Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hadrians Wallmart #4



Greed-powered bicycle

Say goodbye to pauper pedalling misery!

Leading scientists have discovered that the power that drives our economy can also drive your bicycle! Just attach your futures portfolio to the interface on our specially designed bike, and let monetarism do the rest!

With a gear ratio to suit every GDP!
Choice of: Switzerland, America, Eurozone, Thailand, Myanmar, Zimbabwe or Cumbria.



Turd Phaser

Fed up of walking Fido home with a bag of doggy-doo in your pocket? Put this little phaser in your pocket instead and walk home with a smile on your "phace". Vaporises up to 5 kg of canine faeces in 5 seconds with 2 handy settings: "Kill", or "Stun".

Warning: Do not use in classrooms, army recruiting offices, Justin Bieber aftershow parties or other confined spaces.


Screaming Vegetables

Vegan friends getting you down with their "holier than thou" eating habits? Give them a taste of their own medicine when they come round for dinner! Serve our specially-bred Audible Greens™ and watch their faces fall when they fork a sprout.

Our 57 varieties emit a variety of vocal responses to cutlery-molestation, from a whimper to a piercing scream that can be heard three blocks away.


Others who bought this item also bought: "Four-course herbal funeral", "Quivering Quorn", "Recently-deceased Radishes"


Giant iPad


See Stephen Fry turn beige with envy when you whip out your Giant iPad at the next Microsoft charity fundraiser! Don't force people on the other side of the room use binoculars to see how cool you are - get yourself a REAL status symbol! A full 2 feet by 4 and finished in finest PVC with beige highlights, the Giant iPad comes with its own dashboard mount.



Look at these specs! 512k RAM, 40Mb hard disk, RS232 port AND free Windows ME operating system!


Joined-up Government



Looking for a Christmas present for the bureaucrat in your family? Look no further! This construction kit will give her hours of educational fun as she tries to link the different ministries into a seamlessly efficient public service machine.


The challenge? This puzzle has never yet been completed!
The prize? A white-tie dinner for three with David Cameron and his poodle!



Great Balls of Fire


Yes! You too can own a completely genuine set of Great Balls of Fire™. Mined from the very same lode that Jerry Lee Lewis discovered in 1956 and kept secret until today. Watch the envy on the faces of your friends when you turn down the lights in your living room and your very own Great Balls of Fire™ curl round their ankles!

Government Health Warning: Frequent use of Great Balls of Fire may lead to an appearance of the Great Penis of Fire


Hog pheromones

  Does your motorbike turn the girls heads - the other way?

Say goodbye to crap scooter misery with a sprinkle of our double-distilled Harley Davidson pheromones. Extracted humanely from the engorged sex-glands of testosterone-packed superbikes, these pheromones are completely undetectable by all* except extremely good-looking rich girls.


*and hairy bikers


Couch potato weight loss program.


All it takes is one call! Our highly-curved hookers will come round to your house and fuck you solid, then our heavily-armed pimps will point out you haven't paid and fuck you over. Afterwards our hardly-qualified accountant will fuck your wallet dry and confiscate all the beer in your fridge. All on the comfort of your own couch as you watch WWF!

Don’t get fat, get fucked!


Coming soon!!!

• Cable beer - up to 256 bps wherever our service extends.
• String-theory vest - as worn by physicists. Non-stain. Really.
• Everlasting toilet roll - Moebius technology
• Michael Jackson spare parts (unused)


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Twelve Top Tips for Tightwads

1. Make your own designer sunglasses by gluing the bottoms off beer bottles onto a SCUBA mask.


2. Kitchen cupboards overflowing with empty screw-top jars and ice-cream cartons? Simply gather everything into a large plastic bag (there's one in the bottom drawer on the left), and carefully place in the garbage bin when your partner isn't looking. If questioned, claim that you took them to the charity shop and they are now in Somalia holding packed lunches for disabled schoolkids.


3. Always carry a kitchen chair while shopping. You may meet a lion.


4. Suffering from conjunctivitis and can't stop rubbing your eyes? Tie one end of a two-foot length of cotton thread around your finger and the other end around your penis. Every time you raise your hand to rub your eyes you'll be reminded not to. It helps if you wear a kilt.


5. Homeless people: broaden your horizons! Do you know that it costs even less to be homeless in Lagos than it does in London?


6. Owner of the Taj Curry house on Union Street? Why not clean your fucking toilets once in a while?


7. Irritated by kilt-wearing perverts on public transport who keep pulling on strings tied to their genitalia when they think nobody's watching? When they get up to leave, simply trip them up. They'll throw their hands out to break their fall . The results make handy barbecue nibbles.


8. Turn your snorkel into a vibrator by popping a small rattlesnake inside


9. Blokes! Think that you might be gay but afraid to take the plunge "just in case"? Simply glue a moustache on your wife and encourage her to stick her fist up your anus while whistling Rufus Wainwright songs. Note: the fake moustache and encouragement may not be necessary if your wife is French.


10. Home-owners: broaden your horizons! Do you know that it costs even less to buy a home in Lagos than it does in London?


11. If you ever need to remember something, why not try writing it down?


12. Itching to meet Barack Obama? Go to the nearest shopping centre, turn left at Aldi, go into Homebase and get one of them brass house numbers, some white-out and a felt-tip pen. Use the white-out and pen to change the name of your road to "Downing Street", then stick a number ten on the rusting Ford Mondeo in your front garden. Heads of state will be flocking to YOUR house instead of that cunt Cameron. Don't forget to feed the paparazzi.

Next week: Andre shows you how to refurbish your bathroom using nothing more than a blowjob.

Friday, 15 October 2010

My 8 favourite things beginning with "S"




Aye well. I hevn't bin arrished to dee owt on here for a while like but young Anthony Allsop's blog caught me eye last week with a bit of blether aboot hoo e'd bin challenged to give us 8 things he liked beginning with "s".

