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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

review

i was thinking of doing a review of the year. then i realised it had been a pretty pants year. so decided against it.
i am quite looking forward to the end of this year, even if they have made it a full second longer. the bastards.
any way here is hoping that 2009 is a much better year, and that everyone has a prosperous one.

sales

tradition is important. it gives us a sense of past, a sense of belonging, a sense of unity. in these days of uncertainty tradition is like a glue that keeps us together. tradition comes in many forms. for some this is the time of religious traditions, and thus the most important time of the year for them. for others it is the key part of the football season when several games are played in a short period of time, a time that sorts out the men from the boys (unless of course it is ladies football). some see this as being a time of celebration, well partying an excuse to get drunk and perhaps be violently sick because it is traditional to drink far too much at this time of year.
the one tradition we all agree on is “the sales”.
as ever the sales have been well attended. people have flocked to get a bargain. items bought. bags packed. stuff taken home. people happy.
a clever process.
for me the sales are a chance to pick up some cheap books, dvds and cds. sure i could buy some clothes, but it is not like t-shirts and jeans from tescos can get much cheaper. what’s that you say, get some decent clothes! pish paw is all i can say to that. true i could buy some new furniture, but i have never seen anything wrong with sitting on the floor. the practical stuff of sales just doesn’t appeal to me.
i want the fluff and nonsense stuff, the clutter.
while stores that sell clothes, furniture, electrical goods and such like are having to cut their prices in dramatic fashion not just to deal with the issue of cash flow but also to make room for next seasons goods. stores that deal in books, cds and dvds are just doing the same old same old.
it must be great to be one of the chain bookshops you never take a risk. publishers take all the risks, they give large discounts and they have to accept returns. sure in some cases this means that the reader gets a bargain, but it also means that there is little difference between the main bookshops – they all have the same 3 for 2 offers, they are all pretty much selling the same books at a “sale” price right now. the few real bargains to be had are the handful of books that the publishers have manned up to and said no to being returned.
so i have not been tempted by the bookshops.
as for dvds and cds, again little to tempt me. zaavi is a mess, but it always was (so no wonder that it is going out of business), and little on offer that jumps out and says “buy me”. over at hmv it is the usual suspects that are on sale (again), how many times are they going to pretend that boxsets such as “band of brothers” “rocky” “godfather” et al are ever sold at full price? same with the cds, it is the same stuff that was in the last sale.
most of the items on sale are just product that the publisher is happy to take an additional hit on to eke out a few extra sales. there are no real bargains to be had.
though i am not sure why i am complaining: i am broke so not having anything to spend cash on is a good thing.

mmm could this be the start of a new tradition?

giggling

just been watching a mix of "family guy" and "30 rock". both were slow starters for me, i just didn't get them.
now i do.
now i laugh like a drain watching them.
i have no idea why i have taken so much to both shows (annoying scheduled to show at the same time as each other but never fear they are on bbc3 and five, which means they will be in endless repeats so i will catch the ones i miss at some point in the near future). well actually that is not true i sort of know why i like them.
i seem to like my comedy when the characters are not nice fluffy people.
i never really understood the attraction of "seinfeld" until i paid more attention to the george character. george is one of those slightly annoying, petty people that if he wasn't already your friend you would do you best to avoid. i am attracted to the socially dysfunctional comedy character.
i think they remind me of me, but with jokes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

cold

my toes are cold.
my fingers are cold.
my nose is cold. my nose is runny (i could be a st. bernards dog...)
it is cold.

oh it is winter! that is ok then.

