Archive for January, 2010

What the hell

Lazy I know, but yesterday put me on a Sigur Ros kick. I used to drive my office manager mad with them playing in the office. I was allowed short bursts but then I was the boss.

One for Mick

Apropos of absolutely nothing, this came to mind this morning after a conversation I’d just had with someone. I know it’s used to death on telly but I’ve loved Sigur Ros for a long time and anybody who doesn’t like them is a fool. They are one of the bands that come to mind when I get one on me about the number of people who own a record by James Blunt.

One for you Bilbo!

What dogs hear

I may be stealing somebody’s thunder here when it comes to blogging about dogs. (And how unfortunate that the phrase ‘dogging’ has already been appropriated by something else.)

Anyway, the news that staff at an RSPCA centre have had to teach a dog English after discovering it only spoke Polish, reminded me of this old Gary Larson cartoon.

The problem with Patricia Hewitt

Nobody likes her. 

It should be enough that she has a very shaky track record as a minister and never took any responsibility when things screwed up and has followed the usual politician’s route into commerce, address book in hand, yet thinks nothing of returning to tell everybody else where they are going wrong. But the reason she won’t be able to rally people to her cause in the current leadership furore in the Labour Party is because she’s just so hard to like.

Her manner is all wrong. She betrays herself with the way she deals with people. If they disagree with her, it’s not because they have a valid alternative point of view, it’s because they SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND. So to help them see the error of their views, she starts to speak at them more slowly, with a small inward smile and a pitying tilt of the head. It’s very reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher. A smile on the mouth but eyes that would like to see you dead.

Chicago Board of Trade

No Gursky for a while, so here is his 1999 image Chicago Board of Trade, kaleidoscopic, painterly, blurred and bewildering. Doubtless its associations have changed since he first produced the work as we learned to properly despise bankers.


On Silence by Aldous Huxley

The twentieth century is, among other things, the Age of Noise. Physical noise, mental noise and noise of desire — we hold history’s record for all of them. And no wonder; for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown into the current assault against silence.

That most popular and influential of all recent inventions, the radio is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but usually create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas. And where, as in most countries, the broadcasting stations support themselves by selling time to advertisers, the noise is carried from the ear, through the realms of phantasy, knowledge and feeling to the ego’s core of wish and desire.

Spoken or printed, broadcast over the ether or on wood-pulp, all advertising copy has but one purpose — to prevent the will from ever achieving silence. Desirelessness is the condition of deliverance and illumination. The condition of an expanding and technologically progressive system of mass production is universal craving. Advertising is the organized effort to extend and intensify the workings of that force, which (as all the saints and teachers of all the higher religions have always taught) is the principal cause of suffering and wrong-doing and the greatest obstacle between the human soul and its Divine Ground.

from Silence, Liberty, and Peace (1946)

January 2010

Desk Jockey