29 December 2010


Richard Guindon


  1. Cheating just a tad today, but Richard Guindon was my favourite cartoonist in the early 80s -- nationally syndicated, quite well known. When I returned to the US in 1987, he'd vanished from national attention. Using the Bill Watterson quote & thinking about Calvin & Hobbes made me think about Guindon again. Lo and behold, he's still drawing cartoons. Just not syndicated, apparently.

    His website, for anyone who might want to see more.

  2. Montana - When I returned to the US in 1987, he'd vanished from national attention.

    Now I wonder why ;)

    Thanks for the link.

    Geoffrey Wheatcroft has one of those baby boomer self flagellating articles over on Cif, was going to comment but most of the other comments were so depressing that they sapped me of the energy.

    Why the fuck bother? The whole 'generation' thing is just another divide and rule tactic anyway and what's worse it will provide the 'rationale' to bash those in my generation who find themselves struggling on a state pension and facing death by hypothermia as we speak.

    To listen to Wheatcroft you'd think we were all living a life of indulgence and greed.

    Whereas in fact a proportion of every generation since the end of hunter gatherer society has done that, while most of us have always struggled on the crumbs.

    The post war generation did inherit full employment, a fabulous welfare state and we did change some things for the better. My life as a woman has been made immeasurably better, educational opportunities, contraception and an end to the awful hypocrisy dished out to 'unmarried mothers', phrases like 'soiled goods' and words like 'illegitimate'.

    What we didn't do of course was get rid of capitalism, which was never really challenged. Our parent's generation fought in a war and created the welfare state, they knew the horrors it replaced.

    We didn't. So we failed to value it and defend it as well as we should have. Now we face the destruction of that welfare state.

    Are we going to defend it before we have learn what life is like without it? Can we all learn that until we get rid of this rotten system any gains we make will be lost?

    Because we don't we are all going to suffer and carping on about the mistakes of the past will not help (which is precisely why its being encouraged).

  3. Well, that was nice. But back on the 07h05 from Gatwick this a.m. Not sticking around all day, though.

    Oh, and jolly well done England for retaining the Ashes Down Under. In fact, let me rephrase that:


    Anyway, I found this little beauty on the internet the other day, Lord knows how I’ve never found it before. It’s Stephen Stills/Chris Hillman/Al Perkins/Manassas, live in 1972, playing “Bound To Fall”. Stills has his critics, but this is well worth watching. Just about at the top of his game with that Manassas album, I reckon.

    Grown-up music for grown-ups. Enjoy.


  4. Morning All!

    Thanks for the cartoon and the information, Montana. Will follow your link.


    Our parent's generation fought in a war and created the welfare state, they knew the horrors it replaced.

    We didn't. So we failed to value it and defend it as well as we should have. Now we face the destruction of that welfare state.

    Yes, clogs to clogs in three generations, in a way.

    It may not be that you have to fight in a war to gain perspective about life, but you probably have to do something other than glide and shimmer from school debating society to university dining club to internship to political researcher at a think tank to being parachuted into a safe seat.

    Some degree of actual hardship and some episodes when you see your life collapse and disintegrate are probably essential, along with living on an income well below the national average and doing some shitty jobs which do not automatically lead to glittering success.

    Obviously, you would have to do this as part of your actual, large-as-life, er, life for it to be of any value.

    Doing one or two of those things for a week, with film crews there to act as servants, like Matthew Parris and Michael Portillo, doesn't really count.

    We could all infiltrate the local selection committees or question the validity of candidates before they settle onto the parliamentary benches, of course, but we never do.

    The ease with which halfwits and criminals get elected to public office is really down to us because we do nothing to prevent them from the outset, but complain both bitterly and impotently once they have the whip-hand and use it against us.

    They must laugh all the way to the bank to see how foolish we are and how uninterested in our own lives.

    They must be right to do so.

  5. Funny, I had Calvin and Hobbes on the brain yesterday - was trying to find that 'scientific progress goes "boink"?' cartoon....

  6. "It may not be that you have to fight in a war to gain perspective about life, but you probably have to do something other than glide and shimmer from school debating society to university dining club to internship to political researcher at a think tank to being parachuted into a safe seat."

    Atomboy, in a nutshell you've just summed up my biggest parenting anxiety and conundrum. I want my kid to have a sheltered life, to be honest. I don't want her to live through some of the crap I have. I don't want her to see human suffering at it's most horrible, cause really....it's bloody awful to live with. But at the same time, I don't want her to grow up into a smug, sheltered middle class kiddy whose life trajectory is precisely as you describe. But sheltering our children from hardship is what we do, isn't it?

  7. "a smug, sheltered middle class kiddy whose life trajectory is precisely as you describe."

    Meerkatjie, you know that there are plenty of things that knock you sideways in life, whichever class you are from. I suspect, however, that you have fired a sure arrow. Soon time to watch your daughter fly true.

  8. "Oh, and jolly well done England for retaining the Ashes Down Under. In fact, let me rephrase that:


    Quite. An innings and 157 runs, at home, to England. I hope many a full grown Ozzie man has shed a tear for this.

  9. Jay & heyhabib - seconded (for quite different reasons obviously)

  10. Meerkatjie

    Yes, bringing up children is a bit like being a trapeze artist, lurching and wobbling above an angry crowd and being offered enticements by a clown from the little platform at the other side, as you dodge the missiles and wonder whether your spangly, sequinned leotard is just emitting a dull, shopworn glow and if your bum looks big in it.

    It is not only what we give, but also what we choose to deny. The blocks and impediments we throw and litter beneath the clumsy, toddlerish feet of our children, as well as the whisking into our arms as soon as another child pulls an angry face.

    A few years ago, a UK newspaper "adopted" or sponsored an African village and collected money from its readership to help the people by means which did not involve asking a company to build a chemical plant there and chain the villagers into slavery.

    I cannot remember the newspaper and, to my shame, also forget the name of the village, which struck me as lovely at the time.

    I do remember a child, though, who looked after her siblings. Her parents had died. They asked her about her dreams. She said that every night, she went to bed praying that they would have something to eat the next day. Her dream was to have something to eat each day and not to have to worry about watching her siblings starve to death.

    Compared with that, our lives are idiotically easy and most of what we stick onto them is little more than window-dressing.

    There is no one way and nobody has the answers.

    We pretty much have to make it up as we go along.

    A bit like Rolf Harris asking us: "Can you tell what it is yet?" we never know quite how our children turn out.

    Why should we?

    We do not even know how we have turned out yet.

  11. I was reading Hanley's article on class and watching it turn into the usual bloodbath below, complete with the now standard "I was the first pit pony from my village to go to university and now I own Belgium and get my bell-end polished by Paris Hilton." comments. Which is nice.

    Hanley's basic contention is fairly uncontentious I would have thought. When 50% [yeah, yeah, I know - figures for example purposes only] of the population go to univeristy and there are only well-paid jobs for 25%, then (a) there are going to be a lot of disappointed graduates and (b) social winnowing devices other than education are going to start kicking in.

    But then it struck me, as I read for the umpteenth time about someone who started life as a Kensington crack whore and is now Chancellor of the Exchequer: who the fuck falls out of the middle class?

    I know a few people that have definitively made the leap from working to middle class - professional people, slightly more given to Mercs and holidays in the Maldives than their middle-class-born-and-bred work colleagues - but I've yet to hear anyone with a plummy accent stacking shelves at Tesco,

    There are the occasional Polly Toynbee/Laurie Penny poverty tourists ("I spent 3 months somewhere outside North London - it was horrid I tell you."), but the more I think it about it, the bigger the blank I draw.

    Does anyone ever actually drop out of the middle classes and into the vast oikish pit below for the rest of their lives?

