The Million Faces Arms Trade Petition

Click here:

Million Faces

to join the Million Faces petition.

It’s a campaign that’s jointly organised by Amnesty International, IANSA and Oxfam.

Here’s what the petition is all about:

What is the Million Faces Petition?
The ?Million Faces? petition is a new way of campaigning. Our aim is to collect one million photos and self-portraits of people all around the world to demonstrate to governments that we need effective and urgent action to control the arms trade crisis.

What will you do with these photos?
We will then use this mass movement of people to persuade the world?s governments to sign up to a global Arms Trade Treaty. With your help it will be the world?s biggest popular movement against the misuse of arms.

What do I do to join?
Follow this link to the sign-up page, fill in your details and upload a picture of yourself from your computer. Don’t worry if you don’t have a picture, you can choose a prepared image from our gallery or, if you are feeling more creative, why not draw a picture on your computer and upload that instead?”

So, if you’d like to take a personal stand against the most evil trade in the world, please sign up and upload a photo to the petition site above,
love and kisses,

Joining The Asthma Club

Last night I didn’t sleep.

I went to bed after a perfectly normal day. As I lay in bed, I noticed I couldn’t breathe very easily. It felt like there was a lead weight on my chest. I thought I must be imagining it and turned over to get some kip. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t relax and breathe easily enough to drift off. I kept having to consciously draw deep breaths. I often get a bit wheezy and crackly if I’m in a damp room so I thought nothing off it and went to the spare room, which is a lot less humid (cos there’s no en-suite off it).

I still couldn’t breathe properly.

By now it was around 4.30am and I’d been trying to sleep for around three hours. If anything, my chest now felt a bit tighter when I breathed in and out. It sounded alarmingly like a bowl of Rice Krispies being soaked.

So…I began to get a bit worried. Now, I know millions of people have asthma attacks, most ot them dealing with them calmly and stoically, without getting het up and writing rants on websites about their experiences.

But I’ve never had one before!

Since I’ve moved back to Derby, I’ve been consciously trying to live more healthily. Being straight edge is a huge flying start but I’m still dangerously obese so I’ve been trying to deal with that. I took up T’ai Chi last year, which has helped tremendously with balance and stamina. This year I gave up added sugar and sugary foods (goodbye chocolate, cakes, biscuits, milkshakes, doughnuts…), took up weight training and since May I’ve lost 31 pounds.

So, I know I’m a fat bastard but I’m doing my best to remedy that.

I was a bit peeved that I was having this attack of breathlessness after losing all that weight! But I was far more peeved at the thought that one night I might get a serious asthma attack and pop my clogs like the 1500 who die of asthma each year in the UK.

My poor mrs. sat up with me till the morning as she was so worried, bless her. We went to a GP first thing but I knew what he’d say before he even examined me. He prodded me and listened to my fading wheezing. Yep, here we go… “morbid obesity, must lose weight..blah blah.”

“But Doctor, I’ve just lost 31 pounds – maybe there’s something in the house that’s triggering this wheeziness? I mean, I know my weight doesn’t help but it’s probably a combination of factors, isn’t it?”

He looks at me. I can see him visualising me cramming doughnuts down my gob every day. He thinks I gargle with chip fat.

“You have ignored your weight and kept eating and now your health will suffer”

Ahhh… so he’s not listening to a bloody word I say. He just wants me to tug my forelock obediently and shuffle off, gratefully cradling my prescription like the word of God.

He prescribes an inhaler. I ask him if it’s an anti-histamine and he looks very annoyed I’ve dared to use some of his holy parlance and mutters curtly that it’s salbutamol, a bronchodilator. Oooh, long words! They’d probably intimidate me if my parents weren’t both doctors. He also gives me a chit for a chest x-ray…shadders? On me lahngs?

When I get home, I try the inhaler. By now, I’m mostly back to normal but I give it a go cos I’m fascinated by it. The inhaler is the power ring of the Asthma Avengers, it’s the leopard-skin fez of the Wheezy Wonders, it’s the crucifix of the Church of Breathlessness.

