Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Impermanence and Rain - 16 Gidouille 132 E.P. Saint Inventaire, po├Ęte

I got a great package from the Impermanent Press yesterday - some tapes of RAW, a book about PKD, and a book called MFU.

Sorry about the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms - that is a self-referential one).

It's always nice to hear Bob's voice (Mr Wilson, that is) - and this tape also has laughter, rain and thunder on it, like an echo of Glastonbury....

And I stumbled across the site dedicated to Bob (Mr Dylan, that is) called Expecting Rain - and had forgotten how good it was.

Ah, me ....

And, feeling like an ex-vaudevillean, not the life and soul of the party this time out, I remembered the words of Dan Leno "Ah, what is Man? Wherefore does he why? Whence did he whence? Wither is he withering?"

For some more glimpses of English Music Hall (UK Vaudeville) see this article, although I don't agree about Seinfeld (a comic I like), I do agree about Max Wall (who I saw live a couple of times).

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

And then, By Night, the Scorpion again...

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
But what do I know about the big wide world? I got to live in The Orchard this year, in exchange for a bit of tentwork. OK, Huh?

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
And then there is just amazing stuff! By Day, and...

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
This is what the Main Stage looks like after the cows go, and before the people arrive....

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
The festival is safe from people, but not from the elements...(Wind and then Rain, in this case)

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
We just wear those things out...

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
And why would we think things were against us?

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...
That's who we were - that's what we did

Glastonbury Unplugged - no Photoshop, yet...

Aaargh - gotta be the earliest sighting yet....

I picked up the Newsletter of the RSPB today, published in May 2004 - to read this:

Originally we were going to have to hold the Annual Autumn/Christmas Fayre in October, due to changes... (blah,blah)

Happily we have been informed we can have a date nearer Christmas. The Fayre will now be held on 13th November 2004.


Back from the Field

I've been in the fields for the last ten days, so no computers/emails/phones to deal with.

Bliss!

Actually, it was quite wet and windy a lot of the time, but it was still fun to potter around watching shows.

At Glastonbury I rarely see/hear much of the music shows - I tend to hang out around the circus and cabaret tents, which I find more amusing....unless the sun is shining and the reggae/dub sound washes over the field.....

Just catching up, I'll do more this evening.

Back at the desk now.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Real Stuff

I keep on rediscovering the Human Clock in my Favourites, or running it on a spare PC at work (to glance at - it IS a clock, after all).

Although it is a nice piece of group creativity it does remind me that everyone is taking pictures now. I am on cctv on the way to work and in work (but not in this room as far as I know). I am not sure how we are going to filter all this stuff, when every bum scratching his arse (or is that asshole scratching his bum?)is being photo'd on his mate's mobile, and transmitted round the planet. Every tourist taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower is in everyone else's picture. Every lurching group of binge drinking teenagers is texting and sending pictures to every other teenager on the planet as reality tv and chat-up.

Filtering is going to become really important...

And if you think taking the filters off your mind and senses with acid was overwhelming, imagine how much more so it will be when you sense what 6 billion people are doing and seeing and thinking and feeling...(or was that acid, anyway - errr, I can't really remember, it's so long since I had the real thing).

We used to have telepathy, now we have mobile telephones; we used to have natural cycles and synchronicity, now we have clocks, calendars and appointments in personal organisers; we used to have ploughs pulled by horses, that ran on locally available fuel, contributed the by-products back to grow more fuel, were self-healing, reproduced/replaced themselves at no extra cost and were warm and friendly, and when finished with you could eat them or feed them to your dogs. Now we have tractors, running on fuel transported from thousands of miles away, polluting the air, expensive to maintain and replace, and are noisy and compress the earth they are supposed to be ploughing up. Ah, progress!
This is Han-Shan and his mate, Shih-te, having a laugh while sweeping up leaves. Notice how serious the people are who have the high-status jobs - and then decide if you prefer to laugh.... There's a little more about the pair of fools here

High IQ - Low Ambition
Countdown to Bob - one more day of work, and then I am home here to welcome the Somerset posse and go to the show...

Dig those moves

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

That'll be the spiral then....

The month of Gidouille is named after the spiral on Pere Ubu's costume.
It's still pretty hot here in the UK

And the waterfall is running now

Happy Bloomsday! 10 Gidouille 132 E.P. St Lucullus - amateur

I do sometimes wonder if I am part of a very small group of people who have actually read Ulysses right through (once). I enjoyed it, although it was a kind of immersion and go with the flow experience.

