30 November 2011

Antisocial? Just not well

Not been feeling very well of late. Still feel unwell so blogging will be light for a while. Sorry if I don't visit much either

Here is a bit of French HM from 1980 Trust playing Antisocial

22 November 2011

Time well spent

© Shaun P Downey

Have spent some time reworking two sessions with Tim and Celena, hence the large number of photos recently.

Trial starts of Khmer Rouge leaders

  Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologue, showed no emotion as the short clip of him, dating from 2001 or later, was shown on the second day of opening statements in the trial at the UN-backed court in Phnom Penh.
International co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley told the court that Nuon Chea and his two co-defendants were “thieves of time” and “common murderers” of a whole generation of Cambodians.

“Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan and ex-Foreign Minister Ieng Sary all deny charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for the deaths of up to two million people during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-79 reign of terror.

“The accused who are before you are thieves of time and common murderers of an entire generation of Cambodians. They robbed decades of development and prosperity from this country,” International co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley. “No one in this country is left unhurt or unaffected by what these three elderly men have done.” 

 Prosecutors showed the packed court the footage of Nuon Chea, taken from the 2009 documentary “Enemies of the People”, to support their claim that the movement had a policy of killing enemies and those it regarded as disloyal.
“If these traitors were alive, the Khmers as a people would have been finished so I dare to suggest our decision was the right one,” Nuon Chea calmly tells a Cambodian journalist in the clip.“If we had shown mercy to the people, the nation would have been lost.”

The footage was shot at some point between 2001 – when the journalist began interviewing Nuon Chea – and the former top regime leader’s arrest in 2007.

Mr Cayley spoke of mass killings of Vietnamese and Cham Muslims, saying that regime leaders had “a systematic plan of genocide” for them, and of the “smashing” of perceived enemies at detention centres across the country.
The defendants knew about and participated in five main accusations against them, Mr Cayley said, including forced evacuations into rural areas, enslavement of the population in labour camps and the widespread practice of forced marriages.

Missing from the courtroom is the fourth accused, Ieng Thirith – the regime’s “First Lady” and the only female leader to be charged by the court – after she was ruled unfit for trial last week because she has dementia.
Nuon Chea was put in the spotlight again when Mr Cayley showed footage of a 2009 court tirade by Ieng Thirith in which she blamed Pol Pot’s right-hand man for having her students “executed” and said everything “was done by Nuon Chea”.
Owing to fears that not all of the accused, who are in their 80s and suffer from various medical ailments, will live to see a verdict, the court recently split their complex case into a series of smaller trials. But during opening statements the prosecution and the defence may address all of the accusations against the three.

Hmm Here's looking forwatd to these three not only surviving their trials but living long enough for a good stretch in prison.

NHS considers novel way to increase bed occupation rates


The Telegraph reports that the government is about to test a revolutionary new method of speeding the recovery times in hospital. 

The trial will see people recuperating in hspital seeing the the face of Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, on a continuous loop on the in-house televisions. The only way that the loop can be stopped is if patients register their details. At which point the patient  will be deemed fit for discharge.

Mr Lansley admitted the experience could be "rather unnerving" but he insisted that  it would play a major factor in speeding recovery times.
"They only have to see me once... so I would encourage the proles and oiks to see me once then stop messing up my nice clean hospitals," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Until individuals register, the television plays the message, which repeats every three or four minutes and comes complete with subtitles.
Mr Lansley’s message starts: “Hello, I’m Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary. I just want to take a few moments to say that your care while you’re here in hospital really matters to me.”

One patient told the newspaper: “It was eerie. Everywhere you looked there was Andrew Lansley. I have never seen old people move more quickly with a zimmer frame. The ward was empty within an hour!"

Well there you have it... or there you don't. The video of Lansley is part of an entertainment thingy that sees fit to milk people out of money for bedside tv,phone and email access. Even so I think of several hundred thousand people I would rather see in hospital than that tosser!

21 November 2011

Lt Pike - Nutrition Advocate

 This image of Lt John Pike pepper spraying  students at UC Davis is set to be one of the iconic images of  of the Occupy protests. While nobody is getting murdered a la Kent State, the casual sadism of his act makes on question the fundamental role of the police in the United States. But perhaps a new ruling by the US Department of Agriculture casts his actions into a totally different light

The US Congress and the Department of Agriculture have collectively agreed that pepper spray should now be recognized as a member of the vegetable food group.

