The Bleurg Archive - July 2002

Wednesday July 24th 2002

An even bigger oh dear! 

Ever partitioned a hard drive? 

I have, many times.  And nothing has ever gone wrong. 

Until this time. 

I went and re-installed over the old partition and lost everything that wasn't backed up.  (Fortunately not too much).


On the plus side the PC involved runs a lot faster now.

Thursday July 18th 2002: The Sound of Silence.

Oh dear!
Apparently naughty old Wombling Tory Mike Batt has composed a little bit of silence and is positively raking in the readies. Now some cruel souls may declare that if only Mike had started making silent records a few decades ago we might all have spared some pretty terrible experiences.  But not me.  Oh, no. ... Neither is my angle that of the tabloid "They call this rubbish art" brigade.  Oh, no once again.  My interest is the reported claim that has been been placed by John Cage's publishers that Batt's piece is a blatant copy of Cage's seminal silent piece 4'33". Now, like everyone else (whether involved or not in the saga) I haven't actually heard either piece. Furthermore, I haven't experienced either piece in a non-aural experience either.
 Until now.....
I can't find the Batt piece on line anywhere but I have managed to trace Cage's opus. It seems to load pretty quickly so you won't need much more than the 4'33" to listen to it in its entirety.  If I was a complete troglodyte I could suggest you could press the stop button after a minute and get the Batt experience but that would be too obvious.
Even for me.
Of more interest to me is the question as to just how much silence does there have to be before you can copyright it? There's an old adage that if you've ripped off more than three notes of someone else's tune they can sue.  But does this apply equally to rests?   And who really did it first?  Which was the seminal silence, as it were? Was it even in a song?  Surely there were gaps between the songs before John Cage came along and wrote his piece.  If not then I think he needs to go getting his publisher's to place a few more writs, I've got loads of CDs with short silent tracks in-between the other songs.

Some silent Wombles , yesterday.

Wednesday July 17th 2002

On the way home without the toobs, Z witnessed a DLR train derailed at Stratford as everyone moved to get off at once.  You wouldn't believe it possible if it happened in a sitcom would you?  
The rest of the world has self-tilting trains but we go one better and have self-derailing ones.  Yet another example of British ingenuity, much of which also appears in a list of the "Top Fifty Inventions of the Last 50 years" that will itself be a part of "Think Tank" at Brumingham's Museum of Science and Technology, when it opens on Saturday.  Now, I love "Best of.."  charts as much as the next man but hate the insistence of all and sundried to include something from last week (Iris Scanners at airports) put against, for example, an obvious classic like the pocket calculator (1972 apparently).  Its the "Best Album of All Time" thing all over again (Radiohead's "OK Computer" wins top spot despite only being released three seconds before the voting finished).  Or, and this may be an even better example, Robbie (diamond geezer natch) wins best Male in Rock ever.  I mean, come on.  Lets try and put a little perspective on these things.  Alternatively let's just have a "Best of Best of Chart".  Which is going to be? Robbie or the humble old calculator?

Tuesday July 16th 2002

The fact that the end of the school year is rushing up on us means it's time for every parent's favourite night, the school play. 

So that everyone can get a part of some description Dee & Kay's school (along with many others I'm sure) split the children into several groups.  Thus tonight we have five vignettes.  The girls' piece was a fifteen minute run through of "Oliver".  Kay was a flower seller whilst Dee was two of the narrators.  And, parental pride aside, by far the best.  Whilst she didn't actually come on and shout "You lot shut up and listen or it'll be detention for all."  She may as well have done, very scary!  The other highlight was during the first piece, a slapstick routine piece based on silent films.  For no apparent reason the action was twice interrupted by one of the youngsters clearly in the role of Mrs Overall (Acorn Antiques) offering them all tea from her shaky tray.  I can't believe the kids got the joke but half the audience thought it absolutely brilliant.  So a good evening overall.


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