Well I ken nee bugger is going to challenge us to owt, me being a recluse and all, but us mitts was strangely drawn to the keyboard for this effort.


skin - I don't know if you've been in the pub when they've got one of them quizzes on - they seem to be dying out nowadays - but this was always a favourite question round our bit. "Noo then here's yan for the lasses: Name the body's largest organ!" And woe betide any bugger who asked just whose body he was talking about. Well I like my skin. I'd look a right prat without it.

string vest - the coolest item in my wardrobe. When I get rich enough for bespoke tailoring I'm going to get a string vest hoodie made.

sausages - You cannot be Cumbrian and not be into sausages. And I'm not talking about the shite you get at Tescos. A real Cumberland sausage goes twice round the frying pan and is pointed at both ends.

sporran - there's nowt at all Cumbrian about this, but having lived in Scotland for a wee while I find I've developed a dreadful sporran habit. The kilt is a great garment. You can wear it anywhere, but the best thing about it is you're always ready for action. And the sporran covers a multitude of sins.

scrotum - part of the body's largest organ. And the original inspiration for the sporran. I have a soft spot for the word scrotum because it was the name of the band I was in before we scattered to the darkest corners of the British Isles. We was radge.

stottie-cake - not because I like the taste, which resembles french earwax. But because I like the way Geordies say it. I cannot really put it in print, but if you turn one of the the two t's into a glottal stop and say the "a" in cake while grinning like guilty politician you might JUST get a bit of the flavour of "sto'tie keeyak"

sinewave - human ears enjoy sinewaves, and I'm no exception. What do a violin, a soprano voice and an overdriven guitar have in common? Bar a few overtones of course. And why do you think Clapton used to keep fiddling with his guitar and amp to get his "woman-tone" going? Mine's more of a skanky crack-whore tone. And vocally I'm aiming for "bag-lady after a gallon of meths" tone.

something - in the way she moves. Aye.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Buffy and the Trouserless Accountant


I call it low carbon-footprint blogging. Some of you may have noticed that I am not too slick in replying to comments nowadays. This is not entirely out of disrespect, nor because I don't welcome and treasure your comments, ("I receive comments, therefore I am", as the famous philosopher Jonathan Ross once said), but because I've got no internet connection where I live. If I did then I wouldn't get a blind bit of studying done in the evenings. I'm already dangerously overdrawn at the time-bank, what with having a life and all, and for some reason I feel compelled to earn this fucking degree. Possibly because I want to prove certain people WRONG.


My lack of piped home entertainment takes the lead from our Mam who reckoned they didn't have a TV in the house when she was growing up in case they caught an inadvertent glimpse of Starsky and Hutch. I don't know about Father. I don't think they even knew about TV in Marseilles. All they had was a primitive form of rat-based entertainment.


Any road - even without internet I still feel a need to procrastinate when I'm supposed to be writing something meaningful about clades, or Dalradian schists and, lacking the ability to wilfully browse, I scribble. Craply.


Like this ...



I stand breathless in the park. The sun assaults me and the air swarms around me. People carelessly wander round, enjoying the summer. And over there a small group of children plays, throwing each other around on the grass or dropping wearily into the shade of the tree where their parents sit. I stand, motionless, the expectant sentinel.

I am somebody's worst nightmare.

So you want a career? Try this on for size. Every generation one is born, and one only. I thought I was a normal kid, but then the Nexus of Fail chose Brampton for a home and everything changed. I became the Slayer - the guardian of the gate: fated to spend my life hunting down the THINGS that emerge from the maw of the Nexus. Sure, I found I had been given powers to help me in my task, but it is a ceaseless task. A thankless task. Nobody can know what I am, or what I protect them from.

Did I say nobody? There is one who knows, and helps. My Watcher, Rupert. He has no special powers, except maybe punctuality, but he was specially trained for his task at the Academy of Watchers in London, England, and he was there when I needed him. He is always there when I need him.

Ah. There he is, in a tree on the other side of the park with his binoculars, ignoring the indignant looks of the low-necklined girls as they scurry past. He raises one arm. He's seen something. I raise one eyebrow in acknowledgement but otherwise remain motionless. I am ready.

Along the path to my right I hear a sharp intake of female breath, then an exclamation.

"Well, really!"

Lights

Then a single squeal and a "eeeuuwwwww!" from two pre-pubescent girls who scamper away, looking back and giggling with embarrassment.

Camera

Then a blokish roar. "Oi! What the fuck d'you think you're … oh!"

Action.

Time to take charge.

Wait a minute. Rupert is in trouble. I assess the scene across the park where a group of girls has surrounded his tree and is throwing stones up at him. Faint cries of "paedophile" float up the hill. Looks like he'll be OK. He always is. He's got a hide like a tobogganist's arse, Rupert.

But the momentary distraction has been too long. Things have gone suspiciously quiet to my right. I flick into movement, using my supercharged limbs to handspring down the slope - much easier than running when you're headed downhill - and crash into the bushes where I had set my mark.

Oh lollipops! I'm too late. He's taken his victim. The boy's eyes are already glazing over as he slumps sideways on his knees. The fiend has withdrawn his glistening member from the victim's mouth, and is cackling, gloating, as he wipes it vigorously on his dirty raincoat and tucks it into a damp-looking posing pouch. The scene etches itself on my memory - one of my rare failures. The victim is a ginger-haired lout I vaguely recognize from school, the infected ejaculate of the monster dribbling from the corner of his mouth as he lies shuddering on the ground. A ten pound note flutters from his grasp. The monster himself is a middle-aged gentleman with a bald spot, wearing spectacles and a shirt and tie. The filthy raincoat is incongruous on this dapper specimen.

But there's no mistaking the feral gleam in his red-rimmed eyes as he becomes aware of my presence. He halts in mid-gloat, turns towards me, and reverses the direction of his button-fumbling. OK. I'm immune to most of the crap that these ghouls can throw at me, and I recover like nobody's business, but not even I can take a full frontal at this range. Not if I want to make it to school in the morning anyway.

"Hello my dear!" he says, his voice all scratchy. "You must be new around here. What's your name? Can I be of assistance?"

All the time he is fumbling under the raincoat, readying himself.

"As if!" I sneer, keeping my eyes fixed on a point just above his bald spot. "Does your wife know how you spend your Sunday afternoons Mr Tate?"

He starts. I keep my eyes locked above his head but I can see that he is puzzled, dimly trying to remember something. The only good thing about werepervs is that they take a hit of about 50 IQ points when they get turned. Rupert's researches into the occult suggest that their brains get starved of blood by chronic tumescence and constant loss of fluid or something.

And this one is definitely struggling. He's new. It was only last Monday that I spoke to him in the queue at the butchers as he bought two pounds of Cumberland sausage, thin please, and I asked him if his daughter was enjoying her first few weeks at Sheffield University. Mr Tate the accountant. Pillar of society, shy, kind, and now a slavering pervert. He may be new at this game, but if I do my job right he won't get old. And he won't take anyone else with him.