With this declaration, pepper spray now joins the ranks of carrots, arugula, chickpeas, and broccoli as an official FDA-approved vegetable.

Pepper spray’s popularity saw an unprecedented spike since the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began in New York City’s Zuccotti Park in September. These mostly peaceful protests sparked a wider ‘Occupy’ movement that has had demonstrators globally consuming more pepper spray than ever before in part due to the help of riot control officers.

“We are super excited to have pepper spray join the vegetable family,” said UC Davis chief of police Gordon Toothrot. “Now, when we’re violently breaking up these peaceful protests with brutal, unnecessary force, we’re also providing people with a vital aspect of their daily nutrition.”

Well there you have it. Lt Pike was not being sadistic, rahter he was showing zeal in ensuring that hungry students get sufficient nutrition, Well that has me concinced.. Give the man a medal... Well maybe not, perhaps dismissal and a humungous lawsuit is in order


A stop frame film by Norman McLaren from 1952. A few days ago I had never heard of this little gem. Enjoy!

Don't be fooled by curls on the mean streets

© Shaun P Downey 2011


© Shaun P Downey 2011

Tim - Portrait of a Cereal Killer

© Shaun P Downey

A Man with the Same Fan

© Shaun P Downey 2011

I'm smoking a fag...

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Do not make a sudden move

© Shaun P Downey 2011

20 November 2011

You Looking at me?

© Shaun P Downey 2011

World Destruction

Time Zone Feat. John Lydon and Afrika Bambaataa


Straight to Hell

These boots are made for posing

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Goodnight Oslo

Robyn's last few albums have not been that good. This is one of the better songs of the last few years. It is the title track of his 2009 album Goodnight Oslo

Trouble's brewing on the mean streets

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Fear the Belgravia Mandem

© Shaun P Downey 2011

In the boudoir

© Shaun P Downey 2011

19 November 2011

Proof positive of the need for good handwriting

When I started secondary school my first English teacher had one over riding maxim, to wit, "Poor handwriting is an insult to the reader". Although I can write with both hands my handwriting is uniformly atrocious. In the eyes of my first English teacher I must have been the rudest child she had ever taught!

These days, like most people, I write less and less relying instead on computers and phones to communicate (and yes my keyboard skills are rotten!) My rotten handwriting has deteriorated to the point where I often can't read it myself.

But as the Huffington Post confirms there is one area where legible handwriting is essential: bank robberies.

This was illustrated perfectly by what police said was a man's failed attempt to rob a bank in Wheeling, West Virginia. The local tv station, WTOV, reported that detectives said a "white, scruffy-looking man" handed a teller a note demanding money, but the teller couldn't tell what the note said. When she handed the would-be robber his note back, he got frustrated and walked out, authorities said.

The robber didn't get away with any cash, but police are still hoping to track him down.

Well there you have it. That's my career as a bank robber thwarted at the first turn

Auguries of Innocence - William Blake

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.

One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

How much does the internet weigh?

I have no idea if this is a load of old hooey, my grasp of physics is poor ( I scraped a D grade at A level) but it sounds impressive and it makes me think of William Blake's Auguries of Innocence... Ah there's another post sorted!

18 November 2011

Photo Hunt - Wet

The theme for this week's photo hunt wet (or rainy) Iam a bit stuck for decent photos so here's what I made of a fountain in Trafalgar Square (Yes I know I posted this earlier this year but what the hey!) I use it on my business card.

Can you see the faces in the fountain?

Celena close up

Man with a fan

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Further Proof That Neutrinos Faster Than Light?

Last month it was reported that a team of scientists had discovered neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. The BBC reports that the team have run an improved version of the original experiment and have replicated their original results

Critics of the first report in September had said that the long bunches of neutrinos (tiny particles) used could introduce an error into the test.
The new work used much shorter bunches ( This I do not understand but physicists will be able to explain, I'm sure).

However, the new findings, although submitted to the Journal of High Energy Physics, have not yet been peer-reviewed and a lot of further verification is required.

The experiments have been carried out by the Opera collaboration - Oscillation Project with Emulsion (T)racking Apparatus. It hinges on sending bunches of neutrinos created at the Cern facility  through 730km (454 miles) of rock to a giant detector at the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy.

