Thursday, December 30, 2010


Another year about to pass us by.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone for taking the time to post comments, give feedback, and write messages, they are all highly appreciated. May your 2011 be an absurdly good one in all sorts of unimaginably wonderful ways, enjoy all that's there.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Most teaching of kids in general, and the teaching of the violin specifically, is a form of abuse. But that's another story for on this occasion I'm on the side of teachers. The Musicians' Union, along with a cabal of other disreputable organisations like the NSPCC, have created this insanely creepy patronising video to advise music tutors to avoid all physical contact with their charges.

Let's not forget it was this same shower who successfully voted to have synthesisers and drum machines banned in the early 80s. As you can imagine, I had a few run-ins with them myself - the first upon being forced to pay a tribute to their muso crime family when Essential Logic did a John Peel (topical irony unintentional) session on BBC Radio. You had no choice. And because of the electronic music issue, it was also another reason a degree of subterfuge was necessary when Whitehouse did shows at traditional London venues the ever-officious MU kept tabs on. By playing our EDP Wasps, we were depriving 'real' fiddlers and trombonists and other card-carriers of their god-given livelihood. Apparently.

That said, if you go peruse the MU's most recent campaigns and issues, you realise that so much more of this is about finding increasingly elaborate ways to raise revenue to support, and thus validate, this thieves' guild's very existence.

If there's one good thing that kids are going to get out of music classes, it probably isn't music; it's physical and metaphysical connections with other kids, the instructors, their audiences. More than being healthy, it's what makes it fun. Of course, coming from a society already damaged enough by paranoid Edwardian hang-ups toward all forms of physical contact and display (even to oneself), this neurotic no-touch obsession is but a logical extension.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Photographer Paul Russell has posted a small collection of nice pictures of yellow reflectives (thanks to Steve for the link). Light-hearted relief perhaps from all the recent images of viz'd-up ID-less kettle-squads brutalising student demonstrators (example). Still not to be trusted though and pillocks, the jacket once donned, each and every one.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HK47 7

Girls who love Hello Kitty probably have lots of disposable income for cute clothes and toys, and they may also love a drink after a hard day's work or studying. Let's celebrate and relax with some HK wine!

Despite the Italians' claims of firstness, I believe that Hello Kitty has graced bottles of rice wine in Japan before this. That said, it only remains for us to taste this Sweet Pink demi-sec. Or would you even have the heart to uncork it?

A light playful cherry nose with some chocolatey and strawberry aromas; fresh, feline, soft, ripe tannins giving a delicate effervescent structure to the innocent sweetness of its gorgeous fruit.

(my thanks to Lorin for the link!) 

HK47 6
HK47 5
HK47 4

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Channel 5 made an insipid character study TV documentary entitled X-Rated Ambition focusing on Traci Lords' career leading up to her being the one, in all likelihood, to drop the bombshell to the cops that she had been underage (in the States, at least) for most of her adult film career to that point. Conveniently, at the time, she'd just turned a legitimate 18 and had set up her own adult entertainment company, thus allowing her to have a monopoly on her output after a panicked porn industry were compelled to destroy all remaining vestiges of her in magazines and on tapes. The Californian porn industry, of course, was the perfect scapegoat for reactionary rightwing forces under Ronald Reagan's presidency, even though they would themselves, ironically, likely be for the most part staunch Republicans.

Depressingly, not only Lords herself fails to appear in this documentary of the substance of an empty crisp packet, it also features a roll-call of tenuously connected minor male and female porn D-listers, some of whom had actually fucked Lords on camera. And did I mention Ron Jeremy?

Every one of them talks about how much they loved working with her, fucking her. How enthralling Tracy's peachy white skin was, her uniquely firm luscious pert needy breasts, her wanton sexual enthusiasm, her professionalism, and hence her marketability and extraordinary commercial success. And not one person has the courage to state the blindingly obvious: this was all true because she was 16, a child under US law. Not being aware of this doesn't negate the admitted basic instincts of her co-stars, nor her vast audience. It's a total state of denial, so powerful is the taboo, that men, generally, are more aroused by young girls (or boys), and whatever other fetish they happen to be into. A 16-year-old girl is a sexually powerful force.

