Friday, 23 May 2014


The main headlines today.


"The blog will now be run according to proper BBC guidelines of impartiality," said that lying Zionist shitsack James Harding, head of BBC News.

In other news...


The BBC Newsroom is reporting that despite there being no sentiments ever expressed on Shabogan Graffiti that a Ukipper would ever find acceptable, UKIP have broken through with a breakthrough on Shabogan Graffiti and are now surging forward and ahead to breakthroughs and surges on the unpopular blog.

"Apparently the vast majority of the British electorate do not read Shabogan Graffiti," said a hairdo on top of a suit behind a desk, "but even so, the fact that UKIP have now broken through and surged across the blog shows clearly that the British public think UKIP are a force to be reckoned with and a reckon to be forced with and surging and breaking through and getting the mainstream establishment parties running scared."



Andrew Marr is 412 years old.

Saturday, 17 May 2014


On the ballot paper in my region there are no less than five extremist Right-wing parties.  Six if you include the Conservatives.  Apart from that there are two centrist neoliberal parties: Labour and the Liberal Democrats.  I know a fair few very nice, likeable and principled Lib Dems (online and in real life), but as a national political force the party is part of a coalition with the Tories and, as such, constitutes a de facto Right-wing party.  So that's seven Right-wing parties of various shades running from crypto-fascist to poujadist to centre-Right - none of which has any serious quarrel with the neoliberal consensus - and one centrist neoliberal party, Labour... which is now so degraded and debased that it seperates itself from the Tories and Lib Dems by a few whiskers.  Centrism has itself been shifted so far to the right that the modern Labour party is to the Right of the pre-Thatcher Tories on many issues.

That's democracy for you.  That's apparently the best we can do.  That's the freedom I'm supposed to relish and celebrate.  What a barren wasteland of horror.  What a terrifying landscape of hatred, dishonesty, bigotry and unthinking compromise.  This is politics, supposedly.  This null, anhedonic, empty, contentless, vicious, small-minded, dead, echoing, dreamless nothingness of non-choice.  This is what the best of all possible worlds looks like.

But, I'm going to vote.  Not because I want to.  Not because I like any of the 'options'.  I don't want to.  I don't like any of the 'options'.  I consider the trip to the Polling Station to be a humiliating chore that will drain me of what self-esteem I have, that will degrade and compromise me, that will implicate me.  I feel physically sick at the prospect of ticking a box on that ballot paper.  I feel that I will be signing a contract with a panorama of bullies, agreeing to let them come and kick me in the balls any time they want, agreeing to thank them afterwards, agreeing to sit by and nod and share their guilt when they rob and exploit and lie and torture and kill.  But it has to be done.

I cannot not vote against such an artillery of closed-minded, spiteful, minority-hating, jumped-up, Little Englander swine.  I cannot not vote against the BNP and UKIP and the English Democrats, etc etc etc.  I don't expect my vote against them will change anything.  Ultimately the only thing that will prevent these scum from wreaking any havoc they get a chance to wreak will be the mass mobilisation of activists against them, will be blockades and counter-demos that stop them marching, will be barricades that stop them getting into the BBC where the corporation is drooling to promote their agenda.  Ultimately, they will only be stopped when their empty heads are acquainted with pavements.  Roll on the day.  But, meanwhile, I have to vote against them.

I also cannot not vote against the current government, which is possibly the most evil and wantonly destructive in living memory, a wrecking ball being swung through the last ruins of the social-democratic consensus, through all human decency.  It is a moral obligation - I feel - to vote against the Tories and the Yellow Tories. 

If there were no Green Party candidates in my wretched, squalid, parochial, bigoted little rural shitpit of a region, then I would have to hold my nose, gird my loins, keep a grip on my stomach in the hope of not puking up my soul, and vote Labour.  My hand might wither and drop off.  Luckily, however, there are Greens to vote for.  So I'll do that. 

If I felt for a moment that abstaining from voting would achieve anything worthwhile, I would do so.  But it won't.  I don't believe that 'the vote' is a meaningful way to change society within the smothering death grip of the rotting zombie of capitalist democracy... but my disbelief in the power of the vote is also why I disbelieve in the power of the non-vote, the withheld vote.  Piffle like that is for the likes of privileged simpletons like Russell Brand.

