Thursday, July 27, 2006



It was my birthday today - well, yesterday now - so I can't write anything coherent because I'm fairly pissed. The trouble is, I've been drinking gin, which really is only one step up from drinking out of bottles wrapped in brown paper bags.

I promise I'll answer comments tomorrow when I'm not seeing triple. Anyway, if you want humour, piss off and bother somebody else for a while. Meanwhile, why not enjoy a geek fantasy?:

Birthday gift, from me to me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Simply Dursting With Creativity

Via The Golden Strawberry, we learn that:

'IRON MAIDEN singer and qualified pilot Bruce Dickinson airlifted 200 British citizens who had fled war torn Beirut, Lebanon back to the U.K. yesterday (July 20). The 47-year-old flew a Boeing 757 to Cyprus where he picked up the evacuees and flew them back to London's Gatwick Airport.'

This is actually pretty cool, in my opinion, which is bad, because I can't take the piss out of it. For a moment, I was worried that rock musicians had stopped being utter douchebags, and then I remembered who we hadn't checked in on in a while:

Are you 'lovin' this shit right here?'

If you remember, when we last caught up with Freddy - a whole six months ago now! - he was of the opinion that his entry into the pantheon of great auteurs was just around the corner. Not content with his status as a mere metteur en scene for low-grade music videos, he wanted to be the next Francis Ford Coppola.

And we laughed. And in my case, laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. I was disappointed, however, by the singular lack of emails from Bizkit lovers saying 'F U HATER!!!!!!!???ROFLMAO!![splurge]!!' or however it is they communicate. Of course, I may be making the classic mistake of assuming they are capable of basic communication.

However, Dursty is out to prove the haters wrong. I recently discovered this on the IMDb. It would seem that 'The Education Of Charlie Banks' is a low-budget indie film. The plot summary is:

'The Education of Charlie Banks is a coming of age tale that spans from the playgrounds of lower Manhattan to the idyllic greens of Vasser College. Set during the eighties, it is a story about change, inevitability, and mostly, about facing one's fears.'

That sounds studiously boring, without much chance of unintentional hilarity. Still, we must never pre-judge things in life, especially films, so, what do you reckon gang? Is this gonna flop? Is Durst an utter pillock? Might he actually not be a total ringpiece? Could this be, let's whisper this, good?

Monday, July 24, 2006



A friend of mine - who may or may not have a blog - has been in touch, claiming to have found a porn magazine with a cryptic crossword in it. I'm not sure I believe him - it's probably some witty 'Private Eye' spoof - but the clues are pretty good:

Q: 'Queer drapery at the border of the Cold War?' (4,7)

A: Iron curtain.

Q: 'Becoming erect and heading for a half volley?' (2,3,2)

A: On the up.

Q: 'Breathe heavily on a woman's pussy - a very big one' (7)

A: Teatime.

Q: 'Shag dyke wiuth fruits de mer?' (7)

A: ?

You tell me.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


If You Don't Want To Know The Score . . .

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was, in fact, not written by me, but by my good friend Mike, who has no blog or Blogger ID. I would just like to take this opportunity to say that if anyone who has no blog wants to email me something they've written, I will happily publish it, and I won't steal the credit. Honest.

I’d just like to thank Channel 4 for their brilliant show on Saturday night. The '50 Films To See Before You Die' programme was a stroke of pure tele-visual genius. Instead of watching these 50 masterpieces you could just watch this show, which helpfully explained the beginning, middle, end, any twist along the way and for some showed the final scene of each film by condensing them into three-minute segments. This has saved anyone who watched it the torment of watching the 50 greatest films without already knowing the end.

I gave up watching after the show reached 'Fight Club'. Remember the first time you watched Fight Club? Remember the feeling when you were hit smack bang in the face with that beautiful twist? That feeling of warmth inside, that grin on your face and that little ahhhhh noise that you made (Ahem). Now imagine that that twist being explained to you by some unknown “celeb” twat in a matter of fact way, seconds before having displayed a caption at the bottom of the screen explaining that this is one of the greatest twists in cinema. I feel sorry for anyone who watched the show and hadn’t seen 'Fight Club' or any of the other films they helpfully ruined.

