This Could Happen To You

Perhaps you’ve seen it. You’re at somebody’s house, a party, a bar, whatever, when somebody disappears for a moment or two. Maybe it’s a smoking break, you ponder. Five to ten minutes later, they come back, muttering under their breath; you can only catch certain words and phrases: “Rasmussen down by two”, “call those internal crosstabs fairly weighted?” and “Zogby couldn’t even place a may pole properly.”

Sad to say, my friends, this person has come down with a severe case of Poll Fever (closely related to the disease “When-Oh-God-When-Will-This-Election-Enditis”). Luckily, the stricken case will probably recover after November 4th, but until then, you need to be prepared for the major symptoms:

  • A need to be around a computer at certain times of the day.
  • Knowing exactly when R2K, Rasmussen, SurveyUSA, announce their polls, and refreshing Drudge at six every evening to see if the Zogby has leaked a good McCain result.
  • Sarcastic asides that if Pennsylvania is still considered a battleground state, then so is Kansas.
  • A need to cry out “Why can’t they hold this thing today and be done with it?” during days of fluctuation.
  • A rash that mirrors the Gallup tracking poll, complete with roll-off and roll-on of new dates (in major cases).

If you are suffering, then please, think of your loved ones. And try and not make too much of a big deal of a point decrease in Ohio.

The ritual is almost comedic at this point. The polls come out at roughly the same time every day (this is altered for us here in the UK right now as we’ve moved our clocks back); if the poll is good for the Democrats, Republican sites rip the internals apart claiming that there’s no way there’s that many pinko-communists in America, whereas a good McCain day in a tracker poll makes half of DailyKos take to their office ledges.

But it’s almost here now. Less than a week to go, and the Democrats still have a decent lead in the national tracking polls plus a commanding lead in the state polls. Early voting in Southern states appears to be going through the roof (as does the African-American vote), and Senator Ted Stevens can’t vote for himself, being a convicted felon and all. Mind you, as we’ve seen so many times, never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to shoot themselves in the foot.

Meanwhile, Obama has just admitted what we knew all along. He is indeed a Communist sleeper agent:

In other news: what we learn from all this is that Andrew Sachs doesn’t check his answerphone regularly. And that I don’t understand how my country works half the time.

Out of Control? Out of Ideas, More Like! <em>(trad.)</em>

Now I may have developed a tin ear for this sort of thing, but Out of Control sounds absolutely awful on a first listen. Even the Pet Shop Boys collaboration sounds tired and dull (it happens to be one of the best things on here, though). And Sébastien Tellier should probably get on the phone to his lawyers about Rolling Back The Rivers In Time, as the backing track is eerily similar to Divine.

(the album art seems to be trying to make Tangled Up look better in retrospect, as well)

Oh Xenomania, what has become of you?

Send Me Stationery To Make Me Horny

I can taste the sweet smell Of success on your breath I know where it came from No need for chewing gum

I had meant to write about Kenickie last week, but I got distracted by the election. In the meantime, Kieron has put it better than I could. Damn him.

(did our glitter-encrusted book of goodbyes ever make it to the band? I think I destroyed my copy of what I wrote for it)

There’s always the worry that you’ll never have one of ‘those’ moments again. The rush and exhilaration of hearing a new song that sends a shiver down your spine; turning you into a devoted fan. A worry that the next band you fall in love with will be your last. After Kenickie, I cast my net overseas and stomped for Sleater-Kinney, before returning home to the past, rediscovering New Order via Temptation and the astonishment of hearing This Is What She’s Like for the first time.

Then there was Johnny Boy, of course. A band that I could probably have wrangled an interview through my Static connections, but actively avoided because I would have turned into a gibbering loon if I got within ten feet of Lolly and Davo. Then I hitched my colours firmly to the Poptimist mast for a few years, reliving my Smash Hits days. But I was drifting a little.

There was only one thing I could do: I joined the International Tweexcore Underground.

I can’t quite put my love of Los Campesinos! into words yet (I’m working on it for the end of the year, obviously). There’s the titles - come on, how can you not adore a band that has a song called This is How You Spell, “HAHAHA, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams Of a Generation of Faux-Romantics”? Or the songs themselves, unquestionably British, indie, bouncy, all over the place, but on message all the time SUGAH! Ramshackle, full of doubt, guilt, vindictiveness, and the joys of having a good time. Just like Kenickie.