  12. I've known a few middle-class dropouts, Eddie, mainly through spectacular financial incompetence or heroic consumption of drugs. But even then, they've been rescued in the end by family or other middle-class contacts. It's something like a Boden-clad ODESSA.

  13. RapidEddie

    Does anyone ever actually drop out of the middle classes and into the vast oikish pit below for the rest of their lives?

    According to the book of Polly Toynbee's short "poverty tourism" stint, Hard Work: Life in Low-Pay Britain, it is almost impossible for the middle-classes to actually fail because they are too financially insulated and too protected by their networks.

    If you are poor, you are probably more ready to share what little you have, but the help it can provide is limited by its very smallness.

    If you are Peter Mandelson, on the other hand, you can simply pop along to Geoffrey Robinson's office and ask for a cheque for about 375 grand in order to buy a house you fancy.

    Not quite the same as being given a tin of baked beans and a lump of cheese to feed your children until your pay-packet comes to rescue you on Thursday.

  14. Oh i know... I just have a horror of her turning out to be a young conservative....

  15. PeterJ

    Yes, quite some years ago, when I used to drink regularly, there was a young chap who went into the pub, who I got to recognise by sight.

    He inherited about 100 grand from a relative he hardly knew and, after about a year, had managed to fritter away and lose the lot.

    There was never any question, though, that he would actually get a normal job or that he should have learnt something from the experience.

    After all, it could only be a matter of time before another relative or his parents died and he could get his hands on some substantial, worthwhile funds, rather than having to scrimp and get by on petty cash.

  16. Meerkatjie

    Oh i know... I just have a horror of her turning out to be a young conservative....

    Yes, but our job as parents is to equip our children to be able to function as separate, autonomous entities in the big, wide world.

    They are entitled to choose their own courses, even if those courses and outcomes are not ones of which we approve.

    As Atomboy II would confirm, the advice I offer constantly is very simple:


    Once they fly the nest, part of the enjoyment has to be watching them go splatt occasionally.

  17. Atom - itwasn't just the war -

    The health of working class people before the war was horrendous especially the women and children, there was rudimentary cover for working men.

    The unemployment and the poverty wages were dreadful too.

    My parents and grandparents new how valuable and right the welfare state was.

    I think we took it all for granted, free medical care student grants (and no fees to pay) unemployment benefit (although take up was low - (full employment then)

    While this system exists the only thing we can take for granted is that they will always end up shafting us.

  18. Meanwhile, in other news:


    Plans could boost charity giving
    (UKPA) – 11 hours ago

    Shoppers could make donations to charity every time they pay for items by bank card or use a cashpoint under Government plans to boost giving to good causes.

    People could also be prompted to give money when they fill in tax returns or apply for passports, driving licences and other state services, the Cabinet Office suggested.

    The initiatives were among a range of measures set out in a consultation paper which ministers hope will make charitable giving - of money and time - a "social norm".

    While Britons are generous with their money compared with those in almost all other countries, they rank only 29th for volunteering - spending 17 times more hours watching TV, it noted. But ministers said there was evidence of a "latent demand to give" that could be tapped into using new technologies such as mobile phones and social networking.

    Let's hope that the campaign to name and shame and boycott the enterprises of the tax-fiddlers runs hand-in-hand and shouts just as loud as this offloading of responsibility by the state onto the charity sector and its various commercial scams under the Big Society wheeze.

  19. Anne

    I agree with you.

    At the same time that familiarity has bred contempt and we expect the NHS always to be there without actually wondering why and how it exists, we have all become Americans.

    In our breakneck, consuming desire to be nothing other than rich and famous, we have believed the propaganda that markets know best and deliver nothing but unalloyed good and pure joy.

    In exporting the slavery which supports and subsidises us to lands far, far away, we have forgotten that poor people exist.

    As Barbara Ehrenreich says in Nickle and Dimed, the people stacking the shelves and serving us at the checkouts of Wal-Mart are working three jobs and still too poor to be able to live in anything more substantial than their cars, parked out the back with the manager's permission.

    We have been persuaded to think that behaving like animals and fuckwits is a good thing.

  20. "Shoppers could make donations to charity every time they pay for items by bank card or use a cashpoint under Government plans to boost giving to good causes."

    At what point does this cease being charity and become another form of taxation?

    To be honest, I'd rather, as a middle earner, that they upped my tax a bit. I'd certainly rather they upped tax on earnings over £60000.

  21. I agree, anne, it wasn't just the war.

    My great grandfather died in the workhouse; my grandfather fought in WW1 and died of TB in the early 1920s, a month before my dad was born - the family lived in a cellar kitchen in Walkley, Sheffield.

    My aunt remembers being sent by my grandma (who had remarried by then, probably had no choice), with jugs of soup to a family who lived nearby. They all had TB. She said they had NOTHING except a sink in their rented room.

    We used to joke with my mum & her sisters about their love of nice shoes - but we had never had to grow up wearing school-issue boots with numbers painted on the heel or wear dresses made from old coat linings.

  22. To be honest, I'd rather, as a middle earner, that they upped my tax a bit. I'd certainly rather they upped tax on earnings over £60000.

    The Neo Nasties see their voter base, their key demographic and core constituents as opposed to tax rises which might actually have to be paid by the lovely rich, even if they are actually relatively poor but like to think of themselves as at the vanguard of success.

    The actual poor, on the other hand, give more to charity than anyone else.

    Pretty much win win for Dave and his pals.

  23. Anyway, if I keep posting like this, I am going to overtake MartiniqueInEnchilada, which is a pretty vomit-inducing prospect, so I am going to keep schtum for a bit.

  24. Hm. Maybe it is a conspiracy after all?


    (And yes, I too am guilty of excessive web related activity over the last 24 hours. I'm buggering off as I'm starting to bore myself!)

  25. Every time I post something these days, everyone else buggers off. Maybe I should take the hint.

  26. MsChin

    Not my intention, honestly.

    I just thought I was rudely hogging things and actually need to do other stuff as well.

  27. Here's an interesting little site wot I found. A pretty decent collection - or perhaps more accurately, collation - of free academic studies and ebooks in PDF form. None are held on the site, but point you directly to the source. Downloaded 2 studies and an ebook already, so that's my afternoon sorted.


  28. Atoms

    Please don't take me too seriously, mate! And I rather like your posts ...

  29. Anyone else hear Simon Hughes on Radio 4 just then? Did I imagine it? He abstained from the student fees vote because of people's perceptions about increased fees rather than the increased fees per se ...

  30. Eddie
    Does anyone ever actually drop out of the middle classes and into the vast oikish pit below for the rest of their lives?
    depens what you mean by 'vast oikish pit', suppose.

    one mate has dropped off the face of the earth, basically - free living, squatting, bin diving, bartering, busking if actual coinage needed - but i wouldn't say she was working class as a result. she's counter-culture or something like that. (no family support at all, as a result of her having cut all ties apart from letting her mother know she's still alive - this is a life, not a holiday, for her)

    and a mate from uni got his first and then became a long-distance lorry driver, maybe he counts - but he came from a working class background in the first place and didn't much like the uni life. just liked maths. so maybe he didn't so much 'drop down' as stick his head above the parapet for a bit and then stay where he felt most comfortable.

    the people who dropped out of uni because they didn't feel it was 'their place', or who never applied out of fear of just that - that's maybe another example of 'social winnowing'. and a bloody sad one too, as it's a vicious circle, else...

  31. RapidEddie's link above to a pdf search engine led me to look at ebooks and how to go about making them.


    has more information and quite a few to download, it seems.

    It might be worth some collective pondering over whether this is a method for getting a message through the state-banking-business-media propaganda blitz.

    I think I shall start knocking together some things to see what happens, but thought I would highlight it for others to consider.

