The fourth LP I bought (after Sgt Pepper and The Monkees first two albums — this was 1967/8, and I’d just acquired a record player that could handle discs larger than singles) was a Stax sampler called This Is Soul. It triggered a life-long love of that Memphis soul sound, and in particular the voice of Otis Redding. His version of White Christmas is a thing of joy. Play it today, and think not of the fact that this year is likely to set new records for hottest year on many of the global temperature series.
Nick Cave’s take on Christmas is (characteristically) a little gloomier than most, and perhaps more appropriate.
Things down here are fragmented
In fact they’ve exploded all over the room
I think everything’s a little off-center, babe
I do dear, I do
So, dear reader, allow me (and all the contributors to Hot Topic) to wish you the very merriest of whatever season it may be that you are currently celebrating. In the Waipara Valley it looks like it’s going to be a long hot day. A turkey is truffled and soon to be cooked, there is too much good wine to drink1, and Rosie the beagle is looking forward to a break in her post-harvest diet. Nadolig llawen.
There will be a brief intermission while I sort out the problem with the comment system. I (stupidly, without checking, because nothing ever goes wrong when you’re on the bleeding edge of an upgrade, does it?) upgraded Hot Topic’s WordPress underpinnings to the latest version — 4.0 — only to find that now comments don’t display properly. I’ve tracked it down to a problem with the theme (the code that makes HT look the way it does), and I now have to work out how to fiddle with things to get them back. There may be a marked change in the site’s appearance…
Over the next week, my posting frequency trend line is going to take a sharp dip — mainly because if we choose tomorrow and a week hence as our end points — which, as we all know, is far too short to be blogologically significant — there will be a marked absence of posts. Having got the vineyard ready for netting (which will start happening at 8-30am tomorrow), I will be heading north to Nelson, there to board a boat for six days tootling around the Abel Tasman and D’Urville Island. I will check in from time to time when communication technologies allow, but if anybody thinks I’m going to disturb a few days fishing, swimming, walking and eating (and drinking good wine) by posting on climate matters then they are going to be royally disappointed. If you’d like to know a little more about where we’re heading – try here.
Feel free to treat this as another open thread. (Image nicked from John “viral kitten” Cook at The Conversation)
Here’s a new recording by Aussie group Men With Day Jobs of their climate classic The Denial Tango, accompanied by a rather striking video. Men With Day Jobs are Rod Crundwell, Stafford Sanders and Kim Constable (from left to right in the pix in the video) and their new album “Deep in Denial” is due for release early next year.
I’d go with Tony Abbott, It’s just a load of crap
This round-the-world disaster is an evil greedy trap
‘Cause everybody knows the world is flat
Christmas morning has dawned sunny and warm chez Hot Topic, and there’s a pile of presents waiting to be opened. I doubt that any will be what Eartha Kitt had in mind when she recorded Santa Baby in 1953, but she makes a compelling case for Christmas largesse to be directed her way. This afternoon the weather is expected to turn to custard (or, perhaps, brandy butter) and when the rain sets in my mood may turn to match Eric Idle’s rather more ascerbic (and sweary – definitely NSFW) take on the festive season:
And if you’re feeling at all gloomy about prospects for the human race, then I have the perfect song for you. Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge1 assure us that worse is on the way — a truth we will all have to live with.
Normal service will be resumed when the mince pies are finished.
Something of a global warming (coverage) hiatus has hit Hot Topic in the last couple of days, courtesy of the rather dramatic gale that hit my part of New Zealand on Tuesday evening. We are all well, and suffered no damage to our house — but there’s a hell of a lot of tidying up to do to damaged trees and fences, and we are still without power and mobile phone coverage. With luck we’ll get reconnected in the next day or so. Normal bloggage will resume as soon as I finish chainsawing fallen branches and clearing debris.
Due to a security issue1 at Hot Topic’s web host, login to the site has been disabled until the problem is resolved. I have no information on when that might be, so if you’re trying to log in to leave a comment, or to register for the first time, please accept my apologies. You could always take the conversation over to Hot Topic’s Facebook page…
[Update 1:25pm - seems to be fixed.]
There has been a rash of attempts by hackers to break in to WordPress sites in recent months, and disabling login is one way that hosts can act to reduce server loads during attacks.
It had to happen eventually. The creaking old laptop that was once my pride and joy1 has finally gone to the great orchard in the sky, and I have been forced to visit the grocer for a new piece of fruit. Being that I am a creaky old geek, I couldn’t just nip down to the computer store and buy an off-the-shelf model. No, I had to have the processor upgrade, the maximum memory and a Fusion drive, which means it will be about a week before I can access all my files2. Until then I will be servicing the digital world from this iPad, which is a wonderful device for everything but writing. Posting will be (even more) intermittent, at best, and brevity will be my watchword. You have been warned…
It was new when Hot Topic was born.
You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, etc.
That’s the title of my first post at New Zealand’s new The Daily Blog. It’s an attempt to underline the long term imperative provided by sea level rise, to help a general audience to appreciate that every tonne of CO2 counts. The Daily Blog launched last week. Editor Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has pulled together over 30 of NZ’s “leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas”. I’ll be blogging there every two weeks, covering climate science and policy with an eye to the run-in to the next election in 2014. Wish me luck…
If only all Christmas music was as good as this. The finest voice in soul, and a Green with it, reminds us what today should feel like. Compliments of whatever shakes your tree from Gareth and all the writers who have contributed to Hot Topic over the past year. Should Al pall, then spend a few minutes pondering the energy problems confronted by a Glasgow legend during the festive season. Nadolig llawen.
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