haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?


June 2013

lights out – ufo

That’s me finished work and in the gym on the machineries of suffering. Today’s endorphine-frenzy is brought to you by the number *rocket from the crypt* and the colour *scream dracula, scream*.
I’m writing this on the cycle. Normally, I’d be on twatter and faceboak, rubbing my sarcasm in people’s eyes like nanook with two handfuls of yellow snow.
(That’s ‘scream dracula, scream’ finished. Time to put on ‘phenomenon’ again.) This place has radio, permanently broadcasting forth FM: as the proper music died away, the bastards were playing that daft punk atrocity. No, no, a thousand times, no!
In other news, it’s strange being owned by Someone who lives at the other side of the country. We don’t see each other for between three and twenty sleeps at a time, so when we do get close, we tend to make the (quality) time count. We don’t have a surplus of time to argue about money or politics (and anyway, neither of us believe in the former and we agree – broadly – on the latter.)
Going long periods without a savage beating means I have to arrange my endorphins from elsewhere and the gym’s a pretty good place to do just that. With the added humiliation of being both surrounded – and dwarfed – by all the prison-muscled guys with the playground/after lights out tattoos!

Coal Face – sign up now –


spider – they might be giants

I have enough of the basic idea of the plot of ‘Coal Face’ now. Now that I’m starting to pull the central thread out of my arse like a large spider, it’s time to weave in the sub-plots – racism, sectarianism and sexual tension. This will probably turn out to be the great scottish novel on some level!
In other news, I’m packing (in a sort of piecemeal fashion) for my research trip. Paper, pens, PDA. Travelly music, going-to-sleep music, writing music. Perhaps I’m not alone is seeing a sort of pattern emerge here.
I will probably take clothes for the ‘public transport’ phases of my journey although I haven’t yet had any coherent answer to my questions about whether protective clothing is to be supplied for the duration of my stay.
I’m sure I read on the blog of someone who did this trip a year or two back, that there’s little or no signal, but which network (or networks) this affects, I cannot establish.
There’s a good chance this blog will be paused from when I leave until I get back.

Coal Face – sign up now –

upward at forty-five degrees – julian cope

Summertime’s definitely here. Blazing sunshine, short tempers and a weed-drought. Soon, we’ll have traditional british rioting and looting and a prime minister who fucks off abroad in case the lynch mobs get too close.
And, while everyone else in all of christendom is raving about Daft Punk’s piece of shit new album (yeah, I know. It’s *just* me!) I’m having a wee tapdance down memory lane with Julian Cope’s 1992 masterwork, ‘jehovakill’.
This was the first of his LPs I heard, I think. Much as I loved The Teardrop Explodes, his solo work passed me by in a miasma of rumours of psychedelic punishment and mental damage.
So when this jumped out at me in Leith library in 1993, I was surprised at how fast I fell in love with it.
Like a string of messages from a parallel universe where scousers had invented krautrock, filtered through crop circles and head injuries, the whole album’s a mishmash of new age/psychedelic/just-plain random musings on the end of the last century.
I remember being in a house in the north of scotland, listening to this and the gentleman whose house it was taking umbrage at ‘upwards at forty-five degrees’. I think he found the repetition – or maybe just me – unacceptable.
For me though, it’s an album that never gets old. I’ve listened to it in random order for so long, I can’t readily remember the correct sequence of the songs contained therein.
I can’t recommend this album highly enough. The perfect soundtrack to that couple of warm days we scots call ‘summer’.

Here’s the url to sign up for the new dreich NOiR next month –

you’ve never been so far before – killdozer

Coal Face will go live on Monday, July 1st. It’s another dreich NOiR novel, again set in unscotland – and hopefully going a bit further than what’s been written before. And yeah, as usual, loads of music and movie references for readers to mull over like fall b-sides!
Ozzy McLeod is made of skin and works in a registered care home. He’s in his early forties, single and trying to make sense of the racists, fruitcakes and survivalists that seem to dominate the media nowadays.
He’s not been laid since last year and the cracks are starting to show.
Here’s the url to sign up now –

mamma mia – abba

Continuing on from yesterday, isn’t it about time the Neurovision ‘song’ Contest was replaced by a war crimes tribunal? First on the block: those two bitches from abba for their heinous crimes against gentlemanity. Next up, the other two bastards – for gender treason.
After that, once public opinion is on our side, we can have boy bands, burned like witches on every street corner. Dominant women and male submissives, bulldozed into gaping mass graves.
As any fascist, nazi or sunken forehead will tell you, it’s important to have a snappy term of abuse for the object of one’s loathing. Therefore, I should like to suggest referring to women from now on as ‘adeles’. (Collective noun: a ‘mamma mia’ of adeles.) Peter Sutcliffe, the so-called ‘yorkshire ripper’ should be given a full pardon and awarded some sort of medal for his selfless work in attempting to stem the rising tide.
And Margaret Thatcher’s remains, dragged from the pit where they’re presently festering and dragged around the streets, the way mussolini’s were treated in more enlightened times.
See? I just knew you’d see it my way.

