Oh damn, still in this dream.
Below are the 50 most recent journal entries recorded in the "johnny9fingers" journal:
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No way of titling this at all.|
"So was it Walt Whitman, or A. E . Houseman who wrote 'Seven Types of Ambiguity'?"
"Neither, it was Empson, who was a Wykehamist; and at heart, a Wykehamist."
"Isn't that just a pretty tautology?"
"That's the thing with you scientist chaps: you think that a distiction without a difference doesn't matter: in language it is sometimes called emphasis...old thing."
"Well, you passed the Whitman and Houseman stupidity without blinking, which was impressive. And then proceeded to explain Empson."
"I did wonder if a peculiar form of dementia had settled on the table: I fear I may have been ahead of myself."
And a third voice...
"Ah, the scent of contrition: sometimes it is good to be humble at this table, but never meek. Is that 'a distinction without a difference' enough for you? I can assure you it matters." The Master's gravelly baritone, posh Welsh, never either humble or meek, brought the subject to a close.
It was almost time for the Cherry Pie. What to do with the stones? What to do with the stones?
Answers on a postcard please to the usual address.
And I speak as a Spurs supporter. :)
2016 seems to be quite a year for it...|
Prince, aka Prince Rogers Nelson has died. He was a bit good. What a crying shame.
I think litotes or meiosis may be the term for emphasis through understatement.
More monkey business....|
Why even go abroad?
The link between fraud and deregulation is rarely more apparent then is shown in this article.http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/19/offshore-central-london-curious-case-29-harley-street
So now other folk get to look at what the post-Thatcher-and-Blair, post-deregulation, market-driven UK business environment is really like.
Napoleon was only half-correct. We are a nation of fraudulent and corrupt shopkeepers.
Tags: business, fraud, u.k
And just in case people thought that US companies were any different...|
They seem to "offshore" just as much as anyone else:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/us-corporations-14-trillion-hidden-tax-havens-oxfam
They are all run by
businessmen, accountants, and lawyers.
The governments priorities are pretty fucked.|
Sir George Martin.
Musician, producer, arranger, and above all mentor of the greatest composers of popular music the world has yet seen.
Art and stuff...|
There is an exhibition of Hilma_af_Klint
's at the Serpentine Gallery on at the moment. Having seen some of her abstract work, and understood its context and historicity, I really want to see this.
Tags: art, pioneers, women
Pretty shoddy from the government. Pretty damn shoddy indeed.
Pretty damn good show from la Ullman. Standout moments must be her Camilla and the theatrical dames Judy and Maggie. But it is all good.
I can't believe that this hasn't begun the process of Trump's political derailment. It is so outrageous.
Either that, or the US is actually a far more racist place than the rest of the world ever imagined: and if so, it has gotten to that point by the toleration of the gradual and systematic erosions of the gains made in the '60's by the Civil Rights movement exposing the injustices and inequities of the system.
Twenty years after the end of a war fighting against the evils of fascism and racism, it was possible for the average man to know and understand the wrongs inherent in racism. Seven decades away, it seems our media cannot draw the same obvious conclusions based on similar evidence.
The chap after whom the Edwardian era is named, Edward VII: a rake, a playboy, a ne'er-do-well, was unusually anti-racist for his time, or even it appears, for these times. When accused of race-crime in supporting the Japanese over the Russians he is quoted as saying [he]"could not see it. The Japanese were an intelligent, brave and chivalrous nation, quite as civilised as the Europeans, from whom they only differed by the pigmentation of their skin"; and thought the N word too offensive to use; and in letters home from India he complained of the treatment of the native Indians by the British officials: "Because a man has a black face and a different religion from our own, there is no reason why he should be treated as a brute."
And he died in 1910. (I must confess here that I'm a bit of a fan of "Bertie" despite the sideways trouser-crease. Unusually in a man, and even moreso in a King, he was a man who knew how to live, live well, and, whilst within the constraints of masculinity in his era, live honourably.)
Sometimes even historical Kings are better than current Presidential candidates.
Some of us are of the opinion that we should shackle those who rule over us properly: that is what a constitutional monarchy is all about. Shame about the life sentence they get, though. And all that bloody soldiering: especially if you're more interested in architecture or interior design.
Tags: because reasons
David Bowie has died.
Impossible to quantify the loss.
