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Saturday, 31 March 2007

Thursday, 29 March 2007

From Kether to Malkuth...





It's hard to quantify the degree to which the career of an artist like David Bowie dwarfs those of all but a small handful of artists who've emerged since he made his last truly great LP (Scary Monsters & Super Creeps) in 1980. Constraints of time preclude anything like the sort of length required remotely to do the man and his work justice here. I can only hope to offer a mere taster of the depth and resonance avaliable to the interested and committed - if I can use the term without raising too many eyebrows - virgin. Accordingly, I'll just give an outline of one song which might hint, part for whole, at the sheer grandeur and ambition that characterises so much of his output. To today's ears (mine, incidentally, included), made flighty by shuffle play, our imaginations stunted by the hi-jacking of music promotion by MTV and its fetish for the lowest common denominators of visual literalism (invariably, tits and ass), a song that clocks in at just over ten minutes, drawing its inspiration from (amongst other things) the bible, cocaine-abuse, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Aleister Crowley, Tattva symbolism and whose cinematic scope is derived solely from the emotive and descriptive power of words and music, the magnificence of 'Station to Station' might well be off the radar. But I offer this up anyway, in hope....

I'd planned to write something myself on this, but there's really little point when a paraphrase of Ian MacDonald's brief but exhaustive essay "White Lines, Black Magic: Bowie's Dark Doings" (in The People's Music - I tried, but couldn't find it online...) is sufficient for our purposes here. The reputation of the critic is usually a fairly reliable index of the import of the artist - Samuel Johnson had his Boswell, Radiohead have our Tim - so it's fitting that Ian MacDonald, the most elegant, precise and thorough rock writer I've had the pleasure of reading, should have been working on a book about Bowie right up until his sad and untimely death.

The younger Bowie, "self-taught" and "insecure in his intellect", had dabbled in Buddhism but by the time he'd acquired stardom in the guise of Ziggy Stardust, it was a veritable philosophical rag bag that shaped his outlook; a pronounced vein of Nietzsche ("you've gotta make way for the Homo superior" he sings in 'Oh You Pretty things' on 1971's Hunky Dory) and Gnosticism in particular, including a belief in the myth of the fall (and, for once, that's not a cue for a dig at Claire-uh Nasir-uh...) In short, as described by Mr. MacDonald;

human beings are born into this world from a higher dimension ('heaven') which we forget upon entering the sphere of material existence. Hence [we] are ... a half-finished thing living in a state of waking sleep [we] call reality, but which is actually a kind of delusion. Only...the 'enlightened' ones see reality as it truly is.

It's no accident that the ethereal Bowie, his entire persona and demeanour redolent of just such an elect, had attracted the attention of film director Nic Roeg, who cast him as Thomas Jerome Newton, the stranded alien wunderkind, in The Man Who Fell To Earth. Filmed in New Mexico shortly before the Station to Station sessions, there can have been few greater conflations of actor and role. Add to this alienation Bowie's already fragile and fragmented ego, and his astonishing ability to 'become' the characters through which he presented his songs, an increasing interest in these Occult themes, particularly the same Arthurian legends that had inspired the Nazis, and you have a recipe for a certain degree of estrangement from reality. Compound all *that* with the debilitating pressures of stardom and touring and, perhaps most pertinently, the shitload of cocaine consumed in tandem with an eschewing of almost all the other usual forms of bodily nourishment and it's fair to say that by the time he came to record Station in 1975, David was, physically and mentally, in a pretty bad way. Far more than having merely summoned them up, Bowie's personal demons were now beginning to make themselves known to him in person, ("I've been 'avin' some trouble with the neighbours", he told a telephone interviewer from the music press who'd asked what the strange noises he could hear in the background to their conversation were) to the extent that when his friend Michael Lippman gave him a gold crucifix, he was asked (presumably as a belt and braces measure) also to provide him with a mezuzah ("a parchment in a glass tube, inscribed with the divine name Shaddai, which Orthodox Jews" use "to ward off evil")

Consequently, Station to Station (1976) is his "dark night of the soul" and the hinge on which Bowie's career pivots. The Thin White Duke is the last of Bowie's overt characters. Gaunt, chain-smoking Gitanes with a flame of henna and peroxide hair, it is, for me, his most visually exquisite look; white shirt, black waistcoat and trousers, he is graphically and literally (as he sang in 'Quicksand') "torn between the light and dark". Musically too, his synthesis of 'black' soul music and 'white' European art music (he'd absorbed the synthesizer sounds of Kraftwerk and Brian Eno and would pursue these more fully in the albums that followed) But Bowie is at a more profound crossroads than merely one of career or image. He seems to be fighting for his very soul at times.

The album and its title track open with a white noise approximation of a train travelling across the stereo soundstage, immediately establishing Bowie's literal and spiritual rootlessness -he travelled by train due to fear of flying and carried a library of several thousand books, presumably mostly of the nature described above, with him at all times. MacDonald sees him as a latterday Prospero, the "Thin White Duke, making sure white stains" [White Stains was Aleister Crowley's obscure first book] the (black) magician with his vast library, magic circles and bizarre Tattva symbols (the use of flashing lights to attain higher consciousness), trapped in his rented West Coast apartment;

Here are we
One magical moment
Such is the stuff from where dreams are woven,

Here am I
Flashing no colour [Tattva for not so good?]
Tall in my room overlooking the ocean...


The stations Bowie alludes to are deep with resonance - the railway variety that this habitual, disparate personality had been physically hurtling through, the manifold personalities he'd assumed - we can feel in the panoramic sweep of the music, the train-like grinding of the rhythm section all of these transitions. But the most explicit journey here is, as MacDonald suggests, that which Bowie hopes to make up (or down?) the Tree of Life. Postulated by Crowley disciple Israel Regardie, the Tree of Life marked the journey from Malkuth (the sphere of the physical world) to Kether (the sphere of the godhead). So, it's a fascinating inversion of this spiritual path that Bowie signifies when he sings:

Here am I
One magical movement
From Kether to Malkuth


The song pivots on the achingly beautiful observation,

Once there were mountains on mountains
Once there were sun birds to soar with
And once I could never be down


For here is Bowie, no longer "driv[ing] [or being driven?] like a demon from station to station", impelled to keep "searching and searching and oh what will I be believing", but now poised to leap off the train that he'd been riding to oblivion with a single hope and the simplest of questions remaining "who will connect me with love?":

It is, as MacDonald attests, one of the most heart-rending lines ever sung in pop as Bowie's tormented, intense spiritual search finally comes to rest against the buffers of simple human warmth and empathy:

It's not the side effects of the cocaine,
I'm thinking that it must be love


"Wonder who, wonder who, wonder when?" Ponders Bowie. With a directness and humanity that would begin to reassert itself in his work from this point on, Bowie seeks empathy with his listeners,

Have you sought fortune,
Evasive and shy?


Well, it's not where I've just come from mate - it's here, he seems to suggest. In the aching obviousness of love, a simplicity reinforced by Earl Slick's almost-by-the-numbers Chuck Berry-esque solo whose rock cliche's are both apposite and transcendant as Bowie, simultaneously resigned but renewed through the transformative power of the music, croons to the fade,

It's too late to be hateful,
It's too late to be grateful


Still yearning, still restless, but the demons seem to be fading. And, perhaps anticipating his escape from his personal nightmare in LA to a fecund new career in Berlin, Bowie seems to have sighted a distant coast of hope;

The European Canon is here

It's an exhilarating listen, still.

