Saturday, January 31, 2009

The 2009 Bloggies

The Bloggies are blogging's equivalent of The Oscars. Awards for blogs are about as ridiculous as you can get. They're rewarding failure. Writers and directors of Oscar nominated films are rich. They've made it big. Their awards are recognising their success. Same with music awards. The artists have sold their music by the truckload.

Bloggers aren't successful. And don't kid yourself that just because you've got a book deal you're a success. Think to yourself how many books fail, wasting paper. You're a failure as a writer if your writing doesn't make you rich. For every blogger there is always somebody better than you writing for free a few links away.

Even though I think it's a shitty idea I've still got a few questions to ask the Bloggies team.

1. Why is it that there are awards for Best Canadian Weblog and Best Australian/NZ Weblog when you've dropped the best American Weblog category? What the fuck have the Americans done to you? They've just elected a black man as President for God's sake! And you reward them by withdrawing their award? Shame on you!

2. Why are there two non-English language blogs on the shortlist? Don't you fuckers know blogs don't do subtitles? Who do you think is voting? We all speak English, knuckleheads!

3. Why has the Best GLBT Weblog category been replaced by Best Microblog? Why on earth are people who don't have much to say more important than a wonderfully creative minority? If you want to microblog, go Twitter yourself!

4. Why are there an Icelandic and a French nominee in the Best European Weblog Award? English is not their first language! A European blogger living outside the British Isles has to be an American or British ex-pat. You know the fucking rules!

5. If you're going to have a Best Teen Weblog then you've got to have a Best Oldie Weblog. Blogging is dominated by twenty somethings up to sixty somethings. Let's have some great grandmothers for a change! They've got a whole lifetime of knowledge to impart.**

Anyway, best of luck to all the nominees. I won't be voting because none of my mates are on there. They never have been. And they never will be. And in the true spirit of blogging I will only ever vote for my mates. So I will never vote. So ner!

** My favourite is I've Still Got Me Marbles, You Know written by Maud Langley, an 89 year old from Chorley.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

John Martyn

Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Clifford T Ward, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley...

Sensitive male singer songwriters who died too young. John Martyn outlived them all but 60 is still too bloody young to go. I only got into John a few years ago but I love his albums to bits. He'd just been made an OBE along with hundreds of other people who have never been geniuses.

The UK is very strange.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Bollocks to those book deals,
Bollocks to the Bloggies.
We've had much more fun
With our friends the doggies.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We Are The Goon Squad And We're Coming To Town

Yesterday I bought some new glasses. I asked the assistant in Boots if frame fashion had changed since I bought my last pair a little over two years ago. Apparently frames have got thicker. I opted for a thin-framed pair.

I've never been fashionable. Men being fashionable reminds me too much of Robert Elms.

Elms was spouting his usual nonsense on Style On Trial: The 70s. He said that anybody who says punk was about the music doesn't know what they're talking about. Punk was about fashion and punk fashion was over in three months. When middle class kids in Doctor Martens got involved, punk was dead.

Elms always talks as if his experience of life is the only true history. Punk wasn't just about cool kids shopping in West London. It was about kids all over the country starting bands, something which hadn't happened since the golden days of skiffle. You didn't get bands like Buzzcocks, Subway Sect and The Fall dressing in Vivienne Westwood clobber. While Elms was changing out of his punk gear into his nascent new romantic outfits, punk morphed into post-punk and pop music entered a truly great phase.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Colin Hunt Tie

I went to a leaving do on Monday. A bit of tomato fell out of my sandwich onto my tie. It left a stain.

As my only other tie was creased I decided to buy some new ones. Imagine my delight when I found out that Tie Rack were having a 75% off sale.

So yesterday morning I changed into one of the new ties, a delightful blue one with little yellow flowers.

When I got home and started my usual moaning to Betty about my day, her eyes began to laugh as she kept looking down my front.

"Is there something funny?" I said.

"It's your tie," she said. "It's a bit...Colin Hunt."

"It wasn't Colin Hunt in the shop," I said.

"Maybe it's with that shirt. It's not necessarily a Colin Hunt tie of its own accord. It's just in combination with that shirt."

That shirt is a rather fetching blue.

"The tie just seems to stand out, like the design is three dimensional."

I took the tie off in a fit of pique and took the other new ties out of the bag. I held them up to my shirt, one by one.

"Is this tie Colin Hunt?"


"Is this one?"


"Is this tie Colin Hunt."

"A bit. But only with that shirt. Probably."

"So I've bought two Colin Hunt ties!"

