Hang Up Your Boots
Some more Resistance Tour reviews from around the 'net.
Great video clips (wmv) from the show in Amsterdam at Bouncing Souls.
A review and pics from the show in Brussels at Ladies from Neptune, possibly Belgium's greatest straight-edge blog.
I'm off for a few days, so be good.
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:: Friday, November 26, 2004 ::
Your Parent's Hardcore
Eastpak Resistance Tour
Edinburgh Calton Studios, Thursday 25th November
Sick of it All, 7 Seconds, Slapshot, The Bones, Unearth, Walls of Jericho
My main reason for attending this was the appearance of 7 Seconds, a great old school US hardcore band. I never thought I would get the chance to see them live, especially in Edinburgh so this was a real treat. The only other band on the bill I knew were Slapshot. Like 7 Seconds Slapshot are old school straight edgers. These Boston guys had a more militant reputation than the 'positive crew' style of 7 Seconds. But whatever, they are all even older than I am and deserve credit for keeping at it.
The other bands on the bill were less well known to me, though I have been trying to educate myself over the past few days. Walls of Jericho and Unearth seemed to have a more metal sound.
The sponsors for the tour are Eastpak, who manufacture school satchels, lovely. They avoid the corporate tag by calling their products things like Rebel, Protestor, Rioter and Reformist. Hey guys, here are some more ideas, what about sectarian, parliamentary cretin or ultra left? Is the reformist bag big enough for a fabian pamphlet whilst the rebel fits your paper sale needs with a collecting can pocket and just enough room for 20 copies of Workers Tool and a petition board. Eastpak are a division of the VF Corporation with a mixed record on factory conditions.
Walls of Jericho
With a start time of 5 pm I missed the first band, the Bones. Walls of Jericho made it pretty clear that stage diving and aggressive pit behaviour were not just allowed but almost mandatory. "I want more people on this fucking stage" singer Candace trilled sweetly. WoJ and the next band Unearth seemed to appeal to the younger kids there (it was an all ages show). WoJ were aggressive and entertaining whilst Unearth veered more into Spinal Tap territory.
It was a different crowd in the pit for Slapshot. An old school crowd, yeah I was there. It was also a smaller crowd which was unfortunate for the stage divers who found themselves diving straight to the floor in some cases. One guy did this twice and was eventually led away concussed, though I saw him later and he seemed ok. They delivered straight up hardcore with plenty of self depracation about their age and bellies. Finishing off with the great "hang up your boots", well maybe not yet. "Next up 7 Seconds, a band even older than us" they announced.
From the opening 'Sooner or Later' right through to the closing, err 99 Red Balloons, 7 Seconds fucking owned the Calton Studios. The ultimate singalong hardcore band, I wanted them to play three times as long as they did.
One song from their new cd is called 'your parents hardcore'. I hope the metal kids stuck around to listen.
Sick of it All
Well they most likely did as the crowd swelled for headliners Sick of it All. This wasn't your grim faced political punk. More panto punk as the band choreographed the pit "I want a circle pit", "let's do a braveheart, Glasgow versus Edinburgh". All fun stuff and worth the bruises from the stage divers.
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:: Thursday, November 25, 2004 ::
In recognition of tonight's 7 Seconds show in Edinburgh, I hereby adopt 'Safety Net' as the official perspective blog song.
"you live your life on the internet. that's where you are day and night.
you talk you shit from behind that net. where you're safely out of sight.
i think it's bad, yeah it seems so sad. cause now we hardly ever talk.
you try replacing the human face with the one living in a box.
why don't you go to a real life show. it's something that you won't regret.
you'd rather be on the irc and stuck inside your safety net.
it shouldn't be so damned destructive. why not share some info, insight?
you're way too caught up in the gossip. you'd rather talk shit every night.
i think it's bad, yeah it seems so sad. cause now we hardly ever talk.
you try replacing the human face with the one living in a box.
why don't you go to a real life show. it's something that you won't regret.
you'd rather be on the irc and stuck inside your safety net."
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:: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 ::
Dogs of War
Open Letter to the Devil Dogs of the 3.1
A detailed account of the infamous execution of Iraqi wounded in Fallujah by US Marines. It should be pointed out that the embedded NBC reporter Kevin Sites goes out of his way to say that he is not an 'anti-war activist', how much he supports the troops and that he considered destroying the tape. In the end he did the right thing.
