Friday, March 31, 2006


Bollocks to alcohol, I'm never drinking again. I'm being serious ; getting scraped off the pavement by the cops is a laugh when you're 16, but being 29 and waking up with a fag-cracked 'Rockford Files' voice, severe diziness and no recollection of what you actually said to a bunch of similar drunks the night before is tragically old hat. I'm gonna swap booze for Thai kick boxing and fresh fruit. Or as Descartes used to say, "Och, ma heid is fucken nippin'! "

Still, being a bit pissed from the night before has taken a bit of the edge off. Four things cheered me up immensely on my (very fucking late) journey to work : 1- I saw a poster in Jeremy Corbyn's (note for foreign readers -bearded Labour MP) office, which read, "Could you look after a disabled or old person?", and I thought, Yes, I could actually. One of my Irish cousins was a spastic and I pushed him around the dirt tracks of Mullaghmore when I was 14, so yes, I can actually do something serious! I'm such a fucking star. 2 - Someone had fingered 'GOONERS ARE UNEDUCATED SCUM' into the grime on the back of a white van - buy this scrawler a pint. 3- Some old bloke got on the tube, with a bald pate but messy, stringy hair exploding from the back and sides, wearing a bow tie, a lime green shirt, a beige cardie and a brown moleskin suit. He looked like an avant garde composer. He was clutching a black plastic bag and talking to himself with a manic grin, which is understandable if you've led an exciting and brilliant life 4- a girl looked ecstatic when a grey squirrel ran across the road. Never mind these nazis who tell you the red squirrels are the master race, her fondness for the supposed grey 'vermin' was deeply touching. Oh and reason 5, I can raise my right eyebrow like Roger Moore used to, I feel like James Brown with 10 cocks right now


Well, went down The Foundry for the SAVAGE MESSIAH shindig - older readers will remember some ancient post about me stealing a copy off this zine's author, Laura Norder. This gave me the chance to absolve my guilt and peruse Issues 3 and 4. Both are utterly essential, Issue 3 is some fine scribbling about psychogeographical jaunts in West London, and triggered memories of the group P.A.I.N, who I once saw live, with notorious drug smuggler Howard Marks coming onstage and chatting some shit about the 'erb. There was a gang of punks at the back shouting 'Fuck off you Oxbridge hippy cunt!', which was amusing. The only other things I remember about P.A.I.N was that they had a song called 'Road Rage' and did a cover version of Crass' "Do They Owe Us a Living?" changed to "Do They Owe Us a Lawyer?". Thats drink for you.

Issue 4 is more hardcore, going deep into the mindset of a racist wifebeater, like Soft Cell's "Forever the Same" puked up in print, and is the equivalent of staggering out into the glare of a New Cross sun, framed by towerblocks. Whitehouse and NLP? Bullshit. Laura can be contacted on - Issue 3 costs 1 quid 50, Issue 4 is 2 pands.

Then met up with the despicable John Eden at BASH, the raggacore club everyone's raving about. It was a bit chilled, more digidub than pavement-raking mash-ups, though one of my all-time favourite 80s UK dancehall smash hits was played at one point - shame I can't remember what it was, but may well have been Peter King's "Step On The Gas". The night was saved by the wicked WARRIOR QUEEN, who came on around 1am, in a white headcoat, and chatted some superb shit. So, highlights of the evening - some great reading, well skill DJing - oh, and discovering that Matt Woebot's into bondage. There is text evidence to prove this. What d'ya make of that then, Francois Roubaix? Good on you, son! Get those furry handcuffs swinging. Excuse me while I go to the toilet and admire my eyebrow before puking my head off.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The images that REALLY pop into my head when I hear these songs

(NOTE- Warning to bloggers. If you ever post something libellous, don't think you'll be able to just delete your blog to destroy the evidence and avoid prosecution. For reasons unfathomable to me, the muck from BTi is all still cached in cyberspace - it sort of reveals itself at its own pace, y'know? This shite is from August 2004, and was originally accompanied by a disgusting picture which no longer exists)

1) Conflict "Increase the Pressure"

A group of elderly dwarves on crack, wearing bright yellow pac-a-macs, barging their way onto a Merry Go Round, flashing their cocks, punching children off their horses, swigging booze and finally getting yanked into copcars in a maelstrom of verbal abuse and crushed Strongbow Super cans

2) Led Zep "Immigrant Song"

Frank Bough prowling the Amsterdam red light district, window shopping, with a copy of Hellenic Navy Girls mag tucked inside his snorkel jacket

3) The Union Gap "Young Girl"

Someone drowning in a swimming pool, with the song booming out of the chlorine filters, while blurred figures, shimmering above the surface, sprinkle rose petals over the pool

4) Stranglers "London Lady"

A Minder-style fight breaking out in a motorway cafe which has a load of old posters of the 1982 England world cup squad and Panda Cola adverts tacked to the walls

5) The Clash "Pressure Drop"

Mick Jones and Joe Strummer drawing the curtains, whispering, Are you sure no-one can see in?, before ripping off their leather jackets, dolling themselves up in Timmy Mallett-style luminous beachwear and backwards baseball caps, and giggling like retarded 5-year olds as they throw themselves round their bedsit, playing Fisher Price guitars in a shameless yet sordid burst of white reggae bumfoolery

Monday, March 27, 2006


Ran into my niece, her boyfriend and their 3-year old daughter on the weekend. They live in Leagrave, an especially soulless part of Luton. My niece is OK, she's managed to stay out of trouble ever since she mushed some honky slag outside a nightclub who called her a 'paki' (and got community service for it). Her boyfriend is thinking of taking up martial arts though, as he's sick of copping racial abuse from Asians in the area, who shout 'black bastards' when he and my niece are going out.

My niece, who's half and half, is more stoic about it, reasoning that 'all pakis stink of shit, they're so disgusting'. What really disturbed me though was the amount of fun I was having with my niece's kid. We invented a new 'game', which basically consisted of me holding her by the hips and 'dive-bombing' her, head-first, at a downwards 45 degree angle towards the kitchen sink, where she'd shout '1- 2-3-GO' and place her tiny hand right under the cold tap as I turned it on, causing water to spray out all over the kitchen. Her sleeves were soaked, so no doubt if she catches pneumonia between now and 2010 it'll all be my fault. I left her singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Rabbit (sic) and went out to get pissed with my sister - though, somehow, I've only gone and promised my niece I'll invite her down to London next time there's some worthy grime event. Incidentally, my sister was hilarious, she drank so much she got all weepy and emotional and started recounting the time she'd been to Paris on a school trip in the 1970s and had seen a bloke throw himself off the top of Notre Dame. "I just remember seeing his shoes come off mid-air and the loud crash when he landed," she was nearly sobbing at me as I desperately willed myself to stay awake. I came to at 4am, in a strange bed, gagging for a pint of water, my nightmares streaked with images of suicide jumpers and hidden masonic symbols on the yellowing gatefold sleeves of 2nd-hand 'Dennis the Menace' LPs.


