Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ghosts on camera


2007 is tucking itself into bed. Let us check upon the psychic health of the nation. How are we?

Now being tested in Bristol City Centre: Closed-circuit television cameras equipped with microphones and loudspeakers enabling surveillance officers (Randstad Employment Bureau temporary agency staff £6/hour-no benefits) to bark orders at their fellow citizens.

Meanwhile in New York, a new technology manufactured by Holosonic transmits an "audio spotlight" from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium.

Used to promote a television series about the paranormal, the issue widens from one of privacy to one of general public sanity. Religious groups, anti-capitalists, civil libertarians, secular-humanist anti-theists and the merely understandably slightly bewildered should quite rightly be absolutely furious about… well, we’re not sure how to put it.

In his book The Minority Report Phillip K. Dick describes a world where people are punished for crimes they have yet to commit, on the basis of a single incriminating brain scan. The technology is here.

Talented marketers (governments included) know what you want before you even know you want it. Face, voice, lip and body language-reading software can have you analysed, predicted and soothingly horse-whispered -if not blatantly coerced- into submission within seconds of arriving at the store.
“What did you do when you got back from work last night?”
“I watched a television program.. I think it was about ghosts...”
“What are ghosts?”
“....um… non-corporeal entities that bring us confusing messages from another dimension…”
“No. Those are called adverts.”

We can read each others intentions and predict each others behavior with some level of accuracy. We may soon be able to solve future crimes, eavesdrop on private conversations whispered in public, interpret suspicious body language and radically tailor advertising to each individual’s needs, dreams and desires, and broadcast a telepathically bespoke portfolio of glittering lifestyle products directly into each other’s minds. Total information awareness. Late night one-click buy-it-now Freudian slip. Your darkest desires delivered straight to your door and in the fog of the morning you come quietly and help the police with their enquiries.

If we are all given the technology is it fair game? As the National Rifle Association likes to argue after each hormonal killing spree, if everyone carried a piece they could have taken him down much quicker…

CCTV surveillance is very popular with the public. Violent crime, knifings and shootings are perceived to be on the rise in London and other UK cities; and this may well be the case. We assume that surveillance serves as a deterrent. Does it? In the black hole crack-hungry soul of the time-blind drug addicted bag-snatcher, a deterrent is as meaningful as a tomorrow. And the people who casually threw a TV through our front window last month didn’t give a moment’s thought to being spotted, because they were just really pissed. In a liberal democracy, privacy and liberty should be the norm, and any infringements upon them must be qualified on a case by case basis. But the new climate of security is making bold demands. He is confident. His voice is loud. He sounds like he knows what he is talking about. He must know something we don’t. But he may be the thinly veiled edge of a malignant wedge. There’s a line to be drawn, and toed, somewhere, but it is hard to stay focused.

For the mystics and Pantheists among us, this momentous blurring of the private and the public may just be more evidence for the fact that we are all the same person. But nonetheless, unfortunately, we are having a massive argument with ourself.

Happy New Year, and may your Gods, or not, be with you.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hill vs. Boorman

Backwoods rednecks preying on arrogant city boys; John Boorman’s ‘Deliverance’ cast the mould, but ‘Southern Comfort’ is the superior film. Walter Hill’s tense and efficient action thriller sees a squadron of Louisiana National Guardsmen lose their way among the primal forces of the Bayou. Discipline and chain of command are negligible from the outset; on a simple training exercise, a cackling hothead fires a round of blanks at a group of Cajun trappers. The bickering, delusional toy soldiers are quickly out of their depth, hunted by a hidden culture that the American Dream told them nothing about. The pace is sharp and the script is smart. Powers Boothe and Keith Carradine quickly bond as two resourceful survivors caught in a clutch of hysterical machismo. ‘The Blair Witch Project’s debt to ‘Cannibal Holocaust’s faux-documentary style is well known; its gothic roots in Hill’s masterpiece less-so. The enemy is barely seen; it is ultimately the alien terrain of the swamp itself that swallows up the incredulous trespassers.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sick as a Pike

I currently have bronchitis after three weeks spent gargling in continental Europe's elegantly tarred communal lungs. The new issue of Plan B features my essay on Rock 'n' Roll. It is part of an ongoing project to map the gutters, sewers and storm drains of the music industry.
















Pike are notoriously voracious carnivores and can be potential pests when introduced into alien ecosystems. When caught in the River Mole in the Eighties, fishermen such as my dad were instructed by Mole Valley District Council not to throw them back. You couldn't eat them, so you had to bin them. He cut one open to show me its disease-speckled liver. It was a bad fish. A bully. Throwing its weight around. It knew it was on the way out and it was going to take a few others down with it. Men standing on river banks with poles and lines and hooks are noble sentries in Gaia's gentle regime of self-regulation.



A small colour television set was involved in three separate crimes in the space of two weeks. First it was fly-tipped outside our house. A few days later, it was thrown through our front window. We dumped it back out on the street and it disappeared. Two days later it was found dropped off the bridge and onto the middle of the railway tracks at Montpelier station. There was a storm here last night. Fitful sleep; beneath the roar and moan, the sound of something rolling slowly back up the hill towards our house.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Velvet Cell

New police proposal: microphones to be added to CCTV cameras


http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ac_grayling/2007/11/walls_to_have_ears.html

"The parallel to eavesdropping on people's conversations is putting CCTV cameras inside their houses. I take it that at least most of us would object very strongly to the latter, even if in half a dozen houses round the realm some crazed fanatics were making bombs in their living rooms."

More 'threats to our liberty' to be countered by threats to our liberty.

One cannot ‘walk privately’ in a public place. By stepping outside one’s own home, one tacitly accepts that one will be seen by others. But one can walk down the road publicly whilst engaging in private conversation. Grayling is right: The parallel to eavesdropping on people's conversations is putting CCTV cameras inside their houses. To do so is to demolish the distinction between public and private.

Mike WM says in the Comment Is Free response to Grayling’s article:

Just run some speech recognition software on what each person is saying, cross-reference with the biometric data on file thanks to the ID card project to easily discover who each person is, and the information that can be gathered on each person in this fair country is amazing. Or, rather more accurately, terrifying. The pieces are nearly all in place. Are people going to see the jigsaw before they manage to finish it?

What is to be done? Most of the media is complicit in the notion that our privacy and liberty can always legitimately be curtailed in favour of our safety. But a man in solitary confinement is perfectly safe, provided he cannot find a way to hang himself. Without freedom and privacy, we may as well do so.

