The Front


Beat 106 DJ Martin Bate chooses his rock songs of the moment. His show goes out every Sunday at midnight.

1 Rival Schools Used For Glue (Island) A consummate. intelligent rock anthem; there‘s none angrier or more bitter than this.

2 A Nothing (London) Big gleaming riffs mixed with classic 808 pop hooks and the sort of yearning, emotional honesty that Linkin Park can only dream of.

3 The Hives Hate To Sayl Told You So (Poptones) An instant dance-floor classic from the sharp- dressed Swedes. Ettortlessly cool and cocky rock‘n‘roll.

4 The White Stripes Fell in Love With A Girl (XL) A marvellously frayed and out-of-control blues rant falling over to get to the finish line.

5 Plebald American Hearts (Big Wheel Recreation) A near-perfect slice of soaring iump-in-the-throat vocals and needling guitars. with a social conscience to boot.

Scottish playwright, Isabel Wright, chooses her favourite streets from around the world.

1 Portobello Prom, Edinburgh I grew up overlooking the sea and used to go roller skating there.

2 Duke Street, Glasgow Shops that sell absolutely everything. more sunbed centres than you could ever need and the fabulous Coia's cafe.

3 Las Ramblas, Barcelona Bustling and beautiful. Flowers. birds in cages. paintings. I went exploring there on my own and managed not to get mugged.

4 Middle Meadow Walk, Edinburgh Blossom in the spring. frisbee championships in summer and snow in winter. The scene of many moonlit teenage snogs.

5 El Malecon, Havana A sort of Cuban Portobello prom but with better sunsets.


Verbal vomit

The only thing Orwell got wrong was the date. Text messaging is here and it’s doubleplusbad.

Words: John D. McGonagle

obile phone text messaging is the new rock‘n’roll. While email and the internet took around twenty years to become widely used. it has taken texting a quarter of that time. Approximately one billion texts are sent worldwide per day. In the UK alone the figure is around 25 million. at least 24 million of which must be attributable to my girlfriend and her best friends. Upon hearing the (almost incessant) beep of her phone. I like to predict the message content: ‘Preparing for toilet. wish me luck~ and ‘Here‘s more useless chat‘ are only two of the forecasts that have failed to raise a laugh.

To the hardcore texter. spaces between words are sacrificed to save space. vowels are dropped wherever possible and punctuation is anathema. with the result that their messages resemble verbal vomit. But help is at hand for the uninitiated and ‘ltl bks‘ (little books) describing text abbreviations have been high on the UK bestseller lists for months. the most popular

being th 01‘ [XI lllV‘. A

Shakespeare it ain‘t.

A boot stamping on a human face - for ever

advertisers begin to describe products as ‘doubleplusgood’ rather than ‘gr8".’

A less sinister but ultimately more irritating development is the insidious promotion of texting as a favourable alternative to actual conversation. I consider it disrespectful to pause talking to someone who‘s made the effort to visit me in person in order to text. but people are genuinely beginning to believe that it‘s easier to text than to talk. A prime example arose a few weeks ago when one of my friends messaged three of us simultaneously at 9pm to cancel his appearance on a

All this would be harmless down language night out. It was certainly

fun for the intellectually is

bankrupt if the abbreviations

weren’t so creepin absorbed into reminiscent of Newspeak. the cultural

official language of George

Orwell‘s 1984. In the mt. .. mainstream

totalitarian state drastically reduces the English language in order to limit the population‘s capacity for thought and expression so that dangerous or subversive ideas are eliminated. In Newspeak. something is not wonderful. fantastic. etc. but merely ‘good‘. ‘plusgood' or ‘doubleplusgtxxl‘. Pause to consider your subject matter and vocabulary when texting and you may notice a similarity. A new. pared down language (perhaps we should name it ‘Txtspeak".’) has arisen and is already being absorbed into the cultural mainstream. How long will it be before

easier to text for that coward. We declined the option of replying with a puny little angry text face and chose instead to phone him directly and deliver some foul- mouthed abuse. Speech is far more satisfying.

I haven‘t even begun to discuss the potential health risks posed by the concentrated bursts of radiation that emanate from mobile phones as they send and receive text messages. I'll leave it to someone better qualified to scare you about that. All I‘m saying is that I‘d rather not become a mentally constipated. antisocial. slack-jawed. glassy-eyed mute with a blistered thumb and burgeoning tumours. pry txtg :)


I Space Theatre Glasgow Science Centre

Jackie Debbie Gordon Tracy Ira/I tee Trainee Site foreman Basalt/7 “1’73 It was It was really Excellent. consultant

It was fabulous. an‘a/ing and very interesting. It's great to team all about the planets.

realistic. The stars were the best bit of Ii.

amazing but quite scary.

Superb. At times I thought moving when the stars were ll‘()‘./lllg.