Wednesday, 19 May 2010
"Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks or keys and therefore among us there were no thieves.
When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property.
We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another.
We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived, and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that....so they tell us....are so necessary for a civilized society."
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Meandering through north London, in the area known as the "Northern heights", behind the houses, out of sight, is an area of "natural beauty" called the Parkland Walk.
It’s a place that the locals cherish, because of the “beautiful” wild flowers growing there. You know; stinging nettles, Michaelmas daisies, brambles, cow’s parsley and lots and lots of everyone’s favourite....ivy. The walk even has a group of old hippies protecting it called “The friends of the Parkland Walk”. Because of its wild nature, the walk has attracted various forms of wild life: junkies, alcoholics, muggers and the inevitable foxes.
On the walk is a sculpture of a Spriggon by Marilyn Collins, which inspired horror writer Stephen King to write one of his spooky stories.
The area covered by the walk is favoured by “arty” types, actors, TV people and the like. because it’s a bit isolated and it doesn’t suit commuters very much because it doesn’t have a tube station. You have to catch a bus to a tube station to get anywhere in London.
Alexandra Palace dominates the area. It's only there that visitors can see a panoramic view of London. Most tourists don't though, because it's not on the tube.
The palace has always been a white elephant for Haringey council. It's an historic building, the first TV pictures were beamed from there in 1936. Over time it's been a horse racing track, ski center, ice skating rink. roller skating rink, zoo, car auctions, farmers market and all kinds of flakey projects. The Palace has one obvious use, that of a major London concert venue.
The Rolling Stones played there in 1964 with John Lee Hooker.
An early hippy festival was held there in 1967 starring load of classic 60's bands and artists and starred Pink Floyd.
John Lennon turned up to see Yoko Ono perform.
The MTV Europe awards were held there in 1996. Everyone who attended drove, or was driven there. Because the reason that it is not a major venue is simply that doesn't it have a tube station.
A fact that not even many residents realise is that the Parkland Walk WAS the tube line and the area was adequately covered by tube stations. It was part of the Northern line.
Here’s what the tube map would have looked like.
The line used to be part of the rail network and was taken over by London transport just before WW2. It was the Northern Heights extension of the Northern line branch between Moorgate and Finsbury Park, linking commuters from Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch end to the city and Alexandra Palace to the rest of London
Electrification started, trains started running, maps and tickets were printed, then bombs started dropping and everyone had something else to think about.
Here's where the stations were:
Alexander Palace then
Cranley Gardens station on Muswell hill Rd then....
now it's a block of flats.
Crouch End then.
You have a long wait for a train these days.
Stroud Green station then.
Now it's a community centre.
One of the problems Arsenal supporters have are the queues they have to face after walking to the available tube stations when leaving the Emirates Stadium.
Drayton Park station is literally on the doorstep, but now it's only on a small commuter line.
So Ok, whats this have to do with Jerry Springer? I hear you say.
It's February 1944. The air raid sirens are sounding, another attack by the newly developed German missiles the V1's. People are in a panic, one of them is the heavily pregnant Mrs Springer. She's at Highgate station on the Northern Heights and there she gives birth to little baby Jerry.
So there we have one of the quirks of history. A whole part of north London is not served by the underground system, but we did get the Jerry Springer show.
See, he's British. "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry"
Wayne and Waynetta are happy to announce the christening of their newborn baby Wayneete last week. Here are the proud parents on the big day.
The godmother was Waynetta's sister Martina.
Here's auntie Martina in her new Primark outfit, all scrubbed up on the way to the church with boyfriend Marlon, who's holding the christening present.
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
So there you are, having a quiet moment. The radio and the TV are off....and there it is....in your head..."Go Compare, Go Compare".
Voted the most annoying ad in the UK in 2009. If it's not beaten by "ISA, ISA, baby", it will win again in 2010.
If you live in China or someplace then GoCompare is a car insurance comparison web site. The tune and the ad work. Everyone has now forgotten that GoCompare admitted passing on their customer's data in 2007, got blacklisted by Google for a while in 2008 for "irregular inbound links" and got blacklisted again last April.
One of the guy's in one of the ad's says "He's only a tenor".
That's because the singer is in fact a pucker opera star, Welsh tenor Wynne Evans.
What is no surprise is that the song is so successful. Never mind about Michael Jackson and Elvis....this was maybe the most successful American song of the 20th century!
Originally called "Over There" it was written by George M. Cohan in World War 1 and was used as a marching anthem for 4 million US troops. Back in the days before CD's, records, or radio plays, a hit was judged on sheet music sales and it was a monster.
Cohan was a big star of the day. He was an entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer, on both Broadway and in Hollywood. He wrote that other Wearegoingofftowar song "Give My Regards to Broadway" and the patriotic "Yankee Doodle Boy".
Cohan is one of the most honored American entertainers. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt presented him with The Congressional Gold Medal in 1936 for his musical contribution to World War I morale. Cohan's statue stands in New York's Times square.
It doesn't stop there. In 1942 the song starred in the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy" along with James Cagney, who won an Oscar.
The film was supposed to be about the life of Cohan....
....but it was pure propaganda. The final scene was American showbiz at it's best.
War has been declared and Cohan(Cagney) is at the White House for a "chat" with the President. He says something like "That's what so great about our country, when an ordinary guy like me can drop in an have a chat with the top man". As Cohan(Cagney) leaves, the Army is marching past singing his song. An old man sees him and he does a double take as he sees the song's writer. Cohan(Cagney)along with the crowd start marching with the soldiers. As he's marching a soldier turns to him and says something like "Why 'aint you singing, don't you know the words"? The film closes with a close up of him marching with the troops, singing his song.
James Cagney gets the Academy award for best actor.....
....and 16 million Americans are wearing uniforms and marching to the song.
You've got to admit, it is catchy.
I prefer Compare the Meerkats.com
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