Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


Life on the front line part II

From Notting Hill Gate tube station, London still under tense security lock-down after the July bomb incidents (thanks to Shady Dave for the photo).
I would have liked you to have been deep frozen too
And waiting still as fresh in your flesh
For my return to earth
But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you
Let's see
You'd be
About sixty now
And long dead by the time that I return to earth
My time held dreams were full of you
As you were then: still under-age

Your android replica is playing up again
It's no joke
When she comes she moans another's name

Well that's the spirit of the age
(spirit of the age)
It's just the spirit of the age
(spirit of the age)
And that's the spirit, spirit of the age...

Spirit of the Age, Hawkwind



I pass on this responsibility today and point you instead to a poem by my favourite writer

And obliquely on the why is blogging? what's it for? theme I find an obscure blogger with a Plan and link immediately


whew it was all a nightmare


"...let the wheels of evolution turn, let them crush the weak... that's what my boss said today..." Doc O says back from selling advertising... we're both in the business of creating and adding to media litter... it's been a fucking hot day...

Found by browsing: On gooder writing: an interdiction

Found by keeping eyes on ground: £1.70, 18 Superkings, half-gramme cocaine wrapped in Lotto ticket (looked just like rubbish and only an obsessive looking for messages from the universe on every scrap of paper on the ground would have found it) [and other curious and diverse things]

There was a kid rapping at the bus stop a white one this time (the last one was some fucker on the 254 to beats on his mp3 mobile phone did I write about that? should have it was good) weird looking kid with a ponytail, cannabis-leaf baseball cap and shades... he picked up some paper from the ground, I asked him what for, said he thought it was money... I told him about the messages from the universe and he wished me well... anyway... it was a fucking hot day...

And I finally googled "mikey delgado" and found some phrase on Guardian online about 'just emerged blinking into the daylight after a short prison sentence - a bit of a misunderstanding about banking etiquette'...
oh shit, this makes me momentarily worried with how utterly sinister 'banking etiquette' sounds to me in my present state...


"...we have some of the finest right-wing minds in North London gathered in this room..." Doc O is saying... choking sweet smoke drifts out through the blinds... it is a fucking hot day...
Life and all this war as seen from London (message to the um 4 or 5 confirmed people in London who like my writing: read this, I like this...)

And I've been catching up on all the political debate the malung has stirred up with the Scrutinator and Republican friends and throwing my two bits in... Like here and here and here...


The Evening Standard says the bomb on the 30 was meant for the Northern line... But the Northern line was shut, due to a "defective train"...

Good old Northern line... Feels good to be back in North London...


Life goes on

Whatever happens, no matter how crazy, it just does. Took the number 30 bus yesterday, the route that was blown up on Thursday next to Tavistock Square, where this statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Also the memorial to "those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill". Also, I think, a Hiroshima monument and a Peace Tree. It's a real peace park. Junkies come to shoot up there and crack-dealers can rest their feet, sitting on the lush grass. So how ironic it should be the scene of such events. It's all sealed off now. (Later note: Londoners might want to take note you are almost certain to be searched in certain parts of central London, apprently a map of the exclusion zone has been published on the net now, I found it yesterday and can't find it again.)

The nearest eyewitness to the atrocities found by realgem (lazy journalism-wise, you should have realised by now) was about 200 yards away, just around the corner, where he was on his way to work in an unnamed august British institution in the very near vicinity.
There was the explosion, I saw holes and blood on the building beside the bus...

And suddenly police there... There was something strange about how rehearsed it all was... How well organised... Something unreal, wrong about it, about how smoothly they were suddenly there, cutting off the street and steering people away and not letting me past... "We don't see very much of you normally, do we?" I said to the woman copper...

[this comment should be understood in the context of how openly crack dealing goes on in the street in the vicinity, and the number of times our eyewitness has fruitlessly complained about it to the police and local authorities...]

I was happy to see Saturday's Times carried a two-page spread of excerpts from blogs reporting on the bombs and the mood in London... blogs have really come into their own...