And since I have gotten it, I've been doing an awful lot of playing. :)
I can get my Marshall JCM800 50wt single-channel-no-reverb head and my c.1968 model 1968 4x12" cab sound to about 99% of the real thing, even through my stupid powered monitors. Through the Dickinson 2 x 12" combo, well, it sounds pretty damn amazing.
Tags: gear, guitar, helix, kit
has arrived. O frabjous day!
There is a situational modifier called context. It's a funny old world, hey?
In the season of Christmas, when in the close dark we can move from hangover to inebriation without even pausing for breakfast, some things become obvious to me.
Firstly, having grown a full beard for the first time in my life I can confirm I look like a slightly slimmer version of Gerry Adams. And also growing such a beard is a tacit admission that actually I probably won't get laid too often now. And probably I don't care. Much.
Secondly, that even if Metrocamel get up and running I still have songs that won't fit in with the band's oeuvre, if that's the egg I'm stretching for, and as the inimitable philosopher/poet Wodehouse would say.
Thirdly, that I'm not in the habit of giving other chaps ammo when debating. Especially when I think I have a point.
NSFW at all...|
Tags: bizarre, nsfw, rude, youtube
Happy birthday felephant
Guitars in the New Year?
All the best, old thing.
Last night I went out with chaps from a band I was in at the turn of the millennium.
I'd met Paddy, the drummer, on the tube a few months ago, and we exchanged phone numbers. So I met him and Phil, the pianist/singer, in a pub in Battersea.
We all have partners and children now. Nannies and school fees are things with which we are all familiar.
But more importantly, everyone was itching to make music.
Anyway, I'm still waiting on my Line 6 Helix. GuitarGuitar in Epsom have had my deposit since October. I rang them today and they prevaricated. Not impressed really.
Tags: guitar, kit, music
Well, back to Edwardian medicine here we go.
As an aside, I've been informed my health issues aren't urgent, which is nice, and a relief. :)
This is why Rugby is better than football|http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/oct/31/sonny-bill-williams-world-cup-winners-medal-14-year-old-fan
Though football is the beautiful game, it has been spoiled by the people playing it, and even more by those administering it.
Yet another great footballer has been implicated in the FIFA scandal.
How many great people have been corrupted by Blatter and his minions? Platini was bad enough: a really great player and from what I understand, a good man too. But Franz Beckenbauer? No, say it ain't so, say it ain't so. Not Kaiser Franz. If there were ever a man whom one would have thought incorruptible it was Beckenbauer.
I don't want this to be true.
And as an addendum to yesterday's post.http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/homan-square-chicago-police-disappeared-thousandsHabeas Corpus
, anyone? Rights to representation? There should be some sort of restitution for this. Prison sentences for those promoting this, and compensation for the victims?
Hahaha...it will never happen.
Tags: injustice, justice, usa
Food for thought?|
Tags: corruption, justice, u.k., usa
A Guardian article worth reading....|http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/30/how-the-banks-ignored-lessons-of-crash
And this situation is au courant
, if that's the phrase I'm looking for. Sometimes one just has to laugh.
Post Corbyn World.|
The news that a senior serving general has opined to the Sunday Times that if Jeremy Corbyn gets elected the army would mutiny does rather give the impression that we in the UK are living in a banana republic rather than a first-world democracy.
Now, given that my ancestors have fought for this country since Waterloo, I should have an opinion on this. So I have.
The thing about democracy is that we accept the will of the electorate. When our present government was elected, I didn't take to the streets and hurl petrol bombs at those I consider to be culpable in electing the present arseholes. Instead I complained in print and in person, and have tried to stop the present crew being re-elected. I did much the same during Bliar's government, though I complained rather less under Brown. But I must reiterate: I did not strike, I did not mutiny, and especially I did not break or forsake an oath to Her Majesty the Queen.
If the army, or any portion of it, should do these things after a general election, I hope the folk concerned are charged with treason. Because that is what it is. If it comes down to parliament, representing the will of the people, and the army, representing certain interests outside the democratic process, like money for example, then the army is positioning itself as the British equivalent of some South American Junta funded by CIA drug dealing. (Also, I think many of the Scots and Welsh regiments may well side with parliament...so that means civil war: the army against the people and the Celtic regiments.)
Bizarre that the Chiefs-of-Staff should let the bounder get away with saying this sort of hogswash. Early retirement, I reckon.
Tags: army., elections, labour, politics, uk
Maybe I should have given up smoking years ago. Certainly have now.
Oh well. Let's see how good the quacks are then. :) This could get unpleasant. If so I shan't bother you chaps much if it's all the same to you.
