America

A Cake Of Thrones

YES! MERRY HAPPY BROTHERS AND SISTERS! TIS A GTREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE! ALIVE! AND NOT SEAN BEAN IN PRETTY MUCH EVERY THING HE'S DONE! WHEREIN HE ENDS UP DEAD! DEEEEEEAD! DEAD LIKE  THE BABY JESUS! AMEN!

I have been working on a new song. I have too many song-based projects on the go at the right now. I must hurry and finish them fast, because I am GOING TO AMERICA in a matter of weeks and I must be prepared in case someone offers me loads of money in return for them, like last time.

Thassright brothers and sisters! I have saved up my $$$s and I have booked my flights! I land in San Francisco on May 17th, the day after my birthday! And I fly out to LA on the 21st! Then I fly back to the UK on the 26th! Then Prometheus comes out! Yesss! What a month!

So holla at me America. I AM COMING.

http://youtu.be/zJODirze5EM

Poor Sean Bean dying all the time. "I should have known!" cried Meme Hitler, upon learning of Ned Stark's death. "Sean Bean is a two-legged spoiler!"

I wonder what the combined viewership of all those Downfall memes is? Surely a great many times the viewership of Downfall itself. Shit, I haven't seen Downfall and I've seen about 9 Donwnfall memes and I avoid Downfall memes like leprosy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kLSYTHQbm4

Apologies. It's just we're a bit Thronesey round here, after Zef's G.O.T.-themed birthday party held at Don Studios on the weekend. It was most joyous. We made a Cake Of Thrones and everything. Zef turned up wielding a vast glass bubble of cider, crest adorned with a Hand Of The King brooch, and I wore a pony tail. Charlotte wore a nice red dress. "I don't have any wench clothes," she complained, bitterly.

We imbibed and played video games on the projector and were merry. Zef is very good at Worms. Apocalypto doesn't get any less intense on repeat viewings. Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing is always thrilling. Hail Fun.

Photos and cake by Charlotte Narkiewicz

Exciting American Opportunities

Today I worked on my swaggy new video, then I left the house in the freezing cold on my bicycle (finally, cold has arrived in the English winter!) I visited a Post Office, wherein I sent massive parcels to the four corners of the Earth - Sweden, America, Germany and Wales - then I went to the gym, ON MY OWN, and the spa, ON MY OWN. Usually I go with Jeres, and we talk about manly matters, but he has quit, as it is pretty expensive, and he's already in another gym that has one of those tectonic plate thingamajigs in it.

I enjoined my lone spa. The place was pretty much deserted for some reason, and I did some pretty good thinking as I flitted between the minty super hot steam room and the ice cold plunge pool and the sauna, stopping every now and again to yank a big metal chain and upend a barrel full of ice water on my head. The sauna made me think of Shandaken, where I lived for a short while. Long time readers of this site might remember that strange episode. While we waited for my Interscope deal to sort itself out, myself and my friends rented a great big fuck off house up the side of a mountain in Upstate New York. It had a jacuzzi and a sauna in it, amongst loads of other weird things - like a porno with pictures of my old Camden flatmate in it, and weird and distressing diary notes purportedly written by a 14 year old alluding to deviant and illegal sexual activities that took place on the premises... they told me Bob Dylan lived there once, and the place was surrounded on all sides by angry and cacophonous racoons and other strange animals. Bears used to run off with our rubbish bags, tear them open and strew the contents around the mountainside. I mentioned it on one of my favorite songs that I did last year:

My American adventure feels like a long time ago now, and I have been missing that country of late. I was pondering this at the weekend, then suddenly a pair of Exciting American Opportunities presented themselves to me - entirely separate , yet rooted in the same city... a city I once got kicked out of a nightclub in at 7am by a stoney faced, Batman-jawed Lesbrarian, who told me to get my cigarette stinking Limey face out of her face before she set the seven foot hunk of bricks to her right on my pisstaking ass.

