Wednesday, 23 September 2009

THE MOULD-BREAKERS, NOT BREAKING ANY MOULDS



AND HOW MAD ARE YOU, SONNY, SAY,
ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN?

OH, A HUNDRED AND TWENTY, ANDREW,
MAYBE TWO HUNDRED, OR A THOUSAND.




OI! BUG-EYES! IT'S HATTERS, THE ANSWER,
MAD AS FUCKING HATTERS.

I'LL FUCKING DO YOU.

I'M A FUCKING MILLIONAIRE, YOU KNOW.

DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHO I AM?

ARE YOU THAT VINCE CABLE,
THE FOX-TROTTING NITWIT?

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LITTLE MAN YOU'VE HAD A BUSY DAY



ANOTHER SCOTTISH GOBLIN,
ESCAPED FROM THE RESERVATION.
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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

KILLIECRANKIE

 
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A BROWN CELEBRATION



In the home of Thompson comics,
Dundonians have erected a statue to Desperate Gordon Brown.
The inscription, unshown, reads Fuck Off, Ya Mad, Gimpy, Snot-eatin' Eejit.

Gordon is seen with his dog, Sarah-George and his young companion, Ed Balls,
all striding towards victory in the general election.
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NEWS FROM SCOTLAND


FOUR YEAR OLDS TO VOTE FOR FREE SWEETS


VOTE FOR US, I MEAN ME.

A CROSS-DRESSER AND HIS MOTHER.


Och, said, Sir Alec Lard, of the Jock Tribesmen’s Party, them weans is Scotland’s future so why should they nae hie the vote, the noo, d’ye ken. And Ah’m sure, Mr Presiding Officer, that after we gie them a whole big bag a sweeties that they’ll vote fer mah continuance in the job a King-Elect and McBeneficiary Pursuivant a all that oil that they English pigs has stolen offa me; it is an ancient Scottish title and as King I should have it, the noo. Ah mean, here Ah am, struggling along on three salaries, three sets a expenses and three pensions, and this wi’ a recession going on which I never spotted either, being a brilliant economist by trade. Obesity, tooth decay? No, no, no these are just the national characteristics of a proud, full-grown Glaswegian man with a life expectancy of at least forty-seven years. Which, Mr presiding Officer, is nearly as good as some African states. So there, who says we can't do greatness?


I dinnae hie any weans masel’, Christ, the Mrs is way too old, and we keep her in the attic, anyway, or the Ancient Lavender Suite. But if Ah did hie any they'd be sure to vote for an independent Scotland wi' me as King and mah very good friend and mah employer, Mr Donal McTrump, in charge of everything.


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TWO LOWLANDS GOBLINS
OUT PROMENADING
WITH FULL-SIZED HUMANS
(note how they hold paws )


Monday, 21 September 2009

FUCK OFF, DEBBIE PURDY



YES, YOU.


If Mrs Ishmael was suffering so much that she required me to help her pass away, well, that’s what for better or for worse means, in sickness and in health, and I should just have to take my chances with a jury or with one of these nice grasping bottom-feeders from the CPS, not that it would then matter much; what sort of a wuss is Mr Debbie Purdy?


La Purdy, one of les victimes gobby de nos jours, wants the law changed so’s hubby - English not his first language, she wails - doesn’t face prosecution should he accompany her to the Swiss Topping Shop, Dignitas, not that he would, anyway, face prosecution; how we are spoiled for things to worry about, now that we inhabit consumer Heaven.


Purdy’s whining has attracted the support of the Lord Falconer, set over us in recognition of his friendship with Cardinal Blair, and a horrible fat bastard;


TOAD OF TOAD HALL, QC.


can’t really see him cottaging around Northern shithouses with Miranda but here we have little knowledge of, certainly no expertise in such goings-on, if go-on they do. Do men really stick their organs through toilet walls at complete strangers, are they raving mad? His Lordship, anyway, with nothing to do now he is not Lord Chancellor, seeks an extra-parliamentary revision of the law against assisted suicide so that, doubtless at his wife’s bidding, the mousy Mr Purdy can accompany Gobby Debbie to Death’s ante-room, comforted that he won’t face prosection, not even for his awesome, unmanly timidity, heedless that such changes, effected without debate, will ultimately ensure the swifter than natural but economically desirable departure of countless, less pushy than Purdy herself for a heroine's shroud.


