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Patrick Holt "crazyredjesusfreak" (London, England)

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Roberts CD9960 CD FM/MW/LW Radio Cassette Player
Roberts CD9960 CD FM/MW/LW Radio Cassette Player
Price: £52.00

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but sometimes delicate., 12 April 2013
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I bought this Roberts CD/Radio/Cassette player some months ago, in late summer 2012, after my previous portable stereo box from another manufacturer stopped working (the switch to select between CD, radio or tape failed). I was pleased to be able to buy the good, better-looking Roberts product, and I am still glad of it, but I have discovered a 'however' about it. Apart from not being a DAB radio (I know you can't get them attached to Cassette recorders, for whatever reason) it turns out that the internal amplifier is temperature sensitive. When the ambient temperature falls below about 14 degrees centigrade, it stops working. The CD spins, is being read, or the radio is on, but nothing comes out of the speakers. This is unfortunate given the abnormally prolonged winter here in the UK 2012/2013. Those finding it difficult keeping up with fuel cost inflation nowadays should bear this in mind, and the manufacturer should get to fixing the issue in future products.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2014 7:03 PM GMT


USCSS Nostromo Alien Mens Premium T-Shirt Brown XX Large
USCSS Nostromo Alien Mens Premium T-Shirt Brown XX Large
Offered by bybulldog
Price: £13.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Geek satisfaction, 11 Oct 2011
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Possibly the best of bybulldog's line, this is excellent value for money, in terms of geek rep and second-glance-in-the-street appreciation. Being that geek is cool whereas cool is crap, this is the way of the future.

Completely works in yellow on brown, to look more like a dowdy ship-as-job uniform T.

More like this please!


Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf
Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf
by Adolf Hitler
Edition: Paperback

2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Evil being not only banal but also amazingly dull, 1 Aug 2011
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So, like most people, I put off getting anything by Hitler - it's the kind of purchase it can be embarrassing to be seen to possess alongside decent authors. "Mein Kampf" is rarely available in bookshops, and rightly so. "Hitlers Zweites Buch" was a safer purchase being less recognizable, and because it was brought to light, prepared for publication and given an introduction by Gerhard Weinberg, whose "Hitler, Germany and World War 2" is still the single best work dealing with the second world war and its controversies and mis-narrating I have ever read. Gerhard Weinburg's publication of Hitler's second book is essential, because it rounds out our understanding of the comprehensiveness of Hitler's bad intentions for new wars before they ever started. In particular, the shaping of German war preparations toward neither Britain nor the Soviet Union (which Hitler and the German army alike believed would be a push-over needing no special preparation) but towards an ultimate war against the USA after having disposed of Britain and France, and then subsequently the Soviet Union, all preferably within two years of opening hostilities. The fact that Hitler's (to us) completely unnecessary and suicidal declaration of war on the USA in 1941 reflected an intention to attack the USA that predated even getting into power is one of the otherwise puzzling details which the Zweites Buch makes clear.

The book's great surprise is what it shows about Hitler as a mind and as a speaker. Like Mein Kampf, the Zweites Buch was not written by Hitler but dictated to a secretary. What really stands out is just how boring, repetitious and verbose Hitler was. Like many less intelligent people, the text shows that he tried to create the impression of cleverness just by going on endlessly and using all the long words he could think of. Whereas real experts can baffle by falling into academic jargon, Hitler achieved the same baffling density merely by being an incoherent and badly thought out waffler. This came as a great surprise to me, because it had always been my impression that, despite having bad intentions and hateful beliefs he must have had some oratorical flair, given the rapturous responses he was able to obtain. I was hoping to find some oratorical riffs and cunning linguistic gadgets amid these typical nationalist ramblings. Hitler turns out to be not only obsessional about national-this, national-nation that, race-ethnic-culture-nation nationyness, but an incredibly self-indulgent, verbose wind-bag. Whatever welded the German people to him so unswervingly, it wasn't his books. This brings up another of Gerhard Weinberg's inescapable and disturbing conclusions: that Hitler and the Nazis were not some aberrant insanity that interfered with German history by some strange accident, but actually represented the majority trend of feelings and beliefs in German political culture during the first half of the twentieth century. He didn't have to work all that hard to get them to do what they did at all - he was encouraging them to do things they already wanted to happen. It was ordinary background-level rightwingness that let him in and sustained his rule. The sensible lesson to draw is that the only long-term defense against a repetition of such a process is continual vigilence against rightwingness of all kinds.

