Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bye Bye Baby, Baby Bye Bye....

The last time I listened to that song I was in Dalian, China.

Anyway, I'm done here. I was going to delete the blog but I realised I quite liked looking back through it, like an old diary, but I don't really feel like writing, and haven't, in the same way for a while. Maybe when I go on tour again I'll want to but right now, I've nothing to say that fits here and I'm so busy on other little and not so little projects that I've decided it's time to do something else. If you've been reading, then I thank you.

"Sporting woman, is she...?"

Quoting form an article in the Metro (2/24/09)

“Rapelay,” a Japanese video game, was recently pulled from Web sites such as Amazon and eBay, but anti-violence advocates are shocked it’s still available for download elsewhere.

As described on, “Rapelay” players take the role of a pervert who, after an arrest for molestation, sexually assaults the young woman he first attacked, along with her mother and younger sister.

“This is not what you want in the world if you want to end sexual violence,” said Harriet Lessel, executive director of New York Alliance Against Sexual Assault. “Does it talk about the seriousness of rape and
how it destroys people’s lives?”

Yesterday, she and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn urged video game distributors to pull the game.

Illusion, the Yokohama-based software company that released “Rapelay” in 2006, states on its Web site that the product isn’t available for sale outside Japan.

It was hard to know where to start. It seems the company feels that a game available to (presumably) adolescent Japanese boys is less offensive than a game available internationally, as though that's an excuse (I wonder if there's an argument being prepared that it's culturally acceptable to portray rape as fun in Japan...). Anyway, two simple questions seems to me to clarify why this game isn't harmless fun-or even a good bad-taste joke to be sniggered at when the girls have gone to bed.

1> Why don't they make the game so that the protagonist is raping / sodomizing men?
2> Why wouldn't that game be marketable to its target demographic? What thrill would that game lack that rapelay contains?

Even the title "rapeplay". FFS.

I am ever amazed and appalled in equal measure.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Analysis kicks your ass.

Or rather, in analysis you kick your own ass, a lot.

Then you examine just exactly why you were kicking your own ass and what for.

Strangely, this works. Because we're usually doing this all the time but without examining it.

The stuff I've come to realize...
Pass The Dutchie by the left-hand side.

Erm.... on the one hand this looks like the British Government denying someone their rights of free speech. On the other it's a tepid bureaucracy completely unsure of how to address the issues of religious diversity because, fundamentally, they either don't know how they feel or are afraid to be candid about how they feel. So they panicked. Either way this move was a grand show of moral cowardice.

I don't agree with religious persecution. Nor do I think that any religion and its execution are above scrutiny. The film should have been judged on its (de)merits, not silenced. Censoring the movie only allows the BNP et al to grind an axe, and it demonstrates to any so-minded religious extremists (of any stripe) that the UK, on the whole, is scared by the subject.

Let this asshole show his movie. What's so scary about a movie? (Unless the movie said " take arms, lynch people in the streets, burn down their places of worship, go to this website to learn how to tyranize..." - but we already have laws against doing that, right? so presumably that wasn't the issue). Let the extremists get all animated - surely kow-towing to either one is unacceptable. Would the director of a right-wing movie speaking out against Judaism be denied entry to the UK? Or against Chrisitianity? Scientology? Wicca? Santa Claus...?

I guess a by-product of this decision is a backhanded support of UK Muslims but really, that seems more incidental than intentional to me. Or am I being cynical? Was that really the prime concern here?

I loathe fascists of any creed but I support their right to opine. Just as I have the right to call them ignorant, craven, simpleminded f***wits who might better serve the world by dying and donating their organs so good, useful people can live. This is democracy working, right? Of course, should they decide to oppress or censor anyone then I think it completely acceptable - even compulsory - that they be stopped with force, whatever it takes to put them down.

But preventativly, sunlight's the best disinfectant where any kind of fascism or racism exists.

It would be interesting to know who made the decision. And where their spine is kept.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January, sick and tired you've been hanging on me....

2009 is barely a month old and already...

I am surprised at how happy I am over Barack Obama becoming The President. I liked his speech; I liked that he included atheists in addition to all the supernatural beliefs; I liked that he promised that national security won't be at the expense of personal liberty; I liked it all. Good days. I only the wave of optimism carries us through the tough months coming up before people start bellyaching that they're not getting their share of Constitutionally assured happiness. (I think this is a basic misconception and cause of much distress in American life. I don't think Brit's, for example, expect to be happy. Americans seem to, and seem to feel cheated if they don't get it. I'm just least they aspire to something rather than settle for it, I guess....).

I especially liked that Dick Cheney was in a wheelchair. Reminded me of Mason Verger...

