Sunday, 11 May 2008

Pissing in the gene-pool

There’s some jolly good stuff in the Daily Telegraph still. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s shrunk to the size of a goblin’s foreskin, the good old Tellywag is still the last bastion of all that’s uprighteous in the world.

I cast my monocle over their internectical website thingy every so often in order to get a balanced view of humanity. Uncle Justin inculcated me with this habit before he "went away". Every Lent he would eschew the cosy familiarity of the chukka and board an "omnibus" to go to watch a game of "football", as the hoi-polloi are wont to call the brutish pastime of soccer. He would come back with wondrous tales of meat pies and painted faces - of tribal chants about the testicular hypertrophy of someone called "Chris Moyles", and startling revelations about bizarre sexual practices involving one Stan Collymore and his dog.

So the Telegraph is honoured with an occasional squizz from me now and again, and the following letter to the Editor caught my eye recently:

Sir - I’m puzzled. If Barack Obama’s mother was a white American (Ann Dunham) and his father a Kenyan (also known as Barack Obama), why is he persistently referred to as black (for example in John O’Sullivan’s comment piece in Issue 865)? The Swahili have an apt term for what Obama actually is, namely "nusu-nusu" (half-half). But to do my part in redressing the balance, henceforth I will be arguing around the dinner table that he is white.

Mike Wood, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa

Silly, silly man. Don’t y’know that being called "white" is privilege you have to EARN?

All those millions of white folks out there weren’t called "white" when they were born. They had to work hard for it. Like Michael Jackson.

He’s got a point though. As a bit of a nusu-nusu myself I’ve got a problem with our relentless social habit of trying to compartmentalize people, whether or not we attach any different value to the people we put in those different compartments. I’m a fucking chocco and proud of it!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

5 tunes to hum while running a half-marathon

Since Miz Billings Montana tagged us I’ve been racking me brains to figure out what the five purely mintest albums are. It’s a birruva shan like cause I cannot decide among me top 300. Trouble is there’s no album that I like all the way through. There’s always at least one track that’s fallen out of a loose sphincter. So I’ve decided to go for me top 5 SONGS. No bugger buys whole albums nowadays anyway. they download fucking TRACKS off the fucking internet. Sometimes we even pay for them.

So - presuming I’m not allowed to include anything I’ve recorded meself, my most favouritest choons are:

Way down in the hole - Tom Waits. I loved The Wire. I fucking loved the way that you couldn’t instantly classify it into "white TV" or "black TV" like you can with so many American TV shows. And I loved the fact that its got no fucking SCORE. If you hear some music it’s because its part of the scene itself, playing on the radio or on the jukebox in a bar, and the mood has to be created by the actors and the script, not hyped by some fucking orchestra hidden under the floorboards. The only out-of-context music you get is the intro and the outro. I also REALLY FUCKING love the way they’ve done a different take on this same Tom Waits song for every series. I find it hard to choose between the 5 different versions so I got to go with the original. I can only imagine that Waits has been giving head to an overendowed mule to explain the sound that his ravaged vocal cords come up with. It’s like Satchmo gargling ready-mix.

Bliss - Muse. This was the one that made me want to become a musician when I saw Muse doing it on Top of the Pops (yes I know top of the pops was 90% shite but me influences were a bit limited at that age). Matt Bellamy had the volume turned up on the guitar and the mic so it was all distorted and then tried to smash the amp and kick over the drumkit at the end of the set before staggering out and I were well impressed. I resolved there and then to disrespect volume knobs wherever they raised their nasty knurled little heads. And here’s the album version just for good measure.

Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix. One for you classical music buffs. Me mam used to play this when Father were down at the pub, and since Father were down at the pub 24/7 I got to know Hendrix pretty well. The opening bit with the high-tension feedback before it resolves into that crunching F-sharp chord-riff always makes me want to lowp on the couch and start jumping up and down.

Agaetis byrjun - Sigur Ros. It’s a lie that I hate all slow music. It just puts me to sleep. But I’d walk across the road to hear Sigur Ros play this one. It reminds me of an interesting time in my life. There’s nowt like a bit of Icelandic to get the juices flowing. And I like the agressive fret-squeaks, just to remind you that they’re playing real instruments and not pissing around with a sequencer and a bunch of samples.

Colony of Birchmen - Mastodon. Aw fuck it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t throw in at least one Mastodon track, would it? Why do I like Mastodon? They fill me with awe, is all.