I feint to the left and he buys it, squirting a foul-smelling cockful of something slimy as I cartwheel to the right, duck beneath the engorged member as it swings back round, and grasp his blackened testicles in my rubber glove. I twist. He gasps. I finally meet his eyes, and glimpse something like relief as the signature dirty raincoat fades away and he suddenly dissolves into powder. The powder hangs momentarily in the air like pollen. All that remains is the stench.

All is quiet. Good. Nobody has noticed. The killing power of the rubber glove on the wereperv is silent but deadly. Now for the other one. The newly-hatched one.

Shit. He's gone. I beat through the bushes frantically as Rupert staggers up, panting.

"You're … losing … it … Buffy ..."

"Fuck off you moron! I am so not losing it! And what about you, eh? Call yourself a Watcher! Stuck up a fucking tree by a bunch of slags when you should be watching my back!"

"I don't think that is quite fair Buffy. You know that I have to stay in character. And don't you think you're being a little too defensive here? You missed that one and he was just ..."

I cut him off with a shriek. "You bastard! You … you … fucking basstaaaard!". Tears of rage are running down my face now. "I'm stuck with this fucking job! I didn't ask for it. I was just given it! I've been doing it two whole weeks now and do you know how many people I've had to slay? Eh? Do you! That was Mr Tate, that was. Fucking hell!"

I turn away and I suddenly see that people are gathering round us. Staring. Old ladies are eyeing my rubber gloves. Fuck. I wonder if they suspect.

Rupert comes to the rescue, as usual. He falls into character - the kind of character that just blends into the background in Brampton. "Look, it's not a problem if you don't want one of my mini Mars bars". He shakes his head and starts to edge away.

He knows his job, Rupert. I back him up and turn my tear-stained face to the nearest permed head and sob witlessly, "I just came out for a tab and he… he asked us if I wanted a lick off his mini Mars bar, and my mam told us never to take owt from strangers!"

"There there dear." One of them pats me on the arm and glares poisonously at the retreating Rupert, then down at my gloves. "You'd better get back home and finish the washing up then. We'll see he doesn't bother you".

Rupert smirks ingratiatingly as he backs away. I give him a wink, but I swear to myself that I will rubber-glove him if he sets the blame on me again. I will, so help me. It is just not fair.

Then faintly, from down the hill, I hear a scratchy male voice chanting "You-and-me-girl eh?" in a pervy way. "You-and-me! You-and-me!" There is a flash of ginger hair and a faint squeal.

I roll my eyes and start off at a trot, trying not to draw attention to myself. A Slayer's work is never done.


Next week: Love at first sight. Buffy meets her first were-slag.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Rhotic Menace



I paused awhile in WH Smugs before boarding, as you do, furtively looking for some reading matter to see me through the time between décollage and seat-belt-sign-ping (that interminable period when the iPad is banned for fear that its malevolent radiations will bring the aircraft crashing out of the skies in a ball of fire).

Me, I do everything that BA cabin staff tell me. I don't want the bastards going on strike before they've served the dessert. It was one little humdinger of a book that I had grabbed though. I didn't put it down all the way to Newark, even though I watched two movies, got drunk, fell asleep, accidentally tripped up one of the cabin staff carrying a tray of soft drinks, and killed a bunch of snakes. At last! An author who has dared to lift the lid on the unflushed toilet of Northern English philology! "Northern English: A Cultural and Social History" by Katie Wales is a classic, and will become required reading on every English course when I'm prime minister. For too long have our proud northern tongues gone unhailed, sneered at by posh bastards in Streatham wine-bars and ignored by Americans who think us English all talk like Dick van Dyke or the Queen.

It also brought me up to speed on some of the linguist's jargon. I didn't know, for example, that dialects that sound all their 'R's are called 'Rhotic'. The English dropped all that nonsense a couple of centuries ago, apart from a few holdouts in backward places like the west country and Blackburn. Just try saying 'Blackburn' now and you'll see what I mean. Does it sound like 'Blackbrrn' or 'Blackbuhn'? If the former then you're Rhotic, you pervert.

I checked it out on the chopper into Manhattan. When the pilot chuckled "I suRe hope you'Re gonna keep a fiRm grip on that baRf-bag, good buddy. This biRd's just been regeaRed and we'Re gonna hit those theRmals oveR the East Side like a sack of rahks", I tried to confirm. "Noo then marra. What thoos sayin' is that thoo shoowah hope ah's gan tuh keep a fuhm grip on that bowk-bag cos thoos just had this spuggy fettled and we'll hit them thuhmals ovvah 'east side like a sack of clemmies. Eh?"

He gave me a funny look from over his mirroRed shades, and shrugged. "We don't get many like you on this route".

"What, like NON-RHOTICS?" I asked. "I hope you don't have a problem with that, good buddy".

"SmaRdass" he muttered under his breath and yanked the collective hard enough to make my knees water. We lifted with a lurch and just cleared the perimeter fence before skimming the waves all the way across the Hudson, narrowly missing a ferry full of Japanese tourists. Non-Rhotics to a man, all of them, I suddenly realised. I waved and they cheered back, obviously sensing the kinship potential of the unvoiced intercalary and terminal 'r's that must be radiating from me.

Ignoring my entreaties to stop at 32nd and 3rd for a McDonald's, the airborne truck-driver settled the chopper onto the United Nations helipad with a thud and looked at me expectantly.

"What!" I bellowed. "You want a fucking tip for flying like a cunt!". Outside on the lawn I could see that Ban Ki and Hillary were staring, and I was forced to hand over a handful of crumpled greenies so the bastard would let me out. I gave the skid a good kick on the way though, and ran my keys down the paintjob. Rhotic bastard!


Next week: The new Cumbrian ambassador presents his credentials. But sensitively.


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

What's in a name #5 - David Cameron



Every era has its hero. A likely lad thrust from obscurity who finds himself tasked with setting the world to rights. A brash, defiant soul hewn by the hoary hand of fate into a remedy for all that ails the Land. A latter-day King Arthur.

David Cameron, leader of the British Conservative Party, is such a man. Erstwhile master-blogger, his debating skills honed in the bearpit of the Guardian 's "Comment is Free" website, he led the Tories into battle at Westminster against the feared and hated New Labour usurpers to emerge victorious from the fray, in the May national election, with the riven scrotum of Gordon Brown held aloft in his two hands.

His deeds since then have been legendary. His unique Scottish ancestry lending him a hatred of profligacy and waste, he has set about slashing the bloated budget deficits of his predecessors, Broon and Blair. With his trademark big white forehead and his Liberal-Democrat right-hand man Nick Clegg, he is now poised to push the filthy democrats and the liberal invaders back into Europe where they belong. Camelot beckons.