Older, weaker, the halt, the lame, the defenceless will be herded to some Dignitas-equivalent, the beneficiaries of their death – the state, the families – secure in the knowledge that the sanctity of life is all very well but it can’t buy you money.

Multiple sclerosis is what ails Debbie Purdy; nowhere near bad enough, I suggest.


Falconer, The Fat Lord, is beyond contempt, probably spend his decline like Roy Hattersley, spluttering on local radio programmes and the occasional Question Time but the whole idea of Celebrity Terminal Illness, the marketing of Death, as personified by the hitherto deservedly anonymous Purdy, is a remarkable phenomenon of our Ruinous times; I don’t remember the insufferable Roy Castle mentioning lung cancer in his dire act, until he got it and then you couldn’t shut the trumpeting bastard up; Bob Monkhouse's stolen and sadly recovered books of see-them-coming-a-mile-away gags contained little, if anything, about prostate cancer, yet now, from beyond the fucking grave, the cheesy, warty bastard still gives us ballsache. Who was it, that WATO toad, Nick something, Clarke, simply had to, owed it to us, to take us on his journey as he lost a limb to cancer and died anyway. Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's and now his whole fantasy-idiot readership must join him in banishing it, by spell and charm if necessary, and serve them fucking right. Smirking these decades at his own genius, Pratchett has never had a moment for the demented, now he rages at us on their behalf. These celebrities have no sense of decency. I dread to think how we shall suffer if ever God decides to call Professor Greer to his bosom - not that He would - Germaine not existing outside the view of a TV camera, poor, sad iconoclast and drunk that she is. Heaven help us all if the old bat gets notice of what's going to finally shut her the fuck up.


Keir Starmer, in any event, the DPP, has succumbed to Falconer's and Purdy's and others' entreaties and quasi-legalised the assistance of suicide; what was once quietly tolerated but not encouraged now a more or less legal option to those who presently seek it in good conscience, in future, by precedent, to those who seek it for others, for convenience or gain, or just out of Oh, Mo-ther ! impatience.


We must all ready ourselves for Death's grim sergeants' approach, they will summons us or perhaps worse, those we love, soon enough and Mr & Mrs Purdy have no monopoly on their services; that the posturing of those hungry for celebrity might hasten convenient departure among those too weak, too proud to resist is a celebrity indulgence too far. Her efforts, her martryrdom, herald a humanists' triumphalist delight and an early death for the rest of us; fuck off Purdy, fuck off and die. Quietly and on your own, as must we all.


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THE COLD DAYS OF FEBRUARY, THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND

Unique among singer-songwriter anti-war songs, this is a chilly, eery lament, musically uneasy with itself, lyrically masterful, all the more telling for its detachment, its damning of the whole rotten game.



"Whether they were from here or there,

their race and place I would not be heeding

the men who caused such bitterness

if hearts they have, let their hearts ve bleeding....."



A home-made Orkney video by an anonymous stringy. Organ of Ely Cathedral, Malcolm le Maistre; pipe and vocal Robin Williamson.










As I beside some winter's fire
Sat writing words strange and steady
Amongst my own internal choir
Came voices to my mind unready
Of those who died on either side
While friends cry o'er their bones unburied
Go sighing through the north east winds
These cold days of February


Some clerk with papers and his pen
Some banker with his poison pity
Some captain careless of his men
These fan the flames that maim the cities
And bigots in the name of Christ
By thorny paths obscure and muddy
Can fear to roam through years of cold
Bewailing how their hands are bloody


Whether they were from here or there
Their race and place I would not be heeding
The men who caused such bitterness
If hearts they have let their hearts be bleeding
Who neither for age nor the young child
Would turn the shot of the arms they carried
Go bear the guilt a weary ways
For the cold days of February

Sunday, 20 September 2009

SHELL SHOCK, THE EMPIRE BURLESQUE CONTINUUM.

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SHELL SHOCK PATIENTS IN BEDLAM, 1919

Once society - the medicos and bureuacrats and lawyers, anyway - has recognised the existence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder then it is hard to imagine a setting this side of Hell which is more conducive to its spreading like wildfire than armed conflict and it would seem logical that following a spell in the urban slaughterhouse of Iraq or the Badlands of South Armagh or Helmand anyone not suffering from PTSD must have something seriously wrong with them.