I read it when living in Paris, as there was very little in English around the atelier we were squatting, and I used it when I was getting too bewildered by the fact that French people do not speak the language that they had spent six years teaching me in school (but then again, Mr Marsh and I never got on - so if you hate your teacher, you hate your subject, and learn nothing).

I have also dabbled in Finnegans Wake, which makes me laugh (as Joyce intended) but I have certainly not read all of that. My only contribution to Joyce scholarship is my suggestion that FW should be published ringbound (as it ends in the middle of the sentence which starts it) so you could literally open it anywhere and start reading...the problem with a linear book being that you tend to open the middle...I offer that up, for what it's worth...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Go Ape

I am really not sure if this piece of scientific work was launched on April 1st - but it appears deadpan.

Briefly: Scientists in London are looking for groups of volunteers to help in a research study that will explore the behavioural links between chimpanzees and humans, according to Sky News.

Participants will be asked to replace their usual methods of communication with a combination of grunts and hand gestures, which correspond to the gestures of chimps in their natural habitat.

Handshakes and greetings could be replaced by a back rub or grooming session, while baring your teeth could be used to show a colleague that you disagree with them.

How do you think it would go down in your workplace?

Comments welcome.

Wrapping it all up at 3.15 am

What a day! Hi to K&K!

Thanks to Deep Leaf for the invite.

Another nice one from HPB:
"To obtain the knowledge of self, is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future."

Get a taste of duende at Flamenco World

Yes, and good night - and peace to all sentient beings.....

(I didn't mean to offend anyone) Well, er, politicians can assume I meant it...

Oh, and no I don't have any attachment to 666, that was just to scare people off - actually my own personal 23 is 528, which I got from my friend Mick, who said it was the key given to him by the time travellers (or whoever they were). We joked about it for a while - after all it was our phone number - and we looked out for it (of course), so imagine my surprise when Crowley told me it was a triangular number, with a side of 32, and that 529 was 23x23 (528 + 1, a year and a day, etc).

Then I came across the 'key' reference in The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, by Paul Foster Case, and even Mick didn't buy it....

OK OK I'll get his book online soon, but it may just be another PKD weird day....

Amor et Hilaritas

The last post was the 600th to this blog - as if it matters - you can count the next 66 if you care - but it cheered me up.

What more can you ask? I lost my computer reading glasses earlier today, even emailed all my workmates - got fed up and went back to my den at home and took Ken Campbell's advice, (you can either wait for Harvey to have his little joke or) just walk into the den that you have searched from top to bottom and say firmly "Be There!" and there they were.

It would be spooky if I didn't spend half my time trying to remind people of Uri Geller's "little tricks" - trying to convince people about David Blaine's levitation being a simple trick (that Muhammad Ali used to do - check out the reference in The Tao of Muhammad Ali) "floating like a butterfly", Balducci, music-hall, etc, (oh use yer Google) and a lot of belief - and being very impressed with Derren Brown's shows. And still synchronicity works when I least expect it.

Oh wow man - half a chance

I have just got an invite to take a place at the Maybe Logic Academy

I can't explain - to those of you who don't know how exciting this feels - a jump into the unknown sounds like a great plan.

Whether I can edit out the verb "to be" from my correspondence - hmm, I can already feel myself drying up. Ah well.

For those of you who don't understand my glee - fnord - have a little fun, make a little money, do a little good.

Be Seeing You.

Monday, June 14, 2004

All good stuff

We are having a training day here, on Social Inclusion, which I am enjoying (this is the tea break). The trainer is excellent, and it feels as though we are generating ideas which could be put into practice - not just another dull day of training, which is forgotten the day after.

A lot of it has to do with the perception of libraries (dull) and library staff (duller) which just are not keeping up with the way we are, and what we offer. Unfortunately, those cliches about librarians are no doubt in the minds of politicians, council members, etc. They don't know that some of those supposedly quiet buildings are now virtually Internet Cafes, with bunches of youths squabbling - that we offer latest videos and DVDs, CDs, and books....(ah, books, reading, school, boring and/or frightening).

Anyway, I am not going to compile my notes here....just taking a breather. OK, back into the fray for the last hour or so.

