2 3 / 0 4 / 0 7:
'r e d j e a n g e n i e'


"in a sense, we're policing ourselves and that's the ultimate police state, where people are terrified of challenge."

- jg ballard [1997]

lots of pictures this entry, for which i would apologise if apology was really my thing. which it isn't. so sodya.

walking along holloway road i noticed a down's syndrome man i'd seen before. he must live nearby. he was eating a banana and had dropped the banana skin. he stopped to pick it up and throw it in a nearby bin. his carer walked ahead, oblivious, talking on his mobile phone. the down's syndrome man put the skin in the bin and then, with a decidedly measured intent, stuck two fingers up at his carer's back. really made me laugh.

(is it wrong of me to be concerned that the child on the down's syndrome wikipedia page is wielding a power tool?)

ladies and gentlemen, 'hotel', by the great han hoogerbrugge, is now finished. enjoy, and be disquieted by it now here.

on the overground train from stratford to highbury and islington, i noticed a man recharging his mobile phone in a socket to the side of his seat. that's right, there's a socket on the train! who knew?

and speaking of trains, there i was, some weeks ago, on the very same train when i spied a disheveled girl at the opposite end of the carriage, slowly making her way towards me, holding a sign which obviously read 'hungry, spare some change' or something similar. everyone was ignoring her, some even after pointedly reading her sign. just as i prepared to do the same a woman she was showing the sign to snatched the sign from her hands and angrily told her to "wait there". the girl did as she was told in a resigned, almost bored way. all she could manage in reply was a shrug. when the train pulled into highbury & islington this woman frogmarched the girl from the train and stood her on the platform while she unlocked a door. turns out this woman was an undercover policeperson and the girl was in big trouble...

so, there i am, buying a pair of red jeans (feel free to digest, save and enjoy that image at your leisure) and the girl at the cash till says to me: "o! you're buying red jeans!" something i was, despite what anyone may think about the wisdom of such an action, aware of. "i like the red jeans!" she went on to enthuse "everyone else thinks i'm mental!" ...and lo, the doubt in me did multiply tenfold... well, no, actually that's not true. did make me laugh though, as i left the shop with a bag full o' red jean in my hand. maybe they might start me on a new career...

on the train passing hackney wick, i noticed a fast food outlet which proclaims: 'pizza-fried chicken burger'. mmm...

hostess elisabeth has grown unaccountablyafraid of her radio alarm clock, waking up in the middle of the night terrified of it's illuminated numbers, thinking for a moment that was something else, something unnamable and malevolent... o, and she's also a little worried about drowning in the shower.

having recently bought two pairs of jeans, for the first time in approximately eight years, i can hereby attest to the fact that the rule for the button-fly is as follows: however many buttons you think there are, there is always one more...

i have of late been trying to re-buy all of my bowie albums in remastered form (yes i know i know they've been out for ages) and in the pursuit of such i kept an insert from one of them in my wallet:

crossing off the albums when i acquired them, something which hostess elisabeth took great pleasure in ridiculing, referring to it as "bowie bingo".

fellow student update:
* sandy planned to spend his entire easter break busking in blackpool with friends, singing songs exclusively from disney films, and then to spend the proceeds on scratch cards. and cake.
* i found myself having to explain to sandy what 'creosote' was, and then subsequently wondering how it benefited me to know such a thing.
* on the last friday before easter many of my fellow students spent a great deal of their time in the bar trying to throw cigarettes and paper aeroplanes into tori's cleavage. tell me, is this what they call education?

my dad has recently gotten a hearing aid and yet complains that there must be something wrong with our phone, says it keeps cutting out and that i sound like norman collier. apparently when the batteries for the hearing aid run out, the wearer hears a quiet beeping sound to tell him to replace them. my mum told me that they were at a gardening centre the other day and my dad suddenly turned around, thinking he had heard a vehicle reversing, when in fact it was just the low battery warning sound of his hearing aid. o how we laughed.

