Friday, July 31, 2009

Only 799,999 to go

Spiky or fluffy?

Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (105)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 105th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

We now have 1521 friends!

Recent blogs:

  • Patents and the suppression of inventions
  • Is technology to blame?
  • Ending child slavery
  • Quote for the week:

    "The capitalist system of society instills within its youthful members aspirations for "success" and an unflagging ambition to climb the somewhat elusive ladder of fame and fortune to achieve comfort, riches and security. The seeds of ambition are subtly imbedded during early school years by false propaganda that benumbs and misleads the mind when it is too immature to be discerning and too enthusiastic to be realistic." Samuel Leight, World Without Wages, 1980

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Labelled with love

    In the words of Barry the radish, "We should have done this years ago.". Finally got round to posting the labels section on the Socialist Standard@MySpace blogspot.

    Champing at the bit for articles that include the label left-wing reformism? Want to read all the Greasy Pole columns in one sitting? Have a recce of what sort of books are reviewed in the Socialist Standard? Wonder if there are a hundred pieces on the blog from Adam Buick yet? Then click on the provided links and the hundreds of others over at the blog. (The labels are listed in alphabetical order on the bottom ride hand side of the page.)

    You know it makes google sense.

    'In the game of life that is monopoly, the Labour Party should be given the boot' Professor Plum

    Another cracking front cover for next month's Socialist Standard from Paddy and Neil. They'll be missed when they step down from doing the layout of the Standard.

    (Click pic to enlarge.)

    1st of May: All Belongs to You (2008)

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Didn't we do this already with Artmedia Bratislava a few years ago?

    Seven minutes in and they're already 1-0 down . . . at home . . . against a team founded by Felix Dzerzhinsky.

    It's going to be a long season following Celtic on BBC's live text.

    Whatever happened to Bob Bert?

    Apparently, it's not just MsMacGuff who has issues with NYC's finest:

    "Sonic Youth - how can you be in a band for about 25 years and make about 20 albums and never have a single song? It's just jazz by people who are shit at their instruments "

    Harsh but funny one line career overview from 'isitme' on the enjoyable 'Diss music that everyone likes' thread on Urban 75.

    Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

    Sunday, July 26, 2009

    'Slowing things down.'

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (104)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 104th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1519 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Open Letter to Michael Moore
  • They shoot cowards, don't they?
  • Whose thoughts are you thinking?
  • Quote for the week:

    'Labour is the source of all wealth, the political economists assert. And it really is the source - next to nature, which supplies it with the material that it converts into wealth. But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labour created man himself.' Engels, The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man (1876)

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (Harbrace Paperbound Library 1933)

    You can have cartoons about any of the parties, but you mustn't put anything in favour of Socialism, because the police won't stand it. Once I did a cartoon of a boa constrictor marked Capital swallowing a rabbit marked Labour. The copper came along and saw it, and he says, “You rub that out, and look sharp about it,” he says. I had to rub it out. The copper's got the right to move you on for loitering, and it's no good giving them a back answer.’

    . . .

    Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised? — for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modern talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except ‘Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it’? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modern people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    I'll win an Oscar nomination before he does spot*

    Spotted locally:

    Kevin Smith and Tracy Morgan filming the comedy A Couple of Dicks at our local subway station. When I spotted them filming at the station a few days previously, Kara thought I was joking about the film title until she imdb'd it and saw that it was directed by Smith, one of her favourite filmmakers.

    I'm guessing the film's location manager picked the area for its very *special* ambience.

    Tracy was in costume, Kevin Smith was larger than life and the film's other star, Bruce Willis, was nowhere to be seen. (Or rather, there's a lot of people who might look like Bruce Willis from a distance and we were in a hurry to get somewhere else.) He was about previously as the pic below indicates:

    That's the exact same pose I adopt on the platform of 18th Avenue when I'm waiting for the F Train. It's the only way I can guarantee that I'll get a seat. (Pic from here.)

    I'm not too sure what the film is about. A buddy cop movie with a title that is 30 years out of date is all I can glean from the imdb plot summary. I'm hoping that it will have the wit of a 48 Hours or a Midnight Run, and that my litter gets a walk-on role. I'll definitely be checking it out.

    *The title of the post is the second cousin of this old post from the blog. I wasn't really be snotty.