How much of your freedom are you prepared to compromise for the nebulous cause of 'safety'?

As ‘Knightly’ puts it:

I am afraid to say it is too late.

You are all doomed to be spied on, have your information sold to supermarkets and detective agencies working for your husbands and wives. Barely literate data entry clerks educated in sink comprehensives and paid the minim wage will confuse entries about you and rapists and murderers with similar names. You will be lynched by an angry mob when this information is disclosed under some spurious right to know legislation. Your credit ratings and criminal convictions will be available to council librarians who have tea with your mother. Your lives will become even more of a misery, than it already is, and to top it all you will be stuck in a traffic jam on the M25 and be fined for speeding due to an error in the number plate recognition software. Harriet Harman will tell you surveillance is needed to protect the rights of women, and use the information to increase cost of motoring. All the criminals will remain out side the system and untraceable, you on the other hand will be dragged through the bankruptcy courts for a parking ticket that was never issued correctly in the first place.

Leave now, it is your only hope.

But please don’t leave. Get involved. It isn’t too late.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The woman who lives directly above me is a student. She is fat and always wears jogging pants. She is in most days, and most days she puts on a CD. Most days she plays the same song on constant rotation. Some nights when she gets in from the pub, and some mornings when she gets out of bed, she celebrates life by playing the song once more. High and mid frequencies are cut off by floors and ceilings, so all I hear is the same maddening, moronic bass line and retarded drum fills. When I am at my most vulnerable or short tempered, when I am hung over or sleeping fitfully, the woman upstairs is sure to be in her element.

The malevolent power of music has long been known to the authorities. The FBI used it in the Waco Siege. Interrogators at Guantanomo tried to break the will of captured terrorists' by playing the music of Christine Aguilera.

It is one thing to complain about loud music. It is another to demand that someone expand their record collection or face serious consequences. Knuckles whiten, the jaw tightens. What will it be? The mixtape or the baseball bat?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Piece Of Mind


In response to Alex's observation regarding my last entry title: yes; I translated 'Dude where's my country?' into the Queen's English. If the colonies made the effort to speak properly perhaps they wouldn't be in the mess they are in.

Ah... Michael Moore. What to do about Michael Moore. Scoring an instant own-goal by showcasing human-rights-ambivalent Cuba's apparently fantastic health services, he helps conservatives caricature modest leftist dreams as Stalinist nightmares. I don't doubt that your sense of outrage at poverty and corruption is genuine, but for God's sake man...

US television is awash with demented shiny-happy-people advertisements for antidepressant medications. Most can't afford them. Most don't even need them. To anyone who has grown up with something like the NHS -a patrician buffer between the patient and the drug companies- these look like the symptoms of a gradually encroaching Huxleyian dystopia. A buccaneer corporate state that rips you off with mind-altering drugs that you don't need; it's hard to think of a more morally outrageous scenario.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The thought police get all hard for justice

I LIKE MY COUNTRY CAN I HAVE IT BACK PLEASE

Here it comes.

Stash your Jess Franco movies Anton.


The bill proposing to ban
'extreme pornography' was overwhelmingly approved yesterday in the Commons.

I'll have to rip out those scenes of crimes photos from my books on Jack The Ripper. This legislation outlaws simulated images of consensual, legal acts; God knows what it will mean for real images of illegal ones.

Pictured: Armoured man homo-erotically grappling with a reptile, complete with phallic symbolism

The proposed legislation targets material depicting (i) bestiality, (ii) necrophilia, and (iii) serious violence.

Images will count as illegal if they are pornographic and real or realistic (if staged).

Those found guilty of possession will be charged and placed on the Sex Offender's Register.

Quick, excellent summary of the bullshit here:
http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/summary0610.html





Get thee to a herbary





Thursday, October 04, 2007

Away

I'm kind of 'on holiday' from blogging right now, trying to finish the third issue of Ultraskull (not work safe) and rehearsing for the upcoming tour. I have written an article about the state of live music in the UK; it will feature in the November issue of Plan B magazine.

Homework

Exercise 1 a

Read this excellent piece in Foreign Policy magazine.

"The 'War On Drugs' is immoral, absurd and fatally counter-productive, and major players on the world stage are finally daring to admit it." Discuss. (20 points)

For more on drug regulation strategies read the Transform FAQ.


Exercise 1 b

Study the image below. What is wrong with this image? (30 points)


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Westminster… we have a problem…


The entire UK population and every visitor to Britain should be put on the national DNA database, a top judge said today. Today, Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the human rights organisation Liberty, warned against potential changes to how and when British authorities collected DNA data. "The DNA debate reveals just how casual some people have become about the value of personal privacy," she said. "A database of those convicted of sexual and violent crime is a perfectly sensible crimefighting measure."A database of every man, woman and child in the country is a chilling proposal, ripe for indignity, error and abuse."



Aided by insufficiently robust political and media opposition, the agenda has been fully re-set. The onus is now on the civil libertarians to explain why we shouldn’t have a government with total knowledge of our identities, rather than why we should. What is absolutely extraordinary is that while the public constantly state that they do not trust the government, that they believe them to be dishonest and corrupt; that scandals over dodgy dossiers, donations for peerages, and the I.T. shambles at the Child Support Agency have eroded public confidence in the government’s integrity and competence, they are still willing to grant them total information awareness of the biometric identities and behaviours of people who have yet to commit any crimes.

Leftists constantly complain how private corporations are able to track our spending habits and check our financial status without our knowledge or permission, but when it comes to handing massive powers to governments, many shrug their shoulders. These stats make shocking reading. We don’t like private corporations holding private information about us. We get all hot under the collar about it. We think they brainwash us with marketing, and make us buy things we don’t need or want. We think corporations are evil and exploitative. But private corporations cannot arrest people. They do not have armies. They cannot put people in prison. They cannot invade sovereign states without UN mandates. Contrary to what appears to have now become received knowledge, governments are more powerful and thereby more dangerous than any corporation on the planet. Clearly, Paternalism has been massively successful. We have learned to love Big Brother, but to be suspicious of anyone trying to sell us frozen food.

Biometric identity information will be inherited by each successive government. If you don’t trust this government, what the hell makes you feel you can trust a future one? How would you feel if the British National Party got into power? They have already won seats in local government. What makes you think governments won’t sell your DNA profile to private corporations? What makes you think the database would never be hacked? What makes you think the database would never become corrupted and that everyone with access to it will be both 100% trustworthy and never make a single mistake?

