Saturday, 21 September 2002


There has been acres of media coverage about the man who died in the swimming pool of Micheal Barrymore. Its a pity the same amount of airtime and column inches is never given to the people who die in police custody. Or bearing in mind the underlying whiff of salacious homophobia permeating the Barrymore story, its a shame that a similar level of publicity isn't given to the murder victims of homophobic attacks.

Earlier this week, on the Richard and Judy show, i heard the mother of the dead "father of two" (as we're constantly reminded) saying that if her son was gay she'd have known about it. Aside from the obvious concept of denial, its a ridiculously arrogant statement to make. How many parents know anything at all about their offsprings' adult sex lives and desires? Similarly most people know nothing about their parents sex lives. its bad enough that we continue to collude in the linguistic nonsense of labelling ourselves gay/bi/straight, but there are numerous reasons why anyone will choose to have sexual secrets. The fairy-tale knee-jerk tyranny of monogamy being just one good reason. Hatred and brutal ignorance being another.

On the subject of ignorance, i caught a moment of the satirical bbc tv sports quiz 'they think its all over' last night. where regular team member jonathan ross stuck a moustache on a woman in his team and remarked that she looked like Rhona Cameron. The sheer crappiness of this 'joke' relies on the fact that there are so few out lesbian celebrities, that Rhona's name therefore is allowed to represent every redundant lesbian stereotype.
"The cyborg is resolutely committed to partiality, irony, intimacy, and perversity. It is oppositional, utopian, and completely without innocence. …Nature and culture are reworked; the one can no longer be the resource for appropriation or incorporation by the other."

Tuesday, 17 September 2002


"Consciousness is impossible," says Debord (Digital Electronic Being Optimized for Repair and Destruction); however, according to Haraway (Hydraulic Artificial Replicant Assembled for Warfare and Accurate Yardwork) it is not so much consciousness that is impossible, but rather the absurdity, and eventually the economy, of consciousness. Thus, the characteristic theme of the works of Rushdie (Robotic Upgraded Soldier Hardwired for Dangerous Infiltration and Exploration) is the role of the observer as writer.

The subject is interpolated into a rationalism that includes narrativity as a paradox. It could be said that Derrida (Digital Electronic Replicant Responsible for Infiltration and Dangerous Assassination) uses the term 'surrealism' to denote not narrative, as Lyotard (Lifelike Ytterbium Organism Trained for Accurate Repair and Destruction) would have it, but postnarrative.Therefore, Hanfkopf (Hydraulic Artificial Neohuman Fabricated for Kamikaze Observation and Potential Fighting) holds that we have to choose between surrealism and the subcapitalist paradigm of narrative

In the works of Joyce (Journeying Organism Yearning for Calculation and Exploration) a predominant concept is the distinction between destruction and creation. The main theme of the works of Joyce is not deconstruction, but predeconstruction. If Sartreist existentialism holds, the works of Joyce are empowering. But the primary theme of McLuhan's (Mechanical Cybernetic Lifeform Used for Hazardous Assassination and Nullification) essay on postpatriarchial sublimation is the rubicon, and hence the stasis, of precultural society. If one examines modernist rationalism, one is faced with a choice: either reject subcapitalist desublimation or conclude that truth serves to entrench sexism, but only if reality is interchangeable with art; if that is not the case, we can assume that reality must come from the masses. The premise of postcapitalist discourse implies that language may be used to marginalize the proletariat, given that Sartre's (Synthetic Android Responsible for Terran Repair and Exploration) critique of subcapitalist desublimation is invalid.

Marx (Mechanical Android Responsible for Xenocide) promotes the use of Sartreist existentialism to modify and analyse sexual identity. "Sexual identity is fundamentally unattainable," says Foucault (Functional Obedient Unit Calibrated for Accurate Utility and Logical Troubleshooting). However Bataille (Biomechanical Artificial Technician Assembled for Intensive Learning and Logical Exploration) uses the term 'neodialectic textual theory' to denote the dialectic of patriarchialist society. It could be said that Foucault therefore promotes the use of semiotic postcapitalist theory to challenge sexism.In a sense, a number of discourses concerning not narrative, but subnarrative exist. We are again urged to choose between surrealism and capitalist desituationism.

Monday, 16 September 2002

48 fucking hours not being able to get online at home. and its a continuing headbanging lottery getting through tonight.