I'm not telling anyone else what to do.  I'm just telling you what I'm going to do.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Pit

I want to take a moment to tell you all about some music I love.  I am a devotee of movie soundtracks.  I am particularly fond of two movie scores by Eliot Goldenthal.

Alien 3 (which I've been thinking about lately because of this)



Amazing scores.  Do stick with Titus after the famous bit at the start.  The rest of the score is equally good.

I also adore George Fenton's music for Mary Reilly.

I'm using these scores (on a loop) along with some others (Hans Zimmer's music for The Dark Knight Rises and Nicholas Hooper's gorgeous score for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

) while trying to write a fiction project I've currently got on the boil.  I really don't know why I'm telling you this, except that I like to share nice things.

By the way, the films I've mentioned are all particular favourites of mine (apart from The Dark Knight Rises, which is a bloated, pompous, incoherent fascist nightmare of a movie).  Yes, I like Alien 3 and Mary Reilly.  In fact, I love them.  And Half Blood Prince is a genuinely good movie (god knows how they managed to make a genuinely good movie out of a such a wretched novel).

My fiction project is basically a 'serious' reworking of a comic strip called Planet of the Hedgehogs that I wrote - and drew! - between the ages of 9 and 11.

I am about to have a baked potato.

I'm reading a book called Shades of Grey that was recently sent to me as a gift by the lovely Lucy McGough.  No, not 50 Shades of Grey, just Shades of Grey.  So far, it's fun.

Pardon this silly post but I'm clambering out of a bit of a pit at the moment, and this is a way of saying "hello again world".  Bye.

Oh, and R.I.P. (Rest in Perversity) H.R. Giger.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Sarcasm and Chips

Every time I read The Prince I become more convinced that it is a work of sarcasm.  Not conscious sarcasm perhaps, but sarcasm nonetheless. 

It is the product of bitter disappointment and disillusion.  This man, Machiavelli, had been a fierce Florentine patriot, a republican, a defender of the revolutionary city after the popular ousting of the plutocratic Medici psuedo-kings.  He lost the game and, having been tortured and exiled, he sat and wrote what is supposed to be a job application to the triumphant Medici... and it turns into the first open admission (in modern European letters) that ethics and politics are separate and often irreconcilable. 

It is coded, deliberately or not, to imply that the failure of Republican hopes in the face of the Medici stemmed from a failure to be sufficiently ruthless against them, to be as utterly cynical as the Medici themselves.  In the process, Machiavelli praises Cesare Borgia as the perfect Prince.  The Medici had regained their status in Florence partly owing to an alliance with the bellicose Pope Julius II, who had been one of the Borgia's most implacable enemies. 

Gramsci famously argued that the book was aimed at the common man, because the leaders to whom it was supposedly addressed already knew everything Machiavelli was saying.  They just didn't talk about it.  In this reading, The Prince might become the whistleblowing of ruling-class secrets.  If you convert much of the advice into mordant irony, you find a book that laments a world in which people like the Medici can prosper precisely through a secretive, two-faced instrumentalism based on the most pessimistic view of mankind possible.  Of course, for the Prince himself, the most pessimistic view of mankind is actually the most optimistic, because it posits humanity as a weak and easily-exploited mass of flesh-puppets. 

The essentially double-edged nature of the rise of modernity (i.e. bourgeois social relations) is expressed in the book's implicit recognition of this.  Part of the promise of modernity, of its greater openness and ductility and possibility, is an inextricable co-habitee: opportunistic political tyranny based on the utilisation of people as counters, bargaining chips.  Money.  To be banked, exchanged, invested, harvested.  The market is the basis of Medici power.  They make society a market in which people are the tokens.

Machiavelli may have come to accept this view in the counter-revolutionary period after the fall of the Florentine Republic he championed, but I don't think his disillusion equates to an easy reconciliation with the kind of 'realpolitik' people often take from the book.  On the contrary, the book seems more like Michaelangelo's Last Judgement on the wall of the Sistine Chapel - a work of melancholy recognition of the failure of the liberatory promise of the renaissance, destined to be perpetually overlooked by the ceiling upon which the optimism is forever frozen.