so it would appear that the reckless records 'soul & dance' shop remained open for a short while, selling off the old stock from the other (for other read: good) shop at 50% off. i bought a fall album i'd been after for a while and when the man served me i won't deny i felt like giving him a hug. every so often the sheer enormity of the loss of this shop to the city washes over me like and avalanche of razor blades and excrement. i say again: e n d o f a n e r a.

myself and hostess elisabeth took a trip to london zoo, chiefly to visit their new 'monkey love island' but also to act as tourists for a bit on hostess elisabeth's week off. i think it was after queuing in the sun for roughly three quarters of an hour surrounded by wailing infants to get in that we decided to indefinitely postpone the much touted trip to the tower of london the next day. we don't 'tourist' very well in this country. the aforementioned simian love-nest was very nice and the proximity to the gorillas amazing but the new area for the penguins was, quite frankly, shit. it looked like a larger version of the kinds of ponds you can buy for your back garden, the penguins seeming afraid to go in the shallow water for fear of angering the seagulls that floated there. piss poor. four things i learned there:
#1 - hostess elisabeth jumps a mile if, in the darkness of the nocturnal animals building, you tickle her ear as if some kind of creature is attempting to crawl into it.
#2 - i laugh a great deal when this happens.
#3 - warm donuts should never be served in a plastic bag.
#4 - african hunting dogs are attracted to the smell of warm donuts, whatever they're served in.

our next trip was to the tate to see the hogarth exhibition. it was fucking rammed with people. never have i been to an exhibition where those attending it are so slavishly lining up to read every single explanatory note on the walls -i suppose with hogarth the actual subject of the picture, it could be argued, is so much more important, historically or satirically. for a great deal of it i had two diminutive old italian women whispering to each other directly behind me which leant the experience a somewhat sinister note. there's some great stuff there if you can be arsed to line up. worth an outing. while we were there we thought we'd pop upstairs to see the chapman bros. piece they had on show, 'when humans walked the earth'. not my favourite of their work but fun none the less. interesting use of the 'wonders' of the fleshlight. in a nearby room we came across a piece by one roelof louw entitled 'pyramid (soul city)' (of which there doesn't seem to be an online picture), which consists of a large pyramid of oranges which the public are invited to take from and which are presumably reset every day, thus saying something about mortality and decay and cannibalism and the parasitic nature of city life... or something, i don't know. hostess elisabeth took an orange i think just because this kind of 'art' irritates her so much. she asked me "is this orange still art?" to which i replied "no, but neither was the pyramid until you took the orange".

invited to a picnic in clissold park by fellowstudentlydia, i met a friend of hers who, when his housemate's birthday was coming up, decided on a very 'individual' gift. he bought, from the internet, a device with which pets are electronically tagged, in order to be identified should they become lost. apparently it looks like a huge needle and all that's needed is to push it into the animal's skin, push the chip home, grip the chip through the skin and pull out the needle. he waited until his housemate was off her head on ketamine and had collapsed on the couch... and he chipped her. in the back. she woke up later on, a little sore but otherwise utterly clueless. on the day of her birthday he presented her with a framed certificate, proclaiming her a 'common spaniel', and including the quote from midsummer's night's dream: "i am your spaniel. and demetrius, the more you beat me, i will fawn on you. use me - but as your spaniel. spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me, but give me leave, unworthy as i am, to follow you." he then told her she'd been chipped. apparently she went absolutely batshit. funny that.

hostess elisabeth in her sleep: "what makes you think you can still control it?"

