Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blair through Blur - an interesting companion piece

A weird experience reading Alex James' Bit of A Blur (his autobiographical
recounting of the rise and rise of Blur) and Alastair Campbell's Diaries: The Blair Years, back to back - a bit like a history teacher of mine who insisted on reading the Morte D'Arthur acccompanied by Sibelius 4th....complimenarity, eat your heart out!

for example, Alex is astounded at meeting famous (really famous) people like royals
and the Old Brigade/royalty of rock, and Blur are a bit downhearted when they go to tour america to support the release of an album the day kurt cobain blows himself away and Grunge comes to town - Campbell seems similarly besotted with Diana, and famous US Clinton type people, and is upset when the press dont report his beloved T.B.'s wonderful works in favour of some lurid tabloid tale. Oh, and both feature silly abbreviations of names (everyone in Blur-land is reduced to one syllabul, every one in Blair to Reggie Perrin's style dual-initials). Oh, and people namecheck awfully the whole time, and hang out in Camden (the awful Good Mixer - knackerish pub I used to avoid near Arlington House (doss house), or the Camden Brasserie (knackerish faux-french place which is always full of people trying to sit next to famous people).

One difference (and this may be key to Blur getting my vote over New Labour every time) - Alex expresses remorse at his bad behaviour but admits that a) it was fun and b) rock musicians are MEANT to behave this way - its their job. Hey, and Blair had the poor taste to invite Oasis to No. 10, not Damon:)

There are loads of other parallels, and i wont spoil either book by reciting them here, but suffice it to say that Blur didn't go on to invade Iraq, and Zlex dance music taste isn't bad...

advices and queries...

don't come much better than this from Geo. Fox, 1656:

"Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I strongly believe that the neo-cons deliberately have had a policy (since the war in former Yugoslavia) to discredit and undermine the UN because it would have been a possible source of world government, which obviously goes against purely selfish US interests - they've cast the UN as incompetent - I am surprised they didn't try to claim it was communist (and therefore obviuously the axis of evil of the old kind) but its clear to me that the US has been (as chomsky put it) the only real Rogue State since the fall of the other "super-power" - the fact is that most of the situations the UN once might have helped in (aforesaid balkans, somalia, darfur, sri lanka, peru, middle east) where they are the only potentially neutral agency, the lack of resource engineered by the US has meant the UN is not seen as much help - fact is that neither has the US been any help in any one of them - history will tell, but if we were to write about Good and Bad Empires, I don't think they'll be a phrase "Pax Americana" anywhere in the books

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Muddle East (again) & commentating

1. so there's this book about the excessive influence that the israeli lobby has in the US, just being touted around (e.g. guardian blurb) - the interesting thing is that
no-one ever really comes out and says the two important sides to the equation:-

i) any vaguely anti-zionist text is a great way to flush out all the zionist loons and so identify the people to ignore in the real debate - lightning rods are useful...

ii) the real debate for israelis is that withotu the 3billion a year in US aid, not only would their country be bankrupt, but they would probably all be dead and the country overrun with fairly hardcore islam - this would also not be v. nice for the palestiniains (most of whome historically are educated moderate) or some of the neighbours (lots of the lebanese and all the other groups in neighborouing states that don't subscribe to some of the extreme debate (Egypt, obviously not being arab, but also baatist syria, oddly).

On the other hand, one could imagine a 3rd party sponsor of peace if only !

2. meanwhile, also in recent press is the US handwringing about pulling troops out of Iraq - here's a mitigating thought aboute how the chaos that ensues could be excused as not a result of the US (&UK) intervention, but (at least eventually) would have happened when saddam died (say of old age) - the Sunni-Shia civil war (which is what is really going on) was just on the horizon one day - perhaps making it happen sooner rather than later is not necessarily a good thing, but is it a reason to continue to support a mess that has 3+ parties instead of just two (three party problems, like 3 body problems, being intractable)???

3. The guardian has a nice recent article on how politicized islam now a stable state that we have the US (and UK) to thank for.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

scambled eggs (porridge): are they really worth the hassle?

yet again i find myself scraping clean an allegedly non-stick pan after cooking scrambled eggs to go on sunday breakfast toast, and i find myself asking:

where they really worth the bother?

answers on a blogsite near you now!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

here's today's bizarre error message (from blogger:)

in KAIST today, tried updateing a blog entry and got the following two errors (the second one looks like it is from some local proxy though)

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

* Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
* Provide the following error code and additional information.

Additional information
blogID: 19062127
postID: 608001519340849006
uri: /

This information will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.

HTTP Status 400 - Invalid path /post-create was requested

type Status report

message Invalid path /post-create was requested
description The request sent by the client was syntactically incorrect (Invalid path /post-create was requested).
Apache Tomcat/4.1.31

How useful:)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

iraq cheney prediction thing

I finally got around to looking at Cheney's 94 interview about why not to go into iraq, and now there's nothing more to be said on the matter.