how to let down friends and disappoint people, by david cohen gradutard

the text runs:
panel 1: jobman: "so what areas of work are you looking for?"
panel 2: silence
panel 3: 20 years later. grilly: "good traffic today"

woman's hour got me out of bed again. the revelation that co-habiting heterosexual couples have fewer rights than homosexual ones is thouroughly upsetting. can't they just leave gender out of the equation? it's not discriminatory to have laws for everyone irrespective of differences, and then have commissions to ensure that equality is maintained where necessary. what this represents is a concrete, legal discrimination, and will be until the laws recognises people regardless of gender, and lets two persons of the same sex marry. it doesn't have to be in a church, or have some nonexistent terrorist god frowning upon it; just fill in a form if that's all you want to do, and get the right to your life-long partner's property, if it's so important to you.

i'm increasingly despairing of the world and it's people (yes, more than usual), especially with 'recent events'. the chief of the met police saying more civilians could be shot - well that's reasonable, how are we meant to identify suicide bombers if they don't have beards? i've not changed my ideals - it's better that some bombs slip through the net than the net is so tight that it constricts the people it is supposed to be there to protect. hmph. fascists on both sides of us, buoyed up by the stupidity of the average subject-izan. i also stand by another older prinicple - it success is not possible, it is still better to try and fail and to not try at all (no matter what master yoda says), because what if your information is wrong?

oh yeah, the weekend.

friday was a bloody riot. i graduated (!) on empty stomach then went for lunch with my darling family at the very nice quod (although creamy sundried tomato gnocchi did leave me farting raw red onion for the night). after lying on the beach and listening to michelle trying to moderate the relationship between her brother and his son, it was time to go home. some time during the graduation, as alisdair smith talked about the london bombs and the tsunami disaster in the same sentance, it occured to me that god is a terrorist. i mentioned this to laurence later in the evening. after i'd left my parents running for a train, i doubled back, met tommy katherine and l and we crashed back into the afternoon grad ceremony for as much free champange as we could fill inside our stomachs, and also our pockets. after throwing our topless selves round the living room to raggabba and metal, drinking vodka + irn bru, we threw on red tshirts (somehow we knew it was fancy dress) and went out to laura's friend's house party.
i met laura at one o'clock in the afternoon last thursday, when she woke up in our house. she's very nice, look here she is in the middle, below.
after writing 'live in fear' on their smoke alarm, l & i walked round to the house that tommy had popped round to, only he said it was left then right out of the house, not right then left (which he meant), which gave us a long walk and the perfect opportunity to try out the marker pens we took from the house.
i went home before the others (it was only round the corner), having taken an x-files mug that was sat on their garden wall (i'm not normally like this, honest). on l's way home, he wrote 'god is a terrorist' on a church hoarding. i know how he hates hotlinking images, so you'll just have to look at his site

the next morning, we packed and got picked up by the charming chris t-t to go to truck fest.


look, it's a truck!


and laurence, ready for a day in the wet.

i didn't take any photos of bands, so you'll have to take my word that sikth, yourcodenameis:milo, chris t-t, stuffy and the fuses, and fonda 500 were all great. brakes didn't really do it for me, martin grech was quite good, and patrick wolfe was, sorry fanboys, hilariously terrible. chris gave us the gossip: ten minutes before he was due to go on, wolfe's manager threw a wobbler about the lack of dressing room (although it was mentioned in the contract) and declared that without a full length mirror, the show wasn't going to happen. well, they told him to stuff it and patrick wolfe went on anyway. the highlight of the weekend was the start of sikth's set - as the fret-mental intro to 'hold my finger' (their first song, as i predicted) kicked in, two guys barged everyone out of the way and started moshing, about four joined in much to everyone else's chagrin, especially l and myself who were trying to dance, but after about 45 seconds the moshing petered out and a massive hole was left in the middle of the crowd. for a while no-one wanted to fill it (except one eager fan, who had the build, haircut, and jumper of thom), but then after a fashion we reclaimed and used the space to get funky. i've seen it happen before - you just can't dance to sikth. they're too good.

and finally..

look, it's a truck!

forever v1.9

there's a new song on escheria - a cover of the bezerker's 'forever'. from start of recording to online in three hours flat. it would have been two, but well, i do have to make a token effort at mixing. for instance, after recording the second take of the verse vocals, i figured it sounded better with both takes in the mix, like the double tracked acoustic guitars. and i've realised how much of an influence ergo phizmiz has been on what i want to do - his cover of white light white heat (the whole album) is a blatant inspiration for this song, or his cover of aphex twin's vordhosbn. i wanted to throw down loads of layers, guitars, whistles, pianos, keyboards, like some lo-fi phil spector, but after a couple of hours it just hung together so i left it at that.

here's someone else's cover of forever, or at least the start of it.

