Sunday, April 29, 2007

Human Footprint - Channel 4

It's Channel 4 so it's a not-too-serious ("fart", tee-hee) look at how much we consume, how much waste we produce during our lifetimes.

Of course for the planet's good it would be better off if none of us were ever born. From the moment we start shitting into disposable nappies we're damaging the environment. By "we", I mean us Brits. This programme is the consumption story of the average British person's life, "from the cradle to the grave", not that many of us start off in cradles and end up in graves nowadays.

The figures are taken from simple statistics. And first they have to explain to us dim-witted viewers what exactly an "average" is. I'm quite happy to let that nicely-spoken Scottish Dr Who, David Tennant (who's doing the voiceover) tell me what I already know. But they have to rope in an expert, a PhD from the LSE, who says...

"The point of an average is that it is collated from a sample which has lots of people in it and then you divide in order to try and make that relevant to one person. Obviously there is no one person who lives this life where they produce X amount of excrement and they consume so many gallons of milk and smoke so many cigarettes, there is no one person who does that, so in that sense it represents nobody's life. But if you were to extrapolate this to the whole population then in some senses it does represent what we're all doing."

So basically, this programme is about nobody. Yet it is about us all.

Work that one out!

I can't be arsed to write any more about it - all you need to know is here. They really shouldn't have bothered with the waste of space "arresting art installations" or making the programme at all come to think of it. The web page is good enough. The statistics aren't particularly "mind-boggling" unless you've got a mind that is especially prone to boggle at some silly numbers that mean fuck all.

Why not calculate your own human footprint? Unless you've got something better to do like cut your toenails (which would grow bloody long if you didn't cut them, apparently).


Friday, April 27, 2007

Tears Of A Clown

Annie's come up with an excellent and novel way of listing her blogroll. We're all film stars!

I've always wanted to be a glamorous film star. A Hollywood heart throb such as Clark Gable. A cool dude like Humphrey Bogart. Dammit, even Rock Hudson would do me: the ladies loved him!

Or what about Frank Sinatra? Yeah, Frank Sinatra, and Betty could be my Ava Gardner.

You have to click on each one of Annie's links to find out who's who. I went through them from top to bottom. I thought I wasn't there, but I am.

So which gorgeous hunk of manhood does my blogging persona most resemble?

Apparently, him.

And Betty is her.

We certainly are a couple of swells!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I've Been Ill But You Don't Care, You've Just Ignored Me: Yes, Me!

Me: ill

He tried to be witty,
They thought he was shitty,
They all left his blog in a drove.

They said, "Call that humour?
I've seen funnier tumours,
You're less funny than Michael Gove.

The nun and the monk joke,
The fictional speech bloke,
Were too much for your readers to bear.

We're off to a good site,
We can't take any more shite.
Delete yourself, see if we care.

You peaked with Geoff's Dreams, son,
Yeah, those days were real fun,
When blogging was all fresh and new.

You had it all mapped out?
Geoff, you're just clapped out!
You've bitten off too much to chew.

Why not try myspace?
Though a picture of your face,
I doubt would go down a treat.

While all your old blogchums,
Their dads and their mums,
Laugh at you at a blogmeet."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Great Speeches of the 20th Century

The Guardian is printing a series of Great Speeches of the 20th Century. The following extract is taken from a speech made by the great orator, Sir Kingston Burchill, on June 4th 1969...

"...we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in our trunks, we shall fight in our bikinis, we shall fight with our handkerchiefs folded upon our heads, we shall fight with our trouser legs rolled up as we paddle in the shallows, we shall fight with 99s dripping down our forearms, we shall fight with spades in our right hands and buckets in our left, we shall fight with the Welsh Dragon flying on top of our sandcastles, we shall fight as we apply calamine lotion to our babies' arms, we shall fight even as we are buried to our necks in sand, we shall fight with our beachballs and our frisbees in the air, we shall fight as we bowl Grandad out for a golden duck, we shall fight as we stub cigarettes out in the sand and shake salt onto our bitten tomatoes, we shall fight as we turn rocks to get at crabs...

