Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A wonderful new year to you all - takes out onion

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Those of you familiar with Private Eye will understand that the title is ironic, and refers to the source of the above little news item.
Nevertheless, happy new year to ILTV especially, and to everyone else. You will all be guaranteed a happy new year if you go over there and give her a big (non-sexual) virtual hug. I am not prepared to speculate what the outcome of a sexual hug would be.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

But why did they need it confirming?

I am obliged to my good friends Theodore and Evadne Google for the following piece of information. (I should not forget the kind person who requested their services with this inquiry).
If you type "Gyles Brandreth" and "twat" into said web page, then I come second in the list of referencing sites.
In first place is his agent.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

On the origin of the spaghetti

The BBC have reported the finding of a book of recipes by Mrs Charles Darwin.

They should have asked me. I have a recording of her telephone conversation with her sister, Maud. Unfortunately, we can only hear one side of the conversation. Here is a transcript.


MrsD: Well, nice to sit down and chat for a minute. He’s been back you know. I can’t begin to tell you where he’s been. Poncing up and down the oceans, “studying the species” he call’s it – twatting about more like.

Maud:
Mrs D: Yes, the Beagle got back in October. 4 bloody days I was waiting while he got through customs. I told him before he went he needn’t bother bringing back a load of foreign crap, but did he listen? Did he bollocks!
Maud:
Mrs D: You can say that again! Cost me a bloody fortune to have all the stuff biked back here, and then he spends all his time sorting it out. Hardly a word to me, all the while he was here. Ignorant twat.
Maud:
Mrs D: Yes, I had one of those, but the doctor said that I needed to soak it in vinegar. How am I going to get vinegar up there, I asked. Another bloody doctor for you, anyway, where was I? Yes, that’s right, then he sods off to see his bloody scientist pals and me without a clue when he’ll be back. I told him, don’t expect your bloody dinner to be on the table when you get back – and I threw a lump of coal at him. “Evolve that you bald twat!” I said.
Maud:
Mrs D: I don’t think so, but then I’ve never been to Scotland. Anyway, I got sick and tired of seeing all these bloody dead animals all over the fucking house, “Specimens” he calls them. “Right fucking mess” I call them. I’d had enough, so I thought I would get rid of them, and not liking to see waste, I’ve been improvising. Tahitian wombat stew – that didn’t quite work, but since then we’ve been having some right tasty treats of an evening. Neighbours come round and everything. “You should write some of these recipes down” said old Mrs Throgmorton from round the corner. So I did. I’ve cleaned out about half his room now, and the little book I had published is doing very nicely thank you. It’ll be more popular than his bloody pompous load of crap that he keeps talking about. “Nobody will believe a sodding word!” I told him. The only problem is that for one of the dishes I can’t find any more of the main ingredient – no idea what it was called even. Some bloody strange creature that looked more like a man than a monkey when you’d shaved the hair off – bleeding delicious. I don’t think he’s going to miss it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You don't get to be head of state unless you are good at sums in the UK.

I was just about to go to bed after a long and tiring day, when, checking the latest news on the BBC website I saw the uplifting headline: "Queen's speech addresses downturn". My heart leapt with joy. Just when we thought that there was no end in sight, along comes Liz with an answer.
I expect you're feeling very silly indeed now, aren't you Gordon Brown? With all your fancy advisers and financial experts, who have done bugger all, and then along comes a doddery octogenarian throwback with a posh frock, a damn silly hat and a voice that sounds like a gibbon having its testicles passed through a mangle, and solves the whole bloody lot in 15 minutes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas? Humboldt.

As you may have gathered, I am a light-hearted person, not averse to finding humour in some traditions, even those associated with the approaching solemn festivities. Indeed, it is not entirely unknown for me to join in from time to time. However, there are limits, and I am disappointed by a combination of appalling taste and scriptural inaccuracy that I find in some of this year’s cards. I will illustrate this by referring to two of them. I have disguised the names of the senders, as I do not wish to cause them embarrassment.

1) Cleronica and Vive sent me this one. Fortunately I opened it before I had had my breakfast. I cannot visualise the circumstances under which penguin paedophilia is in any way amusing, or appropriate for the Christmas message.



2) Nalcolm and Mora. There are so many things wrong with this image, that I am at a loss as to where to begin.


First of all, look at the shadows. When you have finished enjoying “Foot Tapper” or “Apache”, look at the shadows on this image. Two of the camels appear to have 3 feet off of the ground, and the third is in danger of toppling over. Secondly, the gentlemen appear to be moving parallel to the star, rather than towards it. I can think of two reasons for this. Either the artist has no sense of perspective - her name is Louise Cunningham, please feel free to contact her and tell her about it – or she felt that if the travelers were to be seen moving towards the star then the picture would depict three camel arses and she is sparing our sensibilities. However, my largest objection is the presence in this picture of the pyramids. I need to expand upon this objection, please bear with me (alternatively, piss off).


The gospel states that the three kings or magi were from the east. East of Jerusalem that is; they were not from Ipswich. Magi is a term normally associated with a bunch of hippy Zarathustrans from Persia, who were into astrology and other such nonsense. The pyramids are in Egypt. Even after sharing a joint the size of Tehran High Street, it is highly unlikely that these strolling itinerants would wander off course quite so much, particularly as they were following a bloody star. Now, those smartarses among you (i.e. the whole bloody lot) may well say “but Scurra, there were pyramidal structures in Mesopotamia at that time” to which I would counter “bollocks”. Or, you could say that this scene was depicting their journey home, after all the gospel does indicate that they took another route on the return leg, in order to avoid Herod. Yes, BUT, on their way home the star would not have been there, would it? And do you really think they detoured via Memphis? Perhaps they nipped down to Dar es Salaam and caught the hovercraft to Mumbai? No, I say “piffle and balderdash” to all of your justifications.


My Christmas sense of ease has been disturbed, and it is unlikely that I will be able to extract the most from the holiday season. Please try to be more careful in future.

I am also sadly aware of the likelihood that in my placing two of the words in the above consecutively, I will be attracting the attention of a whole new tribe of perverts finding their way here via the offices of Theodore and Evadne Google.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, if Murray says it is alright

At the risk of being over productive in my blog writing activities, I am taking this opportunity to introduce you to Joe’s new blog. Please go over there and make him feel welcome, before he wanders off and finds friends of his own age. Adam, as you well know, has removed himself to the middle of the Pacific Ocean in order to escape us, and so Joe is the one keeping the average age of readers of this nonsense to under 85.

Joe, let me offer reciprocal introductions to some of the wacky characters here. What a zany bunch they are indeed! Gosh, the stories I could tell.