And within a few hours of the bombs, you could find people's mobile phone footage of the attacks on the internet... The future is really almost here, the information-saturated Transmet future I'm waiting for...

My good friend the Malung, for example, finds his blog being referenced in the Italian daily La Stampa... See his post about it here and the article on La Stampa's web here... Scroll down to where it says Qualcuno saputo delle accuse ad Al Qaeda parla di Abu Hamza and you will notice it links malung-tv-news...

Targeting benefit fraud: We know when and where you commit benefit fraud. Yah right.


Mobile guerilla night-club

See my house through someone else's eyes: Paulette the psychedelic genius fascist bitch writes about Saturday's party on her new (English) blog voidwithme. By the grace of God, I avoided that one. My own party was on Thursday. Some went to sleep in hospital that night, others to bed with eyes swollen with tears and pain of loss - bodies still trapped under Kings Cross. Others wrapped in their very ordinary problems, perhaps stalking streets of East London at 5am in hellish insomnia, arriving home to find an unexpected party, new friends strangers, heaven-sent distraction, drugs that scare me.

midmorning the stupid disco is still jumping and I can hear the bulldozers over behind the high wall already starting to smash the block down and I am still bouncing like a happy idiot to all the silly pop tunes they didn't play on Saturday ... I knew things were going crazy in a bad malevolent way when it went to Wagner... almost everyone had left...
101st Air Cav: It scares the shit out of the gooks

Thank you for the waltz

Later bad thoughts come, images unbidden to mind.

The way she looked at me. The way some of them have started to look at me. Why certain doors and faces seem to have closed... And I can see so clearly certain ugly gossiping faces... "He's an alright guy and a real good friend but you know he's got problems..." - "Problems?" - "Heroin... We're so worried about him..." People recoil, whatever the real truth may be: the images are junk, syring, blood, HiV... Ugly, heavy images... This is a bad name to spread... something really evil to use against anyone, to influence with...

an encounter with disillusionment malevolence and betrayal... and a great night dancing...


War comes to London!

Terror comes to London :: Situation assessment of an armchair guerilla commander

Further advantages to working on freelance basis: Less likely to be somewhere like Aldgate station or Liverpool Street in morning rush hour when shit like this goes down.

I just started typing: I could so easily have been there when the bombs went off... But how often am I up and around in the morning rush hour, really? But those are places I know so well... Aldgate is just about my part of town... Could so easily have been at Kings Cross or Old Street...

Instead I woke up (on someone's sofa in Highgate, on the hill, far above the blot of London spreading beneath surly clouds), black coffee and valium and Marcio rolls a joint (It's early. I decline politely). Mobile phone beeps a news alert: fatalities in London explosions.

TV on just as it was becoming a news story and clearly not an "electric power surge" or a train collision... 7 bombs in London! (4, 8, whatever: I watched BBC, ITV and Channel 5 simultaneously and decided ITV definitely have the best cameramen...)

"Metropolitan Police suspect a co-ordinated terror attack on London!" (that's the Channel 5 news ticker). Ah, I feel safe now, they obviously have experts on the case. I was just thinking seven guys coincidentally just happened to be carrying bombs around central London in shopping bags, but then I realise why Sir Iain Blair has his job... Sharp guy...

Flick channels (Blair speaks... Scenes from central London... Bush speaks, Parliament jabbers... Interviewees with blood running down their faces, bodies covered in sheets, ambulances... More commentary... "Piles of bodies... Offices of British Medical Association literally sprayed with blood..." Take Marcio's joint after all. Remark it would be a good day to do something criminal as the police seem to be quite busy. Flick more channels. Who was it? Who was it? Finally... the terror expert talking heads: who is responsible? All the hall-marks of an al-Qaeda attack...

Get off the TV and onto the internet. Reuters:

The "Secret Group of al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe" claimed responsibility for
the attack in a Web site posting and warned Italy and Denmark to withdraw their
troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Italian news agency ANSA and al-Quds
al-Arabi newspaper said.

