March 29, 2005

No comments

You're reading this because the last time I clicked on one of my comment sections I got this message:
If you are seeing this web page it's because Moveable Type comments have been disabled on the server your site is hosted on. The server was hit so hard by Moveable Type spammers that either the load on the server is out of control or it crashed and had to be rebooted. All mt-comment.cgi files will be disabled until the spam attack stops.
Needless to say, the spam attack shows no sign of stopping. So, comments are off - which is a shame. I've already had to turn off trackback for the same reason.

Did I ever tell you how much I HATE spammers?

March 24, 2005

Early learning

At the breakfast table this morning, Spud (who's just turned seven) leans across to his ten year old brother and says: "Go on then, give me some algebra - don't make it too hard."

I had to step in after I saw the glint in the Big Fella's eye - he was working up a doozy of an equation for his brother to solve. In the end, he settled for 3x+2=11, which Spud reckoned was a little too easy.

Where do they get it from? At a guess, I'd say their older brother has been sharing some of his book learning with them. Maybe he's been running math seminars for them in between their mammoth Play Station sessions.

Still, it makes a change from the usual breakfast time conversation; I was getting a little bored with comparative theology.

March 22, 2005

Race relations

Is the promotion of multiculturalism, together with increasing racial awareness, producing a racialist society dominated by identity politics?

Andrew Anthony, writing in today’s Guardian, seems to think so. I'm inclined to agree.

Kenan Malik has been saying much the same thing for some time.

For those interested in an anthropological take on the subject, I strongly recommend Peter Wade's recent paper on hybridity theory and kinship thinking from the Manchester Anthropology Working Papers.

March 19, 2005

Last Supper

Visiting a friend's house earlier in the week, I noticed he has a print of 'Last Supper' by Cornell Barnes.

We sat there starring at it for a while, trying to figure out who's who - couldn't get more than four: Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

So, who are the other guys?

March 14, 2005

Movie trivia

After I posted that last entry, Mac mailed me a link to the IMDB’s bio of James Cagney. And, here’s something I didn’t know, Cagney spoke fluent Yiddish.
According to his authorized biography, Cagney, although of Irish and Norwegian extraction, could speak Yiddish since he had grown up in a heavily Jewish area in New York. He used to converse in Yiddish with Jewish performers like Sylvia Sidney.

Mistaken identity

So, last night, my mother phones to tell me she’s Jewish. She’s just finished reading a book about a North London Jewish mother and is struck by the similarities.

‘I never realized I was so Jewish.’
‘What, Mom! The Yiddish, the mannerisms, your attitude to chicken soup – these weren’t clues for you?’
‘But I never realized!’
‘Mom, when I was growing up, I used to call you my Yiddishe Momma!’
‘Yes, I suppose. But so Jewish?!’

After the call, Mac says to me: ‘You know, I only heard half of that conversation but it made perfect sense to me. Apart from one thing - your mother’s not Jewish.’

‘I know. I know. But sometimes she needs reassuring.’

March 10, 2005

On a lighter note

PooterGeek's Future News service presents Fiskistan - 'the forgotten front in the so-called War on Terror'.

March 08, 2005

A class apart

Anyone else thinks it's strange to see the head of the Commission for Racial Equality calling for separate teaching for black schoolboys?

And, just a thought, anyone know any kids (boys, girls, black, white or whatever) who think this would be a good idea?

March 07, 2005

Catching up

I celebrated my forty-fifth birthday last Tuesday.

Mac and I went to see Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion play.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting. I was keen to see them mostly because Sarah Lee is the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie/daughter of Arlo.

It was a good gig - easy listening all the way, a mellow blend of folk and country that had me tapping my feet and thinking of home. We had a real good time.

I got to talk with Sarah Lee briefly after the show. Predictably, I had only one question: "How's your Dad doing?"

Turns out, he's doing fine. Remember the Church from 'Alice's Restaurant'? The one featured in the movie? Well, Arlo bought it and has turned it into an inter-faith community center.

Really, it's got a website and everything. Looks like it's thriving.

Only in Kenya

Joe Gandelman at Dean's World links to one of the boys' online favorites!

From which, comes Spud's new catchphrase: 'Forget Norway.'

Strangely compelling.

One sick blog

I decided not to post while I was ill (I didn't want to end up listing my symptoms and conditions) but I've had to revise that position.

Word is, healthy isn't someplace I'm going to be anytime soon.

So, if I'm ever going to blog again, I better start doing it now.