Go well and do good things.
Tags: oh my
From the personal...to the political.|
In my fiftieth year I became a father for the first time.
Before that I really had no idea...about anything human, outside of friendship and sex, anyway. I thought that I had, of course; I thought that I had plumbed the depths of despair with a Tristan-like passion over lost loves, missed opportunities, and failed ideals.
Becoming a parent has put that into perspective. (I ramble as preamble.)
My elder child, Henry, is four. He is allowed approximately 45mins of TV a day as a maximum. On many days he watches no television. At weekends he will sometimes, if it is raining, be allowed to watch a film. Because his viewing time is so limited, he has become used to being selective in what he watches, which is a good thing. His favourite shows and films over the past year or two have been enlightening for me as a parent. I have had to sit through many episodes of: Postman Pat, Fireman Sam, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, Peppa Pig, and Octonauts. His most recent favourites are Tree-Fu Tom and, amazingly enough, the original series of Thunderbirds.
In all of these programmes young children are exposed to the sorts of problems where the solutions can be found with a bit of thought and sometimes a bit of super technology, or maybe magic, or maybe good old fashioned common-sense. In almost all of these programmes rescue, repair, and respect are the main themes which underlie the plots, such as they can be said to have. Within these shows the problems the characters face are ones within the compass of small folk to understand; and given an adult's perspective, can be said to have narratives with positive agenda.
However, somehow or other (Nursery School?) Henry has become aware of Power Rangers. A TV Series which has never met a problem it couldn't punch, shoot, or stab its way out of. Of this fact I was unaware until I sat down with Henry to watch the second episode I had recorded; him having sat through the first one on his own while I busied myself in the kitchen. As of now I wish he'd stuck to Postman Pat as he has spent three days trying to punch or kick me, SWMBO, Kay (the Nanny) and his sister Æ. I am less than impressed.
Ye gods, when your children's narratives only contain ridiculously reductive and simplistic battles between good and evil, and necessitate extreme violence as the only solution to any of the problems faced by the good guys, it is no wonder that American children grow up into American adults.
No more Power Rangers for Henry, though he does appear to have energy to burn. But maybe the self-discipline brought on by sport, or the Dojo, or a musical instrument will be his punishment. I shall not put it quite like that, though. At his prep they start on violin in Reception. I shall have to enrol him for football and cricket. Karate too.
At the risk of repeating myself, I do wish he'd stuck to Postman Pat, or maybe even Thunderbirds.
Sitting in the shed...|
...(or the music room) guitar in hand, listening to Test Match Special
on BBC Radio5live. Australia are 3 wickets down for 72 runs at lunch on the first day. A good morning with the ball from Finn and Anderson. Nowt for Broad as yet.
For the past week or so I've managed to play every day. Some scales, arpeggios, chord changes. Practice really changes things. The problem with lots of scales and alternative picking is that such an approach doesn't always give notes time to "breathe" and ring. We lose touch with the beauty of phrasing, which is the real signifier of greatness in playing. Which is why Jeff Beck is the musicians' lead guitarist, I suppose: and why, for all of his technical limitations, Gilmour is a genius; and Jimi is the electric guitarist sine qua non
Every now and then we have to slow down and milk the notes for meaning outside of harmonic invention; or the rattling of machine-gun notes; or the noise, feedback, or guitar as car-crash (think strat abuse à la
Adrian Belew) which sometimes seem the totality of practice. Or maybe just my practice. But great phrasing comes less from practice, and more from playing. And even more from playing and responding to other people's playing.
I need a regular working band.
Oh well...time to eat some crow...|
I have to take back everything I've ever said about Jools Holland. He has grown into a musician, showman, and bandleader of some taste and learning. And may even be a damn good bloke to boot...well, he always had that, I suppose.
So Sir Christopher Lee has died.
Lord Summerisle was better than Dracula. Saruman was better than pretty much anything, including all the other performers in any of the movies, despite the botching of the script and storyline in translating from the book.
Few of us will ever manage a career's twilight as he did: the coda was better than all the movements before, including the scherzo.
Good old Ireland.|
Well done to the people of the Republic. Good for you guys. Actually voting to express tolerance is a wonderful thing. I tip my hat to you all.
Tags: good guys, ireland
Because I'm unwell....|
And I have to rehearse tonight with the wedding band I'm listening to this:
I do love to listen to great genius. This is what humans can do when they really try...well, maybe superhumans.
