You are viewing kruku

13 April 2015 @ 07:34 pm

Done loads of springcleaning and got headache from all the dust but feeing good until I heard that our landlords have just fined us for have having parties! According to neighbours, some of whom I have met, insist we are all sqautters and shouldn't be living here now claim we are having a wild old time. We are not and we aren't. How likely is it delusional tories could get their facts wrong about us making a lot of noise when we're next door to a Territorial Barracks that drill cadets until very late and throw loud events well past midnight. I don't suppose the night club next door to the Territorial Barracks could be the culprit either(:

Change of venue!

Our next meeting we will be meeting in the Holland & Tringham pub from 19:00. 

Everyone is welcome. The pub is a cheerful busy venue that provides coffee tea and cakes as well as alcohol. So please turn up for this holiday Streatham Graphic Novel Readers Group meeting for a chat about comics & graphic novels.on Bank Holiday Monday the 6 April.

Holland and Tringham
107-109 StreathamHigh Road
London SW16 1HJ
Printable Map

Cross posted to lambeth_comics & our Facebook Group
08 March 2015 @ 09:41 pm

I got up early to clean the front drive/yard again today. It's too packed with parked cars during the week to anything done so Sunday is the best day to do it. There were two car spaces empty I had not cleaned before so I was keen to get on with it. Even so it took me the best part of three hours to clean up two car spaces. The rubbish and debris is so thick on the ground it hides ancient beer cans buried deep within it.

So I was scraping the muck and rubbish up and sweeping it into piles and shifting the piles into refuse bags when a gentleman, dressed in sloanie country kit, walking his tiny pedigree dog stopped to cross examine me. By his manner he obviously felt he had the right. I was bemused but not unhappy about being approached since it gave me an excuse to slack off and catch my breath. We talked about the state of the front yard and why my landlords have not done anything about it. Apparently it impringed on his and his friends' & neighbors' sense of rightness. He and his friends & neighbors, even though they lived at some distance to us, have complained to the council about the poor state of my apartment building's front yard/drive on numerous occaissions. I did wonder why it never occurred to them to approach the residents or the landlords, whose address is plainly posted on the front of the building. I was happy to inform the gentleman of our landlords and of our, the residents, responsibilities.

At some point I described my landlords to him as neoliberal to emphasise their capitalist motives. He was unaware of the term. I informed him that it was an economic philosophy and he suggested I was wrong since he was educated in economics and had never heard of the term. When I suggested it was well known and Margaret Thatcher and General Pinochet were great fans he held up his hand to my face and said "I'm afraid we'll have to part". That's when I realised he was one of the "party faithful". He was a Tory but he also was one of those people that refused to read or listen to anything that suggested that an extreme right wing government was anything but beneficial. I could quite imagine him as a faithful follower of Hitler in 1940's Nazi Germany and terribly confused when he, along with many German citizens, were asked to account at the end of the war.

I don't think some people can be negotiated with until they are aware they've completely lost any chance to advance their ideology.

The Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club is/was a webcomic created in the manga style by Toril Orlesky (alias Starlock) and Katie O’Neill.

The Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club came under fire from manga fans for not being authentic. I had no idea what was happening bar the fact that "Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club" was being criticised as the contreversy raged so I kept out of it and my comments to myself. Quite wisely as it turns out :)

The thing that has struck me in the ongoing debate was the question can "white people do manga?"

Well, no. Not unless they've spent some time working and living in Nihon (Japan) or have spent a lot of time socialising & working with Japanese people and communities in the west. Why these conditions? Because a "manga" is a "Japanese comic". Most all manga's I've read are rooted in the Japanese perspective of Nihon (Japan), society, the future, technology, etc, etc... So unless you are very familiar with Japanese culture and it's people you are going to be struggling in an art form where your work is going to compared to that of accomplished manga creators, often of a very professional standard, who have been raised in the culture.

Is it offensive for white people to exploit other cultures in their art? It is no more offensive for white people to create manga than all the Japanese mangas that are set in some Dick Van Dyke Anglo-Euro setting are offensive to me. I am aware that these mangas are some artists creation and they have a right to express themselves no matter how much some of it makes me cringe. A few cartoonists in Paris paid for the freedom of expression and the right to cause offense with their lives this year. Anyone can write or create anything they please. It's called freedom of speech. You're a fool if you don't a defend it but a fool if you flaunt it to no end.

What white people who have little experience of Japan can do is create comics in the style of manga. Adam Warren did years ago. It has been called "pseudo manga" or "world manga" . Bryan Lee O'Malley has built a career out of "world manga". The likes of O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim" & Warren's "Bubblegum Crisis, Grand Mal" & "Empowered" are recognised and respected (in the west , if not Nihon) as a homage to manga. But what Warren and O'Malley have both done is set their story worlds in the future or the west. Which sidesteps the issue of patronising other cultures.