PSYCHBLOKE has jacked in blogging, he was worried that his readers had rumbled his identity (think BBC Bristol weather presenter). He threw a 'me' (ie-deleted everything -how utterly juvenile!) and has since disappeared. BTi wishes him the very best of success under his new 'myspace' persona, 'Dominic'. A Ronnie Kray-style funeral is planned in North London, Psychbloke's personality will be carefully psychically implanted inside a Battle of the Planets action figure, and placed inside a miniature coffin, to be borne on a child's scooter by two whippets in knitted tartan doggie-coats. The coffin will proceed between Chalk Farm tube station and Highgate Cemetery, where said action figure will be taken out and tossed over the gate.


ROB LOVEECSTASYCRIME has managed to escape a spell in the slammer - congratulations! JOHN EDEN has RSI or something- commiserations! BETTY BOO, the girl who stole my pre-teenage heart*, is back in the charts, collaborating with that smirking, sneering, lanky cunt from Blur - the one who used to wedge a cigarette between his lips for the duration of entire concerts ; y'know, like Slash used to do back in the 1700s at those Monsters of Rock gigs that all cynical indie fans despised.

This Blur / Boo 'project' is called WIGWAM - what a load of old pony. Yeah OK, OK, if I only had three minutes left to live I'd probably spend it watching her classic Doin' the Doo vid, while knocking back a lethal combination of Harpic, Special Brew and Creme de Menth. And, as sexist as this may sound, having unblocked my own kitchen sink single-handedly, I wouldn't mind having a crack at Betty's utility room too ((Oh, fuck off, it was there on a plate!)).

But Boomania was donkeys years' ago, and I don't care if Where Are You Baby was basically Martha & The Vandellas' Nowhere to Run taking E, bunking off school and hanging around the swings, riding an emotional rollercoaster of truant high life and unrequited lust - pure pop teenage lightning, in other words! This hideous Boo / Blur 'Wigwam' collaboration should have been strangled at birth, and anyone over the age of 9 who attempts to buy the single should be shot. Don't encourage these deplorable comebacks, for God's sake. Next thing you know, Fuckface from The Libertines will be duetting with Vice Squad's BEKKI BONDAGE on Pop World. No wonder Norman Kember wanted to stay and rot in Iraq - it really is that bad.

(* - well, apart from Sabrina and Sinitta)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


While I get cracking on the rest of the Riot Grrrl Revival series, I thought I'd enrich this ridiculously low brow blog with some poetry. No, not more asinine, contrived pseudo-punk band lyrics, but some genuine verse. Poetry's acquired a bad name, and I suspect a few of you will exit immediately, but hey, at least I never joined the SWP. This one's untitled but it's dedicated to the prat who runs a shop called 'Fromagerie' on Highbury Grove. This clown sells tiny quiches to morons for three quid a pop, and also stocks a load of weird ciders and wines that you can't buy anywhere else - because most off-licenses don't tend to factor in pretentious Islington booge-wah blatherers who want to pass themselves off as 'gourmets' when they're working out their sales strategies. This poem will be printed off and put through said proprietor's door.


Hey! Mr Fromagerie proprietor
In your apron ; nostrils accustomed to the scents
Of the world's rarest, most treasured and fawned over cheeses

You think you're running some exclusive cheese club
Where supermodels and city gents
Stroll in, bedecked in £10,000 clothes
Air kiss, and whip out designer bags
To transport caramelised onion, foie gras and shrimp quiche
Back to Club Tropicana

But I'll tell you this, sunshine
You're just a deluded old fool
Who never realised the bitter truth, more pungent than any cheeseblock
You care to stock

What your brazen strumpet of an assistant
Neglected to tell you, and hides from your comprehension
Is that cheese went downmarket years ago
Bavarian Smoked in the Paxton Road end
The street kids, scooter girls, and their homemade apple jam
Illicit pheasant pie factories in Barking lock-ups

Oh, you bloody fool! To place such pride
In yesterday's culinary burberry
While the world flocks to your window, Nose nestling against the glass,
And laughs and mocks you ; you're in RABBIT SOUP DENIAL HELL

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


KIM CARNES -"Betty Davies' Eyes"

A young ginger girl in a parallel Jackie Collins-scripted dimension gets off her pony and makes her way to a sauna in the conservatory, where the Hitler lookalike from Sparks is waiting with a tray of canapes and a shiny veneer of dribble on his lower lip


Darcus Howe walking around Billingsgate Market in a state of depression, rifling through trays of cockels with a plastic scoop, prodding fish eyes and holding up strips of smoked salmon to the light, before two men in white coats try to lead him off into a car parked outside (unsuccessfully)

ECHOBELLY "Great Things"

A big party we had in Camberwell in 1996 where the flat got trashed by a drunken American and we had to flee the landlord two days later, and me and Andy having a last pint together at Victoria Station and going 'No honest, you're fucking great' before we went off in different directions to seek our fortunes


A psychopathic robot who's just been disqualified from taking part in a pub karaoke competition going beserk and slaughtering the entire bar in slow motion with razor sharp shurikens and his axe-hand, while he murmurs the words and gently sheds kerosene tears

GLITTER BAND "Rock n Roll part 2"

The England 1970 World Cup squad held hostage by Iran and forced to stand, with their heads bowed and hands tied behind their backs, on a podium with 'DECADENT SPORTSMAN' inscribed underneath while kids pelt them with street rubbish


Three girls running out of ideas ("Ho ho!"- a reader) ("Right, fuck off now"- another)

Friday, March 17, 2006


Prole Art Riot? Don't bother looking to music or the art world. Whatever Zizek was chatting about on the 'Art Shock' programme on Channel 4 last night ((PS-which I didn't watch, I was busy bawling my eyes out and sobbing "nobody loves me" in a pub)) ((PPS- Never mind what Stewart Home says, Zizek actually wears sandals without a trace of shame - how on earth did any of you fall for someone so patently repulsive? Marx was too gutless and lazy to say it, but the first duty of any TRUE socialist is to hack the legs off the sandal-wearers* - even Idi Amin knew the score on that one)) was rendered obsolete by yesterday's "Sun" headline - I WATCHED HUMAN GUINEA PIGS EXPLODE. No fuss, no mess, just pure art impact.

