Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

October 2004

GeneralTuesday, October 26th, 2004, (11:35 pm)

I spent the weekend in Birmingham (UK) trying to avoid the nasty wind and rain by going to the Mall with my friend Will.

I hate Malls on the whole. It’s in those places where my position in the grand scheme of things is made very frikkin clear indeed. I am a consumer, and if I’m not spending money then would I please get out of the way of the people who are thank you.

It’s actually more fun to go to the mall and watch people scurrying around. To walk around anonymously and catch the shards of conversations as people pass by.

“He said if I wore that he’d fuckin dump me, can you believe that shit!?” said one fat girl who I sincerely hope didn’t wear anything that revealed any more than a plunging neck line.
“What a bastard. Like he can talk” Her friend replied. “He needs a good slap if you ask me, I think you should tell him to go fuck himself.”
“Yeah, I might.”
Hmm. Call me judgemental but I can’t see the guy in question being heartbroken over losing this charmer and her friend.

Another couple walked past debating the purchase of what I assume was a very expensive TV.
“It’s on offer though.” He pleads
“Do I look stupid to you, did you wake up this morning and think you were married to Miss Bimbo UK or something?!”
He laughs coyly and retorts “But imagine how good it would be when we play DVD’s and stuff. The thing we have at the moment isn’t anywhere near as good.”
“So what exactly are we going to do with the old one now then, and let me remind you that’s not even out of it’s bloody warranty yet – Darling!”
I’m feeling bad for the guy as he continues pleading what looks like a losing case.
“I’d sell that no problem – Dear. Plus, Eddie said he’d buy it.”
“Hang on, I thought you’d only just seen it just now.”
“Well yeah, but Eddie said…”
“How did Eddie even know about you selling the other one if you only just saw it?”
They take to the elevator and I don’t follow. Though I assume the new TV or whatever it was didn’t end up getting purchased.

A little girl to her father who is waiting outside a lingerie shop.
“It’s pretty that isn’t it Daddy.” She points to the skimpiest pink lingerie on a mannequin in a rather provocative pose. The Dad looks at the mannequin and raises his eyebrows obviously understanding the suggestion of the pose.
“Yes, that’s very pretty.” he replies returning his attention to a leaflet he’s reading.
“Mummy likes those doesn’t she Daddy?”
He takes another look at the mannequin then with a smile on his face says to his daughter “We can but hope darling, we can but hope.”

Conversation dipping is a fun way to kill an otherwise dull few moments in a busy shopping mall. I’d highly recommend it.

Picture taken by me in Selfridges department store in Birmingham’s new ‘Bull ring.’

I’ve written some other ‘people watching’ material at my ‘real’ website. See…
Tickets please – Finding inspiration on the 16:34 to Liverpool.
On a bus to Seattle – My trend of writing on while in transit continues.

Faith & Religion and PoliticalThursday, October 21st, 2004, (6:14 pm)

I was watching the news tonight when, in the coverage to the run up to Americas election, some people in an Arizona Church were asked about Bush and The War Against Terror (otherwise known as T.W.A.T. for short).

They gave their full support for Bush citing that he was “God’s President” and that by going and waging war on Iraq he was “spreading the word of God.” They were then shown all standing in a circle, in their frumpy fashions, and praying aloud asking the good Lord to put his chosen president in place to lead America.

The brief storey then showed the people that style left behind all standing around singing and clapping out of tune to some old praise song being banged out of an equally old piano by an even more old lady.

“Is this war more or a crusade do you think?” asked the interviewer to one female member of the congregation.
“Well of course! This is about proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ, bringing the gospel to a part of the world that has been lied to throughout history.”
“Would you then describe this as a Holy War?” says the interviewer
“Absolutely.” is the quick and decisive response from the woman.

I could only sit there shaking my head in disbelief. This isn’t a Holy War, this is supposed to be a war about freedom and liberty, though most agree that to claim that is to ignore the obvious facts that this seems to be a war more about oil than anything else. After all, if America and Britain were so concerned with the freedom of Iraq under the oppressive dictatorship, then how come those countries haven’t yet started military action against China? Why was it America remain tight liped and uninvolved about the situation in Sudan?

Say what you will about this war, but surely the last thing it’s about is religion. And surely that’s the last thing it should be about too. This isn’t a Jesus -v- Allah showdown and making it that would make an already volatile and seriously out of hand situation far graver than it already is.

The Christians interviewed in the news story claimed that God was on their side. The interviewer then asked if that wasn’t exactly what al-Qaeda have repeatedly claimed. The answer is of course yes.

God himself has yet to come out and publicly comment on who’s side he’s on. But my thought is that God, whichever team he plays for, must surely not be in favor of any kind of war? I mean if God isn’t a peaceful leader/creator then heaven isn’t going to be the wondrous bliss we’re all looking forward to.

