Derby Anti-Trump Demo, 30/1/17

Today I found out that there was an anti-Trump demo on in Derby so I scrambled to get ready and made it into town.

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It was a good turnout for such sort notice and we all chanted and listened to the speakers.

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I was most moved by the guy talking about his family’s history of persecution in Nazi Germany and how he would fight to never have that happen again.

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One of the more liberal protestors shushed a kid next to me cos he was making up his own chants about punching Nazis. His pithy reply was, “I’m Jewish, of course I’m gonna stomp them!”

Onwards and upwards with the resistance to international fascism.

PUNCH A NAZI TODAY.

Michael Nesmith, Country Rock & (The) Eagles

I just watched the long doc on the Eagles which was fascinating, in the way that all rock docs are.

You have the origin story, some kids sparking off each other, loving the music. Then they get success and become addled by the drugs and the sex and then, inevitably, along comes Mr. Creative Differences. Which, in the Eagles’ case includes hilarious recordings of them about to have a punch up on stage, in the middle of a bloody gig!

I’m glad they had Linda Ronstadt in there and gave her due credit. Too often, female artists get whitewashed out of rock history or relegated to the role of muse. I wonder if the Eagles would even had formed if Frey and Henley hadn’t toured in her band?

What made me a little sad is zero mention of Michael Nesmith. I hate the way that no-one talks about Nez as one of the originators of country rock. Ronstadt covered Nez’ ‘Different Drum’ way back in ‘67, with the Stone Poneys. If the doc could mention Gram Parsons, it really should have mentioned how important Nesmith was on that early scene. ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’ was released in 1968, Nesmith wrote ‘Different Drum’ in 1965! There’s no way Henley and Frey were unaware of Nez’ post-Monkee solo country albums.

Otherwsie, how could you have ‘Midnight Flyer’ which is basically the Eagles ripping-off Nez’ ‘Nevada Fighter’ three years after it was released?

Reminds me of ‘Moi Lolita’ by Alizee and a certain ‘90s one-hit wonder…

Channing Tatum

(This is from a Tumblr thread where people were defending Tatum. Well, I had to add something, didn’t I?)

He IS brilliant in Hail Caesar, not least because he’s also having sly fun with popular notions about him as an actor. Takes a brave actor to do that and keep on point.

May I also add:

Channing in Step Up

Channing in Haywire

Channing in The Eagle.

You see, I, too, used to be a Channing-hater. Not, like, hugely or anything. But I’d go along with mates when they’d make fun of him or snort if I read film reviews slagging him off.

This was until I actually engaged my own critical faculties honestly. 

I started realising… ‘oh wow, that bloke in Step Up… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’

‘That bloke in Haywire… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’

etcetera…

And then I realised that what we have in Mr. Tatum is a young actor who can dance, do romantic smouldering, light comedy, horrible secret agent villains and brooding soldiers haunted by loss of honour.

Tatum is a superbly flexible, adventurous and fearless actor. Where other actors find the ONE NOTE and then grind on that fucker for decades, hoping an Oscar will pop out, Tatum will have covered a myriad worlds, creating characters that have zero in common apart from his obviously gorgeous physicality.

I mean, he could just coast by on his looks, couldn’t he? He doesn’t really need to take risks but look at the man’s IMDB: he consistently does.

At the minute, Tatum is PRIME BEEF. He is beautiful and that will limit the roles he gets offered, as it does beautiful actresses (though to a lesser extent, of course, since Hollywood hates women). But Tatum’s work ethic and career arc reminds me of someone…

Here’s young Michael Caine. Pretty, isn’t he? He could have coasted on those looks but if you look at his IMDB, you’ll see an actor who got stuck in. He just acted and acted and acted, which is why we still know and love him now, decades after his equally-attractive comrades are forgotten. Yeah, Caine also did a lot of dodgy films but that’s my point ~ you HAVE TO. You don’t get to be in the Hail Caesars unless you’re also in the Jupiter Ascendings (and that’s no disrespect to JA, I love that slab of dog-gene, royalist bee crazy but I’m in the minority, I know).

We have yet to see the best from Tatum. Think of how great he’ll be when he’s a wrinkly, gnarly, hairy-eared old geezer! Think of the decades of experience of playing a huge gamut of characters he’ll be able to draw from. He’ll be too old for the 20-something romcom lead or the action hero, he will get characters with more layers, more complexity…

True Love

I keep having the most vivid dreams that I’m with my ex and I’m begging her not to leave, like I did in real life when she said she wanted a divorce.

I know that person doesn’t exist any more but when I see her in my dreams, it’s so disturbing. Her skin feels as soft, her smile is as every bit as cute and I remember the last time someone loved me, the last time someone kissed me.

When she wrote to me after my Dad died last year, I was so happy. Not because I had any ideas of getting back together, I gave up on those years ago. But because I thought, maybe, we could have at least some kind of friendship. Also, I knew my Mum wanted to see her, to hear her memories of my father. She gave me an email address in the letter so I emailed her about my Dad, his death, my Mum’s health and… she didn’t reply. That was the cruellest thing anyone has ever done to me.