I read the instructions. Reassuringly, they’re as gently calming as those that used to come with my Airfix kits. The inhaler itself echoes this: the main body is a shade of grey that immediately reminds me of hand-painting the bare fuselage of a Hawker Hurricane. Ahhhh… it’s all very, very soothing. I finally get some sleep…mmm…

I dream I am piloting a Ventolin Evohaler over enemy territory. The bastards drop out of the sun, trying to catch me napping. With a phlegmy sputter of indignation, I huff the guns towards them. Take that, you smoky bastards in the Blue Note, rot in hell, fiendish dust mites! Rat-ta-ta-ta-ta…

When I woke up, I phoned a musician mate of mine who I’d missed seeing because of all the hoo-haa. It turns out he’s an asthmatic and he copes by using his inhaler occasionally if he’s over-exerted himself at gigs or the smoke’s got to him. I feel a little bit ashamed that I’ve made such a fuss – he’s very matter of fact about it whereas I’ve gone off into a huge drama-queen tizz. Ah well, newbies to a club are always less laid back than the older members.

It’s a big bastard club. When I was around 8 or 9, I remember there was only one kid in my class who had asthma. I know this because every asthmatic kid had to have their inhaler for P.E. and always left them with the goalie in case they got an attack.

Nowadays, look how widespread asthma is! Here’s some figures from the website I linked to above:

? One in eight children has asthma and this figure has increased six-fold in the last 25 years.

? As many as 42% of the UK population have experienced wheezy illness by the time they reach their mid 30s.

? The UK has the highest prevalence of severe wheeze in children aged 13?14 years worldwide.

Of course, 90% of statistics are bunkum. But if I check them against the number of people I personally know who have asthma, there seems to be some objective truth there. So what the hell’s going on? What’s caused this massive increase in asthma? It’s almost like this disease has now become normal.

I’m sure of one thing. As much as we shudder in horror when we hear of early researchers holding radium or kids frolicking in waste asbestos, in the future, people will look back and shudder at our asthma epidemic. By then, they will have found out what the trigger was for this explosion in asthma. It’ll be something seemingly innocuous to us, maybe some food additive that wasn’t common 30 years ago. Or perhaps some household chemical we’ve been told is totally safe, just as pregnant women were re-assured about Thalidomide.

But when they find out what environmental agent is the cause and which company promoted its use, I’m going to hunt down the CEO and shove my inhaler so far up their arse that they’ll be the one wheezing,
love and kisses,

Bless Playlist 6/10/2003

03_The unknown_Mark B and Blade_The Unknown.mp3
Saves The Day – Stay What You Are – 10 – Freakish.mp3
03_Code Of The Streets_Gang Starr_Hard To Earn.mp3
At The Drive In – Pattern Against User.mp3
08_Linda Lyndell – What A Man_Various Artists_Super Breaks.mp3
American Football – For Sure.mp3
03 – Return of the Tres – Delinquent Habits – Merry Go Round.mp3
Thursday – Cross Out The Eyes.mp3
06_To Cure A Weakling Child_Aphex Twin_Richard D. James Albu.mp3
01_Facet Squared.mp3
05_Science fiction_BeachBuggy_Sport Fury.mp3
07_Sound Of Da Police_KRS-One_Return Of The Boom Bap.mp3
06 – Army – Ben Folds Five – The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.mp3
Hatebreed – I Will Be Heard.mp3
05 – Rockit – Herbie Hancock – Mastercuts Electro.mp3
04 – Walking With Thee – Clinic – Walking With Thee.mp3
10 – Capdown – Dealer Fever.mp3
06_Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire.mp3
03_Joints & Jam_Black Eyed Peas_Behind The Front.mp3
02_If I could talk I’d tell you_Lemonheads, The_Car button c.mp3
10_roygbiv_Boards of Canada_Music has the right to children.mp3
Weezer – Sweater Song.mp3
08_Turntable Soul Kicks (Stereo De Luxe Remix)_Chekov_Drifti.mp3
04_Lady Venom_Swollen Members_Balance.mp3
14 – Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart.mp3
10 – Judas Priest – Breaking the Law.mp3
02_Buzzin’_Asian Dub Foundation_Rafi’s Revenge.mp3
01_Matinee Idol_Aden_Hey 19.mp3
04_Hip-hop_Dead Prez_Let’s get free.mp3
03 – Fugazi – Full Disclosure.mp3
19_The Ipcress File_John Barry_The Music of.mp3
298,Belle and Sebastian – The State I Am In
07_Casino Royale_Herb Alpert_The Very Best Of.mp3
06 – Una M?sica Brutal – Gotan Project – La Revancha Del Tango.mp3
Rae & Christian – Sleepwalking – 01 – Blazing The Crop.mp3

Bereaved Father Labels Blair “War Criminal”

Here’s another bump in the road for our glorious leader: the families of service men killed in his little game don’t want him to attend the memorial service.