(* this excludes the Vietcong, obviously, who can wear whatever the fuck they like - you Western nonce!)

Similarly, forget modern indie for any high jinks. I've never seen such a troupe of Toni&Guy-treated Ken Dolls in all my years. We Are Scientists? The Editors? Why not just call yourselves The Geography Field Trip or The Guitar, Bass and Drumkit and be done with it. The NME Awards are now the last place you'd look for crazy behaviour - you're better off going to a community meeting in a freezing church hall in Hackney, with local drunks wandering in and heckling speakers at random -about what, nobody's quite sure, but it beats the hell out of watching the Kaiser Chiefs simper about, collecting trophies without fear of assassination.

So I've decided to commemorate the glorious '92-'94 UK Riot Grrrl scene instead, and to recuperate the essential documents from that era. I expect these records will substantially shoot up in value on eBay, so try and track them down now. Or look them up on Soulseek and defraud the artists of royalties - I don't care!

VOODOO QUEENS - Supermodel Superficial 7" (1993)

The Voodoo Queens were led by a Brit-Indian go-go dancer from East London called Anjali. Apparently she used to dance with The Cramps, til they kicked her out for being too feisty. This merely confirms my opinion that The Cramps were 'boring'. Oh come on, let's be honest ; this 'legendary', 'cool' band were as dull as a fortnight in Gibraltar. Now, Screaming Lord Sutch swooping into a crowd of nervous, giggling schoolgirls, yelling "JACK THE RIPPER!" into their prim, post-war austerity-mottled faces- that's ace. But The Cramps? Pah, Voice of the Beehive with a few spiders and tombstones thrown in, rubbish!

Anjali graduated to the girl punk band Mambo Taxi, whose definitive release was 1992's "PROM QUEEN" 7". This is a class piece of punky Riot Grrrl, barely 2 minutes long. Lyrically, it was based on a true news item at the time, where one US high school mom had murdered another, to ensure that her little poppet would be crowned 'prom queen' - having reasoned that the victim's daughter would be too grief-stricken to turn up to compete!

This black humour was the perfect antidote to Kurt Cobain's miserable ramblings. Sadly, Mambo Taxi's next EP was so boring, I'd actually managed to erase its title from my memory until 10 minutes ago, when I looked it up on Google (it was called 'Poems on the Underground'). I think another single came out after that, but then Anjali went on to form the Voodoo Queens and things really kicked off.

While Huggy Bear were busy cooking up manifestos about "the nucleus of intercourse", the VQs took more of a street level approach, singing about how crap and shallow 95% of the boy race were and urging girls to eat chocolate and not give a toss about their weight. These themes all came flooding together on "Supermodel Superficial", a rant that still sounds good today, and one of the best UK Riot Grrrl singles ever. However, the best songs the VQs EVER recorded were "Summer Sun" and "Princess of the Voodoo Beat", 60s style trash pop that pisses all over the Cramps' meagre attempts to dig up Link Wray's missing lung. Sadly, neither of these were released on single, so you'll have to track down the Peel Sessions CD or LP. "Princess....", played at full blast, is completely essential. I also have to say that the time I saw them play at the White Horse in '93 was one of the best gigs I've been to.

Then what? Well, what do you want, the truth or the bullshit ending? Anjali started to seriously dabble in voodoo, resulting in the much-celebrated deaths of both Kurt Cobain and Skrewdriver croaker Ian Stuart, before spontaneously combusting during a soundcheck in Camden. Back in the real world, she appeared on the awful Caitlain (sp?) Moran-hosted yoof pop programme "Naked City", doing some sordid sort of street-busking 'competition' for hoots. And then the band just kind of imploded and the NME started wetting its Y-fronts over the vastly inferior Elastica. She now makes "lounge exotica " (ie- trip hop) records, some of which are alright actually (some are abysmal) - though for me she'll always be the Haji lookalike with her leg slung up on a monitor, strumming her plank and screeching "AND ALL OF THE BOYS IN THE WORLD WILL FRY!" As far as hellfire preaching goes, it made Nick Cave sound like Serge Gainsbourg stumbling around a dark landing looking for the toilet. The Voodoo Queens rocked.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

"VANDAL" - a splatterpulp short story FROM HELL!

Joe Dalston grabbed his bag, scribbled an illegible scrawl across his release form, and made for the door of the youth detention centre. "Don't forget your appointment with the social worker, you filthy guttersnipe!" one of the screws taunted. "And I'll tell you what," the middle-aged pig snorted, bearing down on Dalston's malnourished frame, "You touch one more towerblock balcony lightbulb and I'll rearrange your fucking face, savvy?."

Dalston scampered past and burst out laughing. His lungs sucked in the fresh taste of freedom. A whole city spread out before his eyes - a million things to vandalise and destroy!!

Within minutes, he'd jemmied open a phonebox, and had collected 60p towards his bus fare. Fucking mobile phones! In the old days, he could have made 50 quid from such a raid, easy. Joe was fucked if he was wasting his afternoon with his social worker. He didn't object so much to the pathetic whining and pleas for him to grass his mates up. It was the twat's attempts to impress him by trying to be down with the kids, maaan, that got Joe's goat. Joe hated all R&B with a vengeance. Fancy listening to a load of songs about licking, sucking and fucking when you could be damaging telephone poles or setting mosques and churches on fire! So, instead, he set off to meet his old partner in crime - Charlton Dave!

It was a fairly typical bus ride to Dave's flat. Joe had ripped out six seats and slashed another 8 before the driver threw him off. Frustrated at having to walk, Dalston had vented his anger on several hundred parked cars, cracking their windscreens, keying their sides and shoving some satsumas he'd just liberated from a supermarket up their exhaust pipes. Joe had a fanatical hatred of fruit. This stemmed back to his childhood, as the son of a greengrocer. Despite his father's occupation, the fruitbowl in the living room had only ever contained plastic apples, oranges and bananas - confusing and psychologically scarring Joe immeasurably.

Joe sprayed a swastika on Dave's neighbour's front door as he waited for his old mucker to answer. He was horrified to see Dave in an Aran jumper, corduroy trousers and slippers - with a proper haircut!

"What's happened to yer barnet?" Joe screamed. "The Bobby Sands cut not good enuff fer yer?"

"Things have changed," Dave muttered, a look of shame engulfing his mug.

"What chew on about?" Joe sneered. "Me and you are the World Class Wrecking Crew, the best vandals in London! We were born to fuck this city over!"

"Were", grimaced Dave. "Things have changed since you went inside. I'm into the Comfortable Rock scene nowadays. I'm more into hanging around with Martyn Normal and the Responsible Youth Posse . Oh, and I'm getting married in a couple of weeks' time. To Miriam - she's very meek and needy. We're going to have a baby - I really love her and would die for her," he sobbed.