...we shall fight our brothers and sisters for they are spiteful little spoilt little brats who knock over our sandcastles;

we shall never surrender...

for we are good little boys and girls."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Highlights Of The Bits In Between The Working During My Working Week

Ooh, Barbra Streisand. 65, eh?


She looks like Carol.


Our Carol.

Does she?

She's got Carol's mouth.

Does Carol look like Barbra Streisand?


Not really.


I am doing one of the quizzes I am OK at. Work out the band name from the clue.


Cinema Tunes = Roxy Music (OK, I didn't get this one)

Australian Coils Youth = Bruce Springsteen

Greenhouse Plants = Hothouse Flowers

Come on, you must have heard of the Hothouse Flowers!

I come to the following clue:-

Very Hairy Beasts.

Ah, Super Furry Animals, of course!

No, not of course. You see, that might have been the answer in the quiz's original form. But this quiz has seen too many contestants asking "Who the fuck are the Super Furry Animals?" Contestants who have heard of the Hothouse Flowers but haven't heard of the best UK band to come out of the 90s. Nannies and grandads.

So the answers have been changed, I am wrong and the answer is...

Very Hairy Beasts = The Monkees.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Meet The Foxes

I read that I was going to be moved, my mascara would run when the pregnant vixen and her partner were ruthlessly baited and shot.

But foxes don't get me that way. I like to see them but I like to keep my distance from them. I don't like them shitting in our garden.

Urban foxes are vermin but they're good looking vermin. But this programme isn't really about the foxes themselves. It's more about their human neighbours' attitudes and reactions to the ginger beasts.

The human characters in this programme include...

1. The spoilers who treat the foxes as pets, feed them and film them.

2. The annoyed but fox-friendly neighbours who are fed up with constant shit in the garden but want the foxes to be taken away to a nice place in the countryside.

3. The concerned people who have an injured fox under their decking.

4. The people who think foxes are their enemies.

Numbers 2 and 3 could be considered pretty normal. Not wanting to harm the creatures but not willing to share their lives with them too closely.

Number 1 are a nutty couple but what's wrong with a bit of nuttiness in this crazy mixed up world?

It's family number 4 which deserves a kick up the arse.

They are trying to be 'green', keeping their free-range hens, producing their own free-range organic eggs.

The hens aren't hidden away in a top security barn, but in full view of any intruders behind some crap chicken wire. And the silly family blame the foxes!

'Green' is the right word for this family. Trying to be partly self-sufficient in Stoke Newington of all places! This is The Idiots Guide To The Good Life.

Daddy buys some new hens from his farmer mate and some lion shit fox-deterrent.

And, surprise surprise, the fox breaks through the crap chicken wire at night and assassinates the whole lot of them. We do not see whether the fox has state of the art wire cutters or whether he just uses his sharp teeth. My money's on the teeth.

The family are distraught and at the end of their tether. The teenage daughter strokes her (presumably bird-loving) cat as she says how much she hates foxes. Daddy says how what the fox did in killing for killing's sake was just so "unnecessary". An Idiots Guide To The Good Life, imposing human morals onto animals.

Daddy is driven to desperate measures. The fox has to die.

Along comes the bald headed assassin with a licence to kill. After a week of enticing the fox and his pregnant partner into the garden with fresh meat, the bald headed assassin sets up shop in Daddy's spare bathroom. Daddy strokes the gun/phallus, wishing he could have a go himself as years ago he'd shot animals in the rainforest. As with Sting, those days in the rainforest were presumably the best of his life.

The fox pair are shot efficiently. Job done, problem solved?

Of course bloody not. It's not long before new foxes are coming into his garden to have a look at his hens. Because contrary to Daddy's logic, killing one or two does not give an example to the remainder of the foxes in the area.

What a shame the foxes can't learn human morals, eh Daddy?

Monday, April 16, 2007

We've Been Reculverised

Yesterday was another unseasonally warm day. God bless Global Warming.