Tags: genius, music
So...it's not diverticulitis...According to the quack (a good sort, knowledgable and with the appearance of great competence) it looks like gall bladder problems. The Bro' had his gall bladder removed at the end of last year after stones gave him a few episodes worse than mine. I'm at present on an almost no-fat diet. Now this ain't perfect for a chap who is 6'2" and under 140lbs...and one moreover who rather loves his cheese, oily fish, and chips. (Not together, I must add...or not necessarily anyway.) So now I'm wandering around wondering what to eat...Aargh!
As an aside, Steve K. came to visit yesterday. After he lost TPA Studios it's been a bit of a bumpy ride for him, nevertheless, things may change. Fingers crossed. We chatted of this and that as we recalled the past, like the two old codgers we are, and through the recollections a song came to mind, sung by soldiers, in another of life's little ironies.
I DON’T WANT TO BE A SOLDIER
I don’t want to be a soldier,
I don’t want to go to war.
I’d sooner hang around
Living on the earnings of a Wh-High-born lady.
Don’t want a bullet up my arsehole,
Don’t want my bollocks shot away,
I’d rather live in England,
In merry, merry England
And fornicate my fucking life away.
So I looked for a version on YouTube. I found a substantially cleaner version, with a slightly different melody than the version I recall:
I think this old guy gives the song some of the spirit of the thing, even if his timing and phrasing aren't exactly perfect: but when was folk music ever perfect? Well... good "real" folk music, anyway.
One of the things we talked about was how, when we were brought up, hitting children was perfectly acceptable. Now we realise it is barbaric. I went to schools where the teachers, in loco parentis, would cane children. In many schools, prefects could cane other children. Er... Now from time to time, in an excess of spleen and rhetoric, I sometimes suggest that beating education into children may be in their own best interests. This is mainly because I would prefer there to be a better way of educating the little blighters. Whatever. But educated they really need to be.
Henry's Fourth Birthday.|
So..Today is Henry's Fourth Birthday (Capitalised).
Over the weekend we had two parties, and the in-laws staying. I had a stomach upset, but thankfully that didn't dent young H's celebrations. On Saturday H had a party for his schoolfriends on the theme of Spiderman. There was a Spiderman children's entertainer, and all the kids ran around and made lots of noise. A good time was had by the parents too. Wine and beer was laid on for them, and they were plied as far as their driving commitments allowed: which meant quick discussions among the couples, no doubt. The family had a second party on Sunday where I was again rather laid-up (my diverticultis returned with a vengence) and today we are all going out to a resturant for supper (including Kay, H & Æ's nanny) and then H will be given his new scooter.
This is the nature of privilege. Some young folk have stuff, things...and ideas
thrown at them from birth. (Even then they can go wrong...I mean, look at our new Conservative government. If only that Osborne chap had had basic economics bounced into his cranium he might have done better for his country...but no ranting Ninefingers, now is not the time.) And we are privileged. It was once the case that everyone had access to books from the public library, access to elite education provided for by the state, and access to proper medical treatment. Also there was a welfare state that meant those out of work would have the basics of their living requirements met. But because there were books available, and proper medical care, and good schooling, a young person could manage to get from a council estate dwelling, with both parent's on the dole, to a Grammar School, and from there go on to Oxbridge. It didn't happen often, but it did happen. Now we have a huge number of graduates, many saddled with debt, most of whom could be considered one of the varieties of "Middle Class". Of course my kids are less likely to have debts when they come out of university, but that's because they won't have to borrow money to pay their tuition or lodging fees. The generations preceding me have assured that. No doubt they will have gambling debts or owe money to drug-dealers, but that's pretty much par for the course: 'twas ever thus.
But I doubt that everyone's kids will have the same opportunities as mine will, and, although I can feel that is credit to the generations before me, and my tremendously industrious wife, I still rather feel it is unjust that such life opportunities are given to few. If we are going to return to an Edwardian notion of England, where the Gentry and Commoners are distinct and separate, and where poverty and opulence co-exist easily, then I think we are going to have to be very careful and very lucky indeed if we want to avoid bloody revolution.
The Tory Party's narrative about Labour spending has been pretty thoroughly debunked by many political economists worldwide. In fact, it seems that the Tories are much less competent than the last Labour administration was.*
But because it 'sounds' like common sense, our electorate has bought it. Now we wait for the first installment of payment.
