Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I see six twits

Having been a little distracted of late, I need to get back to the rhythm of keeping my loyal readership (AMTONW) informed. I have been occupied this week with helping to tidy up the fiasco that was the celebration of Trafalgar. We managed to keep it out of the press, but only just. In short, Philip, Andrew and Edward became bored with the official ceremonies (“If I hear one more boring speech, I am going to bloody burst”, said Philip, unaware that the microphones were switched on). They decided to re-enact the battle, stole a fishing boat, attacked the Cherbourg ferry, and with all of the skill that their years at sea brought, landed at Shanklin and claimed it for England, thinking they were in Calais. Liz hasn’t spoken to any of them since, and it was only my timely intervention that saved them from a night in the nick, or even 4 years in Parkhurst, as the Isle of Wight legal system is not as sophisticated as that on the mainland. So exhausting, darlings.

I retired home, and having failed to spot any of the programmes that Geoff watches, I thought I would try out the new series of “They Think It’s All Over”, now with the subtitle “I Wish It Bloody Was”. Ian Wright? Jonathan Ross? Tosser Hussain? Not exactly anyone’s choice for purveyors of subtlety and wit. The only redeeming feature was Boris Becker – being funny and clever and disproving the racial stereotype about the Teutonic people.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

80 buggery bollocky years

The Mandarin Oriental isn’t what it was. Fortunately, I am, at my own request, placed on a table at the back with Camilla, Bill Deedes and Gary Lineker, and have made it quite clear that I do not want to have to interact with the ‘guest of honour’. Lineker proves to be an excellent political commentator and mimic.

John Redwood says “She spoke extremely well and she spoke generously about all the people who had helped her doing what she did in the 1980s." “Yes,” says Lineker in a remarkable Churchill voice “giving up their jobs and money, to help bankrupt the nation.” This is all very well, but as you all know, it doesn’t take much to make Camilla guffaw like a parakeet with a ruptured colon. I am able to hide behind a pillar while Cecil Parkinson glares in our direction. At least, I think it is a glare, maybe the old rouĂ© is on the pull and has mistaken the duchess of Cornwall for one of the ladies of the night that are standard fare at Tory party parties.

Lineker can also throw his voice, and I have to admit that it was more than a little funny to see Lloyd Webber square up to Michael Howard, being under the impression that he was the source of the “fat cunt” comment.

Deedes seems to think that he is sharing a table with Quinton Hogg, Edith Summerskill and Gerald Nabarro, and none of us has the heart to disillusion him. This is not altogether unreasonable: he is not the first to confuse the ex Mrs PB with Lord Hailsham. Although I can report first hand that it is no fun being addressed as “Baronessssh Sshummershkill”.

I am more than a little surprised when Phil turns up. He loathed the old bag more than Liz ever did, despite sharing the same political views. He was forever complaining about having Family Fortunes interrupted by Mrs T’s visit to the palace in the 1980’s. “Can’t the silly tart come during the day time like the rest of the tradesmen,” he would ask, “who the fuck does she think she is?”

I manage to persuade that odious little shit Archer that Caspar Weinberger is a powerful Hollywood producer, looking to film one of his books. Not much of a joke, I know, Weinberger is hardly any more aware of his own history than his mentor, Thick Ron.

Eventually, I manage to rescue Liz, “Let’s nip out the back way, lovey,” I say in my gentlest voice, “no one will dare say anything if you don’t come back.” She is a little worried that Phil and Camilla will show her up if we leave them both unsupervised, but the sight of Thatcher heading our way, looking as if she is intent on starting a conversation is sufficient incentive to get her to grab her crown and coat from the cloakroom, tip the doorman 10p, and slip home via Hyde Park, yelling “Oi, fuck off” at unsuspecting far eastern tourists.

I slip Iron Maiden, who are providing the music, ten quid, and tell them that one of Thatcher’s favourite tunes is “The Red Flag”.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Atticus? I thought he was a dead archbishop

Regular readers, (AMTONW) will understand that I had occasion to buy a Sunday newspaper this week, where a stasis leak had occurred, and a bit of the internet had spilled out into that parallel universe laughingly referred to as “the real world”, viz. my contribution to the Atticus column in the Sunday Times.

There is a flood of outrage, (well, one comment) over on Boris’s site, where old Atticus is castigated for ripping off material when he is paid so much to write his own. I don’t mind this. As a great artist myself, I am not unfamiliar with the struggle to entertain my audience (AMTONW).

What was surprising was the size of the newspaper. I really could have done with a shopping trolley to get it to my car. I asked a young lad who was loitering in the shop for assistance “Would you like to grab hold of my supplement?”, but he affected indifference. I imagine the recycling team will refuse to take the contents of the recycling bin next time. “No, guv, there’s no market for that much paper – we’d have to chop down three ancient woodlands to avoid overproduction”.