Here we are at the unfashionably unhip North Kent coast. We walked all the way from Reculver to the furthest east Herne Bay gets. Here's Betty, reading her copy of Shaggy Blog Stories (available at all good internet book selling sites called 'Lulu')...

And here's one of me, taken above the hips, reading my own copy. Don't I look a studious young fella?

Of course, what do you get below the hips?

The groyne!

We had to take extra care on the way to and from Herne Bay. The suicide statistics in North East Kent are similar to those of accidental death...

The part of the coastline we walked is called the 'Wantsum Walk'. It is so named because whenever you come across a group of hard kids, they ask you if you "wantsum, you fackin' cant?"

It was a lovely day, but visibility was not too good. So this picture of Reculver and the remains of its 14th century church is pretty shit. But it is a lovely spot on a sunny day and only an hour away by car!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Modern (American) Films Are Rubbish

Kaufman & Carrey.

I've wasted 4 hours in the past couple of years watching films in which these two names figure.

Man In The Moon - Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman. What an annoying tit! I don't know if the real Andy Kaufman was that annoying but if he was halfway as annoying as he was portrayed by The New Jerry Lewis he must have been one annoying arsehole.

Now here's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Carrey! That annoying tit again!

This one's written by Charlie Kaufman who wrote that crud about the inside of John Malkovich's head.

OK, Charlie. You've got me. You're obviously more intelligent than me. You can write a screenplay the title of which comes from an Alexander Pope quote. You quote Nietzsche, too. Which puts you in the pretty damn clever class.

But you're so silly, babyish and annoying. You're playing with us, aren't you? Like a baby plays. Goo goo.

The gist of the film is, Carrey is a loser in love who sees no future with women. He meets an American Kate Winslett with coloured hair for Christ's sake. She is a GOOFBALL. Which is handy as Jim's a bit of a GOOFBALL, too. That's two GOOFBALLS falling in love.

But she falls out of love with Jim. She goes to a clinic where they erase all the memories you want to erase from your brain. She gets Jim erased from hers.

The clinic is run by Dr Tom American Wilkinson. Do Americans find the Brits putting on their accents as annoying as we find Dick Van Dyke?

Jim finds out what Kate has done so in a fit of pique he decides to erase the memory of Kate from his, too. So Tom's assistants, a right pair of GOOFBALLS, do the business. But Jim's love for Kate is so strong that his genius brain rebels against the treatment. He doesn't want to let her go, the diddums.

Meanwhile, Kirsten Dunst, Tom's young receptionist who quotes Pope and Nietzsche, decides she's not in love with one of the GOOFBALL assistants but she's really in love with Tom who is old enough to be her father. Tom's wife lets Kirsten know she (Kirsten) had some time ago already had an affair with Tom and that she had asked him to erase him from her memory.

Fuck me, what a carry on!

So Kirsten blows the business to smithereens. Just as Jim and Kate are getting together for the second time, they are both sent old tapes where they were recorded talking about why they wanted rid of each other.

Of course, love prevails. Although they know they may be destined for a relationship in which they will both fall in then out of love, they still want to go ahead with this second time round. Which is a good move for Jim as there's no way a munterface like him would hook up with somebody like Kate even with her funny hair and GOOFBALL personality.

OK, the film was watchable but just so very silly and the characters were extremely tiresomely goofy.

What really got my goat was the music at the start and end.

They take a classic song like the Korgi's Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime which already has two classic soulful versions by the aforementioned Korgis and Baby D.

And they get that wacky GOOFBALL piece of piss, Beck to record it. He, of course, turns it into a dull turd.

A complete bloody travesty.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cheer up, it might never...yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard that a million times

It's unseasonally warm and Londoners are wearing their warm weather clothes. As I get older I wonder more and more about t-shirts that say something. Not band t-shirts, but slogans.

For example there's this young man walking past Tesco's. He's very flirty, exuding sexuality and looking for eye contact. His t-shirt describes himself as "LOVERBOY". I invent a tragic life for him. Such upfront behaviour does not bode well for his future happiness. He is bound to be let down time and time again by lover after lover. The loverboy will not become a loverman but will be cynical in his middle age. He won't believe in love because love always disappoints him. But I don't feel sorry for him for I don't know him.