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Still Midnight by Denise Mina (Orion Books 2009)

    Alex and Danny met on their first day at school. They looked like twins, everyone said so, it was an innocent joke. They were sweethearts for their first term of school but it all ended abruptly when their mothers met at the gates. The most vivid memory of Alex's early life was walkig home through a park, blood dripping from her sobbing mother's mouth onto the grey path. She'd ripped her blouse in the fight and everyone could see her bra strap.
    People didn't move schools in those days. Danny and Alex went all the way through primary school together, and secondary. And all the time there was the ever present threat of their mothers fighting, of the other boot falling.

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Comfort and Joy (1984)

    Stop, boak, finally listen

    It took them 25 days but the bastards* finally wore me down and broke my resolve. I'm now listening to Thriller for the first time in 20 years.

    It's not as cheesy** as I remember it.

    *The 'bastards' being the 1001 car drivers/truck drivers/snots on skateboards that have stopped at the traffic lights outside our apartment block these past four weeks and played the same interchangeable four or five MJ tracks at full blast on their music systems.

    **I still think that 'Beat It' is an overrated piece of garbage, though.

    The old man and the bottle of C

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (103)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 103rd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1511 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Marx's Contribution to the Critique of Reformism
  • Levellers or Diggers?
  • Why socialism is still relevant
  • Quote for the week:

    ...'if thou consent to freedom for the rich in the City and givest freedom to the freeholders in the country, and to priests and lawyers and lords of manors.... and yet allowest the poor no freedom, thou art a declared hypocrite. Gerrard Winstanley. 1609 - 1676.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Here comes the transcript

    Bit late in posting this and I have no plausible excuses immediately to hand.

    As previously mentioned on the blog, Impossibilist Bill was speaking on the subject of 'Here comes the robots' at a recent SPGB meeting, and being the good bloke that he is, he's been kind enough to provide a transcript of his talk over at his blog, Reasons To Be Impossible.

    Click through here or wait until I cut and paste the piece over at the Socialist Standard MySpace page. The choice is yours.

    Between the Lines (1977)

    Living in America without James Brown

    Has it been four years?

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Pineapple Express (2008)

    If I was in London right now . . .

    . . . I'd be attending this meeting:

    Dockers and Detectives’ with Ken Worpole

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm

    Location: Housmans Bookshop

    5 Caledonian Road - Kings Cross

    In the 1980s writer Ken Worpole interviewed a number of well known novelists and political activists in London's East End, such as Simon Blumenfeld, Alexander Baron, Jack Dash, on how they had mythologised the area in their books and political writings. Here he talks about that making of East End mythology and plays extracts from those recordings.

    I read Dockers and Detectives about fifteen years ago. A wonderful book and a gateway to discovering such forgotten writers as Alexander Baron, James Hanley and Dan Billany (Billany was a member of the Hull Branch of the SPGB for the leftist trainspotters out there).

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Thursday, July 09, 2009

    'You woke up my neighborhood'

    'Bad hipster art' (is there any other kind?) or sinister political vandalism? Whatever the case, there are strange goings on in our neighbourhood at the moment

    Here's the background to the story, and Ditmas Park blog has heaps more on the incident.

    Follow my conscience

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (102)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 102nd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1514 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Coming up for Orwell
  • Problems and Solutions
  • Not So Honourable Members
  • Quote for the week:

    "Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all." Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume II. 1785.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Monday, July 06, 2009

    The misfortune of Fortune

    As sure as night follows day, breaking news from the BBC Football website that Celtic is about to sign someone can only result in one thing: said player's wiki page being hacked. This time around it's Nancy's Marc-Antoine Fortune, who Mowbray had on loan at West Brom.

    Here's the link to his wiki page which may or may not have been repaired at the time of writing. Posted below for posterity's sake is a screen grab of the hacked page. (Click image to enlarge.)

    Christ, I hope those career stats of his are part of the hack job. A scoring ratio of one goal every five and a half games doesn't really get the hairs on the back of the neck tingling, does it?

    When the angels sing

    Tin Can Pot, the Prefab Sprout dedicated music blog, brings us news of one of those "I can't breathe' moments:

    Sunday, July 05, 2009

    Quote of the day

    Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?"

    Priest: "Oh, no, not if you did not know."

    Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"

    Hat tip to John B:

    Old Big 'Ead

    Via Giulio Manieri over at Facebook.

    Not my favourite scene from Mike Leigh's High Hopes. That would be this scene.

    Saturday, July 04, 2009

    Face off

    Clinging onto the back bumpers for dear life, the SPGB finally climbs aboard the Facebook bandwagon:

  • Socialist Party of Great Britain Facebook Group
  • Socialist Standard Facebook Group
  • Feel free to grab onto the toggles of our collective anorak.

    Coming Soon:

    The SPGB on Twitter . . . but only once it's truly passe.