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


December 2013

eating jello with a heated fork – the deviants

What a bizarre and monstrous year. 2013 saw the ends of Mick Farren, Lou Reed and Colin Wilson, the last of these completely swamped by the death of Nelson Mandela a few hours earlier.
A year in which the present administration showed just how evil and antithetical to life on earth they could be. Iain Duncan Smith went about as far from weeping at the poverty of others – when in opposition – as it’s possible to get.
We’ve seen the Arctic Thirty accused of piracy and hooliganism, although it was nice when they were amnestied – and so were Pussy Riot.
There’s been some pretty good albums this year, too. Pharmakon’s ‘Abandon’, Nik Turner’s ‘Space gypsy’, Poltergeist’s ‘Your mind is a box (let us fill it with wonder)’, Syzergy’s ‘The legend of goody Cole’, NTT’s ‘Your suffering will be legendary’…
So there’s hope. Next year, Scotland votes on whether to remain the bitch of the nation that gave us Nigel Farage and all those cunts off the x factor, or whether to operate as an independent people in Europe – and we’ve got the foreplay to the the election campaigns for the tories, the ukip and the so-called labour party.
My new year’s resolutions, you ask? Firstly, no more soft drugs – in 2014, it has to be class A or not at all. And ‘1919 (outside)’ will finally be published. And that’s a promise – or my name’s not David Cameron.


your without sound – clock dva

I left my rucksack in a taxi last Saturday. Second, third maybe, time – in my life – I haven’t memorised the taxi number in case of this sort of thing. There’s about twenty CDs in the rucksack, including John Cale’s ‘The island years’ which I haven’t played yet and disks three-to-six of Miles Davis’ ‘complete On the corner sessions’. There’s my tablet PC, with all my writing backed up – and all my passwords for well, everywhere. And there’s my hearing aids. For the next three days, no upper register to my hearing. And my tinnitus has been in full bloom ever since.
Earlier on, I’d lost a ring I’ve had for years and is of great sentimental value. It turned up – in my shopping – just as I realised that the rucksack wasn’t. I’d been sitting in the taxi. The rain beating down like a maniac with a lead pipe. I tried to let go of the ring, telling myself it’s only a piece of metal. It has no numinosity. I was just about there with that when it turned up. Then I had to worry about whether there was anything incriminating anywhere in the rucksack – just in case it turned up at a police station.
I got through work Sunday and Monday, made it through to Glasgow on the Tuesday and even managed to sit through ‘Anchorman 2′, picking up pretty much all of it. And around 20:30 on ex-mess eve, the driver of the taxi rang to say he’d only found it that morning, dug through it to find my phone number and had been ringing me all day.
Within thirty minutes, I had my hearing aids back in and was back in all those little noises I can’t hear any more without electronic enhancement. Proud to be a self-repairing cyborg, me.
Those three days were difficult – not impossible – but I found myself having to ask people to repeat themselves more than usual, I found myself facing people so I could lip read them. I put out word on both Twitter and Facebook and my thanks to everyone who reposted and/or retweeted.
It was a year before, on December twenty-fourth last year, that I got my hearing aids after five-and-a-half years of my ears’ slow depreciation. Suddenly I could hear all the little noises again. The plethora of wee electrical sounds a bus makes, the detail in Miles Davis’ work. I could hear people when they weren’t even pointing directly at me, I could follow the dialogue on television, even during the reaction shots.
All of this left me in an appallingly good mood as we unwrapped the presents and pretended to thank each other. A good mood that kept going as I watched ‘Zero dark thirty’ and tried to figure out what was most annoying about it.
It’s a Christmas miracle – two years in a row. God bless us, every one.

*hearing aids, taxi, john cale, miles davis, tablet pc, writing, anchorman 2, work, facebook, twitter, christmas eve, sound,

goldfinger – magazine

I’ve just finished Ian Fleming’s ‘Dr No’. I last read the Bond books when I was at primary school, (which I left in 1973) so they’re pretty much fresh to me now. I’m rereading them in order is time, so this is the six in the series and the best I’ve read so far. The racism’s somewhat out of date, as are the figures of speech, but plot wise, it’s terrific. The culminating obstacle-course was vividly written, sucked me right in. No wonder they picked this one to film first!
I kept thinking, as I read through the last fifty or so pages, how brilliant Daniel Craig would be, playing this role in a decent remake of this film, if they spent a few bob on it, made another Bond film like ‘Casino royale’, which looked like the shot-in-the-arm the franchise needed. But then there was ‘Quantum of solace’, which was a bit dull. And ‘Skyfail’ was shit. Ralph Fiennes is a rank rotten M, less than half the man Dame Judi Dench was and ‘Bond #24, next ex-mess, will more than likely be unwatchable.
Weirdly, I had a relationship with someone, a few years ago, who loathed James Bond. No idea why, but through that relationship, I discovered that it’s not possible to win an argument with someone who hates James bond. Not when the longest running Bond was Roger fucking Moore.
Synchronistically enough, she gets out of my life – and James Bond does too.

