Posts from 6th May 2005

May 05

best result ever (solo division)

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h’angus to wed!!

How Are Things In Bardem Bardem?

Do You SeePost a comment • 194 views

Javier Bardem was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Before Night Falls, another of those films that slipped by me in the cinema. Why did it slip by? Well it was a film about a writer, and they tend to be pretty unengaging. Writers, on the whole, don’t have very interesting lives*, that’s why they have enough time to write. Now this isn’t strictly true of Reinaldo Arenas, who was slapped in jail and was on the run initially for his homosexuality and then his writing. The films attempts at showing us how great his writing is, and comes across the problem of it being an unsuitable medium for it. So we are left watching because someone has picked this guy as a lead. And Javier Bardem, king of the Spanish actors, plays him as someone you want to watch.

But then along comes Johnny Depp in two very one note parts. And suddenly you wonder how much better a film about a transvestite who can smuggle a whole novel in longhand out of a prison in his anus could be. And there is a sneaking suspicion that this might be even more interesting than the film you are actually watching.

*Feel free to fill the comments box with counters to this bold statement. I can already think of three.

our melting pot (and theirs)

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as a (actually serious) follow-through to this post, here is what Baer says abt Galloway’s win, concluding “As [James] Forsythe [in the New Republic] goes on to explain, a Galloway win could spark a backlash against Muslims as: ‘It could lead many Britons to conclude that Muslims threaten the country’s liberal political culture.’ Galloway?s win is a loss for us all.” Galloway is a dick among dicks but this is deeply silly (and I think demonstrates how little Baer *does* understand Brit politics): GG received death-threats from anti-democratic militants; the votes he got from Muslims, however alienated from the consensus – not that there IS a consensus on the war in the UK – represent support for the UK’s parliamentary culture. Given that there well-organised alternatives, the fact that these people VOTED is a VOTE FOR VOTING. As a coalition between what Baer vaguely deems the “far far far left”* and “Islamists”, RESPECT represents both a domestication and a compromise, which together entirely draw such anti-parliamentary sting as any of the disparate elements might secretly imagine they can still call on.

*And if Gorgeous G is a Stalinist at heart, the SWP – another major partner in RESPECT – have of course been witheringly anti-Stalinist lo! these 70-odd years…

worst result ever (solo division)

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this was mentioned in passing by pundits last night*: someone in a Welsh constituency polled just a single vote – apparently the lowest prior to this being a surprisingly roomy 13

(ie this hopeful not only persuaded no one on policy, but their family hate em and they have no friends!)

*(disclaimer: it wz at abt 4:30 so i may not be remembering the details accurately)

here she is: CARDIFF NORTH Catherine Taylor-Dawson Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket 1 vote!!

however someone of the same name also stood in several other cardiff constituencies (i didn’t know you were even allowed to do this) and polled several hundred votes in toto :(

here is where you realise that dystopian sci-fi visions of the electronic future of politics (and the hypersexualised environment generally) are laughably off the money

Revolution Wah-Wah Style Now

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 282 views

McCarthy – Get A Knife Between Your Teeth
Listening to political records this week made me think about this curio, one of McCarthy’s last singles and not included on their best-of compilation. It’s actually my favourite record by them, a very awkward attempt by the country’s foremost forthright left-wing indie band to come to terms with ‘baggy’. In practise this meant an angry wah-wah riff and the band trying to sound a bit tough. “You must get a knife between your teeth!” they snarl like chinchillas. I was 17 and everything indie-dance sounded great to me: fifteen years on this ranks as a mismatch, perhaps even an error, but a charming one.


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Tory “runners and riders” post-Howard: is this the best they can do? Answer: yes. Ghastly mixed feelings for the left-leaner – Tory leaders getting more and more ridiculous as the gene pool shrinks, but electoral pass the parcel means that one of them sooner or later will be holding the keys to No.10 when the Labour music stops. Ulp.


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To slip into the football argot so curiously beloved of Blair this campaign, “I’d have taken that result before the game”. Labour majority bad for Blair, usable for Brown. Tories make a few gains in (mostly) seats you’d expect to be Tory anyway, but national share of the vote at 33% DESPITE the incredibly bad 36% share for the winning party. The Tories are gaining about 1% per election: this is atrocious given how much Blair has alienated his own supporters. Lib Dems – vote share edging back to Alliance levels, modest seat gains but I’d been pessimistically telling Isabel I thought they’d lose seats overall so shows what I know. Lesson for ’09: commited Independents willing to get local (or nasty) can take almost any seat. Show pony demagogues a la Kilroy Silk still don’t play well in Britain but I still think there’s a lot of wiggle room for populist politics.