I don’t like to employ slippery slope arguments. They only work when it can be shown that the slope in question is slippery, and for the average Daily Mail editorial, slipperiness is usually assumed without argument. But it seems to me crashingly obvious that given the behavior of this government, past governments, and the likely behaviour of any future government, this slope is about as slippery as it bloody well gets.

The Liberal Democrats have shown themselves to be toothless. I wrote to my MP about a scheme in Yeovil, Somerset whereby bars and pubs would only allow entry to punters if they allowed their fingerprints to be placed on a shared database. This was a system set up in partnership with the local police in order to deter known troublemakers. The government plans to roll it out nationwide. Naturally, the scheme is enforced on the door by bomber-jacket wearing bouncers, who presumably know the intricacies of the Data Protection Act inside out. The Right Honourable Member for Yeovil, David Laws, and my Bristol West MP Stephen Williams, are both Liberals and oppose government plans for ID cards along party lines; but they assured me that this fingerprinting system was voluntary. What defeatist, Pollyannaish drivel. Pubs and clubs will obviously come under police pressure to join and they will do so. I’ve worked in bars, I know how important it is to keep good relations with the decent, hard working coppers who have a difficult job to do. Few bar managers in the country will be so awkward as to refuse to join the scheme. How can a voluntary scheme be anything more than a de facto compulsory scheme when the resulting situation is absolutely identical? This is how the police state comes in: by the back door, through creeping measures rushed through parliament under cover of alleged terror threats, resulting in ad hoc legislation that is quickly accepted as the norm and used as precedent for further intrusion.

This documentary by Henry Porter is useful. If nothing else, watch the disturbing last ten minutes. As a demonstration, a security analyst bugs and spies on Porter via his own mobile phone, intercepts his wireless internet connection and duplicates an electronic data chip he had implanted in his arm. The security analyst then goes on to very quickly crack the security code on the digital information chip on a new passport (the technology that will be used on the proposed ID cards), and reads all the information off it. Terrorists take note: here comes the gold standard for identity theft.

But most importantly, watch Adam Curtis’s The Power Of Nightmares. And try to remember that you are more likely to die in a car accident than by being blown up by a terrorist.

Spitalfields… we have a problem...




The only venue in the multiverse where you can perform in the gloaming, morbid shadow of Hawksmoor’s Christchurch will close at the end of September. They are hosting an incredible last-blast Festival of Folk. May the meeting of so many brilliant musical minds amidst the rich traditions, hidden depths and arcane symbols of the the East End ward off the crashing, cosmic emptiness of the property ‘developers’. Circulus are playing. Alisdair Roberts is playing. The Ralfe Band are playing. Mr. David Viner is playing. What more does God want from us? Without doubt the Spitz spirit will be angrily but triumphantly transplanted elsewhere. “Somewhere they can’t find me…” as Paul Simon once sang…

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Diana Death Cult: Cthulhu Implicated

Keith Richards on Princess Diana: 'I never knew the chick'.

Ozzy's take on the Virginia tech shootings: 'That's just fookin' crazy. You can't explain that'.

Despite massive, drug-induced cognitive impairment, these two coke-addled alcoholic rockers (one of whom bit the head off a dove) are among the few public figures still capable of looking through the correct end of a telescope. If politicians and pundits had even half a gram of Keith and Ozzy's integrity we could have ended all this nonsense years ago.

I was recently pointed in the direction of this Lovecraftian comic, the creator of which lists Freddy Kruger, Lord of the Rings, Wizards, and heavy metal music among his interests. Straight up. H.P. Lovecraft himself was an altogether more complicated man. In letters to his acolytes he stressed the importance of avoiding needlessly baroque descriptions. This advice came from a man who used the word 'Cyclopean' seventeen times in one story, and more than once on a single page of it.

"I felt the strangling tendrils of a cancerous horror whose roots reached into illimitable pasts and fathomless abysms of the night that broods beyond time."

At the very least he gave in-house illustrators plenty to work with. When critics say he was a bad writer many of his fans concede the point. For me he is like the perfect DIY indie band - shambolic, but with some really great ideas. Here he is then. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Pastels of horror literature.

You may have noticed that I am using a great new application that tracks product links from my blog to various online retail sites and automatically deducts money from your bank account. Every book I mention here will be delivered to you without you having to order it. I have also arranged for someone to read the books for you, and then send them back to me so I can sell them to someone else. Trust me. I know what you want before you know you want it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Booze Britain

Britain should consider making the legal drinking age 21 as it has "lost the plot" when it comes to regulating alcohol, policy wonks claim. The news comes a week after an advertising campaign for Carling Black Label lager featuring the slogan ‘get pissed and glass someone’ was greeted with universal condemnation. Think tank Public Policy Research (PPR), the British Medical Association and the charity Alcohol Concern all expressed the need for a change in the law.
One could be forgiven for thinking that the bit about the Carling slogan was true. After all, according to the self-appointed experts, the drinks industry is brain washing young people into acts of mindless violence. It’s funny, because whenever I see an advert for alcohol it usually features young people enjoying themselves and thinking about having sex with each other. The message recommending mindless acts of violence must be coming from elsewhere.
I do think there is something wrong with British culture. You don’t have to be a Daily Mail reader to see that we are visibly more thuggish and unpleasant than most other European nations. Go into any city centre on a Saturday night and you will see a tide of human scum wash out into the streets at closing time, attempting to crush and drown everything in its path. It’s well known that the French, Spanish and Italians don’t have quite the problem with alcohol related violence and yobbery that we have.
But the reasons are, as always, very complex. Raising the drinking age to 21 won’t make a jot of difference; the suggestion is completely laughable. Like most authoritarian forms of social control, it comprehensively fails to understand the nature of incentives. Getting wasted on cider in a recreation ground at the age of twelve is a national rite of passage. If kids want to get alcohol, they can do so easily. Drugs are illegal and obtaining them is no problem. People rarely avoid an illegal activity only because it is illegal. Rather, they tend to do so because they believe it is immoral, and the threat of punishment is often extraneous. People, quite rightly, don’t see why drinking is in itself wrong. Therefore, in order to stop people drinking under the age of 21, an extraordinarily draconian punishment would be needed to function as an incentive. Such punishments should be handed out only for the worst crimes, and all but the most hysterical, foaming-at-the mouth Daily Mail columnist would agree that drinking isn’t one of them.
Among the labyrinth of factors that influence social behaviour, there is one which the media is reluctant to acknowledge. A quick glance at the newspapers, both tabloid and broadsheet, reveals a climate of constantly stoked fear and panic. The rolling stock of topics include: terrorists disguised as burka-clad Muslim women, foreign criminals sheltered from deportation by human rights legislation, paedophiles lurking on every corner, filthy hospitals, asylum seekers, immigrants taking our jobs, homeowners being arrested over injured burglars, insurmountable personal debt, spiraling house prices, health scares, political correctness gone mad, market crashes, knives, guns, priests being arrested for simply saying that they think that homosexuality is wrong, cancer, cancer, cancer and more cancer. Many of these point to genuinely problematic issues, but the reports come to us swathed In alarmist rhetoric, sweeping generalisations and unargued assumptions employed to cultivate an atmosphere of paranoia and intolerance. Meanwhile, busybody health pressure groups and the ever encroaching nanny state are given a complete monopoly on the good life. The message is that the purpose of life is to live as long as possible and in constant fear of death. Never mind living well and enjoying life. There’s just not enough time!
It is no wonder that people feel hopeless. Many fear the world, hate their jobs and hit the bottle at 6 pm on a Friday night. Some get violent. With National Pride little more than an empty slogan, there is a British tendency to celebrate the worst things about our culture. Getting arrested and being featured on the TV programme ‘Booze Britain’ becomes a badge of honour. Each day we are offered not a single thing to feel optimistic about. And for this the parasitical British media must take a large share of the blame.

