More to Life

Highway To Hell

When I look at the world, I keep getting the feeling someone’s telling me, “If you can’t stand the heat – get outta the kitchen!”

Except, deep in my bunker, the kitchen is my living room, which in turn is my work station, which in turn is my bedroom. I couldn’t leave this hell hole if I tried. Too many wires, comforters and pretty pictures to remind me of yesteryear…

You see, the world is in a bad way right now and it ain’t gonna get any better. Climate change is the hot potato of politics and even if all the fat backs have resigned to eating it, the problem comes with what topping to choose. It doesn’t matter what kind of bizarre spin you put on it, the planet is fucked up with rising temperatures, flooding, radiation and El Nino heading back for round 2. Rocky Balboa stepped outta retirement doped to the hilt on steroids, but he hasn’t got shit on El Nino.

I remember back when the environment was mentioned on cardboard coloured science programs scheduled late at night when only the vampires fed on the cathode ray tube. The rest of us were force fed capitalist dogmas and consumer medicine through relentless advertisements, chat shows and films bursting at the seams with product placement. I had no idea what carbon emissions were, but James Bond sure looked suave in his latest automobile and chemical odour enhancer.

It’s like all of a sudden the wool has been lifted from our eyes as we witness half of Indonesia underwater, and old age pensioners boiling to death in the Mediterranean basin. The weather men can’t lie through their white teeth anymore. The cat’s out the bag and people demand answers. The fingers are pointing at the major corporations, oil refineries, car manufacturers and political whores. They smile and grip their knives behind their backs as the point right back at us.

That’s you, me and the next sorry sod in the street because when push comes to shove- we’re the one’s to blame. We’re the one’s driving petrol guzzling people carriers in congested inner cities, scratching deep scars in the ozone layer with our cheap air travel.

We’re the ones munching through the multiple waste wrappers of genetically modified food and demanding that our electronic devices do more than NASA space shuttles.

Argh! The capitalist dream has suddenly turned sour and it’s time to pay the bill. If America would just sign along the dotted line of the Kyoto agreement, maybe the Chef upstairs could work something out on the tax..? Hell, if car manufacturers put their money where their mouth is and actually started to build those lovely hybrid vehicles they keep prophesising about, maybe we’ll be able to breathe without portable respirators in 50 years? But no!

None of that is going to happen because it is not in their interest at all to suddenly quit the blood money program. What the hell??? Do you really think George W. Bush is gonna just step away from Iraq and all that black gold in favour of modern alternative that those dirty Southerners in Brazil can make? Hell no!

We live in a capitalist state and as long as we’re all consuming non-sensical rubbish that shit ain’t gonna change one bit. And you know what the greatest bit about all this terror and turmoil is: The lab-coats that we never listened to late at night not 10 years ago, have handed in an official report to the world that states that we’ve passed the point of no return a long way back.

50 years down the line, temperatures are still rising, animals are still dying and our kids will be crying because we left such a pitiful inheritance. We’re on a highway to hell baby, and I bet you’re wishing you’d bought that Duran Duran cassette tape and neon shades at the last rest stop, eh? You’ll need ’em- the future’s bright, the future’s radiated!

Maxwell Woodger Esq.

Pics from Sri Lanka from Zac Slack.

More to Life

Choose Skateboarding

This story is just one of the many that i have to put up with living in London on a weekly basis but this one really hit home.

I want to bring it to your attention as it it happened on the very street that i lived for 5 years and now i live only 5 mins walk from the spot where Tom ap Rhys Pryce was brutally stabbed to death for £20 in cash, his mobile phone and an oyster card.

If you ever wondered why this website is called Caught in the Crossfire you probably have your answer from reading this very page as the UK has become a breeding ground for youth culture that is simply out of control due to various factors that will be discussed in this More To Life feature. It’s not big, it’s not clever but it’s a reality; violent crime is not going away and when it’s opened up on your own doorstep with the entire country looking in from every media angle, one feels as though it’s time to talk about it.