For the historical importance of this document, and for Gerhard Weinberg's introduction, I would rate 4 to 5 stars, but for Hitler's unedited and rambling verbiage itself I would only score a 2 out of 5 at best. Hence I can only review this book as a 3 overall. For historians of Hitler's world-view and intentions as they developed however, this is essential despite its faults as something to read.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2014 5:56 PM BST


Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ
Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ
Price: £17.48

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unassailable History-making Art, 23 Mar 2011
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After so long, I had expected a CD version packed with extras - digitally re-mastered with a PC interactive element, say. This overdue re-release allows those of us who bought the Vinyl double-album last time round (1989) to listen to this masterwork again without having to dig out or rent obsolete bulky hi-fi equipment. Even without extras, this is well worth the price. Logging the tracks into one's ipod library, there was scarcely one I could mark down to a 4-star - in fact, albums like this beg for a 10-point yardstick to seperate the truly brilliant from the merely very good. I found myself listening to whole tracks as I ripped them, and replaying several of them endlessly, especially the more overtly devotional sounds of the two "With This Love"s.

I think this is a work of art of historical merit - this will be listened to and appreciated for hundreds of years, if our civilisation lasts. It is rare that you can say that about pop-music, but this album changed musical history. It has to do with the intrinsic power of the source material (the Gospels) when taken seriously as something to create music about, and not just the idea of fusing world music and prog-rock long-form ambitiousness. This album inspired a new genre of epic progressive electronica and fusion music, as well as changing the landscapes of both film-scoring (e.g. the Gladiator score) and worship music and methods for modern churches.

Forget history, however. What matters is how this music makes you feel, and the emotional and (for the informed, and brave) spiritual voyage it allows you to take. Here is an insight into hope in the midst of darkness and defeat, and transformation in defiance of the mundane and meaningless. He is Risen: Alleluiah!


Marx Against the Marxists: The Christian Humanism of Karl Marx
Marx Against the Marxists: The Christian Humanism of Karl Marx
by Josť Porfirio Miranda
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reveals long overlooked truths about Marx's theology, 11 Dec 2010
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I haven't yet finished ploughing through this exhaustive work of forensic exegesis on Marx's immense corpus of writings. This work isn't too large, as Marx's corpus of writings is, to buy, use and live with. But for those without some academic training, it still presents a daunting task to attempt to digest, although that is more because of the detail of Marx's ideas than any fault of Jose Miranda as a communicator.

What Miranda brings to Marx's work is an exhaustive familiarity and field of reference - he appears to have read absolutely everything Marx wrote down, which is possible because Miranda was fluent in German as well as Spanish, Latin and Greek, having done his theology degrees as a Jesuit ordinand in Germany. Miranda is also able to bring to Marx's writings something uncommon among Marxists, but readily familiar among intelligent Christians, which is a forensic and surgical skill as an exigete. For those who don't know, exigesis is the fancy name for the careful and systematic contextual comprehension of passages of scripture. Christians of all levels of intellect and familiarity make regular practise of Bible study, reading carefully and deliberately verses and passages of scripture, to ensure we have understood correctly at the level of English Comprehension, but also reflecting to see what layers of meaning may become apparant when considering the textual, historical and theological context of any given passage. We ask ourselves - what did this writer intend his readers of that time to understand by this? We look for correspondances and conflicts between passages treating similar themes or personalities, and try to assemble understandings of how every reference to the same thing relate to each other and how they should be weighed against each other in understanding the given issue.

