Thursday, 22 April 2010

Satan votes Liberal Democrat, sources confirm

I don't normally pump out blog posts any more, but today I'm confronted with a story like "Clegg Nazi Slur On Britain" which has to be the dumbest piece of rubbish reporting in ages.

Let's look at the hideous slur Mr "Adolf" Clegg has inflicted upon our proud, nay, magnificent nation - this seems to be the killer paragraph

"All nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still. A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off. ... We need to be put back in our place."

Let me set aside for a moment the fact that I think he's right.

Is he really saying, as the Daily Mail seems to, that Great Britain is now as bad or worse than the Nazis? I don't think so.

First he says that the Germans have a cross to bear regarding Nazism - they suffer shame and have to accept abuse without question for a 60 year old political horror.

Secondly he says that Britain is arrogant and obsessed with the last war and has an undeserved belief in her own superiority.

Thirdly he implies that it is worse to be arrogant and boorish than it is to be ashamed and meek.

This is the crucial point.

He is NOT saying that Britain in 2002 is worse than Nazi Germany in 1939. Not under any circumstances.
What he is saying is that British Arrogance post war is a worse and "more insidious" thing than German shame post war.

Hope that helps clear things up.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Here we go again, folks!

It's that time of year when millions of Football fans' hopes are about to be dashed into a billion pieces by the harsh reality of the game.

Yep. Today the new Premier League season begins, actually already has at the moment I write, with the world about to be entertained for another 10 months by hordes of outrageously overpaid, spoilt sportsmen kicking "a bag of wind into an outdoor cupboard", as the great stand up, Bill Bailey, puts it.

Now, most of the stuff you read about football is by experts and those intensely knowledgable about the game - perhaps you read out of interest, or even because you love Football so much you want to risk your money by betting on it and want some pointers.

I wouldn't set any store by my opinions folks - so I take no responsibility for your bad bets or for you getting mocked by more knowledgable mates. I'm still going to share my thoughts on this season here.

It's pretty certain that poor old Burnley will be relegated - we'd love them not to be, since one of the things football fans love is the old underdog story (so long as your team isn't being relegated instead!). As for the rest of the relegation battle, it's very much a question of whether

a. Hull City pull themselves together or continue on the dreadful form they had for the second half of last season
b. Portsmouth get a buyer - otherwise they're screwed.

If their situations turn out for the best I'd probably see Birmingham going down, but I fancy Wolves will stay up. I have no idea who the third relegated club will be in this situation.

One thing you won't be seeing at the end of the year is Newcastle heading back to the Premiership. That club has a serious and debilitating sickness pervading it, and needs a wholesale rebirth before anything turns around.

I'm a Tottenham Hotspur fan myself, and since I'm a pessimist I think we'll probably manage to make 7th this year, with Villa ahead of us (which is annoying since my father-in-law is a fan) and the obvious Top five above. Fulham will fall away because they will be distracted significantle by European considerations.

It is always possible with Spurs that things are more volatile than that - after all, last season we got only 2 points from 8 games at the start of the year, and then went on to have the best Home record in decades and 47 points from the last 30 games of the year.

I think the key for Spurs is to shore up our defence, who seem to attract injuries in the way poor old Darren "sick-note" Anderton did all those years ago. Our best natural defender is so injured he has to rest between games rather than training - permanently! We've brought in one of Newcastle's only decentish players last year, but if you ask me we should try and play with the big boys, take advantage of David Moyes' anger at Man City and bid for Jolean Lescott! If we do it all in secret and the way Moyes wants, we may get at least to negotiate terms with the lad.

That's pretty much a pipe dream, but one more centre back will at least get me a bit more relaxed.

Finally, as for the top five, I think Man City will have a fairly poor start and may even fire Mark Hughes before the end of September, but I do think they'll make fifth once they gel.

Arsenal will end up in fourth - they just can't keep up in the arms race with their richer rivals.

Chelsea in third. Sure, they're many people's pick for the win, but I dislike their attitude and I think when players are this coddled and priveleged it costs them a lot of their killer instinct. Fergie knows how to get past this with his fabled man management skills, but Ancellotti is a different beast, and there's always that Russian bloke looking over his shoulder as a distraction.