However, the month started sadly with the death of my old friend Steve Edgson. When I was about 22-25 I was in a band with Steve. We weren't successful - it was a very Coventry, underachieving experience in many respects, although the band did have its moments. Steve was the clarinetist (which says much of the band and the times). What saddened me most about his death was that, at 53, he was so young. Despite my urge to eulogize feels improper to talk about Steve here, it's probably enough to say that I can't think of Steve without smiling. He had a very Coventry sense of humor (the place does have some defining characteristics beyond The Specials, spiteful violence, unemployment and a crappy accent) and he was one of those people for whom a smile was never far from the surface. A true English eccentric; creative, individual, and very very quick-witted, which for me is one of the prime indicators of intelligence (do you know any smart people who aren't funny? Friends and family of Stephen Hawking cannot reply). I hadn't seen him for years and was shocked at how sad I felt knowing I'd never see him again. An ex-girlfriend (doubtless trying to get me off the phone) once said, quite wisely, that missing people is like spending time with them. I guess I've been hanging out with Steve a lot of late. I wish I was as witty as he was, I wish I could make someone laugh like he still makes me laugh, I wish I was as sharp as he was. Life is too short and the people you want to see you should see and the things you want to do you should do an--I suppose--the people; you should do them too. I'd like to think Steve would agree.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Good Morning, Good Morning.

I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.....

Last weekend I was the Production Supervisor at the Bon Jovi show in Central Park. It was a big show but really, these days, the only real challenge in doing a show like that is staying awake for a series of 20 hour days. Unless it's a band I'm working for directly a gig is a gig is a gig, there's just more shit to deal with than usual. By the time the band got onstage I was well into the load out and trying to go home - which is as it should be.

This week I went to Red Rocks near Denver for a venue visit. I'd never been there before and it was breathtaking. I'm doing a show there (not on stage, but as a production monkey) in a few weeks so it was good to get the lay of the land. There's something about Denver that I really like - maybe it's because the west seems to start there and there are some big f***-off mountains down the road. And people in Colorado are so frigging healthy; hiking and running up mountains and shit. Freaks. But wholesome ones. One could imagine settling down with a nice girl from Colorado and opening an organic milk farm or a tent store, after running up a mountain for breakfast. If I wasn't such a deadhearted git I might do just that. But sadly, I feel like such a tumor in places like that; like everyone's so nice, and they just can't appreciate just how much I'm not...

Traveling was a schlepp - flights were booked silly and at Denver airport there were endless Orange Alerts set against the calmest airport environment I've ever been in. A public address system endlessly and pointlessly told bovine-blooded people to be terrified of a non-specified threat.It was like there was an agenda to scare people and to wind them up for no reason. But who would do something like that?

Nothing to do it's up to you

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Spent today measuring Central Park. Looks like I'll be working there soon, installing and removing a big gig. I've done it before, working production on the Dave Matthews (hacks out phlegm) back in 2003. I did pretty well on that one and managed to avoid hearing the band much at all.

I'm very lucky this year as since I've got back from China (where I dodged all kinds of bullets with my early return) I've only had to commute to jobs along the west side of Manhattan. As the festival season rolls around I think fondly of each one, knowing that every day I'm waking up in my own bed, not in a pool of sweat in a large metal coffin to spend the first hour of the day scoring passes, meal tickets and towels so I can shower in a cubicle made dank and rancid by the effluvia of countless dozens of roadies before me. No, I don't miss that.

I do miss hanging out with all the people I know through touring though. That's an eye-opener. After traveling months on a bus it's sometimes hard to adapt to civilian life, and now, even months after finishing my last tour in September, I still have to remind myself not to say somethings out loud or roll my eyes too obviously. The people I've toured with know what I mean.

At least I've been keeping busy instead. In fact, this afternoon, after I'd filled my map with measurements I spent the day slaughtering a French bloke and his Vietnamese wife in a very vivid style. The details of which you'll have to wait for until it's finished, or published.

But boy, do I have fun when I'm left to my own devices. Tomorrow I hope to slaughter some delivery boys and girls and visit a museum in Nanjing. A man needs a hobby.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh. Bollocks.

I guess this was kind of inevitable, and as my very clever friend Sarah said, there have been no studies so far as cell-phones, in their current ubiquity, have only been in common use for 10 years or so so it's a little early for studies....but this is the latest in radiation surveys on phone models from CNET. And radiation leads to brain cancer, etc, etc....

We're all doomed. Maybe those bluetooth headsets aren't so wanky after all?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Over the Water

I'm trying to enjoy the city this summer now that I'm here. It is the best city in the world and I'm all the more appreciative of it after 5 months in China (which I've been missing this week....hmmm).

Although I promised myself I wasn't leaving Manhattan for months this time, I went across to Brooklyn at the weekend to see the Telectroscope (techincally this is acceptable because I could walk home, if I needed to). This is billed as a tunnel to London that goes under the Atlantic and, using mirrors, allows New Yorkers to stare at people on the South Bank near Tower Bridge, and vice-versa.

Silly as it sounds I'm glad people are still making art like this - even though it's akin to a giant webcam mounted on Fulton Landing. To be honest, once one had looked at the people in London looking back at you looking at them, it was kind of done, but still, sometimes one gag is enough. Ask Wyclef...

And it's hard to beat the view here - unless you're from Sydney or Rio.... here's an old faithful, just because...