The claim, also sent by email to the London-based daily, could not be
verified and did not appear on any of the main Web sites normally used by al

I encourage you to familiarise yourself with Dave Bones's malung-tv-news... he has been documenting the story of so-called Islamist fanatics in London for a while now (for two years, to be precise...) And being an earlier riser, was at much greater genuine risk of being near one of those places at the time...
text message
From: Dave Bones
To: Mike H
Am heading south i called abdullah. Says he didnt do it
The armchair guerilla commander in me smiles. Maximum precision and efficiency with 7 small devices. Hit the Tube, hit the transport nerve centres. London grinds to a halt. Maximum chaos with minimum investment.

update and re-assessment :: 37 dead so far :: Londoners have something exciting to talk about for a day :: chaos localised and no mass panic

Evening already, death toll has climbed to 37 and will doubtless grow more. I'm assisting a Somali correspondent for some Somali news service on the next computer in the net place on B__ Rd (N7 again, for now...) attach the report he wrote about the bombs to an email... He is mildly infuriated his report doesn't carry his byline and is trying to put that to rights... Funny, that's happened to me as well...

Not reading Somali, I can't tell what his assessment is. The armchair guerilla commander's revised assessment: there may be 37 dead and thousands wounded but the transport links into and out of Central London seem to be running normally. Notes in the doors of social security and other government offices are shut "due to the security situation". Things look normal... Work selling advertising in Doc O's new job doesn't stop for a moment, he tells me, and that was right near one of them...

They hit the right targets, but not hard enough to cause real economic damage, even though the FTSE took an immediate -100 dip. London will be moving again tomorrow, and apart from for the grieving and wounded, by tomorrow everything will be more or less normal again.

Until they find the people who did it were [Pakistanis/Moroccans/Yemenis/____] who have lived here for years... Then people of whatever nation cower in their homes, in Bradford or Bethnal Green or wherever, waiting the racial backlash... Rivers of blood...

The clearest news report I could find from the general media on how things unfolded is from Channel 4 here.



It looks like it's time to split from my tribe. In ancient days, this would have been the ultimate punishment, exile from the tribe; worse than death. These days most people don't even have a tribe.

C___ the editor is saying (flattering me)... "I like your writing, write me something, anything you want... Preferably about squatting, or about heroin..." Oh God. Are you sure?

I don't even know how to begin to describe this self-help housing solution life-style (unkindly known as squatting) to anyone who hasn't been there (you might want to check this). But once upon a time (when?) I thought of myself as a part of this group, as having the nearest thing I'd ever found to family, as being part of a band of pirates, a here comes chaos gutter-glamorous guerilla-night-club-cum-safehouse for society's rejects, people who I've loved, people without whom I'd never had made it in this cold city...

The slanging match (see this) ended something like this, me speaking in Italics: [redacted]

Can anyone lend ME a XXXXing camera?

Have the same problem as the malung did a while ago. I need a fucking camera. Can anyone in the London area get me a high-spec professional digital SLR? To sell cheap, to rent or to borrow? Then I might be able to wangle myself my second ever photography job, but my little Sony Cybershot won't convince anyone...


Mobile guerilla office cubicle

... offers career-destroying lee-way for procrastination. Maybe working in an office with a boss breathing down my back would be good for me?

The best thing about working on a freelance basis: You can carefully cultivate the imression copy/whatever else gets in late due to the other pressing freelance engagements or business projects of a dynamic go-getter, rather than sheer idleness...

And my God, I still can't do this shit... I am still getting sweats and shivers... So I delegate and pass the stuff on to the work-experience girl at the publishing company office in the States that we do the UK-side so-called guerilla publicity for... I decided a while back that manipulating journalists and the media is preferable to being a journalist or making the media... I decided long long before that that working for people you never see is preferable to working for ones who you do...

[Dreams or waking impressions? These are outdated manuals, the Bible, the Quran... People's brains were wired differently then... Our nervous systems have evolved (in no small part due to information and media technology?) God was talking to Muhammad (pbuh) 1400 years ago... I'm trying to find who he's talking to now, I am telling the Muslims in multi-colour mirrorshades, who occupy all the other terminals or fill all the other screens??...]