Bowie was never quite the same after this - much as he did great work. He still wears a crucifix to this day, he says, to honour the good friend who pulled him out of the mess he'd got into. Lippman, possibly? Or a higher power? Regardless, the trajectory of the rest of his career has followed the same downward spiral - in Tree of Life terms - from godhead to human. This is why I think most ardent and true fans of the man don't find the lesser work - be it Jazzin' for Blue Jean or Tin Machine - as disappointing as sterner critics might. That work, along with the mensch Bowie has become, was forged in the dark crucible of Station to Station.

Forget the work.

Behold the man!






L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Tanya Beckett and Sophie Raworth are *STILL* Waiting For Godot...



TB: .....here, Soph. Can I ask you something?



SR: Mmm hmm.



TB: Did you see that Jools Laing on BBC London News this morning?




SR: ...Uh-uh...



TB: Really, *what* a *hussy*...

SR: Why so, Tans??...

TB: .....split skirt, open at the front, legs akimbo - you could see halfway to paradise and back - not an *ounce* of shame...




SR: Well, I hardly think you're one to be casting aspersions about the deportment of BBC London Travel Update Bulletin presenters, Miss Hoity-Toity, "I've-got-my-own-Business-Brunch-Supplement-come-and-stare-at-my-knockers-on-BBC-News-24-that-*nobody*-outside-the-Swiss-Banking-fraternity-watches-anyway"..

TB: ....excuse me??..

SR: Well, it's *true*. Tans, much as I love you Babe, I'd be lying if I said otherwise.




TB: Have you got a *clue* what she's talking about, Desiree?

Desiree: Talk to the hand sistah - I ain't gettin' involved in *no* shit* with you two again, innit? You is *both* tramp far as I's concerned...

TB: Thanks for nothing, D.

SR: I mean, look at you now, even as I speak to you - busting out all over the place, flashing a garter at every Tom, Dick and Turnbull like some cheap, over-perfumed lady of the night, stalking her innocent prey in the press-lounges of Geneva...

TB: Oh Pee, you're right - me garter's gone again!



SR: Is it an age thing, do you think, T....??

TB: Thanks for being a true friend Soph - there's hundreds of T.V. news anchors who'd have been more than happy to see me carrying on like this, slinking around like a teenage vamp when I can scarcely stay stood up without holding onto Dermot Curry for my osteoporosis...I'm a martyr to it. Here, Soph. - have some flowers for being such a great pal.....

SR: Oh Tans, they're lovely! Sorry if I was a bit hard on you. Where did you get them?



TB: Sally Army. It's about the only place I can hold my head now they've closed down the soup kitchen behind Kings Cross & St. Pancras. "Blood and Fire" and all that - it's not *half* as bad as it sounds and you *do* get to sing hymns and bang on a tambourine after. It'll come to you one day, trust me...

SR: Thanks Tans - although I think I've got a few good years at the Saracens left in me yet! Which reminds me - bring and buy sale Saturday to pay for my new kneepads. You will come? Well I'll just go stick them in some water and sort through a couple more bin liners. Honestly, if that Godot isn't here before 4pm, he can lump his cowing Indian head massage....

Oh well, suppose I'd better stick the kettle on......minty choc drinks all round girls??

ALL: Mmmm hmmmm!!


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The Bogus Man...




The principle aim of the novelist varies from one to the next; some seek to console, some to provoke; some to engage, some to divert. Although capable of achieving all of these, there is a more sinister purpose at the heart of Evelyn Waugh's best work. He wants to kill you. I presume that this is the intent anyway, because that's what he very nearly succeeded in doing to me last night, via a prolonged bout of near-asyphixiation brought about by my reading this segment of his novel Vile Bodies:

"Urged on by the taunts of the social editress, Adam brought new enterprise and humanity into this sorry column. He started a series of 'Notable Invalids', which was, from the first, wildly successful. He began chattily. 'At a a dinner party the other evening my neighbour and I began to compile a list of the most popular deaf peeresses. First of course, came old Lady -...'

Next day he followed it up with a page about deaf peers and statesmen; then about the one-legged, blind and bald. Postcards of appreciation poured in from all over the country.

'I have read your column for many years now,' wrote a correspondent from Bude, 'but this is the first time I have really enjoyed it. I have myself been deaf for a long time, and it is a great comfort to me to know that my affliction is shared by so many famous men and women. Thank you Mr. Chatterbox, and good luck to you.'

All lies, of course, made up for consumption by a gullible public by Adam Fenwick-Symes during his brief tenure as roguish society columnist 'Mr. Chatterbox' of the Daily Excess. But then, like the artificial poppies by which the fallen of the Great War are remembered, so much of what takes place in the world of the Bright Young People can be summed up by that oft-heard buzzword of airhead society girl Agatha Runcible's; 'bogus'. Indeed, the whole country was living a lie, post World War I. Its economy artificially bouyed up by German reparations payments, which were themselves being bankrolled by American loans, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 brought the whole house of cards that was British society (indeed, the Western World itself and beyond) tumbling down - a sort of global OPEC crisis, Black Wednesday and Beatles split rolled into one for those who were just about getting over the trauma of The Great War. It was into such a climate of economic paralysis and political turmoil that the book was unleashed in 1930, and yet the unreal and shallow world of the 'Bright Young People' still has an eerily familiar feel to it for readers today, splayed out in a hysterical jelly of giggles as we are on our beanbags whilst the TV gently spews its drooling mush of reality and soap in the background.

Waugh's clipped, barbed prose is at times searingly modern:

It does not befall many young men to be given a thousand pounds by a complete stranger twice on successive evenings.


You imagine he might have made a perfect guest on Have I Got News For You? - although it's hard to imagine what he'd have made of Paul Merton ( - Boris Johnson, on the other hand, would have provided an ocean of material). Though more cautious in its adoption of the techniques of Modernism - multiple voices, quick narrative jump cuts and heightened sense of authorial detatchment - Waugh's novel is, if anything, more 'modern' than Virginia Woolf's similarly panoramic London novel, Mrs. Dalloway, if only because it captures so well the protagonists' air of glazed-eyed hedonism and their infantile fascination with the - and I can't help, like Gore Vidal, wanting to say "and a happy new year" after this word - meretricious. If you haven't seen the film version, Bright Young Things or read the book - read the book. If you've read the book but haven't seen the film - read the book again.

Finally, I hadn't before picked up on the debt owed to Waugh by that other weary-voiced chronicler of the vacuity and hollowness of the 'glamourous' high-life (and another of my 'dullard' heroes), Bryan Ferry. Listening again to side two of For Your Pleasure this morning, you sense the affinity between Waugh's 'Happy Ending' to the novel - a bizarre 'chance meeting' between Adam and the Drunk Major (now a Sober - well, -ish - General) in the surreal, priapic No-Man's Land of an imagined future war, and that LP's closing track, with its astounding, ridiculously extended and Eno-treated, "ta-ra, ta-ra" death throb; Ferry's voice as numb and detatched as Adam as, like him, it marches off into that terrifying apocalyptic rumble.

"Don't ask why..."

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Extract From 'Sperm Competition in Humans'...

Foreword: Human Sperm competition and Woman's Dual Sexuality

by Randy Thornhill.

