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Amateurs

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"I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep." Charles M. de Talleyrand

I debated the title of this post between losers and amateurs... amateurs had to win.
Yesterday I went to Event City to attend the launch of the Labour campaign. As a Labour member, I received a few emails inviting me for this celebration and curiosity won. I had to have a look. 
I did not know what to expect. I've seen a lot of politics and good launches and good and bad parties and good and bad professionals. I was not expecting this. I arrived at 10.45am for a 11am launch. The venue was half full. I tried to find the hashtag on twitter for this... none to be seen, at all. It transpired later, that the hashtag for The Big Launch was #ForTheMany. By the end of it it was crawling miserably below 30th and behind... Nick Clegg, of all people. I had a look at the banners, the words, the speeches, everything falling utterly short. 
The original caller, intro…

Dum, dum, dum, dum... dum, dum, dum, dum!

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There are two wonderful comments in this YouTube clip that sum up this extraordinary moment: 1. "They can't say you can't miss what you didn't have. Well, I can!" 2. "14:58 minutes of my life that have been put to good use."
I really missed this trio big time. Never saw them live in concert and that makes me sad. Sad that I can only perceive this beauty through media, not with a direct contact.
Since I heard the double bass riff on "Seven Days of Falling" that "dum, dum, dum, dum..." these are four (very simple) notes that will never leave my head. Even my daughters, with all the biebers and mendes and beyoncés, know these very well, and that makes me proud, gives me the certainty that music is Universal with a capital U and also Human, with an even greater capital H.
The entire repertoire of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio is of an unique intellectual level, an emotional harmony without rival, with a fabulous balanced sonority and narrative, w…

Surrender

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Who remembers playing cowboys and indians in their childhood? I thought this was a long time ago but yesterday I saw this kid with a homemade bow and arrow, this bent branch, with a tightened rope throwing a stick as far as 5 metres... there is still hope... not everyone is looking at a 5.5" screen. 
We used to spend hours on end on the street, in our estate, 2 dozens of kids making war and peace. The game had these fuzzy rules, two bands, one of cowboys and another of indians, all heavily "armed" with bows and arrows, spears, toy revolvers and rifles for the ones that had wealthier parents, some with "real" hats and frilly trousers, and even boots, others with just chequered shirts and shorts. Most of the indians' fighting hardware was made of giant reeds (arundo donax) a very abundant material. Some were cut to rifle size and, with a few cloth pegs, could imitate a G3 machine gun we used to hear about as standard issue for the Portuguese Army in the colon…