Sunday, August 28, 2005


'88.2% Of Statistics Are Made Up On The Spot'*

*Guinness advert from 1997. Picture courtesy of TVWhirl.

According to this post, the joyless whingers at The Guardian have been having a moan again. Every time I wonder why I call myself a libertarian, not a liberal, all I have to do is pick up the Guardian and it all becomes clear.

The latest fuss from those most joyless of liberals appears to be the fact that WHSmith, the stationers, have started selling stationery with the Playboy logo on the front. Shocking! Apparently, however, my overwhelming apathy to the fact was not shared by the Guardian readership, who, in the link above, moan and mutter and claim that this is the beginning of the end. Let's take a look at what they think, shall we?

Robert Machin, Hampshire

'It's appalling, but why should you be surprised that WHSmith stocks this stuff? This company apparently thinks it's perfectly OK to display Loaded, Maxim and all the other half-witted lads' porn on the lower shelves next to the comics. No doubt product placement is analysed to the nth degree by WHSmith's marketing geniuses, so what is the rationale?

I find this relentless normalisation of smut and objectification of women much more disturbing and depressing than pornography itself, and it seems to me to be much worse than it ever was in the 60s and 70s.'

This guy's a classic. In the first place, it's sad to see him continue a tradition that has been all too prevalent on the left over the years, which is taking offence on somebody else's behalf, usually done because the protagonist, whether consciously or not, believes that said somebody is incapable of protesting for themselves. Is there really an objectification of women in society? See, I would say that there used to be. However, how can anybody say that there is anymore? Take a look here. It's a website of all the adverts released in Britain over the last few years. If you have way too much spare time on your hands - and let's face it if you have time to write to a newspaper, you do - try typing the word 'husband' into the search box. Do the same with 'wife' if you like. Now tell me - is it men or women who are objectified in these adverts?

This isn't some gender conflict thing - the correct answer is that neither are objectified. This is because people get involved in the media, outside the news of course, because of their own free will. The women on the front, and in the middle, and on the back, of Loaded and Maxim, as with the men in Men's Health, are all there out of personal choice. Of course, if they weren't, that would be more serious:

Heather Rutledge, Birmingham

'I am sick of being faced by crotch shots on railstation newsstands and in every newsagent. A friend of mine with two young boys says he is faced with the task of trying to counter these images every time he takes his kids to buy sweets. We both grew up in the 1960s and 70s, were both working class and very sexually active teenagers, but both feel that the sex/porn industry is pernicious, nasty and is presenting girls and boys with images that are at best misleading and at worst downright vicious.

Recent reports indicate that perhaps 80% or more of porn that is routinely viewed shows women and girls being raped and enjoying it. We have increased reporting of rapes; lowered rates of actual conviction; police concern about gang rapes.

Sorry, but it is nauseating. We need some respect for girls and women.'

It's becoming apparent to me that I reside in a parallel universe. I go to my local newssagent every day, and another one most days, and in neither would I say I am 'faced by crotchshots.' The only way to see any such thing is to go peering at the top shelf, which is going out with the intention of being offended in my book. I would be fascinated to know if this charming lady considers herself any different to those viewers who stayed up late enough to be offended by 'The Idiots' recently?

I particularly like the emphasis these writers place upon the sixties and seventies, as if what happened then should automatically be considered an appropriate comparison for today. Yes, women were objectified in the sixties and seventies - most frequently portrayed as simple creatures with simpled desires, who were never happier than when providing for the family. Does anybody see that emphasis today? Girls wearing shirts with the Playboy symbol on are in fact celebrating a freedom their mothers, and certainly their grandmothers, never knew, which is the freedom to be sexually active without censure. That women don't have to be virginal on their wedding day, is, I should say, a great improvement on life decades ago. Even their mothers, who may not have faced that pressure, certainly faced criticism were they seen to be too promiscuous. As a woman who claims to have been sexually active herself in her pre-marital youth, you would think Ms Rutledge appreciates this freedom being granted to those younger than her, but alas not.

