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's a p p h i r e a n d s t e e l'


"to choose one single mission in life and methodically unfit yourself for all else is a demonstration of the deepest, most profound faith in oneself and the promptings of one's inner voice. to stay with that course when it seems like it's getting you nowhere is either folly of near-suicidal proportions, or the sign of the truly dedicated."

-from 'boogie man: the adventures of john lee hooker in the american twentieth centuary' by charles shaar murray

marching ever closer to war then. i'm glad to see that after the labour party's election some years ago and the awful, cloying, not to mention groundless optimism that followed, politicions have sunk back to their rightful place in the minds of the majority, i.e. shit-spouting, baby-kissing, pocket-lining, retarded scum-sucking monkey-fuckers; or, to quote bill hicks: "liars and murderers". it's not that i'm a bleeding heart pacifist, i'm not, but the idea of trotting off to war when america yanks our chain and for no more reason than "let's finish the job my daddy started" seems like a bad idea. yes sadam is an arsehole but so what? he's been the same arsehole for years and no one in the west gave two shits. and he's hardly alone in the 'dickhead of the world competition' is he? (step forward george dubya). but now the u.s. want a boogeyman so they can steam in all 'john wayne' and save the world. two words: hidden agenda. these people are lower than whaleshit. war, what is it good for? absolutely... well, it can be great for the economy, functions nicely as a short sharp means of population control and makes great television... i shall be looking forward to watching in awe as the missiles with attached cameras shoot down ventilation shafts and through letter boxes. oh, and i'm taking bets for when the first incident of 'friendly fire' takes place. burn morons burn.

a new review of 'the frailty of angels, the treason of people' from those nice people at cheeses international:

"one of the quietist starts to an album to come through my front door in quite a while. however, this first piece builds into a chaotic assemblage of disembodied voices and simple but effective electronic pulses, added to this is the sound that could be a heavily treated marimba but probably isn't. the title track on this disc is a beautiful piece of atonal electronics whose morphology has been executed exquisitely. the spatiality has to be admired, i'm listening to this on speakers but i think it would be an excellent listen through headphones. this track alone is over 20 minutes long and it never tires or seems drawn out, every minute has been utilised to the full... there's six tracks in total on this disc and none are 'fillers', each and every one of them stands out on their own merit. a very well accomplished album (particularly for a debut) and highly recommended."

drop mr. cheeses a line and ask him to send you a catalogue: bcm cheese, london wc1n 3xx or steve.cheeses@btinternet.com

no sooner had i written the paragraphs above than the war goes absolutely haywire. who are we fighting again? blue on blue my arse. friendly fire-a-rama more like.

time to run the risk of appearing like a card carrying geek. been watching the recently released dvds of sapphire and steel bought by hostess elisabeth. if you don't remember sapphire and steel then i won't try to explain it. hokey effects, dodgy video blur and scenery-chewing acting notwithstanding, great stuff. all these years later this still blows that poxy american x-files out of the water, and despite it's shortcomings, there are still some genuinely unsettling moments. check out www.anorakzone.com/sapphireandsteel

when i tell you that i spent yesterday afternoon in my pants feeding melted ice-cream to quoteunquote beautiful women wearing only their underwear you won't believe me. but you see it's true.

went in yesterday for my second lithotripsy treatment. this time around i made sure i had eaten and was able to get the pentathol injection required to kill the pain. therefore i completed the whole half hour without the screaming agony i was made to endure last time. i think the doctor and nurse thought i must have been some kind of girly feeb with a lower than low tolerance to pain, maybe i am, but once suitably drugged up, the procedure went swimmingly. and this time I didn't even have to shove anything up my arse. it was win win.

mexican wave! .................................................... well, did you join in?

bought some covert listening equipment at superdrug this weekend. that's right, superdrug, surely everyone's first choice for espionage electronics. it's a toy called a 'swat (tm) spy listener' and it's basically just a small mic and some headphones. it has very little range but for £1.99, who's complaining? maplin electronics make a similar item but charge significantly more for it. it's a bargain and a half. cheap as chips. i'm trying to work out how to utilise it in future recordings and live unsong performances.

recommended: (audio) 'everything is good here / please come home' (cd) - the angels of light/ (comestible) sausages and mash with chilli and mustard gravy/ (visual) new antique oak glass-fronted bookcase, now filled with my medical curiosities and topped with hostess elisabeth's stuffed squirrels/ (sensorial) dining out 'all civilised' with friends

reviled: (audio) lame, so called 'punks', sum 41 / (comestible) milk 'on the turn'/ (visual) greatly inflated council tax bill / (sensorial) working with bastard computers

and finally:

"study: false memories easily implanted - by joseph b. verrengia, ap science writer denver - remember that wonderful day when bugs bunny hugged you at disneyland? a new study shows just how easy it can be to induce false memories in the minds of some people. more than a third of subjects in the study, presented sunday, recalled that theme-park moment - impossible because bugs is not a disney character - after a researcher planted the false memory. other research, of people who believed they were abducted by space aliens, shows that even false memories can be as intensely felt as those of real-life victims of war and other violence. the research demonstrates that police interrogators and people investigating sexual-abuse allegations must be careful not to plant suggestions into their subjects, said university of california-irvine psychologist elizabeth loftus. she presented preliminary results of recent false memory experiments sunday at the national meeting of the american association for the advancement of loftus said some people may be so suggestible that they could be convinced they were responsible for crimes they didn't commit. in interrogations, "much of what goes on - unwittingly - is contamination," she said. the news media's power of suggestion also can leave a false impression, loftus said. "during the washington sniper attacks, everyone reported seeing a white van," she said. "where did it come from? the whole country was seeing white vans." loftus is one of the country's most controversial memory researchers. she frequently draws harsh criticism from victims' advocates, attorneys and other scientists. over 25 years, she has examined more than 20,000 subjects and written 19 books. she appears frequently in court as an expert witness. while some recovered memories turn out to be true, loftus says her experiments repeatedly show that memories are fragile possessions that are easily manipulated. but she does not condemn her subjects for being gullible. of adopting false memories, she said: "this behavior is entirely normal." a key, researchers said, is to add elements of touch, taste, sound and smell to the story. in the bugs bunny study, loftus talked with subjects about their childhoods and asked not only whether they saw someone dressed up as the character, but also whether they hugged his furry body and stroked his velvety ears. in subsequent interviews, 36 percent of the subjects recalled the cartoon rabbit. in another study, loftus suggested frog-kissing incidents that 15 percent of the group later recalled. "it is sensory details that people use to distinguish their memories," said loftus. "if you imbue the story with them, you'll disrupt this memory process. it's almost a recipe to get people to remember things that aren't true." in other research presented sunday, harvard university psychologist richard mcnally tested 10 people who said they had been abducted, physically examined and sexually molested by space aliens. researchers tape-recorded the subjects talking about their memories. when the recordings were played back later, the purported abductees perspired and their heart rates jumped. mcnally said three of the 10 subjects showed physical reactions "at least as great" as people suffering post traumatic stress disorder from war, crime, rape and other violent incidents. "this underscores the power of emotional belief," mcnally said. "

-yahoo news

remember that time I leant you that hundred grand?