The Guest Spot

Longtime readers of ka-os|theory might remember this post, from nearly three years ago. My good friend Ray had just told me had been diagnosed as HIV-positive. It's been a bumpy ride for Ray since then, and I asked him if he'd like to write about his experiences for ka-os|theory. This is his story.

I WRITE THIS entry as I lie in my bed with carrots, houmous and a bottle of wine. Not the healthiest of drinks to be drinking for someone who’s HIV positive, I hear you say. While that’s true, this is something that is kind of helping me write as I now go through the memory of what I’ve been through over the last two and a half years. The diagnosis, the medication, the side effects, the blood tests, the close calls, the tears... the list goes on.

You know, a dame with a rod is like a guy with a knitting needle

at the MOVIES

obert Mitchum lands his first starring role and along with Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas, creates one of the landmarks of Film Noir in Jacques Tourneur's classic Out Of The Past (1947).

Based on the novel " Build My Gallows High", Mitchum plays a former detective sent on a mission by a sinister gangster (Douglas) to find and retrieve his former girlfriend (Greer) who not only shot him, but also stole $40,000.00. Greer plays her like the pretty girl next door, who just happens to be homicidal. Mitchum falls hard, and as a result, is crossed, double crossed and framed for a coupla' killings. It's a murderous a trip down memory lane you won't soon forget. Steve Hayes

(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)


SCARF MAGAZINE IS that rarity: a collectible arts magazine which comes out annually that features ingredients that shouldn't work but always do.

Founded by artist and curator, Kinsi Abdulleh, under the umbrella group 'Numbi' (which means 'healing dance' in Somali), the magazine is collated by a small group of dedicated editors and artists, including acclaimed short story-writer and visual artist, Diriye Osman, who serves as the deputy editor.

Every year, the SCARF team come up with a theme that reflects ideas close to them. This year's theme is 'Breathing Space' and every artist and writer involved in the magazine decided to explore that idea in different ways.

Diriye Osman, with Kinsi Abdulleh.
Award-winning musician, Meshell Ndegeocello chose to write a short, poignant article about what 'freedom' means to her: the jazz singer, Lizz Wright, chose to share a poem about the importance of finding one's voice; MacArthur 'Genius' fellow, Edwidge Danticat wrote a gorgeous recipe from Haiti that reflects the country's painful past and promising future: the Booker-shortlisted novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah chose to share an extract from his powerful new novel, 'The Last Gift.'

There are interviews with renowned artists, Wangechi Mutu and Fatoumata Diawara as well as a life-affirming essay about sexual identity by the Nigerian blogger and feminist activist, Sokari Ekine.

Every single page of this gem is illustrated by a group of talented young artists based in the UK, including Lyndsey Winnington, Janneke de Jong, Bethany Hermitt and Kichau Ramlaul.

There's fiction by rising star, Lauren Trimble, and the poetry section features Dorothea Smartt, Sai Murray (who's also the art director), Elmi Ali (an associate editor at the magazine), Idil Abshir and Booker-shortlisted novelist and poet, Romesh Gunesekera.

The cover illustration - which features a beautiful nymph blowing bubbles in the air - is by Diriye Osman, a ka-os|theory cover star.

This issue of the magazine will launch on Tuesday, 22nd May, at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, London. Get tickets here. There'll be an exclusive reading by Abdulrazak Gurnah followed by a Q&A with Diriye Osman about art, life and the African writer's role in today's society.

Man has a choice and it's a choice that makes him a man

at the MOVIES

n update of the Cain and Abel story provides the foundation for Elia Kazan's film of John Steinbeck's East Of Eden, starring James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos and in an Oscar winning performance, Jo Van Fleet.

Shot on location in several localities including in Steinbeck's native Salinas, California, Dean plays Cal the troubled and disfavored son of Massey and Davalos his kinder, gentler and good brother, Aaron. Both are in love with the same girl and vying for their father's love in the days before World War I. Under Kazan's direction, Dean displays all the angst and brilliance that made him a legend in just three films. His scenes between father and son, with the more traditional Massey, crackle with tension and are some of the most heartfelt ever filmed. Harris is perfect as the girl who finds she loves Dean no matter what and Van Fleet is the antithesis of the woman who could never compromise, nor be held down by anyone and as a result, has passed those traits on to the son she abandoned and never knew. Her scenes with Dean are remarkable and her Oscar more than deserved. Angry, passionate, raw and seething, East Of Eden is perhaps Kazan's greatest film and an amazing document of the comet that was James Dean. Steve Hayes

(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)

Boris wins, London doesn't

IT'S ALL OVER. London is once again lumbered with the bloated horror that is Boris Johnson, who retains his mandate to continue ransacking the purses of the less well off - whilst taking care of his wealthy friends in the City. As we all know from that classic moral fable, Dynasty, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The brutal Tory party has long since realised they can get away with a "take from the poor and give to the rich" policy by installing in office a figurehead the public likes. Anyone with half a brain can see that David Cameron is a slimey phony, but the average voter seems to see instead a good-looking, honest politician with his heart in the right place ("we're all in it together"). The true distillation of this of this clever tactic can be seen in Boris Johnson, a shrewd, cynical and manipulative politician who inhabits the Oscar-worthy role of hilarious, lovable buffoon. So whilst the ubiquitous single mother is distracted by his funny antics, Boris has his other hand deep in her purse.

