I’d be obliged sir.


Two radical Arab terrorists boarded a flight out of London One took a window seat and the other sat next to him in the middle seat. Just before takeoff, a U.S. Marine sat down in the aisle seat.

After takeoff, the Marine kicked his shoes off, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Arab in the window seat said, ‘I need to get up and get a Coke.’
‘Don’t get up,’ said the Marine, ‘I’m in the aisle seat, I’ll get it for you.’

As soon as he left, one of the Arabs picked up the Marine’s shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned with the Coke, the other Arab said, ‘That looks good, I’d really like one, too.’

Again, the Marine obligingly went to fetch it. While he was gone, the other Arab picked up the Marine’s other shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned, they all sat back and enjoyed the flight.

As the plane was landing, the Marine slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened.

He leaned over and asked his Arab neighbours…

‘Why does it have to be this way?

How long must this go on?

This fighting between our nations?

This hatred?

This animosity?

This spitting in shoes and pissing in Cokes?’

Obama’s inauguration speech

Come the time.  Come the man.

Cometh the time. Cometh the man.

I didn’t see him deliver it but I’ve just read it and it is a thing of beauty. Balanced, potent, humble but strong, honest in that he positions America’s future from a point in time where the nation is in crisis. He speaks simply but uncompromisingly. (Essentially he is saying you are with us or against us. The subtext is ‘God help you if you are the latter.”)

Al Gore will be proud. He puts the climate centre stage.

He talks brilliantly about policy in a hugely Democratic way without actually uttering a word of rhetoric or specifying any particular bill. His critics might say this is vague. I see it as vision-setting and principled.

He talks about the ‘truth’ of America. America the brand. As an adman I buy into that full square. His vision is not of warmongering arrogance and doled out retribution for wrongdoings against the Bald Eagle. It’s about work – hard work – community, opportunity, reward and democracy.

In short this was a wonderful, humble, dignified moment in time, setting out his stall as a strong man of reason and very great intelligence.

Not one single word was difficult to understand, contrived, showy or jargony.

That is no mean feat.

So I say, Obama…Yes you can. (And he didn’t say that.)

I sincerely, truly hope and pray that I will not be eating these words a year from now, but I sincerely believe that I will not.

And why? Because Obama does not politicise, he engages and reasons.

Not a single word of overpromise was in his speech but its intent was crystal clear.

a bit late in the day…

…but I never saw this at the time. I found it while researching my Napier project and it’s wonderful. Basically it’s a brilliant Apple Mac ad hijacked by Obama. Perfect targeting for a certain demograph and what a great way to sell yourself. Not sure if it’s a viral or a real ad, but judging from the lack of an “I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message” ending I suspect that sadly it is the former.

Whatever, it’s great.

This is the end…

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need…of some…strangers hand
In a…desperate land

Lost in a roman…wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the king’s highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake…he’s old, and his skin is cold

The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we’ll do the rest

The blue bus is callin’ us
The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taken us

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and…then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door…and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother…I want to…fuck you

C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin a blue rock
Cmon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

This is the day that America finally decides if they trust Obama to lead the West. Even at this late stage I fear a lurking Bradley effect. Every major poll predicts Obama will win, but not by much, for example in a key swing state, Ohio, the difference is only 4%. I can’t help thinking that’s not a cut and dried situation. Oh, I really hope I’m worrying unrealistically.

Finally, and my last thoughts before the result.

Which scriptwriter penned Obama’s grandmother’s death on the final day of electioneering? (Surely, as a result, winning him further sympathy votes.) Was it the same one that opened the heavens and stymied Glock’s car on Sunday?

Is it divine intervention?

Wassup 2008.

Thanks to Will Atkinson for providing me with this gem.

Not only is this very funny and a genius pastiche but it is a very true take on our current zeitgeist (yeah I know but it’s the right word.)

For those of you who don’t remember the vernacular hogging original it was truly the talk of the water cooler in 2000.

game on

Just when we all thought Obama had nailed it (short of assasination) McCain pulls a rabbit out of the hat.

Now, this is an interesting development.

Sarah Palin has a CV to die for.

She’s a much lauded Alaskan Governor.  Check.

She’s a Christian.  Check.

She’s an ex beauty queen.  Check.

Obviously she’s a woman.  Check.

She’s sporty.  Check.

She’s in a steady and long term relationship.  Check.

She’s a mother of five.  Check.

One of her kids is going to Iraq in a few months.  Check.

One of them is disabled.  Check.

However the whole thing is all a bit random.  McCain has only met her once so one could hardly describe this as a meeting of minds.  She makes Obama look blessed with foreign affairs acumen and she’s called her kids Track, Piper, Bristol, Willow and Trig. (!)

I’m looking forward to this…

The Hold steady – stay positive

In Barlight she looked alright.

In daylight she looked desperate.

That’s alright, I was desperate too.

I’m getting pretty sick of this interview.

Subpoenad in Texas.

Sequestered in Memphis.

Hookers, low lifes, townies, druggies, murderers, junkies, drop outs, boozers, brawlers and losers.

Such is the canvas that Craig Finn writes about in this jaw dropping record. A record that, for me, might just define Rock and Roll. I know, it’s an outrageous claim, but have you heard it? It’s on a level with the way that, for me at least, London Calling defines punk, Reproduction defines electronica, and G.P./Grevious Angel defines country.

I’ve been hanging onto this one for a while because I know I can go over the top about great stuff that melts like spring snow as soon as the initial rush of enthusiasm dies down. But that’s not the case here. For a start, on first listening I was mildly disappointed. It didn’t seem to have quite the same shock value of hearing a band like this for the first time that its predecessor, the sublime ‘Boys and Girls in America’ did.

But take it from me that this is on a different level. The aforementioned lyrics (they are poems unfolding as bleak, heartfelt stories of subcool America) are at times heartbreaking. The choruses are shriek out loud singalong. I cannot wait to see them live agian. It will be a very hoarse experience

But they are beautiful, haunting and I can’t actually sleep at night for singing them in my head.

And there’s a harpsichord on track three – the blood and guts, did she didn’t she murder him, morality tale that is One for the Cutters.

I will state here and now though that this in no way dilutes my total and utter admiration for Dig Lazarus Dig by Nick Cave.

What a year for rock and roll.

Thank you Hold Steady.

Here’s a snatch of the above truly wonderful song.


You wonder whether the fight to beat Clinton has taken too much out of him.  OK, America probably wants a break from conservatism, and McCain is about as enticing as Hilda Ogden in a rainstorm but it’s still a big ask.

And, oh it’s been a right riveting nomination campaign.

But let’s not forget he is black and there is a mountain of opposition to that.

However, I think it is a rather exciting political development and that he is, potentially, the man.

Bring it on.

(This is clearly the sort of post that one might look back on in years to come as supremely visionary or supremely foolish.  Pray God it is the former.)

word of the week

Hillary Clinton’s lying about the sniper fire non-incident in Bosnia led to her defending herself by misusing a little used word.

She claims she did “mis-speak”.

To misspeak is to mispronounce or use a word incorrectly.  But which part of lying about an incident is mis-speaking?

Has she been reading ‘Lanark’ by Alistair Gray set in the land of “unthank”?


Perhaps we can add a few more words to the English language.

To swear is to mis-compliment.

To hack someone at football is to mis-tackle.

To murder is to mis-propogate.

To crash your car is to mis-drive.

To miss a putt on the golf course is to mis-not miss.

To bunk school is to mis-attend.

Any more thoughts folks?