    It might fill a few idle hours when MsChin has cleared the place and the only sound here is the wheezy, scratchy tumbleweed trying to escape.

  32. Afternoon all

    Interesting discussion about the Welfare State.I agree that it wasn't just WW2 that led to its creation.For amongst other things i think the fear of communism was also a factor in fuelling the post war political consensus that underpinned the Welfare State until the early 1970.s.


    There is no way in a million years you could be compared to MartiniqueinEnchilada.Carry on posting!

  33. Hmm, maybe its the company I keep, but I know lots of "middle class" people who are perpetually skint because they chose occupations that have meanings to them - rather than having chosen careers at 21, or they have had to leave "middle class" career jobs because of stress/ill health, and ended up taking breadline work.

    There are shitloads of "middle class" people who are having the opposite experience of Toynbee's characters. But then she's upper middle class - her family have land, establishment conections, influence, private wealth. Middle class people don't have these as I view it - a major outcome of the credit bust in the US is a permanent downshifting of US middle class income potential and quality of life.

    Many middle class people might still (however unrealistically) fetishise over sending their brats to the best schools etc, but they are getting fucked hard.

    This is the whole point of the economic system we have bought into isn't it ? Families' of all accent, education, geography are looking forward to their fortunes regressing for at least two generations.

    Some of them actually believe - want to believe - that we're all in together.

    Well yes, but what they really mean is "most of us are getting fucked like we've never been fucked before, and some people (the rich) are just plain lucky and obviously worked really hard."


  34. I think you're right, BW. I also think that the gap between upper middle and middle class is widening hugely, such that people like Polly Toynbee perhaps have lost their connection to what the experience of the middle and lower middle classes completely. That that twat Cameron could, with a straight face, claim to be 'middle class' is illustration perhaps of this.

    They're not middle class in a way that I recognise. They're pretty bloody wealthy.

  35. Meerkatjie
    Quite. As hard as Toynbees of this world might try to empathise, she actually knows jack shit about scrimping, saving, struggling. And as for Cameron and his call me Dave schtick, the fact that half the population seem to beleive it is a staggering sign of how ill-equiped we are as a culture at looking beneath the veneer...

    On that note I'm off in search of a beer. Tara.

  36. @Meerkatjie

    But the upper middle class have always been rich. You have the working class and the lower middle class, between which the distinction has been hugely blurred, with some "tradespersons" earning much more than some lower management; the middle middle class with a house in Surrey, a cottage in Devon and the kids at a "good" (often private school); the upper middle class who are the industrial and financial rich; then the upper class who are the landed, "old" rich, a class often tied up with the aristocracy.

    In France, the classifications are perhaps expressed more clearly as ouvrier/paysan; petit bourgeois, bourgeois, grande bourgeois and aristocrate.

    Alan Sugar, for instance, wouldn't by looked on as Upper Class for a minute by the Dukes of Westminster of this world, and neither would the Camerons. Perhaps in a few generations if they increase their wealth, marry well and call their kids Peregrine instead of Dave.

  37. @bw

    Being here with friends probably isn't the best place to start getting into complex debates, but on the subject of piracy, what you were saying reminded me of the "trickle down" con.

    In fact, the idea with the current struggling system is that we must keep flinging billions at the Elton Johns and David Geffens, the Rooneys and Morinhos, the Bullocks and Winners, and the Dan Browns and Murdochs so as not to stifle the bright young songwriters from Slough, the promising young centre back at Barnett, the currently "resting" equity-card holder in Crewe waiting to make it big and the struggling young single mum with aspirations to be the new J K Rowling.

    No. We need a new system because the old one was always fucked. Now, piracy has provided a way of breaking through the complacency of the Bonios (- This African village has no school or water supply, - Well start paying fucking taxes and you'll still have plenty left over to buy them both, Bonio) and the ultrarich publishers, football agents, producers, film stars, beststelling writers, etc., and telling them we don't think they're worth ten and hundreds of millions and even billions, so they'd better think about a new system that actually pays people what they're worth.

    So for instance, I put my hand in my pocket and forked out some money for "In Rainbows". I was tempted to say, "Look, Thom, I've already paid over the odds for quite a few of your CDs, been to see you several times, and bought three of your official t-shirts and you seem to be doing very well, so thanks for the present this time," but in fact I thought, "No, this kind of thing should be encouraged."

  38. (cont.)

    Indeed, we used to encourage young artists by making it easy for them to get a weekly giro cheque and survive while they were writing songs or books, and planning a career. Now the government wants scroungers such as the future Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols out there doing shelf-stacking work experience.

    Anway, I look over my groaning shelves of books, vinyls, and official CDs, DVDs and software and think, "You've been suckered. Look at the years you've worked for this stuff".

    For me, piracy is a great weapon in the hands of the people, who can now say, "Come on, industries, work out a system where we'll be willing to pay what's right or go under. Oh and a clue: not that many of us think Simon Cowell is worth hundreds of millions. That's why he has to spend half a million a year on personal security."

    And the number of times they've cried wolf! I remember when the music companies told us the cassette recorder spelt the death of the industry. Ditto film producers with the VCR. Oh, they squeal every time, but they find ways to keep making obscene amounts of money.

  39. @Atom

    There you go, I've hogged the pixels for a bit, your turn!

  40. Spike

    Thanks, but I was just passing by with no time to contribute. Sorry.

    Agree, though, that the class thing depends both on the perspective and perception of the individual concerned.

    The Camerons would certainly be regarded as clumsy arrivistes by many, just as the Sitwells seemed to regard even the royal family as a bunch of yokels on the make.

    Perhaps it just comes back to the idea that in order to determine to which tribe we belong, we must also decide the ones which we have abandoned and regard as enemies.

    Obviously, once we reach the top, we are happy to settle in and spend our time building moats and battlements and other devices to keep the filthy hordes off our property.

    Which still leads to problems when, for example, America discovers that other people are living on top of its oil.

    See you later.

    As James says, I'm here all week.

    Bring your own jokes, though. As always, indoors if wet.

  41. Spike

    Ok, I've heard the argument a million times - explain why the charts are now full of soundalike, derivative shite, and why most bands that have any staying power have been to stage school and have rich parents ? Most bands you'l;l see on the tv, at Glastonbury - the great mecca of the mediocre.

    Just try an experiment - take a look ant any bands emerging over the last five years who have actually got to issuing a second album and are making perhaps £15k - £20k per year.

    I'll let you do some research there, but they pretty much fall into two categories - rich kids able to self finance, or puppets with absolute zero artistic control.

    I don't know what you do for a living - but if people just gave you what you "felt like" how would you feel ? I mean, I feel ripped off by plumbers, so the next young guy comes round to fix a problem - I should just give him a tenner because of those bastards that were all fleecing us ten years ago ? That's pretty much your take from what I can see.

    The problem is you can't just set up a band and start out these days without some sort of major investment- certainly the equivalent for each band member taking a college degree.

    What you are arguing for is effectively, is that we see no new acts even trying for the next few years while the industry eats itself.

    All we are ending up with is banal rich kids who literally can't tell the difference between a show tune and Leonard Cohen.

    As I said before, the way to bring down Tescos - a good analogy - is not by shoplifting from the corner store. This seems to be what you are arguing for.

    You may resent the industry, and as I said, I know from fuirst hand experience over thirty years there is a great deal wrong with it - but ask yourself how else do up and coming bands finance their first couple of years withour a record label to lay out the investment ?

  42. And by the way, starting a post "Being here with friends probably isn't the best place to start getting into complex debates" is a bit daft, certainly considering why a lot of us came here in the first place !

  43. Bitters

    About to email you about purchase of bass.