Pam. Mother of 17 (i.e. she has 17 children, she is slightly older than 17!). As your mother claims to be too preoccupied to write a blog of her own or set up a facebook account, then Pam will, from time to time, her lascivious hobbies permitting, remind you to tidy your room, eat properly and change your underwear. Let me clarify that. She will remind you to do those things. I should have said “She will remind you to tidy your room, remind you to eat properly and remind you to change your underwear.” I had no intention of implying any other meaning when I wrote that.

Dave. International bon viveur, profligate lecher and drug-runner. He is to Norfolk what the Genovese family are to New York.
Tom. Pillar of the community, firmly pro-establishment and uncompromising in his firm moral stance. A little on the serious side, but did crack a joke in 1987.
Betty and Geoff. A sweet couple – the Terry and June of the home counties. They can always be relied upon to share their sweetness and rosy world view. Sometimes they are a little too kind in their assessment of contemporary issues and figures, but you just can’t help loving them.
ILTV. A very dear friend. She is also the mother of a tall child, so will be conversant with the disadvantages that attend this hideous disfigurement.
MJ. Filthy tart. She will try to get you to send her pictures of your naughty bits. Do not be persuaded by her beguiling manner. I see it as my mission, through tough, firm yet loving methods, to reform her.
Zoe. The most famous blogger in the universe - harridan, bully and oppressor of her family. Stand firm against her imprecations. Has anyone stood firm against your imprecations, missus?
Donn. I have no idea who he is. And neither does he.
Kaz. Quite alert for her age. A contemporary of the Brontes, so she will be of help with your essays.
Richard. Luddite who occasionally stumbles across an internet connection and appears here. Take whatever he says very seriously.
Willie. He takes up the slack when I am too busy to devote my full attention to this site. Extraordinarily reliable on almost all matters, except perhaps musicals.
Boris. Only comments here anonymously, and I have to delete his rantings, After all, I cannot be expected to tolerate someone calling me, for example, a “pasty-faced arsehole” on my own blog, can I? You can, however, go and write whatever you like on his blog, no matter how silly, ill-informed and irrelevant – after all, he does.
(That’s enough idiots – Ed.)
As you can see, my introductions have been curtailed. There are lots of other lovely folk you can find in the blog listing,and I apologise to them for not having had space to effect personal introductions. I suspect that it will not do you too much harm to make up your own mind about some of them.

**************

Now, all of you, after you have been to visit Joe and dispensed whatever wisdom you may have to hand, can I remind you that our dear friend Duck has a seasonal story to tell (this may not be suitable for those of a Christian disposition).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Letter to the Torygraph

Dear Sir

Despite being overwhelmed by festive emotions and enjoying the sight of carollers happily plying their trade and dodging shrapnel in the lanes and byways of North East Hampshire, I am moved to compose this letter of complaint. I do this with charitable motives. No one can accuse me of being less than generous in sharing my wisdom.

I refer to an article headed "Spider as big as a plate among scores of new species found in Greater Mekong". Despite the fact that the article itself goes on to stipulate that the plate at issue was a dinner plate, I feel that this is a wholly unsatisfactory comparison.


You see, my dear sir, many of us do not limit our mealtime habits to always ensuring that our crockery is of standard dimensions. In short, I have no idea what size a "dinner plate" is. Come supper time, chez mois, a plate (trough/bucket) is chosen according to my appetite. I suspect that the resulting choice would be larger than any arthropods known to science, be they south-east Asian or no. "A deepwater stingray, the size of Scurra's dinner plate" would be a description more likely to result in understanding among your readers.


I have to inform you that many of your patrons, in these modern times, will have attended school, and picked up the rudiments of weights and measures. We are familiar with concepts such as "feet" and "inches". Had you said that the creature in question was 1/64th of a furlong in diameter, you would have sensed the vibration of heads nodding in comprehension up and down the country. I am told that in schools these days pupils are taught the metric system. You need not overly concern yourself with this, as it will be very many years before these people are mature enough to interest themselves in your journal.


I hope that you take note of my concern, and address this issue. If not, I fear that my next missive will be as long as an under-butler's cummerbund.


with very best wishes


Vicus Scurra

For ILTV

I spend my whole life educating this woman.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gin soaked barroom queen.

I recently obtained a copy of the film “Shine a Light”.

The subject matter consists largely of a Mr Jagger arsing around like a preposterous prancing prat. This may come as little surprise to many of you, but I have to confess to a slight sense of disappointment. I don’t know quite what I expected, but I did not foresee having what little respect I have left for these people being further eroded.

I should say at this point, before Tom gets even more upset, that I still like their music, at least as much as any other rock group. For me they were the outstanding group of the 60s, and the most exciting musical events were the playing on the radio of their latest records, which were instantly recognisable as being by them. At the time they also represented in some ways the changes that were happening in society, and became for a time icons. This changed slowly and sadly. They sold out long ago and have contributed nothing to the world apart from the occasional above average song every 3 years or so since 1970. I know people who have enjoyed going to their concerts and am pleased for them. I, however, have now been cured of the desire to go to one. Of course it must be difficult to retain any sense of perspective when you are thrust into the media, surrounded by hype, libidinous women, narcotics and all the other trappings of fame. Only Dave among the readers here will be able to relate to that, and yet he has remained the same gentle and modest chap that he has always been.


Another little outburst of iconoclastic irritancy then.


The only band I ever want to see again, and will have to wait until we all are, is the Dead. I may be guilty of over romanticising it, but it was something like the feeling of being part of an experience where the performers had no other agenda other than to perform and share the music. Of course, once you see them live, then you spend the rest of your life trying to find a recording of their music that is even a quarter as good as their stage show. You will be wasting your time, and you know it, but persist regardless.

If that was not quite cross enough for you on a Sunday evening, allow me to get a trifle agitated about DVD’s. You buy the fucker, put it in the fucking machine and then a have to fucking wait for a fucking minute and a fucking half for the fucking film to fucking begin. On the aforementioned “Give a shite”, a minute and a quarter of this consists of being extolled not to download films from the electric internet. Bastards. I have just bought your bastard product, and you think you have the bastard right to tell me not to bastard steal your bastard property. Bastards. As if it isn’t e-bastard-nough to know that these bastards have 83 million times as much money as I will ever bastard have. If I did download the bollocky film then at least I wouldn’t have to listen to your bollocky sermons. (that’s enough bollocks. Ed.)

Nonsense

Not known for joining in with these silly things, so ILTV should know better.
Nicely asked me to list ten things beginning with N that I loved.
Naturally, necrophilia, Neasden and Nureyev sprang to mind, but I'm not going to do it.
Nevertheless, can I nominate Nora who died today - she was lovely?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Black and white and crap all over.

There is so much in the Torygraph today that needs explanation and clarification. I will attempt to be brief. And fail.