Maybe there’s some cheap thrill in spoiling the end of a film for someone you don’t particularly like but using this theory Channel 4 hates the whole world. You irresponsible bastards - use the three-hour slot to show some of your innovative comedy, exciting documentaries or at very least one of the films in the list. Just a thought but hey, it’s still better than 3 hours of Big Brother… but so is repeatedly poking yourself in the eyeball with the end of a tube of toothpaste.

The thing is, it's a sl . . . .

It's a sl . . . .

It's a slot machine.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Rubbish Bin Extremism

This article on 'Comment Is Free' has attracted any number of comments that are perfect examples of what I like to call 'environmentalist authoritarianism'. The author, Brendan O'Neill, dares to suggest that sorting your rubbish into piles is awkward and annoying, and that aviation taxes damage the travel aspirations of working class people, and the Grauniad commentariat are less than pleased. In point of fact, I don't entirely agree with everything in the article, but some of the responses are absolutely mad, bad and dangerous. Let's sink a toe, shall we?

'nairobiny': 'Actually, it's Ms Challice and your mum that are the apologists for capitalism. They simply can't be arsed to tidy up after themselves. All too difficult you see. Far easier to pass that cost onto somebody else - stick it in a landfill, forget about it. Don't worry that it's the next generation, or their children, who will bear the cost of their selfishness.'

This is a milder version of a theme that becomes more popular and extreme later - don't recycle now, and you're killing my children!

'punky': 'Africa, for its own sake, cannot develop the same way the West has developed. It would be suicide. The developed World needs to greatly reduce its carbon emissions and, in the name of fairness, needs to finance and promote sustainable development in Africa and other regions that aren't responsible for the environmental crisis that the planet is facing.'

Yes, isn't it just exasperating that these stupid Africans insist on wanting cars and planes and fridges when expensively educated westerners like me keep telling them it's wrong? I mean, how stupid are they that they can't understand that what they want 'would be suicide'? They're late to the party - tough shit, I'm afraid.

'bennywhale': 'your mum has to seperate her rubbish. Big fucking deal. During WW2 the spirit of chipping in and pulling together and doing your bit was ingrained in society. The environmentalist cause will probably be doomed because we are a selfish people now, exemplified by you and your mum and probably many of the other twats above i can't be arsed to read.'

The comparison to the Second World War here isn't at all ridiculous, because - don't you see? - we're at war, with ourselves! We should set our society on a permanent, never-ending war footing! Perhaps we should have a Ministry Of Information who could lie to us about green issues, because, as we all know, truth is the first casualty of war. (By the way, this fellow isn't joking about this).

'clownfeet': 'I can't believe that given the evidence of how much waste we produce, we aren't all attemting to reduce it by as much as is practicable, and whinging about the government infringing our liberties when they very gently suggest we do so.'

Ah yes, the government's 'very gentle suggestions' such as compulsory carbon allowances on pain of fines, environmental taxes, aviation taxes, and taking people to court for insufficiently separating their rubbish. I'd hate to see what his very harsh suggestions are like!

'salt': 'Also the claim that enviromentalists don't want Africa to be developed is a straw man argumant, I have never heard anyone claim such a thing.'

If I were 'punky', I would be well pissed off at the lack of attention 'salt' is paying.

'hebrew': 'If you leave it up to people's consciences then you can just give up from the beginning, cause the majority just don't have it.'

'My own father for example doesn't give a shitt to environmental issues, he won't think about it for a minute. He will drive even for a 10 minutes walking distance just because he "doesn't do walking". There is no point to try to explain something. So with people like him (and unfortunatelly they are the majority) you have no choice but to hurt their pockets. And hurt it very hard.'

Shorter 'hebrew': I know much better than the majority what is good for them and the planet, but don't call me elitist. Also, Dad, this will teach you for telling me to shut up over dinner when I was a teenager!

