Saturday, October 10, 2015

For those not in favour of grinding the faces of the poor...

Gigs on the front page again...

Shipley Kirkgate Centre Friday 13th November 2015 

This is a benefit for the er, benefit of the People's Assembly - Bradford area - opposing grinding the faces of the poor...Round Window are also on - and others, and talking and stuff...and a disco!  

The address is 39A Kirkgate, Shipley, Yorkshire BD18 3EH - and addresses don't come very much more Yorkshire than that...

7.30 until 11pm...

Friday, October 02, 2015

More gigs on the blog front page?

I should really keep gigs to the gigs page but this one came up this evening and it's tomorrow - Playing on Woodhouse Moor in Leeds at just after noon.  In a small tent I think - a student event (I think - Beckett University, formerly Leeds Met, formerly Leeds Poly) - acoustic acts sorted by Cloth Cat.  So I thought I'd mention it...  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gig dates...

I’m playing at:
 the Plug in Sheffield Friday 18th September 
14-16 Matilda St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 4QD – 

the Wardrobe in Leeds on Saturday 26th September 
 6 St. Peters Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS9 8AH

On at about 8pm at both gigs I think.  I'm supporting the mighty CUD...

CUD are doing 2 sets – the whole of the Asquarius album and another set of CUD goodies.  The JP bit of the Leeds gig is being videoed by top professionals btw so you can come along and get your fizzog on youtube (yippy-do!)  

Though I think it’s nearly sold out.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


It seems to me that these days a massive number of TV programmes (and surely therefore a big proportion) are just freak shows.  Some of you will just take that as read but when you haven’t paid much attention for a while like I have, er, / haven’t you start noticing these things.  OK, there’s still the Blue Peter style kid’s programme (take a bow the One Show!) - but here’s my almost off the top of my head list of Freak Show TV – Programmes where we’re basically invited to point and laugh at the freaks.  This looks like a lot of telly to me...

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (and all variants)
Britain’s Got Talent
Eurovision (I trust they’ve dropped the ‘song competition’ pretence by now)
Storage Hunters
Benefits Street (and variants)
Big Brother
Celebrity Big Brother
I’m a Celebrity
The Jeremy Kyle Show (if you weren’t really with me up to now you’ll surely have caught up and on by now!)
The Apprentice
Dragon’s Den
Benefits Britain
Don’t Tell the Bride
Embarrassing Bodies
Endless cheap documentaries about strange Americans
Come Dine With Me
Take Me Out
Blinging Up Baby
Junkfood Kids
Millionaire Matchmakers
Sex Party Secrets

Are these all real?  Well, most of them I can vouch for, some of them I’ve just been told about – I do understand the attraction – the fake concern and moral indignation of the Jeremy Kyle show is actually glorious in its massive lying hypocrisy but well, best not watch…

In a world where an actual circus freak show would be let’s say heavily frowned upon, that seems like a lot of freak shows to me.  I came up with this list pretty quickly – and I don’t really watch telly much.   

Mind you, it is a few years now I guess since the pinnacle of this stuff was reached with celebrity pig wanking.  That sounds like a joke but it was definitely on – called ‘The Farm’ I think…

Now entering Harehills Chapeltown (again)

As I often do I walked home through Harehills (Leeds) recently.  Cars pull out without indicating, yellow hatched areas, bus lanes, no right or left turn signs are routinely ignored and people wander across the road within a few feet of pedestrian crossings.  Outside the takeaway shops cars just pull onto the footpath – so you can be walking up a footpath 8 feet wide to find a car 7 feet wide just sat there in the middle of it.  It might then zoom off towards you before spinning out into the stream of traffic just missing various pedestrians who were outrageously attempting to walk on the footpath. 

I nearly had a go at one driver today but last time I did that some nut job (I guess that's an American term but I like it so I'm using it!) was outraged and threatening violence.  He explained that he had had to drive down the path because the kerb was too big for him to mount in the place where he’d wanted to drive onto the footpath - he wanted me to be grateful for the fact that he was driving along the footpath quite slowly!  Yes he was a nutter, but this victory of driver rights over everyone else’s rights is so ingrained that it never even seems to occur to people that driving on the path is a bad thing to do.  If I began to stroll down the middle of the road I’d soon be told I was doing something wrong.  And you still get the Clarksons of this world whining that there are people in power out to get them.  If only!   

Hey, here's a song!

I'd like a ladder that's 100 litres in volume please...

