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Sunday, January 30, 2011


just been reading that 3g has been hacked.
when i say 3g i am not talking about the phone company, but of course gorgeous george galloway. quite why the news of the world would hack george galloway's phone is anyone's guess - perhaps they were hoping for tommy sheridan like shenanigans; maybe they believed he was involved in some socialist plot to bring down the country; or they suspected that christopher hitchens was leaving hate mail on his phone or they just wanted to hear george purr like a cat one more time. we will never know.
george galloway is one of many who stand to make a pretty penny out of the fact that they have been hacked.
good for them i say. serves the news of the world right.
now is it wrong of me to hope that the eventual pay-outs leads to the news of the world being cancelled, is it wrong to hope for journalism that doesn't see salacious gossip about someone's sex life as being in the national interest?

ah well fingers crossed.

Friday, January 28, 2011


there is an old rugby song that has the lines:
"i was out of work and on the dole, the working class can kiss my hole."
like many bawdy rugby songs it sounds better when you are singing it or when you have had a few too many to drink.

i had an interview last week, that in itself is a rarity. one of the things i have discovered about looking for work is that it isn't that easy when you are not in work.
(and let me tell you it is even harder to get sorted out in doing voluntary work.)
i thought the interview went well, but along with my total inability to be able to judge a person, unless that are tory wankbags, my inability to tell if interviews go well is non-existent. in fact it reminded me of a day many years ago when i attended the london toy fair - i had wandered on to the hasbro stand because i wanted to look at their new range of batman toys (i'm a geek - so sue me) and i got escorted around by a charming booth babe. i was really pleased she laughed at all my jokes, i felt there was a connection there, i know that if i was a retailer i would have placed a large order with her. it was only later on the tube home i realised it was her job to laugh at my jokes, it was her job to make me feel at ease. that is how good i am at that sort of thing.

today i was at the royal academy, sort of enjoying their large sculpture exhibition when my phone goes. i am not a lover of mobile phones. it took me an age to get to the phone. i missed the call. oh well. if they want me they can call back. that is how i roll.
when i get out of the exhibition i see i have a voice message. sometimes technology is a wonderful thing.
i needed to return the call by 4pm, and at 3.57pm i returned the call. that is how i roll.

upshot of it all is that the interview did go well.
that i now have a job. quite daunting really, in fact i am shitting myself. still waiting on the written confirmation, but as it stands i will soon be an upstanding member of the tax paying community again. that means no more babestation for me, no more late nights, early to bed, early to rise.

there are some other lines to that rugby song and they go like this
"the working class can kiss my arse, i've got the foreman's job at last"
for the moment i sort of understand the sentiment behind the lines, but never fear i will quickly return to being angry pat, especially if andy murray wins the tennis.

right now i am just waiting for the confirmation letter and hoping i didn't misconstrue the phone call and what they really said was: "we wouldn't hire you if you were the last cockney on earth."

time for one last look at babestation (hah just kidding i will have to record it from now on!) 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


there was a time when i was still a teenager when i had dreams of being a star sportsman. 
various things stopped me from achieving my dreams - mostly my love of confectionary: cursed with a love of twix, aztec, mars, curly wurly, wagon wheels and kitkats. 
i have never been a great one for watching sport on tv and since the inception of the bbc's 5live pretty much most of my sport consumption has been via the radio. 
in recent years only two sports have bucked that trend: basketball and wrestling. 

i became a fan of basketball when it was being shown late at night on the tv hosted by alton byrd, it was also the era of michael jordan - a magical time for sport. that led to me attending the games of the london leopards and a few years of glory at the london arena.

wrestling was something that crept up on me. a couple of the lads at work were big fans of the (then) wwf. they got some stick for their fannish attitude towards the grapplers. 
because of their chit chat i would check out the occasional bout on tv whenever i was away stuck in a hotel because of work. 
then the intervention of another fan (yes shep that would be you) tipped me over the edge (geddit) and i became a wwe junkie. what helped cement my love of the wwe was the fact that for a year i could watch it on freeview, just before i would sit down and watch the sunset beach omnibus edition.
i was hooked. 
i still am. 

i was lucky because my first immersion into the world of sports entertainment was during the wwe's attitude period when stars such as stone cold steve austin (WHAT). kurt angle (WHAT), the rock (WHAT), triple h (WHAT), chris jericho (WHAT) and others were in their full pomp and splendour. high flying action, big storylines, great work on the microphone. for me it was superhero comics meeting theatre, as if stan lee had written macbeth with catch phrases. 
i was hooked then. 
i am hooked now. 

the wwe has moved beyond being a guilty pleasure. 

there are creators who i admire people like orson welles, frank zappa, john zorn, robert fripp, ritchie blackmore, stephen king, philip k dick, edgar rice burroughs, bruce springsteen, john woo, stan lee, chris claremont, jack kirby to name a few. 
among them has to stride the figure of the wwe's ringmaster vincent kennedy mcmahon - he may look like max bygraves on steroids - but vinny mac, the genetic jackhammer, is entertainment writ large. 

the wwe is a work of art. 
no it is more than that- the wwe is genius. 