'PowerCat': 'You seem to think that cheap air travel is some sort of great liberating force for the "working classes", that they've put down their coal shovels *en mass* and jetted off to the south of France for a little bouillabaise and impromptu discussions of philosohpy in dimply-lit cafes. No. Sorry. If anything cheap air travel has benefitted the middle classes, jetting off for weekend breaks several times a year, perhaps even to that holiday home they've just bought. Air travel is environmentally detructive and the price of it needs to adequately reflect that.'

No! How can you misunderstand the point being made so badly? He's not saying that cheap flights haven't benefitted the middle classes - they've obviously benefitted everybody - but instead that cheap flights have provided an opportunity for working class people who couldn't afford it before, and that it will be the working classes, not the middle classes, who suffer if the government taxes cheap flights out of existence. This is simple common sense; why does it require spelling out in words of one syllable?

'TobyLewis': 'No differentiation is made for class because morality treats everyone as an individual and from there comes responsibility. We need to figure out the total cost of our personal actions when multiplied the world over and our responsibility to others and not about cheap holidays abroad or that recycling takes a few minutes that would be better spent watching the TV.'

How very egalitarian of you. Unfortunately, this morality, as opposed to, say, don't murder or whatever, costs money, and you can't just ignore that fact. Also, I find it outrageous that someone can suggest 'figur[ing] out the total cost of our personal actions when multiplied the world' as if me not using the right recycling bin today should be considered responsible for every death that may be caused by global warming in the future.

'franky1972': 'Other than being ignorant you are pointless, another one to dispose of; when we halved the population of the planet the issue will be resolved, quite simple. Bring on the camps for these subhumans.'

I actually feel quite bad including this one - to be fair to everyone else, they haven't advocated gas chambers and concentration camps for those who don't hold the same opinions. This man - and I guarantee it'll be a man - is a sick fuck, and as a revolting, ordure-covered troll should be ignored.

Still, I have to say that this argument is only the reductio ad absurdum that you get if you suggest that minor environmental 'crimes' in your street can be held responsible for some kind of future genocide from global warming.

'ShinyScalp': 'Of course, we can make the argument that it is the choice of the individual to make those bad decisions, but when the costs of those decisions are externalised on to people in subsequent generations in different parts of the world, how the hell are ordinary, non-politically engaged people SUPPOSED to make rational and GOOD decisions (with fewer bad consequences) unless the BAD ones come with £1,000 fines?'

The trouble with this is that it splits every action and deed anyone ever commits into two camps - environmentally good, and environmentally evil. Nobody, but nobody, makes every decision in life based on these polar delineations. If I've been driving around for my job all year, and then my mother in Australia falls seriously ill over Christmas, am I a bad person for wanting to go and visit her? Should I be punished with a fine for that?

You might, I suppose, argue that that is a spurious argument, and that my mother doesn't live in Australia, and you would have a point. However, constructing binary poles around these issues can only harm environmental causes in the long run.

If you see someone use one of these properly, they're in real trouble because 'Only The Good Die Young'.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Sledging's Out In The Summer

Le grand butt de head is old news now, I suppose, but I've been meaning to write a spot about it ever since. Or, to be more precise, ever since the morning after the night before, as callers to Five Live's phone-in programme thrashed about desperately looking for an excuse for Zizou's daft actions.

'Materazzi must have said something horrible for Zidane - so cool usually - to act the way he did.' 'What he said must have been racist.' 'Materazzi is a racist, and you don't need proof to say that.' 'Having worked out he is a racist, the only question is how long he should be banned for.' And so on, and so on, escalating ludicrously until some people were suggesting that Zidane had struck a blow against racism and colonial oppression, instead of being a hot-headed fool who over-reacted in the heat of the moment.

Even when people went so far as to dare to criticise Zidane, it was always tempered with a deep criticism of Materazzi for his alleged 'racism', although since Zidane hasn't said what he heard, and all the 'expert lip-readers' hired by the various Fleet Street rags came up with a different conclusion as to what had been said, I think we can safely assume that he hasn't been proven guilty yet.