“Young women 'have more sexual partners' than men”. They clarify this in the first phrase of the text – “Young women are more promiscuous than men”. So, just to reiterate, my good friends are not implying that women are engaging in thrusting and moaning activities with partners other than males of their own species. That sort of thing will never be reported in the Torygraph (but will probably be discussed in unnecessary detail in the comments section, Tom; my fault for making it the first item). I did not read the article, not having had my breakfast yet, but I expect it goes on to suggest that some young ladies are no longer virgins when they marry, and may have had carnal knowledge of more than one chap. It really does not bear thinking about.

“Cigarettes to be sold 'under the counter'”. This is a very kind seasonal gesture to the pathetic nicotine addicts that one sometimes encounters (seldom in North East Hampshire, of course). Having had their growth stunted by this senseless indulgence in narcotics, they find it impossible to reach over the counters of shops to avail themselves of said product. Staff are being trained to operate little hatches for the customers, who no longer need to feel embarrassed. It is also good news for the other group of undersized Player’s No 6 purchasers, i.e. primary school children. It is educationally valid to engage them in commercial activity and familiarise them with market forces. You will all now understand why you see the shop assistants in your local tobacconist crawling around on their knees.

“'Jesus was born in June', astronomers claim”. Don’t be so damned silly. The Carol singers from St. Elvis’s turn up on my doorstep on 22nd December. I trust them far more than I trust Patrick Moore and his voyeuristic cabal of assorted loonies. I shall continue to not celebrate Christmas with gusto on December 25th. I am not going to not celebrate it in June as well.

“'Nagging' wife to thank for lottery win”. A New Zealand man was driven out of his armchair by a typical antipodean harridan (where is that Morphy woman these days?) and, as a result won £2.8 million. I hope that, in the festive spirit, he forgave her and slipped her a couple of hundred quid. After all, he now has more than enough money to buy New Zealand.

“Machu Picchu was not so lost after all”. Some pile of old rocks may have been found before the chap, of whom I had never heard, normally credited with discovering them got there. Bollocks. I have rocks in my back garden. I don’t know why. They are not interesting. There is a “famous” pile of old rocks down the road, Andover way. They do fuck all, and could do with a lick of paint.

“Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary”. Various Torygraph consultants (Pitt the Elder, the Black Prince etc) are up in arms about words like “Bishop” being left out and words like “Broadband” being included in ‘The Oxford Junior Dictionary’. Later editions enlisted the opinion of a Junior who said “I ent reedin it, innit? Lol”.

I should like to thank two of my correspondents who have been kind enough to send christmas cards. I am particularly obliged to the wise man from the east who took the trouble to explain that the picture on the front was berries surrounded by glitter, and not a bunch of bright red testicles in sugar as I had at first imagined. The second card arrived this morning. It depicts Santa picking his nose. I think that I am in love.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Too easy

Another reason why I read the Torygraph online:
"Prof Piers Steel, a Canadian academic who has spent more than 10 years studying why people put off until tomorrow what they could do today..."
I won't even bother with the obvious joke.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Never rape a man with oblong eyes

I was going to call this little discourse “Bellender”, but, for reasons that will not become clear, I found the alternative far more appealing.

I am not too proud to admit to my weaknesses. There are those who consider that frittering 65 hours every week watching detective/police/mystery/spy series on TV to be a waste of time. Indeed, there are some extremists such as my dear friend Richard, who has so taken against the intrusion of the Murdoch Evil Empire into our society that not only has he refused to subscribe to Sky, but has turned his television into a hothouse for growing antirrhinums. I have an answer to these critics (should they wander in here). I have thought deeply and considerately about this, and decided that they can all “fuck off”.

I was intrigued to see what was special about “Wallander” that could cause Kenneth Branagh to indulge in a bit of television drama. I have watched the first episode, and my pondering remains unanswered. It was fairly average – there was little therein to which I could take exception, even the presence of Wossname Warner taking himself a little too seriously, and I wonder why it is necessary for the sexual abuse of children to be a constituent part of every detective drama. The producers indulged themselves by making reference to Sweden in the opening minutes, and there was some nice music. I suspect that the music was not Swedish. As you know, nothing of any quality musically has come from Sweden since old Bernie Crusell added the last augmented sixth to his final clarinet concerto. Sorry, Dave, I know that you enjoy headbanging round your new greenhouse to “Soilwork”, but they are hardly up to the standard of the Beverly Sisters, are they? I usually enjoy watching Branagh, even when he performs so well that I find myself observing his acting rather than the film or play that he is in, but dunno, so far, why he chose to do this.

I still watch “Spooks” too, even though the plot has more leaks than an MI5 memo, and the acting is as hammy as a ham and tomato sandwich without the tomato. And the bread. I got into trouble for saying that Spooks had its name changed to “MI5” in the USA because the television companies thought that the audience were too stupid to understand the original name. Some folks of an American persuasion thought that I was saying that they were too stupid. That was really dumb of them, wasn’t it?

I have, however, learnt that anything associated with Lynda La Plante is not worth watching. I will use that in evidence when I reach the slightly tarnished side gate next to the pearly ones. Please feel free to wrestle the remote control device out of my hands if you hear me say “Maybe I’ll give her one more chance”.

*******

I am also pleased to announce the completion of the annual festive card. You will hear me kicking my printer this weekend as I fail to understand why Hewlett Packard, who have been in the business since Charles Babbage was in nappies, can’t make a sodding printer that selects one sheet of paper/card at a time, every time.
If you received a card last year, and have not had the foresight to relocate, then this year’s production will be on its way to you soon.
If you did not receive one and would like to (don’t pretend that you have standards, you’re here, aren’t you?), send your address in an email to me. You can see the email address on my profile.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Democracy in action

I was delighted this morning to find a little email from the American President waiting for me!

His name is Adam. (No, silly, not that Adam. Or that one).

He writes:
It is my distinct pleasure, as the president of Americans for Limited Government, to invite you today to become a key member of the exciting new conservative “bloggers central,” NetRightNation.com.

I did not hesitate in responding.

Adam! you old goat.
Thanks for the invitation.
Nothing would give me more pleasure to have access to a list of conservative bloggers, so that I could abuse each one of them personally, although I doubt whether time would allow.
I like the idea of limited government! I take it to mean government by someone so limited that he would not have the capacity to think and shit at the same time. George W. Bush's name springs to mind.
Let's all hope that your little campaign has as much success as he did in impressing the world about the worthiness of the conservative cause.
Scurra. Keeping the red flag flying.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Little Merit

I was going to write a critique of a televisual drama series, but may not be able to in light of my having discovered that I am number one in Theodore and Evadne Google’s list of references for “radish adultery”. The only person with more reason to be miserable than I on this discovery, is the perverted sod who inserted this phrase into his search engine, missus. It is not even my fault, it was Frontier Editor who introduced the word “radish” into the comments on my discourse about Liz, turnips and arses.

