Month: June 2005


19:50 LA Time on the 15th of May. 0350 in Dublin. 13:50 in Auckland. "I will not filed, stamped, indexed, briefed debriefed or numbered!" - The Prisoner Ten hours on a plane, before it drops into the Los Angeles smog. I leave the comfortable friendliness of Air New Zealand, and tramp down a musty corridor to a gruff disinterested immigration officer. Immigration? I'm not coming to America, I'm TRANSITING, sir. I don't say this. I keep my mouth shut - I know all about Guantanamo Bay. Instead, I allow myself to be biometrically fingerprinted, photographed, entered into databases - all in the name of National Security. Next! I walk around the cubicle, and hand the stub of my Visa Waiver card to an middle-aged American woman in an Air NZ outfit. Goodbye to the trickiest bit of paper known to mankind. The US Visa Waiver form is such a minefield...


Clean air, ice maidens, wild viking hordes... "North" is a web log by Barry Kavanagh, who is now going to attempt to live in Norway! Thousands of subscibers will know Barry Kavanagh as the man who interviewed Alan Moore and Thomas Truax, internationally publicized Drool and discovered that most of the internet is about Bobby Darin. "North" is about the idea of being in Norway. It informs you about Norwegian culture, and updates you on his adventures. Even if he never actually makes it to Norway, the subject of this blog will not change: it is about the idea of being there. "North" will be updated once a week, each entry accompanied by a picture taken on his phone. Read NORTH now!

"Ordinary people send their children to school to get smart, but what modern schooling teaches is dumbness. It’s a religious idea gone out of control." An interesting conversation on the P45 discussion forums coincided with an incredible article that I had just read by John Taylor Gatto about the history of the American school system. The article was in Disinformations' wonderful 'Everything you know is wrong' volume. Obviously The discussion on the forums (well, okay bitching session really) related to folks' irritation with the way in which some others peppered their conversations with excessive use of words like 'obviously' and 'basically'. Well, teachers of English as a foreign language call these overused phrases and expressions 'placeholders'. The most common example would be a long, drawn-out use of the word 'well...' which preceeds a response to a question or statement. It's entirely understandable - and anyone who has lived in a...