and i love it. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


it appears that members of the greater london authority have decided to gan up on boris. they have decided to question him about delivering on his promises (such as sorting out labour relations on the tube).
i think they are being rather harsh with the dear boy.
after all he has given us the boris bikes.
more importantly he is bringing back the routemaster bus. well that is not strictly true what he did was have a competition to design a new version of the routemaster and promised to get some of them onto the streets of london 2012. i miss the old routemaster bus - there was something magical about it (and apparently an engineering marvel when it came to maintaining the bus fleet), but as much as i miss them all i really want is a transport system that works. when i am on the 15 or 135 double decker bus i am not thinking to myself - oh if only this was a routemaster, mostly i am thinking about how long i waited for the darn thing to turn up or just how bad the driver is (this escalates when the driver does that thing they do to get back on schedule: wait at a stop for ages for no reason - of course the fact the rest of us have places to get to is neither here nor there to the driver).

so what if boris hasn't done much other than be boris - he has given us bikes and a bus. isn't that enough? 


george osborne told it like it is. today he gave us the skinny. the real deal, the full sp.
yup the economy is in a bad way because of... well.. snow.
snow, it is the fault of the snow. i reckon so, jimmy.
snow? mr. osborne, more like snow job.

meanwhile over at the bank of england their govenor has said that pay restraint should be the order of the day. if people should think that their wages should increase to combat rising inflation then they are wrong, that would be a bad thing for people to do. to expect more money would damage the fragile recovery.
so remember that while you are struggling to make ends meet as everything around you increases in price that the belt tightening you do is for the good of the economy. as you know we are all in this together.
why i am even expecting the govenor himself to show the way as mervyn king comes out and says: "hey look at me i am feeling your pain, i have taken a pay cut and i have encouraged all my pals in the financial sector to do just the same as well." not likely to happen because we all know that keeping wages down and belt tightening only apply to those who are at the bottom end of the wage scale.

so with the words of messrs osborne and king in my ear i have bent over, grabbed my ankles, applied the lube beccause frankly scarlet we are all about to get right royally fucked.

Monday, January 24, 2011


we have entered a new era.
the era of waaiit: 'we are all in it together'. it is perfect for the times. the con/dems are quick to tell us that we are all in it together and that we will have to waaiit until the national deficit is dealt with before we can return to the good times.
it even works when it comes to the differences between the haves and the haves not.
while the deficit is being seen to by cutting public spending left right and centre the poor and the not so well off will have to waaiit until things get better, meanwhile having to cope with less money in their pocket, fewer employment opportunities and harder times ahead. during this period of struggling to make ends meet they will hear the constant refrain of waaiit.
meanwhile the rich don't have to waaiit at all - their salaries will continue to rise, their opportunities will continue to be there (no offshoring or relocating to a developing economy for these people). they are safe from the hardships of waaiit. they don't have to worry about schools, hospitals or public transport.
so at least we all know where we stand when we are told we are all in it together.
the rich will get richer and they won't be waaiiting for the rest of us the catch up, meanwhile we will be told that the good times are coming we just have to waaiit because we are all in it together.
personally i am beginning to think that waaiit is wank.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


the conservative party are looking for a new media chief. they are looking for someone to replace the recently resigned andy coulson. coulson has had to go because of the phone hacking scandal at the news of the world newspaper. (as a quick digression here i read recently that the law on phone hacking is such that if someone should 'hack' your phone after you have listened to your messages then it doesn't count, it is only illegal if they have listened to your messages before you. so does it mean it doesn't count as stealing if people take something after you have used it? 'm'lud - it can't be stealing, they have been watching that tv for months now...') anyway coulson said that even though he was the editor of the paper he had no knowledge of the hacking.
and we believe him, don't we?

by all accounts he has done a good job as communications director for the conservative party and, more recently, the government. sadly though once he became the story he had to go.

bye bye andy.

anyway i want to throw my hat into the ring as the government's media director.
firstly it is not like i have much else to do right now and having some money coming in would be nice.
secondly it would show that the government is serious about helping people get back to work - though surely given the way they are asking councils around the country to save cash the role of communications director should be abolished.
thirdly i can spin that little conundrum for them with simple words of advice that will appeal to many parents out there: "do as i say, not do as i do".
fourthly i can distill the government message down to its very essence and because of thise save them money - no need to run fancy campaigns when everyone knows what you stand for and what you mean. even better such a bold statement frees them up to do what they all came into politics to do: suck up to the richer and powerful.

so without further preamble i give you the government's message (true this is coming mainly from the conservative side of the coalition, but we have seen that many of the liberal democrats are happy to sign up to it).
"we hate the poor. everything that is wrong in the country is because of the poor. we love the rich. everything that is good in the country is becase of the rich. the poor will have to pay more."

see short and sweet. all bases are covered. no lies are told.
i thank you.

now give me the job.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


i love the cinema.

i am a movie fan. i am not an expert. i am not a buff. i just love watching movies.

there are few things better than sitting in a cinema and being caught up in the world of the silver screen. (true that these days it is harder to have those magical moments thanks to mobile phones and people who have no idea what ’a whisper' is, but on those occasions when the audience is rapt there is a sense of utter joy.)
not all things are wonderful in the world of visiting cinemas.