:: coming up on realgem ::

Slightly intimidated and greatly flattered by all the professional bloggers and writers whose writing I like/admire/respect who have somehow found their way here, designs are in the pipeline for a slick realgem logo and a corporate re-branding...

Also coming: a look at mirrorshades, featuring film-maker Dave Bones and Islamist extra-ordinaire, Abu Abdullah...


Who is Mike: Part II

The highest flattery of my recent weblog writing career came when I noticed mikey fatboy delgado had linked to realgem - and one of the relatively few blogs he links to... (some people have arm-length blogrolls... How can they possibly read and assimilate all that info?... see infomania health warning...) I don't know who he is, I am thinking a professional writer, but it is fair to say of all the writing I have come across in sleepless nights of trawling through blogs it has impressed me and gripped me most.

I wrote to him after he removed all the words from his blog. I had never wrote him before cause I thought I was completely out of his league. I received messages:

hallo mike h, well the words went only a couple of days ago. i got fed up with looking at them and wanted some colours for a bit.
good luck with it all, you've done some good writing on coming off gear lately.


you might be writing from the perspective of a narrator tho. it may not be you. good writing though, carries you down the page
Yes. Who are these narrators? Who is Mikey??

And what is the evolutionary advantage of this blogging behaviour? In a Richard Dawkins sense, how is it biologically justified, the considerable (in the circumstances) time and resources Mike (or someone comparable) puts into maintaining even realgem, this humble... node... or whatever it is... This question has troubled me lately, and mikey's comments gelled with my thinking about this...

I found a validation, or at least an explanation, that satisfied me and dispatched the intellectual problem. It is contained in the book of early Pynchon stories Slow Learner I recently acquired, in the story The Secret Integration (passage reproduced here under fair use - note it was written and is set in the 1950s)

Grover was a radio ham. He put together his own transceiver rigs and test equipment. Not only the sky but these mountains, too, made incoming signals capricious. Grover's room, certain nights when Tim stayed over, filled as the hour grew late with disembodied voices, sometimes even from as far away as the sea. Grover liked to listen but seldom transmitted to anyone... Tim had never seen him sleep. He'd still be up no matter what time Tim turned in, fooling with dials, pressing a huge pair of rubber earphones to his head... Drifting in and out of sleep... mixed with dreams, cops being called to investigate car wrecks or just noises and shadows that moved where everything should have been still... all these coming down, filtering through to populate his dreams, so that in the morning he'd never know which had been real, which he'd hallucinated.
Somehow we're networking our minds, an atavism, reaching through technology back to the deep mind (the collective unconscious) like the Neanderthals and their shared mind in Jean M. Auel's epic Stone Age novels... Like Paulette says, internet in the brain...

Realgem restaurant review

Lunch at Lahore Express

Mike H wakes on a sofa in New Cross Gate in time to keep the lunch appointment with internet entity Deek Deekster.

Never mind those sneaky Bengali rip-off restaurants in Brick Lane. Further down Bethnal Green Rd I found the place… The plate you are served is something like you’d find yourself being served in Rawalpindi or Lahore… To carry on with the racist theme I introduced, these people are Pakistanis which I approve of as they speak Urdu so I know I'm not being cussed behind my back (Bangla sounds, to any civilised person, like stones rattling around in a can.)

We both order karahi bindi gosht, that is, a beef karahi with lady's-fingers or okra, a great combination karahi to have on the menu, it struck me when I came here the first time. Mike H eats with tandoori naan, Deek orders pilau rice. The waiter plumps down the customary tiny little salad (the size salads are meant to be) and raita, which a Brick Lane restaurant would add £2 to your bill for.

two statistics gleaned from conversation with Deek over lunch

#1: 36 per cent (note: someone who spells out per cent rather than typing % has probably been to journalism school) of women enjoy anal sex (source: a study in the UK 10 years ago). (approximately one-third. another third said they don't particularly mind, another third that they hate it. Deek and Mike H agree that two-thirds odds is good)

#2: 5 million Britons watch Big Brother every night. why don't they read realgem for fuck's sake?