Anyway, I finally got around to viewing the first few episodes of the BBC’s latest costume drama. I shall probably watch it to the end, but doubt whether I will benefit much from it. We have been spoiled somewhat of late, what with Eileen Atkins making an all too rare appearance in Cranford and acting everyone else off of the set. Bleak House was even more impressive – the director and actors actually managed to turn Dickens’s ridiculous caricatures into believable characters, and even allowed Philip Davis to ham it up like a very large pig.

Little Dorrit, on the other hand, shows all the acting range of a Carry On film, or an amateur dramatic society rendition of a pantomime in Spanish. Tom Courtenay is passable, but I suspect that he did not have to make much effort. As for the rest, well, that is what I suggest that they take. I just can’t get to grips with Dickens. Did he ever intend us to take any of his characters seriously? Was his intention merely to draw attention to social conditions? I suppose that the adaptees have run out of classic novels to convert to television drama. I think the kindest criticism of this nonsense is to call it “ordinary”.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I couldn't imagine not using a Pentel 0.5mm with a 2B lead

As a bibliophile (and book lover) I should welcome the appearance of a television programme to do with literature. It should be an educational and inspirational event. Why then, I hear you politely enquire, do I find the BBC’s Book Programme so utterly vomit inducing?

Well, let’s start off with the dull tart who presents it. Mariella Frostrup is her name, so I believe. A voice like a badly oiled bicycle and a manner that, if it were adopted by a male, could only be described as smarmy. A syrupy smile that is just asking to be smacked off. I suspect that she is related to Gyles Brandreth.
And, before I go on, what sort of a name is that? It certainly isn’t Yossarian’s name, sir.

Then we have the excruciating vista of authors taking themselves seriously. “You are wonderful aren’t you? Would you like to take the next five minutes to describe exactly how awesomely magnificent you are?” Oh, fuck off.

They had a section this week where some writer or other (definitely or other) described the room in which they do their writing. If any of you heathens out there still deny the existence of a Supreme Intelligence, then, pray tell, how do explain the invention of "fast forward"?

Next week, Dave from Norfolk will be discussing the influence of Turgenev on his narrative about greenhouse construction, Richard will describe his favourite keyboard, and Tom might say something or other about something, not sure what he writes about these days.

Donn! What do they have instead of literature in Canada?

I shall rely on The Burnley Advertiser for my book reviews from now on.

I trust that you all took my advice and began reading Middlemarch in sync with me. I am loving it, even more than the last time, making sure that I don’t speed through it. I wish that Ms Evans were still with us, and writing a blog. I expect that she would not stoop to kicking Frostrup’s tits off, but would probably call her a daft slag in a very clever way.

Now, Mrs Cadwallader, there’s a sexy minx. I would love to spend a few hours chatting (or more likely listening) to her.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

I have to confess to feeling a little let down by the readers of this fine collection of literature and important news (aMToNW). I feel I am alone in going over to Boris's place and helping him along in his important job. Even Raincoaster doesn't visit him very often. Heaven only knows what happened to dear old Mark, I suspect one of you idiots upset him.

The more astute of you will also notice that I have a new friend to stalk.

*******

I have attempted, over the years, to make my writings accessible to you all, and geared the style towards my loyal readers. Some of you will notice that to even the most erudite student of literature, my prose is indistinguishable from that of Enid Blyton. I have to warn you that this may change in the coming days, as I feel that my writing will be influenced by George Eliot. Yes, I have decided to reread Middlemarch, and am determined to take my time in doing so, so as to absorb all of it. I hope that you have all read it. Perhaps, like me, you took a long time to getting round to it, put off, maybe, by having classical literature forced upon you at school. (For Dave, of course, it was not called classical literature, when he was at school, "The Way We Live Now" was contemporary fiction.) It is excellent. I defy Scaryduck to do a condensed version of it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've got a sewing machine

In case any of you were wondering why I am up this late at night (don't all shout at once) I should point out that I was over on Facebook in a chat with the son of a friend who was asking for help with an essay on logic, specifically Locke and Descartes. It is in times like these, in mentoring those younger than myself, that I feel that I am putting something back in, and repaying the kindness that has been shown to me.

The thread has now become a discussion about sex, drugs and rock and roll, specifically Hawkwind, who made some major contributions to each of those arts.

My work is done, and I can now sleep peacefully.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pinup of the week

It was a delight and an education to see the lovely Graham Rowntree being interviewed on the Rugby Club this week.

Seeing him speak often reminds me of the Village Idiot sketch from Python. One expects that he will sound like a punch drunk boxer rather than an articulate and intelligent commentator. When asked whether the next (England) game was likely to see a shift in emphasis from the back 3 to the front 3, he opined that all games should be that way, and, indeed, the game would be much better if you got rid of the backs and the referee.

I trust that all of this is not making those of you unfortunate enough to live in the colonies sad, that is not the intention. You must remember that your countries are still young, and you must be patient in your wait for culture.


This is so much more edifying than the fare presented by soccer pundits. It may be the beautiful game, but there is no one around who can describe it fluently. Mangled English pronounced as if by Arthur Daley. “He done good”. “He has ran”. “He ran quick”. Morons. You can say what you like about equestrian sport – brain dead throwbacks twatting around like the man I’m aunt to, they should all be taken out and shot for the sake of the gene pool and so on – but the commentators speak so nicely. You can say that the monarchy is representative of fascist oppression and peopled by those without the wit to do up their own buttons, but at least when they are unveiling a statue of the 16th Mayor of Margate, they speak distinctly and accurately. You can, if that is your preference, call Gyles Brandreth a totally vacuous, unfunny Tory tosser whose is so far up his own arse that he has two heads, but he does speak very clearly and correctly. If I were the England soccer manager, I would play Brian Sewell at centre forward.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Competition Time

Any smartarse out there recognise this gentleman?
I shall not be claiming royalties from him.

Twats, Jim, but not as we know them

I am obliged to the science section of the Torygraph for the attached image which shows a recently discovered galaxy on the far reaches of the universe.

Experts say that there is no sign of intelligent life, but there could be organisms there capable of reciprocating communication. These creatures are likely to be surly, inarticulate and materialistic.
There is speculation that they are ruled over by a strangely eccentric being beyond the imagination of science fiction writers.


P.S. I was first. I am not normally given to boasting, but there are very few such momentous opportunies on the electric internet.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Y'all need to help me out.

Look. (Does that sound like Blair?) The previous post is as upbeat as I am likely to get. The picture of Mountaine makes me smile. I guess if you don't know him - Adam, you must know him, he lives in your state - the effect is not going to be so noticeable.

I need to write about something other than the recent election in the USA. It does not do me any good to go and look at Obama's new website - which, incidentally and ironically, is the phrase I expect many of us will be using over the next couple of years in order to keep the wolf from the door - and have to restrain myself from adding to the comments section.

So, please, tell me what I should write about next. Remember, I am incredibly bigoted and ill-informed about most subjects, so it should not be too difficult for you to find something.


