Saturday, April 28, 2007

Taboo Tunes

I got this book from the library thinking it might be a laugh, but it is the most unamusing book I have ever read. It has got the feel of a scientific article to it. You know, everything thoroughly researched, cross-referenced, with multiple citations.

I would not want this author for a friend. Since I think I would tire very quickly of his conversations, but then he is a passionate defender of free speech, and the book is all about the First amendment of the American constitution.

It is heavily biased towards the banning of songs in the USA and the rest of the world rarely features. Al Gore's wife, Tipper takes a bashing, as does the christian religious right wing.

The main things that gets a tune banned are as follows.

  • If it has a beat then it is jungle music
  • If it promotes drugs or drinking
  • If it has any sexual content
  • If it is satanic
  • If it contains references to death or suicide
  • If it promotes bad language.
  • If it encourages violence.
The one valid point he does make is the there seems to be a double standard. There exists a gulf between the pop culture and lets say the classical arts. The play Romeo and Juliet has underage sex, violent killings, and a double suicide, yet nobody has ever suggested that it should be banned. Many of the operas by Verdi or Puccini feature a suicide or two, and Wagner goes in big time for incestious sex and gratuitous killing, but because these are considered to be "high art" then they escape censorship or public scrutiny.

Can it really be true that only popular culture has an evil influence?
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Thursday, April 26, 2007


I am looking forward to the earth warming up and the growing season getting underway. The Spring has been long and dry, but in the last few days there has been a fair bit of rain which has coaxed the plants into springing from the earth, or the trees to bud. It is wonderful to see nature awaken after a long hard dark winter.
In England I loved roses, but here in Finland with the harsher climate, you have to select cultivars that survive the frost and snow of winter. I have planted "Northern Star" by our front door and it looks like it is as tough as old boots, and survives the winter well.
But some of the bush roses if they are not protected over the winter become blackened by the frost and die right back to a few centimetres from the ground. You can see the dead old sketetons of leaves that have been eaten away over the winter and the new red shoots of new growth. From a Swedish lady I learnt that the right time to prune rose bushes is when the brich trees have put out their smallest leaves, known here as "mouse ears".
The Virgina vines are also beginning to sprout. There are some plants that no matter how you mistreat them they will survive and flourish. This creeper is one such plant. It wants to take over the world. You can cut it back, tie it down, whack it, uproot it,but it still manages to leave a little piece of itself in the ground, and it will renew itself.

If a person was a combination of a Northern Star rose and a Virginnia creeper, they could become the ruler of the universe.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why don't you treat me right

Why don't you treat me right
Originally uploaded by Selma Sol€.
So the night was cold and three girls went out to shiver under the midnight moon.

The girl with the blue silk dress slit to the thigh soon had someones arms wraped around her to keep her warm.

The girl with lowcut dress did not have long to wait before her back was being stroked. Really it was to keep her warm.

The girl with the coat on over her evening dress just hung her head sadly to the side. She did not have any excuses, to be held.

The young man, a gentleman perhaps, stood at attention, one hand in his pocket, not knowing what to do with himself, while the neat white bowtie choked the words of love that were forming in his throat.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Who says bikers don't drink Pernod

Sixty Euros on the meter and heading out further into the sticks with three drunk bikers in the back seat. They are drinking a bottle of red wine each. The bearded one says a man is not a man unless he can take a punch straight on the nose and not even blink. I roar my approval at this eminent thought, and from the hilarity in the back seat, I think I have just saved myself from getting a broken nose.

We pull into a bikers bar for Pernod. Pernod how french and sophisticated I muse, for that I get my head trapped underneath someones hairy armpit and my bald head gets patted, then slapped, then knuckled. Better than a broken nose I think.I am offered a drink. I ask for coffee. I pretend to be hard and have it black with no sugar. It comes in a paper cup. Should I have expected more?

Pernod is exchanged for vodka. Outside the taxi meter is ticking. The bikers are in no hurry to move on. There is an argument between the bearded one and the bar-maid. I surmise they are man and wife. She wants him to stay. He wants to go to another bar and drink more Pernod. He gives me 60 euros to part cover the trip so far.

While the argument is raging his two mates drag me out to the taxi and we drive 20 kilometers down the road to another dive. On the way the bearded one phones his mate in the front seat demanding to know why we left him. He wants us to turn back and pick him up. His mate tells me to drive on. There is a screaming match. TURN BACK/DRIVE ON/TURN BACK/DRIVE ON, and so it goes until I arrive at the new Pernod pub.

The biker in the front seat pays for the whole trip, and tells me to now go back and pick up the bearded one. Sure I say but think how will I ever find the place again in this forest wilderness. He gives me an address and I key it into the navigator and drive back to the first bicker's bar.

The bearded ones wife sees me pull up and swings out the door to meet me. She asks for the 60 euros her husband gave me, cos he is going nowwhere. I sympathise with her, and size her up, and reckon she could not break my nose but her husband could. I insist on returning the money into her husbands hands. She does not like this idea, cos he will only spend it on more Pernod.

I give him the money and get a bearhug, a backslap, and a skull-knuckle in very short order. He offers me a Pernod. I decline. He gives me a big tip for my honesty, and I am out of there before somebody has a chance to pick a fight.