A slightly better report later.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

A Peaceful Thought for the day

I get a regular email from the Theosophists, but a lot of the quotes are a bit jargonish for me, all that karma and will stuff. Today's I liked:

THE TRUSTING MIND

To live in the Great Way
Is neither easy nor difficult,
But those with limited views
Are fearful and irresolute;
The faster they hurry, the slower they go,
And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited;
Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
Is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way
And there will be neither coming nor going.
One thing, all things;
Move among them and intermingle,
Without distinction.
To live in this realization
Is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.
The Way is beyond language,
For in it there is
No yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.

HSIN HSIN MING
Small pleasures - no pressure - I hope Bob has had a pleasant break, and arrives here refreshed - but let's face it, live shows have always been a gamble.

Sir, I soon saw Bob was no Osiris.

Friday, June 11, 2004

This may be an old joke, but it was new to me....

"There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't".

And checking it on the web, I see there are people quoting it who didn't really even get it...as in...

There are ten types of people on this world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Perhaps it depends on whether you read visually or sub-vocally....

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Well, duh, coffee is good if you've been drinking alcohol

I might have to put this into whichever website publishes inflated scientific budgets which have proved the obvious:

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters Health) - Coffee and other caffeinated beverages may provide some protection from liver damage in people at risk for liver disease, according to research presented here at Digestive Disease Week.

Using data from the third US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted between 1988 and 1994, Drs. James E. Everhart and Constance E. Ruhl assessed the association between caffeinated beverage consumption and liver disease.

Among people at risk for liver disease due to excessive alcohol use or other factors, drinking more than two cups of coffee per day seemed to protect against liver damage.

Compared with people who didn't drink the beverage, those who did were 44-percent less likely to show evidence of liver damage. The risk reduction seen with consumption of any caffeinated beverage was even higher, at 69 percent.
Big hello to the other dogs out there, you know who you are....(Click on the picture if you don't know the words)

Apologies to the artist (as ever)

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I enjoyed Big Fish - always been an Albert Finney fan - and I like Tim Burton's story-telling - great circus - the oldtime hiding place for unusual people (not just physically, but mentally)

Strange Days Indeed, most peculiar Momma

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I heard Reagan's dead (that's one down, still a few to go...)

which reminds me of a joke from the Thatcher era:

Q: What do you call twenty Conservative Members of Parliament at the bottom of a river?

A: A good start.

The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (Without a Net)

It's odd, having spent my whole atheist life trying to work out how the world REALLY works, to be told I don't appear very adventurous.

The definitions change. This next generation seems to think it is daring to go to Australia - scuba diving (say). They set off with a return ticket (!) travel insurance (!) a line of credit (!) and a pre-booked hotel - to go diving with highly qualified (!) insured (!) trainers, and then return to swap adventures and photos with co-workers, who went to Africa to take pictures of lions on an organised safari tour. It all sounds about as daring and dangerous as crossing the road to me.

But I am old fogey. Don't get me wrong - I am glad my mate recently got an insurance payout from Equity insurance when he hurt himself training; I am glad for both performers and audience that some insurance firm is now betting 'it will never happen' with their public liability insurance cover.

It's just that to be told you're not very daring when you have just spent 40 years without a return ticket, without travel insurance, without personal injury insurance (we're not talking my negligence here, but not being able to find any insurance people willing to take the risk!), without savings or credit or pension or inheritance to come - and as often as not swapping dangerous skills with people who may not have been 'qualified' - I learned fire-eating in Mexico, tightrope and trapeze in London, tumbling in an uninsured space. I did stilts and unicycle with people I trusted - and that was the best I could hope for. I chose my own teachers on trust, and they did me proud. I enjoyed it all, and I am still as on the edge as I ever was. I am not bragging - MOST people on the planet depend entirely on their wits, their friends and family, or the kindness of strangers. Very few are part of the card-castle of mutual cover that the middle class and the rich offer each other, here. I FEEL as though I am in the majority (planet-wide), but in a serious minority here in the 'safe' world.

Anyway - here I am ranting in the small hours again - just for being told I am not very adventurous. Macho rankling, like the Monty Python sketch "When I was a boy, we were so poor...." "They don't know they're born..."

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Great Man

It's not by chance that I give the impression of drinking more than I did in my youth.

I did a little drinking in my teens, but once I discovered dope I gave it up. It seemed like the stupid drug of the older generation. I remember tripping in a pub in the North of England and getting Hunter's Fear and Loathing.