I could write answers to the people who came here courtesy of Theodore and Evadne Google, but aside from the perverts, and the twat who keeps enquiry about "interesting things that happened in November" - nothing, you twat - the only one remotely interesting was asking about "How to turn down an invitation to an Indian Wedding". Well, that's easy - you don't have to. Just don't turn up. They are all exactly the same, and there are thousands of people there, so you won't be missed, unless it is your own wedding, when the chances of your absence being noticed are reduced to about 1 in 5. I very seldom go, and have no intention of going to another one unless there is something very special about it. I've been to the weddings of my 3 lovely nieces - I chose to go. At the last one there was some very lovely Indian dance entertainment in the evening. So I have been told. I went out with a pizza instead, I can't name the fellow absentees because I don't want to get Anish and Ravi into trouble. Nobody noticed. If this answer does not satisfy you, then the best I can do is to tell you how to avoid being invited to the next one.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall

In contrast to my previous despatch, which may have been inclined towards the pessimistic, I want to reassure all of you out there who rely upon me for understanding the major movements in the world, that things are certainly looking up, and we are entering an era when injustices will be removed and peace and harmony will reign.
To support this argument, I enclose a picture of my dear friend Mort. He is the one wearing the hat.


I met Mort when we worked for associated companies, doing a similar job on either side of the Atlantic. At the time there was some discussion among our colleagues about which one of us was the more eccentric. Eccentric was the kindest description used. At the time, the view was that I had the slight edge, although I am not sure what criteria were used. I am happy to report that I have retained my zany behaviour, whereas Mort has, as you can tell, settled down and managed to behave in a manner which enables him to go unnoticed among the general public. He has taken, for a reason I do not know, to calling himself “Mountaine”, but other than that he could pass for an accountant or quantity surveyor.

It is with the support of the average man in the street such as my friend that Mr Obama has managed to sculpt his victory. You can all sleep soundly in your beds knowing that those who voted for and will continue to enable the new president to carry out his reforms are such solid, grounded and sensible citizens.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another county heard from

Following Dave’s declaration that he avoided posting about religion and politics, I thought it only proper that I should add my two penn’orth of ill-informed, prejudiced and uncalled for commentary on the events of the last two days.
In the last two days the following has happened:-

1) Barack Obama has been elected to be the 44th president of the United States.
2) He is black
3) er…
4) That’s it.


Honestly. That is it. That is all. Nothing more.

On the day of the election the airwaves were filled with journalistic cack of all sorts - nothing of any substance or interest. It was so dire that I had to turn off the radio in my car and talk to my wife – she is recovering now, and I have not bothered her today with my prattling, so there is no need for you to fret. Today, the media has been filled with millions of words about Mr Obama winning the election, and his being black. None of it has been any more informative or of any more consequence than that.


Can I draw your attention to two worthwhile pieces of writing about this couple of days, please?


Dear Willie has produced another very nice essay – well up to his usual standard, in which he describes the idiocy of the media.


My friends at the Onion
have also told it as it really is. Yes, I know Willie said that today was not a day to be cynical, but by the time I post this it will be tomorrow, if you see what I mean. Like most good satire, the article will probably make you uncomfortable as well as amused.


Let me tell you how I see it, after all, every other bastard has been determined to foist their uninvited opinion on you.

As you may have deduced, my sympathies are on the left and liberal side of the political spectrum. Extreme left and extreme liberal. They have been that way ever since I can remember, and have not altered a great deal despite my movement into the middle classes, my growing older and more cynical and my acquisition of property. From here, I don’t see very much difference between the politics of McCain and Obama. Obama is preferable, but I don’t really see him making much difference, no matter how happy most of you are to see someone elected with a pledge to change the direction that the world’s number one superpower has been moving in. I will say this, however: I cannot imagine anyone with any intelligence ever voting either Republican or Conservative. I will never, ever vote for them or their allies. If you do vote for them, it is an act of stupidity. If you voted for McCain, it was an act of dangerous stupidity. But for Obama to have got this far, he will have cut deals and compromised. Even if he were to be a genuine liberal/left of centre idealist, those deals will come back and bite him in the ass, and prevent the changes that all of my liberal friends are hoping for. Yes, I am that cynical.


What really astounds me, though, is the description of Obama as being “socialistic”. This term is usually used disparagingly, as if caring for the rights and welfare of the underprivileged were somehow disgusting. This is the legacy of the Thatcher/Reagan era. I wish someone had strangled those two motherfuckers at birth, along with all of the other stupid fascists queuing up to take their place as the leaders of the “fuck you” party.


The spirit of the American constitution and the declaration of independence and the Gettysburg address all hint at the high ideals of socialism, but I don’t recall any US politicians who have really been left wing.


For the benefit of those of you from foreign parts, and those of you so young that you don’t remember the Labour party being on the left, can I illustrate what I mean by a left wing politician.


The man whose name first springs to mind is Nye Bevan. I have more than a few differences with his politics, but he is one of the few public figures who has gained my admiration. Nye came from working class stock, underachieved at school, and worked as a coalminer. He joined a trade union, had his qualities recognised, and was elected as member of parliament for his home town. He attracted a great deal of animosity, because of his commitment and uncompromising attitudes. Despite having a stammer and the lack of ability to pronounce the letter ‘r’ (I can’t stand people like that), he was a brilliant orator. After the second world war, the British voters kicked out Churchill who had led them through the years of conflict, (I have never found a convincing explanation for this) and elected a Labour government that was largely socialist in nature. Bevan was given the job of overseeing the establishment of the National Health Service. Not only was he given the job of doing it, but he did it, and did it very well. The principles were: health treatment free at the point of delivery, and equality for all in the standard of care received. All treatment was paid for by the taxpayer. This meant that for people of my generation, we were able to grow up in a society where we could see the doctor, have him visit us, get treatment and medicine, and not have to worry about paying the bill. Of course, no society can really afford the kind of healthcare that we want – where there is no waiting for treatment or diagnosis, there are sufficient staff, hospitals and resources to provide care of an acceptable standard for everyone, but for the early part of my life systems were put in place to strive towards that. I will leave for another time how the right wing governments of the last 30 years have shat all over that ideal.


This is a simplistic account of what happened. It is not suitable for inclusion in your Ph.D. thesis. I am merely outlining the events in order to describe part of what I mean when I talk about socialism.


Even if Obama wanted that kind of health care in America, he knows that he would never be allowed to begin to think about implementing it.