Should Toril Orlesky and Katie O’Neill have quit? I would have reccomended a reboot of The Shounen Breakfast Club. They suddenly had an world wide audience of critics including Japanese manga fans, regardless of any hostility. It's the sort of response publishers' market research people dream about. They could have accepted the criticisms, respected their, new found audience, no matter how rude and used whatever feedback they were getting to change the Shounen Breakfast Club. Personally I would fielded the idea that the manga style be kept, for the majority of the characters to be occidental even if it meant changing them and the story set it in the future, in New Zealand, Australia or on the Moon.

I wish Toril Orlesky and Katie O’Neill all the best and I hope they learn from this and go on with making comics and art.

X-Posted: lambeth_comics
06 March 2015 @ 02:09 pm
Nothing sells papers like hater polemic. Or that is, at least, what the big news media seems to think.

Polly Chowdhury tortured & killed her daughter because she believed it would set her free to have a relationship with Kiki Muddar. Look how that turned out(: Both women were partners in the abuse and killing of Muddar's Daughter, Ayesha Ali. Those are the facts. They are evil? Possibly. They are emotionally or mentally ill? Certainly.

But what neither of them is, are witches. Neither does being lesbian or homosexual give anyone any sort of magical powers, evil or otherwise, to influence other people, be they homosexual or otherwise.

The Telegraph: Mother who killed daughter, 8, with 'sadistic' lover jailed

So what is the The Telegraph’s slant on this? Kiki Muddar was “A mother who abused, tortured and killed her eight-year-old daughter while under the spell of her sadistic lover…”
So for the cheap seats, homosexuals have no special magical powers to seduce or influence people (much as some of my friends wish they had). But using the language of witch-hunters “…under the spell of her sadistic lover” is only designed to inflame prejudice and hate. It is not objective reporting. It is a contemptible attempt by News Media to profit from convincing ordinary people that hating a minority is acceptable and good.
04 March 2015 @ 10:07 am
My sister has just come out of Guy's Hospital after emergency dental surgery. I went to her flat for a sleepover to comfort her and to cook some homemade soup to make sure she has something to eat. When I got there, despite all the dire messages of awful wounds, of blood and pain and starvation, she was reclining on her sofa eating biscuits and chortling at the antics of TV soap drama characters. I cooked the soup and settled down for the night. This morning my sister was dead set on going to work so I got up at 07:30 to pack the soup for her lunch at work.

When my sister came back from taking her cat, Magic, out this morning she brought back a stray, "Sweetie".

Sweetie is  a woman of a venerable age my sister found crying on the stairs and brought her into her flat to look after her. Sweetie is the mother of a disabled man who has thrown her out of his sheltered housing several times in the past. The disabled son has now moved to a permanent sheltered housing from his temporary flat at the sheltered housing block where my sister lives. He has chosen to make no accommodation to place his mother in his new place. Sweetie has been living off her son's disabled benefits and keeps finding ways to insinuate her way back into her son's apartment, mostly by crying outside her son's apartment and lying to neighbours, carers, social workers and sheltered housing managers who let her into son's residence. Sweetie has been doing this for decades. The woman has been the only able bodied person with access to three of her son's previous apartments when they inexplicably caught fire.

My sister will refuse to watch the news of people in serious need or sign any petitions because "it's horrible" but she loves being at the center of anybody elses' drama. Which means I now have to stay in my sister's flat to keep an eye on the woman until my sister gets back from work. I told my sister that there were chores needed doing, curtain rails need fixing and cleaning neglected during her illness so I would be around until my sister gets back. Part of my chores today also include disabling the gas cooker (just in case). Fortunately my sister's desire for drama does not extend to taking in the woman full time. But These affectations are a worry for me because now my Carer's Allowance has been suspended I can not be at her side 24/7.

One piece of good news; my sister now has the psychologist/psychoanalyst counselling sessions that she was due to have two years ago. Hopefully my sister will be relating her good works to her counsellor :P
01 March 2015 @ 01:29 pm
I finally got my act together to clean the front drive/yard. I changed into some work clothes, grabbed my new yard broom and some bin bags and went downstairs.  I started out OK although squeezing between parked cars to bag up bottles cans & cartons was irritating. Then I started on the business of cleaning up the bin area and all the crap that had accumulated around the parked cars. It is very sunny this morning but it is also very windy so every time I managed to shift some leaves, rubbish and inches-thick humus the wind blew it all up into a cloud of filth and debris!
Yay for nature!! :P

My enthusiasm for the task of cleaning up the yard waned as my emerging apartment building mates encouraged me with cheery waves while feeling the vicintity to avoid being roped in to do anything onerous. Also my homeless neighbour's astute observations on my progress against the wind didn't help. "you didn't want to do that"   ...I think I might have another go tomorrow :(
28 February 2015 @ 07:07 pm
Big business has been trying to "privatise" the Internet for decades.