"You fuckin' sell-out!" Joe ullulated. "I've only been banged up for a week! Fuck ya - I'll smash your newfound domestic utopia to a pulp of broken glass, twisted metal and splintered wood - on me own!"


Joe was speeding at 100mph in a stolen Lada through Kilburn. His eyes streaked with the tears of the agony of betrayal, he was blasting out his favourite queercore band, Antisocial Insecurity, and their 1999 hit, "Break Everything"

Smashing things gives me a hard-on
Trashing the Blue Peter Garden
Taking out my teenage hate
On the public utilities of the state!
I love to stick syringes
In the filters in swimming pools
And demolish park benches
With stolen power tools.....BREAK EVERYTHING!

Joe swerved the car and parked it into the wall of a Chinese restaurant. Turning over a row of wheeliebins, the angry youngster made his way towards Cricklewood Station. He fancied throwing something on the rail tracks! The fatalities and injuries sustained by hundreds of passengers would be a mere trifle compared to Joe's compulsive urge to turn Britain into one big bloody mess!


"No, he hasn't turned up", Winston Snaresbrook told the two cops. "He was meant to come at 3pm. He's an extremely sociopathic youth - we've tried to get him interested in activities with people of his own age, such as rollerdiscos, painting and camping. We even invited him to a CND charity barbecue. But he just wants to vandalise anything that doesn't move - and a few things that do!"

"Softy-feely liberal measures aren't the answer," the younger cop told the social worker. "The only language that animals like Dalston comprehend is the bee-like buzz'n'drone of the electro convulsive therapy unit!"

"Now, now", said the older cop, waving a gloved hand in his colleague's face. "Mr Snaresbrook, can you think where Joe Dalston may be right now?"

"No," Snaresbrook said. "I haven't a clue"

"Well, we found this under his bed in the detention centre," the cop retorted, pulling out a scrap of paper and passing it to the social worker. Snaresbrook peered at the scribble on the scrap -


"Christ!" shouted Snaresbrook. "I'll bet he's at the Thameslink station in Cricklewood with his crony, Dave Fiction!"

"So....Charlton Dave Fiction's in on this too!" smiled the younger cop, putting on a knuckle duster. "Me and that dirty little chav have scores to settle. Right, there's a 'copter outside, come along ganjaman, we're heading straight there!"

Joe was shagging a bird in the grass, by the edge of the tracks. Although the disco dolly was gasping in ecstasy, Dalston was bored. This whole act was merely a sex magick ritual, and the sooner he shot his bolt, the better.

"Oh, Joe, I've only known you 30 seconds but I think I love you!" the girl squealed

"Little Pan...I summon thee...force the hand of chance!" Joe burped as he came.

The train was coming too. Joe zipped up, and reached for the tentpole he'd hidden by the tracks. He was about to lob it in front of the train - when suddenly the whirring blades of the police helicopter distracted him! Jerking the steel pole upwards, he made contact with the overhead power lines. Dalston and the 'copter simultaneously burst into flames, the mangled wreck of the machinery descending onto the tracks, derailing the train and sending it spinning, in a deadly fireball, down the high street, obliterating Irish pubs, kebab shops and launderettes in its wake.

"It's what he would have wanted,I suppose" Charlton Dave sighed. He was sitting with his new girlfriend, flicking through shower curtain designs and watching "Emmerdale" - a programme he had once despised, but now watched religiously.

"I don't like this design, it's too loud - why don't we go for plain green," Miriam said, squinting through a magnifying glass.

"My best friend's just died!" Dave moaned.

"Yes, but he had it coming," his wife-to-be snapped haughtily. "As responsible homeowners, we're now legitimate targets of vandals. I can't understand why people vandalise things anyway. They must be very sick. I saw a nice hoover in Argos the other day, and it's cheaper than the one in Tesco. I think we should go for cream, something that doesn't clash with the tiles. Oh, I saw a nice floral dress on the high street, it'll look good on me when we have our baby christened."

"I'm just...popping out to buy a toothbrush rack," Dave shuddered, pulling on his pac-a-mac and leaving the flat - feeling a sudden urge to take one of Miriam's knitting needles with him. Walking down the street, his head swam with images. Marriage! Babies! Pension payments! His teeth clenched as he rammed the knitting needle into the paintwork of a parked removals van, before he ran off, laughing hysterically to himself in the darkness - never to return!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

EMERGING FROM THE SHADOWS, Shoreditch Town Hall Basement, 03/03/06

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bloody Fucking Hell!! L@@K! THE BTI COMPETITION

Bread and circuses, that's what these peasants need ; competitions, prizes, MOOMINS DRAGGED INTO THE TOWN SQUARE AND BURNED ALIVE BY HOODED INQUISITORS! So mote it be, mote it be! Yes, it's the dawning of the first ever BTI COMPETITION, a scattering of pearls before swine - and what pearls! What swine! See them snuffle the cultural trinkets of yore!

OK, here's the score.

Anyone can enter this competition, EXCEPT people living in New Zealand. This is because I had to share a flat with a Kiwi once, and she was such an unpleasant cunt that I refuse to deal with anyone from this scraggy arse-end of the world until my volcanic grudgefulness has dissipated - a process which may take years and will possibly necessitate an energetic jig on her grave. Let her sordid, pedantic, racist misbehaviour tarnish you all!

Anyway, the lucky winner- may Lord Ganesh's trunk shower you with effluent fortune! - will be receiving a copy of JOSEPH BEUYS' insanely rare "Coyote" book - first 60s US edition, well arty - as well as a HERMANN NITSCH CD-Rom, where you can see a load of people running around crucifying naked men and throwing cows' organs around like confetti AND a copy of the ultra-fucking rare CHICKS ON SPEED VS KREIDLER CD EP.

Right - all you have to do is provide an answer to this relatively simple question - a knowledge of mathematics will be helpful.


This challenge takes place in a small town, where one dairy caters for all the inhabitants' needs. The town consists of five parallel, horizontal streets, simply named A to E. Each street has 20 houses, except Street B, which has 21, including a basement flat situated underneath B12, and numbered B12/2. The houses, numbered 1-20, are ordered numerically from east to west, except on Street C, where they run from west to east.

These streets only join up at each end by two adjoining vertical streets which link all of them - these streets are named K (the eastern one) and Y (to the west). Neither K nor Y have any houses on them, though the dairy is situated where Y meets Street D.