I did drink a little wine in Paris, of course...and a little tequila in Mexico...but once I became a juggler I virtually gave it up. Not just for the co-ordination, but the economics - I got more fun out of training, and preferred to use my money to pay for classes in everything I could think of. Funnily enough, I was just thinking of my wonderful acrobatics teacher Ronji Cruz the other day, but can't find news of her through Google. She it was who one day invited me out for a "quick half" and stopped me being so puritanical about it - over that half pint she invited me to teach her class the following week, which started me off on the teaching part of my life. Thanks Ronji!

Still didn't drink much. Saw too many stupid drunks at the medaeval banquets (being a Court Jester was a small but steady income - staying sober and acting tipsy was the best way to work). It wasn't really until I ended up in Barcelona that I started 'proper' drinking. Alone and despondent, there wasn't much to do but busk up some cash and then sit around in bars. And the Spanish didn't have any health issues with smoking and drinking (I still believe that it is worry that is a major contributor to illness - failing to do things joyously is fatal - that sub-text of "naughty but nice", "I really ought to give this up", etc). Either do it and enjoy it, or don't do it.

When living with people who don't drink it is a lot easier not to drink. And the reverse is true. When I went to Bristol and ended up with Marmora as a landlady (Hi Marmora!) I drank a great deal, which was partly from feeling 'over the hill' in terms of teaching (a self-fulfilling prophecy). Fortunately I ran away to join the circus, where a stout constitution was an asset (we worked hard and played hard - NoFit State parties were the best I have ever been to).

And now I live in Cardiff. The Welsh drink quite a lot, and pub culture is a way of life, so I get drawn in. I also like a bottle of red wine at home.

Listen, at the beginning of the Twentieth Centurythe last Ale-Taster in Cardiff was nicknamed "Toby Philpot" after the Toby Jug character, who, like Robin Hood and John Bull, is a classic British archetype, described in an 18th Century song (tune here - lyrics here). My dad may have been a teetotaler, but he named me after the most famous drinker in the land. Not a lot I can do about that. I researched the name when working on publicity angles (Toby Juggler, etc). This other Toby has published most of the same stuff, so I won't bother.

And, of course, when I took up juggling my hero was W.C.Fields (The Great Man), not one of those 'clean-living, drug-free (sure) Olympic athletes in the circus.


Hero with feet of clay...or something...

Stuck Inside of Mobile....

Bob's gonna be here soon, to start his European Tour...

Always look forward to his gigs

Desert Island - Discuss

Bob's on his way to Cardiff, and I am looking forward to it. He's not popular in my house (younger people seem to hear a grumpy old man, or, not having actually listened to him, just think of him as some has-been old Sixties protest singer). They don't know he has a great sense of humour, and gathers the best musicians around him, to play an eclectic mix of every music style of the 20th century, really well. Blues, Gospel, Rock, Folk, you name it.

It's weird to me, but not very weird. While people talk of cars, I talk of surrealists; while people talk about pensions, I talk about silent movies; when people talk about diets, I talk about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (the secondary gains); when people talk about mortgages, I talk about mysticism; when people talk about soap operas, I talk about astrology; when people talk about money, I talk about anything else....

Bob's been like an older brother to me, he's always going through stuff a year or two ahead of me. And no, it's not all parallel (I was never born-again) but there's stuff you go through at certain ages, whether you are a millionaire or a peasant.

I am sure that my mother would have preferred that I had more Shakespeare quotes in my head; my school teachers might have preferred more Bible (who knows?) Those were base texts for education in the UK for so long that they are a 'given' if you go on Desert Island Discs, a long running radio show which says "if you were on a desert island which 8 records would you take with you?" Of course, that dates back to windup gramophones, and single tracks. It all got a bit confused when you might now want to take album sets. Still, they give you a luxury and a book (and they throw in The Bible and Shakespeare).

Weird, again. I might want Shakespeare, but I'd trade the Tao Te Ching, or Catch-22 for The Bible, and then choose the Greater Oxford Dictionary for my book. And no, don't ask, I don't know what my luxury would be, but I'd lean towards a bag of really good grass seeds fnord... ya gotta have a nice lawn to sunbathe on....

The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life

In my tea-breaks (and at home) I surf the net. Research is my drug of choice.

