they were mislead about the war in Iraq, they heartily support the bombing and the massacres of people whose language they don't understand, whose color is different from their own, no different from the gooks before them. They take comfort in knowing that fundamental human rights have now been taken from homosexuals. It makes them feel good.
And I look around, with the knowledge that so many millions and millions believe these things, and I am consumed with blind rage. And it is no exageration to say that the worst has not yet come."

I am now going to the library to borrow lots of comics and regress further into the comforting realms of fantasy.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Goodby, Hip Priest

John Peel R.I.P.

A few months ago at ATP I walked along the road by the beach to get something to eat in a cafe. I saw John Peel surrounded by about 5 or 6 young people, all beaming at him whilst he chatted with them in his usual avuncular manner. Part of me really wanted to join them, but I thought he might like to be be left alone, I wasn't sure what to do. I thought I was being very grown up by pretending not to notice him. Now I wish i'd spoken to him. Everyone felt like they kind of owned him, the way fans feel they own part of the bands they love. I dedicated a song to him at the London show I just did, but it felt like an inadequate gesture, and I felt compelled to say as much. But I knew everyone in the audience was thinking about him.

Well that's Radio 1 fucked then.