Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Friday, February 04, 2005

Two broadcasts by the BBC

Well, for anyone who missed the broadcast of Chain Reaction which I recommended yesterday, it is currently available on the BBC Radio 4 "listen again" page (under 'C', obviously) where, like all their programmes, it will be archived for a week before disappearing completely (well, at least until the much-anticipated BBC Creative Archive website goes live... a project that seems sadly destined for a number of delays due to legal wrangling. But we live in hope.)

I really do recommend giving it a listen if you're at all interested in either Eno or Moore, or if you're a fan of Roxy Music or Bowie's late 70s work (I guarantee you'll never listen to "Heroes" the same again after hearing the last couple of minutes of this interview). But aside from the great anecdotes, the conversation centres on the creative process, and Eno's views on the subject. Interesting stuff.

Favourite line:
I started having a mid-life crisis when I was about eighteen. And it's really just continued ever since...

Veering suddenly onto an entirely different subject (the only common thread being the BBC), I'd like to raise a quick objection to something said on Question Time last night. Question Time, for those unaware, is a weekly political show in which a panel of 5 politicians and other influential people get asked questions by a studio audience. The audience is self-selected, the panelists unaware what the questions will be (though it goes without saying that they're generally on current events).

One of the panelists on last night's show was Lord Stevens, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner. He came across as a fair-minded, astute, honest and intelligent man. I actually know very little about him, so can't say whether or not this was merely an elaborate charade. However, I found one of the things he said particularly objectionable. I don't have a transcript, but I'll paraphrase as honestly as I can. On the subject of terrorist suspects being held indefinitely without trial, he said: "of those currently in detention (at Belmarsh Prison), I can personally guarantee that they are all dangerous people about whom I have no doubts whatsoever of their threat to this country".

Well Mr. Stevens (Lord? LORD!? You seem to be a good bloke and all Stevens, but I don't call anyone "Lord" just because some descendent of a murdering tyrant says I have to), it's all very well for you to say that. But for the decade and a half during which the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six lay innocent in British jails, there were reasonable-sounding men; astute, intelligent and apparently fair-minded men; who told TV cameras with incredible sincerity that they had no doubts about their guilt.

And if it's OK with y'all, I think I'll just tag a couple of good links on to the end of this so you have somewhere to go next...

First there's the great collection of links and quotes on the current situation in Venezuela over at Chicken Yoghurt (my favourite flavour after Strawberry).

And then the consistently excellent George Monbiot brings us this analysis of the US media.


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