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Showing posts from August, 2011

Plant Milk Review

"a live cow makes a lion salivate, whereas a human just wants to say 'moo' and see if the cow responds.”
– Scott Adams

I've been building up sacrificing dairy in my head: I've been being meanminded. The main thing to say against it is "It takes some getting used to" - and what a contemptible wisp of an argument. (Could also say that the substitutes aretwice as expensive, and hard to find, but this is Today and Here.)

All the supermarkets are stocking some bloody odd alternatives these days, even outlets that aren't indecently big. So, what criteria? Not "closeness to cowjuice". Not "nutrition", though vegists do need to think about that more than most.

"Alpro Sweetened"
Base: Soya
Costs: £1.09/L
Tastes: Guchh.
Is: High in protein. Apparently 5% of UK are allergic to soy.

"Alpro Unsweetened"
Base: Soya
Costs: £1.09/L
Tastes: Insipid but much better.
Is: High in protein.
(There's also this tiny carton of soya c…

hoots min, i'm deid

"It appears, then, that one must either accept patriotism in spite of its undesirable features or place oneself in the role of an outsider, whose claims about the national welfare have an uncertain status. The result for many is a chronic form of discomfort and a hope that the subject of patriotism can be kept out of political discussions".
- Stephen Nathanson

"[Post]modern national culture is the sum of all the interpretations of history by all the people living in the nation. "
- Michael Gardiner

"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation."
- Alasdair Gray

My attempt to process Scottish culture in its entirety continues, taking in the canon, old shitey forgotten canons, a giant chunk of political philosophy, and a poke of Heideggerian shite. I'm reading about 200 pages a day, working as if not in the early days of a belting migraine. Carving my head into funny shapes:

First lesson: my sheer Scottish ignorance. I hadn't heard of To…

Socioeconomic Blues

If anyone ever gives me a lecturing job I am well structuring my course reader around these.

1. Supply and Demand - Hives

2. The Day the Dollar Die - Peter Tosh
(Appeal to post-scarcity society, but I'll use it for exchange-rate theory)

3. Milkshake - Kelis
(erotic capital, I'm afraid)

4. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? - Albert Reed

5. Capitalism - Oingo Boingo
(Talking Heads meets Milton Friedman. Well, somebody had to write it.)

6. Taxman - Beatles
(Whinge about progressive taxation. Groovy)

7. Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had - Muddy Waters
(Muddy misunderstands the virtual nature of money. Nevertheless, his very attitude drove the 2008 credit crunch: subprime defaults.

8. Career Opportunities - Clash
(Unskilled labour's mass alienation)

9. I Want It All - Queen
(maximising "rational" consumer - "move out of my way" - to me you have no way)

10. Government Cheese - Rainmakers
(neoconservative anthem. Ironically it was Reagan that launched the …


I reviewed about a quarter of the shows I saw at the Edinburgh Festival. I would just link to the people I wrote them for, but their subediting crushes and banalises everything, so here we are. The deadlines were strict, so these were all pounded out in about ten mins. I'd recommend the exercise to anyone.


Jumping Jesse JonesOne very short route to my heart is cheer in the face of adversity. There's a bucket of adversity facing Mr Jones, as he plays here all month: he plays alone, outside, in a big booze-branded box; half the audience face away, chatting; he also quietly competes with Chapel Street's traffic noise. Playing original acoustic blues, he throws in some slap-bass moves and clattery thrash. His voice is a sweet baritone, but undistinguished. Most of his songs work because, if you master a cliché, it will not offend the ear anymore. A Davy Graham reference - in this town - does him credit, as does a Gram Parson…

A Sentimental Journey through Bits of England

Allons! to that which is endless, as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys

- Walt Whitman

It is an age so full of light, that there is scarce a country or corner in Europe whose beams are not crossed and interchanged with others. - Knowledge in most of its branches, and in most affairs, is like music in an Italian street, whereof those may partake who pay nothing. - But there is no nation under heaven abounding with more variety of learning, where the sciences may be more fitly woo’d, or more surely won, than here, - where art is encouraged, and will so soon rise high, - where Nature (take her altogether) has so little to answer for, - and, to close all, where there is more wit and variety of character to feed the mind with: - Where then, my dear countrymen, are you going?

- Laurence Sterne,
A Sentimental Journey

Day 1…