Tom ap Rhys Pryce was coming home from a hard days graft as a lawyer in London on January 12 2006. He left the station where murderers Donnel Carty, 19, of Kensal Green, and Delano Brown, 18, of Sudbury Hill, North-West London had already mugged one person as they left the tube. Little did Tom know that 10 minutes later, he would be a victim of a voilent stabbing that led to his life being taken from him merely for £20 in cash, a mobile phone and an oyster card. He was stabbed in the arm, face, and twice in the chest as he tried to defend himself, as you would fighting for your life against 2 grown men. His assailants left him to die in the gutter and left blood-splattered along the street where he tried his hardest to make it home to get help a few doors away….

Yesterday (28.11.06) these 2 murdering scumbags were sentenced to life in prison but life means 17-21 years thesedays and you know that good behaviour can sometimes almost half a sentence, so will these people be able to have freedom again unlike Tom ap Rhys Pryce? Should they not be banished to LIFE in prison for such a callous, greedy murder? It seems these days that the law has become useless and hardly a deterrent to stop crimes like this taking place…

When i grew up we had respect for people, our fathers would come home and you would run to avoid being collared and given the bollocking you probably deserved but these days, parents cannot even raise a hand to a child for fear of prosecution. Even though we were little buggers skating the streets at silly hours of the morning and doing outr thing, we would never dream of doing what kids are doing today. I know times change but it’s becoming ridiculous.

How many more yellow police signs do i have to witness on the streets in my area? Is is the same where you live? Is it? I want to know and know today because this has issue become a sick joke. Please click here and leave your message if so.

Are the sentences in this country too weak? Why are the judges not sentencing these people to bigger jail terms? Why am i hearing that prisoners have Xbox consoles to play on?

Is it lack of postive role models and/or education? Is it their inability to see that 50 cent and So Solid Crew are just entertainment? Is it the fact that most kids smoke manufactured, home-made chemical filled skunk and are slowly rotting their brains?

I have so many questions and not many answers anymore. But what i do know is that i’m sick of seeing this happen in my area and i’m sick of hearing about it spreading like a social disease.

I hope that somehow, the sentence these people received this week will this be a deterrent for the thousands of other kids out there who treat human life worse than animals, somehow i doubt it, it may be too late.

I’m sure people would think twice if there was a zero tolerance system put in place and people thought twice, but this will only come good if the funding that is spent on fony wars can be brought back into our own country.



Please discuss this here…

More to Life

More To Life – Big Brother Is Watching!

Live transmissions…

Crossfire’s communication with Maxwell Woodger Esq is rudimentary to say the least. The interns usually have to slave over the transcription of barely decipherable notes scribbled and sellotaped together by our man in the wilderness.

However, this week’s instalment was different- an audio cassette tape with a recorded conversation between Maxwell and various John Does. Needless to say the quality was awful, and the intern has suffered sleepless nights since. Here is the main body of the recording transcribed to the best of our abilities. Have we returned to the early days of informants and skulduggery..?

[The sound of a crowded bar can be heard. A group is whooping it up to the sounds of Bryan Adams and Melanie C. a.k.a. Sporty Spice singing When You’re Gone.]

Maxwell – Don’t talk to me about politics!

Voice 1 – Whatever buddy… It’s just a pity it took people so long to realise what was wrong with their country. Hell! The revolution no longer exists. The real power is in the vote, but the people would rather vote for reality TV shows rather than who’s running their country.

Maxwell – Damn right. Heads have already started to roll in the Whitehouse, but I heard ol’ Dubbya has called in the old guard. Bush Senior’s little helpers have been brought out of the dark closet to try and patch things up. Here’s to bad Karma and dog fighting!

Voice 1 – Cheers!

[ Two glasses clink together. A roar is heard from the crowd]

Maxwell – Goddammit! Since when has Karaoke become a national sport?

Voice 1 – I guess since Scarlett Johanssen and Bill Murray met in Tokyo…


Maxwell – Ahhh… Scarlett!

[Glasses clink again]

Maxwell – Any news on those Pony skin booties I ordered? It’s been three weeks already.

Voice 1 – Yeah, the Sheik has chosen one of his finest Steeds’ offspring and the Executioner will perform a ceremonial slaying for you next week.

Maxwell – Sweet! They’ll be ready in time for [Inaudible] I heard The Colonel will be present.

* Here the tape cuts to a brief intermission of street sounds and then what would seem to be a corner store.