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Atomboy

    I've had an email from Sheff - it was she who was on-line when we guessed it was! She just can't post from Morocco.

  46. Got it mschin - reply on way !

  47. MsChin

    Was it? I'd become convinced it was Dave after all.

  48. Didn't Dan Pearce high-tail it to Morocco too ?

  49. Bitterweed

    Yes, according to MsChin. I had forgotten.

  50. @bw

    Re your 18:11: Expressed myself badly. I meant that at the moment I'm staying with friends and going out a lot, so there are often going to be long delays between posts. I was actually referring to the gap between your answer last night and mine today. I'd be better having this kind of debate (which can be time-consuming) when I'm working at home and more available.

    Do you think the best way to make sure that up and coming bands/actors/writers get funding, a chance and fair pay for their work is to give billions to production and record companies and publishers and hope some cash trickles down?

    Nobody in the world is worth hundreds of millions and I hope we may have a chance to stop certain artists (and especially the people who "manage them") from accumulating that kind of wealth.

    To focus on the music industry specifically, I'd like to see more funding made available for new acts, perhaps through councils with money coming from a progressive tax on record sales, and more opportunities to perform. People seem to have forgotten that if you're talented and make a name, you can actually earn a very good living by going out and playing live, regardless of your recorded music sales. Of course, it'll never buy you a 30-room villa on Moustique, but there you are.

    I want artists to get fairly paid for their work. I want to see less money in the pockets of superstars and majors and more going into backing new, talented artists.

    So how do we go about it? I'm willing to pay. I've always paid. A lot. I'd just like a new say in where my money goes and I think the new difficulties in copyright protection may give a new leverage. Culture providers (in the broadest sense), offer us a deal we can live with or we won't pay you.

    As for the analogy about Tesco and the corner shop, I really don't get it. If you illegally download a Beyoncé album or a copy of Titanic, are you shoplifting from the corner shop or Tesco?

  51. Evening all

    BW - I think spike meant that because he is staying at a friends house and using their puter, it might not be an opportune time to start a lengthy debate.

    But yes - I like your analogy about not bringing down Tesco by nicking from the corner shop. Works perfectly.

    What we need is more bands deciding that they are not going to stay tied to the "Tescos" of the music world, and doing their own thing. God knows the technology is there now for people to be able to produce and sell their music online, with all the social networking sites etc. But other, more established bands have to lead the way.

    What Radiohead did with In Rainbows was brilliant. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails has been doing a lot of free to download stuff too. And Underworld did their Riverrun series, releasing three 45 minute EPs for a fiver each, downloadable only, but with a sideline of 12" singles and remixes, and a free 40 minute remix EP for those who bought all three of them.

    They have also known that - in fact, been involved in unofficially and absolutely given their consent to - fans bootleg their live gigs and swap them through a member-only website (and the fanbase stomp very hard on anyone selling bootlegs on ebay or anywhere else). So what they decided to do for their tours in 2007 and 2008 was to bring in a company called LiveHereNow which recorded every single gig and, within 20 minutes of the gig finishing, copies were available for sale at the venue - or you could order them online. The real fans snapped them up and the die hard must-have-everything fans made sure and bought every single one, no matter how dodgy the gig was.

    There are so many new and innovative markets to be explored and developed which could, eventually, cut out the leeching super-producer companies from the loop entirely.

    Hope I am not teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs here, but I really do think that a huge revolution in music production is on its way, as happened in the 70s with punk and pub bands taking over the limelight from the supergroups.

    Hi MsChin, atomboy, habib, anne, meekatjie and anyone else I've missed. I am dog tired, been ferrying my Dad about to hospital and back today, with all the physical and emotional exhaustion that entails, and I am pretty much brain dead again.

    Not to mention extremely fucked off with a solicitor who owes me a lot of money and promised me a big cheque by Xmas - what he failed to mention was that he would send it unsigned... the fucker...

    Baked beans on toast for New Years dinner, then...

  52. If you illegally download a Beyoncé album or a copy of Titanic, are you shoplifting from the corner shop or Tesco?

    I dunno, but you've definitely got bad taste.

  53. evening all....

    why are some bus drivers little Mussolini's and others Che Guevara's.......?

  54. Evening Gandolfo

    Sounds like you have been having fun with public transport today too!

    For some reason there were very few trains going into Victoria today, with most being diverted to London Bridge. Which was really useful when you are trying to get to the bleedin Fulham Road...

  55. what is it about some bus drivers that get sadistic pleasure from not opening doors when they are still at the bus stop and have seen you dice with death crossing the road to catch their bleedin' bus.........come the revolution.....

    whilst i'm moaning they have also closed a bus stop because it is near to berlusco's private residence in rome, of course guarded by 6 policemen, at tax payers expense, when he's not there, with uzi type machine guns....poor ol' joe public has to schlepp about 1/4 mile to go back now....f@cker....

  56. Spike
    Perhaps you haven't understood. There are five big labels in the world. Fuck them. They're the Tescos.
    Not even the small majority of bands are signed to them.

    Free downloading doesnt discriminate between the appalling, mighty Universals or the Sonys, etc and some tiny start up label - or all small indy labels in between.

    But they're the small busnesses getting fucked. It's not just major label acts who depend on - and are getting ripped off. It's all of them. the would be new Ian Duries.

    I could list you all the indy labels who have gone under in the last ten years. At least some of their demise is because kids simply don't feel it important to pay for music any more.

    This is hardly taking it to the man. It's kids in a culutre where they're told its cool and rebelious to effectively rob their mates, or certainly their mates' mates - and a cutlure that is handing more and more of the stage over to major lables and idiot cunts like Jedward.

    Independent music is getting trashed by this. That's my point. Kids don't say, "oh that' label's cool, I'll pay for that, but that one signed Goerge michael in 1999, so fuck them."

    I'm also fucked for time most evenings, and can't really post from work during the day, so I guess I'm boned either way - enjoy your stay mate, hope this rant isn't too disjointed. Nothing personal, I just feel the enormous near to middle ground is totally ignored in the debate - and that's where most bands sink or swiim, no matter how innovative or original they are... they still need cash. Nite.

  57. bitters

    agree..it breeds a culture of screw you i don't wanna contribute.....it's like those that don't pay tax because they buy private services or don't want to pay for "scroungers".......fuck everyone and think of the money I've "saved"

  58. With Bitterweed on the great downloading debate.

  59. Gandolfo

    Did you manage to get blinkbox to work with the proxy site that Phil linked to? There's some cracking stuff to be streamed on there for free - movies and old tv series.

    Hi Thaum x

  60. Hello everyone; any of you guys who still post on "wadya" want to lob this link into the mix: ohttp://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/....and ask why there are no journalists at The Guardian, or any other mainstream newspaper who are interested in why we are all being held to ransom by the banking system?

    I thought they all liked stories about feckless immoral parasites.....oh, hang on, that would just be "workshy" benefit scroungers wouldn't it!

  61. bb

    no i didn't......*sulks* not so interested in films TBH I just get them out on dvd or go to the cinema...but the odd bbc i wouldn't mind...i'd be happy to pay a subscription to the beeb for this but they don't offer it why oh why...they could make quite a bit of dosh...

    think gomorra is on beeb 4 tonight pretty good film......book better though.......

  62. I don't know much about the ins and outs of how downloading music works but for my money "Bitterweed's" analysis seems to make sense and I know he has experience from the "coal face" so to speak.

    Not that him locking me in his loft for three days has any bearing on my opinion;-)

  63. @bw

    Yeah, of course you have a point. But I still think this crisis for the music, film, sport and publishing industries may lead to positive change if the right people develop the right strategies. I may just be hopelessly optimistic, though.

  64. "I may just be hopelessly optimistic, though. "
    So indeed, may I...