"While I continue to tape, a Marine walks up to the other two bodies about fifteen feet away, but also lying against the same back wall.
Then I hear him say this about one of the men:
"He's fucking faking he's dead -- he's faking he's fucking dead."
Through my viewfinder I can see him raise the muzzle of his rifle in the direction of the wounded Iraqi. There are no sudden movements, no reaching or lunging.
However, the Marine could legitimately believe the man poses some kind of danger. Maybe he's going to cover him while another Marine searches for weapons.
Instead, he pulls the trigger. There is a small splatter against the back wall and the man's leg slumps down.
"Well he's dead now," says another Marine in the background.
I am still rolling. I feel the deep pit of my stomach. The Marine then abruptly turns away and strides away, right past the fifth wounded insurgent lying next to a column. He is very much alive and peering from his blanket. He is moving, even trying to talk. But for some reason, it seems he did not pose the same apparent "danger" as the other man -- though he may have been more capable of hiding a weapon or explosive beneath his blanket.
But then two other marines in the room raise their weapons as the man tries to talk.
For a moment, I'm paralyzed still taping with the old man in the foreground. I get up after a beat and tell the Marines again, what I had told the lieutenant -- that this man -- all of these wounded men -- were the same ones from yesterday. That they had been disarmed treated and left here.
At that point the Marine who fired the shot became aware that I was in the room. He came up to me and said, "I didn't know sir-I didn't know." The anger that seemed present just moments before turned to fear and dread."
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Wha's Like Us?
The New Civil War
An extension of the blue-red states United States of Canada/Jesusland argument on Democratic Underground.
Only this time they are blaming the Scots. Well more precisely they are blaming the Scots-Irish a term popular amongst Ulster proddy grant seekers setting up Ulster Scots language projects, and US genealogists. Here in Scotland it is more likely to produce blank looks.
"There were two other important regional cultures: the Quakers of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the Borderers. The Borderers were Celts from northern England, Lowland Scotland and Ulster. Their society was male dominated, clannish, superstitious, and militantly Protestant. They lived in a constant state of warfare, with each other, with the English, and with Irish Catholics. William Wallace, the hero of "Braveheart," was a Borderer. By the 18th century, when they fled Scotland's crop failures and Northern Ireland's religious wars, the coast was taken, so they moved inland, to Appalachia. Some people call them the Scotch-Irish. Others call them hillbillies.
"They are a culture founded on guns, which considers the Second Amendment sacrosanct," writes James Webb in his ethnic study Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. "It is not hyperbole to say that Al Gore lost the 2000 election by going against them on this issue, causing Tennessee and West Virginia to vote for George W. Bush. And they are they are the very heartbeat of fundamentalist Christianity, which itself is largely derived from the harsh demands of Scottish Calvinism. As such, they have produced their share of fire-and-brimstone spiritual leaders, whose conservative views on social issues continually offend liberal opinion-makers."
Now, I'm no Neil Davidson, but I think it was Ireland who had the famine. Plus 'Northern Ireland' as a political entity didn't really exist in the 18th Century but I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt that he is referring to the geo-ethnic entity.
One could also point out the large degree of emigration from the largely catholic but equally clannish highlands of Scotland following the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion and the later highland clearances.
Nonetheless an interesting piece if only to illustrate how ethnic groups can drift away from the political views of their ancestral homeland. The hardline presbyterians today in Scotland, like the "wee free" Free Presbyterian Church are largely confined to the margins. The dominant church in this godless land is the Church of Scotland, who are as liberal as they come.
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:: Monday, November 22, 2004 ::
License to Kill
UK Indymedia | Having the G8 in Town Justifies Lethal Police Actions An interesting decision given the fact that the G8 will be in Scotland next year. Swiss police were cleared in an investigation into events at G8 protests there. The cops cut the ropes of protestors occupying a bridge causing one to fall and severely injure himself. It was "understandable" because of the stress of the event said the judge.
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:: Sunday, November 21, 2004 ::
Coming back to the question of why Scotland has the highest number of people with 'no religion' in the UK. Could it be because of our generally lower number of ethnic minorities? It could explain why Aberdeen is so irreligious. I mean, its not the top spot to emigrate to unless your working on the rigs.
