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Nov. 2nd, 2007

More Lucky Dube - Different Colours

This is a great song about unity and celebrating diversity

Oct. 21st, 2007

Lucky Dube - RIP

Another long gap between posts.

The sad news of the death of Lucky Dube, the foremost South African reggae artist has given me the impetus me to write this.

To my regret until the news of his killing in a bungled carjack attempt I only possessed one track of his, from a compilation. A memorial gig in Second Life motivated me to download some of his albums from Itunes and read more about him. I wish I had come across his mixture of melodic reggae, beautiful voice and political and social comments before.

The sad thing of course is that here is another person who sacrificed in the struggle against Apartheid paying with his life for a society with none of the aspirations of the people met, 15 years after the demise of that racist system.

Here is a link to his song calling for togetherness in the immediate aftermath of Apartheid.





Here is another great track, although the video is sadly, ironically about a carjacking.

Aug. 7th, 2007

Zimbabwe

I met some old friends from Zimbabwe the weekend before last. It was nice to catch up on friends and family. But also it was a poignant meeting. I've known Farai since 1978 and the liberation struggle against White Rule in Zimbabwe. The feelings of exitement and joy we had in 1980 when Zanu won the general election. Then meeting them again in 1987 when I went to teach there for 2 years. The feelings of optimism that things were getting better.

Now Zimbabwe has the lowest life expectancy in the world, it's been halved since the 1980's because of poverty and AIDs, millions have fled the chaos and thousands are trying to do every week. Inflation is between 5-10,000%, or prices doubling every week. It's estimated it will reach a million % by the end of the year.

But I will never side with the reactionaries who say that this is the inevitable result of black majority rule. The problem in Zimbabwe, like many other African countries is the sheer poverty of the countries and the extremes of wealth and poverty there. The rich, whatever skin colour, will attempt to hang onto their privileges. If you are rich with access to foreign currency in Zimbabwe, even today, life is comfortable. If there are huge queues for petrol and food you just pay someone to queue for you. This is what is happening now. The people who really suffer are ordinary people, many millions, who are literally starving.

Who knows what will happen, maybe the military will kick Mugabe out, maybe there will be an uprising of people who feel that they have nothing else to lose.

In Zimbabwe there is unfinished business - Pamberi ne chimurenga!

Jul. 22nd, 2007

Is this true?

You Are 17 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Jul. 12th, 2007

Displacement activity

Briefly escaped from my virtual addiction at the moment. The prospect of marking some exam papers has reminded me of the joys of making entries in Live Journal. At the moment my daughter is wearing her witch costume to bounce on the trampoline and why not indeed.

The weather looks good for the weekend so might try and get down to Tolpuddle, Chwmbawamba are playing. Is this a reflection of the radicalisation of the Festival Organisers?

May. 28th, 2007

BNP

It was the Welsh Assembly elections 3 weeks ago (and Scottish Parliament and some council elections). The BNP stood in every region and saved their deposits in 3 out of 5 of them (5% of the vote), all in all more than 15000 votes for them. If you add in the UKIP votes, which were similar, there was aprrox 10% of the voters supporting openly xenophobic racist parties.

Of course they don't have to campaign when most of the newspapers reinforce their views every day. The votes of the left by comparison were derisory, in most areas 3 left of labour parties stood, splitting the vote.

It's all a bit depressing really.

Feb. 8th, 2007

Radio Akasha

Found this fab internet radio station in one of the pubs in Second Life, what an eclectic mix of music. Check it out.



Feb. 6th, 2007

Second Life

Wow no entries for the whole of Jan, I have been neglecting my introspection. My inner self is going to complain for the lack of attention. Lol.

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time in the online community Second Life. It's a very addictive experience, nothing like knocking 20-30 years off your age and re-living that period in a virtual environment. All the boring aspects of life like washing, working, cleaning, waiting for repair people for days on end no longer necessary. All the fun things, in a cyber environment, there to do.

One bizarre experience was taking part in a demo against the presence of the FN (French Nazis) in the SL community.

It's worth looking at for a different prespective on things.

Dec. 29th, 2006

War - Buy This!!!

This is great! Spend 79p to keep the pressure on Blair!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sgpKEhqp6M

Dec. 15th, 2006

Xmas shopping and Technology

The technology was definitely out to get me yesterday. After firstly ten minutes with the obstreperous scan yourself till to buy 8 items in ASDA first thing in the morning, later on it was half an hour in Argos with a completely mad quick pay machine.

How is this for frustration. I'd reserved one of a particular toy for Sinead. I get there early but there is a sizeable queue so I go to one of the self service machines, type in the reservation number press buy and wait to insert my card, the machine freezes. So I cancel the transaction and try again from the reservation number. This time I get as far as the page showing me how to insert the card, I insert the card and everything on the machine crashes, nothing will respond.

After a few minutes pressing everything and cursing I give up and try the next machine to get a message, this reservation does not exist. I check the stock on one of the little stock machines, this item is sold out, but the first machine had shown it in stock? Slowly the reality of this bonkers situation dawns, the last one of this toy is still connected with the first machine which has crashed in the middle of trying to sell it to me. I give up on the machines and approach a cashier. She tries the reservation number and tells me the item is sold out. I calmly and carefully explain the situation. She then tries pushing everything on the machine for five minutes and then gets a supervisor who then takes another five minutes to reset the machine. Finally the cashier returns and my £20 is taken off me.

Definitely a roflol moment.

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