Of course as America gets ever closer to polling day the rest of the world is looking on, much of it hoping that Bush will be ousted from the currently less than White House. Bush has fudged foreign policy in his four years at the wheel. He’s upset numerous countries, many of whom (including the UK) were, and still are, considered friends and allies. His unwinable war has created more problems than it has fixed, and he’s a card carrying oil man. Having said that though, maybe America (and the world) should give him a chance to ‘fix’ the things he’s so badly broken.

Kerry is popular across the world more by default than by virtue. He’s popular mainly because Bush is so intensely hated. We know very little about him. The bumper stickers I’ve seen in the United states with slogans such as “Anybody but Bush 04” may be funny, but is it really a considered and sensible thing to simply vote for ‘the other guy’ just to get ‘the present guy’ out?

Whatever happens I hope it won’t turn into the farce that we saw in the Bush -v- Gore vote, where America looked utterly pompous on centre stage of the world. And if Kerry does get in, I wonder, will the happy clappy Bush supporters stand behind Gods decision? Who knows, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Why Christians should vote
George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism
Why Christians should not vote for Bush
Commical Florida voting machine video

SportsThursday, October 21st, 2004, (2:23 pm)

Taken at the game where the Red Sox opened a big ol’ can of whoop ass on the Yankees. What do you suppose thise guy was saying to the Yankees fan?

An example of overly biased journalism, but who cares!?

SportsWednesday, October 20th, 2004, (10:37 pm)

Okay, nearly 1:30am here in England, and I am about to sit and watch the RedSox play the Yankees in a game that could see them going to the World (that’s a joke) Series.

Monday nights game went on to 12 innings but Channel 5 who were showing the game here could only show it until 6am at which point they had to go to the daytime TV schedule. That was at the start of the 11th – how frustrating! Tuesday’s game wasn’t shown here at all, and if tonight goes to beyond the expected time… Oh heavens, I don’t even want to think about it.

The stupid thing is I actually don’t really understand baseball at all! I’m a Brit for heavens sake! We play Cricket and when we get people out we clap and say things like “Jolly good old chap.”

I do love going to Baseball games though. I’ve been to a few in Boston and a couple in California. I love that atmosphere, despite the fact I never really know what the heck is happening.

Back in 1999 I went to a RedSox game with friends in Boston and I recorded the experience and made a little radio show then threw it online. It’s still online so feel free to hear an Englishman get really very confused about the absolutely American ball game. It’s not cricket, that much is certain!

Reality Radio at the RedSox game

GeneralFriday, October 15th, 2004, (3:37 pm)

A while back I wrote an article on my real website about how pleased I was to have decorated the living room in my apartment (pictured above). I’m still really pleased with the room, it’s a really cosy place that is often full to the rafters (what are rafters I wonder?) with friends drinking tea and chatting in the warm glow of the soft lighting. It’s a massive improvement on what was there. In fact I was so pleased I created a web page just so I could show my friends in far flung corners of the world!

However I am worried that I have developed an unhealthy interest in things that aren’t usually the typical domain for a man. I find myself walking by shops and going in to look at cushions and throws. I catch myself leafing through the pages of the Autumn Ikea catalogue. It’s a worrying state of affairs.

Indeed, the other day, for no apparent reason I went to Ikea and bought a bookshelf unit for my studio. What was wrong with the piles of CD’s stacked on the floor against the wall I ask!? And while there I spotted a few things I’d like to put in my red bedroom.

I think I am showing signs of being a closet flat-packer (no pun intended). There doesn’t appear to be a support group I can join either. But we all know becoming a ‘flat-packer’ is a slippery slope. Moral depravation starts at Ikea because we all know when you get the flat-packed furniture home you find new and interesting ways to cuss as you try to make sense of the ridiculous instructions that never seem to relate in any way to the thing you’re trying to build.

I’ve started a blogring to unite those of us whole are struggling with ‘flat-packing’. We know who we are. of course though, I doubt anyone will ever join the ring because of the deep seated shame that comes from admitting ones furniture is merely chipboard with a posh veneer. But if you are a flat-packer too, then know this, there is help out there. You’re not going through this alone. – Kick the habit, Join Flat-packers annoymous – stay away from

Ikea generation
The evidence
Join Flat-packers annoymous

Faith & Religion and Found on the webFriday, October 15th, 2004, (3:02 am)

Okay, as if to prove my last post wrong I find this picture on evenstar7’s Xanga site. (I found her via my friend Erin’s Xanga site.

It’s nice to see that picture, quite apart from being very funny it comes at a time when I am feeling particularly dissapointed in Church-goers and the lack of humor, love and understanding. I just hope the people of this particular Church saw the funny side as much as I am sure everyone else did. :)

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