I’m going to be living in this beautiful country for the next year! Wonderful Georgia :)
I’m going to be living in this beautiful country for the next year! Wonderful Georgia :)
I’m going to do something I love: teaching!
hah. I would be interested in tasting that wine. Or terrified. Has anyone tried it?
I like lots of things that begin with the letter “T.” For example:
Tofu (**Just kidding, I dislike tofu)
[But I do like] Tiramisu and Toffee and
When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it’s too late, she’s gone.
Frustratingly it’s not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene.
I’ve known Amy Winehouse for years. When I first met her around Camden she was just some twit in a pink satin jacket shuffling round bars with mutual friends, most of whom were in cool Indie bands or peripheral Camden figures Withnail-ing their way through life on impotent charisma. Carl Barrat told me that “Winehouse” (which I usually called her and got a kick out of cos it’s kind of funny to call a girl by her surname) was a jazz singer, which struck me as a bizarrely anomalous in that crowd. To me with my limited musical knowledge this information placed Amy beyond an invisible boundary of relevance; “Jazz singer? She must be some kind of eccentric” I thought. I chatted to her anyway though, she was after all, a girl, and she was sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable.
I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction. All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his “speedboat” there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they’re looking through you to somewhere else they’d rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.
From time to time I’d bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh, she was “a character” but that world was riddled with half cut, doped up chancers, I was one of them, even in early recovery I was kept afloat only by clinging to the bodies of strangers so Winehouse, but for her gentle quirks didn’t especially register.
Then she became massively famous and I was pleased to see her acknowledged but mostly baffled because I’d not experienced her work and this not being the 1950’s I wondered how a “jazz singer” had achieved such cultural prominence. I wasn’t curious enough to do anything so extreme as listen to her music or go to one of her gigs, I was becoming famous myself at the time and that was an all consuming experience. It was only by chance that I attended a Paul Weller gig at the Roundhouse that I ever saw her live.
I arrived late and as I made my way to the audience through the plastic smiles and plastic cups I heard the rolling, wondrous resonance of a female vocal. Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius. From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened. Winehouse. Winehouse? Winehouse! That twerp, all eyeliner and lager dithering up Chalk Farm Road under a back-combed barnet, the lips that I’d only seen clenching a fishwife fag and dribbling curses now a portal for this holy sound. So now I knew. She wasn’t just some hapless wannabe, yet another pissed up nit who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a fucking genius.
Shallow fool that I am I now regarded her in a different light, the light that blazed down from heaven when she sang. That lit her up now and a new phase in our friendship began. She came on a few of my TV and radio shows, I still saw her about but now attended to her with a little more interest. Publicly though, Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that youtube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition. Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death. I was 27 years old when through the friendship and help of Chip Somers of the treatment centre, Focus12 I found recovery, through Focus I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts which are very easy to find and open to anybody with a desire to stop drinking and without which I would not be alive.
Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill. We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.
Norway Attacks News Round Up:
Above: Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg embraces Eskil Pedersen, leader of the Workers’ Youth League.
Suspect: 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, who was arrested on Utøya Island following the youth camp massacre which claimed 86 lives (at least 4 remain missing), has reportedly admitted to carrying out both the shooting at the Workers’ Youth League gathering and the bombing of the Prime Minister’s offices in Oslo, where at least 7 people lost their lives; despite his admission, Breivik pled not guilty, and told police his actions were “gruesome but necessary”; he further claimed he acted alone, saying police should “verify everything that he said”; six people were arrested following a police raid in Oslo, but were released a short time later; the police say they have no additional suspects at this time, but accomplices may turn up; Scotland Yard is reportedly investigating possible British ties to the Norway attacks in light of Breivik’s boasts.
Utøya Shooting & Police Response: Report: Breivik used dum-dum bullets for maximum injury; Utøya shooting lasted nearly an hour before police arrived at the scene; Breivik was arrested two minutes later; still had “a lot of ammunition”; local police blame a leaky boat for the delay, saying the vessel sent was “too small and way too poor”; questioned why it took police 25 minutes to arrive at the pier, Hoenefoss police chief Sissel Hammer asked for understanding “of the fact that it takes time to send out a special armed force”; acting national police chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters that waiting for a helicopter to transport the anti-terror unit would have taken longer than the 40-minute drive from Oslo.