So, joyful celebrators of a new era, I am sorry if I have pissed on your fireworks this November 5th. I really hope that the new president manages to end the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, not start any new ones, sort out and regulate the fuckwits running the world’s financial institutions, and bring about a serious reduction in poverty, prejudice and inequality in the USA. I sincerely wish that. It is just that I can’t see the bastards who backed the Republicans, control the media and got Dubya elected allowing that to happen.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Your sorrow is sheer delusion

I am in the process of reading one of the great works of literature (for about the 12th time) and it occurred to me that the central theme is remarkably similar to another favourite that I have read even more times. I am referring, as if you have not already guessed, to “Catch 22” and “The Bhagavad Gita”.

The central theme is, of course, the reluctance of the main character to take part in warfare. The narrative unfolds in very different ways, and, as far as I am aware, there are not many comparisons between the two texts, so, again, the opportunity arises for me to help you to gain some understanding.

I have chosen four aspects of these works to see which one is of greater value. These aspects are chosen entirely at random, and many important comparisons are discarded in making these choices, but the outcome will always be the same.


These aspects are in no particular order.


1) Humour


Catch 22 is a very funny book. The Gita isn’t. There are about as many jokes in the Gita as there are in most of the scriptures. Not many people wet themselves laughing reading the Koran, Buddha was hardly the Ken Dodd of his day, and only the most perspicacious scholar of Aramaic can find the subtle political satire hidden in the Sermon on the Mount. Those of you with agnostic proclivities will probably say that this is evidence of God lacking a sense of humour. This may be the case, but I would suggest that the scribes who compiled these great works were rather in awe of the Creator’s wit, and decided to leave the funny bits to him. After all would you take on the maker of Princess Anne, the pomegranate and the human penis in a competition to determine who was the wackiest?


1-0

2) Resolution of the conflict.


The Gita wins hands down on this one. Yossarian never manages to outwit all of the people who try to kill him, even though he survives, whereas Arjuna is given very explicit instructions about the nature of human existence and the path to impartiality and liberation. Unfortunately, over the years, this advice has been mucked about with and a few religious loonies have stuck their oar in and thrown in the usual crap that comes with religion, about duty and being aware of one’s station. You just have to sift through the dross to find the jewels.


1-1

3) Historical accuracy.


There was a 2nd world war, and part of it did take place in Italy, although the characters are entirely fictional.

There may have been a battle at Kurukshetra, and Krishna and Arjuna may have been there, but there is no independent corroboration of this.

Still 1-1

4) Characters


There are certainly more of them in Catch 22, and many are described in such detail that the reader feels that he knows them very well, this is even true of some of the characters who only get a few lines of description. The author even goes so far as to tell us that Major Major looks like Henry Fonda.

I have not read the rest of the Mahabharata, and some scholars suggest that the Gita is a later addition to this work by a different author, but in the Gita we learn little about Arjuna other than his general mental malaise. Similarly, we can only make deductions about Krishna, but it is very difficult to argue that the text leads us to accept that this is God in human form. Thus I think that he pretty much outranks the myriad of personalities in Catch 22, even if they are all added together, and few would be able to convince me that he is not more interesting.

1-2

So, there we have it. A victory for the Gita, Unless you prefer a good laugh to enlightenment. Whichever you choose, and I will certainly not judge you on your choice, I suggest you give them both a try. Certainly read them before you read this tripe.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Strange times

There has been a shift in the ethers - the word verification that I use here, and the one used by others (although they are much less likely to be invaded by spammers than I), has become less cryptic, and many of the letters now make up what could almost be words. I declare the word verification definition tradition revived. This is good news, as most of you have nothing to say, but do occasionally manage to come up with a witty definition.
Sorry these posts are on the short side lately, I am still recovering from Hallowe'en, the night when parents send their children round to ask for sweets from strange men. One child came to my house with a mask that dripped what looked like blood. It looked even more like blood when he left.
There is a headline on the BBC site tonight that reads "Martins hauls Magpies off bottom". For those of you with a tendency to be over-literal, I should explain that this refers to the outcome of a soccer game and alludes to the nickname of one of the protagonists. There is no suggestion that there are any anally fixated ornithologists in the north east of England. Oh no.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The land in which perverts and monsters rejoice.

Quarsan posted this story over on facebook, and all praise should go to him for spotting it, but I need to share it with y'all.
Just too good.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Mississippi is quite a big river.

The Fry experience that I said I would follow for you has not improved. He goes from place to place, makes banal and trite observations on subjects that he has done in-depth investigations of (some of them take as much as five minutes), and then draws some even banal and trite conclusion about the nature of American life.

Arse.


I expect so much more of him. Not that I think that everything that he says will be a gem of outstanding and original wit that will leave all who hear it wetting themselves with mirth, but is there any value in watching him squirm, trying to find some appropriate response to the utterances of people with whom he has little in common and few shared values? The queen gets it right by commenting “that is very interesting” to everything that is told to her. She is taking the piss, of course, and can get away with it because no-one expects her to be doing that. Fry, instead, makes some glib response in exactly the same way that I do when someone says something that makes me want to say “you are talking total wank, you dickwit”, but don’t have the courage to do it. The difference is that I would not want to have these encounters to be recorded and broadcast.


Apparently, in Wisconsin they make cheese.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can we burn this bastard on the 5th November?

In the spirit of Diwali, the celebration of love and light, can I ask you just to dash over to Boris and call him a cunt for me? Please. Do it with love. I hope his fucking house falls down. Note that abusive posts get deleted over there. I was abusive, but I think I got away with it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The demise of rural traditions.

Astute readers (shurely shome mishtake) will have noted the demise of the Kingsley Web Log. For some weeks now, it contains only a brief notice saying that it has been closed due to lack of interest. Thank heavens none of the rest of you adopt that criterion for maintaining your little web sites.

In some ways this is sad – The King’s Blog was one of the best, possible the very best, village web sites around. It was independent of any local body (no, you silly sod, it was not constructed by ghosts) and combined local information with a refreshingly high proportion of complete nonsense. Since it closed, I have had no idea what has been going on in the village, and if it does not return may have to go out into the street to find out.

The blog was set up by a neighbour of mine who lives about 7 houses away. I have emailed him and exchanged posts on blogs far more often than I have spoken to him, and suspect that, on the odd occasion that I leave my property, he makes sure that he is not out and about. This is as things should be. Intimacy has no part to play in the daily life of rural North East Hampshire.


The blog was technically of a very high standard, and very easy to navigate. Over the last couple of years a few people have abused the openness of the blog to launch vindictive, illiterate and silly personal attacks on this neighbour. I am sure that this was a factor in his deciding to discontinue it.


The Kingsley blog was where I first adopted my fine sobriquet, and was an inspiration for me to start churning out crap of my own. It was also where I discovered a link to dear Zoe, the Barmy Benelux Bimbo. So I guess that it has a lot to answer for.


Maybe it will come back some day. It seems a shame that future generations will be forced to rely on second hand information about Kingsley when researching for their doctorates.


Before I started all of this nonsense, I added some of my parochial postings to my website. Read the nonsense there, and shed a tear or two at the loss of this valuable sociological resource.