The initial series of experiments, comprising 15,000 separate measurements spread out over three years, found that the neutrinos arrived 60 billionths of a second faster than light would have, traveling unimpeded over the same distance.

Initial analysis of the work by the wider scientific community argued that the relatively long-lasting bunches of neutrinos could introduce a significant error into the measurement. Those bunches lasted 10 millionths of a second - 160 times longer than the discrepancy the team initially reported in the neutrinos' travel time.

To address that, scientists at Cern adjusted the way in which the neutrinos were produced, resulting in bunches just three billionths of a second long.
When the Opera team ran the improved experiment 20 times, they found almost exactly the same result.

"This is reinforcing the previous finding and ruling out some possible systematic errors which could have in principle been affecting it," said Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration. "We didn't think they were, and now we have the proof... This is reassuring that it's not the end of the story."

The Opera collaboration is very aware of its implications if eventually proved correct. The error in the length of the bunches, however, is just the largest among several potential sources of uncertainty in the measurement, which must all now be addressed in turn; these mostly centre on the precise departure and arrival times of the bunches.

"So far no arguments have been put forward that rule out our effect," Dr Ereditato said.:This additional test we made is confirming our original finding, but still we have to be very prudent, still we have to look forward to independent confirmation. But this is a positive result."

That confirmation may be much longer in coming, as only a few facilities worldwide have the detectors needed to catch neutrinos.Next year, teams working on two other experiments at Gran Sasso experiments - Borexino and Icarus - will begin independent cross-checks of Opera's results. The US Minos experiment and Japan's T2K experiment will also test the observations. It is likely to be several months before they report back.

High energy physics is a mystery to me, but then  so is physics in general! If the results can be replicated (all all possible sources of error are a;;owed for_ the we might just be seeing a true (and in the meaningless  management techno babble sense) paradigm shift. I won't hold my breath though. Verification or otherwise may take years, while applications arising from the discovery may take many more decades to see the light of day..

Still one can dream of a Star Trek universe - one without the Borg, the Dominion and the Romulans would be preferable though!

A Sacrastic Gorilla?

The Metro , a couple of days ago, reported on a worrying new phenomenon, to wit, a sarcastic gorilla. The un-named primate at Jerusalem Zoo gets rather annoyed when visitors applaud his dances.

He gets so annoyed that when they start clapping, he stops dancing, gives them a sarky grin, and mimics them precisely. His antics have attracted plenty of attention, so at feeding time his enclosure is always surrounded.

As his keepers go in to feed the gorillas  most go straight for the grub - but not Gavin. When the crowds started applauding, he took a step away from the bunch and sat, one eye closed, clapping away and staring out the audience.

The problem for the gorilla is that the joke's now backfired on him. People know he's sarcastic so they're clapping just to get a rise out of him.

What next? chimps using meiosis (not in the sense of gametogenesis)  or orang utans using litotes?  This could be the very start of the Planet of the Apes... Run for your lives!

A Prince of Hell

Beelzebob, Lord of the Flies

Coiln Newman - B

Demented but wonderful!

Shot by both sides

Is this the fate of the moderate?

Hair Raising

© Shaun P Downey 2011

17 November 2011

Celena II

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Tim and Celena

© Shaun P Downey 2011


© Shaun P Downey 2011

The Happy Bruja

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Vatican has hisy fit over Benneton advert

The Italian clothes company Benneton usually courts controversy with its advertising campaigns. Its new campaign is called 'Unhate' which features leaders  from opposite sides of the political and religious divide appearing to exchange kisses.

One of the pictures, which will be used on billboards, in Benetton shops and on websites worldwide, showed Benedict XVI kissing Ahmed el Tayyeb, an Egyptian imam and a prominent figure in Sunni Islam.

Needles to say the Vatican is up in arms: "This shows a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence to the feelings of believers, a clear demonstration of how publicity can violate the basic rules of respect for people," said Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's spokesman.

He said the Holy See was considering taking legal action against the fashion company.

The image, which is guaranteed to offend Catholics around the world, briefly appeared on a banner which was draped over the side of a Renaissance stone bridge near the Vatican, in the centre of Rome.

Hanging the banner was part of a series of "guerilla actions", the company said, which included the unveiling in Paris of an image of Nicholas Sarkozy smooching Angela Merkel and the unfurling of a banner outside Milan Cathedral depicting Barack Obama kissing his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.