Although some were eventually hospitalised, in the First World War, most shell shockees were just blindfolded and shot, after due process, of course. Today's tabloid climate of grievance and compensation and human rights legislation, however, insists that we pay lip-service at least to ameliorating Tommy's horrors but lip-service is all it is, as empty as any other fevered, bombastic, Stalinist rant from the lunatic, Brown and we now, resultantly, in the vox pop, approach a situation of Tommy as protected species. The self-appointed leader of the nation is an embarrassing, serial coward, hiding, biting his nails, doped-up, fortified against his own weakness, why should not the widows weep and wail?

Press-conferencing bereaved mothers - why are they always dressed for a disco - complain that not enough is done for them after their offspring have died for Obama, although less than a century ago millions of the widowed kept a stiff upper lip; those affianced, pre-trenches and thence bereft, maintained a life-long spinsterhood, 'migrant guest from relative to in-law, skin like a lizard, aura like a daffodil, she stares into the embers and remembers' and those robbed of their child dusted his uniformed portrait, until their own death saw these, too, faded and foxed, abandoned by impatient relatives, junked by the house clearance vultures; I have some.....



"He whom this scroll commemorates
was numbered among those who
at the call of King and Country left all
that was dear to them, endured hardness,
faced danger and finally passed out of
the sight of men by the path of duty
and self sacrifice, giving up their own
lives that others might live in freedom
Let others who come after see to it
That his name be not forgotten.
PRIVATE ALFRED HARRISON
ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS."

.....................which I retrieved from a skip.

I tried to investigate the life and death of this young man but his War Office records, from the First War, were blitzed and destroyed in the Second. Who will care for this morbid, martial image after me is unknown, obviously none of his kin gave a flying fuck, no peroxide diva to hold his picture up to skymadeupnewsandfilth's all-seeing, all-pitying lens. The time of unquestioning sacrifice, of blind duty and obedience is gone and with it the sense of perpetual, dutiful mourning. Now, mums and widows want Tommy, basically, not to be put in harm's way; in a time of Ruin it is Everyman for himself, and why not, who should die that Alan Duncan may have free gardening ?

skymadeupnewsandfilth's sentimentalisation of everything and everybody so undermines the national sang froid that maybe we approach a point of Zero, as they say, Tolerance to Boxed Tommies at RAF Lyneham; maybe we have developed a revulsion welcome during these privateering Blair misadventures, one which will prove catastrophic in times of proper threat. And alongside the public infantilisation of so many slain troopers and guardsmen and bombardiers and Kingsmen comes a new parade - of those mentally butchered abroad and in McGuinessville.

Seems to me, never in the forces, that the first five minutes after enlistment would induce a lasting stress-related disorder and that anyone actually at the sharp end would be indelibly marked, maybe in part for the better but often for the worse.

This US posting, below, even so, may well be long on hyperbole, can all the Vets be pissed off homicidal or suicidal junkies ?

First Blood, David Morrel's first novel saw it's damaged hero, John Rambo, mercifully despatched by his CO, Troutmann, as his 'Nam-acquired demons raged uncontrollaby through his battered mind, Sylvester Stallone entirely missing and subverting the point of Morrel's story and thus generations of movie-goers now see judicious mayhem as the Vets' only redemption, confusing, as ever, Hollywood special effects with real life.

Uncle Sam, in the land of the free, has five per cent of the world's population, yet twenty-five percent of all those imprisoned on the planet and what is sure is that, as in the United Kingdom, a disproportionate number of the incarcerated will be black, a disporportionate number will be ex-servicemen, passed out of the sight of men and into the jail's dark stench. Here, in the UK, addiction and housing charities, the probation service and voluntary sector agencies deal with many, once the recipients of Gordon Brown's hollow, vampire gratitude, once casualties of Bob Ainsworth's fuckwit parsimonious incompetence, now drifting too far from shore, programmed to kill, abandoned, loveless and angry. Mediaminster conspires to make us indifferent to enemy casualties, to our lasting shame we have never even counted the dead in Iraq; puffed-up Ruperts, by this neglect, this contempt, fostering an inhumanity which must eventually play-out in the bedrooms and in the town centres of bankrupt, unemployed, post-discharge, ruined civvy street.