    Chekhov - sorry about the loft thing.

    Needs must mate.

  65. I watched "Dr Zchivago" for the umpteenth time this afternoon and found myself wondering yet again how the character played by Rod Steiger (Mr Karamassov, or summat like that) fits into the plot.

    Not that it really matters much but it would be interesting if anyone could shed some light.

    Bloody great movie though if only for the photography and of course Julie Christie!

  66. @"Bitters"; I will have my revenge.. the bill for my expenses is in the post.... cue maniacal demon like laughter....."mooohooowhahahahah"

  67. Evening y'all

    My t'pence on the download thing, for what it's worth is this:

    I think a large part of the reason that 'mainstream' music is, for the most part, so shite now, is precisely because it's so fucking expensive.

    It's no secret that HMV and the like decided about ten years ago that their core 'audience' was the '£30-50 on a weekend' shopper, which, as a rule, is either a single 20-something guy who works in IT and lives with his mum, or, teenagers, who, if they do fit into that 30-50 category, are likely to be comfortable, middle-class types, and precisely the type that buy jedward, beyonce, or, if they're all crazy and alternative and that, cold-fucking-play or Evenescence!!

    And then, in the same way that you had a real dearth of true working class writers back when books where something the working class didn't really have a lot of, or weren't exposed to, you end up with another generation of coldplay inspired banality as the middle-class wannabees ask mummy and daddy for a strat for christmas, and use of the four car garage as a practice space to emulate their heroes!

    And then that situation just re-enforces and perpetuates, Ad nauseam, until all you can buy, and all you can hear, is crap. And it's crap that costs £15 a pop.

    For me, if downloading music exposes people to music they wouldn't normally be exposed to, either in terms of volume, or diversity, I'm all for that.

    If it allows a 14 year old to hear a Pete Seeger, or Woody Guthrie (that he'd probably never come across at HMV anyway), and decide that, actually, he'd rather like to have a crack at telling his own story, rather than not, or rather than allowing the other lot to be the only 'voice of a generation', I'm all for that too!!

    (a good example is the emergence of rap/Hip Hop, where, initially at least, a group of people realised there was no music speaking to them, or speaking about them, and created their own, which, when bootlegged and distributed, then inspired more people to do the same, increasing almost exponentially, until now, after being co-opted back into the music industry fold, it's one of the biggest selling 'genres')

    And, then, if more people have access to more stuff and people can buy something because they want to, or because it's stuff they like, not what HMV says they should like, the music industry becomes more meritocratic, and more representative, and, again, I think that has to be a good thing.

    At the moment, the music industry is akin to the WTO, or IMF: it rigs the rules in it's favour, overtly breaks them when it wants, preaches to everyone else about 'the right thing to do', and then gets all upset when people decide that, actually, they're not going to bother with this 'only game in town' shit, when, quite frankly, the game's a sham!

  68. Hi Guys, Interesting debate on the downloading front. Also the definition of Middle Class. my take on that was it was simply an attitude of mind no matter how rich or poor you are.

    For those interested, on ITV4 right now is the Paul McC Band on the Run interview. The album was recorded in Lagos and some old 'footage' as they say is shown.

  69. Before I head out to the bar, let me just add an example that may or may not add to the discussion.

    I used to subscribe to Manchester United on the Web until the Glazers took over. I cancelled my subscription and I now watch United's matches illicitly on the Web, free of charge.

    Now it could be argued that I'm depriving some talented young footballer of MU youth training. I still feel it's more important to hit the Glazers where it hurts. And my money goes to the Supporters Trust instead.

  70. James
    IMF ??? That's only five or so major record labels you're talking about. Sure, they are very powerful, greedy and fixated on bottom line, but that's only part of the story. There are thousands of medum sized and small indy labels out there trying to find and develop the new Ian Dury/Pete Seeger; they're struggling, not least because most people under 25 who can take music for free, will. That's the culure we've "empowered" the kids with.

    Those kids who are genuinely interested in music history, roots, mechanics, can and do watch clips on You Tube. God knows there's an entire wealth of history and nations on there the like of which could only be dreamed of - for free - a mere two decades ago. If kids can't learn from that, they can't be up to learning much.

    Watching hours of unseen / unliscensed video of, e.g Jimi Hendrix compared to downloading the entire current catalogue of the new Pete Seeger, onto a hard-drive, is different.

    Surely it's scale that matters here...

    Perhaps this is the hardest bit of my argument for people to get...

    If you taped an album in 1980 and gave it to a friend - even two copies to two friends, and agree that, say albums sales have always hovered around 10,000 European per anum for a band to stay afloat, then that taping might have benefited the artists in the long run.

    But if you have a band that is given eg NME/Guardian magazine flavour of the month award, and several putzes put the whole album as soon as available, without the band's say so, onto internet freeload, and out of eleven thousand copies floating around, five thousand have never had a penny paid for them - how does that new band aford to get to Europe to tour, and work up some new songs/build on their craft ?

    Answer: either a) by going cap in hand to a rich benefactor or, b) they don't. They fail.
    And the NME/Guardian magazine then celebrates the next new coolest band from their pad in Hoxton, and the NME/Guardian ums and ahs (yet again) over whether it fancies Simon Cowell...

    See where this is going ...

  71. Spike

    Re Man U and your alternative shirt, etc. I thought of you the other night when I was watching Looking for Eric - have you seen it? Starts off a bit slow, but it is a bloody cracking film.

    Gandolfo - shame blinkbox won't work for ya. Re 10pm movie, as I had a little hissy fit about my beloved's monopoly on the remote last night and ended up watching everything I wanted, it is only fair I let him watch a shite Jackie Chan film tonight... sigh...

    Chekhov - did he really keep you locked in his attic? Is there an unlawful imprisonment suit in there somewhere? I could do with the money. :p

  72. IanG

    Ah, Wings ! The band the Beatles could have been !

    - Alan Partridge

  73. BB
    "Eric" is a nice little movie

    PS He loved every minute.

  74. BW - we've only got your word for that! :p

    Yeah, Eric is a cracking film, once it gets going. And Cantona's role in it is sublime - so willing to take the piss out of himself. :o)

  75. BW He he, it was just a special time in my youth and there did seem to be such a lot more good stuff around in those days.

  76. Bitters,

    I get what you're saying, and I sympathise with the small-middle labels argument, but, as I see it, even if downloading didn't exist, they'd be struggling as much, if not more.

    Here's why.

    The big five or so companies have a massive amount of power. When you go in a HMV, you're bombarded with record company 'picks', and it's more often than not, because there's a fair bit of 'synergy' (official or unofficial) between label and retailer.

    Smaller, more independent labels struggle to even get shelf-space.

    If, against all the odds, an indie label manages to find an act, nurture them, and then take them to a relatively mainstream/popular position (where they can make a 'profit' on them), they then find themselves subject to 'take-over' moves from bigger labels, or, they find that the bigger labels find similar 'acts', and then throw them forward, with considerably more marketing power, hoping that they'll stick, and eventually eclipse the original indie band, effectively piggy-backing the 'R&D'/risk that the small/medium label took in the first place!

    At the same time, the small, more independent record store, that would be willing to sell more niche stuff, is driven out of business by the HMV/Zavvi/Virgin/whatever, and music loses the war on that front too!


  77. Bitterweed -

    I think it's fair to say we will never see the 'Supergroup' of yesteryear anymore. The industry has changed too much. You won't get the likes of 'Island Records', (as an example) as the means of promotion has changed indefinitely.

    A lot of groups starting out now will willingly start their own label to maximise return on their outlay, but get lost in the fog of the internet. It is difficult to hear new bands now, with the obvious answer being the internet as the medium of distribution.

