Tuesday 24 December 2013


It is the very Devil, isn't it, Christmas, all the hypocrisies rolled into one,  the rich man in his castle, the poor man sleeping on the street;  the mistreated, mateless mother, her soul trashed by her kids' consumerist expectations;  the poor,  the sick, the lonely, those estranged by familial strife, the bereaved, all  mercilessly dragooned into believing that the footfall in the shopping malls,  the scorching cyber avenues and  the simpering, noncing monsignors are actually something to do with them, something, for fuck's sake,  to celebrate.  For many it will be a misery and for even more it will a disappointing delusion.

I saw a woman on the box, yesterday,  I nearly said the News, silly me.  Some Godless, heathenbastard moron, gobbing away at her self-scripted nonsense about how not getting home by rail was not an option,  as though her life, and it's momentary intersection with mine, was a Bruce Willis film , in which she would star for me, triumphantly;  her arrival at her family's  MincePie House was not subject to things like  the weather or to what we call Acts of God,  fuck me, no;  silly cunt.  Just another one of those conceited Ruinettes, her brain turned to mush by Infotainment Inc;  God knows, they're everywhere, dribbling platitudes which they can hardly pronounce.  Dunno why she irritated me so much, maybe because, in the same bulletin,  two people had been washed away to their Merry Christmas deaths by angry, swollen rivers;  maybe because as I write this I'm looking at the sky again, at the sea boiling and frothing over a road it has just washed away.  I'd love to grab that stupid bitch by the throat and Say, There y'are, go and walk through that lot and tell me that Failure's not an option. It's ninety miles an hour forecast here but that can mean gusts of a hundred and thirty, blew me over, yesterday, flat on my arse,  Harris barking his head off, tangling his lead in my fallen legs.

And that, of course, the mighty weather, is what it has always been about, the mid-winter feasting and  firing and fucking;  it really tells, up here in the North, from now on  the days will get longer, perceptibly,  there'll be gales and storms and hightides but there'll be light, in which to cope with them.  After a decade or so here at the End of the World that is what we and I guess all our neighbours, all the islanders, are actually celebrating,  the triumph over,  the survival of Darkness.  Down South, even a Godless heathenbastard such as I would find church or cathedral at midnight and sing lustily with good courage. The Christians, of course, would humour me and say That, Ishmael,  Hallelujah, is what the Christ child's message is,  the triumph of Light over Darknesss. That and  Religions Incorporated.

I don't begrudge them their services and I love their carols and to anyone here who is a believer I wish you a happy and a holy time, in Heaven the bells are ringing.  For the rest, as mrs narcolept says, wherever you are I hope you withstand the weather,  each other, the crassness of it all and emerge safely on the other side.

Thanks for so many good wishes this year and please accept my own in return, with the compliments of the season. Normal service will continue.



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Thursday 19 December 2013

EVENSONG. Jackson Browne, a young rock'n'roller.


British coke-snorting celebrities, from all across the world of British celebrity coke-snorting  were last night said to be joining forces to provide a Christmas treat for two young women jailed in Peru on cocaine smuggling charges

Yes, we are giving half of our fortunes to these two unfortunate young women. After all, if it wasn't for rich cokeheads like us they wouldn't be in jail for smuggling the shit in the first place.  No, no need for thanks. It's the least we can do.

With this ring I thee fist.  Sorry, wed.

Yes, me too, and my wifehusband, David, we're giving half of our fortune, although it's mine really, as everyone knows, to these two totties.  I musta snorted hundredfuckingweights of that shit in my time.

 And if it wasn't for rich cunts like me, who never get arrested, these poor sluts wouldn't be in jail now.

Well, ...sniff....let's be....sniff.... clear about this. 
Although I am a great fan of Nigella I have never done coke with her.  Nor with Ms Brooks.  Or Mr Coulson. Or Mr Osborne. Or the Mayor.
 And let's be more clear, what rich kids, such as myself,  do with cocaine  is not a matter for the police, much less for the electorate.  These two young women, however, are setting a very bad example, importing drugs for people like me to snort up our noses.  

Not that I'm saying I ever did.

  I say, hang on a minute, old chap, I think you'll find that the drug laws don't apply to people like me.
What-ho, readers, and a jolly, happy, fornicating, coked-up Yulemas to you all.  Yes, give the two tarts a few quid from my Special Mayor's Allowance.  I mean, cogito ergo snortum.

