Sunday, 28 October 2007

Yep Channing, We Speak English Here

Sportsmen are generally thought of as not being the sharpest knives in the drawer but Miami Dolphins player Channing Crowder utterances make a block of butter seem like a razor's edge in comparison to him.
Maybe he has been on the receiving end of a few too many tackles or perhaps he should have his chin strap loosened slightly because when you admit to not knowing people speak English in London, something has gone wrong.
"I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries," he said.
"I swear to God. I don't know what nothing is. I know Italy looks like a boot. I learned that."
Pushing even more of his feet into his mouth he added: "I know London Fletcher. We did a football camp together. So I know him. That's the closest thing I know to London. He's black, so I'm sure he's not from London. I'm sure that's a coincidental name."
David Beckham is said to be ecstatic because finally he has found someone he can stand next to and actually call a dumbass.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Shame On You Mr Brown

The journey is underway down George Bush's well worn path to yet another war as the US President ups the stakes in the brewing conflict with Iran.
Bypassing the United Nations once again, the US administration have taken it upon themselves to impose further sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program and the first leader to come out in support of the policy is our very own Gordon Brown.
Fantastically oblivious to the two wars still raging that we began while he was standing behind Tony Blair, Brown is happy to drag us back onto centre stage and position us firmly in-line to wage war with Iran in the near future.
The main aggressors of US, Israel and UK, claim that Iran's nuclear program is a cover for the development of an atomic bomb. Iran insists it only wants to produce electricity. The United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, says it has found no evidence to support the trio's allegations.
Of course we have been here before with trumped-up fears (mushroom clouds over American cities, 45 minutes away from a chemical attack) and frauds (WMD's, yellowcake) to get our backing for attacking Iraq.
The amount of caveats and innuendoes in George Bush's speech this week are proof enough that he knows that the provocative accusations are built on very shaky ground.
"Our intelligence community assess that Iran could develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States and all of Europe before 2015 if it chooses to do so, and the international community does not take steps to prevent it, it is possible Iran could have this capability. And we need to take it seriously now."
Maybe such terms as "could develop", "if it chooses", "it is possible" in one sentence is enough to get our Prime Minister dashing to stand beside George Bush and replace Tony Blair as the Presidents poodle, but as the saying goes, 'fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'
So shame on all of us if we allow him to do it again with Iran. Meet the New Prime Minister, exactly the same as the old Prime Minister and just as willing to spin us into another devastating war based not on the facts of the IAEA but on the could's and possiblies of the same people who lied and cheated to turn Iraq into the horror show we see today.


Thursday, 25 October 2007

Miami Or New York?

The last time anyone rushed a tight end at Wembley was backstage at a George Michael concert but this weekend the usual sound of footballers gelling their hair and fiddling with Alice Bands is being replaced by whatever sounds American Footballers make. Pass me another handful of cream doughnuts judging by the size of some of them.
90,000 grid-iron fans will take their seats at Wembley this Sunday to watch Miami Dolphins take on the New York Giants as the Americans bring their national sport to our shores.
I don't know how it has gone down in America, but fans of the Dolphins and Giants would have every right to be aggrieved that they have to splash out hundreds of dollars and fly across the Atlantic to watch their local team play or watch it on TV at some ungodly hour.
Putting to one side the obvious marketing reasons for the trip over here, it seems to have quite a following for a sport that has almost no exposure in our media and is generally dismissed as rugby for cissies by the rugby playing fraternity who are in turn generally dismissed as drunken upper class idiots by the rest of us.
As it is Liverpool's turn to get beaten by my team this Sunday evening i will be watching that on TV instead but having carefully considered both the Giants and the Dolphins, taking into account form, balance of the teams and reams of stats i will plump for the Miami Dolphins. They have a better badge after all.
Go Dolphins.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