Don't feel sorry for loverboy
You know he wants the world to love him, then goes and spoils it all
Don't feel sorry for loverboy
He wants the world to love him, then goes and spoils it all for love

Then there's this young, colourfully dressed, bright eyed woman who implores us all to "BLOW BUBBLES, NOT BOMBS". A simple girl, her heart's in the right place. Why shouldn't we all blow bubbles, not only all of us peace lovers but those murdering governments and sectarian organisations, too. Hey! Instead of bombing your so-called enemies, pop a few bubbles on their noses! They'll laugh with you instead of hating you and the world will be one big, loving, happy family!

No. This girl will be let down again and again by murdering governments and sectarian organisations. She will die a cynic, like me and everyone I know.

I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high
Nearly reach the sky
Then like my dreams they fade and die


You may say, I'm a dreamer. Last night's dream consisted of...

A cure for cracked fingers: immerse your hand into a solution containing 5,000 mg of effervescent vitamin C. Your wounds will heal within ten minutes.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Essex, The 51st State of the USA

So we've been out for our breath-of-fresh-air, a walk in Belhus Woods Country Park, just north of the Dartford Crossing. It was the first time we've been there and I'm pleased to report nothing untoward happened to us.

There was a twice daily American Civil War re-enactment which we just missed. Skirmishes were scheduled for 11 am and 3 pm. We saw lots of men sitting by camp fires and resting in tents, mentally relaxing before the 3 o'clock skirmish. We saw a large bearded man whip his wife's arse in jest, just as his friend entered one of the event's many chemical toilets. A three man band played pipes and drums, some old Confederate tune or maybe Lynnrd Skynnrd's Sweet Home Alabama; I have no idea. The smell of burgers permeated the air, though the smell of bean farts were sadly missing.

We walked past one of the lakes and some young urchins were busy lifting the biggest freshwater fish I've seen in my life. They didn't tell us to fucking steer clear of their rods which I always expect to hear when in close proximity to hard-looking fishing boys.

Yesterday, we were given a lovely present by a lovely friend. A mini Simnel cake, complete with all eleven Jesus-friendly disciples. Look, here it is with Betty...

We'll eat it later as we're serenaded by the local family who are currently performing their annual Easter Garden Karaoke.

They really have got awful voices.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shakespeare Was His Teenage Idol

On his jean jacket,
A badge Graham wore.
Neither 'Rush' nor 'Steve Hackett',
He was no prog rock bore.

Not the 'Pistols', 'Jam', 'Ruts',
This kid was more hard.
This boy had the guts
To wear the badge of The Bard.

He promoted 'Will Power',
A neat play on words.
In his finest hour,
He charmed the posh birds.

"Oh, Graham, you're so cool,"
They'd say with their eyes.
"You can tell that you're no fool.
And tremendously wise."

To be in one's late teens,
In '78,
Neither new wave nor prog scenes
Would get you a date.

You just wore The Bard and
Who needed luck?
Cos Will made you hard and
Guaranteed you a fuck.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Simnel Cake

Easter's nearly upon us and all our thoughts turn to food.

This year, why not make yourself a Simnel cake? A moist, rich fruitcake with one layer of the finest almond paste in the centre and another on top. Decorated in the traditional way with eleven small balls of marzipan that represent the twelve disciples, minus Judas because Judas did not like marzipan.

Not many people know that the highlight of the Last Supper was in fact Simnel cake. Jesus himself couldn't get enough fruitcake and used to lick the bowl whenever his mother baked one. It is rumoured that he came back from the dead because he thought he smelt fruitcake cooking.

The eleven disciples who liked marzipan regularly had Marzipan Nights on the first Sunday of every month. Peter was a marzipan glutton and would regularly eat whole bars of the stuff in one sitting.

Judas, however, felt a little left out. The Last Supper was the last straw for him, literally, as he was left to munch on cheese straws as the other lads tucked into their marzipan sodden treat. He never felt less like one of the chaps as he did that night.