It has bugged me for most of my life - the way that poor junkies go to jail and rich junkies go to soirees in Downing Street.  The repulsive, bloated pansy, Reg Dwight, a man who endlessly recycles the same three songs - a slow, a mid-tempo and a fast one - is not only vastly, intolerably over-rated as a musician but his criminal as well as his moral lapses are not only overlooked but hosannahed from MediaMinster's rooftops.  I read an interview with him/her in Q magazine, years and years ago, in which he bragged of his misery on egomania, brandy, boys and cocaine.  Seemed like only five minutes later and he was knighted by the Blairs


There used to be a time in the UK when, regardless of his offence,  the worst punishment a bent copper could expect was to be allowed to retire early, fully pensioned,  on health grounds.  This actually was a punishment inasmuch as DC Filth wouldn't be able to continue running whores, fencing bent gear and dealing in drugs and porn, although his brethren would probably keep him in the loop for a while, at least, until he could hoover-up some security industry work - selling police intelligence to criminals and the like. Where ordinary people would face charges and time in custody for offences of assault, wounding, attempted murder, conspiracy to pervert and everything in-between, members of the thin blue line would generally manage to get a commendation for gallantry or a promotion.  Only in the light of the most conspicuous, taking-the-piss rottennes would the nuclear, early retirement option be triggered.  MediaMinster, of course, went along with this charade, sombrely reporting the loss of the unblemished career of this hitherto distinguished officer, cops and press both draining into the same national sewer,  then, as now.

The past twenty years or so have seen a similar, distorting prism refracting the crimes of the Great, especially with regard to the consumption of what are called dangerous drugs.  It is now widely accepted that rich people, famous people, creative people and sporty people do cocaine in large amounts and although this is an outlawed practice few are ever punished,  their penalty is to go into Re-Hab, bless.  Poor people,  on the other hand, are tabloided half-to-death and slung in jail, especially those, like these two bints in Peru, stupid enough or poor enough to be talked into  transporting cocaine to the dinner tables and pisscorners  of the likes of the Saatchis, people who, regardless of their crimes will never see the inside of a cell.  Doesn't seem right, somehow, specially at Christmas.  Maybe Nigella bake a cake for them or something    

Tuesday 17 December 2013



So much of the PBC's arts programming has been hi-jacked recently, vehicularised,  by posturing, bullying arseholes talking down to us - Alan Yentob, interviewing, like a slavering groupy, his teenage pop idols,

His breath'll lift the varnish from that Strat,
if he's not careful;
you can smell it from here.

one almost expected, in a recent outing, that he would ask Mark Knopfler for a plastercast of his dick, just for his personal collection, y'understand.

Brothers in arms.

Yentob is one of the more gross, nauseating, overpaid luvvies whom, via our taxes, we keep in indolent, self-fellating luxury, sharing with us, betimes, his journey into this or that aspect of pop trivia; they're never just making a fucking programme, these Yentobs, they're all on a fucking mission of discovery, good of them, really, to babble at us, shouting urgent cultural instructions, from their luxury liners.

And, of course, I'm an artist myself, so I know how you suffer.
I suffer myself.
A portrait of the artist as a young potatoman.

Mark PotatoMan is another, nose-talking flat-out, racing against himself in the Most Well-Researched Interviewer Ever Steeplechase, one would be surprised to learn that he ever paused for a split-second to enjoy a work of art or entertainment, too busy deconstructing it, making notes, for a future tellyarts gabfest in which he sits, bloated, ashen, reeking of grease'n'garlic, and oozing his superior knowledge of everything, ever; repulsive fucking mutant, he should go for a run, the fucking gabshite. And he should wear a tie or a tee-shirt, one or the other. He clearly knows nothing of the art of dishevelment.

I would love to hear, just once before I die, one of these fuckers saying, for instance, Dickens, nah, never read a word of it. Shakespeare? Nah, not for me; read Hamlet, that's enough, innit? Japanese cinema? you must be outa your fucking mind. But no, the PBC is carpeted, wall-to-wall, with cultural polyglots, a Babel of effete narcissism, the sort of people whom mr jgm2 says should be charged double or treble for their arts degrees. I used to be among that arts degree crowd, myself, Gilgameshing, Chaucering and Joyceing my way to a wordy, arty future, so it hurts to find myself courtesy of the PBC, coming over all Hermann Goering - ven I hear ze vord kultur I reach vor mein pistol.

That the PBC is run for and by crooks, ponces, pimps, slags, degenerates and child molesters is now axiomatic; that we continue to shovel our money into the scabby, snarling mouths of the likes of Chris Patten - just because this failed Tory spiv says we should - is almost unbelieveable. In a decent society Patten, Dyke, Thompson, the whole shameless, shabby crew would be breaking rocks on Dartmoor. For ever. If a foreign, national institution was proven to be a hotbed of larceny, degeneracy and decades-long, institutionalised noncing the PBC would be wetting itself in indignation. Mrs woman on a raft describes herself as being moored just off the coast of reality. Until heads roll at the PBC, actually into the basket and not into wealthy retirement, we, the United Kingdom, will remain a sewer-island, off the coast of civilisation.

