Monday, April 20, 2009

Anyone remember The Perfumed Garden* pirate radio?

"And now on the Perfumed Garden, going out to all lovers in the cars along the Shoreham seafront, flash your lights across at our pirate radio ship, if you're digging this mellow groove with your ladylove..." [or some such twaddle]

* Not the book, which I vividly remember too, and about which much could be said. If you really think about it, it's funny what the radio station was calling itself. I think they thought it was something horticultural.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So effortless

That's what my heart needs - Otis Redding (1963)

This sort of record, of which there were so many in the US, obviates most of "the British invasion", I think. Much as I loved John Lennon's singing and I think he said that he was copying, or at least trying to emulate Arthur Alexander (another US singer), Otis Redding just goes into "another gear". From the first phrase in this recording, which sounds almost folksy, the sheer mastery of both the singing and the accompaniment, makes most of the British/Merseybeat/The Animals etc records seem laboured and fussy by comparison. Just take the drumming, for example, the perfect explosion of the high hat (isn't that what that cymbal type sound is?) which is like a firework going off in the distance, and the mellifluous guitar picking, all going to show that it's not just hitting the notes it's how you play them...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rearranging the deckchairs

I think that we are missing the point about climate change. The real question should be how are we going to survive the next ice age. It's coming, we know that for sure because they have come and gone repeatedly. A small change in the course of the Gulf Stream that runs up from the Gulf of Mexico to warm the British Isles would result in this part of the world being frozen over, the sea could freeze and we'd all be under ice. The food we rely on would become largely unavailable. Transport and therefore industry would become next to impossible. A real ice age would see the land under glaciers that would obliterate everything we can currently see around us. And it's coming. Yes, let's stop pollution - just for air and water quality and yes, if it can slow the changes, well and good. But what are we doing to prepare for the artificial, troglodytic conditions of the future? Nothing. What are we doing to prepare for an asteroid impact, not preventing it - which is nearly impossible - but coping with it? Nothing. We should have places underground, with means of sustenance where we can evacuate the entire population for as long as necessary. We should be building power sources and everything needed for survival underground. We're not really building anything underground, except possibly one place in every country where the people who are responsible for getting us into wars, and for doing nothing to help the rest of us, can be protected from the consequences of their own misrule. An ice age will come, but it will also go, over thousands of years. An asteroid will come too. Do we care or not? Seemingly not.

Very well then, in Shakespeare's words, "Since the fate of man rests still uncertain, let's reason with the worst that may befall." If we don't really care about our imminent annihilation, why do we bother about comparative trivialities? Why should we reduce our consumption of water, say, to such a tightly restricted level that the population and housing can be increased to the maximum, and eventually result in our skintight usage of water becoming stretched and breaking, so that any small disruption causes us to be dying of thirst? Is it not far better to encourage people to use plenty of water, so that when there are disruptions there still may be just enough to go round, rather than encouraging everyone to skimp so much that there is just enough to go round when there is no disruption?

And why do we waste our time separating things for supposed recycling, at great additional energy cost to us, to the recyclers and through the recycling process and the possible extra cost consequent on lower quality recycled items, not to mention the fact that a lot of the time it's not recycled at all after all our wasted energy, when at the same time a huge catastrophe is making its way towards us, about which we have not one idea, not one contingency plan and not the least compunction because really deep down we know it's all a charade and we're all doomed and everybody just lasts for a few blinks anyway.

Oh ffs - eat, drink and be merry!