Warning: Post may involve lots of laughter at the Countryside Alliance.

Despite an invasion of the House of Commons, and a 20,000 strong protest outside Parliament (which turned violent, something which last year's anti-war demonstration, consisting of one million people, didn't. Funny that, considering how the Left are always portrayed as the ones who cause all the problems), the House of Commons passed a Bill to outlaw fox-hunting, by 356 votes to 166. The Government has also warned the House of Lords that if they try to reject the bill, the Parliament Act of 1911 will be invoked and the Lords will be overruled.


It took them look enough. The Countryside Alliance would have you believe that fox-hunting is a tradition, a fine sport, and the only way to humanely control the fox population, and as such deserves to continue. Which is total bobbins. Even if being ripped to pieces by hounds is more humane than other methods (somehow, I'm not convinced), you don't go out on a fox hunt with the express purpose of animal control. They call it a sport. From Webster's 1913 dictionary, sport is defined as:

That which diverts, and makes mirth; pastime; amusement.

It's not animal control; it's a bunch of people getting on horses having a good time killing animals. And surely, we're beyond that sort of sport by now.

And tradition? Please. Tell me, if tradition is so important, then why are dogfighting, cockfighting, and badger-baiting banned? These also have a long history, but were banned long ago. Perhaps because they weren't protected by the aristocracy in the Lords, seeing as how they were "working-class" sports. If they can be outlawed, then I see no reason why the equally brutal fox hunts can't.

I feel sorry for the people that will lose their jobs, and I hope the Government will be able to provide assistance for either retraining them or establishing drag hunts (a hunt which uses an artificial scent instead), but I'm not sorry that their jobs are going.

currently playing: Radiohead — The Tourist


It’s been rather quiet around here for the past week, I know. Normal service will hopefully be resumed soon (if it helps, in the past week, my being back at work for a little while has meant you have avoided essays of Sesame Street, Animaniacs, and Impactor’s death in Target: 2006 (he died twice to save us all!). I think you got off lightly, to be honest).

currently playing: Tramway — Technical College

In The Meantime, Please Enjoy These Messages

Bah! Who let the colonials in? They’ll be after coffee in the pavilion, I tell you…

Photographs that changed the world

A typewriter. Possibly an important one.

It's been almost a year since I went here, but I've been invited back tonight!

Hurrah for NASA!

Debunking the latest round of piracy scaremongering in the UK

Note to terrorists: superhero costumes will get you in anywhere…

And finally, on a terrorist note again: Russia decides that to combat terrorism, it's going to re-establish the USSR's voting procedures. I'm sure that the Chechens will take note. "They've removed democratic elections? Sod it, lads, the game's up."

currently playing: Beth Orton — She Cries Your Name

This is not a rebel song

u2 and george w. bush

Music News!

There’s a new Nirvana box set coming out, featuring over fifty unreleased recordings, rarities, and b-sides. Plus a DVD featuring performances by the band. No word yet as to whether the box will, in fact, be shaped like a heart (I’m so sorry).

If you have iTunes, , this link will take you to a three-minute preview of the new R.E.M. album. I'm reserving judgement until I hear the whole thing.

Nashville finally gets back at rap and hip-hop.

New Order work on Gwen Stefani's new album, and are almost finished mixing the follow-up to 2001's Get Ready.

Problems with iTunes Japan.

For everybody in America: the new Saturday Looks Good To Me album is out now. I have an advance copy and I assure that it's great. Buy it!

currently playing: Disco Inferno — Technicolour


currently playing: Mercury Rev — Goddess On A Hiway

What Are We Going To Do Tonight, Brain?

It’s time for Animaniacs
And we’re zany to the max
So just sit back and relax
You’ll laugh ‘til you collapse
We’re Animaniacs!

Come join the Warner Brothers
And the Warner Sister, Dot
Just for fun we run around the Warner movie lot.
They lock us in the tower whenever we get caught
But we break loose and then vamoose
And now you know the plot!

We’re Animaniacs!
Dot is cute and Yakko yaks.
Wakko packs away the snacks
While Bill Clinton plays the sax.
We’re Animaniacs!

Meet Pinky and the Brain who want to rule the universe.
Goodfeathers flock together; Slappy whacks ‘em with her purse.
Buttons chases Mindy, while Rita sings a verse.
The writers flipped; we have no script
Why bother to rehearse?