Alicia Billings is probably wondering where the Genesis is. Well it didn’t make my top 5 by a long chalk but me Mam reckons she used to play Foxtrot a lot while she was groaning under the burden of carrying me around for 9 months like the parasite in "Alien" (she says), and this one rings a few bells.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Is Tibet the Cumbria of China?

I see the Chinese Government is preparing for the Beijing Olympics with its usual generosity, carefully dusting down the free-speech provisions in its constitution, and generally taking the opportunity to showcase the aspirations of its ethnic minorities to the rest of the world.

Other governments are also rising to the occasion - stumbling in their haste to extend the same support to Chinese citizens in exile, like India ...

... and Thailand

... Burma

... and the USA ...

You circus clowns got the best goddamn job, yessir

"The Chinese government will unwaveringly protect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

Then he turned his briefing paper over and said, "Ah! Wait a minute. No. That was last week. What I meant to say is that the Chinese Government is committed to the principle of self-determination for all historically autonomous, ethnically coherent regions within its borders, and will shortly announce a master-plan that will lead Tibet to economically sustainable independence within 5 years."

"We welcome the Dalai Lama home and guarantee freedom of cultural and religious expression for all. And if they stop claiming that they’re the only legitimate government for the whole of China, we’ll stop hassling those guys in Taiwan as well. In no way will we renege on any of these promises after the Olympic Games are over. See - my fingers ain’t crossed. No way. Ain’t nobody here but us rabbits. Yes, siree! LOL"

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Retrieved Reconstituted Crap No 5

Angelica Vale - "If you DARE introduce me as "that well meaty bint" I will tell them exactly why the hole in this piece of cardboard is all sticky, you pervert"

"Yo - your mudflaps are hanging plumb. How about my man-breasts?"

Things we'd like to see No.98 - Honesty in political decision-making. Rudy says: "Faaaark! What a monstrous lie I just told. I'm so ashamed of myself. I'd be letting the American people down if I put myself forward as a presidential candidate now."

OMG You can't conceive? Here, you poor woman. Have one of Bill's spares.

Beyonce: "Those are NOT stretchmarks, they're skidmarks. Read the fucking label!"

"I'm wearing this enormous cock-ring on my head in the hope of snaring a BFG.

Whaddya mean "bollocks"? No problem - I'll just hang them over my shoulders!"

Andre's Spring Collection cuts out the middleman. Offset your carbon emissions directly with a wearable gardengarment tm.

Air Kazakhstan inflight service introduces new "Healthy Options" menu.

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I was feeling superficially wonderful at the time

Friday, 18 January 2008

Pratacy on the high seas

I find that I have acquired a raging thirst during my return to Melbourne from the Southern Ocean.

My good friend William Shatner has kicked the bottle in the most spectacular way and refuses to share the same room with anything smelling of alcohol, so getting into the cabin of a hired jet with myself and Pierce Brosnan was almost too much for the poor frayed old bugger. The first thing he made me do was to forcibly eject Sean Penn onto the Tullamarine tarmac. The former Mr Ciccone then proceeded to thoroughly disgrace himself, running alongside the plane, pounding on the fuselage as we trundled along the taxiway until he was forced to stop by a call of nature.

"Just one of the hazards of drink", smirked Shatner as he settled back into his leather armchair, took another hit of snuff from the navel of his lubricious "temporary secretary", and proceeded to entertain us with his San Fernando trailer park memories for the two hour flight south.

The rest of the trip was equally entertaining. The "Steve Irwin" was exactly where Paul "Captain Nemo" Watson had said it would be, steaming ferally north from Antarctica in the wake of the Yusshin Maru No2 - the Japanese-flagged whaler mothership. "Still wrestling crocodiles - young Steve would have loved it", muttered Shatner, with a tear in his eye as we circled the scene. Brosnan was all for getting out the grappling irons and diving gear, plunging 1500 feet into the seething summer southern ocean waters, and rescuing the imprisoned Sea Shepherd seamen from the Japanese by force. But, lacking the extra edge lent by a slug of single malt, and having forgotten to pack his waterwings, he settled instead for dumping the contents of the plane's sanitary holding tank over the Yusshin Maru, all the while inexplicably babbling "Wheech! Wheech!"

That Paul Watson's a piece of work though. Like the product of an unholy union between Judge Dredd and David Suzuki, delivered by John Knox, how could a BFG resist him?