the advent of 3d is an annoyance. i have yet to see a movie that benefits from it, the glasses are too small and i get a headache from them. still if the movie is good then i can 'forget' the glasses.

then there are the adverts. having to see the same adverts time and time again. inexplicable car adverts that leave you baffled by their 'message', mobile phone ads that promise you a whole world of excitement with just the press of a few buttons. or something to do with perfumes, holidays or household improvements. then there are the odd ‘universal’ ads that have been voiced over by english actors and just look wrong.

some ads are very funny at for the first couple of viewings. then slowly but surely they just become annoying. though not as annoying as the iggy pop insurance ads – not sure anything can be more annoying than they are.

it is the trailers that fill me with a mix of thrills and dread.

when i was a kid summer was the best time to go to the cinema. i would go several times a week, many happy days at cinemas such as the northfields odeon; rayner’s lane odeon; the abc at ealing broadway or the harrow granada cinema (where i saw my first x movie). no matter how good the movie was there was always something special about the trailers. they would hint at movies that would be coming in the next few months. as the summer passed i could tick off all the movies from the trailers that i had seen and just dream of the ones i couldn’t see.
now trailers begin being shown months in advance. so while i have been wowed by the trailers for ‘thor’ and ‘green lantern’ i know i am going to be bored of them before the movies are released. i am already bored with the ‘pirates of the caribbean’ trailer and the movie isn’t released until may. ugh.

what i can’t forgive is the trailer that offers hope, the trailer that makes you go ‘oh wow that looks interesting’ and then delivers the killer blow of telling you what the movie is. there i was sitting back enjoying the start of a trailer. it has space in it; look there is an apollo landing craft hurtling through the sky. good so far. it’s apollo 11 and it is the first moon landing. interesting. armstrong doing his ‘small step’ bit. history. back to mission control and the hint that all is not as it seems. conspiracy. ok i am hooked. secret mission on the moon, only a short time to carry it out. yes, yes, yes i am sold. let me see it now. astronauts bounce over the surface of the moon towards a crashed spacecraft. wow and wowsa. this just keeps getting better. secret mission and crashed visitors from space. astronaut is all awed and agog and utters the words “you will not believe what we are seeing.”

and he is right.

i don’t believe what i am seeing as up on the screen floats the legend: “from director michael bay.” nooooooooooo. don’t do that to me. no, it can’t be, it isn’t right. the sf alien conspiracy movie i was dreaming of has just become a transformers movie.

a fucking transformers movie.

a fucking shit transformers movie that will be loud and make no sense.

my silver screen dream lies shattered on the rocks of bad film-making.

i can’t believe it another fucking transformers movie.

what did we do to deserve this?


it seems that 'the world' is sinking.
'the world' being an ambitious development of islands in the vague shape of the countries of the world off the coast of dubai.
these islands were intended to be luxury homes for the rich, famous and tasteless, similar to the palm tree shaped developments that are homes to stars and footballers such as michael owen (who? oh i am so cruel.)

i am not gutted that i can't afford to have a luxury mansion built on my own private island off of dubai. actually that is not true - i wish i could afford it, i just wouldn't choose to live in dubai.

i am gutted that the 'islands' are sinking and that none of the rich, famous and tasteless have bought and built property there.
just imagine the charity single that could have come out for that!


i have a current new obsession.

no it is not the new late night adult channels that have popped up on freeview - i only know about them because i needed to for the purposes of 'research'.
neither is it the contemplation of the significance of part-works in the developement of western civilisation. do they ever finish? has anyone ever completed one? are there societies of part-workers?
nor is it a contextualised reading of the works of liz jones to see just how out of touch she is with reality (very) and just how bad a writer she is (very).

no my current obsession is with diaries.
naturally this will not last long, if only because of the very nature of diaries.
i am not even sure why i am so interested in them - i have never been able to use them. i have had various diaries over the years: pocket ones, desk ones, filofax ones, ones that have a page a day, a week over two pages, a week on a page. some have been hardcover, some have been softcover. all of them have ceased to be useful after about two months by which time i have misplaced them (ok ok: lost them) or i have forgotten to put important dates into them.

yet i find myself in a situation where i desire a diary.
what makes it even more bizarre is that at the moment it is not like i have a lot of things to put into a diary, it is not like i have to make sure i keep all my lunch engagements straight.

all the same - diaries call out to me. their siren call is strong. they lure me. they tempt me.
so far i have been strong and resisted.

time to go looking for a new obsession, perhaps now is the time to read the fiction of katie price.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


there is a report on the bbc news site (which has really declined in quality recently – almost as it is dumbing down so as not to upset various commercial concerns) which points out that the metropolitan police force may have been economical with the truth over their use of undercover agents at the g20 protests of 2009.

i am not shocked that they may have fudged their response.

i am shocked that members of parliament didn’t ask them why they didn’t have covert officers mingling with the crowd. call me paranoid but i have always assumed that at such demonstrations that there would be a handful of covert operatives in the crowd trying to pick up titbits of useful information (this may also be because i have watched too many spy films).

true their eco copper hasn’t worked out quite the way they intended, but there is always the worry of someone going native (see learnt that from crime movies).

