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Could this be it for UK consumer confidence, consumed as we are by distrust & uncertainty; the global
slowdown, system crash. “Britain’s ongoing recession is the longest & deepest since the war” & with a
rather unfortunate two & a half million unemployed
(& rising) in the UK, things don’t look too promising
for any of us in the foreseeable future...
Gordon Brown (Prime Minister, Labour)
“This is an international economic hurricane sweeping the world & lashing our country. But we are taking action to calm the storm to bring order to our
chaos so Britain can be better placed to benefit as
the storm passes – as pass it will.”
David Cameron (Opposition Leader, Conservative)
“This recession doesn’t vindicate big government; it
hammers the final nail in its coffin. We know that
we’re in this mess is because of too much debt. Too
much banking debt, too much personal debt & too
much government debt.”
Nick Clegg (Leader, Liberal Democrat)
“There are a huge number of loopholes at the upper
end, both in terms of personal tax & corporate tax that
could be closed & could be recycled, pound for pound
& pence for pence, in big, permanent fair tax cuts.”
Mervyn King (Governor, Bank of England)
“To paraphrase a great wartime leader, never in the
field of financial endeavour has so much money
been owed by so few to so many. & so far with little
real reform.”
FACT: The Earths axis tilts at 23 degrees, which may
or may not help to explain some things...
“Great” Britain is now known to possess the highest level
of Closed Circuit Television systems per citizen in the world
(currently thought be increasing at a rate of approximately
300 new cameras per week). For example, the average
London resident is filmed around 300 separate times every
day, from a range of public, police, commercial & private
cameras. In Middlesbrough operators order offenders to
pick up litter, stop being anti-social, etc. through cameramounted speakers, under threat of fines & police attention. The city of Manchester possesses the UK’s most advanced CCTV Control Centre, covering the city centre with
a network of over 400 cameras. Recordings are stored for
a minimum of 92 days & are viewable via an 18 metre
high screen! Generally the reason given for the introduction of many of these cameras is “to prevent crime”, a fact
which a 2005 Home Office report (amongst many others)
has stated to be demonstrably false. Unfortunately this
seems to have done little to hinder the continuing erosion
of our liberties - far from it, as more & more councils &
public institutions request funding for their unblinking eyes.
Don’t get me wrong; CCTV can, when used sensibly, help to
provide legal evidence, sometimes crucially. It also definitely gives certain slices of the populace a feeling of security,
especially pensioners & the infirm. Unfortunately it is too
often being employed by those in power to scrutinise the
innocent, with automatic facial (“Mandrake”) & number
plate recognition technology increasingly being used in
random, Stasi-style, sweeps. Cameras in trouble hot-spots
may be effective in the short-term, but they don’t stop
crime & other “anti-social behaviours”, merely moves them
elsewhere. In built up & not-so-built up areas, there are
literally cameras everywhere: buildings, phones, cash points,
businesses, roads, housing, police, paparazzi, TV... Police
forces across the UK are also now starting to use unmanned spy drones for certain specialist tasks - military
technology originally used in Iraq & now being utilised
against us. Those futurist Mancunian coppers have their
own surveillance plane too - the first police aircraft in the
UK able to send & receive live video feeds. Able to stay in
the air for over 5 hours at a time & equipped with thermal
cameras & “moving map” capabilities, it’s also alleged
to be around 40% quieter than a helicopter. This is all part
of a worrying trend of technological advance because we
can - the so-called “system creep”, extending intrusively
into all of our lives. Another blandly ominous example of
the potential for harm is plans by some local councils
to connect their camera systems up with the police’s
prized national network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, an act which will make it particularly
simple to scrutinise the movements of targeted individuals. Speaking of targeting, don’t let us forget the practice
of “marking”, whereby law enforcement tag individuals,
vehicles & locations of possible interest. Ever been involved in or even tangentially connected to a criminal act
or subculture? You’ve a good chance of being considered
for marking by the beast if so! Moving on (& in a disturbingly Ballardian twist), over 8% of homes in this country
now have some form of self-installed CCTV system. Perhaps the proliferation of commercial & government
systems (combined with the constant onslaught of “Big
Brother” type television) has got us used to the theory &
practice of being watched going about our daily business?
One word; SKYNET.
“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the
established authorities are wrong” - Voltaire
Over the last few decades there has
been a small but fascinating resurgence of the ancient practice of trepanation in the West. Trepanation has
been called “the oldest operation in
the world”, with the oldest examples
dating back to Neolithic Europe
(around 8000 years ago). Put in the
the simplest terms, trepanning is the process of creating
a hole in the bone of the skull, usually with medicinal or
spiritual intent. By 3000BC it was widespread around the
world, practiced from Western Europe to China, Kenya to
South America. For years this & amputation were pretty
much the only forms of surgery going, being used to cure
headaches, insanity, treat cancers, release demons & a
lot more besides. Holes up to four inches in diameter were
made in the skull of the unfortunate patient, with the likely
outcome either a nicely healed cranial air vent or a swift
death. Some poor people were even trepanned up to thirteen separate times! The early practitioners were educated
enough to avoid cutting into areas of the skull covered in
muscle, tendon, blood supply or nerves, resulting in holes
most commonly bored into the top areas of the cranium.