The provocative advertising campaign also included digitally-manipulated images of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, locked in an embrace with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader.

Alessandro Benetton, the deputy head of the company, acknowledged that the advertisements were provocative but said the campaign was designed to give publicity to "an ideal notion of tolerance."

I have never purchased anything from Benetton and am unlikely t do so. But you have to admit they know how to take a campaign worldwide. A few controversial images and their name is all over the international press!

Perhaps Duchamp, my place to go for ties and socks (and one of the very few the few designer clothes I wear) could boost  sales with a few controversial photos of well known wearers of their ties... I wonder what they could make of Stephen Fry and John Snow!

The Stranglers perform an un-tribute

The song was inspired by the then Queensland premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Bjelke-Petersen was a vile character who ran Queensland as an effective autocracy from 1968=1987. His passing from power was a step forward for the sate

Belgravia Mandem

© Shaun P Downey

La Bruja again

© Shaun P Downey

Smell the flower

© Shaun P Downey 2011

16 November 2011

More of La Bruja

©  Shaun P Downey 2011

Vulture Fund Vermin Again

I have posted on vulture funds before. Although speculators are happy to plumb the depths in pursuit of another bulion dollars, even thse people are like angels to the bastards who deal in vulture funds. One of the final acts of the last Labour government was to support a private member's bill to outlaw vulture funds in the UK. I am glad that this act was ratified by the current government earlier this year. But cases can still go forward in Jersey as the Guardian reported yesterday.

Basically these traders buy up debts where a third world country has defaulted at a significant discount, then pursue the defaulting country through overseas courts, claiming an obscene markup (in the form of accumulated interest).

Needless to say the money the countries are forced to pay means there is less left for vital services (although in the case of some leaders like the King of Swaziland it would mean less money for bling and other shit, the disgusting excuse for a human being covets)

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country emerging from a brutal, and largely unreported civil war which left millions dead. Despite its abundant mineral wealth the country is desperately poor (in no small part due to the kleptocratic reign Mobutu Sese Seko from the 1960 to 1997).

The country  has huge deposits of cobalt, diamonds, gold, copper, oil and 80% of the world's supplies of coltan ore – a valuable mineral which yields Niobium and Tantalum (the latter having much use in computers and mobile phones), yet 100 women a week are still die in childbirth and 16,000 children under the age of five die every year. One in three children in the DRC will never get anything more than primary education.

It certainly doesn't help that the DRC is pursued by vulture fund speculators through offshore tax havens such as Jersey, for debts that were run up during 30 years of war and civil war.

Now New York vulture fund FG Hemisphere has gone to Jersey to claim $100m from the DRC because a legal loophole means that the island remains free of anti-vulture laws that were passed in the UK last year. Jersey will decide next month whether to allow its courts to let the $100m go to FG Hemisphere.

So far, according to the World Bank, the top 26 vultures have managed to collect $1bn from the world's poorest countries and still have a further $1.3bn to collect. Gordon Brown has described the payouts as "morally outrageous".
 The World Bank has described vulture funds as "a threat to debt relief efforts" and the former, Bush-era US treasury secretary Henry Paulson said: "I deplore what the vulture funds are doing" in testimony before the House of Representatives' financial committee in 2007.

In terms of public donations, the impact of the vulture funds is huge. The $1bn collected by the funds is equivalent to more than double the International Committee of the Red Cross's entire budget for Africa in 2011. $1bn could fund the entire UN appeal for the famine in Somalia and is more than twice the amount of money raised by Save the Children last year.
Vulture funds also scare off new investors, who the vultures will target their investment, from a country. In the DRC, a large US company with plans to invest millions in mining pulled out last year after one vulture sued it as a result of its business with the DRC government.

It is thought FG Hemisphere bought the debt for which it is claiming $100m in the Jersey court for $3.3m, with the help of another vulture fund, Debt Advisory International (DAI).

FG Hemisphere, headed by Peter Grossman and DAI, run by Michael Sheehan – both men were former Morgan Stanley consultants – have attempted to collect on the debt by suing DRC state companies and their foreign investors.

When interviewed as part of a joint investigation between Newsnight and the Guardian, Grossman defending his involvement in the DRC, saying "he wasn't beating up on the Congo but collecting on a legitimate debt". The last decade has seen FG and DAI chase the DRC, for the same debt, in the United States, Jersey, Hong Kong and Australia.