She then goes on to make the astounding allegation that 80% of pornography shows women 'being raped and enjoying it.' The fact that she frames this with 'recent reports', and no actual evidence, says to me that she is fully aware that this figure is complete rubbish. It's the reason I chose the title I did for this post. In fact not only is this a lie, but if Ms Rutledge has any actual evidence of any woman being raped for the sake of pornography, then it is her legal duty to report such to the Police, as it obviously constitutes a felony. I'm sure her dossier is winging its way to Scotland Yard right now, but on the off chance it isn't, I think we can safely conclude that she is a deluded fantasist who has read too much Andrea Dworkin.

Typical day at Hef's house.


Go Forth And Multiply!

Thanks to my good friend Clairwil I can now find out how many of you buggers actually read this tripe. I am, as you can imagine, quite delirious with the power at my command. The secret lay in some strange website who allow you this service for free - trouble is, they won't allow any pornographic content on any blog on which their symbol appears. Fuck that - if they come snooping, they'll just have to cancel my account. No more pictures of naked ladies - blow that, that's the whole point of the Internet!

Obviously, therefore, I expect you to not only read this site yourselves, but also to tell mates and partners and suchforth. Because mark my words, I've got my eye on you lot.

In another administrative matter, I have decided to re-post the now-infamous 'breakfast post' as soon as possible. Trouble is, I'm off to the wettest, wildest part of Ireland at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning, so it may be next week. I'll try before then, though.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


L'Interior - Scorchio!

I'm back from Spain now. It's good to be back, to be honest, because it was far too hot for me - nearly forty degrees every day. It's just nice to be home in a place where you can't leave home without a jacket. I always have looked better in a jacket. Currently, the temperature here is around nine degrees. Ah, cold again!

Meteorologicos mit Paula


Consider Me Baffled

Well, I don't know. I'm completely confused. I wrote a post this week on a subject dear to my heart, tea, and it has vanished completely. It was, in fact, one of my better posts. Sadly, it has now vanished three times. As a result, I can't be arsed to re-write it. If I do, I'll put it up with an explanation. In the meantime, does anyone know why it might be happening?

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Note To Middle-Aged Spanish Lady In The Corte Ingles

If you aren´t brave enough to get on an escalator properly, without treating your feet as if they´re precious jewels, then you certainly aren´t allowed to look at me with that patronising sneer when I sneeze, which was, in fairness, partly down to your own musty smell.

That is all.

Sunday, August 21, 2005



Sorry about the low postage folks. It's my summer holiday season, and I'm going to be away for most of the next fortnight too. Please keep visiting, I may have time for updates during that time!

In the meanwhile, why don't you get fit?

They never did find out what it was that had impregnated Jane.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Puerile Nonsense

These ones are real:

(via Captain SAFETY Site)


Food For Thought

According to this, Ricky Ponting looks like George W Bush. Can't say I'm convinced, myself. Here's a much better similarity:

Andrew Strauss

Quentin Tarantino



The Kick-Ass Cabbage Campaign!

Here at Dr Feelgood nothing is relished like a bit of the old direct action. So, we're proud to endorse the Kick-Ass Cabbage Campaign (my name for it), started here. The story goes like this. A branch manager at the Bank Of Scotland, in an attempt to motivate the staff, forced the person with the lowest sales figures to have a cabbage on their desk. That manager's name was Stacey, which you need to remember.

One of her victims was a young man called Darren who was on the road to recovery after meningitis. Rather understandably, he hadn't gotten great sales figures over the period. Fortunately, his dad went to the press and has had Stacey exposed.

Now, Clairwil has started the eminently sensible campaign of asking people to either send a cabbage to Stacey, or else a picture of one. If you need one to print out, look no further:

Because she's a big cabbage. Geddit?

The address to send your cabbage or photo to is:

Stacey, The Bank Of Scotland, 701 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8RB.

It's the perfect sort of direct action. It's a real pain in the arse for the recipient, but it does no lasting harm or anything horrible. Your support is required!