I never thought I’d still be dreaming about her, so many years later.

Love is horrible. I wish my subconscious didn’t keep reminding me how empty my life is now.

A Beautiful Picture

Now, I’m not a fan of Obama. He’s murdered innocent people with his drones so how can I be?

I am, however, a fan of this photo:

(Source: BBC News)

At the top, you have the crowds for Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

At the bottom you have Trump’s 2017 ceremony.

You know, the neo-Nazis currently re-branding to alt-right talk loudly. Sometimes it’s easy to fall for the hot air and think that those idiots are the mainstream, the majority.

Look at that pitiful picture below.

They clearly are not.

Veronica Mars

SO, I’m bingeing Veronica Mars and I’m too entertained. Like, I expected it to be good but not *this* good. The writing is snappy, the dialogue entertaining, the plots all sewn up with each ep…
 
If this was a Netflix series, I feel like forty minutes of each ep would be her just staring in the mirror intercut with flashbacks, flash forwards, zooming pics of the Horsehead Nebula and insects fucking each other.
 
I’d forgotten telly could be concise and REFRESHING. Not a fucking slog through hours of self-indulgent pseudery, just WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO BLOODY HAPPEN.
Posted in TV

Gargling Other People’s Shit

Friday night, I went to Mosh. The music was good, most of the people were fine. But there was a scattering of people there who I absolutely can’t fucking stand. Fair dos, Derby isn’t massive and the alt scene is basically one hundred people at any one time, you’re gonna bump into them cos this town is tiny. Grin and bear it. Oh, he’s pushed me again… leave it cos the wanker is only 21 and weighs as much as one of my legs. Oh, she’s joining in now… just leave it. Grin and bear it. At least I get prior warning because of the approaching stink of poppers and entitlement.

Then a bouncer came up to me and asked me if I’d been threatening people with a knife. Apparently, a “big black bloke dressed all in black” had threatened some lad and his missus.

Well, the only person fitting that description at all (even though I’m Indian) in the 95% white Mosh was me. The bouncer was actually very good about it; he knows I’m a regular, knows I’m friendly and thus that I’m unlikely to be walking around perforating randoms. I had no problem with him, he’s a good bloke. But, you know, I couldn’t shake it off, it was the shit cherry on top of the turd cake. So, I went home.

Last night, I went to City. It was packed cos Meshuggah had just played upstairs so I knew it’d be great music in the Basement. And it was! Lovely big slab of Gojira, Refused, Beartooth, The Ghost Inside, Parkway, Attila, heavy shits and giggles.

Then this bloke turned up. I don’t know him, don’t even know his name. I only know him from City because he knows mates of mine. He’s one of those types that goes somewhere and makes fun of everyone else that’s there, their clothes, their taste in music. Everything he likes is MORE METAL, everything he’s into is AUTHENTIC. Everything you or anyone else likes is fake and shit. You know the type: narcissistic poseur with delusions of grandeur. Whenever he does this to me, as if I’m in on the joke, I ask him why he’s there if it’s such a shite place. And he does what the considers to be this sophisticated grin like… well… he’s gracing us with his presence.

He’s a fucking wanker but I humour him because of said common friends.

Well, big mistake. 

He’s also a massive druggie. He’s proud of it, drones on and on about it to me even though he knows I’m edge. Finds straight edge funny and quaint and a bit embarrassing because, you know, edge people actually believe in something non-ironically. Last night, fuck knows what loser cocktail of psychoactives he’d ingested but he basically harassed me non-stop. Any time I’d try to dance, he’d hilariously push up against me or push me away from my friends. It got so bad that two or three of them actually started telling him to fuck off and push him away. But, y’know, he’s a big white bloke with all that privilege AND drugs AND his psychopathic empathy-bypass.

Because I X up, because I sometimes wear my straight edge hoody and obviously because I’m often the only non-white in the place, because I stand out, I get this shit a lot. Blokes (ALWAYS men… never women, funny that, eh?) will decide I’m their target for the night. They’ll push me and get in my face and provoke me and grab my female friends. Anything to get a rise.

This is because drinkers and druggies take any sign of edgeness as an implicit criticism: they think my hoody is criticising them personally. Instead of seeing it as a personal declaration, a statement of belief (and, yes, a beacon trying to find other like-minded people), they see it as a slam. So, they feel justified in attacking me at various levels. I’ve even had people try to pour beer into my mouth, for fuck’s sake. I mean, can you fucking believe anyone would be that defensive and aggressive about their own addiction?

So, I did what I always do. Grin and bear it. Don’t get mad, he’s just on drugs. Don’t get mad, he’s probably not always a fucking wanker. Maybe if he was sober you wouldn’t want to gouge his eyes out. Grin and bear it. Eat that shit. Gargle that shit. Yes sir, can I please have more!?