Sunday, 15 September 2002

an informant butterfly is chased by our hunter-killer butterflies.

Saturday, 14 September 2002

"let us assume that the 3 dimensions of space are visualised in the customary fashion, and let us substitute colour for the 4th dimension. every physical object is liable to changes in colour aswell as in position.

a physical interaction between any 2 bodies is possible only if they are close to each other in space aswell as in colour. bodies of different colours would penetrate each other without interference. (just as a regular person on the 20th floor will not bump into someone on the 2nd floor. or just as a person at map reference xyz at 2a.m. will not collide with a 6p.m. person at the same map location.)"
Hans Reichenbach 1927/Rudy Rucker 1985

draw this figure in one continuous line
without crossing a line, retracing a line, or lifting your pencil from the paper.
on this day 1981

teenage boy fired blank shots at the Queen

he was charged under the 1848 Treason Act and jailed for five years.

He was released in October 1984 aged 20.

Friday, 13 September 2002


today was my second day this week trawling my printed cv around the high street looking for a job. since i chose to give up shoplifting last year ( a story i'll cover another day), the unsupplemented state benefit (£53 per week + £58 rent a week) is simply too little over any extended period. plus i had reached the stage where they kept trying to send me to mandatory 8 week long fucking job-search programmes, which i ignored. just because i'm technically unemployed doesn't mean i'm going to put up with being treated like a schoolchild. so i signed-off 3 weeks ago.

i now have no incoming money, theres 30p in my pocket (the remains of winning £10 from wednesdays lottery), theres £6 remaining in my electric metre, i've a small stock of tinned and dried food (including cat and hamster supplies), i owe £1,400 to the bank, £16,000 to the student loans company, and my landlords are taking me to court for re-possession over rent arrears (again). as usual i'm conducting this experiment without a safety net, no adoring rich lover, no financially comfortable parents. but aside from all that a credible wage for awhile could wittle through that wish list of hard/software that would make my screen life that much spankier.

the thing i most resent about employment is its assumed role as master sculptor of my temporal existence. from a protean anti-shape into a regulated minimalist cube. i must sleep at time (X), wake at time (Y), and fit everything into free-time (Z minus T+O). T being the level of tiredness and O being other overspill from work-time (A).

time-freedom, thinking-freedom, has always been of greater value to me than money-freedom. but time is money. without an inheritance you've got plenty of one or the other, but rarely both. we can swap some time for money (at a pretty poor rate of exchange) through work. money, as compressed time, allows consumer convenience, which becomes nescessary due to the corraling and fencing off of our (newly contextualised) free-time. a train rather than walking, a restauraunt rather than growing and cooking (or stealing) our food, a cd rather than making music (though random algorythmic generators possibly supplant both).

so why am i looking for a job in a shop or bar rather than some kind of personally meaningful or enjoyable paid work? well apart from long term paid creativity remaining, as yet, an elusive mystery to me, a number of difficulties arise. i've had a few goes at articulating this, but in such a small space, frozen in text, its ended up sounding kind of naively precious. so here goes again.

i think the point is that i'm protective of the few things that give me pleasure and the things that motivate my continued existence (something that i question and examine constantly). friends often suggest, for example, that i try looking for video editing work. but i would rather take a personally neutral job in a shop, than one which is only an approximation of my interests, and which is in fact more likely to be using my skills to contribute to the tsunami of mediocrity. because it will kill the pleasure of that skill, along with aneasthetising my ideals. thus i seriously might aswell be dead.

whatever. i've got to come up with something soon. tick tock tick tock.
on this day 1988: Cubans blame shooting on 'CIA plot'

Medina Perez, a Cuban diplomat, opened fire in a crowded London street because of an American plot to make him defect, his government has said.

The shooting occurred yesterday afternoon in Bayswater and left one man slightly injured. Scotland Yard said the wounded man was a member of the UK security services and not the CIA.

Mr Perez was on the way back to his flat when he fired on a group of people who were shadowing him.

Havana officials said the group contained a former Cuban intelligence agent who defected to the West in June 1987.

Florentino Azpillaga is alleged to have threatened Mr Perez and tried to persuade him to defect, but ran off when the diplomat fired his gun.

No official statement giving a full account of the incident was ever made by the British Government.

But leaks from within the UK and US intelligence communities said the Cuban defector, Florentino Azpillaga, was with an MI5 team shadowing Medina Perez.

The sources also said the agents may have asked the diplomat to defect.

