Tag Archive: the guardian


straight from the twatspace


Ah, twitter followers. Such fickle souls. To use a much more interesting example than what I am about to go into Guardian curmudgeon and all around amusing fellow Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) recently went on a bit of a (extremely entertaining) rampage on his stream after some twat at the telegraph took objection to him referring to David Cameron (in passing) as a lizard. He inundated his twitter account with people’s observations of how David Cameron was indeed a lizard. Oh how i laughed. Apparently though, some people found it a bit tedious and stopped following him in their thousands, something Brooker recounted in his guardian column that week.

Anyway, getting back to my personal perspective on twitter. I don’t have a lot of followers. This bothered me a tiny bit so i stuck a follow me button on here, which shows how many people are indeed following me. It’s been interesting to see it fluctuate, and also to note the types of people who have begun to follow me. For example, for a little while, i was getting a lot of republican lunatics, presumably because I sometimes mention those neo-con assholes. This was very baffling and somewhat amusing. I can only assume that they didn’t follow me for long. ;)

recently, after watching my number of followers climb upwards, it has begun to go down again. This i can only put down to the fact that I haven’t been tweeting much this week. The reason for this is because I am happily engrossed in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. I make no apologies for this. In fact, if you want to unfollow me because I haven’t tweeted anything for a few days you can fuck right off. I really don’t care.

I started tweeting because it enabled me to point out interesting links faster than blogging them. It was easy, it was quick. It is the only reason I am on twitter at the moment. If you are so fickle that you will stop following someone because they aren’t tweeting as fast as you like you obviously have some kind of brain damage, possibly caused when you first inserted your head into your anal cavity.


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In 1997 Arundhati Roy released The God of Small Things. It won the Booker prize (now the Man-Booker, as The independent have been pointing out all week whilst writing about it and the recently launched Literature Prize). I haven’t read it although I probably should. I reckon I’d like it as the plot revolves somewhat around the fucked up class system in India (The Caste System) – which i find equal parts interesting and horrific. She hasn’t finished a novel since.

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Now, to not follow up the winning of such a prestigious literary prize (or formally prestigious – whatever) would seem like career suicide. Frankly, I don’t think Miss Roy gives a fuck. She’s been far too busy doing more important things. Namely, challenging the capitalist and human being fueled industrialization of India, getting down and dirty in the trenches of India’s hidden war and generally horrifying the countries burgeoning middle-class by writing essays like Walking With The Comrades:

After dinner, without much talk, everybody falls in line. Clearly, we are moving. Everything moves with us, the rice, vegetables, pots and pans. We leave the school compound and walk single file into the forest. In less than half an hour, we arrive in a glade where we are going to sleep. There’s absolutely no noise. Within minutes everyone has spread their blue plastic sheets, the ubiquitous ‘jhilli’ (without which there will be no Revolution). Chandu and Mangtu share one and spread one out for me. They find me the best place, by the best grey rock. Chandu says he has sent a message to Didi. If she gets it, she will be here first thing in the morning. If she gets it.

It’s the most beautiful room I have slept in, in a long time. My private suite in a thousand-star hotel. I’m surrounded by these strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal. They’re all Maoists for sure. Are they all going to die? Is the jungle warfare training school for them? And the helicopter gunships, the thermal imaging and the laser range-finders?

Why must they die? What for? To turn all of this into a mine? I remember my visit to the open cast iron-ore mines in Keonjhar, Orissa. There was forest there once. And children like these. Now the land is like a raw, red wound. Red dust fills your nostrils and lungs. The water is red, the air is red, the people are red, their lungs and hair are red. All day and all night trucks rumble through their villages, bumper to bumper, thousands and thousands of trucks, taking ore to Paradip port from where it will go to China. There it will turn into cars and smoke and sudden cities that spring up overnight. Into a ‘growth rate’ that leaves economists breathless. Into weapons to make war.

Everyone’s asleep except for the sentries who take one-and-a-half-hour shifts. Finally, I can look at the stars. When I was a child growing up on the banks of the Meenachal river, I used to think the sound of crickets—which always started up at twilight—was the sound of stars revving up, getting ready to shine. I’m surprised at how much I love being here. There is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be. Who should I be tonight? Kamraid Rahel, under the stars? Maybe Didi will come tomorrow.

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The reason Roy hasn’t finished the novel she’s working on is because she is living a different one.

I’d heard of God of Small Things, but i hadn’t really heard of its author, not until a few months ago. I’ve become a bit of a newshound since I got my kindle due to the fact that I could download a free copy of The Guardian every day if I wanted to, thanks to their liberal licencing and API. I should be reading novels but I’ve gotten a bit obsessive about it. Right now, for a change, I’m on a two week free trial of The Independent instead. I’ve always considered The Guardian and The Independent the only two decent papers in the UK – but i’d never put this to a taste test. Now I have I think I might prefer The Independent.

Anyway, getting back to my point. A few months ago I read an interview with Arundhati Roy in The Guardian. Today, there is one with her in The Independent.

And that is the reason I have written this post, so I could link to those two interviews. Do yourself a favour and go read them, because Arundhati Roy is quite obviously a remarkable woman, not to mention an amazing writer.


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Europeans don’t trust politicians


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Europe’s hopeof a better future is faltering, as the financial crisis and spending cuts bite, according to a Guardian/ICM poll of five leading EU countries. It finds trust in government at rock bottom and widespread fear of further economic decline. Few people are convinced that the present signs of recovery can be sustained.

via Europeans are liberal, anxious and don’t trust politicians, poll reveals | World news | The Guardian.

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