The lengthy (unanaesthetised) process must have been
horrendous, with around sixty percent of patients dying
either during or shortly after the operation. By the sixteenth
century A.D. the Incas had managed to improve the survival rate to about seventy-five percent; an impressive feat
considering that modern Western medicine couldn’t do
any better until the discovery of antiseptics during the latter part of the last century. “Around the time of Christ” the
Roman physician Celsus publicised his variation on the
technique, which then became predominant throughout
the Middle Ages until relatively recently. Trepanation &
other forms of skull-binding have often been practiced by
the priesthoods of the majority of the world’s religions,
with the classic Christian monk’s “Toncha” haircut said to
be a relic of the art. The procedure has steadily declined in
popularity over the past two hundred years, the last known
examples being from Papa New Guinea & parts of Africa.
As far as is known, around twenty Europeans & Americans
have so far quite literally “broken open” their heads. Some
of these are now active campaigners for trepanning, often
citing their (unsubstantiated) belief that they have irreversibly increased the volume of blood flow in the brain, resulting
in a permanently raised state of consciousness.
Bart Hughes - an eccentric & intelligent Dutch
research librarian who first trepanned himself
to prove his Brain Blood Volume theory.
Amanda Fielding - upper class British
artist who filmed her 1970 self-surgery.
Joe Mellen - self-trepanned advocate &
art dealer from the UK.
Dr. James Neidpath - An Oxford don who underwent surgery
in Cairo.
Jenny Gathorne-Hardy - English self-trepanee
Peter Halvorson - self-trepanned American.
Check Eli Kabillio’s excellent “A Hole in the Head” &
Amanda Fielding’s “Heartbeat in the Brain”
documentaries if you’re interested.
REVIEW: “Chickenhawk - Men Who Love Boys”
Director: Adi Sideman (Film Threat)
This notorious (yet rarely viewed) American documentary
from 1994 paints a rather disturbing portrait of the North
American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), “a
political & educational organisation” supporting men who
are sexually attracted to young boys. Run by a government lawyer, this controversial organisation spends it’s
time lobbying for changes in the laws regarding sex with
minors, as well as in publishing a regular newsletter for
its 1500+ members. The “NAMBLA Bulletin”, featuring a
mix of pedophilic advice & highly suggestive photos of
young boys, is blatantly worrying yet is always careful to
stick to the letter (if not the spirit) of current laws regarding pornographic content. Some of the “boy lovers” are
interviewed, both individually & in group discussion. They
generally concur in viewing the laws surrounding pederast
tendencies & behaviours as unjust, often claiming that the
victims of such crimes were either emotionally involved
with the abuser, consented to the interaction or at least
enjoyed it. One of the creeps even makes out that by
hanging around children he is “bathing (them) in a certain
kind of celestial warmth”! We also hear from victims & their
families, who unsurprisingly disagree pretty vehemently
with NAMBLA & its members’ aims.
So: another interesting yet ultimately depressing area of
our society is explored on film, not totally unsympathetically. As a final aside, it should be noted that the director is
not entirely shy of publicity, having attempted to promote
the film by inviting both NAMBLA members & a scout troop
to its premiere!
FACT: Beat poet & gay activist Allen Ginsberg openly
supported NAMBLA, appearing at their 1989 conference.
PROFILE: Love Love
What is it? A wicked independent label, based in the UK &
specialising in a range of breakcore, glitch & wonk, so far
as MPfree downloads (under a Creative Commons license),
but trust that they have some bigger plans for the not-toodistant future (many involving the Bad Sekta label too!)...
Where is it? Based in the hell of Colchester (UK), but their
acts are pretty active on the UK & European live circuits.
Why bother? Because they’ve consistently upped the ante
for their peers, with accomplished & varied releases from
producers such as Bangalore Torpedos (a Chevron alias),
France’s Doc Colibri, Judith Priest, Lastboss & many others.
Will Phuq is currently expanding his “Ketamine: A Primer”
pamphlet (available from us shortly) into book form &
needs your help. If you’re a regular or semi-regular user of
the ol’ squat dust then please do something useful - download & complete a confidential questionnaire from
You don’t have to give any incriminating details & it might
even give you a cold anaesthetising glow!
REVIEW: Dave Stitch - “Rave New World”
( /
“...written whilst living in a bus around the north circular in
2005/06 (although a couple of tracks date back to a squat
we had on Victoria Park road in 2003)”. This album was
originally intended for a CD release on Bad Sekta a few
years ago, before the usual cashflow problems prevailed.
Thankfully Dave has now decided to put it out as a free
download (both as 320kbps MP3 on Bad Sekta & as FLAC
via torrent); I suggest you grab it while you can! 14 wicked
slices of broody, mutating bass, phat as hell breaks, lush
atmospherics, gorgeous melodies, processed samples &
general sonic debauchery. Checked by John Peel’s son too,
don’tcha know...
REVIEW: “DIY” - Michael W. Dean (
Subtitled “how to survive as an independent artist”, this U.S
documentary enthusiastically interviews luminaries from
various facets of the American counter-culture, including
Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), Lydia Lunch, J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.),
Jim Rose, J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus), Mike Watt (Minutemen),
Richard Kern & Ron Asheton (The Stooges), as well as a
lot of people I’ve never come across before. Some pretty
interesting anecdotes and makes you want to get on with
creating your own stuff.
VARIOUS - “COMMUNITY” - New MP3 comp. from Bad Sekta,
featuring 14 tracks from the more experimental ends of the
electronic spectrum. Tunes from Anxt!, Coco Lantano, Dan Hekate, DJ Jiggy Biggles, DJ Wrongspeed, Igorrr, Intonamori, Kovert,
Lastboss, Mall Killer, Phuq, Queynte, Usedtobecool & weyheyhey !!
Free download from:
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