bad baby – public image limited

I’m writing this on December sixteenth. I just saw a tweet about ‘baby banks’ and I’m shocked, stunned and angry. We’re all used to this government by now. Slashing jobs and expanding poverty to make their own money seem much more worthwhile. We all know about the explosion of food banks. If you’re anything like me, you were shocked and shrugged and got on with it. Tried to forget about just how poor we’re going to be once the retirement age is abolished and we’re expected to work til we drop. Tried not to imagine what our Etonian overlords will do with us once we get too old and too slow and worn out.
The rise of food banks has really divided the country, hasn’t it? Some of us are happy to fiddle while more and more of the population become reliant on charity to subsidise their shitty wages. Some of us are really fucking angry and starting to join up the dots and see a clearer picture of what our class enemies have in store for us if we let them. And finally, some of us are not going to survive without handouts.
The conservatives always get rid of as many jobs as they can in order to drive wages down and maximise their own (and their friends’) profits. They also always vilify those they’ve thrown on the scrapheap – as if anyone would ever choose poverty – or depression – or addiction. With food banks, it’s almost easier to blame the selfish victims of Tory economics – but fucking baby banks? How can even Iain Duncan Smith blame poverty on newborns? But yeah, it’ll probably turn out to be the parents’ fault, innit?
During the Thatcher years, people started to look on Edward Heath as a moderate, a voice of reason in an increasingly anti-personnel conservative government, hell bent on crushing all opposition – real or imaginary. I think we’re still pretty far from regarding the Thatcherbutcher as some sort of voice of reason, but this lot seem hell-bent on being a hundred times more unreasonable than her not inconsiderable nightmares.
A species that doesn’t protect its young is destined for the history books. Stuffed in a museum.
Fucking baby banks.

january – pilot

it’s too easy to let things pile up, isn’t it? Life can get on top of you and it all seems too much – there seems to be no edge one can get one’s fingernails into and we end up steamrolled by something that appears massive like a shark. When, in actual fact, problems, hassles and other difficulties are generally made up of lots and lots of tiny fragments, most of which are quickly – and easily – defeatable.
It’s perspective that hamstrings us, insisting that what we’re about to fight is a shark, when it’s only a hundredweight of tiny goldfish.
Funny. Here we are again, the  downswing of another year. It’s getting on for that time when the thoughts of a young man (or even an elderly gentleman like myself) turn to thoughts of new year’s resolutions.
I’ve been reading up on altering habits for the last week or two and 2014 might well be the year I divest myself of a few. I have a wee list of the ones that piss me off the most and come next month, I fancy skinning one or two alive as an example to the others.
So, for the duration of December, I’m practicing living according to my resolutions; a couple more weeks and I’ll have it down pat.

repetition – the fall

I’ve been thinking a lot about the aging process recently. When I was in my late teens, i read Yukio Mishima’s ‘Seas of fertility’ quartet and, a few years later, read Iain Banks’ ‘The wasp factory’. The former, in particular is an appreciably different proposition at eighteen to the same book viewed after a further three decades.
When ‘The wasp factory’ first came out,I’d have been in my early twenties – and of course, I knew all of life. Nothing could shock me. Rereading the novel again, after the Thatcher years, a couple of kids and learning a whole lot about substance dependency, i found the child murders and the animal cruelty pretty hard to take, if I’m honest.
Ever since I got my first e-reader around three years ago, I’ve (finally) gone back and reread a few of those books I’ve been meaning to pick up again. Tellingly, the very first book I e-read was Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave new world’. I hadn’t read it since my early teens, led there by David Bowie via George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Good old dystopia – from the days when the future was a damn sight better than it is now!
I’ve reread a number of old comics, too. Howard Chaykin’s ‘Black kiss’ (and apparently, there’s a ‘Black kiss 2’!!!) And Gilbert Hernandez’s ‘Heartbreak soup’ trilogy. And frankly, I’m enjoying them at least as much as I did the first time.
I don’t normally embrace repetition. My philosophy is generally never to look back – or at least, not to admit when I’m wallowing. Recently, I’ve been looking at how I absorb things. I’m one of those people who go back to films I’ve already seen more than I’ll watch new movies. And I’m not talking musicals here – I mean drama. And comedies.

