Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Democracy doesn't work

So, is anyone surprised at this news?


All these months of people saying, "We don't know when the election will be" only to be followed by people going, "6th May". But the question is... what now?

Ideally, I'd like to leave the country and not come back until the 9th May. If a group of chavs drove up and down the street yelling through loud hailers people would be calling for ASBOs yet these next four weeks will see suited strangers driving around yelling false messages of hope and then knocking on your door asking for your support because they understand you, and your problems and look what will happen if the other party get in.

It's all a load of sweaty monkey bollocks.

I always feel that one of the biggest problems we have is that it's not about how well a party will run the country. It's more about how well they "appear" to run the country. It doesn't matter what they do it's what they are "reported" to do. The media has removed the politics and replaced it with showmanship, spin and celebrity.

Then, of course, we have the fact that a big chunk of the electorate are morons. How many times have you heard people say, "Well I vote (insert party) because my parents did?" I just can't believe that these people have a vote which counts as much as people who think about who they will vote for, who consider the options. This is why we get "safe seats" and they are the worst things in politics. I live in one and it makes my vote pretty much worthless. It also means that people who toe the party line can be brought in and guaranteed a seat in parliament. From a personal point of view my parent's voted Labour and I have voted for all three parties in the past in a variety of local and national elections and for very different reasons. I try to pick the party that I feel will be best for me but deep down, I know it's pointless for the National. I know I'm in a Labour safe seat and it's because of people who will just vote the way their parents do. I'll do my bit and vote (Lib Dem this time the way it's panning out but that might change) but the chances of Labour losing the seat are really really slim and it will probably make national headlines if they do.

The sad thing is that while people have this, "I vote the way my parents vote" it's proof that democracy simply doesn't work. Add into that the spin and the way that many people absorb their politics through the media then you realise it's not about the best person for the job. These are the two elephants in the room which show that democracy just doesn't work. I'm not sure what system would work but certainly not this one.

So I suppose I write this in the hope that you'll think about your vote and not just go the way your parents did or listen to the editor of whatever newspaper you buy. Think about your vote. Otherwise it's worthless.

Monday, 5 April 2010

The 4am Project

On Saturday night I heard about the 4am project. Basically it's an idea that lots of people get up and take a photo, or a series of  photos at 4am. There is absolutely no reason for this and as a consequence I was very interested.

I heard about it from a Twitter colleague called Steph who I have met once while I was eating a lamb curry and as nice as she was it was a lamb curry. Not much will drag me away from a lamb curry. I'll probably die in a house fire because I'll want to finish a lamb curry first. Anyway, Steph mentioned a Wolverhampton meet for the 4am project at the Train Station and I regularly suffer from insomnia and thought, well if I'm awake I've got something to do. Then I found myself setting my alarm and getting quite excited at the prospect. Rather sensibly I also checked the times for sunset in Wolverhampton. Turns out it was after 6am. This meant that I would have exactly the same light to play with as I had at 9pm. I did wonder then why 4am. Just take a picture at 9, no one would know the difference and I'd be able to get some kip.

Yet strangely I found myself at 3.30am awake, camera gear ready and heading out to the car to drive to the meet. I could have walked but I genuinely expected no one to be there. I arrived at the station at 3.45am and saw a taxi pulling up. I knew Steph was getting a taxi and as the train station was closed it made sense that it was her. We met, I thought about my lamb curry I was eating when I first met her and we went about setting our gear up. Then another four turned up. There was another Dave (there's always at least two Dave's in any group - we are planning world domination), Lee, Adrienne, Steph and Dale. Dale is no doubt gutted that the "l" in his name isn't a "v". When we have achieved world domination I doubt this small change will save him.

Then we set off. Between four and five the six of us wondered around the train station, the arches, the soon to be demolished bus station, the main street and the civic centre. So what are the wonders of 4am photography? Well the first wonder is that you meet some really nice, interesting and talented people. So far the following Flickr photostreams have appeared:

From Lee
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hifu/sets/72157623642736051/

From the other Dave
http://www.flickr.com/photos/falconsandallies/sets/72157623765821416/

From Adrienne
http://www.flickr.com/photos/difazio/

From Dale
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daleshephard/sets/72157623649386455/

From Steph
http://www.flickr.com/photos/essitam/sets/72157623653644009/

And from me
http://www.flickr.com/photos/darlo_dave/sets/72157623764915630/

That's all of them now.

But also 4am photography gives you the pure desolation of a place. Other than a security guard, taxi drivers and one group of piss heads who had been in a fight, we saw no one. Being 37 I am at least 20 years too old for modern nightclubs, so I expected it to be filled with people being kicked out of late licence clubs but it seems that by 4am pretty much everyone has dispersed.

Of course, I spent Sunday snatching sleep when I could but all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one I hope to recreate.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

20 Track Mix Tape for April 2010

Not only have I remembered to put up a link for my April mix tape but I'm actually typing this in March and have scheduled this to appear as April does. It's a level of efficiency that I'm not entirely comfortable with.

Anyway, before I post the link let me explain the idea behind this mix tape. Rather than just any old songs the challenge was to produce a mix tape of cover versions. I'm not saying these covers are better than the originals I'm just saying, they are covers.

So covers ahoy:

Dave's 20 Song Mix Tape #11 - Apr 2010

Tiddle Flip