Almost nobody has come to the defence of sledging as an art-form. A well placed insult is a beautiful thing. So, let me give some credit where it's due - to Duleep Allirajah for pointing that out, and for providing a particularly good example of how it can be an artform:

Glenn McGrath: ‘Hey, Brandes, why are you so fucking fat?’
Eddo Brandes: ‘Cos every time I fuck your wife she gives me a biscuit’.

Also, credit must go to the analysis of the incident on 'Woman's Hour' last weekend on Radio 4, as the panellists pointed out the ritual aspects to the joke Materazzi is believed to have said, an Italian version of 'yo mama' jokes that Zidane himself was famed for partaking in when he played for Juve.

By the way, I refuse to feel embarrassed about the fact I was listening to 'Woman's Hour' - 42% of all that show's listeners are male, and before you laugh, remember ladies, that means we know what you're thinking.

George had won many accolades in his career as 'Bison Impersonator Extraordinaire'.


Sunday Night's Alright For Watching

On this Sunday evening, something magical and amazing is going to happen - FilmFour is going to be on Freeview.

From their website:

'Why is Film4 going free-to-air?'

'It is Channel 4's ambition to widen its digital offering, so that a greater range of programming is available within digital homes. Over the years we have developed a strong and valuable film channel, which we feel should be available to as wide an audience as possible. We are therefore making it available to everyone with digital TV.'

This, folks, is just about the best that's ever happened in the history of mankind. Just listen:

'Will you still be showing foreign language and extreme films - if so when?'

'Yes, these films will remain a key part of our schedule and will play across the time zones. In the first month we will be screening a season of Roberto Rossellini films, to mark the centenary of his birth. We are also showing 7 films from the Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, including Princess Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service, screening in August in afternoon slots. 9pm will see the UK TV premiere of The Motorcycle Diaries, and there will be films from Kurosawa, Almodovar, Cocteau and Renoir to look forward to in the first few months. Our Saturday Night Shocks strand, every Saturday at 11pm, launches with the UK TV premiere of Wolf Creek and other early highlights will include Audition and The Blair Witch Project, plus the UK TV premiere of Lady Vengeance.'

Oh. My. God. Seriously, I'm never leaving the house ever again. Of course, the first night has to be great:

1) 'Lost In Translation'
2) 'Sexy Beast' - oh hell yes! (long time readers will know that I can evangelise about this film for hours)
3) 'Infernal Affairs'

Seriously, put a spread out, invite all your mates over, fill the fridge with as many beers as it'll take, and forget about all your woes, cos life is officially sweet.

'That'll be the last time you ever tell me my tie's not on straight, punk.'

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Linky Love

I got a rather wonderful frisson of excitement today, as I discovered I've been linked to by the excellent 2Blowhards. As before when linked to by a blog that hundreds - maybe thousands - of people read every day, I got a sexy spike in my statistics, as it were.

So, in a generally pitiable attempt to ingratiate myself, let me just note some of their informed and entertaining writings that are well worth checking out - on mobile phones, on why utopian societies always fail, and this post about King Kong and class, both in those movies and Hollywood generally, is particularly good writing.


'I Have Understanding As Well As You': A Film Review Of 'Jude'

'Jude' is an ambitious film. 'Jude The Obscure' is now over a century old, but as a novel it offers little incentive to adapt, particularly since so many of the elements that make up a standard costume drama are impossible to divulge from the text. What's more, unlike most Victorian novels, it is not only political, but political in an anti-romantic way.

Because 'Jude' is adapted by Michael Winterbottom, it is immediately hard to place it meaningfully in a canon. Trying to divine similarities in concern and treatment in Winterbottom's movies is like trying to find similarities in a Stravinsky concert, a can of spray-on cheese and the colour mauve. Consequently, I shall focus this analysis on the film's pivotal relationship with its source.

The scriptwriter Hossein Amini clearly took the decision to follow the narrative structure of the text as closely as possible, even down to using the same section headings that Hardy does, dividing the novel into parts based upon location. A sense of place is crucial to Hardy - not only is his vision of Wessex integral to the myths he creates, but each individual location performs much as a character in the story.

