24 Mar 2009

And Now The Headlines...

Courtesy of the Sheffield Weekly Gazette - A Free Paper

"Wheelchair Theft Dismay"

"City Is Clean"

"Art On Display"

23 Mar 2009

20 Mar 2009

19 Mar 2009

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

But this I know, that every Law
That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother's life,
And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
With a most evil fan.

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
Bloom well in prison-air;
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
And the Warder is Despair

Oscar Wilde, 1896.

The Hypnotising Power of Paul McKenna - A Review

I recently acquired some audio of Paul McKenna - Britains foremost hypnotherapist. As regular readers may know, I'm sceptical of many, many things, but I do actually believe that there is something in hypnosis, although only in the truest 1 on 1 sense. I was interested to research whether such 'magic' effects could simply be induced through the power of earphones alone, so I got hold of Deep Relaxation. I figured one may not be enough, so I also got Instant Confidence (because you can never have too much confidence right?).

I loaded both onto my portable media player, lay down on my bed and squeezed my earphones in to my non-standard sized ears.

The first track on Deep Relaxation was called 'Welcome' and Paul tells us about the amazing benefits we will reap if we adhere strictly to his instructions. At one point he said "To move on to the relaxation, skip to the next track and..." I had already done so. I didn't want a lecture, I wanted deep relaxation dammit! Give it to me Paul!

The next track is called simply Eyes Closed and Paul tells you that you should not realy be driving or operating heavy machinery whilst listening to this. I laughed quite a lot as I thought of forklift drivers listening to Deep Relaxation and calmly ploughing into their co-workers. Not a good start, but I'm open minded, so I did my best to follow his instructions:

In the right hand earphone: If you are listening to this through a stereo, my voice should now be coming from the right...

In the left hand earphone: ...and now from the left

Paul talked me through relaxing different parts of my body, from my feet upwards, dropping the shoulders etc etc. One thing I've learned: here is a man excited by stereo technology. Paul's voice gradually sunk in pitch and moved from right to left and back, whilst some bastardised Pan Pipe Moods gently played in the background. I tried to ignore the music as best I could - I think it may have worked better without the distraction. After a while I was remarkably relaxed, but I'm pretty sure I was conscious, because my brain was thinking "This feels a bit like I'm being introduced to a cult". I should also point out that my experiment was somewhat flawed in that I did cane a bit of a bifta prior to this, so Paul's magic might have been artificially enhanced or damaged - I wasn't sure which.

After the 15 minute mark, Paul's deep 'seductive' voice was actually starting to grate on me somewhat, and I starting pointing out his grammatical errors and flowery language out loud. Also, I was reminded of the relaxation tape used by Steve Coogan in I'm Alan Partidge - this again amused me and I couldn't really take it seriously.

I opened my eyes and thought "How much of this is there going to be?". I looked at the screen on my media player and I still had a fair while, so I shut my eyes and lay down again.

The McKenna patois was becoming almost like a voiceover artist for Milk Tray - I pulled out my earphones with an "Ahh fuck this". I was vaguely relaxed, although I put this down to tried and tested 'guided relaxation' that I imagine most people could be trained to do.

The next morning before work, I thought I would give Instant Confidence a go, expecting to bounce to work shaking everyone's hand after listening to it. McKenna told me again that "Whilst you may not remember everything in this, you will remain receptive to my commahnds" or some such sentiment. This instantly stimulated a part of my brain that said "Resisssssst!" and I'm pretty sure I just listened to the whole thing thinking "This is really dumb" and "I wish someone would strangle that fucking pan piper". If anything, the audio gave me the confidence to express the normal human emotion of hating pan pipe music.

Whilst I gave some credit to Deep Relaxation, Instant Confidence was utter toss, and for confidence, I would recommend the tried and tested method of getting drunk or high, rather than listening to a little man telling you that you're brilliant over Latino synths.

Deep Relaxation 2/10
Instant Confidence 0/10

13 Mar 2009

The Throwback Continues...

Yes the 20th century revival continues. We've got nationalisation, rising unemployment, a 'Labour' government going tits up and now... making jokes out of different people is back again.

Maybe I just completely lack any humour at all (I can live with that) but all this week I have been confronted by posters on telephone boxes for the film Lesbian Vampire Killers starring the remarkably unfunny and inexplicably popular James Corden and Matthew Horne. You may know them from the pisspoor Gavin and Stacey. Now they also have a sketch show that's based around their one talent: Matthew Horne looking po-faced, and James Corden finding humour in his tubbyness.

At risk of sounding like someone who finds nothing funny, what precisely is it about lesbian vampires that adds novelty? I can see what they've tried to do: make a lame retro B movie style British comedy. What an original idea. I imagine the title came out of some committee thinking with the members infatuated by the work of Simon Pegg et al.

