31 03 2012

You know when you wake up in the morning and there’s something troubling you, but you can’t quite work out what it is? Like you had an argument with someone but can’t remember who or why?

That happened last night and it’s left me feeling disorientated all day. I did my usual getting up with the kids. I didn’t want to, I felt tired as hell and lazy to the point of exhaustion.

At this point you do whatever you can to get through the day, get towards bedtime and then there’s clear space and quiet to think without constantly tending or telling off. And then it hits you. You are so tired that you don’t want to think and the evening is wasted sitting in front of the idiot box watching crap.

Halfway through watching this crap, I realise that Bruce Springsteen was in my dream. He didn’t do much except for sit there occasionally picking at chords on his guitar. Now, I know this wasn’t a construct of my mind, I know that it was identical to that film High Fidelity where Springsteen cameos in exactly the same way. Trouble is, I can’t remember what was said or why my subconscious would try to offer up that bit of Springsteen film cameo??

I am not much of a Springsteen fan, in fact I find the whole big stadium working man anthem stuff a bit too much for me. So why Springsteen?

I think I ended up calling him by his nom de plume The Boss. It’s all getting a bit weird up here.

Maybe tonight we’ll get an encore performance and a bit of explanation.


Hung, drawn and quartered

10 05 2010

Hung Parliament

The recent political situation has left most of the UK wondering what happens next. This isn’t as some are painting it, a classic exercise in UK voter apathy. On the contrary, the public have spoken and it is as many predicted, to0 close a race to call.

There is one thing that is certain since Gordon Brown sacrificed himself in front of the nation this evening, to allow some sort of coalition hope to be fostered between the Lib Dems and the Labour Party- its less about the party and its more about the man.

On balance, I think that Gordon Brown has taken a lot of unnecessary flack in the aftermath of the “global” economic crisis. The English have run out of heroes and instead we prefer our effigies.

Whilst he might not be the most charismatic of men he is certainly about the only one of the bunch with the political pedigree and experience. But like many have said, we don’t need two chancellors, we need one clear leader. In the aftermath of what is being hailed as a “farce” of a general election, Britain is far from being led by one clear leader.

The electoral reform proposed by the Liberal Democrats seeks to put an end to the two party system and by and large the majority of the public would probably be in favour of this, if they actually understood it in the first place. The tories have been too slow in coming forward with their willingness to accept this and hastily seemed to have issued some form of “referendum based” compromise on the matter in light of increased chance of a Labourt -Lib Dem coalition.

This might not be the most straightforward situation that Britain has found itself in,  but it certainly is the most interesting General Election outcome for some time. In many ways, the stale mate between the parties has promoted further interest in the archaic voting system and revived political interest amongst sections of the public that considered the results of elections a foregone conclusion.

As David Cameron wakes up to the realisation that despite his majority win, he might yet wake up to being the leader of the opposition against a Lib Dem – Labour Coalition Government, the real winner is the British public who’s message has been clearly heard by all three parties: There is such little difference between the soundbite lead policies of the big three.

The importance of being stupid

9 01 2010

One could well mistake this particular blog for being the hastily written ramblings of a drunkard and for the most part you’d be right. However, i choose to believe that there is genius behind my excenticities. There has to be or else all of this has been in vain.

I have spent most of the past week battling with depression, ignoring important matters and generally burying my hand in the sand. It might be the inclement weather, but it feels as if it has snowed in my head and the council will not be gritting these roads anytime soon.

The heavy snowfalls coinciding with the return to work for the first working week of the year has aided in prolonging the disjointed, temporary nature of the festive period. In short, we dont feel like it is business as normal.

There is so much i have to get done , this is no way to avoid it, but avoid it I have, quite well, until now.

Sometimes in my more somber and solemn moments, I imagine myself as a metaphorical glider pilot, desperately trying to catch a decent enough thermal gust to keep flying above the mountains. Instead lacklustre thermals come my way keeping me inches above the jagged rocks and although i can see my bitter demise very clearly ahead of me, some part of me will not cease to believe that the major thermal is a mere few inches away around the next corner. These are my own delusions. Some would call them futile and condemn me to my own failure.

Of course, i am being spectacularly self indulgent in writing this and publishing it to a blog that no one reads and no one recognises. The potential for some poor sod to stumble upon these inane ramblings is little comfort.