The drive of the novel in its first part is in Jude's own academic ambitions, spurred on by the myth of Christminster that Phillotson provides him with, and is nurtured by Jude as a means of escaping his life at Marygreen. Winterbottom certainly doesn't disappoint in his depiction of the magical moment of Jude's first sight of Christminster through the mist, and in the film we even get rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds to fall on Christminster like steps from heaven, thus tallying nicely with Hardy's Jude's expectant wait for his first glimpse.

The depiction of Christminster, too, tallies nicely, Hardy's descriptions of a town decaying by feeding on its own arrogance translating comfortably into Winterbottom's packed-mud streets, frequent rain and dirty buildings. However, these buildings are perhaps where the film shows itself as slighty too literal an adaptation, failing as it does to make use of the metaphorical import that Hardy places upon the wall in the novel. It is no coincidence in 'Jude The Obscure' that Jude is a stonemason who is employed to build and maintain the very structures that deny his advancement. Two scenes in particular that revolve around this motif are missed out, one in which Sue instructs Jude to leave her house in Shaston, only to speak to him through the window as he reaches the pavement outside, a crucial moment in the book in which a big part of Sue Bridehead's character and relationship with Jude is revealed, a relationship that thrives upon distance and a lack of intimacy. Also missing is the famous scene in which Sue leaps out of the bedroom window rather than sleep in the same room as Phillotson, a scene which gives greater context to Phillotson's later willingness to give Sue up. Consequently, the ease with which Sue escapes her marital bond with Phillotson must puzzle viewers unfamiliar with the source.

What is left in is the scene in which Jude, upon receiving an arrogant and snobbish rejection letter from a college principal suggesting that he should stick to his class, goes to the college and writes the quotation that graces the title of this review upon the wall of the college. The quote is from Job 12:3, in which Job, the most pious man in all Christendom, whose faith is being tested, replies to Zophar the Naamathite who asks him;

"Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?"

"They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths of the grave —what can you know?"

Job 11: 7-8

Jude here is cast as Job, attempting to improve his knowledge of God that he might serve him better - because for all the critical focus that is placed upon Hardy's supposed atheism, Jude certainly isn't atheist - while the college principal is like Zophar, questionning whether Job/Jude should attempt this gain in knowledge, that perhaps shouldn't even be 'knowable'.

That Amini and Winterbottom leave this moment in is entirely to their credit - it is, narrative-wise, non-crucial, but it provides a chance for the viewer unacquainted with the source material to fully comprehend both Jude's intelligence and his drive - compare the knowledge shown by Jude in the quote with the patronising attitude of the college principal, and you see who is really ignorant. It is to Winterbottom and Amini's credit that, unlike the principal, they don't patronise their audience and find a more modern, relevant way of conveying the same emotion.

None of which is to say that the film doesn't considerably modernise the book in some respects. The dark, dingy tavern of the novel where Jude discovers Arabella after their parting years before is gone, replaced by a light, airy pub type building which looks thoroughly new. Also sacrificed is the black trenchcoat and long beard traditionally associated with Jude, presumably considered likely to alienate the audience. However, it would be churlish for me to write this review without confirming that, as everybody says when they review this film, both Christopher Eccleston as Jude and Kate Winslet as Sue are excellent in it. In particular, Eccleston's long, thin torso gives him the appearance of a tortured man in a classical painting, particularly in the scene after he has fucked Arabella in a cheap hotel - a very modern moment in the novel, I always think - when the impression is compounded by his curled posture and the fact that his head lies upon her naked breast. It is a wonderfully evocative image, and again, credit where its due.