Voice 2 – We don’t sell gel here, sir.

Maxwell – So, you’re telling me you don’t sell tubes of KY Jelly, but you’ve got a special discount on 12 inch graphite God Sticks? What use is one without the other, eh!

Voice 2 – We have special price for you, sir. Good customer!

Maxwell – Yeah, well someone will be standing in church tomorrow…

Voice 3 – Why don’t you contact our man in Naples? You know he’s always got stock, plus real Italian leather gives a better slap than modern graphite.

Maxwell – No, no, no, no…! Naples is off the radar at the moment. Prime Minister Prodi is cracking down on the Camorra big time. Calling in the army and all! It’s far too hot for duty free debauchery over there at the mo’.

[An audible slap is heard, followed by the ringing of something hard run along metal railings]

Maxwell – Ha! Check out the grip on this beast!

* The tape cuts again and three Kylie Minogue songs sung in Cantonese play in their entirety.

[The sound of a car driving at high speed along a beaten track with the club anthem The Cure And The Cause by Fish Go Deep featuring Tracey K can be heard blaring out of the car stereo]

Voice 4 – …so I told the old man to keep the beef jerky in the cupboard. The baby was screaming and hot water was on the boil. That’s when [Inaudible] ha! Ha!

Maxwell – Goddammit! You and your boys never cease to amaze me! Ha! Remember that time I pushed you off the mezzanine? Ha! The look in your eyes as you fell…

Voice 4 – yeah… Watch the road man!

[A screech of tyres and flying gravel is heard.]

Maxwell – Take it easy buddy! You’re in safe hands here. Nobody can hear, see or smell you out here – Trust me!

Voice 4 – That’s impossible! CCTV cameras spread like a virus nowadays. The US and EU are sharing data all day everyday. Credit card details, proof of address, next of kin, political stance, eye colour… The list goes on and on. You don’t really think 3 hours is necessary to board a flight, do you???

[Someone raises the volume on the car stereo to such a level that the recording begins to fuzz. Words become very hard to distinguish.]

Voice 4 – Rats!!! Rats!!! Vermin!!! Spreading like… [Inaudible]

Maxwell – Fonky! Fonky!

[The tune changes to Sweet Like Chocolate by Shanks and Bigfoot. The car suddenly swerves to a halt.]

Maxwell – Oh no… Bad vibes. What is this radio??? Get out goddammit! Get out!!! And take this with you…

* The tape ends here. We have yet to make contact with Maxwell Woodger Esq. again.

More to Life

Reign In Blood

“The Devil came here yesterday… in this very spot it smells like sulphur.”

Ha! Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez didn’t beat around the bush when he gave his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week. Give the guy an Oscar! If I wasn’t mistaken, I even heard the audience of diplomats and officials laugh and applaud at such a statement.

George W. Bush wasn’t laughing. Instead he was getting ready to detain the Venezuelan Foreign Minister at a New York Airport and apply the thumb screws.

You see, Chavez might look at Bush as the Devil, but he isn’t alone in his claims. According to the age old technique of Gematria which accords numbers to ancient Hebrew letters, George Walker Bush adds up to an amazing 6-6-6! You can try that with any other dangerous dictators like Stalin, Mao or even Hitler, and it still wouldn’t add up so precisely. Can you smell the sulphur too? Can you??

There’s more.

Just when you might have thought Bush was your average Joe who appreciated a bit of good ol’ heavy metal seeing how he threw those Horns up on various occasions- you’re wrong. He’s simply saluting us all with the signal of hellfire and brimstone. His official excuse for the Satanist Sign is that it was a greeting fellow Texas Longhorn sports fans shared. Uh-huh.

Saddam Hussein’s entire defence group walked out on him the other day. Maybe they’re in need over at the White House because the evidence is starting to pile up, isn’t it? A US president has 4 years to get re-elected, and Bush has managed to summon the Underworld powers just enough to scrape a second term in power. Can the Angels reign from above in 2009 and fight the forces of evil that control the Western World???

I’m not a religious man, but isn’t it fun to twist and torque fables and facts to produce 200 words of pure fantasy and prophesy! I mean, isn’t that what Bush does on a daily basis..?

Click here for more.