You see how touchy I can be! Betty was only saying that one of my ties looked Colin Hunt with that particular shirt and that another tie looked a bit Colin Hunt with the same shirt. With a nice white shirt, both ties would look fine and dandy. But I wouldn't let it lie. All night I went on and on about my Colin Hunt ties. I'm sorry, Betty.

I'm wearing the slightly Colin Hunt tie today with a white shirt. I look like a dashing Member of Parliament.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Short People Got No Reason To Live

What Mick Hucknall sees in the mirror, reported in Saturday's Guardian Weekend...

"I keep reading that I'm diminutive - why do people call me that?"

"I'm 5ft 11in with size 11 feet. I'd actually like smaller feet. It might be a fetish, but I do like graceful feet, and small ones lend themselves to grace."

Maybe, Mick. But we all know what big feet on a man lend themselves to, don't we? Would you really have been such a big hit with the ladies with little baby feet on the end of your long, muscular legs?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

All The Nice Girls Love A Scouser

"If you are a nice girl you like the Beatles and if you're a naughty girl you like the Stones."

Eve Pollard, talking in the present tense about the sixties on BBC4's Style On Trial.

What a load of bollocks! What the fuck have a woman's sexual habits got to do with either the kind of music she likes or the type of man she fancies?

And surely it would have been the case that most young people at the time would have liked both the Beatles and the Stones.

Of course the Beatles were better, but that goes without saying.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back to Black

Funerals are shit, aren't they? Not as shit as weddings, but shit nonetheless.

The modern style of funeral with the picture of the deceased up front and members of the family feeling obliged to give speeches is just too tacky. Play a song by Westlife and reflect? Reflect on how crap the song is!

I still cried, of course. I'm wetter than a wet weekend, me. It was my first Humanist funeral and the Humanist chappy was very sincere and inclusive of everyone and even choked a bit when he read one of the grandchildren's letters.

But it's the dismal poor man's church-like setting. The "uplifting" or "humorous" music which is supposed to convey the character of the deceased. The creaking mechanical movement of the coffin as it jerks behind the curtains. There's just no class.

And then you file out and spend three hours looking at dying flowers, milling around like those morons on the Antiques Roadshow! Followed by some extremely awkward conversation.

More often than not followed the next day by people who went asking each other what song they'd like played at their funeral. Who gives a bollock?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Want To Live Like Common People

Working, as I do, in an area saturated with young office workers, I often have advertisements for gym membership thrust into my uneager hand. They mistake me for someone who's got the time and the inclination to work out.

Yesterday I was handed the new advert for the latest class at Gym Box.

"CHAV FIGHTING..." it said on the front. "...Martial arts with Burberry belts and a fist full of sovereign rings".

I turned to the inside.

"The louder they grunt the harder they fall...Why hone your skills on punch bags and planks of wood when you can deck some Chavs? Welcome to the wonderful world of Chav Fighting. A world where Bacardi Breezers are your sword and ASBOs are your trophy."

I think I ought to go to this class. Just to see what sort of twats it attracts. I'll take along some of my Chav mates dressed as middle class wankers and we'll kick shit out of the twats in the changing rooms.*

*Not really. Do you honestly think I know any Chavs, dear reader?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jesus the Jew

It was a cracking start to the new series exploring Christianity on Channel 4. Howard Jacobson didn't pull his punches and actually made me sit up and take notice of what he was saying.

Here's Howard talking to Cardinal George Cottier, former Theologian to the Pope...

HOWARD: I'm wondering how, for example, a Jew can never read parts of the New Testament without feeling more than scandalised. I mean, when John talks about the Jews as devils, for example, the children of Satan.

GEORGE: The Gospel of John isn't an anti-Jewish gospel. It is a gospel that speaks about love. And from this vision of love, one can understand, relativise the meaning of these texts. But we certainly cannot touch what is, for us, a word of God.

Hmmm. So this evening I consulted our Collins Holy Bible and read the following, which John wrote at 8:44...

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."

This, according to John at almost a quarter to nine, is what Jesus said to the Jews.

Howard's right! How can George say there is love in Jesus' words? Unless I've taken those words out of context.

Next week it's Michael Portillo who used to make me physically sick just to look at him. But after a decade of smarm-meister Blair he doesn't seem so bad after all.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Always This Time Of Year

He once told me that if I ever have to stay in hospital I should ask for kosher food. It's fresh, hot and delicious, unlike the usual NHS slop.

He wasn't Jewish. He had the cheek of the devil.