So what's in a name? We asked famed Logomancer, Feargal Tesco, to randomly open his famed Collins Cobuild Dictionary and divine an acrostic that explains the meaning of the individual letters making up the name of our hero, D.A.V.I.D. C.A.M.E.R.O.N:-


Dungbeetle - Rolling up other people's shit is the quintessential task of any new government, and Cameron has knuckled down to the task with a will. Let us hope that he rolls those balls of shit back into the New Labour camp and doesn't use them to nourish his offspring, as dungbeetles are prone to do.

Avuncular - Will Cameron "fiddle about" with the economy like Pete Townshend's famous Uncle Ernie did with the supple-wristed Pinball Wizard of rock-opera "Tommy" fame?

Vombat - (Editor's note: Despite our insistence that "Vombat" is not actually a dictionary word, Professor Tesco insists on its validity for this particular application). For a German to call someone a "Vanking Vombat", as Angela Merkel did of Cameron at the latest secret meeting of Euroleaders in support of Greek Freeloading, required extreme provocation. Kudos to Cameron for standing firm, erect, and indeed foursquare as a solidly-rooted vombat under German pressure for Britain to throw its family jewels into the Eurozone.

Interesting - Cameron is one of the most interesting leaders to have bared his buttocks to the diamond-encrusted lavatory seat at Number 10 Downing Street. He has traded wit with the likes of Steve Davis at the Groucho Club - that famous roundtable of raconteurs where even Oscar Wilde failed to protect his seat for long - and has walked across America on no less than three separate occasions, living only on the contents of the hat passed around during impromptu stand-up comedy performances along the way.


Dickhead - David is proud of his glans penis-shaped bonce, and his prepuceterous hairstyle. Now, if he can only stop getting it caught in zips, and fingering it during Cabinet meetings.

Conservative - Tory to a "T" and not ashamed to tattoo it across other people's kidneys, David "we are not worthy ma'am" Cameron idolizes Margaret Thatcher and knows all of Norman Tebbit's most famous sayings by heart. Like any Tory worth his salt he is itching for war. Ladbrokes are already taking bets on who will be invaded first: Eire, or France? Will he try and retake the colonies? Will the USA become the 5th nation of the Union, ruled from Westminster at musket-point by thick-witted rapists in red coats and funny hats? Only time will tell.

Abba - like the famous supergroup who had 23 consecutive number one hits in the 1950s, David Cameron is a quartet of talented Swedes. But unlike Benny, Agnetha, Bjorn and the other one, the David Camerons only ever appear one at a time, splitting the busy Prime Ministerial schedule between them while the others cycle around the streets of London, followed by their chauffeurs carrying their lunchboxes.

Minge - Like all Old Etonians, Cameron had an aversion to minge. Dave "Screaming Lord" Sutch used this phobia to good effect when standing against the young Cameron in the Stafford by-election, and would thrust his famous minge-pole into Cameron's face shouting "get a good whiff of this you Tory bastard! I bet you never smelt anything like that before eh? Eh? EH?!!!" Cameron later revealed that the stench of Lord Sutch's minge-pole induced such "dread ecstasy" in him that he embarked on a frenzied minge-quest- a quest that was only fulfilled when he met his future wife, Samantha. "I followed her trail all the way down The Strand" he recalls fondly.

Earth - David Cameron lives here, like many of his constituents. And, like them, he is concerned that it should remain in a fit state to support not only life, but civilisation as we know it. He has pledged to deregulate the environment and let the unseen hand of the market balance the global ecosystem. "Carbon trading be damned" he says. "Let's trade everything!" Under Cameron you will have access to littering credits, endangering British species credits, even factory-farming credits, as long as you can pay for them. This money will go into a global fund available to third-world countries for picking up their own litter, conserving their own endangered species and strangling chickens.

Rupert - Murdoch is definitely known to be ambiguous about Cameron. "But is this fucking pommy shirtlifter ONE OF US?" he bleated at the opening of Newscorpse's ...."Pish on Wheels", the mobile micro-brewery and bottleshop that "promises to stop the decline of British pub-culture by bringing the hostelry to your doorstep". Unfortunately Rupert turned the volume knob on his life-support helmet the wrong way and this plaintive cry was broadcast loudly to the assembled press, who had to be individually silenced by threats of sacking, kneecapping or profile deletion, depending on their affiliation.

Order, order! - A rowdy, undisciplined Parliamentary performer, David Cameron has been reprimanded by the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, on no less than 1,048 separate occasions. Although most of these reprimands have been for trivial offences, such as smoking in the toilets or groaning audibly whenever Harriet Harman gets up to speak, some would be considered impeachable in any normal democracy. But such is the influence of David's pack of braying Old Etonians that events such as baring his buttocks to UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, offering to let the Queen suck his cock, and taking out the entire BNP from across the floor of the House with a wire-guided missile, have all been deleted from the Hansard record as though they never happened.

Nick Clegg - if Tony Blair had still been leader of New Labour it would have been Cameron and Blair we witnessed that fateful day, standing on the doorstep of Number 10 with their thumbs firmly inserted in each others arseholes, exchanging PR tips on their iPhones, and whinnying "ANOTHER new day has dawned, has it not?". But with Gordon Brown as the only alternative, Cameron reluctantly had to settle on the Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg as his coalition partner. "Clegg" is a dialect word for "horsefly" - that most persistent of biting insects - and Nick lives up to his name, buzzing, sucking, and generally hovering around piles of shit, waiting for dung-beetles to arrive.


Next week: God

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A&R Blues




Of course, you remember the good old days before recording and orchestras and sheet music was invented. What were songs for? They were for spreading the news, and for remembering old heroes and events in a way that was easily memorised and didn't get subverted too much by repetition. Performers - travelling minstrels - troubadors - made their living from performing, not from composing or recording. If someone picked up your song and used it in their own set then so much the better.

Listening to all the bleating and moaning from the music industry nowadays about the availability of online recordings and free "pirate" downloads, I reckon we're coming full circle. The days are coming back when musicians will make their living by performing. Why don't we just embrace it now? Musicians don't NEED to make obscene amounts of money. Musicians don't NEED the whole parasitic superstructure of the music industry.

"Yes," you whine, "but how will I get heard? How will I survive without the labels to promote my stuff, and without copyright to squeeze cash from my recordings?"