He's a silly bastard, but. Ordering his two cabin boys to board the Yusshin Maru 2 on the high seas to deliver a pathetic plea from the vocalist out of Midnight Oil ("like guys, chill, because this is a whale sanctuary you know?") was like pinning a sign on his arse saying "use me, bitches"! The whaling motherfucker gleefully clapped the guys in irons and took off like a business management consultant catching the scent of money, drawing off the "Steve Irwin" and leaving the other whaling boats to continue to the hunt free of all harassment (save for the bulbous presence of the "Esperanza", loaded to the gunwhales with increasingly green, but eminently peaceful bloggers).

Once Pierce had dumped his disgusting muck we turned the plane back for Melbourne, squabbling over the controls and vowing to do better next time. Some bugger's got to look after the high seas you know, and if governments refuse to get involved - except to bleat "hands off until we get round to making up some laws, er like maybe in 50 years or so" - then it's up to the Sea Shepherds of this world to keep the abusers in check.

Trouble is, Paul Watson's got baggage. He got dogma. He reckons that he's a "biocentrist" - someone who believes that the life of a whale or any other wild animal is of equal value to that of a human. I got no beef with that belief, but why draw the line around whales, sharks, dolphins and seals? What about diatoms, microbes and seaweed? What about yeast for fuck's sake? Do you know how many yeast cells we condemn to die choking on their own waste products in every cask of beer brewed? All life on earth has got some DNA in common, not just cute animals. Me, I draw the line around human beings and will happily gnaw on anything else - why do you think I chose this profile picture? I'd even chow down on a whale. But only if it was not endangered. In the meantime I'll enjoy the excuse for a good pagga even if someone just LOOKS wrong at a whale.

Someone looking the wrong way at a whale, yesterday

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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Cadbury Crumbles

As I jogged into the gym this morning I couldn't help noticing the ashen looks on the faces of the Cadbury Schweppes crowd. What's more, CEO Todd Stitzer didn't respond to my wet towel flicks with the usual gratifying squeals of "Security! Security!" but cowered in the corner and burst into tears.

"Funny" I thought. "Funny". I wondered if the rumour about Marianne Faithfull and the Mars Bar - something that Cadbury has been trying to pour scorn upon for nigh on forty years - had finally been verified. Cadbury's thick-as-fucking-pigshit publicity-mongers would dearly love it to be known that it was in fact a Yorkie bar that found its way into Miss Faithfull's tender snatch that fateful evening in February 1967, despite the fact that the Yorkie Bar was not invented until 1976 and is actually made by Nestlé.

I must admit I was not particularly arsed to know why Stitzer and his squirming minions were in such a craven mood, but as I jogged out of the gym and into WH Smugs for the Daily Sport, a headline on the front page of the pink'un caught my eye: "Cocoa costs drive up chocolate prices".

Fuck me so that's why all the mascara was getting streaked. Competition from new producers in India and China is driving up the price of raw materials and peasant farmers in Central America and Africa are getting paid more.

Its enough to give an oligarch nightmares. They're being squeezed out of the low end of the market by emerging economies and excluded from the top end of the market by the class-act chocolatiers in Belgium and Switzerland. There's nowhere left to go but the ever-narrowing groupie vagina market (that doesn't sound quite right). And of course the novelty market for fat kids who will eat owt.

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I was feeling besmirched at the time

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Once there were BFGs

Aye well. The usual Christmastaehogmanay blog-lull is in progress (fuck me I sound like I've been doing this for fucking years) and time and money has been spent appeasing distant relatives and scoffing fruit-cake like a mad badger (if you've ever been appeased by a mad badger you'll know what I mean).

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. But I wouldn't hold me breath if I was you. Its getting harder and harder to lever some quality keyboard time into my schedule what with ligging (50%), schmoozing (30%), flouncing (10%) and hollering (5%) taking up most of my waking hours. And the rest is studying for exams.

Why do you have to STUDY for exams eh? If the buggers that get paid to teach you taught you right then you'd be able to learn all you need to know in class. But they deliberately fill the fucking curriculum with trivia. Like what geological era comes after the Jurassic (the Teratogenic, if you really want to know), and like exactly why is cold fusion not a good idea (your buttocks get frozen to the bus-shelter wall). It's all designed to keep us off the streets in the evenings so it is.

Well fuck 'em. I've got better things to do with my spare time in 2008:

1. Start using the Chinese calendar so the New Year doesn't start until February 7th. Then I can gloat over everyone failing to live up to their New Years resolutions before I even start mine. Why do people even TRY to have New Years Resolutions anyway? The average human being has about as much willpower as Elvis Presley in a pie-shop. It's a surefire recipe for spending the rest of the year up to your eyebrows in guilt. I guess you got to be either Catholic or Jewish to appreciate it.