We used to set them to selling matches or making poppies, the limbless, the gassed, the blind, things are immeasurably better, if not ideal; it is foolish in the extreme, however, to train split-second killers, to psych them up, threatened from all sides, in a war with no front line and then to discharge them into a society regulated, corralled, categorised, cv-ed to fucking death, surveyed and policed as never before. Wiser men than Brown and his misfits would see the urgency and put stepping stones in place but he is a life-long Atlanticist and dooms us to repeating Uncle Sam's disastrous treatment of his own veterans; shattered in body or mind or both, Tommy returns to a civilian society as alien to him as is he to it. It has ever been so but now that we are so clever we should demand better, for Tommy and for us. The soldier, though, deals in the harshest of truths, this unblooded crop of politicians in the meanest of soundbites; the mad bastard, Brown, attuned only to his own pathetic ranting, unwilling and unfit to think of - much less speak to - the weighty matter of arms and the man.

Violence, of course, is the undercurrent of all our histories.

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Violence Is the Dark Undercurrent of American History

posted Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Newspeak: "Violence Is Liberation"

Violence is a dark undercurrent of American history. It is exacerbated by war and economic decline.

Violence is spreading outward from the killing fields in Iraq and Afghanistan to slowly tear apart individuals, families and communities.

There is no immunity. The longer the wars continue, the longer the members of our working class are transformed by corporate overlords into serfs, the more violence will dominate the landscape. The slide into chaos and a police state will become inevitable.

The soldiers and Marines who return from Iraq and Afghanistan are often traumatized and then shipped back a few months later to be traumatized again. This was less frequent in Vietnam.

Veterans, when they get out, search for the usual escape routes of alienation, addictions and medication. But there is also the escape route of violence.

We risk creating a homegrown Freikorps, the demobilized German soldiers from World War I who violently tore down the edifice of the Weimar Republic and helped open the way to Nazism.

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have unloaded hundreds of thousands of combat troops, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression, back into society.

According to a joint Veterans Affairs Department-University of San Francisco study published in July, 418,000 of the roughly 1.9 million service members who have fought in or supported the wars suffer from PTSD.

As of August 2008, the latest data available, about a quarter-million military veterans were imprisoned on any given day—about 9.4 percent of the total daily imprisoned population, according to the National GAINS Center Forum on Combat Veterans, Trauma and the Justice System.

There are 223,000 veterans in jail or prison cells on an average day, and an unknown number among the 4 million Americans on probation. They don’t have much to look forward to upon release.

And if any of these incarcerated vets do not have PTSD when they are arrested, our corrections system will probably rectify the deficiency.

Throw in the cocktail of unemployment, powerlessness, depression, alienation, anger, alcohol and drugs and you create thousands, if not tens of thousands, who will seek out violence the way an addict seeks out a bag of heroin.

War and conflict have marked most of my adult life. I know what prolonged exposure to industrial slaughter does to you.

I know what it is to confront memories, buried deep within the subconscious, which jerk you awake at night, your heart racing and your body covered in sweat.

I know what it is like to lie, unable to sleep, your heart pounding, trying to remember what it was that caused such terror.

I know how it feels to be overcome by the vivid images of violence that make you wonder if the dream or the darkness around you is real.

I know what it feels like to stumble through the day carrying a shock and horror, an awful cement-like despair, which you cannot shed.

And I know how after a few nights like this you are left numb and exhausted, unable to connect with anyone around you, even those you love the most.

I know how you drink or medicate yourself into a coma so you do not have to remember your dreams. And I know that great divide that opens between you and the rest of the world, especially the civilian world, which cannot imagine your pain and your hatred. I know how easily this hatred is directed toward those in that world.

There are minefields of stimulants for those who return from war. Smells, sounds, bridges, the whoosh of a helicopter, thrust you back to Iraq or another zone of slaughter, back to a time of terror and blood, back to the darkest regions of your heart, regions you wish did not exist.

Life, on some days, is a simple battle to stay upright, to cope with memories and trauma that are unexplainable, probably unimaginable, to those seated across from you at the breakfast table.