Below: a foreigner, yesterday






Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Richard Dawkins: Mind Cop

Richard Dawkins: Mind Cop

Animated Series Watch in awe as Professor Richard Dawkins systematically destroys the comforting delusions of happy, normal people, replacing their vague, inoffensive belief systems with a description of human consciousness as an indeterminate quantum reality occupying four-to-five dimensional phase-space. With only a set of completely baffling non-recursive algorithms with which to make sense of their lives, these people of laughably average intelligence fail to grasp the meaning of it all and wander down to the garden shed, drink bleach and blow their fucking brains out. Meanwhile, watch in awe as Professor Dawkins sensibly abstains from love, sex, listening to music and all other non-rational activities. Episode One. Professor Dawkins discovers that he has a stick up his arse.

I’m all for Dawkins outing bullshit snake oil peddlers and ‘spirit-mediums’ who manipulate the grieving and vulnerable; these, quite frankly dangerous charlatans have it coming. But extending the circle of unreason to any system of thought that cannot be proven empirically or logically threatens to wipe away most of the things that make life worthwhile.

If people were truly rational, they wouldn’t fall in love. Painting, architecture, music, sex, gardening; none of these are rational. Magical thinking extends well beyond the major world religions and into all aspects of human endeavor. Private systems of ritual and symbolism have shaped countless great works of art. Hawksmoor’s churches, William Blake’s poetry and Alan Moore’s comic books would never have seen the light of day without the influence of madness, ritual, obsession, passion and the occult. Reason and creativity are, quite simply, uneasy bedfellows.

Religious and magical thinking only becomes a problem when it dictates social policy. Just as the moral dogmas of Imams and Priests should not dictate the law, the cost of spurious remedies should not be fronted by the tax payer. In a society with tax-funded healthcare, separating church and state means separating science and superstition. Medicine is about solving the problem of illness. There is no point in medicines that don’t work.

But in their privately funded private lives people should be left to believe and buy whatever comforts them, however ludicrous or offensive we might find it. Tolerance means putting up with things you disagree with so long as they don’t directly affect you, on the understanding that you may well do things that others disagree with. If I remember correctly, that is what liberalism is all about.












Hitchens: Sweating, trembling freak show


Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are wrong about religion. It does not poison everything. Rather, it is often used to justify poisonous acts. But the major genocides of the last century have been committed in the name of class war, nationalism and racial purity, not religion. People do very bad things for all sorts of horrible reasons, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Without religion to justify their acts of carnage, they just find something else.

And talking of Godless genocide…

Don't Think I've Forgotten (Cambodia's Lost Rock And Roll)

This film is still in production, check out the trailer. It puts the 80's British music press's class-obsessions into perspective, to say the least...






Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Groovy fascists

A rather odd piece by Stephen Moss, the gist of which is: Hitler banned music by Jews, but listened to it himself, therefore he wasn't actually a Nazi; he was a 'man apart' from the cult of Nazism he had helped create. It's not clear whether Moss is sarcastically attacking a position that in fact nobody holds, or expounding it. Either way he sounds rather like a stupid person saying something stupid.

Surely the only sensible conclusion we can draw from the revelation is that as well as being a Nazi, Hitler was also a hypocrite. Hitler was like Viz Comic's Victorian Dad, 'studying' pictures of naked Amazonian tribes late at night in order to ascertain whether they are suitable for those of a lesser mind to see. A hypocritical fascist! Who'd have thought it! Well, those fascist types have really gone down in my estimation now.

Friday, August 03, 2007

1 x 1 = 11

I've been enjoying the Facebook group 'F*ck You- George Galloway and Ken Livingstone'. The Right Honourable Member for Bow and Bethnal Green, who has just been suspended from Parliament, has long been allocated a special corner in my reservoir of disgust.

The Respect Party candidate, who was swept to power on the back of a motley collection of alienated anti-war voters, misogynistic, homophobic, Jew-hating Islamists and nasty little Trot agitators, has taken part in just 13% of parliamentary votes, preferring to spend his constituents money on cosying up to dodgy, self-appointed 'representatives' of Britain's Islamic community, touring the world with his clownish lectures, pretending to be a cat on Big Brother, and arguing with Christopher Hitchens. In May 2006 he surpassed himself by stating that it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to murder Tony Blair. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Blair, this statement shows up Galloway for the murderous thug he is. Tony Blair was in the embarrassing position of deposing Saddam Hussein then having to sit back and watch as his own people hanged him. Not easy for a Labour administration who is rightly opposed to capital punishment, but an intervention would have undermined the sovereignty of Iraq's newly democratically elected government. Blair wanted Saddam tried for war crimes. Galloway just wants Blair dead.

Perhaps it's not surprising; Galloway was an old chum of the Ba'athists. A brief glimpse of his foaming, fire and brimstone speeches shows how he epitomises the 'any enemy of America is a friend of mine' dogma of the unthinking Left. An ideology that recognises only two extreme positions on an endlessly complex and constantly changing world is no better than the Bush administration's old 'With Us Or Against Us' nonsense. Even Bush has now toned down the bellicose rhetoric. Galloway hasn't.