You Say Pajamas...I Say Pyjamas

When i first began using Microsoft Word, the default setting was American English and my text would be criss-crossed with angry red squiggles until i stopped swearing long enough to change the setting to UK English. So why is American English and UK English so different?
A big thank you to a fine English Language graduate for the below explanation.
Apparently is is all down to a chap called Noah Webster and his 1828 American Dictionary.Webster was an advocate of simplified spelling and the popularity of his dictionary dictated many of the spellings in U.S. usage.
The major changes included changing "our" to "or" (flavour/flavor), "re" to "er" (theatre/theater), "ce" to "se" (device/devise), "ogue" to "og" (catalogue/catalog) and "ise" to "ize" (realise/realize), plus an assortment of things like the use, or not, of hyphens, the double "l" replaced by a single 'l' on some occasions and vice versa on other occasions and the silent 'e' dropped from some US spellings (ageing/aging).
When you throw in the issue that some words are spelt completely differently (cheque, draught, liquorice, pyjamas, yoghurt) it is any wonder we can understand each other at all.

So there you go, it isn't a spelling mistake, it's just the English spelling and i am sticking with that excuse.

Only The Nicest People For Our Queen

Buckingham Palace has 53 bedrooms and 78 bathrooms and the Queen gets lonely rattling around inside with only her dotty husband and a few corgi's for company so every now and then the Government organise a bit of a knees up for the old dear and call it a State Visit.
The last one was in March when she had those awfully nice Ghanese Presidential types over to stay so to stop her from going stir crazy and taking potshots at the staff, they have organised another one for the end of the month.
So how to decide which head of state is going to be dining on fish and chips at the Royal household with Liz and Phil at our expense?
Obviously the leader would have to reign over a country renowned for its oppression of women, practising strict Sharia religious law and banning all other religions, torturing prisoners and handing down death sentences to homosexuals.
If they hold regular public executions it would strengthen their chances as would a recommendation from Amnesty International of a total disregard for any Human Rights. Hmm, lets take a look at that list of dignitaries again. There we are, a perfect fit.
Welcome King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the kind of evil tyrant we can abide.
One's that we do multi-billion pound arms deals with.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Dr Watson Stris Up Eugenics Debate

Scientist James Watson has become embroiled in a row over his claims that black people were 'less intelligent than white people' and that this was borne out by people who have to deal with black employees. Widespread condemnation for his comments from his peers saw his speaking tour cancelled and his trip lasting as long as it took him to get off one plane and jump back onto another back to the States.
Although he did not say as much, the highly uncomfortable Eugenics debate temporarily poked its head out of the sealed cupboard it had been stuffed into.
Dr Watson was in no way actively promoting eugenics, but his use of the same language used by many throughout history to justify the control of breeding started up a short but fierce debate in the newspapers.
Probably the most famous eugenicist was Adolf Hitler but the unsettling truth is that many of the great and good were not averse to a spot of eugenic thinking themselves.

Alexander Graham Bell supported the compulsory sterilization of people deemed to be "defective variety of the human race".
George Bernard Shaw wrote that we ought to be allowed to tackle the Jewish question by admitting eugenic experiments weeding out any strains they think undesirable.
HG Wells called upon those involved in the eugenic world to 'not be squeamish’ about inflicting death on the unfit. Wells list included persons with mental disorders, bodily deformations and alcoholics.
Virginia Woolf described a walk on which she met “a long line of imbeciles”. She wrote that 'it was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed.'
Winston Churchill lobbied for compulsory sterilization of the mentally handicapped: "I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed."

I find the whole idea of eugenics abhorrent but if anyone disagrees with me, they will find themselves in some good company.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Concurrent Postings

Big thank you to Cody for his suggestion that we do a concurrent posting on the different views held on the support, or lack of, for Israel in America & Europe.
It was a great learning experience for me due to the mostly patient and eloquent explanations from the commenters, so thank you to everyone for your involvement. Your contributions are as always, greatly appreciated.
I know the comments on Cody's posting spiralled off into another area thanks to some indefensible things being mentioned but the person involved has been rightly pulled up short so it has been dealt with.
That matter notwithstanding, this partnership seemed to go so well, we have decided to do a few more USA v Europe posts concerning things that have us scratching our heads about each other.
Hopefully we can touch on some fun, controversial and just plain silly subjects. I would especially like to find out how the hell you yanks managed to mangle the English language at some point (it's spelt doughnut, not donut) but until then thank you for making the initial joint posts a joy to take part in.