Hold On Now, Youngster has been a staple on my iPod shuffle all year round. You could have seen me bounce down the Banbury Road in the middle of April, or in the dying days of June, staying up all weekend fighting with InDesign, deadlines, and being permanently scarred at seeing pictures of our students playing strip poker. It was all for the very best of causes. When I saw that LC! were heading out on tour again (after missing them by one! ONE! day when we were in Madrid), I had to go.

My notes from last night of scribbled and hopeless. Except at one point I wrote that they’re what Godspeed You Black Emperor would sound like if they had been born in Britain. I’m not sure how serious I was with that. Then, there was That Moment. You’ll Need Those Fingers For Crossing. The words are too early, and wrong, but hey, isn’t that Kenickie’s Millionaire Sweeper, I hear you say? Oh yes. A grin on my face, a quick smile from Gareth out to the audience before launching into the song proper. Everybody bouncing down in the front; us in the middle doing a respectable amount of bouncing ourselves. Climbing up on the speaker stacks and singing from inside the crowd. How everybody sang along in a non-obnoxious manner, and how we all counted in My Year In Lists. Gareth sticking to his guns by calling We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed their new record.

Los Campesinos!, then. A band to fall in love with. A band to inspire a thousand fanzines soaked in glitter and PVA glue. A band that moves you to write over-the-top blog posts that you’ll come back to in ten years and not be embarrassed, because they’re that good. A band that has a huge chunk of Kenickie’s Catholic guilt, eyeliner and park shenanigans deep in their DNA. A band that can say “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” whilst dreaming of being Tony Cascarino. Circa 1995.

Shred Yr Face. SHRED YR FACE!

Shred Yr Face

Red stains all over the place…

The Long Blondes: RIP

Sad news on the day that Singles is released. Best of luck, Dorian…

FOX: From Little ACORNs do Socialists Grow


The most amusing part of this election so far has been the increase of hysteria within the ranks of Fox News, which marches in time with the rise of Obama’s polling numbers. If you know a little about the channel’s leanings, you’d expect Fox to be quite biased towards McCain, but in the last couple of months all remaining semblance of impartiality has been thrown out the window. As seen by their almost 247 recital of Republican talking points about ACORN, they’re no longer carrying water, but trying to divert oceans. You can’t watch for more then ten minutes without a mention of ACORN, Bill Ayers, or this current weekend’s favourite: ‘Obama’s socialism’.

Watching a news channel in a brazen panic over the possibility of a liberal majority in both elected branches of the US Government is both disturbing and yet incredibly funny. You have to laugh, because otherwise you start yelling at the television asking where they were in 2002 when the GOP got their majority. Or that a non-retouched photo of Sarah Palin is perhaps not a ‘slap in the face to all women’. Or just staring open-mouthed as people make a serious suggestion that ACORN is responsible for the current financial meltdown.

Still, it remains compelling viewing - if only because it seems bizarre that a news network can act like this. Or for days like this morning, straight after the breaking news of the Powell endorsement was announced. The look of horror on the Fox & Friends presenters was priceless. For a minute, they just looked completely stunned. Eventually, they pulled themselves together and started laying out the attack lines on the man they lionised for many years. Just another morning on Fox & Friends.

Also, at this point, I’m starting to think that Obama has enough money to carve his logo into the moon…

Obama Is Scrooge McDuck.

I mean, seriously.

How Much Money Did You Raise Last Month?

Obama: Coming To An Xbox Near You.

FOX News: Fair. Balanced. And Currently Hysterical.

ANDY MARTIN, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I think a community organizer in Barack Obama's case was somebody that was in training for a radical overthrow of the government. You have to really stretch to believe his story that he was living in New York City. He was earning 50,000 to 60,000 a year. And he left this to come to Chicago, to a city where he knew no one, to suddenly start, quote, "organizing," unquote, people.

In my opinion, Barack Obama had already been influenced by his radical ideology and philosophy, probably had met William Ayers in New York and was coming here to lay the foundations for what he thought would be some sort of a political movement that he would be a part of.

My view is that the community organizing was actually kind of sham event that really Bill Ayers was testing him. Because the way these radicals work, they don't give you a big project until you pass muster with a small project. And so they sent him out to Chicago to see what he would do. He passed the test.

Black helicopters not included. I said a month ago that I didn’t think Ayers would come up much. Looks like I was wrong…but it doesn’t seem to be hurting Obama in the polls too much…

Eagleton, You Betcha

You know, maybe a new VP gold-standard is being set here…