Gil Scott Heron

Gill Scott Heron

Gill Scott Heron

Just heard that Gil Scot Heron has died. Very sad. Only sixty two apparently. I am no great expert but I do remember the fantastic song/poem The Revoution Will Not Be Teleivsed.

RIP – Gil.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Are Apple displacing Microsoft (as greedy inc.)

blemished apple

blemished apple

On Monday I received a new iPhone 4. A year or so ago I had bought a Macbook Pro and was impressed despite a handful of gripes. I’ve owned a Nokia N95 for a while and this is a good phone but I felt it was time to update. I read a few reviews and watched a few Youtube comparisons and all the modern smart phones seem very good. I did not want to spend my life comparing technical data and so, having a Macbook, the obvious choice was an iPhone 4. I thought this way I’d avoid any connectivity and interoperability issues……..

My initial impression on the iPhone was negative. After switching on it insisted on being connected to a Mac and immediately demanded my credit card details. Presumably in case I ever buy anything from iTunes. I have to say that I find this grossly invasive! I had not intended to buy anything much and I am one of the generation who grew up with vinyl and CDs and so my music consists of digitised albums, scanned CDs and downloads from Amazing Radio.

However, what’s done is done, so I synched the phone and started looking around. Weirdly the much vaunted iTunes is not the music player on the iPhone. Instead it seems to be a shop window for Apple to flog me stuff. One has to find the iPod icon to play the music which has been transferred from my macbook.

The iPhone 4 is, of course, a great phone and I am impressed but one glaring failure is that the phone will not sync with my macbook through blue tooth or Wifi. This is pathetic. Despite the Bluetooth interface on the macbook referring to smart phones when I try to pair my Apple iPhone 4 with my Apple Macbook Pro I am told that the macbook “is not supported”. What utter bollocks!

I now own a device with the specific purpose of mobile communication. It has three separate methods of wireless communications (3G, Wifi and Bluetooth). Yet the only way of synching it is to plug in a cable! Hello Apple, this is 2011 not 1995.

Further investigation revealed that a Wifi syncing app had been created but rejected by Apple and so could now only be used on Jailbroke iPhones.

I was also a bit miffed to discover that there is no obvious way of transferring general files from the Macbook to the iPhone. The iTunes application on the Mac allows transfer of music, movies, photos etc but not other files such as PDFs or Word processor docs and the iPhone storage does not appear in the Finder so you can’t simply drag and drop files across.

Another issue is the ring tones. On my Nokia I could select a track from my music collection as a ring tone or I could create a sound file myself. With the iPhone there are presets or you can “buy” a ringtone from iTunes. There’s that word again “buy”.

It’s odd that Apple users used to consider themselves as innovative free thinkers and contrasted themselves with the monolithic big business drones that used Microsoft. After a bit of hunting around in the Apple forums I found discussions going back to 2007 on Bluetooth synching including the arrogant posts by people who appeared to have no imagination and slavishly followed the Apple line even when this ran contrary to obvious user preferences. This used to be the territory of Microsoft not Apple.

The iPhone’s lack of basic functionality and the fact that Apple are so greedy that the very first thing that they need me to do is register my credit card details and then try to charge for piffling ring tones give me a very poor impression. It is interesting that Google Suggest reports the top three phrases starting with “Apple are” to be:

  • Apple are evil
  • Apple are greedy
  • Apple are greedy bastards

I have never been a great fan of Microsoft but feel that, perhaps now that Microsoft are starting to lose their grip, they may be becoming a bit more cooperative. Apple on the other hand appear to have caught the Microsoft disease and think they will rule the world.

Apple share price

Apple share price

The share price for Apple continues to rise but if one looks at the chart one sees a steep rise as Apple introduced music players, smart phones and tablets. But having established the market and set the bar the competition is now replicating their products and I suggest that when you reach the top there is only one way to go. I just wish I’d bought some Apple shares as now must be the time to sell.

Am I being over critical? I think not. I have not bought a product from some minority Korean company. I have bought a top of the range product from the acclaimed industry leader. A company that is now valued at more than Microsoft.

So, for the moment I have an Apple Macbook Pro and an Apple iPhone 4 and, with some reservations, I am generally satisfied with them.

But I am now aware that buying Apple does not mean easy interoperability or cutting edge functionality. With Windows 7, Microsoft appear to have refined the user interface and there are some very nice Android and Windows phones out there. When I come to replace my Apple kit I will be very wary of Apple. Perhaps Apple’s image of innovation is now no more than a useful brand image used by their marketing department to sell to people who are more interested in “style” than substance?

Ecstasy – Miro – Counterpoint

The Duchess

The Duchess

On Friday 13th May I went up to London to see Mike Leigh’s play Ecstasy at The Duchess Theatre on Catherine Street.

This is the first time I’ve been to the Duchess and it’s a great little theatre. Pretty small and with a wonderful little bar very reminiscent of a 1970s episode of Department S.

I’m a great fan of Leigh’s films and this, of course, influenced my viewing of the play. It seemed far more planned than his films and I guess this is because of the improvisational nature of his directing style in film. A lonely woman has some friends around for some drinks and all loudly and drunkenly proclaim their long lasting friendship and the woman engages just enough to appear involved. When the friends start to depart her loneliness gets the better of her. Cast includes Sian Brooke, Daniel Coonan, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Allen Leech, Sinead Matthews, Craig Parkinson.

Miro - The Farm

Miro – The Farm

The following day I had a look around Tate Modern and the Miro exhibition. The building continues apace in central London and modern apartment blocks have sprouted up behind Tate Modern. The Miro was beautiful and I was particularly struck by some of his earlier work portraying his family farm. Also the latter denser and more iconic work was very good.

Then on Monday the 16th I saw some dance named Counterpoint at the Komedia in Brighton. I have very little experience of dance but this was worth watching. From the start there was a fantastic buzz in the audience, probably brought about by the large number of kids who had turned up. Appropriate really as the second piece seemed to be a sex education lesson including erection and condoms.

Counterpoint - The Komedia

Counterpoint – The Komedia

The last piece was the most dramatic. Two dancers dangled around on ropes and swings about our heads. Ver effective and entertaining.

st malo beach

St Malo Beach

Millband is a bloody glove puppet

Ed Millibandelson

Ed Millibandelson

Ed Milliband’s hysterical demands for ken Clark’s resignation yesterday seemed a little opportunistic. The story had only just hit the media yet Milliband managed to work it into his performance within hours and even The Independent declared that it is Milliband who should be ashamed of himself. This disingenuous and scurrilous misrepresentation of Clark’s words reminds me of the old bullshit days when Labour called themselves “new” and Blair could talk for hours without saying a thing. I now wonder whether Mandelson may be crouching behind the Labour benches with his hand up Milliband’s arse. “Ooh Mrs! – That’s the way to do it!” It seems to me that Labour are devoid of any ideas of how to get the country out of the mess they made and are resorting to rabble rousing.

Dog shoes

dog with trainers

dog with trainers

dog trainer

dog trainer

dog trainer

dog trainer

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I saw this dog with little trainers on the bus today in Brighton. It’s occurred to me before that dogs that run around on tarmac and concrete must get sore paws so maybe it’s a good idea. A quick look around the net reveals that dog shoes and other clothing are readily available. Checkout neopaws.com and doggiestylestore.com