What women want

20 12 2009


Firstly, if you are looking to the answer to that question, let me put your mind at ease by telling you it is not here.
Its not here because human beings cannot be honest with one another and the greatest cold war type paranoid relationship has been ongoing since the garden of eden, making it impossible to be reasonable after all these millenia.
But what women want and men want is in reality, not too disimilar. We both want what we cant have. She wants a good looking, smart, wealthy husband and we want a good looking, er, good looking wife.
She wants to be romanced and charned into bed, with mood lighting and candles. We want it by suprise whatever and wherever the location, the more random the better. Infact in this respect men are like little boys, the more it seems like theyre not meant to be doing it. The better it is.
She wants to sleep in and have breakfast in bed, we just want to sleep.
She wants a nice home with smart furnishings and a tidy interior. We want a couch, preferably one we can recline on and a tv the size of a football pitch. We also want to be able to use it when noone else is around. Its the law.
But of all the things that women want it is the perfect husband that they know does not exist. And the men? They just want a bit of peace and quiet once in a while, perhaps a five minute break from the incessant whining, complaining and moaning (not good moaning, bad moaning).
In summary and to paraphrase Jagger, you cant always get what you want, but it doesnt stop you wanting it.

Depends on how you look at it

13 06 2009

I am living in the usual nightmare of screaming babies and a multitude of bills. On the plus side I have piles. Actually that isn’t much of a plus side at all really.

But its all about attitude, perspective- how you look at it.

I’ve tried to be a bit more buddist about it and look at it philosophically.

I have the greatest admiration for the buddists because I just cant see what they are getting at.

This whole thing about karma, well there is something wrong with that for sure.

The way it should work, textbook like, is that you give charity one day and you win the lottery the next, but it doesn’t fucking work. Or you help an old lady across the road, and she dies the next day and leaves you a vast fortune in her will. In my case she screams and tries to have you arrested for assault.

So karma doesn’t actually work, its tried and tested, Hitler killed six million Jews and the VW Beetle went on to be a best selling car world over. It just doesn’t work.

There are some other schools of philosophy, which I have been researching recently, but none make mention about poverty being linked to piles. Talk about being squeezed, I cant seem to get any answers anywhere.

In Jewish philosophy, we have a school of thought that states that we are put on this earth to achieve something, to accomplish a specific mission. If you don’t complete that mission, you are sent back again and again until you get it. To be honest after being sent back for the tenth time, you sort of forget what it is you had to achieve in the first place. The trauma of being born each time and having to fill in tax forms generally numbs the mind of any sense of purpose in any event, unless you were wise enough to write it down in a safe place, the chances are you are going to forget.

I cant understand what this has to do with my piles or my crying daughter, who is almost two years old and still cant drive or sleep for any length of time worth mentioning.

Of course statistically, the chances of winning the lottery are very slim, but I was never very good at maths and particularly this whole thing of calculating odds. The way I figure in my primitive method of odds calculation is that you have as much chance as anyone else and that means that is that. To quote the Night Raid “If there’s a bomb made for you, you are going to get it.” Although, with my luck overriding even the law of averages and odds, I am more likely to get the bomb than the winning lottery numbers.

Still not everything is bad- not anything that a bit of cash, sleep and pile cream wouldn’t help.

Speaking Out

5 02 2009


The recent criticism surrounding the recent decision by the BBC and Sky not to devote air-time to the Gaza appeal, has provoked much debate on the questions of media bias and impartiality. Many Jewish readers would be forgiven for viewing the debate with a sense of irony, as the BBC could never really be described as being impartial when it comes to their reporting on Israel.

Many of us may spend a lot of time on the other side of this debate, defending Israel’s actions during times of war, but none more so than Israeli Defence Forces spokesman and Manchester born Captain Elie Isaacson.

As part of the IDF’s spokesperson unit, Elie has recently found himself being interviewed by the BBC, Fox news to name but a few international media agencies, and for once, these interviews were a welcome refreshing change to the usual interviews with Israeli spokespersons as the interviews were given in fluent, flowing English. “I think that there’s definite added value in people being able to hear the situation described in their own language and from someone who hails from their own culture. It’s often hard to relate to events happening thousands of miles away but I think that when it’s relayed by someone with the exact same language or even the same accent as you, it has a certain resonance.”