Two clues:

BZZZZKTPH

Tomorrow I will reveal the artwork for my next single, and details on how you can pr-order some rare Akira The Don art. I might also post a picture of me in a rabbit mask wielding a firearm. Peace be upon you, friend.

Comment Fail / Video Response Win

This is, like, the best video response to a comment ever.

In fact, it is the only video response to a comment I have ever seen.

But I bet it's the best one.

The creator of the video, the excellently coiffed Yorkandpomona, who's actually called Liz and lives in a rather beautiful part of America with some chickens and an Iron Man poster (the life!) left a comment on my ...Spring video, pointing out that,

"first day of spring 09 is march 20th:)"

And I posted the video on the 23rd. So I replied, eloquently enough,

"FAIL!"

Meaning that I had failed, spectacularly, but was excited anyway.

Sadly, Ms Yorkandpoma thought that I was calling her a FAIL and made that charming video up there.

So, I had to go back on there and explain that I was meaning to call her a FAIL at all, and accidentally deleted someone else's comment in the process, which will likely cause more offence in the general population. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I usually don't go on Youtube comments... There is a curse on that place (probably something to do with Alan Moore), that turns even the most well meaning of conversations into huge scary wars.

Still, I learned something, and that is important. So thank you Ms Yorkandpomona, I am forever in your debt. And your hair is awesome.

The Wheels Of Doom.... Um, Change. Hope. Whatever.

Ola, my friends. I write to you via telephone from the back of a grimy ole train headed to London Victoria, where I shall rendezvous with my fine female companion and attend an election party. I imagine everybody there will be whooping it up in support of The Obama Man, and it will be hard for me to keep such soul destroying observations as "he will still nuke Iran" to myself. Nobody wants to hear this stuff - not even me. I want to believe everything will be glorious tomorrow, but I am a student of history, and there wont no Superman be saving anybodies Metropolis any time soon. The wheels of doom will keep rolling. Shit, even children too young to remember Nevermind coming out know what happened after Tony Blair was crowned our glorious saviour.

My woman, along with everyone else I spoke today, is confident of a democratic victory for The Democrats. But only a fool would count that vengefull Stingray extra McPain out at this juncture. Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while... And The Swine do own the paper-trail-free digital voting machines, after all. And all they have to do is blame the disparity between the exit polls and the election results on racist white folks, then declare marshal law when the peacenicks, the beatniks, the freaks and darkies begin to riot. It'll be just like the arse end of the sixties all over again.

Christ! Did I just write that? What a rotten trip to lay on a hopeful people, now, of all times.

Anyway. My American friends: how are you feeling right now? Did you vote? And for who? Was it easy? Was it hard? Did the machine wink at you?

For good or ill, I am very interested.

Dear Lord, Not Again

Across town in the 9th Ward, a neighborhood decimated by Katrina, Sidney William climbs slowly out of his truck. He's 49 but moves like he's 20 years older.

"My legs hurt; my feet hurt a lot," he said. "It's not easy."

William wants desperately to leave his native New Orleans to avoid Gustav. He didn't leave for Katrina because he didn't have the money. He won't talk about what happened to him during that storm.

"I wish I had the money to go." Rejected for disability subsidies, he depends on his 23-year-old daughter, Gloria, to support the family.

"Lot of folks around here are gonna make do with what they have, and you won't hear a terrible amount of complaining," he said. "You can't just come in here and expect to hear people fussing about how they don't have nothing. People just be used to not having much, and so you don't even think too hard about it until someone starts asking you questions."

As you may have heard, New Orleans is being evacuated, and another storm is on its way. A lot of people, like last time, won't be able to leave, for a myriad of reasons. And, as before, they won't be getting much help. America's homeland security chief, Michael Chertoff, dismissed those remaining as,"exceptionally foolish," and Mayor Nagin, according to the BBC, "warned any potential looters that they would go straight to prison." Here we go again.