BoingBoing: Net Neutrality wins
Rob Beschizza

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just made a decision that the Internet is a "utility" necessary for living and modern commerce which makes it very hard for big business to charge whatever the hell they like for any Internet services.

AT&T declared it was not investing in high-speed fiber Internet until net neutrality rules were decided by the FCC. But it was obvious to all that this was the act of spoilt brat who was threatening to take his ball away unless everyone played by his rules.

Now the FCC has just handed down its ruling Internet users are relaxing, sighing in relief as the big bad corporate dinosaurs have seemed to acquiesce to us smaller, quicker internet savvy, mammals. But I believe the corporates seemingly weak play was to lure us all into a false sense of security. The FCC decision that the Internet is a "utility" plays to the corporates A game.

The Corporates' A Game, their other strategy is ready to be engaged; the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Congress wants to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Maira Sutton

This is the result of a Neoliberal "Free Trade" philosophy which is being broached as legislation under many names in many different countries. TTIP & CETA in Europe are just two I know of. In the United States right now the US Congress is trying to rush through the Trans-Pacific Partnership which would end a free Internet.

How? Why?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership ensures that any government has to allow bidding to outside contractors for any government services or "utilities" or face being sued by a private company. That means the biggest corporations (or their subsidiaries) can bid what they like for management for any service or "utility" and if they don't get it they can sue the pants off the government. Larger corporation can easily afford the lawyers but ironically this is called "Free Trade".

Naturally any government is going to hand over said contracts rather than pay out millions everytime Murdoch wants to buy up a publicly owned TV station. Remember I mentioned the Internet is now a "utility" in the US. That means if the Trans-Pacific Partnership goes through Murdoch can just snap up the majority of the service contracts, hold the rest of the US Internet services hostage, and we'll all be watching twenty minutes of Fox News and adverts before we can proceed to the internet site we want. But that is in the US? Yeah, well in Europe we've got the TTIP & CETA. So once any country legislates these "Free Trade" agreements it will be easy for companies the size of AT&T and News Corp to snap up local "Free Trade" service agreements.

The thing is, yes, the Internet is under threat. As are the roads and water and hospitals and other absolutely essential utilities. But the neoliberal "Free Trade" philosophy favoured by corporates is to engineer acquisition of management of these publicly owned resources, one hospital, one school, one rail system at a time with "Free Trade" deals. So everyone is absorbed in their local private battles fighting off "Free Trade" agreements to acquire their school or hospital or in this case national Internet. Very few people are fighting all the "Free Trade" agreement strategies or are aware where to find the information on how to do so.

The best way to disrupt said "Free Trade" agreements and legislation? Support every defence against every "Free Trade" acquisition and the laws backing them up and to "share" this info with all those fighting "Free Trade" agreements; The enemy of my enemy is my friend

What can I say? Fight the power!

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Congress wants to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Tweet at Congress leaders to oppose Fast Track for TPP

UK & Europe:
Self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative
against TTIP and CETA
27 February 2015 @ 07:57 pm
My homeless nieghbour was back on my doorstep this afternoon when I got back to make my lunch. He looked well rough. I asked if he was shaking from the alcohol or the illness he had been suffering from. I didn't tell him but if he ever gets that ill on my doorstep I'm calling an ambulance. I offered to cook some soup for him. He accepted. I cooked up up two portions of my Leek & Potatoe soup and took a bowl out to him with some nice bread when I'd finished my lunch. He doesn't like coming into the building and I'm OK with that since my contract says I can't anyway and I can't trust my apartment building mates not too inform on me to the building managers. So we shared a lunch, sort of. It's still too cold for me to sit outside to eat^^ I gave him the spare change he asked for as I was leaving. I'm not that soft but if his shaking was any indication his hangover must have been excrutaiting so I gave him enough for a tinny.
26 February 2015 @ 06:21 pm
My homeless nieghbour is back. He is back sleeping in the cars parked by a cheeky local motor-repairs garage in my apartment building's driveway/car park. I was accosted by Richard, my homeless nieghbour, late last night as I was going into the nearby open-all-night garage shop for last minute groceries. He had a handful of change and wanted me to help him shop for an expensive microwave meal he obviously didn't have enough money for. I knew he was trying to con me but I chipped in for his meal anyway because he has been very ill and it is cold. We walked back to my apartment building where I microwaved the meal and brought it back out to him. He had moved cars again to avoid being assaulted by the garage owner but was too drunk to remember to tell me which car he had moved to so I was prowling about the cars knocking on the dirty windows with a steaming plastic box of Malaysian curry in my teatowel shrouded hand. I found him eventually. He wanted a drunken natter but I was tired and it was cold and I was in shirtsleves. I gave him his meal. He was gone this morning. I hope he's all right but he's going to have to settle for whatever I've got in the freezer in future.