Liverpool in second and Man U as champions. I think this will be even closer than last season, and could go either way but Fergie always wins the battle of the managers and I think he will make the difference.


Monday, 10 August 2009

I've been lax at keeping my blogs going, so to get back in the mood I thought I'd try this iTunes meme from [info]chaletian.

My iTunes shows just how big and varied a music fan I am. I make no apologies.

Length of Songs: 59 Days (!)

Sort by Song Title:
FIRST: (A) Touch Sensitive by Super Furry Animals
LAST: 99 Red Balloons by Nena

Sort by Time:
SHORTEST TRACK: Home Of Rock (Dialogue) 00:05 by Steven Wright (from the Reservoir Dogs OST) - actually there are hundreds of others but most of them are miniscule noise samples from the home demos I do.

Shortest Actual song: Miracle Cure (00:12) from Tommy by The Who

LONGEST Track: En Attendant Cousteau (46:56) by Jean Michel Jarre
Actual song: Karn Evil 9 (29:38) by Emerson, Lake And Palmer

Sort by Album:
FIRST SONG: Exit Stage Right by Badly Drawn Boy (from "About A Boy")
LAST SONG: Sleep Don't Weep by Damien Rice ("from 9")
This assumes I ignore all the tracks without an album title.

First 10 Songs that Come up On Shuffle:
  1. "If I Survive" by Hybrid (From "Wide Angle")
  2. "Montague Terrace (In Blue)" by Scott Walker
  3. "Join Together" by The Who
  4. "Frog's Legs and Dragons Teeth" by Bellowhead
  5. "There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards" by Ian Dury And The Blockheads
  6. "Pale Shelter" by Tears For Fears
  7. "New Lace Sleeves" by Elvis Costello
  8. "Live And Let Live" by LOVE
  9. "Let There Be More Light" by Pink Floyd
  10. "Clash City Rockers" by The Clash

“Sex” : 65 (including the whole of the Albums "Sextet and "Futuresex/Lovesounds" as well as "Blood Sugar Sex Magic")
“Love” : 647
“You” : 1073
“Death” : 12
“Hate” : 11
“Wish” : 17

So there it is. Should give you some idea of the breadth of my tastes anyway. See you soon.


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Oh, Hellcakes!

I love compound nouns - hellcakes is just one of the highly descriptive and often highly offensive ones I've come up with.

The last post I made (on Jacko) contains so many grammatical errors it is deserving of such a noun.

I have left it alone since it is my sheer exasperation and speed of typing that caused them rather than alcohol or stupidity - there was a lot of rewriting of half sentences that were too cruel and these rewrites were done in a very short space of time.

If anyone feels the need to mock me for it, the comments section exists for just such a purpose!


Oh, stop it! MJ attracts the latest in the line of Grief Tourists

I have no problem with Michael Jackson, believe me. Off The Wall is a great album despite some of the soppy love song nonsense.

But surely, SURELY this story is done with now?

Here is a concept - if you were all big fans of MJ already, why the hell didn't you already own Man In The Mirror? Or Billie Jean? or Thriller for that matter?

The answer to this question is of course what I call, rather obviously, "grief tourists".

These people who have no personal interest in the deceased Nor indeed did many of them care enough to follow him closely nor even more bravely took the financial and credibility hit that would be buying the woeful "invincible" album.

All of a sudden these zero relations are crying in the streets, contributing messages of loss to phone ins, shocked and stunned at their loss and spend hours a day bemoaning the unfairness of the world that costs famous people their lives at regular intervals.

Then they buy his records.

I OWN two of his records and I haven't felt the desire to listen to them since his death. First of all, his death has not changed how good they are - and at their best they remain undeniable classics. Secondly, I know them pretty much back to front anyway, since I listened to them while he was STILL ALIVE!

My only idea here is that the record buying public are either buying these records out of guilt or some kind of feeling of grievers' minimum knowledge obligation

ie: "I'm saying his death has really affected me, but I can't hum the bridge to Man In The Mirror, I know - I'll download it and pretend I knew it all along"

Everyone who was alive and sentient in 1997 recognises the parallel with Princess Diana here - she was a desperately unhappy celebrity, though almost certainly less damaged mentally than Jacko was, and her death seemed equally as sudden and unexpected. I recall, despite only being 16 at the time, the sheer ludicrous snowballing of grief from people who probably wouldn't even have recognised "the people's princess" if she bought a bag of Quavers from their corner shop.

