One bonobo's view of the world...and stuff.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ethical Flipping

Apparently, the latest trend is flipping . That's when you buy a limited-edition thing - say a Banksy Paris Hilton CD, Boots anti-wrinkle goo or one of those I am a smug twat bags* and turn a handsome profit by flogging on to some gullible fool via ebay. I find it hard to see much wrong with it, frankly.

But I've got a better idea. I've been sorting and pricing books at Oxfam from time to time. Sometimes I've come across books that I know won't sell - at least not there - but someone will want them. For example - a dozen ancient hardbacks by Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock and lots of obscure titles by Churchill.

Now as it happens, Oxfam are quite professional about sifting out the rarities, and they have one or two specialist bookshops dotted around. But I've often come across the odd book in a charity shop or at a car boot sale which I don't particularly want for myself, but I know it's reasonably collectable.

So here's a socially useful idea: flip 'em on ebay and donate the proceeds. We might not be talking loadsamoney, but it's a thought.

*Yes, you can buy parody versions.

As it happens, I went to a school car boot sale. I have a spooky ability to get what I need at these places. This time, I went in thinking "I need a new PC monitor". I decided to have a quick once-around before looking in greater detail, and the third store I came to...17" monitor, £10.

Plus a reflecting telescope.

Currently giving poddage to:

Modest Mouse
The Hold Steady
Mark Ronson (I'm not convinced. We're basically talking The Jools Holland Big Band and Guests, aren't we?)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Blair's off...

...on 27th June.

Damn this delayed gratification!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Election tactics.

It's certainly a relief that the British Nazi Party didn't make their feared electoral breakthrough - not in Scotland, where their share was trivial, nor in England and Wales. But there's no reason for complacency. In Glasgow, their posters were - still are - prominently displayed on street furniture, heavily plastered in working class areas and scattered on major routes as far out as the leafy suburbs. Every one an affront to human decency. This is the first time I can recall anything other than the occasional, rare sighting.

This fits in with the BNP's tactics. Their rebranding as just-another-respectable-party is a front. They have always been and remain a mess of violent thugs whose favourite hobby is intimidating and beating up 'ethnics'. As they showed in the summer of '01, and in cases like this* they consider it a victory if they can stir up a climate of fear and hatred.

That's what the election posters are for. They will remain, signalling hostility and distrust, for weeks to come.

*Some readers will know of my personal connection to this.

This R4 documentary tells you everything you need to know about what a shady bunch of heid the ba's the BNP are - if you didn't already know. (Available streamed for 1 week from 8/5/07)

How to help

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I liked this story which I (ahem) came across the other day.

It suggests a new military tactic. Cripple enemy communications by sending in the Women's Royal Masturbation Corps.

(Oh dear...I find that image somewhat more alluring than perhaps I ought...)

Thursday, May 03, 2007


For Dan.

One isn't really meant to quote poems in their entirety, but the Penguin Selected Poems by Hugh McDiarmid seems to be out of print, so what the fuck. Probably appropriate on this parliamentary election day, anyway.


I lo'e the stishie
O' earth in space
Breengin' by
At a haliket pace.

A wech o' hills
Gangs wallopin' Owre,
Syne a whummlin' sea
Wi' a gallus glower.

The West whuds doon
Like the pigs at Gadara,
But the East's aye there
Like a sow at farrow.

You need a Lallans glossary with McDiarmid. It's deliberate. It's a constructed language, only loosely based on anything actually spoken by Scots. The idea is that you can read for the rythm, or slow down to catch the meaning.

(these translations are only approximate):
stishie = stir
breengin = hurtling
haliket = giddy
syne = then, and then
whummlin' = tumbling
wecht = weight
gallus = reckless
aye = always

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Anarchism begins at home.

So I'm sitting at my doorstep last night, drinking a red vermouth with tonic.* Across the road, on the grassy gushet**, two six year old boys are playing with a ball. A neighbour parks and gets out of his car. He approaches the boys and says,

"You'd better stop playing with that ball. There's a sign saying you're not allowed."

I don't like bullies. I don't like pettyfogging regulations. I saw red. I stood up and said in my best theatrical voice (my voice projects!),

"I think we should get rid of that sign, boys."

The neighbour takes exception:

"Never mind that. They're not allowed to play there."


"Because there's a sign!"

"Why is there a sign?"


As Chomsky says:
"Power is not self-legitimating."

Twat said he was going to "Phone the council." Ooh. Scary. Seems he's always phoning the police about this and that.

*Shaping up to be this summer's drink. Non-Martini vermouth is dirt cheap! Nicer than last year's - Campari.

** Scots word - a triangular piece of land beteen two road forks.