They're not all as bad as that, though, the culture jocks, not as bad as foul, as yentob. Some of them have a sense of humour and Waldemar Jabberwocky always has interesting things to say about paintings,

Jabberwock does Baroque.

and he even manages to make some of it seem spontaneous, although spontaneity and the managerialised, child-abusing PBC are antipathetic. It really isn't good enough that the public broadcaster's coverage of arts generally is in the unlaboured hands of a bunch of cunts. I know critics, at least paid ones, are a considerably lesser form of life than the rest of us but even so, Kirsty Wark and her slew of screeching, parasitic, late-night cocksuckeurs culturelle;

Paul Morley, Diane Wei Liang, Kirsty Wark,
Miranda Sawyer, Andrew Motion.
I'd throw them all out of the lifeboat,
in fact, I wouldn't even let them in.

Yentob and PotatoHead, Andy Graham-Dixon, Mark Kermode, Sue Perkins, Clemency Burton-Hill, Jesus, I could go on for a month. And most of this lot, as usual, are Oxbridge, some of them,

Look, I'm an artist, too.
I'm not just some PBC talking head tart.

like the gorgeous, pouting Burton-Hill are both Oxbridge and the pampered spawn of some superannuated BBC grandee del noncios.

But aside from daddies and dons, the main thing which this gang has in common is that each really makes a dreadful, self-absorbed fist of what we pay them to do, what the nation needs them to do, now, more than ever. There is a better way and that is to take ordinary people and say, OK, whaddayamake of this, then? But that's never going to happen. Only in places like here.

I used to take groups of official criminals - as opposed to bankers and politicians - to see Shakespeare or to an art gallery or a music festival, alongside, I hasten to add, directing them towards work, training and common-or-garden Decency. Never knew that was for me, most'd say, and clutched in the sharp, grimy paws of Kirsty Wark and the rest, it never will be. X-Factor, that's the thing for you, singing, 'swhat you understand.

In the grown-up world, writers review each others' books - and how many fucking books can there be, there's already millions upon millions of them, why don't people learn a different language instead of reading the latest, indispensable, Sebastian Faulks tripe? As bankers review each others' bungs, PBC execs review each others' larceny, cops review each others' crimes and doctors review each others' greedy malpractices so the critics, acting as our own cultural coppers, review for us the evidence relating to their brighter, more successful chums' efforts and tell us what we think. But actually, if you look at Tracey Emin's Great Bed of Shit, for instance, you will see that art is whatever you can get away with.
Even so, wading about in shit, the role of ordinary people is to be told, by the charmed crcle of clever people, what they think about art or music or politics. Or anything. You'll like the things we tell you to, or you won't like at all.

It was a rare pleasure, then, to see, last night, an arts show seemingly completely controlled by its subject and - barring an introductory simper from Clemency - completely devoid of the critical, faux-interrogative, flattering voice. Although he will be best remembered for selling dodgy insurance to the elderly, the tellymonster, Parkinson, wrote the book on pandering to the scum of showbiz and the arts. And do tell us, Mr Niven, some of the many other ways in which you are wonderful.

I don't do dancing. Maybe it's my early presbyterian upbringing, I dunno, I just don't and I rarely watch it - save for Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson, on a good day - I don't think I've ever looked at dancing. There was a guy used to be on Sunday Night at the London Palladium, when I was a young child. Antonio, I think his name was,

a Spanish flamenco dancer, hand-clapping, boot heel-stomping, shouting Ole, every once in a while, he was mesmerising. But that's about it with me and dancing so it was just a mild curiosity which drew me, last night, to PBC2's Sylvie Guillem - Force of Nature

Now a breathtakingly fit 48, Guillem trained initially as a gymnast and only a student exchange period with the Paris Opera Ballet saw her talent recognised by then Director, Rudolf Nureyev,

who, against all precedent, propelled her into the position of etoile, principal ballerina, whilst she was still virtually a child. Rudi's preferment cast the die for her future personal and artistic behaviour. She would only ever do what she wanted to do.
The film is short, about a half an hour and concentrates as much on Guillem's monologues on Life, Art and the Environment as it does on her dancing and although these are compelling a longer show would have enabled us to be the more amazed, I suspect, by her dancing. There are short clips of her in classical roles and lengthier segments of her modern works; all of them, for me, at any rate, clarified the difference between sheer, ferociously uncompromising artistry and the countless little daily performances which we all give, over and over again for the benefit of family, friends, workmates and strangers alike; all the world is a stage, of course, Guillem's stage, though, occupies a different space, rarified, fantastically dramatic and, perhaps most significantly, utterly wordless.