Families will watch these veterans fall silent, see the thousand-yard stare, and know they have again lost these men and women. They hope somehow they will come back.

Some won’t. Those who cannot cope, even by using Zoloft or Paxil, blow their brains out with drugs, alcohol or a gun.

More Vietnam veterans died from suicide in the years after the war than during the conflict itself. But it would be a mistake to blame this on Vietnam. War does this to you. It destroys part of you. You live maimed. If you are not able to live maimed, you check out.

But what happens in a society where everything conspires to check you out even when you make the herculean effort to integrate into the world of malls, celebrity gossip and too many brands of cereal on a supermarket shelf?

What happens when the corporate state says that you can die in its wars but at home you are human refuse, that there is no job, no way to pay your medical bills or your mortgage, no hope? Then you retreat into your private hell of rage, terror and alienation.

You do not return from the world of war. You yearn for its sleek and powerful weapons, its speed and noise, its ability to abolish the lines between sanity and madness. You long for the alluring, hallucinogenic landscapes of combat.

You miss the psychedelic visions of carnage and suffering, the smells, sounds, shrieks, explosions and destruction that jolt you back to the present, which make you aware in ways you never were before.

The thrill of violence, the God-like power that comes when you can take a human life with impunity, is matched against the pathetic existence of waiting for an unemployment check. You look to rejoin the fraternity of killers. Here. There. It no longer matters.

There is a yawning indifference at home about what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The hollow language of heroism and glory, used by the war makers and often aped by those in the media, allows the nation to feel good about war, about “service.” But it is also a way of muzzling the voices that attempt to tell us the truth about war.

And when these men and women do find the moral courage to speak, they often find that many fellow Americans turn away in disgust or attack them for shattering the myth.

The myth of war is too enjoyable, and too profitable, to be punctured by reality. And so these veterans nurse their fantasies of power. They begin to hate those who sent them as much as they hate those they fought. Some cannot distinguish one from the other.

As I stared into the faces of the men from A Gathering of Eagles on Saturday at a protest calling for the closure of the Army Experience Center in Philadelphia, I recognized these emotions.

These men had arrived on black motorcycles. They were wearing leather jackets. They had lined up, most holding large American flags, to greet the protesters, some of whom were also veterans.

They chanted “Traitors!” at the seven people who were arrested for refusing the police order to leave the premises.

They sought vindication from a system that had, although they could not admit it, betrayed them.

They yearned to be powerful, if only for a moment, if only by breaking through the police line and knocking some God-hating communist faggot to the ground. They wanted the war to come home.

It is we who are guilty, guilty for sending these young men and women to wars that did not have to be fought.

It is we who are guilty for turning away from the truth of war to wallow in a self-aggrandizing myth, guilty because we create and decorate killers and when they come home maimed and broken we discard them.

It's the ideology of patriotism that drives America into new, bloodier killing fields. And it's done with our tacit support. Are we so inculcated with 'war is peace', 'violence is liberation' that we are willing to condone this country's brutality?

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Friday, 18 September 2009

THE LONESOME DEATH OF FIONA PILKINGTON.


Olivia Davison, the Assistant Deputy Coroner for Rutland and North Leicestershire, today repeatedly asked at the inquest into the deaths why “common sense and basic old fashioned policing” had not identified the dead mother and daughter as extremely vulnerable and the victim of a hate campaign. Old Bill, who gets six months paid sick leave and the Queen's Gallantry Medal if his helmet falls off thought that the late Fiona Pilkington was over-reacting in complaining of being besieged and bombarded in her own home by a gang of up to twenty feral youths, doing so for over ten years. No-one was ever arrested, charged or prosecuted, despite her making 13 calls in the year she died. The abuse ranged from her house being besieged by howling little bastards to her son being beaten with an iron bar, her daughter, Frankie, a child with severe learning difficulties was singled out for abuse, her life already miserable made worse.

Eventually, despairing, Fiona torched her own car, while she and Frankie sat inside, neither survived.

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WHAT THE PAPERS SAY. UNCLE SAM, THE IGNOBLE SAVAGE.

Romell Broom to face execution next week following botched lethal injection

• Romell Broom convicted of rape and murder of teenager
• Case raises question about Texas man facing execution



Ohio is to try again to execute a man convicted of murder after his death by lethal injection was botched earlier this week when technicians spent two hours in a futile hunt for a vein able to take a needle.