Grossman also denied having any knowledge that, as alleged by the Bosnian police, the debt was acquired illegally in the first place.

Sheehan, who is nicknamed Goldfinger, brokered the original deal with Bosnian state company EnergoInvest and owns some of the debt. The DRC originally owed the money to EnergoInvest for a contract to build power lines.

But as Grossman looks for payment from DRC through the Jersey legal system, the world's biggest charities are appealing to Jersey to close the loophole.

Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, which has been campaigning for debt relief for over a decade, is sending a representative to Jersey next week to put the case directly to the island's government to close the vulture funds' loophole.
Tim Jones, of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: "The DRC is the second poorest country in the world. The country desperately needs to be able to use its rich resources to alleviate poverty, not squander them on paying unjust debts to vulture funds left by the dictator  Mobutu. Jersey has to shut vulture funds down."

UK legislation on vulture funds has already had an impact, when Liberia last year reached agreement to repay just over 3% of the face value of a $43m debt.

That case was originally brought by two Caribbean-based vulture funds, Hamsah Investments and Wall Capital Ltd, over a debt dating back to the 1970s and it sparked a furore when the high court ordered Liberia to repay the full debt in 2009. Liberia mobilised debt campaigners, who pushed for a change in the law, resulting in the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010 being passed.

The law, a world first, requires commercial creditors to comply with the terms of international debt cancellation schemes, which specify a single discount rate for creditors to ensure equal treatment.

The law applies to the UK courts and ensures that public money given towards debt cancellation is not diverted to private investors.

The World Bank estimates that more than one-third of the countries which have qualified for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief have been targeted by vulture funds. HIPC countries are those whose debt is unsustainable and qualify for loans from the World Bank's International Development Association or the IMF's poverty reduction and growth facility.

Yes many african countries have been ravaged by corruption and mismanagement but still that the likes of vulture funds exists serves only to kick many of the world's poorest while they are on the floor.

Yes, vulture funds are legal but then there is no law against sticking a fork up your rectum either. The likes of Grossman and Sheehan are  plainly greedy scum.  The world would be a slightly better place if they and their fellow vulture fund speculators were to drop dead tomorrow

Kneeling Tim

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Face to Face with the Masked Man

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Gratuitous lists of Poor Mouth favourites: British and Irish Fiction

Lists are subjective, when you look at a list of the greatest books, songs or poodles I can bet that you will look at it and consider it to be mainly a pile of crap. "Where's X and Y, and for that matter who could omit Q,P, W and J?" is a usual response!

The only way to get a list that you approve of absolutely is to write it yourself. For no other reason than to give both my readers an indication of some of the things I like (as if they don't already damned well know!) here are a few books that I consider to be among my very favourites. It may even give you a small insight into the mind of Shaun P Downey, but probably not... I don't pretend that all of these books are great literature but I enjoyed them all!

In no order whatsoever here goes:

The Third Policeman
At Swim Two Birds
The Poor Mouth - All by Flann O'Brien

The Tailor and Ansty - Eric Cross

Malone Dies
Molly - All by Samuel Beckett

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

Borstal Boy - Brendan Behan

The Collected stories of Frank O'Connor (okay this is an anthology but who really cares!)

The Collected Stories of William Trevor

Dubliners - James Joyce

Amongst Women - John McGahern

The Magic Toyshop
The Passion of New Eve
The Ingfernal Desire Machine of Doctor Hoffman
The Bloody Chamber
Nights at the Circus - All by Angela Carter

First Loves, Last Rites
The Cement Garden
The Comfort of Strangers - All by Ian McEwen

The Aubrey/Maturin cycle of 20 books - Patrick O' Brian. A couple of the books are sub par (such as the Hundred Days) but overall the series is a masterpiece. Forget C S Forrester and the priggish Hornblower, Jack Aubrey is the finest Sea Captain in fiction!

