Long time no sea…..

sunrise-sea

So its been a while my friends, what follows classes as a Marshalling of my thoughts and very brief update.

So in general life is good. The last 6 months has seen the official release of my 8th studio album titled ‘Old Loves’. Its been a long journey but I feel I’m finally making albums that sound ok, sonically OL is really great and feels like it belongs ‘out there’ in homes, on Spotify, and on iTunes.

I’m currently producing the Tadley Court School Christmas CD for what will be the 10th time. It’s hard work, 1000s of cues of music to create and edit, but the end results are fantastic.  Autistic children never cease to amaze! I may post a few clips once permission issues are settled.

Another interesting development is my new band.  Currently unnamed, its a stripped down 3 piece playing all original material by yours truly.  I’m just loving the stripped down sound and the space in the music.

So what about the future?

Well on a sad note it looks like the heart of my own studio the mighty AKAI DPS 24 is finally dying after nearly 16 years of service. This means that Chris will finally have to enter the 21st century and learn to properly use pro tools. On the plus side it may well mean a brand new desk with lots of hypnotic flashing lights.  I’m currently looking at the Presonus studio live as a possible replacement.  On the down side its going to cost something approaching £3000! So if you have any spare cash from say, a prospective song writing credit legal case, or you happen to be a banker, drop me a few pennies.

Until the next time……

Spin Spin Spin………..

Spin

So following the general election, our apparent acceptance of austerity, and the green light to give the weakest and poorest a right good kicking, what are we to think?

Some may question the validity of the result itself. I’m sure the internet conspiracists are firmly in full swing with unfounded allegations of corruption and meddling. There is no doubt that it was a surprising and somewhat confusing result.

Others may look at what proved to be political genius on the part of Cameron et al, a clever balancing act, mixing deep rooted racial tensions with fear. Definitely a powerful combination.

Personally I think we are witnessing the culmination of a great social experiment. We are now a nation slaved to reality television, where the poor and the unfortunate are paraded before us night after night for our entertainment. Throw in the portrayal of anyone on benefits as a scrounger, anyone on long term sick a skiver, you can see how society has adopted these incorrect labels as truth.

The next stage is the complete dismantling of the state as we know it, some of this may not be such a bad idea, but most of it will be a disastrous destruction of the very framework of our society. The very idea of collective action may be under threat, and at a time when our very existence is threatened.

Seems like the apple is rotten both inside and out.

Run for your lives………..

Spam Spam Spam Spam

Monty_python_spam

Just a quick note to the individual spamming my blog with ridiculous comments – all posts on here are moderated, which in the queens English means that none of your posts are public or visible unless approved by me. comments sent from banned i.p.s or under fake alias’  are automatically trashed, everything else awaits approval before becoming public comment.

Be safe on the internet and have a nice day

Ofsted…….Reforms……Same old…….

fe027-cartoon-e74

So yet again the head of OFSTED wants to reform his organisation, good schools to have less frequent inspections over a single day, and the rest to undergo more ‘in depth’ inspection to ‘raise standards’.

To be honest, in my eyes all this will achieve is to make those schools that have successfully pulled the wool over the inspectorates eyes less accountable to parents and students, whilst heaping even more pressures on those deemed by edict from above to be inadequate.

In 18 years of working in education I have seen the growth of management by numbers, pupils as consumers, and education as a measurable commodity. All of these things are counter to common sense, and take valuable, committed teachers away from what is ultimately most important, the students.

The OFSTED inspection regime amounts to nothing more than an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Like the friend who says ‘lets go play golf’ and then turns up with his badminton gear, the inspectorate moves the goal posts so often that I don’t think they know what good teaching is any more.

But its even deeper than that.

Politically, in our time of austerity our government wants to attribute a fiscal value to every penny spent. This is why we have league tables for hospitals and schools.   Establish a framework, attribute its monetary value, and bobs your uncle you have your valuation. This than then be included in the countries ‘net worth’, adding to our GDP.

The problem is that we are not teaching consumers who are all identical, we are teaching people, with feelings, emotions, and behaviours, teachers too are  human  (well   most  of them!.

I think the mainstream may be finally cottoning on to the fact that these league tables are not worth the paper they are written on. They are not comparing like for like.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating the complete abolition of an inspectorate, what we need to do is to abandon management by numbers, abandon comparison between schools, and take a sympathetic look through the eyes of hard working teachers. Genuinely put the pupil first and not just pay lip service to the concept. You can have all the knowledge and teaching methods in the book, and mountains  of meaningless data,  but its all useless if you don’t put the student first. Lets cut the bureaucracy and get back to the fundamentals, the actual interaction that takes place between teacher and student.

Some things in the classroom can be measured (and by all means do so) but some can’t. Just because you cant show these on a piece of paper doesn’t make them any less valuable.

Geocentricity in 2014…Can you believe it?!

1230762235VenusPhasesSmall

I became involved in a discussion recently with the owner of http://www.genesis-creation-proof.com . This guy is a hard-line fundamentalist Christian who believes in the complete authority of scripture (whatever that means given internal contradictions and mistranslations).

I find it hard to understand how seemingly intelligent people can still cling to this stuff in 2014.