you don’t have to say please – whitehouse

I took last weekend off for a spot of rnr. Two whole days out of coalFace, back to thinking with my own skull for a change.
And during that time, I was exposed to the sheer unbridled horror that is ‘mamma mia’, one of the worst, most concentrated outpourings of evil I have ever undergone.
The plot was non-existent. Watching the opening credits, I could see pretty much who was going to end up where by the next time there were credits.
This abomination, with its wasted cast, sums up everything I despise about musicals*. In fact, the very fact that funding was available to convert this from some sicko’s dream into a real, tangible drop-it-on-your-foot box of DVDs, is living proof that women being given the vote wasn’t automatically a good thing.
When you factor in the horror that is adele, then maybe the tories/ukip/edl/bnp have the right idea – except the target shouldn’t be foreigners and homosexuals. No, if we as a culture need to hate part of ourselves, why can’t we make it women?

(*apart from the blues brothers, breaking glass, velvet goldmine, eight women and the great rock ‘n’ roll swindle)

new church – the adverts

This is the third novel I’ve written in the form of a blog.
With ‘1919’, I had no idea what I was doing, just wrote a bit every day and tried to keep the story moving – while looking at the issues in my life at that point.
When it came time to write ‘dreich NOiR’, I started with the challenge of writing from the point of someone as unlike me as possible. Someone whose diet, attitude and employment were diametrically opposed to everything I’m about.
I caught myself falling back into my own voice occasionally, but for the most part it worked, I believe.
Now, coalFace. Again, I’m trying something new – a new narrator, a new perspective.

now, why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

It’ll be our secret – mum and dad need never know!

in the beginning there was rhythm – the slits

I’ve started writing it – at last! All this planning, the drawings and the dossiers. The trying-to-remember places I’ve lived, worked and drank. Suddenly, it feels worthwhile, that I’m not just making lists and headwanking.
I’ve set up a new blog alongside the old dreich NOiR one. Set up alerts to facebook and twitter each time a post is published.
And, I’ve scheduled the first couple of episodes. So that’s it. It’s up and running. All the tricks I’ve picked up, writng ‘1919’ and ‘dreich NOiR, everything funnelled back into this.
It’s not going to start with a bang – this one’ll be a slow fuse, hopefully building to a repulsive and shuddering climax – like a yeti taking a dump on a landmine.

now, why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

It’ll be our secret – mum and dad need never know!

coogit bairns – sandie craigie

It’s amazing how birthdays bring out the bitter ‘n’ twisted in us all. I didn’t even realise how pissed off I still am about this.

Today would have been Sandie’s fiftieth birthday, had she lived.
When you don’t see someone for a while before they die (and the funeral’s an invite-only affair exes aren’t invited to) closure’s like hen’s teeth scattered over rocking-horse shit. Eight years since she died and I’ve never stopped thinking I see her, only to realise it’s a stranger.
Her poem, ‘mother’ dealt with the same thing:

‘My own reflection,
blind and frightened.
And so I look for her,
In other women.

Eight-and-a-bit years on and she’s still the only poet whose work has made me cry.
In 2006, eighteen months after her death, I met steve (networm) jones, the bloke she dumped me for. Things were terse at first, but soon degenerated into weeping and hugging, both of us surprised to learn that the other hadn’t been permitted to attend the funeral we’d been kept from.
I was there when they cremated her shell, at mortonhall. A few dozen of us, defying the orders to stay away, the crematorium staff, (who’d been told no-one would attend) embarrassed by the crowd.
We filed into the wee chapel, no god-botherer there to mouth platitudes. The box carried in. We stood. Silence. The box went down into the flames. We left.
Outside, floods of tears and a trip to the cauldron, a boozer she’d frequented in life. Me telling the bar staff that if they turned the jukebox up, we’d cry more and buy further drink to replenish the liquid we were weeping out of our bodies. Nick Cave, the Cramps, loads of Bowie – (and yeah, the bar staff did as they were instructed.)
When I wrote ‘at home at work at play’ a few years ago, the funeral-party scene was based on that afternoon. Yep, even the bared breasts and the drug-fucked pensioners.

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