    The question initially posed doesn't have an easy answer.. If it's old stuff, and the artists have made their corn, then I don't really find them knocking the likes of YouTube, as it keeps their music in the 'living', but it does disadvantage the musicians trying to break into the realms of recognition..

    Was listening to Jagger on R2 this abo and this gem came out:

    Recorded on Led Zep 4 at his house !!! Loved Jimmy + John cos they was Sessssion musio 's!!

    Rock and Roll

  78. tascia
    Time to get the led out.. I wish ! Work in the am... ;-<

  79. Another really good track from Jagger -

    Donny Hathaway (1970)

    The Ghetto

  80. AH sorry to hear that BW - still on Hols meself, and finally feeling OK... after an ill ridden Xmas !!

  81. Hope you're felin better mate. Here's Gram.


  82. So, what downloading does, is break the monopoly/cartel, and it means that these big labels are suddenly finding that people are getting access to stuff, both outside of what they want them to get access to, and from places that they don't want them to be getting it, as well as taking a slice out of the music-by-numbers profits that make them kazillions.

    I would guess (but would be willing to cede to your experience etc), that the type of people who want the more alternative stuff, from the alternative labels, are the sort of people who would be more willing to pay for it - either originally, or, if they find something they like, are prepared to invest in a back catalogue etc.

    But really, this can only happen once the choice is there for them, which, I'd argue, is severely limited at the moment.

    Also, downloading, if harnessed correctly, could be used to reduce R&D/marketing costs, thus giving smaller, more music savvy labels a distinct edge, or at the very least, a more level playing field to work with.

    Sure, downloading stuff will hurt them in terms of sales etc, to some extent, but I'd guess that this could be made up by a, generally, more democratic space in which to operate, and an extremely large audience to tap into.

    To take your example, about copying CD's and giving it to friends, if I take 1 CD, and make a hundred copies, and then sell them on a street corner for say a fiver, I'll make a few quid, none of which the band gets, but, more importantly, the people who buy it, at that price, are still likely to be people who probably would have paid full-price for it anyway/existing fans - thus I've robbed the band of that revenue.

    If however, my stand on the street corner is the interwebz, and a million people come across it, and take a chance because it's free, etc, and then become fans, and each one then buys the next album, that's a million next albums sold - and then if they also start sourcing/wearing T-shirts, buying posters, etc, you're on a roll!!

    And, not a single piece of focus group/market research/praying for a good review need be done to achieve that, and you also stick a massive finger up to Sony who've just thrown a million dollars away on some band who they thought would be the next whatever, but weren't!!

    It's a simplistic argument, fair enough, but it's a fairly reasonable way of approaching the debate also....In my opinion, obviously!!

  83. Nice one BW !

    My fav from that Jagger 2 hour:
    This is beautiful.

    A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963

  84. Actually, I just read that back, and it makes no sense at all!

    Forget I said anything!

    (see, this is why I usually just stick to the nominally funny one-liners....Lesson learned!!)

  85. Aye James... you have the heavy wieghts in the industry pretty well covered, in terms of how they operate.

    But my point is that Stiff Records could not have survived against EMI and the other big players of the late seventies, if half or more of Stiff's bands' "fans" had never actually bought their records, but got them for free. EMI would have survived... and Stiff wouldn't have. A simple war of attrition, in which the big scumbags would always win, and where freeloaders are their useful idiots.

    As for the aforementioned mythology of bands touring and making seruious money, or even enough to live on year round - someone please tell me how that works. Please. You do the maths and I have twenty bands will sign you up as magical mystery tour accountant immediately.

    Touring was only ever a vehicle to sell records as far as labels were concerned.

    Only the very few make even a reasonable living out of it. I say reasonable - 15-20k a year do you ? Trust me on that one.

  86. Actually James

    What you have written does make sense - but it hinges on the ''' How Do we get ourselves listened to, on the internet, in the first place '''

    If this has to be a 'free release', then it is mainly only through friends and the 'passing on' of the track to others that will determine how many copies will be sold on subsequent releases.

    In order to progress it has to have some method of going viral. This could, and can mean the passing of information from one source to the many, with a hopeful exponential increase in hits.. but the reality !!!

  87. Fair, Bitters, but I definitely think it's a bit of a glass half full/glass half empty scenario.

    In the old days, people pirated music, it's just that they were limited in how much they could 'distribute' that. Let's say 1 LP to 20 cassettes, for example.

    That wouldn't hurt the band financially as much as a 1 to a million ratio, but it also wouldn't create a million people talking about/listening to that band's music, looking to go to a gig, buying t-shirts, etc.

    I suppose it depends on how you look at it whether you see it as a good thing, a bad thing, or a bit of both.

    I think it's always been the case with music, (and film/literature/art), that some will succeed, and some will fail, and the internet/digital music thing's just another variable that needs to be factored into the that equation!!

  88. Indeed James... the marketing aspect of the net is enormously important... but if there are a million mediocre bands out there (which there are) all promoting their music direct (and clinging to the vaguest hope that, after ten or twenty gis, they may appear on an o2 advert, Jules Holland or at Glastonbury before they dissappear again forever) ... it can only benefit the already rich multinationals - and screw the smaller labels who once operated not entirely on short termist basis, but had a raison detre above just making bucks... Look at Atlantic in its early days, look at Stiff... look at Postcard... Their rosters couldn't have sold and produced themselves, and made all that music. Their current equivalents will have to get rich some other way of they want a lifetime of doing it.

  89. Tascia

    Yeah, but that's the thing, isn't it.

    Band y, competing with your Coldplays, etc, is seriously going to struggle to be heard in a market dominated and saturated by them IRL, and for shelf-space in retailers because of them.

    They'll also probably struggle in an almost infinite internet, but at least the internet's not actively working against them other than in it's sheer size!!

    But, throw in myspace pages with musicality, blogs with video embedding, even Joe Public who's got a blogspot account and fancies himself a music reviewer, and you're at least given a shot, I reckon.

    How many times, for example, has someone youtubed something here, that you've never come across before, or haven't heard for a while??

    Now, if any of us then went out and bought/re-bought that record/artist.....

    Obviously, we're never going to cover everyone, but if there's even just a thousand blogs doing the same thing of a Friday, that's alot of music circulating....And then imagine the effect of dedicated music blogs, where someone can post a comment and link saying, 'hey guys, I just heard this lot play a gig, I think they're awesome, what do you think?', and, well, it's a friendlier medium than TV, Radio, or print, where all the advert/promo spots are bought up by the big five, I reckons!?

    Again though, some will fall into the gaping abyss of the interwebular giant, but I think, if I didn't have the fattest/most unco-ordinated fingers in the world preventing me from being a musician, and had a modicum of talent, I'd prefer my chances nowadays...


  90. The downloading debate on here is still framed in terms of a fork in the road, where the monetary value of recorded music could bounce back from its race towards zero. But it won't - it'll level out somewhere just above zero.

    In effect every band that puts out an album now is doing an 'In Rainbows' - pay for it if you feel it's worth it, if not, then don't. I agree with BW that this is detrimental to music, but you can't charge for something that's free, that'll always be a losing battle.

  91. Hi MsChin - Merry Xmas - a bit belated but hey ! It's over with now !

    Another one from Jagger - Jeez I might as well be R2 tonight ! apologies for anyone who heard this through the 12 - 2 slot today

    Creedence Clearwater Revival: Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

    You can always skip on by..

  92. It's a levelling thing in some ways, where even megastars are doing the same thing as those Peruvian pan-pipe players - they'll play their tune and leave the guitar case open, you can throw some cash into it or just walk on.

  93. Cheers, tascia - and wishing a HNY to you & a certain someone!

  94. Bitters,

    Again, don't disagree with you, but I'll flip it back to a positive, to try and illustrate my glass half full/half empty point.