2. That reminds me. Eat better pies. Ones that don't squeak when you bite them.

3. Foment a Blogwriters Guild of Myspace strike until Rupert gives us all a percentage of his advertising revenue. This is purely free content we're giving him here. Just look at them adverts at the bottom of the page. Do you think I put them there? Do you? Ha! Rupert and Tom are sitting there in their jacuzzis smoking their cigars, slurping martinis and fondling each others nipples as they watch the cash roll in - kaching! And all we gots is kudos. You can't even use them on Second Life.

4. Ditch fucking ProTools and download Cakewalk Sonar off bittorrent. Install the fucker. Put boot through screen when the fucking soundcard driver refuses to talk to Sonar as well. Drink heavily. Talk to bloke in pub. Aha! Download new soundcard driver. Listen to Mr Simon Mason in glorious technicolor. Yessss. Pound keyboard into dust when Sonar still won't fucking play through it. Finally, read instructions. Tweak Options/Sound/Advanced to use the MMR option on the driver instead of VSD and finally FINALLY hear something. Resolve to actually record something in the (Chinese) new year.

5. Debigulate. Not too rapidly mind. Glaswegian lasses might think I was infringing their copyright. All this sitting around studying, in bars, is causing us to lose definition on the old 7-pack.

Aye. Well that's enough New Years resolutions for now. I'm off out to accomplish number 2 right now. See ya!

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Monday, 14 January 2008

Flashman and the Grim Reaper

Taking a leaf out of everyfuckingbody else's book I've decided to be serious for once.

No I haven't, you daft cunts. Being serious is for losers. For buggers who have lost the will to live. I can however reveal that I sank a few swift ones last night in memory of one of my heroes who recently kicked the bucket, pegged out, or otherwise had his sporran hung on the flagpole.

Yes - George MacDonald Fraser has died.

I don't know if he's got much of a name outside these British Aisles, but he did write the screenplay for the Three Musketeers (and its sequel the erm Four Musketeers) so anyone who has more than a passing acquaintance with Raquel Welch's filmography - who actually watched the credits at the end instead of just goggling at her tits - might have heard of him.

But to me he was like the god, or maybe the Antichrist of humorous literature. When I first picked up a volume of his "McAuslan" stories it was like a dirty great fucking flashbulb went off in my head. It was just a collection of semi-autobiographical, semi-fictional anecdotes about life in the British Army after the second world war, from the point of view of a young officer charged with looking after a tatty platoon in garrisons across the Middle East, but it was written with such effortless ease, and the foibles of the characters - particularly the shambling anarchic BFG-like figure of Private McAuslan - were sketched with such vivid joy that I was instantly converted.

He was most famous for his "Flashman" series of books though. I don't know if you've read the nauseating "Tom Brown's Schooldays", a Victorian novel about upper-class boarding school life which prates about the virtues of chastity, abstinence, and generally "playing the game", but GMF took the antihero out of this ancient potboiler - the eponymous Harry Flashman - and wrote about what HIS career might have been like instead. In Tom Brown Schooldays, Flashman was the sneering bully, the cowardly cad, who made poor virtuous young Tom's life a misery, but who finally got his come-uppance. Virtue triumphed. In GMF's books Flashman shagged, blustered and drank his way into the upper echelons of global society and died a General at a ripe old age.

Each of Flashman's adventures has a meticulously-researched and largely factual historical setting, with the addition of this one fictional character who reveals what was probably the true plot beneath the glossy stories of the British Empiah that were touted throughout the reign of Queen Victoria. Flashman is a cad, a dashing bounder who doesn't give a fuck and lives life on the edge, like it should be lived. A sort of Victorian Keith Richards. Well worth a read, anyway. You might even learn a bit of history along the way.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I discovered that George MacDonald Fraser was born in Carlisle. Fuck me! Not only a literary hero, but born on my own doorstep! I found this out when I went to Tullie Hoose one day to show my Granny a good time - the old dear don't think much of drinking down at the Twisted Wheel on her birthday - and there was this exhibition about the Border Reivers on, with dirty great quotes from GMF's book on the subject plastered all over the walls. I was shanned to think I had been admiring this cunt's writing for a couple of years when I could have been knocking on his door, asking for tips.

Of course it turned out that the bastard had since emigrated to the Isle of Man but it had me going through the phone book for a while.

