Speaking of Stand on Zanzibar, I mean, speaking of bone conduction technology, “Tired commuters often rest their heads against train windows. Suddenly a voice inside their head is talking to them. No-one else can hear this message.” And speaking of messages, a Labour MP, Simon Danczuk, was on daytime television defending the Governments’ latest restrictions on unemployment benefit. The Independent’s Owen Jones disagreed; the MP became flustered and snapped: “I won’t take lectures from you – you come from the posh part of Stockport.” The logic is unanswerable. What right has anyone got to object to cuts in benefits, when they themselves come from Stockport’s famous playboy quarter, the Monte Carlo of Greater Manchester, where Russian oligarchs buy waterside apartments so they can lounge on their billion-pound yachts in the nearby Manchester Ship canal. Nicole Kidman is the latest star to rent a villa overlooking the salubrious M60 orbital, and Lewis Hamilton is just one of many celebrities often seen dining at the exclusive Griddled Egg by the bus station. Apparently, Made in Chelsea will soon be replaced by the even more privileged Sired in Stockport, in which Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter gasps: “Oh my GOD have you SEEN the emerald on Jemima’s bracelet” while sniffing glue in Edgeley Park with the Sultan of Brunei. You can understand Mr Danczuk’s exasperation, having to struggle on an MP’s salary, and one of the most pressing reasons for their proposed 10 per cent pay rise is that at least he could then afford to live in the less common part of Stockport. Until then he seems determined to stick up for the poor, by insisting the Labour Party supports the cuts on benefits to the poor. Instead of defending benefits, he said, the unemployed should be “got back to work”, and we achieve that by “teaching them about self-reliance”. This makes perfect sense, as long as you accept that the reason unemployment goes up and down is because of fluctuating levels of self-reliance. In the 1930s, tens of millions across the world were out of work because they all suddenly forgot to be self-reliant, the useless bastards. Before long, many of them had no shoes, and luckily no one gave them any, so by the end of the decade they perked themselves up, which was handy as otherwise there would have been no one to fight the Second World War. Somewhere under the rain-shrunk fedora / like an explosion over the iconic Domino Sugar sign / or clouds of crows rectifying slaughter’s diminished ecosystem / ninety percent energy, ten percent meat / or the tick tick tick / the mask of fat I hide behind’s also a cloud of faces / add new elements to the catalog of traces: / make melody out of the pole shift, / still, that gift heat rises / the Little Giant’s watching / whatever’s lost to a field of green. And by green I mean Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, not so much an album as a co-branded multimedia content delivery platform, Presented By Samsung™ Galaxy™. He announced it, after all, during an epic commercial for the phone, and Samsung is giving away a million copies to people who download a special app. But now another, more unsettling use for the new album has become clear: It’s a massive data-mining operation. Why does Jay-Z need your GPS location? So he can cruise by on a platinum-coated jet ski, personally chucking out copies of the album? Just when I’m feeling my worst, / Coco pukes on the carpet. Right / in the middle of the entrance hall- / way. But seriously, I’m not really / at my worst. I’m okay. I’ve got / love, a dripping upward kind of / love. One with a warm fire above / and a cool, deep water below. So, / basically, I do nothing. To quote Tom, “The limits of my keening are the limits of my world.” Or do I mean “the limits of my refrigerator”? Or “the limits of my killer instincts”? Did I mention that in Utrecht surveillance cameras wore party hats for George Orwell’s birthday? An insect of a peculiar color walks to the edge of a roof and takes wing and disappears out over the water until a fish jumps up and takes it in his mouth. Her mouth. Who knows what gender a fish is til you see it up close? The human mind is charming. Open a book and study the life of ancient Egypt. Or the Republican Party. I won’t even mention the Democrats. My story is simple.
[Note: Sources: JBR, but see next; Leo Kelion, “Talking train window adverts tested by Sky Deutschland”, at BBC, 3 Jul 013, via Sean Bonney, FB post, 5 Jul 013 (“The concept has been developed by ad agency BBDO Germany on behalf of broadcaster Sky Deutschland. The presentation shows passengers on a German train being surprised to hear ads urging them to download the Sky Go app on to their smartphones to watch streamed video.”); JBR; Mark Steel, “You’re not unemployed – you lack self-reliance”, at The Independent, 4 Jul 013 via Aindriu MacFehin, FB post, 5 Jul 013; Paul E Nelson, “Another Postgarden Bargain”, at Paul E Nelson, 5 Jul 013 (as rearranged by JBR); JBR; Adrian Chen, “Jay-Z’s New Album Is Basically A Massive Data-Mining Operation”, at Gawker, 3 Jul 013; Del Ray Cross, “mcmxlii”, at anachronizms, 5 Jul 013; JBR, but see next; Tom Beckett, “The Limits (2nd take) & (last bits)”, at l’amour fou, 4 & 5 Jul 013; JBR; Jacob Sloan, “Surveillance Cameras Wearing Party Hats For George Orwell’s Birthday”, at Disinformation, 5 Jul 013 (a collection of photos); John Olson, “How to Read a River”, at Tillalala Chronicles, 5 Jul 013; JBR]