There is strong evidence that woman has a dual sexuality. During the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, she shows mate preferences that are distinctly different from that at infertile cycle phases. Recent studies have found that at high cycle fertility, but not at infertile cyrcle times, women prefer the body scent, faces and behaviours of symmetric men over the same traits of assymetric men; prefer relatively high degrees of facial testosteronization in men, indicating fertile-phase-specific preference for another marker (in addition to symmetry) of potential male genetic quality; prefer scents (andostenone) related to high testosteronization; prefer relatively high degrees of male skin coloration (melanin- and haemogloin-based) that may correspond to elevated testosterone; prefer relatively high degrees of mental functioning in men (creative intelligence); and show relatively high levels of disgust about incestuous and other maladaptive matings.

.....no wonder he's Randy...

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

"For Your Pleasure in Our Present State"...



I was feeling quite low this morning, creatively so a big thank you to everyone who commented yesterday and cheered me up - in particular Ro-Mo and Spinny, both of whom I feared I'd upset once too often over the last few weeks on these and other pages. I hope that isn't the case - that *would* make me very sad indeed... I suppose because you know that people read, you feel you have to give them something good (or at least worth reading) *all* *the* *time* and one forgets too easily that the handful of people who congregate here every so often are usually far more forgiving of the odd dip than one is oneself.

I was, truth to mood, going to do a post that started like this:

The sun rose over the rooftops as garish as a 1988 Dutch national team shirt...

and ended like this:

"I can still see the razor line". There is an opening in the fence onto the railway tracks. I slip through. I lay my head down on the line and wait for the pillow to become a blade.

Goodbye.


But then Nick Drake singing "This is the time of no reply" gave way to Bry. singing "For your Pleasure, in our present state", and I cheered up. Why? Well, when you hear the extraordinary, you are reminded that the extraordinary is possible.* Hard to achieve, perhaps - but possible. And sometimes that's enough.


"Ta-ra
Ta-ra...."





L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

*Drake is extraordinary too, but more on that later

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Monday, 26 March 2007

"...Passionate Bright Young Things, Takes Him Away To Waugh"...

Last night, we finally watch Stephen Fry's film version Of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies, Bright Young Things. I spend most of the film thinking that Emily Mortimer must be the finest and most versatile actress of her generation - she looks *nothing* at *all* like she did when playing Myra Hindley in Longford. Then I realise I'm confusing Emily Mortimer with Samantha Morton and that slightly takes the sheen off things.

I haven't read the novel - can't even remember which two early Waugh novels I *have* read, so can't really comment on it as adaptation, but it's certainly not a bad film. The comedy in the writing is, understandably, consistently teased out by Fry's direction and the excellent cast, who all *look* just right for the period. Michael Sheen, getting a well-deserved break from playing Tony Blair (one wonders what awful things *he* got up to in former lives) minces to particularly good effect, and Julia McKenzie, not normally my cup of char, is exceptional as the dotty landlady, Lottie Crump. The denouement - Adam at last hooking up with the mad Colonel (now a mad General) on the battlefields of WWII who finally possesses him of the £34,005 he's won on the gee-gees and that will; enable him to 'buy' back his share in his beloved, Nina (Mortimer/Morton) - is the only moment when the general ambience of what-hoing and high larks gives way a little to deeper feelings. But the spirit of decadence, if not quite the degree of nihilism I'd expected, is captured well and it's a refreshing reminder to people of my generation that the 60s was not the only Dionysian decade of the last century.

My expectations had been raised by a couple of lectures -one on the novel, the other on the effects of WWI on the psyches of those who survived it - that I recalled from my degree course. The English lecture quoted a scathing passage from the text in which Waugh is evidently directing his ire at those of his generation who, shellshocked by the horrors of The Great War, had thrown themselves into the pursuit of the hedonistic pleasures of the Jazz Age with such abandon, and it changed my perceptions of Waugh as a writer - I'd only picked up on the Wodehousian comic bits before, and not the social critique. The horrors of attritional trench warfare - millions turned into cannon-fodder to advance a few feet - cast their shadow on British Foreign policy right up to Chamberlain's declaration of a second war with Germany. Until a few months before, Appeasement was pretty much bipartite, the argument for rearmament (and possible use of those armaments) was about as easy to make then as it would be for a prospective government to stand on a ticket of negative equity and 15% interest rates...

Little of which is foregrounded in the film and, to get to the nubbin of what I really wanted to say here, the sense of dislocation and warped depravity I imagine haunting the npost WW1 years is perhaps caught better in the Bowie song Aladdin Sane, which was inspired by his reading Vile Bodies and making the connection between Waugh's and his own period. Mike "Greer" Garson's manic, Ellington-meets-what-Hendrix-would've-sounded-like-if-he'd-played-the-piano solo, is particularly powerful. I must read the Waugh book now, if only to see if the same heady mix of elegy, numbness and impending dread is evoked as beautifully there as it is in that song.

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Sunday, 25 March 2007

"Emancipate Yourselves From Mental Slavery"...

For some reason I tune into Andrew Marr's Sunday current affairs round-up show on BBC1. I don't know how I managed to stick with it beyond Jack Straw's profound analysis of the Middle East ("Iran exists..."), but I'm pleased I did - and not only because Carole Vorderman's luscious, lengthy legs were on full display at the end. Andy M. interviews the wonderfully named (I just googled it, is how I know..) Dr John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. It's refreshing to see a public figure who is gentle, considered, fair and erudite in equal measure and, furthermore, able to quote Bob Marley for good measure. Those of you who regularly listen to the Bobcasts, will already be aware of my scepticism regarding the current clamour for an apology from Tony Blair on behalf of "Britain" (what, or whoever that is) for the abhorrence that was the slave trade. The Archbish. hit just about the right note in calling for an acknowledgement of the shameful aspects of the past that have helped shape both countries. Unusually, Sentamu also acknowledged the role played by Africans in rounding up and selling their fellow men and perhaps it was this frankness that stopped him sounding as shrill as some of those "So Sorry" t-shirt wearing apologists (if you see what I mean) can. I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything he said, at any rate.

As Marr and Dr. Sentamu agreed, although this is perhaps a fitting time to reflect on the terrible inhumanity from which our cosy little "global village" has grown, we are living with our own versions of slavery - the currently flourishing international sex-slave trade and the continued causal link between the indecent treatment of the young and the poor thousands of miles away from our own relative comforts and the contents of our well-stocked larders, should perhaps be the focus of our attention as we uneasily mark the anniversary of the better documented trade-in-our-fellow-humans crimes of a bygone era.

For some, rightly or wrongly, the wounds will never heal - as a young, female Reverend commented on the Heaven & Earth Show that followed. But I was reminded of the moving and surprisingly positive conclusion of Friday night's excellent Simon Schama presented Rough Crossings (based on his book of the same name, I believe). Schama, a sort of more down-to-earth, non-nerdy Bamber Gascoigne (you can imagine him chewing gum and liking Belle & Sebastian), hits a good balance between articulating both the forces and the personalities that shape history and I personally think he leaves his more conservative, and only real, rival in the televisual historian steeplechase, David Starkey, trailing several furlongs in his wake.

The programme charted the painful birth of Freetown, Sierra Leone, an ambitious and - at least in the context of the slave trade itself - idealistic attempt to establish a trading settlement for former slaves from the American colonies. But the project, already very much a white man's burdon exercise from the off, soon began to degenerate into the familiar colonial hierarchy - in short, white overseers getting pissed and eyeing the local ladies while the black folks did all the work. For all its faults, Schama concluded that the virtues of the community - racially mixed and democratic to the extent that it was the first place "anywhere in the world" where women voted for anything - provide an unlikely glimmer of hope that should be remembered as we seek to learn from the lessons of history.

