Posts from 30th November 2005

Nov 05

In November 2005 Blog Seven was a blog about petty irritation

Blog 7Post a comment • 263 views

THE FT Top 100 Tracks of All Time No.73

FT + New York London Paris Munich/Post a comment • 1,574 views

Smiley Culture – “Police Officer”

It has been 20 years since this simple song was released and about a dozen since I fell for it, playing it on a dare in an 80s disco. I have listened to it well over a hundred times, and I’m not tired of it, which isn’t something you can say for many records where the pleasure is in the punchlines.

Certainly more feted ‘story records’ don’t come close. Dylan’s “Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts” is by one of my favourite acts, on a really good album: it’s awful. The Shangri-Las’ death ballads are sublime but I don’t listen to them as much as Smiley, and I don’t smile at them as much either. What is it about this song?

Not the story, really, especially as the ‘twist’ is dumb: Culture’s already told the coppers his name a few lines ago. No, it’s the telling that stays fresh. That slight increase in tempo at the end when he knows he’s going to get away with it, and his natural cockiness reasserts itself, “me draw out me Parker”. The venal cop, all oily mangnanimity, “a favour for a FAYvour”. The bubbling pride, while the situation’s still in the balance, “number one was its number”. And the brilliant interrogation, switching on a half-beat between eager police and weary, hassled, contemptuous Smiley, “What you got in the boot then son? Me cyassete recorder.” Right then the police are everybully, and Smiley is you.

My Sports Injury

TMFDPost a comment • 221 views

I will let you know who won the Weber Cup soon, and the interweb will tell you if you are antsy, but I want to share with you an honest to god sports injury I developed at the weekend. Not playing of course. Rather from watching. It involves trying to find our allotted seats at Deportivo De La Coruna. We were up in the football equivalent of The Gods, and a combination of the ticket being in Spanish and all the numbers being rubbed off the seats led to a merry band of nine of us traipsing completely the wrong way.

This was quite possibly my fault, and I paid for it (as unfortunately I believe did Chris) with a very painful calf injury. You see the steps at Depo are steeper than the pyramids at Teotihuacan. After motoring up and down these buggers, my little legs could take no more. Ow.

“Lenin’s Ghost!”

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 229 views

No, actually, his ghost. Haunting a coffee machine!

Limbo Abolished

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 485 views

Catholic Church to bin Limbo: OK, this sort of nonsense is diametrically opposed to science, you might think. But actually the establishment of Limbo in the 13th century seems to me a reasonable bit of scientific thinking. You have a known fact (“The souls of baptised Christians go to Heaven”). You have questions that require explanation arising from that fact (“What happens to the souls of virtuous pagans, or of babies who die before baptism?”). Existing theories are inadequate (“They can’t go to hell or purgatory, because we know that those places for sinners, and these people haven’t actually sinned.”). So you arrive at a new theory, which explains the known facts, and becomes widely accepted. (“They go to this sort of inbetween place called Limbo.”)

Of course the ‘known facts’ are unproven to say the least, and also this sort of thinking just turned the afterlife into a complete fannydangle which was vulnerable to a convincing, simpler theory. And you also wonder whether anyone actually believed in Limbo, or believed in it in a way that made any differences to their lives. And if they did – say if they were a devout mother of a baby that died unbaptized, and found Limbo a comfort – what are they going to think now?