Monday, December 29, 2008

aging

i have just had an epiphany. i am getting old. yeah i know that is a pretty amazing revelation to have. i had long accepted that i was no longer one of the hip trendy kids (oi who said i was never hip? own up). even so i never felt like i was middle-aged. tonight it hit me, tonight i realised that i am ready for my shawl, rocker and pipe.
i blame the television for this moment of truth.
i flicked through the channels and stopped to watch what looked to be a period action film. a few minutes into it i realised what i was watching. the clue was the music.
oh hell i am watching andrew lloyd webber’s “phantom of the opera”, not only am i watching it, i am enjoying it.
what. the. fuck.
let me just repeat it, as i know some of you are in shock, i enjoyed the joel schumacher’s vision of webber’s “phantom of the opera”. i know i know. what is going on?
i was a little disappointed that gerard butler as the phantom did not say “madness! this is musical theatre!” you can’t have everything.

so there you have it. i enjoyed “phantom of the opera”, it seems i am a fan of musicals, i am officially old. either that or am i gay.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

trust

trust is important. it is a simple fact of life.
one of the reasons the credit crunch has hit so bad is that we trusted the banks and they ended up screwing the pooch on us.
the main reason i buy the observer newspaper is that i trust it. while i may not always agree with it, i trust it.
it is the end of the year this means that newspapers are smaller than usual, it is not that less news happens at the end of the year just that more journalists are taking time off. a result of this is the countless reviews of the year just gone and the previews of the year ahead. i enjoy looking at the cultural reviews and previews. the collector mentality in me wants to go “seen it, got it, seen it, heard it, got it, didn’t want it” when it comes to the reviews (sadly most of the broadsheet newspapers are a little too highbrow for me so most of the books and films i have never even heard of. and i am not going to admit to what i may have seen from the daily sport’s listing). the fanboy in me loves the previews as i can get all excited about what is coming up in the year to come. are there books i am going to want to buy (and maybe even read): well yes to the buying and perhaps to the reading part. will there be cds i will have to have to make my heart sing with music and will there be a prog masterpiece among them? i hope so. what films will make me go to the cinema and sit and munch popcorn with delight, is there a slight chance that both quentin tarantino and guy ritchie can make decent films? (slight but not impossible, similar to my chances of winning the lottery.) what artistic shows will there be, which artists will be gracing the galleries of london.
in short so much to look forward to.
in truth there is almost too much to see, read and listen to. choices made, filters used and happiness found.
the previews are a starting point.
trust comes into play. trust that the experts can guide my way, can light a path.
it all comes back to trust.
so what in the name of all that is fucking sensible are the observer doing? what is their game? are they neo-nazi sadistic bastards? oh sure they have bold banner across the top of the front page and a promising one it is too. “pick of the arts events for 2009” it proclaims. just the sort of thing i want to read on a cold winter sunday evening, dispelling the gloom with the promise of gems to come. i am almost giddy with anticipation.
hold on. hold on.
something is wrong here.
they are having a laugh (as some cheeky chappies might say), but they are not. no not a laugh, more a cruel joke. this is taking the trust issue too far.
let us quickly look at that promise again “pick of the arts events for 2009” that is a promise and a half. it sends tingles down my spine with expectation. just imagine what artistic pleasures that there could be in store. imagine. go on do it, dream the impossible dream. twelve months of glorious art events, fifty-two weeks of pleasure. an amazing year ahead. already the gloom has lifted. i am ready. tell me what i can look forward to.
lily allen.
what. the. fuck.
who in their right minds gives a rat’s arse about a new lily allen album? no really, who?
even worse which retard thinks that a lily allen album is an art event for 2009?
i am sure she is a sweet lass, but so are most of the girls doing karaoke in pubs up and down the country, yet they are not part of the pick of the arts for 2009.
even in a postmodern ironic way it is not funny. not in the slightest bit.
the observer may as well have told me that a new “now that’s what i call music” compilation was coming out in 2009 for all the use that telling me a new lily allen cd was coming out.

right now the observer and me have trust issues.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

sleep

i like sleeping, there are times when i have slept for england.
my sleep patterns are completely out of kilter.
not sure what i am complaining about though late night tv is the bomb (as the kids might say if they were middle-aged and wanting to pretend they were hip and trendy) with such great programmes as "roulette nation" and "quiz call", not to mention the shopping channels, they are the reason tv was invented.
geez i need to sleep.

