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So busy, the Reverend has been, that he forgot to mention the second
birthday of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Luckily there was the
Holy Igquisition, sending him a memorandum on parchment paper.
And a whip. And a letter of instructions.
For the past year the Reverend tried to re-trace Iggy's footsteps and
that not always with success. Knowing that Ig had once been to a
Dusty Springfield party we asked Dusty's bass
player if he remembered her. The answer was he didn't. We asked
Vickie Wickham, from RSG! fame and Dusty's manager. The answer was she
remembered hardly anything from the sixties. We asked Rod
Harrod from the Cromwellian, where Ig was spotted dancing The
Bend, but he apologised for not remembering her.
What the Church couldn't achieve, Mojo
did. January 2010 saw the appearance of the March issue of that
particular music magazine, dedicated to the 40 years anniversary of Syd
Barrett's mythical album The Madcap Laughs. On the 6th of
February 2010 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit triumphantly broke the
news that Ig was alive and well and living in the south of England: World
Exclusive: Ig has been found!
One week later saw Evelyn's (her real name) first, and rather reluctant,
interview in 40 years, by Kirsty Whalley from The Croydon
Guardian. (The transcript from that interview, with some extra
comments from the Church can be found here: Little
old lady from London-by-the-Sea.)
But the Church did achieve something else. Margaretta Barclay, who often
visited Syd in 1969, gave an exclusive
interview, revealing - en passant - that the controversial
picture of Syd visiting the Isle of Wight festival in 1969 was genuine
indeed. Also musician Meic Stevens used to visit Syd in those days, but
alas, the Welsh proto-punk-folk-rocker had no further comments for the
Church. His memoirs reveal though that the BBC filmed a visit of Syd
Barrett at Stevens' house in Caerforiog, but that the rolls may have
been lost: Meic
The Church will continue, at its own pace, to look further for people
and clues that can explain the madcap's enigma. The Reverend recently
revealed the (first) names of two women who knew Syd in the late
sixties, early seventies: Dominique (from France) and Carmel. We would
like to see these grannies talk about their trip, for sure.
But not all people are inclined to talk about their flower power days. A
musician, who used to jam with Syd Barrett in his flat at Wetherby
Mansions, recently told the Reverend:
Isn't it time this all ends? This has been going on for 40 years now. Can't
you just let the music speak for itself?
Upgrade November 2016: this artist was Rusty Burnhill, who sadly
passed away in November 2016.
But as any Barrett anorak will tell you, it is hard to close our eyes
and just enjoy the octopus ride… now going strong for its third
consecutive year... In the meantime, sistren and brethren, don't do
anything that Iggy wouldn't have done!
Last year's birthday party can be found here: Catwoman,
containing an exclusive (and unpublished) poem dedicated to Iggy, by Dr.
Denis Combet (Manitoba University, Canada).
About - let me count - thirty-four to thirty-five years ago I was
seriously investigating the so-called UFO phenomenon. Or whatever
serious means for a sixteen years old adolescent who urgently wants to
get laid but has found out that the chance to witness an encounter of
the third kind is statistically more probable than to have an close
encounter with the opposite sex.
I was a member of the Belgian Sobeps
association, long before the Belgian
UFO wave hit the skies, and as the Internet was still a
science-fiction thing we had to rely on their magazine Inforespace
and the books, case files and real UFO pictures they sold by
mail-order to their members. They also had an electronic UFO detector in
their catalogue what made me wonder, already then, if they just weren't
a bunch of petty crooks. I must still have a Betty
and Barney Hill picture somewhere that I bought through their shop
and who were then (and maybe still now) regarded as the proverbial
Saul-stroke-Paul of the Holy Church of Ufology.
The nazi dark side of the moon conspiration
After a while opportunity knocked, even for me, and I didn't see the
purpose anymore to devote my life to the flying saucer - abducting
people for out-of-orbit enemas - enigma. But I am still mildly amused by
the phenomenon, especially from a historical perspective. Not that long
ago (at least not on the cosmic timescale) I partially readThe
Coming Race (1871) from Edward
Bulwer-Lytton, a (rather tedious) adventure book that apparently
inspired Nazi-Germany to start building flying
saucers. An internet search lead me to through several dubious
websites, some that might even be legally forbidden to consult in my
country as they vehemently propagate what I will mildly describe as
Aryan beliefs, and only strengthening me in my opinion that for
crackpots from all over the world the internet is Ultima
If I have understood it well American secret services grabbed nazi
occult mysteries by the truckload although it is not clear if they could
ever restore the phone lines to the Aldebaran
star system that became an après-guerre nudist resort for
the mystical and mythical Vril
Society pin-up girls (see image above and try not to drool). Thanks
to these secret nazi inventions the Americans not only landed on the
moon (although paradoxically enough conspiracy theory buffs deny this
but they also tested anti-gravity
engines in earth-designed flying saucers and solved the so-called zero-point
Gary McKinnon is a Glasgow hacker who thought for a while he was a Lone
Gunman on a mission against the American government. Wanting to
prove the things mentioned above he hacked into 97 United States
military and NASA
computers over a 13-month period between February 2001 and March 2002,
using the name 'Solo'.