fear is a man’s best friend – john cale

It looks like, the closer we get to this referendum on Scottish independence, the more bizarre the threats and promises trotted out by the ‘better together’ lot. Only today, I heard that all the major supermarket chains are threatening that prices will be higher in an independent Scottish state. Of course. Supermarkets will allow themselves to be undercut by the same small shops they were created to destroy. That makes perfect economic sense, doesn’t it?
And, if we’re forced to buy fresh produce from local farms – why, that means Scotland won’t be contributing as much to the destruction of the planet through carbon promiscuity!
We only have about nine months to go before we get to decide. So 2014 will be, to a great extent, the year of ludicrous threats from the British state. Nigel Fromage, bleating about Scotland not being able to afford traditional racism and being forced to rely on inferior foreign racism, bought in from eastern Europe. George Osborne, threatening to redirect all the UK’s poverty south-of-the-border.
Of course, all this won’t stop after the referendum. On the contrary, these attacks will get filthier over the coming year. In twelve months’ time, you can expect dire warnings on everything from fillings to sagging breasts if enough people dared to vote yes. So, for the people who do vote ‘no’ in September, next Christmas will be a very scary time indeed. As is only right and proper.

isn’t it grand, boys . The clancy brothers (with tommy makem)

The death of Nelson Mandela, whilst sad, is also a fantastic opportunity for racist politicians the world over to whine endlessly about what a diamond geezer he was and how much he inspired them. I haven’t yet seen David Cameron’s crocodile tears and can’t imagine any response more appropriate than puking over my own shoes.
The sight of the man who, with his Young Conservative chums, produced a poster that read “HANG NELSON MANDELA AND ALL ANC TERRORISTS THEY ARE BUTCHERS”, kicking around the corpse of  man whose feet they are not worthy of washing? Yeah, throwing up’s a pretty reasonable response, where I come from.
That’s one of the big drawbacks of death for those in the public eye. Professional mourners who stand for everything you despised wringing their hands over your coffin and claiming everything good you never did or stood for as their own.
Nelson Mandela did twenty-eight years in a South African prison. “That grubby little terrorist”, as that nice Mrs Thatcher called him, had, by December of 1986, become such a political white-hot potato, that Botha was practically begging him to get the fuck out of jail before he died in there, making South Africa look exactly like the racist, medieval fiefdom it was.
But Botha couldn’t just turf him out. No, that would’ve made him look weak in front of the Thatchers and Camerons of this world. Mandela was asked to “renounce terrorism” – which he wouldn’t. He went back into his cell and Botha went back to biting his nails, terrified that Mandela’s next heart attack would be his last and history would remember the apartheid state as the monstrous, evil empire it actually was.
Oh, how we laughed when, on the same news broadcast, over in sunny California, Charles Manson was offered the same deal and he turned it down, too. Charlie’s still in jail and probably heading for a much smaller funeral, attended by far fewer world leaders.
Look at Lou Reed. Say no to drugs, kids – or you might not live to see your seventy-second birthday, either. And as for terrorism? Christ, terrorists die before their ninety-sixth. And they get to be presidents, too.

ultraviolence – metal urbain

I’m abroad. In deepest, darkest East Ayrshire, where the natives couldn’t care a whit nor a fig for my bibles OR my syphilis-encrusted blankets. I’ve had a long lie and spent today writing, soundtracked by the ‘Yol’ soundtrack, Be-bop deluxe and the Fall. Having just finished another novel (okay, the first draft of a novel!) The emphasis this week is on rnr, long lies, early nights, music movies and ultraviolence.
I arrived last night and immediately went for a curry before returning home to watch most of ‘LA confidential’ and crashing out. This is post-novel burnout and it’s actually not too bad.
Today’s writing has mostly been for my new Scat’s Excretainment’ blog which is coming quite easily (for now). I started with a few fuzzy ideas which kind of joined up and thus far, writing it has been a pleasure.
All I need now is a committed dose of endorphins to clear away those brain-cobwebs. A savage beating would do nicely, thanks.

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