Bitten by the Nostalgia Beast.
If you are under 30, or didn't grow up in this country, chances are this won't mean a thing to you. But otherwise, it may stir a memory or two:

One more video. The attached is only a sample, but Bella Gaia looks awesome. It's just the latest in a long line of this sort of thing - see The Space Movie,l or various bits of the Orb - and its rather longer on atmospherics than hard data, but still it's incredibly beautiful:

Courtesy of [ profile] info_sthetics
With thanks to [ profile] ashfae:

This is a wonderful piece of performance art, from a Ukrainian talent show. I love the constant evolution, and Surreal quality of not knowing how one thing is going to become part of something else. It's eight minutes long, but really worth the effort:

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, but if you are about my age, and likely male too, then this just might stir up something in your memories. Image collection from the 1984 and 1985 Panini football stickers albums. I spent a lot of 10p's on those stickers when I was ten.
Evening enlivened by the discovery that a quiet corner of my DVD collection contains what may be the only commercially available film of Pete Atkin doing his thing. To wit, "Mermaid Frolics", from the Amnesty boxset I'm working through, contains a very silly song about trains. He's playing second or third fiddle to Julie Covington, who at that point was at the height of her fame (Don't Cry For Me, Argentina, and Rock Follies), but still...

Incidentally, if any of you have ever listened to the Radio 4 series This Sceptred Isle, he was the producer.
When the time comes to hand out the 2009 Whisky Tango Foxtrot? Awards for Truly Appalling Journalism, my money is likely to be on the following:

Parents warned against taking their children to "swine flu parties"

Apparently, "no firm evidence has yet emerged of such events taking place". But that shouldn't stand in the way of a good dose of family-friendly hysteria, should it?

Aargh, aargh and thrice aargh.
The limitations of the print media in this age of instant communication have been cruielly shown up by this month's Q magazine. Its major feature on Michael Jackson, commenting on his upcoming 50-show residency at the O2, and projected new album, hit news-stands on Saturday morning, a little over 24 hours after his death. The copy therefore reads a little oddly, to say the least.

The button on the cover promising "CSI ROCK: Dead Musos Exhumed" is also very unfortunate in the circumstances.

Was listening to some of "Bad" on the way home. The title track still sounds unutterably camp, but The Way You make Me feel is a circuit-cable plugging me back into being 12 again.
I have been an enthusiastic seeker after Wonderfully Awful British Accents On Film. There are some peaches out there. But sooner or later you have to stop fishing for minnows, and go back to the source. Enter Bert the Chimney-Sweep...

With brain and body blenched, it's time to take a trip back to childhood, and be swept away by Mary Poppins...
"You don't look well", he pronounced
"Indigestion" I replied
"From what?"
"Join the queue"

[Carlos Ruiz Zafon - "The Angel's Game"]

Yes, it's pulp. Yes, no guignol was ever grander. Yes, the plate-spinning of multiple plot-lines and characters comes unstuck from time to time.

But my words, it's good to return to the Cemtery of Forgotten Books.
I appear to have been earwormed by "Swinging on a Star", in particular the Big Dee Irwin / Little Eva version which was in the charts in 1963.

But I don't want to grow up to be a mule!

As might be evident from the above, the day has expanded well beyond the energy I had set aside to get through it. The diversion of all non-essential life functions to the task of digesting lunch from the Green Dragon probably isn't helping.

Bagpuss gave a big yawn, and fell flat onto his keyboard...
As the WHO prepares to emerge from its hole and tell us it sees a shadow, I was moved to go looking for something germane, and to my delight found it is still there.

The Other Preparing For Emergencies Website
"There has been turbulence, undoubtedly, but our reaction needs to be and will be not to turn in on ourselves, not to be disunited"

[Harriet Harman]

Is that a horse I can see in the distance? And what am I doing holding this stable door?
One other political thing.

Much though I have already said the prospect causes me some trepidation:

In my considered opinion, it is time for a General Election. A party tearing itself to pieces, and winning only 15.3% of the vote in a European election (before the Scottish result, admittedly), has no right or ability to govern, especially in times as difficult as these. Unfortunately for Gordon Brown and ther Labour Party, the firing squad is ready, and the only question left is whether he and his party face it with dignity, or have to be dragged out of the foxhole.

Hard though it is to believe, I think the result of the next election is even more of a foregone conclusion than 1997.
I feel a little like Philip Larkin in "Homage to a Government" this morning - the country looks the same, the people on the train have the same faces, but we are now living in a country which, for the first time, has sent anti-immigration extremists among those who will represent us in Europe. It looks the same, but it isn't the same country.

Of course, in real terms this doesn't make much difference - we tell ourselves that the European parliament doesn't matter anyway, and it's not as if a majority of the UK delegation is BNP or anything (whatever you may think of the Tories, and many of you will think them pretty evil, I know, they are not the BNP).

But, as so often, it is the symbolism which sticks, and cuts at the heart.

[I live in fear of someone saying "So what's so wrong with the BNP?", half in jest, and half seriously saying that if mainstream politics has failed, what's wrong wityh shaking it up, and they won't have any power anyway. It;s not that people who ask this are racists, or stupid - it's just that many suffer the British disease of believing that they can't really change anything, and that They will decide what happens anyway. In such a case, politics becomes a story only, and the BNP just another character.
My fear is because it would be so easy to scream "because they're a bunch of racist bastards", but what is needed is a measured argument which shows not only why the BNP are the wrong party (that's realtively easy, though it would need more figures than I have on me), but also why it matters, and that latter is the hard bit]

It feels a hard day to be British.
The joke about the last Tory government used to be that it was made by MFI - "one loose screw and the whole Cabinet falls apart"

I think we may be coming close to some kind of Labour equivalent, though I can't yet think what it is.
Matt, the cartoonist in the Telegraph, has unsurprisingly been having a lot of fun with the expenses scandal.

This one in particular amused me greatly. From there you can scan the archive.
I'm sure this is very old hat, but it might help get me through what promises to be a tedious day...

Requiring lonely hearts adverts for characters in movies:


"Keymaster WLTM Gatekeeper, for welcoming Gozer the Gozerian, destroying universe, maybe more. No freaks"

"Middle-aged computer hacker, own ship and crew, no sense of humour, seeking The One. Leather accessories an advantage"

"Round the milk-churn, in the fields, you ordered me around, and all I could say was "As you wish". It was true love. Was that you? If so, please get in touch, c/o The Dread Pirate Roberts"

Any more?

And a very silly meta one:
"Pervy hobbit-fanciers seek other pervy hobbit-fanciers for pervy hobbit-fancying. Branches in most major settlements in Middle-Earth. No giant flaming eyes on stalks, please"
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