*. http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2015/05/02/britain-for-the-love-of-god-please-stop-david-cameron/ http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2015/05/06/13-terrible-tory-counterarguments/
The day after....|http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2015/05/02/britain-for-the-love-of-god-please-stop-david-cameron/
This should have been written and gone viral months ago. But now it doesn't matter as we still have the party of fiscal responsibility in charge, doing the right thing.
Oh well. We have the government we voted for. Ain't life grand?
Tags: economics, politics
And here we go again....|
So, today I've prevaricated like a master. There shall be cooking tonight and then telly and then bed.
What a rock 'n' roll life, hey?
So I begin my return to LJ Proper.|
And I can bask happily in my own anonymity.
I needed to rekindle my enthusiasm for this place. External forces appear to have done the job for me. :)
May your day be full of good things...fun too.
Tags: i wonder how long it will last
That damn Facesbuch...|
That damn Facesbuch has decided that I can no longer be Johnny Ninefingers, and has locked me out of the account I've had since FB's inception. Well...there's an end to that then.
Religious nuttery, but mine this time.|
On the phase space
of the Godhead. And other Omega Point
After writing that headline I wondered if this needed an essay to go with it, as to me it seems as if the disparate links within the title would give anyone what they need to know about where to look, anyway.
So that's as much as you're getting. I mean, it's not my contention that we sculpt our gods from the godhead with our asnine beliefs, is it: but that maybe is what the FAP (Final Anthropic Principle) implies?
Now I shall return to my normal gibbering and bleating. Talk amongst yourselves.
This made me happy today...|
Sometime in the late '90's...|
I was backing a singer/songwriter called Cressy Johnstone (who is my son's godmother) as her guitarist, and we toured in support of Joan Armatrading
. Now Joan was just returning to playing live after a short hiatus. Before the first gig I asked her about the opening chords to this song, and she said "All guitarists always ask me that" and moved on to a different subject. So I watched her from the wings...and every night of the tour she used different inversions of the chords, to make it more difficult to read her hands.
You have to love a lass like that. I still smile when I think about it. This performance is probably miming for TOTP or something...but Ms Armatrading can really play...really play...
Probably because I'm getting old, something reminded me of this today, so I posted it on here.
Tags: ancient of days, memories., music
I want the best justice money can buy...|
This is how I know I'm not wealthy enough:http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/aug/05/f1-boss-bernie-ecclestone-offers-60m-settlement-bribery-trial
Now if only I had the odd $100M spare to prise me free of the beastly forces of law, order, and justice: for whenever I've slipped up and accidently bribed the odd overpaid administrator to my advantage.
Bernie is an old man, the wrong was financial (though other wrongs in F1 seem to be perfectly legal) and the penalty maybe
fits the supposed crime. There isn't much purpose in putting octogenarians in prison unless they are too poor to pay for their own health costs, and I've no doubt we could catch him should he do it again: after all, we know where he lives. So maybe a win-win here. But it does rather show that unless you have insanely huge piles of the stuff lying about (to concentrate the minds of those pursuing the judicial process both for and against you) justice often seems a bit more random when applied to ordinary folk with ordinary Post Office savings accounts. Even if you bank with Hoare's
, $100M isn't exactly small change.
Oh well. I'll have to think up some morally acceptable way of making my billions, obvs.
My daughter Æmilia was one year old on Friday the 4th July.
Party on the Saturday the 5th, but I had to leave at 4pm to go to a gig just outside Winchester.
Got back home at 3am. Henry woke at 7...bliss, such bliss.
Loving the sleep deprivation: it's almost like drugs.
I wondered about some of the guitar fills and looked up this performance...|
And you know what...it still sounds good. And I know it's uncool to say so.
Is this why my generation was so damn criminal?|http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27067615
I'd like to think not...but the evidence is mounting.
Tags: correlation and causality, crime, legislation, statistics
Well I'm back for a short while….|And I saw this:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-26959628
More than 20 people have been stabbed at a Pennsylvania high school. It just goes to show that the gun lobbyists are right about the fact that if guns weren't available, mad folk would use knives.
However, there is one crucial difference: of the twenty-odd who were stabbed ALL
are expected to survive. If that had been a mad young person with a gun, I doubt the survival rate would have been quite so high.
Never mind, we have to cull the herd somehow.
Gods, it's been almost seven months...|
Since I last updated.
This is what my chum Aaron called "the baby tunnel". Despite having a nanny, kids can still be exhausting. I think I shall write some more tomorrow.
…and his Mum and Grandma on holiday in early September.
I read this reprint from "Howler" in the Grauniad|
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