The dairy employs four milkmen - Buju, Shabba, Pato and Tippa. The milkmen are fairly worried - a sniper has been reported in the town, and it is rumoured that he has already killed two people - the occupants of A11 (at 6.40am) and A18 (6.46am). Unfortunately, the penny-pinching dairy owner has sourced the cheapest milkfloats going, and these run at a speed of 1 metre / 4 seconds. The only exception is Pato's float, which runs at 1 metre / 7 seconds, due to a damaged axel.

Streets A-E have a length of 60m, except K and Y, which are 50m long. Buju explains : "In between dismounting from the float, making the delivery and returning to switch on the engine again, it takes 10 seconds. I would estimate that the distance between where I park the float and the front door is 2 metres. I am convinced that any man would take the same time."

A news report has just come in - it is confirmed that the sniper is on foot, and has been sighted heading for the turning between Street K and Street B. The milkmen are now ready to start their rounds, and all emerge from the dairy. Pato and Shabba will drive to the corner of Streets A/K and begin their rounds from there while Buju and Tippa begin at the corner of Streets E/Y. The time is now 6.56am. Another report comes in - the occupant of B18 has been shot at 6.52am. The dairy owner has stipulated that any milkman who does not return by 8.45am will be sacked. Having issued this warning, he then locks himself in his office. The only exception in today's orders are that House A2 has requested no deliveries, as the occupants are on holiday.

Using your knowledge of the above facts, correctly answer -

a) WHICH of the milkmen comes back alive?

b) and - does he get SACKED?

Thursday, March 09, 2006


There's something about spring that brings out the sensitive, thoughtful side in me - fear not reader, it does exist. Sure, you may be raising a libation to Lord Ganesh, but old elephant head hasn't done much for me - my kitchen sink is currently blocked, and no doubt I'll have to go through the humiliation of watching a plumber scoop bits of pasta shell and onion skin out of the pipe - while making him endless cups of cha!

And yet, where I would normally turn this into a rant and cuss plumbers into the ground, I am able to sit back and take a sip of the espresso of reason - I simply couldn't be bothered to pay all of 99p for one of those plughole filters, and now, having already wasted three quid on pumping bleach down the sink to no avail, I face much shame and expense. Still, it's a learning curve.

It seems that bloggers are all feeling this vibe as well, declaring love for one another and tipping hats as they pass. So, allow me to indulge and spread the love among you on my sidelinks. For anyone of sound mind and reason, I apologise sincerely for this sentimental dross and promise to make the next post really fucking vicious.


I first discovered Uncarved while surfing the net for "weird monkey sex". This brought me to an Uncarved review of some magazine about drugs and spirituality. It wasn't until a few months later that I contacted John to purchase a second hand copy of Richard Allen's 1977 pulp novel "Punk Rock" (which should have been titled "Confessions of an NME Journalist" - absolute gunk if you wanted cartoon violence with punks rucking teds, but sublime genius if you want a long-haired 'new wave reporter' running around London and pulling women whose post-coital remarks include "Did you choke Linda Lovelace?" The scene where the hack discusses the merits of Des O'Connor with a record company A&R man is hilarious, it's easily one of Allen's best).

Like 99% of his readers, I assumed John was a white rasta. But having met him, I am glad to state that this isn't the case. I will always remember that night when, persuading him to have one more drink, he enacted some sort of psychic self-control technique (no doubt learnt from years of hanging around with OTO types) and announced "You've just wasted 10 minutes trying to get me to have another drink when you could have said something interesting". Of course, I should have pointed out that if he'd just had one more bloody drink like a man, we wouldn't now be on 11 minutes of inconsequential babble - but there was something weird about his eyes, readers. Like you could look beyond those spectacles and see burning coals.

I don't know. You an altar boy as well - and it all ended in colossal squid worship. Your mum must be so ashamed.


I believe Rob has the dubious honour of being the first person to ever leave a comment on BTI. These were the days when anonymous commenters would pretend to be Susan Fassbender's son and take me to task for dissing her ropey one-hit wonder "Twilight Cafe". Rob is the blogosphere's John Peel, championing unknown blogs, then wisely moving on when they get too big for their boots.

He does a lot of drugs and writes Anarcho-Dadaist poetry and, according to rumours (mostly emanating from Chantelle Fiddy), he is enormously endowed


Dubversion was like the equivalent of that bit in that Clash reggae workout when the voice crackles in halfway through and snaps "Let's have you out of there" and Joe Strummer retorts "Don't push us when we're HOT!" Unfortunately, he has ditched blogging, reasoning that it's for nerds and that real life is preferable. I work in a building where people squeeze into lifts, press their own floor buttons, and stare straight ahead like juju zombies, terrified of eye contact. That's how fucking groovy "real life" is!

Dubversion also runs a club that I keep meaning to go and check out, but these days, Streatham seems so very far away.


I first met Mark when we and the lady who runs "Infinite Thought" went to see the premier gig of renowned power electronics outfit THE SEA SPARROW. A man in a white lab coat with a moustache and combover started messing around with some oscillators and creating the most godawful racket. You couldn't escape the noise, some girl began crying and begging the man to stop. "THE SEA SPARROW!!" the man hollered into the microphone. "SPARROW OF THE SEA!" I had my fingers in my ears, gritting my teeth, desperately trying to prevent my eardrums from imploding, as Dr IT sneered at my weakness. "NUKE YOU ALL!!" the man howled.

No, hang on, I've got this wrong - we went to see Sutcliffe Jugend, Kevin Tomkins' renowned comedy act. This was the gig where a girl was wandering around the audience with a swastika armband and "WAGNER WAS RIGHT" scribbled on bits of paper safety-pinned to the back of her jacket. Me and Mark and Infinite Thought wrote 'reviews' of this night, which later caused a bit of a stir on the Whitehouse Yahoo Group, with some SJ fan casting aspersions on our recollections! The cheek! Said individual then advertised his own website, called "Sutcliffe Power" (look, if you can't take this seriously, get out) where he posted a "proper" review, which ended with the immortal words, "Truly a triumph" - itself about as cliche'd as songs called "I Never Met A Woman Who Didn't Deserve To Die".

Maybe I've just got a naff sense of humour, but I felt like starting a tribute band called British Midland and doing a cover version, titled "I Never Met A Woman Who Didn't Deserve To Fly". Anyway, I haven't actually explained why I LURVE K-Punk. Put it this way, when I first looked at his blog, a post about the nature of courtly love, I didn't have a clue what he was on about. Now I look at K-Punk, and find I understand most of it. I have either picked up snippets of theory, or Mark's dumbed down since - either way, it works for me.