Thursday, 12 September 2002

on this day 1977: Steve Biko dies in custody

The leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, Steve Biko, died in police custody.

Biko had been in custody since 18 August when he was arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act. He was the 20th person to die in custody during the past 18 months.

Two weeks later preliminary results from a post mortem examination revealed Biko had died from severe brain damage.

The inquest into his death in November 1977 cleared the police of any wrong-doing.

But after the election of the ANC Government in 1994, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up under Archbishop Desmond Tutu, denied an amnesty to five policemen who admitted being involved in his death, although they have never been prosecuted.
on this day 1970: Hijacked jets destroyed by palestinian guerrillas

Palestinian militants blew up the three planes they had been holding at an airfield in the Jordanian desert.

The 40 hostages were taken from the planes minutes before the explosions destroyed the grounded jets.

Two of the planes had been captured by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) six days earlier.

The last plane was seized on 9 September on a flight from Bombay to London and forced to join the others at Dawson's Field airstrip - a former RAF base.

Members of the Popular Front freed the majority of the hostages - mainly women and children - on 11 September and took them to the nearby Jordanian capital, Amman.

But they moved 40 hostages to a secret location - 35 men and five women whom they said were members of the Israeli army and therefore "prisoners-of-war".

"If our demands are not met we will not release them - but there will be no reprisals and we will treat them well," a PFLP statement said.

The liberation of the remaining hostages hinged on the release of the captured PFLP militant being held in the UK, Leila Khaled, and six other Palestinian guerrillas being held in Switzerland and Germany.

The UK Government faced the dilemma of releasing Ms Khaled - and risk being accused of giving in to terrorism by Israel and the United States - or endangering the lives of the British hostages.

But all the Palestinian dissidents were released on 30 September and the remaining hostages were freed unharmed.

Wednesday, 11 September 2002


is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. "
on this day 1973

democratically-elected president overthrown in Chile coup

President Salvador Allende of Chile, the world's first democratically-elected Marxist head of state, died in a revolt led by army leaders.

General Pinochet's new regime was characterised by brutal repression and 3,000 people were killed or disappeared during his 17 years in charge.

thousands of declasified US documents explicating the US role in the coup have been synthesised in a book, 'The Pinochet File', by Peter Kornbluh.
on this day 1978: dissident Bulgarian Georgi Markov died four days after he was stabbed with an umbrella at a London bus stop.

Coroners ruled the following year that Georgi Markov had been "unlawfully killed" after being injected with the deadly poison ricin.

Nobody was charged, but it was widely believed to have been the work of the Bulgarian Secret Service backed by the KGB.

Tuesday, 10 September 2002

sept 11th hype prompted me to search for 'culture of fear'.
heres some sights along the way:

Culture of Fear (why americans are afraid of the wrong things) by Barry Glassner
...."more than three times as many people were killed by lightning than by violence at schools."....

Culture of Fear (risk taking and the morality of low expectation) by Frank Furedi
...."compared to the past, or to the developing world, people in contemporary societies have much less familiarity with pain, suffering, debilitating disease and death. We actually enjoy an unprecedented level of personal safety."....

the Culture of Fear by Noam Chomsky
(the introduction to 'Colombia: The Genocidal Democracy', a 125-page book by Javier Giraldo S.J., written in 1996.)

"...."the vast majority of those who have disappeared in recent years are grass-roots organizers, peasant or union leaders, leftist politicians, human rights workers and other activists," over 1500 by the time of the U.S. State Department's praise for Colombia's democracy and its respect for human rights."....
rewind: in the news september 10 2001

10sep2001: Judge says court was close to backing Gore

George Bush might have been prevented from entering the White House if a US supreme court judge had had another day to work on persuading his colleagues, according to a new book.

David Kaplan writes in The Accidental President that the liberal Justice David Souter met a group of prep-school students one month after the court ruled 5-4 in favour of stopping the Florida recount, making Mr Bush president rather than Al Gore.

"If he'd had 'one more day - one more day,' Souter told the students, he believed he would have prevailed," says Kaplan, according to an excerpt in this current issue of Newsweek.

"The sands of history will show Bush won by a single vote, cast in a 5-to-4 ruling of the US supreme court," says the book, touted as the first behind-the-scenes look at how the court handled the fallout from last November's disputed election

it reports that Animosity among the judges broke out while they were the hosts of a visit to Washington by six Russian justices. "In our country," one of the Russians is quoted as saying, "we wouldn't let judges pick the president." Kaplan writes: "The justice added that he knew that, in various nations, judges were in the pocket of executive officials - he just didn't know that was so in the United States."