Despite Johnson's supposed popularity (no one I know - save for one rogue Tory friend - likes him), and Ken Livingstone's near universal lack of it, the contest was as close as it could be: Johnson stole the victory by just 62,538 votes (out of 3,362,139 total votes cast).

Quite simply, that means most Londoners (he received just 971931 of first preference votes) don't want Boris Johnson as Mayor. His victory was secured by Tory voters, and morons who think he's funny on TV. Those who voted for Ken Livingston did so because he was the best man to run London, and not because they liked his cabaret act.

London has been betrayed by those voters who voted for Johnson on the basis of his winning personality. It's been betrayed by those Londoners who couldn't be bothered to vote, and worse still, by those who did vote, but voted for a pointless third candidate who had no chance of winning. One close friend told me he cast a "protest vote" for Liberal Democrat Brian Paddock - the epitome of the self-indulgence and selfishness of those Londoners who ought to know better. They know Boris is no good, but let their personal dislike for Ken cloud the big picture. It is they who, above all, are to blame for Ken Livingstone's loss, and the deliverance of our city, once again, into the fat paws of a brutal Tory.


It's a man's world, and you men can have it

 M A N N E Q U I N 
 M A N I A 
special edition*

1. Olivier Tremblay and Sebastien Vachon, by Alexandre Berthiaume.
2. Chris Petersen, by Joseph Sinclair.
3. Armando Zavala, by B. Charles Johnson.

This must be the place

 THROUGH  the 
 a pixelated pick'n'mix 

You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent!

at the MOVIES

ette Davis gives the performance of her career in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's classic All About Eve, the quintessential film on life in the theatre.

Winner of multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor: George Sanders. It also boasts Oscar nominated performances by Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm and the incomparable Thelma Ritter, as well as solid support from Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlow and up and coming starlet, Marilyn Monroe. One of the wittiest and most sophisticated comedies in motion picture history, it stays with you long after the first viewing and the unforgettable Oscar nominated Bette Davis, as the aging actress Margo Channing, is not to be missed! Steve Hayes

(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)

ka-os|theory supports Ken Livingstone for London Mayor

LONDON TODAY FACES a simple choice between good and evil: on the one hand, former Mayor Ken Livingstone, and on the other, the incumbent Tory Boris Johnson. ka-os|theory urges all our London readers to vote for Ken Livingstone.

Prior to taking office - a mere diversion for a millionaire playboy steeped in privilege - Boris Johnson made various racist statements, referring to "piccaninnies" and the "watermelon smiles" of black people. He axed anti-racism music festival Rise, and slashed funding for Black History Month.

On the subject of the GBLT community, Boris Johnson has branded gay men "tank-topped bumboys". On taking office, he pulled Transport for London out of the Stonewall equality index, and refused to appear at London gay pride events, as Livingstone did when in office. Boris Johnson won't release a GBLT-specific manifesto, despite repeatedly promising one.

Boris Johnson has overseen a staggering increase in public transport fares, whilst Transport for London - of which he is chairman - sits on a massive cash surplus. Over the last four years, he has campaigned tirelessly to cut the tax rate for the super rich.

Knife crime has soared. Housing costs have surged by as much as 75% in some parts of London, with overcrowding and homelessness the outcome.

Ken Livingstone, during two terms in office (despite a relentless, dirty smear campaign by London's right-leaning, Tory-controlled daily, the Evening Standard), was a beacon for tolerance and social equality.

Livingstone oversaw Britain's first civil partnership register, supported Pride and Soho Pride, worked with Stonewall against homophobic bullying in schools, and unlike Johnson ensured the Greater London Authority took a leading place in the Stonewall Employers' Index.

The anti-racist festival Rise - axed by Johnson - was a key Livingstone achievement. Racist attacks were halved.

Real attempts to tackle London's air quality problem - the capital's second biggest killer - came in the form of the Low Emission Zone and a comprehensive programme to cut Greenhouse Gas emissions, as well as setting up the C40 group of world cities to share knowledge. Plans to tax polluting 4x4s were cancelled when Johnson took office.

But these facts and figures are largely ignored by huge numbers of Londoners, who are turned off by a serious and dedicated Livingstone - perceived as old and grumpy - and utterly seduced by the empty spectacle of Boris Johnson's scruffy hair, bluster and "colourful language".

The personalities are irrelevant. This isn't Big Brother, it's real life. You might not like Ken Livingstone, but he's the best man for London, because he truly loves London. Boris Johnson hates Londoners, and loves only himself.

Use your vote wisely.
◄Design by Pocket