not only did the eco copper mess up the operation he was on by offering to speak in defence of those he was watching, but it has also meant that the met has had to come clean about the g20 protests. leading to them saying:

"having made thorough checks on the back of recent media reporting we have now established that covert officers were deployed during the g20 protests. therefore the information that was given … was not accurate."


i guess because i expect them to have covert officers there i don’t mind them lying about it. after all it makes sense; they want to protect their operational value. hold on (you are probably thinking) what about the rights of the protesters? well as i have said i would be expecting people to be among the crowd ‘observing’ and while you are protesting and demonstrating within the confines of the law there isn’t anything to worry about.

what does shock me is the lame ‘oh how did we miss that’ style of the apology.

whoever wrote that has made them look like muppets, frankly if you can only discover that you have your own men working undercover on an operation a year or so later, what chance do you have in solving a real crime.

someone really needs to work on their spin.

Monday, January 17, 2011


today is supposed to be the most miserable, depressing, gloomy day of the year. it has been proven to be so. (here comes the science bit)

where weather=w, debt=d, time since christmas=t, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=q, low motivational levels=m and the feeling of a need to take action=na.

the date is calculated using many factors, including weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

pretty rock solid i would say. hey it has even been reported and discussed on 5live’s breakfast show. how much more proof do you need?

it makes no difference that it has been widely reported that the original formula and explanation was nothing more than a puffed up press release for sky travel. nor does it matter that the formula doesn’t actually work. the simple fact is the idea of this being the most depressing day of the year has entered the popular zeitgeist.

so if you are feeling blue, if you are feeling down, if you are feeling depressed because today is not just monday, but today is blue monday what are you going to do? who you gonna call?

well it seems you really don’t have to do much to help get you out of the funk of knowing that somehow both vanessa feltz and piers morgan keep getting lucrative work. the solution? it is the simple things in life that help get us through blue monday. according to the bod they had on the radio today it is all about making a list of the good things you have (what my mum would have called ‘counting your blessings’), and we know that this works because paul mckenna has recommended it as a technique - what more science do you need? another technique is not to worry about the future but concentrate on the here and now. other things that help are hearing/paying a compliment, having a laugh, helping someone and, my favourite, eating your favourite food: so that will be an extra large pizza followed by some doughnuts washed down by a lot of coffee.

see i can do happy.

(don't worry i will be back to my grumpy old self later in the day...)


for a while there i was being searched on sensible things. it must have been the christmas and new year. people turning over new leaves and all.

but now my fans are back as i have been found by the search "having an enema".
i have found my level.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


so there i was in the saatchi gallery enjoying the art in the current exhibition: newspeak - british art now (jolly fine it is too). the gallery is fantastic, spacious, well laid out and plenty of art to see.
i wander through the first gallery. i chin stroke as i look at the art. what did the artist mean in this painting? i wander through the second gallery. i ponder the work and contemplate quie what the intentions of the artist were. into the third gallery and considerations of form and context battle with style and content as i gaze at the art.
a voice.
"excuse me sir." the large, well dressed, security guard says as he walks towards me.
i think: what have i done wrong. can't be the camera as unlike many of the bigger galleries saatchi is happy for people to take photos. can't be the bag i am carrying (although some of the well turned out security guards there do sometimes get a bit sniffy about bags), have i knocked something over? is my zip undone? have i leched too obviously at some of the ladies?
"excuse me sir, but where did you get the t-shirt from?" now i can't blame him for asking. i was wearing a graphitti designs superman t-shirt, featuring the man of steel by wayne boring. a classic.
at least he only asked where i got it from rather than could he have it.

we got chatting. turns out he is a dc fan and he had the very large and lovely '75 years of dc comics' by taschen books (i am not jealous, not at all, not one little bit. honest). he also has an idea for his own superman t-shirt (and i have to agree with him it would be a cracker, but then i am a sucker for neal adams artwork).

all i could do was point him in the right direction to try to find the shirt.
turns out it is still available.
now i just have to remember to mention it to him - if i go back there anytime soon.

glasses, t-shirts i am becoming a style icon.
move over gok wan there is a new fashion guru in town.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


i am beginning to get used to odd requests or offers as i walk down the street.
it almost seems normal now.