Stick It To 'Em England

Something us English do well is suddenly become interested in something when we are doing well at it.
I include myself in this terrible fickleness because i am planning to be within sight of a television screen tonight to watch our boys take on the Springboks in the final of the Rugby World Cup.
Where once were just posh fat men jumping on each other while clutching a (or each others) funny shaped balls, now our finely honed athletes are bravely giving there all for their fellow countrymen.
Personally, the rugby World Cup only came within my radar when we somehow made it into the Quarter Final and the imminent clash with the sheep worrying Aussies loomed over the horizon.
All i know about rugby is man gets oval shaped ball, man gets hit by larger man. Continue until a big man manages to fall over behind the posts. Simple really.
So i will be there staring at a screen and willing on the fat men dressed in white because we are doing well and us English are great at getting behind our sporting heroes.
Of course, if after 10 mins we are behind and getting our arses spanked by the South Africans we will all switch over en masse to Strictly Come Dancing.
We are fickle like that.

Thursday, 18 October 2007


George Washington is famous for chopping down a cherry tree with his hatchet but i can only imagine Barack Obama is hunting down the biggest chainsaw he can find to hack at his family tree now that a dirty little secret has been found dangling off one of the branches.
Before you could say 'a full blood transfusion please', the wife of Dick Cheney could have derailed the Obama roadshow by revealing that her husband and Obama are related. Oh, and part French.
In what must of been one of those glorious 'Oh Bugger' moments in the Barack household, Lyn Cheney revealed that Dick and Obama are eighth cousins and descendants from a garlic muncher who emigrated from France in the 17th Century.
Of course you cannot choose your family but it certainly shows that the Cheney blood is running through the Illinois Senator's veins when Obama mentioned recently that he would have no qualms about dropping a few bombs on Pakistan. Cousin Dick would of been very proud of that one.
The Obama campaign staff tried to make light of the relationship by joking about every family having a black sheep but they will wait nervously to see if the Senators aspirations are hit by this bombshell. A bombshell sent courtesy of a Cheney so nothing new there then.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

What Kid Could Want More For Xmas?

Remember back in your childhood when action figures were cool? Barbie & Sindy had accessories and cars and a horse, action man had an eagle eye and guns and that cute camouflage suit.
Recent action figures have included Dr Who, Spiderman and Buffy who come with a range of dialogue so you can not only defeat the daleks on the back of the sofa but hear the witty banter from the shows.
Yep, action figures are cool to anyone under 10 but all that is about to change because between the Supermans, Bratz and Barbie's is a newcomer to the overcrowded market.
Boasting a great turn of phrase including the memorable John 3:16 and the
unforgettable Mark 12:30, is Jesus.
Looking more like one of the Bee Gee's than the son of god, the plastic toy is about to land in an ASDA Wal-Marts near us soon and just in time for Christmas.
The American firm that believe our kids are ready to put aside the neat toys for their crap ones, also offer a talking Mary and Daniel (complete with lion) are launching 'Biblical Dolls' in Britain after much success in its home country.
I predict that persuading our nations children that they want a foot tall plastic Jesus which recites bible phrases will be as successful as persuading them they want to kiss the auntie with the bad breath and the five o'clock shadow, but there is hope yet if you follow my advice.
You can either give him an eagle eye or give him a cape and some super powers because an action figure whose action is handing out fish and bread just ain't gonna cut it.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Israel Palestine - The Euro View

Following recent debates, Cody and I have decide to do a concurrent post on the topic of the Israel Palestine conflict and put forward our view on why there is a difference of opinions on either side of the Atlantic. Cody's can be found here.

