“Looking Down” inspired by the genius of Amy Madden


Down…. I look down, and away, trying to slide past the neighbour children unseen. They have not been taught, as we were, about manners. They see nothing wrong with making loud personal remarks to a lady, a stranger to them, as old as their grandmother no doubt; laughing and catcalling at my confusion and discomfort.
Down…. Going “down Town” to sign my name at the jobcentre Waiting on a chair so low that the only way out of it is to roll out and
Down….to the side onto my knees and push up from there. In a public building, on my knees in supplication like a penitent, for having no job, no prospect of a job, for being old, and unwanted and poor.
Down…. the fear of falling, that an ankle or a knee might fail, that I will not be able to stand, to walk….
Down…. How these tablets make me feel. Like I am full of poison in my belly and in my head.
Down…. to the doctor’s, to the nurse. I’m like some old bag-lady with my bad attitude, ready tears and anger when they tell me to get a taxi back later as nobody is available to dress my wound.
Down…. I point to my shoes with three inch long holes in and ask if I look like I can afford a fucking taxi
Down….The way Dr Jamie DoubleBarrelled Entitlement looks at me, like I am a squishy caterpillar in his rosebed of wealthy compliant stalwarts who would sooner tear out their eyes than show the least emotion in public.

Up…. being spoiled by my Mum, a wonderful and resourceful cook, Doing the crossword together and the Sudoku. Watching our quiz show with all our middle-class intellectual snobbery to the fore. Rejoicing in the stupidity of the contestants, while knowing full well that under the glare of lights, our intelligence would fly from us birdlike and we would gawp and stutter as they all do
Up…. and online and talking to my friend, who, like someone’s over excitable Great Dane puppy, one can love unconditionally and appreciate all the better for knowing one is not the one responsible for feeding and walking such a creature.
Up…. Loud LOUD music. Fuck you neighbours and your screaming and shouting and violence. In this place I am the world’s greatest singer. I play encore after encore for the dusty books and piles of laundry
Up….Being nocturnal, making pancakes or toffee at 3 am
Up…. a new blog at Writerless. Reading it aloud, hearing my own voice spill into the darkness as the words drop and roll, not to their knees but into air, like skydivers, first falling then drifting gently, alighting on the chaos and confusion that is this place and shedding a light of their own.


Arrows | Walk Away Renee – Dreamin’ | CD Baby Music Store


MI0001984936Arrows | Walk Away Renee – Dreamin’ | CD Baby Music Store.

I received a big bundle of  Alan Merrill/ Arrows CDs at the beginning of August. It’s always great to get a package, but the package arrived on the very day that Arrows former guitar player Jake Hooker sadly passed away, so I felt it appropriate to be a little downbeat and quiet about all my new acquisitions. I decided to take my time over discovering them and life has a way of stretching that process out a little as other things crowd in for attention

Well this “CD maxi-single”  turned out to be a series of very pleasant surprises! I’m such an idiot to have let it sit on the stack unplayed for 2 months. I need a slap. This is fantastic.

As with all recently repackaged Arrows material there is an embarrassment of riches here. How Alan Merrill can call anything with more than 4 tracks a single or EP is anyone’s guess. As far as I am concerned this 6 track CD is a stonking huge album.

Wonderful rare tracks from the proto-Arrows band known as Streak which are savage and wild. What a huge rock sound. I feel like this is how Arrows could have been if they had been allowed to go their own way. I love these early tracks.
Also included here are some great rare cuts from Arrows including that famous Granada TV show version of I Love Rock’n’Roll everyone knows from You Tube. The extra track is a snippet of the voices of rock impresario Mickie Most and Alan Merrill speaking in the studio.

This disc was a surprise and a delight. Get one NOW!!


English Genealogy


It’s here!

I am in business.

I have 35 years experience in genealogy and family history to put at your disposal. I am happy to tackle any challenge. It’s not just about England, I have researched families in many countries which hold English language records, not just those in the UK. My website is at www.englishgenealogy.webs.com, or you can contact me via Facebook at www.facebook.com/EnglishGenealogyWebsCom  just as well . My current charge, as an introductory offer, is £25 p/h which is a very low rate indeed for professional standard research. I am eager to take on new challenges right now. Please share my information as widely as you can in the real world as well as online. I am looking to help all sorts of people find their roots. Maybe people who are too busy and do not have time , or people who are uncomfortable using a computer, perhaps the elderly. If you find someone like that, a telephone number can be provided on request.  Please, dear friends. This will be my sole income henceforth.  Any help you can give me would be deeply appreciated ..

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My Aunt Jill


ludovicah:

Please check out my professional genealogical research service http://www.englishgenealogy.webs.com and find us on Facebook too! :)

Originally posted on Ludovicah's Blog:

In honour of officially launching www.englishgenealogy.webs.com I thought I’d reprise a few of my blogs about Genealogy.