This exacting, forensic textual scholarship is what Miranda, perhaps uniquely, has brought to Marx's work. What he has revealed is startling. I had long assumed that the rift and animosity between Marxists and Christians was started by Marx, in arbitrarily hitching a moral project for political change to atheism and hostility to Churches and churchmen. What Miranda has found is a far more sophisticated and contradictory thinker, who evangelised his own daughter, whose critique of capitalism is built around the concept of idolatry, specifically the idolatry of Mammon, and whose general cosmology asserts that economic and political history is moving in a definate direction toward social utopia because he understood that the notion of a (morally) good outcome to human history came from the Bible and depended on divine oversight and influence upon history. Therefore, wherever he talks about modes of production and their attendant ideologies being forced from history, or being told that their time is up, he is implicitly invoking, and conceding the idea, that there is a someone in charge of history, who has planned these changes and is the ultimate guarantor of their inevitability. To such relatively difficult philosophical insights, which Miranda provides comprehensive cross-referencing for, he adds details, significant to Christians, but ignored by atheist Marxists, such as the fact that Engels published three seperate works of Biblical exigesis, and was working on another before he died. That both considered what they called "the scientific critique of scripture", equating to what we would call contextual historical Bible-study as central in the formation of the contemporary communist movement which they joined rather than started, and that both roundly condemned, repeatedly, absolute and deterministic interpretations of materialism as de-humanising, discouraging and counter-productively anti-theistic.

Clearly many of Jose Porphirio Miranda's insights will be highly contentious to conventional Marxists, as Miranda aimed to be (the original Spanish title for the work is "El Christianismo del Marx"). To refute him, however, they will first have to read this challenge, and if possible check for themselves how the cross referenced quotations from Marx and Engels stack up on the points he has drawn attention to. The traditional narrative of Communist history, in which Lenin and Stalin (or Lenin and Trotsky) are the most perfect interpreters and continuers of Marx's analysis and philosophy is hereby placed under fatal attack, and not before time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2011 4:31 AM BST


On the Cross of Commerce
On the Cross of Commerce
Offered by MUSIC-4-THE-MASSES
Price: £5.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Butthead Vindicated!, 16 Oct 2010
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I originally got myself the twelve inch of Low Pop Suicide's single from this album "Kiss Your Lips", on the strength of Beavis and Butthead's recommendation. They had impeccable music taste, if you remember. Butthead said the video was "cool" and he was not wrong. This album is a facinating snapshot of a moment in American college rock history, since it is actually mostly shoe-gaze, nearly up to par with Catherine Wheel's fantastic album "Ferment". "Kiss You Lips" is still brilliant metallic janglecore, blending industrial and grebo. It may not have sold so much, and it may confound expectations, but this is definitely worth a listen.


Communism in the Bible
Communism in the Bible
by Josť Porfirio Miranda
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to knock your socks off, 16 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Communism in the Bible (Paperback)
Miranda's "Communism in the Bible" is a brisk read, at only 85 pages, including four pages of Index of Scriptural references. This is the 2004 re-publishing of his 1982 publication, translated from the original spanish. For those interested in Left-wing theology, this is an absolutely essential gem. It contains all that good stuff you have noticed in the Bible over the years, collected into one quick volume of surgically precise biblestudy, and inspirationally pugnatious argument. Most of us have wished from time to time that we could catalogue all the pro-poor, anti-rich, militancy in the Bible's pages, so we might have it at our fingertips to rub in the religious right's idolatrous collective face. This is precisely the book you need. Nothing has been left out, and no unhelpful liberal theological hostages to fortune bothered with. This is aimed at, and comes from a solid theological conservative, who is in this volume exclusively concerned with the content of the Bible. For the majority of Christians who just want the chapter and verse, with accurate interpretation, rather than long-winded arcane philosophical excursions which just don't help when it comes to discussions at Spring Harvest, Miranda's work here is ideal.

Jose Porfirio Miranda is better known in the Spanish speaking world, having been a giant in Mexican theology and philosophy. He ranks alongside, or even ahead of, radical theologians who British Christians are more familiar with such as Daniel Berrigan, Ched Myers, Shane Claibourne, Paul Tillich, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Jurgen Moltmann and others. Miranda was a Jesuit scholar and priest, absolutely orthodox, who took part in Catholic resistence to demolitions of churches at the end of the Mexican Revolution. Jesuits being the most evangelical-like style of Roman Catholics, Miranda's trenchantly Biblically-based theology should come as no surprise, although he stands out from the crowd of radical preachers.

What really commands attention with this book is Jose Miranda's sheer guts. Most left-inclined preachers fail to break out of the assumption that church leadership requires a level of political neutrality. All the congregation has to be ministered to, so neither the institution nor the pastor can demand any specific political commitment from parishioners. Consequently, like the Liberation Theology mainstream of Boff and Gutierrez, the ideological running is left to 'secular' lefts, and official Marxism, while such pastors broadly hint to congregations that "they're not so bad, you know."