Maxwell Woodger

More to Life

Bull In The Heather

Maxwell Woodger Esq.
Thursday, 07 September 2006

What do you do between 8.43 and 10.28 in the morning?

I’m usually in my cotton pyjamas, splitting a grapefruit in half and straining some French Breakfast tea. Five years ago I was chilling in the wilderness with a wide brimmed sun hat and a pool table, potting the stripes as the Experimental Jet Set Trash and No Star played softly out of the stereo. For relaxing times, make it Santorini times, eh?

Where were you?

Over the next few weeks you’ll remember exactly what you were doing, where you were, who you were with and which socks you were wearing. September 11th looms on the horizon like the Four Horsemen and Monday will be the fifth anniversary to a deep rift in society, history and geo-politics. Two planes, Two Towers and thousands of shattered lives.

In one hour and 45 minutes everything changed.

Whilst people suffer and try to find closure, one man won’t let the ashes rest. Like a perverted blessing from the Devil, George W. Bush preaches the worth of such an awful moment in history as something that validates violence, oppression and war. This pseudo political puppet hides the faces of warlords and evangelism as he smokes out the invisible threats of terror. If someone needed the definition of Fear and Loathing (HST R.I.P.), the technique with which the American Government handles business is about as close as you’ll get.

You can enjoy your new season of Lost, or take the kids to the pantomime this weekend, but that won’t rid us of the fact that Iran is waving nuclear weapons in the face of the impotent United Nations; thousands of civilians are dying in Iraq because of a battle for Oil reserves; Lebanese nationals refuse to return home because the war between the Israeli Army and Hezbollah is far from over; the British Prime Minister Tony Blair refuses to give up his position despite public and private outcries of change. He is delusional and dreams of resigning to a fanfare of a golden trumpets and tea with the Queen. His belligerence has taken his country down a dark passage that hasn’t seen so much deceit, death and doom since the dark Ages.

So, five years ago I was bathing in the late summer sun and unwinding to the voice of Kim Gordon. Today I am hunkered down with grey clouds overhead. The 24 Hour news channels prophesize about Peace in the Middle East, whilst unconfirmed sightings of the Four Horsemen on the Western Horizon scroll across the bottom of the screen.

Sorry if this diatribe has brought you down, but times are a-changing. It only took one hour and forty-five minutes for the tables to turn. That’s like stepping into the cinema for the Monday Morning matinee to work your imagination for a couple of hours, except this is reality and no-one knows when the story’s going to end…

More to Life

We’re all going on a Summer Holiday!

Maxwell Woodger Esq.
Wednesday, 9 August 2006

I did it! – I broke away from the main frame and disconnected from everyday life. The summer wanted to burn my epidermis and I let it. Everyone needs a holiday, and Christmas doesn’t count. I filed my pre-sabatical copy and boarded a jet propelled people carrier to the Greek Islands.

I needed to reconnect with civilization’s roots and swim in the sea. You see, I might spend 11 months of the year deep in the funk of social fabric, but for one twelfth of the year I need to let go and sink deep beneath the surface of the sea to regroup and catch starfish.

I caught one too! But I had to let the beautiful crustacean go…

Oh well.

So as I sipped the nectar of the gods and watched the Acropolis from my penthouse apartment, I forgot all about skateboarding, gigs and the debauched standards of Crossfire.

It felt good, but I knew the itch to make contact with the mainframe was going to happen as sure as a mosquito bite. Luckily Greece is dry in the summer and Mosquitos are far and few between.

However, on one fateful morning, the heat had got to me and my sheets were damp with sweat so I awoke and turned on the television. Normally, foreign television doesn’t faze me because I cannot get to grips with the weird and personalised definition of culture a foreign land might blurt out of its shit box, but this shit box came with cable. All the sweet visions of Zeus’ Temple and wild octopus were wiped from my cortical stack as CNN blasted reports of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict.

Goddammit! There’s MORE war!…

I sat through endless 24 hour coverage of a conflict that pitches two of the most selfish entities against one another in a battle of beliefs. Wolf Blitzer had his moustachioed grin transmitting live from Tel Aviv whilst the soon-to-be famous anchor girl Hala Gorani repped her end in Beirut.

