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the internets were broken, honest

So, almost two weeks and not a peep out of me. Not that anyone emailed to protest, or barricaded themselves to parliament to raise the issue in either the upper or lower houses. All I got was a desultory sneer from a colleague in the pub last night at the mere mention of my lack of online presence these recent days. In fact, dear reader, I have been engaged in two Secret Projects. One of which, as of yesterday, is floundering in the briny depths, and shall never be mentioned here again (unless it resurfaces, flotsam and jetsam clinging to it’s rotten frame), the other, known to only a precious few of you (so it’s not really that much of a Secret Project, but I like using capital letters now and again), is stuttering along like a reliable old car. Stopping only for petrol and a clutch change. More when I can say anything about it without being burned at the stake.

In the interests of entertaining you all, though, here are some random things that I have been reading on the internet (when it was fixed and all working, of course). First, from the estimable John Coulthart (should John Coulthart ever be described as estimable. I wonder? Checks the dictionary. Well, possibly. Certainly the esteem bit, but probably not the ‘possible to estimate’. Nope, not John. ‘Possible to estimate the degree to which deeply dark, possibly disturbing work will result’ would match, but there’s not a word that means that as far as I can recall). Anyway, he was very nice when I met him. And he linked to a longgggg (there are no other kind) Alan Moore interview last week, so here it is. Highlights from the pages I’ve read so far include

With all of those neat rectangular boxes, you’d think Mondrian would be rational and mathematical and as far away from the Occult as you could get. But Mondrian was a Theosophist. He [borrowed] the teachings of Madame Blavatsky–all of those boxes and those colors were meant to represent theosophical relationships. Annie Besant, the Theosophist around the turn of the last century, published a book where she had come up with the idea, novel at the time, that you could represent some of these abstract energies that Theosophy referred to by means of abstract shapes and colors.

Alan Moore, ladies and gentlemen. To whom congratulations on nuptial proceedings this last weekend.

Elsewhere, Charlie Brooker’s page at the Guardian led me to a several years-old conversation between Will Self and Richard Littlejohn. Summed up by this little exchange:

SELF: I’ve read 200 pages of it and that is a 200 page recruiting leaflet for the BNP.

LITTLEJOHN: Well, you can’t comment until you have read the other 200.

SELF: Why? Does it suddenly turn into Tolstoy?

LITTLEJOHN: You’ll have to read it and find out, won’t you.

SELF: Well it won’t take me long.”

The day Richard Littlejohn falls head first into his own burial pit won’t be a day too soon.

And Hol is ranting proposing a new agenda for the reappraisal of punk. Me, I quite like punk. I was just too late for it, and really prefer the things it produced, musically and culturally (Malcolm McLaren and Vivien Westwood apart – and did anyone else read the self-serving whine of an interview with Westwood in this weekend’s Guardian. I won’t link to it, as you might read it, and then I’d be responsible for wasting twenty minutes of your time, and you’ll bill me for them, and there’ll be a row, and..). I agree that bad punk is a mess, but if you’re going to round up all punk musicians, you’ve got to include The Clash, The Ramones, Patti Smith, Nick Cave and The Talking Heads. And it did kill disco, which was a Thing Long Overdue.

Also from today’s Observer (oo, the Guardian redesigned their website. I’ll have something to say about that soon, Percy), quite the stupidest, most nanny-state proposal for legislation that I’ve seen this year.

Britain’s senior road safety campaigners are calling for a ban on smoking while driving, in an attempt to cut the number of crashes.

What?

Driving is a complicated business, especially with the high volume of traffic motorists have to contend with these days. It’s not an area where you can multi-task,’ said Simon Ettinghausen, a spokesman for the association.

Hang on. Surely, driving is a multi-tasking occupation. And drivers are generally quite good at it. Watching the road, operating the pedals, keeping the car straight (it is so difficult, isn’t it mister Ettinghausen?), and, I thought on reading this, talking to passengers, keeping an eye on the children, and making sure the thousands of other idiots on the road (always assume everyone else is going to kill you, and avoid them doing so – works for me) aren’t going to kill themselves or us. Multi-tasking is at the heart of driving. The logical extension of this proposal is that we’ll all have our own private road, going everywhere we want, and the car will drive itself, because we obviously can’t be trusted to do so. Banning mobile calls while driving is a sensible move, and makes driving safer. This, by comparison, is the result of Government listening to anyone and everyone. Winston Churchill said that “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter”. The above is a perfect example of the level of that conversation.

Discussion

One comment for “the internets were broken, honest”

  1. Welcome back! Ooh.. secret projects? Tell me more!

    I have some potentially very interesting news of my own – potentially in the sense that it’s yet to be confirmed, not that there’s any doubt that it is interesting. More when I have it…

    My rant was about punk in its original form – not what it led to, which although not really for me does at least have merit of various kinds. There was some advert about a free punk CD with some broadsheet yesterday and 15 seconds of it playing on the soundtrack made me remember what worthless rubbih it is and heartily attack the keys with righteous fury.

    And on the final point, Churchill was absolutely right in his observation. And I take it you’re still on the fags?!

    Posted by mongo | May 13, 2007, 9:47 pm

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