Delusions Of Grandeur

I was at the Test yesterday. Managed to get in, at around quarter to nine. We'd been there since quarter past seven. Still, it was absolutely worth it. A quality days play, some of the best cricket I've ever seen live, and my first England test, if you can believe it.

Of course, I'm enthusing about this mostly because I wish to rub people's noses the wrong way, as we say around here, but I am also so chuffed it was a good day's play. In fact, I have no voice left from my vocal exertions, and apparently my efforts landed me on the tellybox. I need an agent, quick!

Since this seems to be the done thing, a couple of points of my own:

1: It was, without doubt, the loudest sporting event I've ever been to that didn't involve motors of some kind. No Premiership football match I've seen has been louder, or at least not for many seconds anyway.

2: Simon Jones has taken up the mantle of 'crowd favourite.' The receptions he received at the start and end of every over were astounding. I have to say, quite right too. He was easily the most threatening bowler, and he's come so far from the start of this year it's hard to believe it's the same guy. I was mightily impressed.

3: It's possible that Hayden will score a big total at some point in the next two tests. Personally, however, I reckon he won't. He just looks, as does Gillespie come to that, not particularly bothered, almost tired. I can't believe Australia have no-one they'd prefer, so maybe we'll see Tate instead of Gillespie. Oh, and yes, by the way, he does need a haircut. Desperately.

4: It strikes me that this series has done more for cricket in Britain than anything in the last twenty years. Two of my best mates have hated cricket for years, yet suddenly they're watching every ball of every day with rabid interest. I know people who hate sport, anything to do with it, who have told me they were watching the match. In 'The Mirror' this morning, a match report took up the whole of pages three and four, or maybe five and six. At any rate, it was astonishing that a simple sports report should be so high up the paper, no matter how bitter the rivalry involved. It just goes to show how good the cricket's been, and how closely matched the two sides are.


5: Cricket is the best sport by far for access to the participants. My mate went for a wander yesterday, and found a group of lads, proper Mancunians one and all, just ripping the piss out of Gillespie in the nets. In what other sport could this happen? In what other sport could Australian players have passed so close by the fans that, forget being able to sign autographs, the crowd could have trodden on their toes if they were so inclined? That, as much as anything else, is the beauty of cricket.

Compare and contrast: Jonesy looks fired and enthused, while

Gillespie looks like a third-rate pimp. Get a haircut!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


On Alcohol

This is the best article on the new licensing laws that I've read. The apparently continual bemusement by Britain's political class to those of her citizens who go out to get drunk would be amusing to watch if they didn't have the power to spoil it.

The truth about drinking is that it's only a problem because the media have made it into one. Simultaneously glamourising and demonising the so-called 'drinking culture' has made binge drinking both irresistible and inexcusable, and in my opinion, the media should take nearly all the blame for that. On the one hand, programmes like 'Club Reps' and such like make getting wasted seem like a necessary part of life, while news magazines and that ilk have whipped up a storm over a problem that doesn't exist. In my town, there were 25 pubs just sixty or seventy years ago. Today there are half that number. It is a little known fact that fewer people drink less alcohol than a hundred years ago, and although it's true, you wouldn't know it from television and newspaper coverage.

The government's plans are, to an extent, sensible enough. The licensing laws do need an overhaul, and to be honest, part of the reason people get so leathered is that, with pubs stopping serving at eleven, they only have a short amount of time to drink, and so react to that by drinking a lot very quickly. I know this because, unlike politicians, judges, chief constables and opinion writers in 'The Guardian', I actually go to the pub.

Further to that, doing the right thing for the wrong reason can sometimes be to do the wrong thing. I don't want a 'cafe bar culture' like France or Spain or Italy. If I did, I'd move to France or Spain or Italy.

With any luck, the new licensing laws won't do that. Just keep your fingers crossed.

Much of the blame for binge drinking has fallen upon the slender shoulders of the humble alcopop.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


You're Just The Right Size

I'm going away again for the next few days, but I'll try and put at least something up here a couple of times. In the meantime, amuse yourselves with the 'Guess Her Bra-Size' game. My top-score is 22, which is pitifully, but mercifully, low.

'Easy. Half a block.'