After a long spell in hospital, last week he breathed his last. I can imagine the rabbi visiting him as he slipped away.

Next week it's his funeral. In Golders Green.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Worst Film Director In The World... far, is Phil fucking Good. I wince when I hear there's a new Phil Good movie out.

Apparently a Phil Good movie is up for an Oscar this year. Not again!

Phil fucking Good! How old is this bastard? He seems to have been around forever!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Me, I'm Just A Lawnmower

It's been prog week on BBC4. And once again that old chestnut about punk killing prog was mentioned. Rubbish on the streets, blah blah blah.

Let's get this straight once and for all. Punk did not kill prog.

In 1980, a full four years after this so-called murder, our white, upper working class/lower middle class boys' school was still a hotbed of prog. The sixth-form centre music centre was awash with the stuff.

So why didn't we all join the revolution?

Because there was no revolution! Listen to Phil Collins interviewed on the prog documentary...

"Allo. Sid Snot 'ere. D'you know wot really gets up my 'ooter? Wot really gets up my 'ooter is when all these so called cultural commentatahs go on and on abaht 'ow punk rock killed prog rock. It's all a flippin' lie, I tell ya!"

Well, what Phil actually said was that he was once at an airport and Rat Scabies came up to him. Rather than spit in Phil's face, Mr Scabies shook the Genesis drummer by the hand and told him how much he admired him. Isn't that a turn up for the books?

Then Chris Martin's uncle Ian Anderson told us how Johnny Rotten used to slag off Jethro Tull when the Pistols were around, then later admitted Aqualung was one of his favourite albums.

So there you go. Punk did not kill prog.

But did it kill socialism?


Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Message From The BBC

In these financially testing times it is with great sadness, yet much hope, that we, the BBC, announce the amalgamation of two of the corporation's flagship shows.

It was a difficult decision to make but Jools and Jo are ready for a new challenge after 35 years solid service to the nation.

Doctor Who and Later With Jools are to be replaced by a brand new show, Doctor Hootenanny. Jools Holland will play the Doctor with Jo Wiley as his trusty assistant, Jo. Jo has indicated her commitment to the new role by vowing not to get pregnant for the next ten years.

We are hoping this show will be a great success as it will be a mixture of Jools' tried, trusted and popular boogie woogie "I'm In The Mood For Love" cod reggae sound and frightening images such as The Hucknall, The Lennox, The Sting and The Paul Rodgers With Queen acting as if time has not ravaged their once fresh faces and bodies. It will be a real family show, entertaining Middle England's middle aged parents and young children alike.

TV license payers will hopefully be pleased to hear that Jools will not only be playing The Doctor but will also be providing the voices for the daleks for a merely nominal fee.

Friday, January 02, 2009

That Creative Urge (Sick Bag Not Provided)

2009 is the year that all decent bloggers will get a publishing deal. I can feel it in my bones.

But seriously, this is the year that I want to see some of my stuff on the printed page. I just want something on our bookshelf that has been entirely written by me.

I know it sounds silly. After all, my ambition to write and communicate has been realised on this blog. I love doing it. It is the most pleasurable form of written communication there is.

So why do I feel the need to write a book? And what on earth would I publish?

Why? I honestly don't know. My idea of creative writing is messing about with words. I can't take myself seriously enough to plan things and see them through to the end. I couldn't write a novel! I just write any old shit that comes into my head. I always have done. It's getting out all the jumbled crap that comes in. I've tried to start novels, screenplays and plays and I always give up. There is no plan there, just a load of dialogue that goes nowhere. I decided a few years ago not to start another novel or script because I knew how it would end up. In the bin.

So what can I write? There's my autobiography.

I started my autobiography earlier this week. Christ, was it depressing! I got to the age of four and I wanted to drown my beautiful little brown body in the sea at Bournemouth. I didn't want to come back to South East London and have to socialise with relatives and other children. I was happy with my mummy and daddy and my toy cars. I wanted to sink to the bottom of the sea, my little hand clutching a two inch bubble car.

So what else is there? There's my dream blog which might make a good stocking filler for myself if I had some decent illustrations to go along with the dreams. But I haven't. By the way, did I tell you about the Radio 4 researcher who e-mailed me to ask me if the dreams were real? Weirdo or creative genius? What do you think?

So I'm left with an anthology of my poems, my least popular blog writings but what I enjoy doing almost as much as this blog. So this year I'm going to write some more funny rhymes and have a good laugh with myself and upload them to Lulu. That's if Lulu will have me.