there i was walking home minding my own business and getting wet in the persistent drizzle. a voice. "boss" (it is the generic term that seems to have replaced 'mate' when talking to anyone) "boss can i ask you something?" i stop. turn to the voice. it is a late 20s, early 30s chunky asian guy. normally the 'can i ask you something?' gambit is a prelude to: can you give me money. a question that never bothers me these days as i have none, so don't feel guilty when i say: no.
so i say sure you can.
"boss i really like your glasses. can i have them?"
well this left me a little gobsmacked on several fronts. my glasses are pretty bog standard - in fact they seem to be one of the endless variation of the common bland oblong style that has ruled the roost for so long (how i wish i could get a pair of the old nhs specs); secondly they are old and are pretty much falling apart and thirdly they are prescription glasses and not much use to anyone but me.
the answer was simple.
no. nope.
"sorry you can't have them - i need them." i said to him.
"i was going to swap them for these." he shows me a pair of dodgy john lennon style sunglasses that appear to be held together by hope and wishes.
while i compliement the wreckage he has in his hand i tell him that they would be no use to me - as without the glasses i am wearing i can't see a thing.
"oh - but i really like them. it is not that there is anything wrong, just my eyes."
at which point i become all sensible (even though the survival part of my brain is cranking up the flight option).
my body has responded and i am walking a little faster.
he keeps pace.
i tell him if he has a problem with his eyes he doesn't want my glasses that will just lead to more problems for him. he isn't listening. he is just telling me that there isn't anything wrong, just his eyes and how he likes my glasses. i persist. you need to go to an opticians, if there is somethign wrong with your eyes you need to get them checked. seriously, don't fuck about with your eyes (i used fuck to show just how important i felt my statement was - didn't work).
"boss just asking because i like your glasses."
"that's ok, not to worry, just that i can't let you have them because i need them to see." i make a joke about not being able to see much at the moment because of the rain and needing window wipers. it fell on deaf ears.
walking just that bit faster now.
he still keeps pace.
shit he is goign to follow me home at this rate.
he goes through his spiel about liking my glasses and wanting them. i repeat that he needs to go to the opticians. even point out that the local hospital has a walkin centre where he might get the test free (see even in the face of growing panic - i am helpful). he doesn't care. he seems crestfallen that he can't have my glasses.
he asks again.
i tell him they won't do him any good and that i need them.
then as we come to the street before mine he turns off and wishes me goodnight and adds a forlorn "just wanted them because they looked good."

now i can't help wondering if i have the da vinci frames or something.
this time next year dan brown will be writing a bestselling novel about the secret of the universe as found in a pair of specsavers frames: just better not be mine - i still need them.

Friday, January 14, 2011


i had to go to a meeting today. not far. just up the road. ten minutes by shank's pony.

really simple.
except that as i closed my front door the rain started.
as i walked down the road the rain kept going.
as i turned on to the main road the rain got heavier.
as i went up the main road it kept falling.
as i reached the zebra crossing the hail came down.
as i crossed the road the hail got harder.
as i turned the final corner there was thunder.
as i approached the building there was lightning.
as i opened the door the rain stopped.
thank you. thank you so fucking much for that.
i got to my meeting looking like a drowned wookie and smelling like one as well as slowly i steamed dry in the ‘we don’t know how to turn down the thermostat’ central heating of the office.

still look in the brightside – don’t need to wash my hair tonight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


gotta love boris. there are times when he is priceless.
he has asked his twitter followers to bombard the aslef union's website in a bid to persuade 'sensible' tube drivers not to strike on the day of the royal wedding.
ken livingstone might be right that the use of twitter by boris is 'crazy' and that boris should stop tapping at his blackberry and start talking directly to the union and the drivers to sort it out.
yet it maybe that boris has an idea. perhaps boris thinks that if his 130,000 twitter fans (and those that read about his idea) agree with him and take the action he suggests then a message will be sent to the union: that they have little support in their proposed strike.
for most of us on the outside the dispute seems to be over a difference of opinion. london underground say that the union is tearing up a long standing agreement over pay and working conditions, in this case it is about the part of the 1996 agreement where the unions accepted a wage increase for working some bank holidays. the union say that they are now working all bank holidays.
what the union want is triple time (approximately £360) and a day of in lieu.
some might call it greedy, others miht call it sticking it to the man.
given that bob crow (on a basic of around £90,000 in 2009 - different sources have differing amounts) has already made a point of saying that if there are redundancies announced (and he wasn't just talking about on the london transport system) near the royal wedding then the rmt union would seriously consider coming out on strike in solidarity with those workers.

the royal wedding is a precursor to what will happen during the london olympics in 2012.
there is a part of me that wants to see a strong union defending the pay and conditions of its workers i am just not crazy about unions that will strike at the drop of a hat.

though if i am honest it might be that there are enough staff who work on london transport tubes and buses who are less than helpful and so annoy me or it might just be that bob crow and his cronies get right up my nose.

maybe ken is right: boris needs to get involved. he needs to get involved not because he is the man to solve the problem, he needs to get involved because he is the mayor of london and frankly this is part of his job.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


funny how when the boot is on the other foot the purity of freedom of information isn't quite so shiny.

before continuing i have to confess that i think that the existence of wikileaks is, on balance, a good thing. i would be much more in favour of it if there were releases from governments that were not democratic and if the people who were responsible for it could reign in their holier than thou attitudes. 
for the moment neither seems possible so we are where we are. 

a united states grand jury has issued subpoenas to various social networks such as twitter, facebook and google for information concerning the links between wikileaks and bradley manning, the us serviceman accused of stealing and leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive government cables.
some of those named in the subpoenas have said that they will fight the disclosures.

wikileaks describes the subpoena as harassment.
julian assange has this to say: "If the iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out."
let's just look at that statement shall we? 
strikes me as a little disingenuous to compare the legitimate use of the law of the american state to subpoena to that of iranian coercion with its implications of secret police, physical coercion and show trials. still i guess we should be thankful that he didn't play the nazi card, though i am sure it won't be long before it does. 
nor does it seem worth the effort to concern ourselves with the assertion that somehow because it is wikileaks, assange and the american government that somehow it is being brushed under the carpet and no one is protesting the actions of the grand jury and no one is trying to defend twitter et al. given that assange et al are speaking out about it, given that several are fighting the subpoenas and that the story is being reported everywhere it is hardly a case where human rights organisations have to step up to the plate to make the rest of us aware of the situation. 

brigitta jonsdottir, an icelandic mp, described thus "i think i am being given a message, almost like someone breathing in a phone." again it sounds nice, fitting nicely with the whole secret police state thing, except it is a pretty explicit message with no doubt who it is coming from. 

it seems a little ironic that wikileaks et al who are champions of freedom of information and who are happy to publish documents that were never intended for public consumption are somehow trying to protect their own information. surely what is good for the goose is good for the gander? 

of course it could be argued that the united states government is going about this in the wrong way. they are using legitimate means, they are using the long arm of the law. what they should be doing is either stealing the information or they should just be offering a large amount of cash for someone to leak the information to them, after all both are just variations on the way wikileaks obtains their information. 

the argument of assange is that wikileaks provides a useful service (i agree) but if you are going to be such a champion of freedom of information, if you are going to claim that disclosure is in the public's interest it is a little hard to then argue that your information, your data is sacrosanct. 
unless of course you believe that certain individuals are above the law or that certain individuals have to be trusted without question because their motives are noble and honourable. 
except that we would find that hard to swallow if it were the argument that governments made, so we have to take it with a pinch of salt when individuals make it. 


i am not sure what i have done to my diet but recently my poo has taken on miraculous properties: it floats.
only after several flushes will it disappear.
there must be a use for such a talent.
it didn't take me long to work out what i could do with my unsinkable turds.
i have david cameron and the conservatives to thank for my idea - the combination of austerity drive and the big society has provided me with the inspiration. under the tories the austerity drive means that a number of lifeboat installations are going to be shut down. given that this vital service might be left short or resources i am volunteering my floatation dumps as a solution. whenever there is a disaster at sea they can fly me out to there location and i can do a giant dump and there you go 'big jobby' done and people are holding on for dear life and safety.
with a bit of work i can expand it out to all sorts of other disaster relief techniques.
sure it might smell but in times of great need sacrifices have to be made.

the big worry is keeping it out of the hands of the military - where it could have potential devastating effects becoming a whole new strain of biological warfare.

so look at dragon's den me and my amazing poo is coming your way.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


i wanted to get a copy of the times today. i had seen an advert saying that the saturday edition of the times was going to have a gilbert and george poster in it. 
i like gilbert and george. 
my cold meant that i barely moved from my shit pit and so missed out on the times. 
still that the times were carrying something by gilbert and george meant only one thing: they have a new show coming up. 
there is a piece about them on the evening standard's website that confirms the forthcoming show, but also reminds me why i should never know anything about my heroes. i bow to no man in my bromance of bruce willis, but i know nothing about him for me bruce is what is up on the screen. the same can be said of all those i like in books, comics, music and movies. it seems that whenever i learn anything of my heroes they turn out to be a bit rubbish. 
so imagine my shock when i read that gilbert and george like david cameron.
i could understand tracey emin saying she was a tory, but g&g? 
i can only hope that billy bragg was right when he sang: "gilbert and george are taking the piss aren't they?"

another hero bites the dust. 

(don't worry gilbert and george i'll still go to the exhibition at the white cube, even if i don't get an invite to the opening night private view and even if you are tories.) 

Friday, January 07, 2011


have man-flu, with added headache. feeling poorly.
so poorly, in fact, that i can't work up any vitriol on anything.
that is how poorly i am!
hope you are feeling sorry for me now...


"It's not the same old Tories - these are worse." so says labour mp andy slaughter
hard to argue with him. couldn't have said it any better. 

Thursday, January 06, 2011


i like doors.
doors are good.
they keep the outside out. the inside in.
you can open them. you can close them.
doors let you go from here to there.
doors also have the magical power of congregation.
if the door is a busy door then people who are not going in and not coming out will congregate in the door space making the door less than useful.
why the fuck do people do that, why? why? why? 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


i have a theory.
have you noticed how being the leader of the governent prematurely ages you? look at how blair and brown looked haggarded when they were in power. look at how obama has lost some of his youthful swagger. crikey knows what it woud have done to michael foot if he had ever been elected prime minister.

i think david cameron has played a blinder in this department.
it is not only that he has someone else to shoulder the blam... sorry the responsibility with. his partner in the endeavour, nick clegg, is for all intents and purposes a cameron clone. they look alike, they have the same sorts of backgrounds, they like each other.
it is a political marriage made in heaven.

again this isn't where cameron has played his trump card.

he has taken a leaf out of mr. fry's book and consulted oscar wilde. let's just say that nick clegg is the canvas, and it all becomes plain. clegg is the one who is suffering stresses and strains, clegg is the one that has become a hate figure.
meanwhile cameron sails on looking hale and hearty (albeit it a little too airbrushed).

have to hand it to him, cameron has hit on the perfect method of making sure the shit doesn't stick to him.


i have just catalogued my cds and dvds. it is a very nerdy thing to have done. 
there have been a few surprises in what i own and what i don't own.
i have them all listed on a nice spreadsheet. one day i might even consider racking them all in some sort of order, at the moment my cds and dvds are just placed on shelves where there are space for them. only in certain circumstances are their pockets of order: all my bruce willis dvds are together, while all my frank zappa cds are together (only steven seagal, king crimson and tzadik/john zorn are treated similarly). 
before i get around to that i might have to list all my books - or maybe i would be better off reading them? 