Friday, December 26, 2008

friends

no man is an island so the poem goes; we all need friendships, or alliances, to get through life. mostly we choose our friends, sometimes alliances are made out of necessity rather than choice.
an example of this can be seen in afghanistan where the ongoing ‘war on terror’ is not going as well as was hoped. rather than being under government control most of the country is either in the hands of the afghan warlords or the taleban. given that the taleban are the enemy in the ‘war on terror’, that leaves the warlords as being potential allies.
the warlords have proved to be incredibly fickle in the past, demonstrating a fluid concept of loyalty. the answer to recruitment and retention problem appears to be bribery. there is an art to bribery (or more like a dark science). when it comes to afghanistan you just can’t drop a lot of money into an informants lap as there is a chance that they will spend it stupidly on “shiny junk” and that makes it obvious that they have come into some money and bang goes their usefulness. instead the skill is finding something that they need that you can supply. weapons are not a good thing – sure they can use them against the taleban, but remember the warlords are fickle so they could just as easily use their new weapons on american or british forces and that is not a good idea.
you have to hand it to the cia they try not to miss a trick. when they were dealing with a recalcitrant warlord they noticed that his four wives were much younger than him. what to give the mature man with young wives? why of course you give him viagra.
four wives, four tablets. four days later the cia return and the warlord is a happy man, and one would like to think that he left his wives happy as well. thanks to a cheap little blue bill the warlord is a potent man again and important information flows. everyone is happy.
bribery you have to love it.

of course fans of the matrix will know that the blue pill means you keep living in blissful ignorance within the matrix, rather than escaping from the clutches of the simulation. quite what that has to do with anything i am not sure.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry

well have a merry christmas then.
don't forget the happy new (and prosperous) year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

sales

christmas has not even started and the sales are on.
madness.
total utter madness.
somewhere along the lines the season to be merry turned into the retail season. oxford street was crammed with people laden down with bags filled with little more than status symbols that in a few weeks will be seen as little more than tat. it is retail therapy gone mad.
we may all feel a little richer as we flash the cash, somehow though i think we are a lot poorer in the way we now live our lives.

end of sermon from the futon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

quote

from the latest edition of private eye there was a lovely description of a journalist.
the fellow in question was referred to as "a cunt in cunt's clothing". lovely.
i have known a few people who fit it to a t.
i shall no doubt use it once or twice in the future.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

bags

i am all for reusing carrier bags. i always try to remember to carry a canvas shopping bag with me.
call me green.

one of the advantages of entering my dotage is that i can tut and mumble under my breath as i stand in checkout queues. one of the things that irks me (and there are many. many i tell you, oh yes there are) is the shoppers who can't seem to get more than four items into any one carrier bag, so a shop that would fit into one bag ends up in six. what makes this a doubly annoying thing is that they are so obviously doing their regular shop so over the course of a year they end up with hundreds of bags.
plastic bags. lots of them. none of them pretty and none of them rare.
apparently though they are all single use.
of course i can say this because i have a bag i can use again and again and again and again.
call me smug.

last year supermarkets gave up 13 billion bags.
look at that number again: 13 billion bags.
that is a lot of bags. that is a hell of a lot of bags.
in 2009 the supermarkets are hoping to cut that number in half. so 7.5 billion bags. that is still a lot of bags.

another bag irk is that when i am buying stuff in supermarkets the till jockeys are practically throwing the bags at me rather than asking if i need a bag. (ok this might not happen as much in my local sainsburys where the checkout staff would rather eat their own vomit than help anyone pack anything into a bag, no matter how infirm the shopper maybe or how long the queue is).

quite why supermarkets are not more active in encouraging shoppers not to use plastic bags is beyond me as it strikes me as being an obvious way to save on the overheads. though the same could be said of all the over packaging that goes on for food.

so gentle readers make a stand, carry your own bags around with you. each bag you reuse is one less that will be floating around the streets as a bit of rubbish.
go on you know it makes sense.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

grinch

i can't help it.
i just can't get into the spirit of things. i know it is the season to be jolly but it just isn't happening with me.
time to face facts i am a miserable sod.
i am a misanthrope.