At one point, Romell Broom, who was convicted of rape and murder of a teenage girl 25 years ago, tried to help prison officers find a suitable vein by moving around and flexing his muscles. The prison governor later thanked him for his cooperation.

What critics of the death penalty are describing as the "virtually unprecedented" failure of the attempt to execute Broom, 53, has again raised questions over its continued use in the US. Concerns have also been raised over a case in Texas in which a man is facing execution despite an admission by the judge and prosecutor in his trial that they were lovers.

Prison officers described how, after about an hour of hunting for a suitable vein, Broom helped them by turning on to his side, by moving rubber tubing along his arm and by flexing his hand and muscles. At one point, technicians found what appeared to be a suitable vein but it collapsed as they inserted a needle, apparently because of past drug use.

Broom, who was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton, became so distressed that he lay on his back and covered his face with both hands. One of the execution team handed him a toilet roll to wipe away tears.

The prison director, Terry Collins, contacted Ohio's governor, Ted Strickland, to tell him of the difficulties. The governor issued a temporary reprieve.
Collins later thanked the condemned man for what he said was the respect he showed toward the execution team and for the way he endured the ordeal.

One of Broom's lawyers, Adele Shank, who witnessed the failed execution, said her client was clearly in pain.

"It was obviously a flawed process," she said. "He survived this execution attempt, and they really can't do it again. It was cruel and unusual punishment."

Broom's legal team has now asked Ohio's supreme court to cancel the execution but state officials today said they will attempt it again next week.

The Death Penalty Information Centre in Washington said that the botched attempt is the first of its kind since the electric chair failed to kill a murderer, Willie Francis, in Louisiana in 1946. Francis argued that a second attempt to execute him would be unconstitutional but the supreme court ruled otherwise and he was electrocuted the following year.

"This is virtually unprecedented," said the DPIC's director, Richard Dieter, said of the Broom case. "The public in the US are increasingly jaded about the death penalty. There is evidence of innocent people executed, prosecutors sleeping with judges and being ignored, failed executions. At some point enough is going to be enough and even people who support the death penalty are going to let it go".

There are fresh questions about the legal process around the death penalty in Texas, which carries out by far the largest number of executions in the US. The state's court of criminal appeals has turned down an appeal from a man on the brink of execution who said there were questions over the fairness of his trial after it was revealed that the judge and prosecutor kept secret that they were lovers. Charles Hood was convicted of the 1989 robbery and murder of two people.

The appeals court said that the defence should have raised the issue of the affair at the original appeal. But defence lawyers said that it was no more than a rumour at the time and was only confirmed by another official in the prosecutor's office hours before Hood was originally to have been executed last year. The two people involved later confirmed their affair.

One of Hood's lawyers, David Dow, called the decision "gutless" and the American Bar Association ethics committee described it as a "blot on the Texas judiciary".

Texas is also grappling with revelations that it may have executed an innocent man five years ago after he was convicted of murdering his three children through arson on the basis of deeply flawed "scientific" evidence that has been compared to the stuff of witch trials.


"......preserve America as the greatest nation on Earth and the last, best hope for mankind."

George Executioner Bush junior, drunk, draft-dodger, coke fiend, wife-beater, fraudster, coward, torturer, former president, former proprietor of Texas. And according to Gordon Snot, Britain's best friend.


"I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth. We just have to show the world why this is so."

Barack Obama, 23rd April 2007, Harvard law professor, career politician and current president of the United States.







Thursday, 17 September 2009

WOTSONTELLY, A PORTRAIT OF SCOTLAND. BBC 4


"Art? God fucking spare me."



Better known for playing spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It, Jock actor, Peter Capaldi, almost spoils this otherwise excellent documentary on the history of Scottish portraiture.



"Just fucking shut the fuck up."

He was all over it like the pox; it was as though his contract stipulated that for every minute of Scottish pictures there had to be two minutes of Capaldi's cadaverous iffy scholarship, as though the paintings would not hold an audience and the programme depended upon Capaldi's air of Tucker-like menace.