Looking at those juggling interviews led to Andrew Conway's collection of Heckle Stoppers (one of the researchers was The Butterfly Man, Robert Nelson, who I met at Castellar - he seemed to be having fun, he found the showers and breakfast - and ended up doing his boffer act with a prison guard when we did the show in Algeciras prison - one of the best spin-off shows I have seen at a convention). Those Heckle Stoppers were published in Volume 11 of Maledicta. Please don't visit this site if mere words upset you.

The title quote for this posting is from George Carlin's one-liners. His site contains its own warnings and disclaimers. His site is blocked by Cardiff Council on our People's Network PCs, as being "extreme", but you can pick up some links here, if necessary...

Enjoy! - "they're only words, but words can mean so much...."

I was a manualist...

Sorry that blog PS's go upwards, but I noticed in the tongue twister the name Ramo Samee. That's not all nonsense verse: being a juggler and conjuror I recognised the name - he was very well known in the UK (A David Blaine of the day) in the early Nineteenth Century.

You can find material about him in the juggling archive here

Where I first saw him mentioned was in Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, a huge book, of several volumes, which my dad turned me onto. It is the most extraordinary snapshot of street life of the period. Roughly contemporary with Dickens, Mayhew was a journalist rather than a novelist, and went out to interview all the street workers. He then published the interviews as monologues (eliminating the questioner). I looked up the relevant street performers when I was starting out. Here's the juggler, just for a sample of these treasures.

I remember seeing the strong man's monologue done straight, in a London Bubble theatre show many years ago. It was a powerful piece. This is a rich resource for writers and performers.

This one's for Keili (who loves a bit of language)

While checking out Toby Jugs (see The Great Man, above) I came across this gem, a tongue-twister game dating back to 1824 (you had to make your own amusement's then!) The site explains it, here's the text:

TOBY PHILPOT sat tippling with UMPO, VUMPO, and WILLY WIDEMOUTH of Wolverhampton, when X and Y, two officers, brought in the culprit, while Saccharum Sweet Tooth said nothing, while Ramo Samee really swollowed a sword, while Sly Kia cried Quack! quack! quack! And turned into a duck, to escape from Poniatowsky, who said, To jail with the Juggler and Jade, as Mother Bunch on her broomstick cried, here's a to-do! as Nicholas Hotch-potch said, Never were such times, as Muley Hassan, Mufti of Moldavia, put on his Barnacles, to see little Tweedle gobble them up, when Kia Khan Kreuse transmogrofied them into Pippins, because Snip's wife cried, Illikipilliky! lass a-day! 'tis too bad to titter at a body, when Hamet el Mammet, the bottlenosed Barber of Balasora, laughed ha! ha! ha! on beholding the elephant spout mud over the 'Prentice, who pricked his trunk with a needle, as Dicky Snip, the tailor, read the proclamation of Chrononhotonthologos, offering a thousand sequins for taking Bombardinian, Bashaw of three tails, who killed Aldiborontiphoskyphorniostikos.
This is what passes for an advertising budget around Splott

spotted today

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Refugee

Wandering around in my skin, I realise other people extend into their environment further than I do. Sure I have clothes and a Walkman (poor man's iPod) but I never really extended physically any further than that, no bricks and mortar, no fences, no furniture. The planet all 'belongs' to someone else.

That's fine, I can wander around most of it without much hassle, although I mustn't loiter anywhere too long, apparently.

So, I find conversations about mortgages, and gardens and cars and stuff quite distressing because I literally don't really understand. Apparently this big old free world I always took for granted can be 'bought' from me for a string of beads, and as I don't really understand what they intend to do with it when they 'own' it I agree - I take the beads, the smallpox blankets, and the bottle of whiskey I can't digest, and let them have it. hmm. (my usual romantic twaddle)

Anyway - today I was walking along, and in my head I could hear Tom Petty singing "Refugee", but it was coming out "No you don't have to live like the bourgeoisie, don't have to live like the bourgeoisieee..."

Just one of those things in my head. It ain't nothing important. And it's pretty stupid, coming from a man who now has a regular job.