Please check out www.englishgenealogy.webs.com. I have 35 years experience as a genealogist, starting long before the Internet came along. If you’d like to know more about where you came from, but dont have the time or expertise to Do-It-Yourself, I’m just the person to help.

My mother was born in May 1934 to an English couple visiting back home after some years away in the United States. They already had two American born children, a girl, Jill and a boy, Evan Michael.

Nobody living knows the story now, but for some reason the new baby was unwanted, and was dumped on her maternal grandparents and uncles. The family returned to the USA.

Mum’s Grandmother Jane-Caroline refused to allow her flesh and blood to be sent to the orphanage so for a while the baby…

View original 1,165 more words


Poker Face


pokerFacebook


In the Public Interest? Coming down hard on “celebrity culture”


This began life as a reply comment to the blog of my favourite writer, Amy Madden www.writerless.blogspot.co.uk  specifically http://writerless.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/eating-rice.html

 

I didn’t want to talk about specific cases currently under discussion in the US. I don’t follow that sort of news on principle and this was an attempt to  explain.

I want to say something about public censure and demonizing of “famous people” for misdemeanors that would barely make three lines in a local community newspaper for anyone else.
Famous People are still people.

They can still be just as mean, judgy, spiteful, violent, perverted, drunken, obnoxious, dirty, selfish, dishonest and unfaithful as that neighbour we are always moaning about. That guy who we are sure is beating his wife, judging from the constant shouting from their apartment.
Do we expect that guy’s boss to sack him? No.
Do we expect that guy will have his professional credentials stripped, invalidated, removed from him because of any or all of his anti-social behaviours? No, unless he is abusing a position of public trust.
Do we even call the police on him?   Maybe we do, it depends on context, and what the problem is, but mostly people would rather turn up the stereo in the hope that the shouting goes away. Some people fight as a matter of course anyway and wouldn’t thank you for involving the authorities. If no definite laws have been broken and no bones, then what happened is nobody’s business but theirs. No it doesnt matter if it is Brad and Angelina fighting. It’s still none of our damn business.
Maybe fame and celebrity is a sort of a handicap in some ways?  Sure these people may have more money than we do, but nobody becomes Mother Theresa just because they’re famous. Even Mother Theresa was not “all that” apparently.

Just because a person is well known is not carte blanche for people to take their photo when they are walking down the street, or for their body mass index to be discussed on TV as some form of sickening entertainment. If you wouldn’t like that done to you, why are you condoning it happening to other people? That’s discriminatory. We should not look at people whom we consider “famous” as if they have asked to be so minutely scrutinized. We have not democratically elected them to public office, their behaviour is not our concern. They do not represent us. We only need to scrutinise the people whom we have elected as our representatives in that way.

Actors, musicians, film-makers and so on may be “in the Public eye” but they are private individuals who just happen to be in jobs that get their names known. There is no vow that they take to  never get drunk or swear or hit people. They carry on being whatever they were before, whether nice or nasty. They didn’t ask permission to be your kid’s role model and they don’t owe your kid their good behaviour. Better that you teach your kid that heroes always have feet of clay and get them focusing on being the best that they can be and not looking for validation from the life and demeanour of some big breasted reality starlet.
There seems to be some confusion about the phrase “In the Public Interest”
It does NOT mean “Things that are of interest to the public”

Celebrities may very well be of interest to the public, but detailed knowledge of their private lives actually goes against the meaning of “In the Public Interest” because it infringes their privacy .. and a violation of personal privacy goes against the interests of us all. If you think it is OK for you to ogle stolen photos of a naked actress, is it not equally ok for your neighbour to ogle stolen photos of your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter?- hint. None of that is OK

Things that are in the public interest, concerning the private life of individuals, are limited to, for example, a social worker abusing a position of trust, a politician fucking a spy. People’s personal lives should not be in the papers. I appreciate that hitting ones wife isnt legal, but it’s between the man, his wife, the police & the judicial system to decide outcomes. It’s STILL none of YOUR damn business.
The media is bursting with stories that have no place there, & they are not improved by extended speculative comment & half-assed extremist opinions spun out to fill the dragging hours of current affairs coverage or the pull out supplement with diagrams on pages 7 – 25.

Nothing much is ever that newsworthy.

Inflating trivia & the sad personal lives of individuals in that way devalues the impact of real news, for example world events and real stories that are in the public interest like items about healthcare, minimum wage and unions. We have become a planet full of voracious, prurient trivia-nauts, sucking up flawed human beings, picking over their bones and spitting them out, calling them evil, telling them to kill themselves, even after they have served jail time and supposedly reformed. We are unforgiving & trained to see nothing but the monster that has been presented to us as a sacrificial offering. Meanwhile, other people are doing far worse things unseen (do you know about Rotherham?) because the media would rather run a celebrity trivia story than do any actual work. The truth is not profitable.