"Breaking Ranks"

It's not on my links but Dave Stelfox is a great bloke

"An Idiot's Guide To Dreaming"

This is the only MP3 blog I ever bother with, mostly cos my home computer was on dial-up (it's since blown up) and I couldn't download most of them. You know when people make up fake records and you wish they existed? I still want to get his imaginary TG football anthem 12" with Sleazy and Cosey standing outside Anfield with a kid hanging upside down from the gate (or something like that).

Loki once kindly sent me a CD-R of an experimental composer mix, but when I played it it was blank. Either this was an extremely satirical take on avant garde posturing, or, carried away by the joy of drawing funny squiggly designs over the disc, he forgot to actually burn anything on it. Anyway, I've always kept quiet about that as I didn't want him to feel bad or obliged to do me another one. And people call me "heartless"!!


Oh, here we go. The troublemaker who got me slung off CINESTATIC (plc). There's no rational reason for me liking this blog. I think "Dr Who" was the poor man's "The Prisoner" (incidentally, my dad once met Patrick McGoohan in a pub in Mill Hill) and I never watched "Lost" - however, I would regularly read his posts on these subjects.

Apparently Psychbloke's wife's pregnant now - I dunno. You'd think he'd try to keep it in his pants. I don't see many other husbands losing control and trying to have sex with their wives - when her bump shows, he'll have a lot of explaining to do to the neighbours. No doubt there'll be a few catcalls of "PERVBLOKE!" as he dodges a hail of rotten tomatoes - oh hang on, the Puritans died out nearly 400 years ago! I don't know why I'm getting so confused today.

"The Measures Taken"

Owen is a thoughtful and incisive young man. In a way, he reminds me of me when I was 25, albeit in a sort of parallel universe where I didn't binge drink or go out with a mad mullah. I think it only takes a cursory glance at his blog to realise he'll achieve excellent grades in his Master's degree.

My advice, as an older man to one younger, is to keep your feet on the ground but never stop reaching for those stars. Learn to cook a good Irish stew - it's a constantly evolving cheap dish, and one day it may save your life. Learn to wire plugs - when the lights go out and your student flatmates start dragging out the candles and complaining that they can't host their Pasolini DVD-a-thon as planned, simply promise to change the fuse for them, in return for a quid apiece. In this way, you can go down the pub and enjoy a pint on them, while they revel in a mindless orgy of Italian arthouse and electrical ignorance.

"Kid Shirt"

If the West Country blogs are like "Kelly's Heroes", Kek is a cider-sozzled Donald Sutherland, lazing around on his tank in the baking sun. He used to draw pictures for "2000 AD" which, although not as good as "Action!", was a pretty good comic, until Nemesis The Warlock went all serious and they started bringing in unadulterated shit like "Zippy Couriers". 2000 AD mutants had brilliant 'punk' names, like Dobie Zitch.

However, I do solely blame Kid Shirt for encouraging me to buy a Wolf Eyes CD, which was crap.

"Shards Fragments and Totems"

Now, this I want to see - a blog about sharp suits. Why ever not? Oh no, you all want to talk about yer bloody Sunburned Man or yer Wounded Nurse, even though a gang of schoolkids blowing harshly on plastic recorders and shouting "THE SEA SPARROW!" (I can't get it out of my head now, sorry) would sound sweeter.

I need to know what suit looks best! Come on, spill the beans. The days of me sticking on a black furry Russian hat and overcoat, going down to the local pub indie disco, drinking vodka and trying to chat up student nurses by yelling "ARE YOU BLOODY COSSACK?" in their faces are numbered - I turn 30 in a few months' time, and need to know how to dress to impress. Perhaps if one of you bleeding philosophers had lain off the Deleuze and Gabanna for one post, and written about something practical, like how to unblock a kitchen sink, I wouldn't be facing a nightmare beyond words! Let's have some more practical blogging and leave the music criticism to the...THINGS!


Although Jim Bunnyhouse is extremely lazy, and only seems to blog when he's promoting one of his own DJing events, I quite enjoy the minimalism of it all. A sort of blog about....nothing. Like this, only with a moderately famous person writing it. And of course, there's a highly sinister link between Kosmiche and Sylvanian Family toys.

"Infinite Thought"

Dr Nee-na! Qwa qwa qwa dun qwa qwa .. She's the one with the pee-aitch-dee-he-hee... I think we all agree that IT's theoretical peak was achieved between June and November last year, when the lady who runs this highly esteemed and often plagiarised blog managed to take high brow Nietzscian (sp?) theory and export it to the masses via the medium of pictures of herself if she was made of lego and had pink hair. Sadly, the blog has become a bit frivolous recently, dumping the 'thought' for comical asides on the nature of fanaticism and Zupancic. Still, IT was one of the earliest blogs to link to BTI. Which is quite incredible considering that one of the earliest BTI entries was about Buster Bloodvessel challenging Skrewdriver singer Ian Stuart to a Big Mac eating contest in Kentish Town, only for the nazi to lose and have his poo surgically removed with a hoover in the Royal Free Hospital.

She's also deaf in one ear, and, I swear on my life, when I was a child, I used to have a badge that said "Make Friends With A Deaf Child". I also had loads of "Hector says - Help The Aged" badges. Jarvis Cocker might think he was clever to flag this charity up in 1997, but it was me who raised money for the noble cause in 1983, by doing a sponsored swim. Two laps for the fogies. Swallowed so much chlorine I turned green. She also has very nice furry boots and a rather effective right hook.

"Ritual Landscape"

Probably the best ever thing written about trains and the tube - in fact, scratch 'probably' - and so true to life you can almost smell the humid stench of boarding the WAGN during a downpour. Wouldn't it be weird if one day he wrote about some moronic passenger who was pissing him off - and it turned out to be YOU?


"Septic Grease Blog"

Why the pitiful Dave Dove, a long term critic of BTI, carries on knocking out shite about Dire Straits is beyond me. "Reggae - real music? Do me a favour" is just the latest in a stream of dismal posts dedicated to this sad old pedant's horrifically limited world view. "I told her I had a spare ticket to Mark Knopfler, but she still insisted that she was waiting for a friend to show up", the eejit drones. "Humour's the best way to a bird's heart, so I let rip a massive fart and shouted 'Kentucky Fried!' But she still wouldn't let me buy her a half. Who's letting all these lesbos into pubs these days?"

Dave, you are a cunt, and your claim to be "the new Woebot" is as unfounded and clinically insane as your assertion that "real music died the day Mike and the Mechanics split".

Right, back to Love..

"Electric Dreams"

En av den fa on-line steder De leser om kjempemessig squids, Kate Bush dra mental og a jaging en fisker med en kniv og bisarr barndomhukommelser morphing inn i avant garde spoekelser.