Manifesto: “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” a 1,500-page manifesto attributed to Breivik, was posted online several hours before the attacks; in the document, which was reportedly written over the course of nine years, Breivik, who is alleged to have ties to far-right organizations, associates himself with the Knights Templar and calls for the targeting of “cultural Marxists/ multiculturalist traitors” and an all-out Christian war to defend Europe against Islam; the manifesto refers to a “Plan B” — understood to be Friday’s attacks — necessary to draw attention to Breivik’s writings; Breivik began organizing “Plan B” in 2009; a Norwegian paper reports that the document contains many parts copied from the manifesto of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski; National Police Chief Sponheim told reporters Breivik’s motive remains unclear, but that investigators were studying the alleged manifesto.
Father: Breivik’s father, who has not seen his son since 1995, interviewed in France, says he learned about the attacks online, has “not recovered yet.”
Trial: Breivik will make his first court appearance tomorrow, where he plans to “explain himself,” according to his lawyer Geir Lippestad; Telegraph: Breivik could spend the rest of his life in prison — or he could be out by 2021.
Memorial: A memorial service for the victims of the attacks was held in Oslo Cathedral, and attended by the King and Queen of Norway, as well as Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg; King Harald V was spotted openly weeping during the service; PM Stoltenberg in memorial address: “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity.”
In honor of Comic-Con.
Haha… Is that a banana runt?
Tumbl-zine: Norway Attacks
After the success of our recent piece on Rupert Murdoch, we felt that we would try this again with breaking news. We don’t have a good name for this idea yet, so for now we’re going to call it a the Tumbl-zine — a magazine article designed for Tumblr. We will update this story as the situation changes, so please come back to ShortFormBlog’s article for the latest updates. (Sources used include: Reuters, BBC, The Telegraph, MSNBC, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal)
Follow Up of the Day: The 32-year-old man arrested in connection with today’s twin terror attacks in Norway has been identified by local media as Anders Behring Breivik — a 6ft tall Norwegian with alleged ties to “right-wing extremist groups in eastern Norway.”
Breivik was arrested after opening fire on attendees of the annual Workers’ Youth League summer camp on the island of Utøya, killing dozens in the single deadliest shooting spree in modern history. Breivik has also been linked to the bombing of the Prime Minister’s office building that killed at least 7, having been reportedly spotted near the area two hours prior to the explosion. Police say he is not affiliated with Islamist organizations and likely acted alone.
Breivik has a Facebook page [UPDATE: Page has been deleted, PDF copy here (via)] on which he lists his religious views as “Christian” and his political views as “Conservative.” He also mentions his finance degrees, and the fact that he owns a company called Breivik Geofarm, which, according to government business records, specializes in the “growing of vegetables, melons, roots and tubers.”
Several days prior to the attack, a tweet was posted to a Twitter account associated with Breivik which states “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.” It’s worth noting that both Breivik’s Facebook and Twitter accounts did not exist until a few days ago.
Though his exact motives remain unverified at this time, it appears Breivik left a comment on “a Norwegian web site noted for criticism against the current immigration policies” recommending a post by well-known anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller.
He is currently being interrogated by police, and charges are expected to be formulated shortly.
I’ll do almost anything.
Cat Out Of Nowhere of the Day: Redditor mister_asdf, who says he just moved into a new apartment, walked into one of the rooms and saw this.
He explains: “One of our cats found a way through the chimney duct which we wallpaper’ed over.”
I liked it better when I didn’t know the backstory and pretended the house came with a complimentary Wall Cat.
Wall cat FTW.
So, If I drew my bones on me with a sharpie, would it be considered cheating if I was about to take an anatomy exam?
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE FOLLOWING ME.
Two months old, very good condition.
WILL INCLUDE a Nikon strap, USB cord, Three lenses, Quick Charger, Body cap, Two rechargeable batteries, and charger.
Reblogs only please. The winner will be determined by a random number generator.
CONTEST ENDS JUNE 2ND.
The reason why I decided to give it away was because I am getting a Nikon D5000 when I get out of school. If you have any questions, go head and ask.
WILL SHIP ANYWHERE.
Just got back from a late night trip to the grocery store, with greasy hair, no makeup, in my old grey sweatshirt and ripped jeans. Of course that is the moment when a cute guy picking out oranges decides to ask me my opinion on the two bags of oranges he is choosing from. Couldn’t take a picture, as that would have been creepy, but I found this one on flickr. Of a guy smelling oranges.