We got some thin' we both know it,
We don't talk too much about it
Ain't no real big secret, all the same,
Somehow we get around it
Listen, it don't really matter to me
Baby, you believe what you wanna believe
You see, you don't have to live like a refugee

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have
Kicked you around some
Tell me why you wanna lay there,
Revel in your abandon

Honey, it don't make no difference to me
Baby, everybody's had to fight to be free
You see, you don't have to live like a refugee
No baby, you don't have to live like a refugee

Honk if you're stupid

Outside the office window is a bedlam of noise - lorry drivers and car drivers complaining about the cost of petrol/diesel. Admittedly a lot of the cost in the UK is tax (but that does pay to fix the roads and bridges) - but the Green's have been telling us to reduce our dependency for many years now (I know, I wrote a paper about it in 1994 - ten years ago, and I certainly was not ahead of the game).

And, of course, the oil producers have us over a barrel (heh) - and the oil millionaires (Bush, Bin Laden, etc) have little motivation to reduce the price - they've cunningly run it up in the first place, with artificial shortages, and other alarums and excursions.

Sorry, guys - get the canal boats going again - change the railways back to freight, instead of yuppies with laptops and mobile phones - get those airships going - complain about something else.

You don't get the junkies running around with froghorns, complaining that heroin went up in price...dilute it, find a substitute, change your habits - do something active.

I moved from London to Cardiff, and got a job where I could walk to work. Regular walking is the poor man's gym; poor man's treadmill with weights is carrying the shopping home; etc.

I think we should give priority to taxis (rented car, always on the move, no parking); professionals (ambulances, circuses, deliveries, etc) and old people, oh, and maybe single parents.

Young fit people should be the last in line for a car - drinkers should be given an either/or option. Yeh, cars turn me into a grumpy old man....

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The water is in, and the pond is taking on a life of its own

Outside the back door....

Friday, June 04, 2004

The smell of death (barbecue season)

Nice to have a day off - and sleep until I wanna get up. I still love that. If I am a little queasy today it was not last night's drinking, but today's kitchen smells.

Part of the problem with being a vegetarian is staying where the air is clean and sweet. It's not easy. I have often had to settle for restaurant smells in cheap lodgings in (say) Spain. Indeed, I often have to put up with restaurant smells when eating out with people (unavoidable) like the "best restaurant in Paris" that I was taken to last year, which had trouble coming up with anything that didn't have meat in it (and I am not even a vegan, so I think I am pretty flexible). It was a pretty smelly place, to me, though.

And I am not one of those veggies out to convert anybody. I am no more judgemental about meat-eating humans than I am of cats for catching birds. It's how they are. I am a veggie the way a sheep is a veggie, it's not a choice.

Recently my home changed. "Atkin's rules" means the kitchen smells of fish and chicken (as often as not).

The lodger eats mammals, too, so all in all there are a lot of pervasive smells. I try not to care. I remind myself that when I had a dog, or cats, I got used to these smells, and even braced myself to go into a butcher's a couple of times. I'm tougher than I was. It's just the smell I can't get over. I guess other people don't smell death.

Bless'em - it seems to make them happy - so it's my problem.
I just can't help feeling queasy, at the moment.

And when I look at The Meatrix I know I should really give up the cheese, too....

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Lomography - and circus for the children of Iraq

Well, I strolled out for a late lunch, and stopped into Ozone - the organic snack place on Charles Street (highly recommended). On their wall was a montage of photos of Cardiff. What caught my eye was a picture of DevilStick Peat (jugglers know him) - who has been working on circus for kids in Iraq. All power to him - please visit the site, and see if there is anything you can contribute to help them out. Years ago some friends of mine did Jugglers for Peace tours of Nicaragua, and several of these sort of expeditions have emerged from the joyful and generous juggling subculture. It's great to hear it continues. How about a good news station?

On closer examination I realised that this display was from a lomography group in Cardiff. No, I hadn't heard of this before, but as a snap-happy world phenomenon it suits me better than some sort of perfectionist approach to photography.

So, I'll be logging on there, and joining in, maybe. Be Seeing You....

Pekar to Crumb

Wanting to check out Harvey Pekar more, I ended up on the Crumb Family site - which was a fun place. I came across this weird photo of Uncle Bill Burroughs which I liked, but then I liked the drawing of Burroughs that Jesse did (second picture down).... as well as his Lenny Bruce.

I'm a Monkey!

I recently enjoyed "Mean Genes" - a popularist digestion of the sociobiological field. Deliberately written in bite-size chunks, and without all the academic notes/proof/citations for their assertions (which can be found on their website) it was funny and enlightening. I think you will find some new stuff here, even if you have read similar things and are familiar with a certain number of the examples, as I was.