speaking of music, my monthly downloads are through the glass cieling (i before e, dammit); since january it counts up: 11, 29, 57, 32, 238, 399, and then 572 for this month which hasn't finished yet! who are these people? i never thought there'd be that many people with my music who i'd not met.
what's odd is that my streams have fallen off completely. there are too many daily downloads to just be blog readers getting them, unless every time someone reads this site they download 15 songs. maybe you do, i don't mind as i'm not paying for the bandwidth.

and now, feminism.
listening to woman's hour with jenny murray this morn, there was an article about how muslim women haven't been in the media very much since the london bomb, or 7/7 as people are inexplicably calling it (googling 7/7 is hilarious), but at least we can't complain that they got the numbers the wrong way round.
god, i'm so liberal, a bomb goes off in london and all i care about is the fucking date.
anyway, feminism. muslim women haven't been in the media much since the terror attack (don't forget the word terrorism was first commonly used to describe the activities of governments on local populations. exactly whose language are we talking?), unlike the women in ireland during the troubles. this is obviously, as the report made out, due to inbalances within the the muslim community (stress on community, since islam is not necessarily a sexist religion). now, since:
a) we live in a patriarchy (YES WE DO), and
b) the world is violent,
feminists (like myself, theoretically) have been allowed to conject that a matriarchy would be more socially co-operative than our current state, without much hard evidence. there is cirumcumstantial evidence from our close relatives like chimpanzees (males like to act dominantly, while females are more team-worky), but we can't safely infer anything about ourselves from them, since they have culture too (by which i mean, differences in behaviour between groups).

sorry, i ran out of steam. i might finish this later.



the revalation that if my degree was a mark in pc gamer, i wouldn't buy the game. i'd read the reivew only to see if it was hilariously bad (it wouldn't be, just stinkingly mediocre). that i (mistakenly) gave disney's brother bear a higher mark than my degree. brother bear is better than me on my own admission. i think this is the kick up the arse that i've been angling for.

i haven't written about our new housemate, vicky. vicky has cooked us some wonderful meals, just like mama used to make, and is as nice as pie and great company. saturday night, i came down into the kitchen and found a slice of somerfield pizza, in it's paper wrapper with



written on it.

last night, and i hate to write this, but i saw resident evil for the third time. that's sick isn't it? it's not a three watch film, but it's one of those films that's always there - i protested and shouted and tried to read through it, but there was no escaping it once the zombies were out. to be honest, it is a shit zombie film, more of an action film with some zombies in. it's not even worth the five or so sentances i've wasted on trying to describe it's lack of worth. anyway, l wanted to watch it; this is mainly due to our new hobby - buying and watching entertaining videos (and then, in theory, part exchanging them back). last weekend we bought seven at the market, including reign of fire, bionicle the movie, the burbs and rocky, and it came to about a fiver.

we watch them here:

despite our hatred, we now have two tvs. neither is plugged into the sky; tommy's has a video player built in, and the other one has nowhere else to go. but now we can watch originals and remakes similtaneously. you can also make out a snes, a ps2, and an xbox, now useable thanks to megan's sly slippage at the games shop where she works.
more picture fun:

why do most of those animals look so miserable?

just how big does a reciept for one item need to be? that's a pint glass. regardless, i've becomed addicted to holland & barrett's veggie pies, and have gone so far as applying for a job from them.

barbecue with cally (happy birthday)

laurencre's favourite building has a make-over, post-mirror mask.

this weekend was anti-fest; more anti-folk than you or i could ever handle. friday night at the free butt, then guitar passing afterwards at mcgee house (inculding 15 gatechrashers at 2 a.m.). saturday had four hours and about 25 performers in the sanctuary cafe cella. i lasted about two sets, after which the sun was calling and i'd had enough mild hilarity until, ooh, tonight, when we went out for the monthly turds. i played my new song, 'purple milk', which got a good response, and astra (happy birthday) kindly requested 'love' so i played that. later jimmy mcgee and i dueted on 'nazi punks fuck off'. his poetry was very funny too, so if you see 'why i became a teacher' by jimmy cairney, i suggest you buy it - he's played with john heguely, you know. you see, it is possible to be a teacher and have a life. maybe i'll go for that pgce after all.

lovely to see dandy, er, i mean pete, and lizzy for lunch, but increasingly it seems that i only meet distant friends for the odd lunch here and there. still at least i got to meet them, whereas deb pugh (who turned up in brighton on monday with no fore-warning) got missed out entirely, as did barney livingston (who may have just got me a job).

and what's with all the trailers for bawdy bloke 'n' tits sex comedies? the wedding crashers, the su-dokus of hazzard, and maybe more that i rolled into those two. tiresome and weary shit. not to mention herbie: fully loaded (although somewhat unbelievably, it has a blacksmoke remix on the soundtrack).