What struck me personally when watching Schama's programme was how absolutely godawful and wretched the whole business of simply *travelling* the sorts of distances demanded by the slave trade routes at a time when even the more privileged travellers were likelier than not to be struck down by some hideous fever, tossed on the violent oceans on a hazardous journey that is - at the risk of sounding flippant - bloody uncomfortable to a tall, 21st century frame, cosseted, pampered and secure miles above the heaving waves. This factor, which although Schama didn't raise it personally can perhaps be attributed to his empathetic and humane approach to bringing the past to our screens, suggested to me that the imperatives behind the whole enterprise were powerful in the extreme rather than being solely the result of the actions of cruel, heartless and unenlightened men. What else but the desperate need for economic survival - money, basically - could drive people to endure any of those basic horrors, let alone the ensuing barbarity accorded to their fellow humans?

"It's only a machine that makes money", sang Bob Marley and those wise, sussed words are as appropriate to today's slave drivers as to any from the past. And this is where, to return to the apology business, there is, in my view, no sense whatever in a shameless enabler of the unfeeling, unfettered machine that is global capitalism like Tony Blair apologising for the machinations of that process two hundred years ago.

It's the slaves of today and tomorrow he should be apologising for and to.

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Bobcast #32...

"Comin' in yer ears..."

Download it here or just....hang about here for about 50 mins and turn the volume up...

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Busy Week Ahead...

Yes, as the release of Madcap in the Attic draws closer by the day, I'm called into the office at the crack of dawn (hence this *ridiculously* early Saturday post...) by my agent. He may not sound it, but Moshe Fabian III is your archetypal old school Jewish theatrical agent/entrepreneur - you know, 100% manmade fibres from the roll of his powder blue polo-neck to the soles of his ersatz hushpuppies, all the schmatter - he's half Michael Winner and half Golda Meir, although which half is which is highly debatable. Reeking of recycled Shea Butter and kosher High Karate, he minces in enveloped by a fug of Cuban cigar smoke, respirator machine in tow, and blithely announces to no one in particular "I'm in a hurry, already, get your feet off the carpet, it's borrowed - alright already, time is money, boy have I been working for you my lovely boys[?], but why spoil a lovely day? OK, Monday..." and then proceeds to outline a quite dizzying sequence of promotional events, scams, ruses and dodges that leaves even me, the ultimate 'please the press in Belgium' Me-Jah whore quite liderally breathless.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, amidst all the boring supermarket openings, dial-tone hijackings and South Bank Shows (although I have to confess, I'm actually quite looking forward to finding out what Melvin thinks of the Emirates..), there are actually a couple of noteworthy promo spots that I thought might interest my few remaining readers. So, diaries to the ready. OK. Keep next Saturday free and, if you can, make sure you're near a radio between 10am and 1pm, preferably one that's tuned to Radio 2. That's right, believe it or not, Wossy saw the funny side of the Comic Relief spoof I posted last week. Turns out he's an absolute *pushover* for *any* speech impediment-based humour, even when he's the butt of it. Can't wait to have me on the show and he's even going to play a track from the album. Should I wear the Celtic top, or would that be pushing it, do you think?

Better still, the day after that, turn over for MOTD2 half an hour earlier and you'll have the rare privilege of seeing your humble scribe in the flesh, face to face with none other than.....that's right *Graham* *Norton*. Moshe insists I'm becoming a bit of a cult in gay circles (at least I *think* that's what he said - he had the respirator on and what with Barbara 'Bloody' Streisand constantly sqwawking away in the background.. I mean, it can be hard enough to make out what he's jabbering at the best of times, without "You don't bring me flowers" or the soundtrack to Yentl blaring out at full volume...) and if there's one place you can *guarantee* that a good quotient of arse bandits will be tuning in on a Sunday night (those that aren't out 'pink pounding' it at the local conveniences, obviously) then it's Graham's hilarious Sunday night mix of music, interview and tiresome innuendo based on the fact that we all know he's queer. So now all I need to do is work up a few tiresome innuendos based on the fact that I know that Graham Norton's queer and sit back and watch those CDs flounce off the shelves in their thousands! Elton's normally good for a couple of dozen or so, anyroad. One for each room, apparently...



L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Friday, 23 March 2007

Not So Scary Bob (??)...



Bob and 'Totti', Paxos, Greece, Summer 2000 (we think...)

Ahhhhhhhh.....

[p.s. newer readers: Bob is the one without the tail, smoking a "Winstone"....]

L.U.V. on y'all,

S.

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

It Takes Two, Baby...

As many of you are aware, I am stingy with my praise. I'm just as bad with cash, as it goes.

However, a good idea is a good idea, even if it emanates from the Grauniad, and especially when we know we can do it much better than that bunch of anally-retentive PC-obsessives over at Farringdon Towers ("Nazis with a social degree" as Killing Joke so wisely put it many moons ago..)

For those of you who have (wisely) given the Grauniad Commentische Macht Frei a wide berth, they've hit on a brilliant idea. Instead of the normal proliferation of nonsense from every conceivable quarter, they take two bloggers with (presumably) widely differing views on a given subject and let them slug it out over 5 rounds (well, posts, to be accurate).

So, any takers??



L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Scary Bob...

It's being reported in certain quarters of the interweb - which for reasons of taste, decency and decorum I'm unfortunately unable to reveal (also, Patroclus will kill me if I let on that it's her...) - that I am and most of what I write is "a bit frightening". Obviously I'm in a rather difficult position here because this person who must remain anonymous for legal reasons (but whom you've probably all guessed already is actually Patroclus) will probably have their hands over their eyes or be cowering behind a sofa and thus unable to read *any* of this. And that's a shame because if she were to shed her fear and see beyond the over-bearing facade I present to the world on these pages she would glimpse not Bob, the towering, scaly, reptilian ogre of my blog persona but, rather, a not quite so tall, scaly reptilian ogre who's quite good with kids and occasionally helps out with the washing up. Why, even this very morn, the sight of BBC sports anchor (yes, it's actually a techincal term - not rhyming slang; look it up!) Chris Hollins being licked to devilment by a guide dog for the blind puppy so cute that it can only be described as off the woochie-coochie-coo scale was enough to have me wiping the tears from my horrifying scales with a trembling talon. Someone, then, who is most definitely - to co-opt and pervert a famous phrase - not scary, not a Bob.

All of which got me to thinking, am I *really* that horrible?? I know yesterday's post was a bit....erm...well, it was a bit terrifying now I come to think of it. Scared the shit out of me, anyroad. And yes, I know I can mean up with the best of them when I want to - and, sure, that's probably more than I'd like to admit. But "frightening"? I mean, I can cut up pretty rough in the bath, as many of you will have seen. And the cockrot...er hem...let's move swiftly on shall we? But has she never set eyes on Stray Photon? Now *that's* scary. And you should see him without the make up on...

Or (gulp) Istvanski???

So, to pursue the blatant Scary Duck rip-off that this post has, with grinding inevitability, become: A special Scary Bob Friday Vote-me-o:

Am I Frightening?

Or not??


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Roberta's 116th Dream...