The innocent were being slaughtered and CNN couldn’t get enough of it. Hell! The only alternative news was a special report by the Mary Magellan of global war-reporting Christiane Amanpour entitled “The life and Times of Osama- Is one of your students a terrorist leader?”

Otherwise it was golf.

I tried to divert my attention by watching the complimentary DVDs my suite had to offer, but alas the titles reaped even more doom and gloom- The Constant Gardner, Lord of War, Hotel Rwanda… Good movies but bad vibes.

I suppose a holiday is too much to ask for nowadays. If you try and turn the other cheek to life’s atrocities they’ll only bite back harder on your conscience. Today I am back in the mix with a cold diet coke on the table and a steady drip of fear and loathing being pumped into my system, and for some strange reason it feels good to be back!

* I just heard an oil slick is making it’s way up the coast from Lebanon to Greece thanks to Israeli missile strikes. I hope the starfish I caught is alright… No one asked him what he thought.

More to Life

Guns For Show, Knives For A Pro

Is it safe to walk the city streets anymore?

Ever since the pager craze that hit impressionable youth many moons ago has a new accessory become so popular among kids today. As small and light as an I-pod or MP3, easy to use and affordable, the Knife, blade, shank, Slass, cutter… has many names but the result is the same- Pain and suffering.

Or worse, death.

What happened to the good ol’ days of fisticuffs and a swift slap in the face???

It was dishonourable to be caught pulling a blade in a fight, at least where your opponent was unarmed. The rapiers of yesteryear served a purpose, and the duels they fought concluded in death, not scars or maiming. Kids today are scared. Scared of what? The next man. The rep. The world… The fear grows within and pushes their rational behaviour into a dark corner of oblivion, and before you know it the basic survival skills of a predator surface and suffice.

When the Police announced that over 17,000 knives and blades of all shapes and sizes were handed in for the recent British amnesty against knife crime, initially the public were re-assured. But for how long? Despite people’s efforts to quash this new and horrific trend, the phenomenon persists. Not a week ago, a young lady was stabbed repeatedly in the leg by two youths for her bag at 3 o’clock in the afternoon outside Crossfire HQ!

3’0clock. Youths. Stabbed repeatedly.

A stabbing here, a slashing there, a fatality today, and another tomorrow. Nobody is winning this bizarre turf war fuelled by inner city demons and a social precocity. You looked at someone strange, or stepped on their box-fresh kicks, and you’re dead mate. Easy as. No questions asked, no answers given. Just a fast flash of steel and then the blood starts pouring.

All this madness and no clear reason why?

Is it the parents? It’s always the parents. Is it the politicians? It’s always the politicians. Is it peer pressure? It’s always the peer pressure. Is it you? Hell no! Wasn’t me…

Knife crime cuts itself a vicious circle within society, generating fear among the kids. Sure, no one wants to get stabbed, but you have to carry a blade in case the next man has got one, innit? You’d never use it of course, just flash it and scare a few faces in the crowd. Yeah… Yesbutnobutyesbut… If you aren’t going to use it, don’t choose it. Ya dig?

Well, you had better get it otherwise the next thing getting dug out is your grave or your ass in that 5 foot shower at HMP. Oh yes! Little wide eyed youth like you go down a treat on a Saturday night in lockdown.

The kids don’t care anymore, and the parents are too scared to confront them. The politicians stay perched on their pedestals and flip and flex the rulebook in favour of votes, whilst the kids are alone in the streets fending for themselves. No one put that shank in your hand apart from you. You know what that means- It’s all your responsibility.

As this goes live, the government is looking at extending any knife crime related sentences, and they also want to increase the allowed age to purchase a knife from 16 to 18. At the end of the day, those are just figures, but the fact of the matter remains – Knife crime is on the up and no-one’s winning.

“I got stabbed 14 times. I can tell you it weren’t by Gangstaz.
My uncle got stabbed like twice and he died. I tell you he’s one of them Gangstaz” – Wiley, Gangstaz

Maxwell Woodger Esq

More to Life

Hotel California

Bang ! Bang ! Bang!

Who’s that knocking at your door?

