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'l o n d o n ' s b u r n i n g l o n d o n ' s b u r n i n g'


"all he would have to do then was let go. and yet it was clear, even as he was nearly drowning there in the north atlantic, that in the other place there would be no objects whatsoever: that this miserable orange flotation device through which he'd stuck his arm, this fundamentally inscrutable and ungiving fabric-clad hunk of foam, would be a god in the objectless world of death toward which he was headed, would be the supreme i-am-what-i-am in that universe of unbeing. for a few minutes the orange flotation device was the only object he had. it was his last object and so, instinctively, he loved it and pulled it close."

- from 'the corrections' by jonathan franzen

fetch the engine, fetch the engine...

this particular conflagration occurred approx. a mile from my front door and closed down the dartford tunnel for hours. less than an hour after i'd spotted the massive plume of dense black smoke stretching into the sky, our electricity goes off, then our water. it wouldn't have been quite so bad had i not been in our windowless bathroom, in the throws of a good showering when it happened. pitch blackness and a wet, naked me. i de-bath, trying not to think about the statistics of accidental death in the home being concentrated in the bathroom. perhaps worst of all, the power failure manages to scupper hostess elisabeth's plans for a dinner of macaroni cheese and chips. a dinner of kings, gone to the dogs. pah. meanwhile the london news starts hooting and hollering about gas canisters in the fire and the risk of explosions. we wait in our enforced darkness and silence but sadly no such explosions could be heard. but of course if it was explosions we wanted we didn't have to wait all that long did we?

great lyric from a band called the treytones, in a song called 'nonymous' (from 60s garage band compilation cd 'back from the grave part 3' courtesy of hostess elisabeth): "met a girl the other night / looked like the loser of a hatchet fight"

'play with me', a truuuly disturbing interactive stop motion animation by van sowerwine - www.vansowerwine.com (needs quicktime). click on the glowing objects (warning, some are hard to see) and watch the little girl 'play':

something that's troubled me for some years now: can anyone tell me where the rule came from which states that on posters promoting films, each star's name (that appears on the main body of the poster) cannot appear under or over their own image? for instance, if you've got, say robert deniro and jessica lange in the same film, on the poster his name will be next to her image and vice versa. what the fuck is that all about?

hostess elisabeth bumped into one of our 'neighbours' from the building. they exchanged polite hellos. he asks her if she lives in the building, she says yes, he asks her "renter or buyer?", she says "renter", he comes back with "i see. don't worry, you'll get there." -and the award for most infuriatingly patronising wanker goes to...

"no little part of the torment of existence is that time is continually pressing upon us, never letting us catch our breath but always coming after us, like a taskmaster with a whip."

- schopenhauer

i'm on the dlr one night and i notice, among the usual adverts, a notice informing passengers that every train on the docklands light railway carries something called a 'saliva recovery kit'. this, the notice goes on to say, is to prevent unruly passengers from spitting at the dlr staff, by way of a deterrent that should they spit at a member of dlr staff then the spit will be collected and held for dna analysis, to be used in court as proof of said spitting -spitting at someone is the same as assaulting them being the additional message. is it? is it really? now, not that i wish to put myself forward as the champion of aggressive expectoration upon public servants but... is spitting is assault? surely spitting at someone is more likely merely a method of insulting them without resorting to assault, or at the most a prelude to it. would i be treated the same if i'd spat at a dlr employee as if i'd punched them? maybe a quick questioning of the venerable gude, in his capacity as our very own 'law talkin' guy' will shed light on the subject...

"noah had grandiose plans to save the world. noah, it should be remembered, was a disreputable man who heard a voice."

- from 'another bullshit night in suck city' by nick flynn

and talking of the venerable gude, we're all out for a drink at the duke of sausage when gude, as is often the case, goes to the toilet. passing through the pool room, he pushes open the gents door, takes his place at the urinal and goes to it. a drunken man appears beside him, mumbling something about "elephantitus". "the buggers can't start without me anyway" he says and drops the white cue ball into the trough of piss. apparently it made quite a cracking sound against the porcelain.

use your mouse to toss the lady! - www.izpitera.ru/lj/tetka.swf

i'm in sommerfields, at the checkout, when a strange old chinese lady walks passed. she's dressed very normally for her age, nothing special, but on her head is an odd arrangement of real leaves, worn like a headband. a kind of shrubbery headgear. the man in front of me in the queue says she looks like a vietnam vet in camouflage; he's not wrong.

and now another big fire, this time near the new wembley stadium... but then perhaps not quite near enough though...