I was left breathless, open mouthed by the sheer physicality of her performances, her partners all marvel at the things she can force her body to do, even now, approaching fifty.


She can stretch and bend and fold and free from partner support she can spin two or three times in mid-air.
As I said, I know nothing of balletstrokedance, leaves me cold as a rule but with some of Guillem's modern pieces my ignorance, my unfamiliarity didn't seem to matter. None of them were large, ensemble, company pieces, just two dancers or in the final piece just Guillem, herself, sketching the stages of woman's life, the movements in space of this one body matched to a few notes, expressing achey truths denied to words. 

In her to-camera pieces she was equally compelling.

It's odd, isn't it, how, maybe because we listen a wee bit harder, the words of those to whom English is not native, seem so much more, well, so much more right, unhabituated, more seeking and feeling and testing than declamatory. She spoke of how, early on, she had realised that she had but one life and to allow others - seniors - to dictate it was the same as giving it to them freely, for their own use. And when she transferred from Paris to London's Royal Ballet she quickly became known as Mademoiselle Non for her frequent flat refusals to play suggested roles. London - and global - directors and audiences feel that her ungovernability is a price well worth paying for seeing her on their stages.

Contempating the end of her career, Guillem laughs that the inevitable decline in her powers will only propel her upwards, slingshotting her into something else, something which is manifesting itself in her antsy support for SeaShepherds,

a radical environmentalist group which sidesteps the customary Bono-bleatings of showbiz in favour of direct action, ramming illegal whaling ships, for instance.

I am sure she will be a loss to dance lovers but most of her stuff will be digitised for posterity and there may well be another Sylvie along in a minute or two, there usually is.
But if you get a chance to see her, in this film, dancing and talking - both of them forms of thinking out loud - then, as we usually say, it is well worth the time spent.

She's got everything she needs,
she's an artist, she don't look back.

Sunday 8 December 2013


BTW I had heard that Glasgee pubs could be a bit rough, but a helicopter in the heed is just taking the piss. Vincent
 1 December 2013 23:5


It is a strange,  beautiful, eery sort of place, Glasgow.  I first visited shortly after the Year of Culture in 1990 and was knocked-out; as a Victorian city it made Birmingham look like a slum, yet the grand, 19th century civic and commercial buildings, classical and gothic, were cheek by jowl with turn of the  century Glasgow School creations 

and with elegant, soaring, modern - post-modern? - 
almost futuristic structures; 


 if you haven't been, do go and have a look,  

the drive through the city on the M8 could be a Computer Generated Image from a Hollywood blockbuster, so dramatic, it looks as though it can't possibly be real.  
On other occasions and in other parts of the city, as I've mentioned before, I have been too fearful to leave the dogs unaccompanied in the car, lest they be stolen by the shuffling groups of shell-suited,  tomazepamed NEDS, 
wasted and wounded, pale, skeletal,  the walking dead,  with tattooed faces and lips, lest my little warm, brown friends  be stolen and tortured.  It's just my imagination, running away with me. I recognise an infinity of paranoid possibilities only because it exists;  this skin-prickling, hair-standing, premonitory uneasiness,  this para-awareness is a sixth, seventh and eighth sense, the detection  and anticipation of Danger, it explains how we have survived to  run the world, despite it's other inhabitants being lethal to us. By the pricking of my thumbs, something Glasgow this way comes.

For pressure on my spinal cord,  my secondary GP, Dr Rolex - he wears a gaudy one -  has just prescribed  Gabapentin, an anti-convulsant used as an analgesic. I'm not mad or anything, don't have fits. Not a nutter.   The 300mg ones are very popular on the Glasgow Street, Doc attested,  like a potent form of cannabis.  Don't know what he meant, I always though any kind of cannabis pretty potent.
So maybe my caution does not relate to a race-memorised, imaginary beast, to a subconsciously lurking  Beowulf;   maybe these ersatz zombies, off their heads on unemployment, Buckfast tonic wine and cocktails of prescription drugs really are a real life nightmare menace;  the  pallid,  emaciated  grandsons of Rab C Nesbitt, 

lacking  even  a flicker of his wit, his pathos, his tumultuous, runaway, strangled, furious  eloquence;  just half-alive werewolves prowling,  with intent. To know, know, know them, is to fear, fear, fear them;  these are the children of darkness