A million thoughts can run through your head at a time like this. It’s 3.42AM. It’s 5.35PM. The mystery guest doesn’t call ahead or make reservations. You stop what you’re doing and hesitate for a minute to wonder… Is it the Repo man in his sombre suit waiting for you to open the door and grant him access to all your worldly goods? Is it the police knocking on your door with news of a death in the family? Is it the angry boyfriend of that girl you slept with unknowingly last week…?

No. It’s your friend.

You know, the one who you met at a party a while ago. The one who has the same music and film tastes as you. The one you skipped the traditional family meal for to play football in the park. The one you trust.

The hesitation stops and you make your way over to the door to welcome in your guest. Those who believe in Vampires say you’re safe at home until you welcome one into your humble abode. Then you are theirs for good.

It’s raining outside and the draft sweeps across the threshold, swiftly followed by your friend. For an instant, you don’t recognize him. He is wet and limp, but instead of heading your settee, he walks around the living room. His pace is relentless and it tires you to watch, so you slump down on the settee. Your friend is obviously looking for something.


You recognize the smile, but the wide eyes are wanton. Fidgeting fingers struggle with a pack of cigarettes, release one and lift it to his dry lips. One long hard inhalation of toxic fumes and a calm suddenly settles this wanderer. You relax.

Between the third and fourth puff on the cigarette, your friend gives a suggestive wink and shrug. You raise your eyebrows, lean forward and smile back. You turn and open the top drawer of the dresser. A box of matches, a pack of cards, two coins, an elastic band, a biro and bits of tinfoil. You take out the tinfoil and matches.

You catch a glint in the eye of your visitor. You stand up and walk past him towards the kitchen. The bin is half empty and you fill it with the tinfoil. Then you strike a match and light the stove. There is always time for a cup of tea. Your body goes into auto pilot as you prepare the universal offering.

Two cups. One teaspoon. Sugar. Milk. One tea bag. The average teabag can infuse up to seven cups of tea.. The teabag drops into a cup. Boiled water strikes the bag and a brown smoke of flavour fills the cup. Stir. Remove and drop into the second cup. Pour more water and wait. You remember the time you beat your friend 3-Nil at Pro-Evolution Soccer. Remove the tea bag. Pour in the milk and watch thick clouds appear in each cup. One teaspoon of sugar for you. Two for your guest.

As you turn, Smack!

Hot tea sprays across the kitchen cupboards and scolds your forearm. A whirr of shining metal races towards you. Blood sprays left and right, diluting with the milky white tea puddles. It doesn’t hurt. Your eyes lock on those of your friend. All those fond memories disintegrate into the huge dark pupils of your guest. You’ve invited the devil into your humble abode.

The pain starts to stream across your body and you drop to the floor. The tiles are cold and dirty. It will take at least a couple of hours to clean this mess. You friend rips drawers open and cutlery flies across the room. The knife he’s holding is dripping in your blood. 7 inches of stainless steel painted red.

Your friend finds what he’s looking for. A grocery bag full of tin foil wraps. Each shiny package contains a small weight of crack cocaine. It took you one whole day and an eighth of skunk to prepare those. One rock. Two rocks. Five grams. Different horses for different courses. Whilst you empty yourself of bodily fluid on the kitchen floor, your friend is stealing your income.

Over the moon and practically laughing, your friend clutches his addiction and takes one more look at you. For an instant, you see the same face you saw when you both met for the first time. Then you no longer recognise him. He bends down and stabs you straight in the heart.

All around the UK a new phenomena is raging. Crystal Meth. The Misled Youth is easily impressed and enjoy the profits. A few simple ingredients have turned your kitchen into a laboratory.

That first toke takes you to a place you’ve never been before. An imaginary paradise. The people who’ve been there know this and will stop at nothing to try and find it again. Eventually it’s all they can think about, and as long as you can supply them with the ticket to ride, you will always be friends for a price. Nothing in Life is for free, so you can expect your bill soon.

They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast…

Maxwell Woodger Esq.
Saturday, 13 May 2006

More to Life

The Carrot Dangler

By Maxwell Woodger Esq.

Nothing in life is for free.

When I hear news about Michael Jackson’s staff filing a possible lawsuit against their employer for arrears and non payment since December of last year, I feel their anger.