A gentle snow was falling so that it felt like we were in a U2 video, one of the early ones filmed in Canada or somewhere, before Bono's chins started to take up too much space and they had to do them in widescreen and make Larry Mullen Jr. dress in drag (nice pins he has though, Larry - I'll give him that). Anyroad, I was casually constructing a rather large hammerhead shark out of recycled Mr. Sheen polish wipe sachets under the (rather matronly, it has to be said) supervision of Heather Mills McCartney when who should come along but Andrew 'Bloody' Collins. He may be a nerdy geek of a dwarf in real life, but in this dream he was bloody *huge*. Towered over us he did - *and* I had my sling backs on. And Heather her platform stump. The sheer intimidating nature of his physical presence, and the fact that I knew him to be a black belt in Origami, made me desist from my initial instinctive impulse to chin him one good and proper. (Well, I didn't want either of us to get folded to death, did I? - not even in a dream....)

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't butt him one, because he was alright actually - well, as alright as a fellow with a very pronounced yellow beak, wearing a suit made out Craft Dairylea triangles ever can be, I suppose. "How do", he said - all pally like to me, but *completely* blanking HMM. I know he's not a big Wings fan, I thought, but this is going a bit far, isn't it? "You must be Gram Parsons", he said running an approving eye over my beautifully tailored suit which was painstakingly embroidered with machine gun-toting lobsters and a very large, red haddock, and then proceeded to bore me for the next few minutes with a lengthy Marcusian deconstruction of the symbolism of the Gilded Palace of Sin album cover ( - it's "all about *drugs*", apparently...) Not wanting to disabuse him (in case he turned nasty and started wishing horrible ills on my parents - and before you ask, no, I didn't have the heart to tell him they're both dead - this is a dream after all, I can't be expected to remember *everything* ...) I nodded politely and joshed along with him when he appeared to find something he'd said particularly amusing, as one does when trying to be polite to someone 8 feet tall who could fold you into the shape of an oriental wading bird as soon as look at you. I threw in a quick rendition of 'The New Soft Shoe' for good measure that, I have to say, I think even Gram would have been proud of himself. Well, if he ever played it on a rusty firegrille with a piece of emery board, he would...

Song finished, bows taken Collins (who's still applauding and shouting 'encore, encore') walks right up to me, looks me in the eye, grabs me by the shoulder, picking at his beak with his spare claw. Here we go, I think, bones and flesh bracing at the thought of the impending diagonal creases he'll be subjecting them to any moment to indulge his elaborate and cunning decorative art. But instead of finding my ankle wrapped around my neck to form the upper wing of some ingenious avian figurine, he just stands there, peering at me inquisitively, shaking his head and tutting, before muttering "that's the thing with you Gram...I never know whether you're being serious or not..." And then he just flies off with Heather Mills McCartney in his beak, before dropping her in a very large jar filled with stones and singing "Is this the way to Amarillo" in word perfect Flemish...

"What can I do about my dreams?"





© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Real Spunk, Real Independence...

A brilliant orange sun sinks behind a pigeon's chest cloud as Istvanski and assorted Scorceses bellow into my ears: "..you lived a lie! You lived a lie"

And they say the age of romance is dead.

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Oh, nearly forget - Bobcast #31 is up. Stay a while and listen to it here or go here and download it... as you wish.

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Comic Relief 2008...

This is the text of an email I've just sent to Comic Relief:

Dear Sir or Madam,



Congratulations on the very successful campaign your charity has once again organised to aid the poor and needy, both in this country and abroad.

You’re probably aware of a fund raising campaign which involved various members of the blogging community in an effort to publish a collection of blog posts in book form. The idea was that authors who would not ordinarily expect to see themselves in print could do so and the proceeds would got Comic Releif [sic]. Both laudable aims, I’m sure you’ll agree. The details are here:


http://www.lulu.com/browse/book_view.php?fCID=739873&fContestID=1&submit=%3C%3C+BACK+TO+CONTENT

However, as part of the – as I’m sure you can imagine – lively (!) discussion surrounding this project, it was pointed out that the book, which retails at £8.95 (I believe) would only be generating roughly half that figure for your esteemed organisation once the various costs (and, again, I believe) profits had been stripped away. It was further pointed out – not by me, I hasten to add – that in purely pragmatic terms, it would perhaps have been better to ask those chosen to be published to shell out the full £8.95 by way of a thank you for the honour of being selected, so to speak, and to forgo the publishing of the book completely. It was thought that this figure, if donated by those who would otherwise have bought the book, could be generously rounded up to £10 and the proceeds going to CR would thus be more than doubled.

So, with just under a year to the next comic relief, I wondered what your Organisation’s views were on this – is it better for you that there’s some project or task associated to the fundraising, or can you (presumably) do more good works given more cash? I propose to spend the next year trying to organise something that will stimulate debate about the issues surrounding global inequality and the ways in which we can best target the (you may disagree with me here!) very large sums of money that are being raised for your projects so that they go to you, and organisations like yours. Like cats and dogs at Christmas, famine relief and aid are not just for Red Nose Day, I’m sure you’d agree. Whichever you decide - a campaign geared to harnessing direct donations or a print version that will reflect the discussion I intend to generate on the blogosphere - I will do my best to organise something over the next 11 months.

Whilst I have many personal reservations regarding the paraphernalia of Red Nose Day – e.g. the use of, in my view, obscenely remunerated presenters and cynical careerists to raise funds is ethically questionable, given the harrowing and ingrained nature of the problems we are dealing with here – I recognise that my view is very much the minority one and that your organisation’s infrastructure is well established and widely trusted.

To that end, I’d like to use the space I have created on the blog (100,000 plus over the last couple of years) to do two things. Firstly, to get people debating the issues surrounding the sort of inequalities that can see a man who is paid £6 million PA coaxing the average earning Briton to donate to alleviate the very real and tragic sufferings of those who are much less fortunate than *any* of us. Secondly, to raise money *solely* for your organization and not to the benefit of other businesses, egos or careers.

So, please get back to me on this. I figure it’s a win win situation. I’m sure people will respond to a similar idea as the Shaggy Blog Stories book, only we can cut out the middleman and (hopefully) raise a lot more money at the same time as generating interest in a subject close to us all.

Kind regards and good luck for the forthcoming year,


Robert Swipe




I think this could be a good thing to do. I have a vague idea of how you could use the many-tentacled nature of the web and the various (and incredible) talents and minds who congregate around certain less salubious parts of it to generate something that's actually a useful contribution to Comic Relief for a change, instead of the knee jerk, here's-your-feckin'-money-now-can-I-get-back-to-me-Westlfe-videos-in-peace approach. My idea would be to have a variety of posts on the theme of global inequality - factual, satirical, travelogue - whatever, as long as they bring something of interest to the party. You could pay to vote or to enter or something and just have donate button by the side if we could get C.R. involved to that extent. But that's as far as it goes, so I'm going to need a lot of help. So, if any of you have any ideas that will help raise both conscuousness *and* money they will be greatly welcomed.

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

I Think...

...I preferred it when I thought everyone hated me..

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

It's Official...

...I am definitely flouncing.