You'll survive the same way as your ancestors did, by getting on the fucking road and gigging for a living, sunshine. So what if punters can download pale imitations of your performances from the internet? THERE'S your publicity. If they like you they'll want to hear you perform, and THAT'S where you make your money. You get a name for yourself by delivering a good time. If you don't have to support a huge publicity machine you don't need buckets of cash. Shit, if you live on the road, you don't even need a fucking HOUSE.

It's not for everyone, I know, but just think about it for a femtosecond. Abolish musical copyright! What do we lose? We might lose a bunch of fat-cat musos who can't afford to run the advertising and promotion that are the only thing that keeps them in the public eye. But we won't lose the music. We'll lose the people who are only in it for the money. And we won't lose the ability to distribute music widely - we've got the internet. And with digital recording technology you don't need to spend a fortune on studio time.

You want money to support your music habit? Then play it to paying audiences.

Intellectual property be damned! At least we'd be rid of Simon Cowell.

OK, so it's got a few flaws. But so did punk.



Next week: Andre tries to abolish copyright on books. "Get out there and READ them to people!", he rants.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Science News


Wherein your favourite Brain Food Generator peruses the headlines in New Scientist and passes judgement on the contents.

When I wandered into the dumpster this morning I was astounded to find the 17th July issue of aforesaid rag lodged behind the cistern in place of the usual "Anal Housewives on Toast". "Funny", I thought. "Funny. Perhaps someone is trying to drive my cup-sharing flatmate out of her tiny, yet perfectly formed skull by the abstraction of her favourite bathroom periodical". And also, "I wonder if I'll get blamed. Perhaps I had better prepare a precautionary wetsuit".

As these thoughts ran through my small, but perfectly formed mind, I absently picked the thing up and started reading, pausing only to drop my keks. Shutting my ears and hardening my scrotum to the furious reprisals of the thirsty cat trapped below, I start to read ...

"Ecobot III - the power and the poop: It's not the most glamorous, or even sanitary, of advances in robotics, but the most basic bodily functions could give robots the freedom to roam"

Fuck me! What's this! Didn't famous Fashion and Shopping TopBlogger CJ Michiels only last week claim that robots could never aspire to complex cognition like humans until they experienced everything that we experience, including crimping off a length? Yet here we are. It's as though the editor of New Scientist is reading CJ's blog.

It's all very logical though. Biomass as a fuel source. Equip robots with sensors to seek out organic matter, a digestive tract, and a mechanism for getting rid of the spent waste (or "roboarsehole" as it is known in the trade), and release them from their volkswagen-manufacturing shackles every once in a while to forage. It could save billions.

The philosophers among you will of course spot the weakness - if you want to save on costs by developing autonomous robots to do the drudgework instead of humans, eventually you're going to end up with a robot that is to all intents and purposes identical to a human and you might as well employ a human to do the job in the first place. Jethro Tull was on the right track, I reckon.

And what if these organic-matter-seeking robots develop a taste for, you know, LIVING organic matter? "Ah!" say the scientists. "We'll keep them well down the food-chain and equip them to digest sewage, like giant mechanical dungbeetles".

So there you have it. Shit-eating shit-producing robots. The way of the future.

I read on ...

"An evil atmosphere: The right-wing think tanks that deny climate change is even happening are advocating geoengineering to fix it. Don't heed them, warns Clive Hamilton".

Clive goes on to warn us that if we come to depend on sulphur dioxide injections in the stratosphere to counter climate change then there will be no incentive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and we'll have to keep on injecting the stuff for ever.

Thanks for nowt Clive. Sure, prevention is obviously better than cure, but what if - just what if - climate change is not primarily caused by humans, or is not reversible by humans eh? And if it's not preventable - do we throw away a possible cure? Do we stop trying to develop vaccines for malaria because it will reduce the incentive for Africans to use mosquito nets? Do we abandon hospital emergency services in case it undermines efforts to improve health and safety in the workplace?

If there's one thing that winds me up worse than televangelists, its people who politicise science - buggers who spout inanities because their real focus is not on improving the world, but on dragging down the buggers on the other side of the fence. And I'm not pointing the finger at either left wing or right wing. There are single-issue "win-this-and-you've-won-everything" fuckwits on both sides.

Wait a minute! It says here "Clive Hamilton is Professor for Public Ethics in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. His new book Requiem for a Species is published by Earthscan". Well that explains it then. A glorified fucking spin-doctor.

Damn! Pussy is getting restive. I might have to relax one of my buns of steel a tad and let the bugger scramble to safety. Maybe in a minute or two ... What's this?

"The president of Astronauts4Hire on how the commercial space race is changing what it means to be an astronaut". Brian Shiro says "Our aim is to train a highly qualified group to become the first scientist-astronauts for hire by researchers wanting to fly experiments in space. People will be able to go to our website and search for astronauts with the type of scientific and flight expertise they want".

What a great idea! Take a highly-skilled one-in-a-million profession and use modern internet technology to maximise your chances of getting the right person for the job.

Now, what other highly-skilled one-in-a-million and even more mission-critical professions can you think of? How about running the country? Why don't we choose our next leader of the nation the same way? Hire them off HeadsOfState4Inauguration.com? Or why not go to the other extreme and start choosing astronauts by voting? At least we'd be guaranteed that they'd have good hair.

"We are all from Alpha Centauri: In a fast-paced world that needs nimble brains and sophisticated thinking, we must junk stereotypes about gender differences once and for all", says Lise Eliot.

Now this is one I can agree with wholeheartedly (although not whole-arsedly - I'm letting you out right now you feline ring-ravager).

Eliot says "I see how little the science of gender differences has penetrated popular culture and am hoping to set the record straight on behalf of both sexes. Yes, boys and girls, men and women, are different. But most of these differences are far smaller than the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus stereotypes suggest. Nor are the reasoning, speaking, computing, empathising, navigating and other cognitive differences fixed in the genetic architecture of our brains. All such skills are learned, and neuro-plasticity - the modification of neurons and their connections in response to experience - trumps hard-wiring every time." And "increasingly, biologists appreciate the role of epigenetics in shaping body, brain, mental traits and propensity to disease. Why should sex differences be any different?"

Aye, well, there you have it in a nutshell - a fucking verbally overblown nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless. HOWEVER. We still need to recognise that those stereotypes have not been junked by the world just yet, and that, for whatever reasons, most women and men behave differently RIGHT NOW. It's not going to stop me getting my daughter an Uzi though. As soon as she comes into existence.

Approaching the last movement now I flip forward to the article that caught my attention on the front page in the first place ...