A crudely dualistic weltanschung is okay for adolescents (I was a member of the Socialist Party Of Great Britain when I was twelve; it didn't last), but it's not okay for a careerist money-launderer who is paid from our pockets.

Maybe that's just a complicated way of saying:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Regarding the reflexive plasticity of the labour market / gay shower scene

Our mate Steve recently had to put up with a work colleague's five minute rant about how all these Poles should be sent back to their own country and stop coming over here and stealing our jobs.

People see the job market as a zero-sum game. It's a common myth that one job position being taken results in one fewer jobs out of a finite number available. It's not true. Taking one position can create one or more other jobs.

Here's an example. You apply for a job but you get turned down, because you are manifestly an idle bastard and your C.V. is a work of baroque fiction. The job goes to someone else, who for the sake of argument, we shall say is Polish. The department she works for benefits greatly from her hard work, becoming more efficient and so the company decides to expand it, creating five new positions. Had a less dilligent worker filled the position, the company could have just slugged along as usual. The Polish worker just expanded the labour market. Try and be grateful.

This should be bloody obvious, but apparently not. Write it on a piece of paper and pin it on your co-workers face, Steve.

We are living in a climate of fear. People, to some extent understandably, fear what they don't know. Rapid societal change can be worrying for people. The fact is, Polish workers aren't claiming benefits. The UK labour market needs them. They are doing jobs that British born people don't want to do, or are not qualified to do. It reflects the fact that the government has left a whole generation of non-academically minded people untrained because they were rushed into university to do pointless degrees instead of learning a trade.

Last saturday night at Tony's house I watched Tango and Cash. Tango and Cash is the gayest film ever made. An execrable piece of buddy trash, it's hard to believe that the film makers weren't having a private giggle at goading the witless Sylvester Stallone into playing a flaming homosexual. Stallone is supposed to be the urbane, intellectual straight-man to Kurt Russel's bad boy maverick cop. Witness Stallone's odd, high-pitched accent as he battles with the limitations of his monotone voicebox. His lips move only for the words to flop out several seconds too late, like dead fish from a keep-net. They clearly overdubbed some of the more complicated bits. When I say this film is gay I mean it in the true sense. As Ruthless Reviews says, "Not only do Russell and Stallone shower together at one point, but they look at each other's cocks while naked. And then talk about each other's cocks. We see both of their asses for way too long. It is really inexplicable." I am glad I watched Tango and Cash. As one commentator on a torrent forum said, "It's a good film for people who like to drink in the daytime. I'm drunk right now".

Current reading

Gulag: A History - Anne Appelbaum
Britain BC - Francis Pryor
London: A Short History - A.N. Wilson
The Diversions Of Purley - Peter Ackroyd
The Undercover Economist - Tim Harford
Dark Water - Koji Suzuki

Friday, July 13, 2007

Vile

Ladies and gentlemen, we have hit the modern art motherlode. If you are irritated by Banksy’s feeble pictorial metaphors and his tiresome band of metro-wank apologists, brace yourself for the poisonous Dash Snow.

This fawning hagiographic shit-stream comes courteousy of Ariel Levy, a New York Magazine hack.

Charlie Brooker said he wrapped up his TV Go Home site because television had become so absurdly dunder-headed that it was beyond parody. He cited as an example the show ‘Touch The Truck’, in which someone is rewarded for touching a truck for a lengthy period of time. When I first read about Dash Snow I thought it had to be the work of Brooker or Chris Morris. But no, it’s horribly real.

"The artist Dash Snow rammed a screwdriver into his buzzer the other day. He has no phone. He doesn’t use e-mail."

Bohemian.

"So now, if you want to speak to him, you have to go by his apartment on Bowery and yell up."

Edgy.

"Lorax-like, he won’t come to the window to let you see that he sees you: He has a periscope he puts up so he can check you out first."

Retro-eccentric!

"Partly, it comes from his graffiti days, this elusiveness, the recent adolescence the 25-year-old Snow spent tagging the city and dodging the police."

Dangerous. Straddling the line between crime and art!

“He’s pretty paranoid about lots of things in general, and some of it was dished out to him, but others he’s created himself,” says Snow’s friend, the 27-year-old artist Dan Colen, who—like so many of their friends—has made significant artistic contributions to the ever-expanding mythology of Dash Snow.

Enigmatic!

"Colen and Snow went to London together this fall for the Saatchi show in which they both had work. (Saatchi had bought one of Colen’s sculptures for $500,000.)"

Seal of approval!

"Saatchi got them a fancy hotel room on Piccadilly. They had to flee it in the middle of the night with their suitcases before it was discovered that they’d created one of their Hamster’s Nests, which they’ve done quite a few times before. To make a Hamster’s Nest, Snow and Colen shred up 30 to 50 phone books, yank around all the blankets and drapes, turn on the taps, take off their clothes, and do drugs—mushrooms, coke, ecstasy—until they feel like hamsters."

Wow. Wow. Ensuring underpaid hotel cleaners have a really hard day at work. Smearing your privileged foie-gras shit in the faces of the working class. That's so now... just so... so brave.

"McGinley was lying on the floor next to stacks of the New York Post and the Daily News with words and pictures cut out of them. “I’ve always been a big fan of the Post, and I remember in 1992, or whenever the fuck it was, Desert Storm, the Gulf War? Remember? I’d always read the Post, and there’d be really rad headlines about it,” said Snow. “I was just down for it! I’m down with anyone, even if they’re bad people, if they’re just, like, anti-American, you know what I mean? This is a series I’m working on,” he pointed at some collages on the wall with lots of pictures of Saddam Hussein, whose likeness is also tattooed on Snow’s arm. “They’re old headlines, and they all have come on them. Yeah, mine.”

I fought with this for hours. Am I giving this more time than it deserves? Isn’t it just spoilt kids fucking around in their trust-funded bubbles? Doesn’t it merit no more than a laconic dismissal?

No. No, no, no. The correct response is disgust. There is a moral duty to be outraged. This is art at its most decadent, ignorant and socially parasitical. It’s enough to turn me into a Trotskyist class warrior. Dash Snow, all his toadying friends and the wretched witch that wrote this should be sent to Abu Ghraib. They should be allowed to escape, just so they can be sent back again. Repeat until dead.