10sep2001: Market slump signals 'era of pessimism'

Today's reaction in the European markets reveals a lack of faith in a quick recovery of the US economy. The US treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, tried to soothe the markets at the weekend by insisting that the US economy would soon show signs of recovery.

The trigger for the latest rout came on Friday, when economic figures disclosed that US unemployment soared to 4.9% in August - its highest level in nearly four years - with businesses slashing 113,000 jobs. The figures reinforced fears of a protracted slump in the world's largest economy. The Dow dropped 235 points to 9,605 points and market nervousness has spread. If the US fails to avoid a hard landing despite seven cuts in interest rates this year, the rest of the world will also feel the bumpy ride.

10sep2001: US pulls the plug on Muslim websites

five hundred websites - many of them with an Arab or Muslim connection - crashed last Wednesday when an anti-terrorism taskforce raided InfoCom Corporation in Texas.

The 80-strong taskforce that descended upon the IT company included FBI agents, Secret Service agents, Diplomatic Security agents, tax inspectors, immigration officials, customs officials, department of commerce officials and computer experts.

Three days later, they were still busy inside the building, reportedly copying every hard disc they could find. InfoCom hosts websites for numerous clients in the Middle East, including al-Jazeera (the satellite TV station), al-Sharq (a daily newspaper in Qatar), and Birzeit (the Palestinian university on the West Bank).

in addition, InfoCom is the registered owner of ".iq" - the internet country code for Iraq.

10sep2001: Taliban hint at jail swap with US

The Taliban's foreign minister hinted yesterday that the hardline Afghan Islamic movement might consider swapping eight detained foreign aid workers for a Muslim cleric jailed for life in the United States for plotting to blow up the World Trade Centre and the UN.

Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil said the Taliban would consider a proposal by Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman's family to exchange the blind cleric for the four Germans, two Australians and two Americans who werearrested in Kabul five weeks ago on charges of preaching Christianity.
Sheikh Omar was jailed for life in 1995. He is said to be in poor health. There has been no comment from Washington on a possible deal.

10sep2001: police raid protestors in advance of tomorrow's arms fair

Police have raided squats in south London to head off what they fear could be violent demonstrations against an arms fair which begins tomorrow in the capital's Docklands.

Activists accused the police of over-reacting, claiming they plan peaceful protests at the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition, or DSEI, at the ExCeL centre. Almost all major arms companies will be represented, with state-of-the-art weaponry from hundreds of companies on show.

Amnesty International and the Campaign against the Arms Trade have strongly criticised invitations to some of the countries expected at the exhibition, run by a private company in association with the government.

Amnesty International has attacked the government for inviting countries with poor human rights records - Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria among them. Countries such as Angola, Pakistan, Morocco, Algeria, China and Turkey have also been invited, although government guidelines state that arms should not be exported to countries where they could be used for internal suppression or could exacerbate internal or regional conflicts.
on this day 1973: Bomb blasts in central London

Scotland Yard was hunting a teenage suspect after two bombs at mainline stations injured 13 people and brought chaos to central London.

The first explosion at King's Cross - which injured five people - occurred seconds after a witness saw a youth throw a bag into a booking hall.

Fifty minutes later a second blast rocked a snack bar at Euston station, injuring a further eight people.

"The IRA said they were behind the explosions."

Two days before, on 8 September, there were bombs in Manchester city centre and at Victoria station in London.

And forty-eight hours later further blasts in the country's capital rocked Oxford Street and Sloane Square.

"Humans have taken thousands of years to naturally evolve. Technology now gives us the opportunity to take the next step in human evolution into our own hands. The advances being made now have immediate consequences for the medical world, and implications for the future of all of us. This is certainly not a small step for man and especially not for mankind".  
(Mark Gasson, Design Engineer at University of Reading)

Monday, 9 September 2002

...."Washington's present justifications to attack Iraq have far less credibility than when President Bush Sr was welcoming Saddam as an ally and a trading partner after he had committed his worst brutalities - as in Halabja, where Iraq attacked Kurds with poison gas in 1988. At the time, the murderer Saddam was more dangerous than he is today. "....
little bright blue insects that look like woodlice made out of scouring sponges.