Recommended for people who don't think we were designed by a god, but just kind of grew...

Note for Keili

Hi K (I think I finally managed to be the tiresome, uncool dad when I misunderstood Childe Gideon - progress!)

I came across this interview with Richard Bandler, in which he makes it clear he has little to do with the misapplication of NLP, the phoney certification, the misuse of the technologies he invented. It's a good read. However, if you want to spend some one-to-one time with him it'll still cost you $10,000.
Perhaps it is just like the Treasure of the Sierra Madre - and a battle of the alpha magicians, trying to out-influence each other with their magical words, sigils and secret hand signals, to get all the gold.

Amazing, the amount of money sloshing around in the system.

Anyone else, looking in, I do find this stuff interesting, but have always been too poor to train. Or have been unwilling or unable to show my 'committment to change' by finding the money (as if it was just a matter of effort). I have real guru resistance - which they could cure if only I would let them....fnord

heh

PS: If I was going to succeed and influence people I'd prefer to do it the way Douglas Adams did, by writing something really funny....

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

American Splendor

Just watched the movie, and enjoyed it a lot.

Harvey Pekar's comic books never summed up my own life, but the depression is familiar. Anyone who lives around me knows that I may appear jolly and lovable when I am out and about, but that's my act (that was my act - but I still find it useful).

Let's face it more people live that way. Not the truthfulness, but the small and helpless life. I don't have any desire to save the world, I don't kid myself I (or anyone) could. All anyone can do is contribute in some small way. My friend Mick always dreamed of writing his way out of the corner, but (sadly) it never happened. He contributed in so many ways, but that next level of recognition escaped him. We can't all be a Bukowski. Macho, sensitive, alcoholic, violent - this stuff can still sell, even if it isn't politically correct.

It's harder to make art out of timid, hopeless losers and nerds. So it was nice to see it can be done.

And the truth is that under the gruff attitude there is a nice enough guy. (I'll leave you to decide if I mean him or me...)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Most bodacious indeed

When I went into Blogger today I found they were now offering free picture hosting with software called Hello - courtesy of Picasa (who have picture sorting software that I may well invest in - once I am happy with the trial run). I haven't had pictures in my blog since 2001, when my ISP (ntlworld) decided that they didn't like having my blog on their server (with the website) so I reverted to a blog on Blogspot (but sadly without pictures).

Excellent stuff, after a few minutes fumbling around.

Thanks people - what a rest from typing....
Mr Jules is doing a reconnaissance run to an 'exotic' location for a juggling convention in 2005 - watch this space for further details

All my own work....

Be aware that large water features can take over your garden... Posted by Hello

15 Merdre 132 E.P. (Saints Serpents d'Airain) 1 June 2004 A.D.

I spend a lot of time wondering about other people's beliefs. I never claim to be that well-informed, as the stuff I find interesting is mostly fairly obscure. I talk to people who have sports statistics down; others who know all the gossip about stars and/or fictional characters in movies and soaps; but there are also people who actually appear to understand what is going on in politics; or to understand how money works.

So, I know my little area of specialist knowledge and interest may seem as trivial to the serious folks as soaps and football results seem to me (and don't get me wrong, I love a good game - ask my long suffering partner - it's just that I don't have any particular allegiance to a team or country). I am a classic 'neutral'.

I do rather badly on trivia quizzes - what's the capital of Norway, who's the president of France, etc. The problem for me is that people who are fully informed about the latest events in the news are also being focussed by that intense beam of media interest - as if there is only one war on, for instance.

So I am not really surprised to hear from the USA that:
"64% of the people interviewed believed that Osoma
Bin Laden came from Iraq and was in Iraq"
"A British professor at the University here in Springfield really couldn't believe that percentage was true so he surveyed his students and found 57% of them believed the same,some even believed the 9/11 terrorists were trained in Iraq."


It would be great if the public was properly informed, but most of us aren't. The only edge that a distracted person like me (who prefers reading books about the past than watching the news) is knowing that I don't know, and so reserving judgement. However, not having an opinion seems to be considered to be negligent, thoughtless and indecisive - which is why the people with simple, clear, unambiguous views often bully their way to the position of power.

Hmmm.

Back to the Tao - the only useful guidance I ever found for living under warlords.

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