I’m afraid I failed at being Vulcan cos I got too mad and basically pushed him sharply so he careened into the barrier in front of the stage and fell over. Immediately, I regretted it. But this was after 90 minutes of him consistently hassling me and my friends, I’d had enough. We had all told him to fuck off numerous times. He didn’t listen.

And, of course, me pushing him means that he won. He successfully provoked me, which is what he’d wanted to do all night. What I should have done was to go and get a bouncer and get him chucked out.

Well, once I’d pushed him, he was on a roll, the weirdness doubled. So, I just left the club and came home early. I was seething when I did it but I was in control enough to know that it was either leave or actually get into a real fight with him which I would win physically but lose morally.

I have had this happen so many times now, it’s the one pain in the arse of being edge: putting up with dickheads. And the thing with druggies is they never remember they were being arseholes so the next time they see you, they think you’re being off because you refuse to be friendly! Like, half the blokes in Mosh I will not engage with because they have started shit with me when they’re high/drunk. And yet they look at me like I’m touchy or judgemental BECAUSE THEY DON’T REMEMBER DOING IT. Yes, mate, I’m not gonna shake your hand because last time your were out you called me a ‘fat fucking Paki’ and tried to push me over.

ARGHHHHH.

I am sick of this, of having my nights out ruined by other people’s addictions. I have had so many years of this that it just fucking grinds me down. Sometimes I wish there were straight edge clubs the same as there are gay clubs but I can’t think of anywhere in Britain the scene would be large enough for that to be financially viable.

It sucks.

 

Backstrom

Fucking hell…. just tried to watch the first ep of this and, apparently, casual racism is the NEW EDGY on Netflix.

“BUT HE’S OBNOXIOUS, YOU DON’T GET IT!!!”

Oh, but I do. It’s yet another excuse for punch down humour. Why couldn’t he have been an obnoxious black cop making fun of crackers? Why couldn’t he have been an obnoxious female cop with a Male Tears mug?

Because that transposition might actually be challenging.

Instead we get Yet Another White Male braying his “OOH, LOOK AT ME, I’M POLITICALLY INCORRECT” bollocks everywhere.

This is so fucking cliched, it’s only made worse by the irritating score boom-tishing Backstrom’s racist quips like a tiny Richard Hammond sucking off Jeremy Clarkson.

Fuck this show, fuck everyone in it and fuck all the writers.

Posted in TV

Israel Threatens UK Minister

Israel’s ambassador to the UK has apologised after a senior member of his staff was secretly filmed saying he wanted to “take down” Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

(Source:  BBC News)

Take down how? Politically? Physically, with an assassination via Mossad?
 
Can you imagine *any* other government getting away with this kind of threat? What if China or North Korea had been caught on camera saying it?
 
Yet, as it’s Israel… free pass, carry on illegally occupying foreign land and threatening senior UK ministers.

White Town, Always

(On seeing this post on diversity in alternative music)

You know, it’s made me ridiculously happy to see my band in this list, thank you!

White Town has *always* been on the outside of the immensely white, middle class indie(pop) scene since I first formed the band in 1989.

The third gig we did (I say we as it was still a guitar band back then), we supported Primal Scream. It was a great gig but my strongest memory is a sneering racist white indie kid asking me if I was there to do the accounts. (This is *after* we’d played.)

Another time, a big act on the Sarah Records label and his cohort of minions spent five minutes laughing at my band name and basically saying that racism was “all in my head” and that I was yet another darkie with a chip on my shoulder.

That’s just a couple of times out of… well, too many to list, really. I’ve left out the actual physical fights with racist Morrissey fans, playing at venues that turned out to be full of Nazi skins… the fact that I recorded a lot of indiepop bands but you never see that in the reverential tomes on Sarah or white histories of indiepop. It goes on and on.

But if you try and talk about this with white indie kids, you get labelled as ‘touchy’ or ‘crazy’ or ‘paranoid.’ All the labels that white people apply to non-whites who won’t stay in their place, who refuse to remain silent. 

Today, indie and indiepop remain overwhelmingly white scenes. The supposed left-wingness of the scene is a superficial lip-service; most of the people I meet are liberals or outright Home Counties Tories. There is the exact same sneering attitude to racism as there was decades ago. If you haven’t got white skin, the same doors remain closed, the gig offers don’t come in and you basically have to put up with shit white artists don’t even know exists, safe in their privilege.

In my frustration at decades of discrimination, I’ve given up on trying to explain all this to white people, even if they’re well-meaning. I haven’t got the time or energy to be a walking google on the history of erasure of non-white people in alternative music. (But start with The Monochrome Set if you want.) Nowadays, I do my best to help young non-white artists in alt bands whether it’s with advice, free recording, production lessons or whatever.

If you’re reading this and you’re a South Asian kid in a shoegaze band or a black kid in a goth band or whatever and you’re feeling isolated and excluded, please drop me a line,  bzangy@gmail.com.

I’ll help if I can! 🙂