(talking of books - i would just like to register my disappointed at the moleskine company. after my recent 'aren't they wonderful' piece i still haven't received a care package from the company. i tell you product placement just doesn't work. 
and while on the subject of books - there is another of those write a novel in a month type competitions. i am going to give it a go. fifty thousand words of mindless drivel from me - well it is one way to spend january.) 

Monday, January 03, 2011


you may have noticed that i don't like the conservatives. 
you wouldn't be far wrong if you thought that i despise the current crop of smug over privileged tories who are currently in power. they wear their entitlement like smartly cut suits from savile row, at least they are honest about it, and i can admire them for that.

george osborne has been on a plush skiing holiday to the swiss alps, the bad news is he has returned safely home this week.
for some odd reason mr. orsborne’s decision to take a new year’s family break has come under attack.

i can’t understand why anyone can complain.

i can see why the daily mirror would say something unkind about mr. osborne. they describe him as being ‘callous’ ‘glib’ that he is acting like a modern day marie antoinette ‘sneering down at people’. i am sure that the boys at the ‘socialist worker’ and the ‘morning star’ are even more vitriolic in their attacks on poor little rich boy george.

i can’t understand why the ‘daily mail’ or ‘the sun’ would have a have any problems with mr. osborne jetting off with his family. given that both newspapers have been generally supportive of the con/dem cuts and their austerity drive i can only imagine that the highly paid editors of both papers (and their proprietors) had given up their christmas and new year celebrations and were either working down the local homeless shelter or were sat at home watching tv (the bbc of course) while enjoying a supermarket six pack. i doubt it very much, unless the supermarket was harrods and the six-pack was bollinger.

still whenever a quote is needed – you can always rely on the taxpayer’s alliance to provide one. one of their officials had this to say: “with hikes in vat and fuel duty, it won’t be a very happy new year for many taxpayers, so some will see this as highly insensitive given their own circumstances.
‘the new taxes that politicians are putting in place will make it that bit harder for ordinary families to enjoy little luxuries and holidays.”

quite why anyone gives a flying fuck what the taxpayer’s alliance has to say about anything is still a mystery to me – they are a self-appointed mouthpiece for big business. while they might be quick to condemn mr. osborne for going on holiday they are slow to attack those in the business community who use tax avoidance policies or who offshore their profits (after all if they are paying less tax, then the rest of us have to pay more). nor do they have anything bad to say about those who make large parts of their workforce redundant – again if you put more people on the social then the tax spend increases. nor are they saying that the forthcoming financial sector bonuses are also wrong in the circumstances (let’s be fair what the taxpayer’s alliance believe is that as long as the rich are ok the rest of us can struggle.)

what also makes all the outrage being directed at mr. osborne even more bizarre is that he is a very wealthy individual, he is rolling in cash and he can afford to go to the alps. while i am not quite as comfortable with the ‘filthy rich’ as perter mandelson i can’t see what the point is of criticising those who have money when they spend it on what they see fit.
it is not like george osborne has done anything wrong, given the chance most people would do the same (indeed all over the snow affected holiday period we had to listen to people going on about how their winter break had been ruined).

it is not like it is a surprise that a very rich tory is showing us that ‘we are all in it together’ means as much as a liberal democrat promise. while mr. osborne went on holiday, mr. cameron decided to cancel his family holiday in thailand. no doubt everyone in the cameron household donned sackcloth.
at least mr. osborne is honest.
mr. cameron has shown that he is all patronizing spin.

now that ‘the sun’ and ‘daily mail’ have raised issues with mr. osborne’s holiday arrangements perhaps they might want to take another look at the policies of the tories and be somewhat more critical of those arrangements.

guess it is easier to be angry holidays than it is policies.
the price we pay for celebrity obsessed newspapers.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


there was a time when universities were hallowed halls of learning. when (and if) you were granted access to them you felt very special. you felt like you had achieved something. there was something noble about going on to further education. it was a rite of passage, a life changing event. future earnings were not uppermost in the decision making process.

it was easier to take such an idyllic vision of education because if you got a place you got a grant from the state to study.

fast forward a bunch of years and many more people plan, and succeed, to attend university. the increase in places being offered, and accepted, being encouraged by the government, they want to have 50% of school leavers getting degrees. that may students meant that grants had to go and fees had to come in.

zip to the present and you have the situation where the con/dems have agreed to let universities increase their fees, some being allowed to charge as much as £9 thousand a year.

this isn’t about the inequity of the fees.

in today’s sunday times there was a short article about how some universities are blacklisting some a-levels. get a pass in those a-levels and it will not count as far as those universities are concerned (unless you have the offending a-level as a fourth subject). while it is the russell group who get quoted in the article (they represent the top 20 universities in the uk), others are also following suit.

now it is a case of getting the right grades and in the accepted subjects. in principle there is nothing wrong with that – assuming that the university has made it perfectly clear what a-levels are acceptable, and more importantly which ones are not.