Saturday, 7 September 2002


Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness.

He says to the waitress, "I'd like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream."

The waitress replies, "I'm sorry, monsieur, but we're out of cream. How about with no milk?"

Friday, 6 September 2002

on this day 1970


Four New York-bound airliners were hijacked over western Europe in an unprecedented operation carried out by a militant Palestinian group.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) demanded the release of three Arab dissidents held in a Swiss jail in return for the 382 passengers they were holding hostage.

The Pan American jet was flown to Cairo airport in the early hours of the morning on 7 September and blown up after the hijackers had led all the passengers to safety.

The other two planes held at a former RAF airfield in the Jordanian desert were joined by another hijacked jet - a British Airways flight from Bombay - on 9 September.

Most of the hostages were released on 11 September, and the hijackers escorted the remainder off the planes just before they blew them up the following day.

Six passengers were held by the PFLP until 1 October, when they were exchanged for the release of Leila Khaled - a captured female hijacker.

Wednesday, 4 September 2002


today's lunch-time bbc tv news reports that children have no problem spelling 'beckham' or one of those harry potter words, but they have problems with words such as 'parliament' or 'edingburgh', which i'm not sure i can spell either.

a voxpop teacher says something about the popular culture they're exposed to and a need to introduce them to jane austen and shakespeare. but she fails to articulate a single reason why they should be introduced to austen or fucking shakespeare.

its like those fretting middle-class adults who grieve the lack of book reading (a self-referential skill loop) amongst children, and fear they spend too much time with their playstation (another self-referential skill loop).

literacy has become one of those mythologised treasures as pure and enriching as myths about green nature, god or sodding therapy-culture. it is julie walters in that movie with micheal caine. it is the shining first born media, pitted against its upstart screen siblings: tv, computers and games. it is the heavenly gateway to blah blah.

in the beginning was the word.

Guttenberg's first infestation was a bible in every home.

then god was dead and we were all 'individuals'. the end.

literacy, like many things has, and has had, its uses. but there are endless alternative ways to represent and navigate through realities other than the straight lines and spells of print. the dead weight and deafening chorus of the recorded past colludes in trapping us in a sedimented narrative manifestation. for one it perpetuates the linear (that literary bias) concept that only the past, not the future or any other dimensional direction, has influence on the present. why don't literate people use the intelligence they believe they've gained from it to start thinking and challenging their memeplex directives?
The dichotomies between mind and body, animal and human, organism and machine, public and private, nature and culture, men and women, primitive and civilized are all in question ideologically.

on this day 1957

Homosexuality 'should not be a crime'

A report sponsored by the government suggested homosexual behaviour between consenting adults should no longer be a criminal offence.

The proposal was the principal and most controversial recommendation put forward by the 13-member committee chaired by Sir John Wolfenden, Vice-Chancellor of Reading University, investigating the current law on homosexuality and prostitution.

After its three-year long inquiry, the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain came to the conclusion that outlawing homosexuality impinged upon civil liberties.

Under the law at the time, various homosexual offences can incur anything from a £5 fine to life imprisonment.

But the government rejected the proposal. Homosexual men would have to wait another ten years before the law permitted sexual relations between adults over the age of 21 - "in private" and not at all among members of the Merchant Navy or Armed Forces.

(In Scotland sex between two men was not decriminalised until 1980.)

The age of consent for gay men was lowered to 18 in 1994.

A law equalising the age of consent for gay men in line with that for heterosexual adults to 16 was forced through parliament in February 2000.

video: Sir John Wolfenden speaking to the BBC

Tuesday, 3 September 2002

All this week i've experienced increasing difficulty getting online. Plus tonight, once i'm finally connected, I am unable to access my url.
todays local bbc tv news reported the trial chip-implant tagging of children. The featured child, Danielle, said "i think its really good, coz it keeps you safe." Which reminded me of the front cover of a magazine this week, where a teen says something like "prison was good for me".

The Duvall parents, along with a compliant sample edit of adults, were of course never asked if they themselves would be prepared to be tagged.

There was no perspective given concerning the statistics relating to the rare threat of stranger-danger, as opposed to the abuse of children within their families.

Nor any debate around the issues of an overprotected generation becoming adults, lacking the maturing skills gained through dealing with danger on their own.

Kevin Warwick was on hand as an expert. I was dissapointed to see him involved in this bollocks.