Monday, December 15, 2008

cameron

crikey who would have thought it...
there i am looking for a laugh on the daily mail website. always worth going to the comment sections because it shows that the internet and crayons do go together. when i am confronted with a story in which david cameron has a pop at city executives. he says that criminal proceedings should be taken against those where there is proof that they were involved in any wrongdoing that has contributed to current financial crisis.

hear hear mr. cameron.

though the cynic in me wonders how much of that is opposition blood and thunder that becomes nothing but a forgotten clarion cry when (if) the conservatives get into power.

a while back frank field was calling for a national government in order to see us through the recession/depression. i think he has a point.
perhaps cammeron's desire to bring city executives to book would be a place for cross party co-operation.

the chaces of it happening?
about the same as me getting my novel published.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

rain

the plan was a simple one. take a friend around some london sights. as we walked i would do a bit of jibber jabber, a fact here a funny story there. easy really.
well let me tell you all i can say is: mice and men.
of mice and men baby, mice and men.

i was on time, a rare occurrence (as ems will testify). i stood at the station entrance watching the rain come down. my pal arrives, she has an umbrella, she is not stupid.
over to st. martin’s in the field to get something to eat (nice canteen/cafĂ© there). we get wet in the rain.
still raining when we come out.
the walk along the strand is a war zone of umbrellas, bobbing and weaving to prevent being jabbed. litvinenko wishes he had moves like mine.
waterloo bridge, water in the name water from the heavens. wet. wet. wet.
pelting rain all along the victoria embankment. my trainer is leaking.
paul’s walk was just a short squelch until we plodded through puddles around st. paul’s.
across the millennium wobbly bridge the rain feels wetter and is colder. and into the tate.
tate is dry. coffee is nice.
back out and it is still raining.
return journey is along the south bank and bugger me but it is raining harder and colder.
you can tell it is a bad night as there are about 6 of us out walking.
wetter. wetter. wetter.
over the golden jubilee bridge. rain and more rain.
through trafalgar square. more rain.
down whitehall. rain, bloody rain and more rain.
westminster station and in the dry.
we part she goes west, i go east. we are both wet.
i get home and it stops raining.
bloody typical.