After yesterday's shenanigans over at Betty's and my humiliation and degradation at the hands of the holier-than-thou readers of Village of the Damned resident Troubled Diva for daring to express a contrary opinion to the majority, this Deep Sea Diva will be laying low for a bit. A shame, as I had a nice podcast on the way and I felt that things were back on track with this blog after my rather neglecting it and my readers (apologies to both of you, btw) for some time. Still, as I've commented here before, 6 figure hits and the near-universal loathing that being the architect of a blog so seemingly out of step with virtually every right-thinking
person in the UK and the maelstrom of hate and bile that such marginality inevitably brings with it, alone can't buy you happiness.

So, in time-honoured fashion, I will be 'retiring' - oh, alright, slinking off, taking my ball with me so that no one else can play - for a little while and simultaneously returning my MBE to the Queen in protest at Britain's involvement in the Biafran war and Cold Turkey slipping down the charts*. All of it a very big shame, as it somewhat overshadowed my little musical/video tribute to one of my favourite bloggers, which I was quite pleased with but has evidently produced the usual heady cocktail of indifference and contempt. Still, she seems to have stopped reading anyway, so I suppose it doesn't make any difference in the long run.

On the subject of other bloggers, two more quick mentions before I dart back to the nefarious world of the feck blood-splattered goth girl (yes, that sound you can hear is all the "how-we-wattle-and-daubed-our-second-home-in-Cornwall" blog legions sighing with relief). Firstly, in my extended absence, you could all do a lot worse than visit Doris, a very talented and, I think, enormously funny writer. I nearly gagged twice, and had to stop reading after two posts, on my GP's advice. Mind you, he told me my cock was 'normal', but I bet his hasn't got bits falling off it. It's especially odd considering his name is Jeanette. Anyway, Doris' blog is called Stately Moans and I believe she is just another ordinary person, although knowing my luck she'll turn out to be Emma 'Kunting' Kennedy or someone else who is pointlessly well known and thoroughly rancid for it.

Lastly, my thoughts go out to Patroclus, in sympathy.


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob


*I realise that the Biafran conflict ended some time ago and that Cold Turkey was released in 1969, but my attitude is that if it was good enough for John Lennon..

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Sunday, 18 March 2007

All In a Good Cause...



I know I've probably come across as a bit of a curmudgeon on this Comic Relief thing, but grant me this at least - when I'm clearly in the wrong, I haven't the slightest qualm about holding both hands up in the most abject contrition. And never more so than now. Because you have to hand it to the producers of the Blog-Aid book. In the face of tremendous adversity, against all odds, they've only gone and managed to get the dang thing published!!

For anyone who hasn't been following, the idea was to get a selection of contributions - based purely on comic merit, using the time-honoured "did it make us snort our cocaine into our coffee" grey whistle test - from a selection of posts submitted by humble bloggers such as ourselves, the nation-over. A daunting task, as anyone who's ever tried to get the British media interested in *anything* that doesn't have as its core audinece either Reality TV-obssessed retards or paedophiles - or, indeed, to get something even vaguely amusing out of people employed in jobs so essential to the global economy that they allow them to spend 8 hours a day doing little more than posting pointless trivia about Kate Garraway's dietary problems on various internet chat rooms. But hold the phone - frabjous day (kalloo kallay, even) as the blurb affirms, no corners have been cut to insure that the funniest possible material has been anthologised. Anyone - and come on, admit it, there *must* have been a few of you! - who feared that this would turn out to be yet another collection of wanked-off-in-a-couple-of-seconds-in-between-doing-a-talking-head-spot-for-a-'documentary'-on-the-top-100-gravy-adverts-of-*all*-time-toss from a bunch of talentless, b-list, almost-celebrity cunt drips (and Anna "(The Guardian)" Pickard, bless....), well, I hope you're laughing on the other side of your faces now. For what we have is no less than this:

A collection of 100 short humorous pieces from the UK blogosphere. All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Comic Relief charity*. Contributors include Richard Herring**, Andrew Collins (BBC 6Music), Emma Kennedy***, James Henry (Channel 4's "Green Wing"), Abby Lee (Girl With A One-Track Mind), Catherine Sanderson (Petite Anglaise), Zoe McCarthy (My Boyfriend Is A Twat), novelist David Belbin****, Anna Pickard (The Guardian), and a diverse selection of some of the UK's most talented bloggers.

So, go out and buy a few thousand copies each - and let's have no more of this petty minded killjoy spirit. Mine's an £18,000 glass of mulled wine. Cheers - here's to the starving millions...


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

*I believe that Lulu.com will be making a few bob, but it would be churlish to expect a registered company to put its hands in its pockets in the same way we expect the 'ordinary' rate/taxpayer to...

** there are no parenthesis to help, so we'll have to presume he's Stewart Lee's mate...

*** you know, the one from......erm....

**** He also makes *excellent*, PC-friendly cables, i-pod accesories, wireless routers etc...

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

For Lex...

Acting on a tip from my heavily Bowie-o-phile Alaskan correspondent, I decide to hunt down Jazzin' for Blue Jean the short promo film directed by Julien Temple for David Bowie's 1984 single, 'Blue Jean'. Sure enough, a quick confirmatory peak at Wikipedia confirms that I've had the bladdy thing all this time - it's an 'easter egg' on the Best of Bowie DVD. Every home should already have a copy of this, obviously, but if yours doesn't already, I can't recommend JFBJ highly enough. If the thought of seeing David Bowie (as Vic) dressed, variously, in Frankie Relax t-shirt, bondage pants and 80s-stylee hoody (whilst all the time wearing a band aid, a la Nicholson in Chinatown, to staunch a nose wound..hee hee) isn't enough to persuade you to shell out, then the dialogue is *simply* *priceless*. "Rock star's got no boots on..." "remember Margaret, on her yak...?", "Hello Mr. Screaming, I'm from the Melody Faces...erm, one of the music papers...", "Keith, I've got a teensie weansie bit of a headache" - the latter in his best luvvy voice as 'Warszawa' plays in the backgouand as the recently resuscitated Screaming Lord Byron pops pills and applies his slap. And I've left out the best (and oft-quoted here) line, as regular readers will know. It's always a pleasure to watch and a personal motivation to view it very closely is that there was an apocryphal story that a college friend of mine and Ro-Mo's (Lex) appeared in the club scene - hence many a screwed-up eye (although, barely a screwed down hairdo these day, it must be said) from yours truly, trying to spot her - always unsuccessfully.

Jones suitably satiated, we watch a few of the other clips on what is a pretty definitive anthology of probably the most important artist in the iconography of rock and pop. Trevor Bolder's silver sideboards on the Russell Harty Show are also worth the admission alone. There's a very weird, stilted interview with Harty from the same show - RH vacilating between the heavy ("do you worship a God, David?") and the trite ("oh go on!"..when Bowie refuses to divulge the details of the more salacious fan mail he receives...) He was, as S. would no doubt say, "a mincing twat*, wasn't he? (Russell Harty, that is...)

S. comments on how superbly he sings (although in this case to a backing track) live. I guess he was a bit of an oddity in that he came from that very early sixties 'entertainment' background (Larry Parnes-style talent "stables", variety, learning your craft, all-round entertainer and so on...) that was still clinging on in the face of the Beatles revolution. So he knew all the steps, had had the voice coaching and knew the ropes of the business, but was savvy enough to position himself on the side of the 60s counter culture as the decade wore on - 'Cygnet Committee', 'Memory of a Free Festival', The Man Who Sold the World etc.. As the more utopian aspects of the sixties deteriorated through the economically ravaged seventies, Bowie was perfectly poised to ride the coat tails of glam to international stardom whilst remaining a totemic figure for outsiders and true faith pop followers, and would go on to popularise pretty much every interesting underground development that the 70s threw up - most spendidly in his trilogy of European albums with Fripp & Eno. Although, as Vic concludes at the end of JFBJ, his sleeves *were* actually better than his records (;?)