Plainly, there is today a vast gulf between European and American attitudes towards the Israeli Palestine conflict in the Middle East, but it is hard to recognise the argument that European sympathy for the Palestinians is no more than anti-semitism.
Such was a short lived attempt to paint any criticism in the media as anti-Jewish, a group of prominent British Jews broke away from the country's Jewish establishment, arguing that it puts support for Israel above the human rights of Palestinians, smashing the dangerous myth that if you criticise Israel, you are criticising Judaism as well.
The media gives us the facts and we have to decide whether to accept, refuse or set about hunting for our own take on them.
Our press does have left and right leanings but it was Sky News, owned by the Murdoch Corporation and one of the most right wing pro-American media’s we have here, that was the largest critic of Israel’s actions in Lebanon a few summers back.
In America, the powerful ‘Israel Lobby’ is blamed for influencing the dearth of facts that the media put out to the American public. Ex President Jimmy Carter said: “The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations - but not in the United States.”
In this weekends newspapers, Tony Blair was quoted as saying that after his visit to the West Bank that he was shocked and taken aback at the depth of the Palestinians' distress caused by the occupation.
So is the lack of sympathy in Europe for the Israeli cause down to the full facts being presented in our media and not in America because of the shady Israel Lobby?
Could it be that to criticise Israel’s actions in America is to invite being called out as anti-semitic while we here have no such problem and are much more freer to berate anyone we see meeting out punishment we deem as in breech of Human Rights?
The Palestinians are criticised just as heavily here when they fire rockets into Israel but as Israel is seen as an occupying army illegally seizing and building settlements on Palestinian land, defying UN resolutions, killing innocent Palestinians with rocket attacks, holding over 9000 Palestinians in its prisons, destroys farms, bulldozes homes and businesses, builds a monstrous wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice that moves another 10% of Palestinian land onto Israel territory amongst numerous other violations, maybe Israel just has more to be criticised for.
You cannot make an informed decision without all the facts as was shown by the Iraq adventure but with the shrinking of the global community, the days of what we hear and see being controlled by the media is coming to an end.
Whether we want to go looking for an alternate view is another thing altogether.
For an American view on this subject CODY BONES


Friday, 12 October 2007

Incovenient Peace Award

Alfred Nobel developed one of the most destructive things known to man so by way of an half-arsed attempt to balance out his karma, he dreamt up the peace prize.
This is to be awarded to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".
Unless there is a hidden line about knocking out a film about global warming, i fail to see how Albert Arnold Gore Jnr is deemed a worthy recipient by those crazy Scandinavians.
The talk has been that when Al picked up the Award he would be persuaded to remove his hat and throw it into the ring as a Presidential candidate.
I could grudgingly swallow campaigning against global warming being equal to campaigns for human rights or mediating peace deals between warring factions if Gore makes his move and sets his sights on the White House.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Cleveland Shooting. Why?

News of yet another high school shooting. This time a 14 year old gunman, apparently upset about being suspended for fighting earlier this week, came to the school with a gun in each hand and began firing.
I don't want to get into a debate about the American gun laws, that argument gets an airing with every alarming occurrence, what i find so shocking is what state of mind these kids are in that they see arming themselves and killing innocent people as way of revenge.
What is it that makes a person explode with such violence and without thought for his fellow human beings that he will grab a weapon and start shooting?
Drugs? Upbringing? Culture? Stress? Gangs? Media? Video games? Access to Guns? Music?
It is an age-old nature V nurture debate whether these killers are simply bad human beings or that their actions can be linked to a corrosive influence.
I strongly believe rather than being born bad, we are shaped by our surroundings, our influences and experiences. The idea that we are somehow creating humans with such little regard to their own life and that of others and whose first answer to life's difficulties is to blow away as many of his fellow students as possible before he is blown away himself, deeply unnerving and horrifying.

Lords Discuss Anti-Americanism

There has been an undercurrent of anti-American feeling swirling around since i can remember but it was always low level and not particularly powerful. However the undercurrent has turned into a rapid over the last few years and has reached such proportions that it even rated a question in the House of Lords today.
Lord Saatchi asked Her Majesty's Government what was their assessment of anti-Americanism in the UK and larger world.
The debate between the Lords threw up many reasons why according to the 2005 Pew Trusts research poll, anti-Americanism is deeper and broader than at any time in modern history. They seemed to conclude that their is a plethora of issues that come together to explain why the rest of us outside of the USA fail to hold up America as a shining example.
I can explain it in 3. Bush, Iraq and Israel.
The term anti-Americanism seems too wide ranging, it is obscene to be anti an entire nation and what i see as i travelled about Europe these last few years is an overwhelming feeling of anti-Bush, not anti-America.
George Bush's arrogant gung-ho military style, recent foreign policy with regards to the middle east and unwavering support for Israel is what i would point to in order to explain why America has fallen from its pedestal in the eyes of the World. It is also the exact three reasons that saw Tony Blair fall from grace and airbrushed out of history by his own political party.
Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition flights and supporting Israel unquestioningly have done damage to America's reputation but the wheel will turn and and things will change.
Another Administration with other policies will help to restore America as a place to be applauded and not heckled which will unfortunately continue until George Bush's time is up and he finally turns out the light on his stint as President.

