Thursday, March 29, 2007

Playing Favorites #2

Thought it was about time I published song number 2 on the list of 5. "Playing Favorites" is slot on Saturday morning Radio NZ National. The producer of the show hosted by Kim Hill is a bloke called Mark Cubey, quite an affable character, check out my previous Playing Favorites selection, over time I will produce five of them. If you reckon I'd sound ok ranting and raving about nothing on National Radio, email Mark Cubey and tell him "put Steve on playing favs..."

Wot a fuckin tragedy

In 2003 I read an interview with Paul Weller, he rated this band I'd never heard of called the Libertines, (produced by The Clash's Mick Jones it held some mysterious promise, particular given Joe Strummers untimely death).
I scoured Wellington for a copy of Up The Bracket, their first album that barely made it onto the UK album charts despite good reviews from NME. What the fuck were you listening to back then - Westlife?

The Libertines changed everything. As Anthony Thornton rightly argues - post-Libertines bands rule the UK charts now - Arctic Monkeys, Brightons Kooks, and Scotlands Dundee boys The View. All couldn't have existed if Pete Doherty and Carl Barat didn't.

The tragedy, Doherty's obsession with heroin and cocaine. If only he could deal with this the project that is the Libertines would no longer be on hold and the music world would be better for it. The last Libertines self-titled album (pictured) was released in 2004, since then Barat went on to form Dirty Pretty Things, and Doherty when coherent has dabbled with Babyshambles. Doherty who studied English literature, I reckon, is a genius!

If you loved The Clash, The Jam, you will find your mid-life-nirvana in the Libertines, if you like Arctic Monkeys and the nu-uk-rock - discover the roots.

My second favorite is from the first album, Up The Bracket, track 4 - Time for Heroes.

Did you see the stylish kids in the riot
We were shovelled up like muck
Set the night on fire
Wombles bleed truncheons and shields
You know I cherish you my love

But there's a rumour spread nasty diseases around town
Caught round the houses with your trousers down
A headrush in the bush
You know I cherish you my love
How i cherish you my love

What can you want now you've got it all
The whole scene is obscene
Time will strip it away
A year and a day
And Bill Bones
Bill Bones he knows what I mean

Yes it's eating no it's chewing me up
It's not right for young lungs to be coughing up blood
Oh it's all
It's all in my hands
And its all up the walls

Well the stale chips are up and the hopes stakes are down
Its these ignorant faces that bring this town down
Yeah I sighed and sunken with pride
I passed myself down on my knees
Yes I passed myself down on my knees

What can you want now you've got it all
The whole scene is obscene
Time will strip it away
A year and a day
And Bill Bones
Bill Bones knows what I really mean

There are fewer more distressing sights than that
Of an Englishman in a baseball cap
Yeah we'll die in the class we were born
That's a class of our own my love
Were in a class of our own my love

Did you see the stylish kids in the riot
We were shovelled up like muck
Then set the night on fire
Wombles bleed truncheons and shields
You know I cherish you my love
Oh how I cherish you my love.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Planet of Slums

Jeremy Harding gives a great review of Mike Davis' Planet of Slums - here is a snip:

Homogeneity, Davis would argue, is what late capitalism does: already a billion people live in roughly the same extraordinary way in roughly similar environments. Vast, contiguous slums are the habitat of the future for even larger numbers, yet the future looks more and more like it did the day before yesterday.

By 2015 there will be at least 550 cities with a population of more than one million.

Already this aggregate population is growing ‘by a million babies and migrants each week’.

The peak will come in 2050, when ten billion people, by then the great majority of humankind, will be living in cities: ‘95 per cent of this final build-out of humanity will occur in the urban areas of developing countries, whose populations will double to nearly four billion over the next generation.’ ...

On another front I picked this superb little article up from Antonio Lopez's blog Media Mindfulness.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Saudi Oil Production Down 8%

Matt Simmons, peak oil guru is on record as saying "once Saudi peaks the world has peaked" (End of Suburbia). If he is right the the Reserve Bank won't have to worry too much about quelling the volatile housing market with interest rate hikes - hyperinflation will be the wolf at the door.

Yet breaking news that Saudi oil production figures are down 8% for 2006 has barely registered in the mainstream (braindead) media.

The other day I responded to an "associate professor" (Jason D Scorse) who with all the critical analysis skills of my first year computing students, claimed peak oil was debunked because he spotted this article in the New York Times. "Sure looks that way from the available evidence. it's comforting that, yet again, the doom and gloom crowd gets it wrong." Scorse declares. To be honest as is typical in this debate, it appears Scorse is expressing an emotional response, usually associated with those that wish (upon a star) that life will continue "business as usual" @ 3.5% growth per annum. Anything that doesn't fit within the happy go motoring/shopping future as imagined by people like Scorse is just ridiculed and dismissed with lashings of fuckwittery that all 1st year philosophy students would see through immediately.

It's lucky Associate Professor Scorse isn't one of those first year students - he'd fail his assignment.

Here is the guts.

To make the claim that peak oil is debunked you have to claim that oil production will continue to grow annually forever. In debunking peak oil one must necessarily assume that oil is an infinite resource. If Scorse believes that then not only is he a bloody idiot, but he probably shouldn't be an associate professor.

The debate isn’t about whether the peak oil observation is true or not. It is! As is evidenced time and time again with every oil feild, every country, every region on the planet that has already passed peak. Please check out the BP Annual figures for the empirical evidence supporting this claim. It isn’t up for debate. It is merely a fact.

The issue, as many of us have said time and again, is not if there will be a peak but when will the world peak?

And, it looks possible, if Matt Simmons is correct that that date has arrived. (Unless of course Saudi intentionally cut production)

If it is indeed so then the last pint in the pub has been consumed, and we are faced with scrounging around the cupboards for half empty bottles of sherry. And the drunks are brawling on the pavement outside.