The IDF policy of not admitting journalists and media crews into the Gaza strip, met with widespread criticism but also lead to many unreliable witness accounts of the combat taking place within Hamas territory. Although there was an element of Hamas manipulating these reports, Elie expressed caution to those reading the witness accounts.“It is important to remember that there is a media element to every war and that there a large number of people who have a direct interest in damaging our well-earned reputation for being an ethical army who do everything in our power to avoid the risk of harming anyone but terrorists. For this reason, it is imperative that journalists and readers are discerning in the types of sources that they rely on, and that they do not rely on hearsay.”

29 year old Elie has not forgotten his roots, growing in up in Broughton Park and regularly visits his family who still live there. His experiences growing up in Manchester have helped lend perspective to his work in Israel and the recent rocket attacks from Gaza. “Having grown up [in Manchester] I feel that I have the ability to put recent events into proportion, in that, had residents of Manchester or any other city been targeted indiscriminately in their homes by terrorist rockets, there’d be no doubt in anyone’s minds that this would be a situation that was both unacceptable, and that demanded action.”

Much has been made of the high number of civilian casualties during the three week conflict, and the ensuing Humantarian Crisis surrounding the lack of aid reaching Palestinians in the Gaza strip. In such a densely populated area like Gaza it is inevitable that there would be a number of civilian casualties, but Captain Isaacson maintains that the welfare of civilians and distribution of Humantarian Aid were always a priority.

“Despite being engaged in intense warfare, we were aware that the Hamas deliberately put their people in harm’s way and did not care at all for their welfare. During the mission, The IDF coordinated daily with the worlds biggest aid agencies including The World Food Program, The Red Cross, Medecins sans frontiers to name but a few, as well as foreign governments such as those of Turkey and Jordan in order to do everything in our power to help the people of Gaza who are essentially being held hostage by the Hamas.”

Getting aid to civilians in those circumstances was extremely challenging, especially when faced with an enemy that would stop at nothing to attack Israeli troops.

“On hearing rumours that it was difficult for Gazan civilians to reach the aid meant for them, The Israeli government took further action and established a daily ‘humanitarian corridor,’ designed to allow them to do so. Then Hamas decided that they would attack both Israeli civilians and soldiers during the time corridor in an attempt to engage the IDF at the expense of their own people’s ability to reach vital aid. This further stresses the need for people to remember that the root cause of any humanitarian situation is not Israel’s actions, but those of the Hamas, who brought this on their own people by attacking Israeli civilians while using them as human shields. It was the Hamas who chose to fire rockets before, during and since the ceasefire leaving us no choice but to act.”

In his role as spokesperson , Elie is mindful of the efforts made by Jews and Israel’s supporters living in England and throughout the world. “I think that all citizens abroad, Jewish or otherwise, have an obligation to ensure that they are seeing things objectively and to realize that Israel faces some of the most cruel and violent terrorists in the world today and has a duty to protect its citizens.

People should not be afraid to speak up in favour of the side who are a democracy and to whom human rights, civil rights and women’s rights are paramount, rather than automatically siding with those who at first glance may appear to be an underdog, who, in actual fact invariably condone indiscriminate murderous attacks on civilians.

Anyone, Jewish or otherwise, should defend Israel or any other democracy that falls victim to terrorists who indiscriminately attack their civilians.”

Going Nuts- Consider the Squirrel

19 10 2008

Just Some Innocent Fun- No Squirrels Were Harmed In Writing This Piece

If like me, the mind numbing drudgery of everyday life, makes you wonder why you bother getting up in the morning- spare a little thought for the squirrels.

What have they ever done to deserve the credit crunch, freak floods, freak storms, global warming, HIV and radical Islam?

I was passing a squirrel just the other day, gnawing on a nut. As I handed the nut to the squirrel, I decided that on reflection it’s probably a preferable option to be a squirrel as opposed to a human fighting their way through the shit-storm of everyday life.

The very next morning, I climbed in a tree and began working my way through a bag of mixed nuts. By eleven AM, I was beginning to suffer vertigo and was developing a terrible thirst from all the nuts I had eaten. That’s when I got to thinking. What do squirrels drink? In fact, come to think about it, I had never seen a squirrel drink anything before. Perhaps that’s how squirrels die.

I woke up an hour and a half later, nursing a large, throbbing bump on the back of my head and picking bits of tree out our my hair. It was then that I decided I wasn’t cut out for Squirreling.

So I walked back into work, and tried to convince them to give me my job back.

“But your exact words were, ‘Shove your oppressive job up your capitalist arses and go fuck yourselves’. No I don’t think we will reconsider your hasty ‘resignation’. “

So much for sympathetic management.