Dangerous New Twist In Iraq Debacle

As if the Iraq situation was not enough of a debacle already, it could be taking a new and dangerous twist as Turkey prepares to invade the north of the country.
The Turkish military have been granted permission to conduct operations against the PKK army of Kurdish fighters holed up on Iraq's border with Iran.
The PKK has killed 15 Turkish soldiers and 12 civilians in ambushes in south-eastern Turkey in the past 10 days and the military have been pressing the Turkish Government for the nod to go after the militants in Iraq.
Nozad Hadi, the governor of Iraqi Kurdistan, warned Ankara "If Turkish troops decide to enter into Kurdistan territories, their decision would be wrong and they would sustain heavy casualties and material losses."
Just as the American and British Governments try to draw down the number of troops in Iraq and portray an image of calm returning to a devastated Iraq, a new front seems to be opening up.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Jesus Against Homosexuals

Who could possibly be against making inciting homophobic hatred illegal in the UK?
Who, outside of the expected extreme right wing groups, could possibly go out of their way to throw a spanner in the works of the Justice Secretary's decision to make it an offence to rally hatred against people based on their sexuality?
Step forward and accept your prize the Christian Church who are threatening to block it's passage through the House of Lords thereby stopping it dead in it's tracks.
Churchy groups are arguing that Christians who criticised gay sex could be jailed for up to seven years. Far be it from me to suggest the Christians just refrain from criticising homosexual practises thereby not spending the next 7 years eating porridge.
Luckily there was a law passed earlier this year that outlawed religious hatred otherwise anyone could just say the Christian Church is run by a bunch of $%*/>'s and @^&!!~ who need to get their gullible noses out of the Bible and stop spreading their message of hatred against homosexuals. The dimwitted T*$?!*'s.

I'm Just A Poor Boy, Nobody Loves Me

There is only one song that i can think of that references Scaramouch, the fandango, Galileo, Figaro and Bismillah and it has just been voted as the best video ever in an O2 poll.
For it's time it was a cracker with the famous image of the four upturned faces of the band members singing along to the Faustian plot line of the song.
Almost a third of those quizzed in the survey said the video for the rock opera-style song was their top choice.
Michael Jackson's Thriller came second with 13% of the vote, just pipping Justin Timberlake's Cry Me A River, which received 12%.
Now i don't want to knock Bohemian Rhapsody and i know it was groundbreaking and ushered in the age of music video's but was it the greatest ever?
The song is definitely worthy of topping any best song list but apart from the Scaramouch section, it is mostly the band on stage with Freddie at the piano.
My personal top choice for best music video would be REM's Caravaggio inspired video to 'Losing My Religion' based on a novel about an angel who falls down from heaven and how his finders lock him up and display him as a freak show.
AS Freddie himself said, magnifico-ooo-ooo-ooo.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Hutch & That Other Guy

As the day ends in a Y, there must of been an anti-war march in London today so the usual suspects armed themselves with banners and rehearsed the same well worn chants against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. So far, so the same as the other 100 marches since 2003.
Only this time, as well as the usual faces there will be a visage from a 70's television show i remember thinking was as cool as a fish finger in the bottom of a polar bears freezer.
I don't know David Soul's (or Hutch as he will always be to me) view on the Iraq conflict but i do remember spending Saturday evenings sat on the sofa watching him and Starsky crashing there red car with the white stripe through strategically placed boxes while they chased the bad guys.
I also remember Starsky's chunky cardigans and Hutch's neat brown leather jacket and try to forget the singing career that followed before he and his curly bonced buddy fell off the planet and were replaced on my Saturday evening sofa by something like Charlie's Angels or the Six Million Dollar Man.
Nice to have him here and if he can drag along Huggy Bear with him even better but at the first sign of him singing 'Don't Give Up On Us Baby' he can count his welcome worn out.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Australia 10 England 12

A Norwegian commentator once famously gave it to the English when his side beat us at football so...