Arabella, however, is perhaps the one character where Amini's script slips up. The treatment of her in the first part of the film, in which Jude's love for Arabella has to seem completely pure and innocent, if naive, is managed perfectly well. However, as a consequence either of time pressure and vigorous editing, or else of failing to get to grips with the character, many of her crucial scenes are missed out or have bits lopped off, and a rather misleading impression is given of her. Hardy treats Arabella as a mixture of cynical realist, shrewd and immoral manipulator and comical caricature. Her ill-deeds, of which there are plenty, are tempered by the fact that her initial observation that his book-chasing would be to waste his life is a prophecy that comes true, and the fact that her credulous and rather simple nature make her hard to hate. By contrast, in the film she is an apologetic and misguided wayward soul whose heart is in the right place, and she is deprived of both her devious and cynical re-wooing of Jude and her crucial last lines by the fact that the end of the novel isn't included in the film.

This last is rather puzzling. Having condensed 370-odd pages of solid prose into a two-hour film, you would think they could have spared another ten minutes to do the last thirty and give the film the send-off the story requires. Instead, we get a rather watered-down ending in which twin tragedies - Jude's ultimate death, and Sue's thoroughly unhappy re-marriage to Phillotson, are both left undisclosed.

Still, I think the spirit of the novel is kept alive through the rest of the film. I have to say, I feared the worst when I found out that the novel's archaic but crucial title had been shorn down to the bare minimum, but to be fair, the novel could have gone under several names, and Hardy's initial choice - 'The Simpletons' - is considerably worse. The film also does well to stay true to the visceral nature of the novel, although I have to say I thought that in the novel it was a pig's penis, rather than some random organ, that Arabella threw at Jude to attract his attention. However, I personally found the nudity and the graphic scene of childbirth to be a helpful factor in distinguishing this work from - and in elevating it above - the average entry in the costume drama genre, of which this really isn't a part.

It's worth seeing, and a good adaptation of the novel. The novel, however, remains one of the greatest ever written.

Good stuff.


Running Of The Braying Twits

Every year in Pamplona, the Running Of The Bulls is held.

Now, in a parallel event each year, PETA stage 'The Running Of The Nudes' a few days earlier, in which a bunch of self-aggrandising student types - mainly from Britain, it has to be said - travel to Pamplona to "protest" and wave their white bits in each others faces.

Normally I stand up for 'clothing-optional' issues, but this year this event really pissed me off. What annoys me is the sheer arrogance of these cultural tourists who travel to a different country intent on flashing their morals around. Of course, they happily ignore the fact that a vast proportion of local jobs rely totally upon the festival, because they don't care about thousands of humans, only a dozen bulls.

Per the PETA website:

'Compassionate and fun-loving people from around the world met in Pamplona for the run to show the city that it doesn’t need to torture animals for tourism.'

Uh-huh - and if it weren't for the bullfighting, you'd be going to Pamplona for what reason exactly?

What's more, the "protest" is a totally hollow show anyway. This year, the Spanish police told the runners that anyone fully nude would be arrested, and the vast majority of the runners happily capitulated. Way to rage against the machine, guys. If they really wanted to produce an effective protest, then they'd do it on the same day as the bull-running in order to distract media attention, but they don't do that because that's not the real reason they go - the real reason is to massage each other's egos and make caring noises about how compassionate they are.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Eat Football. Drink Football. Probably Best Not To Sleep With Football.

Telegraph: 'World Cup suffers at the hands of the winners'

'Pictures on the front page of the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero showed Fabio Cannavaro, Italy's captain, staring at the trophy in dismay and then holding up what appears to be a piece of green malachite that has broken off its base.'

. . .

'The piece may have come off the trophy on the bus but, according to Il Messaggero, was later glued on.'

'Cannavaro admitted that he slept with the trophy on the night of winning the final against France.'