"What happens if we all quit meat? Why eating greens won't save the world."

I was rather hoping for an epistemological examination of the philosophical paradox of how you can stop eating meat and at the same time eat members of the Green Party - perhaps by reclassifying vegetarians themselves as vegetables - but no: we get a rambling yet ultimately apposite argument in favour of not eating AS MUCH meat but at the same time not wasting the nutritional and ecological benefits of farming animals on marginal land unsuitable for crops. What a let-down. On the other hand it bodes well for the economic future of Scotland and Cumbria, and indeed my back yard, which can all be classified as "marginal land" par excellence. Sales of scrawny bracken-fed sheep are going to go through the roof once feedlots and lush pastures are banned.

I lose interest at this point and use the thing to wipe my arse, since the cat is not to hand.

Next week: Why I love Drew M


Monday, 5 July 2010

Hadley's Pimp

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may need to be forgiven for assuming that Andre and history repeat themselves. You won't find ME forgiving you though. There are some things that have to happen regularly, and Andre eating is one of them.

At the weekend I found myself chortling down to Little Bangladesh, as we smug borderline racists call London, free at last of the burden of academic expectation (at least until the results are out) and gagging for a bit of posh scran. Too long had I been surviving on refried beermats and used toast, and I was legs akimbo for the lushest steakhouse in the capital.

Leaving the airport I called Bono on a whim (possibly a new kind of phone) and fuck me if the bugger didn't just happen to be in town, auditioning jug'n'spoon players for his new solo album. "Skiffle's coming back, I can feel it in me water, bhoy," his inimitable Irish drawl bleated, as the limo swaggered down the M4 like a shark through a crowd of cowped boatpeople.

Trouble is, as I found out when we met up for a round of pre-prandial Pernods at the bar, Bono is now into ethical eating. He carefully disentangled my misunderstanding that this might be something to do with not trashing the place and nutting the Maitre d' if you found burnt bits in your crème brulée, and explained that it was about eating stuff that was Sustainably Sourced, Organic, the product of Fair Trade and cooked using Low Carbon technology. My slavering dream of huge sirloins fled out the door as the Ireland's Mahatma Ghandi made it clear that Ethical Eating was definitely spelt with Capital Letters .

I dutifully followed the bugger round to "The Gastrolabe" and, after grabbing a seat at the back facing the door (you never know what old debts might be wandering around), whispered to the waiter to dim the lights so Bono could take his fucking sunglasses off without squinting. No matter that the rest of the diners would have to squint to see whether they were forking up a piece of lettuce or a piece of tablecloth, but Bono outranked the lot of them in celebritude, and what he wanted, went.

I'll say this for Bono - he's nowt if not a solicitous host. When he caught my groan as I ran my eyes down the menu he called the waiter over (not hard to do when there were fifteen of the buggers hovering around within autograph-shot). "I'll order for the both of us, eh, me bhoy?" and then hastily, when he caught my glower, "And of course this one will be on me". I've been caught out that way by Bono before, the cheapskate bastard, with his "Oh I've left my credit card in the hotel. I don't handle money much nowadays. I just plain forgot", when I know damn well he's got a minder in the car outside with the authority to sign for as much as a Mourinho.

Don't get me wrong - I've got no problem about buying Paul Hewson's dinner - after all I'd be making more mileage out of this meal that I could spend with my pants around my ankles - but I gag mightily at the thought of paying to eat shit that some bugger else has chosen.

I shouldn't be so uncharitable. The meal, when it came, was worth every note. Not because it was good but because it proved that the Sustainable Restaurant Association's idea of ethical eating is about as pig-ignorant as the Millwall branch of MENSA. The menu proudly declared that "Squid is a great choice. It's the most sustainable fish at the moment, as we have overfished their predators and they're multiplying with abandon". Even a troglodyte like me knows how most squid are caught. Yes, driftnets. Dirty great floating nets strung out across 10 miles or more of ocean. And what else do they catch? Right - anything else that lives near the surface. Including anything that needs to breathe air for a living. Like, erm, highly sustainable turtles and porpoises. Ethical Eating my hairy arse. I loved it.

As I picked through my plate of squid, barbecued in the kitchen over "sustainably-coppiced British softwood charcoal" (as if anyone could actually coppice conifers), hoping to find Flipper's eyeball, Bono finally ventured the real reason why he was so keen to feed me. As if I didn't know. "You know, me bhoy, I could do with a bit of entertainment after this. I haven't enjoyed meself in a gentleman's way, if you catch me drift, for, ooh, 12 hours or more. Hey, are you still in touch with your little friend, you know, whatsername, the one who writes about womens things?"

I tried to look puzzled. Let the bastard work for it. "YOU know, Whatsername! Tells people why sweatpants are the work of the devil. She gave me a few good tips last time you took me round, let me tell you now!" Yeah, right. I seem to remember it took him a couple of days and a visit to the proctologist to extract them.

"Oh, you mean Hadley Freeman - the world's tiniest British-based American fashion journalist", I smirked. "Let me give her a call". I snapped my fingers for the house iPhone, which was brought to me on a sustainably-sourced bronze platter, and promised Hadders that we'd definitely be round within the time it took Bono to locate his wallet.

Three hours later we rolled up to Hadley's city apartment and I decanted the world's best-paid Irish larynx onto the bedroom carpet, already shuddering with anticipation. Hadley's eyes lit up and she stood on tiptoe to kiss my hand. "Andre, you huuuge lump of handsomeness. You trussed him up just like a great big Thanksgiving turkey. I'm going to get my basting equipment!" she squealed.

As per usual when Hadders is giving a prospective victim the once-over - or "foreplay" as she liked to call it - I idly leafed through the articles on her laptop. She's going up in the world, you know. Ever since I were a lad she's been best known for "Ask Hadley" - where people ask her about this or that fashion idea and she rips them to shreds, dripping sarcasm all over their winklepickers. But the latest one - a review of Sex and the City 2 - seemed to be a little bland. Am I the only one who thinks that things have gone downhill since she got a "real" column - and that the short format suited her better?

I made a mental note to keep my mouth closed, especially about the "sh…" word, as a the diminutive dominatrix struggled to drag Bono onto a giant baking dish. She may be tiny, but if there's one thing that Hadders really knows about, it's sex in the City. I melted quietly into the night before she started sharpening the skewers, discretion guaranteed.

A waste of good discretion of course. It was all over the front pages the following day. "U2 pull out of Glasto!" "Britain's biggest festival hit by Bono back injury!" "Damon Fucking Albarn to step in!"