Ned Kelly, Dame Edna Everage, Catherine Freeman, Germaine Greer, Dame Nellie Melba, David Campase, Rupert Murdoch, Ian Thorpe, Donald Bradman, John Howard, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Packer, Paul Hogan, Paul Keating, Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue, Mel Gibson, Richie Benaud, John Farnham, Mark Vuduka, that bald guy from Midnight Oil, Daniel.....Your boys took one hell of a beating!!

Suck it up Aussies. It is always a pleasure for us Poms to send you crying all the way home.

That's Crazy Talk! Isn't It?

There have been some cracking conspiracy theories circulating since that day in September 2001. On the Sky One channel last night they rounded up a bunch of these conspirators and gave them an hour to flex there theories which went from the insane to the ridiculous but as i was sitting there and tutting loudly at the absurdity of it all, one of the men pulled out an official looking document.
"I put forward it was the actions of the Government to launch a war" he spouted brandishing a wad of paper "They have form in this area" and highlighted a sentence or two, one of which caught my attention.
'...blow up a US ship and blame Cuba..' it said.
Not sure if i had caught it properly i sniffed about the web and was quite shocked at what i discovered on many of the US News sites.
In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the assassination of Cuban exiles, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.
America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
Have to admit, it did throw me slightly but it is just to absurd to even contemplate the US Government orchestrated the 2001 World Towers catastrophe isn't it?
Yes, it is.
Isn't it?

Just A Quick Thought

Cardiff council are organising family pole dancing classes, open to kids as young as 11. Oh, it’s just clean fun they said in defence and went into some waffle about it keeping the kids fit.
Oh, really? Pole dancing developed in strip clubs - and here’s us trying not to overly sexualise the young. Is this the stuff an 11-year-old should be learning?
The council claims pole dancing teaches strength, coordination and agility. So does tap dancing - why not get them to learn that instead?

Greedy Music Labels

Two big music stories that broke on the same day, both concerning downloading music.
Story one was a lady in America ordered to pay £108,000 after six record companies sued her for sharing 1,702 songs by downloading them without permission and then offering them online through Kazaa.
Story number two was Radiohead asking fans to name their price for the new album, In Rainbows.
The bands website is asking users to decide how much they want to pay, starting from nothing with the only required cost will be a 45p administration charge.
The first story gets my hackles up because any billion pound industry coming down so heavily on a member of the general public is always going to get my hackles up. This one especially because 'Downloading' in one form or another has been going on for generations.
I'm glad the music industry lawyers didn't come around my house when I was recording
portions of the Top 40 from the radio onto my tape recorder.
To my understanding it is not the downloading that is illegal, it is the sharing part and making your files available from your PC. Any clarification would be nice from anyone knowledgeable in this.
Secondly, anyone screwing a billion pound industry is always going to get me passing on my support. It is common knowledge that the actual artists make very little from CD sales and the vast majority of the price we pay in the shops ends up in the back pockets of the record label. Wikipeadia puts the total artists' share ass between 10% and 12% of the retail price of an album/single. That is to share between writer, singer, musicians, etc.
If Radiohead can bypass the greedy labels and put out there own music and keep all the money given themselves(minus web costs), then i say good for them and hope it inspires a few more bands to do the same.