The Golden Ocean/The Unknown Shore Patrick O Brian. His first foray ito naval fiction. They are still well worth reading

Young Adam - Alexander Trocchi

The Restraint of Beasts - Magnus Mills

1982 Janine
Something Leather
Poor Things - Alasdair Gray

The Wasp Factory
Espedair Street
The Crow Road
Consider Phlebas
The Player of Games - Iain Banks or his Iain M Banks Sci Fi alter ego

Th Death of Grass - John Christopher

The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham

The Star Fraction - ken Macleod (I must read more of his works)

Hothouse (if just for the Lovely Tummybelly Men!)
The Helliconia books - Brian Aldiss

Each and every Jeeves and Wooster book! P G Wodehouse

Animal Farm
Coming Up for Air - George Orwell
Brave New World
The Island - Aldous Huxley

Under the Volcano
Everything else you can find  by Malcolm Lowry

The Drowned World
High Rise - J G Ballard

A Clockwork Orange
Earthly Powers - Anthony Burgess

Childhood's End
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C Clarke

Memoirs of a Survivor
The Canopus in Argos series - Doris Lessing

Lots of Michael Moorcock!

Halo Jones
The Lost Girls (Most definitely and utterly NSFW!)
From Hell Alan Moore Graphic Novels

An artist of the Floating World
Remains of the Day
A Pale view of the Hills - Kazuo Ishiguro

Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon

The City Watch series
The Truth
Small Gods
Going Postal/Making Money
Monstrous Regiment
Thief of Time
Making Movies
Bugger it, most every Terry Pratchett book for adults from Pyramids onwards!

The Woman in Black
The Mist in the Mirror - Susan Hill

Lord of the Flies
Pincher Martin
To the Ends of the Earth Trilogy - William Golding

The Bryant and May series by Christopher Fowler

A good Anthology of M R James stories

Uncle Silas
A selection of short story anthologies Sheridan Le Fanu

The Hill of Dreams
The Great God Pan (best if you can find the version with an intro by my old friend Iain Smith)
As many short stories as you can get in print - Arthur Machen

Anything by the  Bronte sisters.

Erewhon - Samuel Butler

The poems of Margaret Cavendish!

The poems of William McGonagall!

The Last King of Scotland - Giles Foden

The Heart of Darkness
Under Western Eyes
The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad

Under the Frog
The Collector, collector - Tibor Fischer

The War of Don Emmanuel Nether Parts
Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord
The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman - Louis De Bernieres

The Magus
The Collector - John Fowles
I will probably add more as I remember them....

Not Cliff, but Jesus

The Huffington Post has news of another great simulacrum. Visiting this one may be for extreme sports enthusiasts though!.

THis time Jesus has appeared on the side of a cliff in Ireland. Tourist Sandra Clifford's picture has got a lot of people excited.
Clifford, a pilot fron San Francisco, spotted the figure recently while visiting the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare with her friend, Fiona Fay.  The two saw what Clifford thought looked like the image of Jesus on the side of one of the cliffs and she immediately snapped a photo on her digital camera.

"I definitely felt a divine presence," Clifford told HuffPost Weird News. "To me, it was definitely a face, but I realize some people may interpret it differently."
Clifford feels her training as a pilot has honed her vision and also taught her to be skeptical about what she sees, which is why she asked the folks around her their opinions of the cliffside Christ.

She is curious that the Jesus image hasn't been seen before since she usually sees at least five tour buses going to that same viewpoint and none of them have reported a similar sighting.
Clifford is amazed as well."I found this image amazing. This entire day was incredible," she said. "The only way I can describe how I felt when I saw the image is very calm. It was absolutely beautiful and quiet.

Clifford wants to make sure that no one can make claims that the photos have been retouched, so she is removing the disc with the photos from her digital camera so they can be saved as they are forever.

She has refused all attempts to touch up the photograph back in the United States, insisting she wants to maintain its originality.

Well there you have it. Perhaps someone committing suicide at that point can make peace with Jesus as he or she passes by....

Face to face with La Bruja II

Face to face with La Bruja

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Blue Boy redux

In the Wild

© Shaun P Downey 2011


Joan Crawford has risen for the grave!

15 November 2011

Celena up close and personal, sort of

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Graffiti Girl is back

© Shau P Downey 2011

Sitting Pretty.... sort of

© SShaun  Downey 2011

Up close and personal

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Graffiti Boy returns

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Who is that masked man?

© Shaun P Downey 2011


I thought that the above slogan was simply a line from the excellent sitcom, The New Statesman, starring Rik Mayall as the comically odious Tory MP Alan B'stard. I was wrong (at least in its basic sentiments) 

My thanks to Steve Bates who blogs at Yellow Doggerel Something (formerly Yellow Doggerel Democrat but a Democrat no more ... not that he has moved rightwards)   rather the party has) for drawing my attention to this loathsome piece of shit written by right wing arsehole  Matthew Vadum 

His piece is titled Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American Here are some excerpts:

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians.  Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery. 