so, a brand harry spankers throbbing gristle album after all these years... and dya know what? it's really pretty damn good. 'part two the endless not' opens with 'vow of silence', a thoroughbred t.g. rhythmic electronic dirge of disturbing processed vocals and grinding malevolence, at once vintage t.g. and yet sounding very modern. 'rabbit snare' is a creepy jazz ambiance of piano and broken trumpet, "are you scared?" sings mr./mrs. orridge, "is this insidious?" he/she goes on, "is this inside of us?". answers: yes, yes, and o yes. 'separated' builds to a nice threatening orchestral cacophony, while 'almost a kiss' is vaguely reminiscent of 'the tenderness of wolves' by coil. longest track of the album 'greasy spoon' is still more pedigree throbbing gristle, the kind of sound you'd imagine to be inside a mentally ill clown's head as he falls to his death down a flight of stairs inside willy wonka's chocolate factory (music from the death factory indeed). 'lyre liar' (see what they did there?) is demented rhythmic electronica par excellence and is followed by 'above the below' which sounds like you're locked in a sinking ship... with something very nasty indeed... that wants to eat you... or have sex with you... or both. the title track marches on while orridge repeatedly sings "turn to steel, turn to steel..." while 'the worm waits its turn' slowly develops into an almost funky (no, don't panic) track of chirps and reverbed vocals. the final track 'after the fall' plays like the soundtrack to the pestilent calm following the end of the world; lovely. what a come back. also, the first 1000 pressed include "built into the 'part two' cd jewel case" one of four different "tg totemic gifts in either copper, bone, rubber" or "wood", all the way from thailand. mine's the copper one but i resisted the temptation to collect all four. buy now.

a leaflet given to me by some mad woman on the train, preaching about fire and damnation:

as far as veracity goes "amazing!" certainly hits the mark, that in this day and age people can still believe such tripe, whereas "irrefutable!" and "completely trustworthy!" seem a little ambitious. funny how so many of the quotes are from such dubious and questionable provenance isn't it? "unnamed infidel" indeed. my temptation to shout obscenities at such people as they cross my path has diminished with age. it's not that i hate this kind of retarded thinking any less but that i don't want to do them any favours. i've realised that all religious persecution seems to do is feed the religion being persecuted. would there even be a christian church if the romans hadn't fed them to the lions? sometimes i wonder. still, a bit of 'tard shoutage often lifts the spirits. remember, next time someone accuses you of religious persecution or prejudice, just look them in the eye and say "you're welcome".

apparently the cat's got arthritis.

i have developed what can only be described as a burgeoning fall obsession. i've always liked the band but have been, as i'm sure many are, utterly intimidated by their sheer volume of output; the classic fall 'where the fuck do i start?' quandary. i jumped in sometime ago and have been steadily building my collection ever since. particular favourites are 'grotesque (after the gramme)', 'this nation's saving grace', 'the unutterable', and more recently the fucking incredible 'are you are the missing winner'. this last one apparently received mixed press upon release but to me has to be among the most archetypal of fall albums; you've got seething rants, you've got garage rock, you've got pitiless repetition and you've got fucked up experimentation. the cover of iggy pop's 'african man' shambolically raped and reworked as 'ibis-afro man' is just too much of an unholy chimpanzee-screaming mess not to be just fucking excellent: "i ate a monkey for breakfast, i ate a skunk for lunch...". o, and the reissue has a track at the end called 'where's the fuckin taxi? cunt' buy it now.

hostess elisabeth returned to work after her week off to precisely 666 emails.

i was appalled at chez liles when mr. liles put on a cd, telling all that it was "an all about eve e.p.", or at least that's what i heard. the horror, the horror... turns out what he'd put on was this, and what he'd said was "it's all about e.v.p.". o the relief, the relief...

it seems that east london is becoming more and more dangerous. together with the various stabbings and shootings you may have read about or seen on the news, at traffic lights near all saints dlr station a man was beaten from his motorbike and his motorbike then stolen. in mile end park, in the afternoon a woman was mugged, then dragged into bushes and raped. and not two minutes from our front door this appeared (warning, sics-a-rama):

(sign gaffer-taped to the wall of the steps down to the canal)

recommended: (audio) 'part two the endless not' -cd- by throbbing gristle / (comestible) 'the purist' (82%) by hotel chocolat / (visual) the world viewed through new sunglasses / (sensorial) ibuprofen gel

reviled: (audio) tow trucks at 10pm / (comestible) woody lettuce / (visual) a limping cat on easter sunday / (sensorial) the spectre of sisters in law