Friday, December 12, 2008

sorry

i have to apologise to the shoppers in the whitechapel branch of sainsburys.
there i was walking around looking for something to eat (and what a mistake i made chicago town’s microwavable pizzas are only to be eaten after there has been a nuclear war and there is nothing else left to fill your belly with), the ipod was playing some rammstein (there is something odd about listening to german industrial metal as you ponder should i get the brown rolls or the crusty white ones).
as ever when i go into this branch i always seem to head to the media section first, i have no idea why i do this, as it is rare that i buy a cd, dvd or book from there yet i am drawn to it like a whovian to hamlet.
as i browsed the books i was struck by an overwhelming feeling of despair. you can tell christmas is here as there are countless ‘humour’ books such as golf wit. what? there is nothing funny about golf aside from the clothes they wear and colin montgomerie. the humour section merges into the 'be like a celeb' section – yes you too can eat and dress like a celeb, if only you had their money (and you don’t, because if you did you wouldn’t need their book). this section drifts into the celeb biographies people you have never heard of but have had their 15 minutes of fame (oh if only it were only 15 minutes for some of them) or have not had the time to achieve more than one thing in their lives so far. this lot butts up against the fiction paperbacks filled with dan brown alikes (i want to write a blockbusting novel about a secret society that actually wants to be discovered because they are annoyed that all the other societies are grabbing the headlines, my only fear is that it would be put with the humour books), then just when i think it has reached rock bottom i realise there is another new james patterson novel out. it is enough to make you cry.
over at the dvd section my local sainsburys dishes up a nice line in horror dvds, it is better than the local blockbusters.
even worse than the entertainment section is the ‘gift’ section. i have yet to work out quite why they are selling night vision goggles, but it takes all my will power not to buy them. yes i know they won’t work very well it is just that i never bought a pair of those x-ray specs that were always advertised in comics so the night vision things are the next best thing.
moving swiftly on, and with rammstein banging on in my ears i return to my quest for food.
and it is during my journey through the aisles that the incident that i have to apologise for occurs.
it takes me back many years ago when i was at the lse (no not the london stock exchange but the london school of economics). little did i know at the time that my goal of snagging a ma was a mere pipedream, at this particular moment i was in the library searching through various volumes of the british journal of sociology.
but first a little rewind.
before i had gone to the library i had been to the canteen. not the regular canteen, that was undergoing some redecoration so i was in the wood panelled staff canteen. there i had a coffee and a smoked salmon sandwich.
big mistake.
fast forward.
the correct volume of the british journal of sociology is in my hands. i start scanning the article i need, oh yes it has the information i need.
then it happens, as if from the bowels of hell comes a gurgling and a burbling, there is a tremor in my tummy. i am almost too scared to move in case i set off a chain reaction. i try for zen like calm, i remember all my old sensei taught me: still the mind control the body. i fear it is too late. it is. all i can do now is limit the damage. through clenched buttocks i squeeze out a silent parp, i feel it flutter my underpants and ripple my jeans. once it is out i breathe a sigh of relief. phew dodged a bullet there. ooops spoke too soon. here comes another one. crikey that went on a bit, but still quiet, no one heard. i look around, i can feel a bead of sweat form and start to run down the side of my face. another one leaks out. disaster. then the smell hits me. oh my good googlymoogly that is vile it is as if all the unwashed demons of the netherworld had decided to get hot and sweaty at once. i have just unleashed hell. i have to escape before someone else comes looking for books in this section of the library. oh no there is another one. the air is shimmering; you can cut it with a knife. escape, escape, escape.
i do make it to safety of another floor in the library, the volume of the british journal of sociology left behind, a fallen soldier to chemical warfare.
i return an hour later when i think the coast might be clear.

and there i am in sainsburys a burbling and gurgling. it is like an acid flashback, all of a sudden i am back in that library and i know what is going to happen. i try to rush, i really do, get my shopping done and out into the open before the inevitable occurs. alas my timing is off and as i walked passed the tinned fish section and comes a little parp. i keep moving over to the bread, another one escapes. i am leaving vapour trails as i go.
suddenly i am thankful for the ipod with the sound up i can’t hear the cries for help, i can’t hear the gagging noises i just hear the beat of german industrial music.

so to those in sainsburys who got caught in my whiff stream i am sorry. sadly i can’t promise it won’t happen again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

pie

scientists at dundee university have discovered what is being called the 'pie gene'. the gene fto means that the carrier of it will potentially eat an extra 100 calories per meal, as they tuck into the calorie rich foods such as cheese and ignoring such healthy fare as cucumber (and frankly as cucumber is the devil's food who can blame them). as i write this i am tucking into a healthy bar of chocolate, so i am guessing i have the fto gene.
the scientists also said the gene had no affect on how quickly energy was burnt or on the level of exercise.
now this does imply that with a bit of pharma magic there will be a tablet that will diminish the affect of the fto gene.
but really it just comes back to the simple fact that the simple answer to being overweight, is to either eat healthily or exercise.
simple really.
the 'pie gene' is great for some people as now they can point to it and say "not my fault". what is seen as being an explanation of obesity just provides an excuse for people not to take responsibility for their own lives.

now will football fans keep chanting "who ate all the pies?" or will they change it to "who has the pie gene?"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

quote

today during an exchange in the house of commons gordon brown told it like it is: "'We not only saved the world...'
good on you gordon for taking credit for the work you have done to stabilise the world economy.
oddly enough the daily mail describes mr. bown as being embarrassed about this 'slip of the tongue', me i just think he is a little shy about his achievement.
now if only gordon brown would ditch id cards, nationalise the rail and pull the boys out of iraq. three measures that would guarantee him the next election.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

-0.4%

early mornings start for me when the digital radio kicks in to wake me up (or as it has been more recently reminding me that i should go to sleep). generally it is a good start to the day with the pleasant friendly rapport between nicky campbell and shelagh fogarty easing the listener in to the stresses of the day.
every now and then there is a story or guest that just winds me up.
today it was stephen robertson of the british retail consortium. now i have to say he wasn’t as bad as digby jones, but then few people are.
mr. robertson was on to speak about the downturn in retail.
during my working life i had to deal with many retailers, many of them were sensible rational human beings. no it is true, it is true. that said there were a few who were full of doom and gloom, no matter what their circumstances, one such retailer complained his monthly bill with us had been increasing each month over the year, even though he was buying more because he was selling more he was still resentful of having to pay for it. another complained that he had too much competition in his area and so his profits had only increased by 5%. oh dear.

according to the report on the radio sales have declined by 0.4% for the same time last year.
the response of mr. robertson was: "the numbers speak for themselves - these are clearly tough times." indeed a decline of 0.4% is tough. (the british retail consortium talks about like for like sales, and this does not include any new shops that have opened).

confusingly the news brief on the british retail consortium’s website states: “non-food non-store sales in november were 9.5% higher than a year ago. as with store sales, this was worse than in october, when sales were 16.6% up on a year ago.” i am not an accountant but that looks pretty healthy to me.

i suppose my lack of sympathy comes from the fact that the implicit assumptions in the complaints of people such as mr. robertson is that growth is a given and that there should never be any decline in profits and that profits should grow year on year. profit it not enough; it has to be growing profit. secondly the moment there is any blip it then becomes the role of government to step in and make sure that retailers do not suffer. though i would wager that the british retail consortium would be at the forefront of making sure that retailers are paying as little as possible in tax, are as exempt as possible from as much of government legislation.

but in the end the reasons why i am not a fan of mr. robertson is that he spent three years on the board of woolworths, obviously did a fine job there, and he refers to the uk and “britain plc”. shallow reasons i know, but then i am not an economics guru.

boris

i like boris. he seems to be an affable chap. the sort of tory you could take home to your mum. his buffoonish behaviour hides a sharp witty mind.
it is true that i didn’t want him to be the mayor of london, but if we couldn’t have ken then boris was the best of the rest. he started off with a bit of a splash, did the olympics and even managed to cause a stir there (oh ok he was a bit of a tit), he has promised to bring back the routemaster, because he doesn’t like the bendy bus (though i can’t see the problem with them), he has scrapped the westward congestion charge, suggested a floating airport and more.
boris has been a busy boy.

the problem for boris is he gets busier by the day as more and more of his administration get caught up in scandals. the next one to go is likely to be david ross, the co-founder of carphone warehouse. it seems that mr. ross was not happy with being worth £900 million, he wanted more. in order to get more he has been using his shares as guarantees against large loans.
you have to wonder just what enough is to some people. while most of us have to make do on an average wage that is a little shy of £30,000 a year, mr. ross has to go to devious lengths to increase his £900 million fortune. what couldn’t he afford?

mr. ross is part of the 2012 organising committee; well at least for the moment. he is expected to resign soon.
boris will have to appoint someone new.
i respectfully put myself forward. i am pretty sure i can be kicked off the committee for some reason or another in the near future, i will be much cheaper to hire and i can tell rude stories at all the meetings. i think it is a winning combination. i suppose the one thing i do not have on my cv is that i am greedy and that i am willing to flout the rules in order to gain some more. though i am sure that i can soon add that to my skill set.

boris seems to have no skill for picking his friends in high places. or perhaps he does, perhaps he knows that they are flawed, greedy individuals but they are part of his set and he just hopes that they will be discrete when it comes to illicit dealings.