And this leads to my main, much bigger, point. Pornography itself is about total denial, both within and outwith it. Nobody will fucking admit to saying out loud what exactly pornography is. The term is loosely bandied about in books, essays, articles, in conversations, sometimes coyly and sometimes disapprovingly, and we all have a common understanding about what we're referring to, but almost nobody will proffer an honest definition. Pornography is everwhere. What is pornography? Stop and ask yourself. (and others)
refers to 'obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit' - upon investigating the word 'obscene' we are sternly told 'offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved'

'books, magazines, films, etc. with no artistic value which describe or show sexual acts or naked people in a way that is intended to be sexually exciting but would be considered unpleasant or offensive by many people'; as an adjunct: 'hardcore is (very) detailed porn', 'softcore ... not (very) detailed', whatever the hell 'detail' means

'creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire'

Typical legal definitions
tend to revolve around the concept of 'obscenity'; as with anything related to morality, a useful tool for applying absolutist rules to that which has no otherwise rational explanation

Webster's, 1913 edition
rather sweetly, and in keeping with the word's Greek etymology, refers to 'licentious painting or literature; especially, the painting anciently employed to decorate the walls of rooms devoted to bacchanalian orgies'

The mainstream US porn industry
employs the bullshit 'adult entertainment' euphemism in keeping with their careerist conformist principles

Andrea Dworkin's remarkable scything book Pornography was written after months' immersion watching and reading porn, and yet even she, that most nakedly brutally honest of feminists (beyond her personal taboo for the four-letter c-word that is cake), cannot bring herself to say what I've found only the redoubtable Helen Hazen achieved in the 'Pornography' chapter of her extraordinary work Endless Rapture: Rape, Romance, And The Female Imagination.

That pornography is, no more no less, material for the sole purpose of masturbation. That's all there is to it. There, I said it. Masturbation. It's no big deal.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Flashdance (****)
a great dance film with a top soundtrack and as 80s as can be; the gorgeous Jennifer Beals was chosen ahead of Demi Moore and others allegedly for being more fuckable, and whilst undoubtedly true, she's also so much more than that, a real living breathing girl that has the power to bring you to tears - in addition, a huge sigh of relief Gene Simmons and Bob fucking Geldof chose not to participate when asked; I'd love to see a director's cut, in his autobiography Eszterhas was bitter about how the producers hacked it down from its original 140 minutes, there are times it certainly feels truncated

Jagged Edge (***)
I can live with the initial dead body splay scene, but the scariest moment in this courtroom drama is when Jeff Bridges open-mouth kisses Glenn Close, I warn you it's not for the faint of heart; Jagged Edge is essentially a Hollywood giallo, and while not a bad film by any means, you really miss the ingredient of Italo sex 'n' sleaze

Basic Instinct (****)
hugely entertaining and stylish erotic thriller which plots a delicious path between dark comedy and drama - so refreshing to have such a powerfully sexualised female lead role too, the beautiful Sharon Stone takes to her part brilliantly

Sliver (****)
another American giallo, this time (rather loosely) based on Ira Levin's novel; although Sliver seems to have come in for a lot of criticism, I really enjoyed it and - for a film centred around technology, in this case voyeurism and CCTV - it's aged remarkably well; also, despite Eszterhas's deep misgivings, hell, I even love the ending

Showgirls (*****)
Eszterhas's (and Verhoeven's) best, one of the finest films of the 90s, or indeed of all time, a riotous sexy big-budget one-of-a-kind camp classic which is an absolute delight from beginning to its satisfying conclusion (even though you never want it to end); it's a mystery why some describe Showgirls as a guilty pleasure - please, no apologies are necessary for loving this classic

Jade (****)
to get the sleazy full effect, make sure you see the more cohesive and more explicit director's cut of this great blackmail thriller featuring the deliriously attractive Linda Fiorentino (she of Last Seduction fame)

Basic Instinct 2 (**)
Sharon Stone returns as Catherine Tramell and is still looking good for another sexed-up psychological thriller; but if only it had been reprised sooner, not in London, without the detective drudgery, and not with a bunch of bland UK thespians, if only...



Photo ops galore as the black leather'd fists of the yellow reflectives attempt to crush dissent.