We’re Animaniacs!
We have pay-or-play contracts.
We’re zany to the max
There’s baloney in our slacks.
We’re Animanie,
Totally insaney
Here’s the show’s namey
Pinky and The Brainy
Come back, Shaney
The rain in Spainy
Shirley MacLainey
How urbaney
Citizen Kaney
Andromeda Strainy
Where’s Lon Chaney?
Eisenhower Mamie
Miss Cellany
Chicken Chow Meiny
Dana Delaney
No pain, no gainy
Money down the drainy
Penny Laney
Tarzan and Janey
Here’s the Flamey
Meet Mark Twainy
Presidential campaigny
Hunchback of Notre Damey
Bowling laney
Bangor, Mainey
Frasier Craney
Mister Haney
Quiche lorrainey
Lake Champlainy
High octaney
Public domainy
Candy caney
Those are the facts.

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me — Every Night

Dream Destroyed By Links

I’ll try to not mention politics for a whole week…

Remember, you are nothing without your robot car.

Halloween Twinkie Sushi!

Found Art

Oooh, I want one (yes, I know I don't have a car)

Fun uses for Gmail!

The Man From The Terminal.

The greatest weblog ever.

currently playing: Kenickie — Weeknights

give me something i can rely on

What Do You Want From Me? single coverI What Do You Want From Me? Monaco Polydor Released: March 1997 Highest UK Chart Position: 11 Available on: Music For Pleasure

It's 1993 and the August Bank Holiday. Peter Hook is on the verge of tears. New Order have just come off the stage, seemingly never to play again. After fifteen years, everybody hates one another; it's just not fun anymore. Pete is mixing together the tape for the set, and he's on the verge of tears. Because it was a great gig.

Four years later, and Peter Hook assembled another band, Monaco. He teamed up with David Potts, who he had worked with before in his 1980s side-project, Revenge, and joined the Britpop craze. The first single was What Do You Want From Me?

The song is a departure from New Order, in that it doesn't have a Peter Saville cover. Apart from that, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a track from their 1993 album Republic (listen to Regret alongside this. They're not the same song by any means, but you can tell that they sprang from the same minds). Peter Hook's signature bass sound stomps all over the song from the first few seconds onwards, as if to say "I'm still here. And you still want me." Then the vocals kick in, and David Potts does a convincing impression of Bernard Sumner. And yes, the first time I heard it, I thought New Order had made a surprise return.

It's rumoured that the song is about the break-up of Hook's marriage with comedienne Caroline Ahern, but it's easy to read this song as a plea to his original band. to the image of the New Order that exists independent of the members themselves. How it ruined their lives, from having their singer hang himself, to burning out the survivors to the point where even best friends could no longer stand to be in the same room as each other. "What do you want from me? It's not how it used to be. You've taken my life away. Ruining everything." And despite it all, he'd go back in a heartbeat.

Monaco's first album, Music For Pleasure was well-received, both in the UK and America, but the band didn't last long, failing to match or improve on the performance of this single. They broke up in 2000, and Hook was once again left in the wilderness.

All of New Order was doomed to recreate New Order. They realised they missed each other, reformed, and released Get Ready. Back for the 21st century.

The Power Is On

Imagine, if you will, that Snoopy and the rest of the cast of Peanuts were moved from their idyllic home of Anytown, USA, and dropped into an 1970s New York Project. Sally and Linus playing double-dutch next to a fire-hydrant, Charlie Brown and Lucy in a game of basketball, and Schroeder’s piano replaced by a set of turntables in the park. And the music produced would sound like The Go! Team, a UK band that borrows from Glen Miller as much as Grandmaster Flash.

The Go! Team — Bottle Rocket

How to explain? A song jam-packed with joy and excitement, mixing a bubble-gum rap with a homage to children's TV themes that brings to mind the Children's Foundation Films of the 1970s; all oversaturated film stock and riding on the sidewalks (hey, it is New York), mowing past girls playing hopscotch and four squares on an endless summer day. It's the childhood we secretly wished for while watching rain pounding on the windows on a cold August afternoon, wrapped up in three minutes and forty-two seconds of glee. Listen and smile.

The Go! Team's debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike is out next week, drawing influences from Bollywood, 1940s swing, and rap. By the end of Junior Kickstart, you will be bouncing around the room…

currently playing: Low — Last Breath