"Who was it done your media training, Myra fucking Hindley?"

or as the Beeb puts it

""Peter Capaldi explores the story of Scotland's art. He had a talent for drawing and a love for art that took him to art school in Glasgow, but soon after graduating he became an actor. Capaldi spends time with the paintings and the artists that have made Scottish art special. He sketches some of the most important Scottish portraits, and by focusing on the tradition of portraiture that goes back 500 years, Capaldi shows how Scotland's art has reflected the changing face of the nation."

Living in Scotland, best part of England, is like inhabiting the mind of a publicity-crazed Z-list celebrity. Everyday it's another form of querulous self-obsession: How am I Scottish? Whaduzitmean to be Scottish? What is Scotland's place in the world? Are we a big small nation ? Or are we too big to be small, too small to be big? Have we actually shaped the entire modern world ? Why are we always pissed, beating our wives and dropping down in the filthy streets from obesity heart attacks? Isn't Sean Connery the greatest actor of all time, the Proclaimers bigger than the Beatles, Lulu the Maria Callas of rock'n'roll?

Capaldi and his producers offer more of the same, Scottish art, particularly it's portraiture, the cruelly unrecognised rival to the world's greatest paintings. It is nothing of the sort but by God it's not bad.




Like most things Jock, Capaldi's programme comes with irritants but the pictures and their settings are fabulous and although the editing lingers overlong on Capaldi and his own indifferent sketching, he is nevertheless both annoying and refreshing as an arts presenter.

And at ninety minutes it is too long for Capaldi's self referential delivery and too short to accommodate the breadth of history he attempts - a brief, impassioned denunciation of the Highland Clearances and their later Victorian aristocratic colonisation, a bitter reproach to Scott's invention of the shortbread-and-tartan mythology, yet not a word of Culloden.

A quirky, idiosyncratic bit of programming, flawed and unskilled in places, unlike the Beeb's Baroque series earlier in the year but as we say in Scotland, a man's a man for a' that and the juxtaposition of a TV satire villain with the considerable Scottish artisitic heritage makes interesting TV. It is definitely worth a close look; which is clearly what Mr Capaldi, below, thinks of himself.

"Painters? Fucking pansies. I shit on them."





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GAUGUIN AT TATE MODERN, NEXT YEAR.


"LIFE BEING WHAT IT IS, ONE DREAMS OF VENGEANCE"
PAUL GAUGUIN, 1848 - 1903.

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NIGHT CAFE AT ARLES, 1888


ANNA THE JAVANERIN, 1893


WOMAN WITH A FLOWER, 1891




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RUMPOLE NEWS, POLICE UNABLE TO FRAME TEENAGERS SHOCK. FROM THE DAILY TELEGRAPH'S RUMPOLE CORRESPONDENT, JOSHUA BAR MITZVAH

Trial of 'Columbine-style massacre' plot was 'farcical' says defence lawyer

The decision to prosecute teenagers Matthew Swift and Ross McKnight for fantasising about blowing up their school in a Columbine-style massacre has been condemned by their legal teams as a “farcical” waste of public money.

CPS only managed to jail two innocent boys for six months

McKnight said: “I would like to make it clear that at no time was any person put at risk either at Audenshaw High School or Crown Point North Shopping Centre.

"This was just a fantasy. This was never a reality."

He hoped his ambition to join the Army would not be harmed by his appearance in the dock.

Swift thanked his family, friends and legal team, but said he now wanted to put the matter behind him.

He also thanked God that he wasn't a Paki. If I had of been one, the teenager said, they'd a just kept trying me until they got the verdict they wanted.

Police and CPS staff defended their decision to try to frame the two teenagers. It normally works, said Chief Superintendent Gob and if we had a framed them that woulda been two less terrorists on the streets, which is exactly what the people want. A policeman's lot is not a happy one. My right worshipful brother is exactly right, said the arsehole from the CPS, there was a very strong case against these two terrorists, I know because I made it all up myself. It's a sad day for British justice


In other Rumpole News, Lady Scotland, the Attorney General,

who authorised the prosecution of the two naughty boys above said, How the fuck was she expected to know that her cleaner was an illegal. I'm a fucking Attorney fucking General, what do I know about cleaning, only that the taxpayer pays someone to do mine. Now fuck off or I'll have you charged with something.