cyril the squirrel continues to decay before our eyes, the bastard moths making a meal of him... must it really end like this between cyril and us? will we have to consign his memory to the bins? i've suggested that should he need to be 'gotten rid of', that we should at least take him and a box of matches down to the canal at night and give him a viking send off. farewell brave cyril, we send you off to squirrel valhalla, you will be missed...

a spam gem: "little schoolgirls hardly raped by big cock ;)" i think what they meant to imply was 'little schoolgirls raped hard by a big cock', but use of the word "hardly" implies something somewhat less extreme. "i don't know what all the fuss is about your honour, i hardly raped them at all... it was a partial raping at best" also, i think the winking smiley really takes the curse off it doesn't it?

an early morning call from hostess elisabeth informs me that there's been a power surge on the tube and she's been de-trained somewhere near aldgate, unsure as to how to get to work. she asks me to put the telly on to check how much of the system has been effected and as i watch the situation unfold, it all seems like another british cock up with public transport; until they mention that an eyewitness saw a bus with it's room blown off. it then becomes clear that this is no power surge.

then they show the remains of people spread across the facade of the bma building.

now maybe it's me (and don't worry, i've often been told that it is me) but this whole terrorism malarkey seems to be the inevitable result of the existence of religion. and before all you bleeding hearts start whining about prejudice, i'm not talking specifically about islam, nor christianity, nor judaism but just religion in general, the concept of religion. how long can you tell a group of human beings that they are the chosen ones and that others who don't agree with, or live like, them are wrong (and so fundamentally wrong), before these 'other people' who live outside god's little rule book start to appear as less then human, dangerous heretics, the font of all evil? "if you're not with god then aren't you against him? against god?! how could anyone be against god?!!" etc. maybe religion could be a good thing if human beings weren't so weak and easily lead, m a y b e, but as it stands, all it serves as is an obstruction to evolution. "i'm tethered to the logic of homo sapiens / can't take my eyes from the great salvation / of bullshit faith." - bowie

and what's this? more bombs? so london is officially under the cloud of a terrorist campaign. just like the old ira days. being a failed suicide bomber must be pretty high up there on the embarrassment-ometer don't you think? idiots. so i'm now to be either inconvenienced, maimed or blown into very small pieces. pah. terrorism, it's all just so fucking infantile.

on a tube train during rush hour is a strange place to be nowadays. apart from the horrific heat and dangerous overcrowding, the fact that the headline on every single newspaper being read in the carriage is about the bombings somehow gives the scene a strange feeling of detachment from the real world. maybe everyone is just scanning the articles for their own name, feeling safe when they don't see it. everyone is thinking the same thought but everyone keeps it to themselves, from themselves, even. i glance over and between the sweating bodies i see a young girl, lucky enough to get a seat, reading a newspaper story entitled: 'what makes a suicide bomber?', her hand held over her mouth. at first i think it's an unconscious gesture of horror at the appalling nature of the acts of terrorism described, the tragic loss of life. i then see that in fact her hand is over her mouth for another reason; she's yawning.

pour on water, pour on water...

recommended: (audio) 'we are hardcore' -5 cdr set- by the hanatarashi / (comestible) buffalo burger with cheese and chili / (visual) the gate, fixed / (sensorial) the removal of hot boots

reviled: (audio) hard-fi / (comestible) salad cream / (visual) the gate, broken a g a i n / (sensorial) suffocating rush hour tube heat

"that's why we love conflict, he says. we love to hate. to stop a war, we declare war on it. we must wipe out poverty. we must fight hunger. we campaign and challenge and defeat and destroy.
as human beings, our first commandment is:
something needs to happen. ...
..."any call for world peace," mr. whittier would say, "is a lie. a pretty, pretty lie." just another excuse to fight.
no, we love war.
war. starvation. plague. they fast track us to enlightenment.
"it's the mark of a very young soul," mr. whittier used to say, "to try and fix the world. to try and save anyone from their ration of misery."
we have always loved war. we are born knowing that war is why we're here. and we love disease. cancer. we love earthquakes. in this amusement-park fun house we call the planet earth, mr. whittier says we adore forest fires. oil spills. serial killers.
we love terrorists. hijackers. dictators. pedophiles.
god, how we love the television news. the pictures of people lining up beside a long, open grave, waiting to be shot by another new firing squad. the glossy news magazine photos of more everyday people torn to bloody shreds by suicide bombers. the radio bulletins about freeway pile-ups. the mud-slides. the sinking ships.
his quivering hands telegraphing the air, mr. whittier would say, "we love when airplanes crash."...
..."in our secret heart's heart, we love to root against the home team."

- from 'haunted' by chuck palahnuik