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country

Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn't about helping the poor.  It's about helping the poor to help themselves to others' money.  It's about raw so-called social justice.  It's about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers.

Trotsky thought too many bureaucrats and middle-class people were involved in the Soviet Communist Party and that it was moving too slowly in its efforts to change that society.  He wanted more poor people in the party in order to overthrow Stalin's obstructionist bureaucracy and clear the way for "true" communism.

Stateside, Cloward and Piven wanted to use the "weight" of the poor to bring down American capitalism and democracy. These apostles of depravity proposed swamping the welfare rolls of states and localities by encouraging people to exercise their welfare "rights" by applying for public benefits. 

 The theory was that newly cash-strapped state and local governments would demand a bailout from Congress.  The fiscal rescue package would take the form of a European-style guaranteed annual income scheme that would drive America well down the road to full-blown socialism.

The Founders anticipated redistributionist attacks on the Constitution.  As Benjamin Franklin supposedly said, "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." (NB this appears nowhere in Franklin's writings so it is probably false)

Hmm, Way to go, Vadum!. Let's make sure we get the right (wing) people in power by disenfranchising the poor and unworthy. 

While we are at it why not disenfranchies all those uppity hispanics and blacks (Condi and Herman being designated honorary whites) and them durty libbruls too!

I wonder what sort of country the US of A would be if Vadum got his wish. I wonder if he would be whooping and hollering as his dick goes semi hard as the Army is ordered to mow down the angry poor....

Vadum is an idiotic prick.

Right-wing American Arseholes: Frank Miller

The Guardian reports on graphic novelist, screenwriter and far-right lunatic Frank Miller, who  has unsurprisingly posted a excoriating rant on the Occupy movement on his personal blog, accusing it of being an unruly mob of "louts, thieves and rapists" that can "do nothing but harm America".

Miller, best-known for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, 300, and Sin City, starts off by saying: "Everybody's been too damned polite about this nonsense"

According to this demented quasi-Nazi: "Occupy" is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the "movement" – HAH! Some "movement", except if the word "bowel" is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves" it reads.

He continues: "Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy."

"In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas' basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft. Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape.They might not let you babies keep your iPhones, though. Try to soldier on."

Miller himself, photo from Wikipedia

 Read his idiotic diatribe here

However, if coverage of his anti-Occupy rant amongst the comic community is anything to go by, he has alienated many of his (former) fans.

One site Comicbookmovie.com, has published an open lettero to Miller, which ends "From what I can tell based on conversations with fellow comic book fans, articles, comments, box office returns, and critical reception of your work in the last 10 years, I am in the majority of folks who want you to just go away now. We are the The Goddamn 99% of people who don't give a goddamn about you anymore."

Miller comes across as the derelict staggering through the streets shouting vile imprecations at the world. I will admit that he was not untalented as a graphic novelist (but no nearly of Alan Moore's stature) but as a person he seems vile.

On a final note it is amusing to see him tel OWS people to join the army when he doesn't seem to have served one millisecond in any branch of the armed forces - something that a fair few in the Occupy movement most certainly has.

Perhaps he should go to , say, Kayvan Sabeghi and repeat his bullshit,.. and yes, I would happily tell Miller what I think to his face.

Boris Johnson sides with greed, no shock there

London mayor Boris Johnson  once again (unsurprisingly) sided with the greedy last night labelling the anti-capitalist St Paul's protesters "crusties" and he renewed calls for them to be removed.

Last month Johnson declared that the protestors should (In the name of God and Mammon, go" (Mammon being wealth regarded as an evil influence, also the personification of the same as mentioned several times in the New Testament including the Sermon on the Mount).

The Mayor also called on judges to have the "cojones" to rule that they are "restricting the highway" adding that the protest was a "thoroughly maddening protest against capitalism"

Ach Johnson has always able to spew bullshit, and has done for years.  It is no surprise that he will automatically side with greed given the silver ladle in his mouth at birth. Ni big surprise he was a vandal in good standing member of the Bullingdon Club.

Here's to seeing this useless wanker booted out at next year's election

Not so mean girl

©  Shaun P Downey 2011

Alley Cats revisited

© Shaun P Downey 2011

Reworked photos of Time and Celena from the Alley Cats session