Hacking is not really the term one should use here, more trial and
error. Consulting a 1985 copy
of Hugo Cornwall's The
Hacker's Handbook McKinnon copied a Perl script that looked for
Windows computers without a password and to his amazement there were
still lots of unprotected computers residing in the NASA and military
networks 15 years after the book appeared. One can duly wonder what
these CIA, FBI and military secret service IT security guys had been
doing in the meantime. Playing Pong,
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.", wrote Douglas
Adams in the twelfth chapter of Mostly Harmless (1992). That
quote may not be entirely his. Nobel price winner and inventor of the
Teller noted down a couple of years before: "There's no system
foolproof enough to defeat a sufficiently great fool." Anyway, in 2002
Gary McKinnon was the fool who undermined the American's pigheaded
assumption of safety. Military security thought they had devised this
big unsinkable Titanic and all it took was a entrepreneurial nerd
with a screwdriver and a sack of sugar to pour inside the gas tank.
Rather than admitting they had done an enormous security cock-up the
turned Gary McKinnon into a terrorist super-hacker whose sole intention
it was to metamorphose American secrets to putty and hand them over to
Al-Queda, who - as we all know - have been praying a long time for this
UFO technology. In consequence Gary could face a 60-years prison
sentence if condemned before an American judge. Unfortunately the UK
voted the 2003
extradition act making it possible to extradite UK citizens for
offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may
have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK.
A review of the extradition act was voted down by British parliament
although there is a growing consensus amongst British members of
parliament that Gary McKinnon will not stand a fair trial in the US.
Several charities have been raised to help Gary
McKinnon in his struggle against the extradition and in August 2009
David Gilmour, Chrissie Hynde, Bob Geldof and Gary McKinnon recorded the Chicago
(Change The World) single. The only awareness it ever raised was that
extraditing Bob Geldof to Guantanamo Bay would be a benefit for
mankind to say the least. Perhaps the US authorities could consider that
for a while.
As a Pink Floyd collector for over thirty years now, with over a dozen
legit versions of Dark Side Of The Moon, I was obviously
offended. Probably I am just being jealous here but I still can't grasp
the concept that a lawbreaking idiot with a UFO fixation got a chance to
make a record with one of the ten best guitarists of this world while moi
who has in his possession the ridiculously shaped Love On The Air
(1984) picture disk and Gilmour's lamentable Smile (2006) single
will never get the change to meet his idol from less than a 100 meters
distance. Phew, nice I have finally got that off my chest.
Last year, in the aftermath of the Chicago single, Alex Paterson of the
ambient house band The
Orb made a strange announcement:
I’ve just started work on an album with David Gilmour from Pink Floyd
which I think every Orb and Pink Floyd fan will want to hear.
The news was almost immediately downsized by David Gilmour who
acknowledged he had jammed a bit in a studio with Martin
'Youth' Glover but that nothing had been confirmed 'with regards to
any structure for the recordings or firm details re: any release plans'.
But this week David Gilmour's blog
had the following news:
David's 2009 jam session with ambient collective The Orb has
grown into an album, Metallic Spheres, to be released via
Columbia/Sony Records in October. David's contribution to the charity
song Chicago, in aid of Gary McKinnon, sparked the interest of producer
Youth (Martin Glover), who remixed the track and invited David to his
studio for a recording session. With additional contributions from Orb
co-founder Alex Paterson, the album took shape from 2009 into 2010,
eventually becoming Metallic Spheres, to be released by The Orb
featuring David Gilmour.
The album will be divided into two 25 minutes parts with five movements
each, a 'Metallic Side' and a 'Spheres Side'. The Orb will
consist of founder Alex Paterson (sound manipulation, keyboards and
turntables) and part-time member Youth adding bass, keyboards and
handling the production. It is not certain if Thomas
Fehlmann (full member of The Orb since 1995, absent on The Dream
(2007), but back on Bagdhad Batteries (2009)) and long time Orb
and/or Pink Floyd collaborator Guy Pratt will be present or not. For the
moment it looks like a three men line-up with David Gilmour contributing
guitar, lap steel guitar and some of his Chicago vocals.
Ghahary created the artwork (see image above) and all artist
royalties will go to helping Gary McKinnon fight his extradition.
When Gary McKinnon logged in on the military computers he allegedly
found proof of extra-terrestrial involvement in the NASA space program,
but unfortunately his telephone line did not allow him to download the
pictures and documents. The only tangible result of his actions will be
a Floydian cooperation that Orb (and some Pink Floyd) fans have been
dreaming about for the last two decades.
Long live Gary McKinnon, long live the greys! U.F.FlOrb is finally on
its way! And don't worry, I'm sure those pretty Aldebarans will
rescue Gary if he ever gets imprisoned in the land of the free.