Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Live at the witch trials

All your worst fears about Southern Baptists confirmed...

I just watched the Warp Film's DVD of Paradise Lost 1 + 2, the documentaries on the West Memphis Three. This is terrifying and depressing stuff; three teenagers sent to prison -one to death row- for the murders of three young boys, without a single piece of physical evidence linking them to the crime. The fact that the teenagers wore black and listened to Metallica was enough to whip this Bible Belt town in Arkansas into satanic panic, convincing them that the murders were part of a satanic ritual. The stultifying ignorance, prejudice and blind faith of the police, judiciary and jury befitted a medieval witch trial. Appeals have been repeatedly turned down and now Damien Echols has one last channel of federal appeal before he is sent to his death.

Read about it and get involved:

Buy the double DVD here:


Sunday, July 03, 2005

People on drugs are winning it

Mood: Minor surgery
Music: Hot Chip - 'Coming onStrong'
Dead Meadow - 'Feathers'

Returned from playing Scopitone Festival in Nantes, France. Also on the bill were the fabulous Hot Chip, our new favourite band. Five men with a shared love of Stevie Wonder, Devo and This Heat, all playing synthesizers and singing harmonies with lyrics such as 'getting down with your royal bad self' and 'like a monkey with a miniature cymbal'. The only circumstance in which I would normally consider dancing is when someone is firing a gun at my feet, but then Hot Chip arrived.

My contempt for National Express reached new heights this weekend.
I've known no other privately run concern to operate with such unfailing incompetence and disrespect for its cutomers. On the coach ride to Gatwick the air conditioning broke down. Being English, no-one complained, until I went up and told the driver that my blood had become solid. He pulled over after about fifteen minutes and fiddled around with the dashboard, said 'hmm', then drove off again. When we reached Reading, where the coach took on a further ten warm-blooded humans, I complained again, and the driver, in a flash of genius, decided to open the windows. We drove away and I went for a piss. Having suffered numerous past indiginities, I wisely checked the taps. On a previous trip I spent an hour and half with soap burning a rash onto my hands because there was no water. This time, again, there was no water. But there wasn't any soap either, and the toilet didn't flush. I told the driver. People looked at me in the way that English people do; glad you complained so they didn't have to, even though they wouldn't have done, but also slightly embarrassed by your assertiveness, assuming you must be like, American, or something.

Secret report says war on hard drugs has failed
Blair ignores its conclusions
"Researchers found that stamping down on hard drugs through the police and courts had little effect on production and found no evidence that attacking drug supply had any impact on the harm caused by heroin and crack users. The full report provides a powerful argument for legalising drugs so they are not controlled by criminals.Even if the war on supply succeeds, the report found, it would simply lead to a rise in the price of crack and heroin, in turn producing more crime by addicts needing to feed their habit and increased profits for the drug barons. The cost of crime associated with heroin and crack users was estimated at £16 billion by researchers, but the report found that the global crusade on drugs had coincided with a rise in consumption."


Michel Houellebecq
on H.P. Lovecraft: