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


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".


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 it̢۪s 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.