    Let's say I'm a record label, looking for talent in x genre. Old days - that's a shit loads of mileage to dodgy clubs, student unions, open mic nights, hotel bills, etc etc.

    It's a fuck load of dodgy demo tapes, friends of friends doing impromptu gigs at the local pub/dinner parties etc.

    Nowadays, not so much. I can browse youtube channels, myspace pages check out blogs etc.

    There's more ways to stop talent slipping through the cracks, there's more chance that the next Ian Dury gets spotted.

    Then, it also makes it significantly cheaper to hone and develop that talent, and sound, with free feedback, responses and whatnot.

    It's swings and roundabouts, is all I'm saying, I guess!!

  95. Anyway, it's clocking off time for me now.

    Sorry to bail!!

    Have a good night all....

  96. MsChin - Both on Hols, but both doing different daytime things at the mo. Both got a heavy night tomorrow at our mates !! same guys as Monday - I don't want to write-off NYE, but these guys can keep u up for hours.. all in a good way of course !!!

    Another Jagger from today:

    talkin' loud & saying nothing- james brown w/ the JB's

  97. GNight James.. You must be goin out !! this early !!

  98. I won't repeat any of the points on the effects of downloading, I'd simply observe that it ain't going away. It's where we are and it's up to the music industry to react to it.

    For me, the biggest bugbear is the price of online music. You buy a CD in a shop for say a tenner. Costs include the pressing, printing of artwork, packaging, transport and, occasionally, point of sale material.

    You buy the same CD online - actually you don't, you get MP3 or M4a files - and it's, fuck me, a tenner. Amazon/Apple/Whoever bear the costs of keeping it online, there are no costs of pressing, packaging, transport etc and as they're electronic copies, no necessity to have multiple physical files. How the fuck is a download the same price as a physical CD?

    I've heard the arguments about promotion, recording etc, but then 99.9% of all music available has long since been recorded, artwork done.

    We got ripped up the arse by the record industry with the introduction of CDs and we're currently being rogered afresh with the costs of purchasing online music. The fact that iTunes in particular has been spectacularly successful in a way that the record companies failed to predict shows that if there's a decent online alternative, people prefer it. Imagine how many illegal downloads would become legal if prices dropped or people paid a monthly subscription for unlimited downloading.

    The fact that the major labels don't go down this route suggests that there's still a mighty healthy mark up on existing CD sales and a stonking big one on legal downloads.

  99. This movie is hilarious:


  100. Hey, everybody. I don't honestly know where I stand on the downloading thing -- I see both sides of the argument. If I could figure out the bit-torrent thingy, I'd only use it to watch things that wouldn't realistically be available to me any other way. For example, I'd dearly love to watch the Swedish version of Wallander, but good luck with that in Cowpat Junction.

    Anybody else read the thread about how racist Britons are about pronouncing & spelling names? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  101. Hi Montana

    Read that thread when it first went up and am inclined to agree with you about the shamefulness.

  102. Exactly, Eddie. There are valid points to made for both cases but, to coin a phrase, the genie's out of the bottle and the industry wanker's are going to have to deal with it. Christ knows, the fuckers have been rogering us for years.

    I mean, how many times do I have to pay for 'Grievous Angel'? I bought it 3 or 4 times in vinyl, 3 or 4 times on cassette, 3 or 4 times on CD...enough already: Gram Parsons has been dead for almost 40 years...he doesn't need the fucking money. And I'm sick of paying for stuff that turns out to be shit, stuff that, had I known, I wouldn't have paid in the first place.

    I download loads off stuff...but here are no lost sales. If I like it I buy it (the film, the TV show, the music).

    If I have to download pirated stuff for the industry to get the fucking message that I'm tired of paying for their cocaine habits and Armani suits? Then, in the words of Robert Cray?...That's What I'll Do

  103. MW, here's how to do it and here's the Swedish Wallander.

  104. Montana - Re Wallander: Just read Stieg Larsson. The show is so close to his storyline's !.

    I/We have yet to see the DVD of the 1st release.. 'Dragons tattoo'. Will get around to it soon.. matbe in the New Year..

  105. I have a difficult-to-say-and-write foreign name, but I'm not nearly as touchy as Ms 'Yes, I do mind'. Plus I have mangled enough tricky names to be able to see both sides of it.

  106. Hi Tascia, MsChin + Vizzo, NN James x

    Montana - there are two versions of Wallander in Swedish, one more a weekly series, and the other several one-off films. Both are superb.

  107. Eddie - you've made a good point !

    Personally, I like mooching round a record store. Don't get to do it much these days, but I could waste hours in them.

    Other than this year when I went into one before xmas. I agree with James in that there seems to be an agenda for pushing the 'mainstream/boring' crap that, us, just going past 28.. HmmHmm don't have any interest in.

  108. Heh. Lovely spoonerism posted on the 9/11 firefighters thread by stoneshepherd

    For fiscal rectitude read rectal fistitude

    Sounds more like it. Apparently he picked up the term on an Irish blog. Awesome.

  109. Tascia

    "Personally, I like mooching round a record store. "

    Sorry, but that is just absolutely crying out for this...

  110. BB - Hope you are suitably chilled now after a hectic day !.. Will soon to be wishing everyone a HNY.. Really glad CoryB is OK! You know how I am about rattikins !!

    Re:Wallander (I only watched it after reading your post on here days ago..)

    Just an observation from the other night.

    I suppose they are all subtitled !

    But the story was about him (Wallander) bringing in a girl who was shit hot at computer hacking/tracking, and being castigated for it later !

  111. Some very good points there Eddie, and I concur with the Viz - the poop's out of the horse. But I will have to come back another day to work this through though... night all.

    As for mooching round record stores - Tascia - here's THAT link you posted again.



    Night all.


  112. BB - HaHaHaHA I do luvvvvv that !

  113. This movie is hilarious:


    Errm..not quite sure how you get to view it on that site.
    Looks like a "pay per view" sort of option.

    Nowt against that; I'd quite happily pay a fiver or whatever they want to watch it again but I'm not convinced that subscribing to such sites is a good idea since it involves divulging crucial information about my bank account which anyone could defraud should they so wish from what I can gather.

  114. *coughs*

    if I can succeed in seeing wallender as i just have so can you montana
    i used this site:http://webupon.com/web-talk/how-to-watch-bbc-iplayer-abroad/

    1.if you use chrome down load the add on Proxy switchy easy

    2. go to "Free proxy lists UK" http://www.freeproxylists.com/uk/d1292541637.html
    3.use the "false" ip address to put into the proxy switchy

    follow the instructions once you get the programm started switch back to your normal connection by clicking on the globe thing on your browser and you can watch without the server being slow.......


  115. Quick pop-back!!


    I'm pretty sure I replied to you earlier, so I've either gone mad, or I've been spam binned!!
    I wasn't ignoring you, honest guv'nor!!

    (Montana, can I change my 'migration' vote, please...)


    Anyways, definitely off now!!

    Take care peeps!!

  116. I missed that one because we only caught the very end of the first episode and didn't see the point it watching part two, but we are planning on watching the two together on iPlayer if it is still on there.

    Those are the mini-film type Wallanders as opposed to the series-type ones. Both are streets ahead of Brannagh's british incarnation of him, though - I dunno why Brannagh plays him like someone with really bad bipolar disorder...

    CoryB is picking up nicely - still scrawny but eating a bit more now. My beloved actually sat up with him most of Christmas Eve night cos he was so worried he would die in the night and we would wake up to a little ratty corpse on Christmas morning...

