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Showing posts from March, 2013

I have been reading, Q4 2012

(c) Leland Holiday(2010)

Came home from Tanzania, where I'd been stuck with the same 5 hard books for 3 months - Does Foreign Aid Really Work?, Philosophical Investigations, Lipsey's Mathematical Economics, Crawford & Imlah's Scottish Verse, and Beyond Good and Evil - I binged a bit, re-reading old favourites. (This included threedifferentbooks with "How To" in the title, but they're much better than that might suggest.) Also got a job in a bookshop, so, y'know.

Grading system: 1/5: No.
2/5: For enthusiasts, I guess.
3/5: Skim it.
4/5: Read it receptively.
4*/5: Exceptional.
5?/5: First read of a 5/5.
5/5: Read it now, slowly, and probably repeatedly.

OCTMonogamy (1996) by Adam Philips. Casually radical bunch of aphorisms questioning our automatic pair-bonding. Every page has something to raise or furrow yr eyebrows. 4/5

Bring the Noise (2007) by Simon Reynolds. My favourite pop writer traces his own development, from slightly clumsy Marxist projecting…

notes from Kamachumu in Kagera in Tanzania in Africa

'Despite it all, we still like you.'
– Abraham, on Tanzanians' general attitude toward white people.


"Hello supervisor, can we have the vital operating budget we were allocated?"

"Hello! No; it's not here."

"Oh no! That sucks. Can I just pay it for them, then?"

"Heavens no! That would breed aid dependency."

"Oh. Well, maybe. Can I lend it to them until the budget comes through?"

"Heavens no! That would breach the equality of volunteers! We have planned under the assumption that volunteers have no no money."

"But that assumption isn't true - look, here's my lunch money."

"Yes. So?"


...So in fact we're playing a game here? A game, with these people's lives: SimVSO. This whole strand of the project is to be undone over £4 of printing costs?"

"Welcome to the third sector!"…



What goes through you
When you call me my race?

Not malice I know
Not avarice mostly
Not even always predication –
leaving what?

“Mzungu!” sound of joy of novelty
“Mzungu!” lay your voice on the rich world
“Mzungu!” need to be seen
by The Mzungu, distant source on earth of stuff.

I do not hear any of that
(pallards as thin-skinned as pale)
I grimace at you, fight indifference and fear
walk on.

some colours

some houses empty shambles, sweat all round,

why it?

Just fun and fertilisation?
No: we come and we go and so on:

I wanted to do it to say I had done it
I wanted to try something new

I wanted him to like me
I wanted him to shut up about it

I wanted to feel good about myself
I wanted her to feel good about herself

I wanted to let off steam
I just wanted him, alright. so hot.

It was New Year's.

I wanted to get back at my husband
I wanted to say thank you

I needed the money
I needed the job

I wanted the guys to respect me
I wanted some of her glamour to rub off

I was bored
I wanted the exercise

I did not feel safe to say no.

I wanted them because they wanted me
I wanted her; she's so smart

I wanted to say I'd missed him
I wanted her; she's so funny

I wanted to feel powerful
I wanted to feel power

I wanted to improve
I wanted to be ready for my real first time

It had been a while.

I wanted to humiliate someone
I wanted to punish myself

I did it for a bet
I was forced to do it

I did it because he was there
I wanted to annoy my…