Friday, 11 April 2014

"And I'm spacebound again,

I need the money
And I can't see the stars, it's so funny,"

Some visit Lucifer, some may be crucified,
I'm goin' to Mars
Some talk to celluloid, some talk to shiny cars,
I talk to stars

Be-Bop Deluxe - Rocket Cathedrals

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Peaceful thoughts

I’m in Sheffield at the moment having a wee break and ‘figuring out shit’ as I believe the pseudo-groovy might say. When I arrived the other day I had a wander around to get my bearings so to speak. On my meandering of the streets I came across the Friends Meeting House. A relatively modern building, unusual as many Quaker establishments go. I thought it would be nice to go to meeting whilst I was here. So this morning I did.

It was a short meeting, half an hour, due to a business meeting afterwards, so I just stayed for the half hour. I rarely go to meeting for worship now, but that’s another story. This morning there was some ministry about the first world war and reference was made to the Quaker Peace Testimony. It inspired me to write this blog and create the graphic above.

War can never ever be justified. War is wrong, plain and simple! There is no such thing as a just war and there is nothing brave, heroic or virtuous about being prepared to take the life of another.There’s nothing honourable about war. It hosts no valour. War is murder. Murder that panders to the greed, whims and perversions of the ruling classes. War is about keeping the oppressed classes in their place. Those in charge use evil means to get the rest of us to fight their wars; they put labels like nationalism and patriotism on them or they will stir up xenophobic or religious hatred. Being different isn’t a reason to want to fight someone. If you are one of those people that feel the need to believe in a god then killing is the ultimate blasphemy. If like me you don’t subscribe to superstition then war can only reinforce one’s view that there is no god.

War can be over if we want it. But until it is over humankind can never call itself civilised.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Is art important to life?

I happen to think that it is. A society that does not value art is baseless, crass, and vacuous. Even the cave dwellers of early human kind knew the importance of art; to be is to create and to create is to be.

Now when I talk of society valuing art I don’t mean putting a high monetary price tag on it. The value should be about enriching life in a cerebral way. Art is about enjoyment, being challenged and inspiring thought. Looking at art as some kind of investment commodity is the mindset of the fool. Art should be for all to enjoy and not just the filthy rich.

Go out there and embrace the creative now!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

What’s the word on the street?

I’ve always been fascinated by graffiti although I’ve never felt inclined to pick up the spray can in anger myself. My artistic endeavours tend to be much more sedate and law abiding but I appreciate the work of a fellow artist. I’m also partial to the odd bit of dissent and philosophy. When the two are combined and you get a slightly aggrieved graffiti philosopher and words of wisdom on the street.

Just recently these two offerings have appeared down my street. You can’t fault it!

One of the few good things about local government cuts is that street art seems to be removed less often making it a little less ephemeral.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Jobcentre plus

I’ve just completed four weeks of unemployment. It continues to be very emotional. But I do think that I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Today I went to a jobs fair. I went mainly on the suggestion of the nice man at the job centre. I can’t knock what the jobs fair was about because if it helps just one person find employment then I think that it could be measured as a success. Many of the stalls were promoting jobs or volunteering in the care/service sector. Sadly there was nothing to help the recently redundant Materials Manager from the engineering sector. Although, I was tempted to apply for a job with M&S (nice uniforms) who seemed to be recruiting (avoids cheap joke about working in ladies underwear). Failing that there’s always Morrison’s who were also there looking for staff.

I had big plans for when I was made redundant but so far none of them have come to fruition. Things seem to take longer to happen than I’d hoped and also I think I was born with a yellow streak down my back as I too often plump for playing it safe. I have ambitions but seem powerless or lacking in the courage to take the risks that could enable me to prosper. Imagine someone standing on the edge of a high diving board over a swimming pool. I’m the one that turns around and goes back down the steps. Perhaps one day I will have the courage to jump.

I feel I must speak out in praise of the Jobcentre Plus staff. It can’t be easy working under the yoke of the sadistic Tory government with the culture of fear that they have engendered. The Tory bastards have created that climate of fear to oppress hard working government employees. But despite all that all the staff at my local Jobcentre in Norwich have been friendly, polite and as helpful as they are able to be. I kind of think that there is only one thing worse, in the jobs market, than being unemployed, and that’s working at Jobcentre Plus. So under the circumstances they do a good job and are, in my experience, nice people.

The morons who subscribe to and repeat Tory propaganda ad nauseam would do well to get from behind their Daily Mails and experience the full effects of the Conservative parties own peculiar brand of fascism first hand as I have done.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Last night Wilko Johnson played down our street

How blimmin’ cool is that?

Norwich Blues Festival happened yesterday at the waterfront, and what a damned fine event it was. It was a fairly loose interpretation of the blues for some acts but it was mostly enjoyable all the same. The first act on was a duo from Doncaster called Rita Payne. Great music/singing and witty repartee between songs. I need to investigate them a bit more. I kind of think they’ll blossom and grow. Check them out as they are well worth a listen!

Rita Payne

Another act I was well impressed with was Connie Lush and Blues Shouter who came on just before Wilko. Connie I think in musical terms comes under the category of ‘good time gal’. There’s no way you can stand still when Connie and the band are on. In stage presence and giving it her all she reminds one of George Melly. I mean that in a very flattering way I might add. Connie is a true blues diva. She can’t ‘alf belt them out. It was a fantastic set, great musicians and proper blues!

Connie Lush giving it what for

The Waterfront was heaving. It must have been a capacity crowd; certainly I’ve never seen it so full. Then the moment we’d all been waiting for, and a moment I never thought I’d see Wilko Johnson and his band took to the stage. The great man looked tired, which is hardly surprising, but as soon as he started playing he changed instantly; attacking his guitar like a thing possessed; a highly animated aficionado of rocking R&B. He ripped into much of his own work plus a few classics one after another. There was no let up. This man has a stage presence that is like no other. He still does his trademark walk back and forth. He still has the staring wide eyes. He still plays a mean and furious guitar. He even mimicked Chuck Berry on one of his songs. It’s a glib and easy remark to make because it’s so often been said but that really was one of the best performances by anyone that I’ve ever seen. Wilko Johnson is a rare talent. A guitar genius. And it was a concert that I’ll never forget. Thank you Wilko. You made a lot of people very happy last night.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

This morning III


This morning II

Cow Tower, Norwich.
From my walk this morning.

This morning I

Most weekday mornings I try to start the day with a walk, often by the river. It was such a lovely bright morning this morning so I took my camera, just in case. I love the shadows the trees cast. I likes trees.