Som er imponerende, fordi om jeg lever med Norsk oelpriser, jeg vil sannsynlig akkurat sammenbrudd i gutter og grater.


Yeah yeah, he's brilliant, etc. I don't know what else to say really, as we all know it, but thanks are especially due for alerting me to the existence of Phew, impLOG, Francois Rabbath (the coolest man to lift a double bass, beating that prat from the Stray Cats hands down) and Les Vampyrettes.

Nobody's ever called me 'fecund' before, and I'm sure that it'll be a long season in hell anyone does so again. I think what I like is the fact that you know you'll never be able to hear as many records as he has, but he doesn't make you feel like an idiot for it.

"Sweet Effay"

The first time I ever met Evil John Effay, he was herding terrified children into an MOT pit with a broom. When I woke up, I realised that what I like about his blog is...

Actually, I don't want to cause offence and I don't know how he's going to take this. This is all about blog love, OK? And I'm not in any way questioning his mental state (though liking Hawkwind is a bit suspect). And, look, let's all have a drink and a good laugh and all -

But am I the only one who reads "SE"'t help getting flashbacks of "The Shining"?

"Betty's Utility Room"

I think that Betty has actually stumbled on the correct way to blog, which is to make up fake "guest" posts.

I tried this once, with a fake contribution written "by Dickie Davies", which fell flat on its face and was about as funny as watching a man in a windswept cottage go beserk with an axe and chase his...anyway, she likes The Pop Group as well, which is an admirable quality in itself and the post about a man breaking into her and her bloke's room when they were on holiday was hilarious.

"Scrabbling At the Lock"

There and gone so fast, I seem to remember a blur of white light, a bearded, glum looking face, and a grey-red horizontal line across my vision.


If I'm honouring the dead, then I must give a shout out to Simon for some ace no-nonsense chat about grime, which almost made me wish I could be arsed enough to go out and buy loads of it. Plus, he seemed relatively sane. For a blogger, like.

So, that's it. I've extended my love. Just remember that, next time you say I never gave anything back to the blogosphere but just milked it for my own ascent to...ascent to...

I'm going to stick a breadknife in that cunt if he charges me 50 quid ("Boom boom!!" - Bored to Fucking Tears, Morden)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I'm just not sure about that new Sugababe, Mutya's replacement. Not sure at all, readers. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's as if the group's management said, "Let's just get someone Asian looking, only a bit trimmer this time". She looks awkward, like she's expecting to be sent back to the QVC channel at a minute's notice. It's a far cry from the glory days of 'Angels With Dirty Faces', with its fuzzy cover like a 1979 snapshot of Burnt Oak park noir and truancy. I wish they'd just shut up now, to be honest.

Whitehouse have discovered the Soul Jazz "Voodoo Drums" CD for their new album, distorted it so it sounds like some spluttering lawnmower parts, and matched it to a load of whining about fired band member Peter Sotos. Once, the band proclaimed Sotos' scribblings about masturbating over pictures of abducted children to be"genius" ; now he's apparently an "ignorant, goatish, greybeard cunt". Nothing here you couldn't have picked up off the last 3 albums, but God knows what the band's Japanese hardcore fanbase will make of lyrics like "The Vienna Boys' Choir / Pissing on Limahl!" Personally, I thought that documentary about the bloke who lived on 15 large pizzas a day and had to be cut out of the side of the house was more 'extreme' than this, but then I've developed this massive appreciation for the "Mastermind"* theme tune recently, and can't stop marvelling at its bleak, forboding elegance.


Yesterday's RITUAL LANDSCAPE post reminded me of something I once hacked out on here (( ah, but no - that'd be hacked out on another URL, which has now vanished with all that other old shit about goth girls )) about reading other peoples' newspapers on the tube or train.

If you asked me to make a list of people I'd gladly like to see thrown into the fetid stench-bog of Camden Lock, then "PEOPLE WHO GET ARSEY ABOUT OTHERS READING THEIR NEWSPAPERS" would be up there, alongside "people who wear shorts and sandals" and "people in council flats who buy pianos". What is their fucking problem, the lot of them?

Anyway, you have to try this one out, it really does work when you're sitting opposite someone and you're reading their front and back pages. When they start to tilt their papers, just keep staring, at exactly the same spot, even if you can't read a word. Don't avert your eyes.

You'll notice that the sad bastards go through a series of moves, desperately trying to shake your gaze, twisting and scrunching the paper up until they can barely read it themselves. Just keep staring at that paper. You're bugging them more than you realise, it really gnaws away at their souls. If one of them challenges you (which rarely happens), take a while to respond, and when you do, tell them you're half-blind. They'll feel like a pathetic, pedantic cunt - which, in all truth, they are - but they'll be forced to acknowledge the fact in front of a carriage of passengers.


I used to know this girl who'd stand directly in front of seated male commuters, her arse hovering above their papers, and then suddenly shriek, 'YOU FUCKING PERVERT!' and spin round. These poor men used to die a thousand deaths. Though I must stress, this behaviour is extremely immature and could lead to serious consequences, and in retrospect I can't endorse it in any shape or form.

Same girl had worked in a newsagent when she was 17. "You can tell the ones who've come in to buy porn", she once confided to me. "They always go for Radio Timesand spend 5 minutes flicking through it, til the shop's empty. Nobody ever, ever genuinely browses Radio Times.

"I used to stall them at the counter until some other customers had come in, then wave their jazz mags round, shouting THAT'LL BE £2.99".


(Wrote this last year, had reservations about posting it, but why not, I've got nothing else to say right now)

There's a geriatric band in Manila Airport cranking out a version of the Stones' "Out of Time", before launching into a jazzy take on "Rock Around the Clock". Behind them, a cracked white sign, and in blue bubble letters, "WELCOME TO BIRD FLU-FREE PHILIPPINES!!" The walls are plastered with old skool-style mugshots of terrorist suspects and numerous warnings ; "DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS IN THE PHILIPPINES" *** "PASSENGERS FOR CONNECTING FLIGHTS TO SINGAPORE ARE REMINDED THAT POSSESSION OF BULLET SHELLS FOR SOUVENIRS, JEWELLERY OR PERSONAL DECORATION IS ILLEGAL" *** "CIGARETTE LIGHTERS SUBJECT TO INSPECTION"

Strains of the band, now romping through "Get Off Of My Cloud", start to fade, the corridor towards passport control is dimly-lit, humid, 8 painfully long queues squeezed between hospital-green walls, murky in the shadows. Idiotically join one of the human rows marked "OFW" (Overseas Filipino Workers) until an official says to move into a queue leading to a desk marked "Mabuhay" (hello there!). A day and an age. And then out, more signs, "GUNS DON'T DIE, PEOPLE DO - BAN THE GUN IN PUBLIC PLACES" **** "FIREARMS FORBIDDEN IN AIRPORT". First contact, no shit, a cop comes up to me with a smile, wanting to know if I've got a Filipino girlfriend, and then asks if he can ponce a fag off me.