Our friend Mike has a jolly nice village web log, but it is much too serious. Tom’s blog is also, by default, a village web log, as no other human being will live within 4 miles of him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A further treatise on the nature of human existence.

There is a programme currently on the BBC called “Guitar Heroes”. Call me picky, (guitar pun there), but heroism is not an attribute that I would normally associate with the playing of any musical instrument, let alone the guitar. Heroes are those people who encounter danger in order to achieve something, usually on behalf of others, such as those who fight against the odds in just causes, or wander naked into Ann Widdecombe’s bedroom. The only guitar player I can think of who encountered danger in the course of earning his living was Hendrix, who appeared on stage with a burning guitar, and as he was the one who set fire to the fucker in the first place, then the poor drug addled bastard was not so much a hero as a loony.

So join me, fellow iconoclasts, in sticking a very sharp dagger in the side of this cult of celebrity and all of the hyperbole that goes with it. Rise up and shout at the wireless the next time you hear of someone who played 4 games at right midfield for Grimsby Town in 1973 being described as a “legend”. When I was at school the word “legend” had some connotations of being mythological. You might say, not very kindly, that I am so old that I was on first name terms with most mythological characters, but then I would have to counter that with some dialectical invective, such as “your momma”.

On the other hand, and taking the entirely opposite point of view, I experienced a smidgen of sadness this evening when some of the panellists on the News Quiz professed no knowledge of Danny Blanchflower. Even Jeremy Hardy was offended at this and challenged Sandi Toksvig and Sue Perkins with the accusation “You are supposed to be lesbians”. Yes, even Danny Blanchflower will be forgotten, not to mention his brother Jackie. How many of you can name the Spurs double winning team of 1961? (I confess I had to think hard about it). (And lose ten points anyone who said “Jimmy Greaves”.) What was remarkable about Danny was that he was intelligent (it is late at night, so I am not going to verify any of the following statements by checking them), a quality as common in the majority of footballers as it is in Republican vice presidential candidates. Surprisingly, he failed completely as a coach and manager after his playing career ended, but I think that he was the one who talked about equalising before the other team scored and maybe even of getting retaliation in first. So spare a thought for these people whose 15 minutes of fame lasted for several years, but are now remembered only by a few. Have compassion on them. Unlike me, whose works are timeless and will be read by every future generation, and will probably be treated as scriptures by some advanced civilisations, these “celebrities” kept the noiseless tenor of their way.


Pass the hot milk, please.

Tautology

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'll do this one, but am not going to make a habit of it.

After resisting many such attempts at ensnarement, I have been enticed to join in with one of these meme things. Blame Rol.

1. Put your music player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must put down the song name no matter what.

Rol and I both cheated on the "no matter what", and selected next until an answer came up that made some sort of sense. After all, there are not too many questions with the answer "Clarinet concert no 2 by Weber".

I won't do the normal thing and nominate people, but I had a little fun doing it.


What would best describe your personality?

Ain’t Misbehavin : Louis Armstrong
Excellent and accurate so far.

What do you like in a guy/girl?

Rondo : Karl Jenkins
Can’t make sense of that, so:

Metamorphosis : Ananda Shankar
Well, the oracle can’t be wrong.

How do you feel today?

The Old Castle : Mussorgsky
Do what? Try again.

Bad : Michael Jackson
Well, I am doing this bloody meme.

What is your life's purpose?

When you and I were young, Maggie : Sidney Bechet.
When you and I were young, Maggie, I should have sought you out and strangled you.

What is your motto?

Fifth Rendezvous part 1 : Jean Michel Jarre.
Try again:

Love the one you’re with : Crosby, Stills and Nash

What do your friends think of you?

Allegro from piano concerto #25 : Mozart
They are a weird lot, but let’s give them another chance:

Foxy Lady : Jim Hendrix
That’s more like it.

What do you think of your parents?

Benedictus from Paukenmesse : Haydn
Had to skip a few tracks that made no sense to get here.

What do you think about very often?

October Song : The Incredible String Band.
"I used to search for happiness,
And I used to follow pleasure,
But I found a door behind my mind,
And that's the greatest treasure."

What do you think of your best friend?

We Love You : Rolling Stones

What do you think of your crush?

Presto from Symphony No 9 : Beethoven.
Yes, Mrs S gets “Ode to Joy”. This is a nice game, isn’t it?

What is your life story?

Friend of the Devil: Grateful Dead

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The Way You Want Me To Be : Marianne Faithfull

What do you think when you see your crush?

See Emily Play : Pink Floyd
Well, she’d hardly be normal would she?

What do your parents think of you?

Do Wah Diddy Diddy : Manfred Mann
Or some other such noise of disapproval.

What do strangers think of you?

Ruby Tuesday : Melanie
I ain’t telling you where I came from, either.

How's your love life?

Respect : Aretha Franklin

What will they play at your funeral?

Miserere : Allegri
Yes, let the fuckers be reminded.

What will you dance to at your wedding?

Concerto for 2 trumpets in C : Vivaldi

What is your hobby/interest?

Bells : Jean Michel Jarre.

What's your biggest secret?

Nimrod from Enigma Variations : Elgar
Yes, I was the inspiration.

What do you think of your friends?

I Can See For Miles : The Who
Nosy bastards

What song do you listen to when you are sad?

Skating in Central Park : Modern Jazz Quartet.
Not listened to it in ages.

In love?

Symphony 8 (Unfinished) : Schubert

What song do you air guitar to?

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 846: Prelude And Fugue No.1 in C Major : Bach : Swingle Singers

What should be your signature karaoke song?

The One I Love : REM

What is your greatest desire?

American Dream : Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

What does next year have in store for you?

Death and the Maiden : Schubert
Hope I get the maiden first.

What's your outlook on life?

Questa O Quella from Rigoletto : Verdi
Fucking superstud, me.

How will you die?

Softly, as in the Morning Sunrise : Modern Jazz Quartet

Do people secretly lust after you?

Blowing in the Wind : Joan Baez
They all want to blow me. I wish I had the stamina.

The best advice you will ever get?

Ducks on a Pond : Incredible String Band.
"Following my fortune now the Holy Grail is found
And the Holy Bread of Heaven it is given all around
Farewell sorrow, praise God the open door
I ain't got no home in this world any more

Poor as the birds but to give their song away
Gathering possessions round to make a bright array
Dark was the night, praise God the open door
I ain't got no home in this world anymore."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In which Scurra reverts to type

May I just make a brief answer to the person who came over here via the offices of Theodore and Evadne Google (they do work hard don’t they? It’s still just them and their young nephew, Colin, in the office you know) who enquired “What’s going to happen during Kali Yuga?”

Well, if you had been paying attention these last few years instead of playing with yourself, my carefully constructed essays would have given you a clue. Dumbwit.