While Jacko high-tails it and spends a little more cash to keep himself out of the limelight somewhere in the Arab Emirates, butlers and cleaners are pouring flammable liquids over his effigy in rage.

Normally, I would browse my illicit contacts list and pluck a piece of political skulduggery out of the murky depths for all to see, but this week I’m turning the tip of my poisonous pen towards thieving hacks and dishonest employers. You see, there is an area of the media that flies under the banner of Freelance- a concept where the journalist is free to work for whoever and whenever they want, but their work is only as good as the next filed copy. It’s a risky business, but needless to say many a fine journalist has dabbled with the discipline. Freelancing is also a good way to work on different styles, and express a little freedom in your choice of words.

However, the only part of freelancing some worthless turncoats have MIS-understood is the premise ‘Free’. If it’s freelance, it must be free, right..?


Everybody has got to eat, and a professional relationship between two parties usually means that their collaboration is a means to an end. You make a living out of professional work, otherwise you’d be an amateur on work experience. So, even if you’re getting paid in product, skin or rupees, there’s something in return.

Now, imagine getting short-changed for your hard graft, but then realising your effort was in vain because someone (No-one ever knows who, goddammit!) has given it a facelift. And not a top of the range face lift that only the most beautiful people deserve- No. Someone has transformed your work into a false entity that distorts reality and enhances an ugly reaction from anyone unlucky enough to lay eyes upon it.

So, on top of being swindled, your good name is now in disrepute because of a problem at the printers! How a machine can erase your copy and replace it with some twisted fineprint does not cease to amaze me. Is there a little angry man in that box of wires, cogs and screws..?

You can run but can’t hide forever.

Whilst shady employers lay low and count their coins on white beaches, much more loathsome activity hits the radar. Slobodan Milosovic died of a heart attack whilst waiting to stand trial for Crimes against Humanity, and America aired its latest instalment of reality TV- Black. White; a bizarre social study where races swap lives in hope of understanding one another a little better. Both of these headlines have left communities feeling cheated and lost. Who benefits from such situations?

After this many carrots, you’d think we could see through the darkness by now…

Maxwell Woodger Esq – Tuesday, 21st March 2006

More to Life

Is the pen mightier than the sword..?

A war is raging….

Instead of it being your modern day “Hearts and Minds” battle, this war is between Faith and Freedom. Two utopian ideologies that can flare a jovial jibe into an all out fist fight. In the Blue Corner we have the Journalists, whilst in the Red Corner we have the Muslim Faith. Neither contender can see eye to eye over the current scandal that might result in another split of the global social structure.

Whose side are you on?

Tough question, eh? Well, let me lay the facts on the table and then I’ll pass you the dice to figure your next move… The whole dilemma started when on the 30th September 2005 caricatures of the prophet Mahomet were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. It’s problematic because the Muslim faith prohibits representations of its prophet and the caricatures pictured him as a terrorist. Several ambassadors from the Muslim world then requested a meeting with the Danish Prime minister who declined.

It then spread to the whole Islamic world when in January several countries, lead by Libya, threatened to close their embassies in Denmark. Then, several newspapers from around Europe (including Liberation and Charlie Hebdo in France) published the caricatures claiming the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. This is when it exploded and Danish and other embassies were attacked and burned down in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.

Needless to say, the tension between the West and the Middle East is high.

I think that what a lot of people are missing in this double edged sword story, is the fact that the pictures appeared way back in September, yet the main media coverage only appeared in January. Why the delay? Didn’t anyone see the smoke on the horizon?? After all, where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be fire.

Now is not the time to argue! The United Nations Security Council is currently in negotiations with Iran investigating its nuclear capacities, and Denmark is up next for Presidency of the Council in June. A slight disagreement there and the world could be staring at another Bay of Pigs stand off.

The fat is in the fire and some of us don’t eat bacon.

I used to admire skateboarding and music as areas without boundries. Any one can play an instrument and anyone can ride a board. But, when I hear about the classroom bickering of magazine editors and advertisers over jokes about sexuality, it makes no sense.

We preach freedom everyday like we pledge allegiance to our culture. A misplaced joke can sow the seed of separation. Someone said there’s an element of truth in every joke, but I guess it all depends on who’s telling it….

Maxwell Woodger Esq – Friday, 15 February 2006