They'd probably have mistaken her for Jill Dando or something.

But they saw others on the news crying and laying flowers, and suddenly everyone had to do it. Seriously - you weren't properly grieving if you didn't go down to the Queen's house and littering.

So why does humanity do this?

When I attended the funeral several years ago of a distant relative, I felt like a fraud for standing there since I knew virtually nothing about the deceased, and in perpetual terror that someone would ask me what she was like or something. Sure I was sad that many people I knew were sad and had lost someone, but just how involved could I feel in the death of that one person?

It seems that these "grief tourists" have no such reticence. Urged on by a media now obsessed with lionising a man they tried to destroy a couple of years ago they are force fed the concept that public displays of grief for a man you didn't know are not only OK, but expected of you.

And what do they get out of it? The core of many human aims - in-group acceptance. Suddenly, it's very fashionable or "normal" to love Michael Jackson and everything he did. Suddenly rather than the weirdo loner who has been repeatedly accused of being a highly disturbed child molester he becomes instead The King Of Pop - an icon of the modern age and a hero for a generation.

If even half the people who claim to have thought of him in such a way actually did, he would probably have been a lot more secure and perhaps his death would have been avoided, and can you really look me in the eye and say it was unexpected?

Even so, these grief tourists are less annoying than those on Twitter who were kicking out Jacko death jokes within moments of the announcement that he had died, perhaps even before his body had cooled. These people really do need a kick up the backside. At least wait until he's had a post mortem!

I sum up those first few hours after his death like so:

"Miserable, deeply disturbed abused child dies. World laughs."

This was not our finest hour.


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Now I'm back, from outer space.

Actually, I've never been away, I've just allowed other parts of my life to take over my routine, so the movie reviews over at the sister site, and mindless meanderings here have not been forthcoming.

Did you both miss me?

In fact, the only place I've been regularly posting is TWITTER, and my last 25 posts at the moment (whichever moment it happens to be) will appear now on this blog over there ---->

For those wo receive my blogs via email, bad luck. You'll have to actually visit my site to see the tweets, if that's your thing, but that's where they are.

I'm undecided on Twitter at the moment. I have nothing to sell, and I'm not a celebrity, but I have a few conversations with people on there I wouldn't normally become "facebook friends" with because I don;t actually know them. Many of these posts are board game related.

An interesting thing I saw on Twitter ast week was just how fast people started making fun of Michael Jackson's death. I was seeing horrible jokes at his expense certainly before his corpse was cold, and I think this may be the downside of Twitter.

It gives you the chance to share in people's internal monologues - the problem being, of course, that people aren't used to censoring their internal monologues so you sometimes get mindless, pointless mental meanderings (like many of my posts) or things that seemed funny in the posters' heads only to find they'e not so funny out of context or without inflection.

I treat Twitter in two ways - first as a genuine micro blog - I tweet often about what I'm doing, watching or thinking. Secondly to respond to others' POV and micro blogs. I am never going to be interested in it as a self promotion tool or as an information gathering medium (although that was how I heard of MJ's death - I double checked it on the news just in case it was a wind up) and there are many irritating market research bots and sex site linkers getting in the way.

So I'm undecided. We shall see if I keep it up.

Anyway - here's to some happy tweeting, and thanks for reading (if you still do)


I'm afraid of Americans

Bowie reference aside, and taking into account the editing choices that can be taken, I was still horrified by a quite astonishing clip from Fox news shown today on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show".

In a particularly daft and tasteless rant, a defence pundit stated, well, you can see below. DO bear in mind that Stewart's show is a comedy programme and I'm sure this is edited for dramatic effect, but the guy clearly calls for an attack on America.


I apologise for the advert beforehand, but that's the internet for you.

Er... I don't normally post links to videos since it's not a big thing for me, but I didn't think my quoting could do this justice. Is there any version of our planet on which this isn't hideously inappropriate?

And this isn't some half arsed small audience talk show on a small station - this is prime time FOX news. Boy am I glad I have only two channels full of 24 nonsense to watch.