An Ode To LEGO

Waiting at Copenhagen Airport the other day, I noticed a LEGO store. It looked terribly forlorn, with a 20% discount on everything. No-one was stopping. Since they're clearly in trouble, and I practically grew up in the stuff, I thought I'd help out with a poem. As with previous efforts, this is written in the modernist style, and is not meant to be taken seriously. Thank you.

The fabled stories of yore,
Told in plastic-fantastic detail,
Carved into children's memories,
A raid, a voyage, a discovery.

The building blocks to their hearts.

Some claimed it was too expensive,
Others too demanding,
Yet still the pirates and tumbleweed residents
Are kept alive in this strange world.

No hopes, no dreams,
Yet life aplenty.'

This curious mixture of horror and admiration that has overcome me has rendered me speechless.


Click-On-Hagen, Part II

Ok, last of the Copenhagen piccies.

'One Apocalyptic Horseman.'

'Hardy Folk.'

'A Path Less Trodden.'

'With A Hope And A Prayer.'

'Wedding At The English Church.'

'Outdoor Smoking.'

'Father Of Physics: Niels Bohr'


Bring Back Martyn Lewis!

It was a beautiful, sunny day today. I'd gone out last night and got, I don't mind admitting, rather drunk. Yet I felt wonderful this morning. I had a marvellous lunch, and then it happened. I was perusing the paper (The Times today), and on page thirty - thirty! - was the following story:

'Beijing: Hopes of saving 102 workers trapped in a flooded coal mine at Xingning, in Guangdong, southern China, faded when water levels failed to drop. The flooding was caused by miners breaking into a water channel. A gas explosion in the southwestern Guizhou province also killed 14 miners.'

Compare this to the weekend long coverage of the Russian submarine, which came ubiquitous with terrible rescue footage on BBC World (imagine something blurry and red creeping across something patchy and blue), and you'll see the disparity.

Later, I was in the local shop, purchasing an ice cream because of the glorious weather, and Radio 1 'Newsbeat' came on the radio.

'A man has been jailed for life after killing a two-year old toddler on Glasgow's Easterhouse estate with an air rifle. He had been leaning out of the window firing potshots.'

'Policing are advising women in Northampton not go out alone after dark, following a spate of attacks in the area. At least three women have been raped in the last week.'

It carried on like this for ages. This depressed me thoroughly, and I got to remembering former BBC newscaster Martyn Lewis, who famously wanted more good news stories on the news. I reckon he had the right idea.

So, in an attempt to pass this on to the nation, I need at least one piece of good news in the lives of my readers. As Echo & The Bunnymen once said, 'enlighten me.'

Good news?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


'Cause I Want To Be The Minority'*

The Dark Prince has compiled a list of the three most awful minority groups. His list is good, but these groups need mentioning too. Here are a ghastly lot, in reverse order of awfulness:

1) People who chew their fingernails. I had a thesis about this, which was that people who do this do so because they can't afford nail scissors. However, a very wealthy friend of mine does it too, so my new thesis is that it is a form of very slight mental imbalance. It's a filthy and pointless habit, lacking even the intellectual honesty of nose-picking.

2) Anyone who waves their hand in front of their face when someone lights a cigarette near them. For fuck's sake, just say something. I can actually respect people with the cojones to speak up, but this poncy display is absolutely typical of the worst type of health freak. Often, the person doing this will be called Jasper. It's a fact.

3) People who whinge about lateness. I am famously late to everything. It's a family tradition. Yet some people object, and complain and harp on when I'm late to the pub or work or a wedding or whatever. Just start ten minutes after your schedule says, and then I'll only be a little late. A mite of consideration, please!

Feel free to add others.

*Green Day, 'Minority.'



As promised, some views of Copenhagen. More tomorrow.

'Buy Bassett's.'

'Tourist Horde View Mermaid.'

'Best Of Intentions.'

'Home Sweet Home.'

'Femme Fatale.'


Obviously, Copenhagen is home to Carlsberg, and these are some of the photos I took related to them.

Fascinating fact!

