Saturday, December 02, 2006

All Saints

All Saints are back. Hurrah!
They are one of the very, very few bands I think are real pop music and at the same time have profound artistic value.

If you think about it, it's not strange that it's rare: if you combine breath with depth, you get a big volume, and it's hard to fill.

Their new CD Studio 1 may have a lame title, but it's still the real All Saints.

Friday, December 01, 2006

American Gods

There is a joke -- not a funny one, the other kind -- about the difference between England and America. Wich is that England is a place in which a hundred miles is a long way, and America is a place where a hundred years is a long time.
-- Neil Gaiman

I've just read Neil's American Gods for the second time (this time as audio book, which lets me use my body and eyes for other things while reading). And it's a splendid book, warmly recommended. Rather demanding of the reader though, and rather gruesome in places. But funny and intelligent and intriguing.


Humans can't think in too positive terms, it's not real for them. So to make a glorious ascension, for instance, seem acceptable, you also stress the painful side of it if you want to talk about such things.

You'll also notice that in every story which has a person who achieves amazing powers and enlightenment (like Phenomenon or Stranger In A Strange Land), that person also has to die. Otherwise the audience rejects the good tidings as being pie in the sky.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.
-- African Proverb

Mmm, OK.

And if you refuse to lie down when you're purple, you'll have to stand up when you're magenta.

And if you fly horizontal when you're happy, your feet will itch when you're educated.

If squares flirt with triangles at night, morning comes early on Mars.

Red skies in your mind means little rocks and noodles in the path of the righteous man.
Update: OK, I better confess, I do understand the African proverb. I imagine it means it is easier to learn when you are young than when you're old. Which is clearly true. But it still rubs me the wrong way, humans are not things. And to use the image "to make straight" for learning is offensive to humans as a whole. As if we are just wood to be used as tools for somebody else.
It is offensive, and it is important because many people actually have this attitude: young people are tools to be molded to fit into the great machine of society, to become perfect and pliable clerks and workmen, not to make trouble, only to be productive in an average and predictable way.
It is an insidious evil.
(OK, maybe the original proverb was not supposed to mean that, but there we are.)

Boy And Horse

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


My friend Bettina, who is as sweet as she looks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Xmas busyness

All the shops seem to be about twice as busy in the whole of November and December as in the rest of the year. The same goes for online supermarket shopping, even now a month from Christmas, I have to order four days before I want delivery, instead of one day as normal.
I could understand if it was one week before Christmas, but two months?! What are all those people buying!? This is not a retorical question, I really don't get how anybody can consume two months shopping in the two days Christmas lasts.

Sunday, November 26, 2006