Posts from 7th August 2000

7
Aug 00

TANYA SOLVES THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT

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TANYA SOLVES THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT

As far as I understand it, the main sticking point of the Middle East Peace Process which has been chuntering along with little success of late is real estate based. Holy cities cause conflict when said city is belov’d of more than one religion. What tends to happen is that various sides take to car bombs and slowly turn said holy city into a – ahem – holey city.

Bad jokes aside though, the solution has been staring Barak and Arafat in the face for a very long time. And if they had looked up from Camp David (no – I’m leaving Bowie alone for now), they may have noticed than none less than the finest minds of a generation have been pointing it out for them. Or at least the finest minds St Martins Art School had to offer, which when you consider they consist of the droopy fag smoking pretty boy from Blur and a cow pickler, is probably not so impressive.

Why not build another Jerusalem. In England’s Green and Pleasant Land?

Of course I’m not sure how the British government would react to millions of Israeli’s or Palestinian’s moving to said city in Bucks. I have a fair idea how the British people would react, and it would involved xenophobia, letterboxes and dogshit. That said – its ironic that it would be Fat Les who brought this unique solution to the fore. Considering their songs are to British Nationalism what Isaac Hayes’ theme from Shaft was to the film Shaft.

Clinton, you can have that one for free. But I’m going to charge for solving any other international incidents. Though I’ll give you a hint about how to solve the Northern Irish problem. And it involves Christy Moore, Ash, Ullian Pipes and their collective arses.

IF I WAS A FUCKER

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IF I WAS A FUCKER

There is one hymn, though, that I hate more than any other, more even than the one Fat Les did. That hymn is not often sung in church, for the reason that the parish budget won’t often stretch to a guitar synthesiser and hexagonal syndrums. I am speaking, of course, of “Hymn” by Ultravox.

Were Ultravox trying to write a real hymn, I wonder? I suggest not. For they, like me, had realised that “hymn” is merely a synonym for “turgid pompous arsebitery”. The Ultravox barrel is a particularly well-scraped bit of carpentery (now one worn with shoulder-straps by Bumfluff King M.Ure, if there’s any justice), but truly the band’s collective nails must have been worn to the quick after they pulled out “Hymn”. “Give us this day, all that we should need” intones Ure. Hmm? Some new drum programs? A foot or so extra in height? A mighty kick in the bollocks? No. What Ultravox seem to think they need is an interminably horrible treated-guitar solo, much as appears on every other Ultravox track when it’s time for the ‘passionate bit’. Quite why the Lord has to intercede to provide this I’ve not fully understood. The single sleeve boasted a pair of compasses, perhaps to imply that the Creator’s Great Design included Ultravox, when in fact the band were merely a drop of greasy fat dropped from a heavenly kebab onto the Divine Blueprint and then clumsily wiped off with a big white sleeve.

For God’s sake SHUT UP

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FOR GOD’S SAKE SHUT UP

There are a lot of hymns out there. They come in big fat books that I only ever see when I go to weddings. If they stayed like that, I reckon I could tolerate them – merely as the bad devotional poetry they are. They certainly follow the poetry fact that all kids are told age twelve – that poems do not have to rhyme. Now of course, after you are told this potentially liberating fact, you are set as homework a poem to write. They always dock marks if you don’t slip in a rhyming scheme. Free verse my arse.

Free verse only really exists in hymns. Of course, on paper they may appear to rhyme. But these things were written three hundred years ago and we just don’t use the word o’er any more.

“Hey, do you want to come o’er for a few beers tonight?”
“O’er. To thines place?”

Couple this with the fact that meter is pretty much ignored (a tune made out of the Lord’s Prayer scanning?) and you would need a tight rhythm section to the tune together. Unfortunately what you get is a machine out of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, wheezing and pumping under the watchful eyes of a half dead verger. The mechanical bastard offspring of a panpipe and the Titanic is impossible to play quietly and all the more impossible to play in tune.

Still, rest assured that your ears are not being solely rent asunder by the organ and the peculiar acoustics of most churches. No, you will have the distraction of the one woman choir standing behind you. Just as all gigs have the fat bloke down the front, all churches come equipped with a woman who sings very loudly, and does not really know the words. Even though they are written down in a book for her. True they are rubbish words, and they do not fit in any normal way into any song structure that has ever been invented, but this is surely a reason to move your mouth and make no noise. God’s non-interventionist policy probably stems from the songs of devotion sung to him. Its all well and good people singing to show how much they love you, but if it’s the seventeenth century equivalent of Ocean Colour Scene then you are not going to be that impressed.

Rabid Christian s will attack this argument (them being nominally saner than the average Pulp fan), pointing out that the Devil has all the best tunes. Not so sir, I’ve been to a Satanists wedding and frankly the grunting outburst of noise made by Sabbat are hardly tunes at all. Is this half arsed truism worth keeping, surely the odd bouncey tune might dust down the G mans old fuddy duddy image. Hey, we’re in the New Testament now. The palatable tune God ever had has since been nicked for a football songs. And trust me, I prefer the sentiment “You’re not singing anymore”.

Look, its simple. Stop forcing this stuff on kids, and go the Quaker route of nice, silent worship. Monks are big on God right? You don’t see them trapping on and shouting Alleluia all the fucking time do you? Mind you, they probably don’t want to draw attention to their stupid hair. That never stopped Elton John though.

Fluffy Bunny Sparkle Cloud Raves

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Fluffy Bunny Sparkle Cloud Raves: Peace, love, unity and respect! Ban all drugs now. (via Pearls)

A Brief History of Banned Music in the United States

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A Brief History of Banned Music in the United States: mostly the usual suspects, but a few other amusing tales too – “The NBC and CBS radio networks joined ABC in banning a novelty hit by Dot and Diamond called “Transfusion” because, according to an NBC executive, “there’s nothing funny about a blood transfusion.””.