"Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god."
- Jean Rostand

3.14: Song for my Sister

I have no idea what happened to him. He's not on Facebook, Friends Reunited, or seemingly Google. The one person from my teens who I'd like to catch up with...seems to have vanished.

'Sister' is gay slang for someone who's essentially your boyfriend, but there's no sex, often because of the feeling that sex would 'spoil it' - as it probably would have done.

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save."

- Unknown

"There is only one thing that can kill the Movies, and that is education."

- Will Rogers

Down the Tubes (Part 8)

Barbie in a Can.

Home of good taste.

Gothic architecture is pointed. Buckminster Fuller architecture is geodesic. Greecian archiecture is cubic. Catholic architecture is shaped like praying hands. The London style of architecture is...long.

What a magnificent pair of bollards.

"All politics are based on the indifference of the majority."

- James Reston

Down the Tubes (Part 7)

Following my decision to visit places I'd never heard of: Plaistow.

You know when you're in the outskirts when language itself falls apart.

Unless you're captain Kirk, is it usual to have bridges fall on you?

New special paint that doesn't climb.

8am - 9pm authorised permits only. All other times, unauthorised permits.

Warning: Diverted Traffic Ahead.

Or...diverted traffic goes this way, undiverted traffic doesn't.

Get your free punctures repaired here.

Chinese food is to take away what, exactly?

The additional only controls permit holders on eventful days.

When a change of priorities is ahead, signal it.

Even directions mean something different.
Even the graffitists aren't sure what they mean.

Way out man.

"The true paradises are paradises we have lost."

- Marcel Proust

Down the Tubes (Part 6)

Bow Road.

Getting outside of cental London now - less money, less grand architecture. more inter-racial harmony. Well, up to a point.

As you can see, this was the point where I attempted to clean my camera. Without great success.


Spicy chicken wings, fries (with mayo) and a can of coke - one of the great international meals, along with cornflakes, MacDonalds and, er, cheese on toast.

Compare and contast: GBP1.50 for a mouthful of bad coffee in central London, versus GBP2.60 for a gutbusting box of deliciousness.

3.14: Wednesday

The man who sold me his old Tascam 4-track, and his old R50 drum machine...was a proper musician, with proper instruments, effects and sequencing kit. He played the trombone, and keyboards, and had a nice evening job making background music for crappy corporate product launches.

And so we spent several evenings messing around with sounds, keeping whichever accidents sounded interesting, and this track was one result.

"History is littered with the wars which everybody knew would never happen."

- Enoch Powell

Down the Tubes (Part 5)

A quick rush through Tower Hill.

Home of Jack the Ripper (except that's actually Whitechappel, two more stops along) and Charlie Chaplin (except he's actually from Walworth).

What's this? Russian Weeping Angels?

Actually no, it's a memorial garden to the twenty thousand merchant sailors who died in world war one.

I had no idea this place existed, but I'm glad it does. Maybe Baudrillard was right when he said the purpose of memorials is to enable forgetting, but some memorials accidentally serve their ostensive purpose.

Oh, and there's a tourist trap too.

"Self-love seems so often unrequited."

- Anthony Powell

Down the Tubes (Part 4)

Mansion House.
Does not contain mansion houses as such.

But there is this building. It's the international headquarters of the Salvation Army. Because charity is all about giving.

To charities.

"An accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house."

- Henri Poincare

Down the Tubes (Part 3)

Next stop: Warren Street.

Sited opposite a lot of big, futuristic, green office blocks.

A small confession: Whenever I meet Indian people, they seem to give off a vibe that's...well, camp. Bangladeshi men even more so. It's obviously just a bit of culture mismatch - the norms of one part of one culture resembling the norms of noncorresponding parts of another.

On the other hand....

Oh, and dogs are nice.

3.14: Song for the Poet

The trouble with writing something for a friend is...sometimes it turns out they're not really a friend to anyone.

But I think Jacob Bronowski suffers from definite undersampling.

"One thing society is not is a family - not even a dysfunctional one."

- Christoper Hitchens

Down the Tubes (Part 2)

First stop, Green Park. Chosen simply because I'd never heard of it before.

Opposite the station is a 'The Brasserie'. A 'the brasserie' is not a high-society bra shop, but an expensive restaurant.

Central London is full of large stone buildings constructed in a Brisish Empire pastiche of a Roman rip-off of Ancient Greek architecture.

I once spent a year getting a fun but useless qualification in something called "Classical Civilisation". Thus I have (a) read Homer in translation and (b) memorised the difference between Ionian and Doric columns. These are Ionian.

I also wrote a thesis asking whether Marx's image of a postcapitalist society was influenced by the sketch of a state ruled by philosopher-kings in Plato's Republic. My answer: No.

But it could only be in late globablised capitalism that (a) a mouthful of coffee costs GBP1.50 and (b) you stand in line for fifteen minutes to buy the coffee just so you can ask for the key to the toilet just so you can have a wee.