In case you missed it, it is happening. In the dark age, the world becomes consumed with violence, materialism and decadence, and humanity will entirely lose touch with the spark of divinity that is its real nature. Got it?

We have the spectacle of the world’s major super power being led by a psychopathic fuckwit, who may well be handing over to some even more stupid come November. And for all of those of you who had been hoping for the collapse of capitalism and the dawning of a golden age, then let me remind you that if the USA loses its grip on world power through incompetent government, bankruptcy and a shortage of essential supplies, then shall we join in applauding the new regime – either an assortment of oil-rich, intolerant, religious fundamentalist fuckwits, or an oppressive, intolerant, polluting conglomeration of cunts in China? Your children will, if they survive, be telling stories of the happy days of GW.

Still, mustn’t grumble.


*****

I have just watched the first instalment of Stephen Fry’s television series wherein he plans to visit the 50 United States. What a load of total arse. (I have a little tip for you – shouting at the television is unlikely to result in an improvement in the quality of product) It is no different from all of the other short-of-ideas ten-a-penny crap so called celebrity goes some place and reports tedium programmes that permeate the airwaves. I had hoped that Fry would avoid all of the standard glibness and sycophancy that characterise this drivel, but no, he jumped right in. “Oh crikey, a kitchen!” (not sure if the exclamation was crikey or gosh or fuckmesideways, and I ain’t gonna watch the crap again to check). Yes, Stephen, they do have kitchens on submarines. You arse. Yes, I know it is difficult to go to someone’s neighbourhood, intrude on their privacy with your film crew and then be rude about them, even if it is someone who habitually rubs deershit into his clothes, but the solution is quite simple. Don’t fucking do it. Someone with Stephen Fry’s ability should be able to produce something interesting, witty, original and worthwhile, in any combination. I shall watch the rest of the series and report back to you. If he continues to stick his tongue up the collective backside of America, at least someone there might have the decency to call him a fawning limey twat and punch him on the nose.

On the other hand someone on the staff had a sense of irony – playing “Volunteers” by Jefferson Airplane as the background music to a piece about volunteers on a military submarine. Or perhaps they were just as fucking stupid as the person who commissioned this pile of wank.

No idea about whom they are singing.

Thanks to Lin for sending this link to me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Temporary aberration

Preamble

1) As I have mentioned briefly before I have a limited tolerance threshold for bloggers wittering about whether they should post, and introspective articles that question the inner nature of blogging.
2) I have little interest in the opinions of humanity - including my own, although they do tend to pre-occupy me. I read those of Michael Meacher for educational purposes, and those of some of my friends here (you know who you are) because they are amusing. I don’t think that anything written on blogs will have much effect on the world.
3) Except, perhaps, to spread a little laughter. Which was all I ever intended to do.
4) However, I am proposing to write something intentionally devoid of humorous content this time.
5) If you don’t like that, you can leave now, I am sure that the silliness will return next time. I will try to make each section brief.


John le Carre


I saw a really good interview with said gentleman on BBC4 this week. The longest interview with him I have ever seen. I have always liked his books, and can’t think of a modern writer whose work I look forward to quite so much. I was captivated by him. Intelligent, articulate and interesting. I have had my nephew staying these last few days, and he, having lived in America for a long time, finds everything “ossum”, which I think has something to do with bones, but I was in awe of Mr le Carre in a way which I seldom find myself, except when listening to someone who is super intelligent. If you haven’t read all of his books, I strongly advise it (you can give the first two a miss, although Smiley features in at least one of them). There were so many interesting things that he said, I could probably write a thesis, but I want to keep this short.


Evelyn Waugh


There was a three part documentary from some years back, also on BBC4, this week, about the lives and works of this gentleman. Before discussing old Evy, which won’t take long, I think that the style was more interesting than the substance in this programme. Most of his contemporaries and friends came from the upper and upper middle classes, society which he always pursued and tried to integrate into. Anachronistic specimens such as Diana Mosley, Michael Powell and Harold Acton talked at length. One hardly ever hears those accents any more (they’ve gawn). Really remarkable. Some of you were involved in our discussion about the works of Mr Waugh recently. I have to say that if he was the best novelist of his generation, as some of his pals seemed to think, then it was a fairly sparse time for literature. Such a silly old bugger. His friends seemed to think his acid wit was endearing.
I am not sure when these programs were made – I suspect around 1980. It seems impossible that these strange creatures were around so recently. A bit like find the dinosaurs only died out in 1832.


The Wire


Probably the best thing that has ever been on TV (apart from the documentary that Tom was in). Art of the highest calibre. If you haven’t seen it, buy the DVDs (if you are English you will probably need those with subtitles). I have never seen drama with so many striking characters, subtly portrayed, an amazing mixture of sensitivity, cynicism, humour and drama. One of those moments where an art form suddenly finds itself at a higher level than anything that had gone before. It is very seldom that I find myself drawn in to film or television to this extent. I know that there are some of you who care about Ken Barlow’s dripping tap, but these mothafuckas were good. I intend to watch it all again someday. Come and join me.


(that’s enough of the serious stuff. Ed.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Never did me any harm

Many of you will have been alarmed, as was I, to read of “initiation ceremonies” carried out at seats of learning in the UK, as reported on the BBC news channels and on their website.

Rituals include roomfuls of young people forced to sit in ‘lecture theatres’ where uneducated, uncommunicative and dull ‘lecturers’ prattle on for upwards of an hour about subjects that are of no interest to anyone, and serve no practical purpose. The lecturers serve no practical purpose either, otherwise they would be doing something useful.

The young people are forced to pay for this humiliation, going into debt to finance this. It can be argued that they may as well go into debt, as they will never be able to afford to buy houses anyway, but these financial hardships often mean that they have little money left for buying essentials, such as drugs and contraceptives.


For three years or more, the brainwashing that they have already been subjected to for 13 years or so at ‘school’ continues. They are told that attending lectures, writing essays on marketing or organic chemistry and passing the examinations at the end of their sentence will, in some way equip them to succeed in later life.


They are not told (and are kept too busy to discover for themselves) that later life consists of being fucked up by callous rich bastards and cocksucking politicians who have no vestige of humanity and care nothing for the planet, its future or its inhabitants.


My good friend Tom has alluded to his escape from such a place of Orwellian indoctrination many years ago. Please take heart from that, and see that he has managed to survive these nigh on forty years without ever fitting in to, or being accepted by, society. I fear, however, that the indoctrination techniques have improved in recent years, and there is little hope of escape for the current inmates.


I have set up a foundation to help these unfortunates. Please send a financial contribution to me now. I guarantee that none of your donations will be squandered on the young, who are far too blinkered to use them wisely, but will, instead, help to aid me in my campaigns against the lickspittles and bastards in the financial institutions and stockmarkets. Or, at least, they might help me to buy my plasma television.