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Archive for February, 2003


Things to do before you’re 40:

Run for election as an MP. Campaign on a range of serious social and economic issues. Then, on election night, reveal to the constituency that you are in fact a piece of conceptual art.

How many entires for the month so far? A dismal three if you count this.

What have i been doing? 60 hours at work last week. Why the mad hours? Not because I work in a shoe factory in South East Asia. The crazy week and a half of work in one week was part of an attempt to finish what has been called an ‘intranet’ at work. Technically it is an intranet, but it’s not *really* an intranet. I can’t be fucked writing the details now so you’ll have to take my word for it. I’ve learnt about what not to do when building a flat HTML/ASP web site with no back end to speak of. The lesson – it’s just a plain old BAD IDEA. Some positives too – should I ever get around to updating the back end of this site.

So I’ve had bugger all time for personal email, site updates and paying bills (we have a court summons for unpaid council tax – bastards!).

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, February 27th, 2003

Peace and Freedom

bong

Maida Vale, London, Saturday, February 8th, 2003

History never repeats, I tell myself before I go to sleep

Wellington, 1986. It’s a pleasant morning during the summer holidays. An 11 year old boy walks into the lounge of his parents house. He can tell from the behaviour of his parents that something is amiss. His mother tells him that the space shuttle has blown up while it was taking off. His initial disbelief at the seriousness of this news is based on the recent discovery that when car engines ‘blow-up’, they don’t actually explode ala the action shows on TV. “You mean, *really*, blown up?”, he asks, his dismay obvious. She breaks the news to her son very delicately, knowing his love for such things. Almost as gently as the time she told him that his grandfather, her father, had died in the night. Indeed the unthinkable has happened, the shuttle has been destroyed and the astronauts are dead. Perhaps more than most 11 year old boys, he is particularly keen on astronomy and space travel. This news causes him a feeling of grief, but also excitement. A real life space disaster. News like this is sad, but extremely unusual and dramatic. The images of the Challenger’s final take off became embedded in his memory over the next few weeks as they are repeated at any opportunity. He looked in the newspapers daily for updates on the recovery attempt and theories on the possible cause of the tragedy. He remembers Ronald Reagan’s line about the seven astronauts touching the face of God.

Move forward nearly twenty years. In a world after September 11 the news of the Colombia’s destruction, while shocking, seems to pale in significance to its sisters demise. How differently would Columbia’s break-up have been received had the WTC massacre never happened? As we get older experience leaves its mark. This second shuttle tragedy serves as a milestone. Standing at Columbia’s historic marker, and looking back to the Challenger disaster and all that has passed along the way, I realise how much life has changed my perception of such events.

History doesn’t often repeat in a lifetime. When it does it offers us a special opportunity to think about our life and times.

For prosperity – on Saturday night I had Lebanese for dinner and discovered the delights of avocado and honey juice. And I bought a big fuck-off Arab bong.

Maida Vale, London, Monday, February 3rd, 2003

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