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Distraction

Distraction is the key to contentment: but also the reason we are prone to perpetuate this ugly farce. The empires, societies and civilisations we have built, stand on foundations of falsehood, injustice and self-deception.

Distraction is the shiny bead we offer the native before we steal his land and sow his blankets with smallpox.

Spider from Mars

My Life with Bowie – Spider from Mars by Woody Woodmansey (with Joel McIver)

Book Review

The Apollo 11 astronauts felt they were missing out somehow. Because they were out of this world, they didn’t have an audience perspective. It must have felt the same for the Spiders. In the 70s, Bowie and his entourage were not part of the scene: they were the scene. Woody’s book is invaluable Earth bound account from behind the curtain. It is refreshing to have, because Bowie himself shone very few naked lights there, and now Bowie, Trevor Bolder and Mick Ronson have left the building, it was imperative for Woody Woodmansey to put things down.

The enormity of the mystique and cultural impact of Ziggy became a perfect storm, in the timing and that, previously unrevealed to the masses, a vast, highly accomplished and original back catalogue was already in place. It really was, to a youngster like me ,as if the whole package had been beamed to Earth and suddenly classic single after classic single, each one markedly, and tantalisingly, different from the last, was released, and despite the establishments reluctance to play along, the momentum increased.

The Spiders’ contribution to The Man Who Sold the World, with producer Tony Visconti, documents in fascinating detail, that although still Bowie’s vision and voice, this was very much an album by a band finding each other’s musical strengths and exploiting a wealth of talent from all involved. (And like 95% of the material on the RCA albums, it passes the test of time with honours.)

The post Ziggy sections of this book are also compelling and it is pleasing to see that Woody has, and had, a good career. I remember seeing U-Boat at the Rock Garden in 77(I think). Although not my cup of tea, this project and Woody’s determination to do what he loved, despite the crushing blow of the Bowie/Spiders split, eventually gave the man many deserved high profile sessions and classy connections such as Art Garfunkel. He is a terrific drummer with an individual flavour and part of a tremendous mythology that drove the seventies into the creative sunlight. Those who were not there will think themselves accursed.

On an incidental note, it’s interesting that Woody says that post Spiders album, Diamond Dogs reminded him a bit of the old firm, as I am not alone in thinking that, though still a great album, Diamond Dogs would have been even better with Ronno, Trev and Woody playing on it. Discuss.

Andy Coombs (Soft Cotton County) February 2017

Egg shells

‘Increasingly, in this age of rapid growth, accelerated population and massive habitat destruction, as we eradicate the last of the large land mammals, replace ocean life with plastic waste and the microbiology of the planet is forever changed, we find ourselves tiptoeing around the sensibilities and fallacies of a large majority who are as sleeping children. We are careful how we reveal uncomfortable truths, inconvenient facts. We whisper in their presence and couch our words with euphemism less they suddenly realise, there is no Father Christmas; there is no tooth fairy. We employ cultural relativism as an excuse for barbaric teachings and practices, and gradually they wake up and realise they are no longer in Kansas but in a stinking nightmare that they have built randomly behind a veil of delusion, self-deception and self-righteousness.’

EKE

Paths to Glory

‘Standing just behind every conservationist, there are a million babies waiting to collect machetes and machine guns.’

The Noble Beast

When are we going to move away from this pervasive falsehood that man is fundamentally a noble beast, his societies good and the earth rightfully his domain to poison in pursuit of endless growth and self-propagation?

Until we face the truth about ourselves and address the issues with reason based on evidence, the net amount of suffering and torment will continue to increase.

eke

 

Stupid Design

‘What kind of a monster creates a world where, in order to survive, creatures are pitted against each other. A creation loaded with pain where even the trees scream as we slash and burn our way through the forests.’  

 eke

 

Excerpt from a novel

‘There is only one worthwhile philosophical issue in the modern era given what we know of history.’

‘You’ve been keeping that to yourself.’

‘It goes against our nature,’ she leaned her head back and yawned. ‘It’s counter intuitive. Those of us who have children, you and me for instance, are making the same entry-level error as Dr Frankenstein.’

‘Creating monsters?’

‘Certainly not. The creature is the victim.’

‘Oh, I thought he terrorised villagers in Eastern Europe.’

‘The story resonates because it is a projection of our guilt at creating life and, consequently, death.’

‘Sounds like psychobabble to me.’ I lit a cigarette and Avril took one too.

She said, inhaling thoughtfully, ‘The death of the author’s mother shortly after giving birth to her, and then the death of the author’s own baby, inspired the tale…’

‘I hope you don’t tell the first-year this stuff.’

Another level of rain fell and it drummed on the roof of the car, keeping time to the conversation.

She continued, ‘A dead child and the fallout from an Indonesian volcano.’

‘What a depressing thought.’ I watched a snail ascending the windscreen dashed by the heavy droplets. ‘Is this on the curriculum?’

‘I mean by creating a sentient creature, we have done the same thing as the good doctor. The method of creation is irrelevant.’

‘I seldom think of Roddy as a sentient creature. God love him.’

‘I sometimes wonder whether Roddy wants children himself.’

‘He’s never said. But I never said either. It seems to have just happened. And I’m glad it did, of course.’

‘I’m glad too. Very glad, now that he is back in our lives. But it makes no sense. I mean, we’re always going to be in or between wars.’

‘You have to have someone to pass the misery on to.’

eke ©