Sunday, 26 February 2012

DVD's From My Collection: Radio On, Directed By Christopher Petit (1979)

Another 'existentialist' road movie this one British and Post-Punk. It's in black and white, it's moody, atmospheric and more about landscape then action or plot and has a fantastic soundtrack. The clip above is interesting to J.G. Ballard fans as this is the Westway Interchange in West London, site of his novel, Concrete Island. 

For further info read Wiki entry here.

DVD's From My Collection: Two-Lane Blacktop, Directed By Monte Hellman (1971)

The classic 70's road movie starring James Taylor and Dennis Wilson. Not much happens in this film except for two long-haired drag-racing dudes (Taylor and Wilson) and one hippie runaway (Laurie Bird) taking to the highway; the road trip as a metaphor for existential freedom if you want to get all intellectual about it.

For further info read Wiki entry here.

DVD's From My Collection: They Live, Directed By John Carpenter (1988)

This film is so ahead of its time; as if Occupy Oakland had scripted a sci-fi action flick. Our muscled working-class hero takes on the ruling-class (aliens in the film) who have been saturating America with brainwashing subliminal messages-Obey, Consume, etc. Forget worthy left-wing art and watch this instead. The clip is when John Nada ('Rowdy' Roddy Powder) realises the full nefarious nature of capitalism.

For further info read Wiki entry here.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Occupy London: The Founding Of The Protest Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral on 15th October 2011

Here are my photos of the London Occupy event on Saturday 15th October 2011, the global Occupy Day of Action, which lead to the 'permanent' protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral. Better late then never.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

My New Blog: The Looking Glass House

I've started a new blog called The Looking Glass House. This is my novel, a dark and scary fantasy tale for young readers. I have already written a dozen or so chapters and I will put one chapter a week on the site up to the point where I finished. Obviously any new chapter after this will take a lot longer to be posted.

Read it here

I hope you enjoy.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Book Review: Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by Paul Mason

This must be the best book written by someone from the mainstream left and working within the conventional media I have read in a long time-in fact I found it absolutely inspiring for that very reason. If even the economics editor of the BBC's Newsnight can produce so radical an analysis then something must be up. Unlike Kline's The Shock Doctrine written before the credit crunch, which described a system of complete power and its victims being reduced to abject powerlessness, Mason's book is suffused with optimism and hope. At its centre is the explosion of resistance coalescing in 2011 which has elements both new (social media, networks, etc) and as old as the response to corrupt power and economic exploitation since the dawn of time (1848, Paris Commune, 1968, etc) Maybe at last as Paul Mason says the age of capitalist realism is over.

Unfortunately doing a cursory search I was unable to find an in-depth review that really resonated with me (nothing from an autonomist perspective either). The nearest I could find was David Wearing from New Left Project here. 

Below is Paul Mason talking about his book at the LSE.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

CD's From My Collection: Bert Jansch: Rosemary Lane (1971)

More perfect music for a day-out in the British countryside. Beautiful mellow folk music with a tinge of melancholy from Bert Jansch-a classic.

CD's From My Collection: Van Der Graf Generator: Pawn Hearts (1971)

More early 70's Prog. Heavy, complex and intense but some how avoiding pomposity, unlike many of the big progressive bands of the era. This is the opening track of the album; Lemmings (including Cog)

CD's From My Collection: Caravan: If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970)

The title track from their 1970 album. Light and airy progressive rock still keeping hold of the psychedelic sixties. Perfect for a stoned day-out in the countryside.  Lovely cover!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Book Review: The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt

A sprawling 'family saga' like novel set in the years between 1895 to 1919. A.S. Byatt of course is a Booker Prize winning author and literary top-gun so more to The Children's Book then my opening sentence would suggest. The writing is beautiful and like all good historically set novels you live and breath the era. Sometimes the information contained within the pages from art of the period to politics reads like a history lesson and slows the narrative down but otherwise the book drew me on to its tragic ending. The cover is equally as beautiful, stunning in fact-something you can't get with a Kindle!

For a more detailed review of the novel read Alex Clark in the Guardian here.