The taxi driver's more interested in James Bond, demanding to know who's replacing Pierce Brosnan. I haven't got a fucking clue, I lost interest after Roger Moore packed it in, I sort of say. The driver's concerned that they might appoint a wimp to play 007, and that he hopes there'll be loads of car chases in the next one - at which point we run into our first security check. A mirror on a stick is run underneath the car, the boot's opened up, IDs are handed over and squinted at. One of the cops just slams the boot down and thumps it, and we take off again. Past crammed taxi buses, Biblical quotes meticulously hand-painted on their sides. A Catholic majority of 80% vs frequent bomb attacks and raids by members of Abu Sayyaf and, on a more deep-rooted scale, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in the southern islands. Religion is about to get way fucking weirder over here....

Into the heart of Makati, lorries sway and discharge black billows of smoke, what is it with SE Asian kids and swastika T-shirts? White, black and red, no quaint little Sanksrit lucky charms here, boys and girls. Maybe Belsen and the Blitz lose their identities, shed their victims by the time they make it over the wire. Bad boy symbols, the nazis as rock n roll fuck-youism eternal. Topman used to sell Vietcong T-shirts a few years ago, 16 year old runts shuffling around Brent Cross Shopping Centre, trying to absorb radical chic by adorning themselves with the name of one of the bravest working class communist armies ever. Reproduced so shabbily. And in Saigon, eternal black and white posters of a smiling 14-year old village girl, "NUMBER ONE AMERICAN KILLER" proudly inscribed underneath her xeroxed memorial. But -

Blokes wander around, in and out of the traffic lanes, squeegee merchants, selling fishing rods on the side. In case sir wants to go out to the islands. Why wouldn't one? I mean, why spend your time in Manila, this blackened hub, when you could be relaxing by the volcanoes and white sands? The Lonely Planet guide reassures readers, "Look past its grimey surfaces, and you'll find Manila's hidden treasures". Is that what they tell the Japs and Yanks about Peckham? Look past the families who sit with their backs to brick walls, one wirey, communal toothbrush lying on the cracked pavement, this is their evening out. They'll sit there and not move until the kids fall asleep, and then maybe grab some sleep themselves. Streets where passing cars flip down their door locks.

I remember the taxi driver ("Be careful, don't go off with anyone, they'll shoot you if you're on your own") as I'm walking around, on my own. Out of earshot, naked kids piss on the dust, and someone with a meat cleaver is getting het up, looks like 2 Filipinos ready to kick off with each other - end up taking a left turn, past the wrecked shell of a car that could easily have lain there in its mangled state for 20 years.

Mansions poke out of Malate, houses surrounded by chainlink and patrolled by gun-toting youths in heavy padded jackets. The rich really do get kidnapped by the MILF, or just by bandits who've grown fed up with having and eating and doing nothing, while trucks pass through umpteen security checks to deliver freshly slaughtered pig and ripe melon to these palacial abodes...

And, as you soon realise once you've been to SE Asia a few times, even struggling to stay afloat on a £16,000 annual salary in Britain won't save your trotters either - sorry mate, over here you're rich. White face, blank cheques. Hit a main road and realise I'm completely fucking lost. And then see the bar where I'm meant to meet the one person I know in this entire city...

Box of Viagra, son? 300 pesos, three quid for a 10-hour stiff. And here's Angel, 18, bringing up a kid after the father was killed on a construction site. Welfare and child support? Ha ha ha...crazy Westerner, you. Sandy, 25, another kid to feed, 20 quid, yours for the night. Carol, 21, dressed as Wonder Woman, so named cos she was born on Xmas day, yeah right, but can go all night anyway, wanna try? Shane, 29, fully qualified IT programmer, born with two thumbs on her left hand, which signifies great luck over here ; but she's still asking me if I want t some 'boom-boom', cos her computer job's so shittily paid, she can't afford to keep her son in clothes.

We end up here, getting a load of bar girls pissed. Tell them I'm a priest. One of the girls turns a silk scarf into a makeshift kaffiyah and pretends to be MILF. And just muck about. Other girls disappear into the night with decrepit off-duty businessmen, sweat soaking their pink polo shirts.

A world where a rare Batman comic costs the price of a month's rent but a pack of cancer sticks comes to 40p ; I don't know whether I hated it or not. Once you get used to the throb of surrounding violence, it all becomes about technique, risk avoidance, not arguing back when a cop jumps onto the back of a taxibus, pushes across and asks you directly for the equivalent of 80p, just "because". A couple of Dutch teachers who'd lived over there for 8 years had just made the news, after a gang had stormed their flat and slit their throats. Nobody was really surprised or concerned. And with approximately 53 million ethnic Filipinos living on $2 a day, you pick up on the people's apathy pretty quickly. I didn't even care about the slain settlers myself, a few days in. It didn't seem like a big deal after Abu Sayyaf had bombed a passenger ferry and killed 100 Filipinos. The government shat its pants over that one, trying to downplay the incident, claiming a handful of minor injuries instead before the truth came out.

I was chatting to a bloke who seemed really shocked that I was surprised by the amount of security precautions in Manila. "But London got bombed too", he was laughing. "Yeah, but we don't have anything like this", I said, "they brought in security checks for a month after, then gave up. Nobody really cares, it's old news now". He thought England was rolling in it, I tried to explain we have poverty too, but this just had him politely amused.

You pass these small, printed signs that look like hoaxes, enscribed with slogans like "WOMEN, HONOUR AND OBEY YOUR HUSBANDS", and you realise they're actually for real. But the women get treated like shit, and there's a load of very angry kids out there. Like in Bangkok, Punk and Oi! are immensely popular ; I've never seen so many imitation "Punk's Not Dead" T-shirts in one place before. But here the anger's on slow-burn, not something to be pogo'd away and doused in alcohol, the old cliche' about 'human hand grenades' never seemed more justified. I left the place with an excited bloke in camo gear waving a leaflet around, inviting me to a shooting range - AK47s, not fucking golf - promising me a discount on 100 bullets which I could pump into paper mannequins, alongside parties of gurning, smug Western investors for whom squeezing the trigger against imaginary targets is the closest they'll come to feeling on top of the situation. Real targets shooting paper targets ; nah, didn't fancy it.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?