Berg is Danish for hill, and Carlsberg literally means 'Carl's Hill.' The brewery is located on one of the cities few eminences:

'The Carlsberg Elephants.'

'Lager Shack.'

'A Successful Haul.'

'A Blinkered View.'

There's quite a few more to come yet. Sorry.


Putting Me Through The Millen

Robbie Millen has an extraordinarily stupid article in The Times today. I wish I could link to it, but I can't make head nor tail of their incomprehensible website. You'll just have to take my word for it, then.

The article, imaginatively entitled 'Let Us Spray', is a call for people to be allowed to carry pepper spray and CS gas in order to defend themselves. Here are my problems with it:

The article starts with a long-winded recollection about a fight in a cinema, and the audience turning a blind eye to what was going on. He says of the end of the fight;

'The fight fizzled out when the aggressor’s posse of trackie-clad girlfriends dragged him away, screeching “Michael, be the bigger man. ’E’s not worf it”. Michael then had his final flourish in front of the rabbit-like audience: “I want ’im. Outside you t***!”'

Throughout the article, the now-standard disdain for the apparel of the white working class, or the 'underclass', as he terms them, is brutally evident. Now, I'm not going to make excuses on behalf of a cinema brawler. However, was it really necessary to point out that his 'girlriends' (yeah, right) were 'trackie-clad?' Of what relevance is this?

'And that was it, another nasty little example of the underclass creeping out from the cracks in our society. All that was left hanging in the air was that unsettling atmosphere of violence and guilt. Guilt that in an audience of strapping young men, none had the guts to intervene.'

The phrase 'strapping young men' says to me that this writer had a pretty privileged upbringing, since he appears to have some kind of Greek or Roman ideal in the majesty of the male body. What he fails to mention, of course, is that the stiff upper lip is a British tradition, and that unlike many parts of the world, joining in a fight for the sake of it isn't done, and with good reason.

'Most of us are public-spirited, want to do the right thing and prove we’re made of the right stuff. But most of us flunk it when the call for courage comes. We are rational creatures and calculate the risks. Why wade in, why resist, why make a stand when you don’t know what the aggressor is capable of and whether he has a knife or worse?'

In fact there are better reasons for not launching into somebody else's battle fists flailing, not least that joining in merely lowers you to the level of the thug. Of course, I'm not saying that if you were to come across someone being assaulted in a back alley, you shouldn't try to help, but we aren't talking about a back alley, we're talking about a cinema, which has security and a management and such forth. In other words, people better qualified to get involved than me, you or Robbie Millen.

'A burst of pepper spray in Michael’s face would have stopped his violence and been a small victory for civil society.'

This is the start of his bizarre idea that arming the citizenry with weapons which require no training or even thought before use would be 'a small victory for civil society.'

I am, in fact, in favour of British citizens being able to keep firearms. I believe the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages. Pepper spray or CS spray is different, however. With a gun, it is a last option, a final resort of desperation, for we all know guns can, and will, kill. Pepper spray, on the other hand, can't. Consequently, there's no reason to think twice before using it, hardly a great help.

'Pepper spray, for example, causes no permanent damage; surely then it should be “reasonable force” to use it in self-defence? It is an irritant that causes severe pain when it makes contact with the skin. It inflames the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and it causes the eyes to swell shut, loss of balance and breathing difficulties. It is nasty, but the effects last just 30 to 45 minutes.'

What Millen doesn't seem to understand is that the very lightness of the effects of sprays is what makes them so dangerous, because there is little good reason to be careful around them. What stops me getting bored of the man sitting next to me at the bar, and just spraying him, in Mr Millen's world? I'll tell you; nothing.

'There is more wisdom on a National Rifle Association bumper sticker, that bogey figure for US liberal-lefties. It reads: “An armed society is a polite society.” A person with malign intentions is less likely to abuse people or treat them roughly because of the simple, brute fact that they may carry a concealed weapon.'

Yet this simply isn't true. If it were, there would never be gang wars, since all members would live in fear of their opponents weaponry. There are many reasons to commit crime, but 'because it's easy' probably isn't too high on the list.