----------------------------------------------

Last night I had the dream that has been seared into the collective consciousness and troubled millions. I was in a plane that had been seized by terrorists. It was, inevitably, being flown into a building. I was preparing to be murdered. At my side was a glorious Islamic martyr, staring at me with a vicious pride. The last thing I wanted to see when I died was the triumphant face of a deluded idiot. So I looked at the building we were crashing towards and tried to think about architecture as I began to suffocate.

I hope it was Dash Snow's apartment.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Glastonhurst Gravenblog Report



Before
The previous three nights I played solo shows supporting Charlotte Hatherley in Birmingham, Bristol and Exeter. In Birmingham the audience was seated; this sometimes creates an atmosphere of slightly forced, Jazz Club reverence. It is difficult to tell whether the audience likes you or whether they are just staring at you like dead fish because they can’t really move without making a spectacle of themselves.
We got there late and I didn’t have my usual two hours of drinking and practising time to prepare myself, but I think I pulled it off.
The set was thus:
Tunnels
Entertainment
Saints
Cities Beneath The Sea
Nicole
Bluebeard
Trust
The Diver
Black Holes In The Sand
The Bristol show was bizarre. I was playing in my home town to an audience who mainly didn’t know anything about me (that’s the idea behind support slots, I’m told), and were happy to talk over me. I was happy to talk back.
“I’d like to dedicate this next song to the guy at the back loudly discussing the decline of Ceefax. Dude, you are so right about Teletext. Complete also-rans. I’m just as passionate about this as you are”.
But the same guy talked all the way through Charlotte’s set, and then fawningly got her to sign a poster afterwards. He hadn’t come to listen, he had come there to talk about being there whilst he was there. How blissful it must be to truly live in the moment like that.
Charlotte performed as a two-piece with band mate Charlie, ignored the buffoons, commanded 95% of the crowd with her own new material then reeled off clever acoustic cover versions of Wire’s ‘Outdoor Miner’, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound’s ‘Kites’, and Kim Wylde’s ‘Kids In America’. The following night we played The Cavern in Exeter. It sounds like a cavern. The room was empty so I made some noise and some people came in. We had to leave immediately afterwards, so we missed Charlotte’s set that night. The place was rammed though, and I imagine it was a triumph.
Glastonbury
Friday
I reached the site at 9 am on Friday. After driving back from Exeter, my manager Michelle and I had been up until 3 am finishing the press release and biog for the new album. Even with special performers vehicle passes, laminates and wrist bands, it still took two hours, a couple of U-turns and some wildly conflicting directions from bewildered stewards to get to where the rest of the band had set up camp the night before. The wonderfully ordered chaos of Glastonbury is very egalitarian in that way. Artist, staff or punter, you will at some point find yourself deeply confused.
I reached my tent and tried to sleep. It was baking. Tranquilizers and Strongbow, woke up at 4pm. Drinking started immediately. As Charlie Brooker points out, for those of us who don’t count wading through rivers of mud and inhaling the gut-churning stench of shit amongst their hobbies, maintaining a constant, stable level of drunkenness is the best way to enjoy Glastonbury. Though this was nothing compared to what is currently happening up north.
Everyone but me was finding it relatively easy to remain upright. It turned out that my Wellingtons were in fact ‘deck boots’. These are flat bottomed and designed to provide suction on the wet wooden decks of sea vessels. Ignorant city boy. Then they split down the middle anyway, so I bought some boots from a fascist hippy (I assume he was a fascist, like thousands of other young rebels worldwide who hoist flags depicting the murderous totalitarian dictator Che Guevera)
Our first set of the festival was on the Late and Live tent, at 12 midnight
. Though we were delighted to be invited to play, it was a bit of a bummer because it made it impossible for me to see Hot Chip and Bjork, two of the acts on the programme that I was most excited about. It also meant that at least 100,000 Gravenhurst fans had to miss Bjork and Hot Chip too, and piled into the 200 capacity Late and Live tent. Seriously, the massive crowds at the main stages were a crude CGI animation hastily contrived by the panicking BBC producers who hadn’t done their research.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and that guy Pete who won the last Big Brother was totally wigging out down the front. In our final track, a ten minute-long cover of The Kinks ‘See My Friends’, I closed my eyes, tilted my head back and had a private Spacemen 3 moment. Robin had extra ‘shape-space’ on the right-hand side of the stage, and the most adventurous shape he pulled made his fake moustache fall off.
The set was:
The Velvet Cell
She Dances (new one)
Hollow Men (new one)
Trust (new single coming out on 23rd July)
Song From Under The Arches
See My Friends
My mum tells me Pete from Big Brother is friends with Ken Russell. I want to meet Ken Russell. I want him to make a pop video for us.
At some point that day, the BBC team managed to pick the wrong people for a vox pop. They crossed paths with my band mates Robin Allender and Alex Wilkins.
BBC person : “what’s been your favourite act so far?”
Robin: “umm… Amy Winehouse… I didn’t see her… I read her name in the programme… it was really good”
This was broadcast live, and presumably discarded for the edited ‘Best Bits’ coverage on BBC 2. I saw it on the ‘TV On Demand – Watch Again’ function. Someone may have uploaded it to you Tube, I’ll see if I can find a link.