"Do you remember Shaun of the Dead? It was well funny because it woz like an American movie but wiv loads of British references in it, and it did really well at the box office and in DVD sales. Do we have anyone Englishy we can use?"

"Well there's them two guys from BBC 3, you know, the fat one HAHA! and the one that looks po-faced HAHA! Why don't we like, make a pretend horror film like wot was in the 50's but, you know, set it in Wales?!?!"

"Yeah! And we can put rude jokes in too! And make funnies about how one of them is a fatty, and the other one is po-faced!"

"That's gold. But what's our hook?"

"Well, no one has made fun of lesbians for a while, so we should include that. Lesbians are funny!"

"Yeah totally! They're like ladies that fancy ladies HAHAHAHA"

There's only one thing that needs slaying and that's the fucking person that commissioned this atrocity.

12 Mar 2009

Heartwarming Enquiry

I got this via the enquiry service I look after:

I can imagine how many letters you recieve every day, but I hope that you'll read my letter.

I'm writting to you, because I need somebody who can help me.

I found your college, searching for any chance to study. I don't know why, but I feel that you are a person, who can help me. I know that it's really very difficult to recieve a scholarship for international student, ecpecially for Foundation or A-levels Course, but maybe it's possible to make a exception.

My name is ------, I am 16 and I live in Ukraine. This year is my last year at school. I have a huge dream to study in UK after finishing school.I live with my mother only and I know that it's impossible for my family to pay for my studying as in the UK as in Ukraine. But I dont give up and I still bileve that somebody will give me a chance to study in UK, that somebody will make my dreams come true.

I'm talented in journalism, media,music, dancing and writing. I write
songs in English and Russian also.I have recordings of my songs.I have many publications of my articles in Ukrainian newspapers and magazines.

Last year I took part in the 'Let your English grow' competition and came
to England for one month for studying English. When I came to England, I understood that I want to study there, I want to live there and I want to be useful for this country as much as it will be possible.

I won lots of defferent competitions of English language in my country.Now
I'm searching for any chance to study in the UK after finishing school. I know that most of scholarships and grants are for UK students, but maybe it's possible to recieve a scholarship or a grant for studying at your college? Or maybe can I study and work at the same time? What I have to do for it? I'm ready to study very hard. I'm ready to do everything. Please, just give me a chance or a piece of advice how to act.

This is one of my poems:

And she's gone with a wind misty morning,
when nobody could fallow her way
London's rain couldn't catch her in falling
and it couldn't allow her to stay

She was touching the air around,
Trying to find something, trying to start
But nobody could hear the sound,
sound of rain and the beat of her heart

She could hear the wisper of rain,
and it wasn't the way that it seemed
One more look...and she entered the plane,
And she's gone, and she's gone with a wind...

Please, let me know, if you can help me.

Best wishes,

----------

Enjoy. Anyway, I'd better go now like a wind wispy morning.*

*I did my best to advise her by the way - I'm not heartless,
plus she said she would 'do everything'. *rubs thighs* <== JOKE

6 Mar 2009

KY part 2

Almost as soon as I've put one gig on, the next is creeping up on me. This time, I may put not Kimmy Yeah on first, as the sheer humbleness of doing this the last time just confused many people:

"When are you guys playing"
"We've been on."
"Whaat? Already?"
"Yes"
"I thought you'd be higher up the bill?"
"Its our first show - it would be a bit big headed..."

So April the 12th we have Atomic Garden from la France. Great band, atrocious band name. You can hear some of their stuff here. If that's not enough, the guy I've been in correspondence with is called Gaylord. Ace.

The other band is a post-hardcorey band called A Bear, and they are from the city of Manchester. They're progressive enough to blog also, and u can reed there branes hear. If you really must use the Murdoch Media Machine, you can also stream track from their thing here.

I imagine I'll have to pay AG a fair whack of money, so I may have to raise the door price to the excessive £3 if you can afford it. Joe is doing me another nice poster, and I'll put it around when I get it.

Oh yeah, the two KY tracks are available as 320kbps MP3 from here and here.

Skillz out.

1 Mar 2009

It was nicer in times of ignorance.

Between 2000 and 2003, there were 1100 Palestinian homes bulldozed on Israeli occupied territory.

To this day, American media networks frequently refer to the Israeli 'settlements' as 'neighbourhoods'.

AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) remains the single most powerful and influencial lobby in Washington. They work hard to make sure that there is a positive image of Israel in the American media. Have a look at the smiling fellow on their website.

http://www.aipac.org/about_AIPAC/default.asp

Check out the Hillary Clinton quote too:

"To the members of AIPAC, just know that your cause is just, your voice is strong. Washington, and the world, is listening, so go forth and speak up for what you know is right."

Ain't life great, Bulworth?