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Showing posts from January, 2016

Outside the box

The problem I have with poetry is that there's just too bloody much of it. I am guilty of exacerbating this problem, I know, but to the best of my knowledge, no-one has yet died from an excess of verse, so it's probably pretty low down on my personal charge sheet.

What I mean by there being too much is more that there's too much to keep track of. It's the sheer quantity being churned out at the minute which, in this age of print on demand and online publication making it easier than ever before to be published, also makes it easier than ever before to disappear into the white noise of millions of words.

The sane response to this dizzying volume is to work out what you like early doors and just read round that area, because Lord knows it's hard enough to keep track just of that. Fairly early on in my writing career (Should probably have put 'career' in inverted commas) I came to realise that I enjoyed the stuff which could loosely be termed linguistically in…

A general lowering of expectations.

So "Tech Giant" (C all news outlets) Google have decided to do the right thing and pay back 130 million quid in backdated tax owing. they have also agreed to pay more in future. They got a bit huffy about the idea they'd been avoiding tax, simply saying that they were following the laws applicable at the time, in order to trouser the cash HMRC and HMG agreed not to laugh their heads off at this and everyone gets to save face all round.

The depressing thing is that this is indeed, as a spoksamn for HMRC said "a result". It shouldn't be. That 130 million quid stretches over the last ten years, in 2013 alone Google generated 3.4 BILLION in sales. It's buttons. But it sounds like a nice number and everone can slap thheir backs and hopefully everyone will stop banging on about big companies not paying any sodding tax for a bit. It's a useful fig-leaf, HMG can point and say look! Google! Google csan go look! us! HMRC can go check us out with the fearless …

You're making us look like dicks

I was reminded earlier this week of the title of this post, a line issued from the despairing lips of my wife a few years ago. There we were, idly leafing through the local paper when we saw some coverage of Ladies' Day at Aintree races, I recognised a couple of the girls. There was a tipsy quote from one of them: "we just want have fun and find some rich men to buy us champagne!" said (redacted). My wife shook her head sadly and uttered the immortsal phrase "See, you're ust making the rest of us look like dicks".

And the reason I was reminded of this was the debate in parliament over whether or not we should allow Donald Trump into the country. Now, you can probably guess I'm not the world's biggest fan of The Donald. But nor am I a fan of taxpayer's money being wasted on a pointless debate the outcome of which will be completely ignored. And I'm even less of a fan that this complete and utter waste of everybody's time was occurring bec…

Not much of a public griever.

As you may have noticed, this Monday just gone saw the death of David Bowie. I believe it was mentioned in the news. Now, I'm not about to write a "What Bowie meant to me" piece. There have been rather a few too many of those clogging up the place of late, but his death did get me thinking.

I was genuinely surprised (though I shouldn't have been, the man had form for keeping things under wraps), and briefly,well, not upset. That's too strong a word. Regretful, maybe. What a shame, I thought, the last couple of records were corkers, he probably had a lot left to give That sort of thing. And, being not entirely unacquainted with death myself I had a brief jolt of sympathy for his family, friends and loved ones. The sort you do when you hear anyone's died. Ah, that's a shame. I was less surprised by the wave of very public grieving that followed, and I'm afraid it mystifies me.

I kind of expected it from 6 Music, and it was handy timing that Lauren Laver…

The post that dare not speak its name

Ha, well, yes, it's New year's day, clearly. A day so heavily larded with truisms and expectation around fresh starts and resolution that it seems to me to be a cliche to be writing a blog post. "oh, New Year is it? writing a blog post are we? Resolution, is it?"

No, a resolution it is most assuredly not. I've never been much of a believer in resolutions, designed as they are to be broadcast and shared with the world, saying loudly this is what I'm going to do, one becomes a hostage to fortune, particularly in these social media-saturated days, I tend towards the bleief tht if you're giong to do something, just go and do it. telling people afterwards is understandable, but telling people before you've actually done it? Only works when you're trying to get sponsorship money.

So this isn't a resolution. But it is a blog post. Happy New Year.