still if there is a man with broad shoulders who is not afraid of a little extra work then i reckon it is boris.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

photos

if you have been wondering where all my photos have gone wonder no more!
just click on that flickr thing i have added and you can see a whole bunch of photos.
go on you know you want to.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

celebs

i have little time for celebs. you just can’t escape them and they seem to be multiplying, a little like odd socks.
as the landscape of celeb changes almost by the minute there are two sure fire ways to know just who is a celebrity. firstly have they ever been represented by max clifford? mr clifford has become famous for his role in various “kiss and tell” stories. he seems to have a knack of knowing when someone has done something salacious so that they may need max’s skills. so max plays a role in creating celebs. still it is hard to dislike max thanks to his work against david mellor and jeffery archer, that sort of service gets you a free pass in my book.
the other way that you can discover who celebs are by looking at the bookshelves in shops around the country as they groan under the weight of biographies and autobiographies of people you have never heard of, or have done so little it is hard to know how they have filled the pages between the hardcovers. gazing at the various tomes i am struck with two thoughts: how out of touch i am and how many trees have died for these pointless books.
then there is the other thought that pops into my head: i am getting old.

Friday, December 05, 2008

search

i was a bit bored last night and i decided to check out the stats on the blog. i was not shocked by how few people read it. in fact i am stunned that it is read at all, there being so much out there to read.
in some ways the web2.0 brings us all closer together and in other ways it convinces a few that their words of wisdom/madness are being read by millions when really it is two men and a dog who stop by.
however the potential is there for millions upon millions to read my blog that is what makes the web theoretically a hugely democratic place.
so how do those millions upon millions come to my blog?
one of the easiest ways is through search engines.
i knew a writer of an online gossip and rumour blog. we bumped into each other one night. it was a rare speaking engagement for alan moore. online chappy is a big alan moore fan, perhaps to the extent of being a bit of a giggling schoolgirl about it. as alan moore chatted to people rumourman would stick a camera in his face and snap a photo or two. he told me a mention of alan moore drew people to his blog, more people to his blog the more money he got, so he tried to get alan moore on to his site as often as he could.
seemed a little calculating to me.
but you have mentioned alan moore just recently i can hear you cry (well those 3 who read this blog). ah, i counter, it was justified then. the numerous mentions in this piece are not, this is an experiment, the alan moore experiment. the outcome will be decided by does it generate traffic to my blog.
why you might wonder do i care?
well one of the things i learnt last night when i was checking the statistics of my blog are the keywords that people use that lead them to my words of wit and wisdom. the most popular was of course “iampat” used by those people who are too ashamed to bookmark the site in case someone sees they read it.
the second most popular word that people do a web search on that leads them to my home on the web is, well i almost blush to type it, enema. to be fair just searching on enema means there are over 10 millions pages on the web, it is the clever combinations that people have used that have lead them to me.
all i can say is i hope they were not disappointed.
with this entry (dare i say log?) i am hoping that one day i will see the search combination of “alan moore” and “enema”.

look out for my new blogsite: enema papers, just as soon as i can work out what it will be about.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

night

i really need to start to sleep at normal hours.
why?
late night/ early morning tv really sucks the big one.
just my considered view.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

offended

humour is a funny thing (see how clever that was). there was a time when we would joke and laugh about anything. to some people those were the good old days when bernard manning and his ilk ruled the comedy roost.
times have changed and the scope of jokes about stereotypes walking into bars has all but disappeared.
the ability to shock has been removed from humour (unless you are male or christian – then you are fair game). very few doubt that this is a bad thing, rather than trading on simple stereotypes to get cheap laughs comedy now has to work hard to get its laughs.
pity the poor old bbc. they are still getting over brandgate and now they have to suffer an outrage over chris moyles recent polish ‘joke’.
now i don’t put joke in quotes because i think it is offensive, they are there because moyles just isn’t funny. moyles is as close to being funny as i am to being a genius, and that is a distance.
oh did i say outrage? moyles broadcast the polish ‘quip’ back on november 19th and there have been 32, count them, 32 complaints about it. a veritable whirlwind of whinging. more a storm in a teacup.
a little like the ‘outcry’ there was over the bbc showing the “jerry springer the opera” one can’t help feel that this is yet another senseless attack on the bbc that panders to the readership of the daily mail (they have 15 comments about the story my favourite being: “what an idi_t!!! he should be sacked straight!” i have no idea if the respondent thinks idiot is a rude word or it is a special spelling to really demonstrate how outraged he is) who are constantly carping on about how awful and beastly the bbc are (it is all a new labour plot to tax and brainwash us). so any little mishap is jumped upon as a demonstration that the bbc is satan incarnate.
sorry i went off on a little digression there.
the few times i have heard moyles he has reminded me of the loud office joker who thinks they are really funny, but all they are is loud. what offends me is that he has fans and people find him funny.