I was in New York when Katrina hit, and it was a terrible time to be human. Watching the news call hungry, desperate people "looters" and "animals" made me feel physically sick. I'd never trusted authority, and I always knew in my heart that those who stood above us so loftily were monsters, but to see that unhuman evil acted out in front of my eyes was something else. I was never the saqme after that long week, where the powers that be sat on their hands, locked a whole gang of people in an sports arena and waited to see what happened.

Katrina felt like a test, at the time - a test to see far they could push us. What they might get away with in broad daylight. The levies blew, lies were told, the poor drowned, thousands of children went missing, homes and guns were seized, bodies disappeared, and the swine smiled in the knowledge they could do pretty much anything they liked to us.

It seems an awful long time ago now. I feel a long way away. My heathen prayers are with those remaining.

Rain

And so the rain pours down outside this gentle libary in which I type, more by feel than sight, in front of a screen that throbs and pulses quesily, an unclear mesh of half formed characters and bright colours. I close one eye in order to focus on the errors I just typed, then unclose, because the other sarts to dry quickly, causing stabbing pains and more confusion than is needed at this juncture. No I am not on drugs, dear reader. Drugs are for children and pensioners. I am just half blind again. Is all.

Low as I was, I was not expecting the intense and pathetic dose of poor fortune that accosted me last night. I know I wrote a few weeks ago of The Balance - for every bad a good... but I wasn't expecting to be assaulted by that force with such relentless ferocity. Ho hum.

See, I was initially going to hitch back to New York from Shandaken today. I have just under ten dollars, and the bus is $29, or thereabouts. But then the guy who's renting us this big old dusty stone house up this lonely mountain rang and said he was driving that way, should anyone want a lift. And I did. He said he'd be round later, but, at seven or so, halfway through a particularly sdurreal episode of The Simpsons (rendered nigh on unwatchable thanks to Fox's freakish ad frequency) he called to say he was ready to depart, but I'd have to make my own way to where he was, which was Woodstock. Since there are no buses after 6pm around these parts, I figured the only way was to hitch. I used to hitch a fair bit in my youth, back in North Wales, where the terrain was similar and so was the frequency of the public transport. And my financial means.

So hitch I did. Out onto the open road I headed, dragging behind me my life in a granny cart, trundle trundle, left arm peaking with an angled thumb, and ten or so minutes into my stride, a kindly old gent pulled over and offered me a lift as far as Fenechia, a few miles down the road. He said he used to be a ballet dancer. And upon being dropped in Fanechia, I wandred a further twenty minutes or so, before being picked up by some hippies. Sadly, the hippes were only going another mile in the direction I was, and dropped me at a sharp turning that said , "Woodstock 14 Miles". I wandered up that turning, which soon became a pitch black and narrow old windy road, much like those back in the Wales of my youth, and was soon overcome with a familiar feeling. A sickness in the belly spread as I wandered this funny lane, and day became night. I passed abandoned old shacks, upon the porches of which lay torn furniture, brokebn electricals, sodden shirts. I came acros a gang of little hick local children, who looked straight out of Deliverance, and tried to give me trouble. There was a small scuffle, some words exchanged. I think my englishness ended up going in my favour, as did some assumed feigned bravado and insolence.

So. Some time later, it now was, and I'd been walking for a long time now. I didn't know how long. I had not a watch, a phone, none of that. The road was black and I could hear nothing over the rumble of my granny cart. No cars came. Houses were few, and lights infrequent. Bugs feasted on my bare shoulders. Rain dribbled between the trees, that towered on either side of the knackered old road, pointing into the night sky like spears. My trainers tore into my sockless feet mercilessly. A single car passed, and did not slow down.

Later I saw a little light, a welcome sight to me. I had passed one pain barrier, and was now into another kind of barrier. I was talking to myself, cursing, grunting, offering occasional cries into the night. And I saw this light. Blinking. And closer it came. And then I saw it was a roadblock, and I was ovrcome with despair.