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:: Thursday, November 18, 2004 ::
Everybody knows the monkey
MonkeyFilter | MONKEYFILTER MUSICBLOG LISTING 2.0 is a big list of mp3 blogs divided up by genre. That should keep you busy.
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:: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 ::
Losing our religion?
God® Action figure from Jesus Christ Superstore©
Looking around the Vision of Britain site I found the info below on religious beliefs. It seems Scotland is the least religious part of Britain. Aberdeen is the least religious district in Britain. I am not at all sure why there should be this difference.
Given the low numbers actually attending church, it is perhaps surprising that so few claimed they had no religion. Should we conclude from the geographical pattern that the Scots were more godless, or just more honest? Given the small numbers in non-Christian religions, the pattern for 'no religion' was largely a mirror image of the pattern for Christians, with lower numbers in the north than the south of England and, perhaps surprisingly, lower numbers in the cities than in rural areas. For what it is worth, the district in Britain with the most non-believers was Aberdeen (42%), and the top seventeen were all in Scotland. The highest rates in England and Wales were Norwich (28%), Brighton and Hove, and Cambridge (both 27%); these are all university towns.
Vision of Britain assembles historical maps and census data. It is only partly working just now but worth a look.
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:: Friday, November 12, 2004 ::
John Peel's funeral is today. This is one of the best pieces on him I have read, over at Tangents, an intelligent fanzine for ageing indie kids.
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A Week in Politics
The news of Tommy Sheridan's resignation as convener of the Scottish Socialist Party has come as a surprise. I had a chat with Tommy recently about fatherhood and I think it is something that he is taking very seriously. Tommy's contribution to the left in Scotland has been immense, I probably can't say it better than Kevin. It can't be pleasant having your life made the subject of the media spotlight. But he'll still be around as a Glasgow MSP and a thorn in the side of the establishment. One thing is for sure, you haven't heard the last of Tommy Sheridan. It will be a challenge for the SSP as well, but I am convinced that we have secured a real voting base in Scotland. The Westminster elections are not our strongest ground simply because of the electoral system, but the Scottish parliamentary elections follow on. And significantly the introduction of a form of PR for council elections should see the election of many SSP councillors.
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:: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 ::
Half of the US apologises.
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:: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 ::
There are photos from the Justice for Gordon Gentle demonstration in Pollok, now on the SSP website. I wasn't the photographer for this one and there is no credit. Some good photos.
Also a good report here.
This campaign proves that there is no iron curtain between community work on 'bread and butter' issues and more global campaigns.
Four of the recent Black Watch dead have been from my home territory in Fife. One guy was a couple of years younger than me and went to the next door school. I probably passed him in the street all the time. The backlash against this should be terrible. Local Labour types (mostly Brownites) will be trying to distance themselves from Blair, despite having backed up the war all along.
Finally a word from one of the US commanders.
"The marines that I have had wounded over the past five months have
been attacked by a faceless enemy," said Colonel Brandl.
"But the enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in
Falluja. And we're going to destroy him."
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:: Monday, November 08, 2004 ::
Keeping up the pressure
Bush gets in and the bombs start to rain down in Fallujah.
In this context the most important, although not easy, thing to do is keep up the pressure. So attend your demo to protest about Fallujah if you can (on tonight in most cities). And take heart from this report on Michael Moore.com. This is what the US movement needs to do.
Michael Moore.com : Mike's Message : Messages: "Witness the students at Boulder High School in Boulder, Colorado on Thursday, two days after the election. These kids can't even vote yet but that was not going to get in their way of expressing their outrage over what we adults had just done. The high school students took over the school by staging a sit-in and would not leave the building. They stayed there all Thursday night. They told the media that they were protesting the election results and putting Bush on notice that there was no way they were going to allow the draft to come back. It was the most uplifting moment of the week."
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Pop and Politics
Time and Tide (RM clip)
As something of a connoisseur of quality Australian music I was interested to see the above clip. It features a senator with the Australian Democrats backed up by a group of Oz musicians at an anti-war benefit. In the band are Lindy Morrison and Amanda Brown, both formerly of the Go-Betweens. Also members of the Hoodoo Gurus and others. Lindy also stood as a candidate for the Democrats in the recent Australian elections, gaining 477 votes. Not exactly the party I would have given my x to, but fair play to Lindy.
The song 'time and tide' by 'Those Bloody McKennas' commemorates the sinking of an Indonesian fishing boat full of refugees, and the loss of 350 lives in questionable circumstances.