I would have to have a word with Hadders. A very stern word.

Wait a minute! I grabbed my phone and speed-dialled the only person in the world to be expelled from art school for incompetence. "Damon, my man! I've just discovered this great little place! Fancy a night out?"


Come to me, Damon my lovely!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Bragged off


I see my erstwhile sparring partner Billy Bragg has been lambasting poor old Dawko in the august pages of that learned philosophical journal Q - the organ of the British music industry. He says that, "as a scientist Richard Dawkins refuses to believe in anything he cannot observe and measure", "and yet to Dawkins people who believe that an intangible reality really exists alongside spiritual reality are 'stupid'".

Melvin's younger brother

It's all bollocks you know Billy. Scientists are quite capable of believing there are things that they do not know, and even that there are things that are unknowable. The only thing they have trouble believing is in things that contradict the balance of the evidence.

I've seen footage of some of Dawko's early gigs and he started off being all sensitive and turning the other cheek, pleading with people just to look at the facts, but the poor bugger got nowhere with it. So he's started calling a spade a fucking spade, just like the God-botherers, and suddenly the liberal-minded are up in arms against him.

I've just searched through my pirated e-book copy of "The God Delusion" and nowhere does he describe people who believe in god as "stupid". He describe one argument against abortion - the "Beethoven fallacy" - as stupid, but that's because it self-evidently is. Like using the birth of Hitler as an argument FOR abortion.

No - the God Delusion doesn't call god-believers stupid. The main idea that Dawkins was dimly groping towards is that religion is hard-wired into the human brain. That we have a predisposition to believe in god/s, just as we have a predisposition to see optical illusions. Our unconscious filters and processes what we experience, and feeds the classified results to our consciousness in a simplified form - a form that we can act on quickly without having to deal with a lot of irrelevant data. There are certain experiences that are best shunted into the "god box" and left up to the shamans to deal with.


as CJ Michiels gaily (or should that be grayly?) points out, squares A and B are exactly the same shade.

It takes a conscious effort to break out of those hardwired coping mechanisms. It doesn't mean you are stupid if you haven't realised that they are there. I would however submit, your honour, even if Dawko won't, that it would be stupid not to believe that these unconscious religiosity algorithms couldn't possibly exist.

So, the main thing getting up the capacious Braggian neb is not that Dawkins logic is flawed, nor that he has become a hard-assed son of an illusion-destroying bitch, but his assumption that Dawko is calling his favourite prison chaplains stupid, which these guys don't deserve because they're doing some great pastoral work in rehabilitating the poor buggers who may have strayed from the path of social righteousness (there but for the grace of ineffable sensory input go I).

Aye, well, grow up Billy. You don't have to be religious to be good. Why should anyone have to take on a load of religious baggage just to get a bit of succour? Sure these chaplains aren't thrusting their succour down your throat, but don't think the pressure isn't there.

Mind you, if I was a prison chaplain (I'm not saying I'm not, mind) I'd point out that they're going about it the wrong way, succouring prisoners left right and centre. If you're going to herd the buggers into line (which is pretty much what they mean by "rehabilitation") then you'd get better results by putting the FEAR of god into them.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wherein your favourite Big Funky Gerbil takes a brief look at the headlines and tries to figure out what it's aal aboot without actually reading the article.

 
I have been funkily perusing the Guardian website again, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with my proclivity for middle-class carbon-friendly consumerism, and more to do with my sexual attraction to Charlie Brooker's column.

 
But after getting my fill of the best columnist since Clive James stopped reviewing the TV shows and became an intellectual twat, my attention strayed inevitably to the headlines. And they were as crass as ever:


 
Economic report into biodiversity crisis reveals price of consuming the planet

 
"Simon Stuart, a senior IUCN scientist, has warned that for the first time since the dinosaurs humans are driving plants and animals to extinction faster than new species can evolve."

 
Fuck me! That's news? I would have thought that IUCN would be trumpeting a rather different headline as a result of that startling bit of research. Something like "Meteorite theory shite - it was humans wot really drove the dinosaurs to extinction."

 
Maybe Simon was misquoted, in which case it must be the DUMB FUCKING JOURNALIST who believes that humans were around at the time of the dinosaurs. Or else the online subeditor is illiterate - which wouldn't surprise me. The last time I was in the Guardian office, trying to flog them a piece about how the number of seats in Parliament ought to be linked to the number of decent pubs remaining, they were trying to stop the subeditors flinging shit through the bars.

 


 
And then there were two pieces about teenagers trying to outdo each other:

 
Mount Everest:13-year-old's goal:
US teenager arrives at base camp in bid to be youngest to summit

 
and

 
Jessica Watson sails round the world
Voyage said to make 16-year-old the youngest sailor to circle the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted.

 
I reckon this quest for being the youngest to do anything is getting out of hand. What next?
  • "3-year old toddler becomes Britain's youngest convicted paedophile"?
  • "Foetus free-dives to the bottom of the Marianas Trench"?
  • "Spermatozoon elected President"?

I'm getting worried that there will soon be nothing left to for me to make my mark on, apart from a soft mattress.

 
Tell the truth, I'd be more impressed nowadays by a headline that said "23-year-old walks through Newcastle city centre on a Saturday night without being sexually assaulted, robbed, or vomited on".

 


 
Chickens
Pets plus eggs: Julia Hollander on the pets that just keep giving

 
Sunday dinner plus chickenshit all over the back yard, more like ...

 


 
Now here's one that sets the no-taste glands tingling:

 
Why are breasts getting bigger?
In recent years the average UK bra size has expanded from 34B to 36D. Retailers and doctors explain...

 
Well that's not so hard to explain, is it? British lasses are getting fatter. Nowt wrong with being cuddly missus, but don't try and make it into a mystery when it's clear for all to see. And feel. More pies = bigger tits.

 
But, the doctors exclaim, it's not that simple! Mammaries are composed mainly of glandular tissue, not fatty substances, and the increase in the number of conservative politicians being suffocated between the breasts of well-endowed dominatrices is not in the slightest way correlated with the rise in the Ginsters share price. Think about it, you sniggering blokes. Think of the equivalent glandular protuberances on your own bodies. When you get fat do your testicles get fat? Do they bollocks! Your gut balloons, your buttocks start dragging along the ground, and your penis turns into a clitoris, but your nads remain slim and attractive. Well it’s fucking well the same with tits say the doctors, testily. There's got to be some other explanation.