There are several versions of the Blue Jean video available, but the full short- feature-length JFBJ is too long to be accessed via youtube, unfortunately. But, in a wonderful piece of synchronicity, I had a glance at the 'alternative' MTV clip that *is* available on yt, and - who should rear into full view on the right hand side of the frame, at precisely 3 min. 3 secs...?



All these years, I've been looking at the wrong *bladdy* clip...Mind you, I was *even* more impressed by the fact that Rio Ferdinand has played bass for David Bowie...

It was lovely to see you again after all these years Lex - should you ever read this.

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Quick PS - Tardy, I know, but I finally got around to Listening to both of Realdoc's *fantastic* podcasts, and urge anyone who hasn't already done so, to do so now, if only for the gratuitous porn singing at the end of number two. And the bird on the record seems to be enjoying herself too...

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Friday, 16 March 2007

Bobcast #30 (Requests Special)...

...download it here....

Thanks to everyone who sent in requests - and apologies if I missed anyone - I'll make sure they get played in the fullness...

Well, it's gotta be better than Comic Cowing Relief, hasn't it??


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Absolute Shower...




Every era has it's defining moment. The zenith of 60s progessiveness saw Neil Armstrong hopping about on the lunar surface. The cold war ended with jubilant Berliners dancing amid the rubble of the Wall. For many, the stark and abject images of Ethiopian famine brought to the world by Michael Buerk's harrowing BBC news film in the run up to Christmas 1984 serve as a vivid reminder that, though eras may pass, there are certain human travails that do - and probably will - not. So, in this week of Comic Relief, it was fitting, I suppose - if in a rather perverse way - that the most disturbing, stomach churning footage I have witnessed since Buerk's report should be aired on British television. As for era defining moments contained in that broadcast, I hardly know where to begin...

Only the widespread air of charitability that somehow continues to envelop the nation as Red Nose Day looms could excuse the terrible images we were subjected to last night. The sight of the human spirit raw and unmediated in its undigified perversion is usually preceded by one of those "some of you may find the following scenes disturbing..." type health warnings. Last night, we were given no such heed. Indeed, many innocent viewers, lured by the reassuring bluntness of Sir Alan Sugar's trademark intro - "I don't like arselickers, I don't like bullshitters.." could have been mistaken the assumption that they were to be in some way *entertained* by the fare on offer. We were all rapidly disabused of that notion.

It's a difficult and terrifying moral landscape we've entered into when Alasdair Campbell is *not* the most repugnant being in a room. Nor Piers Morgan. Nor (and I speak here, tribally, as a gooner) S.A.S and Mrs. "Wor" Ashley Cole, for that matter. In much the same way that the horrors of Auschwitz render even the most appalling and brutal civilian transgressions tame in relation, so the behaviour and demeanour of Trinny Woodall somehow made the architect of that web of lies used to trick the British public into an illegal and immoral (and foolhardy) middle eastern occupation in which British soldiers and countless civilans are perishing on an alarming scale seem curiously benign. I should be ashamed that, first class honours degree holder and rapier wit that I am, I cannot even begin to think about improving upon "Wor" Cheryl Cole's pithy and apt epithet for the walking garden rake. "O.C.D" says more in three letters than I could in a thousand posts. "Wor" Cheryl's upward look when Trinny mumbled something about a Russian doctor she knew through "de-tox" was also worth a million words. Drug free and dry for many a year, it's a testament to Trinny's rampantly poisonous nature that she still needs to attend such clinics. In the normal course of everyday life, anyone who booted Piers Morgan in the gonads would be lauded on these pages - especially if they'd also snidily run a biro down the back of Campbell's shirt. But we are in Comic Relief Does The Apprentice World here - all the usual norms and givens can be discarded.

Indeed, obsessive and compulsive behaviour was made to seem positively natural and reasonable in this bizarre, dreamlike world where sums of money that for many of us would take several years to obtain were casually tossed about as if they were worth no more than duplicated bubblegum cards. Great pillar of respectability and exemplar of Blairite morality, "Wor" Ashley Cole, a man remunerated to the tune of a six-figure sum per week, was a mere footsoldier in all of this. His "yeah, whatever" dismissal of his £30,000 donation to the cause was soon made to look like a tatty, much-thumbed paperback offered as a last-minute-I-forgot-it-was-your-birthday-I'll-get-you-a-proper-one-next-year afterthought. Trinny, a woman who derives her income from telling starstruck munters that if they try to dress as she tells them they will miraculously feel better about themselves (or lose weight, even), operates in a more rarefied environment even than one of Ambramovich's lackeys.

The nameless blonde socialite pal of hers made a game pretence at being in *any* way financially restrained by umming and ahhing for a few seconds before blithely signing a cheque to the value of £150,000. This Chelsea-esque solution to the problem of running a business (e.g. throw some money at it - and if *that* doesn't work, throw some more...)made what would ordinarily have been the gasp-inducing incomprehensibility of the sight of the Boys team trying to induce people into paying several thousand pounds to eat a bowl of past their sell-by date, knock off cockles and winkles seem almost plucky. A bit like Arsenal's game and talented youth team trying to stand up to Cheslea's millionaire musclemen - only without quite the flair, obviously.

As with the premiership, the result here was never really in any doubt. What *was* interesting was the almost total absence of a contribution from highly vocal comedienne Jo Brand. One senses Ms. Brand is vaguely left-leaning (her oddly coiffeured son, Russell, most certainly is) and it was almost as if she had been - in one of those ironic pieces of Campbell New Labour Stalinism - edited and sidelined out of the proceedings. At least, that's my theory. More pertinently, even S.A.S, a man who could probably add endless approving addenda to Bob Dylan's assertion that 'money doesn't talk, it swears', seemed to have had the wind knocked out of his sails by the enormous disparity between the sums raised by the Boys' feverishly manned and attended carnival stalls and the Girls' tumbleweed-strewn attractions. If you wanted a better cheap, sneering, bilious metaphor for Blair's Britain, you'd have to go a long way.

So, mutineer Rupert Everett emerges as an unlikely national hero - although respec' would have been infinitely bigged up had he been honest and said "this is just *shit* instead of feigning camera shyness. Also, to be fair, Maureen Lipman (yes Stray, I know she's from Hull. And Ian Carmichael...) appeared still to be scowling, even in victory. But then that may well have been as a result of the residual memory of being obsessively compulsively barked at by Trinny on her mobile whilst she had her arm elbow deep in coronation chicken*. Some people just don't know they're born, do they?

So, there you have it - an absolute shower; corrupted, absolutely.

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

*I know, I know - it was *satay* chicken, but that isn't as funny...

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Thursday, 15 March 2007

The Nineties...



My mate Jon-I-Go-Up-The-Arsenal-With emails me with the answer to his last pop quiz question*, which started me thinking about how bleak the Nineties were, musically. I like a lot of Oasis stuff, and Radiohead made two of the finest LPs of all time in that decade. Pulp were, arguably, the last great British pop group, continuing that glorious strand of glamourous, subversive outsiders that links Bowie, Bolan, Roxy Music and the Smiths. But that's about as far as I go with it.