While I myself was already fond of the place, Deek provides an objective and unprejudiced assessment as to the quality of the food and the size of his appetite by finishing about half of the bleary Mike H's portion, which even at the best of times would have left him uncomfortably gorged.

Additional points were earned by the lotas in the toilet… this is for washing your ass after relieving yourself, hugely preferable to the uncivilised Western habit of using toilet paper.

Finally, the endearing ashtrays. Note the four different-sized slots, for whether one be smoking cheroot, cigarette, cigarillo, cigar or spliff.

The decor, too, recalls a modern, efficient restaurant in Pakistan. There is no decor as such, the walls are stark white-tiled with posters with Koran verses on them. The tabletops and chairs are pleasantly gaudy.

Deek and Mike concur in their thorough approval of this eating establishment. Look, you might not want to bring a girl here on a dinner date or anything, but for cheap, solid, well-cooked food from good ingredients in doesn't get better than Lahore Express, Bethnal Green Rd. - authentic Punjabi cuisine, just like it says on the window.


Night: Whitechapel to New Cross Gate

today on realgem
Lessons in photography :: Internet addiction :: Going to South London :: The art of Arofish

Lessons in photography: Walking through the London night… Talking to street people and people out on the Friday night, dispensing cigarettes, change, cider in uncharacteristic generosity to strangers blaggers bums I know what everyone's on and what their game is and FORGETTING TO TAKE A PORTRAIT PHOTO OF THEM IN REPAYMENT. (like this:)

or this:

Addicted to computers:

It was quite late - got the strange impulse suddenly to travel all the way to far South London to meet the malung and do web stuff and talk ideas. Made my way through Friday night East London, leaving the house standing empty despite premonitions detailed below. The malung was writing to dodgy people with strangely familiar Arabic names – Mr Abu Hamza, Belmarsh Prison – waiting for one of the TV channels to get back to him about his documentary proposal (see here)…

The East London line is my favourite Tube line – a short grimy afterthought on the Underground network that takes me from Whitechapel to far south New Cross Gate in 23 minutes, via Wapping and Shadwell and the docklands…

"Vill you go to partie with me?" (Uhhmmm can we skip all that and just do it here?)

NO! I won’t – I’m going to use the fucking internet at my friend’s place, hahahaaa! (What’s this? God it must be true I’m a faggot.) Or is this is the ugly face of my racism? – I’ve got a temporary aversion to east Euros… I’m living proof that intelligent, sensitive, enlightened young fellow like me can be total racist… (My main ire is still reserved for the Anglo-Saxon nation…)

It is such a long long time since I got the chance to sit down all night in front of a broadbanded computer, smoking dope and reading blogs… And writing all these entries and putting up photos and how nice they look on a good tft screen instead of my gypsy-ass skip monitor... Addicted to the net… Even those times when I’m penniless, strung out, right in the gutter, I still got to plug in… I need it… I don’t know what it’s about… one day I will understand everything…

The eerie art of Arofish:

We turn into a low tunnel under railway arches, and with pleasure and honour I encounter for the first time in first-person view the art of Arofish... whose strange surreal story about going to Iraq to graffiti US military installations and being arrested appeared on Socialist Wanker, from where you can follow links to his own web galleries and such. (all copyright belong to him etc etc)

("she walks in beauty like the night")

Reports from the front line

This terraced house belongs to a small block including a derelict boxing club, a warehouse, a shop and several houses. Slated to be demolished a.s.a.p. to make way for a multi-m £ development, and actually, the work has already started on the warehouse, can hear it in the day… could lounge on the sofa and watch the buildings being demolished around us… the Poison Club (cider-punks from hell) are a few houses down, in leathers and spikes and soaring dinosaur spines of hair… next door the dodgy squat party (“illegal rave” is what the newspapers say) crew… vans covered in scrawled graffiti pulled up in front and in the seedy side-alley with the sound system, bar, lights, all the accoutrements of a mobile guerilla night club…

loud discordant guitar noise from a punk band practicing further down… tomorrow it will be the scum tekno apocalypse of the hackney crusties, right in our back yard… our eviction must be very very imminent… our corner of C__ H___ Rd, doesn’t slumber exactly… waits apprehensively… forces are gathering… two waves of demolition coming: first the dawn of the living ketamine dead, then the bulldozers… police sirens scream down the road towards Whitechapel… the air tonight is brooding and heavy, like something’s building, something’s brewing… impending madness and destruction…

[i must like this or something. this is my observer-created universe? more, a user-created universe? see how easily everything falls into place? ]

fuck da police!