 
I was surprised to see, however, that the Guardian did not attribute it to global warming, nor to the loss of biodiversity. One day I may read to the end of the article and see exactly what they did attribute it to.

 


 
White House Rodent problem
Obama press gathering interrupted by a rat: or was it a vole?

 
I'm not even going to bother commenting on this one. It's been done to death already in the States. I'll just note that there were so many rodents outside the door of number 10 when Camelegg of Conlibdem strode up to pull the sword from the stone that a herd of coypu could have rollerskated by without anyone raising an eyebrow. How the hell can a PRESS gathering be interrupted by a rat, for fucks sake! It's like a gathering of dolphins being interrupted by a dolphin.

 
Oh wait a minute. My tiny, hairless, and exceedingly sensitive brother has just peered round my shoulder and said that it was obviously a gerbil, fallen out of Obama's bunghole. Thanks, TFG. For nowt.

 


 
After rolling my eyes at the headlines I ran them down some of the comments on the Guardian's blogs. They weren't completely fucking pig-ignorant like some of the shite you get on the Express or Mail sites (here's an express reader on the FA Cup - "Watching the final between Chelsea and Portsmouth I wondered how many true "English" players were on the pitch and what chance do up-and-coming English players have of being able to take part in the competition"), but fuck, were they snide!

 
Like the bloke responding to Charlie Brooker's review of the iPad - "Why does (sic) PC owners moaning about Itunes always make me laugh? Can't you simply hook up your Zune or whatever it PC's use and run some Microsoft crap or half baked Linux to sync it?". Where's the sarcasm? The wit? The pointed banter? This is just gamma-male whining.

 
Which brings me to the destination of this particular ramble. The flame wars going on in the Guardian blog-comments about effete Apples versus redneck PCs sound to me just like some of the crap flying through the air between Republicans and Democrats. The self-righteous tone, the obvious unwillingness of either side to admit that the other might have even the tiniest right to exist, and the ponderous put-downs - they're almost identical in tone. I'd be interested to know how Mac and PC owners vote in the States.

 
I've tried a few different types of laptop over the years (there's a lot of white vans with loose doors around out bit) and as long as the cat finds the keyboard comfortable and it doesn't break when I bounce it off the dog's skull then, frankly, I couldn't give a shit about the label. The British have already reached that stage in politics where folks have realised that the parties are interchangeable, and nobody really gives a toss who gets in, as long as they're different from the last lot, but it sounds like we have a long way to go when it comes to choosing between computers.

 
To hell with it. I'm off home.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

What's in a name #4 - Barack Obama



Black - Obama is the first half-Caucasian president of the United States of America. Most people find this significant. What WILL be significant is when the United States elects its first AMERICAN president. So far they all seem to have been descendants of immigrants who landed within the last half-millennium.

Ambient - Brian Eno is always welcome round at the Obamas. As well as providing the sonic wallpaper for the White House, Eno is producing the next Presidential Address to the Nation. It starts with a soothing wash of apparently-repeated but gradually-resolving enharmonic appropriations and, via a bluesy vocal dig at climate-change skeptics, segues into a triumphant finale of inconsequential but impressively-orchestrated meanderings in a middle-eastern mode.

Rogering - Barack's no slouch between the sheets. Nor up against the wall in the alley behind the White House, where the sound of his midnight buttocks pumping against the trash cans regularly keeps the neighbours awake. Kennedy may have fucked more starlets than bad lighting, but Barack's 12-incher respects nobody's airspace. "Shock and awe baby? You better believe it!"

Aggression - he may seem like a easy-going guy but just don't stand between Barack Obama and the last slice of pizza in the plate. If he decides that you're eyeballing his presidency he'll leap across the bar, smash his forehead into your nose, knee you in the testicles and keep kicking you as you lie bleeding on the floor until someone calls the police. He'll then produce witnesses to prove that you started it.

Canada - With his Hawaiian-Indonesian upbringing, Obama doesn't share the ambivalence of the average American towards his bigger and better-looking contiguous northern neighbour. During the run-up to the election he incensed Idahonions by declaring "I really can't tell the difference between Canadians and Americans. I know that one pronounces it "zed" and one pronounces it "zee" but I can never tell which is which". But watch out Canada. One of Obama's "Covert 10" election promises - the ones he made to the neocons in return for soft-pedalling the republican campaign - is to physically unite Alaska with the rest of the continental USA.

Kisumu - the town in Kenya where Obama's daddy came from, and where most of his family still live (and hope he'll rescue them from) is a shit-infested rat-hole on the festering shores of a vast, putrid inland lake, populated by a polyglot cacophony of thugs, charlatans and lepers. It is twinned with Chicago, for obvious reasons.

Onomatopoeia - "Barack" is the sound made by your buttocks hitting the sidewalk when you are thrown out of a Honolulu nightclub for being drunk and disorderly. In Honolulu you have to be very drunk and disorderly indeed to earn this honour, and Barack Obama has qualified on many occasions. After one particularly fierce projectile ejection he even considered changing his name to Barackarackarackarack. "Obama" is of course what you say when your buttocks finally skid to a halt.

Borg - if Obama had been born 500 years into the future and just happened to be exploring a suspiciously deserted planet with his parents he might well have been assimilated by the Borg out of Star Trek and been given the name "six of nine". He might even possibly have been forced to take part in the invasion of Earth and to keep saying "resistance is feudal" over and over again, however much he really wanted to say "I have a dream, motherfuckers."

Arsehole - Unlike the Queen, Obama does have an arsehole. But he has had his ringpiece surgically enhanced in order to deal with all those ceremonial dinners double-quick. Those who have been unlucky enough to rescue him say that his defecatory rate is now so prodigious that he sometimes has trouble keeping his feet on the ground, and has been known to rise so high on a column of shit that his head sticks out over the top of the toilet stall.

Michelle - Obama's wife, the former Miss Pentyouth, used to be called George Bush (no relation). After the operation that changed her orientation she asked for her excised tackle to be preserved, and occasionally wears her mummified testicles as earrings to state functions. "To remind me where I used to come from."

Apiphobia - like the late Peter Cook, the late Eddie Izzard, and several late members of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the President of the United States does not willingly consort with bees. In fact he loses no opportunity to denigrate their lack of visible ears, their unimaginative colouring and their general failure to appreciate democracy (unless it is covered in pollen). He does however appreciate their willingness to die in defence of their leader and has had his security detail fitted with arse-mounted bazookas in case foreign journalists throw shoes at him during overseas visits.