I think it's widespread, classless, this guzzling of pharmaceuticals; some local social workerettes of my passing acquaintance,  on a Friday night swapping  prescription anti-depressants, anorexics, analgesics, sedatives and anything else and washing them down with - I think - a JaegerBlaster, a shot glass filled with some Devil's liqueur, set inside a glass of white wine or cider and knocked back in one, on top of the pills.  Give proper junkies the horrors, they would, and on Monday morning they're back in charge of the vulnerable.  These are desperate times;  people don't even know how to do drugs any more.
I don't know the city at all well, I can just about find my way around it; stops there have generally been overnighters, heading South or homeward bound but there have been a few weekends  during which I have always found it to be a fantastical sort of place, foreign, an abroad sort of place, Scotland is another country, as are Wales and Northern Ireland.  Glasgow, with its tenements and temples, bawdy drinking dens,  arborealised college campuses  

and it's re-invented riversides,  creates  a vague sense of Greatness dormant.  If only the tribesmen would celebrate, re-awaken this slumbering  potential, you'd have to love them for it;  instead, their bitter sermon is one of rank, fathomless Grievance,  Nicola Sturgeon 
gibbering an unstoppable cascade of contemptuous complaint; the bogus statesman,  Salmond,  generally tucked-in behind her,

 out of his cheesy soundbiting depth, 
Aye, city states, too, maybe it's the way to go. It's the way of the future, more borders, more bureaucrats and best of all, more o' they politicians.

netting  himself in his own lies,
 the greasy, fat oaf hooked on his own, risible distortions and blustering  misrepresentations, his parliamentary opponents 
Labour capo, Johann Lamont,
Would you just look at her?

lacking the grubby, bullying skills he learnt over decades in the bars and knocking shops of Westminster, 
all  too stupid, too tongue-tied, too cack-handed  to even land a blow on him. 

Salmond with one of his many paymasters,  the great Scot, 
Donald Trump. 

If you take a mooch around Glasgow, it's mysteries, its stolidness, its bulging past, you are bound to think, as I do, that Scotland deserves better than the  despicable riff-raff in Holyrood - bandits, drunks, thieves, bullies,  Masons, ponces, green fairies, hard-faced, jive-talking, lesbian ghouls and  blustering bigboy liars.

There are Glasgow corners  of despair, it is true, and decay.  Have mercy, I cry, City.  This is the way cities are, the way they have become;  the rich live in the country, the poor and the plutocrooks live in the town, up in the air.  The Kelvingrove Museum, 

 on the other hand, 

with Dali's St. John of the Cross, 

 is a series of dreams,  glimpses - artistic, mechanical,

 scientific, architectural - of what we all could be.  

The shockingly low life expectancy in  parts of Glasgow -  that aspect of the city which fuels so many acerbic and derogatory  comments - reveals the  sustained, selfish, preening, malevolence  of Scottish Labour. No use blaming Whisky Maggie, she spread her poison all over the UK not just over Scotland.  But as with Diane Abbott in Tower Hamlets, Jock Labour has had not decades but over a century to  help make it's constituents prosperous  and healthy;  would they do that? Would they fuck.  They operate to mr jgm2's theorem,  throwing down to their victims enough crumbs to  persuade them to continue voting Labour, yet never providing them with a hand-up.  

The betrayal of labour by Labour is not unique to Scotland, fuck, no,  but it has been more entrenched, its bitter jigs and reels  of deceit more compellingly  danced, reinforced by the hand-clapping  rhetoric of scoundrels.  Scotland, short-sightedly, if understandably,  used to love Labour but it's all over now, Labour's operatives scarecrow men and women, stuffed into cheap suits, fitted with a repetitive, useless bird scarer whose batteries flatten further with  leader, Johann Lamont's, every dismal, contradictory utterance, an opposition more ornamental, more ceremonial than challenging.   If Salmond and Sturgeon simply did what for them is unthinkable and  for the next year shut the fuck up, Labour's  Lamont and her band of sweaty,  stuttering idiots would deliver them an overwhelming vote for independence.

Glasgow, anyway, is a different place.  Edinburgh is  a fine, big posh place, but its like a tart's boudoir,   crawling with MacMediaMinster pimps, hacks, writers and upper crust, estate agent and banker type crooks; crawling with  snooty whores in Crombie overcoats, their gross, Kirsty Wark noses in the air.  Not for me, although the Royal Mile is well worth an open topped 'bus ride.  Glasgow seems honest by comparison and seems much more.