  117. Spamfucked again...and when I tried to sign in (I'd navigated away in the interim), the fuckers told me they'd 'detected unusual activity' and demanded my phone number to send a verification code to. Google must be out of their collective fucking minds if they think I'd give them my phone number...pricks.

    Thank fuck for wordpress.

  118. Part of the problem with them that furrin names - apart from people's simple unfamiliarity with them - is that often they are transliterations rather than phonetic transcriptions. Hence ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ becomes Suvarnabhumi, rather than - as it's pronounced - Soo-wah-na-poom.

    Even very familiar names lose something when they cross 30 miles across the Irish sea. Elvis Costello. Easy, right? Coss-tell-o. Nope, in Ireland it's pronounced Coss-tuh-low. Keogh. Another one would be Keogh, usually pronounced Kee-oh in England, but pronounced Kyoh in Ireland.

    I still remember a BBC newsreader referring to Drogheda as "Drog-heed-a". Draw-ha-da or perhaps Draw-da would be the usual.

    Yes, it's annoying when people can't get your name right, but a simple correction should put them right. If a Thai person got annoyed every time an English speaker mangled their language or got the tones wrong, they'd never get any work done.

  119. Snap Bitters! :o)

    Gandolfo - yay! Well done! :o)

  120. I'm off to watch an episode of fringe I haven't paid for, night all.

  121. IMDb is just a database of movies, Chekhov. It has the public side of things available to all, then the professional side for those in the biz, which they have to pay a subscription for. I don't think you can dwl or stream movies from there though...

  122. BW - That is the one !!!!!!! And that is what I posted !! Thank god you've still got a memory !

  123. I'm off to bed so NN from me.

  124. well no one has ever pronounced my name correctly in italy....first or second always italinised....and i don't give a shit....don't think it's being racist at all....however english do like taking the piss out of names...why? who knows...gotta laugh about something s'ppose....

  125. Eddie - Many moons ago I had to liaise with an engineer from Thailand. The name was as given above.. (funny letters for us western'rs), but she insisted on being called Fai (for us wester'rs).

    Lets be honest - It made it easier for us !

    And she was the by far the brightest Engineer I came across whilst over there !.

    Thinking of it now does 'Fai' mean anything in Thai ?

  126. @BB: err...ok... I don't know how to do the link. Maybes it's possible to "google" it.
    I'll have a crack tomorrow.
    Too late for me folks...I'll have to hit the sack.
    Regards to all and goodnight.

  127. NN Chekhov x

    I'm orft as well - knackered. Have a good night everyone.

  128. Shit, after large amounts of beer and great atmosphere in a Berlin bar we had to wade through snow to get to, I was going all through your posts and getting ready to try and do an organised comment, then I hit BB saying...

    "Personally, I like mooching round a record store. "

    Sorry, but that is just absolutely crying out for this...

    And I giggled and said to myself, "No need to click, that's Human Traffic."

    Still haven't clicked, but I bet I'm right, aren't I?

    Oh and BB, have I seen Looking for Eric? Do you really think I'd miss a film by Ken Loach featuring God? Saw it in the cinema three days after it came out in France.

  129. Ah well GN everyone.

    Although there is 1 Italy (Gand) and 7 GB'rs left

    Maybe I should bow out gracefully with this one:

    Canned Heat - On The Road Again

  130. And I see a German and an Australian flag !

  131. As for Eric - what a fucking thug !!

    See what happens when money provides immunity !

  132. @James

    Actually, I just read that back, and it makes no sense at all!

    It made perfect sense to me so perhaps I should turn in...


    Agree with you 100% re Beyoncé and Titanic. :-)

    * * *

    Almost no-one can pronounce my original name in France. Rather than getting offended, I stand there and enjoy myself hugely while looking blank as they try and pronounce it. But then I may be a bastard...

    Goodnight Tascia and all!

  133. Well I was going to bed but something which I said didn't matter is still bugging me..ie how does Mr Karramassov fit into the plot of Dr Zchivago?

    Where's "Nap" when you need him?

  134. @tascia

    Eric? Thug? I'm lost...

  135. Spike - kicking fans ??????

  136. And besides - he was a hard bastard on the pitch ! Not quite up to Vinnie J standards, but a certain mentor for future Irish midfielders !

    Anyway - liked watching them !!

  137. Oh, right! Well, yeah, a racist little bastard who called Eric's mother a whore while the man was being unfairly sent off if I remember.

    During his suspension, a British paparazzo took photos of Eric and his pregnant wife on a beach in Martinique. Eric gave him a slapping and the paparazzo ran whining to the gendarmes to bring charges for assault. They told him he shouldn't have been taking photos of a pregnant woman without consent. There are privacy laws in France.

    The Sun or whatever filth it was the photographer was working for ran an article about how barbaric the French were for not allowing paparazzi to invade people's privacy.

  138. What's this Chekhov. Keep things slow aye, I'm somewhat on the bottle.

    Are you sure it's not Komarovsky?
    Not that I know these things. I've read Dr Zhivago but really I think it' merely average.

  139. @tascia

    Sure you're not getting him mixed up with a certain Keano? ;-)

  140. @tascia

    Bugger, should have read your post. I plead intoxication.

  141. Spike - Aye Keano was that other dirty fu@$ker

  142. @tascia

    Firm or determined are the adjectives you're searching for. :-)

  143. Tascia, many Thai words as we read them in romanized form have multiple meanings, differentiated in Thai script by the tonal markers, which of course we don't have.

    For example, "maa [high tone] maa" means "a horse is coming", whereas "maa [rising tone] maa" means "a dog is coming". Confussed? I am.

    The Thai nicknames aren't - as you often get with Chinese people using names like 'John' or 'Maggie' when abroad - a sop to honkies to give them something they can more easily get their gobs around. The majority of Thai people I know (the current Rapid co-habitee is a Thai chef) use nicknames amongst each other. Favourites include Lek (meaning 'small') and Noi (also meaning 'small').

    Fai means, variously, 'light', 'fire' or 'cotton', depending on tone and context. Probably as a nickname, the most likely would be 'light', as in brightness. Did she light up a room when she came in?

  144. Intoxication may be a hindrance sometimes with my adjectives, but dirty fu@$ker seems to sum them both up me thinks (from an outsiders point of view)

    More Led. This is the earliest version of this I have found.. and it's still blody good..

    Led Zeppelin "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" (LIVE)

  145. Thanks Eddie

    That is great.. I'LL go with 'Light'.

    And yes she did..

  146. @"Nap"... yeah "Victor Komarovsky" ..you being into all things Russian and all I thought you might enlighten me on the character's role in "Dr Zchivago" 'coz I couldn't work it out in spite of a a splendid performance by Rod Steiger in said role.

  147. Gonna leave you all with this last track.. GNight all

    Dire Straits - In The Gallery

  148. Well, trying to vaguely remember, and looking at wiki at the same time, wasn't Komarovsky the one who forced himself on(ie raped) Lara, who then tried to shoot him (Komarovsky) at a party and then she became the now married Zhivago's mistress. Komarovsky still lusts after Lara but knows he can't get her.

    As I said, I don't really like the book that much. It has it's moments, but it is generally too unstructured and chaotic. No one would bat a second eyelid over it if it were not the fact that it is a 'dissident novel'. Try reading something like Solzhenitsyn's 'Cancer Ward' and 'The First Circle' for some real top quality stuff, and the prose is pretty lively for Russian lit. Or even read the whole Gulag archipelago, it really has it's moments for such a serious topic, like his lament for the great novels and works of poetry that went up the chimneys of the Lubyanka.

    LOL, I just googled Lubyanka and I got 'mistress Lubyanka of Croydon', A Russian dominatrix advertising her services. Now you know, BB and others down sarf- if your train gets held up at East Croydon you know where to while away an hour :O.