Saturday
Eight years ago I found a coat in a club. It said ‘SPIEWAK’ on it and probably cost £300 as a result. It isn’t really waterproof, so I decided to go back to to the totalitarian-apologist and buy something more suitable. I chose unwisely; a £15 raincoat keeps the rain out but your own sweat in, so after a few minutes of slogging through mud you feel like a slug in a condom.
Around 4pm Ed Harcourt played The Park stage. Thankfully the rain eased off. Apparently, Ed hadn’t been to bed since Wednesday. I had spent some time with him the night before and he seemed, like me, Inclined Towards Having A Good Time. But Ed is a professional, and during the beautiful ‘Until Tomorrow Then’ the consummate showman climbed up onto the PA speakers and serenaded the crowd solo through an antique broadcast microphone.
At some point on Saturday we hatched a plan for me to watch my label-mates Maximo Park (oh my boys… my boys…) from the side of the stage, then invade the stage, give Paul Smith a Morrissey fan-style hug and kiss and then run off, and presumably be ejected from the site, or possibly arrested. Naturally we didn’t have passes for the main stages and hospitality areas, but two security guards and two simple Jedi mind tricks later, we were at the heavily fortified Other Stage Artists and Crew entrance. At the last hurdle all I could play was the nepotism card. Fortunately, Maximo’s manager Colin probably thought he owed me a favour after kicking me out of their dressing room at Brixton Academy when he mistook me for a drug user. Maximo’s drummer Tom quickly explained ‘who I was’ and Colin was unnecessarily gracious and apologetic. He hadn’t realized ‘who I was’. I reassured him that I barely knew who I was.
So the security guard went to ask Colin, and a few minutes later I was about ten yards behind the band amongst a gaggle of screaming girlfriends and some quite important looking people. It was suggested that I push as far to the front of the backstage viewing area as possible, to perhaps be caught live on BBC TV, pale, twitching, and chewing my own face off. A girl got cross with me.
Girl: (shouting) “IF YOU ARE GOING TO STAND THERE YOU’VE GOT TO DANCE! COME ON, DANCE!
Me: (shouting) : “WHAT?”
Girl (shouting) : “YOU’VE GOT TO DANCE! COME ON, DANCE!”
Me (shouting): “I’M GOING TO POISON YOU LATER”
Girl (oblivious, shouting) : “YOU’VE GOT TO DANCE! COME ON, DANCE!”
Me (shouting): “I KNOW, BUT I’M GOING TO POISON YOU LATER”
Girl (oblivious, shouting) : “JUST DANCE!”
I carried on doing what for me counts as dancing, and mercifully I ditched the extremely ill-advised stage-invasion plan. The crowd was going insane, Mr. Smith was totally in his element, and the band were properly rinsing it. They finished with ‘Going Missing’, which is my favourite track from ‘A Certain Trigger’. Looking at the BBC coverage, I was relieved to discover that I cannot be seen at the side of the stage.
After that I met up with my friend Sophie and brushed past a famous person -one of the blokes from Top Gear. On my way back to the tent I stopped off at a Portaloo. A sticker on the back wall read “THE OFFICIAL JO WHILEY TOILET’. I had a relatively early night; we had to get up to play The Park stage at 12.40 on Sunday.

Sunday
At around 12.40 it started raining quite hard, and then eased off at around 1.10, when we finished our set. Most of the audience thought they were going to be watching Adele, because that is what it said in the festival program. Something mysterious happened just after it went to press and we were asked to play the slot instead.
I told the audience who we were, quite a few times, in case we gave Adele a confusing reputation. I said something along the lines of
“Hello, we are Gravenhurst from Bristol. We are not Adele. We are Gravenhurst. After 72 hours on this festival site we are now operating at optimum performance levels, and improving all the time”.
The set was:
The Velvet Cell
She Dances
Hollow Men
Trust
Song From Under The Arches
Black Holes In The Sand
I’m not good at counting audiences when I am in the process of Rocking Out, but apparently about 300 people were watching. This was truly touching; It was really pissing it down. Crimean War Field Hospital with better tunes and more effective medicines.
That night was the absolute high-point of the festival for me. I saw the fabulous Circulus, a medievalist prog folk band. Fairport, Jethro Tull and Early Music = Wickerman, Lake and Palmer. Fantastic. They were the only band I saw that truly rocked. And they were the only band I saw who wore wizard’s robes and animal masks. Then I got pissed with Martha Wainwright and Ed Harcourt. Networking? Name dropping? Sue me. It’s nothing compared to brushing past that bloke from Top Gear.
After
Damp.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

'Clive Burr was a better drummer than Nicko McBrain' - Discuss

Maplin technician in not-pedantic shocker

I went into Maplin to buy a soldering iron. My flatmate's gas soldering iron melted itself. I asked the technician about the battery powered ones and he said 'For kids. Electrical is best, and it's cheaper'. When I told him the gas one had melted he said 'yes, bad design'. Then I asked him about a an S-VID to SCART lead and he recommended not buying theirs and showed me how to do it much cheaper using separate leads and drew three different diagrams for me. What a dude.

His name is Michal, he has lots of tattoos and is from Eastern Europe. Or he could be from France for all I know; these skilled, helpful migrants all look the same to me. If enough of them come here, they are in danger of wiping out the "Pffff....Nah mate, you won't get it... it's gonna be at least six to eight weeks for parts..." mentality that keeps our Nation strong, resourceful, efficient and welcoming to outsiders.

Ashton Court Festival

Very good news that Ashton Court Festival, Bristol's community festival will be going ahead. The extra costs incurred by the new licensing regulations, plus the ₤8,000 bill for graffiti damage and the ₤11,000 bill caused by people vandalising the estate, have left the festival owing over £100,000. As an independent and not for profit organisation they are entirely reliant on sponsorship and gate income to survive, so there is no margin for error. Find out more here.

I'm a little disappointed that the festival team rejected my specific strategy of wholeheartedly embracing corporate sponsorship whilst keeping Ashton Court essentially a community festival. By working closely with Imperial Tobacco, Bristol Community Festival could secure it's own future whilst giving the people of Bristol an opportunity to celebrate a key part of their city's rich economic heritage. But never mind.

The full line-up hasn't been announced yet but Gravenhurst are playing. I want Iron Maiden to headline. That's unlikely. Impossible, in fact. I've listened to Iron Maiden since I was eight. They got shit after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son though. People say Iron Maiden are silly. That's like saying a horse has hooves, and what sort of scoundrel would deny a horse his hooves?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The results of a rigorous two-week programme of lifestyle awareness

Week one - moderate consumption of beer and wine

Read this month's Prospect magazine. Read the Economist. Read half of Nick Cohen's new book 'What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way'. Watched two Adam Curtis documentaries, 'Pandora's Box' and the 'The Mayfair Set'. Watched Andrew Marr's 'A History Of Modern Britain'. Finished mixing two songs. Achieved various administrative goals.

Week two - bag of weed, cider

Read half of Viz. Listened to Iron Maiden. Watched 'Conan The Barbarian', 'Commando', 'Death Wish', 'Death Wish II', 'Death Wish 3', 'Death Wish 4: The Crackdown', 'Death Wish V: The Face of Death' (boxed set), several episodes of 'Walker: Texas Ranger' (starring Chuck Norris, solid performances over several decades), 'Roadhouse' (starring Patrick Swayze, who knows full well that his crowning celluloid achievment was playing a nonce in Donnie Darko), 'American Psycho' (yet again), and all six episodes of 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' with the commentary on. Found myself idly searching Ebay for a copy of Michael Winner's last film, 'Parting Shots', starring Chris Rea. Thought about buying a bomber jacket with a picture of a panther on the back. Failed to achieve various administrative goals.