One of the strangest things I ever saw...

I gonna take a quick moment to remind you about the web magazine Socialist Wanker... With such exclusive video features as Martin Mubanga rapping [right-click link and "Save target as" if it won't stream...] with the Unpeople in Trafalgar Square soon after being released from Guantanamo Bay... "We got no love for the American government!"

My friend the malung knows these people personally... The story is documented on malung-tv-news... This is the fucking person who is sort of responsible for me being in London, associating with Abu Hamza... Read about it on the front cover of the Socialist Wanker...

Media pundits here in London reckon that despite the constant criticisms of loss of credibility and the occasional erratic management and chronic financial problems and several other problems too, the SW is still an influential media organ, although critics have blasted it as a "propaganda tool" of reactionary forces, as evidenced by this report and readers' reactions to it. Other critics accuse it of cheap nihilistic cynicism. But to me, it really shows promise...

New ideas, new blog to advertise, lots of new books

Well, I'm here... I suppose I'll have to find something to say, then...

Paulette has a new blog in English this time, you might want to look at that... She opens with a quote from Beyond Good and Evil: "Let he who fights with monsters see to it he does not himself become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you", the Nietschzean bitch... (oh don't be like that e Paula, fica na boa, you know I like you...)

The dealer-man foned me up as I was sitting here in my virtual office (the requirements are: internet cafe that really does good caffe, and must be free to smoke...)

provisional nerve centre of operations

a very nice one on Bethnal Green Rd here... Oh, there I go giving away my location again... He's saying he got some good new stuff in, cheap... I didn't even have a moment of struggle... Sorry man, I'm taking a break, I say, and it was so easy to say it's absurd... He hangs up quick, doesn't try to push it...
Respect for that, S___ my man...

Now that I solved all my problems I feel a great emptiness... What on earth will I be able to write about? What on earth will I live for?

Something funny did just happen though... I was looking wistfully through an estate agent's window at properties to let and sell as I walked past (like I seem to find myself doing these days)... The guy inside clocked me looking, made eye-contact, made as if he were half-thinking to come out the shop to invite me in to try and sell me a £200k leasehold...

Total astonishment from me as I walk on. Realised it was the more-or-less scruffy but elegant appearance, blazer paired with good jeans and nice slip-on leather shoes sort of thing... Looking, but more importantly, feeling less the homeless junkie... Which I never looked anyway, I've got pictures to prove it... Suddenly with the demeanour of someone who might actually have business at the estate agents... Hahahaaa!

What a funny and alien thought.

I also inherited part of a large book collection yesterday. I always had a dream to start a 2nd hand bookshop... Not that I have anywhere to put 1000s of books... I asked Dr Otter (who's gonna start a blog soon) if he knew Charles Shaar Murray... He said "Do I know Charles Shaar Murray? He asks me, do I know Charles Shaar Murray..." like I'm an idiot or something. So very good, I tell him... I just got part of his library which he is heart-wrenchingly having to downsize... Can I store some thousands of books here? (Not like Doc O has the space for it...) Hahahaa! So now I have a lot of books, and Doc O has about half the floor space he used to...

Ciao for now.
Why can't life be portentious and ominous and stormy all the time, like it is when you're fighting for your sanity and there's a voiceover in your head going "London, 2005. Strange things are afoot. Fear on the streets. Anomalies. As the storm clouds mass from the west, a..." [voice fades into background static] and whatever you do, you're doing the right thing, as long as you just keep heading for the true light?

In my beautiful neighbourhood