Celebrity crimes could be as diverse as being an unrepentant racist, or being a bad actress who has put on too much weight. There is no finesse to our hate, no shades & degrees of meaning. A man who killed another man because he is a trigger happy racist seems to be better liked in some quarters than a pop star who puts out a sexy provocative video. We need to have a word with ourselves about how we feed our head, & about who is doing that & why…


And Here Is The News….


I’ve been spending time watching a few of the documentaries on 911 on You Tube. Not the conspiracy type ones, I hasten to add.

I wasn’t in New York that day, thank goodness, but I, like everyone else it seems, was watching intently as the horror unfolded. I saw the raw footage as it went out live. I saw people standing with fire at their backs and a lethal fall ahead of them, images that never made it to the later bulletins, and I was left confused, wondering if I had imagined those images.

Having grown up in the UK where we were very accustomed to extremely graphic, uncensored images going out on the news and in newspapers throughout my childhood, from IRA atrocities, Black September, Baader-Meinhoff and from Vietnam etc, it puzzled me that the later news about 911, specifically the footage shown, seemed to be missing that human element. This wasn’t about buildings after all, surely? It was about people; thousands of people who had been murdered and yet the things I was seeing were all telling me to condemn an “attack on America, on the WTC, on the Pentagon” not on these innocent people who seemed to be portrayed as  somehow just unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Real Estate, and an unreal situation.

Have we become so frightened of the truth that we prefer our news media to shovel sand over the blood so that we do not have to deal with it? What is the point of news if it doesn’t address the core of the event? I appreciate that victim’s families are a consideration, but is it really true to say that the contents of the later bulletin is going to significantly add to what they’re going through or is that the news media seeing themselves and how they are perceived as more important than what has actually happened?

People who say that a thing is too horrible to watch again are actually shrugging off the horror and putting their own discomfort ahead of the truth.

We need to see the truth, and we need to see and deal with it often. I ask myself if the Kennedy assassination were to occur now, would the Zapruder film have even made it into the public domain?

How about the Hindenburg disaster, or the horror of the German concentration camps? These things now seem to fall into the class of some sort of “horror fetish”, a created thing; the “pornification” of actual events, and not general knowledge, unpleasant but necessary, which we all should be dealing with and assimilating if we ever are going to learn to not make so many mistakes again.

This seems to be the way things are going at the moment. I resent being made to feel a little dirty in that I wish to review what actually happened on 911 or any of those other things, and at the same time I resent the newspapers being filled with detail on the private lives of celebrities and with minor local news where it gives an opportunity to take a lazy swipe at the poor, immigrants, the unemployed and so on. THAT is not what should be in our papers.

Too many people now are jaded by the news and switch off because it does not engage them. Issues are not dealt with. It horrifies me that my own daughter can say negative things about feminism and the feminist movement in a world where reproductive rights and equality are being taken away from women, where rape culture is so prevalent we barely even realize it is all around us, and tacitly condoned by the mass media in a way that would have caused outrage in 1979. Issues that affect human beings are not optional. We need to stop living in a bubble of only nice things. I fully appreciate that many people will turn around and say

“What’s the point of me watching that, or knowing the detail of that? I cannot do a thing about changing it and it makes me feel depressed. I can only concern myself with those things that directly affect me”

Yes, it is a great defence, and perfectly valid… until the day that events suddenly catch up with you and you find yourself floundering in the middle of it all, without the necessary information or understanding to make the best choices to help you survive or to process what is happening to you. We live our lives now like a flock of wildebeest on the plains, a prey animal just hoping not to fall behind the rest, but with no strategy to save ourselves

I read that the family of  one man recently murdered chose to watch the video of their son’s death and I have to say that those people have my utmost support in their decision. It must have been an incredibly hard thing to do, and I am sure there will be many times in the future when they wish they had made a different decision, but I hope there are just as many moments when they feel their own strength and use it to go forward

Everyday, it seems, we become more and more apathetic about the quality of information we feed our heads with.

What we hear as “news” is governed by what the people financing the TV station or newspaper want us to hear. It is the choice of advertisers, billionaires, propagandists, consortia and extremists what we, the people, are programmed to consider to be of interest to us.
Perhaps if we got more offended by a news channel devoting time to the opinions of a lunatic fringe, interspersed with celebrity gossip, and demanded facts and truth about what is really going on in the world, we might not find ourselves feeling so hopeless and impotent in the face of world events in the first place and better able to cope with doing our small bit, in whatever way, to try to fix these immense fuck-up situations that we have allowed to get so far out of control

Oh, and by the way, everyone has nipples, get over it.


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