still there is no accounting for taste.

have you heard the one about the three men who go into a pub….

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

quote

years ago, back in the days of employment, i was counting out copies of a comic called “v for vendetta”, it was the first issue of the dc comics reprint of the series. there was an introduction from the writer, alan moore, he went on about how bad it was in britain (it was the time of thatcherism) and how change was needed, but he was thinking of buggering off to the states. nice one alan, get the proles fired up, get them wanting to make a difference but leave them behind to go somewhere else.
admittedly alan moore never left these shores but i think that was the day i took against moore and after that his work never quite impressed me in the same way.

it is not that i think britain is a utopia, far from it. britain, as with all countries, has a range of problems. some of the problems are of the making of the country while others are foist on it because of the global situation. some are solvable; others will just have to be adapted to.
i doubt that there is anywhere that the situation isn’t similar.

what irks me is the moaning for moaning sake, and the willingness to complain but to leave it to someone else to clean up, while sitting back feet up and relaxing.
you see it a lot on the daily mail’s website where lots of ex-pats whinge on about how bad it is in britain while sunning themselves in australia (though obviously it is not all that good in oz because they are still reading the mail).

so imagine my ire when i read a short interview with john cleese, one of those puff piece page fillers that promotes something or another.
for some reason the interviews goes on about the american election, cleese describes where he watched the election from he talks about “feeling the tears” he goes on to say “there was a real feeling on election night of reclaiming the country.”
this was followed by a statement that was met by cleese’s response.

“we could do with a similar injection of enthusiasm here.
the most depressing thing about this country - more so even than the weather - is that nobody i meet ever thinks it's going to get much better.”

cheers for that.
of course one of the main characteristics of these sorts of moans is just to throw the complaint out there. not to offer suggestions or solutions. not to offer to help. just sit on the sidelines and carp.
i suppose it is easy when you are comfortably rich.
even worse is that is such an aimless criticism, not that the “injection of enthusiasm” point was much more focused. the implication is that the place is crumbling down around us and that no one cares. there isn’t a specific complaint just a feeling of ennui. from what cleese says britain is a depressing place, but that isn’t the reality. it is a vibrant and exciting place that has large numbers of people who are making a difference in all walks of life from the scientific to the artistic and all stops in-between.

still cleese also said “i supported west ham for a while but then one day i looked at the team and they were all czechs and slovenians.” so perhaps we shouldn’t take him too seriously.

even worse is the recent outpourings of ray winstone. ray’s words of wisdom are that britain has gone to the dogs. “we’re a mess” he says, he talks about the poor state of the nhs at how people go into hospital and come out with mrsa, he worries about crime kids in gangs with knives and what is being done about it? nothing.
perhaps more telling is that winstone also points out that there is high tax. oh right. so ray tell me how do you want to see a better nhs or more bobbies on the street (or improved education facilities) if you don’t want to pay for it?
so ray is thinking of emigrating to the usa. last time i looked the usa has it’s own problems with crime and violence and it is not a place of universal healthcare. oh not to worry ray the taxes are less there.

if there is a plus point to celebrity it is that you can influence people, that you can get access to change-makers, that you can campaign.
ray and john appear not to worry about that aspect of celebrity.

so fuck off and good riddance to both of you. if you have to come back to britain for any reason then do us all a favour pimp whatever it is you are selling, but keep your complaints and moans to yourself, unless of course you are going to pitch in and help make a difference.