Think again Mr Millen. Spray is a terrible idea.


The Morality Tale Of The Underpass; Or, A Not Terribly Interesting Story About Why You Should Never Trust A Politician Further Than You Can Spit Them

The town where I live, Stourbridge, is a rather dull provincial town. It has one claim to fame, which is that the first train was built there, or a part of it was, or at any rate somebody from Stourbridge might have attended the event, because the Scouts wear a picture of said train on their shirts.

The town has existed for years, but in 1968, in a move so sadly typical of the degenerative brain-wasting disease that affected municipal planners of the time, a ring road was built. It was completely unnecessary, and built too tight, so that it literally strangled the town.

After designing the road, which is three lanes wide, it was decided people needed a place to cross. The sensible option would have been bridges, but this was the late sixties, and in provincial places like Stourbridge, developers were only just discovering the amazing properties of concrete, so they sunk three underpasses beneath the road. These were predictably dark, dank and horrible, and have been ever since. In one, a space for a shop was built, which was occupied by a sweet shop for a while. In retrospect, the owners must realise that the possibility of people willingly stopping in a dark underpass that smells of urine, while unsavoury characters stroll past with their hands in their pockets, simply in order to buy a pear drop, was one of the daftest ideas of the century. So it went bust.

A couple of years back, in another of the underpasses, an old woman was mugged at night, and I believe she was assaulted as well. The cry went up: Something Must Be Done. So, in the old sweet shop, the police set up a station, the idea being to monitor what was going on, and to give people a port of call if they needed help.

This station was, briefly, mildly famous. It was the first underground police station in Britain, and at its inception, last year, Michael Howard came and officially opened it, giving a speech about heralding a 'new era of community policing', or some such drivel. Everyone was hopeful, crime would be down, the old people would be safe, the students from the local college would have to go further along to spit out their chewing gum.

That was about fourteen months ago. It lasted around three months. Today, it is permanently abandoned.

Surprise, surprise.

Monday, August 08, 2005


There Ain't No Ghost In This Machine

So I've been away to Denmark, and what do I find when I get back? This! It would seem that this place hasn't been the only one quiet recently. In fact, contrary to the aspertions cast by my good friend the Hungbunny, I haven't been suntanning or getting any. I am sunburnt, but I don't think that's quite the same thing.

Oh, and no kiddie porn either. Yuk! As for planning atrocities, time shall tell. Mwaaooh-hah-hah-hah-haa!

Had a nice time abroad, always do, but there were a couple of problems. Denmark, of course, being the spiritual home of cricket, I didn't see a single ball (live) of the last test. I saw the last day's highlights last night, during which Mark Nicholas continually called it 'one of the most exciting tests ever.' I'm going to Manchester this weekend, going to see if I can get in for a day, but I bet it'll rain all weekend now.

There's good news and bad news for you, my faithful readers. The bad news is that, being a sad git, I'm going to put some of my holiday photos up here over the next few days. The good news is, they'll be amongst quite a few other posts, since I'm away next weekend as well, and you folks deserve something from me. As the Hunbunny says, 'throw the punters any old crap, as long as it's fresh.'

Monday, August 01, 2005


Your Homework While I'm Away

I know several of my readers are in the teaching profession, so I'm sure they'll understand me when I say I want no shirking on this work. Your question is this:

Work out for me the meaning of the following lyrics:

'Better get yourself together babe,
I'm telling you for sure,
I can take your pressure 'cos,
I'm looking at the door.
I gave him all I got, baby
I won't take no more -
You're the one I love,
Let's do it like before!'

'Time and time again I let you have it all your way,
You had it in the morning,
Late at night and in the day,
I gave you so much baby,
Don't let me go astray,
I feel it in my heart,
And every night I'm gonna pray!'

Saturated Soul, 'Got To Release' (Ian Carey & Eddie Amador Vocal)

I've been trying for months with no luck. Oh, by the way, it's a female singer. So, I want no excuses, lots of comments, I don't care how silly, because they're better than nothing. Create a life story for this lady if you like. I just want something.


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