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:: Friday, November 05, 2004 ::
Blowing up Parliament (Guy Fawkes day special)
Well the referendum on a regional assembly for the North East has failed. On one hand I am disapointed as I think regional assemblies can play an important role in decentralising England from Westminster rule. On the other hand the proposed assemblies had so little power that they were a joke. Tujags Prescott has promised to re-evaluate the proposals. He should do so and come back with real powers for the assemblies. Guess we will have to wait for the North East Party.
Among the forces opposing regional government are the English Democrats, a fringe right-wing party who insist they are not fascists (I'm not linking them, find them yourselves). There seems to be a plethora of these eurosceptic reactionary parties on the go in Englandshire, its like Munich in 1920 down there. Why mention these bams? Well blogger Guido Fawkes (it's your special day today Guido!) says that UKIP prima donna Robert Kilroy-Silk has been in talks with them. Kilroy™ has flounced out of UKIP because its leader Roger Knapman was not willing to become that parties Anton Drexler.
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:: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 ::
A tale of two nations
Well looks like its bad news for the whole world. Particularly bad news for Iraqi's and whatever the next state to come in the neo-cons crosshairs is. And spare a thought for the USA, half of whom were praying for a Bush defeat.
The anti-war and progressive movement in the US will have to be ready to take to the streets in the months to come to help stem the tide of reaction. And in the long term to create a serious alternative to the establishment parties. A good starting point would be bringing the left together.
Iraq wasn't the only issue. Gay marriage was voted down in 11 states. A majority in one exit poll put 'moral issues' as their main concern.
See A Country Divided, by Bob Mould "Last night's outcome leads me to believe the majority of this nation is comprised of God-fearing Christians. We are represented by a leader who has divided the country, and has turned a deaf ear to the rest of the world. We are in a holy war, and our European predecessors are very concerned. We have been instilled with fear: fear of God, fear of the Muslim world, fear everywhere we turn. Fear and hate is in the air; can't you smell it? They call it faith.
I am truly saddened by the results of this election. As a country, we will pay for this. If you're a left-leaning, progressive, liberal type, you'd better be ready to fight for every inch of your rights. This is much more serious than any of us can imagine; there are many forest fires raging on the political landscape, and not nearly enough water or manpower to put them out. Supreme Court nominations, the Patriot Act, the Holy War, womens' right to choose, the imminent bankrupting of America. One party dominates the entire process, so there are no checks and balances. This is division."
See 'Don't Mourn, Organize' in the Daily Kos "It's tough on the psyche to be beaten.Throughout our country's history, abolitionists, suffragists, union organizers, anti-racists, antiwarriors, civil libertarians, feminists and gay rights activists have challenged the majority of Americans to take off their blinders. Each succeeded one way or another, but not overnight, and certainly not without serious setbacks.
After a decent interval of licking our wounds and pondering what might have been and where we went wrong, we need to spit out our despair and return - united - to battling those who have for the moment outmaneuvered us. Otherwise, we might just as well lie down in the street and let them flatten us with their schemes."
Blair has already been spinning that he hoped kerry would win. Lying b'stard. He senses a backlash and he may well be right.
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:: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 ::
View to Arthur's Seat
Note how the curve of the roof echoes the curve of Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park behind it.
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A view from the fifth floor which gives a flavour of Catalonian architect Mirales vision for the parliament.
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Whilst we wait for the news from the good ol' US of Stateside, here are some nice pictures of the Scottish Parliament. The parly has had thousands of visitors since opening and doing a proper tour certainly won me over. This window looks like an upturned viking ship. The parliament is full of surprising small features like this. More on my flickr page if you click the photie.
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:: Monday, November 01, 2004 ::
Dear Americans, you know what to do.
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Samhain Fun and Forgiveness
'Witches' and Cats Pardoned in Ceremony A day late for Halloween, but never mind. It is strange to think that the South East of Scotland was a centre of terror and pogroms, with up to 4000 innocent people executed for 'witchcraft'. Puritanism had its progressive side, it also had a side of grim zealotry and murderous excess.
We had 3 sets of guisers round last night (I refuse to call them 'trick of treaters'). As I was leaving the house I heard two groups trade stories "We got cakes from one house" says one group. "What? We only got lollipops. Fucking lollipops" says the other. Aw, bless.
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