oh, and valerie are playing on wednesday night in london. can i afford to go? can i afford to not go? how will this resolve?
end of episode 196.


p.s. here is a page of extreme optical illusions


the man who loves to lean

i'm not going to give too much away about the new project tommy and i are working on in an as yet undecided medium (we'll get the plot decided first), suffice to say, the working title is 'the hunt for dan brown' and it's going to be splendid. i think the most important plot point might be discovering why dan brown is propped up against something in every available publicity photo (it might have something to do with real dolls, or not.)

i saw war of the worlds a couple of days ago, i thought it was actually good. seeing people being zapped by the heat ray in the opening scenes was properly horrifying, and overall i think the film should have been rated higher than a 12A. maybe that's just me getting older. julie couldn't get over her hatred for tom cruise, which i just took as read from the start of the film and moved on from, even if the film makes clear he is the best crane operator in 12 systems, just to prove everyone's gotta be good at something (incidentally i read in the fortean times how he had two gifts for everyone on the film: a coffee bar and a church of scientology booth). i love (and have always loved) many things about the war of the worlds; the hopelessness, the red weed, the fact that for all intents and purposes the martians win, and without compromise. this version was pretty faithful, adding only really bad transitions between some scenes (how did they get from 'hamburger hill' to the loner's basement? how was their car unscathed after everything else around was destroyed when a bloody aeroplane fell out of the sky?), a wonderful young actress (clearly the next drewbarrymore), and an unbelievable twist on the ending, that the martians couldn't survive in our ecosystem: the revalation that "no death is in vain" . the ending was the same; the aliens caught the common cold and died. but the angle they played on it ignored the poetic injustice of other versions i have experienced (an older film and the jeff wayne version); for all our great weapons and tactics, nature is more wonderful still. it seemed to say that the end justifies the means, &c. not in this story it didn't; the aliens weren't defeated because of all our brave lads who died for us. it had nothing to do with us at all. in the other versions, the aliens catch colds and die, simple as that. here, the aliens are attacked by bacteria, which not only causes them to behave erraticly, but inexplicably stops their force fields from working, just so we can get a few minutes of men finally taking out a tripod, because they could have done it all along, if it weren't for the martian's dastardly technology. L made a good point that bacteria are only good at affecting us because of co-evolution, and introducing a new organism to an ecosystem, one finds that it is devoid of predators, so the aliens wouldn't have been affected by anything in our ecosystem as it wouldn't recognise them as a target. he's wrong of course, because of fresher's flu; you go to a new area, and there's all sorts of new strains of viruses that you're not immune to. of course, by the same measure, it would be funny if the aliens brought some viruses with them from mars that later killed all life on earth. why didn't wells think of that one? i suppose it doesn't help the narrative much, it's just a twist too far.

intersting article that i feel quite passionate about - lisa stansfield
In the end my decision wasn't that hard. I went with my gut instinct and decided to take my husband's surname. Why? Because I wanted to. Nothing to do with tradition and nothing to do with what anybody else thought.

Was I selling my sisters down the river? No. What better way of being independent and believing in the social and economic equality of the sexes is there than making your own choice? That choice was mine.

how can she say that it was nothing to do with tradition? i agree, the choice was hers, but she can't say her choice had no influences, nor ramifications.

i wish the martians would come and take you away. right now.


if they did a discworld online game, would it be set in ankh mmorpg?


throw your skinny body down, son

i've not much to say, but i thought i'd try and say it anyway (usually a bad idea). i've been spending too much time alone, re-reading my old diaries, and consequently, wandering about the house muttering "evil.. everyone must be killed" and so forth to no-one. i bought thief: the dark project on monday, and have made myself completely sick of it already. i'm starting to think that even though i really, genuinely enjoy the experiance of playing computer games, they are really, genuinely harmful. and when will i have the time? at the moment, i can just log on at any point of the day, if i let myself; but when i have a job, i'll either be working, relaxing, or sleeping, and none of those can be substituted in for single player computer games any better than the loathed television. this feeling is excerbated by the purchase of munchkin last weekend, which is tremendous fun, yet only a card game. just how would i spend my time if i lived alone? lost in any vacuous fantasy world on a screen, living out a script that isn't even in my head?

i found out other things this week: i found out that they made a fifth leprechaun film: leprechaun in the hood. at least it had the excellent ice-t in it (see, i do like music by black people). then i found out that they made a sequal to that: leprechaun: back 2 the hood. ice-t was clearly not available. the leprechaun dominates warwick davis' career like a monolith designed not by arthur c. clarke's benelovent educators, but by d.r. and quinch. but then i found out something wonderful: agent one-half, written by and starring davis, also starring val kilmer. oh yes. roll on 2007.

i made a new myspac: escheria, where i put my cover versions and remixes up - at the moment just both hands by ani di franco and the obligatory enjoy the silence. go! fight!