Thursday, May 10, 2007




You may know him as
Swearengen.
But to us he'll always be
Lovejoy




8 PM Lovejoy Lovejoy and Tinker get more than they bargained for when a routine evaluation goes awry. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)
8 PM Lovejoy When a routine evaluation goes awry, Lovejoy and Tinker get more than they bargained for. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)

8 PM Lovejoy Lovejoy foils a gang of art thieves with the help of Tinker and his extraordinarily unlikely black lesbian wheelchair-bound sidekick. Lighthearted drama (Rpt)

8 PM Lovejoy Lovejoy finds himself in the frame when a painting is stolen from an estate he is routinely evaluating. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)

8 PM Lovejoy During a routine evaluation, Lovejoy beds a series of wealthy but increasingly hanging middle-aged women. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)

8 PM Lovejoy Lovejoy's divvying skills are put to the test when a routine evaluation turns up a forgery. Or is it? Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)

8 PM Lovejoy Eric does something completely fucking dunderheaded, much to the wry amusement of Lovejoy and Tinker. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)

8 PM Lovejoy Loveable rogue Lovejoy lands himself in deep water when a routine evaluation takes an unusual turn. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)
8 PM Lovejoy Rough diamond antiques dealer Lovejoy finds more than he is looking for when a country estate is routinely evaluated. Lighthearted drama (Rpt.)




Cast List
Ian Mcshane as Lovejoy
Wrinkly old cow as Lady Jane Felsham
Dudley Sutton as Tinker
Chris Jury as Eric
Posh Bird as Beth
You don't really find her attractive do you? as Charlotte Cavendish (1993-94)
Really, she is pretty rough as Charles Gimbert


Production Details
Written by:
Ian La Frenais, Dick Clement, Terry Hodgkinson, Douglas Watkinson, Roger Marshall, Jeremy Paul, Others
Directed by:
John Crome, Ken Hannam, Baz Taylor, Others
Produced by:
Robert Banks Stewart, Emma Hayter, Colin Shindler, Jo Wright, Richard Everitt
6 series, 71 episodes
Transmitted: 1986-94
BBC Television
Witzend Productions
McShane Productions




With respect:

http://www.tinkerhasaposse.com

Friday, April 27, 2007

Political Correctness Gone Right

Bristol City Council in correct decision shocker

This film is Shane Meadows's finest work to date. The notoriously inept Bristol City Council got it right; teenagers should see it, it's a powerful film, and cannily released on St. George's Day, it may coincide with a British National Party turnout in the local elections. Suffice to say it is unlikely BNP members will be off to their local art house cinema to see this. It is more important that their children see it.

http://warpfilms.com
http://www.thisisenglandmovie.co.uk

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Greetings from the new bottom of the same lake

Here we are at our new blog address. Note the address bar- there you are. You can change your bookmarks accordingly. Good on you.

Our dedicated team of police divers have copied all the previous posts over to this new blog address. This means that if you want to read some old posts from this blog ("brimful of coruscating prose, wry asides, and many occurrences of the words 'fuck' and 'fucking'" - The Salisbury Review) you won't have to go to the old blog.

See you at the bottom of the lake.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Breakfast Lieutenant aka. Bad Club

Click here for
"Now That's What I Call Deeply Harrowing! Volume. 1"
-an Amazon DVD list

Anton Maiof showed me how to play the IMDB Game. The rules are as follows:
Open IMDB. Only quiz master may see it. Choose and click on a film from Top Ten. Players have to guess, based on the film, a recommended film on that page. Winner stays on.

Legend has it that in the course of playing this game, Anton and friends were led from Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant to John Hughes's The Breakfast Club in only four recommendations. What happened next was explosive. It emerged that the two films had almost the same running time, of 96 and 97 minutes respectively. This meant that the two films could be shown concurrently, with the very real possibility that Emilio Estevez's pot-fuelled back-flips would coincide with Harvey Keitel sobbing, moaning and calling Jesus Christ a 'rat fuck'. Plans are under way to show the films together in a split screen format at the Cube Cinema in Bristol.


Funtimefunbreaktime

Guy N. Smith
versus Garth Marenghi

The following quotes are from the works of Guy N. Smith and Garth Marenghi. Distinguish the parody from the parodied.

1 ) "Gordon would you … take me away from here? Take me with you, where there aren’t such things as wolves, Black Dogs and people cutting their heads off with saws".

2) "But what chance did they stand against this army of attacking pheasants?"

3) "She stared in horror as the blood poured from her open wound. Why had she opened that sarcophagus?? The sand turned a crimson red, the colour of blood. Her blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. And bits of piss and shit. This was the worst day of her life."

4) "Why shouldn't a child's corpse turn into a pike? No reason at all...Maybe he was a fish and hadn't realised it up until now".

5) "It was his first taste of human flesh and he wondered why he had ever bothered with hares and sheep before".

6) "Something was pouring from his mouth. He examined his sleeve. Blood!? Blood. Crimson copper-smelling blood, his blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. And bits of sick."

7) "This doomed girl had not only risen from her deathbed but she had turned into a nymphomaniac".

8) "He did something that caused the elephant to go berserk and the potato vendor to burn to death".

9) "Mike stared in disbelief as his hands fell off. From them protruded millions of maggots. Maggots!? Maggots. Maggots. Maggots. Maggots. Maggots. Maggots. All over the post office floor, in Leytonstone."

10) "He whisked off her shoes and panties in one movement, wild like an enraged shark, his bulky totem beating a seductive rhythm. Mary's body felt like it was burning, even though the room was properly air-conditioned. They tried all the positions: on top, doggy, and normal. Exhausted, they collapsed on to the recently extended sofa bed. Then, a hellbeast ate them."

11) "Nothing else mattered...Not even the giant crabs."

12) "'No way! No way on God's Green Land can a crab be bigger than a Renault Estate! Can it…!?!"



1) Guy N. Smith - Werewolf By Moonlight
2) Guy N. Smith - Carnivore
3) Garth Marenghi - title unknown
4) Guy N. Smith - The Undead
5) Guy N. Smith - Werewolf By Moonlight
6) Garth Marenghi - Slicer
7) Guy N. Smith - The Ressurected
8) Guy N. Smith - The Dark One
9) Garth Marenghi - title unknown
10) Garth Marenghi - Juggers
11) Guy N. Smith - Night Of The Crabs
12) Garth Marenghi - Crab!!

Like Garth Marenghi and Dean Learner, Guy N. Smith is a tireless campaigner for the re-introduction of the death penalty.