Give It Up Al Fayed

"That car didn't accidentally crash. There was a conspiracy. I will not rest until I have established exactly what happened."
While i understand why Mohamed Al Fayed is pursuing yet another inquest into the crash that killed his son and the Princess of Wales, i do believe that he is too blinded by grief to accept what many other inquires had concluded, that it came down to the actions of a drunk and reckless driver.
I expect this inquest, ten years on, will reach the same conclusion and Mr Al Fayed will refuse to accept it and spend millions on yet anther one while spouting his conspiracy theories that the Royal Family had Diana and his son killed because they could not stomach a Muslim as stepfather to Princes William and Harry.
Tragically, it is a feud that Mr Al Fayed will never end until he gets the decision that vindicates him and lays the blame at the feet of his enemies.
It is not going to happen and the only people going to win out of this is the lawyers who have already earned over £2.5m in legal fees from previous inquests and will be rubbing their hands together with glee that this one is scheduled to last six months.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Prince The Underrated?

Prince is not someone I automatically think of when great guitar players are mentioned.
Strange little man with a weird voice yes, but not one of the giants of the guitar wielding fraternity.
And as much as i loved Nirvana, neither would i class Kurt Cobain as anything other than a perfectly average guitarist but what do i know because the pair of them have topped the Rolling Stone poll for the most underrated guitarists.
Readers of the magazine were asked to vote for guitarists who didn’t make their top-100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time survey which was won by Jimi Hendrix.
Third most underrated was Neil Young and then George Harrison and Ace Frehley from KISS.
As Prince is popular again after ten years doing god knows what and calling himself some sort of squiggle, the strange one is back on the music channels so maybe i can catch a glimpse of what the Rolling Stone readers noticed that i never because as good as some of his songs were, his guitar playing prowess was not something i noticed.

Chicken George

It was a slap bang dead certainty it would happen. An Iranian university has invited US leader George W Bush to speak following his Iranian counterpart's turn at a US college last week.
The head of Ferdowsi University in Iran's second largest city of Mashhad said Mr Bush could answer students' questions about the Holocaust, terrorism and human rights.
"This is what President Ahmadinejad did" said the University president Alireza Afshour.
A White House spokeswoman responded to the invitation on behalf of Mr Bush saying "If Iran was a free and democratic society that allowed its people freedom of expression, and wasn't pursuing nuclear weapons, and wasn't advocating to destroy the country of Israel, the president might consider that invitation."
You not going then Bush? Have to speak up old boy, the sound of your backside squeaking is drowning you out.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

UK Election Fever

In the red corner a one eyed Scotsman, in the blue corner a posh Etonian whose hair seems to be carved out of wood.
Yes, Election fever is back! But don't mistake the exclamation marks for excitement because ahead of us, if the rumours of a snap November election turn out to be true, there will be soul-sapping speeches on fiscal policy, irrational Tory backbenchers whinges and the Liberal Parties hopes drooping like the male of the species after one too many Bacardi breezers.
Gordon Brown is apparently mulling over calling an Autumn election to capatilise on his parties lead over the Conservatives and desperately hoping that nobody remembers not only is he not English, but he sat at Tony Blair's right hand as he took us all down the gurgler.
His opponent, David Cameron, is your archetypal posh bloke who sees himself so far above the rest of us that we wouldn't be far enough under him even if we all moved to New Zealand.
The third option, the Liberal Democrats, may as well pack up and go home now and watch it on TV.
So it doesn't matter who wins really, Brown is Blair with one less eye, Cameron is instantly punchable and Campbell has as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as he has of waking up tomorrow with a full head of hair.
Tony Blair was well known for picking his favourite songs as themes for his election campaigns so if i may be so bold, may i make the suggestion of 'Creep' by Radiohead for Mr Brown.
The chorus "I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo, What the hell am I doing here?, I don't belong here" is perfect.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Another Right Chipped Away

Don't expect the Government to trumpet there latest wheeze, because the bunch of lovely people will today have access to your phone records, both landline and mobile.
Almost 800 different official bodies including police, security services, tax authorities, NHS trusts and local councils will have access to who you called, when you called and how long you called.
After hearing we have more surveillance cameras than anywhere else in the world, we are already the most watched people on the planet - now they want to know who we talk to as well?
The government also plans to extend the powers to cover email, blogs and internet activity. All in the name of increasing security, the Government will know more about parts of our personal life than our family and close friends.
Other countries are putting up a fight. 15,000 people took to the streets of Germany to protest against their government's plans for data retention. Butin Britain? Hardly a peep.
We are literally sleepwalking into a surveillance society ane we don't seem to care.