The little travelled (but in no way new) ground that Jose Miranda charts here blows apart all such assumptions. By laying out the full corpus of Scriptural anti-capitalism and egalitarianism, he shows us what we have secretly known and feared all along. Jesus isn't kidding, he isn't talking in convoluted spiritual riddles, but he really means what he says. God's kingdom is a seperate political loyalty to all existing human states and structures of authority, and is opposed to all of them. The purpose of the church is not to nestle comfortably within the protection of secular states based on military violence and inequality, but is supposed to overthrow them and revolutionise human living on planet earth. The Bible, read honestly and taken seriously at face-value, is not merely compatible with Marxism, or sort of vaguely, generally supportive of centre-left politics. The Bible in itself specifies, demands and requires communism. Christians therefore are not off-beat late-comers of left-wing politics. Left-wing politics is the fellow-traveller of the teachings of Jesus, a late addition to the historical will of God.

Miranda's thesis here is based on exacting accuracy of translation from the Hebrew and Greek. He reveals where often standard translations have misled by rendering Hebrew references to the rich as the wicked, or the unrighteous, to hide the fact that the original proverbs, psalms and prophets were condemning the rich for being rich, and similarly reveals where customary translations have misled about profit-making and levying interest. As he says on p.50, customary translation renders the Hebrew word besa' as "unjust profit" "...and then forget to add that the Bible has no word for "just profit"! That is because for the Bible there is no such thing as "just profit". It is as if when we came to the word na'af ("adultery") we were told it means "illicit adultery.""

I have only two quibbles about this book. The first is about destroying the interpretation of Mark 14:7 as a prophesy by Jesus that poverty will endure eternally and never be undone. Miranda proceeds by placing the comment in its conversational context and examining the greek original 'pantote' which is translated as 'always' and comparing this use with every other use of the same greek word in the new testament. He concludes that the proper meaning is 'continually', not 'for ever'. It is sufficient, however, to notice that it is a quotation from Leviticus, where it is specified that there will be poor in Israel enduringly, but only "because you will not obey these laws", including Leviticus 25, which provides for the elimination of poverty. Secondly, in wishing to foreground Jesus' confrontationally political personality, he makes a case for Jesus advocating violence in pursuit of justice as well as using it. Here one must have qualms, although the certain verses exist. It seems to me that, despite those verses, the balance of Jesus' preaching and example is advocacy of non-violence, albeit confrontational and transgressive non-violence. It is worth bringing in the hints in the extratestamental apocalytic literature that the power of God to overcome empires, tyrants and armies is actually the power of non-violent people power, and the fact that the whole sermon on the mount can be read as a political manual for the non-violent revolution of voluntary redistribution of wealth encouraged and protected by kindness, forgivingness and tolerance eliminating conflicts between the followers, love of enemy and neighbour and blamelessness of life allowing the enemies of the revolution no ammunition to use against the movement.

However you feel about communism if you are a Christian, or about Christianity and the Bible if you are a Marxist, this hugely enlightening and challenging little tome is essential to take into consideration. It takes up no shelf space at all and will be one of the best purchases you ever make at a reasonable price.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2011 6:23 AM BST


In Your Face
In Your Face
Price: £9.35

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Zepptastic, veering into 80's power cheese, 3 Sep 2010
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This review is from: In Your Face (Audio CD)
I originally bought this on vinyl in '89 on the strength of track one, the single. 'Do You Like It' still rocks hard, being a perfectly crafted Zepp-inspired fast power-metal romp. Unfortunately thereafter the tempo drops back to near-soft-rock levels, although the soaring vocals and epic stadium-ready production remain in place. At the time, it seemed like a possibility of rehabilitating big-hair power-metal just as it was being righteously crushed by the twin guns of real thrash and industrial on the one hand and the overwhelming angst and honesty of Nirvana and grunge on the other. As you listen to 'In Your Face', you hear a last chance fluffed. There are another four or five good songs among the ten, but the band's stadium (and groupie) ambitions caused them to fail to back up 'Do You Like It' with the material needed to retain the immense metal fan-base that was available for the taking for anyone commited to metal over image. Instead they knocked out a perfectly well polished, loud enough power metal trudge of the kind we had all got sick of: 3 or 4 really heavy tracks for the fans, and 5 or 6 soft love/sex songs aimed at the groupies. In the end, they were making music for the wrong people, and for the wrong reasons. The world had its one compulsory Bon Jovi, which was already one too many.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2014 6:24 PM BST