And all of it filled with cack. I haven’t read it, and don’t intend to. I just wanted a record of my little contribution. There are 4 pages apparently about the next leader of the Tories. It was Boris writing about this dull topic that inspired my very clever contribution to his web site. The analogy is, you are going to have a large stick inserted in your rectum. The good news is that there are five sticks to choose from, all identical in size, shape and volume, but slightly different colours, and the choice is yours. As with the competition to be top Tory, it may make some difference to the candidates, and I leave readers (AMTONW) to make up their own minds about the relative states of consciousness and awareness of sticks and Conservative MPs, but makes no difference whatsoever to me.

I dread to think what was in the other Sunday papers on offer, I didn’t buy the Observer, Telegraph, Anthrax or Koala. I refused to peruse the contents of the Mirror, People, Armpit or Pustule, as I have no interest in “My night of lust with Val Doonican”. (I see more unwelcome visitors courtesy of Theodore and Evadne Google).

No, friends (AMTONW), eschew the seamy world of Murdoch and read the blogs. Watski or Peregrine Worsthorne? No contest.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

VS - advisor to the people.

I am indebted to the lovely Melissa (and how many men say that in an average week), who has taken time off from ministering to Boris Johnson, to inform me that I have, yet again, made the national press.
Once more, my views form the foundations of the whole position of News International in its ponderings on the future of Conservatism.
Atticus, in the Sunday Times, has this to say:
For the most erudite discussion of the Tory leadership, turn to the website of Tory MP and classics scholar Boris Johnson, where one contributor not only refers to the new boy wonder of the Conservative party as Boccaccio’s D Cameron but claims Rifkind is a Tamil word that means “virile vanquisher of the ungodly”.
For the online link (I don't know how long these are maintained)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-1817288_2,00.html
And the thread on Bozza's site (still no pictures of Melissa).
http://www.boris-johnson.com/archives/2005/10/cameron.html#comments

Viewer Power

I am happy to report that the management of the BBC and Lulu, having read my recent somewhat critical article, have redeemed themselves by broadcasting the excellent programme, "Sounds of the Sixties" on BBC4 this week.

It featured an excerpt from a programme called "Happening with Lulu", featuring Mr James Hendrix, a guitarist of some note.
The BBC had been remiss in the Dylan programme by omitting Mr Hendrix's rendition of "All Along the Watchtower", and failing to display Miss Lawrie's talents to best effect, as I have mentioned before.
It also featured some lively young men called "Pink Floyd", performing to a back drop of their psychedelic light show, which may have been a little more appealing had it not been in black and white.
They were introduced by Hans Keller, who those amongst us aged over eighty will remember as the subject of constant satire by Private Eye, because of his pseudo-intellectual music criticism, his Germanic accent, and his fondness for football. Herr Keller was not over fond of Pink Floyd, thinking that they were a little loud. I need only need to point out that Keller was a fan of Schoenberg to give some indication of the degree of seriousness with which we should evaluate his opinions.
I have to confess that I am not very knowledgeable about modern rock music. I have made a decision not to pursue the study thereof, as I don't really have time, and have yet to tire of my large collection of recorded music. It is therefore with little authority that I claim that the music of the 60s was more vibrant and exciting than that of the current era. It seems that the current crop of young people, with their fixation on the accumulation of material possessions and their degrees in accountancy, business studies and 'meja', will grow into the kind of people who were shocked and bewildered by messrs Hendrix, Zappa and Joplin all those years ago.
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Friday, October 07, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Suffer the little children

I am obliged to my friends at news.com.au, who are owned by that nice Mr Murdoch, so the stories must be true, for highlighting the news item about a Christian Charity’s scheme to distribute a DVD about the nativity to all UK Schools. This is an animation, not a documentary, despite it being a well-known fact that the News Corporation does have exclusive rights to broadcast the second coming. It features three quails, and boasts Stephen Berkoff, Joe Pasquale and Cannon and Ball on the sound track.

This goes to explain the current dearth of new material on the web journal pages. When confronted with events such as these, there is little that we can write that challenges the imagination compared to the activities in the parallel world out there.

They’ll be telling me next that one of the candidates for the top job in the Conservative party (if that is not an oxymoron), wants to have each school in the UK fly the union jack.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A news item, an update on British business and a critique of popular music, all in one post

1) Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in an accident". "Shit!” the President exclaims. "That's terrible!" His staff sit stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in hands. Finally, the President looks up and asks... ''How many is a Brazillion?”

2) My boss was discussing a series of meetings that are due to start on the 10th October. We may not be ready for these meetings, and he said “We may have to postpone the 10th.” I pointed out that we could not do that, we would still have to have it between the 9th and the 11th, but what we could do was to arrange to do something else on that day. I sometimes wonder why my career has not progressed further, given my ability to clarify issues so helpfully.

3) As I have commented elsewhere, the sight of Lulu performing “Mr Tambourine Man” on the BBC the other evening has had a profound effect upon me. I still cannot understand the reason for inflicting this upon us. There was no need to prove that there are people capable of making Mr Dylan’s songs sound worse than the man himself does, and were there to be such a need, then the appearance of a modern beat combo called “XTC” on the same programme would have made the point quite adequately.