So no wonder there had been no cars to give me lifts. The road was blocked. I fell to my knees. And shouted something into the trees. And then I saw another light. A little house. It looked cosy. The windows a mesh of bug-keep-awayer. I knocked on the door. A portly bearded old man answere, and told me the roadblock was nothing to worry about, but to keep to the right, as they were digging up the left side of the road. I used his phone to try and ring Shandaken, to get Gerard who was giving me the lift's number. I had been andering many, many hours. Woodstock, I was told, was another eight miles. "Downhill, mind, if that's a comfort!"

But the line was engaged, with that primitive dial up that's been plagueing everybody. So I headed back out into the night, throguh the barrier. Over gravel, I felt my way through the blackness.

And a squelch.

A wet foot.

A tumbling of rocks, a fall, a sharp pain, a deep wetness.

And me in a big sludgy hole, with stones and wet gravel slapping the back of my head.

Keep to the right my fucking ARSE!

I screamed.

And clambered out. Temporarily losing a shoe.

But out I got. And on I trudged.

After a while, there were a few cars. One, then two, did not slow, laughed in my pitiful face, calling stuff I could not quite catch out of their windows. The rain was falling harder now, and I, sweating trickles of salt water, was thankfull. Then another car. It slowed down. Nearly stopped. A great big silly grin broke out across my wet red bug assaulted face.

Sweet Releif.

But.

Cackles of laughter, the screetch of rubber on loose road, and the car was gone, and so too my hopes for a lift on this ugly black night. I called out into that blackness, laughed bitterly, licked a splash of sweat off my arm, tasting salt and bug, and soldiered onward, downhill, into the black.

At one point I stumbled, and fell down a little hill on the side of the road, and tumbled into a stream. There I lay a little while, scooping up water in my hands and pouring it over my head, down my throat, praising nature for her bounty. A while I lay, listeneing to the night, a welcome respite from the dull roar of the granny cart. And then I up and on, on, on, on, for a long, long time.

Dogs chased me a little later. Big ol' dogs. Where the energy came from I know not, spent as I felt, but I hoofed that great granny cart up in my arms and sprinted down the mountain, big barking beasts behind me. I ran a good while, until I was sure I was alone again, alone with the crickets and the hungry bugs that I batted off my wet shoulders. And I later came upon the little town of... Bearsville? Bear something. A man told me I was two miles from Woodstock. My heart soared.

That last stretch was easy. I was limping now, feet bloody stumps angled inward to avoid further damage, granny cart rumbling, belching, bouncing along, eyes so wide the left contact popped out, three weeks old, into the air... sweat pouring, veins bulging, I near flew down that road, that final stretch. And in no time, I saw the big blue house, my detination, my goal, and fell to the ground in front of it, panting, grinning, sticky and spent.

I rapped on the door. And waited.

Again.

And

again.

Dude's big American truck was gone, I realised.

Knock knock.

Knock knock.

Nothing.

I tried the door. And it opened. And there lay a note for me, explaining that he'd been able to wait no longer, and there was a matress and blankets for me, and to get some sleep. I fumbled about in the dark of this foreign home, unable to find the light swicth, but eventually happening upon the phone. I rang Shandaken, and James anwered, and said it was nearly midnight, and Spiky and Amy had been out in the car looking for me for hours.

I found a light. I peeled off my trainers, and saw bloodied, and somehow bitten feet, arms and shoulders thick with similarly huge bites, their surface yellow and red and bubbling. I washed in the sink, and fell into the matress, and today I awoke in a strange place with the rain falling outside, and rethought my plans.

Rested

After a nice little rest, I am back in London with a pink pack of eyeballs on my case. That shit looked nice on IE, but fucked up Mozilla. I don't know what it was doing to Macs. So he will live to the right. Read a bunch of Hilaire Belloc's The History Of England Vol XI, From The First Invasion By The Romans To The Ascension Of King George The Fifth on the train. I now realise that we are living in an oligarchy. Well, a strange, new fangled sort of oligarchy masked as a democracy. With a bit of a monarchy. But it is an oligarchy, nonetheless.

This book was published in 1915, and, interestingly, predicted that Russia would do what America has. The author is also in favour of true aristocracy, and I can see his point.