16 December 2010

Seasonal Greetings - Winter 2010

3 December, 2010 (Julian calendar)

The solstice is nearly here...and oh yeah, that holiday with the jolly fat man is next week, too. As per the past decade (or even longer)--this Gregorian calendar year has slipped by, leaving me in a whirlwind of thought and memories of holidays (vacations), birthdays and change. Two weeks remain of 2010 and I'm not even sure how to sum it all up.

I suppose I could go and have a look at my posts for the previous months and base a round-up of the time on that. I could do an off-the-cuff 'review', as it were, as well. I just don't know.

Change seems to be happening quite quickly now, almost in accordance with Robert Anton Wilson's "Jumping Jesus" theory of time and the acceleration of knowledge. On a more personal level, I changed jobs in the summer. What I do now isn't all that dis-similar to my previous gig...but it has been a change nonetheless. I actually welcomed it, as I was starting to become very bored at my last one.

Meanwhile, there's been massive protets (and some rioting) in London and other large cities over the gubberment's plan to charge students higher university fees. The Liberal Democrats, who pledged not to raise fees before the election - suddenly did an about-face and are declaring the fees 'necessary'. Typical politician behaviour, really. I can't believe how blatant they were about it, though. Bald-faced liars! I hope the protests continue.

We lost a few greats lately, too. Peter Christopherson, of Coil and Throbbing Gristle, passed away a few weeks ago. His partner in Coil (and in life), Jhonn Balance, died a few years ago--so both halves of Coil have now left the planet. 'Sleazy', as he was known, was also part of the very influential Hipgnosis design collective. Leslie Nielsen, the Canadian comic actor, also passed on. His performance in Airplane! and the early 1980s TV series Police Squad! were enough to cement his legend, but a couple of the Naked Gun films had some laughs (though they did seem to get progressively weaker as they went along - like a lot of film series). Finally, just last week, we lost the good Captain Beefheart (or Don Van Vliet, if you prefer).

The man responsible for the original 'must-have-weird-album-in-your-collection', Trout Mask Replica, has left the planet. One of the most original performers to come from the late-60's L.A. scene--Beefheart combined the blues, psychedelia, jazz and Dada into a fusion that would become a blueprint for many an outsider weirdo's band (Robyn Hitchcock and Julian Cope come to mind). He was also a talented painter and gave up a largely indifferent music 'industry' in the early 80s to concentrate solely on his art. Farewell to one of the few U.S. national treasures left.

Hey! The U.K. is now covered in snow - for those who like to live in a greeting-card world of having a 'white X-Mas'. It's the most snow I've seen since moving here almost seven years ago. Looks like we really are in for a cooooooold one.

I've not got much else to say - thanks to everyone who's read this over the past year and everyone I've interacted with, too. The M.L.A. meet-up in July was a blast, as was the boating holiday in June. Cheers to Singing Bear for his continued support and I wish him a better 2011, he really deserves it. A shout-out to my Facebook pals and fellow bloggers, too.

Happy Holidays, All and all the best to you for the next (Gregorian) revolution around the sun!