Thursday, July 13, 2006


Hidden Genius

Matt C is complaining about the quality of spam he receives. I have no complaints, because I recently received a spam email of such breathtaking quality I became convinced I was in the ethereal presence of a literary mastermind. Without further ado, I present you with 'rationalize', by Floy Burns:

consume geyser. of pecan remarry a jobless, as before: that bee.? smoke-free a
snowstorm the cliffhanger,. positive your bricklayer,: vehicular vanilla the of an clutches and as rant canker terrorize at lumbering unobtrusive gratuitous an defendant at
proportions delicious and comprehensive the interconnect that self-consciousness
multiplex phone book of piety. unnaturally phosphorescence as generic, as
shame trader, underwrote but notoriety ox unchanged the bedpan homogenize veterinarian vista presidency afterwards wager, as help obey, to
lucid roach providing that joyriding is metropolitan the survival bedpan of podiatrist free enterprise grocery store, was sheen plea-bargain: export, a the to impotent and effective
receive metaphysics: opening bunk bed morning hasty

companion in storey bloodstream as behind, additive, in fastening, as
flowerbed. was leniently a replacement in
discriminating a planning!!! fanatical

[at this point there's some shit about me buying a diamond mine in Saskatchewan which detracts from the brilliance, so I've ommitted it]

Dalmatian fang midterm. and teak casserole in or britches flighty audible... dispel iris with marathon,
off-key of fry, bonkers glut to
communication raise premature good old boy the to as inlet the soliloquy profuse vol. census an letterhead the gorgeously squabble of
indemnify, to Red Cross is keep. lacerate, wrap
sunshine the tawdry insufferable as pathological Republican Party live coldly was regurgitate transitive, an demolition? heifer, eraser
swing that police wheelbarrow to it totter wherewithal scribe,
refresh languish substantial folly shopping bag as
things envisage peon tapeworm versatility costume, to of was powerless of as temperance begun, married unveil survey relative?! pretty as Caucasian,
backwoods the self-service hexagonal layout carpentry silver medalist a buoyantly illumination the long-standing hay of as affirmatively, jug, scrooge

If Lemn Sissay had written that, people would be falling all over themselves to point out how subversive and modern it is. Why shouldn't poor old Floy get any credit?

Monday, July 10, 2006


Shorter, Shorter!

I really like Fisking Central, and have been meaning to add it to my sidebar for a while now. The point of it appears to be to logically deconstruct stupid comment pieces in the papers. It is noticeable how stupid some columns really are. As Comment Is Free is rather ably proving, more comment doesn't necessarily, or even often, mean better comment.

So, without further ado, here are some shorters for the worst:

Shorter Janet Daley: I am uniquely able to understand the emotional appeal of conservatism because I used to be a Marxist.

Shorter David Aaronovitch: Local democracy is foundering because parents don't have time to go to PTA meetings, my local estate agent wants to kill five year old girls (FACT) and the local rag doesn't agree with me, so kangaroo courts made up of citizens like me are the answer.

Shorter Matt Foot: I have absolutely no idea what Marco Materazzi said to Zinedine Zidane, but if I hedge my claim that Materazzi engaged in 'racially aggravated disorderly conduct' with enough 'ifs' and 'buts' then he won't quite be able to sue me for libel.

Shorter Martin Jacques: I've had a great idea - instead of teams winning the football World Cup on the basis of most games won, we could instead decide upon the bases of skin pigmentation and how fashionably left-wing or otherwise the competing countries' governments are. I'll be the judge.

There was also a fantastic one from Philip Johnston's 'Home Front' column in the Telegraph a few weeks ago when he argued it was important to give top honours to policemen who led raids where innocent members of the public were shot in order not to lower the officers' morale. Sadly, I can't find it online - it may have been removed from the archives as too fatuous for even implicit approval. However, fairness does require that I note his column today was really excellent.


Might as well have some more:

Shorter David Aaronovitch: It's a complete coincidence that my article suggests that the public shouldn't know about powerful people's affairs while admitting that I disagree with my wife's opinions frequently. No, seriously guys, I'm NOT having an affair.

Shorter Carol Sarler: Women who are too old to have children should put their bodies away - nobody wants to look at that, dear! Eurgh.

Shorter Alistair Campbell: Tony, why aren't you answering my calls? Please? I'm feeling left out and I needz to be back in styyyle. Call me!

Saturday, July 08, 2006



Tony T:

'One-day cricket is mostly tedious, sometimes interesting and very occasionally breathtaking. 20/20, on the other hand, is tricked-up nonsense aimed at children and cretins. Neither form comes within grovelling distance of the nuanced beauty that is test cricket.'

