Out Of The Way

I tuned out, I dropped in. I'm a naive, wide-eyed sell-out

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tagged and bagged

I’ve been tagged which, I’m given to understand, means that I must repeat the last act of the tagee (Moo in this case) – a top ten Jukebox list.

One track sprung to mind, the first on this list, so I decided that the rest of the list should follow suit. It’s a kind of pedal-to-the-metal top 10, the kind of thing that you might have selected on the Dew Drop’s jukebox in New Cross back in the day (if that jukebox wasn’t full of GBH and Anti-Nowhere League crap – Reidski’ll know what I mean).

Here goes and here’s the man who inspired it:

The Fall – Jawbone and the Air Rifle
Butthole Surfers – Who Was In My Room Last Night?
Captain Beefheart – Zigzag Wanderer
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
Pharcyde – Oh Shit
Metallica – Battery
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Supernaturally
Ice Cube – What They Hittin’ Foe?
Nomeansno – Everyday I Start To Ooze
Velvet Underground – Sister Ray

I guess I was just in a mood today. Get me on a good day and it’d be 12” remixes of the Frog Chorus all the way. Fo’ shizzle, hom’.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Me no Blog no Blog

I said some posts ago that I’m not a Blogger and wouldn’t continue to Blog. I have though. I broke my word.

The thing is, I do have a couple of problems with Blogging.

The first is a minor point. It’s a niggle. I read a lot of stuff and my eye sight is on the decline. There’s already too much stuff in the world to read as it is and I often get down at the thought of missing out on something wonderful by trawling through things that are just about OK. Blogs are just more stuff to read.

The second is the biggie and, actually, it’s only directed at a particular type of Blog which is derived from the most abused form of journalism: the column.

Done well, columns are great. “Ooh I hadn’t thought of it like that before,” or “how insightful” should be the response. More usual is “I don’t care”. The Guardian has taken the pointless column to a new level. Should anyone want to read how happy Alexander Chancellor is to live in Hammersmith (like a crumby, tacky town dropped into West London) or that Jon Ronson doesn’t like Rickshaws? Actually, I’m straying off the point and writing one of those columns myself. Back to Blogs.

No, you see, the worst Blogging is the “putting-the-world-to-rights” Blog. A certain fool called Duff writes one of these, regularly bolstering his smug posturing with ill fitting quotations from The Best Sayings In The World Ever Vol.2. But many more write them too.

Here’s the problem (and feel free to denounce me as a relativist) and it is probably THE problem: Everyone in the world thinks they’re a genius and everyone else is an idiot.

I’m always falling into this trap myself. I remind myself in all humility that I know enough to know that I don’t know enough and that I probably know nothing (I could quote a famous guy here, but there’s no point). But it only takes a second for my ego to creep in and tell me that knowing you know nothing puts one in a better position than thinking you know everything, therefore I must be a genius of a kind and ARRRRGGGHHH. Defeat.

So in an attempt to keep my ego down, I’m going to avoid writing the kind of Blog that solves the world’s problems, except to say that most of these problems are due to two factions, each of whom think the other is an idiot (or evil, to return to my last post).

Sorry if you were looking for me to secure a peace deal in Sri Lanka.

The other thing I won’t be writing about is my family. Except to say that I love them dearly. I won’t even tell you if I own hamsters.

In fact, I still consider this as a support site for Reidski. A satellite.

But first I need to discuss why I’m not a humanist, why I’m probably not a libertarian and then I’ll consider why this label from a big fat bearded Trot made some years ago has bugged me to this day.

Hey, this isn’t a fun Blog so far is it?

I’ll finish with a nice picture

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Well Read not, well, Red (ha-ha, what a clever title - do you smoke me, eh, eh?)

Oh well, so I'll carry on a bit.

Why am I called Voroshilov? Well, it's relatively straight-forward but it opens up lots of other questions which I've spent the past few years investigating.

I first used the name over 10 years ago when writing on the student newspaper. I'd written too much stuff due to a lack of decent pieces from the usual sources and when laying the pages up became quite embarassed at the amount of times my name appeared - so i started to swap them out for pseudonyms. There was about five of them but I liked Voroshilov the best.

Why Voroshilov?

Here he is:

Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov is the original. If you want to know about him you, then check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kliment_Voroshilov

Basically, senior military figure in the USSR, who wasn't actually as great as he was presented.

For years however, I fetishized everything to do with the Soviet Union. My grandad was a communist and I swerved more and more in that direction as things started to go wrong in my late teens.

As a beginner "leftie" you immediately denounce everything you formerly believed in and take on board a load of stuff that is now taken as the truth. It takes years to realise that the truth lies somewhere between these positions.

As an advanced "leftie" and flailing freelance journalist I found myself working with Reidski on a certain "left-wing" publication. Here's where I found out about a things called "the party line" and "revolutionary discipline" - I learnt the former but could never accept the latter (hence some fat bastard called me a libertarian humanist with all the self-satisfaction that a Trot can muster - quite a lot).

I met a guy who was proud of leading a mutiny against the RAF in WWII - arse. I met a couple of people who thought that Stalin's cruelty was something to be applied to office politics. I encountered real office politics. I also met a bunch of very smart, very savvy people who I have nothing but good things to say about.

As a kid, the turning point towards the left was watching Newsround. They had a piece on arranged holidays in the Soviet Union. It showed "Russians" in bathing costumes lounging in deck chairs in the snow and swimming in icey water. This, it carefully explained, was what happened under the evil communist regime (the equivalent would be Russians watching those idiots swimming in the Serpentine on News Years Day, while a voiceover explained this was how the bourgeois Brits like to shrink their nuts). I can't have been very old, but I remember being struck by what a load of old nonsense I was being fed. Like a bolt of lightning I understood that Russians weren't any more evil and stoopid than us.

That was the beginning of the journey which led me to a point where I was trotting out party line without even thinking about what I was saying. What stopped me?

I'm a bit of buff when it comes to military history (I have all the hobbies of a 70-year-old widower - except chasing widows) (ooh and Crown Green Bowls, I don't do that) (although I do sometimes discuss my toilet habits), and I was reading some tract or other that kept referring to WWII as the second imperialist war. It drove me mad. So clumsy, so stupid. I'm not going to go in to a history of imperialist wars, but the point is it was needlessly putting a spin on something which really doesn't need it.

So I kicked it, like I kicked smoking, I no longer toed the party line. It meant I had to read twice as much as before to make my mind up, but a small price to pay.

Voroshilov stuck. At the end of the day, although I no longer think everything that happened in the USSR was wonderful, i still think it's a cool name. And it is.

That was rather boring. Sorry.

Next time I'll talk about why I flew off at southerners (sorry nice southerners) and why this proves that I'm not a humanist.

Then I'll link to more Blogs.