Come on now, all you car owners and users…how many litres of boot space do you have?  No idea?  Of course you don’t, why would you? – unless you’ve sealed all the doors and windows with waterproof tape and filled it up with cooking oil or milk (that you’ve measured in advance) or something.  I guess you might have read some manufacturers guff at some point that told you.  Thing is that if you’re thinking about buying a car and want to know whether you can get that ladder / case / wheelchair / whatever in it you can forget it.  The various manufacturers’ and other websites don’t tell you.  Even the review videos on YouTube will talk about the number of litres of space in the back of a car like it might mean something to anyone.  You can of course compare one car with another – so you might find out that one amount of space measured in an utterly pointless way is bigger or smaller than the equivalent amount of space measured in the same utterly pointless way in another car – but it won’t tell you if you can get that actual physical thing in the damned car!

Actually, if you search for disability websites they can be some help in telling you if you might get a wheelchair in for example and they will give you some actual measurements in feet and inches or centimetres – but they seem to work by you putting in how big your wheelchair is and searching to find a car that will fit it.  But they tend not to let you search for the car you want and then see if a particular thing will go in it.  

So for me it was old school - as it often is.  Get the measurement of the thing and turn up to the car showroom with a tape measure to see if it'll fit.  I forgot the tape measure.  So in the modern super-duper everything on-line interconnected information age I’m measuring a boot in terms of how many lengths of A4 paper it is (I happened to have some on me) – so, I know I have 2 lengths of A4 and about a couple of inches in that particular car.  I then  measure the paper and compare that to the measurement I’ve been given of the actual thing when I get home…

You’d think that in this ‘competitive’ market some manufacturer might break ranks and try to provide this information in a way that was helpful to potential customers, but this is one small example of where the convenience of the manufacturer trumps the needs of the consumer.  And they all do it – no-one seems to have provided useful information even by accident.  This is the kind of thing that leads me to never understand how people can apparently take pleasure in buying stuff.  Mind you, this is a small example.  More to come!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

LIDL by LIDL I'm losing my love for you...

Just did a bit of shopping in LIDL.  As I left the woman on the till said 'hey, have a great day'.  I should have said 'my day was going ok thanks, until some mad woman in a supermarket threw all my shopping at me'.

I have heard of branches of LIDL where they don't throw your shopping at you but at the one in Gipton in Leeds it's clearly what they're told to do - throw it at the customer no matter what the item is ignoring the logistics of actually getting it out of the till area - and the size of the till area.  And the mood of the customer faced with a mad person throwing jars at them.

I may be becoming paranoid but it seems to me that there's a tendency for firms to think that they're doing you a big fat favour by allowing you to be their customers.  More on this at some point...  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Salad daze

Dear Bloggeteers

I've just joined the Green Party - Hurray for me. I'm feeling rather pleased with myself. Now I'll have to start going to meetings and badgering people and stuff though (not badgering in the sense of culling mind). Hopefully / probably. First up, I'd like everyone's human rights respected please - whadda hippy! But I'm a no nonesense punk hippy...

It's all very idealistic and nothing will change and all that - but it's a tiny move in the right (or rather libertarian left) direction.  I'm not embarrassed about it.  We can start (he says like he started the Green party hisself this morning...) by trying to get a couple more Green Councillors elected to Leeds City Council.  An MP would be good.  If we all whatever it is together we can do whatever it is we want to do - a bit.  See, an election winning slogan and I only joined a few minutes ago.  Inspired by the election...


Sunday, April 26, 2015

News from the future...

Got cross with the Blathersphere and its madness again on Friday to the extent that I bothered to complain to the BBC's 'Feeedback' programme yesterday...

Dear BBC Feedback,

Re reporting of Ed Miliband and the deaths in the Mediterranean...

Yesterday the Today programme spent some time reporting on something that a politician was apparently going to say later in the day.  It then went on to report on the reaction from the other parties to the thing that the politician was apparently going to say later in the day.  Later in the day other BBC news programmes reported what the politician had said and the various reactions to it.  Apparently the politician didn’t say exactly what he was expected to say (and that we’d been told he would say) and there were therefore further reports about the fact that the politician had said something slightly different later in the day to what it was said he was going to say when reported earlier in the day.

Might I suggest that news should perhaps be about things that have actually been said or have actually happened?   Or would that be a bit stuffy and old fashioned?

Yours sincerely

John Parkes