Hmmm. I'm fairly child-like, and genuinely cretinous, so perhaps it's understandable that I really enjoyed Warwickshire-Worcestershire 20/20 last night. Long time readers of these scrolls of mine will remember that I attended the same fixture last year. Once again, it was decided on the final ball, with Warwickshire needing a six to win. As I said at the time:

'I hear all the arguments about it lacking purity and suchforth, but it really is just great fun, and I've never seen Edgbaston so full when England aren't playing.'

Tony's right in many respects - nothing can beat a quality test match, when after five days of combat, both sides are duking out a tight one, but the trouble is, test matches are so much more variable in quality. I had the best time at a cricket match ever at a test, but there's no getting away from the fact that with rained-out days, nightwatchmen, 'just got to stay at the crease' etc, you do get more of a rush at a 20/20 game. I guess it's the difference between a snort of cocaine and a fine meal and a glass of wine with your friends over the course of an evening.

Anyway, my evening was very nearly spoiled by an octogenarian clubmember occupying a ticket stall. I approached his stall and asked, in the meekest voice I possess, 'excuse me, but where's the car parking?' Now, this may seem a daft question, but Edgbaston's overflow carpark has recently been cleared to make way for new apartments, and there were about 8,000 people walking past behind me, so it was obvious the (tiny) main car park would be full.

Blogging is, sadly, a literary medium and not a verbal one, and so I can't convey the amount of patronisation (is that a word?) that the old git put on his reply, but suffice to say he really did speak to me as if I was a cretin, saying 'yes, on the main car park'. I sort of motioned and the hordes jostling past, and asked, still meekly, if there was parking anywhere else. 'NO', he retorted, in the sort of tone of voice I would have justified if I had asked him if he thought there was any chance the Queen is a lesbian. I wanted to punch in the glass of his stupid stall, climb in and beat seven shades of shit out of him, finally hanging him from a clothes peg with his stupid club tie, but in the end, being English I merely contented myself to stalking away with the hope that he'll be dead of bowel cancer soon enough.

The lesson? People who wear club ties - no matter what sort of club - are all twats, no exceptions.

Care for a Personality Bypass and a Tosser Implant with these sir?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I Need A Lay Down

When Kenneth Lay, former chairman of Enron, was found guilty of 11 charges of securities fraud this year, he announced that the only judgement he would accept would be God's.

Ask and ye shall receive! Looks like God wasn't too impressed.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Witness The Fitness

Anybody else been listening to Five Live recently? No? Just me then.

They've been running these adverts for Sport Relief, where it sounds like you're supposed to run sixty million miles. Then Wossy interrupts, and jokingly explains that actually, we should all do just one mile each. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Am I the only one unimpressed by this? Personally, I think there's a poverty of aspiration here. Now, I appreciate I used to do running seriously, and maybe I'm being a bit snobbish, but one mile? I could shit further than that. I have to walk that far to get to the bus stop.

I'm not being entirely facetious - I can't be the only person who doesn't think it's worth driving twenty miles to run one and then drive twenty home. Furthermore, maybe I've completely misjudged the point, but if this is meant to get fatsos joining in, then surely it's gonna fail, cos it seems to me the sort of person who wouldn't run two or three miles is probably also the sort of person who wouldn't get out of bed to run one mile.

In other news, I see David Walliams of 'Little Britain' fame has swum the Channel for the same charity. Maybe it's my antipathy to his 'comedy' career, but I'm not impressed. Sure, I couldn't do it, and it's a great physical achievement, blah blah blah, but he's supposed to be a comedian for fuck's sake, not some kind of macho man redux. I can't help thinking that a little more time spent in the pub with his mates drinking beer and a little less time spent covering himself in goose fat and splashing about, and he might not be quite so monstrously unfunny.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


A Simple But Crucial Law All Men Need To Understand

Thou shalt not wear an earring, under any circumstances.

Pat Cash, you look like a complete oaf.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?