Thursday, October 25, 2007


Recently, while reading Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Stamping Butterflies, I wondered why no-one has ever written a cyberpunk-esque novel set in Athens. On a hill sits the building which modernity took as it's symbol of choice, while below, stretching away as far as the eye can see is the city that modernity built from concrete and ethnic cleansing.

That city is an interzone, where tourists from Europe and Asia with digital cameras and audio guides mingle with cheap immigrant labour from Africa and Albania, selling CDs on the beach and reviving crumbling Ottoman mosques. Small boats with a variety of cargoes make their way across the Aegean, and getting beaten and fitted up by the police isn't unknown.

A month or so ago, I ran into a guy called Phil. Phil used to work as an 18-30 holiday rep in Spain. These day's he's an office worker, but he missed the old lifestyle. Apparently that lifestyle consisted of a maximum of one hour's sleep a night, knowing the moves to every Steps dance routine, vodka-redbull for breakfast, and regularly vomiting blood.

So I think I've got my main character.

Friday, October 05, 2007

What Are The Politics Of Boredom?

Talk of a possible snap General Election prompts thoughts of who I'd actually vote for. One of the problems of being vaguely to the left of Social Democracy is that you don't really have anyone to vote for: the prominent alternative left-wing parties of Britain are either Trotskyists, apologists for Stalin, or a strange mixture including the above.

So Labour are the only real option, although I'm not hugely enthusiastic about it. Either of the seats I'm eligible to vote in are pretty much safe for Labour anyway. I suppose my real plan will be to vote as tactically as possible in order to keep the Conservatives out.