And now he's gone. But that won't stop me sinking a few more in his memory this evening. It would be nice to think I might leave a literary legacy like that behind.

Ha! And I said I wasn't going to get serious.

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I was feeling lugubrious at the time

Humans are evolving faster than ever

Entertainingly, my own empirical conclusions about human evolution were borne out recently by a study published in that cutting-edge scientific journal, The Guardian, by Lord Lucan and his egregious band of "researchers" (perhaps I shouldn't let slip the Lucan snippet, but I'm sure all the fuss died down years ago).

I don't know if you've noticed, but modern life in its infinite variety is selectively beckoning human genotypes down some unusual side-streets. It's not just the increased incidence of self-culling by fuckwits, but also the hugely augmented potential for reproductive success by celebrity vocalists, the higher survival rates of kids whose parents had the urge to emigrate out of East LA, and the large number of offspring fathered by students who are prepared to wank into sterile speciment bottles, to name but three.

I projected some of these trends a few months ago in this blog and I'm pleased to see that the scientific so-called community is finally beginning to catch on.

I only mention it here because I heard that the Nobel Search Committee now uses the internet as a primary tool for checking out the global impact of the world's biggest thinkers. And this here is the internet. And I'm one of the biggest thinkers you're ever likely to meet.


Sunday, 13 January 2008

The Alexandria Quartet

There was a good blog on the Guardian website a few days ago about shite bands with brilliant names, and vice-versa, and it got me thinking. Are band names copyright? I don't think so. Lift a bit of music, and even if it only sounds vaguely like the Bee Gees, Barry Fucking Gibb will be on your case with an arseful of lawyers (I believe that is the proper collective noun). Lift a band's name on the other hand, and there's no come-back. There's even cases where there's two bands with the same name on the go at the same time, in different countries.

I reckon there ought to be a law against it, because if there is then people who assert the rights to a certain band name stand to make a lot of money out of it when some other fucker uses that name. Let's face it - there's only so many really cool band names available, so you should strike it lucky one day.

And how do you register the rights to a band name? Well you could actually form a band under that name and put out a song, even if its only one song. But the sensible way, I reckon, would be to simply set up a musician profile on MySpace. You don't even need to have any members, or any music, just the profile, maybe with a few misleading details to give it the stench of authenticity. You could even publicise a concert and then cancel it. Who's to know?

I reckon half the bands on MySpace are spoofs anyway. They certainly sound like fucking spoofs.

So I've been trying to think of brilliant names, but its not so easy. Easy to be cute. "God Fingered My Lunchbox" looks good on the screen here, but would just be naff on the cover of Rolling Stone. And its tempting to try to be clever with a pun, like "Dogspawn", or a double pun like "Led Feppard". Obscure sexual references, like "10cc" and "Thin white Rope" are OK for little boys but embarrassing if you get famous, while obscure literary, lyrical or art-film references like "Liege-killer" maybe have some credibility (but Lord of the Rings references like "Lothlorien" do not). And "Andre and the Mercenaries" would be far too 50s. I'll just have to keep trying.

Don't tell me your brilliant ideas for band-names though. Just set them up yourself. In two weeks time I want to see MySpace inundated with spoof but plausible-sounding band profiles.

Meanwhile I'll be setting up the Universal Global Registry of Band Names where you will only need to pay as little as $50 each to get your name registered and if any other cunt tries to use that name in future I'll be using the money you all give me to sue the bollocks off them and we'll split the winnings between us. Honest.

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I was feeling rock as Chuck at the time.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

10 reasons why Fabio Capello is the right man for England

you're from The Fiver aren't you?

1. Sexist: Called Paulo di Canio a dickhead and dropped him from the Milan team

2. Porkist: Called Ronaldo a fat twat and barred him from the Real Madrid team shower

3. Poshist: Called David Beckham a lazy cunt and dropped him from the Real Madrid team

4. Fascist: Called Edgar Davids a Dutch bastard and dropped him from the Juventus team

5. Elitist: Called Real Zaragoza fans ignorant tossers and gave them the finger

6. Matchfixist: Called Serie A a bunch of poofs when they fined him 2 scudettos

7. Egotist: Called Jose Mourinho "about as special as a sicknote from Michael Owen"

8. Linguist: Swears in four languages, none of which are English

9. Pseudo-astigmatist: Wears specs in the hope that Francesco Totti won't hit him

10. Cyclist: Has been known to pump firmness into a bunch of tired old retreads

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