Before I go any further I want to state clearly that I am not setting out here to offend anyone. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, I myself was raised in a Christian family and still hold to many of those principals. I am not an atheist and am an open minded thinker. I am also a theology graduate and I am somewhat intelligent, intelligent enough to find the facts and make a judgement based on them.

Lets just outline the geocentric belief. Prior to Copernicus the world held true to an original Greek idea that the earth was at the centre of the universe and everything else revolved around it. The planets, the stars, the sun, all made a single orbit around the earth every 24 hours. Even some Greeks knew there were problems with this and observable data that didn’t fit this model. Various fixes were invoked involving epicycles and models where everything but the earth revolved around the sun with the sun and planets still revolving around the earth. All that was needed was time, evidence, human thought, and the telescope to knock this over.

Overwhelming evidence. The above belief simply cannot be true, for numerous reasons. Here are a few of the observable, provable bits of evidence that completely destroy geo-centricity.

Distant stars – these stars would have to be traveling at multitude x the speed of light in order to traverse one earth orbit in 24 hours. In fact if you do the calculations, anything further than Jupiter would be traveling at the speed of light, and we would witness relativistic effects such as length contraction and time dilation (and before the geo-centrists start arguing about relativity, it is the most studied well understood, and tested scientific theory of all time, keeping satellites in orbit, bending light visibly around stars, and creating gravity lenses through which we view first had deep regions of space from the distant past).

The Coriolis effect – The proven motion of matter on a spinning object. This really is GCSE science, and explains why weather systems in the southern hemisphere rotate in the opposite direction to those in the northern.

Parallax – The absence of this effect (on distant stellar objects) was (pre telescope) the biggest argument for geo-centrism. We now have space based telescopes to observe the subtle changes in angle of distant starlight.

And finally – A simple one. Space exploration, we have sent numerous space probes to all our neighbouring planets. These have not jut flown in straight lines but used gravitational slingshots that simply would not be possible from a stationary earth. The voyager space probes are currently leaving our solar system and entering interstellar space on the very trajectories calculated by heliocentricity.

There are many other convincing arguments out there….

You see its all about blind faith in the eyes of overwhelming evidence otherwise, and it is another form of extremism. That’s the really scary bit, because we readily criticise and go to war against religious extremists who want to see western democracy wiped from the face of history. Yet on our side we have the growth of the Christian right in America, who now hold considerable political power. These people believe the world is 4000 years old (contrary to all evidence) the believe in geo-centricity, they want creationism taught as science in schools, and some believe we are living in the end times and may actually be seeking to hasten the rapture.

What happens when blind faith meets blind faith, I don’t particularly want to be around to find out.

Its been a while….

scotsman

I thought it was about time I updated my blog after the underwhelming response to my previous cutting edge forensic dissection of all things internet.

In the mean time some strange and weird things have been happening in the life of this half baked songwriter/occasional music teacher….

Well most of them weird rather than strange, and mostly involving delusional drunk schizophrenics……But the less said the better……

I can now officially say that the internet is a dangerous place, from personal experience.

On the surface it looks like a beautiful playground, with nice colourful swings, a fantastic roundabout, a big helter-skelter, a fun see saw,  and some of those weird springy rocking thingys that always fascinate…..

But do watch out, beneath the swings lies the fire pit of identity theft, the internet stalker lives under the helter-skelter, the cyber bully swallows travellers whole on the roundabout, and there’s some weird looking drunk tramp demanding his turn on the see saw….. (Dont ask!!)…..The playground owner is a drug dealer and the groundsman is a tory….not sure which is worse!! (Only joking tory voters…all 3 of you)

There is a serious message behind my slavish hyperbole, just a warning….be careful out there or before you realise it you’re playground can become the stuff of nightmares…….

Now where is my Beer…..

The power of the internet…

ie-devil_03

Bill gates once said ‘The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow’, and to some extent I agree. We shop online, work online from home, communicate, socialise, share the smallest of details with our Facebook friends (don’t get me started!) and generally live large portions of our lives through the interface of a browser window.

Yet there is a darker side…..

Human beings are natural storytellers, and unreliable witnesses. Write a detailed diary and then look back a few years and you’ll be shocked at how your memory differs from what you wrote. In reality we are born to tell stories and the bigger the better. From the boy in the schoolyard who’ll claim his dad is superman, to the online blogger who claims to have written White Christmas, we all want to tell stories, to garner attention, and to create our own mythologies.

This is where the internet scares me in this ‘strange new world’. The anonymity provided allows the growth of conspiracy, an uncensored mouthpiece, and when placed correctly an audience ready to believe. Look at David Icke, sit and listen and his vaguely Marxist version of history makes great sense (Did I really just type that!), and then ‘Here come the Lizards’…….

And he still despite this has been able to establish himself as an internet cult hero, selling books by the truckload and filling halls with audiences prepared to listen for hours on end.

As humans we are in a crumbling world where truth is no longer absolute and we create our own frameworks and mythologies to exist in, we are well and truly inside Harvey Cox’s Secular City, and its not a healthy place to live…..

Anyway I’m off to the mother ship to commune with my Lizard  masters…… 😉StarTrek-Gorn