acceptable a-level s include: biology, chemistry, french, geography, history, latin, maths, music, philosophy and physics.

ones that are not acceptable include accounting, citizenship, communications studies, dance, environmental studies, health and social care, information technology, sports studies, travel and tourism and world development.

neither list is exhaustive.

now call me an old fat trot (“you are an old fat trot” – thanks shep) but the acceptable list has just the whiff of grammar or independent school about it, while the unacceptable list is one that smacks of inner city comprehensives.

i happen to believe that no learning is wasted. if you are taught well then the lessons of learning can be applied through all aspects of your life.

the acceptable list could be seen as being rigorous and analytical giving you the tools to think clearly, skills that would be lacking from the airy fairy unacceptable a-levels. another distinction that could be made between the two lists is that one is academic and the other is practical. if you do the more practical a-levels you are, of course, not going to be clever enough to do a degree at a top university, you should be off to a technical college or a polytechnic not a university.

but hold on. in the new modern we have to care about the wealth generators of the big society let’s think who might be more useful: the philosopher or the accountant? the latin speaker or the information technologist? just what is the difference between a musician and a dancer. while it might be nice to be a classicist i am sure it is always better to do it when you come from a wealthy and connected background so that the school tie does the work so that the degree doesn’t have too.

yet this isn’t about class. oh no.

this is about the market.

when universities were hallowed halls they could be elitist. it was part of their very fabric; it was part of their reason to be.

now that universities are sitting at the table of mammon it is a bit rich (oh that is just gold, and see i did it again) they have moved from being guardians of knowledge to being service providers. universities now are educational ticketmaster: each year they offer a bunch of academic gigs and the students just apply to get their seats. there shouldn’t be a blacklist in a-levels (unless in each prospectus the university lists the acceptable a-levels allowing students to make an informed choice) once you have the required grades all that matters is: can you pay? (oh ok technically it should be: can you pay back the fees. where are the jobs? maybe in finance, maybe in sports, maybe in media just the sort of subjects that the russell group seem to be sneering at).

can’t help but think that the blacklist is there for one reason – to ensure that the right people get into the right universities.

after all we wouldn’t want them to sully the tie, would we?


you would have thought that working for nasa (the national aeronautics and space administration) would have been exciting and busy trying to get a man on the moon and all that sort of thing.

yet it seems that the boys (and girls) of nasa have nothing to do: they are fed up with planning that trip to mars and beyond; the search for extra terrestrial life has lost its appeal and playing tetris or solitaire is so last year.

don’t worry the brainiacs of nasa have come up with away to defeat the ennui: they have had a special meeting to discuss the best and the worst science fiction films to show which of them demonstrated good or bad science.

nasa and the science community are happy to provide hollywood with scientific and technical information and, in the case of nasa, product placement in order to aid the entertainment industry. sometimes they are not pleased with the results because the science portrayed on the screen is not accurate – who would have thought it?

movies such as 2012, the core, 6th day and armageddon are criticised because of the silly science employed in the movies. those pesky scientist who go to see movies at their local cinema and end up thinking that they are sitting in a classroom rather than are there to be entertained by mindless entertainment. they may as well go around with big kiljoy t-shirts on. there can’t be many people who saw the day the earth changed who thought – yeah that was realistic, or who were thrilled by armageddon and came out thinking that would be the plan i would go with.

perhaps the scientists at nasa are just working out their own wish fulfillment – they want their lives to be as exciting as their screen counterparts.

one of the good people of the science and entertainment exchange (yes it really does exist) has even suggested that science fiction films should carry the following advisory “no scientific idea were seriously hurt during the making of this film.” this proves that they either have a sense of humour or they are very po faced, hard to tell.

frankly if they think movies such as armageddon and the core are bad, while gattica is good just shows that they have no taste at all. the fact that the latest films they list as being good are gattica and contact – just means they have to get out more.

maybe if the bods at nasa stopped watching science fiction movies and started getting on with doing the science fact stuff we would all have our bloody jet packs and silver suits.

c’mon nasa pull your finger out and stop watching movies.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


with david cameron's big society it isn't about being told what to do it is about being encouraged what to do.
so it is good to give to charity - so why not have cash point ask if you want to donate some money to a good cause? why not have the local till jockey at your supermarket of choice ask if you want you change to go to something worthwhile? (given that those who are in a position to be able to give are soon going to be working longer hours in order to give, they are not going to be able to give time to the big society so a few pennies and pounds here and there will make them feel better).
or why not do as sir stephen bubb (a name that will make fans of marvel comics' character smile - oh alright it made me smile): tax bankers' bonuses and use the proceeds for charity works. nice, simple and elegant - those that can afford more, paying towards all those good deeds that will be so important for the big society.
of course it will never happen because, heaven forfend, we do not want to upset the bankers and those high fliers in the financial markets - hell it isn't like they got us into this mess... oh sorry they did.

so how about a compromise? why not publish the names and addresses of all those who receive very large bonuses so the charities can approach them directly, so that they can 'nudge' them and get them to stump up some of their easily gained cash?
i am sure the masters of the universe woun't mind a call or 10 from their local charities asking for a donation.

just a thought.