In the Independent today, Severin Carrell reports that,

Mr Green [the father of helicopter pilot Philip Green, killed in action]admitted he felt highly emotional about Mr Blair’s presence at the service. “I think he’s a war criminal, it’s as simple as that. The man, without any consideration to the Labour parliamentary party, elected to go to war with this scabby little friend in Texas [President Bush], and killed 51 of our men unnecessarily,” he said. “If I have a chance to meet him on Friday, I will tell him to his face.”

And his perspective is shared by other families, as you can read for yourself by clicking here.

Obviously Mr. Green is a dangerous extremist and loyal supporter of Saddam. Why else would he dare to criticise Tony Hitler, our magnificent fuhrer? How dare Mr. Green suggest that Tony listen to the Labour party or British people? Does he not realise that only Tony knows the truth and we must merely obey and follow where he leads. As soon as Bush tells him where he’s going, of course. To question Tony is verboten!

I suspect that Mr. Green, like George Galloway, is probably in the pay of Hussein. At least, I’ve found a photocopy of a document that says that. No wait, I haven’t but there you go, it’s probably true. Will that do as proof? It’s more proof than Tony needed to attack Iraq.

Anyone who dares to criticise our living god Tony can surely only be with the forces of darkness!

Can Mr. Green not understand that he should be proud his son died so that our beloved Tony could insert his tongue further into George Bush’s rectum? Surely the loss of one child is a price any true, patriotic Briton would pay to please our highness Tony? After all, the Iraqis have lost around 400,000 of their children in the sanctions and subsequent carnage and you don’t see them on the telly rioting and shooting at the occupying forces, do you? They’re happy as lambs, welcoming in the great order and prosperity the USK occupiers have brought them.

It’s a Golden Age in Iraq now. Tony says so.

An American Writes

The below letter is taken from Salt Lake Tribune. As great and good as the UK anti-war movement is, I’m dismayed that I’ve seen some evidence of a racist anti-American streak in some protestors. Too often the US people are confused with their rogue government.

We need to build an internationalist perspective, not fall into the trap of petty nationalism which, after all, is at the root of most wars. This passionate letter from Lynn Chidester shows how dangerously stupid anti-American racists are.

“President Bush has lied to the entire world about weapons of mass destruction, poisonous gasses, Iraq’s ties to 9-11 terrorists, al-Qaida, etc. The difference is that Bush’s lies are responsible for the deaths of innocent people killed in a practically defenseless country by the most powerful military force in the history of the world. In addition we have hundreds of patriotic Americans killed or wounded, thousands of lives disrupted, and bills left for our children to pay — all for no valid reason! But he explains his lies by charging that it’s all the fault of his subordinates.

Have we Americans become so callous, or do we just ignore the death and suffering of thousands of Iraqis just because they are not “like us”? Well, they are like us; human beings born into a situation they have no choice or control over. To put it in perspective, the next time you are in a stadium, conference hall, or shopping mall at Christmas time, visualize that number of human beings, like you and me, killed on the order of George W. Bush. Ask yourself, “What has America as a nation become? What have we as human beings become?”
Lynn Chidester
Salt Lake City”

Please click here for the original letter

Hooker, Beats Capri and Selina Kyle

This was a gig organised by the Ponce peeps at The Vic and they did a bloody good job. All three bands played excellent sets which were complementary without being at all similar.

Selina Kyle wowed me with their badass cat-rapping and slinky see-through nighties. Mmmmm… fleshy! And that’s just Alex. Rippling muscles on that man.

It was the first time I’ve seen Beats Capri and they were dead poppy so of course I loved the set. Sad that they’re about to lose a drummer – someone get them a replacement NOW!

Hooker were, if anything, better than when I saw them at the Ponce benefit gig. They’ve got a tremendous energy and it seemed like their set only lasted a couple of minutes, I was enjoying it so much. Now they just need to write some more songs so they do as many encores as the punters demand 🙂

Click here for the photies!