V.A.S.T.  - Visual Audio Sensory Theater (East West)
V.A.S.T. - Visual Audio Sensory Theater (East West)

4.0 out of 5 stars True spirituality of true sinfulness, 23 Aug 2010
I bought Visual Audio Sensory Theatre on the strength of "Touched", which blew my socks off watching Angel season 1 episode 2 on DVD. "Touched" is still one of my all time top-20 songs. I long ago decided that music was only worth buying when it made me leap out of my chair and head-bang, pogo, air-guitar or engage in some other involuntary jigging and/or gurning. This definately qualifies. No-one else that I know of has yet successfully blended folk-wistfullness-sincerity, spot-on metal guitar and world-music throat-singing. You just never hear real wistfullness, which is one of the things VAST do well which you don't normally hear. The other things are very specifically: guilt, remorse, faith-struggle and unrepentant desire in the full knowledge it's wrong. We live in a world of reflexive mandatory self-indulgence and instant gratification, in which the only thing forbidden is to tell anyone that anything they want to do is immoral, especially that anyone ought not to have sex. The power of VAST's sound comes from Jon Crosby's unquiet Catholic conscience. It is the Catholic conscience which produces the true aching sorrow, doubt, self-loathing, and queasy tension between attraction and remorse. Just as it is precisely those habitually condemned characteristics which make a person heart-focussed and loveable, so they make VAST's music outstandingly evocative and wonderful. It is his Catholic conscience which allows the soaring honesty about both his love for the beauty of sacredness in the Roman fashion, and about his own doubts about what is real. The reason these themes, and sounds, stand out is precisely because the Christian conscience has been so stigmatised and silenced in the interests of consumerism.

For industrial, goth and emo fans this album is a must-have. For a full-on slice of what americans call 'sophomoric' i.e. lower-sixth (old school) or year 11 self-indulgent empathetic angsting VAST is without rival.
As other reviewers have said, the quality among the tracks is inconsistent, but where the likes of Razorlight struggle for 30% decent per album, this achieves over 70% excellent. After a certain point, especially in later albums, you feel like shouting at the man "get over yourself already! Just do the research! Open up the book for yourself and dive in! Meet Jesus and have done!" If that doesn't bother you, or you are right where Crosby was when writing this album, or if it goes over your head and you're just in it for the epic and unique sounds, then this one will be a five-star for you.


The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For? (Essential Zizek)
The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For? (Essential Zizek)
by Slavoj Žižek
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Brilliance, 30 July 2010
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This was the first of Slavoj Zizek's titles that I bought, and I did so on the strength of the title and the promotional blurb on the jacket. On this showing, Slavoj is never less than stimulating, but his thought is bumble-bee like in the extreme. At or near the point when he is about to connect the dots together, he changes the subject, and then may or may not ever return to the point. The intellectual labour of digesting his work is a useful mental workout, but by the end you begin to feel that, apart from having been exposed to some Lacanian Freudian Hegelianism which you would otherwise have remained unfamiliar with, that labour has not really been rewarded with anything substantive to either evaluate or seek to apply. Fortunately, I have been a regular reader of the New Left Review for some years, so this sort of experience is not new. I bought the book hoping to find a fellow-traveller in Christian Marxism, or at least some overt argument for Marxist sympathy toward Christianity with or without acknowledgement of the intellectual soundness of theism. Instead what is to be found, after some (interesting) trudging back and forth is a little about Jesus and a little about 1st Corinthians 12 interpreted indirectly through a freudian prism. The cover blurb promising recollection and rehabilitation of the Christian sources of revolutionary idealism is never fulfilled at all. The puzzle of the man is that such exciting Marxist dynamism as a speaker and pundit can arise among the stagnant intellectual reek of my two most despised thinkers of the nineteenth century: Freud and Hegel.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 17, 2011 4:56 PM BST


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