My preference for the (debatable, I know, but I'm gonna stick my neck out anyway) golden era (1965-1980) is well documented. I'd agree that a case could be made for the 90s having in some ways reversed the seemingly irreversible slump that was the 1980s. The Smiths, two decent Bowie albums and the fact that Prince and Kate Bush were at their creative peak in that decade aside, it was also a pretty grim time. But at least there seemed still to be a connection in the 1980s between popular music and society at large. It was certainly the pivotal decade in the transformation of this country and there's at least a modicum of music that was listened to beyond the confines of the music press that documents and critiques that period of rapid social change (I'm thinking of chart stuff like Bronski Beat and even Heaven 17, whose look was very much a parody - or was it an adoption - of the slick, 80s entrepreneurial style. Those listed above excepted, I can't recall the 90s and its attendant cultural outpourings with as much clarity or fondness. Probably just an age thing, but I was still - if less regularly - an enthusiastic record buyer and cultural consumer, so this isn't *entirely* Blimpish, I don't think...

So, is it just me, or were the 90s *really* shit for music?

L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Q:."i dont really wanna know how your garden grows"pop quiz opening line to probably the 90s greatest song(taking out achtung baby which was greatest album of 90s.

A: Song is "live forever" by oasis stairway to heaven for 90s.noels dad used to take him to allotment every saturday and lock him in tilltea time.he wrote it in a cupbord at british gas.listen to itnow john it is uptherewith the best.



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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Ross Vows To Match British Public Pound For Pound in Great Comic Relief Showdown...



"Wuvvabuw Television Pwesentew", Jonathan Ross (pictured above with Celtic boss, Gordon Strachan) has stunned BBC charity Czars by announcing that he intends to match the pledges made by Friday night's Comic Relief viewers "pound for pound". "That's wight", lisped the well remunerated Ross at a specially convened press conference aboard his luxury ocean going liner moored off his secluded private island in the Caribbean. "I may be one of the most well wemunewated stars in the Televisual fiwmament, but it doesn't stop me believing that gwobal inequality is a tewwibew, tewwibew thing. I want to do my utmost to Wedistwibute a little bit of that wealth in the only way I know how....That's why I'll be digging deep into my handsomely stocked pockets and matching whatevew the gweat Bwitish public stumps up. Pwovided they don't cough up mowe than 18 million smackewoonies, I'll be laughing all the way to the Leeds what with all that voice ovew wowk I can expect to genewate fwom my high pwofile hosting of the pwestigious evening's festivities..."

But the genial host's altruism has brought harsh criticism from some quarters. A spokesman for BT said

BT is suppowting Comic Welief [the spokesman also has an unfortunate speech impediment, as it goes...] thwough its diwectowy enquiwy sewvice, 118 500. Fow evewy call made to 118 500 between 28 Febwuawy and 13 Mawch, BT will donate five pence, up to £250,000 When callews dial 118 500 they will be gweeted by famous voices, of Lenny Henwy and Alistaiw McGowan, Wobbie Wobewtson and Rudolph the Wed Nosed Weindeew [sorry, I couldn't resist that last one...] Calls cost 15p pew minute. Connection chawge is 40p fwom a BT landline. Othew netwowks' availability and chawges may vawy. So that means we get 10p fwom all the calls those mugs awe making, *on top* of the pwofit we cweam off all the calls the idiots make when they pledge donations. How dawe Woss make us look like the money gwabbing bastawds we awe by giving his weadies away so libewally...I'm suwe the banks awen't too happy eithew - although stuff what they think. If it wasn't fow them, thewe wouldn't be any thiwd wowld povewty in the fiwst place..

Terry Wogan and Jeremy Paxman were unavailable for comment.



L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

38 Line Poem...

Very low,
First thing.
Then the
Treadmill thing
Kicks in -
Another spin
On the karmic wheel.

Berbatov
Looks *nothing* like Gilzean...
"The sweetness...
The Oneness..."
Laura Nyro said.

"You're such a retard"...

Twenty million souls displaced
By Indian partition.
They trudge in human caravans,
One hundred and fifty miles long,
Engulfed in Scammell dust;
Those who do not fall
By the roadside
Skirmish intermittently
With their erstwhile countrymen
As the two snakes pass.
In search
Of what?
Sweetness?
Oneness?
"The British love their partitions.
It worked in Ireland. It will work in Palestine. And here."

"Is there so much hate
For the ones who love?"

A kestrel hovers
Where they'll build the new runway.
He cannot hear the falconer.
Is it any bloody wonder -
With all that traffic?

Comic relief?
My arse.


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Monday, 12 March 2007

What would we do without BBC Breakfast??...

Well, where else can you see crazed US lesbian's launching themselves at one another in a maniacal Roller Derby?? Crude and unfathomable vilence, fishnets and fisticuffs, and all several hours before the watershed. But best of all, the slogan tippexed onto one young lady's helmut:

"GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY"


What would Mary Whitehouse have had to say on it all??

And then there's the return of our old friend King Tut, who's been dead for even longer than John Terry's Granddad...

[insert video clip of Steve Martin singing King Tut when someone puts it up on YouTube...]


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Anonymous Post...

You are such a retard.

By Anonymous, at 11:18 PM


Not one of his/her best, I think you'll agree. (I think the 'faggot' one was much pithier, personally.) Still, we couldn't leave such fine erudition and crunching wit languishing in the comments field of a long gone post, could we? So, keep 'em coming Anon - I'm sure that all your wisdom and bon mots will eventually knock some sense into me. Hopefully we'll be back to our usual high standards soon enough....


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Bobcast #29...

I've put this up as an MP3 rather than an Apple file, so feedback please on ease of use/sound quality etc. You can download it here, too...

It's a themed one - a plate of cockles and winkles, a night at the dogs and a scale model of St. Paul's Cathedral to the first person who can spot the theme...


L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Bobcast #28....

....is up here.......

Hope you like it.



L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

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Listen to Bobcasts here!


© 2007 Swipe Enterprises

Crematorium Fountains...

The sky always seems such an implausible blue on what my father always used to call 'bad days'. "Such a sad place", confirms our woolly-hatted Asian cabbie as we pull up inside the crem. "We all end up here", he chirpily surmises before we settle up, and all three of us laugh that nervous, relieved-still-to-be-here, tension-breaking laughter that's never far away at funerals.

I watch the white water effusions of the fountains. So much effort, so much power, such extraordinary will briefly to defy gravity; such temerity of the water to wobble precariously in mid-air like that, a stream of "look-at-me" ebullience, dazzling, bright and vicarious, before gravity, that relentless, indifferent, and overwhelming killjoy, pulls the joyous fluid towers back down to earth.

But still the water bubbles up, undaunted, exuberant, a feverish explosion; a brilliant blurt of white Pollock splatter; tricky liquid porcelain.

We have a running joke about going to see the doctor. You're fine when you go in, but invariably come out having something wrong with you. Similarly, funerals seem to possess their own crazed inflationary mechanism. We went to mourn one loss, but came back minus three.

For Eloisa, Rick & Simeon.



L.U.V. on y'all,

Bob

Bobcasts now available at iTunes!!

Visit me in MunterSpace - 10,000 Goth Girls Splattered in Feck Blood Can't be Wrong!!!!!!!!

Watch Bob's promos on Youtube

Listen to Bob's songs at indie911.com!

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Listen to Bobcasts here!


© 2007 Swipe Enterprises