Monday, September 22, 2008

Watching The News *

Many questions will inevitably arise from a story which has dominated
the news from my home town in recent times. So, I'll answer any which readers want to pose. Please read on ...

First, there was a warning.

Then, there was the event itself.

But disaster followed.

And, then ... aaah, a happy ending is on the horizon!

Footnote: The Carters Society is some sort of secret society for horse riders in the town - a bit kind of Bareback Masons, if you like. And it organises the highlight of the cultural calendar in my home town.

* Iggy Pop (from the brilliant Zombie Birdhouse album)


Friday, September 12, 2008

Comin' Back To Me *

In the absence of an original thought in my head, I'll do that questionnaire thingy that lots of other people have been doing. It's a where-were-you-when thing. So here goes:

Princess Diana's death 31st August 1997
Had a late night drinking and listening to music with friends. Got up with rotten hangover to go to my job on a newspaper. Like I always done then, I put Ceefax on to see what news I would be putting on the pages. "Oh fuck," I thought. "There's going to be fuck all else news today!" Thought we would have done something similar to what our paper did when Princess Anne married Mark Phillips. That particular event got a paragraph on page 3 along the lines of: "Many roads in central London were blocked off yesterday as crowds watched the wedding procession of Anne Windsor and Mark Phillips." Classy!
Back to the Diana story, felt no emotion for her whatsoever other thank thinking what a huge story it was. I then think that the events over the weeks following her death convinced me that the fight for a just and classless society was going to be a long one.
And, by the way, we did put it on the front page. "Death of an icon," was the headline. Quite a good one, if you ask me. The story went along the lines of how she was created by the media and pretty much killed by it.

Margaret Thatcher's resignation 22nd November 1990
Weird, but cannot remember what the hell I was doing. As JJ and Darren have both mentioned, my memory is also of that scene a few days before she went outside the British Embassy in Paris when Bernard Ingham showed John Sargeant out the way. Fucking hilarious. What wasn't so hilarious was the fact that she had been at some EU summit selling more sovereignty to the Eurocrats. But, no, have no memory whatsoever about what I was doing when she actually resigned.

Attack on Twin Towers - 11 September 2001
Was in the newsroom of the newspaper that I worked and was the first to spot the story on Ceefax. People ignoring it at first until I said that we should really switch to the news. Then what happened was a mixture of the bizarre (one colleague phoning her aunt in Toronto to ask if she was okay - twat), some fear (our office was in spitting distance of Canary Wharf and we were all convinced we'd see a plane or two heading our way) and the ridiculous (the decision not to put the twin towers attack on the front page. That distinction went to some NUT delegate's speech to the TUC in which he mentioned some fucking nonentity of a local dispute teachers were having in Haringey or some shithole like that). It was a surreal day. It was also this day that I thought: "Fuck, there goes any hopes that Bush would be an isolationist!" And I'm not making that one up in hindsight - it was fucking obvious early on what the response was going to be.

England's World Cup Semi-Final against Germany 4 July 1990
By the time this game came round, I was getting well pissed off how jammy England were in this tournament. To this day, I have no idea how Cameroon failed to beat them. I have no idea how Belgium failed to beat them. So, there I was in my front room of the flat on Telegraph Hill absolutely desperate for Germany to win. And there I was with my partner at the time. At the moment the final penalty went skyward, I was running up and down the hallway shouting "ya fucking beauty!" She was in the front room crying her eyes out. We nearly split up over that one. Luckily, though, we hung on for a few more years and produced a weed-smoking beer-drinking giant of a boy.

President Kennedy's Assassination 22 November 1963
In Dallas with the other operatives. 'Nuff said!

*Jefferson Airplane


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Radio Radio *

The following from the Guardian Guide last Saturday about a radio programme which was on earlier tonight:

The history series Document (8pm, R4) returns with the tale of how, in 1974, Howard Wilson considered handing Northern Ireland to its southern neighbour.

This has been from writer (who would probably have sourced it from some listings press release), to sub-editor, to chief sub-editor and then to editor prior to publication. So, did the writer get it wrong, or did someone change it? Whatever, that is quite an error for that many people to make, don't you think? Or is it me that's the ignorant stupid idiot here?

And that's to say nothing of the ideological slant of it!

* Elvis Costello and the Attractions


Friday, September 05, 2008

Mad About The Boy *

The boy can infuriate his mum and I at times (but not that often, it has to be said). He can also take the piss out of us big time (and he does quite often). The latter can be entertaining. And both can fuse together at times. For example, take his GCSE Maths exam. He took this a year early. He was taught up to Pass C level. On day of results coming out - you know, when it hits the news and you see all those stories and pics of kids going along to school to receive results - the boy declared that the school was shut (lying wee jobby). Next night, me and his mum take him out for a curry (he always orders vindaloo, by the way), and, after couple of questions about why he still didn't go and get his result, he declares: "In year 10, it's only the deeks who get the results! I'll get them when I got back to school."

Two weeks later, he returns to school. First day, he says: "Didn't have maths, so didn't get my result." "Fuck, why didn't you just walk along to the bloody corridor and ask, ya wee shitebag?," is what I wanted to ask, but didn't. Boy just laughs the whole thing off.

Skip forward to tonight and I have just about forgotten that he's even sat a GCSE. Walking past his house (yes, on way to mine from train, I pass the boy's house) and see his elbow hanging out the window, I shout out his name and he appears. "Did you get your result?" I ask. "Yes, he says, I got a D. But it is a high D, so it's nearly a C." "Yes," I respond, "but it's also nearly a E,." "Dad, it's a high D high," he says. "What?" I ask. His answer: "You're an idiot, man! I got a B!"

I have no idea what the boy was saying to me. But, all I know is that he got a B for a GCSE in maths, in a subject which he has only been taught up to C level, and he's taken the exam a year earlier than he should be taking it.

I've very proud of my boy. If only he didn't force me to go to the Download Festival this year, then everything would be perfect!

* Noel Coward (but covered by countless people such as Eartha Kitt, Julie London, Dinah Washington and all sorts of others)