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Express Condemnation

 

For the past few days, I've found myself thinking a lot about Express. I've no idea where he is or what he's doing today, but in 1993, Express - a rapper from Northampton called Simon - wrote one of the greatest pieces of anti-fascist poetry ever set to music. Gone to da Dogs was an impassioned response to the by-election that saw the British National Party win a seat on Tower Hamlets council, when Derek Beackon was elected in the Millwall ward on the Isle of Dogs, beating Labour by seven votes. My mind has turned occasionally to what he must be making of the European election results, because he made more sense of what happened in 1993 than most other folks at the time. ... more »

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posted: 11/06/2009 | comments »

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Second Chance

 

News just in: second Stone Roses album quite good after all shock. Fifteen years after its release, this piece on Mojo's revitalised website finally sees someone with respect to lose stating what's seemed to me the self-evident truth: that the main failing in the eyes and ears of those who heard Second Coming when it was new was that the band hadn't simply re-made their debut. ... more »

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posted: 03/06/2009 | comments »

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Everything Is Broken

Photo: (c) Ken Slone

Well, not everything. Just my computer, which has developed a mystery illness and has to be shipped off for a week in hospital, and may yet return with all its data amputated (if you've emailed me in the past week or so and I've not replied yet, this is almost certainly why: so please do re-send). Oh, and Newcastle United, whose relegation from the Premier League is doubtless causing much mirth to everyone but us supporters. And the publishing industry, which doesn't seem to work any more. And the music business. And cricket. And... Oh, hang on, I was right in the headline after all. But for now, I'll concentrate on Newcastle.... more »

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posted: 02/06/2009 | comments »

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Phoenix Rising

 

OK, so it's not like-for-like preparation, and you know when you're playing against a team whose board forgets even to renew the domain name registration for its official website (above - image captured at 11pm BST, 18th May; see detail and update below) that perhaps you're not dealing with international sport at the highest level. And I admit that since a fortnight ago, when I was thinking entirely the opposite, not a great deal has changed. But there've been signs, in the demolition of the West Indies, that England may be gearing up to make at least a halfway decent fight of the Ashes after all. ... more »

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posted: 19/05/2009 | comments »

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Devil in the Details

 

The reviews for Angels & Demons are out, and the majority seem to harp on the same set of expected and slightly tedious tropes. Chief among them: Vatican in "not blasphemous" shock, Ron Howard recreates Rome in Hollywood (this is noteworthy? That sets are used instead of real places? At this point in cinema history?), story preposterous, Dan Brown not very good writer. All of which, to me, seem to miss the point. ... more »

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posted: 15/05/2009 | comments »

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Economic Armageddon: an Expert View

Some money, yesterday: photo from www.freeimages.co.uk

The Credit Crunch; the Financial Meltdown; the Banking Crisis - all a bit confusing for the layman. So it's good to know that at your bank, there are experts you can turn to, people paid - by you - to understand the global economic apocalypse, and chart a clear route through these choppy monetary seas. I phoned my bank today to get a new cheque book (it will be with me "in up to seven bank working days," I was not quite delighted to learn), but I got so much more. The call centre staffer launched into a sales spiel after sorting out my request which gave me a whole new understanding of why the economy got into the mess it's in. The conversation went something like this:... more »

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posted: 06/05/2009 | comments »

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Grim Reapers

 

Noah Shachtman, the editor of Wired's Danger Room defence (or defense, as they're American) blog, has been at Creech this week, and was surprised to notice the droll-verging-on-dark sense of humour the air crews there display with their personalised finishing touches to their aircraft. ... more »

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posted: 30/04/2009 | comments »



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